I am playing DnD in weekly 1 hour 15 minute sessions, with the first session focusing on the basics of the game. By the end of the second session, all 7 players (most of whom are new) should have their own characters and preferably have gotten through some simple plot hooks. My goals for character creation are to:

  1. Make character creation relatively quick (doable in 45m-1h start to finish)
  2. Make character creation interactive (players know about their character, because they made it)
  3. Make character creation fun (not grinding through all the numbers and charts)

UA Quick Characters and using pregenerated ones both only fulfill #1. What are some existing, documented ways to create characters following these goals start to finish?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Why "preferably from Wizards themselves"? Aren't you limiting yourself unnecessarily? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 21, 2017 at 13:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SpacyRicochet It's only "preferably": A preference, not a constraint. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 21, 2017 at 13:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you intending to create a 1st level character or some other level? If 1st level, I believe you the PHB guidance should be adequate to have everyone create a character within 1 hour 15 minutes provided they know and have already agreed on what everyone's playing. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 21, 2017 at 15:22

2 Answers 2


Why is character creation not simple? Because you keep in mind all the options and all the rules for them. The solution is not to burden new players with the mechanical parts.

What I do is the following. I do not give my players the PHB until character generation is over. I ask them what kind of character they want and build it for them. I let them describe the character and I translate it into a character sheet. Since I know the options, I can ask questions to decide between them.

Do not be afraid to go back and forth on decisions. Figure out what is important to a player. I had one player describe his character as an elven assassin from the start, but then he couldn't get proficiency in Nature or Animal handling and he didn't like that. He wanted to emphasize the woodsman aspect more, so I switched rogue to ranger for him. What is a major decision for a seasoned player does not hold the same weight for a novice.

This keeps it simple for the players, as I do any necessary optimization to make the character viable and able to do what they want them to be able to. It is also interactive, as I describe every new thing I write on the sheet and they can react to it. I think it also preserves the fun as they do not have to bother with minor rules and exceptions.

The only downside is that this is pretty much one-on-one. If you have multiple new players, make sure they pay attention to the description of skills and ability scores, so you don't need to repeat yourself. Switch between them often. First write down a race and class for each, then ability scores, etc. to hold their attention.


Assuming the players are new?

A fun & interactive way to create characters is to chose each stat independently and then roll for its value. You can choose race before for a more organic character, or after for a more optimized character.

The idea is that this organically creates the "genetics" of the character, did the character grow up naturally strong (high strength roll) or smart (intelligent) etc.

You would then decide what class the character would have naturally gravitated to, based on their natural abilities. For example if they have naturally high strength and constitution, maybe they were a barbarian. Decent charisma as well? Maybe they felt the calling of a God and became a paladin.

Class still remains a choice regardless of stats, but it helps steer towards certain directions. These stats can then also be used to flesh out a backstory (perhaps between sessions) explaining how their stats developed and how they became a certain class. Which can be used to pick backgrounds (or use the quick pick option and have them work it into their story).

This isn't an official way to do things as far as I can tell, but it has been a popular option in the past.


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