Character Creation: A Helpful Guide

  • I have seen quite a few posts in the past few days on character creation. I found the below guide concept a while back and find it very helpful in creating my own characters. I hope it helps some others as well.

    • There And Back

    Character Creation: Guide Template

    • General Information -

    • Important Note -

    • Philosophy -

    • Background -

    • Goals -

    • Current Events -

    • Old Events -

    Character Creation: Example Template
    Here is a quick example of how the guide can be used to help you flesh out a character. I personally prefer to play base class characters. I find that playing a truly excellent cleric or fighter and portraying all the complexities of such extremely rewarding and fun. In any case, the below example takes the idea of "cleric of Ilmater" and runs through the guide. Hope it helps!

    • General Information -
      Name: Karl Phoebus

    // Dont discount the importance of a name. Go to a name meaning sight and find a fun sounding name that means something appropriate to your character. It will help keep the character interesting and remind you what you are suppose to be doing with the character. In the above example the name could translate as "Man of Purity", Karl is apparently derived from a word meaning man and Phoebus derived from one meaning pure.

    Race: Human, Damaran

    // I fill this in the last, as it depends on the rest. Usually human is a great default as they span the range of possible characters. It will also be affected by the place you were born, the FR is very rich in lore. What specific race of human / elf / dwarf are you? This can also have ties to your archetype and deity. Have fun with this, it can go as deep as you like.

    Archetype: Mentor

    // What is the overarching archetype you are attempting to portray? What do you want to play?

    Diety: Ilmater

    // Who is your god? Should be reflected in everything below given it is the Forgotten Realms.

    Profession: Healer

    // You have your diety, you have your archetype, and you have your philosophy. Now how is your characters going to accomplish or implement all of that? Your profession is not your class, rather it is way you make money / impact / influence in the world around you. A fighter may be a city guardsman, an honorable mercenary, sell sword of the lowest sort, etc.

    Class: Cleric

    // Your DnD class. Better role players than me say you fill this in last as it is reflected by everything else you created. I cant make myself do this as there are certain classes I love to play. Given the length of time we spend on these characters, my advice is do some offline research on the various classes and their builds. Make sure you have something you will enjoy. Oh and resist the temptation to overpower your combat stats at the expense of your social stats. You dont want to gimp yourself, but trust me. It really stinks to have a great concept, get half way into playing it and admit to yourself that your social stats dont support your role play. Is there really that much of a difference between a constitution of 14 and 16? Not really, and there are plenty of potions or items to help you out in game.

    Alignment: Lawful Good

    // This should follow directly form your diety, profession, class, and philosophy.

    Age: 29

    // How old are you? It seems like a simple field, but can profound impacts on the way your character sees the world and goes about his life.

    Home: Heliogabalus

    // Where are you from? This can be expanded on in your back story. Remember your a level one character, you probably did not escape the Underdark single handed.

    • Important Note -

    // Any important notes about your character not covered elsewhere. For example, had an arm cut off due to a childhood accident. Etc.

    • Philosophy -
      The soul is the spark of the divine in every mortal. The body is the vessel of the soul, it is the means by which the soul interacts with the world around it. What affects the outer, affects the inner and vice versus. Therefore, heal the flesh and keep it whole. To heal the flesh is the first step in healing the soul. To heal the soul is to heal the individual.

    // What is the driving philosophy of your character? What is their core belief? This should tie directly into your diety and your profession. The easy way to do this is to take your diety's dogma and come up with a spin on it. You dont want to violate it, just come up with an interpretation. After all, its a big Realm.

    • Background -
      Karl was born to a large and poor, if devout of Ilmater family in Heliogabalus. From an early age he heard the call of the Crying God. As such he was given to the small shrine, near his home, at the age of ten. While his family loved and continued to care for him, they were relieved he would be well cared for in the temple and reduced the strain on their meager budget.

    As such Karl, was raised in the faith he had been called to. In time he took the vows of the Acolyte and learned the skills of the mundane healer. As the Head Brother of the Shrine was found of saying, Ilmater seeks to mend the flesh and ease the pain. The method is of less importance. By his twenty ninth year, Karl was judged to have gained sufficient skill as a healer and a deep enough faith to be presented with a choice. He could take the vows of a Brother of Ilmater and remain in the shrine, or he could move into the greater world and seek to ease the pain there. While Karl loved his homeland and the people he cared for there, he hungered to spread the healing of Ilmater to the greater world around them. After some consultations, it was determined Karl would travel to Arabel and seek to aid in healing that war torn city.

    // This can be as detailed as you want, and the DMs have graciously let us apply for membership in organizations and the like. However, keep in mind your a level one character at creation. No one likes the dragon slayer that was "bumped on the head" and now cant kill a goblin alone. I admit I have been as guilty of that as the next, it actually only makes your life harder. If you were such a badass before and cant live up to it now, it turns into one of those DOH moments. I find that being apprentice / acolyte / etc is great. It lets you have some fun backstory but keeps your power level where it is suppose to be. Also keep in mind you have to send in an Application if your an actual member of an organization I believe.

    // Second, have something that plays into your philosophy / profession / diety. This is -why- and -how- your character got to be the way they are. Take your time with it, you will most likely spend a great deal of time playing the character itself.

    • Goals -
      Provide healing for free to injured adventures and citizens of Arabel.

    Utilize his position as a healer to council those who have fallen from the light. Show them a different path exists and assist them on this journey.

    Establish a chapter of healers in Arabel to spread the healing hands of Ilmater throughout the region. Insure these healers understand that the first step is to heal the flesh, the second is to heal the soul.

    // The goals for your character on the server. Frankly the more of these you have the better, it keeps you from the "oh I am board" feeling. I see them as three basic types, an example of each above.

    // The first, are basic goals you can accomplish on your own with no other player assistance or DM help. These are very important as they give you something to do when you dont have any IC friends or DM attention.

    // The second are goals that require other players but no DM attention. These are also very important as you want a reason to interact with others around you.

    // The third are very large long term goals that require other players and DM attention. Shoot for the moon here and go big. That way you always have something to work for no matter what happens. Do understand you will have to earn these IG, they are intended to be the things that you -might- accomplish over the entire length of a great character. Dont be surprised if they dont happen.

    • Current Events -

    // Given the above, what are you doing right now on the server?

    • Old Events -

    // Given the above, what did you do in the past on the server?

    Result: You go from a cleric of Ilmater, to Karl. The healer from Heliogabalus whose deep devotion to Ilmater lead him to Arabel in an effort to heal the flesh and souls of the war torn city.

  • This is good. I like it. Much the same methods I use.

  • This is a touch of forum necromancy, I know, but I would like to propose that this be stickied. It's an excellent source for new and even veteran roleplayers alike.

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