This article offers advice as you determine details about your character, including their name, age, appearance, and personality. Start with some idea about your character's background and personality, and use that idea to develop the details that bring your character to life.
Invent or choose a name that fits your character's Species and Heroic Class. A Species' information page typically has some examples of alien names. A name is great way for you to start thinking about your character's background. For instance, a Rodian Scout might be named after a great Rodian hunter of the past, and the Rodian may be striving to live up to that heritage. Alternatively, the name could be that of an infamous traitor, and the hero could be bent on proving the he or she is not like their namesake.
A name can also tell a lot about a character and help establish an image in your mind and the minds of the other players. It doesn't have to be descriptive, but you want it to fit the type of character you're going to play. Use the sample names to help you make up a name that has the appropriate Star Wars feel.
Your character's age is pretty much up to you (Subject to the Gamemaster's approval). A character reaches 1st level in a Heroic Class at the point when he or she steps out of mundane life and into the drama of the story, either by choice or through circumstances beyond the character's control. That could be as young as a young adult for a padawan learner, as a 20-year-old adult (Such as in the case of Luke Skywalker in A New Hope), or as an even older character, depending on your character concept.
Each individual Species page has a table for their stages of age under their Characteristics section. As your character ages, his or her physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution) decrease and his or her mental ability scores (Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma) increase, as shown in the table "Aging Effects" below. The effects of each aging step are cumulative. However, none of a character's ability scores can be reduced below 1 in this way.
|AGE GROUP||AGING EFFECTS|
|Child||-3 to Strength and Constitution; -1 to Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma|
|Young Adult||-1 to Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma|
|Middle Age||-1 to Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution; +1 to Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma|
|Old||-2 to Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution; +1 to Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma|
|Venerable||-3 to Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution; +1 to Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma|
First, generate your Ability Scores. Then, once your starting age is determined, apply the modifiers shown in the table "Aging Effects" below. Note that the methods described for determining ability score yield the scores of an Adult character. For example, when a character reaches Middle Age, their Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution scores each drop 1 point, while their Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores each increase by 1 point. When they become Old, their physical ability scores all drop an additional 2 points, while while their mental ability scores increase by 1 again. So far they have lost a total of 3 points from their Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution scores and gained a total of 2 points to their Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores due to aging.
On the other hand, a Child would start with a total penalty of -4 to Strength and Constitution and a -2 penalty to all other abilities (Adjustments are cumulative for both the Child and Young Adult categories). As he or she advances to Young Adulthood, these penalties would be reduced to -1 for each ability score. He or she would thus "gain" 3 points to both his or her Strength and Constitution and 1 point to each of his or her other ability scores.
Jedi live longer than the average member of their Species. While a typical Human lives well into his or her 80s, a Human Jedi might well live into his or her 100s. The upper age limit for a character powerful in The Force can be twice as much or more than a typical member of a Species.
Decide what your character looks like using the descriptions of the various Species as a starting point. Characters with high Charisma tend to be better looking than those with low Charisma scores, though a character with high Charisma could have strange looks, giving him or her a sort of exotic beauty.You can use your hero's looks to tell something about their personality and background. For example:
- Deel Surool, the Twi'lek Scoundrel, always has a smirk on his lips, no matter the situation he finds himself in. He treats life as a joke where only he knows the punchline. He wears the latest fashions and comes off as being mildly superior to everyone around him.
- Vor'en Kurn, the Human Soldier, has a rough, dark look that speaks of the life he has led. His mercenary nature shows through in the way he moves, the way he wears his armor, and the way his twin blasters hang at his sides. His eyes are cold, dead, uncaring. You know he means business and that he's dangerous just by looking at him.
- Sia-Lan Wezz, the Human Jedi, appears confident and in control. She wears her Jedi Robes and Lightsaber proudly, and her fresh, young face glows with enthusiasm and hope. You know you can trust her, and you know she takes her role very seriously. Perhaps even a bit too seriously.
Height and WeightEdit
Your character may be of average height and weight, or you can make your character lighter, heavier, shorter, or taller. Think about what your character's abilities might say about their height and weight. If they are weak but agile, they may be thin. If they are strong and tough, they may be tall or just heavy. Average heights and weights are details on each individual Species' page under Species Characteristics.
Describe how your character acts, what they like, what they want out of life, what scares them, and what makes them angry. Your character's Species is a good place to start when thinking about personality, but it's a bad place to stop. Make your Wookiee (Or whatever) different from every other Wookiee.
Personality is a summary of how your character usually acts. Make sure it's interesting and fun for you to play. Give your character good points and bad points. Think about their code of ethics. Will your character do anything for the right price, or is there a line they just won't cross? Is your character cheerful or dour, optimistic or pessimistic, honorable or dishonorable? These are just some of the factors that could go into your character's personality. A handy trick for making an interesting personality for your character is including some sort of conflict in their nature. For example, Deel the Scoundrel is generally self-centered, but he looks out for his close friends. He may be tempted to help them, even if it goes against his best interests, so long as he can justify doing so.
Your character's personality can change over time. Just because you've written some personality notes on your character sheet doesn't mean you can't let your character grow and develop the way real people do.
Decide what your character's life has been like up until now. Here are a few questions to get you thinking:
- How did they decide to become a hero?
- How did they acquire their class? A Soldier, for example, might have been in a planetary militia, they may have come from a family of Soldiers, they may have trained in a military school, or they may be a self-taught mercenary.
- Where did they get their starting Equipment? Did they assemble it piece by piece over time? Was it a parting gift from a parent or mentor? Do any items have special significance to them?
- What's the worst thing that's ever happened to them?
- What's the best thing that's ever happened to them?
- Do they stay in contact with their family? What does their family think of them?
Only your GM needs to know all the details of your Background. You can tell the other players as much as or as little as you see fit. You can get as complex as you like, or keep your character's background simple. Have they traveled around the galaxy a lot? What's their home planet like? What do they think of the Republic (Or Rebellion, or Empire, or whatever)? Do they know any of the other players' characters from before the campaign started? If not, what's their connection to the rest of the team?
Your character might have a number of objectives that he or she hopes to accomplish. These are the things that motivate your character. Do they seek wealth or love? Revenge or power? That's up to you and your GM.
Goals can be immediate or long-term. They can also change during play, and new goals can be added all the time. Think of goals as what's motivating your character right now, though some long-term goals might fade to the background until circumstances warrant.