Go to ...

RSS Feed

Let’s Talk About Character Creation, Baby


by Chock Schmidt

There are three main ways to make a decent character sheet for Pathfinder, D&D, or really any pen and paper RPG you choose. I’ve played with die-hard enthusiasts who prefer any way listed, so don’t feel confined to one or another, and don’t look down on someone for using a different method.

The whole point of character creation is so you know what it is your character is able to do, so it does matter how it is set up. You need to know what you are looking at and how to find what you need. Nothing should be left out of the essentials, but sometimes you can make one quicker one way than another. So, the three basic ways of character creation: Template, Program, Freestyle.

Template: So this is going to be the first and a lot of times best tool for people to use. You can get a template from anywhere, as the company making the game typically puts out a character sheet that you can fill in with information from reading the books. I find this to be a really effective way of putting together a character, as templates are very comprehensive when it comes to character creation. The best part-templates are free!

When I started playing D&D 3.0, the player’s handbook came with a template that you could make copies of. Now that the internet is all crazy and out of control on providing free stuff, you can find a myriad of templates for any game. For new people, I think these are especially effective because it breaks down each stat into the parts that make it. IE Reflex saves are equal to dexterity + other bonuses from feats + situational bonuses. For that random newbie who wants to play a barbarian, it already has the temporary stat block set up when he rages. Neato!

When I started playing D&D 3.0, the player’s handbook came with a template that you could make copies of. Now that the internet is all crazy and out of control on providing free stuff, you can find a myriad of templates for any game. For new people, I think these are especially effective because it breaks down each stat into the parts that make it. IE Reflex saves are equal to dexterity + other bonuses from feats + situational bonuses. For that random newbie who wants to play a barbarian, it already has the temporary stat block set up when he rages. Neato!

 

Program: There’s really only one word you need to know when it comes to this: Herolab. Phil Gon Jinn (My father in law, Phil, who’s last name isn’t Gon Jinn) was the one who introduced me to this amazing program. It does an excellent job of being the most comprehensive program used for just about any RPG you want to play. D&D? They did it. Pathfinder? Natural 20 there too. Shadowrun? You betcha.

Another game you’ve never heard of but are going to try anyways? Yep. It’s in there. There is one drawback, it costs about 30 bucks for the program and some additional bones every time you decide you want a new system. As a guy who’s a complete cheapskate and refuses to spend money on crap that is frivolous, I assure you, this program is worth your hard earned money. It’s saved me hours of time in character creation, and you get 2 computers to put it on. It gets updated frequently, so all the newest toys are in the box. In addition, if you are a DM, you can make NPC’s for your homebrew campaign. I could go on and on about this product, but honestly, it’s the most comprehensive product out there for RPG’s. Take advantage of this, save yourself the headache, and just spend the 30 bucks on the program. You’ll find things in character creation that would never be touched otherwise.

Freestyle: This is how I originally learned how to make a character. You grab a handbook, a blank piece of lined paper, and make your own character. Figure it all out, write it all down, and play the game. As much of a pain as it is, it really forces your creativity when it comes to making your character. The best part about this is that you can line out a basic idea of a character for the start of a campaign in a relatively short amount of time if you know what you are doing. I’ve played a bunch of one-shot campaigns where we all made characters in about 30 minutes and filled in whatever we needed to as it came up. You might want to get really well acquainted with that player’s handbook if you are going to do this.

So there you have it, a short outline on the different character creation methods acceptable to most players nowadays. Technology can be used in pen and paper RPG’s. Like anything, it makes life easier (or it’s supposed to, until your computer crashes and you accidently freak out and smash it with a sledgehammer). It’s also not a necessity, so if you don’t want to spend any more of your hard earned money for a while, stick with the basics. You can never go wrong by using the basics.

 

Happy gaming!

© 2015, Patrick Cossel. All rights reserved.

Facebook Comments

Liked it? Take a second to support Patrick Cossel on Patreon!

Leave a Reply

About Patrick Cossel,

I am a journalist and gaming enthusiast.

Seo wordpress plugin by www.seowizard.org.