The core of any role-playing game is its characters. This chapter will shed some light on the character creation process, and how to build your counterpart in the ZODIAC world from the ground up.
Step 1: Character Concept
It’s always helpful to know what kind of character you want before you start. Take a minute to think about your playing style and the type of abilities you want to have. If you do this first, the rest of the creation process will be easier.
Step 2: Base Stats
There are five different stats that define your character’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Strength measures your character’s physical power, and affects the damage you deal with weapons. Abbreviated STR.
- Magic measures your character’s magical ability, and affects the strength of magical effects as well as the number of special abilities you can learn. Abbreviated MAG.
- Vitality measures your character’s toughness and resistance to physical trauma, and affects the amount of damage you can withstand. Abbreviated VIT.
- Spirit measures your character’s force of will and inner store of magical energy, and affects your capacity for using magic and other special powers. Abbreviated SPR.
- Agility measures your character’s speed and quickness, and affects several factors, including accuracy, evasion, and speed in combat. Abbreviated AGI.
All stats have a starting value of 3. In addition, you have 25 points to allocate any way you choose among the five stats, but no starting score may be greater than 15.
Step 3: Armor Use
- Armor is the character’s primary defense against monsters and other hostile forces. Some armor is enchanted, and improves the wearer’s spellcasting ability. Defense Armor provides a large bonus to your Hit Points, while Enhance Armor has a low HP bonus but a sizeable Magic Point bonus. Balanced Armor falls somewhere between the two. Choose only one type of Armor for your character to wear.
- Guards is a catch-all term for the shields, bracers, and other defensive items typically worn on a character’s arm. Unlike Armor, a Guard does not increase your Hit Points, but instead helps you to avoid damage.
You may only wear Armor of the type that you choose at character creation. If you choose Balanced Armor, you may not wear Defense or Enhance Armor. However, any character may use a Guard. See Chapter V: Equipment for more information about armor creation.
Step 4: Weapon Use
Each character can equip only ONE weapon at a time. All characters must choose one class of weapon at creation. The character may only wield weapons of that type. Different weapons will provide different bonuses to your AP and MAP. See Chapter V: Equipment for more information on weapon creation.
Step 5: Derived Stats
Derived Stats are sub-stats that are affected by your Base Stats. A description of each Derived Stat is given here, followed by a table that shows the base value of each, along with how quickly they increase. Starting values for Derived Stats are simply the base value plus any bonuses for high Base Stats. For example, a character with 10 Agility begins the game with 7 Accuracy. Henceforth, for every 5 points of Agility he gains, his Accuracy will increase by 1.
- Hit Points (HP) represent the amount of damage you can withstand. Influenced by Vitality, experience level, and the armor you wear.
- Magic Points (MP) represent the amount of energy you have available for using spells and special abilities. Influenced by Spirit, experience level, and the armor you wear.
- Attack Power (AP) is added to the damage dealt with weapons. Influenced by Strength and the power of your weapon.
- Magic Attack Power (MAP) is added to the damage dealt with magic. Influenced by Magic and the power of your weapon.
- Strength Dice is the base number of dice you roll when attacking with a weapon. Influenced by Strength. ALL die rolls based on Strength Dice are multiplied by 10.
- Magic Dice is the base number of dice you roll when casting a magical attack spell. Influenced by Magic. ALL die rolls based on Magic Dice are multiplied by 10.
- Accuracy affects your chance to score a hit in combat. Influenced by Agility.
- Magic Accuracy affects the chance of success of many special effects, such as turning an enemy to stone. Influenced by Magic.
- Evade is your ability to dodge physical attacks. Influenced by Agility and the armor you wear.
- Resist is your ability to resist harmful effects, such as poison or paralysis. Influenced by Vitality and Spirit.
- Critical affects your chance to score a double-damage critical hit in combat. Influenced by Agility.
- Max Tech Levels is the maximum number of Tech Levels you can learn. In other words, the combined levels of all the Techs you know cannot be greater than this value. Influenced by Magic.
|Derived Stat||Base Value||Increases|
|Hit Points||75||+5 per Vitality
+4 per XP Level
Modified by Armor
|Magic Points||5||+1 per 1 Spirit
+1 per 2 XP Levels
Modified by Armor
|Attack Power||0||+1 per 1 Strength
Modified by Weapon
|Magic Attack Power||0||+1 per 1 Magic
Modified by Weapon
|Strength Dice||1||+1 per 100 Strength|
|Magic Dice||1||+1 per 100 Magic|
|Accuracy||5||+1 per 5 Agility|
|Magic Accuracy||5||+1 per 5 Magic|
|Evade||25||+1 per 5 Agility
Modified by Guard
|Resist||25||+1 per 10 Vitality
+1 per 10 Spirit
|Critical||98||-1 per 15 Agility|
|Speed||10||+1 per 15 Agility
+1 per 10 XP Levels
|Max Tech Levels||5||+1 per 2 Magic|
Step 6: Class Powers
Class Powers are your character’s main set of special abilities- what he does best. There are two types of Class Powers that your character can choose from. Note that ALL powers require MP to use!
- Tech is the ability to learn a variety of spells and powers that you create using the Tech Creation System.
- Blue Magic, also called Enemy Skill, is the ability to use your enemies’ power against them- learning the skills and techniques used against you in battle. Blue Magic often has very different effects than a normal Tech does.
If you choose to use Techs, your character will gradually learn the special abilities you choose for him using the Tech Creation System (see Chapter II). If you choose Blue Magic, the powers you learn are drawn from your enemies (see Chapter III).
Step 7: Secondary Skills
Secondary Skills are minor support skills, such as Cover and Health, that require no MP to use. All characters choose one Command Skill and one Support Skill from Chapter IV. It is a good idea to choose Secondary Skills that compliment your character’s strengths or compensates for his weaknesses, as well as one that fit the character’s personality.
Step 8: Starting Equipment
You get 200 G to buy any weapons, armor, or items you want from Chapter V: Equipment. You keep any leftover money. You may use the Weapon Construction System in Chapter V to create your own unique weapons, or use one of the premade weapon lists from the Resources section of the ZODIAC home page.
Step 9: Fleshing Out Your Character
If you haven't done so already, now is the time to add a face and personality to your character sheet. Your character might be human, dwarven, elven, or any other species you can think of. What does he look like? What has happened to him in the past? Does he have any hopes, dreams, or goals? What is his personality like? Is he distant and aloof, or friendly and amiable? Be creative! If you like, you can also name your character’s Class - is he a Dark Knight, a Paladin, a Ninja, or a Scholar?
As your character defeats powerful monsters and completes epic quests, he gains Experience Points, or XP. As you accumulate experience, your character becomes more powerful. Experience Level is a measurement of how strong your character is, and ranges from Level 1 to Level 99. Your character begins the game at Level 1, and must earn 50 XP to reach level 2. A complete level advancement chart can be found in Appendix III. When you gain a level, you gain the following benefits:
- Your Hit Points and Magic Points increase. You gain 4 HP per level, and 1 MP every even level (2, 4, 6…).
- Your stats increase. You gain three Bonus Points at each level-up that you may use to strengthen your character. One Bonus Point will increase any one of your Base Stats by 1 point. No more than two Bonus Points may be allocated to the same stat each level. Beginning at level 60, you gain an additional Bonus Point at each level-up, which may be spent on any of the five stats you choose. Note that the maximum value of any Base Stat is 250, but certain Relics can increase a stat beyond the normal maximum.
- At every fifth experience level (5, 10, 15, etc.) you gain a bonus of +2 to all five of your Base Stats. This bonus is in addition to the Bonus Points you receive every level. If this +2 bonus causes a stat to increase beyond 250, the stat does not increase and the point(s) may be re-allocated to any stat you choose.
- Your Derived Stats may improve depending on which Base Stats you increased. See the table in Step 5.
- Tech-users gain Tech Points used to learn new special abilities. See Chapter II for details.