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Version 1.8, Effective: January 23, 2009 Next Update: June, 2009

Only updates to this document from the previous version will appear in the following texts

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.

  • Character alignments must be unaligned, good, or lawful good. In addition, characters may not worship a deity with an alignment of evil or chaotic evil.
  • 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 for DMs. See the chart to identify what products are player resources.

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 documents very much the same as this 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 All except spellscarred rules and backgrounds



Adventurer's Vault All 9/16/2008
Martial Power All 11/18/2008
Manual of the Planes Paragon paths 12/16/2008
Player's Handbook 2 All 3/17/2009
Arcane Power All 4/21/2009
Dragon Magazine All Monthly at end of month
* Forgotten Realms Player's Guide preview content is legal on 8/14/2008.

Content Never Accessible : There are a few bits of D&D game material that never.......

Dragon Magazine : Content appearing in Dragon magazine that is player resource-friendly (full racial write-ups, classes, paragon paths, epic destinies, powers, and feats) is available for access when the complete issue is available for download (typically at the end of the current month). Content from individual articles is not available for access upon the date of the article's publication, as the complete issue may make final modifications to the rules in the article.

Playtest Classes : 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.

Important Play InformationEdit

While each program has its own set of rules, there are three bits of information you'll want to keep in mind when playing your character.

  • It's a team game. While creating a broodling 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 ouyt 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.
  • Play of an adventure is restricted to once per character, not once per player. Unless otherwise specified, all RPGA adventures that allow you to create your own character can be played multiple times, so long as you use a different character each time you play. You can even DM a game and then play it at a later date. If you play an adventure again, you are required to let the DM know at the beginning of the game that you've already played it, and don't ruin the surprises for anyone else that might be experiencing the adventure for the first time.

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, 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), youu 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.