Rolling A New Character Is My Favourite Part Of Dungeons & Dragons

This Sunday, my D&D group got to the halfway point of our adventure. We all chatted about things we wanted to try in the next half, which means I get to do my favourite thing to do in a roleplaying game: roll a new character.

When I joined this game, I took over for a player who had to drop out. I wasn't sure how frequently I'd be able to play, or even if we'd get along, so when they handed me the character sheet for Mari Evenwood, a half elf warlock, I just rolled with it. There's a lot to like about Mari.

She has some great spells, like Phantasmal Force, which can convince an enemy that they're being attacked by a phantasm. I'd also found and hatched a dragon egg during my time with the character, and now I have a dragon wyrmling that's imprinted on Mari's face. She isn't my character though, and I've been eager to create someone to play who is my own. As soon as we started talking about potential new characters, I opened up a baby names website to come up with a suitable name.

Empty character sheets are exciting to me, especially after you'd spent some time with a system and have a better idea of your playstyle. With a fresh character sheet in hand, I got a chance to make a character that filled gaps in my party and also made the game more exciting for me to play.

Who I came up with at two in the morning when I couldn't sleep is Saarika Seaswift, a tiefling druid. Unlike the rest of our party, she's got a high intelligence and wisdom, and her ability to turn into animals like a bear or a giant eagle finally gives our party a tank. Fifth edition Dungeons & Dragon allows you to give your character a background that gives them a few proficiencies.

I liked the sound of making Saarika an Acolyte with a proficiency in religion, then remembered that our party's cleric told me that religion had been pretty much useless to him in our adventure. Instead, Saarika is a Haunted One with a dark past that she's running from, giving her a proficiency in Survival, which is more useful to our party.

On the superficial side of things, at first Saarika was a human, but then I started thinking about the anime Darling in the Franxxx, and I decided I wanted to play a babe with horns.

Whenever I make new characters that explore parts of the game I haven't played as much as others, I worry that they won't be as fun to play as they were to roll. I've played a druid once before, for a one shot, and it was definitely fun, but maybe I'll end up missing having a laser beam I can shoot out of my fingers from 91.44m away.

I'm itching to play as Saarika Seaswift right now, but I'm sure as I play I'll discover all the small things about her character and skillset that I don't like. The potential of what she can do and the new stories I can tell with her are giving me life right now, though. And also my DM let me keep the dragon, so, score.


Comments

    I find that I always have the most fun with character creation if I just sort of make a mess and try to piece it all back together, I normally attempt to stay away from what I class as the four easy races (elf, half elf, human and alt) and grab the odd classes that make for interesting role playing (goblin bards). I have friends that dip pretty hard into optimal builds, but I tend to try and avoid anything that makes the adventure easy. Makes for much more interesting sessions.

      I have seen this trend among some of the people I know. Personally I do not enjoy it and I am happy to confess that I remain a conservative where races and classes are concerned.

      In the past I have had few discussions on the subject with some of my friends and there is a general agreement (remember those are my friends, what they think does not make your opinion or that of your friends any less valid) that conservative players tend to like low fantasy, perhaps even low magic settings (Conan, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and the like) while those creating weird and wonderful characters are interested in high fantasy (World of Warcraft being one such example) where everything goes.

      I wonder if this theory works on a larger scale...

        I tend to agree with you on low and high, personally liking low fantasy, however I really want to play as a Kenku Bard, I’ll be the greatest cover artist of all time.

    Character creation is the best part of any RPG. It's why I had 20 chars in WoW and only 5 or so at max lev.
    Div OS 2 is another I'm recently restarting to reroll. I must have done "the Joy" about 10 times now.... and loved every minute of it until I think "New Char Time!!!"
    And yes I'm aware of the skill reset point available in the game.

    I was once a power-gamer. Now that I'm reformed, I classify myself as a 'thematic min-maxer.' I come up with a vision of the character and then build the character strictly according to the theme. For instance, I wanted to make a somewhat clueless half-orc barbarian tank, so I maxed his Con, put most everything else into Str. Cha and Int were dump stats. He took Improved Unarmed Strike as his 1st level feat. No weapons. Yes, it means that I have a freakishly strong monster doing 1d3+6 damage when raging. If I'd been less thematic, I would have given him a greatsword or something to increase the weapon damage (and save a feat!)

    On the off chance that you are not a part of the Adventure League and your comments are referring to your conduct as a player in a persistent campaign consider (or ignore) the following a word of advice from someone who have been Game Mastering for a very, very long time.

    You rolling new character is the least favourite part of the game for your Game Master...

    To begin with, if you just want to roll new characters get yourself a copy of Hero Lab and go for broke, do not waste the time of your Game Master with your ever changing ideas while he/she is desperately trying to bring balance, stability and continuity to the game and engage all players/characters all while you are rolling new characters because, like socks, you like the other colour better, at least for now.

    Stop being selfish, and start thinking about the group first. You do not need your Game Master to justify your character choices for you, you can do it all by yourself in your free time. But when you are back at the table, put the group and the game first. After all imagine what would happen to the game and how much additional pressure would be put onto the Game Master if everyone decided to show up the next session with a new character just because.

    Please do your Game Masters a big favour and try to remember that he/she has the same right to be at the table and to enjoy the game as you do...

      You seem like you would be really unfun to play any P&P with.

        You seem like you think "any P&P" is the P&P you play :)

          Lol @ downvoting like a chump.

          K bro.

            You do realise that you were the first one to down vote a comment from someone else who provided a detailed counter point of view that you happen to disagree with and to whom you responded with one liner filled with assumptions and grammar mistakes. So I do wonder which one deserved a down vote more :)

            I don't expect you to like my role playing style, I admit, often enough, that it is not for everyone, but it has served me well over my 20+ years of role playing and game mastering. Well enough that I have 2 outgoing games full of invested players.

            In my capacity, as a game master, I have posted comments, suggesting that, many players could improve their groups if they consider what others, including the game master, want/enjoy in their game and that a lot of game masters (that I know) do not like when player decided to change a character for no other reason than something else looks interesting. For the record, you down voted that.

            Now if your group and your game master like character design process and think that it is a very important part of the game (and according to the title of this article) "favourite part" then best wishes on running and/or being a part of a game you like, game that, I don't have to be a part of or like myself... and the world will still go on :)

              Before you poop yourself in a fit or hysteria, I think you need to actually click on the icon that tells you who downvoted you. Don't worry, I will be waiting here. Unless someone is a proper dickhole I don't downvote, I merely pointed out that your take on pen and paper did not seem like fun.

    I love the section in Xanathars guide called This is your life. I make a character based on the tables in there before I even roll stats.
    I make a couple a week in there, some for the game I DM and some for the game my partner runs. Still running my Hobgoblin (Volos for the stats) Wizard, but if she dies, ive got a Variant Human Arcana Cleric with an amazing backstory to print and play straight away. And a great Tortle Monk if that one dies, and... you get the idea.

    Last edited 01/05/18 4:08 pm

    Kukuasmin

    Str (⚂⚂⚁): 8           3hp
    Int (⚅⚅⚅): 18        Alignment: Lawful
    Wis (⚂⚂⚀): 7       
    Dex (⚅⚄⚄): 16
    Con (⚃⚃⚀): 9
    Cha (⚂⚂⚄): 11

    Starting gold (⚄⚃⚅): 150gp

    Spell scrolls: read magic, magic missile/variant (bone-knife).

    Yasmin uses the magic missile variant to ensure her throwing knives (bone) hit their target automatically and inflict 1d6+1 damage. She is a Royal Executioner in training of the Sultan.

    I love making D&D Characters, even if I never use them.

    If I'm DM, I'll let my players do pretty much anything, as long as they can justify it with a backstory and/or can role-play it well.

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