Character Creation Guidelines?

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Since the Encounters page on the main site is still stuck on Encounter 12 of Dark Sun, I was wondering if the packets included character creation rules more detailed than "Essentials."

Also, are there any ways of gaining Renown beyond the usual?
Character creation is incredibly easy with Essentials. Everything is pretty much done for you. But yes, basically all that people do to create characters is follow the step-by-step stuff in HotFL.

As for renown...

Accomplishment - Frequency - RPs
Complete an Encounter / Session / 3
Hit a milestone / 2 per chapter / 2
Moment of greatness / 1 per chapter / 2
Create a D&D Essentials character / Season / 5
Create a Character Builder character / Season / 5
Revive a dying adventurer ally / Season / 1
Hit for 15+ damage against one enemy / Season / 1
Kill 3 minions in 1 attack / Season / 1
Take 50 enemy damage in 1 session / Season / 1
Survive 12+ sessions without dying / Season / 2
Complete all quests / Season / 5
Just checking that there isn't a requirement to use the stat arrays provided in HotFL even though it points to point buy rules being in the RC.

Does it say if the Red Box just as legal as HotFL for creating a character or is it silent on the issue?
Create a D&D Essentials character / Season / 5

If I only have to create a Essentials character (not specifically a Red Box or Heroes-character), can I use the Essentials assassin build published today?
Judging from a couple of changes from Red Box to HotFL, I'd assume that only HotFL is legal, but I could be wrong.

Just checking that there isn't a requirement to use the stat arrays provided in HotFL even though it points to point buy rules being in the RC.



Yeah, looking at the Rules Compendium, you can use any of the three ways in there to give you ability scores.
Create a D&D Essentials character / Season / 5

If I only have to create a Essentials character (not specifically a Red Box or Heroes-character), can I use the Essentials assassin build published today?



I'd assume so, yes. I'm not sure what assassin build you're talking about, though. But if you bring a character to the table that isn't a pregen, you should get the 5 renown.
Character creation is incredibly easy with Essentials. Everything is pretty much done for you.


I have to quibble with that. The Warpriest is a huge page turner with respect to character creation because of the way its powers are split up. And almost all of the Cleric's powers have an "Effect" which means a lot of writing/typing.
Hm, I do have to agree with you there a little bit, but for the most part it's just marking a couple pages to flip between. Write down all of the ones you need from one section then write down all the ones you need from the other.

As for writing/typing, yes. That's a bit of an inconvenience, but the powers are pretty awesome, so I think it's worth it, to be honest. Effects are pretty much always badass, since they happen no matter what.
Hm, I do have to agree with you there a little bit, but for the most part it's just marking a couple pages to flip between. Write down all of the ones you need from one section then write down all the ones you need from the other.

As for writing/typing, yes. That's a bit of an inconvenience, but the powers are pretty awesome, so I think it's worth it, to be honest. Effects are pretty much always badass, since they happen no matter what.

I didn't say it wasn't awesome. Cool
Judging from a couple of changes from Red Box to HotFL, I'd assume that only HotFL is legal, but I could be wrong.


Well, I'm wondering if a Wizard could choose Slimy Transformation since HotFL doesn't have a power of the same name replacing it.

I'm also wondering if I could play a Human Rogue and take Bump & Run, though I could understand that not panning out since the extra at-will Human isn't actually presented as an option in Essentials.
From the mod, it says that only the red box and heroes of the forgotten lands is legal for creation (fallen kingdom during chapter 3). I think that nixes point buy and the assassin.
A couple of my players are asking if they can use their pregens for now, and wait until October 5th, when the Character Builder is updated with Essentials info, if they can get 10 points for making an Essentials character with the Character Builder Tool.

I love my munchkins.  :D 
I see no reason why they can't build a character by hand now and input it into the character builder later to get all 10 points.
A couple of my players are asking if they can use their pregens for now, and wait until October 5th, when the Character Builder is updated with Essentials info, if they can get 10 points for making an Essentials character with the Character Builder Tool.

I love my munchkins.  :D 



I would allow this.

If I had new players joining my game, I'd hand them a pregen, and then encourage them to buy the book(s), and make their own character for later/future sessions.

I don't see any reason to deny experienced players the same option(s). 
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

Heck I made an essentials character with Character Builder already. It was... somewhat of a trial. The character ended up decked out with "illegal character options" like a Christmas tree with ornaments.
I'm told that approach (use a pregen, swap out for your own character later) may end up losing out on quest reknown, since the original character that was presented the quest is no longer there (this took those of us that brought our own characters to the last chapter of season 2 by surprise).

If that's not a concern, great.  I'd like to communicate that on.
I'm told that approach (use a pregen, swap out for your own character later) may end up losing out on quest reknown, since the original character that was presented the quest is no longer there (this took those of us that brought our own characters to the last chapter of season 2 by surprise).

If that's not a concern, great.  I'd like to communicate that on.



In season 2, I applied the renown points to the player rather than the character. So if the player was there to receive the quest for his character (whatever his character was at the time) then it counted as being complete all quests for the renown.
Yeah, Sola's player racked up the renown for 50+ points of damage taken. Pity Sola didn't survive it.
A couple of my players are asking if they can use their pregens for now, and wait until October 5th, when the Character Builder is updated with Essentials info, if they can get 10 points for making an Essentials character with the Character Builder Tool.

I love my munchkins.  :D 



I would allow this.

If I had new players joining my game, I'd hand them a pregen, and then encourage them to buy the book(s), and make their own character for later/future sessions.

I don't see any reason to deny experienced players the same option(s). 




I would also allow players to make their own character on paper and then input it into CB later to bank the extra renown.

------------

The thing I'm worrid about is that Fallen Lands specifies only 3 ability score arrays to use during character creation. Unless they significantly change the way the CB works, I would expect point buy is still the word there. I think specific character creation guidelines on the Encounters site would prevent issues like that, the Assassin discussion, and so on as well as wild table variation. In my experience creation rules are the one place players DON'T want table variation.

Come check out and add to the LFR Wiki, part of the Forgotten Realms Wiki.
A couple of things...


This is an RPGA sancitioned game... We have General rules for Character Creation... (currently v1.99).

That said we have specific limitations to 'Player Source', namely the 'Red Box' and Heroes books (currently only one is out).



Second, the Renown Tracker (Poster) is Player based... Though it is generally left up to the Venue/Organizer for the specifics...
Actually, D&D Encounters is not an RPGA sanctioned anything. The RPGA right now only encompasses Living Forgotten Realms. Things like World Wide Gamedays and DDE are a different program from the RPGA.

So the RPGA General rules for Character Creation do not apply unless the campaign says it uses them explicitly.

Just trying to keep things clear.

Bryan Blumklotz
Nobody Special
Funny... All Official Organized D&D falls under the perview of the RPGA...

Hense the RPGA tracking sheets, the use of RPGA numbers, the requirement of an RPGA sanctioned venue, the RPGA reporting...

I could go on...




It IS RPGA sanctioned.

It does follow the General Character Gen rules.

It does have specific limits to choice. (Red Box/Heroes...
Lucian,

As a former organizer for DDE and having spoken with Chris Tulach in person on this very subject, I can tell you that unless things have changed in the last month or two, you are wrong. Chris stated without equivocation that the only program that falls under the banner of the RPGA at this time is Living Forgotten Realms.

The RPGA materials might be used by DDE, but only because Organize Play hasn't updated the materials completely.

And for the record, no one has an RPGA number anymore, they are all DCI numbers now. That number now works with any organized play function: magic the gathering, LFR, DDE, World Wide Gamedays, etc.

my two coppers,

Bryan Blumklotz

If you want to get technical with the numbers... No one has a DCI number either... as they are all now DCI/RPGA numbers...


That being said, we still seem to be hiting the issue that in order to order the module you need an RPGA sanctioned Venue, you need to sanction the event through the RPGA site (The DCI/PRGA login site), and you must collect the RPGA numbers of the Players and DM(s) and report them on the RPGA site.


Sure sounds like an RPGA event to me.


There are those who see the RPGA only as the running body for the 'Living' RPG settings.


The FACTS remain, all Official WotC RPG Events/Games fall under the perview of the RPGA. Read the RPGA material...

The FACT that you must have the proper RPGA credentials to order the module, kind of makes it an RPGA event.



As for the DCI/RPGA issue, the numbers are one and the same, but the use is not...


The DCI is the ruling body for Magic: the Gathering, and a lesser extent other WotC CCGs.

The RPGA is the ruling body for WotC RPGs and D&D.


If you are talking about D&D, it is a RPGA number, if you are talking agout Magic, it is DCI.
What level will Season Three PCs hit?  And on the chance that they hit level 4, are you guys leaving a couple stats odd?

Vampire Class/Feat in 2013!

I prefer Next because 4E players and CharOpers can't find their ass without a grid and a power called "Find Ass."

You will be level 1 though til the end of Chapter 2.

You will be level 2 from the start of Chapter 3 thought the end of Chapter 4.

You will be level 3 for all of Chapter 5.


This is found in the Download section...

www.wizards.com/dnd/files/KeepPlayTracke...
Thankee-Sai

Vampire Class/Feat in 2013!

I prefer Next because 4E players and CharOpers can't find their ass without a grid and a power called "Find Ass."

Looks like Chris Tulach posted the creation plans for DDE current and future seasons in D&D Play Spotlight article from the homepage:

D&D Encounters Questions: Dragon Magazine Options


The beginning of the newest season of D&D Encounters spotlights the Essentials products, as adventurers explore in and around Restwell Keep, otherwise known as the Keep on the Borderlands. Players create their own 1st-level character using the Heroes of the Fallen Lands book (and with the start of Chapter 3, they can add Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms), but we’ve had a very legitimate question arise with the Essentials-supported articles in Dragon Magazine.


What content from Dragon Magazine is legal for D&D Encounters: Keep on the Borderlands?


Any content that directly supports the Essentials products is OK for players to use to create their character. So, if an article gives mage-specific options or introduces a new Essentials-style class, it’s OK to create a character with those options.


It is the intent that for each season of D&D Encounters, we’ll allow players to use the two Essentials books for character creation, plus one or two other products that we want to spotlight for the season, plus all accompanying Dragon Magazine content that supports those products. I call this Essentials+ character creation, which is designed to keep the amount of rules content useable at an accessible level for new players while spotlighting new content for existing players.

If you want to get technical with the numbers... No one has a DCI number either... as they are all now DCI/RPGA numbers...


That being said, we still seem to be hiting the issue that in order to order the module you need an RPGA sanctioned Venue, you need to sanction the event through the RPGA site (The DCI/PRGA login site), and you must collect the RPGA numbers of the Players and DM(s) and report them on the RPGA site.


Sure sounds like an RPGA event to me.


There are those who see the RPGA only as the running body for the 'Living' RPG settings.



Hi!  RPGA Community Advocate, Friend of Chris Tulach, and LFR Community Manager (Admin) here.

So, here's the deal.  Inside WotC they've started to divide "RPGA" and "D&D Organized Play" into two separate categories.  The simplest delineation is that stuff that's community driven (as LFR is now) is RPGA content.

Stuff that's WotC driven (Encounters, Game Days, future programs) is "D&D Organized Play".

As a result the Character Creation Guidelines you're referring to are for RPGA events - which currently includes only LFR.  They are not intended to control events like D&D Encounters which have their own set of rules.

The idea, instead, is that the CCG document will serve to establish baseline rules for any future Living Campaigns (should any spring up).

The FACTS remain, all Official WotC RPG Events/Games fall under the perview of the RPGA. Read the RPGA material...

The FACT that you must have the proper RPGA credentials to order the module, kind of makes it an RPGA event.



Unfortunately the changes in the computer system to delineate between RPGA and "D&D:OP" haven't taken hold yet - but it's well worth me including in my weekly report to WotC as a reminder that the system is mroe than a little confusing right now.

As for the DCI/RPGA issue, the numbers are one and the same, but the use is not...

The DCI is the ruling body for Magic: the Gathering, and a lesser extent other WotC CCGs.

The RPGA is the ruling body for WotC RPGs and D&D.


If you are talking about D&D, it is a RPGA number, if you are talking agout Magic, it is DCI.



If you want to get really technical, though the cards are still printed as "DCI" cards - they're actually "WPN Numbers" (Wizards Play Network).  The WPN is the organized play arm of Wizards of the Coast, and within that is the DCI (for competitive tournament games, like Magic: the Gathering) and for the D&D Arm (RPGA, as well as D&D:OP).

Hope that helps. 
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

Since, you are stating that the CCG is not legal, we only have the three arrays listed in the Heroes book and the Red Box array.

Correct?


It is the only location in the player source that states how to generate your ability scores.


Are you sure you want to hamstring the players?


I understand the want, and possible need, to differentiat the OP lines, but we still have the old system for the CCG, with the General rules providing the base-line, and the World Specific.

Both earlier Seasons used the General CCG, with the specific limitations provided by the DDE Character Gen rules.

Why change that before the CCG gets the update to the new system?


Given WolfStar76's post the available Ability Score options are;

Red Box:
 <> 16, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10
Heroes;
 <> 16, 14, 14, 11, 10, 10 (Balanced)
 <> 18, 14, 11, 10, 10, 8 (Specialist)
 <> 16, 16, 12, 11, 11, 8 (Dual Specialist)



Before anyone posts that the RC has the point buy listed in it. Please reread BoltHammer's post and the Character Creation rules for this season.


The main poits of which are as follows...

Make a 1st level character using the Red Box or Heroes of the Fallen Lands.

It lacks an allowance for the RC.
At our tables we are only allowing Red Box or Fallen Lands characters. The main reason for this is that most people are used to making characters with the Character Builder rather than by-hand, and the intent is to reduce mistakes and make the DM's task of double-checking characters that much easier. Keep it Simple.

During season one we had a hard enough time with players bringing broken characters made with Character Builder. I don't want to have to check everyone's math and recalculate the point-buys for six characters.

Encounters is very casual and not as competitive/regulated as LFR. It isn't a hamstring to players to limit their arrays if everyone is limited to the same arrays, and it certainly isn't a hamstring to DMs to make their job easier. Puts everyone on the same playing field.  If you still insist on using the Rules Comp arrays, I'm sure you can make an arrangement with the venue's coordinator or your table's DM. The best argument would be "You mean I bought this $20 book from you and can't use it?"
There are a large number of possible arrays with the 22pt Point Buy system.

I was not so much refering to Mechanical hamstriging as Option hamstringing...


I understand the issues with having to vet characters... I was Lead DM am a venue for the first two seasons... We tended to require Builder or Ink Character sheets and would then vet and sign the sheet...


As for the RC, it lists 3 methods for Determining Ability scores...

1. The Three Arrays (same as in the Heroes book)
2. The 22pt Point Buy (same as in the RPGA CCG v1.99)
3. The 4d6 drop low, do it six times

I would love to use the array I just roll up... 15, 18, 16, 18, 17, 10.


There is a reason that the Point Buy has been the Official method for so long...

But, given a strick reading of the Character Gen rules, even given the broadening by Tulach... You are limited to the Three arrays. (Or a Red Box character)
Since, you are stating that the CCG is not legal, we only have the three arrays listed in the Heroes book and the Red Box array.

Correct?


It is the only location in the player source that states how to generate your ability scores.


Are you sure you want to hamstring the players?


I understand the want, and possible need, to differentiat the OP lines, but we still have the old system for the CCG, with the General rules providing the base-line, and the World Specific.

Both earlier Seasons used the General CCG, with the specific limitations provided by the DDE Character Gen rules.

Why change that before the CCG gets the update to the new system?


Given WolfStar76's post the available Ability Score options are;

Red Box:
 <> 16, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10
Heroes;
 <> 16, 14, 14, 11, 10, 10 (Balanced)
 <> 18, 14, 11, 10, 10, 8 (Specialist)
 <> 16, 16, 12, 11, 11, 8 (Dual Specialist)



Before anyone posts that the RC has the point buy listed in it. Please reread BoltHammer's post and the Character Creation rules for this season.


The main poits of which are as follows...

Make a 1st level character using the Red Box or Heroes of the Fallen Lands.

It lacks an allowance for the RC.



I don't have my copy of HotFL with me, so I can't verify, but I'm surprised to hear a claim that it doesn't include the point buy option.

Even if it doesn't include that as an option for some bizarre reason, the Essentials Line also includes the Rules Compendium, which I know lists point buy as method 2.

As the creation rules have been stated as "Essentials+" that is all I need to allow it as a GM.

Similarly, I would disallow rolling (Method 3), pointing out, simply that I can't verify the rolls, and pointing out that method 3 creates unbalanced characters - sometimes too strong, but also sometimes too weak, and simply isn't allowed at my table.

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

We have the Character Gen rules that state allowances, we also have a broadening bu Chris Tulach to allow Dragon Essentials content.

What we lack is an allowence for the RC, though an allowance for the RC would allow all three options.


That being said, the simple method it to reinstate the useability of the RPGA CCG (v1.99) until the new versions come out next month (I think theat is when we expect them...)


The General RPGA CCG (v1.99) basically just lists the point buy and the general player source, with stipulations that the specific event can and does override anything in the general CCG.

There is no issue with using the RPGA CCG, it was used with both previous season without a problem.
We have the Character Gen rules that state allowances, we also have a broadening bu Chris Tulach to allow Dragon Essentials content.

What we lack is an allowence for the RC, though an allowance for the RC would allow all three options.


That being said, the simple method it to reinstate the useability of the RPGA CCG (v1.99) until the new versions come out next month (I think theat is when we expect them...)


The General RPGA CCG (v1.99) basically just lists the point buy and the general player source, with stipulations that the specific event can and does override anything in the general CCG.

There is no issue with using the RPGA CCG, it was used with both previous season without a problem.



Except that the CCG allows the use of other books beyond Essentials.  Fine for GMs that want to run that way, but not the goal.

Frankly, I'd bet that the lack of Method 2 is an oversight, I can ask Tulach about it, but frankly, there comes a point where you just get a feel for what's really intended.  

The RPGA and D&D:OP (and frankly D&D in general) is never as cut-and-dried or as black-and-white (no matter how many rules are put in place) as Rules Lawyers might like it to be.   
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

We have the Character Gen rules that state allowances, we also have a broadening bu Chris Tulach to allow Dragon Essentials content.

What we lack is an allowence for the RC, though an allowance for the RC would allow all three options.



Ah, but Heroes of the Fallen Lands mentions the availability of the other methods of ability generation being in the Rules Compendium and available "only with the permission of your Dungeon Master." (HotFL, p. 39).

The Rules Compendium makes it clear that point-buy is comparable to the standard array, so I'd say it's fair game. Granted, that's not an official ruling, but still...

And we all know that the CB allows point-buy without the character being tagged as "house-ruled." 
Just rechecked my copy of the CCG... they did remove the old language that stipulated that the Player Source list was supercided by the 'Event' rules... Now it just states that the modifications to the list are in the appendixes...

Also, as to your Essentials+... you might want to reread what was said...
It is the intent that for each season of D&D Encounters, we’ll allow players to use the two Essentials books for character creation, plus one or two other products that we want to spotlight for the season, plus all accompanying Dragon Magazine content that supports those products. I call this Essentials+ character creation, which is designed to keep the amount of rules content useable at an accessible level for new players while spotlighting new content for existing players.


Essentials+ is defined by Chris Tulach as;

> Two Essentials books
> 1/2 'other' Products to 'spotlight'
> All accompanying Dragon content for the products


Essentials+ for Season 3...

Heroes of the Fallen Lands & Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
Spotlight: Red Box
Dragon: Essentials content (Assassin playtest, Staff Fighter, Pyromancer (so far))


Not seeing RC in that Character Creation list...



JonSnow, I can make the Builder give me 4 power points at level 1 without it tagging as  'house-ruled' so the CB is not the best measure... (HInt: Human Hybrid)




All that said, most DMs/Organizers are going to use the RPGA default...

But, if as WolfStar points out, it is not RPGA, that is wrong and we have no general Character Gen rules.

Without general Character Gen rules we must use what is specifically given, which is Heroes of the Fallen Lands and the Red Box.

HotFL gives us the three Arrays and the Red Box gives use a quasi-predefined Array that shorts Dwarf and CON-Halfling Fighters.

The Red Box defines the STR 16/18 and CON 14 for the Fighter and grants 13, 12, 11, 10 for the remaining Ability Scores.
Why are we still talking about it?
While we're discussing weird rules questions, we couldn't find racial ability modifiers in HotFL. If they're there, can someone point me to the page?


Looking all through HotFL we couldn't find anything and I had read in DDi articles that all Essentials races were going to have multiple choice ability score modifiers like the races in PH3, but we're to the point of pulling out the PH1 for racial info.
Come check out and add to the LFR Wiki, part of the Forgotten Realms Wiki.
Also I would like to clarify that I do not think we need a CCG pdf for Encounters, just a section on the official site that names available options and includes a small FAQ.



Come check out and add to the LFR Wiki, part of the Forgotten Realms Wiki.
While we're discussing weird rules questions, we couldn't find racial ability modifiers in HotFL. If they're there, can someone point me to the page?


Looking all through HotFL we couldn't find anything and I had read in DDi articles that all Essentials races were going to have multiple choice ability score modifiers like the races in PH3, but we're to the point of pulling out the PH1 for racial info.



You must not be reading very carefully. The respective racial descriptions in Heroes of the Fallen Lands contain the racial ability score modifiers. Unlike in the PHB, the racial descriptions follow the class descriptions. Specifically, the summaries are on:

Dwarf: p. 248.
Eladrin: p. 254.
Elf: p. 260.
Halfling: p. 266.
Human: p. 272. 

Hope that helps. 
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