HackChoice is an alternate character creation method designed to allow players to choose their race and class in almost any allowed combination, at the expense of the possibility of fantastic, or even above mediocre, attributes. If the Gamemaster allows HackChoice, then it replaces steps one through five of character creation; beginning with Step 6: Calculate Starting Honor, character creation begins as normal.
Step One: Receive Building Points. A HackChoice character receives 90 building points.
Step Two: Receive Ability Scores: A HackChoice character begins with three ability scores of choice at 11/01, and four ability scores at 10/01. Choosing HackChoice precludes exercising the Shopkeeper rule; a great many HackChoice characters will fail to have an attribute above 13.
Step Three: Choose a race. This race may alter the attributes received in step two.
Step Four: Purchase a class. Based on the race selected, pay BPs from your initial allotment to receive the class of your choice. Note that, if the character wishes to play a barbarian and their race does not modify the attributes sufficiently to meet minimum requirements, then attributes must be raised during step five to meet those requirements.
Step Five: Finalize Ability Scores and other Adjustments. Spend remaining BPs, if you wish, to improve ability scores. Adjust Charisma as necessary according to your Looks. You may make adjustments to your ability scores after this step, but they do not count towards starting honor.
Interaction with Zero-Level Rules: HackChoice characters who are played from zero level are handled somewhat differently from other zero-level characters. They receive the initial allotment of 90 BPs, as all HackChoice characters do, but must pay the entire cost of their class at 0th level, and lose all BP (from the allotment of 90) above this amount. They retain any BP granted by quirks, flaws, or priors and particulars. At half level and first level, they receive one-half of this amount back, rounded down. For example, a HackChoice Dwarf Mage would receive 90 Build Points at 0th level, and immediately spend 75 to purchase their class. They would then lose the remaining 15 build points. At half-level, the Mage would receive 7 Build Points (not 25), and 7 build points at 1st level (not 25). In all other respects, including bonus die rolls for attributes at half level and level one, and the bonus hit die rolls at those levels, HackChoice characters are considered the same as other Zero Level characters.
Sidebar: Why HackChoice?
HackChoice is offered specifically for those players who wish to play a specific race or class combination, but don't want to give up the bonus BPs offered to those who choose not to rearrange their attributes. It is especially useful when a given race or class combination is expensive; to play a dwarven mage or halfling assassin, the player cannot rearrange attributes and still afford the class. HackChoice guarantees that your character will be a shopkeeper before (and likely after) racial modifiers are applied; but they will qualify for the race and class combination you wish in most cases (Barbarians, Knights, and Paladins being the obvious exceptions).