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Character Generation Options

This rule was inspired by rules recommended by Pagan Publishing in several of their products, including the Realm of Shadows 1940s Call of Cthulhu campaign book, and the Delta Green rulebook.

The Call of Cthulhu rulebook gives players points to spend on skills. A player gets EDU x 20 points to spend on professional skills, and INT x 10 points to spend on any skills. Professional skills are those specifically allowed by the character's profession.

Pagan Publishing does away with the distinction between professional skills and "other" (or "hobby") skills, and suggests that each player spend EDU x 20 plus INT x 10 points on any skills that they want.

This is an excellent variation and I find it produces characters that are more well rounded than the method found in the main rulebook. The problem with the rulebook method is that a character often has so many points based on Education that they have a small smattering of skills with high values, and then all their other skills are very low. The result is a character who is exceptional in their field of study and pretty close to incompetent in anything else. Pagan's system still allows players to play characters who are very proficient in their professional skills, while allowing players the option of creating a "jack-of-all-trades" type of character. It also allows players to spend points in skills that would compliment the professional skills but which aren't strictly a professional skill. For instance, an accountant can have high math skills, or an archaeologist could have operate heavy machinery.

Some players, though, may take advantage of the Pagan system and produce a character that is supposedly a member of one profession but is rather poor in the professional skills. This variant addresses that problem. Instead of giving the player all of his skill points to put into anything he wishes, use the following formula:

A player must spend EDU x 10 points in their character's professional skills. The character then has EDU x 10 plus INT x 10 points to spend on any skills.

This method preserves the professional skill list found in the Call of Cthulhu and Delta Green rulebooks, but also gives the player a better chance of rounding out the character. This system works well, though I prefer Pagan's system (assuming the players are mature enough to handle it).