A handy checklist to help you create a character in 5e
If you haven't made a character before, you may find yourself flipping back and forth through the Player's Handbook or Basic Rules a lot. Chapter 1: Step-by-Step Characters may help you get started, but here is a more explicit checklist that will help you know where to flip and when.Download the Checklist (pdf)
|Step||Instruction||Basic Rules v2 page||Player's Handbook page|
|1||Determine character level.
This is determined by your DM, but is usually level 1.
|2||Record experience points (XP) for your level.||10||15|
|3||Record proficiency bonus for your level.||10||15|
|4||Choose a class.||20||45|
|5||Record the class name.||20||45|
|6||Note which ability is the class' Primary Ability.
You'll want to make that ability score high later on.
|7||Don't record anything else from the class for now.|
|8||Choose race and subrace.||11-19||17-43|
|9||Create a name.|
|10||Choose your age.|
|11||Write down all racial traits.|
|12||Temporarily put Ability Score Increases next to the relevant abilities.
This will be used when you determine ability scores below.
|13||Choose languages, if your race requires it.||34||123|
|14||Record your Base Speed.|
|15||Determine ability scores. If using variant Customizing Ability Scores, here's a calculator.||7-8||12-13|
|16||Add in racial Ability Score Increases from step 12.|
|17||Choose a background.||36-42||125-141|
|18||Record background features.|
|19||Record background proficiencies.|
|20||Record background languages.||34||123|
|21||Record background equipment (unless you've chosen the alternate equipment rules).|
|22||Choose two personality traits, one ideal, one bond, and one flaw.||123-124|
|23||Return to your class information.||20-32||45-119|
|24||Record all class features. Don't forget to select spells, specializations, and record special maneuver or spell save DCs, etc.|
|25||Record your hit die.|
|26||Choose proficiencies, if required by your class.|
|27||Choose class starting equipment (unless you've chosen the alternate equipment rules).|
|28||Apply ability score improvements (or choose feats) according to your level.
If you're starting at higher levels that grant these.
|29||Calculate ability modifiers.||7||13|
|30||Create a physical description.||33||121|
|31||Select an alignment.||33-34||122|
|32||Record your initiative.||61, 69||177, 189|
|33||Determine maximum hit points.
||10, 61||12, 177|
|34||Total all saving throws.||62||179|
|35||Total all skills.||58-59||174-175|
|36||Record Passive Wisdom (Perception).||59||175|
|37||Determine starting money, if permitted.||43||143|
|38||If you've chosen the alternate equipment rules, buy additional equipment.||44-55||144-161|
|39||Limit carried equipment by weight.||60||176|
|40||Record your armor class (AC).||9, 44||14, 144-145|
|41||Record your attacks (attack bonuses and damage).||9, 45-47, 73-75||14, 146-148, 194-196|
|42||You probably didn't select all your spells or special abilities back on step 24. Procrastinate no more.|