1) Get a Character Sheet Edit

You can either use an online sheet, a downloaded PDF, or for a true old-school feel, a standard piece of lined paper, whichever is most convenient for you and agreeable with your GM. Many GM’s like to be able to refer to a player’s character sheet between sessions so it is more common now to use some sort of online resource but use whatever works for you and your GM.

2) Determine Ability Scores Edit

Start by generating your character’s ability scores. These six scores determine your character’s most basic attributes and are used to decide a wide variety of details and statistics. Some class selections require you to have better than average scores for some of your abilities. There are several methods to choose from for generating these scores so consult your GM to determine which method he is using.

Note: Your choice of race will increase or decrease most or all of your Ability Scores.

Check out the article on Ability Scores to discover some more details on how you will use them.

Point Buy: If you will be using a “point-buy” method, the two following tables include the costs of purchasing ability scores.

Table: Ability Score Costs
Score Points
7 –4
8 –2
9 –1
10 0
11 1
12 2
13 3
14 5
15 7
16 10
17 13
18 17
Table: Ability Score Points
Campaign Type Points
Low Fantasy 10
Standard Fantasy 15
High Fantasy 20
Epic Fantasy 25

Rolling: There are a few different methods for rolling ability scores. The methods vary to allow you the choice between more individuality and more stability or somewhere in the middle.

Each method will require you to decide whether you will roll the ability scores in order or whether you will assigning each one after rolling. Whichever method you choose will give you the starting values for your character to be changed by the rest of the choices you make during creation.

Standard Method Edit

Roll 4d6. Discard the lowest result. Turn any 1 into a 2 and total all 3 remaining results. Repeat until you have 6 values. This method gives the greatest flexibility; you can get between 6 and 18, but you take the best 3 of 4 to offset the possibility of getting too many low ability scores.

Above-Average Method Edit

Roll 2d6. Turn any 1 into a 2 and add the 2 results to 6. Repeat until you have 6 values. This method has less variation than the standard method, so you may feel that your choices are much easier. It's not easy to say whether easier choices are favorable, but it is viable. This method is the "above-average" method, because any result will be between 10 and 18 -- 10 is often noted as the ability score of an average human.

Round Start Method Edit

Roll 1d6. Turn a 1 into a 2 and add 10 to the result. Repeat until you have 6 values. This method guarantees good ability scores, while sacrificing some of the risk you would normally encounter. In true "risk:reward" fashion, it has a lower maximum than the previous two methods, yielding between 12 and 16. All the values will look similar, but you will be able to utilize all of your ability scores to some degree as you play with a more well-rounded character. Role-playing can frequently be improved by creatively overcoming a weakness, so be aware of what the players might prefer when choosing a method.

3) Choose a Race Edit

Pick a race, applying any modifiers to your ability scores and any other racial traits. This step can be done at the same time as the previous step, because each race you can choose from has a heavy influence on the ability scores of your character. The race you choose will set many different eventualities for your character, beginning with changing the ability scores you rolled in the previous step. Your race determines weaknesses and resistances, Racial Abilities, minimum and maximum level, your Hit Dice and Base Movement Speed, how fast your Base Attack Bonus increases, and many more things. You will need to refer to the substantial amount of information about your race to complete each of the remaining steps.

Some races will have a restriction on what types of languages they can speak, some may have specific skills that they may be able to use that other races cannot, and some may have an unusual culture to explore while you play.

Some of the first things you should write down when you pick a race are Types, minimum and maximum level, size category, Racial Abilities, number of skill points per level, Natural Armor Class, and Base Move. Make sure you are familiar with your types and know how your size affects your stats. The following steps should sort through the other effects your race has on you, such as Base Attack Bonus, Saving Throws, and Attacks.

During creation, you may need to imagine your character as a Level 1 character during some steps, even if you expect to begin playing at a higher level. You will be able to advance your level after creation to meet the intention of play.

4) Allocate Skill Ranks Edit

Determine the number of skill ranks your character gets based on your race and Intelligence modifier (and any other bonuses).

Some races may have skills that they are naturally proficient in. These skills get an automatic +3 bonus when you allocate the first skill point to it.

Then allocate these ranks to desired skills, but remember that you cannot have more ranks than your level in any one skill (for a starting character, this is usually one).

Each level thereafter, your character gains a number of skill ranks dependent upon your race plus your Intelligence modifier. Investing a rank in a skill represents a measure of training in that skill.

5) Choose Feats Edit

Each character will start with one feat. Feats may be restricted by race. Characters will be able to acquire more feats as they gain more experience.

6) Determine Starting Hit Points (HP) Edit

A character starts with maximum hit points at 1st level (the maximum number on its Hit Die) or if its first Hit Die roll is for a character class level.

To determine a hit points for levels beyond 1st, roll the dice indicated by its Hit Dice. Creatures whose first Hit Die comes from an NPC class roll their first Hit Die normally.

7) Get Equipped Edit

New characters frequently begin the game with an amount of gold that can be spent on a wide range of equipment and gear. This gear helps your character survive while adventuring. Usually you cannot use this starting money to buy magic items without the consent of your GM. You shouldn't expect to buy more than 500 gold pieces worth of things, and sometimes it's difficult to come up with things to spend it all on. Most characters do not get to begin with any gp, even if you don't spend as much as you can while creating your character.

Weapons and defensive items are a rarity around the world and may not be available to everybody. Every character typically has enough means to effectively participate in combat without these additional tools. The most frequently sold commodity around the world is Berries; berries are plant-like life forms that have properties similar to magic. Berries are simple to cultivate if you have the correct conditions, so they are sold by many merchants as a very useful tool for travelers, explorers, and adventurers alike.

Characters frequently start outside of a town, so ask your GM if you should plan to have more than just a tent, backpack, and torch rustling around with your food.

The races of the world vary so drastically that not every character may be able to carry a backpack. The world's workers are very skilled at what they do, however, and can often make bags of unusual shapes or sizes in order to turn any interested character into a customer. Even if you don't need to eat food on a regular basis, you may find something you want to hang onto, and you may not have 4 hands to carry it with wherever you may want to.

Making a Character Above 1st level Edit

If you are creating a character or creature at a level other than 1st you should consult your GM and the Wealth for Higher Level PC’s table to determine your starting gold. You may have even stumbled upon some interesting items while having those experiences. See Table: Character Wealth by Level for details.

Table: Character Wealth by Level
PC Level* Wealth
2 1,000 gp
3 3,000 gp
4 6,000 gp
5 10,500 gp
6 16,000 gp
7 23,500 gp
8 33,000 gp
9 46,000 gp
10 62,000 gp
11 82,000 gp
12 108,000 gp
13 140,000 gp
14 185,000 gp
15 240,000 gp
16 315,000 gp
17 410,000 gp
18 530,000 gp
19 685,000 gp
20 880,000 gp
* For 1st-level PCs, see Equipment.

8) Determine Saving Throws, Initiative, and Attack Values. Edit

Determine all of the character’s other mechanical details, such as his or her saving throws, initiative modifier, and attack values. All of these numbers are determined by the decisions made in previous steps, usually determined by your race choice.

9) Description & Personality Edit

Choose or make up a name for your character (or generate one randomly!), determine his or her age, alignment, and physical appearance (such as height, weight, eye and hair color etc). You might be religious, and you might only believe in a couple of the world's deities, or you could just believe the legends are just about some normal guys. You may wish to be a blank slate so you can come up with something funny to suit the moment, but it is helpful to think of a few unique personality traits to help you play your character. Do you fit into the cultural norm for your species or are you a bit more quirky than most? Do you live somewhere that a different color would better suit your survival? Do you really know which races are sympathetic to yours and which you should be afraid of -- or which you should intimidate? With so many races in the same world, the culture is very diverse and may even be something your GM wants to tinker with. There is a lot of fun to be had here and a lot of new things you can try next time if you don't have a chance to try them all with just one character.

10) Attacks Edit

A defining feature of each race is which attacks it naturally has access to. Each GM may handle learning them differently, but each character will naturally gain new attacks as it gets more experience. Write down which attacks you know based on your level and your race, and write down as much information as you can about them; check out the range, damage, type, effects, and the level of the attacks.

Discuss with your GM any other attacks you may have learned before creating the character. Did you have a strange school that taught its classes how to use some interesting attacks? Maybe your parents needed your help and taught you something while you were young. If you want to know an attack, whether it's on your list of upcoming attacks or not, come up with a good story for why and how you know it, then pitch it to the GM. There is lot's of room for role-playing here, but try not to get carried away -- after all it would take to learn so many attacks, you may have gained too much experience to still be the level you intended.

Check out the article on Attacks to discover the best ways to learn attacks while you adventure.

11) Character Advancement Edit

Make sure you know how many experience points you will need to level up, and try to familiarize yourself with what you'll need to do whenever you level up. You get a bonus ability score point every level divisible by 4; you get a feat every level not divisible by 2; you learn new attacks naturally at most levels; you have to increase BAB and Saves at most levels; you need to increase your HP every level, and make sure to increase it any time you change your CON; and you'll need to allocate your new skill points.

While you're experiencing the world, there are sometimes strange events that effect you in a mysterious and radical way. This mysterious change is called a δ Type. When you create your character, you should discuss the possibility of a δ type in the future, and it is helpful to know when you wouldn't like to have one or to have a specific one. If your character is starting at a level other than 1st, your character might've already gained a δ type on its adventure.

Experience is handled in many different ways by a GM. The most obvious of which is successfully defending your life or the life of somebody else. By the nature of experience, however, you might gain experience just by learning something you were ignorant of; perhaps you were open-minded and conceded an argument because you finally saw the merit of the opposition; maybe you learned something about a type you were barely aware of, or just learned a new attack; you may find yourself generously helping somebody perform a task that was simple, but they were struggling to complete on their own. On the other hand, maybe you've created a character that wouldn't benefit from any of these accomplishments and your GM thinks that you've acted against your character. Ask your GM if they're willing to divulge the secret ways they would like to handle experience.

Check out the article on Level to discover more ways experience will help shape your character. Check out the article on Evolution to discover what real magic can happen when you discover yourself.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.