The intent of these rules is to allow players a large amount of freedom in terms of character creation, while also keeping things congruous with the setting and relatively simple.
Each player is encouraged to come up with a (short or long) backstory for their character. He/she may be from The City or one of the outlying villages. In every case, however, the character is either now serving as part of the The Protection or has just joined The Protection. The character’s personal history before joining The Protection is completely up for grabs as long as it can be meshed with the setting.
Below are few ideas for fodder. Players are encouraged to expand on these or come up with entirely different ones. If you are concerned about whether your idea works with the setting, we can talk about it and figure out a good solution together.
Grew up in The City as a child of a respected council member. Was thought likely to also serve the community by being a politician, but has decided that he/she would rather be on the front lines against the jungle.
Grew up in an outlying village, helping grow crops, but knowing that he/she was destined for something different. He/she left for The City to join The Protection. Or maybe his/her parents died and he/she left the village to try to start over.
Crime is not tolerated on Colo’shi; there are too many other serious things that require everybody’s attention. Yet, some youth still engage in petty theft or the like. These delinquents often get sent off to The Protection as a combination of community service/punishment/rehabilitation.
Joined The Protection at 13, the youngest age allowed, and has been serving ever since. Recently come of combat age (18). Alternatively, he/she could be older and with more experience, but not yet promoted to lead a team.
Has spent the last 5 years studying The Old Book. Has strong ideas about what the meaning of the writings in The Old Book, but needs to venture into the jungle and surrounding ruins to learn more.
Has always been a tinkerer. Has somehow found some old tech (maybe from a ruin). Maybe the tech doesn’t work (or only pseudo-works), but the character is convinced that there must be clues somewhere that unlock its true potential.
Village healer/shaman who couldn’t protect his/her village from recent destruction by the encroaching jungle. With nothing left in his/her old life, he/she is looking for redemption by helping The Protection.
Characters will be built in the D&D 5E system.
Characters will all be human, but players may create their characters as if they are any race and simply “skin” them as human. (This reflects the world’s reality that, like Earth, there is only one known highly intelligent species.)
The 27-point system should be used for ability scores.
All classes are available. Feel free to skin classes to fit the setting in whatever way you see fit.
Characters will start at 1st level, but will advance quickly.
Each character has a Talent of some sort. This Talent will begin as a fairly low-power trait, but will develop (slowly) over time and will be in addition to normal character development. Players are encouraged to be creative regarding their Talent choice and each player will work with the DM individually to determine how their character’s Talent is handled mechanically in-game. One avenue for brainstorming is to think of something that makes sense as a possible evolutionary advantage since Talents are meant to represent the species’ need to evolve quickly in order to survive.
Players can reskin existing 5E Backgrounds or invent their own (of similar power). Backgrounds should sync closely with the character’s Backstory and/or Talent.
Each character may choose a bonus feat. If players choose to build their character as a human and already have a feat, then this bonus feat is in addition to that.
Players are encouraged to invent/suggest new feats of reasonable power.
Characters will begin with the standard equipment provided by their class.
INTENT / RIGHT OF REFUSAL
Again, the intent of these rules is to facilitate relatively quick character creation that jives with the setting, but leaves plenty of creative wiggle room for all, including players that like to labor over the creation process as well as those that would rather just play.
The DM reserves the right to work with players to modify characters that may be over-powered. The DM may also make suggestions for diversity’s sake if, for example, two players are barking up the same tree.
The DM strongly recommends having a second idea in reserve. Lifespan on Colo’shi is not guaranteed to be long.