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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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 ...
39
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7answers
823 views

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 ...
30
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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 ...
29
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14answers
2k views

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 ...
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 ...
27
votes
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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9answers
5k views

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?
25
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16answers
1k views

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 ...
23
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4answers
7k views

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
votes
5answers
460 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 ...
20
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10answers
1k views

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 ...
20
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2answers
10k views

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 ...
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 ...
18
votes
3answers
5k views

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 ...
17
votes
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 ...
17
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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 ...
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 ...
16
votes
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 ...
16
votes
5answers
634 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 ...
16
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3answers
6k views

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 ...
15
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6answers
2k views

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 ...
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 ...
15
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5answers
1k views

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 ...
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
votes
6answers
642 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 ...
14
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6answers
2k views

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 ...
14
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5answers
577 views

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 ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

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 ...
14
votes
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 ...
14
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3answers
420 views

What are some good skills and stunts for a mortal lawyer in Dresden Files?

I'm about to play in my first game of Dresden Files. I'm new to the system, and it's a lot different from other RPG rule's I've used. I'm having a bit of trouble grokking the game and figuring out ...
13
votes
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. ...
13
votes
5answers
968 views

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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
13
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4answers
3k views

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 ...
13
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4answers
2k views

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, ...
13
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0answers
70 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
5k views

Are spear fighters sensible in DnD 4e?

I'm new to DnD and I'm creating a gladiator (fighter or barbarian) for an upcoming Dark Sun Game, and I liked the idea of using nets and spears. The Players Handbook implies that net and spear users ...
12
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3answers
1k views

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 ...
12
votes
10answers
488 views

Balancing character levels

It makes sense that if you are in a group from the beginning that everyone in the group would be roughly the same level. Yes some classes level up faster than other but in general there is a balance ...
12
votes
7answers
450 views

How to design an RP-balanced party?

How do you build a party so that they all have social roles? In some games, I often find that one character ends up dominating the social part of the campaign. In our groups, we usually end up with ...
12
votes
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 ...
12
votes
1answer
204 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" ...
12
votes
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
votes
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
458 views

Shapeshifter Villain travelling with Party

Where to start? First of all, I'm planning on running a Homebrew Pathfinder campaign of my own. I've already got the plot laid out and ideas for various NPCs. The problem is I'm running into an issue ...
11
votes
7answers
3k views

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. ...
11
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2answers
423 views

Is it possible to work a Spiked Chain as a collar?

I had an idea for a spiked chain-wielding Barbarian character, but instead of the usual warrior brute I thought I'd try something different; he was some kind of escaped slave or something that had ...