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.