The Red Box Blog

Ramblings about D&D.

9 Rules For New Characters

#1 Be Narrow

It can be great fun to sit down and write a few thousand words about all the personality quirks of a new character, but from a playing perspective it is far easier to make a character with a handful of quirks and motives and then add more later when you are ready; if you make your character too broad to begin with much of that breadth will likely be lost during the session anyways. It is far better to make a character you can be true to when you play than one that is a good read.

#2: Be Different

The longer you play, the harder this is, but being different doesn’t necessarily mean completely reinventing the archetype; some times you can make a character who is very different just by putting a focus on an aspect you haven’t tried before. Other times the campaign itself will make the character different, and so much of the onus is removed from you.

#3: Be Flexible

If you have a single minded vision of what character you want to play, you may find yourself in conflict with the other players or the DM. There will always be another time for you to play that one character you are dying to play, today make something that will fit in so you aren’t impeding anyone else’s fun.

#4 Be Picky

Before you make any selection during character creation, think about how this will fit in to the whole. You are far more likely to be happy with the end results if it is a tapestry you weaved instead of collection of threads.

#5 Be Campaign Centric

Without the DM you don’t have a game, so take heed as to the nature of the game before you make any decisions about the character. Moreover, you should look for opportunities to integrate your character with the game before it begins.

#6 Be Self Centered

If you don’t find your game rewarding, then you won’t be having fun. Yes you need to consider everyone else in more ways than one, but that doesn’t mean you need to forget yourself. Don’t make a character you won’t enjoy. If at some point during the character creation process you realize it isn’t working out, go back as many steps as you need to, or even just start over again.

#7 Be Tiny

It’s really easy to go overboard bringing together every resource you could imagine. This isn’t necessarily the best thing. Extra rulebooks are just that – rulebooks. While you might think that you desperately need a certain obscure feat/spell/power to make the character complete, if the book it’s from is unknown to the DM you are better off picking something else. The last think you want is in the middle of an adventure when you try to use said feat/spell/power to have the DM say “Wait a minute, it does that? I can’t allow that!” Whether he suddenly removes it from you or it totally wrecks his adventure are equally bad outcomes.

#8 Be Agile

A campaign is a story that is not yet written, be prepared to change your plans and go off in other directions. Planning for your characters future certainly has merit (especially in 3.x), but don’t write that plan in stone.

#9 Be Wary

Over generalized lists of character creation “rules” are not to be taken too literally; there are exceptions to everything.

Have an opinion about this article? I love comments. Please feel welcome to leave your thoughts.

January 7, 2011 Posted by | Dungeons and Dragons, RPGs | , , | 1 Comment