Character creation requires an understanding of game mechanics and a little lore.

This is a game about people with differing goals and backgrounds, being plunged into an unfamiliar situation. All while trying to achieve those goals despite the conflict it causes.

When you create your character think about what kinds of conflicts you will find interesting, engaging and rewarding.

Each choice you make when you create your character will give you membership of a group with players whose choice is the same. This will pit you against other players who’ve made different choices.

Followers of a given religion might come into conflict because of their different national allegiances. And citizens of a nation might clash due to their different social class.

We strongly encourage you to make your decisions in the order of which conflicts you feel most appealing.

Nation of Origin

The options:

  • The Kingdom of Angheim
  • The United Duchies of Iskaland
  • The Empire of Padrice
  • The Holy Isles of Tassanos
  • The Uruk of Aksh
  • The Independent Township of Charleston

Angheim, Iskaland, Padrice and Tassanos are “Old World” nations, and characters from these nations hail from Sollundom, a land far away from the game area and analogous to “Christendom” or “Europe” in our own world. These nations have human inhabitants, and maintain relationships (good or bad) with their homeland that will influence their stories.

Charleston is a newly splintered colony that has declared independence from the nations of the Old World. Despite this, culturally it is dominated by characters born in Sollundom and hence has a very similar culture.

For an Old World character, think about the values which your nation embodies, and their flaws These are listed under the “Values” section of each Nation on our website, and should help to mold your character. If you want a character who actively avoids certain values and failings of your nation, you should make that a very significant part of your character to the point of being their major story. They are not just costume ideas, but archetypes designed to clash and generate interesting play experiences.

When thinking about the region your character comes from, you might notice that each of them matches up with one of the nation’s virtues. So think about that as well!

Mechanically, the nation of Origin has no effect for Old World characters.

Uruk clans

The Uruk of Aksh, (called “Orcs of the New World, Osterheim” by the newcomers) are not human, and this factor really defines their stories. They have to respond to the Sollunian colonists in some way, whether that be coexistence, war, integration, or something else.

The Uruk of Aksh, (called “Orcs of the New World, Osterheim” by the newcomers) are not human, and this factor really defines their stories. They have to respond to the Sollunian colonists in some way, whether that be coexistence, war, integration, or something else.

Mechanically, Uruk gain an ability from their choice of Clan.

But are restricted in their choice of Religion and Profession, and don’t choose a Social Class.

Since they also have some limitations in their other choices, and some advantages from their familiarity with the area around the Colony, Uruk characters’ choice of Clan gives them an additional ability.

The culture of the clans have greater delineation than the nations of Sollundom and in-game abilities are given to the characters to represent this.

  • Get of Urbara – A Clan of Nomadic Hunters & Gatherers
    Uruk of the Get of Urbara do not require a Food Token to survive through winter.
  • Brood of Lulli – A Clan of Crafters & Traders with a Large Settlement
    Uruk of the Brood of Lulli begin each game with an additional Wealth Token.
  • Nadjal-du – A enigmatic Clan who are Nomadic Keepers of the Sacred Sites
    Once per game, an individual Nadjal-du Uruk may make a sacrificial prayer on Holy Ground to the Hundred Gods for a small boon.
  • Namesh Clan - A fierce Clan known for their use of the Spear and Axe
    Once per game, Uruk of the Namesh Clan may treat a Mortal Injury as an Injury received to a limb.
Religion

The options:

  • The Holy Patronic Church of Sollun
  •  The Sollunian Matrial Orthodoxy
  • The Ancient Blood
  • The Hundred Gods of Aksh

This choice has a few limits: Uruks are only permitted to select the Hundred Gods of Aksh. Whereas, Humans are not permitted to select the Hundred Gods of Aksh.

The game begins very recently after the arrival of the first humans in the New World, and there has not been sufficient time for enough cultural exchange to happen that humans can be converted to orc religion, or vice versa. That’s a very interesting story and if you want to play it out, please do it during the game. There will be opportunities for conversion.

The Ancient Blood choice is in this section since players who make this selection cannot contribute to religious ceremonies. The Blood is for players who want to play a survival horror story. It comes with significant power, but also terrible danger - both from other characters with the Blood, and from threats native to the New World.

The Ancient Blood doesn’t make you immortal, it makes you a target.

The main religious conflict is between the Patronic, Matrial and Hundred Gods religions.

There is an obvious clash between the two Sollunian denominations and with the native religion of the Hundred Gods in Aksh - think of it like the arrival of Christians in any “heathen” lands - where there might be religious conflict, or dialogue, or conversion. There is also a simmering conflict between the Sollunian Patronic and Matrial denominations: like Catholic and Orthodox Christianity in our own world, there are many significant and insignificant differences of doctrine which could cause problems in times of stress.

They have different and diverging agendas both with regard to the Osterheim Colony, and to the Old World – so consider which side you want to join.

The religion of the Hundred Gods is somewhat fluid, featuring three major deities and many others which might be specific to individual Clans or interpretations of the central ideas. Uruk players are encouraged to think about how their character engages with their religion. And, which Gods or spirits they favor in their worship.

Your choice of religion also has a strong Cultural Effect on your character.

Social Class

The options:

  • Aristocracy (Influence)
  • Military (Wealth)
  • Common (Food)
  • Founder (Food)
  • Newcomer (Wealth)

Social class is not an indefinite concept among the humans of Blackpowder & Bloodlines. But a real and definitive stricture on the rights and respect that a character is entitled to.

Essentially, Aristocrats have the full rights and freedoms that we might expect a person to have in a modern setting. Military characters have less than that, and Commoners have less again.

Note that the Military background does not imply that your character is in the military, but that they were born to a Military family. Think of this choice as an “Army Brat” (the child of an enlisted person – officers are drawn from the aristocracy). Who has been born with more financial stability than the Common working class, but less than the Aristocracy.

Uruk society is a lot more fluid, making this choice less important for them. Instead, they choose a Clan or tribe from which their character came from.

Charleston has attempted to throw off the shackles of Social Classes, seeking equality. However, a difference between those involved in the founding of the independent township and those who arrived later has begun to appear.

When deciding on your social class, think about what role you want to have in the colony, but also your starting-point. Do you want to start powerful, and defend that power? Start weak, and climb to the top? Overthrow the established order? Take a place as a pawn in a power struggle? Just concern yourself with the wellbeing of the colony? Something else? Each of the social class options has different ways of approaching these stories, so consider the arc that you’d like not only your character, but the game as a whole, to follow.

Mechanically, your social class provides you with a Token to start the game.

Profession

Professional choice is a strong aspect of the character’s identity and to represent that, each profession has an in-game ability that distinguishes them from other characters.

This is the question about what your character does in Osterheim. Not what they did before the coming of the Sollunians. Ask yourself: “What is the game that I want to play?” and this will be your character’s path to prosperity, success and survival. Here are the categories of Profession and some examples of what they might look like:

  • Explorers venture out into the wilderness, to gather knowledge and resources in the land around Osterheim. They might be an Uruk hunter, an adventurer from Angheim, or a Padrician zoologist.
  • Crafters turn Trade Goods into other Trade Goods, or Trade Goods into other Tokens. They might be an Iskan black market dealer, a Tassonian baker, or an Uruk silversmith.
  • Politicians use their influence to wield power in the Colony and among their people “back home”. They might be an Iskan guild delegate, a Padrician courtier or Angheim Noble.
  • Fighters are the strong right arm of their community, protecting against violence from people and beasts. They might be a Padrician musketeer, an Uruk huscarl, or an Agheimer landsknecht.
  • Healers are doctors, shamans, apothecaries and chirurgeons. They might be a Tassonian faith healer, an Uruk herbalist, or a Padrician physician.
  • Religious leaders are holy people, leading their congregations in prayer to the Hundred Gods or God Herself, for favour and miracle. They might be an Uruk story-keeper, an Iskan battle-priest, or a lay preacher from Angheim.

These roles have a lot of room for movement.

Your role does not define your character.

They give you an easy point of entry to certain parts of the game, so use these professions - as you have used the other elements of your character - to tell us what kind of game you want to play.

Think about whether what your character did in the old world is the same or different from what they plan to do in the new world. How will this direct your character’s story?

Motivation

Your character’s motivation should be one that gets you to interact with other players and the game.

Blackpowder & Bloodlines is a dynamic game that you will enjoy more if your character has the motivation to seek out adventure. Think about this during character creation.

Interesting Notes

Other players need to be able to notice these. Character mannerisms or flaws are perfect for this. Think about the questions, what makes my character stand out? What will people remember about my character after first meeting them? How with this interesting thing about my character make my game more interesting?

Plan your involvement

As you read we are taking this game seriously, including the themes of colonialism and racism. Think about what aspects of those themes you find most interesting. Think about how your character might interact with those from other nations or the other race. You don’t need to write anything down for this or go in with a detailed plan (which will probably go straight out the window once game starts). You do need to think about it a bit so that your decisions about your character’s actions are considered.

Add More Detail

Give your character a name, a motivation and maybe a few interesting quirks that flesh them out. Think again about how your character will interact with other characters during the game. Consider their motivations, goals, and how they prioritize their loyalties. Think about why they might kill someone, or why they might give their own life. Think about how they speak and move - what is their “voice”? How do they interpret their nation’s values and how do their Failings make them an interesting person? Consider how and why they came to Osterheim, and what they hope to achieve.

Talk to a GM about your character ideas

Have a conversation with one of the GMs to go through your ideas and make sure they are going to work within the game.