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Character Creation

After logging into the game for the first time, you will be taken directly to the character creation screen. It will look something like this:

As you can see, there's three steps to creating your character (plus two optional ones), which can be done in any order:

  • Choose a unique name
  • Choose a species, which primarily determines your stats and starting language
  • Prioritize your stats from highest to lowest
  • (Optional) Choose a cosmetic skin
  • (Optional) Select a balanced list of traits

The important choices are your species and stat priorities, because both affect your stats. Your stats are what determine how easy skills are to learn and use; each skill has one or two stats associated with it. You'll have a limited number of skill points, so you'll want to spend them on skills you have good stats for!

When making a character, you may want to refer to the skill documentation to figure out which skills you want to take in the future. While it's possible to make viable builds with all sorts of skill arrays, you'll generally want to pick one skill to take to 50, and three skills to take to 30. 50 is the cap for a skill, and 30-35 is a good level for being reliably competent at a skill.

You'll want around 15 in the stat associated with your main skill, and at least 10 in the others. For instance, let's say you want to make a scrounger who does a bit of cooking on the side, can pestle to help with the cooking, and can climb. Scrounging uses Luck, so we want that as close to 15 as we can. Both Cooking and Pestling use Craft, so we want that at least 10. And Climbing uses Dexterity, so we want that at 10 as well. We'd also like for our Perception to be 10 since having low Perception can make Scrounging more difficult.

Here's an example character sheet for such a scrounger. The Rabbit species has the highest Luck, so we definitely want to start with them. They also have very high Dexterity, which is useful for us; it means we don't need to prioritize Dexterity very high to reach 10 in it, allowing us to bump up other useful stats. We have no native Craft bonus, so that has to be at the top of our priorities to reach 10. It's not possible for us to have 15 Luck; the highest we can get is 14, so we'll settle for 13 in order to get Craft to 10. Perception is next so that that reaches 10 as well.

Intelligence is our fourth choice, because both Craft and Intelligence contribute to our starting Mind pool, and Scrounging uses Mind. Then Strength next, just so that we have a decent amount of carrying capacity and won't be easily slowed down by all the scrounge we're carrying. Then Fortitude, because we'll be roaming around a lot, and Fortitude affects how long our Stamina lasts when we're running. It may seem unimportant, but being able to run further will be really convenient for us. Next Dexterity in order to bring that to 10 as previously mentioned, and then Prowess because it's not an important stat to us, but it is at least more useful than Magic, which is almost totally useless if you aren't playing a magic user, and should always be prioritized last.

That's all we need to create a successful, well-rounded character (besides the skill books and training to do the stuff we plan to do, of course). It is a shame though that we couldn't get to 15 Luck and still have 10 in all our other stats. It would be really convenient if we could hit that magic number somehow...

You guessed it; that's what traits are for. Now, it should be emphasized we don't need to do this. We can stick with 13 Luck and still be quite good at what we do. Traits are a Faustian bargain, and taking too many of them can cripple your character in ways you didn't foresee. You will almost certainly regret min/maxing your character with traits to pump your relevant stats as high as possible.

But if you want to squeeze that extra bit of effectiveness out of your Scrounging and hit the recommended 15, you can take the Opportune trait and get there. (You may notice that this locks us out of the other Luck-increasing traits, as well as the ones which reduce Luck.) This costs 2 trait points. You may notice that you can't create the character anymore; you're not allowed to have positive trait points, so we have to select another trait to get us back down to zero. Unfortunately, while +2 Luck costs 2 points, if we wanted, say, -2 Prowess, we would only get 1 point back. You can see where this becomes a pyrrhic sacrifice.

Instead let's take... mmmm... how about Nonviolent? We didn't design this character around combat so it's pretty unlikely they're ever going to fight anyone, so that seems like it probably won't come back to bite us in the tail. But you should be very careful when making your first character or two about stacking on traits; after all, you don't fully understand the consequences of them yet, and losing progress remaking a character to dump a trait that ended up being more than you bargained for is a major bummer. Once you're confident in the systems, you can start making more complicated, trait-heavy builds, but for now, remember that negative traits come at a steep cost, and if it seems like you're getting a great deal, you're probably getting less than you're paying.

One trait that is recommended (albeit maybe not for a first character) is Nomad. This trait gives you 8 points to play with, but means that you do not receive a burrow certificate. This means that you have no guaranteed safe place to sleep and store your possessions, but also stimulates roleplay opportunities by giving you more reasons to interact with other players, since you need a place to stay. This stimulates the creation of businesses like inns! It's also a great trait for characters who don't intend to be leaders, since it allows you to tie yourself more strongly to a faction. You can even still run shops as a Nomad by putting your storefront in someone else's burrow.

That's pretty much it; you can keep reading if you'd like to get into the nitty-gritty of how to plan out character builds, or just hop into the basics of playing the game; the fact is that everyone's first character is going to be a mess, so you might as well keep it simple.

Creating Effective Characters

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The first thing to keep in mind when creating a character in Farwoods is that they cannot do everything. Because of the way stats and skills work, it is not possible for your character to be good at everything, or even to be good at most things. Whatever they are good at, other people who have chosen other stats and skills will likely depend on them to do those things. They might engage with this constructively, by trading and bartering with you in exchange for your skills, or destructively, by forcing you to do things or attacking you to steal your things. These interactions are what make up the living world of Farwoods! So you will need to decide on what niche your character will fill. To help you do that, let's talk about what exactly all of these stats do.

  • Strength: Strength affects your starting health and stamina pools, and your carry weight capacity. You can carry more than your capacity at a penalty to your speed, so don't worry if your Strength is low. Health determines how much damage you can take before you pass out and other players can loot you, and Stamina is the "physical resource" which is expended to use stamina-based skills, including skills which are not otherwise affected by your Strength score. Strength-based skills include some special combat maneuvers, training in hammers and swords, and all forms of smithing. Strength is typically the combat stat of larger creatures.
  • Prowess: Prowess affects your starting health pool as well, allowing smaller critters to go toe-to-toe with larger ones in a fight without getting swiftly knocked unconscious, and your encumbrance limit. Again, you can carry more than your encumbrance limit at a penalty to your speed, but having high Prowess will make you less reliant on containers to carry stuff around. Prowess-based skills include training in archery, daggers, shields, staves, and most remaining combat maneuvers. Prowess is typically the combat stat of smaller creatures, if they bother to acquire any combat prowess at all. If you don't plan on engaging in combat, you're better off avoiding Prowess in favor of stats that will let you escape from aggressors instead.
  • Fortitude: Fortitude affects your starting health and stamina pools. Fortitude-based skills include taking more damage without being knocked unconscious, damaging your attacker and their weapon, and using less stamina while running. While taking more Fortitude will increase your starting stamina pool, only Strength and Prowess will allow you to increase them. Increasing your health pool, however, is entirely determined by your Fortitude. Most combat characters will focus their specialization on increasing their Fortitude and either Strength or Prowess depending on what their racial bonus increases.
  • Dexterity: Dexterity slightly impacts your base movement and run speeds. Dexterity-based skills include climbing, sprinting even faster than your running speed, throwing small objects, and parrying attacks. Dexterity is a great stat for people who want to explore the map and don't want to get involved in combat. Dexterity-based characters can scrounge plentiful ammo in the form of nuts that deal small amounts of damage at range, allowing them to harass stronger critters that they can outpace. A small investment in Dexterity also allows a character to parry attacks, which is the only way to avoid them aside from using shields (which requires Prowess) and dodging attacks (which requires Luck, a non-combat stat combat characters may not want to invest in).
  • Perception: Perception is used for tracking and spotting, which are useful utility skills, especially for slower characters that might not be able to catch up with quicker ones but can doggedly pursue them. It can also be used to learn secret languages that allow you to communicate without being noticed by others. Perception is best used as a side stat or a dump stat, but you might regret being bad at it if you end up targeted by a thief!
  • Intelligence: Intelligence affects your starting mind pool. Mind is the "mental resource" expended to use mind-based skills, which again include those not governed by Intelligence. Intelligence-based skills include all unique racial languages, reading and writing, and a number of productive skills used for crafting, like mining, brewing, herbalism, medicine, et cetera. Intelligence is the core stat of crafters that want to focus on those skills, as well as intellectuals (as you can imagine), and mages, who need large mind pools.
  • Craft: Craft affects your starting mind pool. Its purpose is dually split between roguish characters and productive ones, representing cunning, artistry, and inventiveness that can be leveraged toward either pursuit. Craft-based skills include improvised crafting, cooking, and various types of carpentry and woodworking, as well as all roguish skills like hiding, disguising, impersonating, and pickpocketing, not to mention inflicting lasting injuries in combat. Craft is the core stat of many crafters, but also charlatans, blackguards, and crooks, and possibly also mages to increase their mind pool.
  • Luck: Luck has a tiny positive effect on most everything you do. Luck-based skills include scrounging, which is extremely important for self-sufficiency, mining and herbalism (which are merely educated forms of scrounging), and dodging. Despite there being few Luck-based skills, points invested in Luck are not wasted, because it will provide a small boost to all your other skills. Scroungers are the only characters that can introduce new raw materials into the economy, including food, so their skills are highly prized by all characters.
  • Magic: Magic is a unique skill with no use to anyone who is not going to invest heavily in magic. No races have any innate bonuses to Magic. You are highly discouraged from attempting to use Magic on your first playthrough, and unless you are making a mage, you should probably just put it on the bottom of your stat priorities and forget about it. If you are making a mage, you should make your Magic as high as you reasonably can without sacrificing Intelligence and Craft too much, since your Magic is worthless to you without having mental resources to use it with.

If you want more information on all of the skills available to you before you make your stat decisions, feel free to check out the documentation page on skills to see exactly what you're getting with your stats. You will want to ensure whatever you choose as your core stat(s) are at least 10, as improving them beyond 10, while certainly helpful, experiences diminishing returns compared to the dramatic difference in the 1 to 10 range. You can dump skills below 1 and even into the negatives, and this will affect you accordingly. Don't make such a choice lightly! It may be more trouble than it's worth.

As mentioned previously, each race has racial bonuses to certain stats which you can use to help build your character. You can use them to either fill out gaps, or define the core stats you build your character around. Bear in mind that specialized characters will be considerably more powerful than those that attempt to spread their competence around, so for your first character you should pick a niche and focus on it without worrying too much about other stats being low. Once you've played for a while, you'll have a much better idea how to spread your stat points around for maximum utility while sacrificing as little competence in your primary skills as possible. And of course, this is a roleplaying game, so stats and skills aren't everything. No matter what your numbers are, you can be useful and charming to other characters without using a single skill. That said, the racial bonuses for each race are listed below for your convenience.

  • Squirrel: +6 DEX, +2 INT, +2 PER, +1 CRFT. Squirrels make nimble explorers, and their stat spread allows them to specialize into either kind of crafting with ease. They don't necessarily make good fighters, however, preferring to keep their distance from foes.
  • Rabbit: +6 DEX, +4 LUCK, +2 PER, -1 STR. Much like squirrels, rabbits are innately good at navigating the map and escaping pursuers. They're also one of the only races with a bonus to Luck, so they are often picked for scrounging-focused characters.
  • Raccoon: +6 INT, +3 PER, +2 CRFT. Raccoons are well-suited to crafting roles and intellectual pursuits, and make capable sentries. Their high bonuses to mind-based stats also makes them a good pick for mages.
  • Badger: +8 STR, +4 FORT, -1 INT. Obviously, badgers are frequently the first choice for smiths and combat characters. They can be a force to be reckoned with, but on the flip side of the coin, they aren't particularly good at anything other than smithing and fighting.
  • Mouse: +8 INT, +2 DEX, +2 PROW, -1 STR. Mice are fragile, but extremely intelligent, making them popular choices for mage characters. Their innate bonuses to Prowess and Dexterity can also allow them to be built into surprisingly competent fighters. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
  • Rat: +4 PROW, +4 DEX, +2 INT, +1 CRFT. Rats have a balanced stat spread well-suited to combat or crafting. They are a versatile race that can be built to fill most niches.
  • Fox: +4 PROW, +4 FORT, +2 CRFT, +1 INT. Like rats, foxes also have a balanced stat spread, though theirs leans more towards cunning than intelligence. They have the highest Craft bonus of any race along with raccoons, but their stats are better suited to combat, making them an excellent pick for blackguards as well as crafters.
  • Weasel: +6 PROW, +4 DEX, +1 CRFT. Weasels have extremely high Prowess and Dexterity to back it up, making them natural, scrappy combat characters. They make good bandits, as well as crafters capable of defending themselves.
  • Marten: +4 STR, +3 INT, +2 DEX, +2 FORT. Martens are hardy and intelligent, mirroring weasels with the opposite stat spread but still filling a similar role. They are good fighters overall, and can even be reasonably specialized into mages.
  • Otter: +5 STR, +4 INT, +2 FORT. As large, intelligent creatures, otters make competent fighters, intellectuals, and mages.
  • Skunk: +6 PROW, +3 DEX, +1 PER, +1 FORT. Skunks are essentially blank slates, with good combat stats that can be traded into other ones with traits if necessary.
  • Hedgehog: +7 FORT, +3 PROW, +1 STR. Hedgehogs have unparalleled vitality, and can make themselves extremely punishing to fight. An excellent choice for anyone who wants to make themselves an unattractive target to bandits.

Don't let the racial bonuses fool you, though. While some races are better at certain things, anyone can do anything. The bonuses for stat prioritization are linear, from +9 to +1. This means that your first three stat priorities give +9, +8, and +7 respectively, more than the majority of races have as their largest racial bonus. This can be increased even further with traits, making it easy to bring two, even three stats above 10 with some trade-offs. You can plan your traits easily using the documentation page on traits. You might even benefit from bucking racial stereotypes by surprising other players with competencies they didn't expect from you! Your racial bonuses are a good foundation for your character, but how you prioritize stats and augment them with traits will matter more unless you are hardcore min/maxing.

Taking traits always comes at a cost, so you may not want to overdo it. Your stats don't need to be exactly where you want them when you start the game. You can increase them later by way of jewelry, a semi-permanent way of boosting specific stats up to 9 points. Jewelry can be costly and requires miners, smiths, jewelers, and green mages to create and maintain, but it allows you to reach competency in skills you'd otherwise struggle with without sacrificing flexibility. Bear in mind that jewelery will not work on your character if they take the Mundane trait!

To learn more about each race, visit the documentation page on races to find out what you get for choosing a race besides just stat bonuses. This ought to be enough for you to make informed decisions when creating your character, and minimize the need to remake them due to suboptimal builds. There is no limit to the number of characters you can create, and you are permitted to play multiple at once, so feel free to experiment and roleplay! You may also want to read the lore primer before you create a character to help you flesh out their backstory within the world.

Once you're done with your character, click Create to be logged into the game as them. From there, you're probably going to want to move on to the basics of playing the game.

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