Character Creation

The Importance of Characters

Characters are possibly the single most important aspect of this game. Above all else, we invest ourselves in the stories of books and films because of the characters who live them. The same is true of the characters you will create in Untold.

Characters as Protagonists/Heroes

The characters you and other players will forge are meant to be the protagonists of the collaborative story of the game. They might even grow to become heroes. Such protagonist characters are central to creating the untold story that awaits. 

How Characters Create Stories

The pathways to potential storylines can rise out of any number of character elements. They can be inspired by strengths or weaknesses, allies or adversaries. They can stem from allegiances, desires, goals, and obsessions. They can originate out of a character’s past, or even out of a possible future. Each of your character’s traits can merely fill up space on the character sheet. Yet these same traits can be the starting point for an almost unlimited array of adventures. 

Example 1: You could simply purchase the Affluent strength for your character, begin the game with greater wealth, and move on. Yet what if you went deeper? What if there was a bitter rivalry between your character’s family and another wealthy family that has gone on for generations? Or what if your character—or your character’s parents—stole the fortune? Or what if your character is actually an imposter, and has only assumed the identity of someone of great wealth? 

Example 2: You could say your character has a Distinguishing Trait that makes her very recognizable and move on. But what if that trait played a significant role in your character’s backstory? What if she was scarred by a rival, or she bore the mark of the ancient kings, or a tattoo only inscribed on personal guards of the usurped emperor? 

Example 3: You could say your character comes from a particular place or nation and think nothing more of it. But what if you went on to add that this country is currently engaged in a bitter conflict with a neighboring nation, or that the land had been conquered by a tyrannical warlord, or that the whole city or nation has been quarantined due to a terrible plague—and your character was the only one who got out?

When details such as these are added to the bare facts of protagonist characters, you will better understand their place in the game world. You will have a clearer idea of how they would react to different situations. They will become more alive. Such details can also inspire Game Masters and motivate them to incorporate story elements specifically tailored to such characters.

The Three Methods of Character Creation

There are three approaches to creating characters: Quickstart, Simplified, and Advanced

With the easiest method—Quickstart—simply choose from one of the pre-generated characters found at the end of this chapter. Using this method allows you to jump right into playing the game. An alternative version of this method is to have the GM choose from these pre-generated characters and hand them out to players. The only adjustments made to these pre-generated characters would be those the GM makes to fit the unique style and setting of the game world and story. This method is recommended for novice players who want to jump right into the game and begin learning how to play. 

The next simplest method—Simplified—directs players to follow a simple step by step process which, when finished, will yield a fully realized character. There are still choices to be made, but the process circumvents much of the overwhelming array of choices present in the final in-depth Advanced method. The Simplified method is recommended for beginning players to help them transition to understanding the game mechanics and how the various aspects of character skills and strengths affect gameplay. 

Finally, Advanced character creation is like diving into the deep end of the pool—or even swimming out into the ocean and seeing what wonders lie beneath the surface. With this method there are no guardrails and you will be faced with a wide array of choices and possibilities that may feel overwhelming to new and inexperienced players. A grounded knowledge of the game rules and mechanics is strongly recommended for this last method. That being said, this is definitely the encouraged choice for more experienced players. Of all the methods, Advanced character creation has the greatest potential to produce the most diverse and unique characters. But this method will also offer a wider array of decisions and, usually, a more extensive time commitment. The majority of this chapter is dedicated to navigating this Advanced method of character creation. 

For beginning players, until you become more familiar with the rules, we recommend choosing either Quickstart or Simplified. The upside of the Quickstart method is that it allows you to jump right into the game without any of the tedium of creating a character. The downside, of course, is that you will be playing a character you had no hand in creating. However, this does not mean you can’t make such a character your own or that such characters cannot be rewarding to play. The advantage of the Simplified method (outlined below) is that it still allows you to create a character of your own. The disadvantage is that, due to the structured way such characters are created, they can sometimes feel a little formulaic. Although each character’s skills, strengths and weaknesses will be different, they will share some of the same prescribed parameters. 

Simplified Character Creation

For beginning players we recommend starting with this method of character creation. 

To aid in understanding the abbreviated terms used throughout this process, each one is listed here:

DL=Difficulty Level SR=Skill Rank

SN=Second Nature MR=Minimum Roll

MCL=Monetary Class Level SCL=Social Class Level

BDR=Body Defense Rating MDR=Mind Defense Rating

AR=Armor Rating WR=Weapon Rating 

Note: For characters with a focus in Magic, Faith, or Psionics refer to those chapters for instructions on simplified character creation for each. 

The Steps to Simplified Character Creation

  1. Consult with the Game Master about the setting, possibilities, and restrictions, and to get an idea of what type of character you might want to create. 

(Note: if you’re unsure, the remaining steps will help guide you.)

  1. Look through the list of skills below.
    1. Choose one sub-skill as your character’s foremost defining expertise. Assign it an SR of 8. 
    2. Choose three other sub-skills as your character’s secondary proficiencies. Assign each an SR of 6.
    3. Choose six other skills as your character’s lesser competencies. These can be sub-skills or broad skills. Assign each one an SR of 3.
    4. Choose three other skills as your character’s novice-level skills—those with only the barest of knowledge or skill in. These can be sub-skills or broad skills. Assign each one an SR of 1.
    5. Record your character’s native language and assign it an SR of 6. 
    6. Record your character’s native Area Knowledge and assign it an SR of 6. This is the native country, province, or city where your character grew up. (Alternatively, you could choose two separate areas or locales and assign the first an SR of 5 and the second an SR of 3.)

(Note: Broad skills automatically have a default SR equal to half the SR of the highest ranked sub-skill beneath it. Thus, if you are already putting skill ranks in a sub-skill, it is likely not advisable or worthwhile to invest in the broad skill above that sub-skill)


(Note: All broad skills are flush left, in bold; all sub-skill are indented below each broad skill.)

Mind-Based Skills




All Craft specializations are various unique forms of sculpting, forming, or other Creation. Examples include: Blacksmithing, Calligraphy, Carpentry, Gunsmith, Painting, Sculpture, Weaving, and Tinkering/Invention. Each unique Craft requires a separate specialization.








A wide range of possible skill specializations for the three most common game settings are listed below. Each specific field of Knowledge requires a separate specialization. 


Each new language skill requires a separate specialization.



Body-Based Skills





Melee Combat skills







Ranged Combat skills







*These skills require further specialization. For broad skills with this designation, characters cannot gain skill ranks in the generalized broad skill.

**If choosing a KNOWLEDGE sub-skill specialization, choose from the following list, broken down by game setting.  Note that many of these specialized areas of knowledge can be used in multiple game settings. For example, Area/Region, First Aid, and Law could be a part of all three settings)

AlchemyAgriculture/FarmingAdvanced Medicine
Area/RegionAnthropologyAlien Fauna
ArtilleryArchaeologyAlien Flora
Creature LoreBureaucracyCybernetics
First AidComputersEnergy Systems
GamblingEngineeringFleet Tactics
HerbsFinanceInterstellar Navigation
Plant LoreLiteratureQuantum Sciences
PoisonsMathematicsShip Mechanics
ReligionMechanicsSolar Farming
SailingMedicineStellar Engineering
  1. Take one Prowess strength in the first sub-skill chosen in step 1.a above (SR 8) 
  2. Either choose a) one Major strength (the first list) and one Minor strength (the third list below); b) two Medium strengths (the second list below); c) one Medium and two Minor strengths; or d) four Minor strengths (strengths with an * can be chosen more than once):

Major Strengths

StrengthBrief Description
Agile-1 MR in all COORDINATION sub-skills
Alert-1 MR in all INFILTRATION sub-skills
Athletic-1 MR in all ATHLETICISM sub-skills
Charismatic-1 MR in all INFLUENCE sub-skills
Dead Eye-1 MR in all Ranged Weapons sub-skills
Fighter’s Instincts-1 MR in all Melee Weapons sub-skills
Inquisitive-1 MR in all KNOWLEDGE sub-skills

Moderate Strengths

StrengthBrief Description
Aptitude-1 DL to all checks in chosen sub-skill
Artisan-1 MR in all CRAFT sub-skills
Confident-1 MR in all HANDLING sub-skills
Intelligent-1 MR in all COGNITION sub-skills
Linguist-1 MR in all LANGUAGE sub-skills
Lucky+1 Hero Point each game session
Mighty-1 DL for FEATS OF STRENGTH skill checks and +1 melee damage
Quick Reflexes+1 BDR (Body Defense Rating) against all melee attacks
Rapid HealingHealing rate for Wounds is halved
Rapid RecoveryRecovery rate for Strain is halved
Sharp Witted-1 DL for DEBATE skill checks and +1 mental combat damage
Tough+1 AR (Armor Rating) against all melee and ranged attacks
Versatile+1 die for all skill checks of SR 3 or below
Virtuoso-1 MR in all PERFORMANCE sub-skills

Minor Strengths

StrengthBrief Description
Acute Sense-1 DL for all OBSERVATION checks involving the chosen sense
Adaptable (2 levels)*+2 dice per game session which can be used on any check
Affluent *+1 MCL (raise Monetary Class Level by 1)
AmbidextrousNo penalty for using off-hand for checks (normally +2 DL)
Companion *Minor Companion, or upgrade 1 level (see Companion pg 9)
Connection *Minor Connection, or upgrade 1 level (see Connection pg 9)
Courageous *+1 AR (Armor Rating) against all fear-based mental attacks
Decisive-1 to Initiative score
Determined *+1 to base Tenacity
Devoted *+1 to base Devotion
Hardy *+1 to base Vitality
Indefatigable *+1 to base Endurance
Item *Minor Item, or upgrade 1 level (see Item pg 9)
Level Headed *+1 AR (Armor Rating) against all stress-based mental attacks
Pain Tolerance *Reduce MR or Initiative penalty for Wounds by 1
Privileged *+1 SCL (raise Social Class Level by 1)
Prowess *-1 MR in one sub-skill (one time per sub-skill)
Reactive-1 to Initiative score
Resistance  *+1 AR against specific physical attack, such as cold, poisons, or fire
Stable *+1 to base Sanity
Shrewd *+1 AR (Armor Rating) against all influence-based mental attacks
  1. Either choose a) one Major weakness (first list) and one Minor weakness (third list below); b) two Medium weaknesses (second list below); c) one Medium and two Minor weaknesses; or d) four Minor weaknesses (Note: weaknesses with an * can be chosen more than once):

Major Weaknesses

WeaknessBrief Description
Clumsy+1 MR in all COORDINATION skill checks
Contemptible+1 MR in all INFLUENCE skill checks
Learning Disability+1 MR in all KNOWLEDGE sub-skills
Oblivious+1 MR in all INFILTRATION skill checks
Poor Fighter+1 MR in all Ranged Weapons sub-skills
Poor Shot+1 MR in all Melee Weapons sub-skills
Weak+1 MR in all ATHLETICISM sub-skills

Moderate Weaknesses

WeaknessBrief Description
IlliterateUnable to read or write
Monoglot+1 MR in all LANGUAGE skill checks
Performance Anxiety+1 MR in all PERFORMANCE skill checks
Reckless+1 MR in all HANDLING skill checks
Simple Minded+1 MR in all COGNITION skill checks
Slow HealingDouble healing times (Wounds only)
Sluggish-1 BDR and -1 Initiative

Minor Weaknesses

WeaknessBrief Description
AddictionMinor Addiction, or upgrade 1 level (see Addiction pg 9)
AllergyMinor Allergy, or upgrade 1 level (see Allergy pg 9)
Anxious-1 MDR against all stress-based mental attacks
Apathetic-1 Devotion
Craven-1 MDR against all fear-based mental attacks
2 Debilities+1 MR in two separate sub skills not already chosen
Delusional (2 levels)+2 DL to DEDUCTION checks to perceive truth past false belief
Deep Sleeper (3 levels)+3 DL to OBSERVATION checks to wake up
Despised+1 DL INFLUENCE most others OR +2 DL for large group
Destitute-1 MCL (lower Monetary Class Level by 1)
FoeMinor Foe, or upgrade 1 level (see Foe pg 10)
Frail/Sickly-1 to base Vitality
Gullible-1 MDR against all influence-based mental attacks
Impaired Sense (2 levels)+2 DL to all checks involving chosen sense
Indecisive+1 to Initiative score
Inept+1 DL to all checks in one sub-skill not chosen
Lowborn-1 SCL (lower Social Class Level by 1)
ObligationMinor Obligation, or upgrade 1 level (see Obligation pg 10)
Obsession (2 levels)2 DL mental attack if act contrary to obsession (MDR no effect)
Phobia (2 levels)2 DL mental attack if encounter feared stimulus (MDR no effect)
Physical ImpairmentMinor Physical Impairment, or upgrade 1 level (see pg 10)
Prejudiced (2 levels)+2 DL to FEATS OF WILL checks to treat with respect
Short Winded-1 to base Endurance
Timid/Flighty-1 to base Tenacity
Traumatic Experience (2 levels)2 DL mental attack if encounter situation reminiscent of event (no MDR)
Unstable-1 to base Sanity
Vulnerability-1 MDR against 1 specific physical attack (i.e., cold, poisons,fire
WantedMinor Wanted weakness, or upgrade 1 level (see Wanted pg 10)
  1. Distribute 15 levels among the primary aspects of Moral Code (Violence, Honesty, Word/Oath, Protection/Aid, and Increase)
  2. Distribute 5 additional levels, either among the primary aspects, or in one or more secondary aspects of Moral Code. (Note: the higher the level, the more mental damage will be dealt by acting in a manner contrary to the aspect.)
  3. Choose at least one of the following Unfortunate Traits: 

Anti-social, Apathetic, Arrogant, Bad breath, Body odor, Boisterous, Compulsive, Disorganized, Fanatical, Fidgety, Forgetful, Impatient, Impulsive, Intolerant, Jaded, Loud or unusual Laugh, Pathological Liar, Profane, Manipulative, Missing or Crooked Teeth, Overconfident, Perpetual Scowl, Rebellious, Repetitive Tick/Gesture, Short Fuse, Signature Mark, Superstitious, Suspicious, Talkative, Timid/Shy, Uncouth

  1. Record each skill’s MR (Minimum Roll). The base MR for all skills is 9. The Prowess strength will reduce this to 8. Other strengths, such as Artisan, Intelligent, or Virtuoso may also grant a -1 MR modifier, potentially reducing the MR as low as 7. The Debility weakness will increase the MR to 10. Other weaknesses, such as Clumsy, Contemptible, or Simple-Minded may also impose a +1 MR modifier, potentially raising the MR as high as 11.
  2. Figure each skill’s SN (Second Nature). SN is typically equal to ⅓ the SR (rounded down). However, if the skill has a strength or weakness that modifies the MR, the SN ratio will change. These ratios are shown in the table below. 

Second Nature (SN) Ratings

MR Modifier

  1. Fill in Exertion and Devotion Ratings as specified in the following table:
Exertion AspectCalculation
Endurance3 highest body-based SRs
Tenacity3 highest mind-based SRs
Vitality3 + three highest body SNs
Sanity3 + three highest mind SNs
DevotionHighest Moral Code aspect

Note: certain strengths and weaknesses, such as Hardy and Timid, may increase or decrease these base numbers.

  1. Calculate Defense Ratings (Body—BDR, and Mind—MDR). BDR is equal to the average of the three highest Body-based SNs; MDR is equal to the average of the three highest Mind-based SNs (both rounded down).
  2. Choose basic personal gear, equipment, and weapons your character would logically and justifiably have. 
  3. Determine Base Initiative Score for both mental and physical combat
    1. Start with 12 points
      1.  Subtract the applicable skill’s SN
      2. Subtract any modifiers from strengths (i.e., Reactive or Decisive)
      3. Add any modifiers from weaknesses  (i.e., Indecisive or Sluggish)
      4. Add any Weapon Speed modifier
      5. Add any Armor Encumbrance modifier (offset by ARMOR MOVEMENT SN)
    2. After all calculations, record the final number as the Base Initiative Score for each form of combat
  4. Decide on bonds connecting character to other PCs
  5. Create backstory and record any other pertinent character details

Advanced Character Creation

The process of Advanced character creation outlined in the remainder of this chapter is not intended to be quick nor simple. Although there are steps to aid you, this is not like baking a cake or following a simple recipe which results in the same stock characters every time. The protagonist characters of Untold are meant to be deep, rich and complex. This process will often require a greater investment of time and thought. You’ll likely need to make sacrifices in strengths or skills, reducing or eliminating them to balance out the points you have available to spend. It may require math (or at the very least, a calculator). Trust that it will be worth it.

Possibilities and Restrictions

In the Untold roleplaying game, virtually anything is possible. When utilizing the Advanced character creation rules, it’s important to remember that all skills and abilities are essentially equal. This means you can tailor the points you have to create whatever type of character you want. There are really only two limitations: 1) the resources you have available to spend, and 2) any restrictions which may be imposed by the Game Master. Such limitations are usually put there for either game balance or story enhancement. For example, you may be told you can’t play an android or a dragon as these may upset the balance of the game. The GM may also say that, for the sake of the story and game, every character is illiterate unless he or she spends points on learning to read and write (LANGUAGE skill). If for some reason you ever feel that such restrictions are unfair, talk to your Game Master. Usually he or she will have a very good reason for imposing any restrictions. And even with such limitations, there will always be plenty of options.

Springboards to Character Creation

The most straightforward way to create a character is to simply follow the 10 steps listed below. However, there are other possible springboards that may inspire a particular character concept. If you’re not sure what kind of character you want to create and play, consider starting with one of these. 

  1. Start with a specific species, background, or other character trait. What if your character was a former or escaped slave or grew up in a criminal gang? What if she defected from a religious order or fled a cult? What if he was orphaned and had to care for a younger sibling? What if she was an alien or fae species completely different from humans. All of these can launch your character and help guide the course of character creation.
  2. Start with a skill or profession. Go through the list of specialized sub-skills and choose one to base a character around. You could play a master thief (PICKPOCKETING or SLEIGHT OF HAND), a diplomat to foreign nations (DEBATE, PERSUASION, and/or LANGUAGES), a master swordsman (SWORDS), or a circus performer (BALANCE and TUMBLING/ACROBATICS). Remember this is just a starting point. Other skills and character traits will follow.
  3. Start with a specific strength. The list of strengths may also provide ideas for characters. You could be a spy with numerous friends and contacts scattered across the continent (Connections). You could have a unique heirloom, a powerful magical weapon, or even a starship (Item). You could have an animal, robot, or human Companion. And you could use the Aptitude or Prowess strengths in conjunction with any number of skills to represent being a master Sleuth (DEDUCTION), an artistic prodigy (CRAFT), a marksman (MISSILE WEAPONS or FIREARMS), or any number of possibilities.
  4. Start with a specific weakness. Weaknesses can provide a wealth of inspiration for characters. What if your character has a powerful enemy (Foe), or is grotesquely burned or deformed (Contemptible), or believes something far-fetched like aliens running the government are secretly plotting his destruction (Delusional). What if your character had an Obligation, an Obsession, or a Phobia. Any of these—and many more—could be a potential springboard for a character.
  5. Combine strengths and weaknesses in interesting ways. Maybe the magical sword (Item) you have has an addiction to blood—and that Addiction translates to be your character’s as well because you need to satisfy the sword. Maybe the wealth you “inherited” (Affluent) has made you a Wanted man in your home nation. Or perhaps your character has a staggering intellect (Intelligent) but is Oblivious to what is going on around them. Our favorite example comes from one of our friends, who created a lemur-like character with a prehensile tail. To demonstrate the tail’s ability to grasp and manipulate objects, he selected the Ambidextrous strength. But then he wondered what it would be like if the tail had a mind of its own—where the right hand didn’t know what the left “tail” was doing. The character was also oblivious to the tail’s competence (Delusional), giving the tail tasks to perform and then blindly accepting it was both aware and skilled enough to perform them (“Here, Tail, take the wheel!”). And for good measure the tail alternated between the Unfortunate Traits of Crude, Easily Distracted, Impulsive, and Disrespectful.
  6. Start with any other concept or idea to base a character around and sculpt your character to fit this concept. A wandering warrior, a psion with dubious sanity, a space-way smuggler, a sophisticated spy. Any seed of a concept can grow into a multifaceted character. You can also start with a group concept or shared profession to tie all the characters together. The crew of a starship, a specialized SEAL team, knights of a certain order, or monster hunters for hire. Any of these can be the starting point for characters rich in story potential.

Suggestions Only

You don’t have to follow the 10 steps below in the order listed. If you want to start with weaknesses or establish your character’s Moral Code first, go for it. Many steps have the option of being skipped altogether. Yet each step may provide something worthwhile for your character, and the order is designed to be intuitive and to build upon the steps before. Even so, you may find yourself returning to certain steps, either as a new idea strikes you, or as you find it necessary to juggle points and remove one skill or strength to make room for something else. At the end of the day, this is your character, and you can make it however you choose. 

The 10 Steps to Character Generation

  1. Consult with your Game Master and determine starting AP
  2. Choose a Species
  3. Acquire Strengths, including one free Prowess
  4. Acquire Weaknesses 
  5. Choose a Profession and Acquire Skills
  6. Acquire Techniques
  7. Establish your character’s Moral Code and Devotion
  8. Determine Monetary and Social Class and Equip your character
  9. Determine Exertion and Defense Ratings
  10. Establish possible relationships with other PCs and Fill in Final Character Details 

Step 1: Consult with your Game Master and determine starting AP

Begin at the Source (Consult with your Game Master)

In creating your character, your Game Master may be the most valuable resource you have at your disposal. For starters, he or she has established the game setting you’ll be playing in and what kind of story your character will be an integral part of. Plus, each subsequent step may be directly influenced by the GM. Are multiple races or species available to choose from, or just one? Are all the characters part of a cohesive unit—a gang or platoon or underground resistance—or are they all from diverse backgrounds and professions? Are all the PCs from a particular clan, village, or nation? Are certain strengths, weaknesses, or skills recommended or even mandatory? (i.e., the game will take place on the high seas, so everyone is encouraged to know how to swim.) Or will certain strengths, weaknesses, or skills be restricted or banned altogether? (i.e., one cannot start at a higher social class level, or certain skills or branches of knowledge are unavailable.) The GM will have the answers to all these questions, and each will shape the direction you take your character in the steps that follow.

Determine Starting Advancement Points (AP)

Advancement Points (AP) are the universal currency of character creation and improvement. Each aspect of your character has a cost (or in the case of weaknesses, a value) shown in Advancement Points. 120 AP is the recommended base number for all player characters. This number is intended to simulate the level of skill and ability of a capable, though still unseasoned, hero and intrepid adventurer. However, depending on the nature of the game world being played in, your GM may rule that protagonist characters may start with more (or fewer) AP.

More Experienced Heroes (Advanced Levels)

To differentiate the skill and ability of more advanced characters, Untold uses a simple Level System. The recommended number of 120 AP is considered level 0. As characters progress through the game, they will further develop their skills and abilities by acquiring additional Advancement Points. These points can be spent in much the same way as the APs used during character creation: to improve existing skills or acquire new ones, purchase additional strengths and techniques, or to buy off debilitating weaknesses. When enough Advancement Points have been acquired, a character’s level will increase as well, as shown in the table below.

Experience Levels

LevelAdditional Points Required to AttainTotal Points RequiredTotal including starting AP
etcAnd so onAnd so onAnd so on

If players and GMs want to start play with a more seasoned group of adventurers, they may create characters that begin at a higher level of experience and are thus granted additional points to spend during character creation. Starting at level 2 would grant 30 additional Advancement Points, for a total of 150; starting at level 4 would provide 100 additional AP, for a total of 220, and so on. 

Step 2: Choose a Species

Variations in Species and Game Balance

There are no defined species or races in Untold. For the purposes of character creation, all species are created equal. In terms of AP, no species has more points to spend than any other. Any natural advantages a specific species might have can be replicated through Strengths (see step 4); any inherent disadvantages of a specific species can be expressed through Weaknesses (see step 5). Thus, whether you make a human, ogre, robot, vampire, leprechaun, or any other conceivable species, each will be balanced in game terms. Human is typically the default, but if the GM has prepared a game setting with other pre-made species, you can always choose one of those as well. The GM may even give you leeway to create a brand new species of your own.

For further guidelines on creating a species, see the GM’s Guide, page ___. 

Step 3: Acquire Strengths

Strengths represent the inherent talents and advantages that can help your character succeed or excel during the course of the game. But strengths do more than simply give you an edge in certain situations; they also help define your character.

How Strengths Define Characters

Almost all strengths are descriptive words. This is intentional. If the name of a particular strength leaps out at you as describing an aspect of the character you’ve envisioned, there’s a good chance you may want to purchase it. However, strengths can be expensive, so choose wisely. We definitely recommend purchasing at least a couple of strengths, but we also advise limiting the number of strengths to no more than five or six.

Choose a Prowess

Every character starts the game with one free Prowess strength. This is a heightened ability on one specific sub-skill. You may always use your starting AP to purchase additional Prowesses in other sub-skills, but every player character is granted one for free (you’re welcome). 

Strengths List

A list of available strengths is included here, along with a brief description of each. Full descriptions for each strength can be found in Chapter 3 (page ___).

The GM may rule that certain strengths cannot be acquired after character generation. If unsure, consult with your individual GM. 

StrengthAP CostStrengthAP Cost
Acute Sense12 or 6Intelligent16
Affluent10/MSLLevel Headed8
Aptitude16Morally Unfettered1/1
Artisan16Pain Tolerance9
CompanionvariesQuick Reflexes 14
Confident 16Rapid Healing14
ConnectionsvariesRapid Recovery16
Dead Eye26Resistance8
Decisive7Sharp Witted14
Fighter Instincts30Tough14   

Strengths—Brief Descriptions

Acute Sense (12 or 6): Grants 1 free success for all OBSERVATION checks involving one chosen sense.

Adaptable (4/1): Provides 1 extra die which can be used on any check once per gaming session.

Affluent (10/MCL): Increases character’s starting monetary class level. Often connected with Privileged

Agile (24): Grants a -1 MR modifier to all COORDINATION-related checks, and a -1 to Initiative.

Alert (24): Gives a -1 MR modifier to ALL INFILTRATION-related checks, and a -1 to Initiative. 

Ambidextrous (10): Character suffers no penalty from performing tasks with off-hand (normal penalty is +2 DLs).

Aptitude (16): Grants 1 free success for all checks involving one specific sub-skill.

Artisan (16): Grants a -1 MR modifier to ALL CRAFT-related checks.

Athletic (24):: Grants a -1 MR modifier to all ATHLETICS-related checks.

Charismatic (24): Grants a -1 MR modifier for ALL INFLUENCE-related checks.

Companion (varies): Character shares a bond with an animal, robot, or trusted ally who can aid them.

Confident (16): Grants a -1 MR modifier to ALL HANDLING-related checks.

Connections (varies): Character has contacts among a group or locale. Cost depends on resourcefulness/ influence of the contacts. 

Courageous (8): Reduces damage of fear-based mental attacks.

Dead Eye (26): Grants a -1 MR modifier to ALL ranged weapons skills.

Decisive (7): Grants a -1 modifier to Initiative Score.

Determined (7/1): Increases Base Tenacity Points.

Devoted (7/1): Increases Base Devotion Points.

Fighter’s Instincts (30): Grants a -1 MR modifier to ALL melee combat skills as well as a -1 to Initiative. 

Hardy (7/1): Increases Base Vitality Points

Indefatigable (7/1): Increases Endurance Points (Superficial and Critical). 

Inquisitive (24): Grants a -1 MR modifier to ALL KNOWLEDGE-related checks.

Intelligent (18): Grants a -1 MR modifier to ALL COGNITION-related checks.

Item (varies): Character has an extraordinary piece of gear with special abilities. Exact parameters of the item will vary.

Level Headed (8): Reduces damage of stress-related mental combat.

Linguist (14): Grants a -1 MR modifier to ALL LANGUAGE-related checks.

Lucky (16/1): Provides 1 Personal Hero Point each gaming session.

Mighty (18): +1 damage to melee attacks and 1 free success for FEATS OF STRENGTH checks. 

Morally Unfettered (1/1): Decreases the base levels of a character’s Moral Code. 

Pain Tolerance (9): Offsets Initiative penalty from wounds by 2. 

Privileged/Revered (8/SL): Increases character’s social status level. Often connected with Affluent.

Prowess (10): Grants a -1 MR modifier in one specific sub-skill/specialization.

Quick Reflexes (14): Increases BDR for physical melee combat.

Rapid Healing (14): Cuts regular time to recover Wound points by half.

Rapid Recovery (16): Cuts regular time to recover Strain points by half. 

Reactive (7): Grants a -1 modifier to Initiative.

Resistance (8): Reduces damage of one specific type of physical attack.

Sharp Witted (16): +1 damage to mental attacks and 1 free success for DEBATE or PERSUASION checks (choose one).

Shrewd (10): Reduces damage of all mental sparring and influence attacks.

Stable (7/1): Increases Base Sanity Points.

Tough (14): Reduces damage from all physical melee and ranged attacks. 

Versatile (18): Grants +1 die for ALL checks of SR 3 or lower (even skills without any training).

Virtuoso (16): Grants a -1 MR modifier for all PERFORMANCE-related checks.

Step 4: Acquire Weaknesses

Weaknesses represent the flaws and hindrances that can restrict and inconvenience characters during the course of the game. Though you are not required to acquire any weaknesses for your character, we strongly recommend taking on at least one or two.

How Weaknesses Define Characters

There are two main reasons to incorporate weaknesses into your character. First, they give you extra points to spend on other aspects, such as strengths and skills (and you’ll quickly realize how much you could really use those extra points). Second, and even more importantly, they add depth and richness to your character that is worth far more than the extra AP they provide. In fact, you may come to regard weaknesses as the single most rewarding element of your character.

Like strengths, many weaknesses are descriptive words. They are meant to convey a certain defining aspect of your character and those things he or she struggles with.

Weaknesses List

A list of all available weaknesses is included here, along with a brief description of each. Full descriptions for each weakness can be found in Chapter 4 (page ___).

WeaknessAP ValueWeaknessAP Value
Apathetic 6/-1Obsession3 or 6/DL
Clumsy20Performance Anxiety14
Contemptible20Phobia4 or 8/DL
Craven8Physical Impairmentvaries
Debility5Prejudiced4 or 8/DL
Deep Sleeper3/DLReckless 14
DelusionalvariesShort Winded7/-1
Destitute12/rankSlow Healing16
Distinguishing Trait3Sluggish12/-1
FoevariesSpeech Impairmentvaries
Frail7/-1Terrible Shot24
Illiterate12Traumatic Experiences4 or 8/DL
Impaired Senses2 or 4/DLUnfortunate Traits1-3/trait
Indecisive+1 InitUnlucky10/snag
Inept8 or 20Unstable7/-1
Learning Disability20Violence Averse24
Morally BoundvariesWeak24

Weaknesses—Brief Descriptions

Addiction (varies): Character is addicted to a particular substance.

Allergy (varies): Character  is allergic to a specific stimulus. 

Anxious (8): Imposes a -1 MDR penalty for stress related mental combat attacks.

Apathetic (6/-1): Reduces Base Devotion Points. 

Clumsy (20): Imposes a +1 MR modifier to all COORDINATION-related skill checks.

Contemptible (20): Imposes a +1 MR modifier to all INFLUENCE-related skill checks.

Craven (8): Imposes a -1 MDR penalty for fear related mental combat attacks. 

Debility (5): Imposes a +1 MR modifier in one specific sub-skill/specialization.

Deep Sleeper (3/DL): Increases DL to wake up in situations which would normally rouse a person from slumber.

Delusional (varies): Character believes something about the world or self that is obviously (at least to everyone else) untrue. 

Despised (varies): Character is hated or discriminated against by a particular subset of the population. 

Destitute (12/rank): Decreases character’s starting monetary class level.

Distinguishing Trait (3): Character has one or more unmistakable marks, scars, etc.

Foe (varies): Character has an enemy who wants to ruin or kill the character. 

Frail (7/-1): Reduces Base Resilience Points. 

Gullible (10): Imposes a -1 MDR penalty for influence related mental combat attacks.

Illiterate (12): Difficulty or inability to read and write one’s native language. 

Impaired Sense (2 or 4/DL): Character has one impaired sense. Value is 4 points per DL for vision or hearing, or 2 points per DL for smell, taste or touch.

Inept (8 or 20): Imposes a +1 DL modifier to all checks for one broad skill (20) or sub-skill (8).

Learning Disability (20): Imposes a +1 MR modifier to ALL KNOWLEDGE skill checks.

Lowborn (8/rank): Decreases character’s starting social class level. 

Monoglot (14): Imposes a +1 MR modifier to ALL LANGUAGE-related skill checks.

Morally Bound (1/1): Increases the base levels of a character’s Moral Code. 

Obligation (varies):Character has a commitment to care or pay for someone or something. This could be a spouse, child, parent, pet, place, or thing. It could also be a debt. 

Oblivious (22): Imposes a +1 MR modifier to ALL INFILTRATION-related skill checks. 

Obsession (3 or 6/DL): Character is completely obsessed with an idea, action, person, etc. The value of the Obsession depends on how frequently it might be encountered and how difficult it is to resist. 

Pacific (24): Imposes a +1 MR modifier to ALL melee combat skills (UNARMED COMBAT, FINESSE WEAPONS, and BRUTAL WEAPONS).

Performance Anxiety (14): Imposes a +1 MR modifier to ALL PERFORMANCE skill checks.

Phobia (4 or 8/DL): Character is afraid of a specific situation or stimulus. The point value depends on how frequently it might be experienced and how severe the fear-based mental attack. MDR has no effect.

Physical Impairment (varies): Character is missing one or more limbs or appendages. The point value of the impairment depends on how much the loss impacts the character’s actions. 

Poor Shot (24): Imposes a +1 MR modifier to ALL ranged weapons skills (FIREARMS, MISSILE WEAPONS, and THROWN WEAPONS).

Prejudiced (4 or 8/DL): Character has an innate disdain for a specific group or subset of people. 

Reckless (14): Imposes a +1 MR modifier to ALL HANDLING-related skill checks.

Short-Winded (7/-1): Reduces Base Endurance Points. 

Sickly (7/-1): Reduces Base Vitality Points. 

Simple (16): Imposes a +1 MR modifier to ALL COGNITION-related skill checks.

Slow Healing (16) : Character recovers spent or depleted Wounds at twice the normal rate. 

Sluggish (14/-1): Imposes a -1 BDR penalty for all melee combat attacks, as well as a +1 modifier to initiative. 

Speech Impairment (varies): Character has difficulty communicating via speech. This could be something minor, such as a stutter or lisp, or something major, like being completely mute. 

Timid (7/-1): Reduces Base Tenacity Points. 

Traumatic Experiences (4 or 8/DL): Character has experienced something harrowing and traumatizing in his or her past. Whenever a situation reminiscent of the traumatic event is encountered, the character has a chance of reliving it, possibly even becoming unresponsive to other outside stimuli. 

Unfortunate Traits (1-3/trait): Character has one or more unfortunate character traits. These traits, while not as detrimental as more full blown hindrances, can still help define a character’s personality and limit characters in their interactions with others. Unfortunate character traits include: 




Bad breath

Body odor





Easily Distracted








Loud or Unusual Laugh 

Pathological Liar


Manipulative Overconfident


Perpetual Scowl 


Repetitive Tick/Gesture 

Short Fuse

Signature Mark 






Unlucky (40): Decreases minimum threshold for snags by one for all skill checks. 

Unstable (7/-1): Reduces Base Sanity Points. 

Vulnerability (varies): Character is more susceptible to a particular form of physical attack. 

Wanted (varies): Character is a fugitive (innocent or not) sought after by law enforcement. Value is determined by the size of the geographic area in which the character is Wanted. 

Weak (24): Imposes a +1 TN modifier to all ATHLETICS checks.

Advice on Strengths and Weaknesses

  1. Have a reason for each one.

When you acquire any strength or weakness, try to think of why your character might have that particular flaw or talent. Try to make each one an integral part of your character’s background. If she has a Foe, flesh out the details of who it is that hates her, why they want her dead or ruined, and what that has to do with her background? If he has a Resistance or Vulnerability, what environment or event from his past made that heightened resistance or susceptibility possible? If your character is Prejudiced or Courageous or Delusional, what happened in the past that brought on that trait? Granted, some strengths and weaknesses like Luck or Slow Healing may be somewhat inexplicable. But rather than just purchasing random strengths and weaknesses, try to make them fit who your character is. Give them a place in your character’s back story. Find a reason for them.

  1. Don’t be afraid of weaknesses.

Yes, weaknesses can challenge your character and make life more difficult for them. True, they might put your character in uncomfortable, dangerous, even life-threatening situations. Don’t shy away from that, though. Embrace it! Weaknesses can help flesh out and define your character in ways no other aspect of character generation can. Such flaws will give characters personality, backstory, and individuality. Don’t deny that to them just because you’re afraid of them dying. If the GM is doing their job, that possibility should loom over characters regardless of what weaknesses they might have.

  1. Limits can be freeing. 

In theory, you could have a character with dozens of strengths and weaknesses. But if you want the game to actually be enjoyable, don’t get carried away on these steps. A character with too many strengths and/or weaknesses can become so ludicrous and cumbersome as to be totally unplayable. Remember, the idea is to create a character that is fun to play, and part of this playability is to make your character manageable. Too many strengths and weaknesses make it impossible for you to incorporate them all into game play. The GM may even choose to impose a cap on the number of separate strengths or weaknesses a character can possess. Accept these limitations as liberating you to play a more fun and manageable character. 

  1. Take responsibility for your character’s strengths and weaknesses.

All players, whether experienced or not, should take it upon themselves to remember the various details of their own characters, including strengths and weaknesses. The GM will have enough on her plate. It is your job to play your character in the ongoing story of the game and to remind the GM when your character’s strengths AND weaknesses might surface. Be honest about remembering and playing them. Trust us. It will make the game more enjoyable in every respect. The more willing you are to keep track of your weaknesses, strengths, and everything else about your character, the more fun the game will be, because your GM can concentrate on helping make it so.

Step 5: Choose a Profession and Acquire Skills

No Set Classes or Professions

Similar to choosing a species above, Untold also has no set or strictly defined classes or occupations. The game allows for stories set in virtually every setting imaginable, and there are far too many professions to try and define even a fraction of them. Most importantly, though, there are no defined professions because the defining should be yours. Although the profession you choose for your character may be very straightforward, it doesn’t have to be. Want to make a carpenter/opera singer/professional hitman? Okay by us. Want to make a diplomat wizard who can wield a sword, and pick locks? Go right ahead! Since all APs are interchangeable, Untold allows players to customize their characters without any parameters. And because there are no strictly defined professions, you certainly don’t have to choose one. However, we still encourage you to do so.

How Professions Define Characters

You’re encouraged to choose a profession because it can play a huge role in defining your character. Knowing what profession your character holds in the game world will help you decide what skills to focus on; it will assist in defining your character’s background and station in the world; and it will help the GM design adventures and scenarios that have more relevance to your character.

Possible Professions

In Untold, professions can be virtually anything—from surgeon to seamstress to sewage worker. Almost every sub-skill and diverse field of knowledge could be the basis for a profession. Also keep in mind that many people go through multiple career changes during the course of their lives. Your character’s current profession could be “unemployed”, but what was he in the past? Making your character a former criminal, FBI agent, or diplomat may provide even more depth than saying she is one now. Don’t feel like you need to have it all mapped out beforehand. Often you’ll find skills that inspire a new chapter in your character’s background. The point is to have a basic structure to organize your skills around. A profession may be the impetus propelling characters into the story of the game (i.e., soldier, smuggler, or spy) or it may be the normal lifestyle and work they had before being thrust into the story (i.e., scientist, student, or sandwich maker).

If you don’t yet know what kind of profession you want for your character, it may be helpful to start with a Profession Package.

Professions Packages

Profession Packages are simply a basic launching pad for character types. Every package includes base skills most applicable to a broad type of character across various game settings. These base skills may be increased further as your character’s skill set is expanded.

If you wish to utilize one of the Profession Packages listed below, simply subtract 20 points from your starting AP, record the listed skills on your character sheet, and build the rest of your skills around this foundation. 


(20 points)

Base Skills

SkillStarting SRSkillStarting SR

 *Can choose to specialize in a specific sub-skill or just have the broad skill listed.

**Depending on the setting, choose from a CRAFT specialized sub-skill such as Blacksmith, Stonemason, or Sculptor, or a KNOWLEDGE field such as Mechanics, Computers, Engineering, Lore, or Robotics.


(20 points)

Base Skills

SkillStarting SRSkillStarting SR

*Specialization required. Choose from Singing, Dancing, Acting, or a specific musical Instrument

**Can choose to specialize in a specific sub-skill or just have the broad skill listed.

***Depending on the setting, choose from KNOWLEDGE specializations of Etiquette, History, Lore, Music, Theater, Film, Literature, Philosophy, or Area/Region, or a separate Language

Knight/Military Officer

(20 points)

Base Skills

SkillStarting SRSkillStarting SR
ATHLETICS*2Combat skill #1+3
Choice of**1Combat skill #2+1

*Can choose to specialize in a specific sub-skill or just have the broad skill listed

**For this slot choose a specialized sub-skill in one of the following: LANGUAGE, KNOWLEDGE, or HANDLING.

***Depending on the setting, choose from Etiquette, Heraldry, History, Tactics, Military, or Fleet Tactics

+Choose from: FIREARMS, MISSILE WEAPONS, THROWN WEAPONS, UNARMED COMBAT, 1-HANDED WEAPONS, or 2-HANDED WEAPONS, or a specialized sub-skill under one of these broad skills.


(20 points)

Base Skills

SkillStarting SRSkillStarting SR
COORDINATION*3Combat skill #1***2
INFLUENCE*1Combat skill #2***1

*Can choose to specialize in a specific sub-skill or just have the broad skill listed.

**Choose specialization

***Choose from: FIREARMS, MISSILE WEAPONS, THROWN WEAPONS, UNARMED COMBAT, FINESSE WEAPONS, or BRUTAL WEAPONS, or a specialized sub-skill under one of these broad skills.


(20 points)

Base Skills

SkillStarting SRSkillStarting SR
KNOWLEDGE*4Choice of***2
KNOWLEDGE*2Choice of***2

*Choose specialization

**Can choose to specialize in a specific sub-skill or just have the broad skill listed.

***Choose from: DEBATE, PERSUASION, or specialized LANGUAGE. 


(20 points)

Base Skills

SkillStarting SRSkillStarting SR
Combat skill #1*4INFILTRATION**2
Combat skill #2*2ATHLETICS**2
Combat skill #3*1

*Choose from: FIREARMS, MISSILE WEAPONS, THROWN WEAPONS, UNARMED COMBAT, FINESSE WEAPONS, or BRUTAL WEAPONS, or a specialized sub-skill under one of these broad skills.

**Can choose to specialize in a specific sub-skill or just have the broad skill listed. 


(20 points)

Base Skills

SkillStarting SRSkillStarting SR
COORDINATION*1Combat Skill***1

*Can choose to specialize in a specific sub-skill or just have the broad skill listed.

**Choose any specialization desired.

***Choose from: FIREARMS, MISSILE WEAPONS, THROWN WEAPONS, UNARMED COMBAT, FINESSE WEAPONS, or BRUTAL WEAPON,  or a specialized sub-skill under one of these broad skills.

Background Skills

All characters begin with a certain amount of proficiency and knowledge, regardless of what other differences in upbringing and training they might have had. The most obvious of these is being able to speak their native language fluently. All characters start with a skill rank (SR) of 6 in their native tongue. They also start with SR 6 in Area Knowledge of their native land. Note that, with he GM’s approval, these may also be split between 2 or more languages or Area Knowledge skills. SR 6 normally costs 21 points. Therefore a character could have SR 5 (15 points) in one Area or Language and SR 3 (6 points) in another; or a character could have SR 4 in two Area Knowledge skills and SR 1 in a third—it still comes out to equal 21 points.)

In addition, the GM may say that all characters start with other background skills. If so, it is recommended that such background skills never exceed 20 points.

Acquiring Additional Skills

Skills are the most fundamental aspect of the game. In the course of play, every action undertaken by characters is based upon a skill. The greater your character’s expertise in a given skill, the greater the chance of succeeding at action checks associated with that skill. The bulk of your Advancement Points will most likely be spent on skills.

Skill Cost

The cost of each skill rank (SR) is constant across all skills. It’s also pretty straightforward. The cost of each skill rank is equal to the number of that rank (i.e., SR 1 costs 1 point, SR 2 costs 2 points, and so on). Increased training in a skill (skill ranks) grants additional dice to all checks based upon that skill. The cost of each rank—both initial and cumulative—is shown in the table below. 

Skill Rank (SR)Title# of diceAP CostTotal AP Cost

Below is a full list of general broad and sub-skills available to choose from. Not all skills will be available in every game setting. If unsure, consult with your individual Game Master. 

Mind-Based Skills




All Craft specializations are various unique forms of sculpting, forming, or other Creation. Examples include: Blacksmithing, Calligraphy, Carpentry, Gunsmith, Painting, Sculpture, Weaving, and Tinkering/Invention. Each unique Craft requires a separate specialization.








A wide range of possible (though not exhaustive) skill specializations for the three most common Game settings are listed under the Knowledge Skill Descriptions section in Chapter 5. Each specific field of Knowledge requires a separate specialization. 


Each new language skill requires a separate specialization.



*These skills require further specialization

Body-Based Skills





Melee Combat skills







Ranged Combat ski,lls







Advice for Spending AP on Skills

Because the bulk of your starting AP will likely be spent on skills, there are a few things which might be helpful to keep in mind. 

  1. Focus first on those skills which are most important to your character concept.

All skills have some potential value and there will likely be numerous skills which would be worthwhile to purchase. But as valuable as these skills might be, it’s advisable to first spend your limited AP on those skills directly tied to your character concept and profession. Later on, if you have extra points to distribute, then you can certainly consider buying a smattering of other skills. But focus on the most important ones first.

  1. You can’t be awesome at everything.

It’s understandable to want your character to be proficient at a wide range of skills. But chances are you can’t be adept at all of them. You could try to make a Jack-of-all-trades, spreading expertise among many different skills, but you won’t be an expert at any of them. If you want your character to be awesome, choose one thing to be awesome at, and—at least for now—be content with everything else being at a lower skill rank. 

  1. It’s okay to come back later and adjust the SR of skills up or down.

Don’t feel like you have to get the skill ranks of all your skills perfectly assigned the first time. It’s inevitable that you’ll need to come back and adjust the SR of skills, increasing them with the extra AP you managed to save, or reducing them to make room for something else. 

Magic, Faith, and Psionics

Depending on the game world and setting, characters may also learn to wield Magic, access the powers of Faith, or pursue the paths of Psionics. With each of these disparate disciplines, mastery is gained in much the same way as other skills. If any of these unique skill categories are included in the game world and allowed by the GM, you can find further guidelines in Chapter 10—Magic (pg __), Chapter 11—Faith (pg __), and Chapter 12—Psionics (pg __).

Step 6: Acquire Techniques

Techniques are specialized abilities associated with specific sub-skills. They represent a more focused and intense training in one particular aspect of a given sub-skill. Each technique will grant some unique bonus or ability in certain game play situations.

Techniques Not Required

Several steps in the character generation process could be considered optional. You can opt out of choosing a species and just default to human; you don’t have to select a specific profession; you can even choose not to acquire strengths or weaknesses (though we cringe at even suggesting this as an option). But of all the elements of character creation, techniques are certainly the most optional. There are several reasons why. 

  1. They add a bit more complexity

Most techniques are pretty straightforward: adding an extra die; increasing base damage; rerolling a single failed die roll, etc. But even these simple additions to your character’s capabilities can add a bit more complexity to the game. 

  1. They’re often the first element on the chopping block. 

Character creation can be a series of difficult decisions. It’s inevitable that some cherished element of your character will need to be sacrificed in favor of something even more essential. And of all the awesome aspects of your character, techniques will often be the first to be eliminated. Techniques have the feel of a more advanced character, making it easier to justify delaying their acquisition until later on in the game. 

  1. Your character can still be awesome without them. 

Techniques are a bit like adding awesome to amazing. You and other player characters will still be remarkable—and still be the heroes of the story—with or without techniques. 

The Value of Techniques

All that being said, there’s a reason techniques are part of the game. They grant an extra edge, or add some extraordinary capability that wouldn’t be possible without them. And once you’ve had a taste of what techniques can do, you’ll only wish you’d invested in them sooner. 

Restrictions on Techniques

Techniques come with a few requirements which must be met in order to purchase them.

  1. Each technique is tied to a specific sub-skill.

Techniques are inextricably tied to specific sub-skills. This means they are not available to characters who do not possess the sub-skill associated with that particular technique.

  1. Each technique has a minimum skill rank (SR).

Most techniques are not accessible by the novice practitioner. In fact many are only attainable by those who have achieved expert or master level proficiency—SR 7 or 9. No technique can be purchased until the minimum skill rank required by it is reached.

  1. Each technique has an AP cost.

Techniques require training to master. This is reflected, not just in the requisite SR to purchase them, but in the additional cost in AP to acquire them. 

Technique Types

There are three types of techniques: Universal, General, and Sub-Skill Specific. Universal Techniques are identical, recurring techniques repeated for each separate sub-skill. General Techniques are tied to overarching broad skills. They still require sub-skill specialization, but this can be any sub-skill underneath the general broad skill. Sub-Skill Specific Techniques are distinct, even unique abilities or bonuses associated solely with specific sub-skills. 

How Techniques are Listed

Each technique has five key components: Name of the technique, Cost in Advancement Points, Minimum SR required to purchase, Use (Constant or always in effect vs Exertion required to use), and Description, listed in this format:


AP cost[Minimum SR]

(Constant or Exertion Cost)





This technique grants characters -1 Initiative in UNARMED COMBAT

Universal Techniques

There are four Universal techniques which repeat for each separate sub-skill. This means you can purchase these same techniques any number of times for different sub-skills (though each of these techniques can only be purchased once per sub-skill.)

Enhanced  Exertion



This technique increases the exertion ratio of the specific sub-skill from the standard 2:3 (2 exertion for every 3 extra dice) to 1:2 (1 exertion for every 2 extra dice).

Focused Specialization



This technique involves increased specialization in an even narrower aspect of the chosen sub-skill. For example, further specializing in the Rapier instead of all 1-HANDED SWORDS, or training and caring for reptiles or horses instead of the more generalized ANIMAL CARE/TRAINING. This technique grants 1 additional die for the chosen specialization. 

Increased Precision



This technique represents greater focus and precision in tasks involving a specific sub-skill, allowing players to reroll any one failed die roll on any check. The only exceptions are any die rolls with a 1 facing.

Trained Enhancement



This technique grants characters an additional -1 modifier to MR (Minimum Roll) in a specific sub-skill. This represents the reinforcing of neural pathways and/or muscle memory that makes all tasks involving the sub-skill easier to accomplish.

Sub-Skill Specific and General Techniques

There are also a number of techniques tied exclusively to specific sub-skills, as well as those linked to broad skill categories. These sub-skill specific and general techniques are not listed here. For a full list of all techniques, see chapter 6 (pg __) or refer to the Techniques easy reference sheet.

Step 7: Establish your character’s Moral Code and Devotion

Your Character’s Moral Code

All characters have some degree of personal moral strictures that guide their actions. Some of these morals may stem from a character’s culture or upbringing; others may clash with societal or family norms. Whatever the case, defining these moral structures and views is a vital aspect of character creation.

The Primary Aspects of Moral Code

There are five primary aspects of each character’s Moral Code: Violence, Word/Oath, Honesty, Protection/Aid, and Increase. Each of these are elaborated on below:

Violence: Most often an indicator of a character’s unwillingness or revulsion to the idea of doing harm to others, the most extreme form of harm being killing.

Word/Oath: A measure of how much importance a character places on keeping his or her word and following through on oaths and commitments. 

Honesty: A character’s relationship with the truth, and willingness or unwillingness to deceive others. 

Protection/Aid: An indication of a character’s commitment to protecting, defending, and rendering aid to others.

Increase: The level of devotion to gaining money, fame, power or any other scaleable measurement of status. Note that the higher the level of this last aspect, the greater the desire to attain one or more kinds of increase—money, power or status.

Note that self-defense is an innate aspect of existence and is, therefore, not a facet of Moral Code. However, some characters’ moral standards are so firm that self preservation may actually be less important than certain aspects of their Moral Code. 

Base Levels

Each character starts with the same base number of levels to distribute among these five primary aspects of Moral Code. This base number is largely left to the GM (based on the nature of the setting and focus of the game), but is usually recommended to be somewhere between 12 and 20, with 15 being the default number. It should be emphasized, however, that only the base number of levels is assigned by the GM; how these levels are distributed among the five primary aspects should be left up to each individual player.

Increasing or Decreasing Aspects of Moral Code

The base levels of Moral Code in these five primary aspects can also be raised (through the Morally Bound weakness) or lowered (through the Morally Unfettered strength). For example, if all characters were required to allocate 20 levels to the five primary aspects, but you wanted to have fewer overall levels restricting your character’s actions, you could assign AP to lowering these numbers via the Morally Unfettered strength. On the other hand, if it made sense for your character to have even higher levels than those assigned by the GM, you could gain points from the Morally Bound weakness. All Moral Code aspects can be reduced all the way to 0, meaning the character has no qualms whatsoever about engaging in the specified behavior of that particular aspect. However, it is strongly recommended that at least one or two aspects have a rating higher than 2. This shows that the character has some aspects of their Moral Code they are at least somewhat committed to upholding. No aspect of Moral Code can ever have a level higher than 12. 

Secondary Aspects of Moral Code

Although almost all characters have, to one extent or another, the five primary aspects of Moral Code listed above, these need not be the only aspects of a character’s Moral Code. Other potential aspects which can be added include: Dress/Attire, Diet/Banned substances, Sexual Conduct, Specific Rituals or Practices, Adherence to Law, Reverence of a higher power, Treatment of Animals, Treatment of a Subset of Population (i.e., women, or children), or any other secondary aspect deemed appropriate by the player and GM. Each of these additional secondary aspects would be added or expanded through the Morally Bound weakness.

Moral Hierarchy

Each of these aspects can be considered to exist in a kind of moral hierarchy. Any aspect with a higher level will automatically take precedence over one with a lower level. For example, if protecting others and rendering aid is of higher value to a character than avoiding violence or gaining increase of money or status, then it will never be a moral dilemma to choose that over the others (In fact, such a character may be willing to commit violence or give up money or status in order to protect or render aid). This means that acting in accordance with the higher moral will never trigger a moral-based mental attack (see below).

If a moral dilemma ever occurs with two equal aspects in conflict (two aspects with the same level), the player may either choose which one wins out, or opt to flip a coin.

Acting Contrary to the Moral Code

Whenever characters act contrary to an aspect of their Moral Code, they suffer a moral-based mental attack. The greater the level of conviction or devotion to the code, the higher the severity of this attack.

In order to act in defiance of an aspect of Moral Code, players first roll 1d12. If the roll is equal to or above the level of the aspect, the character suffers Strain damage equal to the level of the aspect. If the roll is less than the level of the aspect, the character suffers a severe attack of guilt and remorse resulting in an amount of mental Strain damage equal to 2x the level of the aspect. A roll of 1 always results in a failed roll, even if the aspect only has a level of 1. On a roll of 12, you may roll again, and subtract the result from the damage inflicted. Level 0 means characters never need to roll.

It’s important to note that characters are considered to have no defense (no MDR) when it comes to such moral-based attacks (they cannot defend against themselves). Also note that such an attack only occurs if characters act in a way that is contrary to their Moral Code. 

Moral Code and Other Weaknesses

There may be times during gameplay when an aspect of Moral Code will be in conflict with your character’s other weaknesses. For example, your character could have an Obsession, an Obligation, or a Phobia, or perhaps your character is Delusional, Prejudiced or saddled with an Addiction. In any of these cases, the Moral Hierarchy will incorporate these weaknesses as if they were simply part of your character’s Moral Code, meaning that whichever aspect has the higher level will always trump the lower level aspect within the framework of the moral hierarchy. For example, a character with a minor Addiction—say, cigarettes or sweets—would likely have no problem subverting the craving when a higher moral imperative was at stake; a character with a much more severe addiction, however—say, to heroin or meth—will often do just the opposite, abandoning all other moral standards in order to satisfy the addiction. 


Devotion is directly tied to your character’s Moral Code. The number of Devotion points your character has is equal to the highest rating or level you have among the various aspects of Moral Code—primary or secondary. Thus, if your highest level was 3, you would only have a Devotion of 3; if your highest rating was 9, you would have 9 points of Devotion. For further rules on Devotion, see page ___.

Putting it all Together

In determining the aspects of  Moral Code for new characters, the GM assigns a base number of levels—usually between 12 and 20—to be assigned to the five primary aspects of Moral Code (Violence, Word/Oath, Honesty, Protection/Aid, and Increase). Players may reduce these base levels by purchasing the Morally Unfettered strength. They may increase one or more of these base levels by acquiring the Morally Bound weakness. They may also use the Morally Bound weakness to add additional secondary aspects, such as Dress/Attire, Diet/Use of Substances, and Specific Rituals or Practices. A character’s Devotion is equal to the primary aspect with the highest rating. If characters ever act contrary to an aspect of their Moral Code, they will immediately suffer a moral-based mental attack. MDR has no effect on reducing the damage of such attacks. Whenever a character breaks their code, 1d12 is rolled. If the result is less than the level of the violated aspect, the character suffers mental Wound damage equal to the level of that aspect. If the result of the die roll is equal to or higher than the level of the aspect, the character suffers mental Strain damage equal to the level of that Moral Code aspect. A roll of 1 always results in a failure (Wound damage). A roll of 12 allows players to roll again and subtract the second die roll from the Strain damage that would have been inflicted. Choosing to act in accordance with a higher level aspect of Moral Code over a lower level one will not trigger a moral-based attack. However, it will still always inflict 1 point of mental Strain damage.

Example 1: Clarice is faced with a moral dilemma. She has just spotted a shiny glinting object at the top of the stairs above her. At the same time she hears the scream of a little girl who has just been taken hostage by thugs tromping down the stairs below. The dilemma is that one of her secondary aspects of Moral Code is “intense curiosity for the new and interesting” at level 5. Her level in Protection/Aid is 6. She experiences a grueling moment of hesitation, curses under her breath that she has to leave the shiny object behind, and runs down the stairs after the thugs. Because she chose to act on her higher level aspect (Protection/Aid), she does not trigger a moral-based attack. But the choice still wasn’t easy, and she takes 1 point of mental Strain damage as a result.

Example 2: As one of the secondary aspects of Garret’s Moral Code, he has chosen to be Vegetarian and avoids eating meat. However, when the local lord he is trying to persuade insists he try a succulent skewer of an exotic bird, he gives in and takes a bite. It is delicious! But he still violated this aspect of his Moral Code, causing him to suffer a moral-based mental attack. His “Vegetarian” aspect is level 4. Garret rolls 1d12 and gets a 6. Since this is higher than the aspect’s level (4), he takes 4 mental Strain damage (if he had rolled 3 or lower, he would have taken 4 Wound damage instead).

Example 3: Sir Narrin (who wants to be known far and wide as Sir Narrin the Mighty) really wants to grow in fame and power. This aspect of his Moral Code (Increase) has a level of 7. After slaying a rival in the Haphtael swamp, he can now take the man’s sword and ride back triumphant, surely gaining in fame as a result. But a local boy kidnapped by the knight is trapped in a nearby copse of strangle vines. Sir Narrin’s aspect of Protection/Aid has a level of 5. He considers the sword—also sinking into the swamp—and the boy about to be pulled under the surface by the vines. Swearing aloud, Sir Narrin decides to leave the sword and rescue the boy. Since abandoning the sword of his rival is going against Sir Narrin’s higher level aspect (Increase), he suffers a moral-based mental attack. The player rolls—and gets a 12! This allows him to roll again and this time he rolls a 5. This second roll is subtracted from the level of the violated aspect (7), which means Sir Narrin only suffers 2 points of mental Strain damage (instead of 7). 

Example 4: Melanie loves animals, so much so that mistreating or abandoning them is abhorrent to her. She has a level 9 in this aspect of her Moral Code. She keeps telling herself she didn’t have a choice, that she had to leave Mister Whiskers behind. After all, what was she supposed to do?—stand and face the 9 foot demon with a flaming sword that just crashed into her living room? That doesn’t change the fact that she violated her Moral Code. Melanie rolls 1d12 and gets a 7. Since this is lower than the aspect’s level (9), she takes 9 mental Wound damage, and is basically inconsolable, practically paralyzed with grief and remorse. (Now, about that demon . . .)

Raising or Lowering Aspects of Moral Code in the course of Gameplay

In the course of gameplay, in order to decrease the level of a Moral Code aspect, character’s must spend the required AP to reduce it (1 AP/level decrease). Raising the level of an aspect of Moral Code is far simpler. Players may simply choose to increase one or more levels of their character’s moral code if they feel that their character has grown to value a particular aspect more. However, no additional Advancement Points are granted for doing so. In addition, a character’s base Devotion cannot be raised by arbitrarily increasing any aspect of Moral Code.

Step 8: Determine Monetary and Social Class and Equip your character

Monetary and Social Class Level

Each character starts with both a Monetary Class Level (MCL) and a Social Class Level (SCL), each at level 3—the equivalent of a lower income/lower-middle-class citizen. These starting levels can be raised with strengths—Affluent for MCL, Privileged for SCL—or lowered with weaknesses—Destitute for MCL, Lowborn for SCL (for costs/values of each, see steps 4—Strengths—and 5—Weaknesses, above). All monetary and social class levels, along with their approximate equivalents across the three most common generic game settings, are shown in the table below:

Monetary/Social Class Level Equivalents

MCL/SCLMedieval/FantasyModernFuturistic/Science Fiction
0Beggar, SlaveTransientSlave/Transient
1Privileged slave, serfPoverty-level income, Dependent on welfareBasic Subsistence, Wanderer
2Poor Class Citizen, ApprenticeStudent, LaborerColonist, Journeyman, Cadet
3*Freeman, Journeyman, lower class citizenLower-middle class,Lower-middle class
4Minor merchant, shop-keeperMiddle-class, Working ProfessionalMiddle Class, Soldier, Merchant
5Successful MerchantUpper-middle class, Upper Class, Wealthy Merchant
6Wealthy MerchantBusiness owner or executiveMinor Guild MasterRegional/state governor
7Minor Lord, Lesser NobilityUpper Class, Corporate Executive, MillionairesPlanetary Governor, 
8Mid-ranking Lord, upper nobilityFamous and/or Extremely wealthy, multimillionaireLesser Nobility, Ruling Senators/Governors
9Highest ranking NobilityGovernment Leader, the most wealthy and elite, billionaireUpper Nobility, Interstellar CEO
10Ruling Class, King, Queen, Prince
12**Emperor, ruler of many nationsEmperor of known galaxy

*Starting class level for player characters.

**Subject to GM approval

Why Monetary Class Level Matters

In Untold, there is no gold, paper, or credit monetary system. Instead, all goods, services, food, lodging, and anything else that can be bought and sold with money is assigned a number/DL. This number ranks how easy or difficult it is to obtain and/or afford the item or service. This is where MCL comes into play. Any item with a DL/number rating equal to or lower than a character’s Monetary Class Level is assumed to be within the character’s budget, enabling the character to simply acquire it. If any item is above a character’s MCL, it is beyond their means and reach. Such items may still be obtained, but only by incurring an Obligation weakness (a debt, see pg __), or through the Item strength (pg __). 


The rules for attaining/buying items during the course of the game are meant to be streamlined and simple. However, it is still recommended that some limitations and restrictions be put in place. For example, if a character acquires/purchases an item with a level equal to their MCL (3 for a standard starting character), it makes sense that their resources would be temporarily maxed out, making them unable to acquire other goods or services—even less expensive ones— until several days have passed. 

Using an MCL Credit System

As a rule of thumb, you can utilize MCL as a kind of credit system which can be used and replenished every week or so. Thus, a character with an MCL of 3 would only have 3 credits to spend over the course of a week, and could never acquire an item of DL 4 or higher. Such credits can also never be banked or stashed in hopes of acquiring a higher DL item later (even if characters don’t directly allocate such credits, it can be assumed that everyday or inconsequential expenditures will drain a character’s funds over the course of a week—use it or lose it). At the GM’s approval, such MCL credits could potentially be shared by characters, but not at a 1 to 1 ratio. In other words, you can’t add everyone’s MCL together—two 4s would not equal 8. It is suggested that pooling credits add +1 credit to that of the character with the highest MCL rating. 

Gear Up

For the purposes of character creation, selecting gear for your character is pretty straightforward. simply browse through the lists of equipment based on game setting and select any equipment items you think your character would logically possess. Just keep these three things in mind:

  1. You can’t obtain any item with a number/DL higher than your character’s MCL.

Or at least you can’t without saddling your character with a weakness like Obligation (debt), or spending the points for an Item strength.

  1. Focus only on things your character would have on his or her person. 

Although your character might theoretically have more “stuff” at an apartment or storage unit, unless you have a ship or RV, it’s unlikely you’ll have ready access to those things in the course of the game.

  1. You don’t have to think of everything. 

If it makes sense your character would have thought to bring an extra 100 feet of rope on your spelunking expedition, the GM will probably agree. If you didn’t anticipate finding a 100 foot pit in the villain’s secret base, it’s also unlikely you’d have brought an extra hundred feet of rope. (Besides, that’s what Hero Points are for!)

Equipment Lists

Basic gear for each of the three most common generic game settings are listed below.

Equipment Items Unique to Your Character Alone

Some items are distinctive, beyond the normal capabilities of other run of the mill equipment. Some of these items will simply be an upgrade of the standard item—still available to the general public, just at a higher price point (+1 DL). Other items, however, are truly unique. This could include everything from a personally modified lock pick or souped-up sports car to a legitimately lucky rabbit’s foot or a staggeringly powerful sword blessed by the gods. Such items do not follow the same rules as standard or upgraded gear and equipment regulated by a character’s MCL. Instead, such unique items are handled using the Item strength (pg __). If you envision such items being an integral part of your character you’ll find the means of creating them there.

Step 9: Determine Exertion and Defense Ratings

Exertion Ratings

There are five aspects of exertion: two physical—Endurance and Vitality; two mental—Tenacity and Sanity; and one that is linked to both—Resilience. To determine the base rating in each aspect, refer to the table below:

Exertion AspectCalculation*
Endurance3 + three highest body-based SNs
Tenacity3 + three highest mind-based SNs
Resilience3 + highest body SN AND highest mind SN
Vitality3 + highest body SN
Sanity3 + highest mind SN

*For more gritty game settings, the GM may rule that the base number for each aspect of exertion (normally 3) is reduced to 2, 1, or even 0.

Defense Ratings

Each character has two separate defense ratings: one mental (mind), and one physical (body). The Mind Defense Rating (MDR) is equal to the highest mind SN; the Body Defense Rating (BDR) is equal to the highest body SN.

Body Defense Rating (BDR) = Average of 3 Highest Body skill SNs

Mind Defense Rating (MDR) = Highest Mind skill SN

Check back with your GM

At this point, we encourage you to check back in with your Game Master. Go over the choices you’ve made for your character and see if your GM has any additional ideas, questions, or concerns. If you don’t yet have a clear picture of how your skills, strengths, and weaknesses might play a role in your character’s backstory, perhaps the GM can offer some suggestions. Also note that your GM always has veto power. If an aspect of your character will upset the game balance or storyline the GM has in mind, you may need to go back and change it. 

Step 10: Establish Relationships with other PCs and Fill in Final Details

Ties to Other Player Characters

Consult with your Game Master (and, if the GM approves, other players as well) to determine what connections might exist between you and other Protagonist Characters. Below are some possible pathways to such ties:

Shared Background—Are you all from the same place (town, district, city, nation, planet)? Did you all grow up in the same clan, family, or surrogate family, such as a gang or cult? Are you all part of the same organization, military unit, or work crew? Are you all prisoners or guards, criminals or police, servants or nobles? Any of these connections—or several combined—can bring protagonist characters together.

Mutual Goals—If some mutual identity doesn’t tie you to each other, what else might have brought you together to form an alliance? Are you all seeking the same goal, and must form a tenuous alliance to reach it? This could be anything from seeking the same fabled treasure, to mutually seeking training from a legendary master, to seeking a cure for a shared disease or curse. What if you’ve all suffered under the same tyrannical regime, or had loved ones slain by the same terrible creature or foe? Any of these can establish bonds between characters.

Powerful Outside Event or Force—Forging a story with characters from wildly different backstories or without any former ties or relations can be a challenging uphill battle. Unless you have some devastating outside event or powerful figure forcing the characters together, it may be extremely difficult. Yet such an impetus can be an excellent means of uniting characters from disparate backgrounds. What if you were all summoned by the king or some powerful business leader to perform a task? What if the country had been invaded by a rampaging army or horde of vicious creatures? What if there had been a natural—or unnatural—disaster? These can be strong hooks to pull disparate characters into a story. 

Additional Details that might be Relevant to Your Character

As part of the final step of character creation, decide if there are any other pertinent details you think might be important to your character.  Most of the items listed below are completely optional. If an item strikes you as relevant, jot it down. If it doesn’t stand out as something crucial to your character’s backstory and personality, don’t worry about it. 

Additional details that might be relevant to your character:    

  1. Goals and aspirations
  2. Beliefs and motivations
  3. Preferences and Dislikes
  4. Past mentors, friendships, and romances
  5. Nationality/birthplace
  6. Culture/Religion
  7. Guilds or Affiliations
  8. Hobbies or Vices
  9. Age, gender, height, and weight
  10. Hair, eye, and skin color
  11. Clothing and attire
  12. Anything else you think is relevant

Putting it all Together

Example: Sam decides he wants to make a samurai-like warrior. After consulting with the GM and finding out that one of the other player’s characters is the daughter-heir to the empress, Sam decides it makes sense for him to be the sworn bodyguard to the princess. The GM also tells him that the maximum number of strengths and weaknesses he can have is 6, and that he will have 16 levels to distribute among the five primary aspects of Moral Code. Sam chooses human for his character’s species and, after a lot of thought, he chooses the following 6 strengths: For his free Prowess strength he chooses Slashing Weapons, which gives him a -1 MR at that sub-skill—because Sam really wants his character to be awesome at the sword. For his other strengths he chooses: 1) Devoted at 24 points (giving him 3 extra points of devotion)—because he’s totally dedicated to safeguarding the princess; 2) Fighter’s Instincts, which gives him a -1 MR modifier for all melee combat skills and a -1 modifier to initiative; 3) Mighty, which reduces all Feats of Strength checks by -1 DL, and give a +1 damage bonus in melee combat—because Sam envisions his character as being really buff and strong; 4) Tough, which gives him really strong skin and reduces damage from melee attacks by 1; and 5) Indefatigable—because Sam doesn’t think he will tire easily—at 16 points (giving him 2 more base Endurance points). Those are some pretty expensive strengths to kick things off: a whopping 102 points. Ouch. That only leaves him with 18 or his original 120 points. He hopes he can offset a bunch of those points with some Weaknesses. He chooses the following six weaknesses: 1) Distinguishing Trait, a tattoo of a flame encircling a diadem on his neck—the sign of the sworn guard of the royal family; 2) Morally Bound (Sam’s not sure how many points he will assign here, but he’s pretty sure at least some; 3) Obligation—entirely dedicated to protecting the princess (a little tricky since the princess doesn’t actually need him to do everything for her, but he tries to do everything for her, so the GM figures it makes sense as an 18 point weakness); 4) Monoglot— he can only speak one language and probably has little hope of deciphering even the most simple words; 5) Performance Anxiety—he couldn’t act (or sing or dance) his way out of a paper sack, and 6) being Inept at DECEPTION checks (he’s pretty straightforward and isn’t able to lie very well). Excluding whatever points he’ll gain from his Morally Bound weakness, Sam receives 57 points from the rest, which brings his total AP up to 75. Now he moves on to skills. As free skills, he begins with SR 6 in the native language of the Empire, and for his free Area Knowledge skills he opts to split between two areas—the Imperial City at SR 5 and the surrounding province of Iridia at SR 3. The GM also says that he can take 10 points worth of background skills. He opts for SR 2 in FEATS OF WILL (3 points) and the KNOWLEDGE sub-skills of Etiquette and First Aid, each also at SR 2 (3 points each). Finally, he buys RIDING at SR 1 (1 point). With all that out of the way, Sam chooses the profession package of Warrior and starts with SR 4 in SLASHING WEAPONS, SR 2 in UNARMED COMBAT, and SR 1 in MISSILE WEAPONS. From the package he also takes SR 2 in OBSERVATION (a sub-skill of INFILTRATION) and SR 2 in ARMOR MOVEMENT (a sub-skill of ATHLETICS). The profession package subtracts 20 points, leaving Sam with 55 points to spend on the rest of his skills. He decides to raise his SLASHING WEAPONS skill from SR 4 to 8 (an additional 26 points). He also bumps up his ARMOR MOVEMENT from SR 2 to 4—7 points), his RIDING skill to SR 3 (5 points), and his FEATS OF WILL skill to SR 4 (7 points). After that he has 10 points left. He wants to raise his OBSERVATION skill from SR 2 to SR 6. The problem is that is an extra 18 points, and he only has 10 left. He decides to go back and lower his Devoted strength from 24 points down to 16, giving him the extra 8 points he needed. He would also like to raise the SR of Etiquette and First Aid, and he is considering purchasing the Creature Lore skill as well. He also would like to get a couple of techniques. He decides now is a good time to figure out his character’s Moral Code. The GM had him start with 16 points to distribute among the 5 primary aspects of Moral Code. Once he figures out how many extra points he gets from Moral Code, he’ll see about raising those skills as well.

Get to the Story

That’s it, you’re done! All that remains is the story ahead. Let your hero’s journey begin.