A player in a horror game is asked to perform a strange sort of double-think. On the one hand, the character should be as real as possible, with goals, desires, hopes and fears, a family, friends, a job, and all the trappings and ties of life. However, the player knows that this is a horror game - if you hear a noise upstairs, it probably is a monster, and your friends are probably going to end up as bait, or madmen, or worse. Keep these two rules in mind:
You are here to get scared. Attempting to escape the game ('my character does not reply to the desperate letter from his brother, but instead goes on holiday to Hawaii') is not fun. There is always a chance of success, but it is always a slim one. In most horror games, the character creation rules become the most well-thumbed and familiar sections of the book. Few characters survive for long - some fall victim to bizarre and gory fates, others go insane, and others are only used for one-shots or short campaigns anyway.
These rules are designed to produce a well-rounded and workable character as quickly as possible, without producing forgettable, disposable non-entities. For those playing in longer games, or who want more finesse when it comes to character generation, there are more detailed class rules later in the chapter.