Character Creation Overview
- Define Character Concept
- Choose Background
- Choose Faction
- Choose Starting Morph
- Spend Free Points
- 105 aptitude points
- 1 Moxie
- 5,000 credit
- 50 Rep
- Native tongue
- Choose Traits
- Spend Customization Points
- Purchase Gear
- Choose Motivation
- Calculate Remaining Stats
- Detail the Character
The first step towards playing Eclipse Phase is to define your character. If you’re new to the game and setting, the easiest way to jump right in is to simply select one of the Sample Characters. If you’re more familiar with RPGs, or you simply want finer control over your character, you can build them from scratch, perhaps using one of the Sample Characters as a template. This section will walk you through the process of character generation, from the general concept and personality to the crunchy game statistics.
There are two parts to every player character. The first is the sets of numbers and attributes that define what a character is good or bad at (or even what they can and can’t do) according to the game mechanics. These are more than just statistics, however—these characteristics help to define your character’s abilities and interests, and by extension their background, education, training, and experience. During the character creation process, you will have the ability to assign, adjust, and juggle these characteristics as you like. If you have a pre-conceived notion of what the character is about, you can optimize the stats to reflect that. Alternatively, you can tweak the stats until you get something you like, then base the character’s backstory off of what you develop. The second part to every player character is their personality. What defines them as a person? What makes them tick? What pisses them off? What sparks their interest? What positive aspects of their personality make them appealing as a friend, comrade, or lover—or at least someone interesting to play? What character flaws and quirks do they have? These questions matter because they will also guide you as you assign stats, skills, and traits.
Character generation is a step-by-step process. Unlike some games, the process for creating an Eclipse Phase character is not random—you have complete control over every aspect of your character’s design. Some stages must be completed before you can move on to others. The complete process is broken down on the Step-By-Step Guide to Character Creation sidebar.
Deciding what/who you want to play before you make the character is usually the best route. Pick a simple archetype that ts your character, and work from there. Do you want to play an explorer? Someone sneaky, like a spy or thief? Someone cerebral, like a scientist? A hardened criminal or ex-cop? Or do you prefer to be a rabble-rousing agitator? You can also start with a personality type and choose an associated profession. If you want a social butterfly who excels at manipulating people, you can play a media personality, blogger, or party-going socialite. Perhaps you’d prefer a bottomed-out reject with substance abuse problems, in which case an ex-merc or former hypercapitalist who lost his fortune and family during the Fall might fit. How about an energetic, live-life-to-the-fullest, must-see-it-all character? Then a habitat freerunner or professional gatecrasher might be what you’re looking for. Make sure to check in with the other players and try to create a character that’s complementary to the rest of the team—preferably one who provides some skill-set the group lacks. Why create a research archaeologist if someone else is already set on playing one, especially when the team lacks a good combat specialist or async? On the other hand, if your team is going to be running an alien archaeological expedition, then having more than one researcher (each with distinct areas of expertise) might not be bad. Once you have the basic concept, try to fill it with a few more details, making it into a one-sentence summary. If you started with the concept of “xeno-sociologist,” expand it to “open-minded amateur linguist and expert xeno-sociologist who is fascinated by alien cultures, collects Factor kitsch, has a high-tolerance for ‘yuck factors,’ and whose best friends tend to be uplifts and AIs.” This will give you a few more details around which you can focus the character’s strengths and weaknesses.
The first step to creating your character is to choose a background. Was your character born on Earth before the Fall? Were they raised on a habitat commune? Or did they start existence as a disembodied AI? You must choose one of the backgrounds for your character from the list below. Choose wisely, as each background may provide your character with certain skills, traits, limitations, or other characteristics to start with. Keep in mind that your background is where you came from, not who you are now. It is the past, whereas your faction represents whom your character is currently aligned with. Your future, of course, is yours to make. The background options presented below cover a wide selection of transhumanity, but they cannot cover every possibility. If your gamemaster allows it, you may work with them to develop a background that is not included on this list, using these as guidelines to keep it balanced. List of Backgrounds
After choosing your background, you now choose which primary faction your character belongs to. This faction most likely represents the grouping that controls your character’s current home habitat/station, and to which your character holds allegiance, but this need not be the case. You may be a dissident member of your faction, living among them but opposing some (or all) of their core memes and perhaps agitating for change. Whatever the case, your faction defines how your character represents themself in the struggle between ideologies post-Fall. You must choose one of the factions listed below. Like your character’s background, it will provide your character with certain skills, traits, limitations, or other characteristics. The factions presented here outline the most numerous and influential among transhumanity, but others may also exist. At your gamemaster’s discretion, you may develop another starting faction with them not included on this list. List of Factions
Perhaps the most important use of CP is to buy the morph with which your character begins play. This may be the original bodily form in which your character started life, or it may simply be the sleeve they are currently inhabiting.
Available morphs are listed here.
Note that any aptitude or skill bonuses provided by the morph are applied after all CP are spent. In other words, these bonuses do not affect the costs of buying aptitude and skill points during character generation.
No aptitude may be modified over 40.
Spend Free Points
Each starting character receives an equal number of free points for things like rep and aptitudes. These free points are just the start for building your character, so don’t fret if you can’t get certain scores as high as you like. In the next stage of character creation, you will gain additional points with which you can customize your character.
Starting Aptitudes: Your character receives 105 free points to distribute among their 7 aptitudes: Cognition, Coordination, Intuition, Reflexes, Savvy, Somatics, and Willpower (see Aptitudes). (That breaks down to an average of 15 per aptitude, so it may be easiest to give each 15 and then adjust accordingly, raising some and lowering others.) Each aptitude must be given at least 5 points (unless you take the Feeble trait), and no aptitude may be raised higher than 30 (unless you take the Exceptional Aptitude trait). Note that certain morphs (flats and splicers, for example) may also put a cap on how high your aptitudes may be (see Aptitude Maximums).
For simplicity, it is recommended that aptitude scores be handled as multiples of 5, but this is not a necessity.
Native Tongue: Every character receives their natural Language skill at a rating of 70 + INT for free. This skill may be raised with CP (see below).
Starting Moxie: Every character starts off with a Moxie stat of 1 (see Moxie, below).
Credit: All characters are given 5,000 credits with which to purchase gear during character creation, unless you have the Fall Evacuee or Re-instantiated background (in which case you start with 2,500 or 0 credits, respectively). See Purchasing Gear, below for more details.
Rep: Your character isn’t a complete newbie. You get 50 rep points to divide between the reputation networks of your choice (see Reputation and Social Networks).
Tai is making a character. She decides to create a salvage retrieval/scavenger type who started as a Lunar Colonist but is now a Brinker. Together, her background and faction give Tai +20 Networking: Autonomists skill, +20 Networking: Hypercorps skill, +10 Pilot: Spacecraft skill, and +10 Pilot: Groundcraft skill. She also has +10 to two other skills (one Academic, Professional, or Technical) that she’ll choose later.
Tai starts with 105 points for aptitudes, which works out to 15 each. She wants her character to be impulsive and antisocial, so right away she lowers both SAV and WIL to 10. She also wants to be smart and fast on her feet, so takes the extra 10 points that gives her and raises both COG and REF to 20. So her aptitudes are:
She marks down her Moxie of 1 and gets her native language (Chinese) at 85, both for free.
Noting her 5,000 Credits, Tai divides her Rep score points evenly among @-rep and c-rep, taking 25 in each.
Traits represent specific qualities your character has that may help or hinder them.
Positive traits supply bonuses in certain situations, and each has a listed CP cost. You may not spend more than 50 CP on positive traits.
Negative traits inflict disadvantages on your character, but they also give you extra CP that you can spend on customizing your character. You may not purchase more than 50 CP worth of negative traits, and no more than 25 CP may be negative morph traits.
Note that traits you receive from your background or faction do not cost or provide you with bonus CP.
Traits listed as morph traits apply to the morph, and not the ego. If the character switches to a new morph, these traits are lost (and new morph traits may be gained). Morph traits may be bought like other traits during character generation (no matter how many morphs you buy).
Spend Customization Points
Now that you have the basics of your character fleshed out, you can spend additional Customization Points (CP) to fine-tune your character. Each character is given 1,000 CP, which may be used to increase aptitudes, buy skills, acquire more Moxie, buy more credit, elevate your Rep, or purchase positive traits. You may also take on negative traits in order to get even more CP with which to customize your character. This customization process should be used to tweak your character and specialize them in the ways you desire.
If a gamemaster seeks a different level of gameplay, they can adjust this CP amount. If the gamemaster wants a scenario where the starting characters are younger or less experienced, they can lower the CP to 800 or even 700. On the other hand, if you want to create characters who start off as grizzled veterans, you can raise the CP to 1,100 or even 1,200.
Not all customizations are equal—aptitudes, for example, are considerably more valuable than individual skills. To reflect this, CP must be spent at a specific ratio according to the specific boost desired:
- 15 CP = 1 Moxie point
- 10 CP = 1 aptitude point
- 5 CP = 1 psi sleight
- 5 CP = 1 specialization
- 2 CP = 1 skill point (61-80)
- 1 CP = 1 skill point (up to 60)
- 1 CP = 1,000 credit
- 1 CP = 10 Rep
- Trait and Morph costs vary as noted in their descriptions
Tai now has 1,000 points to customize. She wants to be lucky, so she starts right off spending 60 (4 × 15) CP to raise her Moxie from 1 to 5. She also decides that she wants her character to be better at spotting things, so she raises her INT from 15 to 20, at a cost of 50 CP (5 × 10). So far, she’s spent 110 CP.
She must buy at least 400 points of Active skills, so she tackles that next. She knows that skills are based on aptitudes and they get more expensive over 60, so she decides the most she’ll spend on any single skill is 40 (since her highest aptitude is 20). She picks out her skills, assigns the points, and adds them to the starting aptitudes. This is what she starts with, noting the points she spent on each and the total value (counting aptitude) in parentheses.
Beam Weapons (COO) 30 (45), Climbing (SOM) 30 (45), Demolitions (COG) 40 (60), Fray (REF) 30 (50), Freefall (REF) 40 (60), Freerunning (SOM) 30 (45), Hardware: Aerospace (COG) 40 (60), Inﬁltration (COO) 30 (45), Interfacing (COG) 20 (40), Navigation (INT) 40 (60), Perception (INT) 40 (60), Persuasion (SAV) 20 (30), Research (COG) 20 (40), and Scrounging (INT) 40 (60).
This costs her 450 CP, so she’s spent a total of 560 CP. Now she spends her 300 points of Knowledge skills: Academics: Astrophysics (COG) 40 (60), Academics: Engineering (COG) 40 (60), Academics: Fall History (COG) 40 (60), Art: Sculpture (INT) 40 (60), Interest: Brinker Stations (COG) 40 (60), Interest: Conspiracies (COG) 30 (50), Language: English (INT) 40 (60), Profession: Appraisal (COG) 40 (60), Profession: Scavenger Trade (COG) 40 (60). This costs her another 350 CP, bringing her total spent CP to 910.
Adding in her background and faction skills, she also has Networking: Autonomists (SAV) 30, Networking: Hypercorps (SAV) 30, Pilot: Spacecraft (REF) 30 (50), Pilot: Groundcraft (REF) 30 (50). She takes the freebie +10 and adds it to Fray (raising it to 60) and applies the other +10 to Academics: Economics (COG) 30.
With 90 CP left, Tai moves on to Rep. Tai wants to have a lot of good connections, so she raises both of her Rep scores by 30 points each, at a cost of 6 CP. She also decides she needs some credibility with criminal types, so she buys g-rep at 40, for 4 more CP. Now she has 80 CP left. Tai’s character needs a body, and she decides a bouncer is most suited for the nomadic, spacefaring lifestyle of her brinker. That costs another 40 CP, leaving her with 40 CP left to spend.
Looking back at her skills, she decides to raise her Pilot: Spacecraft from 50 to 65. It costs her 10 CP to raise the skill to 60, and another 10 CP to raise it from 60 to 65, for a total cost of 20 CP. She also wants to raise her Scrounging from 60 to 70, for a 20 CP cost. That nicely uses up the last of her CP.
Scanning the traits, though, Tai also decides that Situational Awareness would be a good choice for her scavenger. At a cost of 10 CP, she would need to take another negative trait to compensate. She chooses Neural Damage (synaesthesia)—a condition she inherited from a rampaging nanovirus during the Fall.
Tai’s points are now all evened out and spent.
Raising your aptitude score is quite expensive at 10 CP per aptitude point. As noted above, no aptitude may be increased above 30. Keep in mind that your morph may also provide certain aptitude bonuses.
Moxie may be raised at the cost of 15 CP per Moxie point. The maximum to which Moxie may be raised is 10.
Each character must purchase a minimum of 400 CP of Active skills and 300 CP of Knowledge skills. Skills are bought at the cost of 1 CP per point. Keep in mind that learned skills start at the rating of the linked aptitude. For example, if you want to raise a skill to 30 and the skill’s linked aptitude is 10, you’ll need to spend 20 CP. Skill bonuses from background or faction should also be applied to the rating before you start raising the skill. For simplicity, it is recommended that skills be purchased as multiples of 5, but this is not a necessity.
Raising a skill over 60 is expensive. Each point over 60 costs double. Raising a skill with a linked attribute of 20 up to 70 would cost 60 CP: 40 points to get from 20 to 60, and 20 more points to get from 60 to 70. No learned skill may be raised over 80 during character creation (unless you have the Expert trait).
Though Knowledge skills are grouped into 5 skills, each is a field skill, meaning that it can be taken multiple times with different fields.
Specializations may also be purchased at the cost of 5 CP per specialization. You may purchase specializations for both Active and Knowledge skills. Only 1 specialization may be purchased per skill, and they may only be bought for skills with a rating of 30+.
Buying More Credit
If you want more cred to spend on gear, every CP will get you 1,000 credits. The maximum CP you can spend on additional credits is 100.
If you want your character to start play with lots of social capital, you can increase your Rep score(s) at the cost of 1 CP per 10 additional points. No individual Rep score may be raised above 80, and the maximum amount of CP that may be spent on Rep is 35 points.
These represent specific psi abilities the character has learned. The cost to buy a sleight is 5 CP. No more than 5 psi-chi and 5 psi-gamma sleights may be bought during character creation. Note that any skill or aptitude bonuses from sleights are treated as modifications; they are applied after all CP are spent and do not affect the cost of buying skills or aptitudes during character creation.
No matter what faction you are from, you use Credit to buy gear during character creation. A complete list of gear and costs can be found in the Gear chapter. The average costs for each cost category should be used when calculating gear prices. Every character starts off with one piece of gear for free: a standard muse. This is the digital AI companion that the character has had since they were a child. Additionally, each character starts with 1 month of backup insurance at no cost. Expensive items with a minimum listed cost that minimum amount.
There is no limitation other than what the gamemaster allows on what gear characters can and cannot buy during character creation. Both the players and gamemaster should keep the character’s background and faction in mind. Since some gear is likely very restricted in some habitats if not outright illegal, there needs to be a plausible explanation for who and how a character from such a place might have such gear.
If there isn’t, then the gamemaster can choose not to allow it. The starting locale for a game should also be considered. A character from the restrictive Jovian Republic might have a hard time explaining how they have an illegal cornucopia machine back in the Republic, but if the game takes place on board a scum barge where everything is available and anything goes, then such an explanation becomes much easier.
The one exception to buying gear with Credit is the purchase of additional morphs. Characters may buy extra morphs during character creation, but they must be bought with CP. The player must choose one morph in which the character is sleeved. Extra morphs also require body bank service fees.
Note that any skill or aptitude bonuses from gear are treated as modifications; they are applied after all CP are spent and do not affect the cost of buying skills or aptitudes during character creation.
The next step is to choose 3 personal motivations for your character. These are memes, in the form of ideologies or goals, which your character is pursuing. These may be as specific “undermine the local triad boss” or as broad as “promote hypercapitalism,” and they may be short term or long term. Some sample motivations are provided on the Example Motivations table. You should work with your gamemaster when choosing your motivations, as they can be used to propel the storyline forward and specific scenarios can be constructed around your character’s goals. Some of your character’s motivations may change later (see Changing Motivation, below). Motivations will help your character regain Moxie and earn extra Rez Points during gameplay. Motivations should be listed on your character sheet as a single term or short phrase, along with a + or – symbol to denote whether they support or oppose it. For example, “+Fame” would indicate that your character seeks to become a famous media personality, whereas “–Reclaim Earth” means that your character opposes the goal of reclaiming Earth.
- Alien Contact
- Artistic Expression
- Martian Liberation
- Morphological Freedom
- Open Source
- Personal Career
- Personal Development
- Reclaiming Earth
- (AI/Infomorph/Pod/Uplift) Rights
- (AI/Infomorph/Pod/Uplift) Slavery
- Venusian Sovereignty
Now that you have everything settled, there are a few final steps.
A few stats now need to be calculated and added to your character sheet:
- Lucidity equals your character’s WIL x 2.
- Trauma Threshold equals your LUC divided by 5 (round up).
- Insanity Rating equals LUC x 2.
- Initiative equals your character’s (REF + INT) / 5 (round up).
- Damage Bonus for melee equals SOM ÷ 10 (round down).
- Death Rating equals DUR x 1.5 (biomorphs, round up) or DUR x 2 (synthmorphs)
- Speed equals 1 (3 for infomorphs), modified as appropriate by implants.
Detailing the Character
The final step in character creation is filling in the details and figuring out what your character is like and what they are all about. Your character’s Background is a good place to start as it says where they came, but it could be expanded. What did they think of their childhood? Do they still have ties from there? How did they move from such origins to the Faction they are part of? Are they fully supportive of their Faction’s goals, or are they in opposition? How does the character view other Factions?
Next, take a look at the skills and other defining points—these also tell a story. How did they acquire those skills? Why? How did they develop their Rep score (or lack of one)? How did they get connected with the groupings represented by their Networking skills? What do the character’s traits say about them? How did they get their current morph? Is it their original? If not, what happened to their first body?
Also taking into account the major factor of Motivations, all of these questions will help you build a defining picture of your character. Not everything about your character needs to be filled out, of course—it’s ok to leave a few blanks that you can fill in later. Assembling the points you have deduced so far will help you to present your character as a whole, unique individual, however, rather than just a blank template.
As a final step, take a few minutes to pick out some specific identifying features and personality quirks that will help you define the character to others. This could be a way of talking, a strongly-projected attitude, a catchphrase they use frequently, a unique look or style of dress, a repetitive behavior, an annoying mannerism, or anything else similar that is easy to latch onto. Such idiosyncrasies give something that other players can latch onto, spurring roleplaying opportunities.
As characters accomplish goals and gather experience during gameplay, they accumulate Rez Points. Rez Points may be used to improve the character’s skills, aptitudes, and other characteristics per the following rules. The costs for spending Rez Points for advancement are the same as the costs for spending Customization Points.
|Spending Rez Points|
|1 Moxie point||15 RP|
|1 Aptitude point||10 RP|
|1 Psi sleight||5 RP|
|1 Specialization||5 RP|
|1 skill point (61-99)||2 RP|
|1 skill point (up to 60)||1 RP|
|10 Rep||1 RP|
|1,000 Credits||1 RP|
It is only natural that over time a character’s driving goals and interests will change. The character may reach a turning point where they feel certain personal agendas have been fulfilled and it is time to move on, or they have failed and need to be discarded. New urgencies or philosophies may have entered the character’s life, or the character may have become disenchanted with particular memes and ideas they previously took to heart.
Changing a character’s motivation does not cost Rez Points, but it is something that should only happen in accordance with roleplaying and with life-altering events. Players should not be allowed to simply switch their motivations at whim, there should be a driving reason or explanation for doing so. For this reason, changing a motivation should only happen when the player and gamemaster discuss the matter and both agree that the swap is appropriate to the character’s development and circumstances. If these conditions are met, the character simply drops a previously held motivation and takes on a new one. Only one motivation should be switched out at a time.
Resleeving—switching from one morph to another—is handled as an in-character interaction, not with Rez Points.
Aptitudes may be raised with Rez Points at the cost of 10 RP per aptitude point. This represents the character’s improvement in their core characteristics, gained from exercise, learning, and experience. Aptitudes may not be raised above 30 (bonuses from morphs, implants, traits, or other sources do not count towards this total).
Raising the value of an aptitude also raises the value of all linked skills by an equivalent amount. If this raises any linked skills over 60, an additional 1 RP must be spent per linked skill over 60 (with the exception of the character's native language skill and skills capped at 99).
Characters may also spend Rez Points to increase existing skills or learn new ones. To improve an existing skill, the character must have successfully used that skill in the recent past or must actively practice it in order to get better, perhaps with the aid of an instructor. In the case of Knowledge skills, this means actively studying. As a rough timeframe, this should require around 1 week of learning per skill point. A number of educational resources are freely available via the mesh, though some areas of interest may be restricted or hard to find. This can be handled via roleplaying or designated as something the character is doing during downtime between sessions. If the gamemaster decides that a character has not put enough effort into improving a skill, they may call for more practice/study.
The cost to increase a skill is 1 RP per skill point, and no skill may be increased over 99. No skill may be raised by more than 5 points per month. When a character’s skill reaches the level of expertise (skill of 60+), however, they tend to reach a plateau where improvement progresses more slowly and even consistent practice and study have diminished returns. In this case, the Rez Point cost per skill point doubles (i.e., 2 RP = +1 skill point).
When a skill reaches 80, improvement slows down even further—a skill of 80+ may not be increased by more than 1 point per month.
Learning New Skills
Similarly, to learn a new skill, the character must actively study/practice and/or seek instruction. No test to learn is required, unless the period of study was hampered or in some way deficient, in which case the gamemaster may call for a COG x 3 Test to pick up the new skill. Otherwise, once a character has spent approximately a week learning a new skill, they may purchase their first skill point at the usual cost (1 RP). The skill is bought up from the aptitude rating, per normal. Once a new skill is acquired, it is raised according to the standard rules above.
Specializations may be purchased for existing skills, as long as that skill is at least rating 30. Specializations require a total of 1 month of training. The cost to learn a specialization is 5 RP. Only 1 specialization may be purchased per skill.
Moxie may be raised at the cost of 15 RP per Moxie point. The maximum to which Moxie may be raised is 10.
At the gamemaster’s discretion, both positive and negative traits may be acquired or lost during gameplay, though such changes should be rare and only made in accordance with the storyline and unfolding events in the game. Both positive and negative traits may be picked up by a character during gameplay as a consequence of something that did or something that happened to them. In the case of a positive trait, the character must immediately spend Rez Points equal to the trait’s CP cost for the privilege (whether they wanted the new trait or not). If the character has no unspent RP available, they must pay out immediately from any future RP they earn until the debt is paid off. In the case of a negative trait, however, the character is simply saddled with the new flaw—they do not acquire any extra RP for gaining the negative trait.
Getting rid of traits is somewhat more difficult. Positive traits may be lost due to unfortunate effects on the character, as the gamemaster sees fit. Such lost positive traits are simply gone—the character does not receive any Rez Point reimbursement. Negative traits are occasionally eliminated in the same way, but more typically they can only be worked off through the hard work and diligence of a character that seeks to overcome their handicap. Such endeavors should require weeks if not months of effort on the character’s part, with appropriate roleplaying and possibly some difficult tests. In fact, overcoming such traits could be the source of an adventure. Once a gamemaster feels that the character has made a strong-enough effort, the character may pay a number of Rez Points equal to the trait’s original CP bonus to negate it. Note, however, that some negative traits may simply not be discarded, no matter what the character does.
Reputation is something that can be increased with appropriate roleplaying and actions during gameplay (See Reputation Gain and Loss). Characters that prefer to handle their Rep-boosting activities “off-screen,” however, can simply spend Rez Points to boost their score(s). Each RP spent boosts the character’s Rep by +10 in a single network. Only one such boost may be made to a single rep network per month.
Rez Points may be spent on Credit at a ratio of 1 RP for 1,000 Credits. This represents income the character has earned “off-screen” or during downtime, such as from odd jobs, selling off possessions, and so on.
Characters who have the Psi trait may purchase new sleights at the cost of 5 RP per sleight. Sleights must be learned through study, training, and practice, requiring approximately 1 month per sleight. No more than one sleight may be learned per month.