Page 1 of 1

Character Creation: Your Gateway to Face-Stabbing

PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:59 pm
by Jiriki
All characters on this site must be submitted to and approved in our Character Registry prior to being played. This registry is called SCORES, and is available via a link at the top of this and every page on the site.

Step 0: Brainstorming

Before you get to SCORES and actually submit your character, of course, you'll want to have something in mind. SCORES is good about presenting you the options you are actually allowed at 1st level in terms of classes, races, and the like.

In terms of the books you can use and any special rules we apply to them, you'll want to check out the Resource Errata forum. Feel free to chat with some of our players in the Out-of-Character room to get ideas on what concepts tend to work here and what might be in greater demand (if we're short on low-level clerics, for example, making one might be an easier hook into some adventures).

Once you have an idea and are ready to proceed, proceed to SCORES (linked above).

Page 1: Character Basics

Having begun the character submission process, the very first thing you are presented with is a screen asking for your character's name. You must be very sure you know what that is and spell it correctly before you continue, as you cannot change it later (due to how the character database uses it).

From there, you come to the character sheet proper. You will notice as you proceed that the program is laid out in a manner very similar to a pen-and-paper character sheet, and is filled out in roughly the same order. (This is intentional.) On this page, pick your race, region, birthdate, age, and alignment. Put your starting money in here as well, but be prepared to come back later, once you've made your purchases from that starting tally. Also note at this point that you can skip ahead and come back however you please. Changes made to a given page are saved immediately upon switching pages.

Age/Birthdate: Once chosen and saved, your age cannot be changed (again because of how the database uses it). Make sure you use an age appropriate to your race (at a bare minimum, the age of majority for your race as listed in the PHB + the age modifier based on your class). No matter what birthdate you list, the database will use the date of character creation for determining future age advancement, so most people usually use the date of creation here. (The year at the time of this being written is DR 1283 - check with someone for clarity..)

Alignment: Because this site focuses not on a singular group of 'heroes' but a wide array of characters that fill many different niches (including many that would traditionally be filled by NPCs), and because we encourage the development of roleplay and personality, we allow players to choose their characters' alignments from the entire alignment spectrum. Players should still be aware of the possibility for IC conflict, however, and the most successful characters from non-traditional alignments do so while making their characters able to co-exist with characters and a society that do not necessarily share their views.

Race: All of your options are on this list. Races with a Level Adjustment (as well as several others that don't) are only allowed to certain characters who win the right to do so via this process, and we don't do drow or more powerful races like ogres or giants. If you have a question about a certain race, ask, but prepare to be disappointed if you had your heart set on something not in the given list.

Character Regions: This game takes place in Waterdeep, and characters should originate as much as possible from within the local area. The SCORES Character Registry gives new characters a list of available regions; unless your background relies on it and you can convince a DM of such in your character history, all of your choices are on that list. Waterdeep, The North, The Sword Coast, and the Western Heartlands are the ideal regions, as characters with local roots and history are far easier to involve with the setting, given that Waterdeep is the main center of role-play. See Picking a Region, below, for more details on the benefits of picking a region.

Deity: Pick a deity to worship appropriate for your race and background. Atheists should go with the 'None' option, but expect to get shuffled into the Wall of the Faithless upon death, prohibiting revival except by more potent magic.

Starting Gold: All characters start with average starting gold for their class (see PHB p.111). All purchases at creation are made from this initial amount of gold. Characters in non-core classes receive starting gold as follows: Adept 50 gp; Aristocrat 300 gp; Commoner 15 gp; Expert 75 gp; Favored Soul 125 gp; Hexblade 100 gp; Scout 125 gp; Spellthief 100 gp; Spirit Shaman 50 gp; Swashbuckler 150 gp; Warlock 75 gp; Warmage 75 gp; Warrior 75 gp.

Page 2: Ability Scores

Like starting gold, we do not roll character abilities. Instead, we use the Point Buy system (see DMG p.169), allotting each PC 32 points to spend via said system. This way, every character starts the same, and the DMs' workload is vastly reduced (since we don't have to supervise rolls pre-submission). Put your purchased points in the first column, and your racial modifiers (if any) in the second column.

If you are starting at an Age Category higher than Adult, consult a DM before submission. Ensure that your listed age is appropriate (see above), and include Age modifiers with racial modifiers in the second column.

Page 3: Character Class

All brand-new characters will begin play at level 1. Submitted characters of a level higher than 1 will be rejected outright and summarily deleted. (There is a system by which players may win the opportunity to make a character with a Level Adjustment, but these slots are highly limited; see here for details.) Pick your class, check the ticky-box to its left if it's your race's favored class, put a 1 in the Level field, and move on.

Page 4: Statistics

Mostly self-explanatory. Insert your hit points, BAB, and base saves from class. If you have a non-standard AC, Initiative, or saving throw (such as from feats, racial abilities, or class levels), drop them into the appropriate boxes. If you're Small, enter 1 as your Size modifier (which gets figured into your attack bonuses and AC). SCORES will automatically figure things like your armor and shield bonuses to AC, your ability-based adjustments to saving throws, etc. Most of this page writes itself once you finish the sheet, minimizing your work. Neat, huh?

If you're a caster, stop and take a look at the "Spell Save DC" boxes. Insert your spellcasting ability (Int, Wis, or Cha), and your base save DCs (usually 10 + the ability mod, unless you have certain feats). Now you can move on.

Page 5: Skills and Languages

This page looks long, but it's not a big deal. Just use the drop-down to enter any skills you're either taking ranks in or in which you have a modifier other than the linked ability score (from equipment, feats, etc). Enter your ranks taken in the next column, and all non-standard mods in the column after that. If you do have non-standard mods, note briefly where they're from in the last column (for an elf, for example, you'd put 2 in the Misc column under Listen/Search/Spot, and put "Race" in the last column).

Perform, Knowledge, and Craft skills are listed to the specialties listed. (See here for an explanation of our streamlining of the Craft skill.) Profession is totally open, since the rules interact with only a very few specialties of it; just list in the last column what your Profession is if you take ranks in that skill.

If you're taking a skill cross-class, hit the check box next to it on the far left, and remember to charge yourself double points for it. The sheet doesn't verify your math here, but DMs will.

Do not forget to add Armor Check Penalties as well if your character is wearing armor (-1 or worse). Include those skills in which you do not have ranks (Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, and Move Silently). You only need to include Sleight of Hand and Tumble if you are trained in those skills. Also remember that the ACP for Swim is always doubled. Note which of these skills are cross-class and put "ACP" in the description.

At the very bottom, pick your languages. Everyone starts with Common, 1-2 other languages based on your race or region (if you're from Waterdeep you get Chondathan, if you're an elf you get Elven, etc.), and a number of extras based on your Int modifier. Toss them in and move on. If you're a barbarian spending 2 skill points to get Literacy, select that as one of your languages as well. NOTE: Each "Speak Language" beyond the free race and Int bonus languages require 2 skill points to take unless you are a Bard or Factotum.

Page 6: Feats and Special Qualities

No validation here; put special qualities in the top set of boxes, feats in the bottom set. Mark bonus feats (such as from race or class) with a (B) if you like, which makes them easier to keep track of for various things. Special qualities include things like racial and class abilities (things like low-light/darkvision, save bonuses, etc.). Redundant items, like racial skill boosts, can be left off if they're indicated elsewhere on the sheet.

Page 7: Weapons and Armor

Not much to say here. You get three weapon slots, which usually allow you to include one ranged weapon, one primary melee weapon, and either a backup or off-hand weapon. You can have more, but since these are the ones you'll use most often, they get special treatment. Bonus means your total modifier to hit with the weapon (includes BAB, Ability Mod, and MW or feats), damage should include your Strength mod as appropriate, and type is usually Piercing, Slashing or Bludgeoning. The rest is self-explanatory.

Armor is similar. Enter your armor and shield, its various properties, and be sure to tell SCORES whether it's an armor or shield (so it can add it to your AC appropriately).

Page 8: Inventory

You get two columns--Item and Description--to list everything that's not a weapon or armor. Put the item name on the left and the description (usually mechanics, things like "Start a fire as a standard action" for a tindertwig) on the right. (You'd be surprised how many people mess this up by thinking both columns are for item names.) Sections are separated for Potions (can also include alchemicals), Scrolls (can also include charged items like wands and staves), Magic Items (you won't start with any of these), and Other Stuff (adventuring gear, ammo, etc). Simple.

Page 9: Flavor Stuffs - Character Description, History/Background, and Other Info

It's only one page of nine, but this is probably the most important page on the sheet, and the one that causes the most problems and approval delays. DMs can fix numbers in a couple of minutes, usually without too much player input, so math skill is pretty low on the list of requirements for play here, but an incomplete or totally spastic background is something we can't touch (alas, our helms of telepathy are still on layaway).

Character Description: Characters should have descriptions that fit with the setting. This includes such things as hair colors that are appropriate for their race, and clothing that is appropriate for their jobs. Beyond that, so long as you keep it within the realm of the real, go nuts. (Ideally, you'll try to incorporate character traits, such as low Strength or Charisma, into your description. We like that.) Feel free to differentiate between how your character looks everyday and how s/he looks when traveling or adventuring; most people don't bristle with pointy metal bits and wear full plate to go to the bar.

Extra Note: Characters with descriptions containing things such as "tight leather catsuit with a tail, along with ears mounted on a headband" will be rejected outright and summarily deleted. If you wish to play an Anthromorph character, please find another chat to do so. There are many games online that cater to this specific type of character, but this is not one, and there are no such races approved for play here.

Character Backgrounds/Histories: All characters submitted for play should include at least a brief background describing where the character is from, what kind of family he was brought up in, and other details. We don't need a book, but a couple of paragraphs would be nice; if you include some City of Splendors specific information, you may find it used in adventures involving your character at a later date. However, we prefer more believable backgrounds over outlandish works of fiction--a 1st-level character can only have accomplished so much to this point, after all--and overused cliches such as amnesia, orphanage, star-crossed loves, divine destiny, burned/slaughtered villages, melodrama, etc. should be avoided. Also, please try to proofread your histories, or at least run it through a spellcheck, as this will aid greatly in approval.

Other Info: Includes anything that doesn't go in either of the two boxes above--animal companion or (if you somehow afford it) familiar stats, commonly prepared spells, where you live in the city, etc. Whatever you think we need to know, put it in; this question is your sandbox.

Spellcasting: Pretty self-explanatory. Put the spells or invocations you know (or that are in your spellbook) in the appropriate boxes. If you're a cleric, "All 1st-level cleric spells" is sufficient, so long as you also call out your specific Domain spells. If you're not a Spellcaster, just make a note like "N/A" or the like.

Page 10: Complete!

You're almost done! If you're not a spellcaster (or even if you are), SCORES may bug you here about unanswered questions. These don't actually prevent you from marking the character "Ready to Submit"--so if you've filled everything out that you need to, ignore the warnings and send that puppy.

You must, however, mark "Submit Character" before it can be approved--if you don't, it'll sit in our "Incomplete Characters" queue, and we never even touch that one, and you'll be waiting for approval forever. So hit that button, and welcome to the site!

As quickly as possible, usually within 48 hours, one or more of the DMs will review your submitted character. If it is complete and no errors are found, it will be approved. Otherwise, the character will be "rejected" and placed back into the "Incomplete Characters" section. The DM will send a note to your forum Inbox and/or place a note within your character's sheet regarding a requested change or correction.