John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane
jkahane

Sorcerers of Ur-Turuk RPG Character Creation, The Second - Sharif Maregari

As mentioned in this previous post I'm about to start running the Sorcerers of Ur-Turuk Roleplaying Game published by Arion Games on both my Friday night and Sunday afternoon gaming groups. So I thought I would post up here a detailed example of character creation for the Sorcerers of Ur-Turuk RPG. However, there are three levels of complexity to the game in terms of character types - Minor characters, Major characters, and Sorcrer characters (of course!). I’ve already done up the detailed Minor character for the game, so now I’ll create a Sorcerer character for comparison of the detail material. So, here’s the Sorcerer character in detail.


Sorcerers_of_Ur-Turuk-cover.jpg


Game: Sorcerers of Ur-Turuk RPG
Publisher: Arion Games
Degree of Familiarity: Pretty familiar. I haven’t run the game as yet, though I have read the book a couple of times, and have created several characters since the rulebook came out in 2015. And lately I’ve been preparing for the campaigns I’ll run on my Friday and Sunday gaming groups.
Books Required: Sorcerers of Ur-Turuk Roleplaying Game Rulebook.

Please note that this post is extremely long, as I've gone into the game mechanics a bit in terms of character creation, and have provided background on the character and the choices. (Though the process itself isn’t all that long for the Minor character, as you’ll see.) Hence the majority of this post is behind the cut. That said, there is some of the game mechanics and descriptions of game world elements that I've skimped on in this write-up, so if you want to know more, just drop me a line in the Comments.


For those who don't know, the Sorcerers of Ur-Turuk Roleplaying Game is a fantasy roleplaying game based on Persian and Sumerian mythology full of sun, sand and Magic, that is also a sword & sorcery rag with dangers in the burning desert, towering ancient temples and the fear of dark and terrible Gods. It’s also a group style play game, where each player plays a number of characters, but not all at the same time. Anyway, here's the character creation process for the Sorcerer character. Bear in mind that this material is quite long, due to the way the background section is written up.

Sorcerer characters are not only the most powerful characters in the game, but they are the central character type; they are in the name of the game, after all! :) Creating the Sorcerer chapter is the most flexible of all, as there are no tables, lists or archetypes. Thus, when creating the Sorcerer character, the player should have a clear vision of the type of character they want. Furthermore, since the player starts with a separate dice pool for the Statistics, Skills and the Controls and Elements of magic (see below on that), the Sorcerer character has other interests as well. This is truly what makes the Sorcerer character in the game stand out and makes them more flexible in feel and numbers.

Step One: Concept
The character concept for a Sorcerer in the game is more important than it is for any of the Minor or Major characters. This should be a simple sentence or two, defining what the player is hoping to accomplish and be with the character.

Thinking about the concept that I want, I decide that my Sorcerer is going to be an Earth and Body magic specialist, as well as a scholar. The character will also use a citrine to focus their magic.

That’s a pretty good start, methinks.



Step Two: Determine Statistics.
Each player receives a total of 16 Dice to allot to their six Statistics in the game, with a minimum of 1D and a maximum of 4D into any game statistic. There are six (6) Statistics in the game - Might, Agility, Wits, Charm, Toughness and Perception - and the Servant character archetype provides the starting values for the character. The Statistics are pretty obvious, with a couple of exceptions, so I’ll define those. Wits is the knowledge, memory and realisation of the character. A character with high Wits is not necessarily educated, but has natural brains. Charm is a measure of how naturally persuasive and likeable the character is. High Charm will make the character naturally likeable, but also get in their way at times! Toughness is physical health and stamina. It is used to resist disease, starvation and other things like poison, but is also used in combat to reduce damage inflicted by weapons. Perception describes the quality of all five senses of the character, but primarily sight and hearing. Noticing something hidden or unseen would also be covered under the statistic. Statistics range between 1D and 4D for normal people, with the average considered to be 2D. With some exceptions, characters can try to roll for almost anything; if they don’t have an appropriate skill (see below), they roll just their Statistic dice with a possible modifier.

Of all the Statistics, Wits is the most useful to a Sorcerer, related as it is to the Research Skill. However, magic use is not related to any Statistic, and so the distribution of points will need to fit whatever the character concept the player has (see Step One).

Since I am creating a Sorcerer character, with a Scholarly type of character as my basic profession, I assign the Statistics of the Scholar as follows.

Might 2D
Agility 3D
Wits 4D
Charm 2D
Toughness 2D
Perception 3D

A decent set of game Statistics, I think, for what I’m looking for here.



Step Three: Determine Skills
Each player determines the starting Skills of his Sorcerer character. There are a total of 45 Skills split between the six Statistics. These cover things such as Melee Weapons, Swimming, Dodge, Crafting, Navigation, Religion, Diplomacy, Streetwise, Stamina, Survival, Search and Hunting, among others. Each Sorcerer character begins with 7 Dice worth of Skills, and the dice can be split into pips as desired.

Using my basic character concept to determine what I want to do with my Skills, I decide what I want to do with my 7D of Skills. I start with 2D in Research, 1D in Lore (I’ll decide the specialty later), 1D in Dodge, 1D in Awareness, +2 pips in Self Control and Second Sight each, and +1 pip each in History and Barter. This gives me a character that looks like this now.

Might 2D
Agility 3D
Dodge 1D
Wits 4D
History +1, Lore 1D, Research 2D
Charm 2D
Barter +1
Toughness 2D
Self-Control +2
Perception 3D
Awareness 1D, Second Sight +2

Not bad so far, and he’s got a couple of surprises here for people that get in his way. :)



Step Four: Determine the Sorcerer’s Magic
While the Statistics and Skills assigned to the Sorcerer character are important, the Magic that the Sorcerer can use is what truly defines them and makes them who they are. There are 3 different Controls the Sorcerer can choose from and there are 10 different Elements as well. The 3 Controls are Destroy, Shape and Summon. The 10 Elements are Air, Body, Earth, Fire, Light, Magic, Mind, Nature, Spirit and Water. Sorcerers cast spells using combinations of the Control + Element in the game. The player starts with 14 Dice that can be split among the Controls and the Elements, with a maximum allocation of 3D to any one. There is no minimum, however, and so most Sorcerers have no faculty at all with certain areas. As with Statistics and Skills, the dice may be split into pips.

Using my character concept as the basic premise of what I want to do with magic in the game, I decide on the Controls of Shape and Summon at 2D each and Destroy at 1D. Homing in on the Elements, I set Body and Earth at 2D each, Magic at 3D and Light at 2D. That pretty much covers my 14 Dice worth of magic Controls and Elements. The character now looks like this.

Might 2D
Agility 3D
Dodge 1D
Wits 4D
History +1, Lore 1D, Research 2D
Charm 2D
Barter +1
Toughness 2D
Self-Control +2
Perception 3D
Awareness 1D, Second Sight +2

MAGIC
Controls: Destroy 1, Shape 2, Summon 2
Elements: Air , Body 2, Earth 2, Fire , Light 2, Magic 3, Mind , Nature , Spirit , Water

A very good set of numbers to match what I have in mind for him, as you’ll see in the following steps.



Step Four: Determine Perks and Complications
A Sorcerer character may choose up to three Perks, which may be taken from the Minor, Major, and Sorcerer Perks lists. Each Perk must be balanced with a Complication from the equivalent list. Thus, if a Sorcerer takes a Major Perk, they must balance it out with a Major Complication. Every Sorcerer gets the Sorcery Perk free, and this does not need to be balanced with a Complication. Perks and Complications come in three forms - Minor, Major and Sorcerer. These are advantages and disadvantages as other systems call them, but characters do not have to take them at all if they don’t desire them. Perks are things that make the player character a little bit special and stand out from the crowd. Complications are the balances to Perks. They are things that help define a character, because pretty much everyone is flawed in some way. Not all Servants have Perks or Complications, and may only choose from allowed Minor ones, though this can be bargained with the GM over and negotiated somewhat. :)

Looking over the list of allowed Perks and Complications for the character, I note down the Sorcery Perk right away, since I get this one for free and don’t have to balance it with a Complication. This Perk allows the character to *be* a Sorcerer, and allows him to learn all three Controls and all ten Elements, and can learn them up to 5D worth of skill. As my first Perk, I take the Major Perk Iron Will. This Perk gives me the focused mind that I want and resistance to all forms of mind control and possession. Since I envision the character as a Scholar, I decide to take the Major Perk of Scholar. This gives the character extensive schooling, a life of study, and knowledge of all manner of information, but I must have the Educated Minor Perk as a pre-requisite. Thus, I take the Educated Minor Perk as my third Perk, giving me a broad education and knowing a bit about everything. And that covers my three Perks.

So now I need to balance them out with three Complications of the same type. I need one Minor Perk and two Major Perks to do so. I start with a Minor Perk of a Physical Imperfection. Some of the library and magical work he has done on artefacts has scarred his face somewhat; he’s not so much ugly or unattractive, as he has interesting scarring. As his first Major Complication, I give the character the Personal Code such that he will not sacrifice humans or other sentient species in the studying and deriving power from artefacts. He’s got a bit of a conscience, you see! :) Furthermore, the character is Forsaken by the Gods. He is considered persona non-grata by most of the religions and may never have reputation of greater than 21 with any temple faction.

So now the character looks like this.

Might 2D
Agility 3D
Dodge 1D
Wits 4D
History +1, Lore 1D, Research 2D
Charm 2D
Barter +1
Toughness 2D
Self-Control +2
Perception 3D
Awareness 1D, Second Sight +2

MAGIC
Controls: Destroy 1, Shape 2, Summon 2
Elements: Air , Body 2, Earth 2, Fire , Light 2, Magic 3, Mind , Nature , Spirit , Water

Minor Perks: Educated
Major Perks: Iron Will, Scholar
Sorcerer Perks: Sorcery (free)
Minor Complications: Physical Imperfection (facial scarring)
Major Complications: Personal Code, Forsaken by the Gods

I’m pretty happy with the character, to be honest.



Step Five: Determine Equipment
Sorcerer characters, being the most powerful characters in the game, have whatever equipment they need for whatever task they are trying to perform, but if it’s not available they can have their Minor or Major characters acquire said items or good or whatever for them. It’s their Vanham, and it will have whatever the Sorcerer needs - or perhaps that will be the subject of a quest. :) Furthermore, the Sorcerer will also have whatever materials and equipment, within reason, for the work that he pursues other than his magical interests.

My Sorcerer is able to draw on the resources of the Vanham, and whatever materials and equipment he needs to get his hands on. In addition, as a scholar, the Sorcerer also has a large library of books, scrolls, and other reference materials covering his non-sorcerous interests. He also has several specially designed satchels and scroll cases for carrying items with him during his trips into the wilderness and when visiting other scholars or interest.


Step Six: Finish the Sorcerer Off
In order to finish the Sorcerer character, the player should assign a name, a decent description, and a somewhat detailed background to the character.

I decide that the Sorcerer’s character’s name is Sharif Maregari. He stands of average height, has below the ear length dark black, almost raven hair, a weather-worn complexion at odds with his being a scholar, and dark brown eyes. The scars he bears on his face from some of his magical works gone awry do not make him ugly; rather they give the impression that he is world-weary. He wears yellow, green, and brown robes tied with a dark green belt at the waist, a pair of short trousers, and mid-ankle boots. (Always checking them for scorpions when he wakes.) Favours soft slippers when he is in the Vahnam, however. He always wears a citrine stone around his neck, on a braided thin gold chain.

A Sorcerer specializing in Earth and Body, he is fascinated with the pure nature of magic. He has inherited some of his mother’s second sight, but has not yet harnessed it with spirit-related magic. His magic must be worked through a citrine stone that he wears on a necklace and he is better at summoning and shaping with his magic than he is destroying. He values life very much, and will not sacrifice people or other sentients in his endeavours.


And thus, Sharif Maregari, the Citrine Sorcerer, is born.

Here is what the final version of the character looks like.

*****
SHARIF MAREGARI

Sharif Maregari stands of average height, has below the ear length dark black, almost raven hair, a weather-worn complexion at odds with his being a scholar, and dark brown eyes. The scars he bears on his face from some of his magical works gone awry do not make him ugly; rather they give the impression that he is world-weary. He wears yellow, green, and brown robes tied with a dark green belt at the waist, a pair of short trousers, and mid-ankle boots. (Always checking them for scorpions when he wakes.) Favours soft slippers when he is in the Vahnam, however. He always wears a citrine stone around his neck, on a braided thin gold chain.

A Sorcerer specializing in Earth and Body, he is fascinated with the pure nature of magic. He has inherited some of his mother’s second sight, but has not yet harnessed it with spirit-related magic. His magic must be worked through a citrine stone that he wears on a necklace and he is better at summoning and shaping with his magic than he is destroying. He values life very much, and will not sacrifice people or other sentients in his endeavours.

Might 2D
Agility 3D
Dodge 1D
Wits 4D
History +1, Lore 1D, Research 2D
Charm 2D
Barter +1
Toughness 2D
Self-Control +2
Perception 3D
Awareness 1D, Second Sight +2

MAGIC
Controls: Destroy 1, Shape 2, Summon 2
Elements: Air , Body 2, Earth 2, Fire , Light 2, Magic 3, Mind , Nature , Spirit , Water

Minor Perks: Educated
Major Perks: Iron Will, Scholar
Sorcerer Perks: Sorcery (free)
Minor Complications: Physical Imperfection (facial scarring)
Major Complications: Personal Code, Forsaken by the Gods
*****


And there you have the Sorcerer character that I created for the Sorcerers of Ur-Turuk Roleplaying Game. This character took me about 35 minutes to create, with about 10 minutes of leafing through the main Rulebook and the like. Character generation in Sorcerers of Ur-Turuk is relatively fast. The process takes longer for a Major character and a Sorcerer than for a Minor character, due to less restrictions and more choices offered, especially the Sorcerer. If one has an idea of what one wants in the player character, the process will definitely take no more than about 15 minutes or so, but to be honest, this is a game system that is a lot of fun to work with, even if it doesn’t seem to present a wide variation of characters.

I haven’t posted one up here, but if I get enough of a request for it, I’ll even do up a Vanham for a player character group, based on various elements of the game design that I’ve worked out for the two characters that I’ve already posted here.

Comments and feedback are welcome. :)
Tags: character creation, personal, rpg, rpg hut, sharif maregari, sorcerers of ur-turuk rpg
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