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The Role-Player's Guide - Character Creation

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Wednesday, 19 November 2008 14:10
Article Index
The Role-Player's Guide
Character Development
Background & Personality
Character Creation
Refining your Character
Speaking & Emoting
Moving in the Game
Role-Playing Out of Game
Common Conventions
Pushing the Limits
Advanced Role Playing
Tricks of the Trade
Additional Resources
All Pages


Creating the Character in the Game

Once you have your background done, it’s time to go into the game and create your character. Many of the decisions here become much easier once you have a background created. You should already know the gender, race, and initial class of your character at least.
When you assign points to your abilities, use the background you have written to make your decisions easier. For example, we might do the following for Weeltin:

AbilityScore Reasoning

Strength17We described him as very strong, plus he has military training.
Dexterity8His leg injury makes it difficult for him to move quickly.
Constitution16He is probably physically fit from his military work
Intelligence14A little smarter than average, per the description.
Wisdom10Average, maybe not so great – we know he did at least one really unwise thing as a child.
Charisma12We did not describe much about Charisma, so we can probably assume he’s fairly average.

Of course, these numbers could vary widely. Just use the background to give you a general idea of where the abilities should be.

One method of character building is to make your feat and spell selections strictly based on your character’s personality. This results in great character depth, but it may also result in you selecting feats or spells that may not make you the most powerful character possible.

Your 1st level mage defeats some fire beetles. He role-plays examining the beetles to determine where the “fire” comes from and happens upon an idea that leads to the Burning Hands spell when he gains another level, despite the fact that Magic Missile may be more useful in the long run.

If you want to take this approach to character building, don’t be afraid to take a feat that may not be especially useful. For example, let’s say you’ve elected to create a wizard who is nearly blind. Perhaps taking the Spell Focus feat for a certain spell school would make you much stronger. But, the feat Skill Focus: Listen might be a better role-playing choice because of the fact that a blind person might be better at hearing. You don’t always have to take the skill that makes you most powerful!

Finally, once you have assigned ability scores and selected feats, you will eventually have to put in a name and description for your character. For names, just don’t put anything foolish in unless the game calls for it. Players who are trying to enjoy a good role-playing experience don’t want to see names like “Bob the Jerkhead” or “Brittany Spears.” The character description will be visible to the other players in the game if they right-click on your portrait and select “Examine.” Therefore, many players prefer that their description only include information that other players would readily know about you, such as your appearance, or obvious character traits that would quickly become apparent in a simple conversation. Don’t include character background here – how could another character possibly know all that? It’s your job as a role-player to teach them about your character through your actions and words, not to give them a homework assignment to read your bio.

Note that your description can be cut and pasted from any Windows application, which is handy. Compose your background in your favorite editor, or even Windows Notepad. Highlight the text and copy it (ctrl-c). Start up Neverwinter Nights, and create your character as normal. When you get to the Customize Your Character step, and select your voice and name, you can also edit the default description. Highlight all the text in the description, and hit ctrl-v to paste over it with the text you copied.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 November 2008 15:07