You may build your PC around one or more keywords. A keyword gives you a package deal: you get a number of abilities by selecting a pre-existing character concept, which the player then modifies.
Keywords are best suited for use as the PC’s occupation.
In certain genres, you may require multiple keywords: for example, one for occupation, another for species or culture, and perhaps a third for religious affiliation.
Here are two ways to handle keywords. If in doubt, choose Umbrella.
Keywords as Packages: Treat keywords simply as shorthand for a package of abilities. These can be increased together during character creation, but are too unrelated to increase together during a game. You are still free to use the keyword as an ability, and in fact may prefer to write only the specific abilities they’ve improved on their character sheet.
Keywords as an Umbrella: Treat keywords both as raisable abilities and as a collection of more specific abilities. This approach keeps the character sheet from getting too cluttered but encourages specialization. If your character is particularly good at an aspect of that keyword, you create a breakout ability under the keyword at a bonus from the rating of the keyword you write these specialized breakout abilities under the keyword, along with how much they’ve improved from the keyword:
Detective 17 Forensics +2 Handgun +1
In this example, whilst the rating for most contests in which Detective was an appropriate tactic would be 17, for contests involving Forensics it would be 19, and for those involving firing a handgun it would be 18.
In some settings, an ability may be listed in more than one of a PC’s keywords. Choose only one to detail it under.
- 3.1 As-You-Go Method
- 3.2 Assigning Ability Ratings
- 3.4 Flaws
- 3.5 Advanced Character Creation
- 3.6 List Method
- 3.7 Prose Method