Character Creation

People (well, most people) don't just arrive randomly in a place like Uzbekistan, looking for eldritch horrors; and if they did, they'd find it difficult to get a visa. They have a reason (or several) to be there. What's yours? Providing goals, desires, and plans for your character is crucial for the kind of game I like to run, one in which the PCs have a great degree of control over the content and direction of the story, which is defined by their efforts to reach their goals and the obstacles placed in their path. I strongly recommend that you read Kubasik's Character, Character, Character to get an idea of what I'm driving at here.

I also urge that you come up with some other features of your character and his/her background beyond the standard character sheet. For example:

  • What's the worst thing he/she ever did?
  • What is their Dark Secret?
  • Who is someone important to them? A hero? A friend? A mentor? A fictional character?
  • Who (or what?) is their ideal love interest?
  • How are they connected to one (or more) of the other characters?
  • What's their attitude to the supernatural? Have they ever been exposed to it?
  • Describe a local NPC that they trust, and a local NPC that they don't.
  • How do they like Central Asian food?
  • If, for some reason, they were part of an underfunded anti-supernatural conspiracy, would they be a Cowboy, Crusader, Crackpot or Careerist?

It is also important that you pick a sign for each distinctive background, skill or trait that your character has. A sign is the sort of thing that Sherlock Holmes would use to deduce information about your character. For example:

  • Your character is good at martial arts. Possible signs: Well muscled; constantly does isometric exercises; assumes a martial arts pose when startled.
  • Your character is from the FBI. Possible signs: Cynical attitude; drinks lots of coffee; frequently uses law enforcement acronyms and jargon.

You can then assemble these signs into a description of your character for the other players and NPCs.

That said, the setting, the introductory blurb, and the fact that this is a Delta Green-ish game should give you some ideas for character type. Characters with some connection to geopolitics, culture, law enforcement, oil, espionage or (counter)insurgency would not be out of place. Some non-exhaustive suggestions follow. These might be locals, or expatriates:

  • Interpol investigator
  • UNODC agent
  • Drug smuggler
  • Antiquities (counter)trafficker
  • Military liasion or investigator
  • Archaeologist
  • Anthropologist
  • Missionary
  • Development consultant
  • Tourist
  • Journalist
  • NGO worker
  • Environmentalist
  • Diplomatic staff
  • Geologist
  • Oil/mining engineer
  • Import-export entrepreneur
  • Spy (cover identity as one (or more?) of the above).

Finally, a Forum has been created, in which you can discuss your character ideas, or whatever. Once you've narrowed it down a bit, go to the Characters page and create a wiki page for your character with the publicly available information about them in it. Send any private information to me in a message.

I will then provide you with a copy of the Trail of Cthulhu Player's Guide (see Game System) which you can use to turn your concept into a character sheet. Current ToC house rules are:

  • 16 build points of Investigative Abilities
  • 65 build points of General Abilities
  • Points trading between players is permitted (see p.25 of the PG)
  • Purist rules apply to psychological matters, Pulp rules to other issues (no matter how tough you are, it won't save you from the horror…)

Samarkand Character Sheet (Excel)

Click on the link below to download an Excel character sheet that incorporates the modern skill lists.

TOC Samarkand Character Sheet

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