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Sengoku uses the Fuzion system to make characters... and while the background is lovely researched and presented, the character creation chaper is a mess. After three readings I only come to two conclusions:

First: I seem to have to keep track of CP and OP individually, the first buys only statistics, the other seems to be the pool for everything else.

Second: There is no short list and the whole chargen has no red-twine1 to lead somebody along easily.

So, I need help:

What steps are actually essential to chargen, and in what order are they to be done? Page references to the revised edition would be best.

1 - like the one Ariadne gave to Theseus

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    \$\begingroup\$ What does "is no red-twine to stick to" mean? That feels like an idiom that doesn't translate properly into English. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jul 31 '17 at 3:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie It's a reference to the twine Ariadne gave to Theseus to lead him through the labyrinth - like... a clear indicator how to reach somewhere. If you know an idiom that would transmit that better, feel free to change it. \$\endgroup\$ – Trish Jul 31 '17 at 6:38
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While Sengoku has a Lifepath that will guide you in selecting skills, disadvantages, et multiple cetera, the Fuzion system itself is a pure point build system. You may spend points in any order as long as the totals at the end come in at or below your GM's set power level.

The Lifepath (p. 96) generates genre-appropriate personalities, and guides you through the steps. However, the Lifepath system assumes you're well versed in Fuzion character creation. Here's a much more succinct explanation that I use when teaching new players Fuzion.

Step 0: Concept and Power Level. Get an idea for your character; the templates on p. 123-138 are a good starting point. Also, ask your GM what power level you are using (p. 102); this will give you your CP and OP budgets for chargen, and your maximum stat and skill.

Step 1: Buy Characteristics (p. 103): Sengoku uses 13 attributes - Fuzion's standard 10, plus three spiritual attributes. One CP pays for one point in an attribute; you must pay at least 1, and the maximum depends on the power level your GM set. I strongly recommend having no attribute below 3 barring a notable handicap.

If you do not spend all your CP at this point, you may convert them to OP at a 1 to 5 ratio (p. 111). If you want a few extra CP, you may buy extra CP with your GM's permission at the cost of 5 OP each (p. 105). This is the last time you will use CP.

Step 2: Calculate Derived Characteristics (p. 104): In addition to the usual Fuzion derived characteristics, Sengoku adds derived characteristics for their custom honor mechanics.

Step 3: Take your Caste (p. 111): This gives you a smattering of skills for your caste, complications that suit your character's upbringing, and your basic equipment. Each caste has a value in brackets; Kuge costs 5 OP, Buke and Hinin are effectively disadvantages that give you OP, and Bonge is worth exactly 0 OP.

Step 4: Take Complications (p. 105-110): The value of complications vary based on their severity and your Caste. Each complication counts as negative OP, which effectively gives you more to spend. You may take up to 50 points in Complications (p. 111), I personally suggest taking no more than half your starting OP and no more than eight complications even if you're allowed to take more.

You should now have your final OP total to spend: base OP, minus Caste cost, plus points earned from Complications. You'll use this for the rest of chargen.

Step 4: Take Perks (p. 115-117): Because perks require GM calls for impact, and a powerful high-impact perk can be the most expensive thing on your character sheet, I strongly recommend budgeting in Perks before spending any other OP.

If you're going to buy expensive equipment later (full samurai armor, katana, etc), make certain to take Wealth during this step. Being broke doesn't buy much!

Step 5: Take Talents (p. 112-113): Talents give you small, specific advantages that don't count as skills. Generally, Talents cost 3OP, but specific talents may cost more.

Step 6: Consider Okuden and Ki Powers (p. 114-115): If permitted in your campaign, Okuden and Ki Powers should be budgeted for now. Unlike regular talents, Okuden and Ki Powers have skill requirements. Okuden require the related weapon skill at level 5 or more; Ki Powers require the Focus Ki skill.

Step 7: Note Everyman Skills (p. 117): Check with your GM to see if they have customized the Everyman Skill list. You gain a skill of +2 for free in every Everyman Skill, without spending any OP.

Step 8: Buy Skills (p. 118): All skills in Sengoku cost 1 OP per +1. If you want more detail on any skill, check the full description on p. 140. If you took any Okuden or Ki Powers, make certain you're buying at least the minimum level of that talent's prerequisite skill. The maximum level you can take in a skill is determined by your power level from step 0.

Step 9: Buy Equipment: Any remaining OP, after skills, talents, and perks, become spending cash. Use the table on p. 117 to determine how many coins each OP gets you; use the footnote on that table and your caste to determine what type of coin you get. You can purchase gear from p. 160-192.


Example chargen, using Lifepath and point build, is on p. 156-157.

I strongly recommend using the Templates chargen rules (p. 122 for rules, p. 123-138 for templates) for your first few games, if only because the Template chargen rules fits in a single page.

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