Game System

We will be using the GURPS 4th Edition RPG with additions and modifications to the skills, advantages, and disadvantages necessary to fit the genre.  Please check this page before creating a character.

House Rules

  • Good roleplaying (story writing) will overcome situational penalties and award bonuses.  For example, the better the combat maneuver is described, the more likely it is to succeed.
  • Fear and awe are powerful emotions. If a player does not portray these emotions, an attribute penalty will be applied to the character to simulate their effects.
  • Dice rolling will be handled by the narrator.

Character Creation

The story will progress in three phases.

  • Phase 1: The Apprentice Years – Characters between the ages of 11 and 13, built on 40 pts. with a maximum of 10 points in Disadvantages.
  • Phase 2: The Journeyman Years – Skip forward 10 years and add chapter completion points, with a maximum of 10 more points in Disadvantages.
  • Phase 3: The Dragonriding Years – Skip forward several more years.  Character improvements are now gained strictly from experience points.

You can buy your ST and IQ attributes down for Phase 1.

Give some thought to what you want your character to aspire to in Phase 3.  Do they want to be a loyal rider, a second-in-command, or someone with greater responsibility?

You will also want to pick a name that contracts well.  Dragonrider’s names are a contraction of their given names.  For example – Talinar becomes T’nar, Gladwin becomes G’win, and Merana becomes ‘Rana.  If there is already a rider by that name, an alternate contraction is used.  For example – Trevonar would become T’var.  (See the list of reserved names below.)

Characters can come from any of the locations covered by Ista Weyr, except the Weyr itself.  You can choose from the list below or invent a new and minor cothold.

  • Major Holds – Ista (Sea) Hold, Keroon, Nerat.
  • Minor Holds -Big Bay (Igen Sea), Gar, Katz Field, Red Sands, Rocky Hold, Sea Cliff.
  • Craft Halls – Beastmasterhold, Farmcraft, Mastertanner.

Build a reasonable list of fantasy gear.  There are only a few Pern-specific items that you might choose to carry, such as glows in a glow pouch, needlethorns, sweetsand, or a piece of clothing embroidered with your craft’s insignia.

New and Modified Traits

Dragonkind Empathy (5) – You are unusually talented at reading the motivations of dragonkind, including firelizards, whers, and dragons.  A successful IQ check creates a temporary empathic connection.  You can use social skills on them without penalty.

Farcaster (5) – You and any dragonkind companions are able to make your thoughts heard over thrice the normal distance.

Startouched (5) – The sight of the Red Star fills you with unease.  You have a knack for sensing when Threadfall will begin.  On a critical Perception roll, you can sometimes sense where it will fall or locate a ground infestation.

Bond-Sensitive (-5) – You have a difficult time bringing your Will to bear in matters concerning any dragonkind companions.  Their emotions and desires influence you more than normal.


Click here for the list of available skills.

Skill Costs

Skill Costs

Reserved Names

These names are reserved and should not be selected by characters, however they are good examples.  Pern names are often lengthy fantasy names or modified versions of older, traditional European names.

A’ton  Adessa  Alemi  Andemon  Aramina  Asengar  Ashimichel  B’lerion  B’nik  B’nurrin  B’zon  Balfor  Bedella  Belesdan  Bestrum  Betrice  Brace  Brekke  C’rob  C’ver  Capiam  Carola  Chalkin  Ciparis  Corman  Cosira  Curran  D’gan  D’miel  D’ram  D’say  D’vin  Desdra  Domick  Doral  Erragon  F’lar  F’lessan  F’lon  F’nor  Famira  Fandarel  Fanna  Faroguy  Fax  Fiona  Fortine  G’bear  G’dened  G’don  G’narish  G’narish  Gana  Gennell  Grogellan  Groghe  Halibran  Idarolan  J’fery  Jamson  Jaxom  Jayge  Jerint  Jess  Juvana  K’dren  K’lior  K’lon  K’van  K’vin  Kasia  Kylara  Larad  Larna  Laudey  Leri  Lessa  Lesselden  Lorana  Lytonal  M’barak  M’gent  M’shall  M’tal  M’tani  Macabir  Maidir  Manora  Mardra  Mavi  Mekelroy  Menolly  Merelan  Merga  Merika  Mirrim  Molongel  Moreta  Morilton  Morshall  N’ton  Nadira  Nerilka  Nia  Nicat  Norist  Oklina  Oldive  Oterel  Pendora  Peter  Petiron  Piemur  R’gul  R’mart  Ratoshigan  Robinton  S’loner  S’nan  S’peren  Salina  Sangel  Sean  Sebell  Sh’gall  Sharra  Shonagar  Sifer  Smilla  Sograny  Sorka  T’bor  T’gellan  T’kul  T’llon  T’mar  T’ron  Tagetarl  Tarathel  Thella  Tirone  Tirone  Tolocamp  Toric  Toronas  Tuero  Tullea  Vincet  Wansor  Yanus  Zurg