How to Create a Level 1 D&D 5th Edition Character

Introduction: How to Create a Level 1 D&D 5th Edition Character

Items Needed

  • Printed Character Sheet
  • Pencil
  • Set of Dice
  • D&D 5th Edition Players Handbook

Step 1: Rolling Stats

1. The first step that I always do is that I roll my stats that I will be using for my character. To do this you would roll four 6-sided dice together or one 4 times. You take out the lowest number out of the four to get your number. You want to do these 6 times.

Step 2: Picking Race, Class, and Background

The next step is technically 3, but they go hand in hand. You want to pick your race, class, then background. The races section starts on page 17 of the handbook, the classes are on 45, and the backgrounds are on 125. The race is mainly for stat boosts and roleplay mechanics. Your class will help determine your skills and combat abilities. I mainly use the background for the skill proficiencies. Your choice is up to you on whether you want to focus on magic or physical damage. For My example I will be creating a level 1 Wood Elf Ranger with the criminal background.

Step 3: Filling Out Stats

The next thing you want to do is fill out your stats. Place them where you may need them for your class as stated in the class section. Strength is how strong and hard you hit. Dexterity is essentially how nimble and quick you are. Constitution is how tough you are and how long you can go. Intelligence is how smart you are. Wisdom is essentially your street smarts and perception. Charisma is how good you are at talking. Along with this fill out your skills, proficiencies, and language. When it comes to skills your modifiers go like this:

10-11 = +0

12-13 = +1

14-15 = +2

16-17 = +3

18-19 = +4

20 = +5.

You put these modifiers into your skills then add your proficiency bonus when the circle is filled by each skill in depending on your race, class, and background. Your passive perception is 10 + your Perception.

Step 4: Writing Down Important Information

The next thing to do is that you want to write down any important information you’ll have from your race or class. This is mainly done by using the areas shown. The armor section is on page 144, and the weapons are 148. These are items given to you from your class. You must roll to hit for weapons. To find out what you add to your dice roll depends on your weapon. Most weapons use strength, but finesse weapons and ranged weapons use dexterity. You add your proficiency bonus to the modifier if you are proficient in it. This is stated in the class section. You add the dexterity or strength modifier to damage as well, but not the proficiency bonus. Every level your class has certain skills you get. Write these downs in the bottom right section Magic works the same for damage. Some spells have the enemies make a save which they must beat 8 + proficiency bonus + spellcasting modifier. They fail if they don’t beat it. There is a separate sheet to use for spells. Write down any information you don't want to forget from your race, class, or background. There is a gold section, but you may not start with gold depending on your DM.

Step 5: Armor Class, Initiative, Etc.

Next you want to fill out your armor class, Initiative, Speed, Hit points, and your hit dice. Your armor class is dependent on the armor you are wearing (reference page from before). Your initiative bonus equals your dexterity modifier. Your speed is dependent on your race. This is how fast you can move in each 6 second round. Your hit points depend on your class. For the first level, you get the max roll plus your constitution modifier. A ranger uses a d10. Every level beyond that you roll for health. Your hit dice is how many times you can roll that die to regain health during a short rest. These numbers will change a lot as you level up.

Step 6: Filling Out Fluff

The final step is basically filling out all the fluff. You fill out the top of the page, so you get the basics of your character. Your character is usually one of these three: Lawful, Neutral, Chaotic; and one of these: Good, Neutral, and Evil. These are self-explanatory. The other section you can fill out are your personality trait, ideals, bonds, and flaws. This is where you can customize your character as much as you want. I usually don’t fill this out unless there’s an important name to remember. Otherwise, I don’t want my character to feel like it’s stuck in a box.

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