Generic Creature Creator

The Aim

The aim and purpose for the generic creature creator is to create a generic tool for use in Dark Heresy. The tool is supposed to be capable of designing all sorts of creatures in customizable ways, from normal human beings to fantasy elves to horses, aliens, monsters or even giant robots. The tool is designed to work for Dark Heresy, but also be easily portable into a modded game (such as Adeptus Evangelion) or games that share the core rules of DH (Deathwatch).

Strictly speaking, such a tool might not be very useful in every game, where at worst you can probably just say "It's this big, has these abilities and these characteristics". What the tool -is- useful for, however, are games where characters might not necessarily be normal human beings, or games where human beings might have a degree of control over fantastical and unusual creatures- games where players are given the ability to grow or upgrade their creature.

Creature Generation

Step 1: Decisions to make, Things to explain

There are a few decisions to make regarding the creation of these creatures- as well as a few points to raise- before one can commence.

Experience gain and purchases

Created creatures use experience to purchase their abilities, talents, skills and traits, just like standard characters. For enemy creatures and the like, an experience pool can help design the creature. For PC creatures or summoned creatures that grow over time, however, this becomes a bit more complex. The following questions should be decided:
1) How much XP should they gain? For PC creatures, the normal growth rate should be fine, but summoned creatures should probably gain XP more slowly than their master, especially if they're at a higher Power Bracket than the master (see below)
2) Should the creature have access to a typical Career path? The Creature generator allows creatures to learn a limited variety of skills and talents, but allowing a creature to also take a standard career path can help diversify or focus them.
3) Should purchases be permanent? Some settings deal with highly adaptable or morphic creatures who can change their entire appearance and biology at astonishingly quickly speeds. For these settings, locking a creature's purchases to be permanent would be inappropriate- consider allowing creatures to 'recycle' their purchases for XP.

Natural, Supernatural or Paranormal?

Although many settings deal with explicitly supernatural creatures, this generator does not need to be exclusively about them. Similarly, settings may deal with paranormal creatures- aliens for example- that this generator can cater for. There will be cases where some purchases are not appropriate for the entity being created- a terrifying elder entity from beyond the stars has basically no limitations, but superheroes should be reined in somewhat more tightly, and human beings should be very carefully vetted. GMs are encouraged to keep an eye on decisions of this nature.

Step 2: Power Brackets

Time to move onto generating the creature. Not all creatures are created equal- some are ferocious dragons, some are cats. Power Brackets are a quick and easy way to decide how powerful you want a creature to be in comparison to others. Note that nothing here is necessary, but can be a very helpful and quick guide.

For ease, each power bracket uses a 'point buy' system, whereupon the creature is granted a pool of points to spend at a 1:1 ratio to increase a characteristic. Each power bracket also lists a cap on how high a characteristic can go using points.

However, each power bracket also lists dice for those who want to roll their creatures' characteristics randomly.

Each bracket contains the following:
Starting Characteristics: Notes the starting characteristic line for a creature. DH standard is 20.
Starting Characteristic Point Pool/Dice: Notes the starting characteristic point pool for a creature, alternatively lists suggested dice.
Starting Characteristic Cap: Notes the starting Characteristic cap. This applies only to characteristic point purchases.
Starting Wounds: Notes the starting wound formula for a creature.
Characteristic Advancement Modifier: Notes how this power bracket modifies the amount a Characteristic increases by when purchasing a Characteristic Advancement.
Usage Notes: A few notes about using and creating this creature.

Bracket 1: Very Weak

Starting Characteristics: 10-10-10-10-10-10-10-10-10.
Starting Characteristic Points/Dice: 50 points/ 1d10s
Starting Characteristic Cap: 25
Starting Wounds: 1d5+TB
Characteristic Advancement Mod: +5 per Advancement; can only advance a characteristic twice
Usage Notes: Very Weak creatures are fragile and will be easy pickings for even an average character. With an overall characteristic average of about 15, Very Weak creatures will typically have a max absolute characteristic of 35-40, if they're lucky. Very Weak creatures are excellent for creating small animals and children. To that note, Very Weak characters should be allowed to take smaller size categories without adhering to the penalties.
Very Weak characters make poor PCs, even if they were to be given double experience. For summoned creatures they are best for taking the role of small magical familiars such as fairy dragons, crows, cats and for allies they are best for small, possibly annoying children.

Bracket 2: Weak

Starting Characteristics: 15-15-15-15-15-15-15-15-15.
Starting Characteristic Points/Dice: 60 points/3d5s
Starting Characteristic Cap: 30
Starting Wounds: 1d10+TB
Characteristic Advancement Mod: +5 per Advancement; can only advance a characteristic three times
Usage Notes: Weak creatures are more capable than Very Weak creatures by a fairly significant margin. With an overall characteristic average of about 21, Weak creatures are about equal to the average human being or an above-average small animal; they will typically have a max absolute characteristic of about 45-50, which is nothing to be scoffed at. Weak creatures are great for small but outstanding animals or average human beings; their low characteristic scores prevent them from being jacks of all trades, but does not prevent them from being specialists.
GMs should consider allowing a Weak creature to take the Scrawny trait without the penalties.
Weak characters make mediocre PCs, but nothing the more hardcore of DH player is a stranger to playing. For summoned creatures they are best for being simple but effective creatures such as violent wolves or sneaky monkeys. For allies, they can be anything that needs a specific job done.

Bracket 3: Average

Starting Characteristics: 20-20-20-20-20-20-20-20-20.
Starting Characteristic Points/Dice: 100 points/2d10s
Starting Characteristic Cap: 40
Starting Wounds: 1d10+TB+5
Character Advancement Mod: +5 per Advancement
Usage Notes: Average creatures are exactly that- they are the DH average and are generated almost exactly like a DH PC. With an overall characteristic average of 31, Average creatures can get away with being jacks of all trades as well as specialists; they will typically have a max absolute characteristic of about 60, the peak of human ability, which can be extremely powerful. Average characters are good for just about any role one could want and are very adaptable.
Average creatures make solid PCs, and should suffer few if any XP penalties.

Bracket 4: Superhuman

Starting Characteristics: 30-30-30-30-30-30-30-30-30
Starting Characteristic Points/Dice: 110/4d5s
Starting Characteristic Cap: 50
Starting Wounds: 3d5+TB+10
Character Advancement Mod: +10 per Advancement; can only advance a characteristic three times.
Usage Notes: Superhuman creatures are far more powerful than the average DH characters and are generally on par with daemons, Space Marines and Batman. With an overall characteristic average of 42, even a little training can make Superhumans good at everything, and terrifying if they specialise. They will typically have a max absolute characteristic of about 80-85 and can become nigh-unstoppable powerhouses if they pick up Unnatural Characteristics.
GMs should consider the idea of allowing Superhuman creatures to be Hulking for free- greater power tends to result in greater size, in many cases, for creatures.
Superhuman creatures make for powerful PCs, ones that can easily overtake any weaker fellows and for that reason, should probably only be allowed to be PCs if everyone is Superhuman. Superhuman creatures make for highly powerful summoned creatures, but should receive half XP and GM supervision.

Bracket 5: Godlike

Starting Characteristics: 40-40-40-40-40-40-40-40-40
Starting Characteristic Points/Dice: 110/4d5s
Starting Characteristic Cap: 60
Starting Wounds: 4d5+TB+15
Character Advancement Mod: +10 per Advancement
Usage Notes: Godlike creatures are enough to act as boss creatures for a squad of Space Marines. With an overall characteristic average of 50, Godlike creatures are naturally good at everything and will dominate every combat they're in, unless they're facing other Godlike entities. They will typically have a max absolute characteristic of 100, possibly even higher. If they pick up Unnatural Characteristics then nothing but specialised weaponry or another Godlike entity will be able to kill them.
GMs should be very cautious about a party of Godlike PCs. Godlike creatures can be positively game-breaking as summoned creatures, and should be left as late-game rewards if that; if a character starts off with a summoned Godlike creature their XP should be little more than a trickle, about a quarter of max.

Step 3: Shape Generation

This step is the first concrete step for the generation of a creature- generating their shape. This assumes that the creature's final physical form will be somewhat set in stone for ease of use.

The system below allocated a cost value measured in GP (Generation Points) to each body part; this is more for campaigns where generated characters are either PCs or PC-controlled. The GM should set the amount of GP available at their own discretion.

The Body

All creatures possess a body of some kind, a centre mass. This area generally contains most of the internal organs, digestive system etc. It is off this body that limbs, appendages and head(s) emerge.

A Body costs 0 GP. Furthermore, it can be customised with the following Natural Traits- which are all mutually exclusive unless stated otherwise. Humans are considered to possess an unmodified body.

Name Description Effect Cost
Aquatic This creature is adapted to live underwater (or whatever passes for water in its habitat), specifically akin to a fish, shark, etc. Possess a swim speed equal to double their normal speed, auto-succeed Swim tests, and can breathe underwater- but cannot survive on land. For an extra GP point, this Natural Trait is taken in conjunction with all the benefits of a normal body, making it effectively amphibious. 0
Arachnid This creature is spider-like or possesses traits typically identified with spiders, such as venom or extra legs. 50% discount on the following Natural Traits: Extra Legs (To 4 pairs), Toxic, Venom, Extra Eyes, Web. 0
Avian This creature is specifically adapted to winged flight- despite the name, not necessarily bird flight, but any sort of flight that relies on wing propulsion. Character's Flight (x) increases by +2 providing they have wings. 0
Beast This creature is a land-dwelling beast designed to walk on two or four legs, with highly developed muscles. +5 to any two of the following (Strength, Toughness, Agility) 0
Cephalopod This creature has the broad traits of cephalopod (Squid, octopus etc) which include a great deal of tentacles, the ability to survive underwater, and ink pellets. 50% discount on the following Natural Traits: Tentacles, Ink. Possess a swim speed equal to their normal speed, auto-succeed swim tests, can breathe underwater- but cannot survive on land. For an extra GP point, this Natural Trait is taken in conjunction with all the benefits of a normal body, allowing it to live on land. 0
Energy This creature has the wildly unusual quality of being made of 'energy', usually expressed in the form of solid light, sentient fire, or living electricity. Although it can still possess appendages, some Energy-based creatures simply do not require such things. -50% discount on any trait or talent related to energy (resistances, immunities, elemental affinities, etc). Natural weapons all possess the Energy damage type. 0
Insect This creature is insect-like or possesses traits typically identified with insects, such as extra legs or wings. 50% discount on the following Natural Traits: Extra Legs (to 3 pairs), Wings, Extra Eyes. 0
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