Concept - Race & Class - Religion - Ability Scores - Alignment - Languages
Feats - Skills - Money & Equipment - Vital Statistics - Finishing Touches - Shopping
There's a quite bewildering array of rules, supplements and background material out there, so much so that the sheer volume of stuff to read might seem quite intimidating at first. But all you really need to look at is the Player's Handbook, preferably with somebody who already knows their way around Living Greyhawk on hand to give you a few quick pointers on Living Greyhawk house rules and flavour points you might like to consider. So don't worry about following up on every link listed below, they're all optional extras.
Note that this guide does not cover Regional Feats or any of the Classes amd Feats from the multitude of sourcebooks out there, which are valid options when creating a new character for the Living Greyhawk Campaign but require that the player concerned actually owns the supplemental material in which the material is published.
What you need:
* A copy of the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition Player's Handbook (henceforth abbreviated to PHB).
Useful additional resources:
* A copy of the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (henceforth abbreviated to LGG).
* Internet access to http://www.onnwal.org.uk (the Onnwal website) and to http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=lg (the Living Greyhawk website).
* A copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer, since most of the Living Greyhawk rules documents available on the above two pages come in pdf file format. You can download a free copy of Adobe Reader 8 from the Adobe website.
If you don't have access to a copy of the Player's Handbook, most of the core rules you'll need can be found on the Hypertext d20 System Resource Document website or on the Wizards of the Coast
D&D3.5 System Resource Document website.
It's also worth taking a look at the Living Greyhawk Campaign Sourcebook (henceforth abbreviated to LGCS), the rules supplement used for all Living Greyhawk games. The latest version (LGCS 7.0.1) dates from 14th February 2007 and can be viewed or downloaded as a 406Kb zipped pdf file from the Living Greyhawk website.
Step 1: Choose a Concept
You should probably start by coming up with a rough idea of the kind of character you want to play. Physically weak or mightily muscled? Simple and straightforward or sly and cunning? Young and idealistic or old and grizzled? Skilled in battle or possessed of mystic powers? If you already have a broad concept in mind then that makes it much easier to choose things like Race, Class and skills from the wide array of options on offer.
At this point it's worth having a quick look at the Onnwal Gazetteer, which gives some of the background to the land of Onnwal. You certainly don't need to read it all, but a quick skim of some of the bits likely to be relevant to your character could prove useful.
Following this, it's a good idea to get hold of a character sheet to note everything down on. You can use a photocopy of the sheet from the back of the PHB, or download and print off a (virtually identical) Living Greyhawk character sheet (180Kb zip file).
Step 2: Choose your Race and Class
The rules on races can be found here (webpage) or here (rtf document).
The rules on classes can be found here (webpage) or here here (rtf document for barbarians to monks) and here (rtf document for paladins to wizards).
There is also a webpage detailing the frequency and particulars of the different races and classes within Onnwal, which can be found here. Potential half-orcs in particular should note that their characters will be subject to a certain amount of racial prejudice and will have few legal rights.
Several subraces of elves, dwarves and halflings are available in Living Greyhawk (Grey Elves, Wood Elves, Mountain Dwarves, Tallfellow Halflings and Deep Halflings), for details consult the Living Greyhawk Campaign Sourcebook (406Kb zipped pdf). Note that humans should also choose a subrace, although this is purely a cosmetic and roleplaying factor. See LGG pages 5-11. Most human PCs in Onnwal are of Flan, Oeridian or Suloise ancestry, or a mixed race combination of those three. Baklunish, Olman, Rhennee or Touv ancestry is also possible. Bear in mind that anyone with visibly Suloise features may well be looked upon with some suspicion...
Some advice for players new to D&D3.5 on choosing your character's race can be found here on the D&D website.
The official Wizards of the Coast D&D website has run a number of articles under the heading "Characters with Class" about playing the various different Classes available. You can read their advice about playing Barbarians, Bards, Clerics, Druids, Fighters, Monks, Paladins, Rangers, Rogues, Sorcerors and Wizards.
You start with the maximum Hit Points available to a first level character of your Class, modified by your Constitution Score and Feats as normal.
It is also possible to start with a Base Class from one of the sourcebooks available, the allowed Classes being Beguiler, Favoured Soul, Healer, Hexblade, Knight, Marshal, Scout, Swashbuckler and Warmage. Consult the LGCS for details.
Step 3: Choose a Religion
Choosing a deity to worship isn't compulsory unless you're playing a Cleric, but a religious affiliation can add a lot of flavour to your character and open up a wealth of roleplaying and metagaming opportunities. If you're not playing a Cleric or Paladin then you'll probably just want to have a look at the guide to deities commonly worshipped in Onnwal.
If playing a Cleric, you may choose any non-Evil deity (except Wastri) from either the PHB or the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (pages 164-190) plus a bunch extra. There is a complete list of the deities available to worship in Living Greyhawk in the Deities document v2.0 (692Kb zip file). Obviously the deities listed in the guide to deities commonly worshipped in Onnwal make good choices, but don't feel you have to be limited to them. Note that some deities are listed as being worshipped by a specific race (e.g. Abbathor has Dwarven followers) and will not grant powers to Clerics or Paladins of a different race.
Step 4: Choose your Ability Scores
The rules for Ability Scores can be found here (webpage) or here (rtf document). In Living Greyhawk your six Ability Scores (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma) are bought using a points system, and modifiers for your Race are then added afterwards. You have 28 points with which to buy your Abilities, and the cost for purchasing an Ability Score is as follows:
You should choose your Ability Scores to complement your Race and Class, and also bear in mind how your Strength score will affect your Carrying Capacity.
Step 5: Choose your Alignment
The rules (well, more guidelines really) on alignment can be found here (webpage) or here (rtf document). Note that your choice of Alignment will often be restricted by your Class (Barbarians, Bards, Druids, Monks and Paladins all face Alignment restrictions), and if you're playing a Cleric then your choice of Alignment will be restricted by the deity you've chosen to follow as well.
You cannot play an Evil PC in Living Greyhawk.
Step 6: Choose your languages
See here for the basic rules on languages and here for a list of non-Greyhawk-specific languages available. In addition to the languages mentioned in the PHB there are also a number of Greyhawk specific languages on offer which characters can take as bonus languages or learn with the Speak Languages skill. See LGG pages 11-12 for a guide to all the languages of the Flanaess, which is no longer available online - in summary these are (Ancient) Baklunish, (Ancient) Flan, Old Oeridian, (Ancient) Suloise, Amedi, Cold Tongue, Keoish, Lendorian, Nyrondese, Olman, Ordai, Rasol, Touv, Ulagha & Velondi. Starting characters of any Race may choose freely from all of the languages listed there, and the (Ancient) versions of languages are identical to the normal versions. Rhennee characters may choose to speak Rhopan. Druids may choose to speak Druidic. Other Greyhawk-specific languages, these ones not openly available to starting characters, include Ferral, Lendorian Elven & Ur-Flan.
Some notes on the languages most commonly spoken in Onnwal can be found here.
Step 7: Choose your starting Feat(s)
Rules for Feats can be found here (webpage) or here (rtf document). You start with one Feat of your choice, in addition to any Feats granted as Class Features. Humans start with one extra Feat of their choice. Fighters also receive one additional Feat chosen from the appropriate list in the PHB.
Some advice for players new to D&D3.5 on choosing your character's Feats can be found here and also here on the D&D website.
It is also possible to choose certain optional Greyhawk Regional Feats as a starting character, consult the LGCS (406Kb zipped pdf) for details.
Step 8: Choose your Skills
Rules for skills can be found here (webpage) or here for basic rules and skills from Appraise to Handle Animal (rtf document) and here for skills from Heal to Use Rope (rtf document). Note the expanded selection of Languages available (see Step 6).
Some advice on choosing skills, aimed at new players, can be found on the D&D website covering the basics and some ins and outs.
Several skills have been modified for use in Living Greyhawk, consult the Living Greyhawk Campaign Sourcebook (406Kb zipped pdf) for details. In particular, note that Knowledge: local has been divided into separate skills covering either Core modules (Knowledge: local (Core)) or Regional and Metaregional modules (Knowledge: local (Splintered Suns) for this Metaregion), and that Craft skills do not allow the crafting of items but do allow characters to earn a (limited) amount of extra income at the end of any scenario, as do the Profession, Perform, Sleight of Hand and Tumble skills.
Step 9: Purchase your equipment
Rules and costs for equipment can be found here (webpage) and here (rtf document). You start with the maximum gold available for your Class:
240gp for Fighters, Paladins, Rangers, Beguilers, Hexblades, Knights & Swashbucklers
200gp for Clerics, Rogues, Favoured Souls, Marshals & Scouts
160gp for Barbarians, Bards & Healers
120gp for Sorcerors, Wizards & Warmages
80gp for Druids
20gp for Monks
Remember that you also get a starting outfit for free, we wouldn't want any naked adventurers wandering into the shops!
Starting characters cannot purchase any magical items, any Masterwork items or anything from the "Special Substances and Items" section and the "Spellcasting and Services" section.
Once you have purchased your equipment, you should work out how much it weighs and compare it to your Carrying Capacity to see whether or not you're encumbered.
Once you start playing you'll need a Master Item Logsheet to keep track of the special and magical items you acquire, you can print one out from the 96Kb zip file available here.
Step 10: Choose your age, height, weight and appearance
Choose your age, height and weight from the ranges given for your Race and gender in the tables in the PHB. The age, height and weight tables for each race and gender can also be found here (webpage) or here (rtf document). You may choose any starting age appropriate to your Race from Adulthood to Old Age, Living Greyhawk does not use any age modifiers to Ability Scores.
Step 11: Finishing touches
You should now have a complete character sheet. To finish things off you just need to come up with your character's name, personality and a bit of history and background, and then you're ready to play!
You might also want to give some consideration to your character's place in Onnwal society. Are they a member of their deity's official Church? Do they want to join Free Onnwal's Army, Navy or Marines? Do they want to own land, join a War Company or become a member of one of the many metaorganisations available in Onnwal? You can't do any of these things until after your first adventure, but to take a look at what's available you might want to consult the Onnwal and Splintered Suns Metagaming documents, the latest versions of which are available in the Files section of the Tassek Yahoo! Group. The Onnwal MetaOrg(anisation) Book can be downloaded as an 840Kb .pdf file from the Living Onnwal website.
When you first create your character, your funds are rather limited, as is your choice of things available to buy. Then, after your first few adventures, you start to get a few hundred gold pieces knocking around looking for something to be spent on. Obviously everyone's priorities are different, but here's my take on the stuff everyone should consider carrying.
Concept - Race & Class - Religion - Ability Scores - Alignment - Languages - Feats
Skills - Money & Equipment - Vital Statistics - Finishing Touches - Shopping - Up to the top
This page last updated: 11th April 2007
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