Help With The Character Sheet
Ok, I will give you a break down of how the sheet works, but not all of the sheet. If you want me to cover its entirety, just let me know.
Also, I am fully aware that people are looking for a dnd 4e character generator that requires no subscriptions and no fees attached. I will tell you that where I was looking, it most definitely was not free so I pretty much created my own character the old fashioned way as well as some of the other players in my campaign.
If you wish for me to open up a new project (me being a programmer and all) for creating free software to generate a character, let me know. I am fully aware of copyright and stuff and have great respect for it, so it will not be some clone of material out of the book. It will have its own uniqueness. Unfortunately, I would be required to put it at my Kattner Games site as dnd gaming is meant for writing purposes only.
Now just to let you know, I will be talking about stuff from the first player’s handbook in fourth edition. There are apparently three core player handbooks out there. This does not cover the other optional books out there as I am covering the character sheet and not every race and class in the universe, although I could if you wished me to do so.
This Will Enlighten The Lost
And yes, I am sure there are quite a few dungeon masters that may not be interested in this material due to it covering stuff that they may already have knowledge of. This is primarily meant for new players that are having trouble grasping the concept of creating a character. It is meant for those who just don’t get it no matter how many times you tell them.
I have done training in a work environment for over 10 years and I usually am best at training those who struggle more than those who do not. The reason being because some trainers expect every soul on the planet to just pick up information in a heart beat. It does not always work that way and that is where I come in.
Now, you can go and read the book all flippin’ day if you wish, but I am going to show you one of the fastest methods and some may have already figured this out. Before I skip to that page in the book, I want you to turn to page 14.
It shows you that you need to create your character in this order (suggested): Race, Class, Ability Scores, Skills, Feats, Powers, Equipment and then other details. You can do that if you wish, but I am telling you that is not really needed.
My Personal Preference of Creation Order
My personal preference for creation is ability scores first. I have been doing that since 2nd edition and I will keep on doing it that way. I use the method for rolling four dice and taking the three highest ones by the way. I did however have a player use the same method but had it somewhat changed. If he did not like, he scrapped all scores and started all over again. I do not really see anything wrong with this since he is pretty much starting over with rolling anyway.
Next, race and then class. Then, do your powers afterwards. Equipment is kind of iffy on when to do it. It is definitely recommended to select equipment after picking feats, but before powers. The reason being because you will need your items to determine the damage that will be dealt for the equipment. Skills I usually save for last.
Now, you do not have to do it in the order I am doing it. It is just a suggestion. Also, this is based on my own personal experience from playing a session online. Doing it live and in person may be a whole different ball game.
Ok so on to the character sheet page. I find the four pages that will speed up your creation process are page 27, 28, 30, and 31. Especially page 27 due to its coverage of each step.
Setting Up Your Powers and Skills
The most important being about the powers. Players will only choose two at-will powers, one encounter power, and one daily power at level one. The utility power is gained at level two. Trust me. We had a big discussion about this in my campaign until we found that page.
Another big thing was setting up skills. A player chooses the amount of skills that they are allowed to be trained in and of those skills they add 5 bonus points into each of them. The rest of the points are based on the ability modifiers related to the skills being adjusted plus half your level. Pretty simple stuff. Also remember to add an armor penalties if applicable.
Help With Calculating Defenses
I would say the complicated part is defenses. I mean it is kind of simple when you get a feel for it, but at first glance it looks kind of crazy looking. The book does have a few math formulas in it.
But hey, that is dungeons and dragons for you. Good for helping you get better at your math skills.
It pretty much spells it out on number 8 of the character sheet outlined on page 30 of your book. The formula for defense is 10 + 1/2 your level + the ability modifier (usually the higher of two). Armor bonus is added for AC formula. So to determine what modifier is applied I went over and turned to page 17. It can be found at the bottom left corner of the page. Here is an example of a characters abilities and how I would apply them. This may make it easier for you to grasp.
My character has a strength of 12 (+1 modifier), charisma of 9 (-1 modifier), intelligence of 8 (-1 modifier), dexterity of 17 (+3 modifier), constitution of 16 (+3 modifier), and wisdom of 14 (+2 modifier). She is wearing cloth armor by the way and is level 1. So, here are the formulas outlined below in a nice organized manner.
AC (cloth armor so higher of Dexterity or Intelligence) 10 + 0 + 3 + 0 (no armor bonus) = 13
Fortitude (Ability is Strength or Constitution) 10 + 0 + 3 = 13
Reflex (Ability is Dexterity or Intelligence) 10 + 0 + 3 = 13
Will (Ability is Wisdom or Charisma) 10 + 0 + 2 = 12
So let me explain this in simpler terms with just one of the items mentioned above. For my fortitude I added the number ten first. Then, I added 0. I got the zero because 1/2 of level 1 is equal to zero. That is just how the book lays it out for players. The three I pulled from the constitution ability modifier because the constitution score was higher than the strength score (the greater of the two). Thus I end up with an outcome of 13.
Another one I want to point out before wrapping this up is hit points and surges.
Hit Points and Surges
Hit points are pretty easy to do of which it is surprising that a few people are indeed having a hard time with. I mean it kind of makes sense since in older editions, the hit points were pretty much cut and dry (straight and to the point). Well, with this version there is an actual math formula. It is the class’s hit points plus your constitution score. I know it seems unbelievable considering that we are so use to having lower hit points at startup, but that is indeed how many hit points you get now.
Now surges, I am just going to go over how to apply them to the sheet and not really how to use them in game. I will say that they are for healing purposes though for both outside of combat and within combat itself kind of like in the board game version of dungeons and dragons (Castleravenloft, etc…).
They are pretty much spelled out in your class section in the book for your surges per day. You would add the class’s surges per day plus the constitution modifier. The healing surge itself is a quarter of your maximum hit points.
I will leave the rest for you to figure out on your own for now. If you do have questions or need further detail, let me know.
The reason why I went over those specific items is those were the questions that were frequently asked about in my own campaign. This will save you time from having to constantly look through the book for hours like I had to do for my first fourth edition game session. Like I said, this will mostly prove useful for those playing fourth edition for the very first time. For those having playing it for awhile, this may already be well known to you.
Sorry to be redundant since I kind of stated this earlier in the post, but if you have any questions or comments, please leave it in the comments section below or send me a message on google plus.
Your Fellow Gamer