Note: Assume by default I am working from Rifts Ultimate Edition as the baseline as the traditional Palladium System as my starting point.
Palladium 2.0 character Generation
This is meant as a generic character generation revision for the Palladium system in general. Different games may have slight variation but those will be listed in a separate section for each setting as "changes" or "modifications" specific to those settings/games.
Make sure you have a way to record information as you go as you will need to make notes all through the character generation process (Yes I know most know this but to be clear so there is no question as some are wont to do, this is a process beginning to end)
Step 1 - Primary Attributes
The default attribute roll in this system is 3d6 with the roll totaled up to be your attribute number. Many humanoid races fall in this range as "average" races so to speak. Races that do not fit this across the board will receive a bonus or penalty to specific attributes as necessary. The Attributes are as follows:
IQ - Intelligent Quotient. This is well much your character can understand the skills they have. Gives bonuses to skills. Classes that may put a focus on this attribute are Magic Users, Doctors, and other scholarly types that typically hold knowledge in the highest esteem.
MA - Mental Acuity. This represents how well your character can assess the information they have and use it. Gives bonuses to some skills and saves. Field Scientists, Medics, Mechanics and other hands on type classes may find particular use in focusing on their mental acuity.
ME - Mental Endurance. This is how well your character can handle things like stress or potential mental attacks against them. Gives bonuses to some save types. Psychics, Under-cover operatives, and other loner type characters could find ME to be the go to attribute for themselves.
PS - Physical Strength. This is how strong your character is and determines how much damage they can do in hand to hand combat or how much they can lift or carry. Soldiers, Enforcers, Mercenaries, and Brawlers tend to like having a high strength level for carrying heavier weapons or to be able to subdue smaller opponents, so might look to put more into PS than other attributes. See new Strength Tables - https://www.worldofjaymz.ca/palladium/newPStable.txt
PP - Physical Prowess. This is how agile or coordinated your character is and how well you can strike or defend against your opponents or do things requiring dexterity. Gives bonuses to strike, parry , and dodge. Pilots are particularly in need of a high PP as well as Martial Artists/Fighters and Assassins.
PE - Physical Endurance. This is how tough your character is or how much stamina they may have. Gives bonuses to some types of saves. Scouts, Rangers, and Couriers could find use for focusing on PE as their primary attribute allowing them survive in the field longer than others.
PB - Physical Beauty. This is your character’s physical attractiveness. Gives bonuses to some skills. This is the attribute of the con artists and their ilk in being able to distract their prey by playing upon their baser desires.
Players roll 7 sets of 3d6 to get their attribute numbers. Players then get to place these numbers where they feel they best fit for their character concept. (Example, I have 12, 8, 13, 10, 15, 10, and 11 for my rolls. I am playing wanting to play a mage so I place 15 into IQ and then 13 into MA as I want them to be more intelligent and wise than physically capable. I then place the rest as I feel would best help the character for the campaign we are playing in)
Exceptional attributes: When rolling on 3d6, if the result is a total of 16, 17 or 18, you may roll ONE additional d6 and add it to the total. This allows for an attribute, before choosing a race, to potentially reach a maximum of 24. (Example I roll 17 on 3d6. I then get to roll a d6 which comes up a 2. I add that so the final attribute roll is a 19).
Optional attribute set array: If the GM wishes, the players can just be given an attribute set to distribute as they wish. The set is as follows: 16, 14, 13, 12, 10, 10, 9.
Optional Quick Roll Attribute's: This is a quicker way to roll attributes while not being a set sequence of numbers. Each one will also give a guideline of the types of characters that may best fit that set.
Intellectual - IQ = 1d6+16 , MA = 1d6+14, ME = 1d6+10, PS = 1d6+8, PP = 1d6+8, PE = 1d6+8, PB = 1d6+8 (Doctors, Scholars, Magic Users)
Determined - IQ = 1d6+10 , MA = 1d6+12, ME = 1d6+16, PS = 1d6+8, PP = 1d6+8, PE = 1d6+10, PB = 1d6+8 (Psychics, Special Forces/Commandos)
Powerhouse - IQ = 1d6+8, MA = 1d6+8, ME = 1d6+8, PS = 1d6+16, PP = 1d6+8, PE = 1d6+16, PB = 1d6+8 (Soldiers/Mercs, Brawlers)
Fast as Lightning - IQ = 1d6+10, MA = 1d6+12, ME = 1d6+8, PS = 1d6+8, PP = 1d6+16, PE = 1d6+12, PB = 1d6+8 (Pilots, Martial Artists/Fighters)
Charmer/Leader - IQ = 1d6+10, MA = 1d6+12, ME = 1d6+12, PS = 1d6+8, PP = 1d6+10, PE = 1d6+10, PB = 1d6+10 (Con Artists, Seductress, Military Officer, Political Leader)
NOTE - If using the set array or quick roll options above you DO NOT add 1d6 for attributes of 16 or higher. That is the sacrifice for having better foreknowledge of what your attributes may be.
Step 2 - Concept of Character.
Come up with an idea or concept of what you want to play. Way too many players tend to dive in and then not really know what it is they are looking for or want. Only once you have an idea of the kind of character you are looking to play, can you pick and build a character you should enjoy more than not. This step while almost never stated in any number of games, is often overlooked as players pour over character classes and races making character generation take longer than it should many times. This can be particularly hard on newer players who may get overwhelmed with the choices laid out to them like in a game such as Rifts. Having a concept in mind as to what you want can make character generation much quicker by allowing the player or even the GM to pare down the selection by quite a bit. Once you have a concept then we move forward with Primary Attributes.
See above for ideas of what types of characters can use or fit a high level so of certain attributes.
Step 3 - Race
This is when you choose what race you wish to be. This section is only relevant to games like Rifts, Rifts Phaseworld, Rifts Manhunter, Palladium Fantasy, Mechanoids, and potentially Heroes Unlimited. In any other game you will most certainly be human so you can skip this section if not playing one of the listed games.
Once you have chosen a Race to be, you will see many are just "normal" much like humans with minimal additional abilities if any. However for those races that do receive additional abilities and bonuses, you will need to make note of those now. If there are attribute bonuses, add them to the relevant attributes or roll the appropriate dice and add them. If there are any non-attribute bonuses (Such as a bonus actions or bonus to perception rolls etc.) make note of those according as well.
Elf - +1 IQ, +1d6 PP, +2d6 PB, 5d6 PPE average (In Palladium Fantasy, Phaseworld or Rifts) Nightvision 60 ft, higher probability of psychic or mystic abilities (double the percentages in the optional add-ons section)
Dwarf - +1d6+6 PS, +1d6 PE, -2 PB, -3 to SPD (see below in Secondary Attributes), 1d6 tunneling spd, 3d6 PPE average (In Palladium Fantasy, Phaseworld or Rifts), nightvision 90ft, +5% to a number of skills that involve mechanical design, mechanics, building, and manufacturing. Underground Tunneling, Underground Architecture, Underground sense of direction, Metalworking, Recognize precious metals and stones, +1 to save versus magic, +2 to save versus possession, +2 to save versus horror factor
Sub-category: Racial Augmentation
In some games there are ways to enhance or augment our race. In Rifts we have Juicers, Crazies and Cyborgs for example. These are NOT their own character classes but something that you add on to your racial notes, powers and abilities. Each "Augmentation" package will have notes as to what types of races can take these packages and each package will list what OCCs can later be chosen. This can by both empowering and limiting at the same time.
Step 4 - Character Class
Now you get to pick the class your character will be.
There are generally three types though if one wishes to be, there is also a fourth called "normal person".
These classes are: Men at Arms (Fighter, Infantry etc.), Adventurer (Rogues, Scouts, etc.), and Scholars (Wizards, Doctors, etc.). "Normal persons are your merchants and farmers.
First make note of any special abilities it may give you. Next make note of any additional bonuses it may give, much like how you did when choosing your race. (Such as base PPE and spell selection, ISP and psionic powers, bonuses to save versus magic or psionics etc.).
Next is noting the skills your character starts with (Class skills like WP Energy Rifle for example) followed by choosing any additional skills (Other Skills like General Maintenance and Repair to care for their equipment) they may have learned during their lifetime as this class.
After noting your class and additional skills you choose and note any secondary skills the character may have which would represent things that just interest the character (such as history of a specific subject).
Just how many skills you get (Class, Additional, or secondary) is determined by each class.
Note - there are number of skills that will also give bonuses to attributes or other areas. Make sure to make note of them as well when choosing your skills.
Now the player should take note of all equipment, money and other miscellaneous items listed with the class that do not have a direct effect on their attributes, bonuses or skills. This is where you can also ask the GM if you can have any special equipment (or in games like Rifts cybernetics and such) that might be available to the character.
Lastly the player should choose the Alignment. This is a guideline as to how the character should be played be it good, indifferent or evil as it were.
At this point you are ready to begin finalizing your character.
Note Occupational Character Classes will be rewritten to better suit this system but can be more or less used as they are currently published.
Selecting your character class and how to fill that out will be it's own section,
Step 5 - Secondary attributes
Every character also has 4 secondary attributes. These are determined after primary attributes, race selection, and class selection since they derived from your primary attributes. They are as follows:
PERC - Perception. This is how well your character may just "notice" things in their surroundings. This is calculated as IQ+MA/2 = PERC. Gives bonuses to perception rolls as well as certain skills.
CA - Combat Awareness. This is how good you are in a combat environment. This is calculated as MA+PP/2 = CA. Gives bonuses to initiative, actions, and certain skills.
PERS - Personality. This is how well you can do things like charm, impress, trust, or intimidate other beings. This is calculated as MA+PB/2 = PERS. All characters can try to charm, impress, trust or intimidate. See the following:
Charm - base is 30%
Impress - base is 30%
Trust - base is 40%
Intimidate - base is 40%
All characters then add their experience level along with any bonuses from PERS to the base. Also your alignment can affect the base as well.
Good Characters add +20% to Trust if they are principled alignment, +15% if they are scrupulous alignment, and +10% if they are unprincipled alignment.
Evil characters add +20% to Intimidate if they are diabolic alignment, +15% if they are miscreant alignment, and +10% if they are aberrant alignment.
Also some skills if successful will add bonuses to any or all four of the above. (Seduction for instance if used successfully will increase your ability to charm, impress and garner trust from someone)
Note - These will be re-addressed in the section with saving throws, skill checks, attribute checks, etc.
SPD - Speed. This is literally how fast you can run. It is calculated as PS+PP/2 = SPD. How this will work in combat will be noted in the combat section of the rules. However as general rule how far you can run full speed (not sprinting) is SPD x 20 yards per minute for a number of minutes equal to your PE attribute before you start to tire.
Step 6 - Finishing up
Now we determine a variety of other things your character may need.
This is your life. If you run out of these you are in serious trouble without immediate help.
At first level all characters begin with a number of hit points equal to their PE attribute plus 2d6. From that point on the character will add 1d6 with each new level of experience achieved unless noted as different by race
This is your life, light. These are essentially how much injury and damage you can take before it starts become a real problem by getting reduced to zero and taking damage to your hit points. How much a character gets is determined by the class they chose.
Men at Arms - 1d6x10
Explorers - 1d4x10
Academics - 5d6
Normal "people" - 4d6
Hit Points and SDC can and do receive bonuses from race and class choices. These will have been noted when making those choices and notes. If that is the case you just add the above to those noted numbers you already have.
As it says. This determined how often you may act when it is your turn. While it will be further broken down by phase within a melee round (see the combat rules section) the total actions per melee for a character are as follows:
Men at Arms - 4 to start plus 1 at levels 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 for a maximum of 9 (ex Coaltion Grunt/Mercs etc)
Explorer - 4 to start plus 1 at levels 4, 7, 11, and 15 for a maximum of 8 (ex Wilderness Scout/Rogue Schoalr etc)
Academic - 3 to start plus 1 at levels 3, 6, 10, 14 for a maximum of 7 (Ley Line Walker/Mind Melter etc)
Normal Person - 2 to start plus 1 at level at 4, 8, and 12 for a maximum of 5 (Vagabond, Merchant(PalFan) etc)
As stated above CA (Combat Awareness) can give bonus actions. A CA of 20-24 gives 1 bonus action per combat round, a CA of 25-29 gives 2 bonus actions, and a CA of 30+ gives 3 bonus actions.
This total can also be modified by being increased (or potentially decreased) by racial and class bonuses. Example the Juicer will still give a bonus of +2 actions per combat round.
PPE, ISP, CHI, and MDC will covered in their own sections (PPE in magic, ISP in Psionics, CHI in mystic martial art powers and MDC in MDC)
Note - Average PPE, ISP, CHI, or MDC will be listed by Race type in their own write ups where necessary
Untrained Skill Level
This is the base level at which you can use skills you do not know (if they can be used untrained). Calculate as follows:
100 - (MA x 2) = Base Target %
See the special rules section for information on making untrained skill checks.
Choose an Alignment (Page 290 Rifts Ultimate Edition)
Give your character a name, and age. (and gender if you wish)
Bonus and penalties for above average or below average attributes.
The average range on a 3d6 attribute is 9-12. That means 13 or more is above average and 8 or less is below average. As such above average receive bonuses while below average receive penalties. See the table below
Att. Level: Bonuses (+#/+%)
Note more than just IQ can and will give % bonuses to skills. Also other than PS it is highly unlikely other attributes will go beyond 30 but if they do, where that is possible will be addressed there.
Step 7 - Character Advancement
Characters will level up after gaining certain amounts of experience points. This is effectively the same as it currently is with the notable exception of the experience tables will get a streamlining of sorts.
For example, Rifts Ultimate Edition has 15 different experience point tables for leveling up. I would lie to sse that reduced to 5 or 6 and then keep it that way going forward.
Until then, as stated in the picking a class section, use the standard experience tables appropriate for the class you choose as published as they, like the classes, can more or less work as is for now.
Step 8 - Optional Add-ons
These are things your GM may allow you to do as well or if you would like a bit of randomness to your character.
Character Background - Age, general appearance, personality, etc. Page 296 in Rifts Ultimate Edition "Rounding out the Character"
Determine Psionics/Mystics - I am adding the option of having innate spells similar to innate psionic abilities. It is up to your GM if this if either or both allowed. Use the same percentage chance as psionics when determining mystics. If you do get mystics then the following applies:
Minor Mystic - Choose two first level invocation spells. PPE is PE +2d6 +1d6 per level of experience Major Mystic - Choose eight first level spells or six spells from levels one, two, and three. PPE is PE +4d6 +1d6+1 per level of experience
See Page 289 in Rifts Ultimate Edition for "Determining Psionics"
Insanity - See page 330 of Rifts Ultimate Edition
And that is it.
Other things that may be relevant for the character will be noted for each setting or class from that setting.
This is to be a basic Character generation system. As such it will in fact cover the vast majority of characters likely to be made across all palladium games.
NOTE - THIS IS OBVIOUSLY NOT OFFICIAL IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM.