The last part of playing your D&D Character, there is no 401 for this course. To me there are three main parts that I wanted to talk about. The first was figuring out how to be in character and staying in character as much as […]
Tag: Character Creation
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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I’ve done a lot of in depth posts on the different backgrounds and classes from the core book, and I’ve done some posts on building out characters before, but I wanted to come up with the simplest way of how to create a character. By this, what is that smallest area that you need to align your character with to have a good character for a game?
One thing you’ll see that I’m not going to be talking about is backstory. I think that a good backstory can make it easier to role play, give the DM a bunch of story hooks, and give you a more rich character, but that isn’t needed for building a character for a game.
What I’m going to recommend is that you start by understanding the campaign and make a character that fits the game you’re playing. If it’s a heist game, making a paladin with AC 22 and stealth of -2 is going to cause issues. Same with a more social based game, just because you have this great half-orc barbarian idea doesn’t mean that it’s going to fit into a game with a ton of social situations when the half-orcs favorite word is supposed to be smash. This should all really be hashed out in a session zero where you come with your ideas for characters and the DM comes with their idea for games and then you figure out what game you want to play and with that, what character idea you can use.
Next, you’re playing in a game with one or five or more players, so build your character to not be Batman. I know what playing the character that can do everything, but the more people you have, the less you need the rogue who dipped into bard to get all the expertise. Make a character that is good at what they are meant to be good at. If you want to make the rogue character, focus on stealth and deception and slight of hand. You don’t need to be better at Arcana than the wizard is just because you can be.
Now, that does sound like you could end up creating a character that isn’t fun for you to play. Maybe you want to be to tools monkey who knows a bit of everything all the time. That’s fine, but then leave of combat. Which is what Batman forgot to do. But for the final piece of advice, play a character that is fun for you, but is also fun for everyone else to play with. Let’s go with the Rogue example again, just because you can steal from the paladin doesn’t mean that you should steal from the paladin. And maybe your paladin is all about being that thief, but at least make it then that he respects at least some of the members of the party enough to not steal from the party. You can certainly try and steal from shops still, but the party is off limits, because when you steal the trinket that the paladin has written a massive backstory for, they are going to be pissed.
And that’s it, it’s a bit of a shorter article. Sorry for missing yesterday, I was out sick. But those are the three things, really two, just with one split out between mechanics and role playing. But this is the simplest level of creating a character that you’re going to have fun playing, and that is going to fit into the campaign and be fun to play with in a game.
Now, this is a bit simplistic, hence the 101 added to the end. I am going to continue until we get up to a graduate level course, just remember that all the information for building a good character is going to build off of one another, so starting at the graduate level course isn’t going to do you that much good.
Have I missed anything important for the extremely basic how to create a good D&D player character?
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Here is an example of what I’ve been doing on youtube. I’m going to be wrapping up Gimli soon (tomorrow the 21st of February) and we are going to be looking at adding in more streaming. Checkout these videos and if you enjoy them, consider going to youtube and leaving a comment.