Character Creation

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Character Creation

Your Character is a heroic soul who sets out to complete their goals or fulfill their Destiny, be it great or terrible. Characters reinforce the game world’s immersion by role-playing different situations such as: exploring character traits, beliefs, racial attributes, abilities, and cultural differences. Stories are made from personal character histories and the unique minds of our Storytellers. Most importantly, stories are created by dynamic interaction between characters and the setting of the game world.

Each game event is called an episode. Episodes are the medium in which players and storytellers interact in real time. Each Episode features a variety of interactions which may include: action, role-playing, exciting combat, terrifying monsters, epic challenges, and all kinds of mysteries to uncover. These episodes are grouped into Chapters which have a centralized theme hinted at by the Chapter Title.

What Kind of Characters Can Be Made?

The first thing you should do when attempting to create a new character is think about what types of character concepts you like. You may also want to look at the rest of the rulebook and decide based on what is available. Your character must be approved by Storyteller Staff, but nearly any concept can be suggested. (e.g. A sly and sneaky rogue; A hardy warrior; Someone in-touch with their history; A drifter; An honest merchant; a skilled craftsman; A powerful spell-caster).

What Can Characters Do?

While playing the role of your character, you and your friends will experience and explore the unique medieval fantasy world of Mordavia. A Story might play out in a single episode, another might stretch across several chapters. Every story is different, every adventure unique. Your character might explore ancient ruins guarded by religious zealots or loot the tomb of a long forgotten Necromancer. You might sneak into a Building to spy on an enemy or face the life-draining touch of a Vampire. A Character may try to accomplish anything. However, they are restricted by physical boundaries, common decency, respect to other players, and the rules system of “LarpWorks Presents: Mordavia”.

Characters may take any general action within their physical capability and regard to the rules. Some of these non-advantage based actions include: listen at a door, search an area, bargain with another character, talk to an ally, run across the Town, hide in the woods, ect. Certain in-play abilities may hinder or completely disallow these general actions, such as a Slow or Fatigue effect forcing someone to walk instead of run across town. Characters can also take actions called In-Play Abilities and are based on the Advantages selected at Character Creation and Character Updates. Advantages bestow a myriad of abilities, which have different rules with how they are to be performed and used. Such as casting a healing spell, magically charming another character, crafting an in-play sword, or tracking characters in between episodes. This is further covered in later chapters.

The Player’s Role

Larpworks Presents: Mordavia is a Larp Survival Game which rewards characters who successfully survive. A Characters begins the game with 4 advantage making them a Novice at level 2. This is because they have had some sort of life before arriving at the Frontier for the first time. Each episode, Characters gain advantage points which can be used to purchase more advantages which increases their level. Surviving an episode without dying and helping the game grants additional advantage points.

As a player, you use this rulebook to create and portray a character for the duration of the episode. Your character is part of a Town that regularly delves into dangerous Adventures and battles monsters and villains. Storytellers set up Adventures where Characters visit new scenes they cannot reach alone. Players should prepare cycles of rest and fighting so that everyone in your group feels comfortable with the experience. Take security shifts to protect sleeping and otherwise vulnerable members of your group. The game continues even while players sleep and characters are vulnerable and can die without being defended while the player who portrays them sleeps.

It’s your job to decide what your character is like, how he or she relates to the other heroic souls, and act accordingly. You can play a serious Merchant, a jovial Bard, a proud Warrior, or a secret evil Necromancer, among many other possibilities. With your character in mind, respond to each situation as it comes up. Sometimes combat is called for, but other situations might be solved through role-playing, negotiation, or appropriate skill use. Always consider how you respond. Avoid narrating your characters actions in favor of speaking and role-playing as your character. Larping is a social experience as well as an imaginative one. Be creative, be daring, be true to your character, and most of all have fun!

What makes a character?

The following sections are character aspects. These may all be completed in any order and they are all needed to have a playable character: Name, race, character persona, advantages, costume, background, goals, and a character belief system are listed on the next page.

All players must have their characters approved by staff before they are allowed to play.

Building a Character

Below are the steps required to create a Mordavia character. Each step must be followed in order, as each following step is dependent on the previous step. Some examples are given, but most of the decisions are left up to the player to make their character.

1. Develop a character persona
A persona is the character aspect presented to other characters or perceived by characters. Here are some questions to help develop a persona: “Is there something unusual or peculiar about this character?” “What style does this character have?” “Do they wear something fancy, do they focus on combat efficiency?” “Do they wear a mages robe with a big pointy wizard hat?” Explore an ideal fantasy character persona and make a character to remember.
2. Choose a race
Choose a race that fits well with the character's concept. A character's race is a permanent choice which affects the rest of this character's life. Characters can attempt to embrace or avoid the powers of their own race. How race affects a character's goals and personality is up the player. Everyone in the game world will see this character as that race and have certain biases and opinions. The races are: Created; Elf; Demon; Gypsy; Half-Orc; Human; Vampire; Zhana.
3. Choose a name
Every Character in Mordavia has a name. Names hold power in this realm and so it is very important that each player picks one for their character. Characters may go by other aliases in game but their “True” name will be recorded on their character sheet. Traditional Romanian names are often used for character names and is suggested for anyone who needs inspiration.
4. Develop a belief system
A belief system will help to decide how a character will think and act in-game. Beliefs can be broad: “I defend all innocents.” or “I steal from everyone indiscriminately.” More Specific: “This character finds the Frontier Town dangerous.” or “This character detests politics, taxes, and war.” Other common belief systems involve an opinion on each race and school of magic. These are just a few belief system examples.
5. Character costume and makeup
A character's costume is what a character wears during the event. It includes any trinkets or phys-reps a player uses with the character. Costumes vary greatly. Most modern clothes such as tshirts, branded clothing, hoodies etc. are not allowed.
6. Create character goals
Goals are important because they provide real justification for what your character is doing by creating a specific end that you are working towards. It also provides Story Tellers with a better idea of what you are trying to get out of a character allowing staff to increase their quality of story telling.
Character goals can be simple or complex; specific or general. Good character goals are ones that are idealistic and represents the character's inner virtue, moral code or lack thereof. Examples of character goals are: To be the strongest warrior in the land; To be an arch-master cleric of white magic; To be a skilled craftsman and craft rare devices; To steal as much wealth as possible; To avenge their father's death; To destroy all Gypsies; To spread peace and love.
7. Choose Advantages
The advantages in this book represent all of the special in-play abilities that a character possesses. Characters begin with 4 advantages. The following section describes how to purchase and use “the advantage system”. 1 must be spent in the racial advantage list, and 3 can be spent in any list.
Advantages are also used to build a characters story. One common way is to find a set of advantages then create a character based around those. Another, and more recommended, way of picking advantages is to focus on a character concept then determine what advantages would best represent and suit your particular playing style.
8. Create character background and history
All players must create a background and history for their character. A character's first four advantages help represent the first phases of a characters life before coming to the game. Players must define in a few sentences of how these advantages shaped their character early in life. The first is the earliest childhood advantage and is based on the Racial Advantages. Players then continue with their Advantages, writing about when their character was old enough to work and participate in society, giving an idea of the choices a player's character has made in their adult life and how they relate to their goals. Story Telling staff will help with the creation of a character's history if a character history is not prepared by the second event attended.
Character histories may be as complex and diverse as a player wants it to be. Entire fictional stories and bloodlines may be created with family trees and unique family traits and historic accomplishments. These are just basic guidelines to help new players create character backgrounds at creation. Character backgrounds are important because they allow staff to gain an insight into a player's concept for their character and what that character might be interested in. All character histories must be approved by staff.

The Advantage System

Story and role-play driven character development is an important aspect of the game. However, the Advantage System is a game mechanic used to represent incremental increases to a characters development. Advantages are a way of quantifying various aspects of characters in a balanced way. All advantages change a character, usually by granting an ability or benefit.

Advantages: Advantages represent all game based abilities and stats of a character such as casting spells, crafting items, having health points, etc. Characters may purchase advantages with advantage points (AP). Once purchased, a character permanently gains that advantage. These advantages are located on one of four lists: Racial, Universal, Combat, and Spell. Each of these lists is broken down into tiers of power. The higher the tier of advantages a character has, the more experienced and powerful that character is considered to be.

Advantage Points

  • Advantage Points are used to obtain Advantages and must be spent in one of the four advantage lists.
  • All Advantages (except Noble) may be bought at a cost of 1 AP and are available in one of 4 advantage lists.
  • All advantages may be purchased only once. (with a few exceptions)
  • Some advantages have prerequisites that must be met before purchasing. This typically involves a character being the proper tier or buying advantages that progress in numerical order. (e.g. Dodge must be purchased before Dodge 2 at a higher tier.)

Additional Advantage Points

  • Gain 1 Advantage Point just for playing your character during an episode of the game.
  • A Character is rewarded an additional 1 AP if a character does not suffer a death during the episode.
  • Characters also gain an additional 1 AP for attending every episode in a chapter. Character Levels
  • Character level is based upon the number of Advantages a character has spent. One Advantage Point is equal to ½ a level. (Characters start with 4 AP so they start at level 2)
  • Each race has automatic starting advantages that do not count towards level. These are called “Free Advantages”
  • Levels and advantages are broken down into the 5 tiers of power. These tiers of power are an important factor when determining what advantages a character has access to when spending AP. Each Advantage list has its own rules of progression based on character level.

Tiers of Advantages

  • Characters automatically receive their Starting Racial Advantages based on their race selected. These advantages do not count towards the character level. Affinity, a starting advantage, also grants additional “Free Advantages”.
  • Higher tiers of racial advantages can be accessed by raising the character's tier equal to, or greater than the advantage tier.
  • Higher tiers of combat advantages can be accessed by raising the character's tier, and having a minimum of 4 advantages of purchased from the previous Combat tier.
  • Grey Magic is a single advantage in the Grey Magic list which allows access to the Magic Wheel. Higher tiers of spell advantages are accessed when a character has all of the spells of the previous tier.
  • These restrictions are discussed more in-depth at the start of the following advantage list chapters.

Advantage: Grants a character what is described permanently.

Activated Advantages: Grants a character a single use per day (before and after reset) of the ability described.

Spell Advantages: Grants a character the ability to cast the Spell described by paying Spell Points if they have a proper Spell Scroll.

Combat Maneuvers: Grants a character use of a combat maneuver by paying Maneuver Points.

Title Advantages Level Total # of AP Spent
Novice Tier 1 0 - 4 1 - 9
Adept Tier 2 5 - 9 10 - 19
Journeyman Tier 3 10 - 14 20 - 29
Master* Tier 4 15 - 19 30 - 39
Arch-Master* Tier 5 20+ 40 +

The first two levels of a character must be purchased in a specific manner. Players are given four advantages to spend to make their character. The first of these advantages must be chosen from the Racial Advantage List. The last three advantages are able to be spent in any list of the player's choosing. These first four advantages also help represent and build a character's history.

*Beyond Tier 3: Characters will only be allowed to see advantage lists in which they have access to after tier 3.

*At level 20 and every 5 levels thereafter, characters will begin to suffer from Soul Degradation. Soul Degradation decreases a character’s maximum amount of resurrections by 1; which can result in that character losing a resurrection(to a minimum of 1). Certain in play actions can also lead to Soul Degradation.