Zeroth Characters

Character creation in the 6d6 RPG is a fine and splendid thing. Whether you’re using the quick start rules or building something from scratch, with a few key ideas a fully fledged character can be built in minutes. But like all systems, there are cracks the unwary can fall down. Most likely if you’re reading this, you’ve some experience in RPGs. Think back to your first character, your first ever character. Now unless you were lucky and picked a system that made a lot of choices for you (I’m looking at you D&D), you made a character that was less than ideal.


As is my want (/compulsion) I’ve taken to calling such characters zeroth characters. These characters always have a lot of love put into them, but like their younger siblings “first time playing with a system character’, they never seem to quite fit. The most common thing I’ve seen is a character that is spread too thin and ends up being a little bit useless at everything. I’ve seen a character that could turn into a dragon be useless in a fight, I’ve played a cyborg with in built guns but no clue how to use them and I’ve let a player create a greek hero who was inspiring and could control plants but couldn’t use a spear.

It’s in that last point that I think the key to preventing a zeroth character exists. Story Leaders have more than a duty to prepare the campaign, they should also become involved in preparing the characters. The best games I’ve run and played have been ones where the GM has gently guided character creation so that the characters fit the scenario, story and world. Otherwise players can get quickly frustrated which can lead to them stopping playing or the party having to go through the character hokey-cokey.

The exceptional amount of customisation available in 6d6 means that there are many wrong turns to take. But we are 6d6 aren’t uncaring folk. In 6d6 Modern Generic, 6d6 Hellenic and future games we’re providing you with a set of archetypes of partially built characters to get you started. That way if the character ends up sucking, it’s only half your fault…

Photo Credit CC-BY-2.0 Graeme Maclean