D&D 5E What Do You Need to Roll Up a New Character?

What Do You Need to Roll Up a New Character?


Limit Break Dancing
Obviously, I need a Player's Handbook for the core classes, the description of certain feats, the starting equipment, and so on. I also need the DMG, because one of the house rules we use allows characters to start with a magic item from Table B, and I'll need to look that up.

I also like to browse through some of the new class features in Xanathar's, and I like to look over some new races in Volo's. Ultimately though, I will end up crafting my own custom origin using the rules in Tasha's (while borrowing bits and pieces from all of the aforementioned books). We use our own custom campaign sourcebook, and it has a handful of new stuff like campaign-specific feats and spells.

Before I roll my stats (we actually roll them, using 4, six-sided dice), I like to chat with my DM to bounce ideas off of them, and see if there are any new resources that might be on the table. I'll also chat with my fellow players too, so that we don't end up rolling five different rogues by accident.

I use a form-fillable character sheet, so that means I use a computer and a printer. But I also use a sheet of scratch paper and a pencil for shopping, arranging my stats, and so forth. And I usually end up transcribing the character into my Roll20 account for safe-keeping, leveling-up, and for the occasional virtual game.

The whole process usually takes 2 or 3 hours from start to finish. We typically order a pizza and serve some snacks, and we take turns designing and ordering a new custom mini from HeroForge (they also have an online studio where you can create your own custom character portrait).

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Victoria Rules
Two things potentially required that aren't on that otherwise-truly-impressive list:

--- dice of different size than d6, for rolling up hit points etc.
--- beer

Also didn't vote for "a blank character sheet" as a blank piece of paper will do just as well.


I just need the PHB and my computer to fill in the character sheet I have, and a printer to print it off. I checked off a pencil but could skip it if I fill in the sheet before I print it. I skipped dice since we tend to use the array method,


In general:

Outside of dice, a pencil and a blank sheet of paper, if I haven't previously read through the player-relevant books I'll need a copy of at least the system's player's book to quickly skim through.

If I'm familiar with the books, they're not necessary. Most of the time, if I've read something at least twice it's uploaded into the skull drive fairly permanently - hell I can probably still write out the THAC0 chart if you give me a minute to think about it.
I jumped into my first 4E game on a last-minute invite having never read any of the books and spent fifteen minutes making a character (with a deep campaign-appropriate backstory) and learning all the rules relevant to that particular class (combat, jumping, stealth, etc.). Halfway through the first session I was basically the group's rules guru.


I want guidance on the tone and setting of the campaign so I can make an appropriate character, as well as a list of available (or unavailable) resources for character creation.

Those are the things I need.

I'm an old-school guy, so I'm perfectly cool with not having an official character sheet, a cool miniature or character illustration, or a new set of dice for the character.

As far as what I want, however... :cool:

If I have the time, I can spend days sifting through every last option in every last book to craft a damn good character, mechanically and narratively, with a complete three-dimensional personality and a deep backstory.
I do often select a particular set of dice out of my vast collection that feels like it matches the character, I do usually modify a miniature or even outright sculpt my own figure, and I've got the image-manipulation skills to paste together an image of my character if I feel like it...


A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
D&D Beyond, because I'm usually away from my physical books. D&D Beyond gives me access to all official character options and I can do it right on my phone or computer. I don't need snacks and soda/beer, but those are usually involved.


I normally roll up a new PC in dndbeyond, though using a different online dice roller because I get tired of waiting for the animated file to stop rolling. Takes from 5 to 10 minutes to roll up a 1st level PC depending on if I have to pick spells. Normally just pick starting equipment and then modify from there. Add another 5-10 minutes if I'm rolling up a higher level PC.

Takes a bit longer of I'm rolling up a new PC using the books and pen and paper, mainly due to flipping through the options to find things I want.

I should note that I only selected Dndbeyond as needed because that's what I tend to use to roll up PCs nowadays. I guess a campaign guide would also be useful, no more than a couple pages to get me started.


Limit Break Dancing
For all the complaints I've read in these forums about "character builds" and online guides, not a single person has voted for them (yet). Is it possible that the shine has worn off of them? or were they never really as popular as I've been lead to believe?


For all the complaints I've read in these forums about "character builds" and online guides, not a single person has voted for them (yet). Is it possible that the shine has worn off of them? or were they never really as popular as I've been lead to believe?
Might be the site more than anything. I often see on Reddit people asking for guides, but I don't really think they're needed for 5e and they likely aren't as popular as they were in 3e and 4e.

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