Tales of Skytopia
Character Creation Guidelines
Characters are created using Big Eyes Small Mouth 3rd edition, at least for a game set mostly in Skytopia (as opposed to on the Earth).
First, decide whether your character is Skytopian or Earth-born. A Skytopian character can possess magic of any kind, while most Earth-born lack spectacular magical talents and must rely on magitech. A few Earth-born possess some kind of minor Internal Magic, or have a little learning in magical ritual, but powerful magic in Earth-dwellers is incredibly rare. Any character can enjoy the benefit of Miracles, which are equally rare for Skytopians as they are for the Earth-born. See the Magic in Skytopia section for more information.
If your character possesses Magitech, usually this is represented as an Item. A few Skytopians have magitech built into their bodies; such Attributes follow no special rules but are only available at the GM’s approval.
If your character possesses an Attribute meant to represent Internal Magic, i.e. innate talent, secret martial arts, or any other power that comes chiefly from the characters’ own soul and body, consider giving it one or more of the following Restrictions: Charges, Deplete, Detectable, Recovery. Such powers are often draining to use, as they draw on the characters’ personal reserves.
If your character possesses an Attribute meant to represent Ritual Magic, i.e. spellcasting, magitech creation, alchemy or other “scientific” forms of magic, consider giving it one or more of the following Restrictions: Activation, Backlash, Concentration, Detectable, Equipment, Imbue, Unpredictable. Restrictions like Activation, Equipment and Concentration are appropriate for rituals that take time, such as alchemy, whereas Restrictions like Backlash and Unpredictable are appropriate for instant magical effects, such as casting a spell. Ritual magic must be done correctly and carefully, without mistakes.
If your character possesses an Attribute meant to represent a Miracle, please consider giving it the following Restrictions: Emotional, Environmental. Miracles are never detectable by magical means, as they bypass all normal laws of magic. They can still have the Detectable Restriction for senses like sight or hearing, though.
Personality and Relationships
Your character is more than just the sum of his powers, of course. Besides thinking of what your character can do, also consider who he is in Skytopian society. Is he a free-roaming spirit with his home on no island? Is he a local patriot, with a strong loyalty to his kinsmen? Is he religious, and if so, which sect does he belong to?
No Skytopian lives in a vacuum. Just like all the islands relate to each other by sky-streams, their citizens relate to each other by blood, by friendship, by loyalty or rivalry. For that reason, each character should start out with 3 pre-defined relationships:
*Firstly, a friend. This can be someone on your ship that you see often, or an old friend that you only meet rarely, but trust deeply. The classical example is a girlfriend or boyfriend on an island, eagerly awaiting your return from the High Skies. You may choose another player character as your friend; if so, they must have some relationship beyond just being part of the same crew. They might be brothers, lovers, former rivals, or something else – just make sure it’s more exciting than “We’re on the same crew” – that’s sort of part of the premise!
*Second, an enemy. This can be on a grand, sweeping political scale if you want, but it can just as easily be a petty rivalry with a greedy merchant or a deep-seated loathing for your brothers’ annoying girlfriend. Needless to say, you may not have another player character as your rival. Feel free to look at the written NPCs for inspiration, though – you could even be on a particularly bad footing with one of the Heirs!
*Third, a wish fulfillment character. This person has, is, or represents something your character wants with all his heart. Perhaps he holds the key to freeing her Earth-born mother from slavery in the soar-steel mines. Perhaps she has deep, unrequited love for him. Perhaps he is an abbot at a monastery that could offer redemption for her past sins. The possibilities are nearly limitless – just keep in mind that a wish fulfillment character who just up and gives your character what she wants is boring. A slavers’ ear is costly; the love interest is married; the abbot despises criminals and refuses them sanctuary. Make sure whatever your character wants, it shouldn’t be easy to get. That’s what the story is here for!