Character Creation Outline

Jason Durall

Building on the initial outline provided by Jeb Boyt over at, I've put together a comprehensive outline for character creation. Hopefully, it will cut down on page-flipping and streamline the process a little bit.

Character creation for the Conan RPG

I. Develop your character concept. You should come up with your idea for your character in consultation with the other players and the Games Master.

II. Roll ability scores using one of two methods, determined by the Games Master:
- Standard Method: Roll 4d6 six times, discarding the lowest of the four dice each time, and allocating the scores as you see fit.
- Heroic Method: Roll 8+1d10 six times, allocating the scores as you see fit.

III. Choose race. Favored Classes receive bonus feats at 1st, 5th, and 10th class levels). Some races have prohibited classes. Some races also include variant races, which use all base racial bonuses and penalties in addition to their own, except where specified otherwise or in regards to favored or prohibited classes.
- Cimmerian (Favoured Class: Barbarian)
- Himelian Tribesman (Favoured Class: Barbarian)
-- Variant Race: Wazuli (Favoured Class: Barbarian)
- Hyborian: Aquilonian, Brythunian, Corinthian, Kothic, Nemedian, Ophirean (Favoured Class: All)
-- Variant Race: Argossean or Barachan (Favoured Class: Pirate)
-- Variant Race: Bossonian (Favoured Class: Soldier)
-- Variant Race: Gunderman (Favoured Class: Soldier)
-- Variant Race: Hyperborean (Favoured Class: Soldier)
-- Variant Race: Tauran (Favoured Class: Borderer)
- Hyrkanian or Turanian (Favoured Class: Nomad)
- Khitan (Favoured Class: Scholar)
- Kushite or Northern Black Kingdom Tribesman (Favoured Class: Barbarian)
-- Variant Race: Chagan (Favoured Class: Noble)
-- Variant Race: Ghanatan (Favoured Class: Nomad)
- Nordheimer: Æsir or Vanir (Favoured Class: Barbarian)
- Pict (Favoured Class: Barbarian)
- Shemite (Favoured Class: Nomad)
-- Variant Race: Meadow Shemite (Favoured Class: Soldier)
-- Variant Race: Pelishtim (Favoured Class: Soldier or Scholar)
- Southern Islander or Southern Black Kingdom Tribesman (Favoured Class: Barbarian or Pirate)
-- Variant Race: Darfari (Favoured Class: Barbarian)
- Stygian (Favoured Class: Scholar or Noble)
- Vendhyan (Favoured Class: Soldier or Noble)
- Zamoran (Favoured Class: Thief)
- Zingaran (Favoured Class: Soldier or Pirate)

This is also a good time to choose a character’s name, religion, appearance, etc. Handedness is either right, left, or ambidextrous (player’s choice), but has no effect on the character’s ability to use two weapons in combat.

IV. Once race is determined, determine the following:
- Background Skills: For each racial Background Skill, the character gets 2 ranks in that skill, whether or not it is a class skill.
- Automatic and Bonus Languages: Each race has 1-2 Automatic Languages, and can choose [3+Int Modifier] in additional bonus languages listed. Each character also learns one new language at 1st level and each level thereafter (sometimes by GM decision).
- Bonus Abilities: Some races have special bonus abilities, such as benefits to skills or other racial abilities, as described in the race listing.

V. Choose class: Barbarian, Borderer, Noble, Nomad, Pirate, Scholar, Soldier, Thief.
- Hit Points: At first level, characters begin with maximum hit points for their hit dice.
- Class Skills: Note class skills, initial skill points, and spend skill points as desired. Pages 84-85 have a complete skill chart. Skill points can be spent on a 1=1 basis for class skills. Each skill point is worth ½ a skill rank in a cross-class skill. Any skill points granted from the Int bonus can be spent freely on any skills on a 1=1 basis (effectively treating all skills as class skills). The maximum rank for class skills is character level +3, and the maximum rank for cross-class skills is [level+3]/2. Cross-class skills purchased with bonus Int points can exceed the cross-class skill maximum.
- Proficiencies: Check the appropriate boxes for weapon and armour proficiencies.
- Special Abilities: Note the class features and mark them on the character sheet as appropriate. Scholars have special abilities which require attention, particularly backgrounds (p59-60), sorcery styles, Base Power Points, and possibly spells.
- Bonuses: Note raw Base Attack Bonus, Base Dodge Bonus, Base Parry Bonus, Magic Attack Bonus, Fortitude Save, Reflex Save, and Willpower Save.

VI. Choose starting feats. Characters begin with one feat at first level, in addition to any granted by race or class. Characters get a bonus feat if of a Favored Class for their race. Pages 109-111 has a complete feats chart.

VII. The character gets 3 Fate Points (described on p68).

VIII. Decide if character follows a code of honour, such as the Barbaric Code of Honour (p71-72) or the Civilized Code of Honour (p73). This grants a +3 to Will saving throws (+6 if vs Corruption), and a +2 Reputation.

IX. Choose up to three allegiances (described on p74), listed in order from most to least important: person or group, organization, religion. Allegiances grant a +2 circumstance bonus on Charisma-based skill checks towards someone with the same allegiance.

X. A character’s initial Reputation is equal to 1+[Charisma modifier], +2 if the character has a Code of Honour.

XI. Characters may choose a starting kit (from p70) or they can elect to purchase equipment with a starting budget determined by class (shown on p70). If they elect to purchase equipment, any unspent money from the equipment budget is lost. The character then begins with 1d6-2 silver pieces.

XII. Bookkeeping begins with the player completing their character sheet, particularly:
- Abilities: Note modifiers for ability scores on saving throws, parry/dodge values, initiative, attack bonuses, skills, etc.
- Skills: Total modifiers from attributes and skill ranks (plus any bonuses from race or class).
- Equipment: List attributes for equipment, weapons, armour, etc. and note modifiers from weight.
Very nice. As many characters as all of us gamers have made over the years it's still nice to see a detailed list of steps. I think some of the companies assume everyone knows how to make a character and tends to leave things like this out. Cool and thanks.
Excellent resource! Thank you!

I put it into a PDF people can download if they like. JD gets credit at the top.

Edit: This is now the one-page PDF Jason Durall put together from his outline here.
I've also added this to my website, and credited Jason as well. My players will find it very useful! :)
Thanks for the summary. It makes it a lot easier to get several player characters generated at one time.
Here's my streamlined version of character creation.

Use what's in the books as guidelines, but go ahead and make whatever character that you want to play.

After all, once you add in the zillions of third-party d20 books out there, that's pretty much what you have. On the other hand, I'm extremely strict about acquiring additional skills, feats, class levels, and so on. Once the game begins, you need to either do something or be exposed to it in some way to pick it up when you go up a level. I have to admit that the motivation for this came from the Conan stories, where Conan's skills definitely reflect the adventures that he's been through.
Yuan-Ti said:
Excellent resource! Thank you!

I put it into a PDF people can download if they like. JD gets credit at the top.

Edit: This is now the one-page PDF Jason Duvall put together from his outline here.

Note, there are 2 typos on this sheet, 1 negligible, 1 substantive (from seeing the text in the post above, it is clear they are carry-overs):
1. Section III, end of first sentence, has a dangling closed parenthesis symbol.
2. Section XI, near end of text, it says 1d6-2 silver pieces to start with, but the book says 2d6-2.

Great sheet though!