D&D WITH ERIC THE DM #30: New Characters!
Eric the DM
Hello adventurers near and far! It is I, Eric the DM, returned from realms far away to speak with you! How have you been? How have your adventures been going? I truly hope you are well!
Its been a while since we have talked so let’s set up camp together and tell each other of our many adventures!
It looks like you may have some new faces in your party! Maybe you are sporting a new face yourself. Breaking in a new character can be challenging and even frustrating. Today why don’t we talk about some of the things you can do to make character creation a better and more rewarding and EASIER experience!
So, the time has come to create a new character. Depending on the game system you are using creating a new character can be a daunting and even frustrating task. Endless skills, spells, abilities, and equipment lists await you! But don’t let it overwhelm you! Character creation can also be an incredibly rewarding and intimate experience as well! You are bringing a new life into the multiverse! You are setting the framework for a new hero (or villain?) whose actions will change the shape of the universe they live in! A truly exciting thing indeed!
What are some of the things you can do to help streamline this process? What can be done to make the tedious parts less tedious? Let’s talk about that now!
One of the first things to do is daydream. That’s right! Daydream! Spend some time thinking about who this new character will be. What will they look like? What moral compass will they hold? What weapons, spells, and skills will they wield? Picture them in your minds eye. Fantasize about them in combat, and at the bar, and in the dungeon. If you spend this time thinking about and dreaming about your character when you sit down to create them you will already know the direction you want to take!
The next thing to do is set the mood. Character creation is almost always a lengthy process. If there are multiple of you that need new characters think about having a “character making party.” A few bottles of soda and some pizzas and your dice. Pull out a fresh character sheet and start rolling! With several people working at once to make new characters you can often find the spells and skills you are looking for much more quickly by working together. If it’s only YOU making a character you may ask your DM if maybe just THEY want to hang out one night while you birth this new hero. Having one on one time with your DM can be rewarding in many ways. You get to know each other on a more personal level and you may even be able to vie for some sort of tiny bonus for your fledgling character. Finally, if you have to go it alone you can still make a night of it! Just you and the new character you are bringing to life! Spend this time with your character recreating your daydreams! With each roll of the dice and every skill you choose you can picture your hero taking shape, being chiseled from your very imagination into something amazing!
Another suggestion is to have a dedicated dice set just for rolling characters. For me its my trusty Ruby Diamond set. This is my Creation Set. These dice have rolled every character I have ever created. By using this dice set exclusively for character creation it allows me to enter a sort of sacred space. When I am using these dice, I know I am creating! It helps me to clear my mind and set good intentions for my time. Check out the amazing dice sets at www.thetabletopgameshop.com and see if you see a dice set that speaks to you!
Next, consider having a Standard List of Equipment. A universal set of equipment, preapproved by your DM, that you use for all characters. By having this standard list, set and ready to go, you can save a ton of time figuring out what your character owns. Once you have your standard equipment down you can focus on any special equipment your character might have, and that’s more likely to be the fun stuff 😊
When it comes time to pick skills, abilities and powers (spells/psionic/etc.) the daydreaming you did earlier will really help you out! While you are daydreaming jot down some of the things you see your character doing. Are they wielding a massive sword? Sneaking thru the shadows? Dancing and singing at the saloon? What skills are required to make these dream snapshots of your character come to life? Coming into character creation with this list can help you knockout many of your skills, powers and more in no time!
You look a bit weary traveler. Why don’t we stop here for a bit and we will let you rest. But when we speak again, I’d like to give you more tips on character creation, as well as give you some advice on how to “break in” a new character.The fire is high and warm and camp is set so make yourself comfortable. Rest well fellow adventurers and KEEP ROLLING THOSE DICE!