How do you go about creating a character?
I start with the question: “how do I fit in this world I am about to play in?”
Initially, I place myself inside a blob of creativity and start fleshing out my background: “how was my character raised? what made my character so attracted to becoming a certain class?” Then I move on to what could have happened to them and how it dictates the future play style of my character.
An example would be:
“Ok well, I am a Human Noble who’s family deals with trading and owns a lot of land.”
Ok, so that’s still very, generic, right? So, to spice it up and make it more involved, try this;
“I am a Human from Halruaa who’s family are investors into the airship trade and are known for their magical engineering. I am my family’s ambassador and I am traveling the world seeking knowledge on magic outside of the spell plagues reach.”
This description gives better envelopment to your character that most DM’s can take and understand, even to the point that he or she can involve your characters back story into the campaign’s story or that of an adventure path. Having a detailed character also may encourage your other party members to partake in adding some depth to their characters as well.
Now one of the most important questions is: What is the class you are creating?
- Do you want to be the character that rushes forward and gets the enemy’s attention and stay within melee combat?
- Are you the character that will stay further back and throw spells or inspire your comrades to keep them afloat or drive the enemy back?
- Are you the character that can do both?
The best part of Role-Playing games is the wide variety of class options at your disposal. Many include the very basic tank (the character who is built to take damage and keep going), DPS (those who can dish out a massive amount of damage), Healer (the one to keep the fight going until victory), and so on. A lot of people use their background as an approach to this, and will sometimes even mix it up to make their character much more unique. Take a Gnome Barbarian, for example. A gnome is a small creature that is often mistaken as a child at an adult age. Since it’s a barbarian, it will rage in a battle and perform the duties of a tank. No one would suspect a small gnome to charge first with a violent bloodlust while foaming at the mouth. Or the Dwarven Warlock with a patron to the Fey. These are a few examples of a very different perspective of class and race build that will make your character that much more memorable.
Take a gnome barbarian, for example. A gnome is a small creature that is often mistaken as a child at an adult age. Since it’s a barbarian, it will rage in a battle and perform the duties of a tank. No one would suspect a small gnome to charge first with a violent bloodlust while foaming at the mouth.
What about a dwarven warlock with a patron to the Fey? Dwarves are typically mountain folk or hill folk that prides themselves on their community and stubbornness. And here strolls in a dwarven warlock with ties to fey magic.
These are a few examples of a very different perspective of class and race build that will make your character that much more memorable.
Now for inexperienced players, I highly suggest a hybrid type of class like the ranger, paladin, warlock, and even cleric. These classes depending on which archetype you chose, will give you experience with melee, ranged, and spell casting. It’s very hard for some to start off with only a caster class and sometimes even melee when you’re already used to only casting. With most of these, you will only be seeing melee or range at first before the spells come. Granted, they will typically not include a vast variety of spells or spell slots, but you will make it easier for the party and yourself if the main caster can concentrate on the casting the more complex spells. The cleric class, I feel, is looked down on the most, due to the fact they are viewed as not for damage output and such. For both Pathfinder and D&D, this is not true. Both have made the cleric the bane of undead, fiends, etc.. They are not just the healers but also the best option for divine spellcasting. The paladin class is the best at being the hybrid of divine spell casting and frontline combat, smiting the biggest evil thing on the field. But do remember the basic classes will let you have archetypes to those classes. Examples include the Warlock’s pact of the blade, the Rogue’s trickster, etc. So, you can still be good at your main class, but you have a few tricks up your sleeve just in case.
You can be whatever you want to be if the DM/GM allows you to be it. My best advice is to play something you are comfortable with and have an easier time role playing as. But don’t be afraid of leaving your comfort zone and see how unique you can create your character. You never know, your character can become the MVP of the party, or at least the most memorable.
This has been Coffee and Dice at Boggsimus Games; I’m Joshua Graham I will see you at the gaming table!