log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D General Character Building

How do you begin to build your characters?

  • I think of a class, then race, then background

    Votes: 25 71.4%
  • I think of a class, background then race

    Votes: 7 20.0%
  • I think of a race, class, then background

    Votes: 7 20.0%
  • I think of a race, background, then class

    Votes: 4 11.4%
  • I think of a background, class, then race

    Votes: 5 14.3%
  • I think of a background, race, then class

    Votes: 4 11.4%
  • I am the ultimate randomizer

    Votes: 1 2.9%
  • I think of power

    Votes: 3 8.6%

  • Total voters
    35

log in or register to remove this ad

payn

Legend
CBR was my choice, but that can vary depending on if its homebrew, sandbox, or adventure path. The more I have to work with, changes how I go about it.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
The pattern I use is not fixed. I typically build characters by allowing others to find their concepts first, and then filling in gaps. So I typically have my choices of all three narrowed somewhat, but then pick them up and juggle them fairly randomly until I find something I think it interesting
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
If I'm not filling in gaps in a manner similar to @Umbran I am literally rolling randomly for race and class and picking a background that makes sense.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
I voted for all but the last two options because it’s different for different characters. Sometimes the party needs a certain role filled, so I choose a class tha fills it and go from there. Sometimes I’m excited to play a certain race so I start from there. It’s rare that I start from a background, but I have done it.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
To most of those questions I answer yes. Sometimes I envision a character of X job(background) and build from there. Other times I have a race that I haven't played in a while and start with that and build. Yet other times I will pick a class that I want to play and build. The only things on that list that I don't do are power and ultimate randomizer, but if everyone wanted to roll race, background and class completely randomly, I'd be on board.
 

Arilyn

Hero
It varies a lot. I don't have a set pattern. Sometimes characters bubble up and "tell" me who they are, other times I might just feel like playing a certain race or archetype, and other times I'll create a character to fill in a gap.
 

The Lizard Wizard

Adventurer
It’s usually different each time, it might start with a race or class I haven’t played yet as the spark.

Sometimes it can be based on an idea, like a performer that sings directly into the minds of the crowd using telepathy.
 


Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
My process is mutable. There’s no fixed pattern. Besides the options listed above, I’ve designed PCs based on a song, on a piece of art, a weapon, a power/spell/feat, or even a concept that sprang into my head in various levels of completeness.

However, the LEAST likely thing I’d prioritize is how powerful the character will be.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
You're the missing pre-WotC character creation option. Roll stats and see what classes the character qualifies for, then go from there.
I believe that would qualify as class then race then background, or class then background then race. Ability scores come before class, but class comes before the other two things the poll is concerned about.
 

My normal approach is to figure out a concept, then figure out which mechanics to use. Sometimes it's a race, sometimes a class, sometimes a specific game mechanic or spell, but I use this as my starting point. With 5E, I've DMed about half the time, so I don't get many chances to try out different characters. Because of this, I usually pick a subclass to build off of, such as my current Nature Cleric, Fiendish Warlock, and upcoming Bladesinger.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
My normal approach is to figure out a concept, then figure out which mechanics to use. Sometimes it's a race, sometimes a class, sometimes a specific game mechanic or spell, but I use this as my starting point. With 5E, I've DMed about half the time, so I don't get many chances to try out different characters. Because of this, I usually pick a subclass to build off of, such as my current Nature Cleric, Fiendish Warlock, and upcoming Bladesinger.

Same for me, it's more a personality template first, after that the technicalities come, probably class first to see how it fits the concept in terms of abilities.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Class and race are both important but I usually think of class first (never mind that in our system to be any race other than Human you usually have to roll for it and may or may not get what you want). Also, as @overgeeked says sometimes you just gotta work with whatever the dice give you.

Background is irrelevant before roll-up, as many of the things that make up a background - languages known, past profession(s), age, family, homeland, etc. - are randomly or quasi-randomly determined either during roll-up or at some later time. @Lxyen has a point about personality, though; I'll often come up with that ahead of time and hope the dice are kind. :)

A few times in the past I've randomized absolutely everything about a character, just for kicks; and it probably says something that for most of 'em I can't remember any more which ones were rolled up this way and which ones had a bit more forethought. :)
 

Skayaq

Explorer
Most of the time I look for what (sub)class are interesting mechanically, then select a race that fits, then background. Sometimes I go Ï want to play x race, what's a class that fits?"
 


DEFCON 1

Legend
I went Background, Race, Class because it was the closest thing to what I actually do... which is look at the setting, look at the theme of the campaign, find out how/where we are starting the game from... and then establish an idea of a character (devoid of mechanical worry) that would make sense for that space and for the what the game will be about. So the "Background" would come first... and usually a Race would be a somewhat obvious decision after the fact based upon the character's space now in the game. And which usually is why my Race selection generally starts at Human (and maybe might progress out from there), because most games tend to start humanocentric and thus being Human connects me most easily and snugly into it.

Then once I know all that... I will then fill in the mechanical details afterwards by selecting a Class that could make sense, oftentimes filling in gaps in party composition (like others have said) based upon what the party might need. What those mechanical gaps end up being doesn't really matter to me, because the character's design is already established and set up regardless of what class I end up playing. So I can select any number of different Classes and color my character accordingly.

Doing all of this allows me to have a character already involved in the story, tied to the story, and emotionally invested in what the story is, which I think is the most important part of the game and the part that most assists my DM in getting their game established and underway.
 


Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top