Hello and welcome to the second installment of The Roll of D&D! Today we will be talking about the dos and don’ts of character creation in D&D 5e (fifth edition).

Character creation in D&D is arguably the most important aspect of playing the game. The character you are creating will be the adventurer who you experience the world through. This character is you whenever you’re at the table and will determine how you interact with the other characters and world around you. So here are some tips for you so you don’t end up with a boring, obnoxious, or dumb adventurer.

#1 Don’t focus on min/maxing:
Typically in video games you want to invest your resources wisely so that you can give your character the best stats possible, this is commonly referred to as “min/maxing”. While this approach is the best in games such as Skyrim, this shouldn’t be your main priority during character creation. D&D is about roleplaying, not killing monsters and completing side quests (although it is an aspect). If your character is supposed to be a big slow tank, don’t over invest in a skill like dexterity just because it’s a useful skill.

#2 Be creative with your character:
Part of the fun of character creation is the numerous options you have for race/class combinations. No two characters should be alike. If you want to play a Half-Orc Bard, go for it! Don’t let any pre existing standards for what’s normal limit your options.

#3 Don’t create a jerk:
So often people play characters who are rude, annoying, and obnoxious. They claim it’s just their character acting this way. It isn’t. In D&D you are part of a team and as such you need to act like a team. This also means don’t play an evil character (unless your dungeon master allows it). Sure, any kind of internal conflict that stays within the lines of roleplaying is acceptable, but if you start doing things your own way without being considerate of your group then you’ll just ruin everyone else’s time.

#4 You are NOT the main character, so don’t try to be one:
You have no idea how often a player will create a character with a tragic backstory, who was orphaned at a young age and must get revenge on the demon lord for killing their family. I like to refer to this phenomenon as “main character syndrome”. Your character is one of thousands of adventurers in the world of D&D, meaning you’re absolutely replaceable. Once again, you are part of a team, don’t hog all the spotlight just because you’re the “chosen one” and only you can save the world.

#5 Make a character that you will have fun with for a long time:
Unless you’re playing a hardcore adventure like Tomb of Annihilation, you will probably have the same character for a long time. Make sure you’re playing someone who won’t get boring to play. Use whatever the DM (dungeon master) throws your way as an opportunity for your character to grow and change. Remember, playing D&D is like telling a story, and in the best stories characters change and learn lessons. They are constantly finding new motivations. Opportunities for your character to grow will help keep them fresh from session to session.

I haven’t touched on all the aspects of character creation, but for now, these five should be more than enough to create the best character you can. Thanks for reading and I will see you again next time.

If you’re interested in participating in our D&D summer sessions you can sign-up here.

If you want to learn more about Dungeons and Dragons feel free to take a look at some of these books from libraries in the MLC.

Second book of the Legend of Drizzt series
5th Edition Player’s Handbook
5th Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide

Tyler Kim is a summer intern at the Kirkwood Public Library