Character Creation

Using the Character Generator

The DND 4E Character Generator can be found here. Open in a new window if you would like to view both pages.

1. Classes

Essential or Custom?

The first choice you must make when creating a character is the most important, “Build a Quick D&D Essentials Character” or “Build a Custom D&D Character.” Custom D&D characters are standard, fully customizable builds. To create a character from the ground up select “D&D Home Campaign”.

Essential characters function more like 3rd Edition characters: they have fewer powers to choose from, but can use the same attacks multiple times, making them simpler to run. Essentials martial classes also lack Daily powers. They get things like static to-hit and damage bonuses instead. They also tend to have just one encounter power that’s a damage booster on a hit. They get to use it additional times per encounter as they level (up to 4/encounter, like having 4 encounter powers), and it automatically scales (in both damage and sometimes other effects). The encounter power stacks with the added at-will effects to basic attacks (stances or movement tricks).

Finally, they get stances or movement tricks as they go up in level, effectively giving them 4 at-wills by 17th. Utility powers work the same.

Summing up, Essentials martial characters have:

  • More at-will options at higher levels (4 vs. 2)
  • At-wills work on opportunity attacks
  • Fewer encounter options (just 1)
  • Encounter power stacks with at-wills
  • Encounter power automatically scales
  • Encounter power is never wasted on a miss
  • No daily powers
  • More static bonuses

Most other Essentials classes give you a choice at 1st level that determine many of your later abilities. Paladins choose a Virtue, Druids choose a Season, Clerics choose a Domain, Wizards choose a School, Fighters choose a Weapon (longsword/hammer for Knights, Greatsword/Greataxe for Slayers), Warlocks choose a Pact. You lose some customization, exchanging it for ease of creation.

Power Sources

As Materia is a “savage world of high adventure” the Martial and Primal power source will be most prevalent. However there are also Arcane and Divine characters in abundance, with a small number of Shadow source characters lurking at the edges. The one power source that does not exist on Materia is Psionics. Therefore those classes which have mind as the source of their power are not allowed; this includes the Ardent, Battlemind, Monk and Psion. Besides I think we all had enough of the Illithid in the last campaign.

2. Races

All standard D&D races are present on Materia: Humans, Dwarves, Elves, Gnomes, Half-Elves, and Tieflings. In addition the insectoid Thri-kreen are found almost everywhere, and one cannot keep the Changelings from finding a place in any culture. Due to Materia’s close connection with the Feywild races that have strong connections to that plane are also prevalent, including Eladrin, Hamadryads, Pixies, Satyrs, and Wilden. In addition there are many monstrous races that are appropriate for a wild world such as Materia; these include Bugbears, Bullywugs, Gnolls, Goblins, Hengeyokai, Hobgoblins, Kenku, Kobolds, Shifters, and Minotaurs. Not that Orks on Materia are called “Khaz”, and any time they mate with another race their progeny is always a “Khaz-ha” (Half-ork). There is an underdark on Materia, and thus both the Drow and Duregar exist, but we’ll leave that area a mystery unless players choose to be one of these races.

But there are some races that do not make Materia their home. The only “standard” race not native to Materia is the Dragonborn – I think we saw enough of them last campaign. Extra-dimensional races are not found on this world, at least not yet: this includes Bladelings, Deva, Githyanki, Githzerai, Kalashtar, Shadar-kai, and Shades. If you are interested in playing any of these races in the future let me know and we’ll work them in, or if you are really set on it then edit the world to justify it! There are no undead on Materia so there can be neither Revenants nor Vryloka.

Assume that any race that is not on the prohibited list is present on Materia.

3. Details

Theme

Just as race and class create basic definitions regarding your character’s place in the world, a Theme adds a third component to help refine your story and identity. The themes presented in the Character Generator give you specific information your character knows within the setting, and provides story hooks that you can use to roleplay. Some can represent your personal history, while others suggest clan or even sub-racial connections. A good theme can not only help you in combat, but influence the very direction of the campaign.

When you create a new character, you should select one of the character themes presented on this screen. Each theme has unique features and powers. More important, however, a theme provides story elements and potential goals for your character. Though some character themes are more narrowly focused than others, they all provide plenty of room to let you create your own background and personality.

Theme will play a unique role in this campaign, as will be discussed in the section on Action Points.

Some Themes have names that tie it to a specific setting, but often these are easy to modify. However like all things there are some Themes that are not appropriate for Materia, either due to their mechanics, background, or affect on the campaign world. This includes Fatedancer, Gloomwrought Emissary, Harper Agent, Janissary, Moteborn, Noble Adept, and Wilder.

Background

This section describes a number of background elements you can use as inspiration for fleshing out your character. There are five categories: geography, society, birth, occupation, and racial backgrounds. When you choose a Background you can select one of the following background benefits:

✦ Gain a +2 bonus to checks with a skill associated with your background.
✦ Add a skill associated with your background to your class’s skills list before you choose your trained skills.
✦ Choose one language connected to your background. You can speak, read, and write that language fluently.
✦ If you are using a campaign setting that offers regional benefits (such as the FORGOTTEN REALMS setting), gain a regional benefit.

Remember that a background is more than a game benefit. It forms the foundation of your character, provides hints of what lies ahead in the campaign, and informs your character’s personality.

Like Theme, background will play a unique role in this campaign, as will be discussed in the section on Action Points.

4. Abilities

You may choose to either Assign an Array or use a 22 point buy.

5. Train Skill

6. Select Powers

7. Select Feats

Bloodline Feats apply to races that are not present on Materia.

Character Creation

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