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  • Writer's pictureNicholas Uster

EGD Adventures: Character Creation Guide (D&D 5E)

Updated: Mar 24, 2021

Written by Nicholas Uster


Creating a character is the first step of your Dungeons & Dragons adventure. This guide will provide an introduction to basic character creation. I will be referring to the rules in the Player’s Handbook, an essential reference for Dungeons & Dragons character creation.

This is a character sheet. It allows you to fill out and track information about your character as you adventure throughout your games. Click the links below for official D&D resources that you can print and photocopy for your own personal use.

Standard Character Sheet Fillable PDF

Variant Character Sheets, Pregenerated Characters, and Other Resources

As I guide you through character creation, I will build a character of my own: Grim, a Half-Orc barbarian.


Step 1: Character Race and Backstory

Choosing A Race

Racial choices can be found starting on page 17 of the Player’s Handbook. You can also click here to check out D&D Beyond’s digital list. Each racial description will include age, size, language, and culture. It will also determine your character’s movement speed and ability score increases.

Building Your Story

Whenever you are creating a character, you are really creating a story. Bring the character to life by asking yourself some of these questions:

Why Adventure?

- Why is your character adventuring? Why join a party to delve through a dungeon or venture into the unknown?

- What are your character’s short-term goals? Are they looking for their stolen spellbook? Do they seek acceptance into a guild?

Morality and Alignment

- Is your character a hero? Why or why not?

- Who are your character’s parents? How did they influence your character? How/where was your character raised?

- Is your character religious? Why or why not? If so, what kind of god or gods do they worship? How does their worship affect their actions?

- Is your character merciful? Will they spare the life of a beast that threatens them, or will they slaughter it out of pride? Would they ever torture someone for information? Would they ever kill?

- What does your character fear?

Other Info

- How old is your character?

- What is your character’s social class?

- Does your character have any enemies?

- Does your character have family, like a wife or children or siblings?

Building Grim

I imagine Grim being raised within a nomadic lifestyle. His family was part of a small band of Half-Orcs that roamed the land to hunt. He was raised to be a fierce hunter for the tribe. He returned to camp from a hunt, discovering a tragedy took place in his absence. His tribe was nowhere to be found. Their tents and supplies were burned, and a strange insignia was scorched onto a tree within the campsite. On the ground was his mother’s bear-tooth necklace, which he took with him for good luck. He adventures in hopes that his family is still alive somewhere, and strives to uncover what happened on that fateful day. The adventuring party he travels with is his only family now.

I now record the Half-Orc racial information/traits onto my character sheet, which can be found on page 40 of the Player’s Handbook, or on D&D Beyond if you click here. Half-Orcs get an ability score increase of +2 to their overall strength score and a +1 to their overall constitution score (more will be explained in step 2). A Half-Orc has a speed of 30 feet. Their racial abilities include Darkvision, Menacing, Relentless Endurance, and Savage Attacks. For languages, they can speak, read, and write Common and Orc.