Each character has unique Attributes, Skills, Goals, and Addictions that will influence their successes and failures throughout the game. Characters can be prepared either by the players or by the GM.
A character created by the GM is referred to as a pre-generated character or pre-gen. Unlike other games that are set in vast fantasy worlds or among the stars in distant galaxies, the scope of a Splattermancer scenario is more focused. Stories tend to take place within a limited number of locations over a relatively short period of time. Because of this, the selection of Skills, Addictions, and Goals requires a certain knowledge of the forthcoming scenario (as discussed later in this chapter). As grand architect of the game, the GM may have an easier time creating characters that will fit the situation.
Then again, part of the fun of role-playing is creating one’s own character—choosing that fantasy avatar that will be the most enjoyable to play. So if they choose, players should, by all means, be able to dream up their own characters, though some guidance from the GM will help make sure those characters are well placed within the story. A backup Broadway dancer waiting for her big break might not do so well in a military combat zone (…or would she?). For this reason, players might present the GM with options regarding certain aspects of their characters, or else the GM should give the players some hint of where the scenario takes place.
Attributes are the innate physical and mental abilities characters are imbued with. These will affect the outcome of die rolls.
There are five Attributes:
Players have 22 points to distribute among their Attributes. Characters cannot start with less than 1 or more than 7 in any Attribute. Attribute scores may be increased with Virtue Points, but cannot exceed 9 (the cost is two Virtue Points for one Attribute Point). Weapons, Skills, or other augmenting factors will increase the player’s Attribute for the purpose of a single roll, but again, not beyond 9.
Skills are abilities that augment specific Attributes by 2. For example, Boxing is a Skill that would augment Strength. If a character has a Strength of 3 as a well as a Boxing Skill, their Strength is raised to 5 whenever they are attempting to box. Skills cannot increase an Attribute above 9.
Every character has four Skills. These can be spread amongst the Attributes however desired. There is no limit to how few or many Skills can be applied to an Attribute.
Examples of Skills: