Players are welcome to create their characters at home or wait for character creation night. Either way, the DM will need to see your character before game (preferably a week before we play) to fine-tune his sub-plots, NPC’s, challenges, etc.
Create a 1st-level character using the basic rules from the 2nd Ed. PHB. To generate an Ability Score set, roll 3d6 six times. You may roll as many sets of six as you wish, and may choose any set you like. Then, place the Ability Scores in whatever order you prefer. Note that Races and Classes have various Ability Score prerequisites.
All Classes, Races, and Alignments are permitted, but you may want to consult with your fellow players to determine what kind of party you want to play.
You may opt to make up your character’s age or to roll randomly for it, but please use the “Aging Effects” rules to adjust your Ability Scores if you are middle-aged or older.
You must roll for Hit Points at 1st-level. You may start with 1 HP in this fashion. If a Con penalty would reduce you to zero or less, round up to 1 HP.
Bards: You do not begin play with a spellbook, but must acquire one at or before level 2 in order to cast arcane spells. Once you have a spellbook and you reach 2nd-level as a bard, you automatically learn 1d4 1st-level wizard spells of your choice and may add them to your spellbook without cost or check. Each time you gain a level as a bard, you learn one new spell for free of any level you can cast and can copy it into your book for free. This represents research done in your spare time.
Clerics: You may choose to worship the entire pantheon of gods (making you a generic cleric) or you may worship a specific god (making you a priest of a specific mythos). Generic clerics recognize the entire pantheon of deities, but tend to follow either a path of good or a path of evil, drawing their magic from the appropriate gods and goddesses. They use the standard rules for clerics out of the PHB. Priests of a specific mythos should see the section on Gods to choose their patron deity, using any rules changes found therein. Otherwise, they follow the same rules as generic clerics. All clerics begin play with a wooden holy symbol for free.
Druids: You begin play with specially gathered mistletoe that serves as your holy symbol for free. Druids have a culture all their own; separate from society but spanning the breadth of the known world. This culture is philosophically divided between the idea that Nature is a force beyond traditional religion (druids) and the thought that the god Vorn is the true god of nature (clerics of Vorn). This is a hotly debated issue, especially because one’s beliefs tend to change the nature of one’s magical powers and abilities. In some druid groves, clerics of Vorn are welcomed as brothers and sisters. In others places, the two factions fight with word and with weapon. As both seem to be backed by divine magic, none can truly say who is right.
Fighters: There are no extra rules for fighters.
Mages: We will not be using the “Maximum Number of Spells per Level” optional rule. You do begin play with a free spellbook with 4d10+10 total pages. This can be in the form of an ancient tome, clay tablets, a pile of loose leaves, or whatever style of “book” fits your character concept best. Your spellbook initially contains the spells detect magic and read magic, as well as 4 other 1st-level spells of your choice. Each time you gain a wizard level, you learn one new spell for free of any level you can cast and can copy it into your book for free. This represents research done in your spare time.
Paladins: You may choose to be a member of a specific church, a holy or Knightly Order, or simply an unaffiliated adventurer blessed by providence. See the section on Gods if you wish to choose a patron deity. You begin play with a wooden holy symbol for free.
Rangers: There are no extra rules for rangers.
Thieves: We will not be using the optional rule about adding level-differences to Pick Pocket rolls.
We will be using Weapon and Non-Weapon Proficiencies from Chapter 5. We will not be using the “Using What You Know” or “Secondary Skills” sections found in that chapter. Note that extra language slots granted by high Intelligence scores may be traded 1-for-1 with non-weapon proficiency slots.
All equipment found in Chapter 6 is available at character creation (including the Arquebus, even though you can’t afford it yet). Arquebus shot is available for 1sp per bullet, slow-burning cords or matches are sold for 5sp each (they last 8 rounds a piece), and smoke powder costs 4gp per charge. Everyone begins play with a free set of clothes suitable to your character. Aside from smoke powder, no magical items are available for purchase until after the game begins. Magic items related to your character’s backstory are permissible within limitations (discuss with your DM).
There are several confusing Encumbrance rules listed in the book. Ignore everything except Table 47, Table 49, and the two sidebars listed above it; “Magical Armor and Encumbrance” and “Effects of Encumbrance.” Generally speaking, Encumbrance will not come into play until it becomes somehow critical to the story (crossing a rickety bridge, for example). However, it will speed up the game in these situations if players occasionally re-calculated the weight of their gear (50 coins weigh 1 lb.).
Spell components are required to cast spells, but it is assumed that characters keep a small supply of these trinkets stocked at all times, re-stocking as they travel. Especially rare components or those with monetary value must be sought out, found by chance, or purchased in-game and noted separately. Also, please note where you keep your components on your person, as they may be lost, stolen, or destroyed in certain instances.
Magical research into new spells and enchanted items is encouraged, as is world-building on the part of the players. If you have ideas about either, please submit them to the DM.