This page describes how to create your own “player character” (PC).

Play who you want

Legends is designed to work with any character you can imagine. Legends is completely free of preset lists of classes, races, skills, items, or powers. There also aren’t any numbers or stats. Your character will be written in your own words, with no distractions from your vision and creativity.

Step 1: Character Description

Start with a name and a short summary of character concept. The minimum is a sentence or two, similar to a description of a movie character.

Next add as much detail as you can, either as an outline or a short story, however you like. Where was your character born? What are his or her skills or talents? Try to work quickly and stop when you feel you have enough to visualize the character–you can always add detail later.

Include details such as your character’s clothing, belongings, and equipment, as they can say a lot about him. Add detail for any belongings that are important to your character at a personal level, such as a family heirloom. You’ll need to decide later which items are integral to the character or just along for the ride.

Tips: You can include any other ideas or details you like, such as a series of one-line epithets, outline of important points, backstory, character sketch, etc. Players who are artistic may want to sketch the character. Write about who your character was and who he or she might become. The ideal is to describe your character in vivid detail, painting a word picture.

Step 2: Themes

Turn to a fresh page and identify the most important four  Themes of your character, such as “Incarnate” or “Space Samurai”.

Use concepts and wording that are familiar to the other players, such as “Space Pirate” rather than “Scurvy Dog”. The other players shouldn’t need to ask what a Theme means–it should be obvious. See the Spacers chapter for some sample Themes. Write each Theme on a separate line on your paper, leaving room beside it.

The GM will use Themes as a rule of thumb for how the game world sees each character. This means players should choose their Themes carefully, and include anything that they want the world to know. Be sure to say if some of the information is a secret.

While players can roleplay the use of Themes in normal and natural ways, only equipped Themes and Assets  provide in-game benefits. This is covered in the next section.

Sample Themes

Races: Incarnate, Organic

Occupations: Burner, Hacker, Lancer, Mercenary, SecOps Agent, Scop (Space Cop), Spacer, Space Pirate, Space Samurai

Psychic: Akashi, Esper, Jidn, Mthu’bo

Step 3: Assets

Assets are items of equipment or gear used by characters, such as weapons, ammunition, various supplies, and vehicles such as harness and ships.

New characters start with four Assets selected by the player. These could be small or large, even including harness or ships, if allowed by the GM. Write each Asset on a separate line on your paper. Use wording that is familiar to the other players, such as “gauss rifle” instead of “blackened oblong gun”. The other players shouldn’t need to ask what an Asset means–it should be obvious. See the Assets chapter for some sample Assets.

Characters can gain more Assets during play, such as by looting defeated foes, earning rewards from employers, or constructing items. The player should just keep a list of a character’s Assets, noting details and locations of items as appropriate. Add new Assets to the character’s list, and cross off any Assets that are broken, used up, or left behind. While there is no official game limit on the number of Assets a character can have available to him, try to be as realistic as the group of players feels is appropriate.

Players should be prepared to explain how a character knows how to use any complicated Assets, such as tying it to a Theme. For example, a character carrying a Void Blade should have a Theme such as Space Samurai or Mthu’bo, since such weapons are known to be difficult to wield.

While players can roleplay the use of equipment in normal and natural ways, only equipped Assets provide in-game benefits. This is covered in the next section, but what you need to realize now is that in this game having more Assets is not necessarily better–it’s the quality of the Assets and what the player and character do with them that matters.

Incarnates may want to use Assets to represent as their “body”.

Step 4: Signatures

Write a Signature for each Theme and Asset, which is a short note that make it yours. A Theme like “Spacer” could have a Signature like “hotshot ace pilot”, “cool-headed iceman”, “hasty navigator”, or “grizzled old captain who has seen it all”.

Most Themes and Assets should be worded so that they are familiar to the other players, such as “Scout Pilot” or “gauss rifle”. The other players shouldn’t need to ask what a Theme or Asset means–it should be completely obvious and straightforward. Your Signatures are where you can describe your spin on the familiar concept, such as “Space Pirate – I’m my own captain” or “gauss rifle – hair trigger and happy about it”.

The best Signatures are fun, interesting, and can be used in multiple ways. It’s especially important that your Signatures are “reversible”, so that they sometimes work against your PC. For example, “Merc – frontal assault shock and awe” seems great for blowing away foes, but the PC might sometimes opt for a frontal assault in situations where patience might have served him better.

Don’t worry if you can’t write your Signatures all in at once–it is fine to leave some blank and fill them in as you play, and it’s also fine to refine the wording of your Signatures as the PC concept matures.

The GM may require a particular Theme or Signature to use certain kinds of gear (e.g wielding a Void Blade or wearing a Harness) or taking certain actions (e.g. piloting a Void Ship) that requires special training.

While players can roleplay the use of Signatures in normal and natural ways, only equipped Themes and Assets provide in-game benefits. This is covered in the next section.

Step 5: Instincts

Instincts are actions a PC is predisposed or “wired” to do. Every PC has personality quirks that are outside their control, and triggers that provoke instinctual or compulsive reactions. Some instincts are a result of training, while others are genetic, and some are ingrained habits or addictions. For example, a PC might have a profound hatred of the Mot, which might cause him to directly attack a superior force of corpse soldiers despite the bad odds.

What are the “hot buttons” and idiosycrasies of your PC that affect his or her behavior?  How have they affected his or her life? You are not required to write down any Instincts, but it is still useful to think about what they might be, for they can make a character seem much more believable and lifelike, and also a lot of fun.

Instincts are used in the game for Influence Refresh, which is described in the next section.

Step 6: Introduce Yourself

Show your character to the GM to and collaborate on any any adjustments to best fit into the game. Also ask what kind of scene or situation the character will start play in so that you can fine-tune your “loadout” or selection of Assets. You can also get feedback from the other players, both on how to best connect with the other characters and also on collaborating on Assets carried into the Scene.

Now, ready yourself for the world you are about to enter and then get playing!

Next: Influence