How do I create a character?
While there are not an endless number of spots in the game, there is always room for more players.
The campaign has been ongoing, constantly, since 1982. It has never stopped, there has never been a hiatus, even for a few months. This consistency and longevity is one of the most valuable aspects of the Game. Therefore, players should recognize that they are not joining a fleeting or temporary campaign. You are being invited into a long-term project. That said, life intervenes and people inevitably come and go.
The first point potential players should realize is that unlike many campaigns, you have considerable flexibility in creating your character. There is not a set template for you to choose when it comes to your race, ethnicity, culture, religion, class, etc. Races and peoples exist that have yet to be discovered; new classes can be created. All of this happens through consultation with the DM. But, remember the words of the novelist H.G. Wells: “If anything is possible, nothing is interesting.” There are limits to what you can create. No, you can’t be a god, or a dragon or a beholder! So, while you have flexibility, your creativity must work through the DM.
Potential players should immediately recognize that while this campaign began as Dungeons and Dragons (1st and 2nd edition) back in the 1980s, it has evolved into its own hybrid or “homebrew” rule system. Players will recognize aspects of the traditional rule systems, as well as the numerous incarnations (3rd through 5th editions) that have come and gone. They will also recognize random rules adopted from other game systems (Iron Crown) as well as many rules that are unique to our campaign. But the essential point is to use your game knowledge to your advantage while not confining yourself to it. If you are obsessed with following a traditional rule systems and being unable to adapt, this campaign is not for you. Instead, you will discover a hybrid system that employs and adapts all the best rules from many systems into the most fluid game out there. The game system is dynamic. And this essential characteristic is one of the keys to the games longevity.
The first choice to be made is species/race. Do you wish to be human, elven, dwarven, gnomish, or hobbit? Do you wish to be mixed-blood? Or would you rather be a renegade from a typically evil race, such as orc, goblin, gnoll, lizardman, drow, etc? Or a mixed-blood of one of these races? Or are you proposing a new race that does not yet seem to exist in the game?
The second choice to be made is gender. While the racial selection might shape the choice of gender, it is up to you whether you are male or female (or something else). This choice is important and should likely not be as haphazard as it first appears. This is a game with a heavy role-playing aspect. Not every male can (or perhaps should) play a female. And vice versa. If as a male you don’t really get female sensibilities, stick to what you know.
Once you have chosen your race and gender, it is time to choose your ethnicity/culture/geography. In other words, where were you born and raised? This choice is most relevant for humans. Because the world is an alternative fantasy version of historical Earth, you can choose from any pre-gunpowder society: Roman, Greek, Celtic, Norse, Indigenous, Aztec, Mayan, Incan, Scythian, Persian, Arabic, Japanse, Chinese, Mongolian, African, Babylonian, Sumerian, Phoenician, Assyrian, Slavic, Frankish, Spanish, etc. It is important to remember, however, that these civilizations are placed on their own unique historical timelines. So, some events from our history have happened, while others have not (and will not). Also, remember that you can choose to come from Middle Earth (400 years after the One Ring has been destroyed) or Hyboria (Conan’s world, 500 years after Conan’s death).
At this point, you know your species/race, your gender, and your ethnicity/culture. Perhaps you are a male Spartan or a female Celt, and through these choices you now know where on the map you have come from.
It is now time to choose your class/profession. Your “standard” choices are: Warrior (fighter), Thief (scout), Cleric, Wizard (magic-user), Psionicist, Ranger, Druid, Shaman, Assassin, Bard, Alchemist, Holy Warrior (paladin), Medicine Wo(man), Martial Artist, Mystic, Seer, Monk, Shapeshifter, Battlemage, Witch (warlock), Roguemage, Healer. All of these classes are well developed based on our own homebrew system. But again, there is a fair deal of flexibility here. For example, you can be multi-classed. You can have as many classes as you wish when you start or you can learn new classes as you develop. There is no advantage or disadvantage to being a single class or being multi-classed. The system is balanced. Your experience points will be divided among your classes. And if you wish to create your own new class, that is possible as well.
The last step involves creating your backstory. With knowledge of your species/race, gender, ethnicity/culture, and class/profession, you can now narrate your life up to this point by writing up your background. But again, this is done in consultation with the DM to ensure that what you want to incorporate is indeed possible. Some of the decisions you will want to make involve your economic class, your family, any important events, etc. You should think about what has happened in your life to this point and why you are likely seeking to join the Party of the Pendant.
You are now ready to set up your character sheet, select a picture/portrait/drawing to represent you, and choose a figurine!