The first thing you should ask yourself when creating a character is: How do I want to play the game? Do you want to be a tank of a fighter who mows down enemies with a swing of his sword? Or do you want to be a skillful rogue who sneaks into the enemies castle under the cover of darkness? What does your character look like? Use these ideas to determine your Race and Class than decide upon your ability scores (see below) and fill out your Character Sheet.
The next thing you should decide is what is your character’s background and back-story. In the intro A Beginning all PC’s are in a caravan heading to Andor; That’s really the only constraint on your backstory. You can also use History and Culture After the Breaking to help frame your story. Still there world is huge and there can be nations that even the DM doesn’t know about.
It also might be good to leave room for the DM to tell a story around your character. Do you have a specific racial enemy that you hold a grudge against? Do you have a pre-existing relationship with another player character? These are all things that the DM could use to help personalize the campaign. Once you’ve got something in mind, write up a short (2 paragraph) bio to share with the group.
I’ve found that finding a picture of a character goes a long way towards fleshing out little details. Additionally, it give other player characters an idea of what your character looks like. There are lots of places around the net to find good character pictures, so I’ve created a Character Pictures page with the links I’ve found.
These are the basic rules players need to follow when creating a new character:
- Consult the PHB — We are going to be following the basic rules in the PHB for character creation. There are also many good rules and guidelines in the PHB, use it.
- Starting Limitations — Characters will be limited to the standard classes and races in the PHB. I might make an exception for the Warforged Race, if s/he has a good backstory. Characters also must be Good, Lawful-Good, or Unaligned. I’m going to strongly encourage characters to be Good or Lawful-Good, but if you make up a good back-story (and a reason for you to be Unaligned), I’ll let you be Unaligned. Basically, I’ll forgive a lot if the story is good enough and if there’s a lot I can do with it. If you want to do something weird, send me your ideas first, before you create your character.
- Ability Scores — Ability scores for Player Characters will be generated using Method 2 in the PHB – Page 17. I’ve also detailed the process in the Ability Scores page. Note that players can simply take a standard array (16, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10) if they wish, as the standard array can be generated using Method 2.
- New Characters — At the beginning of the campaign, level 1 characters will receive 100gp to start with. Players that join the campaign later can start at the same level as the lowest level PC in the party with the lowest possible XP for that level. Exceptions will be made if the lowest level PC is close to leveling up. New characters can also chose one item of their level+1 and one item at their level-1 in addition the the gold pieces equal to the value of one magic item of their level-1.
- Character Management — I’m encouraging everyone to create a character with the appropriate biography and stats on Obsidian Portal. Note that I this will make things easier for me (because if you send me your character information I’ll just create one on Obsidian Portal and add it myself). All players who create their character on Obsidian Portal will receive 100XP to start the campaign.