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How long does it take you, on average, to create a Runner from scratch with 400BP and a good backstory?
It takes me between 3-5 hours depending on how creative I am.
My answer wasn't on there: "Depends."

I've made characters in 30-45 minutes; I've used characters made for me; I've spent 24 hours over several days making characters. I also churn out a bunch of NPCs for giggles between games.

There isn't an easy average in there for me, either. Actual PCs I play anymore are few and far in between, like the games.
I need ~30 minutes for the actual stats (skills, attributes, cyber, spells etc.) and another ~30 minutes to write down the background story of a character. But usually the first version of the story is expanded in gameplay.
The Jopp
Usually it takes me between 1 day and a week, depending on concept. The general idea is finsihed rather quickly but then it all comes down to fiddling with numbers...

And we probably wont start playing since the GM is in japan and she wont be back until october, roughly.

Im gonna play a hacker, a character i've been fiddling on since the release of SR4...

Yes, I am eager to actually play the game. grinbig.gif
To actually cook up the character's stats, it only takes about 2-5 hours... depending on distractions, kids, time of day, archetype, etc.

Now to make a good character with an elaborate backstory will normally take at least a day if not 2 or 3... mainly cause I rewrite the story 2 or 3 times, then tweak the stats a little, rewrite the story again at least once, then I'm happy. smile.gif
realy hard to tell, but overall, what takes the most time is the gear...
True that, on my latest char i spend 201,000 on Bioware alone and then spent 2 hours mulling over the rest of his gear. I dont even have a backstory for him yet, but i know he is a streetsam of sorts, maybe a bountyhunter.
For most characters it starts out as less than 30 minutes. Then i sit on the character and perculate it in the back of my mind for a day or two or four. After that i come back to the character sheet and touch up a skill or two, maybe tweak a single point on an Attribute, maybe add/remove a Quality. Then refine the knowledge skills and contacts to better nail down the character background. That's usually about a 10 minute job because I've been mulling over the character concept and once it is entirely clear in my mind i find it very easy to to use that to answer questions about which stats where.

So the answer is really about 45 minutes spread over a week. But of course I use a computer aid to do it, so that likely cuts off a good 1/2 hour or more.

Trying to use up all the cash for the smaller bits of the gear, and not forget anything potentially useful, use to take me a long time. But now I either take High, or perhaps Medium, lifestyle or just ask the GM to save the hassle and let me hold over 1-2K nuyen.gif of Resources directly into cash to buy things later. Or if i'm GMing and the players are ok with it i try to run the game more or less cashless, so you don't worry so much about the niggling details.

P.S. I'm part way through The Burning Wheel rules and find they handle character possesion of mundane items in a really cool way that would so fit with SR. The character has a resource stat and you roll the dice pool (they use fixed TN d6 dice pools too) againt a threshold ("obstacle" in their terminology). Reach the "obstacle"? Then you've bought it or have it. That would really fit in with the Lifestyle of SR as the equivalent of a resource stat because a Lifestyle also includes credit and such. Might have to rethink the Lifestyle purchase prices though.
Well, it REALLY depends. When I make my NPCs, I take about 1 hour to flesh it out in rules terms. But then, I think about it most of the day before, so another answer would be "several hours". When my players make their characters, they usually came with a fresh idea and then we proceed to actually flesh out them right into wordpad.

The gear alone take an hour, but the character isnīt more than 30-40 minutes.
I start with the background, I technically spread out the three to four hours I spend on it over several days. Then I whip up the stats in about 30 minutes to an hour.

With NPCs, since I mostly GM, I have a list of fill in the blank back stories (along with a list of first and last names, that I pick at random, just so the runners don't think, "he's not named, must not be important") which I've used for the better part of five years and have added to and modified as needed, for stats I whip them up on the fly. Unless it's a main character then I spend more time on that character than I do on a PC, which is mainly because I adapt them as I build the run to the purpose I need them.

For example, the run I've set up on the forum, "Extradition" I've spent the last six months, since my table top group has slowly diminished to nothing, constructing an indepth story line with room for player interference, complete with in depth histories on each main NPC, which will be injected for flavor as I see fit. So for the main NPC for that run, since she will stay around until the very end, you could I've spent the last six months planning the her story.
I can usually get to a playable character in 30 minutes. I'll probably spend another hour working up the detailed backstory and tweaking the stats/skills/gear to match, but I do that on my Palm Pilot in 5-minute increments.
On average I take around 2-3 hours but that is only if I make a character that I'm going to play. Any NPC I make takes about 30 min because I don't care about equipment, skills, spells, or abilities. I allocate points towards those areas and assign the skills as needed for the characters style (it makes sense that my Wujen Mage would use banishing).
2-3 hours from starting most to get happy with a concept, maybe an hour on stats and gear. Some BG tweaking will occur after this, but mostly fleshing out.
Takes about 20-30 minutes to do the actual build. I don't really keep track on the story and concept development, because that is usually done in fits and starts over a long period of time, usually as a collection of random ideas that gradually combine in to a concept. Once the "Aha!" moment hits I build the character, and it's very quick at that point.
James McMurray
A few hours for a magical character, more for ones I have to spend money on, track programs for, and count essence / bioware on.
Kyoto Kid
2 - 3 hours for the basic character concept, & numbers.

Easily more than one day for the actual character background and story. Example: KK4.1's character story is 60+ pages written in narrative style with character dialogue & scene description, plot development etc.

Violet's (about 30 pages) was fun in that I actually ran a one shot extraction mission as the final chapter.
Digital Heroin
The answer, of course, is it depends... but I've cooked up characters while taking a semi-long bathroom break. That's statted and storied, mainly because I usually come up with the story as I do the stats up, since they're reflective of one another. I'm a creation junkie. Even though I'm not playing right now, I create characters often, just for the hell of it. Now if only there was a SR4 game recruiting...
Anywhere from 10 minutes to 3 days.

Sometimes they roll off my desk like an assembly line, and others the story comes out in bits and pieces as I go about the day.
More than one day, but of course the total might still be within the couple hours range, it's just split farther. wink.gif

like many people, I can get the stats down relatively quickly, but the backstory takes longer. One of my characters "pinky" came thgough over the course of several gaming sessions. He was actually one of my favorites to play in sr3. A gay albino dwarf mage ex seminary student.
Generally character concept and background takes me about an hour and a half. Figuring out the point spread (assigning attributes, skill points, gear, etc. etc.) takes me about another half hour.

My co-GMs (3 of us rotate) and I did a rebuild of all the "generic" bad guys in the sense that each professional rating (0-6) was given BP to build upon and we redid them from the ground up. Just to give us a better feel for the grunts and lieutenants. Prime opponents and runners were also built over the course of several months including story arcs and campaign arcs agreed to in advance.

For the PCs, we allow a "character pool" of 3-5 characters per player, that way the GM (as the fixer) gets to "call" the type of character/s needed for his/her specific game.

The PC storylines are submitted by the players together with a tentative build, often they are done just about right, though a few characters were overbuilt (too much BPs spent) or underbuilt (too little BPs spent) and had to be fixed.
i usally take 2-3 hours if i just sit there and great and get busy busy busy doing it... its normally taks aorund the 4-6 hour range, because we will chat and talk with my group and make laughs about some ideas and then toss a party together. I mean we can talk for 4 hours how our characters will mesh, then finally sit down and have tons of anamosity. Its humerous.

I've made Characters in less than 15 minutes before, and i've taken a weeks time to make a really good character before.

I use to make characters in my free time at school and stuff... striaght from memory back in 2nd ed and 3rd ed a bit. I'm almost down to the point of calling out point values for most stuff for 4th ed =)
I choose 2-3h. But thats not true wobble.gif

Actually building a char is much faster, but the brainstorming phase is usually much longer. I like to discuss my concept with the other players of my group before building the character. This allows for better PC interaction afterwards and helps define group standards for the power level of our chars.

I also have to admit that "backstory" is an often undeserved name for "extended character concept", as details are most times fleshed out ingame. As most of my group I need a few sessions to "get into" character, so leaving things open for later development makes for a more well-rounded char.
I vote 2-3 hours since it's an average for me to have a well thinked character with a good background. However for NPC I start generally from a basic concept and then the data take me less than an hour. In the other hand my main characters are never really finnished since I always want to add details... So in fact it depend of the level of detail I want or I need...

- Daegann -
For characters I want to play, I need at least a day right now, spread out over a week or two wink.gif.

Big part of it is re-reading the appropriate rules, since until now every char had a different speciality.
I've found it generally takes multiple days, because a GM almost always has too much willpower to accept any of my character concepts the first time I introduce them. Oh, but by the fifth day, yes, he'll agree to my sasquatch rocker in a winnebago. Oh yes he will.
Backstory and concept is easy for me. I can come up with a rough sketch in minutes, a fully-fleshed out character in less than an hour, complete with minor quirks and personal notes. I like creating characters, even if I'm never going to play them.

Without the aid of a computer, I can't do the basic stats for a SR4 PC in anything less than 3 hours, not including gear. Even with the aid of a program, it still takes forever. Once you factor in equipment, we've added anywhere from another hour for gear-light characters, to about three for gear-dependant ones. My current record is taking slightly over 3 days to complete a simple street sam. I've given up on more complicated character concepts, since I didn't have a week to dedicate to them.

NPC's are much easier, since I just assign them whatever I think they should have. Playable PC's, however, are just a pain to build-- I have an easier time with GURPS or Champions, and until now, I thought those were the fiddliest systems in existance.
Kyoto Kid
QUOTE (fool)
like many people, I can get the stats down relatively quickly, but the backstory takes longer. One of my characters "pinky" came thgough over the course of several gaming sessions. He was actually one of my favorites to play in sr3. A gay albino dwarf mage ex seminary student. of my favourites as a GM as well.
yeah I was always biting my pinky (finger) whenever I roll played him.
Kyoto Kid
...of course his counterpart was a booze swilling hard driving rigger named "The Brain"
alas pinky and the brain We knew ye well.
they were a pair of dwarves that could really rip things up.
The brains background synopsis was that he was part of a runner team (pre running as a character) that had gone to Yomi island on a run and was involved in its liberation.. so he hated the japs, was hung out to dry (all his contacts had been killed by japanacorps looking for revenge) hunted (obviously) and that was why he was hiding out in England.
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