Let’s take a look at what you need to do to create a player character in The Queen’s Cavaliers. There are eight steps in the character creation process.
1. Competency Die, XP and Yield Limit
This is the easiest part! As a starting character, our new PC has a Competency Die of D6, zero XP, and a Yield limit of 9.
2. Choose Two Classes
TQC offers over twenty different classes for building characters, as well as advanced rules for creating your own class or building classless characters.
You create a PC by choosing two of the classes and combining them together. For this example, we’ll choose Duelist and Virtuosa.
A Duelist is a swashbuckling swordfighter who lives by her wits and her skill at her blade. She may be a member of the Queen’s Cavaliers, or a rival organization, or may be a freelance fencer who runs her own dueling school. Quite a few actors have been known to take up dueling as well.
Duelist is a common co-class for any other class in The Queen’s Cavaliers; as swordfighting is so prevalent in the game, the Duelist class is a natural choice for most appropriate character concepts. If you can’t decide on a second class, choose Duelist.
A Virtuosa is a master performer or artist, creating beautiful works of art, music, or drama. Virtuosas can be singers, actors, painters, playwrights, sculptors, musicians, composers, poets, and other artists.
Being an effective Virtuosa requires training in the arts and history, plus a great degree of innate talent. Virtuosas are well-respected throughout society, especially among the upper classes.
2A. Skills & Specialty Ranks
Each class gives us Competency in several skills, in addition to the automatic skills in Defense, Initiative, Interaction, and Observation.
Duelist Skill Competency: Dueling, Military, Streetwise
Virtuosa Skill Competency: Dueling, Education, Streetwise
Competency is a yes-or-not affair; either you have it or you don’t. Both of our classes give us Competency in Dueling and Streetwise, but it doesn’t add together.
In addition, each class gives us a +1 rank to six Specialties:
Duelist Specialties: Defense (Parry, Dodge), Dueling (Lunge, Riposte, Feint), Streetwise (Banter)
Virtuosa Specialties: Education (Arts, Society), Interaction (Inspire, Negotiate), Streetwise (Banter, Carouse)
All of these Specialties have a rank of +1, except for Banter — which gains a +2 rank. Unlike Skills, Specialties are ranked from +1 to +5, and if both classes give you that Specialty, they add together.
2B. Weapon & Armor Prowess
Classes grant Prowess in weapons and armor. Like Competency, Prowess is a binary value; either you know how to use the weapon and armor, or you don’t. The number listed after each weapon or armor is the Item Bonus; if you’re using a weapon or armor with which you have Prowess, you can add that die to your dice pools.
Duelist Weapon Prowess: Knife (D6), Sword (D8)
Duelist Armor Prowess: Leather Jerkin (D6), Buckler (D8)
Virtuosa Weapon Prowess: Knife (D6), Sword (D8)
Virtuosa Armor Prowess: None
From our two classes, we have Prowess with Knife, Sword, Leather Jerkin, and Buckler.
2C. Social Rank & Wealth
Our character’s social rank will determine her starting Wealth, as well as her general position in society. Each social rank has a die value from D0 to D12, and the composite of both classes is our total social rank pool.
Duelist Social Rank: Soldier (D6)
Virtuosa Social Rank: Artisan (D8)
So our social rank pool is 1D8+1D6. Our Wealth pool is our social rank pool plus our Competency die, or 1D8+2D6.
2D. Bonus Gear
We get an outfit and some free gear, usually weapons, from each class. Later on we’ll have a chance to get additional items.
Duelist Bonus Gear: Swashbuckler Outfit (Cavalier Hat, Doublet, Soldier’s Gloves, Breeches, Boots, Cape), Buckler, Sword
Virtuosa Bonus Gear: Courtly Outfit (Hair Ribbons, Bodice, Courtier’s Gloves, Skirt, Chopines), Musical Instrument
2E. Style Maneuvers
Style Maneuvers are special moves that cost Style Points; you start each session with one Style Point and can gain more during the course of play, up to a maximum of three at any given time.
We’ll choose these two Style Maneuvers, both of them rather defensive in nature:
(Duelist) Reroll Defense: Spend 1 Style Point to reroll a Defense roll.
(Virtuosa) Add Banter to Dodge: When unarmed and facing an armed opponent, spend 1 Style Point to add Banter dice to a Dodge roll.
There are three Attributes in TQC: Verve, Affinity, and Guile. We assign the values D10, D8, and D6 to Attributes; each die value can be used only once. D10 goes to the most important attribute, then D8 to the next, and finally D6 to the lowest Attribute.
Each Specialty corresponds to one Attribute, so let’s look at which Specialties we’re best at before picking.
Verve Specialties: Defense (Parry) +1, Dueling (Lunge) +1, Education (Arts) +1, Interaction (Inspire) +1, Streetwise (Banter) +2
Affinity Specialties: Dueling (Riposte) +1, Education (Society) +1, Interaction (Negotiate) +1, Streetwise (Carouse) +1
Guile Specialties: Defense (Dodge) +1, Dueling (Feint) +1
From the way that breaks down, it’s clear that Verve should be our primary Attribute, so we’ll assign a D10 to Verve. Guile is our least important Attribute, so we’ll give that a D6. And our remaining die, a D8, goes to Affinity.
4. Nationality & Languages
To keep it simple, we’ll just choose to be Gallinean — Gallinea is the primary country in The Queen’s Cavaliers, and a rough analogue of 17th century France. This means we can speak Gallinean. In addition, we get a bonus language from our rank in Education (Society), so let’s choose to also speak Ondalan, the approximate equivalent of Spanish.
5. Passions & Personifications
Passions are the causes or principles which motivate characters in The Queen’s Cavaliers. We’ll choose four Passions, ranked from D12 for the most important down to D6 for the least important. In addition, we’ll also choose a Personification for each Passion — meaning the person (living or dead) who embodies that Passion in the mind of our character.
D12: Family — personified by Elena, her grandmother, who taught her how to swordfight
D10: Pride — personified by her rival, Andre, a fellow actor who competes for the same roles
D8: Country — personified by the Queen herself, as our character is a loyal Gallinean
D6: Love — personified by her first love, Heloise, who she hasn’t seen for years
At this point, we can make six adjustments to our character, from the following list:
- Increase one of your Social Rank values by one step; you can increase each Social Rank only once.
- Add one Weapon or Armor Prowess.
- Add a new Language.
- Add one Skill Competency.
- Add +1 rank in a Specialty, to a maximum of +2.
- Add a Style Maneuver from either of your classes or from your Nationality.
Let’s choose the following customizations:
- Increase our Social Rank from the Duelist class from Soldier (D6) to Artisan (D8).
- Add Prowess in pistol, so we can shoot guns better.
- Add +1 rank to the Military (Aim) Specialty.
- Add +1 rank to the Dueling (Lunge) Specialty, for a total of +2.
- Add +1 rank to the Initiative (Impulse) Specialty.
- Pick up the following Style Maneuver from our Gallinean nationality: Add Arts to Parry: When fighting with a rapier in one hand and the other hand empty, spend 1 Style Point to add Arts dice to a Parry roll.
7. Additional Equipment
In addition to the starting gear, each character gets her choice of a pistol, sword, or knife. We’ll choose a pistol, since we already have a sword.
Our Wealth pool — now 2D8+1D6 since we increased our Social Rank in step 6 — gives us three Rewards to spend: two D8, and one D6. We’ll spend those on a clockwork autoloader for our pistol (cost D6), a riding horse (cost D8), and a Charmwoven enchant (cost D8) on our Gules (red) cape that gives a 1D8 bonus to Streetwise (Banter).
8. Character Details
Oh! We’ve gone this whole time without a name. Looking over the list of Gallinean names, let’s go with Marcile. In addition, we’ll fill in more details such as gender, occupation, and so on. Marcile’s reputation will be “Fiery-haired (and tempered) swordfighting actress.” These all go on the first section of the character sheet.
You can view Marcile’s character sheet here. The third page of the sheet is the Combat Tracker — it’s how you keep track of Style Points, Advantage, Initiative, Yield, and other statistics during combat, as well as a handy place to record your dice pools for common combat rolls.