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, welcome to Undermountain, dungeon of the mad mage

23:59, 17th June 2024 (GMT+0)

Character creation.

Posted by DMFor group public
GM, 1 post
Halaster Blackcloak
Sat 23 Jan 2021
at 09:23
  • msg #1

Character creation.

PC name.
PC and major NPC names must start with a unique letter to make them easier to remember for the DM (helping me to not get confused between e.g. a Vex and a Vax, or a Sauron and a Saruman), with dibs going to the 1st person to state what they want their PC's name to be. Submit an alternate name in case someone else picked a name starting with a similar letter before you did but before the DM updated the list of taken names:
  • Braghurr, bugbear.
  • Enyo, fire genasi Redemption paladin.
  • Finder, warforged.
  • Halaster Blackcloak, mad human wizard, master of Undermountain.
  • Klaus, primal companion of Senta, looks like a bear.
  • Kressando Rosznar, human, the missing brother of Lady Esvele.
  • Senta, stout halfling Beast master ranger.
  • T: [unrevealed]
  • Undermountain
  • W: [unrevealed]
  • X: [unrevealed]
  • Z: [unrevealed]

Rulebooks allowed.
No books published by WotC or Hasbro after the OGL 1.1 debacle in January 2023 will be allowed.

I'll help out with full summaries of sections from any of the books you don't have access to. I'll also help with any rules questions, which we can go thru as slowly as needed because there's no time-crunch like in live games. The next post has a very short summary of all the subclasses, and a list of all available races.
  • Player's handbook (see also the free Basic rules),
  • Xanathar's guide to everything,
  • Tasha's cauldron of everything;
and for PC races and subraces, and wildshapes and summons only:
  • the free Elemental evil: player's companion,
  • Volo's guide to monsters,
  • Mordenkainen's tome of foes,
  • Eberron: rising from the Last war (including artificer, excluding dragonmarks), and the
  • Monster manual.

Subclasses not allowed.
  • Peace or Twilight clerics (or Chronurgy wizards if the Wildemount book is later allowed).
  • Inexperienced players may not use Alchemist artificers; or Sun soul, Drunken master, Astral self, 4 elements, or Open hand monks.

Point buy, not rolling.

In addition to the normal starting equipment from your background and class, because your PC is at level 6 it will also have an extra:
  • 780 gold pieces,
  • 1 healing potion,
  • 1 common magic item,
  • 1 uncommon consumable magic item, and
  • 2 uncommon magic items - I may veto certain uncommon magic items tho, so also pick alternate, less powerful magic items as backups.
Magic items can come from:
  • Dungeon master's guide
  • Xanathar's guide to everything
  • Tasha's cauldron of everything
  • Tales from the Yawning portal
  • Ghosts of Saltmarsh
  • Waterdeep: Dragon heist
  • Waterdeep: Dungeon of the mad mage
but you can also just describe the kind of magic items you'd like and I'll try to find something that fits.

No evil player characters allowed for now by inexperienced players or players I don't know well.

Backstory and personality.
All party members need to work together - so don't create a loner character or one who doesn't want to be an adventurer.

You can create your backstory beforehand (you can roll or pick any trinket from the trinket list [Player's handbook pages 160-161] to help with ideas), or we can create a backstory together. We can roll for some life events on the "This is your life" tables in Xanathar's, but some of the unbalanced results may be vetoed.

Optional rules.
Feats and multiclassing are allowed.

Most of Tasha's and Xanathar's optional rules are fine. A favorite is the origin ability score increases variant in Tasha's, which allows players to change the abilities that get the score increase, e.g. changing a race's Charisma +2 bonus to a Wisdom +2 bonus, and it's Intelligence +1 to Dexterity +1.

  • Free cantrips that don't count towards total number of cantrips known:
    • Artificers know Prestidigitation;
    • Bards know Prestidigitation;
    • Clerics know Thaumaturgy;
    • Druids know Duidcraft;
    • Sorcerers know Prestidigitation;
    • Warlocks know Prestidigitation; and
    • Wizards know Prestidigitation.

See also the general rules thread.
This message was last edited by the GM at 10:20, Sun 22 Jan 2023.
GM, 28 posts
Halaster Blackcloak
Fri 29 Jan 2021
at 22:27
  • msg #5

Re: Character creation rules.

Summary of classes, subclasses, and races.

The main class types are:
  1. martial: weapon based
    1. barbarian: strong berserker tank.
    2. fighter: strong or dextrous weapons expert.
    3. monk: dextrous martial artist.
    4. rogue: dextrous, skilled, usually sneaky.

  2. tertiary casters: hybrids who use weapons more than spellcasting; not as specialized as the martials but more versatile;
    1. fighter Eldritch knight (at 3rd level): intelligent magical fighter with a bit of wizard magic.
    2. rogue Arcane trickster (at 3rd level): intelligent rogue with a bit of wizard magic.

  3. secondary caster gish: hybrids who use both weapons and spellcasting, can focus more on spell casting than the tertiary-casters
    1. artificer: intelligent tinkering inventor (complex from level 1).
    2. paladin: charismatic weapon user adding righteous divine smites.
    3. ranger: wise nature-based weapon and magic wielder.

  4. full casters: all about the spells
    1. bard: charismatic versatile musician or storyteller inspiring their friends.
    2. clerics (some): wise holy magic user, heal and buff friends, debuff enemies.
    3. druid: wise nature control caster who can turn into animals.
    4. sorcerer: charismatic caster with innate magic.
    5. warlock: charismatic caster who's magic was gifted from an extra-planar patron.
    6. wizard: intelligent scholar who's learned how to cast by studying books.

  5. full caster gish: focuses more on spells, but are also good with weapons or claw/beak attacks.
    1. bard Valor, bard Swords (at 3rd level): charismatic and super-versatile.
    2. clerics (some): wise holy magic user, heal and buff friends, debuff enemies, can be tanks.
    3. druid Moon (at 2nd level): wise nature caster who can turn into big animals.
    4. warlock Hexblade: charismatic weapon user with a weapon and patron from the Shadowfell.
    5. wizard Bladesinging (at 2nd level): intelligent 1-handed weapon melee fighting magic user, or just good armor.
    6. wizard War (at 2nd level): intelligent battlefield expert.

Subclasses: [Phb, Xanathar's, Tasha's]

artificer, pick a speciality at level 3:
  • Alchemist: potion maker, bad in combat.
  • Armorer: custom armor, spellcaster.
  • Artillerist: use a flamethrower, ballista, or shield; and firearm.
  • Battle smith: build a metal defender companion.

barbarian, pick a primal path at level 3:
  • Ancestral guardian: protect friends.
  • Beast: transform partially into a beast when raging.
  • Beserker: frenzy.
  • Storm herald: power from the desert (fire), sea (lightning), and tundra (cold).
  • Totem warrior: animal spirits for super tankiness, or speed, or to help melee fighting friends.
  • Wild magic: detect magic, random rage magic, restore allies' slots.
  • Zealot: religious zeal wrought against foes.

bard, pick a college at level 3:
  • Creation: improved inspiration, instantly create temporary items.
  • Eloquence: expert persuader and liar, debuff enemies.
  • Glamour: beguiling enchantment.
  • Lore: skilled and knowledgeable, and eventually can learn a total of 6 spells from absolutely any class.
  • Swords: weapon prowess.
  • Valor: weapons user.
  • Whispers: fear and doubt enchantments.

cleric, pick a divine domain at level 1:
  • Forge: tank who makes stuff.
  • Grave: oppose the undead.
  • Knowledge: skilled.
  • Life: super healer and tank.
  • Light: set all the things on fire.
  • Nature: druidy tank.
  • Order: command obedience.
  • Peace: create powerful bonds between people.
  • Tempest: stormy tank.
  • Trickery: roguey priest.
  • Twilight: super darkvision, buff, tank.
  • War: weapons tank.

druid, pick a circle at level 2:
  • Dreams: heal, guard, stride thru dreams.
  • Land: super spell caster themed on their favorite type of terrain.
  • Moon: turn into big animals and fight as a brown bear, wolf, or eventually a dinosaur.
  • Shepherd: summon nature spirits.
  • Spores: control mold and fungi.
  • Stars: concentrate, read the stars.
  • Wildfire: fire, rebirth, teleport.

fighter, pick a martial archetype at level 3:
  • Arcane archer: use magical bows and arrows.
  • Battle master: learn special battlefield maneuvers.
  • Cavalier: defender, sometimes mounted.
  • Champion: hit stuff, hard.
  • Eldritch knight: intelligent magical fighter with a bit of wizard magic.
  • Psi warrior: shielding and moving objects and allies telekinetically.
  • Rune knight: infuse items with magical runes, and become larger.
  • Samurai: resilience, courtly elegance, mighty strikes.

monk, pick a monastic tradition at level 3:
  • Way of the astral self: manifest your astral mind over your body.
  • Way of the drunken master: swaying martial arts.
  • Way of the four elements: use your ki to do avatar-like elemental magic.
  • Way of the kensei: channel ki thru weapons.
  • Way of mercy: heal and harm.
  • Way of the open hand: kung-fu battlefield master.
  • Way of the shadow: ninja.
  • Way of the sun soul: bolts of light and fire.

paladin, swear a sacred oath at level 3:
  • Ancients: light, life, nature.
  • Conquest: terror.
  • Devotion: justice, virtue, and order.
  • Glory: heroism, athletics, and protection.
  • Redemption: redeem the worthy, destroy those who refuse.
  • Vengeance: dark avengers.
  • Watchers: empower you and your allies' minds and vigilance.

ranger, pick a conclave at level 3:
  • Beast: get a mighty fighting animal companion.
  • Fey wanderer: charm, misty step, and eventually summon fey.
  • Gloom stalker: ambusher, unafraid of the dark.
  • Horizon walker: planar portals and power.
  • Hunter: tenacity, or giant killer, or horde breaker.
  • Monster slayer: (Buffy/Helsing) fighting grim magic and monsters of the night.
  • Swarmkeeper: you are helped by a swarm of tiny creatures.

rogue, pick a roguish archetype at level 3:
  • Arcane trickster: intelligent rogue with a bit of wizard magic.
  • Assassin: infiltrate and insta-kill low HP targets.
  • Inquisitive: detective rooting out secrets.
  • Mastermind: tactician manipulating others.
  • Phantom: receive help from dead souls.
  • Scout: stealth and survival.
  • Soulknife: telepathy and invisible psychic damage.
  • Swashbuckler: deadly and fast with panache.
  • Thief: cat burglar with fast hands.

sorcerer, pick a sorcerous origin at level 1:
  • Aberrant mind: psionic powers like telepathy.
  • Clockwork soul: prevent advantage or disadv., shield self or allies.
  • Divine soul: divine magic.
  • Draconic bloodline: tankier than other sorcerous blasters.
  • Shadow magic: grim magic of the Shadowfell.
  • Storm sorcery: elemental air and storm magic.
  • Wild magic: chaos.

warlock, make a deal with patron at level 1, and make a pact at level 3:
  • Archfey: lord or lady from the feywild.
  • Celestial: angelic or other upper plane being.
  • Fathomless: water creature.
  • Fiend: devil or demon.
  • Genie: go into vessel, elemental magic, wishes.
  • Great old one: Cthulhuesqe entity.
  • Hexblade: melee weapon created by Shadowfell patron, hexing.
  • Blade: get a melee martial weapon.
  • Chain: get a powerful familiar.
  • Talisman: amulet to help with ability checks.
  • Tome: get a grimoire called a Book of shadows, with 3 cantrip spells.

wizard, pick a school at level 2:
  • Abjuration: protection.
  • Bladesinging: 1-handed weapon melee and good armor.
  • Conjuration: create things from thin air.
  • Divination: glimpse the future.
  • Enchantment: control minds.
  • Evocation: elemental magic, but protecting your friends from it.
  • Illusion: easily create illusions of things.
  • Necromancy: death and undeath magic.
  • Scribes: quick spell copier, change spell damage types.
  • Transmutation: change things.
  • War: evocation and abjuration battlefield dominator.

You can now combine any class with any race, because you can customize
the race's ability scores to perfectly suit the class.

Races: [Phb, EEPC, Volo's, Mordenkainen]
  • Aarakocra (half-bird)
  • Aasimar (angel heritage)
  • Bugbear (big hairy goblin)
  • Changeling (shapechangers)
  • Dragonborn
  • Dwarf
  • Elf
  • Firbolg (big nature folk)
  • Genasi (half-elemental)
  • Gith (alien)
  • Gnome
  • Goblin
  • Goliath
  • Halfling (hobbit)
  • Half-elf
  • Half-orc
  • Hobgoblin (human-sized goblin)
  • Human
  • Kalashtar (telepathic)
  • Kenku (flightless half-bird)
  • Kobold (small half-reptile)
  • Lizardfolk (medium half-reptile)
  • Orc
  • Shifter (animalistic features for 1 minute)
  • Tabaxi (half-cat)
  • Tiefling (half-devil)
  • Triton (sea folk)
  • Warfoged (robot-like)
  • Yuan-ti (snake folk)

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:01, Fri 02 Dec 2022.
GM, 38 posts
Halaster Blackcloak
Thu 4 Feb 2021
at 10:33
  • msg #7

Re: Character creation rules.

Major edits:
2021-01-24 addition: no evil aligned player characters.
2021-03-16 Specifically disallowed Plane shift and R&M.
2021-10-16 Subclasses not allowed.
  • Peace and Twilight clerics (and Chronurgy wizards if the Wildemount book is later allowed).
  • Sun soul, Drunken master, Astral self, 4 elements, and Open hand monks; and Alchemist artificers by inexperienced players.

2022-01-25 Stopped listing books that may not be used, listing only books that are allowed. Updated Equipment from level 5 (640gp, 1 healing potion, 1 common, 1 uncommon [can be vetoed]) to 6 (780 gp, 1 healing potion, 1 common, 1 uncommon consumable, 2 uncommon [can be vetoed]). Evil alignment not allowed for players I don't know well.
2022-12-02 Removed that the original PCs knew each other before going down into the mega-dungeon, because new PCs don't have to already know the other PCs.
2022-12-13 Clarified that Tasha's origin ability score increases variant rule applies to all of the race's ability score increases.
2023-01-09 Eberron: including artificer, excluding dragonmarks
2023-01-13 No books published by WotC or Hasbro after the OGL 1.1 debacle in January 2023 will be allowed.
This message was last edited by the GM at 13:16, Fri 13 Jan 2023.
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