Adventuring! Character Creation

Characters are built by a simple statement that describes them — NAME is a [adjective] [adjective] [noun] who [verbs] — built from words and phrases from the Cypher System: descriptors, types, and foci. Adjectives are Descriptors, and PCs get two; one general descriptor and one racial descriptor (or two general descriptors for humans). Nouns are Types, similar to character classes, and verbs are Foci.

Chapter 4 of the Cypher System Rulebook details character creation, with description of the mechanical elements, and a small sidebar summarizing the steps to take to create a character. The majority of this information is covered in the Cypher System Reference Document (SRD), though the core rulebook presents it in a bit more descriptive fashion.

We are also utilizing the following optional rules, noted here since they affect character creation and advancement:


The majority of the options below are found, and best described, in the Cypher System Rulebook, with an open gaming version available via the Cypher SRD. Most others come from Godforsaken, also available at the SRD, and Path of the Planebreaker and Planar Character Options, referenced (but not described) at the SRD link, also from Monte Cook Games, may also be of interest. Anything homebrew we will write up and include here.

I skipped listing a lot of the core content, because there's no point in repeating that everything in the core book/SRD are fair game — the exception to this are the foci, which are tailored below.


The four types (SRD) are all relevant to the game. Fantasy Character Options (SRD), from Godforsaken, has suggestions on how to build all of the classic classes via the type system. For example, a barbarian would likely be a Warrior that takes the Rages ability, but a bard might easily be an Explorer or a Speaker, depending on the concept and desired abilities.

Flavors (SRD) are not dissimilar to the idea of subclassing. A spellblade may be a Warrior with the Magic flavor, for example.

Godforsaken has the best guidance here, though plenty of ideas are presented in the core book/SRD. Ask bss if you have questions, especially if you feel there is a concept or specific implementation that doesn't fit within the out of the box system, since it is fairly flexible.


Descriptors are the adjectives for the character, describing how the character goes about their business. All of the Descriptors (SRD) in the core book are fair game, as are the Fantasy Species Descriptors (SRD), originally from Godforsaken and the fantasy setting section of the core book.

Adventuring! uses the "Two Descriptors" variant rule as described under Species as Descriptor.

Faerûnian Races

The Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (3e) presents a number of racial options for D&D characters. For a character that hews a bit closer to the Forgotten Realms line, you can apply these conversions:


Foci are the possible verb-phrases that describe what the character does and is good at, beyond the basics from their type. Most but not all foci in the core book are suitable for the campaign. The following is a mostly vetted list of core and Godforsaken foci (others are negotiable):

These Foci and more can be found at Focus (SRD).

For the Forgotten Realms feel, I recommend simply reading the descriptions of the classes and prestige classes in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (3e) and applying their flavor thematically. Again, the core classes can generally be satisfied by Fantasy Character Options (SRD). Some of the Forgotten Realms prestige classes are tied to setting lore and may be interesting to emulate, but don't need any specific conversion beyond selecting appropriate abilities and potentially utilizing the optional spellcasting rule.


Types and foci give access to abilities, depending on the character's tier (level, basically). There's no point in listing them all, if your choices grant access to the ability, it's in.