We had a group character creation session last night (I like those!), and now have an assortment of gentlemen and ladies with an interest in the occult and strange.
In the end I decided to go with a very simple rules / chargen system based on the core of Labyrinth Lord / basic D&D. The house rules were as follows:
- No classes or levels. PCs are all basically 1st level fighters (in terms of hit points and saving throws). Experience progression in the standard sense is not going to be an aspect of the campaign.
- Characters gain a number of areas of specialist education / academic knowledge based on their INT score.
- Characters have a number of useful contacts based on their CHA score.
- Every character also has four talents: things they're good at. These could be in the domains of sports, arts, crafts, culture, etc.
- An alternate damage system (to account for the lack of healing magic), where PCs have a pool of CON / 2 "wound points". Hit points then represent mostly fatigue, and can be recovered quickly, while wound points represent real damage and regenerate slowly.