Conceptualizing Characters

Stories made with the CQ StoryHammer role-playing game system are crafted in a way that allows for customized protagonists. A protagonist is created by coming up with a concept and then determining traits and experiences to flesh out that concept. You will choose a concept and mind profile followed by building a resume of experiences that will dictate the proficiencies your character possesses.

Your character will be one of a handful of Protagonists joined together in a group. The group members will work together in order to achieve the goal of the story. The Narrator should provide this group with a name and description before you begin to craft your character. In this way, you will have a better understanding of the type of character that would fit well for the storyline.

Example Group:

Marial Mercenaries

The Marial Mercenaries is a scrappy group of underdogs, mostly composed of “Stewards of Krell” followers, seeking adventure. The group wanders the badlands of Marial, attempting to help settlements where they can.

There are three documents that are highly recommended for crafting your character. The Character Sheet is used to record the default traits and experiences of your character. The Character History worksheet is used to build the experiences that make up your character’s history. The Equipment and Spell sheet is used to log the spells and relics to which your character has immediate access.

Sample Character: Captain Calna

For each step, of the character creation process, a sample character will be included; our fictional player, Lynn is creating a character named Captain Calna.

Lynn has met with the Narrator who explained that her character has just joined a group of mercenaries called the Marial Mercenaries (described above); that they will all be level 6 characters, and the story will be about exploring the badlands of Marial. Lynn decides that she wants to create a ham fisted, shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later explorer named Captain Calna.

Your Concept

A helpful step in creating your Protagonist is to determine what kind of character you want to control. Does an investigator-minded spy sound interesting? What about a maverick bounty hunter? Or an innovative hacker? If you are having difficulty coming up with a concept then look through the lists below for suggestions or emulate a favorite character from fiction.

Remember that the character is part of a group and it should make sense that the character would be part of said group. It can be very helpful to discuss character concepts with the other players if possible.

Common Character Concepts

This list of concepts represents the types of characters that are typically involved in settling and protecting new colonies. In addition to describing the concept, the list includes suggested primary and secondary abilities. These abilities should get the highest and second highest amount of points (respectively) when distributing ability points. In addition, each concept has suggested story types for the concept.

Players do not have to abide by the suggested ability priorities or story types. In fact, it may be more challenging and fun for some players to lead characters out of jams for which they are not necessarily suited.

This list is not comprehensive. Feel free to invent your own concept.


Concept Description Primary Secondary Story Types
Agent Stealthy and cunning, agents serve as spies, gleaning information from other settlements or from factions within a settlement Sense Communicate, Move Espionage, Mystery
Conjurer Innovative and intelligent, conjurers serve to fabricate structures, relics, and objects to solve problems Surge Operate, Think Settling, Exploring
Diplomat Sharp and personable, diplomats work to negotiate with adversaries and allies alike Communicate Will, Think Settling, Espionage, Mystery
Explorer Determined and courageous, explorers serve to glean information from unexplored territory Will Labor, Surge Settling, Exploring
Crafter Dexterous and creative, crafters can write and hack spells, runes, and imbuements Operate Sense, Surge Settling, Espionage
Ranger Nimble and wise, rangers move through known terrain in an effort to glean and report information Move Labor, Sense Settling, Mystery
Soldier Strong and brave, soldiers do what’s needed to protect the people or organization to which they’ve sworn their  loyalty Labor Move, Will Settling, Exploring
Expert Passionate and knowledgeable, experts serve to advise, guide, and inform others about topics helpful toward solving problems Think Communicate, Operate Settling, Mystery


Sample Concept: Captain Calna

Lynn decides that Captain Calna is an explorer. However, she wants to change up the primary/secondary abilities. For primary, she wants to switch Labor for Will. Since she’s a captain, she wants to switch out Surge for Communicate. Since the narrator divulged that this will be an exploring type story, the Explorer makes a good match.