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RPGA CHARACTER CREATION GUIDE

Version 1.5, Effective: July 18, 2008 | Next Update: December 5, 2008


How To Use This GuideEdit

This Character Creation Guide is used for all sanctioned RPGA programs in which you have to bring your own character. In addition to the general rules in this guide, each program has its own appendix with additional information specific to the program.

You can also use the rules in this guide for your own sanctioned home game. Doing so allows your players to take advantage of using their RPGA Rewards cards for your home game.

What You'll NeedEdit

In order to create a character for a RPGA game session, you'll need the following:

  • A Player's Handbook
  • A character record sheet
  • Your RPGA number
  • Any other player resources you want
  • This guide

On the official character record sheets (found in the back of the Player's Handbook or available for purchase in a pack in July 2008), put your RPGA number next to your name at the top of the first page of the sheet. You'll want to note the appropriate appendix of this document to find the program you're going to play. Then crack open your Player's Handbook and continue reading on!

Creating A New CharacterEdit

Creating a character for a RPGA game is very similar to creating a character for any other D&D game. In fact, if you follow the character creation rules in the Player's Handbook, you'll be pretty much set. However, there are some decisions that normally a DM would make about character creation, and this guide tells you what is official for RPGA play in these circumstances. If a specific situation is not covered by this guide, use the Player's Handbook as the default referencer.

  • All characters start at 1st level unless otherwise specified. Some RPGA programs might have characters starting at a higher level, in which case see "Creating a Higher-Level Character."
  • Ability scores are never rolled. Use Method 1 or 2 (Player's Handbook, pages 17-18) to generate ability scores for your character.
  • Starting characters must purchase equipment that is from a player resource. Each 1st-level RPGA character starts out with 100 gp, just like any other D&D character. They can purchase equipment that is from a player resource. Once you start adventuring, you may gain access to or find other magic items that you normally could not purchase.
  • Character alignments must be unaligned, good, or lawful good.
  • Player resources are legal for character options. Each month, Wizards of the Coast releases more D&D game material through print products on sale at your local store on the official D&D website through Dragon and Dungeon magazines. Some of this material is a player resource, and some of it is a player resource, and some of it is for DMs.

Rules For Home GamesEdit

If you're going to be the DM for a homebrew game, you can choose to follow any or all of the information in this guide. However, if you make your game a RPGA-sanctioned public event, meaning different players can rotate in and out of your sessions, you need to use two rules presented herein: characters use method 1 or 2 for ability scores and characters have use of RPGA Rewards cards. The rest is up to you.

Player ResourcesEdit

The following list as of this publication date contains the names of the products that have player resources through December 2008. This list will continue to be updated in this document semi-annually, and on the RPGA website when appropriate.

Publication Content Allowed Date Legal
Player's Handbook All 6/6/2008
Forgotten Realms Player's Guide TBD

9/16/2008

Adventurer's Vault TBD 9/16/2008
Martial Power All 10/21/2008
Manual of the Planes TBD 12/16/2008
Dragon Magazine All except magic items and rituals/formulas Monthly

Content from publications not listed above requires you to obtain access. For magic items and rituals, you'll want to check the appendix for the program you're participating in, if any. For new races, feats, powers and other options, you need to have a RPGA Rewards card that grants you access and have it in your card stack, or the option needs to be specifically mentioned in the appropriate appendix for the program. Occassionally, D&D Insider subscribers to Dragon Magazine may have playable "playtest" classes previewed to them months before they actually see print. These classes are usable when the monthly issue is available, but keep in mind that some features and powers of the class may change when the final version of the class is published.

Don't Forget To RetrainEdit

Even though retraining (see Player's Handbook, page 28) is great if you've made a decision with your character that you're no longer happy about, you can also use it to your advantage when a new rulebook or article comes out that has an option you absolutely must have. Remember, you can retrain out one feat, power, or skill (your choice) every time you gain a level.

Playtest Classes: If you choose a class that was released as a playtest in Dragon Magazine, when the class is published in a later rulebook, you can retrain out any feats, powers, or skills - not just one of your choice.

Two Important Play TipsEdit

While each program has its own set of rules, there are two very important tips you'll want to keep in mind when creating your character.

  • It's a team game. While creating a brooding loner character can be interesting, the character should still be able to function well in a team environment. 4th Edition D&D is all about working together to overcome challenges, and the mechanics of the game reinforce that aspect. Roleplay your character however you like, so long as you remember the importance of assisting your fellow adventures.
  • When a rule is updated, use the newest version. Keep an eye out for rules updates, particularly Dragon Magazine options that later appear in a rulebook. Make sure that you're using the most current version of the rule. This is especially important if you use a playtest class from Dragon Magazine.

Creating A Higher-Level CharacterEdit

If you're creating a character higher than 1st level for a specific campaign (either a RPGA program or a home game), simply follow the rules in the Dungeon Master's Guide page 143, in addition to those in this guide. Remember to adjust the number of RPGA Rewards Cards in your stack appropriately.

Pay particular attention to Step 7 of the process in the Dungeon Master's Guide. You get one magic item of your level + 1, one of your level, and one of your level - 1. You also get gold equal to a magic item of your level - 1. Keep in mind that you still must adhere to the access rules for the campaign.

RPGA Rewards CardsEdit

If you've joined the RPGA Rewards program (see www.wizards.com/rpga), you can earn special cards that can be used in sanctioned RPGA games. These cards allow you to get an adventuring edge from time to time, help promote teamwork, and provide you with new character options.

Each mailing cycle (3 times a year), you earn 3 random cards from the current set for every 20 points you've accumulated. Any unspent points are carried forward to the next mailing cycle. Make sure you keep your mailing information updated to continue to receive your cards!

There are four types of Rewards Cards:

  • General cards are the most common and the ones likely to be used in a game session. Each general card has a benefit listed on the card. Once the benefit is triggered, the card is turned sideways to indicate it is used, and the bonus indicated on the card (usually +1 or +2) becomes active for the rest of the session. You can give any one ally (a character other than your own) the bonus at any time after a d20 roll has been made. Only one card bonus may be given to a d20 roll. Once the bonus has been spent, remove the general card from the play area or flip it face down. You can have as many general cards as you like in your stack (up to your limit).
  • Creation cards allow you to create a character of a new race or with an option unavailable to most characters. You can only have one creation card in your card stack, it must be assigned when the character is created, and it cannot be changed once chosen.
  • Expansion cards give your character new options, such as access to magic items normally unavailable. You can have as many different expansion cards as you like in your stack (up to your limit), they can be assigned at any time, and if they are removed at a later time, you lose access to the options on the card (which might mean you have to retrain or restrict future item access).
  • Quest cards are a special type of card linked to a specific program (usually a long-term official RPGA campaign). On each quest card, there are tasks listed that you have to perform in adventures. Your DM will inform you if you've completed the task and can gain credit from doing so. Once you've completed all the tasks, you unlock a special adventure playable only by those with the quest card in their stack and all tasks completed. You may have as many different quest cards as you like in your stack, they can be assigned at any time, and can be removed at any time. If you remove a quest card from your stack before finishing the tasks, you must complete all the tasks over again. Once you've played the special adventure associated with the card, you can remove the card from your stack.

Each character has a card stack; essentially a number of card "slots." The number of cards in the stack grows as a character gains levels. You can modify the cards in your stack in-between adventures. See the table below for specifics.

Character Level Cards Gained

Total Cards in Stack

(Only 1 Creation)

1st 2 2
6th 1 3
11th 2 5
16th 1 6
21st 2 8
26th 1 9

Documenting Your PlayEdit

Each campaign may have different ways that you document your play - for many of them it's as simple as writing down your XP and treasure gained on your character sheet, just like any other D&D game. For others, it may involve you keeping an adventure log either on paper or online. See the appendix for the specific program your're participating in.

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