Character creation for Dystopian Heroes consists of 5 phases: Concept, Background, Skill Selection, Stunt Creation, and Equipment Purchase.
It is important to get a basic idea for your character. Take some time before the character creation session and get an idea about who you want your character to be, especially in the long run. Your character’s name, chilhood experiences, occupation, and even their ethnicity will come in to play in character creation and may very well influence some scenes as Aspects so be ready to make a decision on them.
Also you should be thinking about what sort of power set you are wanting to devlop as all superpowers in Dystopian Heroes must be based around a single element. Not the traditional, or even Chinese, concept of elements, but a broader range including things that may be a combination of other elements. Fire, water, steam, or ice? You will be restricted to one type of matter in one state.
During your first session character creation will take place. It is in this phase that you will determine not only your character’s backstory, but how it effects them through the acquisition of Aspects. Aspects can come in to play heavily during gameplay so be sure to choose ones that you will utilize.
There is space for a total of ten Aspects on each character sheet, although only eight will be used for charcter creation. Six Aspects will be yours to choose, but will represent different periods of your charcter’s life. Two will be determined by other players, simulating developing a relationship with their characters.
The final two will represent character development through game play and may be acquired at the end of any Issue.
III. Skill Selection
Then will come Skill selection, in Fate skill ratings are reffered to by their place in “the ladder” and your own skills on your character sheet is called “the pyramid”. The ladder determines the verbage used to describe a character’s ability within that particular field. The pyramid refers to the structure of balance a player must maintain with skill progression.
At character creation your character will only be able to have 10 total skills, 2 of which are required, and 1 which must be a communication skill. The remaining seven may come from the standard, power, or communication skills sections. You may place these skills in any of your character sheet’s unlocked skill slots (rated 1 through 4).
Through the course of play and advancement you will be able to acquire an additional 5 skills, eventually unlocking the capability to assign a single skill to the 5 rating. Additional advancements from that point result in a +1 attached to a specific skill regardless of it’s place in the pyramid.
IV. Stunt Creation
After choosing skills, players may begin to develop Stunts for their characters. Stunts are things that a character may do or own that break the standard rules for a given situation. Stunts can be related to a skill, a type of action, or a specific situation.
While there is space on each character sheet for 5 stunts, only three will be allowed at character creation, with the remaining two being gained through achievement. These additional stunts will become unlocked at influential points in the overall story arch.
V. Equipment Purchase
Lastly comes equipment purchase. Unlike other games where players purchase gear individually using currency, in Dystopian Heroes equipment purchase occurs as a group and items are paid for, either individually or collectively from the character’s beginning Fate Point pool. All equipment obtained in this fashion are not immediately gained, but rather represent SekshuN8’s ability to acquire it at the end of the first issue.
This provides player’s with a choice: forgo their ability to influence their first issue as heavily in return for equipment they will acquire later, or retain their initial Fate Points for use and not contribute to the purchase of gear. Most players are likely to choose somewhere in the middle. Some items, such as the hideout (and amenities) and vehicle have such a high cost they are likely to require multiple people to contribute Fate points towards their cost.
It should be noted that the initial Fate Points are well above the character Fate Refresh value and as such characters above that value will not gain any Fate points during the issue refresh period.
Each player is allowed to Mulligan their character once during the first issue. This Mulligan allows for the complete redistribution of skills, recreation of stunts, and the changing of the six “choice” aspects. All must meet GM approval the same as standard character creation. This option may be taken anytime before, during, or after the first issue, but prior to the second.
Any changes beyond this to a character must be within the rules (Advance/ Refresh) or be discussed with the GM with justification such as game enjoyment or game breaking reasoning.