When writing up a character for the Well setting, players should keep the following in mind—you are a normal. Thus, you start with 8 in all primary characteristics and have to deal with Normal Characteristic Maxima. However, you don’t have a point base or a point total you need to worry about. In effect, you are building your character on 0 Base Points, with no upper limit, and you aren’t expected to cover all your points with Disadvantages. Now, this doesn’t mean you should build a 500-point monster, only that you don’t need to feel constrained by the standard 175 “Heroic” point level. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from building someone who only totals (say…) 30 points, either.
As mentioned before, your characters start with all 8s in your Primary Characteristics, and the rest start at the base.
Any Template from any of the modern HERO sourcebooks is acceptable for use in the Well of the Worlds. For example—the military and police Templates from Dark Champions. You can also use ones from Pulp Hero, if you need, just update them for 2010.
Everyman Skills: All PCs have the following set of skills automatically, for 0 points. Feel free to include them on your character sheet and/or develop them as needed.
AK: (local area) 8-
CuK: Native Culture 11-
KS: (choice) 8-
KS: (choice) 8-
KS: General Knowledge 11-
Language (native, literate)
PS: (choice) 8-
PS: Perform Basic Chores And Menial Tasks 11-
Please note that some skills might seem silly (such as that second PS), but are simply there to give you a starting point.
Perks may be purchased as required by Package Deals (see Skills). Obviously, some may not have any campaign effect, which is why everything is build to concept.
Players should restrict themselves to just one Talent per character (if you feel your concept calls for it), and the Talents be restricted to the most basic, old school examples—Absolute Time Sense, Bump of Direction, Lightning Calculator, and so on. Exceptions can be made for those who want to add in things like Off-Hand Defense and Striking Appearance.
Characters shouldn't be buying any Powers defined as “super skills.” You can buy such things as extra Running and Swimming, however. You can even buy a little Luck, if you really want.
As with everything else, Players should use common sense when buying Complications. The PCs don’t need to balance, so there’s no reason to obsess over not having enough Complications to pay for everything your character can do.
As the PCs are Heroic normals, they don’t need to pay for equipment. Of course, this being circa 2010 there’s not a whole lot you can have on your person and/or in your carry on luggage, so be reasonable.
Important Character Note: When writing up your character, please use the standard HERO System character sheet notation of Background/History, Personality/Motivation, Quote, Powers/Tactics, and Appearance. I also request that you include, somewhere on the sheet, comments dealing with some of the character’s private desires, hopes, and dreams. This will become very important later on. In case you wonder what I mean, in a previous version of the this setting, one character was a professional photographer and “wanted to see things clearly,” while a minor-league baseball player wanted to be the “best he could be.” If you’ve watched Heroes you probably have an idea what I mean.
During the course of the campaign, characters will almost certainly gain experience points. In fact, during the initial arc of the game characters will probably gain experience in large lots, perhaps 50-60 points at a time. However, there’s one major caveat here—you won’t be deciding where these points go. Much like El Hazard, Heroes, and even John Carter, the PCs will soon discover they have unusual and unique abilities—the operative word being “discover.” Thus, part of the campaign experience is slowly learning what powers your PC has, as determined by me, the GM. So while your PC will be gaining large amounts of experience, most of it is pre-determined. At the same time, if you decide to try and learn something (such as a Skill or Language) odds are, you will be granted the Skill or Language without having to spend points (well, you will spend the points, but the idea is you’re given enough points to buy what you need). I realize this might seem to pull a lot of the creative power out of the Player’s hands, but I feel it is no different than certain super hero games where the Players start out with virtually blank character sheets and go from there.
Observant readers should note you can direct the course of your PCs development through the use of private desires, hopes, and dreams. To use the two previous examples, the photographer who “wanted to see things clearly” will obviously end up with a suite of Enhanced Senses relating to sight (and, perhaps, the ability to see through illusions and the like), while the baseball player will gain STR, DEX, CON, SPD, and so on. Creating a Walter Mitty-like character is perfectly acceptable (in which your normal, every-day, over-stressed individual secretly dreams of a life of adventure and derring-do). Of course, remember the old adage—be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.
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