New Characters

Players may only usually have one active character at a time, multiple characters can not be created unless the previous character is killed or retired first.


Characters can be initially created using the character creation document.

Character Background

All characters have a background, although how much the player wants to share with the Refs or others is entirely up to them.  The Refs use a characters backstory to create individual plot, so often the more interesting the player makes it, the more exciting and personal the game!

A player is free to invent their own background using the world setting as advise.  If part of the background clashes or isn't suitable, the Refs will email the player and try to resolve the issue to the players satisfaction.

Key points to remember:

  • The first plague, Metal Fatigue, changed your lifestyle and affected everyone personally.  Rioting and starvation killed millions before the first Shambler rose.  These were hard months of chaos and disaster.  Money became worthless, and society mostly collapsed.

  • The second plague, Vine Flu, arrived and people started dying.  What little was left of civilisation fell when the dead rose and armed soldiers were ordered to herd up and fire on those living who were suspected of having the disease.  Vine flu is spread similar to the flu, although actual bites (rare though they are) tend to be lethal for the victim.

  • The population is now a fragment of what it once was, although there are signs of survivors in all but the most deadly regions.  For those outside of a group, it might be weeks or months between meeting other people.

  • Shamblers are everywhere.  They exist both singularly and in countless hordes.  A large horde is best dealt with by quietly hiding, often for days or weeks, waiting for them to loose interest and leave.

  • There are worse things out there than Shamblers.  Larger monsters and the odd infected animal stalk the land.  While almost all undead are Shamblers, it is likely characters will have heard of huge "Bloaters", almost indestructible and immensely strong, and "Ghouls", who have a wolf like animal intelligence and are often accompanied by a pack alpha, who is simply terrifying.

Concepts and Ideas

When thinking of a new character, here are some ideas and suggestions that might help "flesh out" your background.

​What did you do before the plagues?

How did you survive the rioting and chaos of the first plague?

Did you do anything to ensure you didnt catch Vine Flu?  (It is possible, but rare, to catch it and recover)

Have you killed?  Was it unavoidable?

What do you think of Shamblers, are they victims or monstrous enemies?

Did you run foul of raiders, or maybe one of the larger groups such as the murderous but well equipped bullies of "Ernest Security", or the rebellious military-hating "Resistance" (both of which are now vanquished).  Did you get help from the 13th Rifles (a friendly group made from the remains of the military).

Of course, you might have had the opposite experience of each group and had a very difference perspective. Securities,

Remember there is a wealth of information on the overview documents

Character Skills

Altered Reality is a skill based system.  Only "hard" skills, such as combat and medical expertise, are represented in the rules.  "Soft" skills, like playing musical instruments or brewing ale, are not represented in the skill system since we would like to encourage individual talents.

Many other skills can be found later in the skill trees, or unavailable because of in-character events. Access to further skills is either granted through gaining prerequisite skills or made available during events, should a character have the required traits.

There are different categories of skill, each with their own skill trees.  The list below is not exhaustive.


These skills grant advantages in combat, such as the ability to make occasional weapon calls, extra health or endurance and the ability to gain better advantages from armour.  They also give the player more violent options in downtime.


Represented by stickers, medical skills are situational - dying characters can be stabilised, and the injured can be bandaged to allow them to fight again.  However, characters can only have ONE of each medical sticker - further matching stickers have no affect, medicines do not fix the body, only time does that.


Weapons and armour can be repaired or upgraded using these skills, at a resource cost.  It will take time to unlock this skill tree as it often overlaps with science, but the benefits of a well armed and armoured group are considerable.


Biological and technological understanding might be a thing of the past for most people, but there are things to discover, invent and build in the post-plague world.


Firearms are rare, and ammunition rarer.  Although limited in range and initially easy to defend against, firearm trained players soon become able to quickly drop all but the most heavily armoured enemies.


Representing a mish-mash of various knowledge and talents, these skills give the player additional abilities in downtime, and extra opportunities during events.  


Group leaders have access to a skill tree of their very own, one that allows them to boost people's abilities in their group at events as well as construct new base facilities in downtime.


Players with the Preach skill can spent time preaching to a congregation and in return gain power they can use to benefit themselves and others.  Most people outside the congregation would put this down to the preacher being a confidence trickster or hypnotist.  As always, there is little proof of miraculous claims.   This skill is NOT on the character creation template - if you are interested in having it, please email us.