Character Creation Order


I’m going through character creation in ICRPC 2e, and just had the realization selecting class is towards the end. Specifically after gear & weapons.

Seems kinda odd. I’d figure you would select class, then choose weapons & gear to suit class.

Anyone know if there is a specific reason why this is the order of character creation?


I start with class and work backwards. Well sort of backwards. It works for me.


Make sense. I’m just asking if there’s some wisdom I’m missing.


I’ve always figured it was because you pick the items you really want and then pick the class that more or less falls in line with that.

I mean classes are more just a set of extra loot in a more defined path anyway. They’re kind of like an extension of the gear.


It depends how I’m feeling when dreaming up a character. In 5e, I often found myself struggling to find what class I should play, and after that every decision was based on the job I had chosen. The ICRPG Core creation feels more like story or character driven creation.

You start with an image. The robot arm of a dude holding swords, remote floating in the air. What is the story behind the arm? Is the remote a tool or Companion? Does he prefer the sword or tech?

I often find that the things we carry and the way we look can spark more interest and story than what we do for a paycheck. “Hey, check out this sweet sword I pulled from the skull of an elder dragon!” When I know what my character’s story and equipments stories, then finding the job is easy and just slides into place. And my character is never defined as “human commander,” but “captain Galt Rivaldi, old soldier retired after losing his arm and followed by his faithful companion, Spark. He doesn’t talk much, but when he does, folks listen.”

Then there are days I really want to make a priest or something, choose the class, find the image, make a story. Or I already have a story in mind and then it goes either way. But being more visual, I find the Image—>Story—>Gear—>Class—>Edit loop more satisfying. Definitely refreshing.


I have found with players that are more familiar with D&D, it’s much easier to start with class and work backwards like others have said.


That describes me to a T. I had all my players pick class and bio form first, then start at the beginning.


I’ve stopped asking for class. I ask for some background TAGS, 1 trait and 1 personal item. These are enough to point to what kind of character the player is creating, without restricting it to a pre-defined class and give it room to develop naturally as they progress.

This is how I’ve been doing it:

1. Background
I ask my players a few prompt questions to create tags: race/land? growing up? Work? 1 physical characteristic? 1 personality characteristic? (these can also have mechanical effects, for “ex fisherman” tying knots will be EASY)
EG. Numidian. ex-Fisherman. Man of arms for Lord Geoffrey. Balled. Earnest.

2. Trait/TAG
This is basically a feat or trait. An item that can’t be taken from them (barring brain damage or something). It should be something core to the character. It doesn’t have to be a good thing either, could be a disability or mutation. At the moment I call it TAG to keep it as open as possible.

EG. Resilient: below 5HP, RECOVER double.

EG2. Big: you’re very big! Athletic ATTEMPTS are EASY against Medium characters. (simpler description would be better, to use it more contextually)

3. Personal Item
A ‘personal’ item PCs start with or find in first game. For a wizard, it would be a spell book. For Cleric, a scepter/relic that lets them cast holy magic, etc. Could be a weapon, armour, trinket, book, pet, anything…

EG. Family clay dolls (Gladiator). Prayed to for resolve. EASY saves vs effects that affect your resolve (fear/intimidation/exaughstion/etc).

EG2. Great Sword of Cuthbert. Can hit multiple foes CLOSE to your target.

4. Starter Items

3 universal starting equipment
1 starter loot (sometimes found as loot in first sessions)

5. Stats

Allocate 6-8 stats (if races have traits/stats, apply earlier)


Maybe using 6 points for novice/young characters, 10 for adventurers in early stages/adult, and 14 for experienced people/veterans/old Papa John…?


Hmmm, I like the tags early on.


I believe that having an idea and a story works better to start with, because the classes can be easily configured to what you want.

it helps with the Analysis Paralysis that can happen when trying to come up with a “balanced” team comp.

At this point, you can come up with your badass hero and worry about the mechanics later.

However, some people gain inspiration from different sources and starting with class works well. it’s all good, comrade