At Arcadia LARP we encourage you to make a highly detailed character, so we have created this guide to simplify the process of turning your ideas into a fully-fledged character in our system.
You can find our rule book on our website, along with the crafting book and our new fully interactive character sheet. We recommend having these open as you follow the guide, alternatively you can read some of the core rules on this wiki to familiarise yourself with the system before getting started.
All of our background Lore and Culture can be also be found here on the wiki under the Gameworld tab. You can find other useful information here as well such as a checklist for camping equipment and FAQ’s.
If you need any further help or would like to run concepts by us just email our character referee at firstname.lastname@example.org, we also occasionally run character drop in sessions on our discord group, full details of which are on our Facebook page.
- 1 Step One - Have a concept
- 2 Step Two - Filling out your character sheet
- 2.1 Character Information
- 2.2 Racial Benefits and Flaws
- 2.3 Languages
- 2.4 Basic Attributes
- 2.5 Flaws
- 2.6 Mundane Skills and Talents
- 2.7 Elemental Affinities and Weaknesses
- 2.8 Weapons, Implements, Armour and Shields
- 2.9 Magic
- 2.10 Crafting
- 3 Step 3 - Reviewing your character
- 4 Step 4 - Character Background
- 5 Step 5 - Submission
- 6 Step 6 - For the event (optional but recommended)
Step One - Have a concept
If you are struggling with a concept check out our top tips for character creation to help you begin. Also make sure you have something to write on or our character sheet open.
Before you can start picking stats and taking skills you need an idea of what is available in our system. We highly suggest you do some research into the background and setting of the game and read the rule book through at least once before picking your permanent skills. Even if you haven't LARPed before and don't understand most of what you are reading, it's best to have a slight understanding and ask lots of questions, then to go in blind
Tip: If you print a copy of the rules get a pencil to make a mark next to the skills you would be interested in so you can refer back to them.
Step Two - Filling out your character sheet
From our website you can download our character sheet which you will need to create your character. There are two versions available to download; automated version which you fill in digitally through a series of drop down selections and it calculates all the points for you, or our basic version which you can fill in manually or print if prefer.
The first box you should fill out is the purple one at the top. The information to fill in the box should come easily if you have a concept, it is in here you specify your culture and race.*
Tip: don’t worry if you haven’t thought of a name yet, leave it blank and come back to it.
If you character is a fighter, or you have decided that they will carry a weapon or wear armour you also need to specify it here.
*NB: if you are using the automated character sheet you may see numbers change when you select your race and culture and when it comes to choosing your skills certain things will be unselectable. To understand the full benefits and limitations or each race or culture make sure to read pages 15 to 17.
Racial Benefits and Flaws
Depending on your race you will have a flaw you have to take and a special skill that would be discounted to you. Flaws return character points to you meaning you have more to spend on beneficial skills however as stated they are flaws, they put you at a disadvantage.
For example elves have to take the frail flaw giving themselves less Hit Points (HP) to start with but a discount on acute senses as they are particularly apt at noticing their surroundings. For a full list of race requirements check out pages 15 to 17.
Once you know what racial flaw you need to take you must add it to the flaws box on the character remembering to add on the character points it gives you to the amount you can spend.*
In the racial discount box put the skill that you get discounted, you still get to choose whether you take it or not but it is then on your character sheet so you can remember to apply that discount at a later stage.
*NB: if you are using the automated character sheet when you click on the box that says “racial“ under flaws it will allow you to select the flaw you must take and calculate for you the points needing to be added.
The next thing you might want to choose is your languages, as this will be affected by the culture you have chosen. Every character is presumed to speak the common language as it is has been adopted by all the cultures to allow ease of communication between nations and thus this skill is free and does not need to be written onto your character sheet. Most characters however also speak there national language having been brought up in areas where these languages are used daily. The benefit of this being that you can have more private and realistic conversations with other characters of your culture.
You have a discount on your native language costing 1 character point (CP) to purchase. Each additional language costs 2CP. Languages should be added to the mundane skills and talents box. It costs nothing to cast as it is a skill your character can now just do at will be using the languages gesture (An L-shaped symbol with your hand and say the language you are about to speak in)
If your character concept is one of a diplomat or someone who is educated you can add more languages or language related abilities later on in the creation process.
After sorting out the bare bones of your character, you need to turn your attention to basic character traits such as how tough, strong, athletic, magical or spiritual they are.
Most characters start with 2HP, meaning that they are able to take 2 hits until they are mortally wounded and must fall to the floor, unless they are an elf and already have the Frail flaw bringing them down to only 1.
Here you have to think is your character able to take more hits than an average person or less. If the answer is more you may consider taking the Tough perk which gives you an 1 extra HP and costs 4CP. If you believe your character has some reason to be more frail than average you can take the flaw it will allow you to spend 4 more CP.
Add the perks you choose and how much they cost to your mundane skills and talents box. Add any flaws you choose and how much CP extra you get to the flaws box. Don’t forget to increase and decrease your HP accordingly (the automated character sheet will do this for you)
Tip: If you know your character is extra tough you can take the Tough perk a maximum of twice to give you 2 extra HP and you are then able to take tenacious which gives you a further 1HP.
Most characters start with an average strength of 2. Strength is used to allow characters to lift heavy objects, wield heavy armour, shields and weapons, and restrain other characters. Here you need to think about whether your character would be stronger or weaker than average. You also need to consider whether you are wanted to be able to use certain armours and weapons and what strength you need to do so. To increase your strength you can take the Strong perk which costs 2CP and gives you an extra 1 strength. To lower your strength you can take the Weak flaw which gives you back 2CP to spend but reduce your strength to 1.
Add the perks you choose and how much they cost to your mundane skills and talents box. Add any flaws you choose and how much CP extra you get to the flaws box. Don’t forget to increase and decrease your strength accordingly (the automated character sheet will do this for you)
Tip: if your character is extra strong you can take the perk up to 3 times.
Depending on the skills you chose they may either cost stamina, mana or spirit to activate, therefore it may be useful to come back to these perks when you know what others you might be taking. Stamina is used for physical skills and is mostly used if your character is choosing to be a fighter. An average character starts with 10 stamina however if you know you need more you can take the Athletic perk up to 2 times each time giving you an extra 5 stamina costing 5CP, or if your character is not energetic you can take the Lazy flaw which reduces your stamina to 5 and gives you 5 extra CP to spend.
Add the perks you choose and how much they cost to your mundane skills and talents box. Add any flaws you choose and how much CP extra you get to the flaws box. Don’t forget to increase and decrease your stamina accordingly (the automated character sheet will do this for you).
This is the most important pool if you are a magic user. The first perk you must take if you are going to be casting spells using mana is Arcane Gift which costs 2CP and should again be added to the mundane talents and skills box.
Depending on the spells you chose they will cost different amounts of mana to activate, therefore it may be useful to come back to these perks when you know what spells you might be taking. An average character starts with 10 mana however if you know you need more you can take the Magical perk up to 2 times each time giving you an extra 5 mana costing 5CP, or if your character is not very magical you can take the Weak Mana flaw which reduces your mana to 5 and gives you 5 extra CP to spend. If your character cannot cast spells you can take the Mundane perk which gives you back 2CP.
Add the perks you choose and how much they cost to your mundane skills and talents box. Add any flaws you choose and how much CP extra you get to the flaws box. Don’t forget to increase and decrease your mana accordingly (the automated character sheet will do this for you).
This is the most important pool if you are a spirit user. The first perk you must take if you are going to be casting spells using spirit is Divine Gift which costs 2CP and should again be added to the mundane talents and skills box.
Depending on the spells you chose they will cost different amounts of spirit to activate, therefore it may be useful to come back to these perks when you know what spells you might be taking. An average character starts with 10 spirit however if you know you need more you can take the Spiritual perk giving you an extra 5 spirit costing 5CP (there is no cap on the spirit point pool), or if your character is not very spiritual you can take the Faithless flaw which reduces your spirit to 5 and gives you 5 extra CP to spend.
Add the perks you choose and how much they cost to your mundane skills and talents box. Add any flaws you choose and how much CP extra you get to the flaws box. Don’t forget to increase and decrease your spirit accordingly (the automated character sheet will do this for you).
So you know how much CP you have to spend we recommend looking at the full flaw list next and deciding whether your character fits any extra flaws than those already considered. Add any extra flaws to the flaw box and add on how much CP you have gained by doing this (note: you can only take a maximum number of two vices, to review your flaws and make sure that they fit your character see the review section below).
Mundane Skills and Talents
Your mundane skills and talents box may already be quite full by this point but not to worry as long as you are able to afford all perks with the amount of CP you have you can take as many as you want.
Tip: Add all perks you think you’d like and would fit your character without paying much attention to cost, you can always prioritise and cut back later.
Firstly look at your discounted racial perk and decide if you would like to take it. If you do remember to add in the discounted cost not the full cost, for the automated character sheet you need to select yes in the discount box and it will automatically calculate the discount for you.
Have a look at the mundane skills list and the talents list and add any other perks you’d like to the box. Pay attention to any prerequisites, meaning criteria you need to meet before taking the perk, and restrictions, things that you may already have that will stop you from taking things.
Elemental Affinities and Weaknesses
Whilst this list contains a niche list of abilities it is worth considering if your character comes from an elemental background or you want to wield elemental magic. Have a look at the list of perks available to elementals and add accordingly to your Mundane Skills and Talents box.
Weapons, Implements, Armour and Shields
Whilst all characters are able to use weapons to block and to do a single amount of damage, if your character is fighter based it is highly recommended to take the Weapons Trained perk which allows you to use combat skills with your weapon. It costs 2CP and depending on the weapon you decide to use will either require 2 or 3 strength (you will need to take this perk per weapon type you intend to use). Once you have this perk and 2 or more combat skills you will be able to take Weapons Master for 4CP which allows you to make composite calls and purchase more higher level perks. The same style of perks is available to ranged weapon users. Weapons/Ranged Trained and Master must be taken per weapon you are using so if you want the ability to switch weapons during an event still use your skills with both you must take each perk twice, specifying which weapon it is for on the character sheet.
If you character is a duel wielder, to be able to use your combat skills whilst carrying a second weapon in your off hand you must take the Duel Wielding perk for 3CP.
Implements allow you to reduce the cost of your magic by 1, the perk is taken for 4CP and is only affective when you are holding your implement and casting through it. Weapliment is a similar perk that allows you to cast touch ranged spells through a weapon.
Armour and shields do not cost CP to use but do have prerequisites for shield you must be weapons trained and for light armour and shields you must have 2 strength and for heavy armour and shields you need 3 strength.
If you have decided your character is a fighter and you have taken at least weapons or ranged trained you are able to take and use most combat skills. Add any you would like to the weapon/spell box, also write down how much each costs to buy and how much stamina it costs to activate.
If you have decided that your character is a magic user and you have taken either Arcane Gift or Divine Gift perk you can purchase spells that you can cast. Spells can be cast your self, on touch or at range. If you do not purchase the Spell Trained perk for 2CP you can only cast self spells and it must be taken twice if you want the ability to cast both touch and ranged spells. If your character has the Spell Trained perk and at least 2 spells you may take Spell Master for 6CP which allows you to make composite calls, purchase higher level spell perks and choose between the ability to cast mass or to sustain spells.
Should you want to cast 2 spells at the same time you can take the Duel Casting perk for 6CP unless you are a spirit user. Also if you want to be able to cast without having to summon them you can take this Fast Casting perk for 8CP if you already have Spell Master and are not a spirit user.
If you have decided your character is a magic user and you have taken at least Arcane or Divine Gift for self ranged spells or are spell trained for ranged or touch spells you are able to take and use most spells. Add any you would like to the weapon/spell box, also write down how much each costs to buy and how much mana or spirit it costs to activate.
Should you decided that your character is a crafter or has some skill at making things take a look at pages 42 to 44 for perks relating to things that can be made with in game resources. You are able to become an enchanter, armour smith, weapons smith or make potions and poisons.
Step 3 - Reviewing your character
Once you have all the skills you’d like on your character sheet you need to check whether they fit into the amount of character points that you have available. If you have gone over the limit you need to think about cutting back the skills that are not essential to your concept. Starting characters only have 35 points to spend before taking into account any flaws. We do not reccomend taking flaws just to have the right amount of character points for certain skills as this takes away from the essence of your character makes your character less believable and harder to play.
It is essential you review your flaws and make sure that you are comfortable and able to roleplay them in the field, if you are not roleplaying any particular flaws they will be taken away reducing your character point total meaning you will have to rewrite your character.
Prerequisites and Restrictions
Check all perks You have taken to make sure that you meet the criteria for taking the skill or do not have any thing that will restrict you taking a skill. Whilst all character sheets are checked by our character referee, it saves you a lot of time to make sure this stage is already correct.
Step 4 - Character Background
Alongside a character sheet characters are encouraged to submit their written background. This should include the story of life previous to current events and any events that have shaped your character into who they are. When you have a solid background it is important to check your skills and make sure that there is logical reason for eveything you have taken and that it fits your character. Submitting a character sheet with skills that do not fit your character, for example taking Mundane without any background reason to not have innate magic, could lead to your character not being approved and you being asked to change certain aspects. When submitting your background we encourage detail as your backgrounds are read by the whole Gameworld committee and you could see aspects of what you have written enfluencing the game, the lore on the wiki and you may even receive personalised story lines in game. However we do ask that you write no more than 2 sides of A4 so that we are able to process every character in detail.
Step 5 - Submission
When you have fully reviewed your character and you are happy with the way it has turned out you must send your character sheet and background to the character referee at email@example.com
After your character has been approved the sheet will be emailed back to you alongside any special rules such as crafting recipes and booklets and resource information.
You must have a copy of your character sheet at the event for reference at any time.
Whilst you are able to submit your character on the day you arrive when signing in, we recommend getting your character preapproved as it will save you time at sign in and allow the team to personalise the event to you.
Step 6 - For the event (optional but recommended)
Alongside printing and bringing your character sheet it is recommended that you have access to your personal rules so that you are able to check things without having to spend time away from the game finding a referee.
If you are a crafter it is very important that you keep the handbooks you are given with you as they contain vital information on how resources should be collect and how to make your items.
There a few ways to make sure you have this information on you however at Arcadia LARP we recommend 3 ways which we believe are the best.
- Our preferred option is to have an in character book where you can either print and stick in your rules and sheet or write them into the book.
- Some online stores are starting to make phone cases that look in character, such as making it look like a book, meaning you can keep digital copies of the rules and your character sheet for reference. Just be mindful of our rules on mobile phones.
- You could also keep printed copies hidden on your person or in your tent
Tip: only print what you need! Screenshot or jot down only the rules that matter to your character. Don’t print the whole rule book as it will be cumbersome and a waste of paper. The only other rules we recommend printing are the calls and gestures list.