Every character has a collection of ability scores that are the foundation of their skills and capabilities. These ability scores are Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma. While there are many ways to determine the values for a character’s ability scores, Zer0Forge uses a standard array of values as a base for quick character creation.
With the standard array, each player assigns a predetermined value to each of their character’s ability scores. Those values are 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, and 8. Once assigned, these values can only be changed with ability score increases from their background and feature progressions.
A characters ability to lift heavy objects and exert brute force, Strength is the primary stat for extremely physical characters.
A character’s Dexterity score depicts their nimbleness and capacity to react quickly. Dexterity is the primary stat for characters the rely on range or accuracy.
Constitution represents a characters health and stamina, making it the primary stat for tank like characters, or characters that force themselves to stay standing when they should have fallen down long ago.
As straight forward as it sounds, Intelligence is a character’s wealth of knowledge and capacity to learn. Intelligence is the primary stat for characters that rely on studious research or arcane power.
Indicative of a character’s common sense and self control. Wisdom is the primary stat for practical characters that are measured and have a cool temperament.
Charisma is a character’s the measure of their will, representing their ability to exert their influence and maintain their sense of self. Charisma is the main stat for characters that draw their strength from within.
A character’s armor class (AC) value is equal to 8 + their proficiency + their Dexterity modifier + any class features that may modify the value. Despite keeping the term armor class, the armor a character wears does not effect this value at all. The system used to determine if an attack is successful, however, is much the same as core 5e, so the term was kept to avoid confusion mid combat when looking for corresponding values.
Each player gets to choose a background for their character. this background helps encompass the majority of a character’s backstory and skills acquired during this time. While a DM may provide players with a list of predetermined backgrounds for specific campaign settings, players are encouraged to create their own backgrounds for sandbox campaigns with the DM approval.
When making custom backgrounds, you should include at least (but not limited to):
Additional languages, if any.
One time ability score increase (+2 to any one score, or +1 to two scores).
Tool proficiencies, if any.
Single non-progressive feature or boon.
Arguably the most important part of character creation, a character’s class dictates how a character acts during encounters and how they progress as the adventure go on. It is highly encouraged that a player and DM work together to create a class that fits the player’s desired play style and concept. However, if the DM prefers a quicker game or is merely running a one session game, they may provide a list of pre-generated classes.
Unlike other TTRPG systems, there is no multi-classing options in the Zer0Forge setting. If a player wants to make a character that draws from multiple classes, it is instead encouraged that the player and DM work together to create a class that has progression in all the desired skills and features.
When making custom classes, you should include at least (but not limited to):
Additional Languages, if any.
Tool proficiencies, if any.
Two to Three progressive features
Saving throw proficiencies
Some features a character may obtain from their race or class may be limited in their usage by requiring a character to expend a number of feature points. Feature points may be required for racial features, class features, or even spells if not using a class that uses a spell per day feature.
A character who uses feature points starts the game with a maximum feature point value of 5. This value may increase as the character progresses in the game. At no point can a character have more feature points then their maximum feature points value.
One of the biggest divergences in Zer0Forge from Core 5e is the removal of a leveling system. Instead of gaining experience and following a table of advancement where a character gets several upgrades overnight when they level up, they instead gain a feature progression at various milestones the DM decides. This allows for the DM and player to work together on how the character features will progress during the creation process and the DM can then spread out the advancements more organically.
A character starts with a maximum Hit Point (HP) value of 20 + their Constitution Modifier. This value never changes except when your Constitution modifier changes. At no point can a character have a HP value exceeding their maximum HP.
A Character’s initiative value is equal to their Dexterity modifier plus any class features that may modify the value.
A character’s proficiency score represents the culmination of their skill and training. This value advances as the character grows and becomes more experienced. When a character is making a check that they are proficient in, they add their proficiency value to the check along with any other bonuses or modifiers as determined by their race and/or class.
Every character is a member from one of the many races that may reside in a fantasy world. The list of which races are available for play may be limited by the DM, but the Zer0Forge system allows for the DM to customize this list to their setting. Alternatively the player and DM could work together to make a custom race that fits a desired character concept.
When making custom races, you should include at least (but not limited to):
Additional languages, if any.
One progressive or non-progressive feature.
There are six types of saving throws, each represented by a character’s ability scores. When a character is asked to make a saving throw, they add the modifier of the corresponding ability score, adding their proficiency bonus if proficient in that particular saving throw as well as any modifiers determined by race and/or class.
Strength saving throws may be called when you need to use physical force to overcome a situation, such as not letting go of a creature or object.
Dexterity saving throws may be called when a character needs to react to danger before even thinking about it, such as when a trap is set off or the character is about to be caught in an explosion.
A Constitution saving throw may be called for when a character has to resist an ailment, toxin or suppress a gastric reaction, such as being poisoned, contracting a disease or overcoming feelings of nausea.
An Intelligence saving throw may be called when an ability directly attacks a character’s mental abilities, such as an attack that deals psychic damage or forces them to forget things they have learned.
A Wisdom saving throw may be called for when a character needs to know something is wrong with a situation or suppress instinctual reactions, such as seeing through an illusion or controlling their fears.
A Charisma saving throw may be called for when a character’s sense of self or will is being manipulated or challenged, such as being controlled or being banished from a location.
A characters, through their background and class, gain proficiency in a number of skills. When rolling a check for these skills, the player will add the corresponding ability score modifier plus their character’s proficiency value to the roll. If a character is not proficient in a skill, they may still roll for the check adding their corresponding ability score modifier. They do not, however, add their proficiency value.
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