This post on Greywulf's Lair explores the concept of a one axis sliding scale for character building:

One thing that all of these choices brings is the idea of a sliding scale. With 4e D&D, you can choose how much of the character concept affects the build, which in turn reflects the importance the PC places on the things which shape him (or her).

At the risk of being overly broad:

  • What framework do you use when creating characters? [see DIP/DAS question for one example]
  • How does this framework impact creation or playstyle?
  • How generalizable is this framework?
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Hmm... Not sure how this made it through in May, but this appears to be strictly a poll/list. Am I missing something here? \$\endgroup\$
    – AceCalhoon
    Jan 9, 2012 at 22:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just because something may have several different answers doesn't make it a list... Though maybe some criteria Brian has in mind for what would be "best" or a better fit for his use case. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Jan 9, 2012 at 22:43
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk No, but "which do you use?" without a problem statement generally does :) \$\endgroup\$
    – AceCalhoon
    Jan 9, 2012 at 22:50

2 Answers 2


Greywulf's post is interesting. It was based in a D&D centric worldview. From an outside context, It looks to me like his sliding scale is allowing him to get close to replicating the some of the traditional advantages of a skill based system. Since this is an agnostic tagged Q, that opens the gates.

Since you are asking for personal feedback, We use a skillbased system that is very freeform. I prefer stats to be prerolled, a long with social level, but we also use some background acquisition rolls to help create backstory. And at creation, we give an EXP budget to choose skills, so even without the differences in spells and weapons or items, one beginning character, even from the same guild, might have a completely different skillset.

In terms of gameplay, most of the experience gained is only in the skill being used, so players only get better at what they do. And they can go to guilds and learn new skills and deepre ones in the skill trees. But due to this; characters 'become what they do'. No getting better at picking locks by killing stuff. No one increases social skills without spending time working with others. For example, in one of our groups, a healer was offed, and a Caster from the Collegium Arcana, who had learned a little restorative spell ability, was the only real healer the group had. Since he kept casting healing spells, he kept gaining levels in restorative and Life spells...so after 4 sessions of this, he was almost as good a healing caster as a combat/artificer mage (which is how he started). He had become a healer by healing.


About the mindset: to make a character, firstly i think of something i consider cool, something i would like a character to do, and how would he do this. After that, i give an explanation as to why he does that, what drove him to that and how he managed to do it. I develop a personality and a background that supports my previous choises, and then i try to find the mechanics that allow me to do what i want.

Here, the mindset starts to affect creation, as not everything one can think of can be translated to any system. There are things that you can do in DnD but cant do in WoD etc.I try to find what is closest to my original idea, and if there is no such thing, i try to homebrew something with the help of the DM.

The steps of this character creation can be rearanged, but i find that finding a class/skillset/whatever first and then building a background on it can be a hazard. Following this mindset, you have a character of your taste, so your play should be fun, though it's better for your play style to be consistent.


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