D&D General Changing Order of Character Creation, from 1e to 2024

ezo

Where is that Singe?
OTOH I'm very sympathetic to folks wanting to be able to play the class they prefer.

Thankfully, with minimal house rules like "generate the set in order but then you may swap any two scores" or "generate the set as normal, but you may "'flip' it by subtracting every score in order from 21", you can usually get the best of both worlds.
Sure, that is why I specified it was my preference. I don't hold my players to it, but every single one has at least tried it to see what they get and have fun with it.

I agree with the concept of -2 for +1 elsewhere. It basically represents your character's choice to not develop one ability score as much in order to work harder on the other. The classic wizard-type lowering a high Strength score to bump Intelligence (I never exercised much, worked-out, or played sports... I was always studying, solving puzzles, etc.).

We didn't play Basic very long; 2e became our core system and when it did, we learned you were screwed when your scores weren't Uber. Warriors lost out on a key feature (exceptional strength) if you didn't roll an 18 strength. Wizards and priests could not reach the highest level of spells and wizards had a bad chance of failure in gaining me spells (and a hard limit on how many they could learn) if their Int wasn't exceptional. On the other end, Rogues needed high Dex bonuses to thief skills if they wanted anything better than a minimal chance to succeed doing their class functions. (And as discussed in the rogue thread, most thief skills came with harsh riders, so you needed every % you could get). If you intended to survive to and play beyond 5th level, you needed super scores and HP. Otherwise, you were dead PC walking because even if your 14 Int wizard survived to name level, you were never going to have the high spell levels or spell selection to meet those challenges.

So making sure you had necessary scores was to make sure you were pulling your weight. Bob the wizard with a 14 Int and 9 HP at 5th level was a liability and an XP sponge. Pull your weight or retire and open a ration store.
As I've said, our experiences were very different. I played numerous AD&D characters with score across-the-board 14 or lower--no "bonuses" anywhere. You didn't need them to pull your weight. How well you played, the choices you made, your level of contribution were what actually mattered IME.

And it was just assumed you did. Everyone did. The other players did, the DM knew you did and he would do it when it was his turn to play. And it wasn't like TSR was shy about showing NPCs and pre gens with sky high scores. Or allowing infinite rerolls and point customization in Baldur's Gate and other D&D games. It was practically encouraged to have high scores. So we rolled 4d6 , dropped the lowest, and rolled until we got a set of scores that worked.
Again, I believe you that was your experience. And you didn't like it, so fine. But in AD&D scores didn't give you much until you hit 16 (15 gave you some things). Saying you "needed" two 15s or better in AD&D is like saying you need two 13s or better in 5E... Which is pretty darn easy to get.

And it broke, finally, when 3e pushed point buy and fixed HP in RPGA and that resolved the issue of needing super high scores and cheating to stay competitive. It was a weight relief from everyone that la costra nostra was gone.
Great, so like I just said (and did upthread IIRC), WotC made it easier to get the bonuses people thought they needed. They also removed all ability score requirements for classes in 3E. Everything is now a la carte. Enjoy. :)

So you can get off your high horse about it. I was there and I saw how multiple groups interpreted it and I'm glad it's gone. You like it? Fine. But don't tell me it's better objectively or otherwise. I would never go back to it again.
LOL my "high horse"? Really? Well, enough of that I guess. My point was never to convince you... only to point out you're missing out IMO. You don't care you're missing out? Fine. As I said above, enjoy! :)
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Clint_L

Legend
Honestly, I don't think that's much of a surprise. Class determines a lot of how you do what you do. It will affect most aspects of the game moving forward. So, yeah, you pick that first if you have a strong opinion about it.

As for me, I usually don't have a particularly strong opinion about how I want to go about the adventuring life - though I may have a few options I generally prefer to investigate this time. So I'm usually OK with waiting until the other players have made decisions before I jump in and that gives me more freedom to think of other characteristics first like race and background.
Same. I always wait until the other players are locked in and then look for a niche. I've been playing so long that I can find something to like about any class. So my newest character is a bard. I'm gonna name him Snarff.
 

If the goal is to picture a character and go make it (and it seems to be for a lot of us), then this feels like the way!
I would think many people picture the person (character) first. I have heard many people state: "I want to be an orphan that lost their parents to a _______ attack," or "I want to be a kid that grew up in the jungle and was raised by the creatures there," or "I want to have this anime's character's backstory." For these people, class is still open.

I really believe it is what questions you use for the wording of character creation. Those questions create the framework of how a player views the process. Ask, "What does your character look like while fighting in a battle?" and then ask, "What does your character look like when they walk into the king's court?" and then ask, "What does your character look like when exploring a forgotten dungeon?" Ask those three questions and you are bound to be led to a class.

Ask: "When your character was five, what did their life look like?" and then "When they were 15, what event was the catalyst for their adventuring career?" and you will get a much different frame for character creation.

I don't think any one way is wrong. But, to say it "...feels like the right way!" just implies it agrees with your vision of character design.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
I would think many people picture the person (character) first. I have heard many people state: "I want to be an orphan that lost their parents to a _______ attack," or "I want to be a kid that grew up in the jungle and was raised by the creatures there," or "I want to have this anime's character's backstory." For these people, class is still open.

I really believe it is what questions you use for the wording of character creation. Those questions create the framework of how a player views the process. Ask, "What does your character look like while fighting in a battle?" and then ask, "What does your character look like when they walk into the king's court?" and then ask, "What does your character look like when exploring a forgotten dungeon?" Ask those three questions and you are bound to be led to a class.

Ask: "When your character was five, what did their life look like?" and then "When they were 15, what event was the catalyst for their adventuring career?" and you will get a much different frame for character creation.

I don't think any one way is wrong. But, to say it "...feels like the right way!" just implies it agrees with your vision of character design.
Yeah, to each their own, but I'm actually really uncomfortable choosing class first, and configuring character creation around that idea in the core book is very off-putting to me. Another reason 5.5 is not for me.
 

Yeah, to each their own, but I'm actually really uncomfortable choosing class first, and configuring character creation around that idea in the core book is very off-putting to me. Another reason 5.5 is not for me.
Yeah, I get it. But, I can say this: If this PHB is anything like the last one, once you learn the rules, it doesn't matter what order you go in. Your brain automatically adjusts for many things, no matter the sequence of steps used.
 

Remathilis

Legend
I would think many people picture the person (character) first. I have heard many people state: "I want to be an orphan that lost their parents to a _______ attack," or "I want to be a kid that grew up in the jungle and was raised by the creatures there," or "I want to have this anime's character's backstory." For these people, class is still open.

I really believe it is what questions you use for the wording of character creation. Those questions create the framework of how a player views the process. Ask, "What does your character look like while fighting in a battle?" and then ask, "What does your character look like when they walk into the king's court?" and then ask, "What does your character look like when exploring a forgotten dungeon?" Ask those three questions and you are bound to be led to a class.

Ask: "When your character was five, what did their life look like?" and then "When they were 15, what event was the catalyst for their adventuring career?" and you will get a much different frame for character creation.

I don't think any one way is wrong. But, to say it "...feels like the right way!" just implies it agrees with your vision of character design.
I think it really depends on what is the catalyst for your concept. Most people start with an idea that tends to lead on a class first (a dark mage, a bold warrior) that gives them a small selection of class choices. Sometimes people start with a species (a gruff dwarf, or a cunning tiefling) and let class develop from that. A few start with a background (a lucky urchin, a haughty noble) and move from there, but I find that rare. The reason why class still is the biggest of the three is class determines so much of your play style. A dwarf is going to give you some earthy bonuses and resilience, the noble, some skills and proficiencies, but class determines if you're in melee with swords, in the back slinging spells, a healer or an ambusher. Put another way, two dwarves or two nobles in a party doesn't feel like overlap, but two sorcerers can feel they are filling the same niche.
 

I think it really depends on what is the catalyst for your concept. Most people start with an idea that tends to lead on a class first (a dark mage, a bold warrior) that gives them a small selection of class choices. Sometimes people start with a species (a gruff dwarf, or a cunning tiefling) and let class develop from that. A few start with a background (a lucky urchin, a haughty noble) and move from there, but I find that rare. The reason why class still is the biggest of the three is class determines so much of your play style. A dwarf is going to give you some earthy bonuses and resilience, the noble, some skills and proficiencies, but class determines if you're in melee with swords, in the back slinging spells, a healer or an ambusher. Put another way, two dwarves or two nobles in a party doesn't feel like overlap, but two sorcerers can feel they are filling the same niche.
Oh, I agree with you that class is the most common because it determines much of your play. I just think that the framing of "What do you want to play?" that actually determines how players approach the game. All takes are fine, but the framing is important. Here is why:

The framing can also determine how a player approaches the game. Going class first just seems to add fuel to the fire about how a player can squeeze every +1 they can out of something. It seems to focus on the fighting pillar of the game, which inevitably, are what class abilities are. Whereas, focusing on species seems to focus on the world trope/anti-trope of world building. Whereas, at least in the old backgrounds, focusing on those seems to focus on your character's roleplaying aspects (ideals, bonds, flaws, etc.)
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
I think it really depends on what is the catalyst for your concept. Most people start with an idea that tends to lead on a class first (a dark mage, a bold warrior) that gives them a small selection of class choices. Sometimes people start with a species (a gruff dwarf, or a cunning tiefling) and let class develop from that. A few start with a background (a lucky urchin, a haughty noble) and move from there, but I find that rare. The reason why class still is the biggest of the three is class determines so much of your play style. A dwarf is going to give you some earthy bonuses and resilience, the noble, some skills and proficiencies, but class determines if you're in melee with swords, in the back slinging spells, a healer or an ambusher. Put another way, two dwarves or two nobles in a party doesn't feel like overlap, but two sorcerers can feel they are filling the same niche.
This is a direct reflection of just how important combat has become to the game, and how it overwhelms the other pillars. Class in WotC 5e is mostly just how you fight.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Oh, I agree with you that class is the most common because it determines much of your play. I just think that the framing of "What do you want to play?" that actually determines how players approach the game. All takes are fine, but the framing is important. Here is why:

The framing can also determine how a player approaches the game. Going class first just seems to add fuel to the fire about how a player can squeeze every +1 they can out of something. It seems to focus on the fighting pillar of the game, which inevitably, are what class abilities are. Whereas, focusing on species seems to focus on the world trope/anti-trope of world building. Whereas, at least in the old backgrounds, focusing on those seems to focus on your character's roleplaying aspects (ideals, bonds, flaws, etc.)
This. All the way this. It's a matter of assumed emphasis on what the game is about, and I'm not happy with 5.5's assumption.
 

Remathilis

Legend
This is a direct reflection of just how important combat has become to the game, and how it overwhelms the other pillars. Class in WotC 5e is mostly just how you fight.
Uh. No....

If you want to be sneaky, rogue is still a skill/stealth master. Cleric is the best healer. The Wizard is the master of all arcane magic. Druid for shape changing. Ranger for survivalist. Bard for face. That's the same as it was in every edition.

C'mon, if you are going to hate post, do better than this.
 

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top