The Fifth World

Creating a Character

At the beginning of each game you can choose to create a new character or reprise one you played in a previous game. You might play with different families in different games, but all of the players’ characters in each game belong to the same family. You can develop several characters in a single family at once and then choose which one you want to play in each session.

Pick a card. Each time you play a character, you’ll choose a card from the person deck to represent her. Each player in the game needs a different card for her character, but you can pick a different card for the same character each time you play her. It reflects her current state, which may change from game to game. Picking a card gives you the best starting point because it gives you an evocative name and a few quick concepts to give you ideas for your character.

Name your character. Names verb in the Fifth World, describing a person’s habits, mannerisms, or reputation. If someone reminds you of a kapok tree’s resilience or a coyote’s slyness, you might call her Kapok or Coyote. You might also use a word with a longer history as a verb, like Run, Soothe, or Connect. Many of these names might sound more like nicknames to you. Coming up with a name gives you the best starting point because it gives you a concept for the character and something to call her all at once.

Pick a custom. As a member of your family, you have a relationship to one of your family’s customs. Pick one, and then choose the nature of your relationship.

RelationshipMost common cards
EmbodyKings & Queens
Aspire toJacks
Rebel againstJacks
SubvertJokers

Choosing your custom and how you relate to it gives you the best starting point because it ties you into the family and its history and establishes how you relate to that.

Choose a value. What value does your character hold most dear? Choose between compassion, fairness, loyalty, honor, and purity.

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