Imagination is key
There are many steps to making a character, and honestly they can be done in any order. This list is just the way I go through the creation process. The only rule that I ask everyone to follow is: USE YOUR IMAGINATION! The fist thing you will need is a character sheet. Make sure to print one off for every player and major NPC (Non Player Character) such as the main bad guys.
1. The first step to making a character (for me) is to think of what I would like to play. The first question is “Magic or no?” if you want magic then you need to figure out if you want arcane (wizards and sorcers) or divine (clerics, paladins, druids). The next question is “Who do I want to be?” It is very important to get a personality down before anything else. A person who hates animals will not make a good Ranger, but could be an excelent Druid. Someone who does not like being in the center of attention does not want to be a Bard or Paladin, but would do well as a Rogue. Of course these are just suggestions since making unconventional characters can be a blast as well. A good rule of thumb is to make a short list of ten things your character would always do and never do in certain situations (just so you can make sure to stay in character while playing). There are things called “alignments” which can help you govern your characters personality and reactions to certian situations.
2. Now you will need your stats. The stats of a character are the numerical value of how strong, quick, healthy, well liked, and quick thinking your character is. Rules for rolling stats can be found below.
3. After this it’s important to choose your Race. Your Race will detirmine many things about your character like; looks, languages known, education, history, religious views, personality quirks (like the Lumpy Space People being like teenagers), and many other things. Races can also give bonuses to certain skills or stats on your character sheet, so make sure to check the Racial requirments and discriptions.
4. Now that you have a personality, a general idea of spell caster or not, and a race the next step is to choose your class. The class is your character’s job. A class is chosen by answer questions such as; “What does your character like to do all day?”, “How do they earn money/food/lodging?”, “What is their ultimate goal in life?”. Choosing a class can take a long time, but really it’s quite simple. Does your character like to steal? Then perhaps try rogue. Are they a gladiator? Then try fighter or barbarian. Do they work in a temple or church? Then maybe cleric or paladin is best for them. Keep in mind that your skill points and starting wealth are also governed by your class choice.
5. The next step is to figure out what kind of weapon and armor would you like. It will be harder for those who want to do many things to have a truely powerful character, remember “A jack of all trades is a master of none.” If you have decided on a short tempered Oni Barbarian, a good weapon would be the spiked club and (going with the traditional Oni) leather armor.
6. Now you need to think of your character’s skills. What is your character best at, do they make anything in their spare time, or perhaps tell stories or play an instrument? Skills are very usefull for many non-combat situations such as haggling prices, convincing someone to believe a lie, scaring a group of bandits off instead of fighting, finding a hidden object, or perhaps telling if someone is lieing to you. The rules for skills will be detailed in the skill list page.
7. Now what you need are items. Things like a backpack, bedroll, pots and pans for cooking, or maybe a fur coat. Each character will start off with a simple pack that has a bedroll, personal tent, simple grooming supplies such as soap and a brush, trail rations (dried meats and fruit), a waterskin, and two outfits (not including armor). Each additional item can be found on the item list along with it’s price.
8. Lastly is the fluff. What little extras make your character who they are. Names, age, height, weight, favourite colour, titles, favourite food, family, friends, and so much more can now be added to make a fully rounded character. To help make this usually lengthy process I have made a simple questionnaire that could be of great use to first timers.
Now you should have your entire character from head to toe, race to weapon, and their life goals and past history. Next will be a brief distription of combat and role playing.