Basic Character Creation for Living Forgotten Realms


Character Sheet - Rulebooks - Class - Race - Region - Ability Scores - Skills - Powers - Feats
Deity - Alignment - Languages - Equipment - Numbers - Finishing Touches - Registration
Pregenerated Characters - Advanced Character Creation


This page tells you how to create your own 1st level character to play in the Living Forgotten Realms campaign, using the Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition rules system. All you need is access to a copy of the Player's Handbook (generally abbreviated to PHB), access to the RPGA website, the ability to read PDF files and some writing materials, though a copy of the Forgotten Realms Player's Guide (abbreviated here to FRPG) is recommended and access to a printer might also be helpful. If you don't have access to these things, then we can either provide you with a pregenerated character or help you to create or finalise a character at your first game session.

This is just the basic guide to creating a character with access to only the above materials. There are now a wide variety of other character creation options available from a plethora of rulebooks, online magazines and other sources - for a full and complete guide to creating a character from all the available options, visit the Advanced Character Creation page.

If you have trouble reading any of the PDF files linked from this page then we recommend that you upgrade to the latest version of either Adobe Acrobat or Foxit Reader, both of which are downloadable for free. You may additionally need some software which will extract zipped files, for this we recommend 7-Zip which is open source software and also downloadable for free.

If you'd rather give the game a try before going to the trouble of creating your own character, we can provide a selection of pregenerated characters for you to choose from:



  1. Character Sheet
    Decide how you're going to record your character's statistics and abilities. You can just note down your character's statistics on a piece of paper if you want to, but a well designed printed character sheet looks nicer and is easier for the GM to check stuff on if they need to do so. Various different designs of character sheet are available. The official Wizards of the Coast 4th edition character sheet is downloadable as a 218k zipped pdf from here on the D&D website, and there are also some nice alternative character sheets available at Dragon Avenue. Whichever one you go for, it's best to plan your character out on a piece of scrap paper first because you'll probably want to change things around quite a bit before finalising them.

  2. Rulebooks
    There have been some changes and clarifications to the Player's Handbook and the Forgotten Realms Player's Guide since their original release. You can find the official errata documents here on the D&D website as pdf files (which are also available zipped). Additionally there are official FAQ pages for these rulebooks here for the PHB and here for the FRPG.

  3. Class
    Choose your character's Class. You can choose from Cleric, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Warlock, Warlord and Wizard (PHB p.60-171), and also from Swordmage (FRPG p.24-34). Warlocks can choose to take the Fey Pact, Infernal Pact, Star Pact (PHB p.130-131) or Dark Pact (FRPG p.35-40).

  4. Race
    Choose your character's Race. You can choose from Dragonborn, Dwarf, Eladrin, Elf, Half-Elf, Halfling, Human and Tiefling (PHB p.34-49), and also from Drow and Genasi (FRPG p.8-12) (rules for playing a Drow or Genasi character are currently available in a 205Kb zipped pdf document downloadable from the RPGA website). The FRPG (p.13-19) provides some useful information on the roles and homelands of the different Player Character (PC) races in the Realms, including cosmetic and cultural subdivisions among the Dwarf (Gold Dwarf or Shield Dwarf), Eladrin (Moon/Silver Elf or Sun/Gold Elf) and Elf (Wood/Copper Elf or Wild/Green Elf) peoples.

  5. Region
    Choose your character's Region. This could be where they were born, where they have spent most of their time, where they had some particularly formative experiences, or a combination of the three. Although each real world geographical area is associated with one of twelve particular Regions of the Realms, your character can be from any of the Regions listed in the FRPG (p.76-129) and may play any LFR adventures regardless of their Region. In addition to the system benefits and roleplaying background your character's Region provides, some adventures may include additional advantages or disadvantages for characters from particular Regions (generally along the lines of characters receiving bonuses to some skill checks in their Home Region where native background knowledge comes in useful).
    If you don't have access to a copy of the FRPG, the benefits from the twelve Regions in which most LFR adventures are set are summarised here on the RPGA website.

  6. Ability Scores
    Work out your character's Ability Scores in Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma (PHB p.16-17). For the LFR campaign we are using what the PHB calls 'Method 2'; you start off with scores of 10-10-10-10-10-8 and have 22 points to spend on improving them according to the table given at the end of PHB page 17. We've compiled a list of possible ability score arrays (from 18-14-11-10-10-8 to 14-13-13-13-13-13) at the bottom of this webpage. Assign your scores to the six abilities in whatever order you wish, then add any ability score modifiers from your race. Your ability scores will slowly improve as you gain levels.

  7. Skills
    Choose your character's Skills (PHB p.178-189). Which skills you can take depend on your Class, Race and Region. Bear in mind that some skills will be penalised if you wear restrictive armour (Hide, Chainmail or Plate) or carry a Heavy Shield. You can choose new skills, and improve your skill bonuses, by taking certain Feats. Your bonuses in all skills will steadily improve as you gain levels and improve your ability scores. Certain skills can be further improved by special equipment and by magic items. You should be aware that the Stealth skill has been heavily erratumed since the original release of the PHB.

  8. Class Powers
    Decide which of the Class Powers available to them your character can use. These are detailed in the same section of the rulebook as the rest of the information about your class. At first level all characters get to choose one Daily power, one Encounter power and two At-Will powers; some characters will have additional powers due to their Race or Class.

  9. Feats
    Choose your character's starting Feat (PHB p.192-208 and FRPG p.132-139). Human characters get to choose two starting feats. Some feats are limited by race, class, deity worshipped, ability scores, or which other feats you already possess. Some classes provide bonus feats.
    You may choose Divinity Feats from the PHB even though most of those deities do not exist in the Forgotten Realms (see next section).

  10. Deity
    If your character is a Cleric, a Paladin or just generally religious then you'll want to choose a deity for them to worship. Note that it is rare for Dragonborn and Genasi in the Forgotten Realms to worship a deity, but not unheard of. Player Characters in the LFR campaign can only worship Lawful Good, Good and Unaligned deities.
    Of the deities in the PHB (p.20-22) only Bahamut, Corellon and Moradin exist in the Forgotten Realms, and Bahamut (a lesser Deity) and Corellon are both of Good alignment. Nine new Greater Deities (Amaunator, Chauntea, Kelemvor, Oghma, Selûne, Silvanus, Sune, Tempus and Torm) are detailed in the FRPG (p.150-154), along with brief mentions of nine new lesser Deities (Angharradh, Berronar Truesilver, Garl Glittergold, Gond, Ilmater, Mielikki, Sheela Peryroyl, Tymora and Waukeen) and eighteen new Divinity Feats.
    Although most of the deities listed in the PHB do not exist in the Forgotten Realms, the rules options available to their worshippers may still be taken by followers of their Realms equivalents - see the RPGA Character Creation Guide.

  11. Alignment
    Your character's Alignment (PHB p.19-20) can be either Lawful Good, Good or Unaligned. If you're a Cleric or Paladin then your choice of alignment will be restricted by the alignment of your deity.

  12. Languages
    Which languages your character speaks are determined by their race and their Region. All characters automatically speak Common. If your character can choose a language, they can choose from Deep Speech, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Giant, Goblin and Primordial (PHB p.25 and FRPG p.156) at 1st level. The Abyssal and Supernal languages can't be learnt by 1st level characters. The Forgotten Realms setting includes the additional languages of Chondathan, Damaran, Netherese, Shou, Thayan, Tuigan and Untheric, but these aren't currently used in the LFR campaign.

  13. Equipment
    Choose your character's equipment. You start off with a set of basic clothing and 100 gold pieces to spend on other stuff from the PHB (p.212-222). You can carry gear weighing (in pounds) up to ten times your character's strength without it slowing you down (i.e. a character with 18 Strength can happily carry 180 pounds of gear). The types of armour you've been trained in wearing properly and the types of weapons you've been trained in using depend on your Class, Race and Feats.

  14. Working Out The Numbers
    Now you've made all of those decisions, you need to work out all the numbers - your character's Hit Points, Armour Class, etc. You also need to choose the character's age, height and weight from the ranges given for their race.

  15. Finishing Touches
    Finally, you need to decide on your character's name (often the hardest part of character creation!), their gender, the details of what they look like, their personality and mannerisms, and any other finishing touches you want to add. Pages 23 and 24 of the PHB give some pointers on things you might want to consider.
    It's also worth taking a look at the Player Reward Cards page to get an idea of how those work and decide which two cards your character will bring to their first session. One That'll Do card and one of Daring Exploit, Desperate Spell or Fervent Prayer are good initial choices.

  16. Ready To Play!
    Now you're ready to go - sign up to our Yahoo! Groups mailing list to find out when (and where) we're running games, email the organisers to let them know which game you'd like to play, and come along! All you need to bring are your character, a pen or pencil and some notepaper. (Though a set of dice and an additional copy of the PHB would also be useful if you have them.)
    We'll provide you with an RPGA membership number (now referred to as a DCI number since Wizards of the Coast merged the RPGA reporting system with the reporting system for Magic: the Gathering tournaments) and an Adventure Log sheet, though you can also print your own Adventure Log sheets from the RPGA Character Creation Guide, which is downloadable from the RPGA website as a zipped pdf file.

  17. Registration
    Once you've played your first LFR game, received an RPGA number and decided you want to play some more, you can log on to the RPGA website and register your membership - this makes it easier for us to report the games you've played, will let you see a record of the events you've attended and will let you keep an online record of your character(s) if you wish to do.




Ability Score Arrays

18 - 14 - 11 - 10 - 10 - 818 - 14 - 11 - 10 - 10 - 818 - 14 - 10 - 10 - 10 - 918 - 13 - 13 - 10 - 10 - 8
18 - 13 - 12 - 11 - 10 - 818 - 13 - 12 - 10 - 10 - 918 - 13 - 11 - 11 - 11 - 818 - 13 - 11 - 11 - 10 - 9
18 - 13 - 11 - 10 - 10 - 1018 - 12 - 12 - 12 - 10 - 818 - 12 - 12 - 11 - 11 - 818 - 12 - 12 - 11 - 10 - 9
18 - 12 - 12 - 10 - 10 - 1018 - 12 - 11 - 11 - 11 - 918 - 12 - 11 - 11 - 10 - 1018 - 11 - 11 - 11 - 11 - 10
17 - 16 - 11 - 10 - 10 - 817 - 16 - 10 - 10 - 10 - 917 - 15 - 13 - 10 - 10 - 817 - 15 - 12 - 11 - 10 - 8
17 - 15 - 12 - 10 - 10 - 917 - 15 - 11 - 11 - 11 - 817 - 15 - 11 - 11 - 10 - 917 - 15 - 11 - 10 - 10 - 10
17 - 14 - 14 - 10 - 10 - 817 - 14 - 13 - 12 - 10 - 817 - 14 - 13 - 11 - 11 - 817 - 14 - 13 - 11 - 10 - 9
17 - 14 - 13 - 10 - 10 - 1017 - 14 - 12 - 12 - 11 - 817 - 14 - 12 - 12 - 10 - 917 - 14 - 12 - 11 - 11 - 9
17 - 14 - 12 - 11 - 10 - 1017 - 14 - 11 - 11 - 11 - 1017 - 13 - 13 - 13 - 11 - 817 - 13 - 13 - 13 - 10 - 9
17 - 13 - 13 - 12 - 12 - 817 - 13 - 13 - 12 - 11 - 917 - 13 - 13 - 12 - 10 - 1017 - 13 - 13 - 11 - 11 - 10
17 - 13 - 12 - 12 - 12 - 917 - 13 - 12 - 12 - 11 - 1017 - 13 - 12 - 11 - 11 - 1117 - 12 - 12 - 12 - 12 - 10
16 - 16 - 13 - 11 - 10 - 816 - 16 - 13 - 10 - 10 - 916 - 16 - 12 - 12 - 10 - 816 - 16 - 12 - 11 - 11 - 8
16 - 16 - 12 - 11 - 10 - 916 - 16 - 12 - 10 - 10 - 1016 - 16 - 11 - 11 - 11 - 916 - 16 - 11 - 11 - 10 - 10
16 - 15 - 14 - 11 - 10 - 816 - 15 - 14 - 10 - 10 - 916 - 15 - 13 - 13 - 10 - 816 - 15 - 13 - 12 - 11 - 8
16 - 15 - 13 - 12 - 10 - 916 - 15 - 13 - 11 - 11 - 916 - 15 - 13 - 11 - 10 - 1016 - 15 - 12 - 12 - 12 - 8
16 - 15 - 12 - 12 - 11 - 916 - 15 - 12 - 12 - 10 - 1016 - 15 - 12 - 11 - 11 - 1016 - 15 - 11 - 11 - 11 - 11
16 - 14 - 14 - 13 - 10 - 816 - 14 - 14 - 12 - 11 - 816 - 14 - 14 - 12 - 10 - 916 - 14 - 14 - 11 - 11 - 9
16 - 14 - 14 - 11 - 10 - 1016 - 14 - 13 - 13 - 12 - 816 - 14 - 13 - 13 - 11 - 916 - 14 - 13 - 13 - 10 - 10
16 - 14 - 13 - 12 - 12 - 916 - 14 - 13 - 12 - 11 - 1016 - 14 - 13 - 11 - 11 - 1116 - 14 - 12 - 12 - 12 - 10
16 - 14 - 12 - 12 - 11 - 1116 - 13 - 13 - 13 - 13 - 916 - 13 - 13 - 13 - 12 - 1016 - 13 - 13 - 13 - 11 - 11
16 - 13 - 13 - 12 - 12 - 1116 - 13 - 12 - 12 - 12 - 12
15 - 15 - 15 - 11 - 10 - 815 - 15 - 15 - 10 - 10 - 915 - 15 - 14 - 13 - 10 - 815 - 15 - 14 - 12 - 11 - 8
15 - 15 - 14 - 12 - 10 - 915 - 15 - 14 - 11 - 11 - 915 - 15 - 14 - 11 - 10 - 1015 - 15 - 13 - 13 - 12 - 8
15 - 15 - 13 - 13 - 11 - 915 - 15 - 13 - 13 - 10 - 1015 - 15 - 13 - 12 - 12 - 915 - 15 - 13 - 12 - 11 - 10
15 - 15 - 13 - 11 - 11 - 1115 - 15 - 12 - 12 - 12 - 1015 - 15 - 12 - 12 - 11 - 1115 - 14 - 14 - 14 - 10 - 8
15 - 14 - 14 - 13 - 12 - 815 - 14 - 14 - 13 - 11 - 915 - 14 - 14 - 13 - 10 - 1015 - 14 - 14 - 12 - 12 - 9
15 - 14 - 14 - 12 - 11 - 1015 - 14 - 14 - 11 - 11 - 1115 - 14 - 13 - 13 - 13 - 915 - 14 - 13 - 13 - 12 - 10
15 - 14 - 13 - 13 - 11 - 1115 - 14 - 12 - 12 - 12 - 1115 - 13 - 13 - 13 - 13 - 1115 - 13 - 13 - 13 - 12 - 12
14 - 14 - 14 - 14 - 12 - 814 - 14 - 14 - 14 - 11 - 914 - 14 - 14 - 14 - 10 - 1014 - 14 - 14 - 13 - 13 - 9
14 - 14 - 14 - 13 - 12 - 1014 - 14 - 14 - 13 - 11 - 1114 - 14 - 14 - 12 - 12 - 1114 - 14 - 13 - 13 - 13 - 11
14 - 14 - 13 - 13 - 12 - 1214 - 13 - 13 - 13 - 13 - 13

Character Sheet - Rulebooks - Class - Race - Region - Ability Scores - Skills - Powers - Feats
Deity - Alignment - Languages - Equipment - Numbers - Finishing Touches - Registration
Advanced Character Creation

This page last updated: 23rd July 2009 - Email the webmeister - Email the organisers - Back to the LFR-Oxford front page