D&D Encounters Character Creation Guidelines

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From community.wizards.com/dungeonsanddragons...

Q. I understand that for this season of D&D Encounters, I can create my own 1st-level character or use a pre-generated one included. What are the rules for creating my own character?


 


A. The rules are pretty simple. To create your own 1st-level character, follow all the instructions listed in the Player’s Handbook. You can select rules options from any player resource for your character, including the Player’s Handbook series, the Power series, the Player’s Guides, the Adventurer’s Vault series, and Dragon Magazine content. You can choose any race that’s received a full “PC race” write-up in any player book or source. So, for example, shadar-kai is OK, since it received a full write-up in Dragon, but kobold isn’t, since it hasn’t received that treatment. You start play with 100 gold (as normal). You might want to consider making your character fit in with the world of the Forgotten Realms, but that’s not a requirement.

Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere

Are background benefits legal? There are Forgotten Realms specific backgrouns in the Character Builder, I would assume they are, but just wanted to check.

From my understanding yes.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
Forgotten Realms characters can optionally start with a spellscar. I've never played Forgotten Realms before, what's a Spellscar? And is it legal for the RPGA?

Thanks for answering my questions.
Forgotten Realms characters can optionally start with a spellscar. I've never played Forgotten Realms before, what's a Spellscar? And is it legal for the RPGA?

Thanks for answering my questions.


Spellscars are detailed in the FRPG (FR Player's Guide). It requires a feat, which is a multiclass feat and provides one minor ability due to the spellscar. You can then take multiclass power swap feats to choose one or more powers from the FRPG, using the normal multiclass rules.

Spellscars are very cool flavor and perfect for something like this. On the other hand, the powers are not usually as strong as comparable class powers.

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Dark Sun's Ashes of Athas Campaign is now available for home play (PM me with your e-mail to order the campaign adventures).

Thanks for the info.
Can my character be Chaotic Evil?  At least until he starts LFR adventures.
Can my character be Chaotic Evil?  At least until he starts LFR adventures.



While there's no official rule against it that I can find for D&D Encounters, I would strongly advise against it. 

Remember, this is a game of heroic fantasy and teamwork.  Chaotic Evil doesn't lend itself to either of these themes.

Further, if I player showed up at my table with a CE character, I'd need a lot of convincing to let them actually play as CE - and at the first disruption I would call it to a stop.
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Chaotic Evil PC wouldn't even get its foot in the door at my tables. I don't need the headache. Chaotic Evil and Evil during organized play usually results in folks being completely disruptive.

I might allow it in a home game if there were trust between the judge and the player.

Put this on the list of things to clean up for the next DDE season, have clear character creation guidelines that can be downloaded and printed out for players.

My two coppers,

Bryan Blumklotz
Guardians of the Gameday Organizer
www.warhorn.org/guardiansofthegameday
I'm mostly joking.  But honestly, I don't see alignment having much of an impact on the campaign so far.  Someone offers you money to go into Undermountain and do some stuff.  If you want the money, you do it.  If not, you don't.  That's about it.  I don't see good or evil changing that.

Also, you can play an evil character without killing party members or sabotaging the campaign.  This comes down to whether the player is a jerk or not.  If the player is a jerk, then an evil alignment gives him an excuse, but if he's unaligned or even lawful good, he'll still be a jerk. 
I'm mostly joking.  But honestly, I don't see alignment having much of an impact on the campaign so far.  Someone offers you money to go into Undermountain and do some stuff.  If you want the money, you do it.  If not, you don't.  That's about it.  I don't see good or evil changing that.

Also, you can play an evil character without killing party members or sabotaging the campaign.  This comes down to whether the player is a jerk or not.  If the player is a jerk, then an evil alignment gives him an excuse, but if he's unaligned or even lawful good, he'll still be a jerk. 



While playing CE doesn't have to mean one is a homicidal maniac - it still doesn't imply that the character is going to be a good team player, nor much of a Hero.

As these are two important base assumptions about player characters, going against that grain should only be done under serious consideration.
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

The way I have always viewed CE, is that the combination of the 2 aspects makes them incompatible with society at large.  As an Evil person, the character would have the "screw everyone else" mentality; while still being able to control themselves in general if they were at the very least Neutral on the Lawful/Chaotic axis. Similarly, a person who is Chaotic will have the tendancy to do the "first thing that comes to mind"; while keeping from doing the worste thing possible just as long as they are not of an Evil heart.
However, when you introduce both aspects in the same individual; they are no longer capable of successfully being part of any structured group such as a living community &/or an adventuring party who relies upon each other in everything.

With this understanding of the CE alignment, my players are free to use any other alignment combination they choose. I do however remind them that LG is extremely hard to play consistently and that greater demand may be on them if they make that choice as well.
***For more insight into personality types for the less than moral/ethical character....
I recommend the 3rd edition book: The Complete Scoundrel
Links that I find very useful, will be added here. http://community.wizards.com/vinciente/blog/2010/02/24/useful_damp;d_pageslinks
I think a 1st level character with even the minimum 8 inteligence is going to understand that he is weak- especially in the context of Waterdeep (with it's laws) and Undermountain (with it's deadly traps and monsters).  This means that he needs to work with others to survive, and if he acts overtly evilly he will be killed or imprisoned.  How long is a first level character who goes raping and pillaging his way through Waterdeep going to last?  Not long.  So any 1st level character is going to obey the laws of the land if he ever hopes to get to 2nd. 

Will a 1st level PC survive being attacked by the random critters in Undermountain by himself?  No way.  It's pretty obvious even to the most chaotic character that he needs back-up, healing, defending, etc if he wants to make it out alive and receive his shiny gold coins.  So he'll work with his teammates because he has to.  The necessity of the situation demands it.  I think evil PC's work best at low levels because they are so reliant on others just to get by. 
I think a 1st level character with even the minimum 8 inteligence is going to understand that he is weak- especially in the context of Waterdeep (with it's laws) and Undermountain (with it's deadly traps and monsters).  This means that he needs to work with others to survive, and if he acts overtly evilly he will be killed or imprisoned.  How long is a first level character who goes raping and pillaging his way through Waterdeep going to last?  Not long.  So any 1st level character is going to obey the laws of the land if he ever hopes to get to 2nd. 

Will a 1st level PC survive being attacked by the random critters in Undermountain by himself?  No way.  It's pretty obvious even to the most chaotic character that he needs back-up, healing, defending, etc if he wants to make it out alive and receive his shiny gold coins.  So he'll work with his teammates because he has to.  The necessity of the situation demands it.  I think evil PC's work best at low levels because they are so reliant on others just to get by. 



As we've greatly derailed the thread, this will be my last comment on the topic.  I'm being a bad community leader as-is at this point.  

We have different views of CE.  In fact, from what I can tell there are three (slightly) different views here.

While I don't disagree that even a fairly unintelligent CE would still recognize the need for teamwork - I feel he'd do so from a standpoint of "using"  the rest of the party.

Oh, he'd use his powers to defend himself, but likely at the minimum, always keeping the lion's share of his powers in reserve - just in case something worse comes, but also in case his party should turn against him (as they well might).

Being CE would not lend itself to trusting others (while such a character doesn't have to be a paranoiac, we all tend to assume those near us think in ways very similar to how we, ourselves think) - so he'd be reluctant to assist others, and would almost always consider  a minor threat to himself to be more important than a significant threat to a party member.

To try and bring this back on-topic. . .

As I said, I wouldn't be dead set against it, but I would have grave misgivings about it.  I would state them clearly and plainly, and would need to feel the player in question was very mature indeed.

Further, I'd also want to know why, if the character is going to be a good/strong team player, and not be the "typical" CE character, they want that alignment in the first place.  If they're just going to play Unalighed, be unaligned.  ~shrug~

Anyhow, I digress and will let this topic run itself out.   
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

What are the retraining rules in D&DE? I built my Fighter with a high Wisdom to add a huge bonus to my Combat Challenge attack but have discovered that that attack is not an AoO. Do the retraining rules match LFG or are there rules specific to D&DE?
What are the retraining rules in D&DE? I built my Fighter with a high Wisdom to add a huge bonus to my Combat Challenge attack but have discovered that that attack is not an AoO. Do the retraining rules match LFG or are there rules specific to D&DE?



There are no official retraining options for DDE - not even the LFR options.

However, I've been allowing players to retrain on their first couple nights of play, and would probably allow the LFR rules to be used upon leveling a character.  

In short - ask your GM what they're comfortable with.   
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

I am curious, considering how deadly these encounters are, as to what the official rules on death are, considering these are 1st level PCs without access to Raise Dead (and are unlikely to be able to afford it, even if they did have the ritual).

Do you gain anything from the session in which you died?

Is it assumed that the PC is just raised off-screen for free between sessions, or are you required to start fresh the next session?
There's a paragraph on death in the adventure, which details what to do with a character that dies. It says that a character can come back from being dead at the beginning of the next session with a -1 to just about everything until they hit a milestone, or the player can come back with a 1st-level character.
I was looking in to joining an encounters game at my FLGS, just dropping in this Wednesday and I have a question, are dragonmarks legal for encounters games? It does say any player source so I am wondering if that includes the Eberron books.
I was looking in to joining an encounters game at my FLGS, just dropping in this Wednesday and I have a question, are dragonmarks legal for encounters games? It does say any player source so I am wondering if that includes the Eberron books.



For this season, yes - though you *are* encouraged to make a character with a Forgotten Realms feel.

Note - if you export your character from "Halasters Lost Apprentice" into Living Forgotten Realms, you will need to conform your character to LFR rules - and that would mean giving up the Dragonmark. 
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

I'm mostly joking.  But honestly, I don't see alignment having much of an impact on the campaign so far.  Someone offers you money to go into Undermountain and do some stuff.  If you want the money, you do it.  If not, you don't.  That's about it.  I don't see good or evil changing that.

Also, you can play an evil character without killing party members or sabotaging the campaign.  This comes down to whether the player is a jerk or not.  If the player is a jerk, then an evil alignment gives him an excuse, but if he's unaligned or even lawful good, he'll still be a jerk. 



 Some people think the word "unaligned" = "chaotic evil" already
I was looking in to joining an encounters game at my FLGS, just dropping in this Wednesday and I have a question, are dragonmarks legal for encounters games? It does say any player source so I am wondering if that includes the Eberron books.



For this season, yes - though you *are* encouraged to make a character with a Forgotten Realms feel.

Note - if you export your character from "Halasters Lost Apprentice" into Living Forgotten Realms, you will need to conform your character to LFR rules - and that would mean giving up the Dragonmark. 



Where are the rules for exporting a Season 1 character into LFR? I don't see them anywhere in my Encounters Kit or online . . .

Come check out and add to the LFR Wiki, part of the Forgotten Realms Wiki.
There is supposed to be a June update of the LFR campaign rules soon Laughing. It is there you will find the converting DDE Undermountain PCs to LFR PCs.

I hope that they get it done on time but with the adventure schedule so far behind I am kind of doubting it.

Bryan Blumklotz
GotG Organizer
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