Step One: Setting Up
Get a blank piece of paper or other medium otherwise capable of recording alphanumeric text, or numbers and words. Make some space for the following fields on said medium:
AFFINITY: One line, below Class.
CREdibility, CHArisma, and CONviction, all on one line. Should be easy to see and refer to.
DAMAGE, DEFENSE, ELEMENT SLOTS, DEXTERITY and HEALING all on one line, labelled BONUSES. Should also be easy to see.
HIT LEVELS: Current and Maximum, usually notated in fractional form (Current/Maximum)
QUALE: One or two lines
SKILLS: Many lines
ABILITIES: Even more lines. You'll probably want to write these down in full for reference once you get them.
BIOGRAPHICAL DATA: Variable space, if any is desired.
CAPTURED ELEMENTS: Many lines
ITEMS: One or two lines. One may wish to include a special subsection for Treatise and Treatise Pages.
If you're artistically inclined, you can also leave some space for a sketch.
Step Two: Create your Personality
Choose a Name for your character, and choose (or create) a Class for your Character. There's plenty of Each Class has an Affinity for one or two of the Stats, so you can now fill that out too.
With these in mind, you can now also fill out your biographical data, and - most importantly! - come up with some Quale that describe your character's personality. Quale are all about boiling down your character to some key words - about three or so are relatively normative and highly recommended.
Step Three: Filling out your Stats
Filling out your "Stats" field comes next - but do it in pencil, because they might be changing soon.
If your Class is affined to two Stats, then those Stats will each start out at 5, while the other Stat left over will be 1. If it's only affined to one Stat, that Stat gets to start at 10, but the others left over will be at 1.
Now that that's done, you can also fill out the BONUS fields below, also numerical.
DAMAGE will be your CREdibility divided by five, rounded down, plus one.
DEFENSE will be your CONviction divided by ten, rounded down, plus one.
HEALING will be your CONviction divided by ten, rounded down.
ELEMENT SLOTS will be your CHArisma divided by five, rounded down.
DEXTERITY is your CHArisma divided by ten, rounded down, plus one.
And finally, your HIT LEVELS are equal to three, plus your CONviction divided by five, rounded down. Include space for both your current hit levels and your maximum hit levels, which will be the same - until you start fighting, anyway.
AFFINITY: CHARISMA, CREDIBILITY
STATS: CON 1, CHA 5, CRE 5
BONUSES: DAMAGE: 2, DEFENSE: 1, HEALING: ZERO, ELEMENT SLOTS: 1, DEXTERTY: 1
HIT LEVELS: 3 / 3
QUALE: SCRAPPY, BIGOTED, SECRETLY MAD, GERMAN
MOHANDAS KARAMCHAND GANDHI
CLASS: HINDU (CUSTOM)
STATS: CON 10, CHA 1, CRE 1
BONUSES: DAMAGE: 1, DEFENSE: 2, HEALING: 1, ELEMENT SLOTS: ZERO, DEXTERTY: 1
HIT LEVELS: 5 / 5
QUALE: INDIAN (ASIAN), PACIFISTIC, REVOLUTIONARY
Step Four: Skills, Abilities and Customizing
Skills are domains of knowledge your character has some understanding of. By raising your Skills, you have a chance at doing better damage and making more powerful Defenses in combat. What's more, you can also unlock extra Abilities that can help you in your adventures.
Everyone starts out with two Skill ranks in their Class Skill, which is named the same as their Class, so mark that down right away along with any Abilities that come with it.
Now that you've done all that, you now get 5 Treatise to spend in order to up your character's Stats and buy him or her some Skill ranks! This likely won't change the DAMAGE, DEFENSE, DEXTERITY, HEALING or ELEMENT SLOTS fields (unless you decide to put all your treatise into one Stat), so don't worry about those. You can even keep some Treatise if you like, as Treatise are the only money used in Dungeons and Discourse. However, if you choose to do this, these Treatise become "Old Texts" and can no longer be used for upgrading yourself after your adventures have started - they may only be used as money.
There are only two rules concerning the spending of Treatise:
1) You can't make a skill go any higher than your Class skill.
2) Right now, you can't spend any Treatise on your Class skill. You will be able to when you gain fresh, new Treatise later, though.
Again, you'll likely unlock some more Abilities as you gain Skill ranks. Write these down as well.
Step Five: Finishing Up
There's not much left to do! Make sure you still have some room left over for describing Elements you'll capture during the course of your Adventures, and convert any leftover Treatise to Old Texts and list them in the Items section. Your character is now ready to probe the deepest mysteries of culture, life and the universe itself - and kick their collective arses! Good luck!