Our Guest Geek post today takes me back to when I was little, learning to play Dungeons and Dragons for the first time. I remember being SO excited when I got my own copy of the Dungeon Master’s Guide! If you are interested in getting started in DnD, this post is full of tips on creating your very first character.
Creating Your First Dungeons and Dragons Character
As a role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons is inherently different from video games in that it requires collaborative storytelling. One person takes on the role of Dungeon Master (DM), who acts as a storyteller and referee. In contrast, all other players take turns controlling their characters, which they create using character generation rules.
With so many possibilities, creating your first DnD character can be very difficult, especially if you don’t know where to begin. This guide will help you through various aspects of character creation and give some suggestions for making your first character fun and easy to play. If you want to check out some cool items and DnD merch, find out more here.
1.) Character Race
The race of your character determines its characteristics such as size, speed, appearance, etc. There are also class restrictions that grant certain bonuses based on race. After creating your race, you need to decide which subrace is most appropriate. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but in general, all subraces are roughly equal when compared with other races within the same group, so picking one shouldn’t have too big of an impact on your character’s Strength.
The next step is to choose the class of your character. Your class determines what your character can do, and each class has certain abilities which are exclusive to it. When choosing a class, you should consider whether you would prefer a character who deals high amounts of damage or one who can take lots of punishment instead. Once you’ve chosen your race and class, you need to decide on a few extra abilities, such as armor proficiencies and saving throws. These are largely down to personal preference, but if this is your first time playing, choose one or two of each category instead of being good at everything since it will make the game easier for new players and DMs alike.
3.) Ability Scores
Ability scores provide a bonus to actions related to their attributes, such as strength-giving a bonus when attacking with melee weapons. In contrast, wisdom might give a bonus on perception checks (perceiving hidden creatures). Whenever you attempt an action related to that ability score, the DM might ask your character to do better than normal. Ability scores are decided using dice instead of fixed numbers since they change over time. Whenever you gain 4 or more points in an attribute, ability checks against it will grant an advantage if they are above this new value.
4.) Attack and Defense
The most important thing to decide after choosing your ability scores is which weapons you plan to use. These will allow you to deal damage, increase the likelihood of hitting and grant extra effects such as poisons or magical abilities. Generally speaking, most classes like wizards and rogues don’t need to worry about attack bonuses since their abilities tend to be more powerful than attaining higher hit rates with mundane weapons. Classes such as fighters and barbarians tend to have fewer tricks up their sleeve, so they should focus on getting high accuracy ratings instead.
5.) Armor Class
Your armor class (AC) represents how likely you are to be hit by an attack. When a player is making an attack roll, they have to consider the target’s ability scores and whether or not they have any items which can help them avoid being injured. Higher AC means that it is easier for your character to evade attacks, whereas lower values mean you are more likely to hit with melee weapons.
The simplest way DM can decrease your character’s AC is by having enemies gain combat advantage against you. Whenever you are engaged in melee with multiple opponents or particularly powerful foes, their abilities might cause problems when trying to make ranged attacks or cast spells at range.
6.) Saving Throws and Skills
Whenever your character attempts to perform a task that either has no associated stats or is very unlikely to succeed, you must make a saving throw against the task’s difficulty class (DC). Saving throws are calculated by taking your relevant modifiers and adding 10 with any extra points being added depending on what you’re wearing or have in your possession
7.) Other Statistics
There are several other statistics that all characters have access to, which determine how strong they are or how charismatic they appear to NPCs. For example, Strength determines how well your character can use melee weapons or their own body to perform tasks such as grappling.
8.) Experience & Advancement
After every game, your characters will gain “experience points” (XP) based on how well they performed during that session. You’ll receive 1 XP whenever you complete a task at hand, offer up good RP, or contribute in some other way that’s beneficial to the game. Once your characters have gained enough XP, they might level up, which allows them to access new spells or better equipment depending on what class they are playing. This is where it all begins. You can go anywhere you like and be anyone you wish to be in this game of fantasy.