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Here is a tutorial on how to create a well balanced original character for the Naruto series.  In this tutorial, I will talk about various abilities, powers and flaws you can use to better flesh out your characters.  This system is borrowed heavily in traditional d20 RPG rules, so if you’ve played games like Dungeons and Dragons before, then some of this will seem familiar.

Please note that this tutorial contains some spoilers in Naruto (if you don't read the manga).

The Abilities: Strength, Constitution, Stamina, Agility, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, Comeliness

To each of the above abilities, you will assign a number value between 1 and 18; however, you can’t have a combined total of more than:

100 Points for Genin Ranks
110 Points for Chuunin Ranks
115 Points for Special Jounin Ranks
120 Points for Jounin Ranks & ANBU Ranks
140 Points for Hokage Ranks
150 Points for Boss Villain Characters


Don’t understand what the abilities or values mean?  I’ve explained everything in detail below …

Strength:  This ability is a measure of a one’s muscle.  Strength affects the ability of your character to lift and carry weights, jumping, climbing and overall physical power.  A good rule of thumb would be 1 point for every 10lbs they can pick up over their head (a.k.a. military press) and it’s 1 point for every 20lbs they could bench press.

An average for a grown man would be a score of 10-12; average for a woman would be 8-10.  When it comes to Ninja’s and strength, they seem to be average, unless there is an exception (e.g. Tsunade – score: 18, Sakura – score: 16, Guy – score: 16, opened gates score: 18+).

Real Human Terms of Strength:
1 – 5 would mean the individual is debilitated in this ability
6 – 8 would be below average for men, average for women
9 – 10 would be average for men, above average for women
11 – 13 would be above average (mild to moderate athlete)
14 – 16 would be considered “talented” (e.g. Olympic athlete)
17 – 18 would be considered “gifted” (e.g. Hercules)

Ninja Terms of Strength:
1 – 5 would mean the individual is debilitated in this ability
6 – 8 would be below average for men, average for women
9 – 10 would be average for men, above average for women
11 – 13 would be above average (e.g. Asuma Sarutobi)
14 – 16 would be considered “talented” (e.g. Shippuden Sakura Haruno)
17 – 18 would be considered “gifted” (e.g. Tsunade)

A score above 18 would be considered “Godlike”.

Constitution: This ability measures how well your character can take a hit and overall, how healthy they are and even how much alcohol they can handle.  Do they get sick easily?  Do they have a preexisting illness or an allergy?  Ninja have a much higher constitution than normal humans.  For example, even young ninja can get thrown into a wall leaving an impact and still get up to fight.  

Note that this score is the same for both men and women.

Real Human Terms of Constitution:
1 – 5 would mean the individual is debilitated in this ability (e.g. Cancer, paralysis, serious disease)
6 – 8 would be below average for both men and women (e.g. Has an allergy or can’t take a hit – “Glass Jaw”)
9 – 10 would be average for both men and women (e.g. Healthy Individual)
11 – 13 would be above average (e.g. Doesn’t get sick very often and can take a decent beating)
14 – 16 would be considered “talented” (e.g. Has high immunity and can get knocked around pretty hard, e.g. Professional Heavyweight Fighter)
17 – 18 would be considered “gifted” (e.g. Near immunity and invulnerability)

Ninja Terms of Constitution:
1 – 5 would mean the individual is debilitated in this ability (e.g. Cancer, paralysis, serious disease)
6 – 11 would be below average for both men and women (e.g. Has an allergy or can’t take a hit – “Glass Jaw”)
12 – 14 would be average for both men and women (e.g. Healthy Ninja, e.g. Genin, Chunin Ranks)
15 – 16 would be above average for both men and women (e.g. Jonin, ANBU Ranks)
17 – 18 would be considered above average (e.g. Tsunade with Creation Rebirth technique)

A score above 18 would be considered “Godlike”.  Think Superman without kryptonite.

Stamina: How long your character can run or how much chakra your character has is covered by this ability.  Stamina is basically how long your character can last when it comes to putting forth physical exertion.  Most ninja can move at a top-speed-run for over 8 hours, which is miraculous by human terms.  Take this into consideration when choosing your score.

Note that this score is the same for both men and women.

Real Human Terms of Stamina:
1 – 5 would mean the individual is debilitated in this ability (e.g. Individual lives on life support)
6 – 8 would be below average for both men and women (e.g. Winded after walking a flight of stairs, has severe asthma)
9 – 10 would be average for both men and women (e.g. Healthy Individual)
11 – 13 would be above average (e.g. Individual can walk or jog a few miles)
14 – 16 would be considered “talented” (e.g. Individual can do a triathlon)
17 – 18 would be considered “gifted” (e.g. Individual can run a marathon)

Ninja Terms of Stamina:
1 – 5 would mean the individual is debilitated in this ability (e.g. Individual lives on life support, e.g. Kimimaro when hospitalized)
6 – 8 would be below average for both men and women (e.g. Kakashi when using Sharingan)
9 – 16 would be average for both men and women (e.g. Healthy Ninja)
17 – 18 would be considered “gifted” (e.g. Naruto Uzumaki with his and Kyubi’s combined chakra)

Agility: How well your character can move as a whole is determined by your Agility score.  This includes movement speed, aerobatics, dodging, parrying and saving themselves when falling.  A cat, for instance would have an Agility score of at least 14 due to their ease of movements and natural ability to right themselves in mid fall.

Note that this score is the same for both men and women.

Real Human Terms of Agility:
1 – 5 would mean the individual is debilitated in this ability (e.g. Paralyzed)
6 – 8 would be below average for both men and women (e.g. Missing a limb, injury or other issue that would cause movement impairment)
9 – 10 would be average for both men and women (e.g. Healthy Individual)
11 – 13 would be above average (e.g. Naturally agile)
14 – 16 would be considered “talented” (e.g. Exceptional balance and speed, track and field sprinter)
17 – 18 would be considered “gifted” (e.g. Kung Fu Master, Olympic gold winner in sprinting event)

Ninja Terms of Agility:
1 – 5 would mean the individual is debilitated in this ability (e.g. Paralyzed)
6 – 8 would be below average for both men and women (e.g. Missing a limb, injury or other issue that would cause movement impairment)
9 – 16 would be average for both men and women (e.g. Healthy Ninja)
17 – 18 would be considered “gifted” (e.g. Shippuden Sakura when controlled by Chiyo through chakra strings)

Most birds of prey have a score above 18.

Dexterity: How well your character is with his/her hands is covered by Dexterity.  This ability also includes a character’s aim with weapons; thrown or otherwise.  For a ninja, this would also mean how effectively they can form seals.

Note that this score is the same for both men and women.

Real Human Terms of Dexterity:
1 – 5 would mean the individual is severely inhibited in this ability (e.g. Paralyzed, missing a hand)
6 – 8 would be below average for both men and women (e.g. Missing a finger(s), weakened hand from stroke or injury)
9 – 10 would be average for both men and women (e.g. Healthy Individual)
11 – 13 would be above average (e.g. Sign language interpreter)
14 – 16 would be considered “talented” (e.g. Professional Pianist)
17 – 18 would be considered “gifted” (e.g. Card Magician)

Ninja Terms of Dexterity:
1 – 5 would mean the individual is severely inhibited in this ability (e.g. Paralyzed, missing a hand, Orochimaru after fighting Sarutobi and losing the use of his hands)
6 – 8 would be below average for both men and women (e.g. Missing a finger(s), weakened hand from stroke or injury)
9 – 10 would be average for both men and women (e.g. Healthy Ninja)
11 – 13 would be above average (e.g. Hokage Sarutobi)
14 – 16 would be considered “talented” (e.g. Tenten)
17 – 18 would be considered “gifted” (e.g. Kakashi when using the Sharingan to copy handsigns)

Intelligence: This is a measure of one’s problem-solving ability, recall (memory) and deductive reasoning.  Basically, Intelligence measures how well your character calculates and how much information they can store.

Note that this score is the same for both men and women.

Real Human Terms of Intelligence:
1 – 5 would mean the individual is severely inhibited in this ability (e.g. Comatose or mentally handicapped)
6 – 8 would be below average for both men and women (e.g. “Slow” or impaired)
9 – 10 would be average for both men and women (e.g. Healthy Individual)
11 – 13 would be above average (e.g. “Straight A Student”)
14 – 16 would be considered “talented” (e.g. Individual with a photographic memory)
17 – 18 would be considered “gifted” (e.g. Einstein, Steven Hawking, Savants)

Ninja Terms of Intelligence:
1 – 5 would mean the individual is severely inhibited in this ability (e.g. Comatose or mentally handicapped)
6 – 8 would be below average for both men and women (e.g. “Slow” or impaired)
9 – 10 would be average for both men and women (e.g. Healthy Ninja)
11 – 13 would be above average (e.g. Temari)
14 – 16 would be considered “talented” (e.g. Kakashi)
17 – 18 would be considered “gifted” (e.g. Shikamaru Nara)

Wisdom: How much common sense your character has is measured by this ability.  This is usually an ability that is low in younger characters and rises as they grow older.  Some characters are natural “old souls”, meaning they may learn common sense faster than their counterparts.  This score isn’t usually very high unless the character has had a “life changing event” or is elderly and near the end of their life.

Note that this score is the same for both men and women.

Real Human Terms of Wisdom:
1 – 5 would mean the individual is debilitated in this ability or is very young (e.g. Infant)
6 – 8 would be below average for both men and women, but average for children (e.g. Preteens)
9 – 10 would be average for both men and women (e.g. Healthy Individual)
11 – 13 would be above average (e.g. Older person – 40+ years old)
14 – 16 would be considered “talented” (e.g. Monk or philosophical student)
17 – 18 would be considered “gifted” (e.g. Buddha)

Ninja Terms of Wisdom:
1 – 5 would mean the individual is debilitated in this ability or is very young (e.g. Infant)
6 – 8 would be below average for both men and women, but average for children (e.g. Preteens)
9 – 10 would be average for both men and women (e.g. Healthy Ninja)
11 – 13 would be above average (e.g. Jiraiya)
14 – 16 would be considered “talented” (e.g. Konoha Elders)
17 – 18 would be considered “gifted” (e.g. Hokage Sarutobi, Jiraiya before his death)

Charisma: Is a measure of how social your character is – otherwise known as being extroverted or introverted.  This also measures how well you can interact in a social interaction.  Diplomats, for instance are usually naturally charismatic.

Note that this score is the same for both men and women.

Real Human Terms of Charisma:
1 – 5 would mean the individual is severely inhibited in this ability (e.g. Agoraphobic)
6 – 8 would be below average for both men and women (e.g. Introvert)
9 – 10 would be average for both men and women (e.g. Healthy Individual)
11 – 13 would be above average (e.g. Extroverted)
14 – 16 would be considered “talented” (e.g. “Life of the Party”, Politician, Geisha)
17 – 18 would be considered “gifted” (e.g. “Ladies man”)

Ninja Terms of Charisma:
1 – 5 would mean the individual is severely inhibited in this ability (e.g. Agoraphobic)
6 – 8 would be below average for both men and women (e.g. Introvert)
9 – 10 would be average for both men and women (e.g. Healthy Ninja)
11 – 13 would be above average (e.g. Iruka Umino, Ino Yamanaka)
14 – 16 would be considered “talented” (e.g. Naruto, Jiraiya)
17 – 18 would be considered “gifted” (e.g. Hokage Sarutobi)

Comeliness: This ability is scored off how attractive your character is.  Though this is often subjective, things can be boiled down to common attributes – if someone is missing half of their face from a horrible fire, they are not usually considered that “pretty”.  Be sure not to factor Charisma in this score.

Note that this score is the same for both men and women.

Real Human Terms of Comeliness:
1 – 5 would mean the individual is severely inhibited in this ability (e.g. Severely scarred or maimed, Michael Jackson)
6 – 8 would be below average for both men and women (e.g. Mildly scarred)
9 – 10 would be average for both men and women (e.g. Healthy Individual)
11 – 13 would be above average (e.g. Attractive Individual)
14 – 16 would be considered “talented” (e.g. Model)
17 – 18 would be considered “gifted” (e.g. Helen of Troy)

Ninja Terms of Comeliness:
1 – 5 would mean the individual is severely inhibited in this ability (e.g. Severely scarred or maimed, Ibiki Morino)
6 – 8 would be below average for both men and women (e.g. Mildly scarred)
9 – 10 would be average for both men and women (e.g. Healthy Ninja)
11 – 13 would be above average (e.g. Sasuke Uchiha)
14 – 16 would be considered “talented” (e.g. Tsunade)
17 – 18 would be considered “gifted” (e.g. Might Guy! <insert manly sparkles>, j/k!)
Extras

It’s very important that you take the powers of your character into serious consideration.  A character with too many powers can be overwhelming and in some cases, hard to keep track of.  Here is a good rule of thumb when it comes to extras: choose two major ones and then two minor ones.

For instance, let’s take Tsunade.  Her extras are Super Strength, Medical Abilities, Continual Transformation Jutsu and a legendary title/reputation.  Her super strength and medical abilities are her two major extras, and her transformation jutsu and title are her two minors.

Here are a few examples of major extras:
Bloodline Ability, Massive Chakra Amount, Artifact (weapon, armor, etc.), Super Strength, Super Speed, Extra Chakra Nature Type (usually ninjas have only two), Multiple Gifted Abilities (Strength, Stamina, Constitution), Summon Large Creature, Rare Jutsu, Exceptional in a Skill (medical, tracker, etc.)

Here are a few examples of minor extras:
ANBU Rank, Decoder, Companion (dog, cat, etc.), Photographic Memory without Advanced Intelligence, Natural Direction Sense, Requires Little Sleep or Food, Can Speak Multiple Languages, Medic, Family (e.g. Hyuga, Hokage’s son)

Also, it wouldn’t hurt to take three major extras and no minors, or four minors and no majors.  That’s really up to you, just be sure not to go overboard.

Flaws

Ah, the aspects that make us fall in love with your character; the qualities of them that remind us of ourselves.  It’s very important that your character has flaws, just as important as how powerful they are.  If your character has no weakness, no signs of imperfection, then people will be turned off from your character from the start.  This can be seen with the comic book character Superman.  Kryptonite was brought first into the radio show to help develop the plot and was later added to the comic book to create a weakness in superman – fearing the invulnerable man would lose fans if he had no flaw for the readers to relate to.  And since then, Kryptonite has made its way into American’s language as a term for flaws, hardships, or Achille’s heel.

We’ll steal Tsuande again for this explanation.  Her flaws are/were fear of blood; she’s insecure in her appearances because of aging (why else would she use a transformation jutsu to cover it up?); she is filled with regret for the death of her brother and her lover; she has a gambling problem; she likes to drink, but can’t handle it; and she has terrible luck.

So a lot more flaws for the Princess than powers.  But we know that Tsunade is a great character as we’ve seen in the manga and anime.

Now that you know what all of the abilities mean, how extras can be balanced and the importance of flaws are, I’ll share with you a character of mine for an example:

Hachi Hani

Special Jounin - 115 points

Strength: 6
Her strength is weak, regardless of being a ninja
Constitution: 6
Though she has high resistances to poison, she unfortunately has a “Glass Jaw”
Stamina: 15
She can run for great distances; but has an average chakra amount
Agility: 12
Average for ninjas
Dexterity: 14
She is musically trained, thus her dexterity is that of a professional musician
Intelligence: 11
Average for ninjas
Wisdom: 10
Average for ninjas
Charisma: 18
Naturally extroverted, with years of education that has taught her multiple forms of etiquette
Comeliness: 18
She was bred to be beautiful

Total: 110

Powers
Zeru-roiyaru – Royal Jelly Technique: The ability to seduce men through excreting a pheromone.  This ability is chemically natural and not chakra based; however, she uses chakra to “funnel” it towards her target.  This ability does not work on women (even homosexual women) and can be countered if the man does not breathe the air around them (e.g. breathing apparatus, underwater, etc.).  This ability can also make men aggressive or animalistic, thus making them uncontrollable.  This is considered a major power.

Poison Resistance: Through years of exposure, Hani has developed immunity to most common poisons; does not include venoms.  This is considered a major power.

Exceptionally Beautiful: Where most ninja train to strengthen their muscles, Hani was trained in taking care of her body and appearances.  She is also the product of “selective breeding”.  This is considered a minor power.

Etiquette Training: Hani has been schooled by courtesans, geisha and noble families in the proper etiquette of multiple interactions.  She knows how to behave in places like a tea house, all the way up to the Emperor’s castle.  This etiquette allows her to blend into most social situations.  This is considered a minor power.


Flaws
Exceptionally Weak: Hani has less strength than most normal women, let alone a kunoichi.  She will never be able to physically overpower a man.  

Also, Hani is unable to take a hit very well.  If she were to take a punch to the face from an ordinary man, her head would be spinning.  If she were to take a hit from someone of Asuma Sarutobi’s strength, she would be instantly knocked unconscious, if not comatose.  If she was punched by Sakura or Tsunade, it would probably kill her out-right.  

Hani was not built for combat.

Extreme Phobia: Though it may seem cliché to give a character a phobia, I did give one to her and for good reasons (if I was to explain, then it would give away spoilers).  Hani has a paralyzing fear of deep water.  Normally she will be frozen and unable to move at first, hyperventilate after a few seconds and then eventually faint from stress.  If she is out in the open, she is usually able to help herself; however, when she is in an enclosed environment (say a pool), she will need assistance.

Limited Jutsu Abilities: Though Hani can perform basics like a transformation jutsu and can mold her chakra, she doesn’t know many advanced jutsus.


As you can see, Hani has a lot of strengths and a lot of weaknesses (sometimes I wonder if she is too weak).  Even her most powerful ability has conditions that must be met and even then, it could be potentially dangerous.

I’ll add another example, incase you have any more questions:

Jiraiya “Jiri” Uzumaki

Jounin & ANBU - 120 points

Strength: 10
Average for ninjas
Constitution: 18
This is due to his chakra type
Stamina: 18
This is due to his chakra type
Agility: 14
Average for ninjas
Dexterity: 12
Average for ninjas
Intelligence: 11
Average for ninjas
Wisdom: 12
Average for ninjas
Charisma: 14
He has a good “bedside manner”
Comeliness: 12
He’s got purdy hair!  :P

Total: 120

Powers
Light Chakra: Jiri’s chakra type is the rare “Light Chakra” (also called “life” or “heaven”; the opposite is “dark”, “death”, “hell” chakra).  It’s extremely rare and usually only one ninja is born every few generations that can use it.  He has light chakra due to an extreme experience that occurred when he was in his mother’s womb.  If his mother had been anyone else, he wouldn’t have survived the event.  

The light chakra purifies and regenerates his body constantly.  He doesn’t tan, scar or become ill.  He is also able to use his chakra to heal others via medical jutsu.  Doing so does not drain him, but it will, for a short period of time, exhaust whomever he performs the healing on.

Though this ability may seem overwhelmingly powerful, it does have a VERY serious drawback.  I will not go into details as I don’t want to give away spoilers, but it does involve Jiri’s mental health.  This is considered a major power.

Advance Byakugan: This is also due to the event when he was in his mother’s womb.  Jiri’s Byakugan is twice as potent as a normal Hyuga’s (main branch or otherwise) and is always activated.  Unfortunately, this advanced Byakugan actually “hurts” and overwhelms Jiri and makes it very difficult for him to actually see.  He is, in a sense, blinded by sight.  He often suffers from headaches and eye strain.  This is considered a major power; even though it has a very expensive cost.

Family: Jiri is the son of a Hokage and is a descendant of the Hyuga family.  This would be considered two minor extras; however, since both of his major powers come at a large cost, I gave him an extra minor.

Medic: Trained under Sakura, Jiri has learned a great deal in the art of being a medical ninja.  He is 2nd in line at the hospital, but since he is still young, Sakura often gives him a lot of the “intern” duties.



Flaws
Light Chakra & Byakugan: See Above

Overly Empathetic: Jiri becomes very upset if he is unable to help those in need and will often become depressed or upset if he is unable to help them.  Unlike most medical professionals, Jiri isn’t able to “withdraw” emotionally from his patients.

Socially Awkward:  Though Jiri has a fair Charisma score, it applies only to the “bedside manner” he shares with his patients.  Outside of the hospital and his friends, he usually struggles to find his words and may even stutter.

Unable to Use Chakra Offensively: Unfortunately for Jiri, his chakra doesn’t discriminate against friend or foe.  If he was to use his chakra in an offensive attack (like the Rasengan) he would actually heal his target than hurt them.  The same could be said for using the Hyuga fighting style of Gentle Fist.

Light Chakra Only: Jiri’s light chakra doesn’t allow room for any other chakra usage.

Lack of Teachings: Since light chakra is so rare, Jiri has had little teaching in how to best utilize his abilities.

In the end, it’s all about checks and balances.  If you give a character something very powerful, you should give them something equally weakening or flawed.  If you follow the rules in this tutorial even a little bit, it will help prevent you from creating the “Mary Sues” and “Gary Stues” people often complain about.
I'm a programmer and sometimes putting things in numbers helps me out a lot. I hope it helps you too! :D

EDIT: While trying to come up with scores for some of the original characters of Naruto, I have come to the decision that not all ninja ranks are created equal. So I modified the points allowed to better reflect your character's rank. This also leaves room for growth. :nod:

[link] - ~James-the-Fox created a chart that you can print out and use for keeping track of your character's stats.
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