Character Generation

This guide will walk you through the process of setting up a character for play on Harry Potter: Into the Fire.

Demographics

There are six fields at the top of every sheet which need to be filled in. These are:

  • Concept
  • Core - +help core
  • Virtue
  • Vice
  • Bloodline - Only for characters with the Half-Breed merit
  • Race - Autofilled with +init/pureblood|halfblood|muggleborn command

Your concept is a short phrase describing your character, such as 'Wolf Among Sheep', 'Dedicated Defender', 'Jagged Wild Thing', etc.

Your Virtue and Vice will come from the Virtues and Vices list.


Attributes

We use nine basic attribute in this system. You may recognize them from other games, but we highly recommend you read our system in full, as not everything is pulled from one source.

  • Dexterity: Quickness. It is a great response time or a delicate touch. Dexterity indicates how quickly and with how much finesse your character responds to his physical world. While high Wits dots helps your character spot trouble, high Dexterity dots help him react to it, whether with a counteraction or to simply get the hell out of the way. Dexterity also helps with hand-eye coordination, be it to fire an accurate shot, to juggle objects or to perform delicate jobs. Your character might be sluggish, clumsy, slight, quick or nimble. Dexterity is invaluable to criminals, doctors and dancers. Dexterity, along with Strength, is a factor in determining your character’s Speed. Dexterity is also combined with Composure to determine your character’s Initiative in a fight.
  • Strength: Physical might. It is your sheer bodily power. The capacity to lift objects, move items, hit things and people, and do damage. Strength is a measure of muscle. Your character could be 98-pound weakling, he could carry a spare tire, or he could be lean and cut or bulky and brawny. Your Character’s Strength score is used in hand-to-hand combat. This trait is instrumental to laborers, thugs, athletes, brawlers and soldiers. Strength, along with Dexterity, is a factor in determining your character’s Speed. Strength is also added to Brawl or Weaponry attacks to determine the amount of harm your character inflicts in combat.
  • Stamina: Sturdiness. Steadfastness. Sheer physical resilience. Stamina is a measure of how tough your character is. It indicates how far she can push her body, and how much physical abuse she can endure. Your character might be sickly and frail, or hardy and unstoppable. Bodyguards, brawlers, Foresters, Huntsman thrive on Stamina.
  • Presence: Bearing. Stature. Assertiveness. Presence suggests the power of your character’s very identity. Attractiveness is only part of the trait. Your character may be jaw-dropping gorgeous, plain-Jane or downright ugly, but her Presence means much more. It reflects her sheer command over the attention of others. It’s her capacity to impose her will on others by being socially aggressive or powerful, a veritable bull in a china shop or someone who simply doesn’t accept no for an answer. This trait is essential to leaders, enforcers, interrogators, politicians and peddlers.
  • Manipulation: Charm. Persuasiveness. Charisma. The capacity to play upon the desires, hopes and needs of others to influence them. Manipulation reflects your character’s finesse in social situations. How well he can appeal to, gain the favor of and generally coerce others. Manipulation is applied to win smiles, to put people at ease or to gain favors. Where Presence deals in social force, Manipulation focuses on social subtlety. It’s the tool and trade of merchants, politicians, interrogators and courtiers. Your character may be a wallflower, he could frequently make off-color statements, he might have a winning smile and a hardy handshake, or he may be able to sell sand in the desert.
  • Composure: Poise. Dignity. The capacity to remain calm and appear - and actually be - unfazed in social and threatening situations, usually harrowing ones. Your character might lose his temper at the slightest perceived insult, collapse emotionally under a mere pretense, weather a storm of verbal (or literal) slings and arrows, or have the nerve to look unspeakable horror in the eye. This trait is a measure of emotional fortitude, restraint and calm. It’s ideal among leaders, soldiers, moderators and anyone whose movements are public consumption. Composure is vital to resisting social influence and pressure - overt, covert or otherworldly. Composure is pivotal to resisting supernatural forms of emotional control; it acts as a veritable emotional defense.
  • Resolve: The focus and determination to see your character’s will done. The capacity to stay on target, ignore distractions and to resist coercion or browbeating. Resolve is your character’s mental fortitude. His personal conviction. His clarity of vision or spirit. Your character may be easily distracted, unable to concentrate, resolute or single-minded. The trait is pivotal to resisting supernatural forms of mental control; it acts as a veritable defense of the mind. Resolve is valuable to leaders, motivators, soldiers, athletes, diplomats.
  • Intelligence: The raw power of the mind. Cognitive capacity. The inherent capability to digest, comprehend and remember information and to learn more. Intelligence is a direct measure of how smart your character is. She may be dull-minded or have narrow-vision. She may be book-smart, or she may simply be able to grasp concepts, interpret situations and solve problems quickly. Intelligence is valued by planners, theorists, scholars, clergy, leaders, etc.
  • Wits: The ability to think on one’s feet, under pressure or duress, without letting them see you sweat. Wits also encompasses an eye for detail, the ability to absorb what’s going on in the environment, and to react to events. It might mean recognizing that the temperature in a room slowly drops, that a landscape painting incorporates a disguised human face, or that a trap is about to be sprung. Wits involves the powers of perception and response. Your character may be oblivious, dumbfounded, quick-eyed or wary. The trait is useful for merchants, charlatans, tacticians, lawyers and criminals.

Your first step in building your sheet is to establish point values for these attributes. Everyone begins with 1 dot in each automatically. These attributes go from 1 to 5 in the following scale:

  1. Poor
  2. Average
  3. Good
  4. Exceptional
  5. Peak

Adult characters have 15 points to spend in this section; student characters have 13. You may spend these on any Attributes you desire. However, think about your point allocations carefully - raising attributes after CG is a slow and XP-heavy endeavor.


Schools

In the universe of Harry Potter, there are lots of different kinds of magic. The European Wizarding World breaks magic down into broad categories in order to better understand and use it - it should be no surprise that those categories translate roughly to classes in wizarding schools. This is the step of CG that varies wildly between Adult and Student characters, so pay special attention to the process for your specific character. The schools of magic are as follows:

  • Alchemy
  • Arithmancy
  • Charms
  • Defense
  • Divination
  • Offense
  • Potions
  • Runes
  • Transfiguration

Classes and Their Stats

Below is a list of the classes taught at Hogwarts and what School(s) or Abilities they relate to directly.

Please include a list of your OWL and NEWT Courses in a +note to make CG sheet math go quicker on staff-side!

Class School or Ability
Alchemy Alchemy
Ancient Studies Academics
Arithmancy Arithmancy
Astronomy Cosmology
Care of Magic Creatures Animal Ken
Charms Charms
Defense Against the Dark Arts Defense and Offense
Divination Divination
Ghoul Studies Lore: Ghost, Lore: Banshee
Herbology Herbology
History of Magic Lore: Wizarding
Muggle Studies Lore: Muggle
Potions Potions
Study of Ancient Runes Runes
Transfiguration Transfiguration

Some classes are offered at Hogwarts that may help a character justify stat purchases but do not grant them for free. They are listed below for a general idea of what they could justify - All are electives, and failing or not taking them will not affect your overall school performance.

Class Stat
Advanced Defensive Theory Defense
Flying Flight
Magical Law Enforcement Law
Wizarding Literature Academics
Wizarding Musical Theory Performance

Student Characters

Student characters are further broken down by their year level. For our purposes, an OWL in a subject corresponds to 1 dot in that subject's school(s) of magic or ability. A NEWT in that subject corresponds to 2 dots in that subject's school(s) of magic or ability.

First Years - Fifth Years

Congrats! This section is easy for you guys. You don't need to worry about any schools yet. You'll do that process in up-time when it's time for your OWLs.

Sixth Years & Seventh Years

Put one dot in every school or ability that corresponds to a subject your character got their OWL in. (Offense and Defense both get one dot from a DADA OWL, for example) If your character didn't get an OWL in a subject, write up a short +note about it so we know, and you'll receive a little bit of bonus XP after CG to represent their having put that time and effort into other things.

Your NEWTs will be handled in uptime. Include a short +note with the list of NEWT classes you want your character to be taking.

Adult Characters

You may have one dot in each of the schools or abilities for free to represent having passed the OWL associated with that school. If your character didn't get an OWL in a subject, write up a short +note about it so we know, and you'll receive some bonus XP after CG to represent having put that time and effort into other things.

You then have 6 points to put into the schools or class abilities of your choice. Two dots in a school represents having gotten a NEWT in that subject. Three dots is a professional understanding of that school gained from post-secondary training. You may mix-n-match, but no school may be higher than 3 dots at this stage.


Abilities

Abilities represent the things your character has learned to better refine their natural attributes. You will roll these in combination with your attributes. Unlike attributes, you must level up abilities from zero, rather than one. Adults get 27 points to spend in this section; students get 22. You may spend these on any Abilities you desire, but you cannot make any ability higher than 3 at this stage. (You can raise them higher with freebie points at the end.)

Abilities Scale:

  1. Novice
  2. Practiced
  3. Competent
  4. Expert
  5. Master

Note: Linguistics works a little differently. Please see the Linguistics page for more details.

Talents Skills Knowledges
Alertness Animal Ken Academics
Athletics Crafts Computer
Awareness Drive Cosmology
Brawl Dueling Dark Magic
Dodge Etiquette Enigmas
Empathy Firearms Herbology
Expression Meditation Investigation
Flight Melee Law
Intimidation Occulmency Linguistics
Leadership Performance Lore*
Streetwise Security Medicine
Subterfuge Stealth Occult
Time Sense Survival Politics
Technology Research
Rituals
Science
Wandlore

Lores are further broken down by their type. While you'll take dots in general Linguistics and then list your languages on a +note, you'll never take a generic 'Lore' knowledge. You'll choose one (or more) of the following.

  • Lore: Banshee
  • Lore: Centaur
  • Lore: Ghost
  • Lore: Giant
  • Lore: Goblin
  • Lore: Mer
  • Lore: Muggle
  • Lore: Vampire
  • Lore: Veela
  • Lore: Werewolf
  • Lore: Wizarding

Pureblood characters get three free dots of Wizarding lore.
Half-Blood characters get four free dots to divide between Wizarding and Muggle lore, but both must have at least one dot.
Muggleborn characters get three free dots of Muggle lore.

Characters with the Half-Breed or Magical Creature Merits get the first two dots of their respective Lore for free.


Backgrounds

These represent specific elements of your character's background such as wealth, allies, resources, etc. The following are the backgrounds we allow on HP:ITF. All characters start with 7 points to spend on backgrounds. All backgrounds are on a scale of 1-5, the meaning of each level is listed under each given background.

Fame
Your name is known in the Wizarding World for one reason or another. This may not be a good thing, or it may be a representation of acclaim. Please explain the source of your Fame in a +note. For reach dot of Fame, you may add that many dice to Social rolls involving your area of influence.
● You are known by a select subculture. Perhaps you published an obscure book or won a competition twenty years ago.
●● Your face is recognized by the majority of the people in a given subculture or organization; local celebrity.
●●● You are fairly famous; your name and face are known by many.
●●●● You are quite renowned; everyone has at least heard of you.
●●●●● You are nationally or even internationally famous - a hero, high ranking politician, or major athlete.

Pure Blood
Your blood is pure, and your family line well documented. Whether this comes from only one side, or both, you bear traits from a notable family that people will recognize and respect. Muggleborns may not take this Background. Add your Pure Blood score to Social rolls involving people who will care about blood status.
● You have only the most basic of pedigrees, but it's enough to be noticed. Perhaps your ancestor was a notable witch.
●● Your line may not be perfect, but your family name bears a little weight.
●●● Your line is respectable and well known, though likely from a cadet branch.
●●●● You are the spitting image of your great-great aunt, and no one would deny your bloodline's purity.
●●●●● You are the next notable figure in your illustrious family tree.

Resources
This is the measure of your character's wealth. We have not broken down the economy into exact numbers on ITF, and do not intend to. This scale is for a general idea of what you can spend comfortably - More extreme purchases should be handled via +request.
X No dots of Resources displays utter poverty or no control over your financial environment.
● You scrape by, likely renting living space or keep careful budgets. You may be severely in debt.
●● You can save a little, rent a nicer home, and likely afford an older broom. The rent might get paid a little late.
●●● Owning a modest home, supporting a small family, and keeping up with new fashions is within your means. Possibly the head of a lesser Pureblood family.
●●●● A grand home and displays of wealth are at your disposal. This money may be new or old, and can easily support a family with occasionally extravagant tastes.
●●●●● Your vaults are held in the deepest reaches of Gringotts. There is little that your wealth and influence cannot buy.

Secrets
Sometimes, you learn something you wish you hadn't. Other times you go sticking your nose into business that isn't your own. Through circumstance or conniving, you have learned some valuable information - And the people it ought to belong to don't know you know. Yet. Please detail the secrets you know, how you learned them, and who they are about in a +note.
● One relatively minor secret, it might end a relationship or cause tension in a workplace, but it won't kill anyone.
●● Two minor secrets or one moderate secret, it might lose someone a job or shame a reputation.
●●● Three minor secrets or two moderate secrets.
●●●● Four minor secrets, three moderate secrets, or one major secrets - This could change the course of a serious organization or group, and could endanger your life or the life of others.
●●●●● Five minor secrets, three moderate secrets, or two major secrets - Or some combination thereof.

Destiny
This Background reflects your character's relative importance to a quest or cause. He may be slated for greatness or a horrible demise, but his is certain to be a tale that goes down into legend. One should keep in mind that those who are greatest are not always found where one might expect. Sometimes the little things that your character does can have long-lasting influence on what he encounters later down the road.

This Background grants no mechanical advantage, save that you are guaranteed that you won't die before achieving some form of greatness, but your death itself may fulfill this Destiny. You and your Storyteller should decide some of the things your Destiny will entail before you begin your chronicle. Notably, however, whatever Destiny your character holds, no Prophecy has been spoken of it - Such foresight is covered by the Fate background instead.

Typically those with this Trait attract soothsayers. Their lives roller coaster through glorious successes and crushing defeats. The kiss of Destiny is both a blessing and a curse, but always a terrible burden.
● Destined for a minor quest, saving an important figure, or being the only death in a battle of the ages.
●● A series of events shape your Destiny, culminating in some notable heroics or terrors. Leading a charge or discovering forbidden knowledge.
●●● The ties of Destiny mean your name will be remembered for generations. Curing a disease, founding an order, or causing mass hysteria would qualify here.
●●●● Destiny suffuses everything in your life. A driving purpose fills your days, and you will not rest until it is seen to the end, and others will remember.
●●●●● Even other people will fight for the cause you are destined to achieve. Only the greatest of heroes and villains are chosen so, but their names will never be forgotten - Though, for some, they may never again be spoken.

Fate
This Background reflects that your character is the subject of a Prophecy. This need not be a comfortable or glorious thing - Seers have visions of the future that are dark and foreboding, too. Staff will be heavily involved in any character that takes this background and should be consulted when writing the Prophecy in question. Additionally, the point value of this background represents the clarity and availability of this Prophecy, not just its import.

When a character is taking actions to fulfill their Fate, they may add their Fate score to any roll with ST discretion.
● A nearly indecipherable or extremely obscure Prophecy. The character may have never heard it, and the people who have may be far-flung. Or it could be entirely in Gobbledegook - Find a Goblin.
●● An oft-forgotten or very complex Prophecy, it may be difficult to know what is to come.
●●● A relatively clear or well-known Prophecy, but not easily referenced again. Perhaps it was destroyed, lost, or recorded poorly.
●●●● A detailed or storied Prophecy. Still difficult to reference, and people have retold it enough that the telephone game is in play, but the gist is clear enough.
●●●●● You were there when it was spoken or you have the Prophecy orb. This is a world-changing Prophecy and the world knows what you have been called to do. Your way is clear, but the burden is unspeakable.

Heirloom
You are the most recent recipient of a family heirloom that has been passed down throughout the generations that has some magical ability. Naturally only those with magical lineage can benefit from this merit. The item can be fairly weak, or could be remarkably potent, and the point cost reflects this. Work with staff to stat your heirloom.
● An item with one small quirk.
●● An item with two small quirks or one moderate quirk.
●●● An item with three small quirks, or one moderate and one small quirk.
●●●● An item with four small quirks, two moderate quirks, or one major quirk.
●●●●● An item with five small quirks, two major quirks, or one legendary quirk.

Household
Your character controls or employees a number of household staff or house elves. They are loyal to you and your family, and will perform basic tasks such as cleaning, cooking, childcare, shopping, fetching, porting, and possibly letter sending. Please detail your Household in a +note.
● One maid or house elf.
●● Two staff members or house elves.
●●● Three staff member or house elves, or one head of household (Butler, seneschal, assistant, etc) who can also manage finances and answer basic messages.
●●●● One head of household and up to three staff members or house elves.
●●●●● One head of household and up to five staff members or house elves.

Retainers
This background represents people in your character's service. This is more than basic household staff. These are undersecretaries, bodyguards, research assistants, or dueling partners. They have their own power and resources to bring to bear and can be of significant help to you. Each dot in this background grants a pool of Freebie points that may be spent on your Retainer(s)' sheet(s). You may only split those points among as many Retainers as you have dots in this background. You are responsible for controlling your Retainer, +rolling for them, and maintaining their sheet. Retainers may be upgraded by buying more dots of this background, but will not earn XP, and cannot be brought above twenty Freebie points.
● Five Freebie points.
●● Seven Freebie points.
●●● Ten Freebie points.
●●●● Fifteen Freebie points.
●●●●● Twenty Freebie points.

Familiar
Your character has a close bond with an animal with a magical quirk, or possibly with a magical beast. You need not buy this Background for a mundane pet, but if you would like them to be special or magical in some way, that is what this is for. Each dot in this Background grants your Familiar one magical quirk, defined in a +note and subject to Staff approval. If you wish to have a magical beast (Phoenix, Occamy, etc) as a Familiar, you must take at least three dots in this Background. If you choose a magical beast that has known magical traits, you must either make those traits the quirks assigned by Familiar or explain in a +note why your Familiar does not have the ability normally innate to its creature type. (Ex: A phoenix who cannot carry great weight.) Familiars may be upgraded by buying up this Background, but may never have more than five quirks.
● A mundane creature with one quirk.
●● A mundane creature with two quirks.
●●● A mundane or magical beast with three quirks.
●●●● A mundane or magical beast with four quirks.
●●●●● A mundane or magical beast with five quirks.

Ancestry
Someone in your family history did something that was - at least historically speaking - kind of a big deal. Whether it was your Great-Aunt Delilah privateering during the Goblin Rebellions or your family's pride in tracing its lineage back to Charlemagne, your family has a name to live up to - for good or for ill. Each dot in this Background functions as an imaginary dot of Lore (whatever is most relevant for the ancestor in question) for the purposes of whatever that corner of history and/or culture is.
● Your family told the story of how 'Great Aunt Kate' outsmarted goblin pirates every Christmas. (1 dot Lore Goblin about the Goblin Rebellions)
●● There is a collection of war posters and vinyl recordings of great-great-great grandpappy Teddy Roosevelt's speeches laying around the house. (2 dots Lore Muggle about Teddy Roosevelt, his presidency, or the Spanish-American War)
●●● The facts surrounding your uncle's infamous term of office as 'Flamboyant Fawley' are quite routine dinner conversation. (3 dots Lore Wizarding about the Great War and the rise of Grindelwald)
●●●● The family portrait of Ancient Aunt Mathilde has been loudly telling you the story of how she orchestrated the very first Conclave of Giants and led her people through their last Golden Age every time you pass her in the halls for about as long as you can remember. (4 dots Lore Giant about their government and politics)
●●●●● Your mother led the Veela rebellion that liberated magical creatures from gulags across Russia, and she has never ever let you forget it. (5 dots Lore Veela or Lore Wizarding vis a vis the oppression of Soviet Russia on magical creatures and the Russian Veela culture specifically.)


Pools

Wizards and witches make use of two primary pools to cast magic. Power represents the raw magical oomph your character can bring to bear, and Control is how well your character is at enforcing their will on their magic. The starting numbers for these pools are determined by your character's race.

Race Power Control
Pureblood 5 3
Half-Blood 4 4
Muggleborn 3 5

Merits and Flaws

These are special additions to your character that represent either a special benefit or deficit. Merits cost freebie points. Flaws can give you additional freebie points to spend, but only up to a maximum of 7 overall or the sum of your 2 highest point value flaws, whichever amount is higher.

Merits and Flaws


Freebie Points

Once the basics of your sheet have been set up, you can supplement dots in any section with Freebie Points. All characters start out with at least 15 Freebie Points, though you can end up with more if you take Flaws or play an older character. Below are the tables for Freebie Point costs and Freebie Points by Age.

Stat Cost
Attributes 5 per dot
Abilities 2 per dot
Schools 7 per dot
Backgrounds 1 per dot
Control 4 per dot
Power 2 per dot
Merits 1 per dot
Age Freebie Points
11-25 15
26-40 20
40-65 25
65+ 30
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