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Chapter 1 - Building your Hero

How to build your hero

What is your hero good at? What things can he do well? These are the questions you want to start asking yourself before you begin the process of building your hero. Everything that a hero does and how well they do it in Open Hero Odyssey is based on their set of attributes scores, and the different proficiency trees that fall under each. Instead of classes with sets of skills and powers that level up based on general experience gained, experience in this system is gained by performing tasks related to relevant proficiencies. More can be read about proficiencies in Chapter 4:Proficiencies.

Equally as important as a hero's present is to the story is their past. Where did she come from? What events drove her to be who she is today? Asking yourself these questions can help decide things like race and background, described in Chapters 2:Races and 3:Backgrounds.

To build a hero, click here to enter the hero creator; however, the chapters here describe the process in depth. The chapters exist as a step-by-step guide to building your hero. The rest of this chapter is devoted to explaining the seven attributes and their purpose. Chapters 2, 3, and 4 have been explained as Races, Backgrounds, and Proficiencies, and will describe each in detail. Chapter 5:Equipment details the various items and equipment in the game, while Chapter 6:Adventuring and Combat deals with how traveling and quests and fighting monsters all works, and goes more into depth about proficiencies in the environment. Chapter 7:Magic details the intricacies of magic and how it works if you decide to spend points on your hero's Mana attribute.

A Hero's Attributes

The attributes for which scores are assigned are as follows: Strength (Str), Reflex (Ref), Fortitude (Frt), Intellect (Int), Willpower (Wpw), Charm (Cha), and Mana (Man).

Each attribute is a number that determines your hero's basic talent, or ability, with various relevant tasks.


Strength measures your hero’s physical power. This attribute is important for those who want to wield weapons, break things, and cause damage.

You apply your hero’s strength to:

  • Melee attack rolls
  • Melee damage rolls
  • Strength proficiencies like athletics and saves, like to avoid being pushed past or over.

Reflex is a measure of your hero’s hand-eye coordination, agility, dexterity, and balance.

You apply your hero’s Reflex to:

  • Ranged attack rolls
  • Defense rolls
  • Reflex proficiencies like acrobatics, or stealth, or weapons, and saves, like to duck behind available cover.

Fortitude represents your hero’s health and stamina.

You apply your hero’s Fortitude to:

  • Fortitude proficiencies like stamina and saves, like toughness

Intellect determines your hero’s ability to learn and reason.

You apply your hero’s Intellect to:

  • The number of languages your hero can know at creation
  • Intellect proficiencies like knowledge and saves, like to see through an illusion.

Willpower is a measure of your hero’s mental acuity, common sense, intuition, and perception.

You apply your hero’s Willpower to:

  • Willpower proficiencies like perception, or focus, and saves, like to resist manipulation, magical or mundane.

Charm is your hero’s force of personality, leadership ability, font of talent, and, to a lesser extent, physical attractiveness.

You apply your hero's Charm to:

  • Charm proficiencies like interact, artistry, or perform.

Mana is your hero's ability to channel and store mana, the base substance for producing magical effects. It is an "extra" ability, that represents your hero's connection to anything magic.

You apply your hero's Mana to:

  • Channeling proficiencies and actions (Channel Mana, Spellcraft, or any other applicable proficiencies, see Ch.7 Magic for more information on the Channel ability.

Spending points on Attributes

In Open Hero Odyssey, attributes' scores are determined by a point buy system. Each player starts with 7 attribute creation points to divide amongst their seven scores. All attributes start at 1, except Mana, which starts at 0. Spending points in this manner raises an attribute by one. At Hero Creation, only three points may be spent on any one attribute. Points not spent at this step are forfeited.

NOTE: The maximum score in any ability for your hero is 5. The GM may decide to increase this maximum once your hero attains 21st level (if the GM allows that as well).

Experience and Leveling up

All experience gained is counted towards the next level. Proficiency points are accumulated and can be spent only after a new level has been attained. Further, you can only increase an attribute once per tier.