Characteristics

This section helps you round out your hero. Here you pick your hero’s name, age, and other details. You’ll choose a virtue and a vice for your hero’s nature. This section also explains how heroes can go that extra mile when they need to pull out all the stops in order to succeed, using extra effort and the strength of their Conviction. It also details some Complications and Drawbacks that every hero struggles past, as well as the Allegiances one makes in order to survive a harsh world.

Details
Nature
Conviction
Reputation
Complications
Drawbacks
Allegiances
Backstory

Details

A lot of details go into making your hero more than just a collection of numbers; things like name, gender, age, appearance, and so forth help to define who he or she is. Take a moment, if you haven’t already, to consider the following things about your character.

Name

What is your character’s name? You can give your hero any name you like, based on a real-world name, one from fiction, or a name entirely of your own creation. Appropriate names depend on the kind of character and the type of story you’re telling, so consult with your group and your DM.

  • If your character is a noble (not just the Noblesse race), the DM has a list of the Noble Houses in the Kingdom of the Lake from which you can choose. Or you may create one of your own (if you hail from a minor house). Noblesse may well have noble names, but they are so far down in the hierarchy of the family that all they can lay claim to is the famous family name, and little more.
  • Seitsmen usually have a rustic given name, and adopt an occupation name (i.e. Relmar Glover, or Alana Thatcher). Females take their father’s/husband’s names. Some Seistmen are given nick-names that they adopt, like Red, Bear, Ox, and the like. Some use family surnames, such as Harlanson, or Grensdottor.
  • Bastards are given surnames such as Lake, Rivers, Sand, Snow, Stone, Hill, or named after trees such as Birch or Willow, after flowers such as Rose or Daisy. The choosing of their last names is usually determined by the region of their birth.There is no set naming conventions.

More to come…

Gender

Is your hero male or female? There’s no requirement to play a character of the same gender as you. In fact, you may find it interesting to play a hero of a different gender, to experience a little of what life is like from another perspective.

Age

How old is your character? Heroes tend to range from their teens to middle age, but some heroes are older, depending on a hero’s background, possibly much older.

Consider the effects of age on the hero. A teenager on her first adventure away from home isn’t likely to have the same views as a mature adult. A hero’s age may influence the choice of certain traits. Older characters are likely to have lower physical ability scores, for example, while younger characters may have fewer Craft and Knowledge skills (having had less time to train in them).

Appearance

What does your hero look like? Consider things like the character’s race, sex, and other factors in appearance. Is the character short or tall? What about hair and eye color? Does the hero have any distinguishing marks or unique features?

Personality

How would you describe your hero’s personality? While heroes tend to share a desire to use their powers for good and uphold the law, they show a diverse range of attitudes. One hero may be dedicated to the ideals of truth, justice, and equality, while another is willing to break the rules in order to ensure things get done. Some heroes are forthright and cheerful while others are grim and unrelenting.

Consider your hero’s attitudes and personality traits, particularly in light of the hero’s nature.

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Nature

All intelligent creatures make moral choices, to live according to their better nature or to give in to immoral impulses. Many walk a difficult line between the two. Each character in Shimmering Kingdoms has a particular nature, which is made up of a virtue and a vice.

During character creation, select a virtue and a vice to decide your character’s nature. A list of examples is given below, but you can make up your own virtues and vices with the DM’s permission. The key is to give your hero one good quality (virtue) and one bad quality (vice).

Virtues

  • Acceptance, Altruism, Appreciation, Assertiveness, Autonomy, Awareness, Balance, Benevolence, Bold, Charity, Chastity, Cleanliness, Commitment, Compassion, Confidence, Consciousness, Continence, Cooperativeness, Compassionate, Courageous, Courteousness, Creativity, Critical Thinking, Cunning, Curiosity, Daring, Dependability, Detachment, Determination, Diligence, Discipline, Empathy, Endurance, Enthusiasm, Excellence, Fairness, Faith, Fidelity, Focus, Foresight, Forgiveness, Fortitude, Free-Spirited, Free Will, Freedom, Friendliness, Generosity, Gregarious, Happiness, Helpfulness, Honesty, Honour, Hopefulness, Hospitality, Humility, Humor, Idealism, Imagination, Impartiality, Independence, Industrious, Innocence, Integrity, Intuition, Inventiveness, Justice, Kindness, Lovingness, Loyalty, Manners, Mercy, Moderation, Modesty, Morality, Nonviolence, Nurturing, Obedience, Openness, Optimism, Patience, Peacefulness, Perfection, Perseverance, Piety, Prudence, Purposefulness, Respectfulness, Responsibility, Restraint, Sacrifice, Self-Awareness, Self-Discipline, Self-Esteem, Self-Reliance, Self-Respect, Sensitivity, Sharing, Sincerity, Spirituality, Sympathy, Tactfulness, Temperance, Thoughtful, Tolerance, Trustworthiness, Truthfulness, Understanding, Wisdom.

Vices

  • Absentmindedness, Aggression, Addiction, Animosity, Antagonism, Apathy, Arrogant, Bigotry, Bitterness, Alternatives, Callousness, Capriciousness, Carelessness, Commitment, Corruption, Cowardice, Cruelty, Cynical, Denial, Dependence, Despair, Diffidence, Dishonesty, Dishonour, Disobedience, Disrespectfulness, Excess, Favoritism, Fearful, Filthiness, Flightiness, Flippancy, Foolishness, Frivolity, Greed, Guilt, Hatred, Hidebound, Hostility, Ignorance, Immodesty, Immorality, Impatience, Impiety, Improvidence, Impulsive, Inconstancy, Indecision, Indifference, Indolence, Indulgence, Inequality, Inferiority, Infidelity, Ingratitude, Injustice, Insensitive, Insincerity, Intemperance, Intemperance, Irresponsibility, Irreverence, Laziness, Promiscuity, Licentiousness, Light-Mindedness, Malevolence, Malice, Misanthropy, Manipulative, Miserly, Relativism, Negativity, Officiousness, Omissiveness, Parasitism, Passivity, Permissiveness, Perversion, Pessimism, Petty, Judgment, Prejudice, Presumptuosness, Pride, Purposelessness, Rashness, Rudeness, Ruthlessness, Secretiveness, Self-Degradation, Selfishness, Shortsightedness, Slackness, Slavery, Slothfulness, Stinginess, Stubbornness, Suppression, Tactlessness, Treachery, Unfairness, Unforgivness, Unkindness, Unscrupulousness, Vanity, Violence, Wantonness, Weakness, Uncivilization, Wiliness.

Changing Nature

Generally speaking, a person’s nature is fixed. Virtue and vice are deep- seated facets of the character’s personality; some might say the halves of the soul. So changing one’s true nature is difficult.

If the DM allows, you may change your hero’s virtue or vice at the cost of a point of Conviction, which cannot be regained until the hero gains a new level. You can never eliminate either nature, as everyone must have both a virtue and a vice. Changing each one takes Conviction, so changing both requires two Conviction points.

At the DM’s discretion, certain major events in a character’s life can lead to a change in nature (either virtue or vice or both), but these events are largely beyond the players’ control. The DM shouldn’t allow changes in nature to happen lightly; they’re pivotal events in an individual’s life.

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Conviction

Whether it’s luck, talent, or sheer determination, heroes have something setting them apart from everyone else, allowing them to perform amazing deeds under the most difficult circumstances. In Shimmering Kingdoms, that something is Conviction. Spending a Conviction point can make the difference between success and failure.

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Reputation

Reputation is used to determine whether a DM character recognizes a hero. Those who recognize the hero are more likely to help the hero, provided the hero has a positive reputation. A high Reputation bonus also makes it difficult for heroes to hide their identities and go unnoticed.
Most of the time, the DM decides when a hero’s reputation is relevant to a scene. The DM makes a Reputation check for a DM character that might be influenced in some fashion due to the hero’s fame or infamy.

More to come…

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Complications

Heroes and heroines never lead uneventful lives. Thus, each character must choose one starting complication which propels them on the heroic path and gives them a reason for leaving home.

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Drawbacks

Drawbacks TBA

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Allegiances

Heroes of the Shimmering Kingdoms are, by necessity, committed to others. Of course, a hero may start off being a selfish rogue, but inevitably, he will grow to care about those around him and the society he lives in. Being connected to those around them gives a character a cause to fight for, beliefs to defend, and a group of allies to fall back on in times of strife. It is a good idea to choose an allegiance for your character. Their life may depend on it.

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Backstory

Every character has an uplifting, tragic, magical, unresolved, or otherwise fascinating story which explains how they’ve gotten where they are now. Heroes and heroines of Shimmering Kingdoms belong to a greater society, and even if they are orphans, they may have been raised in a monastery, taken care of by a surrogate parent, enslaved as a debtor, or otherwise made a member of society. Feudal culture values the bonds of family, and a character’s mother, father, siblings, or even distant relatives can have a great impact on their back story. When writing a back story, it’s useful to think of how your character would relate the information. One way of writing a back story that distinguishes between things you know as a player but your character doesn’t is to write the back story as if your character (or another who knows your character well) were telling it to an audience, and in the margins include notes about things your character is unaware; such margin notes can become great plot hooks, making the DM’s job easier and guaranteeing your character a more intimate connection to the game.

Of course, you will be rewarded for your efforts in creating a backstory.

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Characteristics

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