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Character Creation 101

Coming Up With A Character Concept


There are many methods to create a character concept; think about what feels right for you. Your character needs to at the very least have a character sheet with skills, a name, and a background.


Keep in mind that Underworld LARP is a cooperative game. While lone wolf brooding characters are popular in literature or entertainment, they don't work quite as well in a LARP setting. You can absolutely play an antagonistic character but try to come up with a reason to interact with other players.


For some, before choosing things like a race and class it can be beneficial to come up with a general idea of the character they’d like to play. Try not to make your background too detailed or complex, because the real story happens once you arrive in Mournfall. The only thing you can't add to your backstory is anything that would give you an in-game advantage like ties to nobility, titles, or a bandit gang at your beck and call.



Here are a few questions about their background you can ask yourself when creating a character:


  • Where is my character from?

  • Why is my character here?

  • What was my character doing before this point?

  • What experiences has my character had that made them into the person they are today?


Answers to the previous questions might inform the answers to these questions about their personality:


  • How does my character get along with others?

  • Do they have any quirks or personality flaws?

  • What does my character like or dislike?

  • What does my character do in their spare time?

  • What are their thoughts on topics like laws, religion, wealth, power, and society?

  • What type of clothing would my character wear?


For others, they might prefer to pick one defining characteristic about their character, such as their race, class, skills or even a piece of clothing or accessory and create a story around those elements.


The Underworld LARP wiki has a wealth of lore about the world’s people and setting and can help to flesh out details about a character. The setting itself could even be a source of inspiration for character creation. Your character needs a reason to be here, or you wouldn’t be playing them here at all, and it’s entirely possible to create a character based on their journey or life spent in the area.


The frontier settlement of Mournfall.
The frontier settlement of Mournfall.

Mournfall is a small settlement in the far reaches of the frozen north. It is an inhospitable landscape, but a small portion of the land is referred to as The Oasis. This region somehow maintains fairly mild temperatures in comparison to the rest of the north. The Oasis is constantly surrounded by a thick fog that suppresses magic and is rumored to be home to a multitude of terrible creatures. Mystery surrounds the Oasis and its nature. 


Established by a mercenary group escorting a band of adventurers from the south, Mournfall has been the Empire’s foothold in the north for the past few years. The settlement is now home to a variety of groups, all with their own motivations and aspirations.


To enter the oasis, some take their chances through the fog, some even attempt to use the Deep Dwarven tunnels beneath the earth, but most would use the Skein Gate, a portal connecting a series of other portals scattered across Arthos.


Surrounding the Oasis are a few notable locations. On the southern coast, the dwarven port city of Humblebrag welcomes traders and travelers alike. To the north, the Ice Elven stronghold of the Coldspear tribe emerges from their icy prison after the attack from the white dragon, Zsiera. Across the mountains to the east lies the ruined city of Nightfrost, now inhabited by bands of thieves and outlaws. And, beneath its halls, the white dragon herself.


Rumors travel quickly in Arthos. Your character may have heard whispers of the settlement in the north in any number of ways.


Whispers hang low in a Humblebrag tavern. "Them no good adventurers dug up the deep ones."
Sailors exchange tales in a southern port town. “Did you hear the Berphauntian Mercantile refuse to send any more traders up to Mournfall after the last bunch disappeared?”
A concerned mother warns her son as he leaves the village to hunt. “The ground rumbled last fall, be careful out there. There are hidden ravines and sinkholes all over the tundra now, you could fall in and die. It seems to get worse the closer you get to the oasis.”
A gnome readies his traveling pack in a Duvainian tavern. An elf in a rangering hat is heading out the door. “Wait, sir! Please slow down a moment for these short legs. I heard there are riches and wonders where you’re headed up north. Can I accompany you for a while?” The elf sweeps his hat off his head, and holds the door open for the gnome.

Pick Your Race


When reading through a rulebook race entry, there are a few key things to take note of.


"Wood Fae" in the Underworld Larp Core Rulebook.
"Wood Fae" in the Underworld Larp Core Rulebook.

First, the race’s name. In the example photo the race is “Wood Fae”. Then the race’s average life span and language are listed. Language here simply notes a language that players can use as a real life substitute for a fantasy Wood Fae language. In this case, if a player were to speak Gaelic during an event, they are considered to be speaking the Wood Fae native language. Likewise, if a player were to speak French they would be speaking the High Elven native tongue. It is not a requirement for a player to speak that race’s language to play it. It is simply added flavor for those who do.


The next point of interest is the Racial Characteristics line. This describes aesthetic features that must be achieved by the player to play that race at an Underworld event. Players who would like to play a Wood Fae MUST have “Long pointed ears, and small horns that grow out of their foreheads”, whether it be by prosthetics or other means.


Each race receives 2 racial advantages. The first advantage is always automatic, meaning it is a skill that is active on your character from the moment you create it. And the second is always purchased, meaning you must use CP (Character Points) to unlock its use. Purchased advantages always cost 50 CP.


In a similar way to automatic advantages, disadvantages are also automatic. Your character will have their race’s disadvantage active from the moment it gets created.


What is CP?


The character level / character point chart from the Underworld Larp Core Rulebook.
The character level / character point chart from the Underworld Larp Core Rulebook.

CP or Character Points are the resource you use to level up your character to purchase new skills. Every event you attend will award you 1 blanket of CP (or 2 depending on the event) that you can apply to your character. 


A blanket is worth different amounts of CP depending on the level of the character it is applied to. This chart denotes the amount of total CP needed to reach a particular level and how much CP each blanket is worth to a character of that level.


To learn how to apply your blankets, check out this logistics guide.


Pick Your Class


One of the most important things to remember is that the class’ name should not dictate how you want to play your character. A mercenary can be roleplayed as a master alchemist and doctor, and a mage can be roleplayed as a battlefield warrior with a maul.


"Mercenary" in the Underworld Larp Core Rulebook.
"Mercenary" in the Underworld Larp Core Rulebook.

When looking at a class in the rulebook there are a few things to look for. The first is the class’ category and whether they are in the Warrior, Rogue or Scholar group. This determines your character’s HP (health points). A warrior’s HP will increase at a much faster rate than a scholar’s. Next is the class name itself. In this example we are using the Mercenary class in the Warriors category. A short class description is available for each one but don’t feel you need to follow it. It is only for flavor purposes.


Each class comes with their own set of 4 “Occupational” skills. These skills require your character to be at a certain level to be available for purchase. For example, the Mercenary’s Hamstring skill has “Occupation at 3rd Level'' listed as a pre-requisite. This means that only a Mercenary of 3rd level or higher can purchase this skill. For every occupational skill after the first, the previous occupational skill is also listed as a pre-requisite. This means that a Mercenary who wishes to purchase the Head-Butt skill must be level 6 or higher and have purchased the Hamstring skill at least once, and so on.


The cost of purchasing occupational skills is always 30 CP for the level 3 skill, 60 CP for the level 6 skill, 90 CP for the level 9 skill and 120 CP for the level 12 skill.


Choose Your Skills


Underworld’s skill chart may be confusing to look at at first glance but is actually fairly simple to use. At the top left of the chart is the type of skills in that particular section of the chart. In the case of the example chart below, we’re looking at Warrior Skills. Under that are the names of skills available to purchase in that section. 


In the center are each of the Class Categories and below them are the initial of each class in that category. For example, the Rogue category has the letters N, A and W for Nightblade, Assassin and Wytch Hunter respectively. And under each letter are the CP costs for each skill. Note that even Rogue and Scholar classes have skill costs associated with Warrior Skills. This is because any class can purchase any non-racial and non-occupational skill. For example, a Wytch Hunter looking to purchase the skill Florentine can do so and would have to spend 70 CP. 


Finally, to the right are Prerequisite skills to purchase particular skills. Which means our Wytch Hunter who would like to purchase the skill Florentine would have to have already purchased the skill Ambidexterity in order for Florentine to be available to them.


How to read the skill chart.
How to read the skill chart.

See the rest of the table in the Underworld LARP Core Rulebook on page 51.


Something to consider when creating your character is how skills and class interact. While any class can purchase any skill, each class is innately “better” at certain skills than others. What that means for you as you build your character is that depending on which class you choose, different skills will cost more (or less!) CP to purchase. For example, mercenaries and rangers pay 65 CP per level of blacksmithing, representing the lowest cost of all classes for blacksmithing, whereas mages pay 110 CP per level for the same skill. This is not to say you couldn’t choose to become a blacksmithing mage - it just means you will be spreading your CP thin, and it may take you longer to get all the skills you want.


Demonstrating the skill cost difference.
Demonstrating the skill cost difference.

Okay, but ALL these skills are cool! How do I choose?! For your first game, pick skills that appeal to you based on their utility to you. It may also be beneficial to choose skills that are not limited by a “per day” basis or can be used “at will”. Generally, this information is available at the end of a skill’s description. Don’t be afraid of having to commit to any skills during your first event - you’ll have the opportunity to change everything about your character between your first and second game.


It can be hard to know which skills will be the most useful to your character in the future, so one strategy is to find players during your first game who use the skills you’re interested in, and ask them about those skills. 


In Mournfall there are often characters who have mastered individual skills, and they will be happy to chat with you about them! You can observe how they play, what storylines they’ve been pulled into because of their skills, and compare that to your desired play style. For example, if reading mysticism makes you jump out of your chair and yell “WICKED-AWESOME YO!!”, then take that skill!! If you’re on the fence, get to your first game and find the other mystics. Join them on their mysticism-related quests, see how the higher level characters use the advanced levels of mysticism, and see if that’s a play-style you’re interested in!


Keep in mind that Underworld is built in a way that encourages player interaction. It is impossible for any one character to master everything. You will need to rely on others who have mastered the skills you haven’t, and they will rely on yours as well.


Full skill descriptions are available in the Core Rulebook.


How Purchasing Magic Works


If you’ve chosen to use magic, the system can seem a bit overwhelming at first. To start, we’ll explain some of the terms used in the skill cost chart.


  • Sphere : A sphere of magic is the type of magic. The core rulebook includes 5 spheres to choose from; Healing, Elemental, Nature, Protection and Psionic.

  • Circle : A circle is the level of a particular spell. Spells range from 1st circle (level 1) to 9th circle (level 9).

  • Slot : A spell slot is a resource used to memorize and cast spells. Each slot is assigned a specific level and is expended when the player casts the spell memorized in that slot.


When purchasing skills related to magic there are many pre-requisites to consider. Generally, the natural progression when purchasing magic skills is Read & Write > Read Magic > Sphere of Magic: 1st > Spell Slot: 1st Circle. This progression gets you your very first spell slot.


Purchasing any subsequent spell slots must be done in a certain order. Players often refer to their collection of spell slots as a “pyramid” because of the way slots must be purchased.


The basics are:


  • In order to open up a spell slot for purchase, a character must have already purchased two spell slots from the level below it.

  • A second spell slot of the same level would require the character to have purchased three spell slots of the level below it.

  • If a character has two more spell slots at a certain level than they have at the next level up, they must next purchase a spell slot of the higher level.

  • You may not exceed 5 spell slots wide, on any circle (level) until your entire pyramid is full. This means 5 spell slots wide up to your 9th circle.


This may sound complicated, but in essence it can be simplified into the example pyramid seen here. This character has purchased a total of 8 spell slots up to the 3rd circle (level 3). The number displayed on each spell slot is the order in which they were purchased.


To continue building this pyramid the character would next purchase a second 3rd circle spell slot, and then their first 4th circle spell slot.


Once they purchase their fifth 1st circle spell slot, they no longer need to buy slots of that circle since they’ve reached the maximum of 5 slots in a single circle.


It is highly recommended that players who choose to cast magic read through the Magic section of the Core Rulebook.


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