We are what we repeatedly do.

Your character’s personality is who they really are at their core, including world views, social strengths and weaknesses, life experiences, favorite pastimes, and everything else that makes your character unique.

Backgrounds & Identity

The first step of creating your character is randomly determining your character’s backgrounds. You may not establish any details about your character until after randomly determining your backgrounds. To determine your character’s backgrounds roll three 20-sided dice, and reroll any duplicate numbers. The table below will tell you your character’s three backgrounds based on the three numbers you rolled:

d20     Background     Description                                            
1 Artisan A skilled craftsperson or artist such as blacksmith, mason, carpenter, clothier, painter, sculptor, or some such trade.
2 Astrologer A scholar who consults stars, charts, and numerology to divine the future and ascertain peoples’ nature.
3 Charlatan A con artist or spy skilled at earning the trust of those whom you plan to deceive.
4 Guard A constable or bodyguard capable of keeping the peace in civilized lands.
5 Healer An apothecary or surgeon practiced in providing cures and comforts to the sick and dying.
6 Historian A scribe who learns from ancient artifacts and lost ruins so the mistakes of history need no be repeated.
7 Hunter A furrier, trapper, or poacher who tracks and kills savage beasts to protect the land or for profit.
8 Laborer A simple sort familiar with hard honest work and the common folk who perform it.
9 Merchant A business owner with a keen eye for a good deal and a solid understanding of the true worth of things.
10 Nomad One who wanders far and wide across strange and distant lands, meeting exotic people and learning their ways.
11 Outlaw A renegade who was, perhaps wrongly, convicted of a crime and has been forced to the outskirts of society.
12 Performer An actor, musician, acrobat, or other entertainer who makes a living by bringing joy and levity to others.
13 Priest A member of the clergy who attempts to understand and interpret the divine will of the gods.
14 Animal Trainer An expert in the raising, training, and caretaking of all sorts of animals.
15 Sailor A fisherman, pirate, or other seafarer who knows the ways of the ocean and has visited many ports.
16 Scout A lookout who patrols the border lands on the lookout for signs of danger.
17 Servant A butler, innkeeper, or other attendant who expertly anticipates and provides for the needs of others.
18 Socialite A expert of social etiquette always ready to rub elbows with the rich and famous.
19 Soldier A member of the military who spends plenty of time marching, preparing encampments, and maintaining discipline.
20 Urchin A street rat who did whatever it took to survive and has learned who can really be trusted.

Once you’ve determined your character’s backgrounds, imagine a common thread that would tie these three backgrounds together, and a core motivation for your character. Write this down as your character’s identity, a 3 to 5 word phrase summarizing who your character is and what they desire. Some example identities include:

Each of your backgrounds also grants you one bond, related to your background’s origin. These bonds are short descriptions of how, where and with whom you learned your expertise. This bond need not be decided right away; you should save the opportunity to connect your past with the events of your current adventures.

Your backgrounds describe your life before your current adventures, and improve any rolls that benefit from that history. You should try to leverage your background when approaching problems, and ask the GM if any of your backgrounds would help when you make a roll. If the GM agrees that it would help, add a +2 bonus to your TN for the roll. Some tasks may only be attempted by a character who has a necessary background. When the GM calls for a lore check, each different background that is relevant grants you +2 to your result.

Personal Values

While all people have a unique set of traits, principles, and motives, Forge of Legends focuses on six personal values in particular. These values come in three opposing pairs: bold vs. subtle, idealistic vs. pragmatic and serious vs. whimsical.

Your character has a rating from one to five in each value. A rating of one or two means that you are averse to the value, while a rating of four or five means that you are aligned with the value. A rating of exactly three means you are neutral on that scale. Opposite pairs of values always add up to exactly 6; whenever one value is increased, the opposite value is decreased. If you have a bold rating of 3, you must also be subtle 3; if you are serious 5, you must be whimsical 1. Other than that restriction, you may set their characters’ personal values to anything you wish when creating your character.

Personal values are used for rolls you make to influence NPCs (you can’t roll to influence other player characters). Such a roll will always be opposed by one of the NPC’s values, although the GM will determine which of those values will oppose you. For example, if you try to boldly intimidate a guard, the guard’s bold value will oppose you. The task is easier if the guard is subtle, and more difficult if the guard is bold. On the other hand, if you try to pragmatically bribe the guard, then the guard’s idealistic value will oppose you. The task is easier if the guard is more pragmatic like you, and more difficult if the guard is idealistic.

Personal values also determine how your character responds to fateful deeds. You are rewarded with a fate point when you perform a fateful deed that is aligned with your values, but risk suffering stress when you perform a fateful deed averse to your values.

Bold vs Subtle

Bold and subtle describe a character’s approach to overcoming obstacles. A bold character would confront an challenge directly, but a subtle character would bypass a direction confrontation. A bold character might see themselves as brave, daring, and straightforward, while they see might subtle characters as cowardly, manipulative, or meek. A subtle character sees themselves as patient, wise, and careful, but bold characters as impatient, shortsighted, or reckless.

Idealistic vs Pragmatic

Idealistic and pragmatic describe how a character responds to unpleasant opportunities. An idealistic character would renounce a beneficial but distasteful opportunity, but a pragmatic character would exploit such an opportunity. An idealistic character sees themselves as honorable, fair, and someone who does the right thing, while they might see a pragmatic character as unscrupulous, selfish, or downright evil. A pragmatic character sees themselves as realistic, practical and someone who does what needs to be done, while they might describe an idealistic character as a zealot, a wishful thinker, or gullible.

Serious vs Whimsical

Serious and Whimsical describe how a character responds to intriguing diversions. A serious character would persist toward their main objective, while a whimsical character would explore the new circumstance. A serious character sees themselves as tenacious, decisive, and calm, but might see a whimsical character as unreliable, lazy, or overly excitable. A whimsical character sees themselves as friendly, flexible, and passionate, while they might see a serious character as dour, stubborn, and cold.


Your bonds describe the specific people, places and things with which you have a unique connection. Bonds are not chosen from a specific list. Instead, bonds come in the form of short phrases that describe your relationships. A bond much be specific enough that it doesn’t apply to just any situation, but general enough that it will be useful throughout your adventure. The GM will help you adjust your bonds to be appropriately specific. Some example bonds are given here:

You begin play with six incomplete bonds, questions that you may answer when you see fit: Who was your family? Where did you come from? How did you learn the skills of your class? And for each of your three backgrounds, what did you do? You are free to declare your answer to these at any time, but you are encouraged to wait and see what the world is like before deciding your place in it. During your adventure, you will have the chance to build bonds with the fantastic people, places, and things you meet along the way.

Personal Legend

Your character’s personal legend is a story and power completely unique to them! A personal legend must include 3 things: An origin, a manifestation, and a mystery. Not all the details of your personal legend need to be established right away. Personal legends can and do change over time. It may even be that a you haven’t yet discovered your personal legend when the game begins, only for it to be revealed later in a moment of crisis.


The origin of your legend is a brief description of how you came to acquire or understand your personal legend. It may come from your bloodline, one of your past deeds, or years of dedicated training. However, a personal legend is always tied to your character themselves, not an item that your character possesses.


The manifestation of a personal legend is a supernatural ability or power that your has, usually in the form of a unique skill. You should suggest the nature of the manifestation to the GM, who will then offer the specific effects and limitations. The GM Guidelines chapter includes additional information for designing legendary manifestations.


Finally, every personal legend needs a mystery. There may still be unanswered questions or unresolved conflicts about the origin, you may not fully understand your manifestation, or you may be uncertain of how the legend will affect your future. A mystery is a loose thread that the GM can weave into an adventure. If the GM feels like it is difficult to incorporate your character’s mystery into any adventure, then they will ask you to elaborate that mystery.

By their nature, legendary mysteries entice characters to seek their answers. Discovering the resolution to a mystery rewards you with a new manifestation of your personal legend, which may enhance or even replace their old manifestation. Resolving a mystery doesn’t just spell the end of one chapter of your personal legend. It also marks the begging of another. Wherever you discover the answer to a mystery, the GM will work with you to decide what new mystery has arisen. A personal legend must always have some unanswered questions.


Heroes, especially those who stay true to themselves and to their friends, often find that destiny is on their side. Fate is a resource that you and your allies can call upon to aid you in your adventures. However, the GM will keep track of your group’s fate secretly; you can never be quite sure if fate will answer your call.

You earn fate by performing fateful deeds, important decisions made in alignment with your personal values, bonds, or other priorities. You also gain a point of fate whenever one of your character’s flaws poses a significant obstacle. The decisions you make with your group can also qualify as fateful deeds, especially if you strongly advocate for what you believe in. The GM will determine if any of your decisions qualify as fateful deeds, and when they do, the GM will increase your group’s fate. The GM might communicate that you have earned a fateful deed by describing a benign event in the game world, such as a rainbow appearing. But the GM may also increase your fate silently.

You may call upon fate with a silent prayer for aid in your time of need. If your group has enough fate, and if fate doesn’t oppose your intentions, then your call will be answered and fate will aid in your endeavors. This will most often take the form of granting a boon to one of your rolls, even after you roll the dice. You will discover other ways to call upon fate as you learn about the world. However, fate will only ever answer your call after you commit to undertaking a course of action. Fortune favors the bold; and you can never know if you luck has run out until its too late!

Lore Checks

The GM will call for a lore check to determine what you know about a specific subject. If you have any backgrounds that would give you insight in the subject, each adds +2 to your lore check. If you have any relevant bonds, each adds +4. If your allies have backgrounds or bonds that would offer a different perspective, you all can pool your knowledge together to determine how much you know. However, if you and your ally offer insight from the same perspective, it is only counted once for a lore check.

Once you’ve added up your relevant backgrounds and bonds, the GM will determine how much you know about the subject and tell you your insights. No dice are rolled to determine what you know; either you have enough experience from your background, or you don’t. If it turns out you don’t know enough lore, you’ll need to seek out people, books, or research activities to learn more.

Lore Rating     Description     Example                                            
0                   Common  Sense       Fire  is hot, water is wet                              
2                   Public Information The personality of the local  governor                  
4                   Expert  Knowledge   The  type of herb to treat an illness                  
6                   Whispered Rumors   Which of the townsfolk has been sneaking out at night  
8                   Well-kept  Secrets The  whereabouts of the king’s secret scion            
10                   Legendary Lore     The name of one of the old gods                        
NA                   Unknowable         What  came before the dawn of time