BUT FIRST: I want you to back this Kickstarter. You back the KS, you get to see me make a D&D character. We're on the honor system, here.
(Why back the KS? Because Liz' first game, Witch: Fated Souls was pretty damn inspired and I've been really looking forward to her next one. Because this game involves everyone having their own animal companion. Because it's good to support diverse game designers. Because "Angry Hamster" is a fantastic company name. Pick a reason.)
Anyway, on we go.
The Game: Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition
The Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Degree of Familiarity: Almost none with this edition; I played it once not long after it came out and I wasn't impressed, but then I never am with D&D.
Books Required: I think just the Player's Handbook to make a character.
So, I bag on D&D a lot, because it's kinda boring, but I actually do like 4th ed more than the others. 4th gets some grief because it's arranged like an MMO or a board game, but like...yeah. That's what D&D is, it's a board game with some light roleplaying thrown in. Sure, I know that you roleplayed the shit out of your D&D game, but roleplaying isn't baked into the rules, it's all about the orcs or whatever, so a game edition that leans into that style of play is, I though, somewhat refreshing. Also my limited experience was that magic-users are actually worth the time it takes to make them in this edition.
Character creation has nine stages, which the book tells me I can approach in any order. I'm fine with doing them as presented.
There is literally no setting info in this book. None. Jeez.
Anyway, first up, I choose Race. Just going on the brief little descriptors in the character creation rundown, I like the look of Dragonborn, so I'm gonna go with that.
Class is next, and I already know I want to make a Warlock.
Ability scores are next, and y'know, a lot of times I make it hard on myself, but I'm feeling easy today so I'm gonna use the standard array. That means I get 16, 14, 13, 12, 11, and 10 to divvy up.
Well, I'm told that Constitution is useful for warlocks, so I'll put my 16 there. Having a feeble dragonborn doesn't make any sense, so I'll throw 14 into Strength and 12 into Dexterity. I'll put my 14 into Charisma, my 11 into Wisdom, and that leaves Intelligence as my dump stat at 10 (geez, two kinda slow characters in a row, I'll have to make a genius tomorrow).
Guess I should add in the racial bonuses and stuff. OK, as a dragonborn, I get a bonus to Strength and Charisma. Groovy. That puts my scores to 15 and 16, respectively. Also means I get a +2 to History and +1 to Intimidate.
Looking under the Warlock write-up, I get to pick an eldritch pact. I don't really want to be fey or infernal, but star pact sounds pretty cool. That means I get the dire radiance spell, and I get the Fate of the Void pact boon (if a creature dies under my curse, I get a bonus to actions. Brutal).
OK, I kinda got lost for a minute here. I'm sure it tells me somewhere that I get two at-will powers and one each daily and encounter, but buggered if I can find where it says that. Oh, wait, now I see it, it's in a damn chart. Fucking D&D. Anyway, since I'm here, I'll take Witchfire as my encounter power, and Cure of the Dark Dream as my daily.
Skills, I guess. I get four trained skills from list. I think I'll take Insight, Intimidate, Arcana (keys off of Intelligence but I feel like I should know something about magic) and Streetwise. And that's apparently it. Holy shit, that's so much simpler than 3rd. Also, I note that with my Charisma bonus, I am intimidating as fuck.
Feats! Actually just one, so "foot", I guess. (Tee-hee.) Hmm. Mostly these are about combat (doy), so the Improved Fate of the Void is tempting. But actually, I think I'm gonna go with Skill Training and be trained in Bluff because it's in-concept.
Next step is equipment...ugh. I do so hate shopping in RPGs. I'm gonna skip it. If I was actually going to play this guy I'd do it.
Fill in numbers. Hang on, I'll do that. Oh, wait, to figure out AC I have to know what type of armor. Let's say leather armor. I'm sure I have 25 gold lying around.
So, beyond that, just the boring roleplaying stuff. You know, the stuff that good games put front and center (fight me). I need a name, and the book gives me a helpful smattering of dragonborn names, so I pick "Donaar," sounds appropriately fantasy-ish. The book says that dragonborn live about as long as humans, so we'll say Donaar is 23, because I want him to be in a "me" phase. His alignment is "unaligned," and I'll say that Donaar pays lip service to the ancient dragon god of his people, but really...
...really, Donaar is something of a con artist or a budding cult leader (I mean, he doesn't have followers, but still). He managed to half-ass his way through training as a warlock, charming and intimidating and bluffing as need be. He knows some magic, sure, but it's not like that's hard. Donaar is just out for number one.
Except...he is a warlock, and he's got a star pact. He's seen what lies beyond the stars in his dreams. He knows what the gods do when no one's looking, and he knows that the "ancient dragon god" that the dragonborn revere is a hell of a lot hungrier and darker than anyone knows. He's either going to need to buckle down and get serious about this "warlock" thing or take his training elsewhere before he blunders into something he really can't handle.
Donaar is about 6'3" and 225lbs, about average for a dragonborn. His scales are rust-colored, darkening to a deep, old-blood red around his forearms and legs. His breath weapon is bright, white fire. Donaar looks a lot scarier than he actually is; he's got a cold, black-hole gaze in his eyes and a faraway, uncaring manner when he wants it.
There ya go!