The Character Sheet

Shifting Sands

Player Guide

The Shifting Sands character sheet contains the following pieces of information:

Blank Character Sheet

The first few of these are straight forward. Below are descriptions for most of the rest.

Character Points

Character Points are spent to buy Attributes, which determine the character's proficiencies, and types and amount of Influence the character generates each session. The explanations for how all the numbers parts work are banished to their own pages, called Attributes, Wealth and Class, and Influence. We promise it is not that bad, but if you do not feel comfortable dealing with this stuff, please just talk to someone on the GM staff and we'll get it taken care of.

Character concept

This is usually in an "adjective1 but adjective2 noun" format, where adjective1 and adjective2 are positive and negative adjectives respectively about the final noun (i.e. "Talented but cynical airship captain").

Dramatic poles

Central to the character will be sets of dramatic poles - pressures and motivations that exist in conflict with each other. Constructed in pairs of opposed values, each character will have one to three sets of these. For example a scientist might have The Pursuit of Knowledge vs. Morality as a set of dramatic poles. A banker might have Avarice vs. Altruism. These are things the character strives for, or possibly against, simultaneously, and are intended to drive interesting scenes for the character. In the case of the scientist, questions might arise in game about how much morality the character is willing to give up in the pursuit of knowledge. Often a character arc is defined by the character being forced to choose between these poles and the ramifications of that decision.


Does the character have any specific obligations? To their family? Their employer? The Crown? Obligations are very Victorian, especially if they conflict!


What 3-5 factions or groups are they members of? Members of a faction do not always think the same way or have the same opinions about everything, but they do generally have common cause in at least some areas and we plan on writing some amount of material directed at factions on the theory that members of a faction will generally hear news from other members. The GMs can often help suggest these, based on fit and the needs of the game.

  • Nationality/Political party?
  • Religion?
  • Family?
  • Social club?
  • Professional organization?
  • Secret society?



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