Go ahead and open the Characters menu – use the + button to create and save a character. At this point all you need is a name, and even that as a placeholder since you can change it later. Then come back here and read up about your choices.
Permitted Races (4):
Human, Elf, Dwarf, Halfling
(Experienced gamers who want to use a more exotic race please e-mail me and discuss)
Permitted Classes (7):
Elf, Dwarf, Halfling (note that these are simultaneously class AND race).
For Humans; Fighter, Mage, Thief, Cleric.
Rolled Stats (6):
Strength (Str), Intelligence (Int), Wisdom (Wis), Dexterity (Dex), Constitution (Con), Charisma (Cha).
Now think about your initial stats for your character. You have two choices:
Roll 3d6 for six ability scores, and then ASSIGN each of them to the ability of your choice. This is for if you KNOW what class and race you would like to play. By assigning them in the order you want, you can be reasonably sure you will get stats that let you qualify for your desired class and race, and perhaps even excel in it. Because these scores are lower on average than the second method, you will likely have a few low scores in areas that are not essential for your class.
Roll 4d6 for each stat IN ORDER (as above), and KEEP the highest three rolls of the 4d6 (drop the low roll for each stat). [For example, if I rolled a 2, 3, 4, and 6 I would drop the 2 and total my ability as 13] This is for if you are not sure what you would like to play, but want to see what your character could naturally fit in as. By taking this method, your scores will be higher overall, but you will be somewhat constrained into playing what you would be good for, not something you chose yourself.
Even after you have set your scores, they still can be adjusted slightly – more about this in another post once you have rolled your initial ability scores.
Scores and Qualifying for Classes
Humans do not have minimum scores for any class. Certain abilities will earn them bonus experience points (that is, they will level faster).
(Human) Cleric: Bonus experience points if Wisdom is at least 13.
(Human) Fighter: Bonus experience points if Strength is at least 13.
(Human) Mage: Bonus experience points if Intelligence is at least 13.
(Human) Thief: Bonus experience points if Dexterity is at least 13.
Demi-Humans have minimum scores needed to qualify for their race/class. Certain abilities will earn them bonus experience points (that is, they will level faster).
Dwarves need a minimum Constitution score of 9. They earn bonus experience points if Strength is at least 13.
Elves need a minimum Intelligence score of 9. They earn bonus experience points if Strength AND Intelligence are BOTH at least 13.
Halflings need minimum scores of 9 in BOTH Constitution AND Dexterity. They earn bonus experience points if Strength AND Dexterity are BOTH at least 13.
Once you have chosen your rolling method and rolled your ability scores, go ahead and add the scores to your character, as well as a note on which method you used. If you are not sure what class you would like or what the abilities will be used for, ask me a question on the character page (or leave a comment below) – I will be reading those soon.