Before beginning the first session, players and GMs should work to get the bulk of individual character finished. Characters can then be completed and inter-party relationships can be decided during the first session. Once characters are finalized, time should be spent as a group
The first thing to be done with your character is to choose an arcana. This arcana represents basic traits and patterns your character follows. It also determines the powers available to your persona. Be aware when choosing an arcana: many of them have different meanings than what may be apparent at first glance.
If a choice is given on suit affinity this should be decided next. When a player is called to discard a card from a particular suit (such as a skill), any card may be played as if it were the same suit as the character’s affinity.
A tarot ability is an arcana-specific action that may be performed once per day. These operate as written.
Restrictions prevent a character from learning skills and spells from the listed families.
For the next section, a basic knowledge of Jungian psychology (specificly the “Myers-Briggs Type Indicator”: four archetypes) will be helpful. Filling out these components will help flesh out your character, but is largely optional.
Players should then decide the nature of the physical manifestation of their persona. Persona are generally figures from myth thematically tied to the arcana they represent, can take almost any form, and are usually about twice the size of a human (with much variation). GMs must make final approval on a persona’s form. A persona’s form defines its abilities and actions available to aid its user through dungeons. When summoned, a persona appears next to the user. They are neither fully separate entities from their users nor are they mere extensions of their will. Persona will always act to protect their user and may communicate with them via empathy, but cannot express complex thoughts and are incapable of speech. They follow any mental order, even at their own peril, but orders contrary to a persona’s nature may agitate it and complex orders may confuse some persona.
Characters begin with 1 point placed in each stat. On character creation, the player is given ten points to distribute among them. Points 1-5 cost 1 point and points 6-10 cost 2 points. These stats represent the power of one’s persona and are used in combat and when using a persona in the field.
Strength is added to the power ratings of all slash, strike and pierce skills and represents the physical power of the persona.
Magic is added to the power ratings of all fire, ice, wind, electricity, dark and light spells and represents the magical and mental potency of the persona.
Agility is added to ‘to hit’, initiative and dodge checks and represents the dexterity and speed of the persona.
Endurance is subtracted from all damage taken and represents the toughness of the persona.
Traits represent the personal abilities of a character. Characters begin play with a 5 in one trait, a 4 in another, a 3 in another and a 2 in the final one.
Persistence represents a character’s physical strength and tenacity of will and is added to a weapons damage value when the character uses a weapon.
Knowledge represents a character’s intelligence.
Charm represents how charismatic a character is and also their ‘street smarts.’
Empathy represents a character’s ability to read people’s actions and emotions.
Health Points (HP) is derived by adding the total of all stats and multiplying them by the arcana’s HPMod. Human HP is derived by totaling all trait scores. Humans have an HPMod of x1
Once characters are finalized, time should be spent as a group creating 20 NPCs thematically tied to the various arcana. These will be the main characters that the PCs interact with on a day to day basis. A short description, the character’s relationships and any extracurricular activities should be recorded. A few regularly visited locations (school, stores, jobs, etc.) should also be recorded at this time.