The first things you’ll need are a character sheet, a pencil, and at least one six-sided die. (preferably 4)
(Hyperlink not provided for pencil)
Stats, Race & Class
Next, you’ll need to get your stat values. There are six stats in D&D
Strength: How hard you hit things
Dexterity: How deft you are with things (or avoiding them)
Constitution: How tough you are when things hit you
Intelligence: How smart you are (books)
Wisdom: How insightful you are (common sense)
Charisma: How well you get away with things when roleplaying (and some classes cast spells based on this)
For each stat, roll 4 values on a six-sided die, ignore the lowest, and add up the remainder.
(Ex. 4,4,4,4 gives you a 12. 5,5,5,1 gives you a 15.)
Once you have six numbers, they will be assigned to the stats as you choose. How do you choose? It depends on your class & species.
When picking class & race/species, it’s always good to think about who your character will be. Are you “Bice SMASH puny 1Ls” or a tortured, two-hundred year old virginal Victorian vampire who sparkles in the sunlight? (DO NOT PICK EITHER OF THESE)
The Peoples – these are the backstories for our setting, which differ from the regular D&D stories. The Half-Orcs and Orcs are also slightly changed. [EDIT: So I fucked with the H-Orcs/Orcs and that was probably stupid. Whoops. Talk to me if you want one.]
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/races.htm – these have the stat bonuses & special abilities for each race.
[EDIT: Elves can take the Painted Elf variant from the Sand book – trade -2 Con for -2 Int. Better for everyone who isn’t a wizard.]
There are many, many classes to choose from, so these links are listed least to most information overload. There is also the option of just asking me, other people, or Google. (For extra points, walk up to a random person at law school and do it! )
- Barbarian: RAGE
- Bard: He sings! He dances! He casts spells! He fancy!
- Cleric: Divine Caster.
- Druid: Nature Caster
- Fighter: Shitty. Seriously.
- Monk: Karate Man.
- Paladin: My sword has holy on it!
- Ranger: Bowdude
- Rogue: Sneaky.
- Sorcerer: Arcane caster
- Wizard: Other arcane caster, with a book.
Most of these are stupid. Some aren’t. Pick them based on theme. You should be able to tell from the name if you care or not.
Other Base Classes: If you want one – tell me and I can send you the relevant book and shit.
A lot are really fucking dumb, but thematic. If you have a character theme you can also talk to me, and I’ll see what I can work out/dig up.
- Archivist: Library man with spell scrolls. Complicated
- Binder: Talks to spirits. Requires build planning from the beginning.
- Mystic/Favored Soul: Divine Sorcerer
- Spirit Shaman: Divine Sorcerer, with spirits!
- Crusader: Wuxia Paladin
- Beguiler: Rogue with illusiosn
- Dread Necromancer: DUH
- Duskblade: Casts with his hitstick
- Factotum: She can kill you with her brain.
- Swordsage: Wuxia rogue/monk
- Warblade: Wuxia barbarian
- Hexblade: Shitty Duskblade
- Marshal: Henry V + Bill Pullman from Independence Day.
- Scout: Wilderness rogue
- Spellthief: Like he sounds, but complicated
- Warlock: Kind of annoying.
- Warmage: Blasting. Only Blasting.
- Bladedancer: Monk, with swords.
- Healer: Um, yeah.
- Knight: Also, um, yeah.
- Swashbuckler: Inigo Montoya.
Oh, and there’s psionics, incarnum, etc. but I don’t like them because I am stupid and don’t understand them.
Once you’ve picked your class & race, you can assign your stats. Some notes:
The class descriptions basically tell you what your class considers important.
CON should NOT be your dump stat. Everyone can get squished.
Charisma is traditionally the dump stat if you’re worried. Of course, the people that made this a tradition are more concerned with die rolling than role play.
Once you’ve assigned your abilities, and modified them according to your species, calculate your ability modifiers and write them in the little box.
Your class page will tell you how many skill points you get and what your “class skills” are. It will also hint at what you should pick. However, who your character is may affect this – maybe you have an affinity for climbing trees or juggling goslings.
More or less, the same as above, but feats are far more about raining death on things, so don’t worry as much about the roleplay.
Your class has suggested gear. You can also buy things piecemeal once you roll gold (on your character page).
Determine these statistics and record them on your character sheet.
Hit Points: Your hit points (hp) determine how hard your character is to kill. At 1st level, wizards and sorcerers get 4 hp; rogues and bards get 6 hp; clerics, druids, monks, and rangers get 8 hp; fighters and paladins get 10 hp; and barbarians get 12 hp. To this number, add you character’s Constitution modifier.
If you picked a class that’s not one of those, your number is determined by the full value of the hit die. Ex. Your hit die is a d10 – you start with 10 hp.
Armor Class: Your Armor Class (AC) determines how hard your character is to hit. Add the following numbers together to get your AC: 10 + your armor bonus + your shield bonus + your size modifier + your Dexterity modifier.
Initiative: Your character’s initiative modifier equals your Dexterity modifier. The Improved Initiative feat provides an additional modifier if you select it.
Attack Bonuses: Your class determines your base attack bonus.
To determine your melee attack bonus for when you get into close-combat fights, add your Strength modifier to your base attack bonus. To determine your ranged attack bonus for when you attack from a distance, add your Dexterity modifier to your base attack bonus.
Saving Throws: Your class determines your base saving throw bonuses. To these numbers, add your Constitution modifier to get your Fortitude save, your Dexterity modifier to get your Reflex save, and your Wisdom modifier to get your Will save.
Here’s where you fill in all the other boxes on your sheet – gender, height, weight, distinguishing features. It’s also traditional to draw a bad picture of yourself on the sheet. (Or a good one, if you’re capable)
The only thing that needs explaining is alignment. There are 2 axes – Law/Chaos and Good/Evil, creating 9 possible alignments. Here are examples, based on how I see it.
Lawful Good: Runs a no-kill shelter. Fictional example: Mr. Spock
Neutral Good: Adopts a shelter puppy. Fictional example: Kaylee
Chaotic Good: Saves an abused puppy from his owner. Fictional example: Robin Hood
Lawful Neutral: Dogcatcher, catches stray puppies and takes them to a shelter. Fictional example: James Bond
Neutral: Wants a puppy. Fictional examples: Destiny of the Endless, The Man with No Name,
Chaotic Neutral: Gets a puppy on a whim, doesn’t register because he doesn’t want to. Fictional example: Jack Sparrow
Lawful Evil: That neighbor that calls animal control on your puppy because he’s a hate monster. Fictional example: Dolores Umbridge
Neutral Evil: Steals your puppy. Fictional example: Sauron
Chaotic Evil: Kicks the puppy. Fictional example: The Joker