Heroes of Khemer
In this setting, you can play dwarves, elves, half-elves, half-orcs, half folk, and humans. Each race has its own advantages and disadvantages. Read through the various racial descriptions, then pick a race to play. Once the game begins, you can’t change race, so choose wisely. You can view all racial and ethnic groups here: People of Khemer
Now it’s time to choose your hero’s attributes and skills. Unless a racial description says otherwise, your character starts with a d4 in each of his five attributes: Agility, Smarts, Spirit, Strength, and Vigor. You then have 5 points to distribute among them as you choose. Raising an attribute a die type costs 1 point, and you may not raise an attribute above d12.
You also have 15 points to buy your skills. Raising a skill by a die type costs 1 point as long as it’s no higher than the attribute it’s linked to. It costs 2 points per die type to raise a skill over its linked attribute.
All the standard skills are available in this setting except Driving and Piloting. Riding covers controlling animal drawn conveyances. Knowledge Skills are specific are specific to this setting. Characters with an Arcane Background also have access to special arcane skills.
Characters begin the game knowing their cultural language plus an additional number of languages equal to half their Smarts die. An elf with a d8 Smarts in a swords & sorcery campaign, for example, knows Elvish and four other languages—perhaps human, dwarven, and two others of her choosing.
Once play begins, a character can learn a new language by devoting an advancement to mastering the tongue; assume he’s been practicing the language during his adventures, so he doesn’t have to spend any “downtime” on this. Heroes learning languages this way can know more than their Smarts allows.
Unless a character is Illiterate, he can also read and write any languages he speaks. An entry of N/A under alphabet means the language has no written form.
Charisma is a measure of your hero’s likeability, and is added to Persuasion and Streetwise rolls. Your Charisma modifier is +0 unless changed by Edges or Hindrances.
Pace is equal to 6”, unless changed by Edges or Hindrances.
Parry is equal to 2 plus half your Fighting die type. Edges, Hindrances, and some types of equipment can modify your Parry score. If the Fighting die increases above a d12, round all fractions down.
Toughness is equal to 2 plus half your Vigor die type. Edges, Hindrances, and Armor can modify your Toughness. Vigor can, in some cases, go above a d12. In such cases, all fractions are rounded down.
Great heroes are far more than a collection of skills and attributes. It’s their unique gifts, special powers, and tragic flaws that truly make them interesting characters. You can take one Major Hindrance and two Minor Hindrances. A Major Hindrance is worth 2 points, and a Minor Hindrance is worth 1 point.
For 2 points you can:
- Raise an attribute one die type (you may raise your attributes before purchasing skills).
- Choose an Edge.
For 1 point you can:
- Gain another skill point.
- Gain additional money equal to your starting funds (if you start with 500 silver, you gain an additional 500 silver).
Finish your character by filling in any history or background you care to. Ask yourself why your hero is where he is and what his goals are. A new character with a detailed background starts play with an additional Bennie.
Next you need to purchase equipment. Unless you’ve acquired Edges or Hindrances that change this, a hero starts with the clothes on his back and 500 silver pieces, the predominant currency of the land.
Note that if you spend a Hindrance point to increase your starting wealth, it increases the full amount you gain.
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