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Character Creation

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

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

Blue Collar

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

White Collar

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

Inner Planets



This entry is included in the Inner Planets because of the origin of the Lightbringers there; Religious Etiquette and Lore is mostly universal (since a comprehensive religious education includes multiple doctrines) and the background could be applied to any section of the solar system.

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

Waypoint Native

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

Middle Planets


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

War Orphan

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

Outer Planets

Pearlstone Survivor

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

The Dark

Exile Expatriate

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

Exile Scientist

What are Bioaugmentations?

Exile Bioaugmentations allow people to excel in physical actions; they are focused tokens but function for any non-social task. The downside to a Bioaugmentation token is that it adds an Exile reputation token in addition to any other tokens when it is chosen.

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

Exile Artist

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

Exile Warrior

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

Childhood Segments


Stellar Expanse

Inner Planets

Middle Planets

Outer Planets

The Dark

Training Segments


Stellar Expanse

Inner Planets

Middle Planets

Outer Planets

The Dark