Starting Characters

Starting Characters

Return to The Shattered Earth is a low powered game of Dark Fantasy and Horror. The characters that the player will portray will not begin as heroes, but instead they will begin as children (Literally or figuratively) and work to becoming heroes. To Illustrate this each starting character will begin below 1^st^ level. This phantom 0^th^ level is not touched on in the main books and so we will have to develop rules for it below.


A player will choose their characters race. No race with a “level adjustment” may be selected.


Each player will begin by creating their characters attributes. This will be done using the “Point Buy” system outlined in the Dungeon Master’s Guide on Page 169.

Ability Score Point Costs
Ability Score Point Cost
9 1
10 2
11 3
12 4
13 5
14 6
15 8
16 10
17 13
18 16

Each Character will begin with 15 points with which to customize thier character. This number will increase as the campaign progresses until the PC’s reach 1^st^ level at which point attribute scores will be fixed per the rules presented in the Players Hand Book 3.5

Hit Dice

Each Character begins with 1d4 Hit Dice. They then record starting Vitality and Wounds. A starting characters vitality is 4 + con mod + 1d4. A characters Starting Wounds is equal to their Constitution Score.

Sanity / Sanity Resistance

  • A characters Starting Sanity is 5 times their Wisdom score
  • A characters Starting Sanity Resistance is their Lvl +1

Starting Feats

A new Human character may select 1 feat for being human. Non-human starting characters will not have a feat to select.


Each new character begins the game with either a single simple weapon proficiency, or +3 skill points.


A new character may select an alignment. Alignments confer special bonuses to new characters

Alignment Table
Lawful Good Bravery: (+2/lvl) to Sanity resistance1
neutral Balanced Soul: Heal(Lvl) sanity/Hour of rest
evil Scheming Mind: Knowledge (Forbidden Lore) does not reduce maximum sanity
Neutral Good Honest Folk: loose 6 less sanity from monster/creature encounters
True Rational Mind: loose no sanity from Arcane spell casting
Evil Pragmatism: (+2/Lvl)Sanity Resistance1
Chaotic Good Free Spirit: Loose no sanity from Arcane spell casting
Neutral Wild Mind: (+2/lvl) to Sanity resistance1
Evil2 Force of Chaos: The Character remains a PC even if their sanity drops below -10

1 This confers a +2 bonus at 0^th^ lvl. that does not increase until 2^nd^ lvl

2 Chaotic Evil player characters are not allowed in this campaign


Each character begins with half their Intelligence Score in skill points. They may have maximum ranks of 2 (for cross and in class skills) and are considered to have most skills “in Class”. See the chart below for what skills are considered in/ cross class. Skills that are Cross class are those that take considerable training or training that is hard to find as peasant children.

In Class Appraise
Escape Artist
Gather Information
Knowledge (Local)
Knowledge (Nature)
Knowledge (History)
Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty)
Knowledge (Religion)
Move Silently
Use Rope
Cross Class Decipher Script
Disable Device
Handle Animal
Knowledge (Arcana)
Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering)
Knowledge (Dungeoneering)
Knowledge (The Planes)
Knowledge (Forbidden Lore) 1
Open Lock
Use Magic Device

1 PC’s with any ranks in forbidden lore subtract those ranks from their beginning sanity rating and can never have a maximum sanity rating of more than (99 – (Ranks in the skill)).


Each PC will have a single save at +1. The Save that is determined by their worst attribute among Wisdom, Dexterity, and Constitution. If there is a Tie among all three then select which gets the save. ex. Joe has a Wis of 10 a Con of 12 and a Dex of 8. His Save would be allotted to his Reflexes to counteract the poor Dex.

Starting Equipment

Each PC will start with 1d8 gp. with which to buy items and equipment.

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Starting Characters

Tales of the Shattered Earth Bgrinslade