Character creation guidelines

Notes on roleplaying various races

Notes on roleplaying various human cultures


I.  The PHB lists several ways to generate ability scores.  Which do you prefer?  Starting characters in the Lands of Ruin begin with a standard array which they assign to the six basic attributes.  One the numbers are assigned, then the player adjusts them for racial bonuses.  The numbers are: 17, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8. 

II. So what's the deal with alignment?  For some reason, alignments are limited in the fourth edition to five: Lawful Good, Good, Unaligned, Evil, and Chaotic Evil.  That strikes me as a bit odd.  Here is how I interpret those philosophies:

    --Lawful Good: Good is a real, palpable thing.  One must actively pursue the protection of life and the dignity of the individual.  The best way to do this is for society to present a united, organized front against evil.

      --Good: One should go out of one's way to do good by caring for the poor and sick and protecting the dignity of life.  One does not see oneself as taking cosmic sides.  Rather, good is an end in itself.

     --Unaligned: This represents 80% of humanity.  One should do what one must to protect one's own self-interest and the good of one's family.  The good of outsiders is secondary.  Alternately, Unaligned might imply a belief in the need for cosmic or natural balance between polar opposites.

     --Evil: Evil people know what the common good is.  They just don't care.  They put their own ambitions and desires above law and morality.  Violence and treachery are acceptable means to settle disputes.

     --Chaotic Evil: This represents a commitment to destroy life and liberty.  In a human, it would represent an almost insane desire to hurt, torture, or kill.  Chaotic evil is that palpable force that seeks to destroy all life and possibly even the entire world. 

III. Can I play a...?   Nope.  If it's not in the PHB, it does not belong in this campaign, which operates under the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid).  Races from the Monster Manual, those cool feats you found on the Web, that groovy Monk class that came out in the Martial Power supplement.  Forget it.