PtU Character Creation by nuhman10



This section details how a player or Director goes about creating
a character for their Phenomena games. You'll need some sort of
writing instrument, a character sheet and possibly extra paper to
take notes and add extra detail about the character you are making.

In *Phenomena: The Unseen* you will be creating a normal, mundane
person who may or may not have any powers (called, generally,
'Phenomena' herein). While it is assumed that you will be creating
a character between the ages of 18 and 45, there are notes in each
generation stage to augment your character to be of a younger or older
age. Under the Alternate Age notes section, the ages are broken into
age groups. The age groups are: Toddler (1 to 5 years old), Kid
(6 to 9), Pre-teen (10 to 12), Teen (13 to 19) and 50+.

Horror is best effectively used when characters are not the most
powerful things in the universe. Even having the potential in being
a very equal power level takes away from the whole experience.
Therefore, when players think about what type of character they want
to play, they'll want to keep in mind that this type of game is about
average joes or janes, who have normal jobs, friends and family, that
have witnessed something that made them *believe* in the Unseen.
Irrefutable *evidence* that the world of the Unseen is all around


The character's portrait is the descriptive section of the character
sheet. The most important things a player needs to imagine about
his or her character is Name, Gender, (mundane) Occupation, Evidence
and Aspect. A character's Evidence describes what your character
has seen, heard or felt that made her believe in the Unseen. Your
character's Aspect reflects how she approaches the Unseen world.

Other demographic information will help   flesh out the character, make
them seem more real. What color eyes      does she have? What is her
hair style and color? Is she nubile or    rather plain? Does she like
rock n' roll or jazz? If she were an      animal, what would she be?
Etc., etc.


Unless you're playing a rather weird game, your character isn't a
Skeptic (a person who has no evidence or belief in the unreal).
Things could start out that way, but it wouldn't last too long in
a *Phenomena* game. Those who witness the Unseen gain a special
'sight' into the world around them and they sometimes are given some
sort of supernatural gift (a Phenomena power) in order for them to
cope or struggle against what seems like impossible odds.

But let's back up to the beginning: how did it all begin? Your
Evidence describes what your character has witnessed or experienced
that caused them to believe in the supernatural. There are several
kinds of Evidence and no two people of one kind has the exact same
experience. Each witness to the Unseen goes through a personal

When creating your character, read through the full descriptions of
each (if you need to) and then choose one from the list below. On
a separate sheet of paper you might want to: describe fully what
lead up to the event, how did the event trigger (or is that a
mystery?), what happened, how did it all end and whatever else you
feel adequetley describes ther event to your Director.

For detailed description of each of the Evidence below, see Chapter

Automatic Writing (including Slate Writing)
Demon Possession
Divine Reckoning
Life Reading
Miraculous Wonder
Near-Death Experience (NDE)
Orpheplasmic Experience (OPE)
Out-of-the-Body Experience (OBE)
Past-Life Experience (PLE)
Poltergeist Effects
Raudive Voice Experience (RVE)
Spirit Photography
Unexplained Horror
Vow of Contact Fulfillment (VCF)


If you are not a Skeptic, then what are you? What is it that developed
within your character when she came to believe? This is what your
character's Aspect describes. Beyond the Skeptic, you have five
general 'starting' directions for your character to go. Choose one
of the following for your character:

It must have been an accident. Why did this happen to you? I can
see but I am blind. What good is it knowing that horrors exist and
I can't do anything about it?

The Accidental: the character who is little more than a Skeptic.
They believe, but maybe they don't want to. Accidentals have no
powers. They get a few extra bonus points in character creation,
but, otherwise, they remain mostly mundane. The only 'special
gifts' that an Accidental receives is that they make pick up Omens
and Signs if they have the Occult Knowledge.

General Occupations: Jesus, are you kidding? If you can think of
it, the Accidentals are there. Even occupations that fall under
other Aspects have Accidnetals.

Special Note: Accidentals are the most common sort of person that
has aquired Evidence and knows of the Unseen. Directors should take
this into consideration while working out the details of their
storylines. A series full of Accidentals, to use movies as an
example, wouldn't be like characters in *Blade* or *A Nightmare on
Elmstreet 3: The Dream Warriors*. Accidentals are found most often
in movies like *The Silence of the Lambs*, *The Texas Chainsaw
Massacre* or *The X-Files* television show.

If the Director has a mix of Accidentals with the other Aspects, then
the Director may consider making it more balanced by giving the
Accidental something that the "more powerful" characters need or
want. For example, a ghost-busting team needs a lab to work and money
for their inventions. Why not make the Accidental the person with

The Divine

Some people were born to follow God, others were born to follow
several gods. The only real thing that The Divine have in relation
to each other is that they believe that their powers have come from
one or more Supreme Beings. Whether a Catholic Priest or a Wiccan
Priestess, they are Divine.

The Hunter

This type of person hunts the supernatural. The question "Why?" has
as many answers as there are reasons why a hunter hunts. The hunt
is important to these characters and they have different reasons.
You might not be able to 'kill' what is already dead, but the hunter
will come up with his own method of making them 'dead like'.

The Investigator

The Investigator is almost the complete opposite of the Hunter. The
Investigator wants to collect data and come up with scientific
answers to "Why?" They are in search of unravelling what they call
the Enigma. Of course, what they do is very dangerous. Curiousity,
after all, murdered the kitty.

The Psychic

The Psychic person are those people who have gained some sort of
psychic phenomenon. They have the power to use their minds beyond
mortal potential. While the Divine might be able to call upon
miracles, a psychic may attempt to lift objects with but a mere
thought from his own mind. This doesn't make them stronger, but it
is more direct.


Unique to the *Phenomena* game world are Essence traits. They are
the core fonts of energy that makes your character up. Charisma
defines your power in social situations. Psyche is the power and
fortitude of the mind and sanity. Vitality is your life force and
rules over your physical health as well.

Your starting Essence levels are determined by your Aspect. (See
below). You also have 8 points (1 point equalling a +1 level add)
to spend among them, boosting them to their starting potentials.

Accidental: Level 5 to one, Level 3 to one & Level 1 to one (player's
Divine: Charisma 5, Psyche 3 & Vitality 1
Hunter: Charisma 1, Psyche 3 & Vitality 5
Investigator: Charisma 3, Psyche 5 & Vitality 1
Psychic: Charisma 1, Psyche 5 & Vitality 3

After spending your points and recording your Essence levels, then
you record each of their scores. You get an Essence score by dividing
the level by 2 (round down, but the lowest number you can get is 1)
and adding 5 to this number (5 + Essence Level halved). In other
words: (Essence Level/2) + 5 = Essence Score.

The Psyche Essence also gives the character a level of Courage. All
characters begin with their Courage level equal to their Psyche Level
+ 3. After this sub-trait is derived from Psyche, it becomes it's
own. So if you decide to raise Courage up with experience, you must
by each add for Courage. You cannot raise Psyche and automatically
raise your Courage for free.

Alternate Ages: Toddlers through pre-teens have higher Vitality
ratings and people over 45 may begin to lose Vitality. Below are
the bonuses or penalties to starting character's Vitality if they
are of an alternate age. But, keep in mind, if a character passes
from one age group into another, they will lose that bonus (but that
bonus only). On the other side of the age scale, older people begin
to lose a Vitality point at age 50. For every 5 years over that,
they lose another one. When Vitality reaches zero (0), the elder
person dies; their life force is so weak that it refuses to keep the
soul tied to the body and expires.

Toddler: +4 Vitality (when a toddler becomes a kid, they get a -1
to this bonus)
Kid: +3 Vitality (when a kid becomes a pre-teen, they get a -1 to
this bonus)
Pre-Teen: +2 Vitality (when a pre-teen becomes a teen, they get a
-1 to this bonus)
Teen: +1 Vitality (when a teen becomes an adult, this bonus is lost)
50+: -1 Vitality every five years


Edges describe the advantages your character has that are particular
to that character. Not all characters have every Edge, but a few
that makes them more unique. You have 10 points (on a one for one
basis) to spend on Edge levels. Be careful to read an Edge before
taking it or assigning levels to it. Not all Edges go up to level
10 and others have special rules about what you can take and what
you can't.

Authentic Personality
Intimidating Appearance
Keen Sense
Mind Library
Reflective Personality

Alternate Ages: Age really changes Edges, their requirements and
etc. Some are not suitable for too young of children and others do
not make sense for older people. Be sure to really think about your
character's age when buying Edges. Below is also a point spendature
change for each alternate age group.

Toddler: 4 points (none physical)
Kid: 5 points
Pre-Teen: 6 points
Teen: 8 points
50+: 15 points


Attributes are the innate qualities that all mortals share in common.
Thus all attributes must be at least at level 1. Your max is usually
10 unless you have a special Edge or some supernatural powers to get
your maximum attribute level higher. Level 1 through 3 is considered
poor. 4 though 6 is considered average. 7 through 9 are considered
exceptional and level 10 is considered to be the epitome of the
human's max potential.

There are two types of attributes: Physical and Mental. Physical
attributes consist of Agility (coordination and speed), Endurance
(physical toughness) and Strength (physical prowess). Mental
attributes consist of Intellect (intelligence and logic), Intuition
(intuitive understanding and awareness of experiences) and
Perception (alertness and sense recognition).

Attributes start out at level 1. In addition, you have 25 points
to spend on Attributes on a one for one bases (ie. 1 point equals
1 Attribute level) to increase these traits how you wish.

Alternate Ages: Every age group has a different point spendature
for their Attributes. With age and experience, their innate
qualities become more defined...

Toddler:   5 points (no Physical Attributes over 3)
Kid: 10 points (no Physical Attributes over 4)
Pre-Teen: 15 points (no Physical Attributes over 6)
Teen: 20 points
50+: People at 50 or higher begin to lose their innate faculties.
For every five years, the Director should have them roll a Fate Die.
If they boon, nothing happens. If they fumble, they lose a level
from one of their Attributes and must roll on the aging table (toward
the end of this character creation section). If any other number
comes up, they just lose 1 level from an Attribute that the Director


Skills are learned abilities that your character puts to use often.
Some are talents while others are the character's occupational
specialities or hobbies. Knowledges are the spheres of learning
that your character knows and understands.

You have 45 points to spend on skills and knowledge traits (1 point
equals 1 skill or knowledge level). You may not have a level over
5 during character creation, which means you cannot master anything.
(A mastered Skill or Knowledge is considered to have a level over

In addition, with Knowledges, you can only master up to half the
number of Knowledges as your Intellect Attribute (rounding up).
Make sure you make a note of which Knowledges these are.

Once you have chosen all your Skills and Knowledges, take a look at
the list below and notice that each ability trait is based on an
Attribute. That is the Attribute (your base Attribute) that your
ability level is added to in order to get your ability scores. For
example, Larceny is located under the Agility Attribute. If you had
an Agility level of 6 and spent 4 points on Larceny to make it level
4, then you would add the Attribute level to the Skill level: Agility
of 6 + Larceny Skill of 4 = 10. Larceny, then, would have a level
4 and a score of 10. On the character sheet, you'd write it like
this: Larceny 4 (10). Wait until the rest of your character is
completely made before figuring out all of your scores. If you reach
the extra bonus points phase and raise an ability or Attribute level,
you'd have to refigure everything. Instead, wait until after
spending extra bonus points to do this work.

Alternate Ages: Age also vastly affects your Skills and Knowledges.
Below is you point spendatures for each age group as well as the do's
and don'ts that are affected.
Toddler: 10 points (no Physical Skills or Knowledges)
Kid: 15 points (no Knowledges)
Pre-Teen: 25 points (no Knowledge over 2)
Teen: 35 points (no Knowledge over 3)
50+: This age group doesn't really affect abilities that much.
Just note that if their Attributes go down, so too do their ability

Physical Skills

Agility Based

Piloting (Speciality)
     Aircraft (M)

Endurance Based

Withstand Poison

Strength Based


Mental Skills

Intuition Based

Animal Handling
Ceremony Performance

Perception Based


Social Skills (Intuition Based)

Fashion Sense
Social Protocol

Knowledge Traits (Intellect Based)

Anthroplogy (Specialities)
     Physical Anthropology
Occult (Specialities)
Professional Writing
Science (Specialities)
Philosophy (Specialities)


Everybody, except Accidentals, receive certain supernatural
abilities. These Phenomena come from an 'awakening' stage that
developes sometime during the character's Evidence. The
character's Aspect directs you through a particular style of
Phenomena, whether it's miraculous, psychic or special aptitudes.

Generally, beginning characters begin with two Phenomena powers
unless they are Accidentals. Accidentals do not receive Phenomena
due to their 'accidental' natures in the Unseen universe. What these
Phenomena powers are depends on their Aspect and then character

*The Divine* receive two miraculous Phenomena or one miracle and one
special aptitude.
*Hunters* and *Investigators* receive two special aptitudes.
*The Psychic* receives two psychic Phenomena or one psychic power
and one special aptitude.

Psychic Phenomena

Extra-Sensory Perception
     Astral Projection
     Astral Link
     Soul Mate

Miraculous Phenomena

Holy Aura
     Holy Accordance
     Healing Touch
     Soul Purification
Elemental Accord
           Flesh of Stone
           Force of Strength
           Clear Mind
           Celestial Intelligence
           Passion Storm
           Draw Water
     Spirit Trap
     Summon Aligned Entity
     Life Attainment
     Life's Fortune
     Proficiency Gain
Pre-Emminent Charisma

Special Aptitudes

Quick Reflexes
Extra Speed
Dead Target
Perfect Sight
Attribute Enhancement
Special Talent
Nymphatic Beauty
Lord's Awe
True Courage
Natural Spirit Ward
Preternatural Sight

Alternate Ages: Again, Phenomena are modified in the different age
groups, except for the 50+. Though, it is important to note that
Phenomenal powers, especially special aptitudes and psychic powers
tend to wane during this period of time. (See the Aging & Old Age
System for more details).

For the younger ages, they may not choose the more refined Phenomena
powers above. They get what is called Wild Talents. These are hard
to control and the effects of these powers differ between the very
good and very bad. Wild Miracles tend to be harder to manifest and
Wild Psychicals tend to be more dangerous or harder to focus. Those
young characters that only receive special aptitudes do not have to
worry about control issues over their Wild Talents. They get to
choose one special aptitude until they reach their pre-teen years.

Whatever age group they belong to is the Wild Talent they receive,
according to their Aspect.

Toddler: Threshold (Psychic), Glowing (Miracle)
Kid: Threshold II (Psychic), Glowing II (Miracle)
Pre-Teen: Poltergeist (Psychic), Whitefire (Miracle)
Teen: Same as Pre-teen; however, their Wild Talents begin to form
into other powers (albeit at random events)
50+: Special; see Aging & Old Age for more details.


Total Courage:   Psyche Level + 3 = Courage Score

Spend Extra Bonus Points

You have 10 extra bonus points to give a little extra pizzaz to your
character. If you're an Accidental (and only Accidentals get this
bonus), you get 24 extra bonus points. The cost to raise each trait
is listed in the table below.

Alternate Ages: Your extra bonus points differ by age, too. Below
are the appropriate spendature points for these age groups. For
Accidentals, add 14 to the points. For example, a kid that becomes
an Accidental doesn't get Phenomena powers, but she gets 4 + 14 =
18. The player gets to spend 18 extra bonus points on her creation.

Toddler: 2 extra points
Kid: 4 extra points
Pre-Teen: 6 extra points
Teen: 8 extra points
50+: 15 extra points

Cost Table

Your first column are the traits you're looking at raising. The
second column tells you what cost that trait has for being raised
at certain levels. The last is your max level or score that that
trait can be raised during character creation.

[Essences 5/lvl 10
Courage 2/lvl 15
Reputation 2/lvl 5
Edges 3/lvl Special
Attributes 3/lvl 10
Skills 1/lvl 10
Knowledge 2/lvl Special
Phenomena (Psychic/Miracle) New; cost 7
Phenomena (Special Aptitudes) New; cost 6]

Figure Out Essence Scores & Points

Each of your Essences also have Essence Scores and Points. Your
Essence Scores are equal to (Essence Level/2) + 5 = Essence Score.
Your Essence Points are equal to your level. On your character sheet
you can write it like this:   Essence lvl/pts (score).   For example:
Psyche 5/5 (7).

Total Ability Scores

Attribute level + Skill/Knowledge level = ability score.

Derive Characteristics From Sources

Initiative: Agility x2
BaseLV: Based on Strength level: 1-3 (BaseLV+1); 4-6 (+2); 7-9 (+3);
10-12 (+4); 13 (+5)
BaseAR: Equal to half your Endurance level, rounded down.
Physical Integrity: (Half of Vitality level, rounded down) +
Endurance + 5 = Integrity.


Background Story

Personality Quirks

Tragic Flaw

Pet Peeves


Short Description of Family & Friends

Turn Ons

Equipment and Items Carried

Final Notes on Character Creation

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