The Chapel Rock Campaign
The rules below apply to all characters: magi, companions, and grogs. Grogs generally don’t get statted out unless they are Specialists.
All characters receive 7 points to purchase Attributes, which each start at 0. 1 point buys +1, 3 points buys +2, and 6 points buys +3. Negative values return the same number of points. It is possible to raise Attributes even higher with Virtues.
Strength determines load and is useful for fighters and laborers.
Stamina determines soak and is needed for casting. Magi should not take a negative Stamina without good reason.
Dexterity determines Finesse and Attack totals.
Quickness determines initiative, fast-cast defenses, and Defense totals.
Intelligence determines laboratory totals. Magi should have at least +1, unless there is good reason.
Perception determines defense in Certamen and may be required for fast-cast defenses.
Communication determines study totals when teaching or writing.
Presence is useful for Mystagogues.
Attributes cannot be raised directly after character creation, although they may drop with aging. Magic can temporarily raise an attribute (permanently, with Warping or a custom spell) and it’s possible for a Mystery Cult initiation to grant additional Attribute points, I suppose.
Virtues and Flaws
A comprehensive list of these can be found here
There are several rules governing these. First and foremost, they must balance — Major Virtues and Flaws are 3 points, Minor are 1, and no more than 10 points total may be taken. Grogs get three points.
All characters must have one (and only one) Social Status.
Characters cannot take more than 5 Minor Flaws.
Magi must have one Hermetic Flaw.
Magi cannot have more than one Major Hermetic Virtue.
Characters cannot have more than one Major Personality Flaw, and should not take more than two Personality Flaws total. Grogs only get one, but man make it a Major flaw. They’re grogs!
No character can have more than one Story Flaw. However, this is to prevent that character from dominating the plot; you can have something be a part of your character without making it a Story Flaw. Story Flaws are things that are going to happen during games. Major Story Flaws are going to happen more frequently. Grogs don’t get story flaws; they’re background characters.
Characters may only have a single Magical Focus, whether Major or Minor. This is sometimes referred to as “the Tremere flaw”. If it really bugs you, let’s talk.
Virtues and Flaws can be gained after character creation. Story/Personality Flaws just happen. New Virtues are generally acquired through Mystery Cult initiation.
The formatting sucks, but this looks like a decent list of Abilities.
Total points for Abilities are determined by age. There are restrictions on which Abilities can be purchased. Anyone can take General Abilities, but you need a Virtue to gain Martial or Academic Abilities. Supernatural Abilities also require a Virtue, but the Virtue generally only unlocks a single Ability, not the entire class. Arcane Abilities are generally unavailable until your Apprenticeship. Abilities can be raised as high as 5 (going higher is age-restricted and not worth getting into).
You’ll choose a “childhood package” that determines what Abilites you gain for your first five years of life. After that, you can continue choosing job packages (if you like lifepath creation) or you can just spend the XP normally. You get 15 experience per year. Most characters enter their apprenticeship somewhere between 7 and 20.
Your Apprenticeship gives you additional experience, some of which is going to be spent for you. During this time you can purchase any Abilities regardless of Virtues. You should have Artes Liberales 1 and Latin 5 at the end of it; this will let you read and copy Hermetic texts, which you probably spend a good chunk of that 15 years doing. You should start with Parma Magica 1 and cannot start with it higher than 1; it’s the last thing you’re taught. You may want to take Penetration or Finesse if you’re planning on thwomping people with magic. You’ll have 240 experience, which is split between Arts and Abilities. 120/120 isn’t a bad default split but YMMV. You also get 120 levels of spells but you need to be able to cast the spell — that is, the level can’t be higher than your Form + Technique + Intelligence + 3 (default aura).
Gaining new Abilities after character creation is the main thrust of advancement, as described under Experience.
Every character gets 3 Personality Traits, rated from +3 to -3. There isn’t really a set list of these, although there are plenty of examples. Brave +3 is the same as Cowardly -3, it’s just a question of how you want to think of the character.
These are mostly a shorthand to remind you of how to play the character, since you’ll be switching back and forth a bit. If you’re not sure how your character would act in a given situation, you can use a Personality trait to help you decide, or even make a roll: generally, 6 or better means you will act according to the trait.
A few of them have minor game effects, like “neat” giving you a bonus to keeping your lab in good order. Any character that works for the covenant (basically anyone except the magi) should have a Loyalty score. A low loyalty doesn’t necessarily mean you’re about to take up arms against the magi; it might just mean you’re really surly and talk about them behind their backs. Characters who might see combat (the turb) should have a Brave score. This can be negative, or even 0, but it should still be recorded because it’ll come up.
You only start with a Reputation if you have a Virtue or Flaw that gives you one. In game if you take an action that works with a Reptuation, even one you don’t have yet, you gain experience in it that advances like an Ability. Reputations have a descriptor (“Gifted Writer”), a scope (Academic; other examples would be Hermetic, noble, or a certain area), and a value (+3). If you’re interacting with someone that falls within the scope, you can roll your reputation; a success generally means they’ve heard of you and will react accordingly. The ease factor is determined by how far away from your base you are; people in your Tribunal are more likely to know your Hermetic reputation than someone from Durenmar.