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Questions tagged [character-creation]

For questions primarily about character creation (also: character generation or character design), 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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68
votes
3answers
3k views

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 ...
66
votes
19answers
12k views

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 ...
59
votes
13answers
17k views

How do I encourage Drow players to not make Drizzt clones?

Every once in a while, I have a player wants to create a Drow character. The problem is, virtually every one of them winds up looking suspiciously like Drizzt Do'Urden: they are some variation of Good ...
56
votes
12answers
12k views

As the Dungeon Master, how do I handle a player that insists on a specific class when I already know that choice will cause issues?

I agreed to DM the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist adventure for a group of my friends. One of them wants to play a wizard. Based on past experience, I know that she will ignore the prepared spells and just ...
50
votes
13answers
197k views

Is it better to take the array and be Joe Average, or to roll for the odds of getting on average better scores?

I am new to D&D. I was looking at character creation for D&D 5th edition. There were a few ways one could generate ability scores. I assumed the optional method of taking the numbers 15,14,13,...
45
votes
11answers
6k views

I'm feeling like my character doesn't fit the campaign

My boyfriend is DMing a D&D 5e game for a good friend of mine and I. It's a pirate themed campaign, which I was excited about, and takes place in a universe where magic is not believed in by most (...
45
votes
12answers
9k views

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 ...
44
votes
14answers
9k views

Creating the personality of a character different from myself

I am a newbie in playing role-playing games, and after several games, I've come to the conclusion that character personality creation poses a bit of a problem for me. I mostly tend to create and ...
44
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5answers
4k views

How can I develop my character's background when I know nothing of the game's lore and want to avoid spoilers?

This is a tricky one, and I may be painting myself into a corner in which case please feel free to tell me so in an answer but please also provide advice on how to get out whilst disturbing as little ...
44
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
42
votes
6answers
5k views

Persuading players to be less attached to a pre-session 0 character concept

I am currently running a campaign that is coming to a close. This is fine, and as planned. However I would like to start another campaign after. I mentioned this to (some of) the players, who seemed ...
41
votes
10answers
2k 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 developing at the start (DAS)? What experiences have you had with ...
41
votes
1answer
14k views

Can clerics use swords

My DM, who hasn't played newer versions of D&D, was asking if my cleric was allowed to use sharp weapons, I double checked the descriptions and didn't see anything written, but now I am doubting ...
40
votes
3answers
42k views

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 ...
40
votes
15answers
5k 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, the character's backstory is lacking. It doesn't tell me a lot about the character. Because I draw ...
38
votes
6answers
4k views

Do I have to worry about players making “bad” choices on level up?

When I came back to RPGs (after 20 years) I discarded pathfinder after reading about the complexities of the systems and the fact that there was a real chance of getting “bad characters” if you made ...
37
votes
19answers
7k views

How can I avoid problems that arise from rolling ability scores?

Rolling ability scores is a time-honored tradition across many editions of D&D. However, it can sometimes cause problems for players and/or the DM. For example, one player character may end up ...
37
votes
12answers
13k views

Player character wants a gun in a prehistoric campaign. What to do?

Brief description of my campaign: Takes place ~1000 years after creation Bronze Age for most of the world, some parts are beginning the Iron Age Dinosaurs and Fae are still relatively common in the ...
37
votes
16answers
7k views

How to: Create a good backstory for how the party got together? [closed]

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 ...
35
votes
10answers
8k views

Is there a spell that can stop a ship?

There is a ship that needs to be stopped from sailing away without sinking it. The ship is large (2 masts), is in deep water and has a gust of wind item. I am looking for spells up to a lvl 4 slot, ...
35
votes
3answers
217k views

What's the starting wealth for higher levels?

The PHB only gives starting wealth for Level 1 PCs. Based on my experience in other games, specifically Pathfinder, I would expect to get more at higher levels. Where can I find an appropriate table ...
34
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7answers
5k views

I keep switching characters, how do I stop?

I have been playing in a couple of campaigns recently as a player rather than a DM, and I have noticed a trend. I build characters that are flavorful in one way or another, memorable, fun characters. ...
33
votes
6answers
27k views

What classes are based on intelligence but not reliant on magic/supernatural power?

My knowledge of 5th edition's class options is far from exhaustive. I want to play an intelligence-based class whose class features are not centered on magic, alchemy, or psychic powers. Does such a ...
33
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9answers
8k views

How can I discourage a player from making the same character if their current one dies?

This was inspired by this question: Should I allow players to recreate the exact same character if they die? Whilst it was closed as too subjective (because it asks whether one should want to do this)...
33
votes
10answers
1k 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 ...
32
votes
14answers
3k 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 ...
31
votes
10answers
14k views

The group I DM for insists on rolled stats, but I don't want unbalanced PCs to cause group conflicts later

I'm going to be running a new campaign for my players, with our session 0 starting tomorrow. I was leaning towards the traditional ability score method of generation (roll 4d6, drop the lowest). I ...
31
votes
8answers
6k 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 ...
30
votes
2answers
74k 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 ...
30
votes
1answer
111k views

What reason has been given for the “standard array” being lower than the expected average from the rolled method? [closed]

When one levels up and gets an increase in maximum hit points, one can either roll or take the average roll rounded up. Statistically, you're better off with the non-random method. For ability scores,...
29
votes
5answers
7k views

How can I play a serial killer in a party of good PCs?

A character of mine has died in a game - the "do no harm, break no law" type of paladin - and I wanted to switch it up. I want to play a serial killer type, who believes what he's doing is not wrong, ...
29
votes
8answers
6k views

How do I avoid micromanaging character creation?

What aspects of character generation should the DM limit? I'm a new DM starting a new campaign with 6 players that have no previous Dungeons and Dragons experience. I've played before; they haven't. ...
29
votes
3answers
7k views

Would it hurt racial balance if every PC gets a bonus feat at level 1?

I am thinking of giving the PCs of my new campaign a bonus feat at level 1, to allow some more customization and to reflect the fact that they are graduating from a very stellar college of... ...
28
votes
9answers
15k views

What are the mechanical and role-playing advantages of playing a human?

I'm a DM for a bunch of new players who are going through the Lost Mines of Phandelver starter set with the pre-generated characters. This campaign will be over fairly soon and I need to get the group ...
28
votes
9answers
18k 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?
27
votes
9answers
6k views

How to justify my thematic spell selections to other players saying they're underpowered?

I'm fairly new to D&D and tabletop RPGs in general, but recently I started an extremely charismatic and hardy (high constitution) Tiefling Sorcerer. I took primarily fighting cantrips, but all my ...
27
votes
4answers
5k views

Does this low-Str/low-Dex idea for a Fighter work out?

I've been playing around with the idea for a new character, but I'm curious whether I'm going to run into unforeseen problems at later levels. The idea is to take a Variant Human Fighter and pick up ...
27
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
27
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
26
votes
11answers
29k views

A player rolled very bad stats, how to make sure they still enjoy the game?

Question How to make sure that a player that rolled awful stats will still have an awesome time at the table? What possibilities are available for the DM? Would it feel cheap to find stat-boosting ...
26
votes
6answers
5k views

How can I limit my players' options in character creation when the reason why is a spoiler?

I am currently preparing for a game of Vampire: The Masquerade. I've got a plot in the works that involves a Malkavian villain. Given the nature of the Malkavian Madness Network I want to exclude the ...
26
votes
5answers
8k views

Should I let one of my Players control his character's kids?

I have a Player whose character has kids. That's fine with me, the kids that this character has are 23, 24, and 25. The player wants to control the kids of this character whenever they show up. I'm ...
26
votes
3answers
4k views

Does a druid starting with a bow start with no arrows?

A druid's starting equipment consists of: (a) a wooden shield or (b) any simple weapon (a) a scimitar or (b) any simple melee weapon Leather armor, an explorer’s pack, and a druidic focus ...
26
votes
2answers
53k views

What are the biggest changes between UA Ranger and PHB Ranger?

As a new player to D&D, I don't really know what significant changes have been made to the Ranger through Unearthed Arcana. What makes the class different from the PHB version and how does this ...
25
votes
8answers
14k views

Is it possible to get Extra Attack or equivalent without taking at least 5 levels in a class?

I am planning a Forge Domain Cleric character and think Extra Attack would suit them, but it seems as though multiclassing is the only way that would be possible, given that Forge Domain Clerics don't ...
25
votes
1answer
3k views

Eldritch Knight's restriction of schools at 3rd level

My GM and I have a minor argument about the wording of the paragraph regarding the Spells Known for Eldritch Knights: Spells Known of 1st-Level and Higher. You know three 1st-level wizard spells ...
25
votes
7answers
41k views

What is the best race for a barbarian?

In Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition, what is the best race for a character that is a barbarian? "Best" would be defined as the following: bonuses to a barbarian's primary/secondary stats race ...
25
votes
3answers
10k views

Do you get to choose your skill proficiencies or are they decided based on your race/class?

A friend of mine had told us that you don't really get to choose your skills when you see "choose from" x number of skills (e.g. Stealth, Acrobatics, Intimidation), she said that "each class and race ...
25
votes
5answers
3k views

How can I improve suggesting classes to new players?

I end up DMing for a lot of people who have never seen an icosahedron prior to meeting me. I often run short games just to introduce them to the hobby and in these games, it is likely that I am the ...
25
votes
2answers
88k views

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 ...