Character Creation/Leveling/Races/Classes/Feats

Character Creation (clarification/houserule)

  • Use Hero Lab, remember to add the Community Pack. I've sent you a dropbox link to the place to store the characters, ask for a resend if you've lost it. The dropbox directory contains further Herolab instructions. A picture of the settings you should use can be found here.)
  • Talk with the group before you create a character if it seems similar to an existing character.
  • Use one of the following ability score generation methods:
    • standard array (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8)
    • Customizing Ability Scores (27 points)
  • Don't roll hitpoints, always take max hitpoints at first level and then the average (round up.)
  • Starting characters must take the equipment from it's class and background, you can sell your starting gear before play begins at half price if you want (higher level characters, also see below.)
  • Characters can be of any non-evil alignment. If you're unclear on what alignment your character should be, see these images for a remarkably clear explanation of alignment (or spend an hour browsing through this reddit. This one in particular tells you how NOT to do it :)
  • Multiclassing is allowed (though, do note that in general things in 5e happen on total class level, not total character level...)
  • Your starting lifestyle is based on your background, as given below. (See ph157-158, 187) If you have another background, use this as a guide.
  • Choose what type of monsters the character has particular experience with: Aberrations, Beasts, Celestials, Constructs, Dragons, Elementals, Fey, Fiends, Giants, Humanoids, Monstrosities, Oozes, Plants or Undead. (See Monster Knowledge.)
  • Are you feeling lazy? Uninspired? Huge number of premade characters of all class and level combinations can be found here (updated link).

What books can be used?(clarification/houserule)

  • Material from the PHB, SCAG and the free EEPC is generally available.
    • PHB: Everything
    • SCAG: Everything
    • EEPC: Everything except Aarakocra (see below)
  • Material from the various free Unearthed Arcana articles are available if:
  • a) You've already taken something and I haven't told you to remove it. I might ask you to replace it with something else later.
  • b) Are available in Hero Lab (if they aren't in Hero Lab, talk to me, I might allow it anyway.)
  • c) Have not been overridden by something that's been published in a book or updated in another article (So far I know of these: Storm Sorcerer, and the Aasimar from DMG.)
  • d) I don't disallow them. I haven't checked everything, so ask me before you take something. So far I've disallowed:
  • Races: Changeling, Minotaur (Krynn), Revenant, Warforged.
  • Classes: None
  • Feats: None
  • I used to be permissive for En5ider articles (I have them, talk to me if something in them sounds interesting) (See here for links to the patreon or here to buy them individually.) But, I've grown more wary of them, so the default now is that you can't take it. If it's not in Hero Lab it's definitely not available.
  • If you've already taken something and I haven't told you to remove it. I might ask you to replace it with something else later. (So far I know of: en35 (Tempest) and en37 (alchemical items)).
  • The following Rogue Genius Press articles is also available (I have it, talk to me if it sounds interesting):
    • Shadow Warrior (Rogue archetype), partially implemented in the Hero Lab community pack.
  • The following articles:
    • Archfey Patrons (Warlock patrons), partially implemented in the Hero Lab community pack.

Character Variant rules

  • Customizing Ability Scores (ph13)
  • Human Traits (ph31)
  • New and modified races, classes, backgrounds (dmg285+) Talk to me.
  • Variant Backgrounds (ph127+) All of these are available. The ones from SCAG are also available. (Or you can make up your own Background, or find them somewhere but you need to check with me that I'll allow your background. See here for some points on balancing a background.)

Specific Races

Aarakocra, Not allowed: (Well, maybe if they can't fly... Druids get fly speed as a CR 1 creature at level 8 (Moon druids possibly earlier), for max total of druid level hours per long rest. Sorcerer (dragon) get fly speed at level 14, costs bonus action to create or dismiss wings. The easiest to get magic item with fly speed is Broom of flying which is Uncommon, meaning not really expected much before level 11 (a character is expected to have a total of two uncommon magic items by level 11. So, fly speed 50 at level 1? Nope. If you really, really, really want to play an Aarakocra, we have to agree on a way to nerf it.)

Elf, Trance: Long Rest still lasts at least eight hours for an elf, it's just that the elf can be awake for four hours of it with no negative effects. (clarification

Specific Classes

Cleric/Druid/other classes that know 'all' spells. Actually only know all the spells in the PHB. Spells from supplements have to be researched/found on adventures/gained as rewards. (houserule)

Druid, Wild Shape. A Druid gets the average HP of the creature wild shaped into. (clarification,

Druid, Hill Dwarf. The +1hp/level does not apply while in beast form. (clarification,

Druid, Circle of the Moon. Only gets access to CR 1/2 at level 2. CR 1 is available at level 4. (houserule)

Rogue, Thief. Use Magic Device can be used to activate spell scrolls.

Wizard, School of Conjuration, Minor Conjuration. The item cannot be used as a spell component. (houserule)

Specific Spells/Incantations

Agonizing Blast: The charisma bonus is added to damage per hit. (clarification,

Banishment: Delete the part about a native creature being incapacitated. Non-native creatures can choose to not return if the spell ends before 1 minute has passed.

Conjure Animal/Celestial/Elemental/Fey/Woodland Beings: They only obey orders that don't violate their alignment and personality (i.e. pixies are pacifist tricksters, sprites militant evil-fighters, satyrs are likely to be distracted by their hedonism, etc) (houserule)

Contagion: Slimy Doom: Effects come after all three saves have failed. (clarification,

Find Familiar/Find steed/Planar Ally/etc: A creature summoned by the spell can only appear in a space you can both see and could reach (to use 4e terms you must have both line of sight and line of effect to the space.) (I.e. not on the other side of a wall, or a window.) If such a creature is dismissed any items it has picked up are dropped in it's space.

Flame/Ice: You gain Resistance, not Immunity.

Force Cage: A targeted creature can roll a Dexterity save to escape when the spell is cast (treating it like it was only partially within the cage's area.)

Investiture of Stone: Not sure yet.

Empowered Evocation - Magic Missile The Magic Missile has one 'damage roll' per target, thus you only get your int mod once per target, not per missile. (clarification,

Simulacrum: When you create a Simulacrum the only spell slots it has are any extra ones you decide to spend while casting the spell, it cannot regain them, and you do not regain them until it has spent them or the Simulacrum is killed or dispelled. If you or the Simulacrum cast this spell again, the Simulacrum is instantly destroyed. (houserule/clarification)

Wall of (Fire/Force/Ice/Stone): The following supersedes any similar text in the spell. Walls cannot be cast so that they cut through a creature's space. Walls cannot be used to surround creatures completely with the wall. If a creature would be trapped between the Wall and another solid surface the creature can make a Dexterity saving throw, on a success it gets to move up to it speed so that it's no longer trapped. (houserule)

Specific Feats

Crossbow Expert: The third paragraph can't be used to get two attacks with the same weapon. (clarification,

Grappler: The second paragraph should be read as: "You can use one of your attacks to try to pin..." The third paragraph should be deleted. (clarification, attacks. (clarification)

Lucky: Disadvantage + Lucky Feat means that the PC first rolls with Disadvantage as usual (pick the lowest), then rolls the Lucky die and picks the highest of the two. For Advantage, first pick the highest, then the highest again. (houserule/clarification, source

Magic Initiate: The character counts as a spellcaster for the purpose of attuning. (clarification, source

Polearm Master: The feat's benefits are only gained when the reach weapon is wielded with two hands. (See also Reach, above.) (houserule/clarification)

Replacing Characters

If you replace your current character for whatever reason (death, tired of your old one, etc) your new character will be one level lower than your previous one, but at the same relative percentage of xp to the next level. (I.e. take enough xp to take you to one level below your current character, then add enough xp to take you to the same percentage of progress to the next level as your previous character had.) If you're level 1, your new character will be level 1 with no xp.

Your new character's wealth and equipment will vary, but you'll most likely have less than the average wealth of the group, and probably less than the poorest one.

For money, you get your starting wealth from your background * your level in gp.

Now that I've completed my excel sheet and every character has been upgraded using the same rules, we'll use the following for any new characters:

What the excel sheet does is simply the following:

Roll on the treasure tables in the dmg (for each 'roll' below, roll twice and pick one):

One roll on Table A for every level from 1 to 5.

One roll on Table B for every level from 6 to 10.

One roll on Table C for every level from 11 to 15.

One roll on Table D for every level from 16 to 18.

One roll on Table E for levels 19 and 20.

One roll on Table F at level 4 and again at level 7.

One roll on Table G at level 10 and again at level 13.

One roll on Table H at level 16.

One roll on Table I at level 19.


Which, again according to the above link averages out to:

1 common consumable every level from 1 to 5.

1 uncommon consumable every level from 6 to 10.

1 rare consumable every level from 11 to 15.

1 very rare consumable every level from 16 to 19.

1 legendary consumable at level 20.

1 uncommon permanent item at level 4, and another at level 7.

1 rare permanent item at level 10 and another at level 13.

1 very rare permanent item at level 16.

1 legendary permanent item at level 19.

New Players, New Characters, Underleveled Characters

Such characters will be given the minimum number of xp to place them one level below the character with the highest level. See Replacing Characters for wealth and equipment if above first level and the character has been 'pulled up' more than one level.

If due to the above a character was given magical items they are considered to have had access to the ability to trade magical items earlier, and thus have access to the following options:

  1. Trade two (nonconsumable) items for one item of the same rarity (as the lowest rarity item) or lower chosen by the player from a list created by the DM going to donjon and selecting the desired rarity (e.g. Rare).
  2. Trade three (nonconsumable) items (or two nonconsumable items, all money and all consumable items (minimum one)) for one item of the same rarity (as the lowest rarity item) or lower, of the type chosen by the player from a list created by the DM going to donjon and selecting the desired rarity (e.g. Rare) and type (e.g. weapons).
  3. Trade four (nonconsumable) items (or three nonconsumable items, all money and all consumable items (minimum one)) for one item of the same rarity (as the lowest rarity item) or lower from the DMG with a cost no higher than that of the most expensive item traded away (as given on page 2-6 of Sane Magical Item Prices. I.e. Summoning Items, Gamechanging Items and Items That Won't Be Priced are not available with this option, nor are any found in the DMG but not in this pdf.)

Characters Leaving The Game

If a character leaves the game or becomes an npc (by dying, being replaced with a new character, because the player leaves) it brings along with it all of it's possessions that are not plot-critical (usually Legendary items or Artifacts), including it's share of any 'group loot'. (Story-wise it may be that the character steals it, or the group gives it to them, or buries it with them, or sacrifices it to the gods, or has it stolen by a random cat burglar, or spends it all on carousing in the next town. Whatever works for the group, as long as the end result is that the stuff is gone. :)

Money is easily handled, just split it up equally, with any remainder staying with the group. Likewise for any item of which the group has at least one for each character. Count gems and such as their monetary value, with the group deciding whether to give money or gems to the leaving character. Likewise for consumable magic items.

For items that can't be easily divided, my suggestion is that permanent items have a value according to their rarity (in a separate currency where an uncommon item is considered to be worth '1', the exchange rate is that three items of a lower rarity are considered to be equal to one of a higher one. I.e. Uncommon = 1, Rare = 3 uncommon, Very Rare = 3 rare, Legendary = 3 very rare. Or perhaps 27U=9R=3V=1L.) (Money doesn't really work well to split up magic items due to d&d's insane economy.)

(The meta-game point of the character leaving with a share of it's items is of course that any new characters bring in their own gear. Whether you choose to have a sizable 'group loot' or not is up to you, as long as a leaving character gets a reasonably fair split when leaving the game. In the excel sheet, take a look at the 'Balans' tab, but make sure it's updated before using it...)