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Player character

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This article relies on information from the Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones demo, which is subject to change and may not be fully relevant to the full release.


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In Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones, players can either create a custom character or select from several pre-made characters to serve as their avatar in the game.

Character values[edit | edit source]

There are a number of numeric values that define various capabilities of the player character.

Attributes[edit | edit source]

Player characters have six attributes, which define the character's most general capabilities:

  • Physique determines your character's general physical prowess and is frequently used with Melee and Survival skills.
  • Agility determines the extent of your character's overall dexteriousness and is frequently used with Athletics, Firearms, Melee, Subterfuge, and Stealth skills.
  • Senses determines your character's overall perceptiveness of the outside world is frequently used with Firearms, Investigation, and Survival skills.
  • Mind determines your character's intellectual accumulation as well as cognitive faculties and is frequently used with Medicine, Occult, Psychology, and Science skills.
  • Will is the attribute of exercising self-control as well as utilizing spiritual power and is frequently used with Occult and Survival skills.
  • Presence determines your character's attractiveness, charisma as well as personal charm and is frequently used with Speechcraft skill.

Skills[edit | edit source]

There are eleven skills available to player characters, defining more specific capabilities:

  • Athletics is the skill that enables character to move gracefully, dodge attacks and perform athletic manoeuvres. Affects Throwing and Physical Defense.
  • Firearms is the skill of operating all kinds of firearms from pistols to machine guns and everything in between. Affects Ranged Attack.
  • Investigation is the skill of observance, deduction, clue hunting, locating hidden objects and finding subtle connections. Affects Sense Threat and Spot / Detect.
  • Medicine is the skill of preparing remedies, performing medical operations and the general study of plants and pharmaceuticals. Affects Medical Research.
  • Melee is the skill of hand-to-hand fighting and handling melee weapons. Affects Melee Attack.
  • Occult is the skill of comprehending the unknown and grapsing the knowledge of the mythos. Affects Spellcraft and Occult Research.
  • Psychology is the skill of sensing the motives of others, conducting mental therapies and studying neurotic phenomena. Affects Mental Resistance.
  • Science is the skill of understanding the material world, making inventions and grasping the principles of scientific facts, in this world and the next. Affects Scientific Research.
  • Speechcraft is the skill of influencing others with words, navigating wisely through a heated debate and mastering the art of the demagogue.
  • Stealth is the skill of dispersing into the shadows, fading from the eyes and ears of would be detectors. Affects Stealth Value.
  • Subterfuge is the skill of dirty tricks, lock-picking and muggery.
  • Survival is the skill of self-reliance, endurance, and the knowledge of making ends meet with minimal resources. Affects Damage Resistance.

A character's #Archetype defines the three skills he or she can raise to the full maximum value, with the effective maximum for the remaining skills being lower.

Secondary stats[edit | edit source]

Secondary stats are character values derived largely from attributes and skills, and include the following:

  • Health is the pool from which every physical damage received by the characters are subtracted from. Exhaustion of current Health Pool points below the critical levels result in various morale conditions and combat penalties. Affected by Physique and to a lesser degree Will attributes.
  • Sanity is the pool from which every mental damage received by the characters are subtracted from. Exhaustion of current Sanity Pool points below the critical levels result in various mental conditions and neurotic diseases. Affected by Mind and Will attributes.
  • Action Points determines the limit by which the cost of each combat action is subtracted from. Every character can commit to a number of combat actions limited by the amount of total action points. Affected by Agility , and to a lesser degree Senses attributes.
  • Reaction is the determinant of a character's swiftness for taking action in a combat turn. Affected by Senses attribute, and to a lesser degree Agility and Mind attributes.
  • Stealth Value is a character's ability of hiding, sneaking, and avoiding detection. Affected by Stealth skill, and to a lesser degree Agility and Senses attributes.
  • Melee Attack: Determines a character's level of competence for utilizing melee weaponry. Affected by Melee skill, and to a lesser degree Physique and Agility attributes.
  • Melee Dmg Bonus: Determines the number of points by which inflicted Melee Damage is added to for each time a successful melee attack is made by the character. Affected by Physique attribute.
  • Ranged Attack: Determines a character's competence for operating projectile and ranged arsenal. Affected by Firearms skill, and to a lesser degree Agility and Senses attributes.
  • Throwing: Determines a character's level of competence for throwing objects over a distance within Throwing Range. Affected by Agility attribute and Athletics skill.
  • Throwing Range: Determines the distance by which thrown objects can be hurled at by the characters. It is equal to your Physique attribute value.
  • Spellcraft: Determines the level of spells which the characters can attempt at casting and the potency of a character's magickal output. Affected by Will attribute and Occult skill.
  • Critical Success: Determines the chance of a critical combat success after a successful action.
  • Critical Failure: Determines the chance of a critical combat failure after an unsuccessful action.
  • Physical Defense: Determines a character's level of competence for withstanding attacks and effects of physical nature. Affected by Athletics skill and to a lesser degree Agility and Senses attributes.
  • Supernatural Def: Determines the level of competence for withstanding attacks and effects of supernatural nature. Affected by Occult skill, and to a lesser degree Will and Senses attributes.
  • Damage Resistance: Determines the number of points by which the amount of sustained Health Damage will be subtracted by each time the characters receives such damage. Affected by Physique attribute and to a lesser degree Survival skill.
  • Mental Resistance: Determines the number of points by which the amount of sustained Mental Damage will be subtracted by each time the characters receives such damage. Affected by Mind attribute and to a lesser degree Psychology skill.
  • Occult Research: Determines the limit of points that could be spent per rest for research activities that utilize the knowledge of Occult skill. Affected by Mind attribute.
  • Scientific Research: Determines the limit of points that could be spent per rest for research activities that utilize the knowledge of Science skill. Affected by Mind attribute.
  • Medical Research: Determines the limit of points that could be spent per rest for research activities that utilize the knowledge of Medicine skill. Affected by Mind attribute.

Pre-made characters[edit | edit source]

Pre-made character selection screen

Players have the following pre-made characters to choose from if they do not wish to create a custom character:

Name Archetype Background Age Gender Belief system
Franklin Powell Soldier Private Young Male Divine
Harold Fairbanks Performer Actor Old Male Materialistic
Sedrick Karelias Aristocrat Cursed Bloodline Adult Male Materialistic
Ramirez Sanchez Criminal Gangster Adult Male Nihilistic
Issac Copernicus Academic Psychiatrist Adult Male Rational
Edwin Atherton Investigator Ex-cop Adult Male Rational
Marco Amundsen Explorer Adventurer Adult Male Humanistic
Kenneth Gardner Occultist Secret Society Adult Male Esoteric

All pre-made characters available in the demo are male.

Custom character creation[edit | edit source]

Creating a custom character consists of seven steps.

Gender selection[edit | edit source]

Gender selection screen

The horrors of Stygian do not discriminate based on your character's gender.

However, gender does play a role in some events and dialogues, opening up different role-playing opportunities.

~ Gender selection screen

Player characters may be either male or female.

In the game demo, the female player character model is not available, so they use male character models.

Age[edit | edit source]

Age selection screen

This is the age that your character begins the game with.

Age determines the starting numbers in Attribute and Skill pools.

~ Age selection screen

A player character may be young, adult, or old:

  • "Young characters are in their physical prime but lack the experience of older characters. Starts the game with a bonus point in either Physique, Agility, or Senses but is penalized with 2 less skill points."
  • "Adult characters have a balance in physical aptitude and life experience. Starts the game with the default values in attributes and skill pools."
  • "Old characters are in physical decline but have acquired more life experience than younger characters. Starts the game with a penalty in either Physique, Agility, or Senses but is awarded with 2 more skill points."

When selecting either young or old, players must also choose the attribute to increase or decrease, respectively, before moving on the next step.

Archetype[edit | edit source]

Archetype selection screen

This is your character's profession and overall theme. The Archetype determines the set of skills at which your character will excel at during the game, as well as some of your role-playing options.

~ Archetype selection screen

There are eight archetypes from which to choose for a player character, with each archetype having a variety of options for their background.

Academic


Academic portrait.jpg

"This character used to be a research scientist at Miskatonic University. Sent on a remote expedition in a foreign land, he had no warning of the doom patiently waiting beneath the frigid wastes.""

Medicine, Psychology, and Science skills can be improved to the maximum level.

Requires a minimum score of 6 in Mind.

Available backgrounds:


Scientist (Default background)

"The character has no particular advantages or disadvantages and starts the game with the usual specifications of your chosen archetype."


Researcher

"You were a research assistant at Miskatonic University. Years of physical inactivity has taken its toll on you."

Faster Scientific and Medical Research, -1 Physical Defense.


Psychiatrist

"You have a diploma in Psychiatry. For a long time, you believed the supernatural existed only in people's minds."

+1 Psychology, -1 Supernatural Defense


Physician

"You graduated from Miskatonic School of Medicine and spent the last several years away from physical conflict."

+1 Medicine, -1 Melee Attack, -1 Ranged Attack

Aristocrat


Aristocrat portrait.jpg

"After the loss of his mother, this character is the sole remnant of a noble family. The memories provoked by his return to the family estate are not all pleasant."

Occult, Science and Speechcraft skills can be improved to the maximum level.

This archetype has no attribute requirement.

Available backgrounds:


Patrician (Default background)

"The character has no particular advantages or disadvantages and starts the game with the usual specifications of your chosen archetype."


Prodigal

"You inherited a considerably large legacy from your parents and had the chance (or the misfortune) to afford being repulsive."

Starts the game with extra jewellery, Lower Sex Appeal


Cursed Bloodline

"A terrible sin committed in the past still haunts your family. You meddled with the occult to lift the curse, but to no avail."

+1 Occult, +3% Critical Failure Chance


Bankrupt Royalty

"Your family went bankrupt and lost almost all of its property. You had to learn the facts of life the hard way."

+1 Survival, starts the game with less Cigs

Criminal


Criminal portrait.jpg

"This character used to be a hired gun for an underworld boss. His last stop on a long night of collecting protection money was a nightclub known for its patrons' peculiar taste in entertainment."

Firearms, Stealth, and Subterfuge skills can be improved to the maximum level.

Requires a minimum score of 6 in Agility.

Available backgrounds:


Gangster (Default background)

"The character has no particular advantages or disadvantages and starts the game with the usual specifications of your chosen archetype."


Thief

"You have a past in thievery and excel at moving silently but you often choose to run away when things get hot."

+1 Stealth, -1 Melee Attack


Hitman

"You were a hired gun for the mafia. You carry the weight of the dead bodies you left in your wake."

+1 Firearms, +50 ANGST


Con Artist

"You can persuade people into believing you are the prince of Arkham but often shy away from physical conflict."

+1 Speechcraft, -1 Physical Defense

Explorer


Explorer portrait.jpg

"This character is a professional hunter and adventurer. While exploring the Dark Continent, he met an ancient tribe. What he views as simple tribal superstition will come back to haunt him."

Athletics, Firearms, and Survival skills can be improved to the maximum level.

Requires a minimum score of 6 in Agility.

Available backgrounds:


Adventurer (Default background)

"The character has no particular advantages or disadvantages and starts the game with the usual specifications of your chosen archetype."


Pathfinder

"You used to earn your living as a guide in uncivilized territories. You prefer to move with a lighter load for better mobility."

Lower chance of random combat encounters, Lower inventory capacity.


Mountaineer

"You tested your endurance in the past by reaching the peaks of tall mountains. You rarely leave things to chance and act cautiously."

+1 Athletics, -2% Critical Success Chance


Big Game Hunter

"You were a trophy hunter, seeking glory in conquering the wild. You learned to keep your prey at a distance and shun the opposite scenario."

Higher damage to beastly enemies, -1 Melee Attack

Investigator


Investigator portrait.jpg

"This character is a private investigator who used to work for the Boston Bureau of Investigation. His latest case, attempting to locate a missing child, turned out to be much more complicated than a common kidnapping."

Investigation, Firearms, and Psychology skills can be improved to the maximum level.

Requires a minimum score of 6 in Senses.

Available backgrounds:


Detective (Default background)

"The character has no particular advantages or disadvantages and starts the game with the usual specifications of your chosen archetype."


Occult Detective

"You encountered the supernatural in some of your past cases. Those experiences still haunt you."

+1 Occult, +50 ANGST


Ex-cop

"You have a past in law enforcement. The things you witnesses on duty left their mark on your mind."

+1 Firearms, -5 Total Sanity


Bounty Hunter

"Your bounty hunting past taught you how to approach your targets unnoticed. For the right amount, you brought them, dead or alive..."

+1 Stealth, can only be chosen by Materialistic characters

Occultist


Occultist portrait.jpg

"This character is a member of a hidden order. The backing of the order has made life easier so far, but the invitation rite required to join the inner circle may involve some complications..."

Investigation, Medicine and Occult skills can be improved to the maximum level.

Requires a minimum score of 6 in Will.

Available backgrounds:


Secret Society (Default background)

"The character has no particular advantages or disadvantages and starts the game with the usual specifications of your chosen archetype."


Mesmerist

"You were a practitioner of Mesmer's magnetism techniques and learned a lot about psychology from your former patients, along with their darkest secrets..."

+1 Psychology, -5 total Sanity


Depraved Occultist

"Like Crawford or Rasputin before him, you have an unholy aura of sexual magnetism but tend to neglect studies in favor of carnal pleasures."

Higher Sex Appeal, Slower Artifact Research


Alchemist

"You are adept at the esoteric art of the alchemy and focused your medicinal studies solely on transmutation."

Considerably higher Medical Research Rating, Medicine skill can't be used in game's challenges

Performer


Performer portrait.jpg

"This character is an actress/actor for a traveling theater troupe. She was invited to Arkham by a woman desiring a private performance at her mansion. How could she refuse such an enthusiastic admirer?"

Athletics, Speechcraft, and Stealth skills can be improved to the maximum level.

Requires a minimum score of 6 in Presence.

Available backgrounds:


Actor (Default background)

"The character has no particular advantages or disadvantages and starts the game with the usual specifications of your chosen archetype."


Movie Actor

"You had some roles on the silver screen. You have "it" but also have a tendency to fall into addiction easily."

Higher Sex Appeal, Lower Addiction Threshold


Juggler

"You earned your living as a juggler for a long time. Your moves tend to be flashier but also riskier."

+2 Throwing, +3% Critical Failure Chance


Busker

"You were a busker in your past and know how to survive on the streets though you never had much wealth."

+1 Subterfuge, starts the game with less Cigs

Soldier


Soldier portrait.jpg

"This character took part in a secret government assault on an isolated coastal town. The enemy was not entirely human."

Firearms, Melee, and Survival skills can be improved to the maximum level.

Requires a minimum score of 6 in Physique.

Available backgrounds:


Private (Default background)

"The character has no particular advantages or disadvantages and starts the game with the usual specifications of your chosen archetype."


Military Intelligence

"You served in the Military Intelligence. Your position kept your away from active duty for the last few years."

+1 Subterfuge, -1 Physical Defense


Marine

"You served as a member of the Marine Corps. Screams of your fallen squadmates still echo in your mind."

Starts the game with "Aimed Shot" ability, -5 total Sanity


Bouncer

"After leaving the service, you took a job as a bouncer to support yourself. You got a lot of practice showing the troublemakers their place, but unfortunately took a few heavy blows to the head in the process."

+1 Melee, -1 Reaction

Belief System[edit | edit source]

Belief System selection screen

Belief Systems determine how your character deals with the warped reality of the new Arkham. Properly role-playing your chosen belief system will grant valuable sanity points.

~ Belief System selection screen

The six available Belief Systems are:

  • Humanistic
    • "Throughout history, mankind has survived countless threats. If we stop wringing out hands and start cooperating, we will live to see the human spirit prevail once again."
    • Extra sanity can be gained by selecting humanistic dialogue choices and committing acts of altruism.
  • Materialistic
    • "If we're all doomed, let's make our final days worthwhile. Wealth, lust, power... pursue whatever eases your pain."
    • Extra sanity can be gained by selecting materialistic dialogue choices, through material gain and acts of self-indulgence.
  • Nihilistic
    • "At last! There is no doubt that human beings are of no significance in the cold machinations of the cosmos. Thus, every action is of equal importance and worthlessness. Just as it has always been."
    • Extra sanity can be gained by nihilistic dialogue choices. A nihilist cannot gain sanity through her actions but begins the game with higher mental resistance.
  • Divine
    • "The Black Day is God's final test of humanity. We failed him once, but he has given us this last chance of redemption. Those who are alive survived this for a reason: to prove that mankind is not without hope."
    • Extra sanity can be gained by selecting faithful dialogue choices and through acts of divine worship.
  • Rational
    • "No matter how unusual or baffling, no phenomenon is beyond the boundaries of science and rational thought. There has to be an explanation. What must be done is to search and find it."
    • Extra sanity can be gained by selecting rational dialogue choices and through scientific and medical research. (Science or Medicine Skills Recommended)
  • Esoteric
    • "When supernatural becomes natural, the only path is to embrace the knowledge of the ancient forces behind the veil. We must tap into the hidden arts and realize our potential in order to survive, and eventually dominate!"
    • Extra sanity can be gained by selecting esoteric dialogue choices and through occult research. (Occult Skill Recommended)

Character Identity[edit | edit source]

Character Identity screen

Choose how your character will be visually portrayed in the game and name your character.

~ Character Identity selection screen

In this step, players must select a portrait and a name for their character.

Stat Distribution[edit | edit source]

Stat Distribution screen

Distribute the available number of points to character's Attributes and Skills.

~ Stat Distribution selection screen

The player can now modify their starting attributes and skills. Normally, players will have seven or nine attribute points and, depending on age, three, five, or seven skill points.

Confirmation[edit | edit source]

The final screen allows the player to review their choices before confirming them and starting the game.