There we have the three potential races. Nephilim, Sliths, Humans. Humans are vanilla. Nothing special. Nephils get a 10% XP penalty, an ever-increasing bonus to using bows, and are slightly more nimble.
Sliths get a 20% XP penalty. Why? They get nice fire resistance, an ever-increasing bonus to using pole weapons (spears), and are also a fair bit tougher than humans or nephils. Pretty good, all in all.
Ignore the classes. We are customizing this.
Skiiiiills. Many are self-explanatory. Strength lets you hit harder and wear heavier equipment, dexterity lets you dodge/shoot better. Intelligence gives you more energy (MP) and lets you avoid mental effects better. Endurance makes you harder to kill.
The weapon skills just make you more accurate with that weapon. I think you might hit a bit harder too, not sure. Having higher ranks in your total weapon skill gives you battle disciplines: Fancy things you can do like lowering your opponent's armour, giving yourself more moves, hitting harder, and so on. This works with spells too, which is why making your casters sliths or nephils isn't a bad idea at all. Melee weapons means swords in this case, by the way.
Quick Action is trickier. You get your turn earlier, and the more ranks you have, the more chance there is that when you make an attack, you'll get an extra attack. Handy, but doesn't work with bows, thrown weapons (which are worthless anyway) or spells.
Magic things. Mage Spells and Priest Spells just make you better at those spells. You need a certain amount of one or the other to cast spells, too. Max 17, I think. Arcane Lore helps with reading spellbooks you find and so on. That counts the amount you have in the party, so you might as well spread it out. Spellcraft just makes you better at all spells. The mage/priest spell skill you have at first, by the way, decides what spells you start with, so it's best to have a fair bit for your casters.
Hardiness makes you tougher, and more resistant to every kind of damage. But not by much. Defense makes you harder to hit. Tool Use is all about picking locks and getting rid of traps. Handy. Nature Lore works like Arcane Lore, only for finding hidden items and calming animals down so you don't need to fight them (better than it sounds, when the animals are giant bats that spit lava). Finally, Luck... I don't know what it does. Stops you from dying when you should, sometimes, and affects "certain events", or so I hear.
First Aid gets its own paragraph for being all kinds of useful. I suggest starting with 2 ranks of this for everyone (like the Lore skills, it's spread out), and upgrading to at least 4 ranks each. Why? After each battle, depending on how many things you killed, you gain energy and health back. Why is this good? If it was not for first aid, you'd be relying on energy potions, which are a finite resource. And healing yourself with spells, using more energy.
With enough first aid? You could easily finish encounters with full health or close and almost as much energy as you started with. Which is amazing.
Oh, and the higher a skill is, the more it costs in points to raise it further.
Traits! These are what you take to make your character special
(sometimes in the mental sense). There are positive traits to make your character better at the cost of an XP penalty, and negative ones to make them weaker, but gives them bonus XP. Negative ones often aren't worth it, while XP penalties aren't nearly as bad as they sound.
Good Constitution: Takes more to kill you, you laugh poison off. Hardiness boost, mostly.
Nimble Fingers: bonus to Tool Use, yaaay.
Thick Skin: Takes More To Kill You v2. It now takes even more to kill you, I hope you're happy. Actually, I think good constitution only deals with poison. Meh.
Strong Will: Makes you harder to mind-control. This means stopping you from moving/charming you/scaring you so you waste turns running around like a headless chicken.
Deadeye: You're better at shooting things. Scaling bonus, like any other trait that gives a bonus. A must have for archers.
Fast on Feet: You're faster, get your turn earlier, and occasionally get an extra AP. AP being what you use to move and do things in battle. Handy.
Pure Spirit: You're the best priest ever.
Natural Mage: You're the best mage ever. And with Natural Mage, you can wear all the clanky heavy armour you like. Robes are for wimps anyway.
Elite Warrior: This character is a god of war. Chop things to bits. Like Deadeye for melee combat, only way better. A must have for anyone who plans to hit things with other, pointier things.
Divinely Touched: You're awesome at everything and probably come from a distant world where your ancestors were gods. Side-effects may include a crippling weakness to green rocks.
Weak-Minded: Strong Will in reverse.
Delicate Skin: Thick Skin in reverse.
Sluggish: Fast on Feet in reverse.
Brittle Bones: not
a reversed advantage, for once. Basically? You're very fragile. Someone hits you and your bones shatter. Surprisingly good for casters, since they're in big trouble if they get hit anyway, but still tricky to use.
Frail: You're pathetic in every way possible and really shouldn't be in this line of work. Essentially Divinely Touched in reverse.
By the way, I don't have exact XP values for the penalties/bonuses, but the further you go down the list, the bigger it is. Divinely Touched, for example, is 30%. You can only take 2 traits total, split between positive and negative ones as you see fit. And you can, of course, just take one or none at all. Check post#29 for further info on traits.
Now than, THE PLOT!
What could possibly
will stop our peaceful happy lives.
Except the plot. Yep, I guess that could do it. Also: This man has laser fingers. Be on your guard.
Well, at least it's not our problem.
Having finished the series, I still have no idea what that thing in the back is. I want to keep it that way.
I guess this would be a bad time to start playing It's a Wonderful Life