Fantasy Characters


This section describes attributes and skills used in RIP system. A character generation system is merged into it, giving any variations to possible race averages.

Character Points

In normal cases, characters in RIP are made with character points. The player has designed number (normally 15 for basic powerful RIP fantasy characters) of character points, which are then used to buy better attributes, skill levels and background options. Unless noted otherwise, 25% of original character points must be used in skills.

A normal average human is about 5 character points. A creature of another race has certain basic attributes and skills typical to race, and then has character points as acquired experience for training and similar things.

Unless noted otherwise, a player character is made with 15 cp, which are used to buy following things:

Free Stuff

As base, character has following things for free:


Not all characters are limited to humans, and even humans have some notes on them in fantasy world. If creating a character to Tanion (a fantasy world used in these rules), refer to bestiary for possible races (only civilized races, please). On other worlds, consult the GM. As different races have different starting attributes and things, the race may cost varying character points.

Attribute note: Some races have guidelines about common attributes, like human males usually have strength and health +1. These notes are only guidelines for character creation and player is free to choose such a common attribute if he wants to, but pays the normal cps for it. However, some races have some upgraded attributes automatically, like all elves have better awareness than humans. In such a case, any attribute changes are made to that level, not to normal +0 level. So an elf with poor (-1) awareness (-2 cp) has final attribute +0, not -1 or anything else.


Attributes are character born or somehow enhanced physical and mental attributes.

Standard attributes are physical and mental attributes possessed by each creature, and are strength, health, agility, awareness, willpower and social.

Special attributes are creature or individual specialized attributes like mental problems, physical disadvantages and advantages, special powers etc..

Standard Attributes

All creatures in RIP have following attributes:
This attribute resembles creature pure physical strength. A creature with superb (+2) strength is as strong as world-class (human) weight lifter, while inferior (-2) creature is like a few years old kid.

This attribute reflects endurance and constitution of the character. A character with high health can go on longer while those ranked very low get exhausted very fast. Health is also used when character is wounded or suffers damage or poisoning, but note that muscle mass (i.e. strength) usually determines how well the body of the character can withstand damage. Typical sub-attributes are endurance (how long the character can go on) and resistance (poisons and toxins)

Creature speed, balance, agility and such things are represented with agility attribute. High level attributes are possessed by olympic athletics, while those with poor agility stumble on stairs.

Creature perception, sight and smell. It also tells about character speed to react to certain situations, althought agility is also important.

This attribute resembles, how good will and self-control the creature has and how easily he is broken under stress. Those with low levels are usually easily irritated and break easily. Mindless creatures have no willpower.

General appearance, social skills, charisma and such things. A creature with high social is easily listened to and well liked, while those with low levels stutter, get paralyzed in social situations and do not have many friends.
All attributes are ranked from negative levels to positive, with +0 being the average for human beings. Any attribute over +2 (superb) level is classified as supernatural.

In addition to these 6 basic attributes, some large (and small) creatures have one extra special attribute:

General resistance against all kind of physical damage, from punches to cuts.
Note that this attribute cannot be modified! It is only used for comprative purposes and to show that some big creature is simply so much larger than small cuts and wounds have no same effect on it as it does on human-sized targets.

Standard Attribute Levels

All attribute levels differ from race average, which is in then compared to human average. For example, all human averages are +0. If an orc has strength +1 as average, an orc player may have good strength (+1), effectually having strength +2, and an orc with superb strength (+2) has total strength of +3.
Superb (+2) (3 cp)
The character has top value in attribute. He might be world-class weight lifter, athletic or marathon runner, professional detective, have a will of iron or be a very successful journalist.

Good (+1) (1 cp)
Character has an attribute better than most average, but not very exceptional. He is good shape, fast or most of the time very calm and relaxed.

Average (+0)
This is the average level.

Poor (-1) (-1 cp)
Character is obviously inferior to average people. He almost always loses any appropriate physical effort, is easily irritated or cannot converate with people.

Inferior (-2) (-3 cp)
Character is clearly inferior to any other. He is easily pushed around, stumbles in stairs or is irritated and nervous all the time. In social situations, he gets frozen and stutters. Not recommended level for any attribute, people with inferior attributes can be considered as handicapped
Non-human creatures or humans with magical or other special powers may have higher (or lower) attribute levels. In general, each level is quite clearly superior to lower one.

Note that normal human males have strength +1 and health +1, as described in bestiary and points are expected to be used accordingly.

Special Attributes

In addition to standard attributes, a creature may have some special attributes. Here is a list of common ones, but they are not limited to these.
Addiction (nuisance -1 cp, severe -2 cp)
Character is severely addicted to some subtance or possibly an action.

Gifted (2 cp)
The character is gifted so that he senses mana flows all around him. He can draw the mana around him, and practice magics. This attribute can be bought later, as the characters becomes aware of his powers. If the character is not gifted, he can only train magics to skilled (1) level, and can do only effects not requiring any mana.

Grounded (2 cp)
Simple known as a 'grounded' man, the character is resistant against all magical effects; the mana simply rejects him. He can never be a magician.

Mental Problem (nuisance -1, severe -2 cp)
Some psychological quirk, like paranoia, over-confidence, arrogance, stubborness... Note: cannot kill is a psychological limitation very common to most people. As nuisance, cold-blooded kills are problematic. With severe, even warm-blooded kills.

Physical Disadvantage (varies)
For missing limb or similar things, character gains more CPs. Apply -2 cp for missing hand, -3 cp for missing entire arm, others handicaps as determined by the GM.

Warrior Frenzy (2 cp)
The character comes from the savage tribes of the wilderness. He can psyche himself to mad killing frenzy, and in combat fight with great ferocity and endurance, but must rest for a while after that. In addition, those capable of frenzy may sometimes freak from some very extraordinary situation and turn into blind-frenzy, attacking anything close to them.

Woman (-2 cp)
As social cultures are what they are, women are not taken as seriously as men in many places, and they must face prejudice in almost all places. Of course some places value them higher than men, but such places are quite rare in many fantasy worlds. So this 'disadvantage' is similar to background option 'stranger'. Of course, womanhood grants many special favors in some places. Note: Naturally this applies only to certain fantasy worlds like Tanion, Hyperborea etc. In some worlds, the opposite can be quite true, and cps are awarded for male gender.


Skills are learned or natural abilities to do certain things. All skills have level of expertise described below, and they are categorizied as primary, secondary and free for character creation rules only.

Skill levels

Skill levels in RIP are very broad. They are used to easily distinguish the level of expertise.
Non-skilled (level 0)
Character has no training with the skill. Depending on the skill, the character may or may not do anything related to it. For example, a gun can be fired without training and most people can drive a car even if they have not ever done it before - assuming someone starts it for them. On the other hand, helicopter flight is a different matter...

Skilled (level 1)
Character has basic training and some experience with given skill or expertise. He can handle rush hour in a major city while driving or land a plane.

Expert (level 2)
Character in an expert in his area. He can fight several opponents at the same time, land a plane in a storm or charm everyone with his manners in royal banquet. He also knows most masters in his field of expertise.

Master (level 3)
Character is simply a master in tasks concerning his area. He can drive car in reverse in rush hour without colliding or speak completely fluently. He is usually well known by the other people dedicated to this area.

Grand Master (level 4)
Character is simple a grand master in his area. He is world famous and his guidelines are followed by hundred followers, or he might be a world-top acrobat. This level is available for player character only by GM permission.
Specialization and training: Most skills must be specialized and trained to certain sub-areas. There is no limitations or accurate guidelines for that, so use common sense. A etiquette(royal and streets) is a good example, while gun(any) is not... When a situation arises, a character is down in skill levels if the sub-area is unfamiliar to him.

CP Costs and Limitations

Skill type is just a point-based system used in RIP. Skills are either primary, secondary or free skills. If the skill is very useful, it costs more points to take. The actuasl points are listed under each category, below.

Skill levels can be limited so that characters are not boosted in some limited areas and cannot do anything else. The GM may require characters to have at least as many lower level skills than higher level ones.

Primary skills

Primary skills are frequently used skills, which should cover most activities done by the characters. If the skill needed is very narrow or not useful in a typical campaign, use secondary skills.

Most frequently used skills are listed here, but as noted earlier, players are free to invent new ones needed by their characters. Primary skills cost 1 cp for trained (1), 3 cp for expert (2), 6 cp for master (3) and 10 cp for grand master (4, only with permission from the GM).

Skill to fire accurately with trained missile weapons, including bows, crossbows and slings, but not thrown things.

Skill to fluently speak about subjects not known to character or to get victim to do things he would not normally do.

Skill to create magical effects, as described in magics. Each magics must be learned separately, but usually one is enough. Note that the character must have special attribute gifted if he ever wants to use any real magic, otherwise this skill gives only theoretical learning.

Skill to treat wounds, bind them and avoid infections. Also includes long term healing, and analyzing the patient. In fantasy environment, the knowledge of creature is much more limited, but this skill also includes knowledge about different healing herbs and use of them. Must be specifically trained to different races.

Skill to fight effectually in melee. Character is trained in appropriate weapons and technics; use of any other may give penalties for combat.

Training to read and write languages specialized in. A master level can read like a modern man, a trained must still read aloud and spell each word.

Sleight of Hand
Various dexterous manouvers like picking the pockets, building card buildings and doing magic tricks.

Spirit Lore
Knowledge about Spiritworld and spirits therein.

Skill to move silently and hide effectually. Urban and rural environment should be both trained separately.

Skill to throw items accurately and long. Must train to throw more exotic items.

Secondary Skills

Secondary skills are skills rarely used in RIP sessions, or are simply very narrow and thus not worth the same price as primary skills. Secondary skills cost 0.5 cp for trained (1), 1.5 cp for expert (2), 3 cp for master (3) and 5 cp for grand master (4, only with permission from the GM).
Skill to make impressive acrobative flips, to walk tightropes and otherwise control own body. High agility is also important.

Knowledge about different creatures of the fantasy world.

Ability to climb safely, quickly and skillfully steer surfaces, ropes and cliffs.

Skill to act properly in trained social environments, like correct behaviour in an orc village.

Knowledge about different plants of the fantasy world. This skill is very useful to create poisons, healing herbs and similar things.

Character is trained in selected language. Each language must be learnt separately, not as specialization for this skill.

Skill to inspire, lead and manipulate large masses.

This must be specialized to certain creatures. The character can ride and control creature in extreme conditions and get it to perform some non-standard actions like jumping.

Skill to survive in trained extreme conditions, like deserts or arctic conditions.

Not many characters can swim.

Skill to track prints in wilderness mainly, and to identify various normal animals from their footprints.

Free Skills

Characters can take, for free, any number of almost useless skills at suitable levels to enrich their past and education. Such skills include, but are not limited to the following: Area Knowledge, Artistry, Cooking, Dancing, Local Politics, Religions...

These skills can be added to character profile when needed later during game, if approved by the GM. No character should have many free skills at higher level than skilled (1), especially if character has not studied for many years. Also remember that free skills do not apply for limitations.

Background Options

Third thing about character is their background options. These things are usually social background etc. oriented material goods, known friends and enemies and other similar things, which are dependent on campaign played.

Most background options are advantageous, and thus cost character points, while some of them are disadvantages, and the character having them gets more points to be used on other things. Note that if a disadvantage is not a disadvantage, it is worth no CPs!

Standard Trappings

For free, the character may have:

Optional Backgrounds

Artifact (0.5 cp or more)
The character has a lost artifact. He has gained, stolen or been granted this item, and knows most of its functions. The actual price is determined by the GM, depending on the item. See trappings.

Avatar (2 cp and more)
The character is possessed by a friendly spirit or part of a greater spirit entity, giving him extra powers to use. The magics offered by the spirit is added to the cost. The spirit may also enhance attributes of the character. Such an attributes cost half the normal price. Note that 'gifted' special attribute is not required for powers granted by the spirit.

Haunted (occassional -1 cp, continual -2)
The character is haunted by some spirit or spirits, for reasons unknown or known to characters. These spirits may be simply annoying or they can be plain deadly. This is same as standard hunted background.

Magic Items (0.25 cp or more)
The character has an enhanced item, created by some magician. The cost varies, according to powers possessed by the item. See magic items in trappings.

Poor (-1 cp)
The character is very poor and does not have standard trappings, just a few rags and practically nothing else. Normally there must be a good reason for this state.

Stranger (cultural -1 cp, obvious -3 cp)
The character is not native to the campaign area and does not know local habits, laws or culture. If obvious, the character is usually immediately noticed as a stranger, and reactions are accordingly. Usually native language is different. Note that if the character is of different race, the maximum penalties from race and gender (see atrributes) is -4!

Wealthy (2 cp)
The character has collected, gained or stolen a vast fortune, and starts the game with almost anything, except for magic items and artifacts.

Optional Things

No optional things can be taken unless approved by the GM. Only following are usually used in Fantasy campaign, others (like Lucky) are only allowed in special cases.


These disadvantages have nothing to do with the actual characters. Instead, they are ways to earn more points by agreeing to do something that enriches the campaign.
Campaign Log (-2 cp)
The player keeps a log of events in the campaign, and writes it to some place agreed with the GM.

Character Diary (-2 cp)
The player keeps some kind of diary of actions of his character and events around him. It is like a campaign log, but personalized and subjective. Should be placed to a place where it is readable by anyone.

Back to Index - RIP Fantasy (c) Kalle Marjola 1997-2002. All rights reserved.