RPing the character creation.

Coruno

New member
Hi, this is my first post (fairly long time reader) so I hope I´m posting in the right place.

Anyway this weekend we will start a new campaign and a new player will join who has never tried DnD before. Because of personal life she will not have time to do any research into race and class, so I thought I´d RP her character creation. So far i have the following idea that I kind of based of Paris and the golden apple. She wakes up kidnaped in a cell, shortly after the world starts dissolving and she is standing in a bright room filled with different celestial beings. "Quite the pickle you have gotten into there, perhaps we can help you with that if only you would settle a bet for us". Would then introduce 4 or 5 diffrent beings and whoever she choose she would gain the class and stats corresponding to that being.

My question then is two part:
1. A devil for a warlock and a deity for cleric/paladin. Any ideas for what could represent the other classes?
2. What could the bet be about? I´m completely stuck on that one.

Thank you!
 

martian_bob

Existential brain-poop
Validated User
Hmm... I wonder if that might be a bit intimidating. Have you talked with her about what kind of character she wants to play?
 

g33k

Active member
Banned
Validated User
Honestly, my go-to suggestion for newbies is to have the GM create (or find online, it's not hard!) some pre-gen PC's from which to choose. Allow minor changes after each session (skill-swaps, weapon-proficiency changes, etc).
Then, when the player has some sessions under their belt, allow them (if desired) to create a new character with their new sensibilities (the prior character can "retire honorably" or "die heroically" or "go off on a different adventure" or whatever suits the player) the new PC can be motivated to revenge the prior one, or live up to their glorious example, or be entirely unrelated: again, whatever suits the player).

Ideally, you'd have talked with her ahead of time, and present (just a few) pre-gen options that all seem likely to be "simpatico" with her interests.

The key is to eliminate most of the decision-making elements that can induce analysis-paralysis. A short conversation with the GM can usually give the GM (who presumably DOES know the choices reasonably well) a fairly good sense of what the player would most enjoy.

I usually avoid the "caster" classes, as the magic systems usually adds a layer of confusion (and/or further analysis-paralysis) for newbies; if she's hog-wild for a "caster" pick one of the few-spell choices (n.b. a Warlock doesn't HAVE to be "evil" -- there are several "Celestial Warlock" or "Holy Warlock" homebrew's online, and IIRC an official one in Xanthar's Guide to Everything.


RP'ing character-generation as suggested in the OP sounds cool, but not /entirely/ likely to produce a PC that will match the newbie's actual interests: it's STILL making the player make choices, but behind a layer of indirection & obfuscation. This actually sounds to me like a REALLY cool option for creating ALL the PC's in a group of more-experienced players, who get to see their immortal-soul / reincarnatitive / etc choices play out in their "next life." That's... that's some deep RP there, that is! I like it a lot!
 

g33k

Active member
Banned
Validated User
My question then is two part:
1. A devil for a warlock and a deity for cleric/paladin. Any ideas for what could represent the other classes?
2. What could the bet be about? I´m completely stuck on that one.
1. Any sort of "infernal" being could be a Warlock pact OR an evil cleric; but warlocks can have other pacts, even good ones!
1a. Any sort of "celestial" being could be a traditional paladin, OR a cleric! But 5e offers grimmer Pally options so a "Judge-y" neutral being could go for a Paladin of Vengeance (or Neutral cleric).
1c/d/etc... A deity of the wild (GreenMan style or LadyOfTheWood, etc) could do Ranger or Druid, or some Barbarians; some savage-looking brute in a bearskin mantle could do another Barbarian option, etc. A sage-ish figure might be Wizard or some Clerics, or some Bards. Someone constantly shapechanging into different animals could represent a Druid/Shifter. Etc etc etc...
2. The bet, I think, would be about the character's choice: given a choice that few mortals are ever granted... what would THIS mortal choose??? Might frame it in-character as "which of these represents your highest aspiration as a person?" or some such...
 

thorya

Statistical out-liar
Validated User
I think this is a bad idea. A choice without the information to understand it isn't really a choice. And starting the character in prison, helpless and being saved also is not a great way to introduce something. It kills the players agency from the start.

If you want to RP character creation here are two alternative methods.

1. Ask the player to tell you a story about an adventure they went on previously. Get details about the challenges they faced and how they overcame them. Let the player drive. Once their story is done, help them make a character that does the things they described.

2. This one is a bit harder, but my go to for new players. Have them start with a blank sheet of paper. Run them through a short adventure. A scenario I often use is going into the woods to rescue a child that was taken by a monster. If you really need them to be in prison, then the adventure should be their escape, driven by them. Ask how they accomplish things. If they get out by kicking down the door of their cell, add +STR to their sheet. If they trick the guards into opening the cell add +Deception/Charisma. If when faced by the guards, they throw a fireball, add +magic. Maybe they need to climb a wall or help an injured Ally. Just keep giving them challenges. Once you've got eight to ten things it should be obvious what sort of character they want to play.


Both of these methods work because your not presenting the player with choices they don't understand and your making a character that does the things they actually want to do, rather than what they think they want (a pretty common conflict) based on your description of various classes.
 

Coruno

New member
To clarify, I´m not super new to DMing, I get that pregenerated characters are a good thing to begin with. That was basically my idea just with some flair. I choose this forum as I understood this to be the forum where they answer your questions and not "this is a bad idea". I really did like to make the bet as an adventure where she gets different tools and whatever she uses thats the kind of character she will become.
 

thorya

Statistical out-liar
Validated User
To clarify, I´m not super new to DMing, I get that pregenerated characters are a good thing to begin with. That was basically my idea just with some flair. I choose this forum as I understood this to be the forum where they answer your questions and not "this is a bad idea". I really did like to make the bet as an adventure where she gets different tools and whatever she uses thats the kind of character she will become.
You're right. I apologize.

I just have bad experience with the exact scenario you're describing and I suspect other people do as well.
 

Knaight

Registered User
Validated User
I like the idea of settling a bet for the gods, Paris style - but a new player is probably exactly not where I'd use that. D&D is sufficiently weird that you can't really lean as hard on the more familiar archetypes here, with the entities and classes generally fitting poorly. Probably the best fit is a bunch of gods or demigods with domains fitting, but if you're using a devil and a god you're left without much in the way of solid options for the rest. Maybe a ghost could work for a rogue or something, maybe a tough golem for a fighter, maybe a dire animal for a barbarian/druid, but they're all a bit more tenuous.

Switching over to a gift might be more helpful here. Several different beings coming in with a pitch to the effect of "You look like someone that might be helpful to me in the future, I offer this [object] to get you out of here so you'll be able to help in the future". That at least lets you hit the more central classes, though clerics are potentially a bit weird here (a holy symbol/shield probably works though).
 
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