Character Creation in Drifting involves choosing five "sections" of a "Lifepath" tracing a character's history prior to the events of the story. The Lifepath system assumes an adult professional, industry veterans or adolescents would have fewer or different Lifepath segments; the five primary lifepath segments of most characters are their Origin, Childhood, Training, Profession, and Aptitudes.
Each character creation segment offers a choice of one Background token and up to two Focus tokens. Some will also give a reputation token. Each Focus token may be taken once or twice, but only a total of two can be chosen for each Lifepath segment.
Origin Segments revolve around a character's background or primary citizenship-this is not necessarily where a character is born, but it is where they will most closely associate with (e.g. "I am an American").
General origins reflect an upbringing which is either remarkably cosmopolitan or diverse; this is where you find wanderers and expatriates
You raised yourself without a home, moving from place to place or ship to ship; you were never really aware of a "home", whether you moved around exclusively on one planet or throughout the solar system, and you've never really been enfranchised in any political or economic system. This origin implies that the character had negligent, abusive, or absent parents, or at the very least that their family was chronically poor.
Background Tokens (Choose 1): Grifter, Scavenger, Thief
Focus Tokens (Choose 2): Escape Artist, Negotiation, Persuasion, Survival, Searching, Appraisal, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Dodge
Your parents were constantly on the move; whether as part of a large organized trade guild or as independent free merchants; you never stayed in one place for more than a year or a few months, but you had strong ties and your needs were met wherever you stopped; you even picked up some neat tricks on the way to keep food in your belly.
Background Tokens (Choose 1): Trader, Spacer, Scavenger
Focus Tokens (Choose 2): Negotiation, Persuasion, Appraisal, Astronavigation, Land Navigation, Repair, Survival, Searching, Communications, Zero Gravity
Your parents weren't exceptionally wealthy, but they had stable employment under the local political system and you never went hungry, even if you weren't the wealthiest kid in your neighborhood. Your parents showed you the tricks of their trade while you were growing up and you learned how to use your hands.
Background Tokens (Choose 1): Technician, Manufacturing, Construction, Strong
Focus Tokens (Choose 2): Repair, Negotiation, Communications, Persuasion, Drive, Kludge, Machinery Operation, Industrial Technology
You grew up in a quiet neighborhood, and your parents worked in a building separated into neat cubicles or offices; you were able to benefit from their high levels of education as they passed on their learning to you, but you missed out on opportunities to use your hands.
Background Tokens (Choose 1): Educated, Bureaucrat, Engineering, Business, Medicine
Focus Tokens (Choose 2): Computers, Record Keeping, Negotiation, Drive, Design, Communications, First Aid, Nursing, Administration
Whether you came from the aristocracy or the family of upwardly mobile industrial giants, you've never had to work in your life; you have, however, been able to enjoy your substantial resources and the foundation they gave you to grow.
Background Tokens (Choose 1): Educated, Socialite, Business
Focus Tokens (Choose 2): Appraisal, Persuasion, Negotiation, Drive, Communications, High Class Etiquette, Administration
While you may have been born with a clear criminal record, your parents were fugitives; they had committed a crime or said something politically incorrect and were forced to leave their home and live under the radar; working under-the-counter and often resorting to crime out of desperation.
Background Tokens (Choose 1): Thief, Grifter, Thug
Focus Tokens (Choose 2): Survival, Intimidation, Searching, Sleight of Hand, Negotiation, Escape Artist, Persuasion, Criminal Etiquette, Counter-Security, Brawling, Stealth
Your family was highly religious, and spent a lot of time following a religious order (probably the Lightbringers, but the Inner System had clusters of followers of most old Earth religions as well). Either way, at least one of your parents was a priest or devout follower of a religion, and they raised you with a firm religious background.
Background Tokens (Choose 1): Educated, Religious, Bureaucrat
Focus Tokens (Choose 2): Religious Etiquette, Religious Lore, Persuasion, Negotiation, Record Keeping, Communications, Drive
While few would say that Waypoint is a great place to raise a family, you lived there with your relatives and scraped by, even if you were close to seedy and dangerous elements.
Background Tokens (Choose 1): Thug, Entertainer, Grifter
Focus Tokens (Choose 2): Negotiation, Persuasion, Intimidation, Brawling, Counter-Security, Stealth, Performance, Gambling, Drive
You grew up among pirates, and your childhood was rigorous. You learned from a young age how to survive on a station in the depths of space, as well as how to fight and deal with outsiders like any "good" denizen of Morocco; you were raised to fight and rip a spot in the solar system.
Background Tokens (Choose 1): Spacer, Soldier, Grifter
Focus Tokens (Choose 2): Astronavigation, Zero Gravity, Repair, Firearms, Brawling, Criminal Etiquette, Negotiation, Persuasion, Intimidation, Kludge
You had the misfortune of being born on Calm or Storm in the midst of the strife there; and your parents were killed in conflicts between multiple local warlords. You have grown up in a hostile environment with danger all around you.
Background Tokens (Choose 1): Soldier, Survivor, Grifter
Focus Tokens (Choose 2): Firearms, Brawling, Dodging, Searching, Survival, Negotiation, Persuasion, Intimidation, Military Etiquette
You grew up on the dustball that is Pearlstone, and you had to do a pretty good job at that in order to make it this far; without the amenities of heavy machinery; readily available and safe food, air, and water; organized law; and formal education, you've had to become tough and hardened to survive.
Background Tokens (Choose 1): Farmer, Survivor, Strong
Focus Tokens (Choose 2): Agriculture, Food Safety, Decontamination, Searching, Survival, Dodge, Firearms, Brawling, Kludge
Your family left known civilization and threw their lot in with the Exiles while you were very young or shortly before you were born; you have benefited from their instruction but have not ever truly joined their rank.
Background Tokens (Choose 1): Spacer, Criminal, Grifter
Focus Tokens: Astronavigation, Zero Gravity, Repair, Sleight of Hand, Escape Artist, Stealth, Negotiation, Persuasion, Exile Etiquette
You come from an Exile colony that devotes itself primarily to learning and intellectual innovation, giving you access to vast amounts of knowledge and technology that most people are hardly even aware of, much less using.
Background Tokens (Choose 1): Exile, Scientist, Educated
Focus Tokens (Choose 2): Zero Gravity, Exile Technology, Bioaugmentation, Repair, Design, Exile Etiquette, Medicine, Record Keeping, Communications, Computers
Reputation Token (Add 1): Exile
You were raised in an Exile colony that focused on the fine arts and beauty, and enjoyed a lifestyle that most of humanity only dreams of in terms of sensory stimulation; you have trained yourself physically and mentally for the production of art.
Background Tokens (Choose 1): Exile, Artist, Entertainer
Focus Tokens (Choose 2): Zero Gravity, Exile Technology, Exile Etiquette, Bioaugmentation, Performance, Art, Negotiation, Persuasion
Reputation Token (Add 1): Exile
You are one of the reasons the rest of the solar system fears the Exiles; you were a soldier beginning with your birth and you come from a martially-oriented colony with mandatory military training; you have access to hands-on training in combat both in simulations and against physical opponents that leaves most people envious of your skills.
Background Tokens (Choose 1): Exile Warrior, Soldier
Focus Tokens (Choose 2): Zero Gravity, Exile Technology, Piloting, Exile Etiquette, Firearms, Heavy Weapons, First Aid, Pilot, Drive, Brawling