Fire and Ice
Grab a character sheet and let’s get started!
In the Hellfrost setting, you can play engro, frost dwarves, frostborn, hearth elves, taiga elves, and humans. Elves and humans are not genetically compatible, so there aren’t any half-elves in this setting. The same applies to other half-breeds, such as half-orcs.
For the start of the campaign all characters will come from the Freelands located in the Hearthlands. The link above will list suitable locations. If you choose to play a non-human, and your character is not native to the Hearthlands, he will still need to be present somewhere in the Freelands.
Now it’s time to choose your hero’s attributes and skills. Unless a racial description says otherwise, your character starts with a d4 in each of his five attributes: Agility, Smarts, Spirit, Strength, and Vigor. You then have 5 points to distribute among them as you choose. Raising an attribute a die type costs 1 point, and you may not raise an attribute above d12.
You also have 15 points to buy your skills. Raising a skill by a die type costs 1 point as long as it’s no higher than the attribute it’s linked to. It costs 2 points per die type to raise a skill over its linked attribute.
All the standard skills are available in Hellfrost except Driving and Piloting. Riding covers controlling animal-drawn conveyances. Characters with an Arcane Background also have access to special arcane skills.
Characters begin the game with a number of languages equal to half their Smarts die. Languages aren’t rated by dice, and it’s assumed a hero speaks the language fluently enough to hold a conversation (see page 7 Hellfrost Player’s Guide for available languages).
The first language a hero learns must be their racial tongue. Many heroes also speak Trader, a common language invented after the great disaster to help in rebuilding the world. They must pick this with one of their available language slots, however.
Unless a character is Illiterate (which is commonplace in Rassilon), he can also read and write any languages he speaks.
Charisma is a measure of your hero’s likeability, and is added to Persuasion and Streetwise rolls. Your Charisma modifier is +0 unless changed by Edges or Hindrances.
Pace is equal to 6”, unless changed by Edges or Hindrances.
Parry is equal to 2 plus half your Fighting die type. Edges, Hindrances, and some types of equipment can modify your Parry score. If the Fighting die increases above a d12, round all fractions down.
Toughness is equal to 2 plus half your Vigor die type. Edges, Hindrances, and Armor can modify your Toughness. Vigor can, in some cases, go above a d12. In such cases, all fractions are rounded down.
4. EDGES & HINDRANCES
Great heroes are far more than a collection of skills and attributes. It’s their unique gifts, special powers, and tragic flaws that truly make them interesting characters.
You can take one Major Hindrance and two Minor Hindrances. A Major Hindrance is worth 2 points, and a Minor Hindrance is worth 1 point.
For 2 points you can:
- Raise an attribute one die type (you may raise your
attributes before purchasing skills).
- Choose an Edge.
For 1 point you can:
- Gain another skill point.
- Gain additional money equal to your starting funds
(if you start with 500 gold, you gain an additional
Next you need to purchase equipment (see page 31 in The Hellfrost Player’s Guide for a list of gear). Unless you’ve acquired Edges or Hindrances that change this, a hero starts with the clothes on his back and 500 gold scields (pronounced “shield,” and usually shortened to gs), the predominant currency of the Hearthlands.
Praise, fame, recognition, prestige, popularity, acclaim, renown, reputation—in the lands of Rassilon, a hero is remembered for his heroic deeds and daring escapades, not his social standing. Consequently, all characters have a Glory rating, which reflects a hero’s reputation due to heroic actions.
Don’t worry about Glory just yet. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to show your mettle!
Finish your character by filling in any history or background you care to. Ask yourself why your hero is where she is and what her goals are. Or you can just start playing and fill in these details as they become important.