Chronicles of Vulcanica: Vale Tenebrous
Players in FTS must create their character before they can begin their adventure. The first step is to determine a character concept: what kind of character do you want to play? Perhaps you want to be a burly, sword-swinging warrior? Or perhaps you’d rather be a sneaky, spell-slinging mage? Maybe you’d rather be something else entirely? It is completely up to you, and you should at least have a good idea of what you’d like to do before moving on.
Once you have a general concept of what kind of character you’d like to play, the next step is to assign your character’s Attributes. FTS uses two pre-determined arrays of scores, which can be assigned as you wish between the different Attributes. You may assign the array of 4/3/2/2 as you wish between your Type I Attributes, and 3/2/2/1 for your Type II Attributes. You may then increase one of your Type I Attributes by 1 point, and two of your Type II Attributes by 1 point each.
Once you’ve assigned your starting Attribute scores, the next step is to pick your character’s race. Each race is described in detail on the Races of Vulcanica page, but only in a roleplaying capacity. Here is where you can find information on how each race performs mechanically.
In addition to their special abilities (described below), each race has what is called a “racial combo” or “preferred test,” which is composed of one Type I Attribute and one Type II Attribute—just like any normal Test. Whenever making a test with your race’s “preferred test,” you may automatically add one Success to your Final Result. Each race’s “preferred test” is included in parenthesis next to the race’s name.
Dragonkin: Vulkan (PHYSICAL ENDURANCE)
- Special Ability: Arkhosian Might
- Vulkan Dragonkin always get at least 4 Successes on any PHYSICAL ENDURANCE Test. Vulkan can never get a Critical Failure on any test that uses the POWER Attribute. Vulkan begin play with 2 Ranks in the School Magic/Dragon/Empowerment Skill.
Dragonkin: Ysir (PHYSICAL CONTROL)
- Special Ability: Shadow of the Oppressors
- Ysir may, if they wish, use Dragon Magic’s special ability to empower their Type II Attributes. This does not prevent them from empowering their Type I Attributes like normal.
Dwarf (MENTAL PRESENCE)
- Special Ability: Born of Iron
- Dwarves may reduce the Severity of an incoming Wound by one Level, if they wish. This effect can stack with the effect of wearing armor. In Battle, this ability translates to +4 to their contribution to their team’s SKILL total.
Elf: Alfr (MAGICAL PRESENCE)
- Special Ability: Centuries of Training
- Alfr Elves may, after any Test in which at least half (rounded up) of their Dice Pool resulted in Successes, add two additional Successes to their Final Result.
Elf: Druchii (SOCIAL CONTROL)
- Special Ability: Undying Ambition
- Any time a Druchii character uses a Vengeance Token, they also gain Advantage on the next Test they make (or the test they are currently making, if they wish to apply it to that).
Fey: Aos Sí (MAGICAL CONTROL)
- Special Ability: Vulca-Naar
- Aos Fey can never be killed as a result of a level 9 Wound going untreated. Aos can never succumb to poison or disease. Aos wounded by anything other than Magic or Artifacts may treat the Wound as if they were wearing Light Armor (this bonus does not stack with any actual armor).
Human: Cambion (MAGICAL POWER)
- Special Ability: Immortal Blood
- Cambions may, at character creation, choose which side of their heritage is more dominant in their bloodline: Demon or Mortal. Cambions who choose the Demon option can never get a Critical Failure on any test as a result of rolling all ones. Cambions who choose the Mortal option may treat up to one Failure as a Success for purposes of determining a Critical Success.
Human: Gifted (MAGICAL ENDURANCE)
- Special Ability: Of the Earth
- Gifted must choose one of the Shamanism Souls (except Earth; this decision will also determine what soul they physically manifest) during character creation. Gifted begin play with the Skill of Discipline/Shamanism/(Chosen Soul) at Rank 4. Gifted can never get a Critical Failure on any Test involving Nature Magic. Gifted always know where north is, and attempts to confuse them in this regard will always fail.
Human:Völsung (SOCIAL POWER)
- Special Ability: Memento Mori
- Völsung may, any time they get to apply part or all of their LEGEND as a bonus on any Test, increase that bonus by +1, if they wish. Völsung have a maximum of 6 for their HONOR, FAITH, VIRTUE, and VICE, instead of 5.
Orc (PHYSICAL POWER)
- Special Ability: Battle Frenzy
- Orcs may choose to subtract any number from their PRESENCE Attribute and add it to the same number of Successes to any PHYSICAL POWER tests made while in combat. If their PRESENCE Score drops to 0 as a result of this drain, combat cannot be voluntarily ended by the Orc until all enemies are dead. Otherwise, this effect lasts for a few minutes, then reverses. In BATTLE, this ability translates to +4 to their contribution to their team’s SKILL total.
Slade (MENTAL ENDURANCE)
- Special Ability: Fire and Stone
- Slade begin play with the Skill of Discipline/Shamanism/Earth at Rank 4. Slade do not suffer the PHYSICAL penalty for wearing armor. Slade may, at any time, may make a MAGICAL CONTROL (Discipline/Shamanism/Earth) Test to give themselves rocky armor, which can be Light (Easy), Medium (Moderate), Heavy (Difficult), or Superheavy (Very Difficult), at their choice. Armor acquired in this way remains equipped until the Slade chooses to remove it, and cannot be removed by external means. However, this is the only way a Slade can gain the use of armor, and they cannot benefit from manufactured armor of any kind.
Once you’ve chosen your character’s race and spent your free upgrades, you get 10 experience to spend only on things that your character would know before they began any real training. These tend to be languages, local knowledge, or a hobby of some type. It is worth pointing out that characters begin play with one Language Skill at rank 4 for free (Languge/(language of choice)/Speak), but only for speaking it—they have to train if they want to learn how to read and write!
For example, Ruin decides that he wants to be able to write in his native language of High Turathi, and he wants to be good at it. So, he starts up the Language/High Turathi/Read & Write Skill(1 experience) at Rank 2, and then increases it to Rank 4 (4 experience)—enough to be considered fluent by anyone’s standards! He then decides that, having grown up in it, he wants to know a lot about the city of Crossing, and starts up the Lore/Region/Crossing Skill(1 experience), and likewise decides that he wants this at 4 ranks as well (5 experience). He has finished off his 10 free experience, and is ready to start training for adventure!
Once you’ve spent your 10 “background” experience, you will then receive a base amount of regular experience, to be spent as you like before starting your adventure. Ask your ST to determine how skilled you are and how much time you’ve spent training before your story begins, and then consult the chart below.
|Level of Skill||Starting Experience|
|Relatively unskilled, no training. (commoner, child)||0|
|Skilled, less than a year of training. (militiaman, student)||5|
|Practiced, one to two years of training. (career soldier, apprentice mage)||10|
|Highly-Trained, two to three years of training. (mercenary, hedge wizard)||20|
|Elite, three or more years of training. (ranking officer, court witch)||30|