From Breaking Worlds
To play Breaking Worlds, you take on the role of a character within the setting - an adventurer in the town of Fiveways.
The kind of character you play is up to you. You can be a soldier or a pacifist, a priest or a scholar, a revolutionary or a reactionary, and many more things besides. We encourage you to use your imagination and consider what you will have the most fun playing.
It is important to think about how your character fits into the setting of Breaking Worlds, and what abilities you want them to have.
With this in mind we have created a guide here to creating a character for the game. If you are new to LARP, we recommend going through it in order.
We have also prepared eight example characters, all using 30 XP, to help you choose your starting skills and specialisation.
Choose an origin
Every journey starts somewhere. Player characters in Breaking Worlds were all at least born human, but they can have any of the following origins:
- Arginese - your character is from the realm of Arginet, the main setting of Breaking Worlds. They might be from Fiveways or further afield; have a look at the pages on geography if you want to explore some possibilities.
- Foreign - your character is from another nation in the world of Arginet. You should choose one of the countries linked from the foreign nations page.
- Offworld - your character was born in another world and has come to Arginet through a mysterious rift in the last few months. There are many possibilities for what their homeworld was like.
Choose a nature
Despite their beginnings, not all characters in Breaking Worlds have remained fully human. Your character may be any of the following:
- Human - a living, breathing mortal without any special magical nature.
- Fay - a human who has become suffused with elemental influence, changing their personality and appearance. In Arginet this is traditionally associated with the nobility although any native of the world the characters live in can be fay. Offworlders may not start play as fay.
- Revenant - a human or fay who has died and returned to life as their spirit has reanimated their corpse. Revenants have only started to appear in the year or so since the Breaking began.
If a living character dies in play and their body is safe, the refs may allow them to return as a revenant.
Choose an affiliation
People are often drawn to causes or identities bigger than themselves. Breaking Worlds supports, but does not require, characters taking sides in the conflicts of the setting.
If your character is Arginese, they may start as a full member of one of the three main political factions:
- The Noble Houses - the old feudal nobility, internally competitive but united in defending the status quo.
- The Royal Armies - loyal only to the Crown and to each other, determined to strengthen and protect the nation by any means.
- The Reform Coalition - a fractious assortment of reformers and revolutionaries seeking to build a new social order.
All three of these factions are active throughout the country and have substantial resources at their disposal. However, they demand loyalty from their members and will not hesitate to punish backsliding.
If your character is Arginese or from a foreign nation, they may start as a member of a minor faction or organisation. This could be a religious order, a guild, a diplomatic mission, or any number of other groups. Feel free to make up your own - although minor factions like these won’t be able to provide material support in the same way as the big three, they give your character more freedom and form a part of their identity within the world.
You can also play a character who is completely independent. They could have joined the adventurers for personal gain, excitement, curiosity, or even by accident. If your character is from offworld, they must start as independent.
It is possible to join or leave factions during play, regardless of your character’s origin. Bear in mind, however, that there may be in-character conditions or consequences for doing so...
Choose a class
Everyone has something they’re particularly good at. In Breaking Worlds characters may belong to any one of three classes:
- Warrior - a fighter trained with weapons and armour, capable of dealing and taking serious damage.
- Channeller - a magician who can use raw elemental power to fight, heal, and manipulate the world around them.
- Evoker - a mystic who summons and bargains with spirits to gain new powers and create magic items.
Each character gets the starting skill from their class for free, and has a slight bonus applicable to skills from their class. Although you can always buy skills from other classes as well as general skills - much like ‘multiclassing’ in traditional RPGs - it is not possible to change your class bonus in play.
You can start without a class if you only buy general skills and do not have any class skills. You may choose a class in any future downtime, and if and when you do so you immediately get its starting skill for free - but until that point, you may not buy any class skills.
The abilities of a character within the framework of the rules are defined by their skills. These are intended not to be restrictive, but to keep gameplay fair and balanced. Combat, magic, healing, and downtime abilities are the areas where your character’s skills are most important.
- All characters start with some basic combat and healing abilities, described on the starting abilities page. Note that revenants have slightly different abilities to living characters - they cannot bind spirits without training, but are slightly more resilient.
- You get the starting skill for your class for free.
- You may spend experience points (XP) to buy more skills.
- Characters start with 30 XP. You need not spend this all at character creation.
Choose a name
The name of your character can say a lot about them. The page on names describes naming traditions in Arginet and other nations - we encourage you to use it as a guide, though you should remember that the choice of name is really up to you.
Write a background
This is an optional, short summary of your character’s life up to now, particularly concentrating on what made them who they are, what drives them, and if there are any particular goals they are aiming to achieve. Please keep it concise!
This is also the place to tell us how much you want us to interact with your background. Would you rather be left alone to roleplay around it in peace? Do you actively enjoy having past poor life choices come back to haunt you in play? Let us know; we can’t guarantee anything, but we’ll try our best to please.
Throughout the course of the game, your character will make discoveries, gain friends (and probably enemies), and learn new powers. To represent their abilities developing over time, you get additional XP to spend on their skills.
- You gain 3 XP for every week in which you play a character at a game or in which you crew or monster a game.
- You may spend XP from your pool on a character you play.
- There is a limit on the XP level of a character. The maximum XP for any character is 40 XP at the start of Year 2, and increases by 1 XP at the end of each week.
If you play or crew every week, you will gain XP faster than you can spend it on any one character. This is a deliberate choice intended to make it easier for players whose characters die or retire during the game, or who are only able to attend occasionally.
Each week that you play or crew, you can submit a downtime. Some skills only work in downtime.
Please email character writeups to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some common questions are answered on our FAQ page - if you have a question and the answer isn’t there, send us an e-mail at the above address.