Initial character creation normally consists of selecting a character, and rolling the attributed amount of dice, to determine a character's attributes. Our group has had four different methods of rolling out characters. They are;
1st Method: The one listed in the book, rolling as it suggests, going straight down the line of attributes from IQ to Spd.
2nd Method: Roll 1 more die than it specifies, throw out the lowest dice rolled, and count up the total, then continue down the list as per the method mentioned above. NOTE: This method has been removed from our gaming system, but it was one used for a number of years, up until about '00.
3rd Method: Roll the normally allotted amount of dice once, then rolling again - taking the higher of the two numbers rolled, and writing that down as the attribute. Continue down the list of attributes in the same fashion as mentioned above.
4th Method: Roll the normal number of dice 16 times and mark these down on a sheet of paper. Select the eight rolls you like best, and place them anywhere you'd like them. NOTE: This method has been removed from our gaming system, but it is one we used up until about '97.
5th Method: Roll the eight attributes as normal, but then allot them as you would see your' character in your' minds eye. This is handy if you have a general idea of what kind of character this will be like. This is only really useful if the character in question is human, where all attributes rolled are the same. Note also that you can choose to have lower attributes than you rolled, but it does not go both ways - you cannot choose to have higher attributes than what you rolled.
O.C.C./R.C.C. Selection Allowance:
We have been VERY lenient in the past about what O.C.C.s we've allowed. Everything from Vagabonds to Cosmo-Knights, and adult dragons have been called Player Characters in our group. Dragons, for the most part, are not permitted as characters any longer - hatchlings, yes, adults - no. Cosmo-Knights are usually only brought in to high stakes campaigns, something that would require that level of assistance. Even still, their own codes are a hinderance to their abilities, and makes their lives very difficult and rigid. Some have ended up as fallen knights, others do not see use frequently because it is a strain to play them. The most common O.C.C. in our group is most likely Headhunter, or something similar. Wilderness Scouts are also very popular, as are Techno-Wizards. Some of our players couldn't stick with a character for more than a little while if their life depended on it. This is allowed, provided that it doesn't interfere with campaign continuity.
We use the O.C.C. Related Skill section as a general reference of what a character of that class is permitted and what they are not. IF there is some reason however, why the character MAY have access to a skill not normally allowed, it has not been unusual for a Game Master to allow it. For instance, a TW Aviator, from Rifter #2, who was trained to fight in the Royal Tolkeen Air Force (Tolkeen Air Corps, if you follow the Siege on Tolkeen books.), that character COULD be permitted to select Intelligence, since it directly relates with identifying military equipment, recognizing camoflague, etc. Perfectly useful and understandable for a military trained pilot.
Another trait the RRVGG does not share with other groups is a lot of the skill advancement programs we conduct. IF a character selects ANY skill more than one time, there is a one time +10% bonus to that skill, and it is automatically elevated by one level of experience. Normally a character who was first level would have a 24%+4% per level of experience on Streetwise, but if he selects it twice, it reflects that the character has put a great deal of time and effort into learning the ropes of that skill. That would mean that he would not have a 24%, but a 38%. (Base 24%+10% one time bonus +4% for it now becoming a level 2 skill.)
Very few new skills have been added during our gaming time. Lore: Dimension is one, but we seldom use it. According to tradition, it is 5%+1% per level of experience. This accounts for the fact that there are millions of different dimensions, and the character is seldom going to know but a few of the most prominent ones. One could also argue that one could never possibly even know 20% of the traits of different dimensions. Thus it's one that's fallen into disuse. Most of the skills displayed in the Rifters have also been integrated into our game, and allowed. Specific hobby related skills have also been permitted, to replace more broad skills like Art or Whittling and Sculpting. There are a number of other skills we have thrown out over time as well, things that are duplicates of others especially. For instance, Read Sensory Equipment Sonar - that's already covered under basic Read Sensory Equipment. Same is true of W.P. Grenade Launcher, and similar. The bonuses and percentages may be different, but it's all the same stuff basically. It's not so much that these skills are not permitted, but they are without a doubt what we consider useless filler. Like the soy in a fast food joint burger - Palladium seems to insist on some measure of their own version of the metaphorical soy, in their books!
Pretty straight forward in regards to this stuff. Our weapons usually have to be within reason, thus a Headhunter from Kingsdale wouldn't be allowed an ATL-7 at level 1 as his main weapon. IF he traveled to South America in a campaign, and attained one, sure it's alright - but an extraordinary weapon usually cannot be selected at the creation of the character. IN times past we were not very rigid about rules like this. Thus characters almost always started with HI-80s and similar from Phase World. Power Armor for most characters is restricted in the sense that I NEVER allow a character to start with Avenger Power Armor, or Glitterboy, unless you are in fact of a Glitterboy O.C.C..
Furthermore, maintenance in our game is a serious issue. IF you have a military vehicle, it had better be either of a common type, or you'd better be near some place where you can get replacement parts. It's not terribly easy to repair damaged systems without necessary components. Armor plating is one thing, a replacement launcher is another. Take for example our infamous Skies Over Tolkeen campaign, we had more trouble in that game keeping our aircraft aloft, due to a lack of spare parts, an inadequate supply unit, etc. Characters who insisted on using their own aircraft in the war also suffered trouble if they were not types that parts could be attained for. A character's Crescent Moon's radar was knocked out by a Homing Anti-Radiation Missile, thus he had to fly with a substandard radar set that took almost three days to rig, while he waited the three weeks for a replacement radar set to arrive from Naruni. Also, repair of damage must be done in 10% incriments. IF a character fails on his or her roll for Mechanical Engineer for one 10% incriment, it means that it cannot be fixed to that extent. Meaning that the vehicle/armor/etc. will always be down by that 10% that was failed upon, until it is completely overhauled, or a complete replacement part is attained. Some of our aircraft in the same campaign were so patched up and such, aircraft that were as tough as a SAMAS unit when they were first issued, were later more flimsy than a suit of Flying Titan Power Armor!
The same can be said about energy weapons. Any damage an energy weapon takes, and even being tossed around a lot requires the character to take some time out to actually check it over. I, as the Game Master will occasionally have things go wrong with a weapon, which will require repair, or maintenance. Something as simple as dirt or mud on the delivery lense of a laser rifle could diffuse the beam partially, or worse - could even crack the lense, and result in a much less intense beam.
A note towards modern weapons in our game, no weapons can fire bursts, unless the weapon is described as being able to fire a burst like a Pulse Laser Rifle, or specifically states that it can be used to fire a burst (Aimed, Burst, Wild, etc.) or if by it's very nature it fires bursts - ie rail guns, machine guns, assault rifles, auto-cannons, automatic grenade launchers, etc.
The only other note I have to add about Equipment, is that if it doesn't specify how many clips you get for a weapon, we roll 1D6+1, and that is the number of clips we start off with for the weapon in question.
Although not exactly part of character creation, it's related in a sense. We're pretty straight forward about changing O.C.C.'s. IF a person is of one O.C.C. and joins some organization for additional training, he or she is trained in a new occupation oftentimes. Regardless of what level the character was in his or her previous occupation. IF however the character decides to change their own line of work, then it's a little different. Firstly, the character must have a mentor - someone who knows the ropes of the trade in question, OR the character must take time out of active role play to learn. The only catch we draw to this sort of Occupational change, is that NO character can simply choose to change Occupation before level 8! When you finally succeed at completing your' training - you will have the O.C.C.'s abilities, all of the O.C.C. Skills, and HALF of the O.C.C. Related Skills. NO Secondary Skills will however be permitted under this new O.C.C. unless you attain some at the later levels of the new O.C.C.. In real life terms this is very realistic - in real life most people change occupations 5 or more times.