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Building a Character Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying

DnD GM Character Creation

Dungeons and Dragons – Mystara

Games Management – Character Creation

This articles is there for players who want to create a character in my ongoing Wrath of the Immortals campaign, with the steps and options they need to consider while building a character.

Players building a character can choose only ONE uncommon aspect for their character.

Steps for Character Creations:

5e-wiz-ph DnD Players Handbook
5e-wiz-ph – D&D 5E Players Handbook

Step 1 – Racial Selection

Important Note: Half-Breed (Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Tiefling, etc) are not available for character selection. If you really want to play one of these, you better have a reason other than mechanical and be ready to be treated as the villain of the story while having to play Good. If this does not appeal to you, choose of the core races listed below.

See D&D Races Homepage

Mystara Races

The Races Overview

Dragonkind Overview: Air (Crystalborn, Silverborn, Whiteborn), Darkness (Blackborn, Brassborn, Onyxborn), Earth (Copperborn, Emeraldborn, Greenborn), Fire( Amberborn, Goldborn, Redborn, Rubyborn), Water (Blueborn, Bronzeborn, Sapphineborn)

Dwarven Overview: Air (Hillbound), Darkness (Shadowbound), Earth (Stonebound), Fire (Craftbound), Water (Seabound)

Elven Overview: Air (Nomadfey, Skyfey), Darknes (Bloodfey, Shadowfey), Earth (Wildfey, Woodfey), Fire (Spiritfey, Sunfey), Water (Seafey), Elements (Seasonfey)

Genasi Overview: Air (Airchild), Earth (Earthchild), Darkness (Darkchild), Fire (Firechild), Water (Waterchild)

Giantkind Overview:

Gnome Overview: Air (Skykin), Darkness (Shadowkin), Earth (Forestkin), Fire (Tinkerkin), Water (Tradekin)

Halfling Overview: Air (Southshire), Darkness (Eastshire), Earth (Highshire), Fire (Heartshire), Water (Seashire)

Human Overview: Air (Hattian, Heldannic, Kerendan, Thyatian), Darkness (Nuari), Earth (Atruaghin, Ethengarian, Makistani), Fire (Alasiyan, Thothian, Traladaran), Water (Makai)

Inner World

Humans Overview: Fire – Nithian

Step 2 – Background Selection

See Campaign Setting page

Where you come from is the second step for your character, this is an important part of selecting a class and other features. This is a feature that is done with discussion as it will point to which is your home nation that provides ties to Common Classes, Uncommon Classes and NPC classes.

Characters are part of the setting and not apart from it, so with the help of the Games Master you should select where you character comes from before determining any other factors about the character, as this choice will made certain options available, and discount others.

Mystara Backgrounds

Hermit, Knight of the Order, Pirate, Sage, Sailor, Soldier

Karameikos: A Grand Duchy, the most dangerous region in the known world that is rumoured to the source of Vampires and Werewolves plaguing the world. It has been conquered and administered by the Thyatian people who make up a small percentage of the population with the rest being Traladaran and some Elves, Dwarves, Halfling and Gnomes filling out the rest. Dwarven (Craftbound, Hillbound), Human (Hattian, Kerendan, Nuari, Thyatian, Traladaran)

Step 3 – Class Selection

Your characters class are determined by the Race, background and what you then have available as if you have selected an uncommon race and subtype you can then select a uncommon class and subclass, otherwise you only have access to common class elements at character creation.

To determine what classes for you are common, they have to be available in the starting Nation as well as with the race as class options. These are not the only classes you can choose but when Race and Nation match up they are common.

What makes up an Uncommon class is when only the Race or the Nation have that class available, it means that you have stepped outside your racial or environmental limitations and manage to learn something where it was not normally available. Your teacher and mentor will be of a different race that your character.

What makes an NPC race and unavailable to your character is a when neither the Race or the Nation have the class listed in its available classes. This provides classes as a thematic feel to the setting where different regions have their own style of play and abilities.

Mystara 5E Classes

Overview, Downtime for Gaining Level

Barbarian: Ancestors, Ancestral Guardian, Battlerager, Berserker, Harrier, Juggernaut, Storm Herald, Totem Warrior, Zealot

Bard: Entropy, Fey Magic, Glamour, Greenleaf, the Jester, Lore, Swords, Valour, Virtue, Whispers

Cleric: Air, Ambition, Apocalypse, Arcana, Balance, Beauty, Beer, Blood, Cats, Clockwork, Corruption, Creation, Darkness, Death, Dragon, Earth, Fire, Forge, Grave, Hunger, Hunt, Hunting, Justice, Knowledge, Labyrinth, Life, Light, Lust, Madness, Moon, Mountain, Nature, Oceans, Order, Prophecy, Repose, Solidarity, Speed, Strength, Tempest, Time, Travel, Trickery, Tyranny, Void, War, Water, Zeal

Druid: Dreams, Feyfriend, the Forest Kingdom, the Land, the Moon, the Shapeless and Prime Terror, the Shepherd, the Stones, the Tree of Life

Fighter: Arcane Archer, Banneret, Battle Master, Cavalier, Champion, Clacking Mercenary, Edjet, Eldritch Knight, Ghost Knight, Griffon Knight, Hospitaller, Knight Surgeon, Samurai, Shield Bearer, Sword Dancer, Weapons Master, Woodlands Cavalier

Monk: the Cobalt Soul, the Drunken Master, the Elements, Iron, the Kensai, the Long Death, the Open Hand, Shadow, the Sun Soul

Paladin: the Ancients, the Ascetic, Battle, Conquest, the Crown, Devotion, the Eagle, the Giving Grave, Mercy, Perfection, the Radiance, Redepmtion, Thunder, Vengeance. Special – Oathbreaker

Ranger: Beast Master, Explorer, Fey Hunter, Gloom Stalker, Hidden Guardian, Horizon Walker, Hunter, Monster Slayer, Unicorn Charger, Vampire Slayer, Zobecker Scout

Rogue: Arcane Trickster, Assassin, Duelist, Fixer, Inquisitive, Mastermind, Scout, Swashbuckler, Thief, Whisper

Sorcerer: Bloodlines (Draconic, Dryad, Lycanthrope, Mazeborn, Nerid, Norn, Nymph, Satyr, Serophage, Shadow), Divine Inspiration, Divine Soul, Elemental Essence, Pyromancer, Runechild, Shadow Magic, Storm Sorcery, Wild Magic

Warlock: Archfey, Black Woods, Celestial, Fiend, Genie Lord, Great Machine, Great Old One, Hexblade, Light Eater, Oracle, Undying

Wizard: Angelic Scribe, Bladesinger, Doom Croaker, Dragon Masks, Elementalist, Geomancy, Necrophagy, Ring Warden, Schools (Abjuration, Artifice, Blood Magic, Clockwork, Conjuration, Divination, Elven High Magic, Enchantment, Entropy, Evocation, Illumination, Illusion, Necromancy, Transmutation, Void Magic), Timekeeper, War Mage

Step 4 – Attribute Selection

All characters are built off standard attribute buy. This is not a place for random rolls. Everyone is equal.

Starting stats: Strength 8, Dexterity 8, Constitution 8, Intelligence 8, Wisdom 8, Charisma 8

Characters have 27 points to build their character.

Ability Score Point Cost Table
ScoreCostScoreCost
80124
91135
102147
113159

Add the racial modifiers to the purchased score and determine the modifier.

Ability Scores and Modifiers Table
ScoreModifierScoreModifierScoreModifierScoreModifier
1-58-9-116-17+324-25+7
2-3-410-11+018-19+426-27+8
4-5-312-13+120-21+528-29+9
6-7-214-15+222-23+630+10

Final Step – Annotated Stat Block

The last step in the character creation process is to provide me, the games master with a standardised look at your character that I can easily follow. For this I have an Annotated Stat Block that shows you how I want to see your character.

Upon receiving one, which should also include one for each level to your current level, your character also provides a GM’s Luck Point to the table each session. Also equipment beyond starting level 1 items will only be discussed after this step.

Design Decisions

Common, Uncommon and NPC Only elements of character creation have been put in place to limit the drop of screw the campaign characters that some of my players have done in the past. Basically by putting a shared limitation into play that requires communication or the character is illegal for the campaign has stopped a lot of arguments.

  • Common: These items are free for players to choose during character creation
  • Uncommon: A player can select one of these for their characters as part of character creation as long as it has been discussed and approved by the games master as there will be extra campaign contextual information associated with this not available to the players before they encounter it in play
  • NPC Only: Not a character creation option.

Half-Breeds in Mystara not being a playable race is a setting specific distinction that was there in BECMI rules and lifted when it was moved to 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. I have chosen to keep the restriction as a flavour of the setting as there are many races to choose from such that the loss of a couple of Half-Races is not a penalty on character options.

Point Buy attributes vs dice rolled attributes. Some players prefer dice rolled characters, in general they are either power gamers who roll 200+ characters and bring the best to the game (I have had that in this campaign, even though it was point buy only) or those hard core roleplayers who want to game with the horrible stats with nothing over 8. While either option can be interesting, what it creates is a power trip for the perfect character, or an underwhelming experience for the crippled character. In 5th Edition D&D 1 or 2 points added or removed from a dice roll is a major effect. By making it a selection with point buy, all the characters are on the same chance of success or failure and a more balanced game to manage. So for many years I have only used point buy for this reason.

Using an Annotated Stat Block, I have requested players provide this because I have 6 campaigns and 40+ characters over those games and ended up with about 30+ different layouts and reference levels for the characters that made it impossible to determine if that character was suitable, followed the character creation guidelines and in principle will fit with the other characters.

Content Updates

  • 2021-08-11 – Update to layout, incorporating the dynamic menus for race and classes so it will expand as I expand my notes on here.
  • 2020-07-13 – Incorporated draft copy extra content.
D&D 5E in Mystara

D&D MenuAdventures, Artefacts, Backgrounds, Classes, Dominions, Downtime, Feats, Gazetteers, Gods, Magical Items, Organisations, Pantheons, Races, Ranks & Titles, Rune Magic, Secret Crafts, Settlements, Spells, Timeline, Weapons Mastery

WRATH: Campaign, Design

Game ManagementAnnotated Stat Block, Character Creation, Choosing a New Campaign, Gaming over Skype, GM’s Luck Roll, Tracking Experience

Class Builds – Barbarian – Totem Warrior (Ethegnarian), Totem Warrior (Heldannic), Bard – College of Valour (Sunfey), Druid – Circle of Dreams (Woodfey), Fighter – Battlemaster (Seashire), Eldritch Knight (Kerendan), Weapons Master (Makai), Weapons Master (Stonebound), Monk – Way of the Elements (Waterchild), Paladin – Oath of Radiance (Sunfey), Oath of Vengeance (Firechild), Sorcerer – Wild Magic (Shadowfey), Warlock – Celestial (Sunfey), Wizard – Bladesinger (Seasonfey), Dragon – White. Multiclass – Cleric/Wizard (Ethengarian), Rogue/Cleric (Atruaghin), Rogue/Sorcerer (Seashire), Wizard/Rogue (Traladaran)

FloorplansThyatian

Session Recordings – Campaign Journals

Mystara Races

The Races Overview

Dragonkind Overview: Air (Crystalborn, Silverborn, Whiteborn), Darkness (Blackborn, Brassborn, Onyxborn), Earth (Copperborn, Emeraldborn, Greenborn), Fire( Amberborn, Goldborn, Redborn, Rubyborn), Water (Blueborn, Bronzeborn, Sapphineborn)

Dwarven Overview: Air (Hillbound), Darkness (Shadowbound), Earth (Stonebound), Fire (Craftbound), Water (Seabound)

Elven Overview: Air (Nomadfey, Skyfey), Darknes (Bloodfey, Shadowfey), Earth (Wildfey, Woodfey), Fire (Spiritfey, Sunfey), Water (Seafey), Elements (Seasonfey)

Genasi Overview: Air (Airchild), Earth (Earthchild), Darkness (Darkchild), Fire (Firechild), Water (Waterchild)

Giantkind Overview:

Gnome Overview: Air (Skykin), Darkness (Shadowkin), Earth (Forestkin), Fire (Tinkerkin), Water (Tradekin)

Halfling Overview: Air (Southshire), Darkness (Eastshire), Earth (Highshire), Fire (Heartshire), Water (Seashire)

Human Overview: Air (Hattian, Heldannic, Kerendan, Thyatian), Darkness (Nuari), Earth (Atruaghin, Ethengarian, Makistani), Fire (Alasiyan, Thothian, Traladaran), Water (Makai)

Inner World

Humans Overview: Fire – Nithian

D&D Gazetteer

Mystara setting

The Known World Region: Alfheim, Atruaghin Clans, Broken Lands, Darokin, Ethengar, Five Shires, Glantri, Ierendi, Karameikos, Minrothad, Northern Reaches, Rockhome, Shadowlands, Ylaruam

Other Places of Note: Alphatia and Thyatis, Norwold Region, Thunder Rift

Hollow World

Library of Books

B5, d20 System, Pathfinder, SW

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By thedarkelf007

I am a long term gamer, I run 6 RPG's a fortnight, host board game, card game and LANs each about once a quarter and have an addiction to buying more games. Games I am currently running are Pathfinder (1st and 2nd Edition) and Dungeons and Dragons (5th Edition).

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