In Fading Suns Third Edition (FS3) we carried across the Free Form and Lifepath character generation systems from FS1/2, but we also worked on the process so that you have the option to mix-and-match using parts of the Lifepath generator and Points Buy to get the character that you want to play, and be ready to play in a matter of minutes!
The Lifepath system takes the character through five steps (upbringing, apprenticeship, early career, and two extra tours). Each of these steps is worth 20 character points out of the character's total of 100 points. So you can see it would be easy for a player to take the first three steps, then use his remaining 40 character points to buy whatever attributes, skills, and benefits he desires. The Lifepath system also gives the characters a few unallocated points, so that Lifepath characters can still be customized with benefits.
We have widely expanded the Extra Tours section of the Lifepath system, grouping them into general categories: Noble Duties, Church Missions, Guild Work, but also Forbidden Paths, Circumstantial Paths, and Professional Paths. For example, a character who wants to be an agent of the Syneulla or the Kalinthi can simply take that specific path from within the Church Missions extra tours; a character who wants to be a psychic or a cyborg can take the appropriate path from within the Forbidden Extra Tours; a character who wants to have a higher rank can take the high promotion path from within the Circumstantial extra tours.
There are a lot of options to play with... and that's even before we consider the possibilities of alien characters. To be honest, we haven't dealt with aliens in any great detail, in part because of space and in part because Fading Suns is primary a human-centric setting. But we have added a few additional standard options. While the ever popular Obun, Ukari, and Vorox are still there, we have also added the standard option to play Etyri and Gannok.
On the face of it, these may not be the obvious choices to add, but the shift of the primary setting to Grail meant that the Etyri needed to be talked about. The Gannok are often overlooked, but are one of the most widely dispersed of the alien races, and live in great numbers on the League Worlds. In fact, based on numbers alone, Gannok deserved to be represented far more than the ever popular Vorox, of which only a tiny minority actually travel the jumproads.