Starting Bracket

The starting bracket is the set of stats and attributes that you give to PCs at the start of their game. The bracket gives them structure to work with, instead of just handing them 300 xp and telling them to figure it out.

You can find an example bracket in the Quick Build on Character Creation


Starting brackets can be of any size or value, but they're uniform across all PCs at the start of the game.1 When designing the rest of your content, you'll usually keep referring back to the starting bracket to callibrate the stat bonuses and total values of other entities.

In other words, the starting bracket is what you hinge most of your game rule design decisions on.

As an example, the starting bracket for is 300 xp.


Since that's the case, you don't need to worry a huge amount about balancing your starting bracket, because most of everything else will be balanced around it instead. What you do need to worry about is its composition.


Composition refers to the parts and description of the stat block. Generally, a complete stat block is composed of the following:

  • Aspects & Flaws
    • How many of each
  • Primary Stats
    • Set of stat bonuses players will place
    • Should cover all the Primary Stats, even if you intend for players to have to place zeros in some stats
  • Skills
    • Set of skill bonuses players will place
    • Number of bonuses should allow players to create well rounded characters
    • A small number of higher bonuses will be their specializations
    • A larger number of medium bonuses will be their day-to-day skills
    • A small number of small bonuses will help them round their character out with support skills & hobbies
    • Can be subdivided by skill category if you choose
  • Tactical Stats
    • Typically specify a Speed
    • Include any other tactical stats that all characters should start with
    • If there are multiple required tactical stats, consider giving these a bracket like stats & skills and let the players pick which ones to place where
  • Thresholds & Pools
    • Generally just a note to calculate them from the other stats
  • Equipment
    • Either a budget of xp, a carefully balanced selection list, or a series of packages
    • All options should be worth the same xp value so one player isn't getting more by picking a certain package
  • Additional Elements
    • Any other parts of the character entity rules that need to be specified at the start
    • may include stats or equipment for special rules
  • Total XP
    • Calculate the total of the bracket and list it
    • Helps if someone wants to make a more unusual character
    • Helps you callibrate against other entities later on without having to fully build a character

  1. If someone else joins later, they'd start with the starting bracket and then get enough xp to increase their total value to the level of the other PCs. ↩︎