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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What are “tiers”, and what tier is each class?

I tend to play Wizards, almost exclusively, though I have branched out and played Clerics, Druids, Sorcerers, and, at some point each other core class. I would like to play something different for my ...
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16answers
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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
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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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
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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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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 ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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10answers
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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 ...
13
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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 ...
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11answers
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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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2answers
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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 ...
12
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5answers
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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 ...
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1answer
746 views

How to decide which of my intended classes to start as when multiclassing in D&D 5e?

I'm putting together a Shadow Monk/Assassin Rogue character concept for a new game of D&D 5e but I have little experience with multi-classing. So, what should I consider when deciding which class ...
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9answers
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D&D high-difficulty / technical character build suggestions

I have always been a huge fan of D&D style derivatives, but I have never actually played D&D itself. (Baldurs Gate (I & II), Final Fantasy VII+, Magic the Gathering, Oblivion, Fallout 3+). ...
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2answers
392 views

What are the consequences of letting players be characters from a work of fiction?

What are the consequences of letting players be characters from a book, movie, or other pre-existing work of fiction? For example, how would I handle a campaign based on the X-Files where the PCs are ...
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7answers
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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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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3answers
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How exactly does a level adjustment work?

Does level adjustment simply mean the character must be the adjustment's number of levels lower than the rest of the party, or does it act as levels in the relevant template and include the relevant ...
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1answer
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How to make monsters with class levels?

Say I was trying to make a 3rd level Harpy bard. Do I remove its seven hit dice, feats, BAB and skills etc and start from scratch? Or do I add the class levels on top of all that? How does level ...
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2answers
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do I only get a limited number of at-will powers?

In the pre made characters for the 4e adventure Keep on the Shadowfell they only give each character about 3 at-will powers. reading through the PHB I find that most characters have about 4-6 at-will ...
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2answers
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Are there rules for Intelligent Items with Class Levels?

So the DM gave me the option of giving this intelligent lance various abilities, including a homebrew version of a Psicrystal's Self-Propulsion and Flight abilities. He also gave me the option of ...
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1answer
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What creatures/templates have Powerful Build?

I'm particularly interested in templates, but in general can anyone tell me what playable races and usable templates would grant Powerful Build to a creature? I only know of like, one. The ...
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Close-quarters spellcaster – Not a gish

I’m looking to make a character whose focus is on the use of spellcasting in close quarters. This might take the form of damage waves that are centered on his location, auras that buff nearby ...
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3answers
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Do Powerful Build and Monkey Grip Stack?

The Character in question is a Large half-Minotaur Goliath who is using monkey grip. Normally a Large Goliath could wield a Huge weapon with no penalty. Monkey Grip allows you to wield a weapon 1 ...
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2answers
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Choosing equipment options at character creation

So if I'm correct, when you chose your starter gear and wealth you can either choose to roll some dice depending on your class and buy everything from that or you can choose the starter gear from your ...
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3answers
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Help w/Character Sheet: What are ability modifiers and how do I calculate them?

So I was filling out the character sheet and suddenly I saw an "ability modifier". I'm confused, and am asking these questions for clarification: Where do you put your "Standard Array" number. In ...
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2answers
490 views

How compatible are D&D 4E core and essentials in terms of hybrid characters?

I know that in terms of actually running a campaign that they can go side by side very well, with one side doing some things honestly better than the other like the monster vault...However, a person ...
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3answers
547 views

How do you choose Spells Known when creating a new character above 1st level?

It's not clear to me how to choose Spells Known when creating a new character at a higher level. Let's take the Bard as a working example first: Bard level 2: Spells Known: 5 Slots per Spell ...
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12answers
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Unhate-able Villains

There are so many guides on how to make a villain your players will truly hate, but I am trying to make a villain that the characters will feel for. How can I create a "good" villain, like someone who ...
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15answers
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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, the character's backstory is lacking. It doesn't tell me a lot about the character. Because I draw ...
14
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7answers
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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 ...
19
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2answers
861 views

How to make your players hate your villain, but not your game

How does one build the character of a villain such that the players (playing heroic characters) hate the villain as much as possible without detracting too much from the quality of the game? What ...
5
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2answers
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Is there any edition where it's possible to play as Animated Armor?

I'm new to this, and I'm still looking for a group to play with, but I have it set in my mind that the first D&D character I'd like to play as is secretly animated armor. Would this be possible ...
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8answers
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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 ...
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10answers
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Should I allow a Wondrous Item on level 1 character creation?

I'm starting a new 3.5 campaign, using only the 3 core books for character creation, and starting all my players off at level 1. One of my players has written a (rather good) backstory for his ...
11
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7answers
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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 ...
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5answers
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How can I optimize Chicken Infested?

I'm soon going to be a guest player in a Pathfinder game where silliness is the theme. (The party has been drawn into the Demiplane of Dinosaurs, which is reportedly a lot like Ravenloft, except with ...
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8answers
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How can a GM alleviate a new player's analysis paralysis when creating a character?

My players are paralyzed about making their characters and as a GM what can I do to help? The players are new to role playing games let alone D&D 5e, and are getting bogged down. They tried out ...
14
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1answer
357 views

Examples of Fate mechanics for telling team stories with one player

I want to run a Stargate SG-1 game for a single player in the Fate Core system. Stargate stories are about teams of equally important people, rather than the single protagonist that our "twosie" ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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3answers
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How do I retrain myself to see characters as people and not systems?

Background Some of my previous questions (see What should I do when other players refuse to engage with my character's flaw? and Excessively clever characters vs. narrativist RP?) have alluded to ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Cooperative character building?

I'm aware of games where the players cooperatively build elements of the story world (I hear Dresden Files does this), but are there any where the players cooperatively build their characters? What ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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3answers
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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. ...