2.6 Finishing Touches


By now, you should have a pretty good idea how your character will end up. There are just a few more decisions before your PC is done.

Exchanging Attribute Points:

At this point, it is possible to raise a Prime by lowering another Attribute. This like like practicing hard to improve your innate abilities, but at the cost of neglecting other aspects of your character.

The rules for adjusting Attributes are:

  • You can raise a Prime Attribute (and only a Prime) by one (1) point for every two (2) points another Attribute goes down.
  • You can’t lower one Prime to raise another (but you can raise more than one Prime).
  • You can’t raise or lower Luck at all (even if you’ve selected it as a Prime).
  • The two points sacrificed must come from the same Attribute. You can’t split the cost between two different scores.
  • No score can be lowered below 9. If it is already 9 or less, it cannot be lowered.
  • No score can be raised over 17. If it is already 17 or higher, it cannot be raised.

If you want to exchange any Attribute scores, you must do so now. No changes can be made once you start using the character in play.

Note: A generous Game Master may also permit you to swap Attributes at this stage, as if you had arranged them differently to start. It is up to individual GMs to decide whether this is allowed.

Languages and Literacy:

Characters are automatically fluent in their mother tongue – Unislang in the case of your PC. For every Intellect bonus point, you can either learn to speak an additional language or become literate in all spoken languages.

Unislang is the common language of Scorched Earth. It is a degraded form of the Ancient tongue, and uses a similar (but not identical) alphabet.

Several other languages are also widespread. Raiders and ruin-dwellers favour a corrupt language known as Gutterspeak; while primitive communites speak various Tribal dialects (which vary by region). Unlike Unislang, Gutterspeak and Tribal dialects do not have a common written form.

Somewhat less common is the High Tongue, used by advanced societies and the technolgical elite. It shares the same alphabet as the Unislang, but is more closely related to Ancient. Characters fluent in the High Tongue may be able to decipher some Ancient; treat this like the savant’s ‘Cunning Linguist’ class ability (but only applies to Ancient).

Knowledge of the Ancient tongue is rare. You must be literate and know both Unislang and the High Tongue (its closest modern equivalents) before selecting Ancient as a bonus language.

Outfit the Character:

Each class description includes a list of starting gear. Instead of a using a monetary system, all items are priced in ‘Trade Units’ (TU) where 1 TU is roughly equivalent to one full day’s work. Refer to the following table to select your weapons and armour and buy additional equipment:

Go To: Basic Equipment

Note that as a starting character, you will not have access to expensive items (such as heavy armour and exotic weapons), so they are not listed on these tables.

Any leftover TUs remaining after purchasing equipment are assumed to be in the form of difficult-to-carry trade goods stored at the character’s home.

Add up the Numbers:

If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to figure out your Attribute check modifiers, Attack bonus, Defense Class, hit points, and Luck Points. Then double-check the math.

Now that everything is done, your character is ready to adventure!

Hopeless Characters:

If your mutant has sucky perks and punishing flaws, you might believe that the PC is hopeless and that you should get to roll over. You can roll over – as soon as this character is dead and you’re generating a new one. So rush to the fore in combat. Even if your character is so misbegotten that you never lay a single point of damage on the enemy, you’ll at least suck up some attacks that would otherwise hurt the characters that count. Pretty soon, you’re on character number two.

It is improper, however, to roll up your next character first and use that to help you decide whether to kamikaze your current PC.

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