This page will provide information for use during character generation (CG). There are a number of steps to this and quite a few choices to be made along the way. By reading this guide and keeping in mind its suggestions, you will hopefully find your creation and application process streamlined. If at any point you find yourself with questions that the wiki doesn't answer, you can always feel free to ask on game, and people will be happy to help.
There are just a few key rules about PC creation on Steel & Stone, and we're going to mention them up front.
1. Do not apply to play a character named in the books, even if that character never actually appeared. If their name is in print, they will never be a PC on this game.
2. Each player is limited to two (2) noble character at a time.
3. Your character must have been born within the bounds of the Setting map.
4. Your character cannot be any of the things presently contained on the 'Forbidden Concepts' list below.
In the setting of Steel & Stone, your character's origin is limited to places within the bounds of the setting map. Within this area, there live several different groups of which your character may be a part:
Rivermen (Terrick's Roost, Stonebridge, Hag's Mire): The most common inhabitants of the Riverlands. Local nobles will be from Riverland Houses, or visiting from holdings elsewhere. The Mallisters, Terricks, Freys, and Naylands are all local Riverlands Houses. Rivermen tend to be red or light brown haired and blue eyed. In the show Catelyn Stark and Lysa Arryn are Riverfolk.
Northmen (Flint's Finger): Most Northmen in this area are Woodsmen (hunters, trappers, tanners, woodcutters), and their families, the majority of which reside around Tall Oaks. Northmen keep the Old Gods and tend toward dark brown hair. Nobles from the North are unlikely to remain long this far south. The Starks (except Catelyn) are Northmen.
Ironmen (Iron Islands): Ironmen are disliked and mistrusted by most Riverfolk. Must have something to do with all the centuries of raiding. Seagard and the coastal watchtowers were built to defend against the Ironborn, but some Iron Islanders still come to trade. Ironborn PCs will be disliked by just about everyone, keep their own Gods, and aren't likely to be noble. Ironmen are fair haired (which they wear long, and bearded). In the show, Theon Greyjoy is an atypical Ironman. (We are not accepting Ironmen applications at this time)
Westermen (Banefort, The Crag): Most come as merchants or sailors, but there is a small presence of Baneforts at Terrick's Roost. Westermen have a disproportionate presence in the trade of finished goods (precious metalwork, clothmaking, etc). Westermen tend toward blond hair. In the show, the Lannisters are Westermen.
Crannogmen (The Neck): Odd swamp folk with a mystic reputation. Popular rumor holds that their teeth are green from eating frogs and moss. Very few ever emerge from the wetlands, and those that do will be smallfolk. Crannogmen tend toward brown hair and green eyes. There are none of these in the show, yet.
Your character's position describes in broad terms their role in society or the job that they hold, and should be self-explanatory. More information on some of these positions will be provided below, in the 'So You Want to Play a…' section.
While the list of positions in CG is fairly minimal, the number of possible professions your character can hold is much larger. Below are some possible occupations for members of noble households and commoners, though these should be considered examples and suggestions, not conclusive lists.
Household and Retainer Positions:
- Master of Arms (senior knight of household, weapons trainer)
- Captain of the Guard (favored position among household knights, head of security)
- Sworn Swords (free lances, hedge knights, and unlanded vassal knights)
- Master of the Hunt
- Kennelmaster (keeper and trainer of hunting hounds)
- Admiral (Mallister and Terrick only, appointed for a specific task, the rank is not permanent)
-Captain, runs a ship
- General (Noble Commander of house troops, appointed for a specific task, the rank is not permanent)
- Lieutenant (Assistant commander, given direction of detachments by a general)
- Serjeant (Common born sub-commander)
- Captain (Generic term for military leader. As a rank, specific to the master of a ship)
- Sheriff (the Lord's enforcer of law, to whatever degree the Lord wishes)
- Castellan (Lord's secretary, empowered to give orders in Lord's name, can be of common birth)
- Maester (often also Castellan, Master of Ravens, Chiurgeon)
- Master of Ravens (for houses without a Maester)
- Septon/Septa (priest/priestess)
Sample Smallfolk Jobs :
Apothecary, Builder, Carpenter, Carter, Cartwright, Cooper, Farmer, Fisherman, Fishmonger, Herder (sheep, cattle), Mason, Midwife, Miller, Potter, Septon/Septa, Smith (black, copper, white, weapon, armor), Tanner, Woodcutter
Ranks apply primarily to nobles. The landholder and spouse will use the titles Lord and Lady, while their children (or if they have no children, siblings) will use the titles Young Lord and Lady. Knights are Ser, unless they hold one of the higher titles already mentioned. Master and Mistress are titles will be used by commoners of higher station (or who think themselves of higher station), particularly those who are closely associated with a noble house or are wealthy. Otherwise, just choose Commoner. For more information and detailed examples, see Titles & Honorifics.
Steel & Stone uses a version of the FS3 stat and combat system.
One important thing to know about the way stats work on S&S is that your Attributes (Body, Presence, Mind, Reaction) are considered to be your character's innate abilities, and these cannot be changed after Chargen except in the case of something huge happening to a character like a crippling injury. Action and Background skills, on the other hand, can be raised through the spending of XP gained after Chargen.
When choosing how to stat your character, their position and their age are two of the most important determining factors. A knight will obviously have different stats from a much older knight or a squire, and will be very different from a septa, who will have very different stats from a blacksmith or a maester. The first trick to figuring out your stats is to look at those of others. Steel & Stone has open +sheets, and you can look at the +sheet of any player by typing '+sheet <bitname>'. This can help to give you an idea of what is standard for certain types of characters, though bear in mind that within any category there can still be a great deal of variation.
Skill Level Restrictions
As an example, the ranks of skills follow a scale roughly similar to the below (using combat skills as an example)
Melee 12: Legendary. Among the best in the world (Khal Drogo, Barristan Selmy)
Melee 11: Among the best in the Seven Kingdoms (or equivalent) (Jaime Lannister, Robert Baratheon)
Melee 10: Among the best in one of the Seven kingdoms (Loras Tyrel, Gregor Clegane)
Melee 9: Decades of practice, with great natural skill (Syrio Forel, Sandor Clegane)
Melee 8: Elite and highly trained warrior (Eddard Stark, Jorah Mormont)
Melee 7: Experienced and highly skilled (Shagga son of Dolf, Bronn)
Melee 6: Veteran knight skill level (Vardis Egen, Rodrick Cassel)
Melee 5: A well trained professional soldier (Jory Cassel, Night's Watch Rangers)
Melee 4: Have had regular training (Jon Snow, Robb Stark, most guards)
Melee 3: Great untrained talent, or some training (Theon Greyjoy, Gendry)
Melee 2: You've been in a few brawls. (Night's Watch recruits)
Melee 1: You know how to properly hold weapons, but lack practical experience (Arya Stark, Tyrion Lannister)
Melee 0: You have people to do this stuff for you. (Catelyn Stark, Joffrey Baratheon)
It’s important to know how your character’s age and experience is reflected through your sheet. Before you submit your application for approval, you should ensure that your character sheet accurately reflects where your character is in his or her story. Here are some general guidelines to help you understand how age and experience are considered when figuring out which level to set your skills:
- A weapon skill (Blades, Bludgeons, Spears, Marksmanship) of 6 requires a minimum of eighteen years of age with consistent training from a more experienced mentor.
- A weapon skill of 7 requires a minimum of twenty-two years of age with consistent training and some combat experience.
- A weapon skill of 8 requires a minimum of twenty-five years of age with consistent training and repeated battlefield and combat experience.
- A weapon skill of 9 is not obtainable in Character Generation.
Characters that are not a knight or squire must be one age group higher to qualify for a given skill level in Blades, Bludgeons, and Spears (i.e. a man-at-arms must be twenty-two years of age in order to have a Blades skill of 6). Marksmanship does not apply to this restriction.
Female characters must abide by stricter rules for weapon skills. No female character out of character generation, no matter their age, will be approved with a weapon skill above 4 unless their concept is approved by Staff. Noblewomen are restricted to one weapon skill in character generation at a maximum of 4, though it needs to be reiterated that it is frowned upon for a noblewoman to know how to use a weapon, no matter what it is. Note: At the moment, applications for a combat-centric noblewoman are closed.
The Unarmed skill represents how skilled you are in brawls; actual martial arts do not exist in this theme. While it is acceptable for a noblewoman to have a 1 in Unarmed, it is very rare (and highly unlikely) that a noblewoman would participate in regular brawls. Male characters are not limited by this restriction.
Regarding primary weapon skills (Blades, Bludgeons, Spears): If a character has any primary weapon skill above 4, it can be no more than double either of the others (i.e. a character with Blades 7 must also have bludgeons and spears at a minimum of 4).
While background skills are mostly freeform, there are some skills that have been developed for specific purposes:
- Administration: This skill is restricted to nobles and commoners who work on running a keep. This skill is strictly regulated based on age. Unless you are an heir or raised to run a household, most characters do not have more than a 4 in Administration.
- Commerce: This skill is also restricted to nobles and commoners who have dealings with the economic/finance structures of a household. This skill is strictly regulated based on age. In order to understand trade negotiations, tariffs, and other "macro" economic structures, your character should have this skill.
- Heraldry: Not only does this skill represent knowledge on house family trees, but it also represents etiquette and protocol. Most nobles would have this skill at 4 or higher, while commoners can have varying levels based on the amount of interaction they have with nobles.
- Mercantile: Similar to Administration, this skill represents how skilled a character is in running a business. Commoners and merchants are more likely to have this skill over nobles. Again, this still is strictly regulated based on age. Unless you have been operating a business for over a decade, you should not have more than a 5 in Mercantile.
- Performance: This skill is refers to acting or mummery. Musical and singing performers should put their skill points into a specific instrument or singing. This is also a good skill for prostitutes.
- Warcraft: This skill represents tactics, and should be explicitly explained in your background.
- Law: Most nobles should also have this skill, especially Sheriffs and Heads of House.
- Tracking vs. Hunting: Tracking represents your ability to track specific targets through various terrain; the higher the skill, the easier it is to track. Hunting represents your knowledge of game, slaughtering a carcass, and which parts of an animal is edible.
- Reading and Writing: We do not track literacy through skills. You do not need skills in reading and writing, but it is important to remember that most commoners are illiterate.
- Cipher and Calligraphy: Cipher is used to code and decode messages, while Calligraphy is used to forge documents.
- Sleight of Hand: Not only does this represent thievery, but it also can represent the same kind of behavior as stage magicians.
- Ravenry: This is primarily a Maester skill, though some rare nobles have learned how to handle and train ravens.
Most everyone only speaks Common. Languages such as Valyrian and Old Tongue are limited to Maesters. Additional languages will be considered for approval on a case-by-case basis.
Backgrounds should describe your character's origins and present situation. They don't have to be particularly long; a few paragraphs will generally suffice. You should make sure that they include where your character comes from, their station in life and business in the region, and some info about what they're like as a person. If they have any specialized skills or training that you've included on their +sheet, you should include in the BG how they came by it. Other things to include vary by the sort of character you choose to play, and more specialized information can be found below in the 'So You Want to Play A…' section.
So You Want to Play a…
Below are a few more specialized suggestions about apping certain types of characters, in particular those who may have specialized training and (as a result) stats. Not every character will fall into one of the categories below, and not every character in each category will have the same sheet. This information is provided to help make clearer what the average knight, maester, etc. would probably be like. Applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and deviating from the guidelines below does not guarantee your app will be rejected, just as following them doesn't guarantee it will be approved.
Wardship & Squiring
Often times, a noble child will be sent away from their House to be warded or squired. This is used to help maintain, create, or even repair relationships between Houses. As a general rule of thumb, a noble character can only be warded or squired with a House one step in power above their own. For example, a Terrick could be warded or squired with the Mallisters, but could not be warded or squired with the Tullys. There are a few exceptions to this rule, however. A Young Lord or Young Lady can be given a rare opportunity to squire or ward with a House two steps above their power level. If you are unsure where your House falls in the power structure, please ask Staff for clarifications.
Book Characters & You
We are very blessed that George R.R. Martin has given us a fantastic roster of book characters that exist in this timeline. However, it is important that respect be given to those creations. Even Staff limits their usage of book characters in order to maintain some continuity with the Song of Ice and Fire world. As you write your background, please limit references and interactions with book characters.
- Characters from outside the area of the Riverlands shown on this map. Westeros is huge, and travel is time-consuming, expensive, and often dangerous. People in the Riverlands but not of the Riverlands would be few and far between.
- Characters belonging to any of the great families of Westeros whose lands are in or border the map, namely the Tullys, Starks, and Lannisters will not be approved. Vassals of these families and commoners from their lands are acceptable, but no family members.
- Characters with Targaryen blood.
- Characters fathered by Robert Baratheon will not be approved.
- Anything involving magic. Folklore and superstition are fair game, and having a reputation for being some sort of mystic is acceptable, but nothing blatantly supernatural will be approved.
- Current professional tournament knights. In order to support themselves, these knights would need to be traveling and competing constantly, which would mean they would be off-grid roughly 99% of the time. Obviously, this wouldn't work. Knights who have held this role in the past are fine.
- Bastards, Noble or Common, will not be accepted at this time. This concept may open back up in the future, but at this time no applications in which the character is a bastard will be approved.
- Wild Child Noblewomen will not be accepted at this time. This concept may open back up in the future, but there are already too many of this archetype in the game.
- Character's warded to a Great House (Tully, Stark, Lannister etc..)
- Be cautious with openly outlaw concepts. They aren't forbidden, just be aware that the focus of the game is on political struggles and noble tensions, and the further removed from that a PC becomes, the less protection they have, and the more likely it is that their lives will be nasty, brutal, and short. If that still sounds fun to you, then have at.
- Be careful with purely military concepts. While fighting is bound to happen sooner or later, remember that nobles have clear duties during peacetime, as do their retainers. Also, standing armies with standing command structures are rare and hideously expensive. Much more common is keeping a small household guard and then calling up levies to form armies when needed. As noted above, no one is walking around called 'General'. That is a rank temporarily bestowed on the knight put in charge of an army to accomplish a specific objective.
- Whores/Former Whores. Especially in combination with being a Noble Bastard, no more of these are going to be allowed on-grid for the moment. You can still be a whore if the concept really grabs you, but not the child of a noble.