Building a D&D Character – 401
Alright, we’re onto the last class for D&D character creation.
In the prerequisites, we’ve talked about how to make a character that fits the campaign and is fun for you and the group (101). We then went on and talked about how Dungeons and Dragons gives you tools, such as personality trait, ideals, bonds, and flaws to create some role playing experiences (201). Finally, in our last class we looked at how you can create an open backstory that the Dungeon Master will be able to tie into the game and that can tie into your role playing and character development (301).
This last bit is going to build off of creating that interesting backstory to give more options for the DM and for the player themselves with role playing. It could just be considered a continuation of the previous one, but I think that there are a few more intricacies with building a character with everything in here.
Leave Blanks in Your Backstory
This one is interesting because as a player you often want to know everything about your character. But it’s going to give you more opportunities to develop a character if you haven’t filled everything in. It also allows the DM a chance to create more character hooks for you. If your whole background is known, they only have the hooks that you were instructed to create in 301. However, if the DM has opportunity to work on your backstory and create hooks in those openings.
This is also tricky because it requires trust between players and the DM. There is at times a mindset that it’s DM vs the players. If you think it’s going to be like that, it’s hard to give a DM a chance to twist your characters backstory. But if you do allow for it, you can develop more interesting and deeper stories and stretch yourself with role playing.
Play to Your Weakness
Probably could have been mentioned earlier as I talked about flaws and looked at what D&D has baked into your character creation already. But there’s an idea of a dump stat, and no, this isn’t the stat you dump all your points into, it’s the stat that is lower than every other stat and is below the average, ten, that the commoners have. It’s easy to not want to have one of these or to not let it shine. However, the dump stat is going to provide you a lot of role playing opportunities. So give your character one, and then tie it into the backstory. Pick whatever stat that you want to dump, I wouldn’t recommend CON (constitution) though for any character, but really make it part of your story. There’s a desire to have it be the heroic things that you have done and your great moments to create your backstory, but instead consider your previous failures as to figure out why you are driven to be an adventurer. This also, again, creates more plot hooks for the DM to grab onto.
Don’t Be Afraid to Change
Finally, don’t be afraid to change your backstory. Don’t be afraid to change your character. You might think you have a concept that you love, but it might not end up being what you thought it was going to be. Figure that out early on, and if that is the case and it isn’t a character that you love, talk to your DM and change your character. Now, this can be done a couple of different ways. Maybe you don’t like the backstory that you created, so change that up. Even possibly changing out your background if need be to match your new backstory idea. Or it could be that you thought you’d love playing the Wizard, but you really want to hit things with a big pointy metal stick. Talk to your DM and change the character that you are playing. Depending on what the DM wants to do, your previous character could be magically transformed, or it could be that your previous character leaves the party and a new one comes in. My only caveat to this is that you should try and change early to find out what you want. In Dungeons and Flagons season one, Clint changed characters completely in the middle of the game, and it just happened to work that it made sense in the story, and I actually gave him the option as I knew he wanted to try new things. But that puts pressure on the DM, so if you are going to change, try and change early as the party and story are just starting.
I’m sure that there are many more things that I could talk about with character creation. However, I think for Dungeons and Dragons, that this is a very strong basis for getting character ready for a game and into a game. If you put everything together, you’re going to, most likely, have a fun time. There are certainly other things as well that can impact your game, but if you do this process, you can be fairly confident it won’t be your character.
Are there any tips that you’d like to add for character creation? If so, leave them in the comments below.
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