So I’ve come to the point of rolling an actual character for Dungeons and Dragons 5e. So as I type this I am writing stats and whatnot down on the character sheet. The tactual sensation of holding the pencil and paper and flipping through the book brings me back to my first character in D&D 1e. This is going to be a messy post, I’m sorry!
So my first roll was an eighteen and I ended up keeping the first array of 18, 17, 15, 14, 13, 11. Choosing a race is the next so I went with Wood Elf. Being a Wood Elf grants the following abilities:
Proficiency in the Perception skill
Advantage on charm saving throws, immunity to sleep
Trance for 4 hours instead of sleeping
Common and Elvish
Proficiency with Longsword, Shortsword, shortbow and longbow
+5 to speed (Making it 35ft)
Mask of the Wild – You can attempt to hide even when you are only lightly obscured by foliage, heavy rain, falling snow, mist and other natural phenomena.
Basic Starting Information
Hit Points 11
Light Armor, Medium and Shields
Simple and Martial Weapons
Proficiency with Strength and Dexterity saving throws
Skills chosen: Animal Handling, Nature, Stealth
Proficiency bonus +2
Favored Enemy – Giants, advantage to track, recall information, gain racial language (I’m guessing giant here).
Natural Explorer – Forest this grants several benefits from improved travelling to foraging and tracking. I am not going to type them all.
After that the next section of the book focuses on character details. The name I chose, obviously, is Vandrel which is a throwback name from my longest-standing campaign. Sex and gender is touched on in a very progressive manner as never before seen in a D&D game. Not only do they emphasize that males and females are no different but they touch on alternative lifestyles as well. While I have never been one to mix sex and RPGs it is refreshing to see that Wizards of the Coast can print such things in confidence.
Since I am an elf, the next section about height and weight designates that my base height is 4’6″ +2d10 and my base weight is 100lbs x1d4lb. Now this section has a little bit of underlying confusion unless you read the whole thing. You roll your 2d10 and use that number to add to your height and then multiply that by your weight modifier. In this case I got 12 so my height is 5’6″ and my weight is (1d4=3) 136lbs. Easy enough. When you’re done with that you choose any other physical characteristics that you may wish from skin color to tattoos or scars. He will have a tattoo on his face, a half leaf on the left side that helps cover a nasty scar given to him by the giant that killed his family.
Now that we’re done with that, on to alignment. Alignments of the past have returned. You have a choice of Lawful, Neutral or Chaotic and Good, Neutral or Evil. For this character, being a Wood Elf Ranger (Eventually Beastmaster) I think Chaotic Good fits. Chaotic Good (CG) creatures act as their conscience directs, with little regard for what others expect. Copper dragons, many elves, and unicorns are Chaotic Good. His languages, as covered previously, will be Common and Elvish.
Personality Traits, Ideals, Bonds and Flaws are next. The easiest way to define the two personality traits of your character are to look at your lowest and highest stats (as recommended by the book) and use those two stats to define something about your character’s persona. Since Dexterity is his highest and Intelligence is his lowest we will start there. The high dexterity reflects his training versus larger opponents. He’s never been an overtly strong man but he has always had the advantage of his physical quickness. His intelligence says to me that this character has spent more time training to defeat his enemies than researching and burying his head in books. One thing to keep in mind here is that stats at 10 are average, anything more is above average. So my two traits will read like this: I have trained to face my foes with superior speed but I have struggled in recovering from the grievous head wound given to me by the giant that slew my parents. He is very self-sure about his speed but gets angry when he is faced with something he cannot surpass intellectually. Moving on to ideals, bonds and flaws I think I will use the table enclosed in the book under my background.
The background I picked for Vandrel is Outlander. They are survivalists and nomads. In the case of Vandrel I am going to paint him as a woodland guide of sorts. The kind of elf that enjoys the wilds more than people. He will take you wherever you need to go, for a fee of course. The boons granted to him are the Athletics and Survival skills, one musical instrument, one language of your choice and a smattering of equipment. You also get the wanderer feature which grants you a memory for terrain and maps and allows you to forage for up to 5 people per day.
1d6 on the Ideals chart: 1, Change. Life is like the seasons, in constant change, and we must change with it.
1d6 on the Bonds chart: 4, I am the last of my tribe, and it is up to me to ensure their names enter legend.
1d6 on the Flaws chart: 2, There’s no room for caution in a life lived to the fullest.
All-in all it seems like this character is coming out well. His starting wealth ends up being 170gp. From there I purchased him a suit of studded leather (AC 12+DEX) because his DEX mod is 5 and medium armor is a max of 2 DEX bonus. I have decided to make him an archer so I need to focus on his ranged weapon first. He rates a Longbow and a Pike. To top him off I am going to get him an explorer’s pack. (110gp which leaves him 60 for other endeavors). His trinket, which is an interesting little piece of your past. I got A dragon’s bony talon hanging from a plain leather necklace.
That’s it, it’s that simple! The rest is up to you. The basics are covered and from there your character can only grow. It’s that simple. Set your stats and choose your options.