Character creation (also: character generation or character design) is the process of making a character whose role the Player will assume. Character creation is about realizing the concept of the character within the options and rules of the RPG system.

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How to: Create a good backstory for how the party got together?

I'm making a list of things to do for character creation for my first game as DM, and one things I've often heard is to have at least some reason for the players to have come together for their ...
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6answers
3k views

What is the optimal way to design a well balanced party

Confession - I just TPK'd my group....again. One of the reasons that has been identified is that while the party is composed of 5 pretty well optimized characters, as a party they just aren't in ...
20
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2answers
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How do favored classes work in Pathfinder?

I'm working on creating a half-elf paladin character for a Pathfinder game. Full disclosure: this is the first time I've tried creating a character; I've used ones other people created before. In ...
27
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10answers
739 views

What can I include in my character's background to help the GM build a better story?

Whatever the system or the world used, what can a player add to his character background that will help the GM make the game more interesting. Games are much more interesting with the addition of ...
27
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10answers
874 views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of develop in play (DIP) compared to develop at the start (DAS) character generation?

Originally, Are you really DIPpy?1 What are the advantages and disadvantages to developing your character in play (DIP) compared to developping at the start (DAS)? What experiences have you had with ...
16
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11answers
877 views

How can you find a balance between effective/optimised characters and creative characters?

When creating characters, I often face a dilemma between making a character. It feels like they can either be optimized so they can "pull their own weight" or having a character I think is creative ...
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3answers
1k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of allowing a player to play a large creature?

We're playing 4e Thunderspire Labyrinth and we've decided to let the tank play a large (2x2) Minotaur. He has all of the stats from the Minotaur player character in the Players Handbook 3, but he's a ...
3
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1answer
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How do multiple attacks with natural weapons work?

I'm planning a character that has 2 claw attacks and a tail attack as natural weapons, but now I'm a little confused about the mechanics of using them all. 1: Can both claws be used at once as a ...
11
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5answers
3k views

Character build for Gandalf in D&D3.5?

In my groups next campaign I am hoping to be a PC instead of the DM and I want to play a character who is like Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. I began looking at options; he would ...
13
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7answers
2k views

Does it make sense to give characters free weapons expertise?

A player I know suggested that when playing 4th ed, it made sense to give characters the Weapons Expertise feat for free at 5th level. I don't have much experience with 4.0, so I don't know whether I ...
11
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4answers
1k views

Is there a reason to ignore/adjust the Wealth By Level chart?

While reading this Cohort Question I was kinda struck by a quote in there and instead of asking an unrelated question in that area I figured it would be good to make a separate question. The quote ...
10
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3answers
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Bomb based alchemist builds

I'm looking for help with building a bomb-slinging alchemist at level 10. Assume 25 point buy for initial generation. The focus is getting the most effective bomb usage possible. Fast bombs is ...
10
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4answers
2k views

Creating a Wizard at high levels: How many Spells should he know?

I have looked all over this site & Google but I can't seem to get a good answer to this. When creating a Wizard over level 1, how many spells should he have in his spellbook? I'm speaking in ...
9
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4answers
4k views

What class/builds can be used to fulfill both striker and controller roles?

Many classes/ builds allow one to fulfill multiple party roles. For example, a Paladin is a hybrid leader/defender. What classes/builds are a good way to handle striker/controller? I'm looking for ...
4
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3answers
853 views

If my Initiator Level is high enough, can I take Stances of a level higher than 1st when I take my first level in a martial adept class?

Usually, a martial adept’s Initiator Level is equal to his class level, plus his class level in any maneuver-granting Prestige Classes, plus half his level in all other classes. This means a ...
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14answers
2k views

How can I help a player craft a backstory that gives me plot hooks?

I have a new player joining my game soon, who has taken the place of another player. Unfortunately, this character's backstory is lacking. It doesn't tell me a lot about the character. Because I draw ...
9
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5answers
12k views

What character creation tools & guides are available for Shadowrun 5e?

I'm a totally new player to Shadowrun 5e. My experiences are largely with D&D 4e, Savage Worlds, and Cyberpunk 2020. I'm just seeing if there are any unofficial (but very helpful) guides or tools ...
8
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5answers
3k views

How do you make a wizard who doesn't need a spellbook?

I know what you're thinking: "Dude, just play a Sorcerer". Well, I ask this question because of two main reasons. Wizards get some extra spells for specializing, and my DM says sorcerers are rare. I ...
11
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7answers
578 views

What systems use interesting questions to inspire character backgrounds? [closed]

In another question, it was suggested that the game "Dread" has a number of questions to make players really consider their character's backstory and personality. However, I'm planning to run a ...
20
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2answers
29k views

Optimal Focused Fighter Builds in Pathfinder

Using just the core rulebook and the advanced player's guide, what would be an optimal build for a fighter using 25 points for point-buy character generation? Assume it's a level 10 fighter intended ...
15
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7answers
2k views

Playing as, not with, ourselves

A few of the members of our gaming have had the probably-not-unique idea of statting ourselves as if we were player characters in a campaign. Our problem is trying to find a basis of comparison for ...
11
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2answers
3k views

Character creation walkthrough

It has been a long time since I last played RPGs and I have forgotten so much about how things like character creation work. I am using the Pathfinder core rule book for all of my characters currently ...
10
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2answers
457 views

How can I introduce Life Paths to character generation?

The first time I played* Traveller, I found myself blown away by the detailed character creation, featuring year by year (4 year chunks actually) break down of how your character got where they are ...
17
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5answers
504 views

Good techniques for getting player-character backgrounds integrated into the game?

So I'm starting a new campaign for an existing gaming group soon, and I'd like to actually incorporate character backgrounds that the players will be creating (eventually). These aren't epic-novels or ...
17
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7answers
886 views

How can I roll a character's age using only d6?

I'm making a simple, slightly comedic home-brew RPG where a lot of the characters' base stats are randomized for comedic effect. This includes the characters' age. (So you can have a ridiculously ...
13
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4answers
720 views

Why do my players want to be superman in Dresden Files?

I'm on my third campaign using Dresden Files, and I'm noticing a pattern. There's an incredibly wide range of powers and abilities that a character can have, and an even larger number of ways to fluff ...
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3answers
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How to rule a permanently blind PC in D&D 4e?

One of my players wants to build a totally blind character, and so far as I can tell the system has no rules for it, despite coming close. Blinded is a condition that more accurately reflects having ...
6
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4answers
318 views

What are the steps that you as GM's and PC's take to develop a Level 1 character?

This is for the basic character creation at level 1. I know the PHB goes into some detail on character creation and the steps for doing so. What I want to know is how you as GMs or players create ...
5
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3answers
3k views

How do I fill the DnD 4E Essentials Character Sheets? - clarifications

I'm exercising to start as a DM, and one of the things I'm doing is know how to fill the 4E (especially Essentials) character sheets. I'm not sure what I should fill What are the "Modifier", "Misc" ...
4
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2answers
349 views

How do I turn a daily into an encounter?

I'm looking for something that shifts a daily power into an encounter power. I want to take the Demigod Epic Path so I can use Blade Cascade whenever I want. Ideas?
15
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6answers
930 views

How do I represent a warlock with a background in thievery?

I'm developing a Dwarven Warlock (Hrafnhildur "Fin" Arnarsdottir) for the next 4E campaign I get the chance to join. She left home to join a gang in a city, and after reading a book they were going to ...
14
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2answers
320 views

How can I play an Artificer predictively?

Of the various classes held to be Tier One, the Artificer is perhaps the absolute trickiest to play. Though their potential power - especially with access to downtime - is immense, they more than any ...
13
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3answers
559 views

Does flight warrant Move Silently checks?

I just had a thought concerning a Half-Fae Warlock I'm building: if the Half-Fae template grants him butterfly wings for flight, and butterflies aren't exactly known for having audible flying sounds. ...
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4answers
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Can I play an effective pacifist in D&D 4e?

Is it possible to play an effective D&D 4e character who is thematically a pacifist, uses almost no damage-dealing abilities, but is still effective in combat? Similarly, is it possible to build ...
12
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1answer
864 views

How are some Essentials classes non AEDU classes?

I've just received my Essentials books. Perusing the Heroes of the Adjective Noun books, the classes have and receive at-wills, encounter, daily and utility powers as they start and level. On the ...
11
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7answers
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What striker builds let you play a secondary defender role?

I'm going to play D&D 4e on the PC side of the screen for the first time soon, and it looks like the best way to fill the party's needs is by taking up a striker that can also defend a bit. ...
9
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1answer
2k views

What is the difference between themes and backgrounds?

Wizards has fairly recently released character themes for D&D 4th Edition. What is the difference between themes and backgrounds? Can you pick one of each or do you have to choose between the ...
8
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3answers
733 views

How important is charisma for a 3.X bard?

I've just started a DnD 3.5 campaign that will probably run through the summer, taking us from level three (where we start) to around level eight or nine. It's a small party (four players) and two of ...
8
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2answers
239 views

How can I introduce epic destinies earlier?

How can I introduce epic destines earlier in the game, preferably in the first few levels? I'm mostly looking for some way to justify time some foreshadowing while have a nice mechanical resonance to ...
7
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2answers
930 views

What's a good way to build an unseelie fey warlock in DnD 3.5?

Pretty much just what the title says; what are some good feats/templates/racial class levels one would use for making a decent Fey-themed Warlock in DnD 3.5? To be more specific, I'm hoping to use ...
7
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3answers
481 views

Saint-like template/prestige class for villains

The Book of Exalted Deeds offers the Saint template for good-aligned characters. This template is quite powerful, but has strict prerequisites (as described in Sainthood section). Is there any ...
6
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1answer
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Resisted energy types and immunity

I would like to know the distribution of energy resistances and immunities in 3.5 monsters, and especially the four basic types fire, cold, electricity and acid. It is often said that fire is most ...
6
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1answer
407 views

Skill rank feat prerequisites

The feat Practiced Spellcaster (Complete Arcane) has a prerequisite of four skill ranks in Spellcraft. Can I take this feat on the first level if I use my skill points to get Spellcraft to four ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Swordsage feat selection to amplify his battle prowess?

The following question was raised during the making of a strength based, two handing (a little bit MAD) swordsage. Currently my feat selection is based on the Master of the Nine prerequisites (them ...
6
votes
4answers
982 views

Is there any way to get multiple standard actions for Summoners in D&D 4E?

I was working on an NPC summoner for our 4E game this week and am a bit mystified. Given that controlling a summoned creature requires a standard action and characters only get one standard action, ...
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3answers
4k views

Custom Race Creation for D&D 4e

The Monster Manual and Dungeon Master's Guide provides a few examples of how to adapt monsters into full-fledged PC races, but they're limited to only a few options. Are there any resources or other ...
4
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2answers
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Is XP spent at character creation treated the same as • spending?

Say, as a crude example (I don't fact-check points costs atm on my phone) I have a character who buys: Giant •••• Encyclopedic knowledge •• Fleet of foot • And as he has some starting XP he decides ...
4
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1answer
454 views

Is there a way to advance both Wizard and Assassin casting?

I'm creating a character for a challenge ("How would you help this village defend against an orcish army?") and in the interests of doing something wacky I decided to try and mix Wizard and Assassin ...
4
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1answer
451 views

Ways to add the [Good] Descriptor to Spells for Arcane Spellcaster

The 'Consecrate Spell' feat from Book of Exalted Deeds adds the [Good] descriptor to spells cast. Is there another way to achieve this for arcane spellcasters, e.g. as a prestige class feature? The ...
4
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6answers
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Is one of the characters in my group overpowered?

I'm starting my first stint as a DM, in DnD 4E, and one of my players insisted on rolling dice for his stats. I was ok, provided, as I said, "that the character was balanced with the rest of the ...