Origin Creation Guidelines
Origins are created by spending 7 'Design Points' to purchase various benefits and drawbacks. Each feature's value is rated in design points, with benefits running up to 4 points, while drawbacks as large as -2.
Species and Talents ALWAYS give the character his size, attribute modifiers, and speed. They draw from one set of possible benefits/drawbacks.
Specialties ALWAYS give the character a single bonus feat. Specialties are built up from a set of features and drawbacks seperate from the Species/Talent list.
There is some overlap between the two sets of benefits/drawbacks. Some items are strictly in one "column" or the other to prevent non-functional combinations from being possible. Specialties can occasionaly include small attribute modifiers, but these are both limited and expensive compared to Species/Talent options. Species/talents may include a bonus feat, but the design point cost is much higher than the Specialty bonus feat.
Origins may also indicate restrictions. Restrictions have no design point value (positive or negative) and are used to link an Origin option to a particular rulset (such as a campaign quality or a limited set of other Origins) or to add flavor to an Origin designed for a more specific setting.
A finished, balanced Origin option ALWAYS sums up to 7 design points.
Have a light touch. Use the minumum amount and power level of benefits required to give the sense of the concept you are representing. Origins are one of the most mechanically complicated elements on a character sheet and each benefit that you add is one more thing the player will have to keep track of.
If an Origin will include drawbacks, choose them BEFORE slecting benefits - its more effective to select drawbacks because they are interesting and add flavor to the package in their own right. Adding more than 1 point worth of drawbacks for no other reason than they are needed to offset an excessive volume of benefits is unwise. Strongly consider reducing the number of benefits first.