5th Edition Character Creation Needs Reorganization

Thanks to Stranger Things my daughters want to play D&D. We've tried out classic with B2 Keep on the Borderlands, which went ok.

Then they got the Stranger Things box set which uses 5th edition. I could write a whole review on that product. It's a pretty good introduction to 5th edition, but NOT a good Stranger Things game. Overall disappointing.

So that got us into 5th edition. We've tried a few times to make characters and each time it is a grueling and labor intensive process. The organization and steps are just not smooth at all. Especially confusing to young players. I took to finding some good simplified step-by-step summaries online and found a few, including some pretty good character sheets, but none of them really satisfy the need to quickly and clearly create characters. I mean really you should be able to generate a character in 15 minutes. Instead it seems to take an entire gaming session.

This is one of the better ones I've found: https://www.dmsguild.com/product/245446/Kid-Friendly-Character-Sheet

I'm thinking of writing up my own character creation quick start pamphlet. I'm finding things I like about 5th edition, some of the mechanics like advantage/disadvantage dice, inspiration, proficiency, and saving throws work pretty well. But character creation isn't one of them.


4 comments:

Pulpatooner said...

Here's a simplified chargen for 5e I've used:
5e One Shot
It may not be what you're looking for, as it departs from RAW, but it may spur some ideas.

Some thoughts on streamlining chargen that are less of a departure:
1. Determine Background first. Personally, I like to have players roll for background. Background first gives chargen more of a life-path quality, which I think is more fun.
2. If your players know what kind of character they want to play, pick Class next, and then use standard array for Stats.
3. If they don't have preconceptions about what to play, roll Stats, then pick Class.
4. Limit the class and race choices to avoid decision paralysis.
5. Limit the number of spells, for the same reason. Present, say, 4 cantrips and 8 1st Level spells.
5. Stick with the equipment that comes in chargen.

I hope some small dribble of this is useful to you!

Thomas Denmark said...

Looks cool, I'm going to try this out.
Reversing the decisions, starting with background working back from there sounds like a good idea. One of the annoying things is determining ability scores then so many steps modify those scores. Would be good to have all the modifiers up front then determine ability scores all at once.

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