Monday, July 21, 2014

PC Creation Guidelines

This PC creation paper is assuming you have the Advanced Hackmaster PHB. It will work with the Basic book as well, but there are references to the Advanced material as well. Page numbers for both are, however, included. Basic pages are prefixed with a b, as in b34. Advanced pages are given first and without a prefix, as in 112. So a single reference might read (101 b42), meaning page 101 in the Advanced HM PHB, or page 42 in the Basic HM book.

The following tutorial is for characters in my Virtual Knights Campaign set in the City State of P'Bapar and the Young Kingdoms of the Kingdoms of Kalamar on the World of Tellene more generally. But the tutorial can be used by others if you ignore the setting specific guidelines.


  1. Get some scratch paper & a pencil
  2. Get your dice
  3. Print off a clean copy of a HackMaster Character Sheet
    1. I prefer you use a character sheet, as it will have everything I need, but you can use notebook paper if you like, just be sure and include everything.
    2. Do NOT use the Basic character sheet
  4. Secure a copy of the Basic rules, or Advanced PHB 
  1. Mark off a spot on your scratch paper and write down 40 Build Points.
    1. Everyone starts with 40 BPs.
    2. You may earn more as you go;
    3. You also will need to mark some off as you use them.
    4. This will be the space to do this.
  1. Roll 3d6 for each ability score and record the results on your scratch paper
    1. Strength
    2. Intelligence
    3. Wisdom
    4. Dexterity
    5. Constitution
    6. Looks
    7. Charisma
  2. Roll d100 for each ability score as well, so each score will have a score from 3 to 18 and then from 01 to 00 after it e.g. 12/52 or 18/01 or 9/38 etc.
  3. You may now choose to rearrange your ability scores.
    1. You can swap two ability scores and get 25 more BPs.
    2. Or you can leave them as is and receive 50 more BPs.
    3. Make your choice and add the appropriate amount to your BP scratch sheet.
    4. There will also be a place where you can adjust ability scores by spending BPs later on.
  1. Choose a race.
  2. Basic Book (b39+)
    1. Human
    2. Elf
    3. Dwarf
    4. Halfling
  3. Advanced Book (18)
    1. Human
    2. Elf
    3. Dwarf
    4. Halfling
    5. Gnome
    6. Gnome Titan
    7. Grel
    8. Half Elf
    9. Half Hobgoblin
    10. Half Orc
  4. Keep in mind when choosing your race that certain classes are not suited to some races, and cost more BPs. (Yes, you will "buy" your class with BPs).
  5. Apply ability score adjustments according to race. 
  1. Choose our race and deduct the necessary BPs from your scratch paper.
  2. If you chose Cleric, you will need to choose a deity
  1. Pick an Alignment
  1. Time to finalize your starting ability scores.
  2. You should have adjusted your ability scores based on your race.
  3. Looks may of course adjust your Charisma score.
  4. Be sure and add adjustments to your BPs from Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma if you haven;t already done so.
  5. You may now tweak your ability scores by spending Build Points
    1. If your score is below 9/100
      1. You can spend 1 point to get 0/10 points until you reach 9/100.
      2. e.g. say you had 8/52; you could spend 10 points to get to 9/52; five more points would put you at 10/02. After this it would cost more than 1 per 0/10
    2. If your score is 10/01 or above
      1. You can spend 1 point to get 0/05 points.
      2. e.g. if you were at 13/11 it would take 20 points to get to 14/11
    3. If your score is 16/01 or higher
      1. You spend 1 point to get 0/03 points.
      2. e.g. you would have to spend 33 points to get from 16/01 to 16/100
  1. Add all of your seven ability scores and divide by 7.
  2. This is your starting Honor score.
  3. Adjust Honor if required due to Charisma and or Looks.
  4. There may be other Honor adjustments that arise due to background, quirks or flaws. Add or deduct them as they come up.
  1. Calculate Starting Age
  2. Calculate Height & Weight
  3. Calculate BMI
  4. Calculate Handedness
  5. Calculate Heritage and Lineage
  6. Flesh out other details such as:
    1. name
    2. eye color
    3. hair color
    4. body shape
    5. voice
    6. facial hair
    7. other noteworthy features or mannerisms (note these make be quirks and flaws)
    8. personality
    9. etc.
  1. Decide if you want Quirks and or Flaws
  2. These can lend distinctiveness to your character as well as extra BPs
  3. You may roll randomly or cherry pick, but cherry-picking lends less rewards
  1. Time to spend BPs on Skills, Talents and Proficiencies.
  2. This is can be an involved process, so keep it simple at first.
  3. Lots of points in one skill can be more useful than a few points scattered over many skills.
  4. Weapon proficiencies and bonuses are purchased here as well if you want extra abilities with a weapon.
  5. You may also choose to reserve some BPs to spend later.
  1. Roll Hit Points
  2. Your starting HP will be
    1. CON score + Size modifier + Hit Die roll (as per class)
  1. Calculate your Base Initiative
    1. Wisdom Modifier + Dexterity Modifier
  2. Calculate your Base Defense
    1. Wisdom Modifier + Dexterity Modifier
  3. Calculate your Base Attack
    1. Intelligence Modifier + Dexterity Modifier + Class Modifier
  4. Calculate your Base Damage
    1. Strength Modifier
  1. Receive Grub Stake
    1. 35 + 2d12 silver pieces
    2. May spend BPs to receive greater starting stake
      1. 5 silver pieces / 1 BP
  1. Buy equipment as per the equipment list in the Basic Rules (b92)

While the above gets you through the essential steps, there will likely be other stuff that hasn't quite fallen into place yet. Stuff like:

Q. Should I choose a God if I'm not a Cleric?
A. That depends. Gods are powerful allies, but they can be overbearing micro-managers at times. Numerous Gods and Goddesses involve themselves in the affairs of Tellene, and that involvement is usually achieved through the work of their worshipers. If you are interested in that kind of work, by all means don't hesitate. But rest assured, your involvement with the divine will not be overlooked by the GM.
Q. The Character sheet asks if I'm anointed or not. I chose a God am I anointed?
A. No. The PHB rules aren't too clear on this, but at this time I am assuming that only Clerics are anointed except under other unusual circumstances.
Q. Should I go ahead and fill in all the modifier info for my abilities now?
A. Yep, you can find that in the ability sections.