A character is one of the crew members on your Ship. Characters are all members of the ship's crew, regardless of whether the character is your Captain, an Officer or a Crew Member. Each character is a unique and named individual with their own Attributes, Skills, Jobs and Traits.
Depending on the Game Difficulty you are playing on, if Permadeath is on, your characters may die permanently. Whenever a character's life is threatened, they role their Death Chance to see if they are able to survive the deadly wound. If Permadeath is disabled, characters who would normally die are considered to have narrowly avoided death and are left alive, but in a weakened state.