Character Creation Guidelines?

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Well.. it was very simple to know what was allowed for character creation for Essentials.  Even though we are all experienced players..for us we have to slow our brains down for essentials.  A few parts I like and a few I dont...

The Races..Excellent that we can now have a bit more flexability on stats..
The New Assassin.. So far it works a hella better than version 1 (4e)

Book Layout.. Meh.  Why did they change it around so much for you do ALOT more page flipping than with the older books.. should have stuck with how other past version did..so when those that are new to D&D go from essentials to main 4e the book layouts are totaly different. 

Basic D&D..yeah yeah I know this is to get new peeps into it.. but I mean wow talk about slowing the brain down to numbness level..feels like I am playing WoW again.  The system dosent need to be dumbed down.. people just have to read and use their brain. 
Unlike in the PHB, the racial descriptions follow the class descriptions. 



Okay, thanks. I haven't had time to sit down and read the whole book and flipping through we saw a page referenced in the creation section that only included racial descriptions and couldn't find the Races section.
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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...



I'm still struggling with what to do about this. I have several players, including some DDE regulars, who want to play non-Essentials PCs. What should I say to someone who refuses to be limited to Essentials? Suck it up or find another game? (Not in those words, of course.)

Part of the problem is that DDE is really casual; it's not like RPGA, where adherence to character creation rules is integral to the program. How much effort should I expend convincing people to use Essentials only? What is Wizards' stance on players who really want to play non-Essentials PCs? If it's that players need to abide by the guidelines in order to participate in D&D Encounters, that's OK, I suppose. But if it's not that strict, then I won't have to make an issue of it at the table.
What we got here is an issue of enforcement...


The DDE program has Strict creation rules...

But it has been repeatedly expressed that DMs/Venues are allowed great leeway to allow for the players to have fun...


All that said, the module was built for the Essentials characters... The generally more limited depht in options allows for less 'Optimization' and Cheese...

And remember, Essentials is aimmed towards players new to 4e...
It's aimed at players AND DMs who are new to 4e.

If you're an experienced DM and would be comfortable with non-Essential PCs, you can allow them.

Personally, I'd be inclined to say No. The idea is to highlight, and have people use, Essentials.

As the DM, I have final authority on what's in my games anyways.

If I was to allow pre-Essentials material, I'd require it to be Essentials style anyways.
That is
Human, Elf, Eladrin, Dwarf, Halfling
Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, Wizard
No multi-class, no hybrid, etc etc.
That's it.
AlexandraErin: If last season was any indication, I think Encounters is pretty much the elemental opposite of "organized" play!
I'm still struggling with what to do about this. I have several players, including some DDE regulars, who want to play non-Essentials PCs. What should I say to someone who refuses to be limited to Essentials? Suck it up or find another game? (Not in those words, of course.)

Part of the problem is that DDE is really casual; it's not like RPGA, where adherence to character creation rules is integral to the program. How much effort should I expend convincing people to use Essentials only? What is Wizards' stance on players who really want to play non-Essentials PCs? If it's that players need to abide by the guidelines in order to participate in D&D Encounters, that's OK, I suppose. But if it's not that strict, then I won't have to make an issue of it at the table.



If you are an experienced DM, go ahead but remember, they won't get the 5 renown bonus for making an Essentials character.

I understand the principle but I also think it ridiculous that I'm presently expected to work with a card or buy HotFL. Either expand the rules (limit it to the 1e classes and races if you must; I could live with that easily) or put the darned things in the Character Builder before Encounters begin. 

So question - if the DM is okay with it, are non-Essentials characters permitted?

As for catering to new players - in my part of England, forget about bringing in new players - there's a chore just getting those familiar with D&D to come in to play in the first place. I didn't attend the Dark Sun Encounters but from what I've heard, attendance was so-so.There were two groups for Dark Sun Game Day and NONE for the Red Box Day. Three players (including myself) showed up spread out over three hours before the poor DM's present called it a day. There was a player new to 4e last Thursday (they didn't mail the kit to the DM till that day) and I was more than happy to introduce him to the basic principles of 4e that I know. But I'm also pretty crappy with rules as it is, which is why I wanted to create a character beforehand to get myself familiar with it.
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So question - if the DM is okay with it, are non-Essentials characters permitted?


You answered your own question inside your question.
I was looking through HotFL... I noticed a list of Class and Race options... (page 31-32)

It lists the Classes and Races for HotFL...

It lists the Classes and Races for HotFK...

It lists DDI content - Executioner Assassin and Revenant...


My question, is this the currently existing Revenant, or are they going to be releasing an Essentials updated write-up?

Also, does this reference constitute an allowance under Essentials+?
Per Chris Tulach, head of D&D Play:

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.





Check the bottom of last month's D&D Play Spotlight.



That answers all your questions. The original Revenant article does not mention Essentials so it is clearly not legal. Essentials+ is not a character creation rule, Essentials is the rule for this season, wherever that Essentials material may see release and "Essentials plus some current product" is a potential use for future seasons that highlight a specific product, as with Dark Sun in Season 2.


Woflstar, can you please make a stickied Season 3 FAQ thread and start with that question and answer from Chris?
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Darquain, you seem to be missing my point...


Essential, by way of Heroes of the Fallen Lands, specifically calls out the Revenant as Essentials supported DDI content.


My two questions are;

1; Are they refering to the current Revenant, or are they going to do an update?

2; Does this meet the requirements for Essentials+ character gen?
Essential, by way of Heroes of the Fallen Lands, specifically calls out the Revenant as Essentials supported DDI content.

My two questions are;

1; Are they refering to the current Revenant, or are they going to do an update?

2; Does this meet the requirements for Essentials+ character gen?



They'll be updating the revenant for Essentials in an upcoming Dragon article. However, seeing how they've threated the other races, most likely it will only include an option on ability score bonus, and probably some extra racial feats. Personally, I would allow use of the current revenant with an Essentials class build.
1; Are they refering to the current Revenant, or are they going to do an update?

2; Does this meet the requirements for Essentials+ character gen?




1. They cannot possibly be talking about the Revenant from last year because the revenant article from last year does not mention "Essentials" anywhere.

2. I do not understand what you mean by "Essentials+".
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I do not understand what you mean by "Essentials+".



"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."

--Chris Tulach, Head of D&D Organized Play Programs