D&D: Building Hero Characters – A Guide

In the player handbook you will find the most important information about the construction of characters.  Here you can read everything about the most well-known races and all classes with the exception of the artificer.

Don’t be intimidated as you build your first character in Dungeons and Dragons. Character building may seem very time-consuming and complicated, especially at the beginning, but over time it will become easier for you – I promise! We have summarized the most important points in a guide for you to take you through character creation step by step.

Every D&D character is built on the six basic attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Where the strengths and weaknesses of your hero lie, you can assign yourself based on points. Very few heroes are equally well positioned in all six areas. Most of the time, D&D characters have two or even three stats that they excel at and at least one stat that sucks (that’s called the dump stat, the garbage value). 10 is always the default value for value distribution; any value below is considered below average, any value above is above average.

There are several ways to generate a character’s stats. At the end you add the bonuses that you receive from your people to these values.

  • Roll the dice: The absolute standard in Dungeons and Dragons is rolling stats. Typically, you roll 4d6 six times in a row, always removing the smallest die result. So you get six results, which you can then assign to the respective values. For example, you roll your four six-sided dice 4, 2, 6, and 4 again. You remove the 2, giving a result of 14. This is your first value. You repeat this process five more times.
  • Standard Array: If rolling the dice is too risky for you, you can also clarify with your game master whether you can play with the standard array. This gives you six fixed numbers, which you can then assign to your base values. In 5e these are: 15, 14, 13, 12, 10 and 8. The standard array has the advantage of being relatively balanced. You may not have an abnormally high value, but you are not really bad anywhere either. And with a 14 and a 15 almost every class can be played well.
  • Point Buy: A third, quite prominent way to generate your character values ​​is the so-called point buy. As the name suggests, you “buy” points with it in order to generate the values ​​according to your taste. The typical rules are as follows:
    • Each value starts with 8, less is not possible.
    • You have 27 points available to increase your 6 stats.
    • An increase to 15 is the maximum you can achieve.
    • The cost of your stats increases based on the stat you raise them to. The following list shows this for you:
      8 costs 0 points
      9 costs 1 point
      10 costs 2 points
      11 costs 3 points
      12 costs 4 points
      13 costs 5 points
      14 costs 7 points
      15 costs 9 points
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