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The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Playing OVERLIGHT RPG – Character Building

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Playing OVERLIGHT RPG – Character Building

The world of Overlight is chock full of bright colors, weird creatures, and kaleidoscopic fantasy. We’ve been having a blast exploring the world in our Overlight: Fractured Paradox series and hope that gamers have been playing the game and creating their own adventure across the different shards of the universe. We’re posting a series of articles to help get you starte. Previously we covered dice & tests, and in this article, we’ll go over how to make a character. (If you haven’t read this article where we explore the universe of Overlight, you’ll want to start there first.)

Character Concept

Anyone reading our Overlight articles might already have an idea for a concept in mind when sitting down to make a character. Staring at a blank character sheet can be a little intimidating, so a flip through the book can help generate some ideas too. A player might key to a specific piece of artwork or might find a power or background that sparks something. The breakdown of the Virtues on page 79 are also a good central place to start. Choose which Virtue will be the character’s strong point and build out from that.

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Folk

Each of the playable Folk comes with a Virtue associated with their people. These elements can play into a standard type of character, like a Pyroi warrior or a Teryxian historian.  The background of a people are not stringent classes, however, and a moment to consider what makes a character unique can help players make interesting choices as they build their characters. Perhaps the historian loves ancient arms and armor and has read up on forgotten fighting techniques (even if they’ve never used them in the field) or the Pyroi warrior is searching for her lost love that everyone else believes is dead. These hooks might come at the concept stage, at this stage or even be sparked by something in a later stage.

Background

Every folk has seven backgrounds that tie into the common occupations and conceptions of their culture. Overlight strives to make each one interesting and playable, but notice that some of them have access to Gifts. Gifts offer a bit of extra mechanics unique to a character and they are only unlockable at character creation. If you are sold on a concept at this point, choose a background with a Gift is a wise choice. Players wishing to discover their character during play might do better choosing a background that isn’t quite as locked in.

Core Virtue

What makes the Skyborn unique are their dual Virtues. Each possesses the Virtue associated with their Folk but also another one that awakened their Chroma. This choice determines which powers the character has access to but it also is an interesting character choice. How does someone embodying Might also value Compassion? How would a creature known for Wisdom tame their ambition and Will? The tension or alignment of these virtues give a character depth and also suggest potential relationships within the heroes. Two characters who value Logic might get into spirited debates or perhaps attended the same institution of learning, for example.

overlight-warrior

Purchase Abilities

Characters are given points to increase abilities and purchase additional Chroma beyond the first at this point. These points also form the initial Spirit pool, so leaving some leftover (between 5 and 10) is a good idea.  Characters can increase their skills, Virtues and buy additional Chroma with these points. It can be a little intimidating to walk into a point build without any ideas on what to spend them on. If nothing’s calling out from the get-go, spend at least 10 points in each of those sections. That means, on average, a character can upgrade one skill to a d10, one to a d8 and one to a d6. They also can upgrade a virtue to a d10 and a d8 (likely their core virtue). And, finally, they would choose two more Chroma powers. Doing that method costs 29 out of the 45 points. If the player does one more thing, like another power or another high skill bump, that puts their points right in the proper range.

Choose Your Name

This is the hardest part of character creation; a proper name! The book has plenty of suggestions but a quick search for baby names or words in other languages can prove endless inspiration!

More gaming goodness!

WATCH OVERLIGHT: FRACTURED PARADOX

Join the adventure and watch Overlight: Fractured Paradox Fridays at 4PM PST on https://twitch.tv/geekandsundry and https://www.projectalpha.com. New Alpha members receive a 30-day free trial.

Images Credits: Kwanchai Moriya, Renegade Game Studios

Rob Wieland is an author, game designer and professional nerd. He’s worked on dozens of different tabletop games ranging from Star Wars and Firefly to his own creations like CAMELOT Trigger. He can be hired as a professional Dungeon Master for in-person or remote games. His Twitter is here. You can watch him livestream RPGs with the Theatre of the Mind Players here. His meat body can be found in scenic Milwaukee, WI.

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