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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Shoe-themed race or class features

My character is really into shoes and I'm planning on taking Leadership next level. I want my cohort to be devoted to the old norse god of shoes and vengance, Víðarr. While there is a retribution ...
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19answers
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Problems with Party Formation: “You're the DM, you can figure it out.”

Sort of related to Is it wrong to ask a player to justify their character's actions? Scenario Player 1 wants to be a male drow necromancer that reveres Kiaransalee. Player 2 wants to be a male ...
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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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7answers
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How can I quickly get a player back into a session after their character dies?

As a GM, what kind of techniques could I use to help a player re-join the gaming session after their character dies? I want to avoid any major interruptions to the flow of the adventure. I would also ...
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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 ...
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14answers
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Repercussions to DM-mandated limit on books allowable for characters?

When running a campaign, especially one with newer players mixed with optimizers, is it a fair call to limit the variety of books available for play? For feats, classes, prestige classes, magic items ...
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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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10answers
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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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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 ...
28
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9answers
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Is there software that can help build a character portrait? [closed]

Thinking of something like the MMORPG games use for building characters ... is there anything like that available outside of a MMORPG game?
26
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1answer
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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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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 ...
23
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5answers
679 views

Preventing character skill from impeding player enjoyment

Let's consider a player, whom we shall call Bob. Bob loves exciting gunfights and is a big John Woo fan. So he makes up "Shooty McShootenstein," who is a master with a gun. One thing that Bob is not ...
23
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4answers
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Can a sniper be built in D&D 4e?

The concept of a sniper has been around a long time, even with bows. Is this even possible in D&D4e, where the range increments are so short? Criteria: Long range bow or crossbow attacks. ...
22
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2answers
412 views

In Amber Diceless, what is the reason for the order of the Stat Auction?

In Amber Diceless, stats are auctioned off in the order: Psyche Strength Endurance Warfare What is the reasoning for this order? A friend of mine argues they should be auctioned off in a random ...
21
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5answers
911 views

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 ...
20
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10answers
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Flaws that aren't flaws

What do you do when a system gives points at character creation for flaws/disadvantages when a player can permanently remove the effects of that flaw by buying something or spending other points to ...
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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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3answers
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Favored Class Bonus at 1st Level?

So, it doesn't seem entirely clear from the Core Rulebook: does one get the favored class bonus (+1 to hp or +1 skill) at first level? I wouldn't have thought so, but I notice that the Hero Lab ...
20
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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 ...
19
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6answers
5k 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 ...
19
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2answers
393 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 ...
19
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2answers
862 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 ...
18
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7answers
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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 ...
18
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3answers
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Could someone explain traits to me?

I'm currently preparing for a Pathfinder session for the first time (we played degenesis and wanted to do something with more freedom). I got myself only the Core Rule Book. However, I (we) simply ...
18
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5answers
778 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 ...
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6answers
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What is the statistically superior character creation method, twelve 3d6 or six 4d6?

The D&D 3.5 Player's Handbook gives (among others) two preferred methods to roll ability scores for a new character: a) roll 3d6 twelve times and keep the preferred six results, or b) roll 4d6 and ...
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3answers
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Where can I get ready-to-play characters for D&D 3.5?

The last time I played D&D was about 10 years ago. Now I've decided to show it to my university friends, who have never played it before but are pretty excited. For that first game, nobody would ...
16
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6answers
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As a GM, how can avoid pitfalls common to Generic Point Build Systems?

I'm well aware that point-buy systems (HERO System, GURPS, Mutants & Masterminds, Wild Talents) tend to have a set of common pitfalls associated with them. Players will usually choose Combat ...
16
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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 ...
16
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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 ...
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5answers
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Finding alternatives to rogues in campaigns

In a nutshell, I'm looking to join a game, but it seems that the type of character that I play often (rogue), has been done by everyone else in the group. Are their any other classes or sub-classes ...
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What happens if I get the same skill from both my background and my class?

I made a trickster cleric with spy background. This caused an overlap of stealth and disguise. (Further compounded by me wanting to take hide in shadow ... which again granted me stealth.) What ...
16
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5answers
804 views

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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6answers
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What's the difference between a Ranger and a Scout?

Apparently the Complete Adventurer contains rules for a new base class, the Scout. Can anyone explain, at a high-level, what is the difference in character concept between a Ranger and a Scout? When ...
16
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8answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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6answers
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Character Build - “Bad Luck” Theme

I'm trying to build a character who suffers a strange and inexplicable stigma that attracts misfortune to all the people around him. (In South America it's called "mufa"; in colloquial language, ...
15
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6answers
851 views

Would it be fair to ask the GM for benefits for self-imposed character limitations?

Is it fair to ask the DM for some kind of benefit if you give your character self-imposed weaknesses/downsides with definite consequences/mechanics behind them? For example, if I had a character with ...
15
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5answers
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What would a player character need to better eat live animals raw?

Ok, so I mentioned in another question an idea for a character known for "(eating) small animals live and fresh with all the dignity and etiquette of a nobleman eating a sandwich"; would a character ...
15
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3answers
882 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. ...
15
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3answers
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How can I get a character with the lowest hit points possible?

A friend of mine has asked me to help him create an escort mission for his April Fool's game (actually held this weekend, because, you know, scheduling). The players will be escorting a tenth-level ...
15
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5answers
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How can I offer players a balanced opportunity to take powerful races, without adjusting their level?

I'm planning to run a Planescape game in 3.5 and want to offer players the opportunity to play unusual characters within the system. Ideally power level wouldn't be a concern, but some players might ...
15
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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 ...
15
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6answers
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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 ...
15
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2answers
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Can you put high-power aspects on starting characters in Fate Core?

I have a player who's having some trouble understanding that Fate is not a game about stats. To remedy this issue, I'm considering letting them build a character with aspects that feel like an endgame ...
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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 ...
14
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6answers
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Are PCs supposed to start a game knowing each other, and if not, how should they meet?

I'm currently putting together a D&D game and I have most of it worked out. The only part about it that I'm still a little unclear on is whether or not the player characters should know each other ...
14
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4answers
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How do you encourage players to leave classes behind?

I have veteran players of class-based RPG systems joining my GURPS 4e campaign. I am having trouble consistently during character creation in getting these folks started. They are all hung up on the ...
14
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1answer
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How do I make a socially-optimized character in Dungeon World?

I enjoy playing PCs who talk, and can solve social situations effectively. Looking at Defy Danger and Parley as my main uses of Charisma, I'm underwhelmed and somewhat sad to have no Bluff, ...