Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Horror, Humor, Role Playing Games, Uncategorized

2023 Character Creation Challenge Day 31: They Came From Beyond The Grave!

I wanted to wrap up the 2023 Character Creation Challenge with a game that has caught my interest. Onyx Path Publishing has released a series of games titled “They Came From…” that covers a variety of genres. The system that I’m going to be using today is based off of the cheesy 60’s and 70’s horror movies that I’m enjoy watching on Elvira, Svengoolie and Creature Features. I also wanted to promote this game because Onyx Path Publishing was one of the sponsoring backers for season 13 of Mystery Science Theater 3000 as seen on the Gizmoplex. A thank you from me.

The PDF has 268 pages (with several extra pages of printable quip cards). The character sheet is only a single page. I believe that the character creation process starts with Chapter Three on page 49. There really isn’t a checklist (takes a few points away from Gryffindor) so I guess we are winging it through the chapters. I hope they are put together well as I dislike knowing when the character creation process has ended.

Our first step is to come up with a concept for the character. Not knowing if the adventures are going to be set in the 1970’s or earlier, I think I’ll create a curious professor type character that has found a mysterious book with missing pages and he’s wants to find them. So the missing pages will be the long term aspiration. I’m also instructed to pick two short term aspirations. So let’s make them… actually I can’t think of anything now and the few examples are not very helpful. So I’d probably beg the Director (GM) to let me come up with them during play as inspiration strikes.

The next step is to pick a path. These were life experiences before the adventure. These are broken down into three things. An archetype (think class or profession), origin and dark agenda (dun, dun, dunnnnnnn). Well I’ve already selected professor since all of the archetypes were described in chapter two before the character creation started. I selected the four professor skills on my sheet (not added dots, like designating a class skill on a D&D 3.5 character sheet) out of the 10 listed in the earlier pages (a lot of jumping back and forth slows things down). The origin is the background of the character. I can select four un-selected skills that came from this origin and mark them with an “O”. Nothing in the examples really spoke to me. I just selected four skills at random and put down “some guy” hoping that something will come to me later. I really could have used other players to bounce ideas off of. As for the Dark Path, the book says this drives your character. The examples were not very helpful. He’s not going to be a cult leader. Fame and fortune might work, might. Forbidden love? No. Protective Parent? Search for a Cure? They don’t fit. I know it sounds like I’m down on this game, I’m not, I’m just not inspired to write up a whole backstory just yet. I just want to fill out the character sheet and see if anything sparks while that is happening. I’ll put down the fame one now and probably change it later if the creative juices actually start flowing. I marked the skills. Now I have three dots in each category to place in those skills.

Onto step three. Spend six more dots on any skill on the sheet (not just the ones selected above).

Wow, we are finally to the step where we select our attributes. There are nine in total. Might, Dexterity and Stamina make up the physical attributes. The mental attributes are Intellect, Cunning and Resolve. The last three that make up the social attributes are Presence, Manipulation and Composure. I pick one of the three groups above to be the primary focus. There is already one dot in each of these attributes and each group gets a series of dots depending if it is my first, second or third choice. Now I get to choose the favored approach. These are Force, Finesse and Resilience. These all associate with a set of attributes from across the three types. The favored approach get one dot for each attribute. I selected resilience, why? Don’t know, it just sounded good. There was an optional step to take a freebie dot and place it anywhere that wasn’t already at the max of five. My pretend Director said yes to this and I put the dot in the weakest attribute of Might.

Step five is to select a trademark? No, not something I’d file with the US Patent and Trademark Office. It’s described as a signature move (that could be tied with a skill or attribute) that can be used once per story where it provides two additional dice to the pool and gives you something called “Directional Control” if you succeed (hold on, I’ve got to flip down another 40 pages to see what this is). OK, the player gets to alter the story in a logical manner (example: the murder’s ax can suddenly become lodged in a tree trunk). I guess this could be the “we suddenly found a vital clue or gain an advantage we didn’t have before” aspect to the scene. Scrolls back up to the character creation portion. So if I’m reading this correctly, it could be a catch phrase or move. I’m going to go with “I read this in a book once” and connect it to the science and enigmas skills.

Step six is to determine relationships and connections. Apparently this involves coordinating with the other players in the party and determine how your characters feel/know/understand each other. As there is no other party members being rolled up in this challenge entry, I’ll skip this step. I have a lot of voices in my head, but not all of them want to make characters right now.

Now we are at the final touches. Assign three tropes (what are those?) and three quips (what?) Scrolling back up to the earlier description of the archetype I see that it has various trademarks listed. I can select two of them so I picked “Let me guide you” (lend skills to another) and “Don’t be fooled” (snap a companion out of a mental condition). I can also select another trope from anywhere else which was “My lucky dime” (a good luck charm that I can use as a bonus. As for the quips, the are some sort of catchphrase that can be found on the “deck of cards” in the back of the book. There is a quip deck for each archetype. Since I can’t really shuffle and draw randomly, I’ll just select them. It wasn’t exactly clear what the quips do, so I just picked some.

I like the fact that in the final touches it talks about tweaks. Once you’ve played a session or two you can work with the Director to change a few things to fit the campaign and/or party. I have a feeling that I’d probably need something like this.

So I did pick out a name in the middle of the process. This professor is called Bruce Walters (hey it fit). There were a lot couple of blank spaces still left on the character sheet, but I’m going to scan the sheet now.


There is a chapter at the beginning of the book with a lot of movies and TV shows that are inspirational for a game such as It Came From Beyond The Grave! Some I’ve seen, some I need to check out.

I don’t know if I like the “come up with your whole backstory” process when making a character. Sometimes the inspiration for these things come while playing the game itself. Trying to come up with them in a vacuum doesn’t work sometimes.

The humor in this game sounds good. With a group of like-minded friends (with warped senses of humor) who love the cheesy horror genre, this could be a good game to play. From what I read of the system, it makes sense. I just wish the delivery was a little bit better when it came to character creation and explanations of game terms. I did a lot of jumping around in this book. I’m going to have to pick up a PDF of some of the other “It Came From…” books to see how they compare to this one. I’m not certain which books came first.

Additional Notes:

We did it!!!!! 31 characters in 31 days. I am working with my daughter who came up with last years completion logo to make another one. She hasn’t completed it yet because college studies have taken priority. But if you made it, email me at Carl (at) and I’ll make sure to get it to you. I still see the 2022 logo on display on a few websites.

Coming Up Next:

A bonus character (day 32?) and a challenge summary

This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) with any comments.

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games, Science Fiction

2023 Character Creation Challenge Day 30: True20 Adventure Roleplaying

So this isn’t my first time trying to make a character in the True20 Adventure Roleplaying system. Last year in the 2022 Character Creation Challenge I made a character for the Blue Rose system which was based off of True20. There were some questions and serious concerns about the equipment allocation in that system. I’m wondering if I’ll find the same pitfalls in True20 or if it was just confined to BR? I was able to pick up several True20 books that were bundled together in an online auction.

While Blue Rose is a roleplaying game for “romantic fantasy”, True20 is a generic system (I’ve used a lot of generics this year). Since I don’t have a GM stating “we are doing this…” I’m going to create a character for a science fiction setting. Markkin is a Human bounty hunter trying to catch his prey in various outer rim star systems.

The True20 book is 224 pages long. The character sheet is a single page. The Hero Creation steps start on page 14. The first step is to choose your ability scores. True20 is based off of the D20 system so the abilities are Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma. I have six points to allocate between the attributes. I can lower one attribute if I’d like, but I’m not really that big on the min/maxing. I’m always worried that I’m going to guess wrong. So I picked the scores I thought my space bounty hunter would need.

Our next step is to select a background. Because this is a generic system, it lists the various fantasy races (but nothing else). So I’m selecting Human since that is what I already had in mind. The rules say “you get these items, but no attribute adjustments”. So pretty standard. Since I was also pulling details from other books (and since it came with the bundle) I found a Bounty Hunter background in the True20 Companion and added those bonus feats.

Roles are the next item going through the pages. These are basically classes in regular D20 games. The options are Adept (a person with some sort of supernatural abilities), Expert (lots of skills), Warrior (bonk, bonk) or Mixed-Role (combine two rolls). Since Markkin may have to do some fighting to subdue his targets, I selected Warrior. I wrote down the basics for that class.

I went through the skills and feats (most had already been selected) choosing those that I thought a bounty hunter would need.

Next is a chapters that had nothing to do with my character (supernatural powers) and then equipment. OK, let’s see if what I saw in Blue Rose happens here as well? So we have a wealth score. If you have no bonuses in Charisma or a wealthy feat you are stuck at 5 (this is looking bad because I wanted to follow a concept instead of min/maxing). And if you purchase anything that exceeds your wealth score, the score goes down. Yea it’s the same baloney that I saw in Blue Rose. The system I saw while I was creating my D20 Modern character made sense. This does not. So I gave it the middle finger and just wrote down a few things that I thought a Sci-Fi bounty hunter would have to start out.

There is still a lot of blank spaces on this character sheet. I’m not going to bother to try to track them down if the book can’t provide them to me in an organized manner. Here is the character sheet from the scanner.


Here is another book published after the year 2000 that doesn’t have an actual character creation checklist. Writers, it is in your player’s best interest if you have a good character creation checklist.

One of the other books I got in the bundle was the Damnation Decade and almost thought about using that to create a character. But at the time, I didn’t want to make something for a 1970’s Supernatural type of crossover.

While the True20 books didn’t make me feel like I was being confined in the game like Blue Rose did (boy did that game suffocate me hard), the wealth score mechanics really turns me away from wanting to run or play this system. If I did run a game, I’d trash the entire chapter and just use those that were found in D20 Modern. And that would probably push me to just using D20 Modern or another RPG system all together. Considering I’ve never seen anyone play True20 (and I’ve only seen one homebrew that attempted to add Star Trek to True20) I’ll probably keep my True20 books for an experiment or two, but I doubt I’ll do anything else with them.

Additional Notes:

I’ve got a few things to blog about next month. I’ve had to hold off because running the Character Creation Challenge (along with taking care of everything else in my life) has taken up a lot of time. I’m looking forward to talking about a Kickstarter reward and a few other topics.

Coming Up Next:

They Came From Beyond The Grave

This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) with any comments.

Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Daily Star Trek Quotes: January 30-Feburary 5

So you guys have liked my jokes?

Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes Twitter account and the @STrekQuotes Mastodon account for the week of January 30th through February 5th.

January 30
“The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth, whether it’s scientific truth, or historical truth, or personal truth!” Captain Picard- The First Duty, Stardate: 45703.9 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

January 31
Happy Birthday to Paul Scheer. @PaulScheer #StarTrek #StarTrekLowerDecks #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

“Mother, if you’re planning on tricking me into intercourse, think again. The only lady I love is two decks tall and pumped full of dilithium.” Billups- Where Pleasant Fountains Lie, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekLowerDecks #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

February 1
“Monsters come in many forms. You know the greatest monster of them all, Jim? Guilt.” Dr. McCoy- Obession, Stardate: 3619.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

February 2
Happy Birthday to Brent Spiner. @BrentSpiner #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #StarTrekENT #StarTrekPicard #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

“We must fall back on the old axiom that when other contingencies fail, whatever remains however improbably must be the truth.” Data- Lonely Among Us, Stardate: 41249.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

February 3
“These scans are remarkably detailed for a military vessel.” Degra “Enterprise was designed to be a ship of exploration.” Archer “If we’re successful, it will be again.” Degra- The Forgotten, Date: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

February 4
“You have a lovely brain. It will make a fine addition to our files.” The Doctor- Time and Again, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

February 5
“You’ll make it work, Chief. This is the kind of challenge you live for.” Dr. Bashir- Armageddon Game, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games, Science Fiction

2023 Character Creation Challenge Day 29: Metamorphosis Alpha (2016)

The 2016 publication of Metamorphosis Alpha is another game that I picked up in a charity bundle that benefited Doctors Without Borders. This is only the third game that I used (along with The Agency and When The Moon Hangs Low) for the 2023 Character Creation Challenge. There are another 25ish games in the bundle that I could have used this year. I’m certain that I’ll use a couple of them in future challenges.

If this game sounds familiar, it is the predecessor to TSR’s Gamma World. This edition of Metamorphosis Alpha was written by the original designer, James M. Ward and published by Signal Fire Studios.

So the PDF of the core rulebook has 160 pages. The character sheet has two pages. The Character Building steps start on page 19, but I would recommend reading the basic game play chapter (start on page 13 if you are already familiar with roleplaying.

The first thing that needs to be determined is the character’s stock. Are they a pure human, mutated human, mutated animal or mutated plant? The rules state you can choose or roll. Yea, I’m gonna roll. And this guy is going to be a mutated plant. I’m provided the movement stats for someone of this stock and instructed to take physical, mental and plant mutations.

The next step is to determine the traits of the character. Not only is this the talents and training a character may have, but the negative aspects they possess as well. There is a questionnaire provided when building a new character. It then tells you to place that trait in one of five categories. Amazing (which adds 3 to your dice pool when using that trait), Good (+2D), Competent (+1D), Weak (-1D) and Hopeless (-3D). It doesn’t provide a list of possible traits here, but there are some listed in chapter 4. Let me swing down there and find out what they are? I wish they had given us a basic chart to do a quick look and then let me decide which traits I wanted to do a full description read on. I picked out what my plant guy would have both good and bad traits in.

Now we pick our qualities. These are specific actions that you are good (aka a talent) and bad (aka a liability) at. I get 2D of talents and can take 2D of additional liabilities to get 2D more talents. I believe that these are the specialties that are listed under the traits if I’m reading the rules correctly (I had to do a lot of jumping around to make sure).

Finally we are to the mutations. A mutation is beneficial while a defect is not. You start out with 6D of mutations and can take 4D more if you also take 4D of defects. I picked out my mutations I thought would be specific for a walking talking tree.

Next comes equipment. A talking, walking tree with natural weapons starting with equipment? I’m going to go with he’s a primitive and doesn’t have any to start. However a kind woman who he helped gave him a special necklace that he keeps hidden on him. But he has no idea what it does, if it does anything at all. He doesn’t think about this, he only wants to protect the plants that can’t move or speak.

Technically the character is done according to the steps seen on page 19. However I don’t have a name for the character (I called him Spikeleaf) and there are a lot of blank spots on the sheet (initiative, dodge, radiation resistance, wound capacity and fatigue capacity. So I did a search in the PDF and found these items. However some of the descriptions didn’t fully give me the answers (what is my dodge starting at? Just the 2D? If I don’t have a specialty do I not get it?) Ugh, I’m done. Here is the character sheet.


I thought it was interesting that the character sheet had a place for the player’s name, but not a place for the character’s name. But I did like that they had the game basics listed on the second page of the character sheet.

The system itself sounds plausible and usable. With how some of the documentation was a little lacking I probably would have asked quite a few questions to an experienced GM. I also like the world that the game would be taking place in as it sounds interesting. I’m sad that the likely hood of actually playing this game is very little. I don’t know if I’d be able to do any homebrewing for this game until after I’ve played it.

Additional Notes:

I had one reader respond that they had experienced similar issues with the GURPS character creation system that I had. When I talked with a GM who loved running GURPS, he informed me that he used a special program to set up characters and make sure they had all of the many, many items added and set up. While I’m looking forward to the GURPS game at Salt Con, I’m glad that I don’t have to create a character for it.

I had another interesting experience yesterday. While at a massive Seventh Fleet event, one of the members told me that they were reading my blog posts. Wow, thank you. Sometimes when I write these posts out I wonder if anyone is really reading them. So to get some validation made me feel good. Thank you Evelyn.

Coming Up Next:

True 20

This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) with any comments.

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Dungeons and Dragons, Role Playing Games

2023 Character Creation Challenge Day 28: White Box Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game

So I picked up a physical copy of White Box Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game from Amazon because the book itself was under $5. But it is available in PDF format on DriveThruRPG for free. So either way you really can’t go wrong getting this game. It is based off of the original Dungeons and Dragons that was available in a “white box”. It looks like some popular modern rules were adopted (I don’t have a copy of the original rules to actually compare) but there are some things that are definitely from that era (such as all weapons doing a variant of 1d6 damage.

The book itself is 143 pages long and the character sheet is a single page. There is no actual character creation steps listed, you just start with the attributes on page 7. The order of the standard attributes is STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS, CHA (which I believe is not the original order, so an update?). The rules instruct me to roll in order (but state that some DMs may allow you to pick which score goes to which attribute). I’m going to stick with the in order method and let the dice decide what type of character this will be. Intelligence was the highest of the class attributes, but not by much. So I used the rule to move points around (which are done on a 1 to 1 basis to the prime attribute only, no attribute lower than 9. For alignment I selected neutral.

After this I went over to the magic user description and wrote down the hit points (rolled a 5+1 for 6) and XP bonus (+5%). The character gets one spell and has some weapons and armor restrictions.

The equipment was the next chapter. 3D6x100 gold for starting characters resulted in 120gp. Dang, spellbooks are 100gp. I spent all of the 120 on some basic equipment. I then wrote down my languages (I get six in total).

I went to the spell section, and wow the 1st level spells for the magic user was a little lacking. Only one offensive spell (sleep). If I was running this game I might allow some zero-level spells and add a few more options (I didn’t see magic missile anywhere). I filled in the character sheet, including his name of Wingar, and placed it in the scanner.


When I first picked this game up, I thought it was going to be very similar to the B/X editions of Dungeons and Dragons. I was surprised to see some of the different mind-sets in this game that would eventually become B/X, but was different enough that it made me raise an eyebrow.

This character creation process was 100x better than the one I experienced yesterday. I actually wouldn’t mind trying out a session or two with this system just to see how it stacks up to other OSR and retro-clones.

Additional Notes:

A lot of people have been talking about the Wizards of the Coast OGL fiasco. I have some thoughts on it, but I’d like to wait until after the Character Creation Challenge is over. It sounds like some new developments have been announced which I hope are for the good.

Coming Up Next:

Metamorphosis Alpha (2016)

This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) with any comments.

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games

2023 Character Creation Challenge Day 27: GURPS 4th Edition

For day 27 of the Character Creation Challenge, I’m going to be using the fourth edition of GURPS (Generic Universal Role Playing System) by Steve Jackson Games. Back in the 90’s I had played at least one session of GURPS (3rd edition) and I had found the character sheet used for that game. But it’s been so long that I don’t recall anything about the system. I just remember adding and then adding and then adding again to try to make a character. Let’s see if I get that same impression from the fourth edition.

In a normal gaming situation the GM would let me know about the game world and how many points this character could be built with. According to the book, the typical career adventurer starts between 100-200 character points. I’m going to run with 150 points in total with a max of -75 on any disadvantages I’m electing to take. As for the world, well for the for generic games I’ve made characters for so far, I’ve created a spy, a barbarian, a gun-smuggler and a private investigator. For this character, let’s make a human star-fighter pilot for an Earth Defense Force in a sci-fi setting. His name will be Dieter “Ace” Tannin.

What a guy

In the Basic Set: Characters book there are 336 pages. The character sheet is two pages long and the character creation steps start on page 13. Thankfully the book did not list the character concept as one of the steps, but suggested it just before creating a character.

The first step on the list is creating the basic attributes. These are Strength (ST), Dexterity (DX), Intelligence (IQ) and Health (HT). All humans start with 10 in each category (no character points needed). If you drop a score below 10, you can gain CP, if you add to a score you spend CP. Once the basic attributes are determined, then you can calculate the secondary characteristics (damage, basic lift, hit points, etc.) There was also Reaction modifiers to appearances and things. After starting to be overwhelmed with 2x that and x 0.4 for this, I started skipping stuff just to get things moving along.

I skipped ahead to advantages and disadvantages since it was next on the list. Honestly this game could really use some basic packages. Pick this and you’ll be a good pilot in your world. I’m wondering if the advice of 100-200 points wasn’t enough to make a decent character.

Next in this quagmire is skills. I found piloting and wrote it down. Point cost? I don’t even know it wasn’t listed. I’m sure this guy has other skills as well as part of a space navy. I’m not going to go through the entire list and decide what skills a space pilot would have.

Skills was the last item on the character creation list. There was nothing on the equipment in the checklist, but I’m assuming that my character would need and have them. Honestly I’m just done and remembering why I haven’t played GURPS since the 90’s. I didn’t scan the second page of the character sheet because I didn’t write anything down.


AARRRGGGG So much math and minutia in this character creation process. I’m starting to remember why I didn’t keep up with this game. I think in a setting where the characters are pre-generated (like a convention) then I won’t mind GURPS, but I just want to make a character and play. I don’t need to know if there’s a wart on his left pinky and if I get points for that. This game has too much min/maxing for me.

There are a TON of advantages and skills in this game since it had to cover a wide variety of genres. I can see how it would be overwhelming for some first-time players. A good GM would be needed to guide through the character creation process.

I really wanted a refresher for this game since I signed up for a GURPS session at the upcoming SaltCon. Luckily I had won the two books of the basic set in an online auction last year. I’ve had some current gaming friends mention GURPS every once in a while, but we usually end up playing something else. I just know that the GM is going to stick with GURPS someday and I wanted to be prepared. However after reminding myself of GURPS through this challenge, I don’t know if I’d want to play this system on a regular basis. But, I was able to remember the dice mechanic now for the upcoming con.

Additional Notes:

I had a reader respond that they were unaware of Star Crawl until my post. I have a feeling that a lot of third-party products are not known for the crawl line. When I went to post the Star Crawl character on the RPG Geek message board, they didn’t even have a logo for the Star Crawl game. I had to use Mutant Crawl Classics.

Coming Up Next:

White Box Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game

This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) with any comments.

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games, Science Fiction

2023 Character Creation Challenge Day 26: Star Crawl

So in the first year of the Character Creation Challenge, I created a set of zero-level characters for Mutant Crawl Classics. In the second year, I created a set of zero-level characters for Dungeon Crawl Classics. I loved the concept of the zero-level character because you didn’t know if they were going to survive, and if they did survive, what class would they end up being? At the upcoming SaltCon, I’m already signed up to go through a DCC funnel for zero-level characters and I can’t wait to give it a try.

In 2022, I won a copy of Star Crawl from an online auction. I’ve always been a science fiction fan and to find a crawl version of the game thrilled me. When it arrived, I discovered that it wasn’t published by Goodman Games, but by a company called the Tuesday Night Fiend Club. Star Crawl is based on DCC and MCC and licensed through Goodman Games. Kewl, I didn’t know they were doing that. So I’m using this game for today’s entry into the challenge.

The Star Crawl book has 112 pages with the character creation process starting on page five. When you actually get to 1st level the character sheets are a single page. The crawl games are based off of the D20 system with some minor changes. The Star Crawl rulebook states that the party could consist of characters generated in DCC or MCC or Star Crawl, but all of the characters that I’m making will be from the Star Crawl book.

It is recommended that you have a copy of Dungeon Crawl Classics or Mutant Crawl Classics for reference while using Star Crawl.

The first step is to roll for the attributes of Strength, Agility, Stamina, Personality, Intelligence and Luck. This is done with 3D6 and is rolled in order. I have four zero-level character spots on the sheet so I’ll be making four characters. Three of the four characters had some decent stats (dare say, good?) but one was almost in the hopeless category. But I left him in anyway because you never know what will happen in the funnel.

The next step is to roll for the starting occupation and birth sign. These are standard steps that we saw in DCC and MCC. I rolled a percentile for the four character occupations. The occupations also came with some basic equipment and some credits. For the star sign, I needed to roll a 1D30 (it said percentile in the book, but the chart only goes to 30). Luckily I have one in my dice bag that I had purchased back in the 90s. When I roll on the star sign, I add the Luck modifier. The star sign tells us what type of rolls the character can use their luck modifier as part of the roll. This could be good or bad.

Since we are making level-zero characters, we can skip the racial profiles. However during play, if inspired, a race can be chosen. I don’t know if they would get any of the adjustments at that time or after the funnel is completed. So the next step after that is to fill in the rest of the character sheet. The only addition in Star Crawl is the perception (add Intelligence and luck modifiers to get the perception modifier). Hit points are determined by a 1D4 modified by Stamina. I also calculated the savings throw modifiers, combat modifiers and speed.

The Star Crawl book doesn’t say if we get any other equipment other than the items provided by the occupation. The book is very, very thin compared to the thickness of DCC and MCC. I think that these characters are done. Here they are, but will they survive their first adventure?


When I was printing up the character sheets for all of my challenge entries, I could not find any zero-level sheets for Star Crawl. They had character sheets for various classes after 1st level, but none for zero-level. So, as you can see from the scan, I “borrowed” a MCC zero-level character sheet and used it to note down my victims….err…. characters.

It could be interesting to play a Star Crawl game. However I don’t know of anyone playing this. Usually there are quite a few other science fiction games out there. But I really enjoyed the look of the book. Sure the art wasn’t the best, but I think this added to the charm of the game being put together by a fan of the crawl system and adapting it for sci-fi scenarios. Some of the aliens look hilarious (there are the Pigs in Space muppets).

Additional Notes:

We only have five more days left in the challenge. I can see the finish line from here. We can do it. We can make it.

Coming Up Next:

GURPS 4th Edition

This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) with any comments.

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games, Science Fiction

2023 Character Creation Challenge Day 25: Traveller D20

So I made a Classic Traveller character in the 2022 Character Creation Challenge. I recently had a chance to pick up the D20 based Traveller20 (sometimes called T20) in one of the online bundle sales. So let’s see how this stacks up using the D20 RPG system in the Traveller universe.

According to the rules, you will need the Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 Players Handbook. In my copy of the T20 PDF there is 435 pages. There are two pages in the character sheet and a single “Prior History Worksheet”. The character creation steps start on page 18. So let’s start.

Besides the standard D&D attributes, there are two additional attributes that are used in T20. Education and Social Standing. Another ability called Psionic Strength is listed on the character sheet, but this isn’t described until chapter 10 (page 186). All of these were common attributes in Classic Traveller as well. The rules state that you roll them as per the standard D20 rules. So I’m going with the 4D6 and drop the lowest.

I thought it was interesting that under races (step two) that they mentioned the various races in the D&D 3.5 PHB and how they could be used, but it wasn’t recommended. I’m going to select the wolf-like Vargr. They look like they would be neat species to play.

Next is to roll what type of homeworld the character came from. This looks interesting. First is the tech level (I rolled a 2, which was Low Technology) which had a Tech Level of 6 (rolled a 3 and added 3, but this TL gives me a -2 to my EDU score). Apparently this homeworld results in the class of Belter or Traveller from being a prohibited class. Shrugs. I rolled for the Starport and ended up with a type C (E was the worse, A the best). Next we need to determine the basic characteristics of the world. I hate just calling it the world (or homeworld) so I’m going to name it Onkin. I’m instructed to roll a 2d6 and got a Ni (Non-Industrial). I wrote down the skills and the one feat that my character gained from growing up on Onkin.

Step three is the class of the character. I selected Mercenary out of the list because it sounded like a good idea. I wrote down the feats, class skills and other details.

Final details, rolled up a height of 150 cm (4’9″). But the weight formula confused me. 46x(1d4) kg? I rolled a 4 so 46×4= 184 kg which is 405 lbs. I know that the Vargr are aliens, but do they have that much weight in a small frame? Um, OK, I think this is wrong. I know math isn’t my strong point but did I read that wrong? Shrugs, moving on.

An in the Traveller tradition, there is a prior history (the mini-game when creating the character). I wonder how they are going to do terms for mercenaries since they are not an organized military force like the Army or Navy? Hey I get to use the special prior history worksheet. Let’s see if it helps. First term, Commando Raid: survived and cash bonus. No rank advancement, commission or bonus XP. Now age 22. Second term, Commando Raid: survived, commissioned (went from Private to 2nd Lieutenant). No bonus XP or bonus cash. Now age 26. Third term, security forces: survived, promoted (now 1st Lieutenant), XP bonus (4,000) but no cash bonus. Did not roll high enough vs the DC9 to get a fourth term. So he musters out. I think I did the mustering out benefits right. It’s by term.

Now this character is at 6th level. Actually, I’m going to scrap all of this and just release him at a 1st level mercenary. I’m at the end of my day and I need to hit the sack. So I’m going to assume that he got some equipment and is out trying to make a name for himself. Speaking of name, the character’s name is Baaken. Yea some spots on the sheet aren’t filled in, but it’s D20 3.5 so you already know the drill. I’ll fill it in before he gets used in a game (if that happens).


I really wish that the PDF core book had been bookmarked. I’ve really grown to use the bookmarks when creating characters. Also I was referred to charts and I had to hunt for it since it was provided on an earlier page.

I don’t know if I’m a fan of the mini-game. Rollplaying the character at 1st level would have been just as enjoyable.

Other than the excess on the character creation, I’d be willing to try a T20 game. Just because I’m a fan of the D20 system.

Additional Notes:

Under a week to go before the end of the challenge. Can you make it to the end?

Coming Up Next:

Star Crawl

This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) with any comments.

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games

2023 Character Creation Challenge Day 24: Fantasy Age

So I had picked up the Fantasy Age dead tree version when the publisher had a massive sale at the end of 2022. Since I had already done a Character Creation Challenge with the Modern Age version, I figured that I would create a Fantasy Age persona as well and see if it makes a little bit more sense. I haven’t had a chance to do a deep dive into the Age books. But I have been very impressed with the quality of these publications. According to the text on the back of the book, Fantasy Age was used in Wil Wheaton’s RPG show Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana. I remember seeing a few episodes on one of the FAST channels and wondered what they were using.

The Fantasy Age basic rulebook is 144 pages long. The character sheet is a single page and the character creation summary is listed on page 8 with nine steps in total. The first step is to create a character concept. I flipped through the races and classes to see if anything caught my attention. I don’t think I’ve made a character who is a Gnome yet, so I’m going to create a mage named Yost Rocktapper (thank you for the name suggestions in the book).

Step two is determining one of the nine abilities. They are Accuracy, Communication (aka social skills), Constitution, Dexterity, Fighting, Intelligence, Perception, Strength and Willpower. These sound pretty standard for abilities. You roll 3D6 and add the results together and check the total on a chart. This can result in a bad score (such as a -2) up to the highest score (which is a +4). I’m going to roll all nine and then select which attribute gets which score. Yost is going to be an average character as the highest attribute has a 3, but none were in the negatives.

I started writing down the racial bonuses that my character receives. There is an item called an Ability Focus. Kind of a specialization within that focus. I’m assuming that I write it down under the ability since I don’t see anywhere else on the character sheet for it to go. You also roll for two random benefits which resulted in Yost getting one ability increase and one additional focus.

On step four we are determining the social class and background for Yost. This is what the character did before they started adventuring. Both of these are randomly rolled. So for social class we ended up with a Middle Class. From there we rolled an Innkeeper. One of the focuses from innkeeper I already had, so I picked the second one. I decided that Yost grew up in an Inn, but left the family business when he discovered that he had magical abilities (he was tested by one of the patrons who was passing through and was taken under his wing). Yost had little desire to serve drinks all day so he was more than happy to learn new magical skills.

We are finally to the class section and as mentioned above, I selected mage. This provided my starting health, my weapon groups (brawling and staves) and class powers. Of the starting talents, I selected Linguistics (picking up the dwarf language, they served a lot of dwarves at the Inn). For magic talents, the book (in a much later chapter) talks about Arcana and Magic Talents, which I think are the same thing if I’m reading this correctly (scratches head). From these arcanas I received Yost’s four starting spells.

Step six is to select starting equipment. Thankfully there was a list of items that every character starts out with. There wasn’t much in the weapons category for brawling (why do mages have brawling?) Typically magic user classes at least know how to use a dagger, but apparently not in Fantasy Age. Starting money is determined by the social class (makes sense) so I rolled up 150 silver pieces. From this I picked up a few additional equipment items.

The last three steps are calculating defense (not much), pick a name (already done) and choose a goal and character ties (how is Yost connected to the other characters in the part?) These last two I would have talked it over with the GM and fellow players. However since there is none, I’ll just leave these open.

I noticed that the move, charge and run sections of the character sheet were blank. I did a quick search for these and filled them in. I believe this guy is done.


I went back and re-read my entry on Modern Age and I noticed that the process got a little lost towards the end of the steps. Fantasy Age was a lot better in taking you through the steps of making a character, however there were still a few rough spots (a page number letting us know where the talent descriptions were at would have helped). I may want to go back and re-read the Modern Age book now that I’ve looked at Fantasy Age and see if I missed something.

I wonder if I could have asked the GM to let me select a background if I really had a character concept in mind?

I had noticed after I had scanned the character sheet there there is no space to note the race of the character. Weird.

I’d actually like to try this game out to see how the system runs. Especially the magic system using the points.

Additional Notes:

I’m noticing that more people on Mastodon are participating with the challenge using the hashtag #CharacterCreationChallenge than on Twitter. Sometimes participants will create their own hashtags to use. Has anyone noticed entries under another hashtag?

The past few days have been really challenging for me on a lot of fronts in my life. Yes the challenge has been a, well challenge, but it’s been more than that. So if I haven’t responded to you on something, please send me a reminder. On the new TardisCaptain dot Net Discord server we have an “ask the blog” section that I hope to expand soon.

Coming Up Next:

Traveller T20 (D20)

This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) with any comments.

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Dungeons and Dragons, Role Playing Games

2023 Character Creation Challenge Day 23: D20 Modern

So I had seen the D20 Modern Core Rulebook at various game stores in the past, but never picked up a physical copy. No one that I knew was playing this system. Then one day last year, the PDF version of this game appeared as one of the deal of the day at DriveThruRPG. So I snatched it up for a very reasonable price. One of the first things I thought of was using this system as one of my entries in the Character Creation Challenge. And so, here it is. This is a generic system built around the modern world. There are other supplements for games in the past, post apocalyptic and future. The character I’m aiming to create will be a private detective working in a major city.

There are 384 pages in the core rulebook. The character sheet is only two pages long. Page 12 is where we find the character creation summary. The first step is to generate the ability scores by rolling 4D6 and dropping the lowest. These are the standard ability scores we see in Dungeons and Dragons 3.5.

Next is to select the class. However these are not set up like in D&D 3.5 (example: thief, fighter, cleric, etc.) but are descriptive (example: strong, fast, dedicated, etc.) Reading the descriptions, I believe that a private detective would be in the dedicated class. For his starting occupation, I selected Investigative (fits, huh?) Both the class and the starting occupation listed my starting class skills and bonus feats. I spent my skill points.

There is a wealth bonus system in D20 Modern. I remember having an issue with the one under Blue Rose. Let’s see if this one makes a little bit more sense? My character ended up with a wealth bonus of 10. Basically anything under a DC of 10 I can get automatically. If I want something that is more than that, I have to roll and beat the DC. If I “take the 10” I get the item, but the wealth bonus is lowered by one. I don’t recall what happened back with Blue Rose (that was a year ago) but this seems to make sense with the D20 Modern. I wrote down all of the equipment I could get without having to roll anything. Then I rolled a D20 to try to get a pistol (succeed) and a vehicle (also succeeded). I have no idea where he’s living at. I’m assuming that would be discussed with the GM as a starting character.


The different style of characters was an interesting concept. I could see how that would work in a “modern” setting. I really liked how the character sheet had feats as check boxes with the sub-feats nested under the parent feat.

With how much I had played D&D 3.5, I could have easily seen myself playing D20 Modern. While I might try hombrewing a few things for this system, I doubt I’d ever get a chance to play it.

Additional Notes:

This is the rough stretch of the Character Creation Challenge. This year has been more difficult than past years. I think it’s because I’m past the games I’m really familiar with and moving onto newer systems that I happen to pick up over the past year or two.

Coming Up Next:

Fantasy Age

This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) with any comments.

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