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Scorp40left.png Character Creation Guide Scorp40right.png

Note: You can download a printable version of this document in the Shadowbane: Getting Started portable document (PDF) that requires Adobe Reader.

Before you can play Shadowbane, you first have to decide what type of character you want to play. There is a great deal of room for customization, so this may seem a little intimidating at first. It is best to remember that different people appreciate different aspects of the game.

One way to navigate the character creation process is to start with a character concept. Many players enjoy mimicking figures from history, myth, or popular culture. Those who enjoy a challenge sometimes construct a flawed character. Perhaps they might take a classical stereotype and play it in a new and refreshing manner. Regardless of where the inspiration comes from, once you have a concept the process of character creation is much easier.

Creating a character is exciting, but it can be a daunting process. If you are ever unsure of how to proceed or how to make the best decision, you may wish to peruse the Official Shadowbane Forums, which contains individual discussion boards for each Profession, and the Shadowbane Player-Created Guides.

Things to Know

When you first begin Shadowbane, you will need to create a character. A character is your 'avatar' in the world of Shadowbane, the role you adopt when interacting with the game's ongoing story. You control your character's statistics, appearance, movement, and actions. Currently, you can have five (5) character slots per account unless you own the Rise of Chaos expansion pack which allows you to have six (6) or seven (7) if you have the Throne of Oblivion expansion. Only one character may be used in-game at any one time.

Before we delve too far into the basics of character creation, let us dispel a few rumors:

  • Your character will not need to eat or sleep. "Resting" allows your character to refresh and heal between periods of combat and travel, but characters never need to "sleep" in Shadowbane.
  • There is no Permanent Death for your character in Shadowbane. When your character "dies" in Shadowbane, you are brought back to life at the "Tree of Life" which is in the center of the city you are bound at. Moreabout that later.

Now, let's get into the actual act of creating a character. Click on the New button in the Character Selection Screen.

Choosing a Server

When you first start Character Creation, a window will slide in and give you a list of servers that you can create a character on. This list will give you a variety of information about each server, to include the server's name, a map of the landmasses, a little bit of history behind it, and information about experience, gold, and any special conditions that server may have.

To learn more about the various servers, click here .

Choosing a Name

When creating a character in Shadowbane, it is important to choose the name carefully. This name will become famous (or infamous) based on your actions. On top of that, character First Names are unique to each server world. This means that no matter what city you belong to, people will be able to recognize you by your name. By contrast, last names in Shadowbane are not unique. Players and often guilds will create characters that share a common last name.

So, the first thing you will do when creating a Shadowbane character is choose your avatar's name. Shadowbane characters, like the players that run them, have both a first and a last name. If you like, you can opt for an epithet (a term used to characterize a person or thing, such as Catherine the Great or Lief the Lucky) instead of a last name.

As stated above, First Names are unique to each server while Last Names are not. A character's first name can be no longer than 15 characters and cannot contain special characters or any blank spaces. Your last name (or epithet) must also be 15 characters or less. You may use any approved symbol, including blank spaces, in your character's last name. Or if you like, you can go the celebrity route and simply leave the last name blank entirely.

Both first and last names are filtered for profanity, and inappropriate names will not be allowed.

Selecting Gender

On the same window you input the name you wish to use, you can also choose what gender you wish your character to be (and yes, there are only two.) Keep in mind, however, that some races (such as Dwarves and Minotaurs) are gender specific for reasons relating to the backstory.Likewise, some of the classes are gender specific (such as the href="page.php?d=3&n=Huntress" and "Warlock" specialty classes).  Due note that gender does not play a role in determining the the minimum and maximum statistics of your character.

Picking a Race

At the beginning of Character Creation, you are given 30 Ability Points to help customize your Character. Ability Points are used to select your Race, obtain Talent and Trait Runes, and to modify your Character's Attributes. The exact cost (in Ability Points) of each Race varies, as does the Attribute minimums and maximums. For example, making your character Human costs nothing but you must spend 15 Character Points to become an Elf.

To select a race, you must simply choose the appropriate Runestone from the table of available Races. Note that gender does not play a role in determining the the minimum and maximum statistics of your character. Keep in mind, however, that some races, such as Dwarves and Minotaurs, are gender specific for reasons relating to the backstory.

The following races are available to starting characters:

  • Aelfborn : The Half Breeds, Children of Two Worlds
  • Aracoix : The Bird Men, Born of the Winds
  • Centaurs : The Horselords, Masters of the Plains
  • Dwarves : The Shaper's Sons, Born of Stone
  • Elves : The Firstborn, Kings in Exile
  • Half Giants : The Brutes, Pillars of Strength
  • Humans : The Sons of Men, Heirs of the All-Father
  • Irekei : The Outcasts, Devil Men of the Burning Wastes
  • Minotaurs : The Beats Men, Terrors from the North
  • Nephilim : Disciples of Chaos
  • Shades : The Pale Ones, Born of Darkness
  • Vampires : The Nightborn, Generals of Oblivion

To learn more about the various Races, click here.

Picking a Base Class

Choosing your character's apprenticeship (more commonly referred to as your "Base Class") is perhaps the most important choice to make during Character Creation. Players may choose one of the following four apprenticeships: Fighter , Healer , Mage , or Rogue . Bear in mind that some Races are restricted from taking certain classes. A Dwarf, for example, cannot become a Mage. Choosing an apprenticeship will determine the base set of skills and powers available to your character.

In the course of gameplay, characters will be able to also choose a Specialty Class, or Profession, and a number of multi-class kits (or Disciplines) to gain additional skills and powers. Apprenticeships are selected, as with Races, by choosing a Runestone from the table of options. There is no cost to obtain an Apprenticeship for your character.

You cannot choose your Profession during character creation, only the apprenticeship (or Base Class). Once your character has spent some time adventuring, Professions and Disciplines will become available. Be aware that your character's gender can impact which Professions are available! Some of the Profession are gender specific such as the Fury, Huntress, and Warlock. The best advice is to investigate the route you wish to take your character, from Base Class to Profession to Disciplines .

Explaining Attributes

Attributes represent the physical statistics of your player character, and determine (to a large extent) your character's potential within the Shadowbane world. Each character has five primary attributes that measure their mental, physical, and spiritual capabilities. Each attribute is expressed as a number (which falls, typically, in a range from 1 to 100.) Having a "100" in any particular attribute means that your character has reached the theoretical maximum limit a human can achieve. Each Race has it's own maximum potential, some of these are above 100, some below. There are also ways to increase a Race's maximum potential which is explained in the Talents and Traits portion below.

Each attribute is defined as follows:

Strength : A character's physical strength and brawn. Stronger characters do more damage per swing in combat, and can carry heavier loads. Fighters tend to have more strength than other Base Classes and Professions. Note that some fighters choose dexterity over strength, especially those aspiring to be Archers , Blade Masters , Blade Weavers , and Rangers that use Braialla's Blade (a Ranger specific sword) since all of their weapons use dexterity as their primary attribute when determining attack ratings and damage.

Dexterity : This attribute measures raw speed, agility, and general coordination. Rogues tend to prize Dexterity above all other stats, but any class will find Dexterity very useful and important.

Constitution : A measure of toughness, resilience, and fortitude, a high Con score ensures that a character can endure more punishment before dying. Constitution is the basis of a character's Health and Stamina scores.

Intelligence : Reasoning, memory, and education are all factors in a character's Intelligence score. Higher scores give characters a bonus to their skill levels, and also speed skill advancement. A must for casters but it is also recommended pure melee characters have at least a score of 40 Intelligence since it does affect their Skills but the average is around 65.

Spirit : Spirit defines how strong-willed a character is, and also measures how "in tune" a character is with the inner workings of the universe. A high score indicates acute sensitivity to divine or supernatural influences, and will yield a high Mana score.

Every character also has three derived attributes that are determined by their Race, modified by their primary attribute scores, and increase with each new level gained by your character. These attributes are expressed as point totals, and characters will lose and regenerate points under certain conditions.

Health : A measure of how well characters deal with injury, hit points decrease every time a character gets hurt. When they reach zero, the character dies.

Mana : Strongly influenced by Spirit, Mana is used to power magical spells. Each spell cast will reduce the character's Mana total. Once all Mana is expended, a spell user will be powerless until their Mana can be recovered.

Stamina :A measure of a character's endurance, Stamina measures their capacity for physical activity. Running and fighting can use up a character's Stamina quickly, but Stamina points are also quickly recovered. Unlike Health and Mana, Stamina increases very little over time.

Each Race starts with a specific set of Starting Attributes that are modified when you choose a Class. Also note that each Race has defined Minimum and Maximum Attributes, which can only be overcome through the use of "Talents and Traits ."

Adding Talents and Traits

In the final stage of Character Creation, players are given the chance to flesh out their Characters by increasing and decreasing Attributes, and by purchasing "Talents" and "Traits." A Talent or Trait is a particular gift or area of expertise, such as "Heroic strength", which will, in many cases, allow players to overcome normal racial attribute maximums and/or give them access to hidden in-game powers. As with Races and Base Classes, Talents and Traits are represented by Runestones, and may be purchased with Ability Points.

The Runestones with brown symbols denote "Traits," special advantages granted to a character based on their background, history or training. Traits typically impart a bonus to the maximum value of one or more of your attributes, giving your character the potential to exceed his or her racial limitations such as "Hero's Strength" which will increase a Race's maximum Strength allowance by 10 points.

The Runestones with gray symbols denote "Talents," special gifts or abilities that are granted to a character through birth, fortune, or bloodline. Talents typically provide characters with an intrinsic benefit in some particular area of gameplay, such as "Stormborn" (more resistant to lightning attacks) or "Giant's Blood" (which will increase your strength but lessen your maximum potential in other attributes).

If you have any points left, players can also adjust their Attributes by clicking the small buttons beside each attribute in the Statistics window. The plus ("+") button raises the corresponding attribute by one point at the cost of one Character Point, and the minus ("-") button decreases the attribute by one point, freeing up a Character Point in exchange. Note that characters will be unable to sell down an Attribute below the minimum value or raise it higher than the maximum value for your race (unless modified by Talents/Traits, as described above.)

As players adjust their Attributes, note that the derived Attributes are also changed. In addition, their character's appearance will sometimes shift (as the "Strength" and "Constitution" attributes can increase and decrease your character's height and bulk.)

To learn more about the various Talents and Traits, click here .

Final Touches

There is an enormous amount of customization that can be done to your player character. Depending on the Gender and Race chosen, various aspects of your Character can be personalized to fit your taste, including such things as: skin tone, hair style, hair color, facial hair style, and facial hair color. You can also pick what "starting kit" you wish your character to use, which changes the items he or she has equipped. Also note that increasing or decreasing certain Attributes will also affect your character's height and weight.

Now that you have your character made, look over it one more time making sure you spelled your name correctly, have the correct server selected , and that all the information is correct. If it is, click on Finish button and prepare for your entry into the lands of Shadowbane!