Tides of the Sword Coast
Play Notes: Character Creation
Character Creation Guidelines
Each character has 22 points to spend on increasing his basic attributes. In this method, all attributes start at a base of 10. A character can increase an individual score by spending some of his points. Likewise, he can gain more points to spend on other scores by decreasing one or more of his ability scores. No score can be reduced below 7 or raised above 18 using this method.
After all the points are spent, apply any racial modifiers the character might have.
Players may select any of the following races. Please note that there are some differences between the races below and those presented in the Pathfinder system.
Humans possess exceptional drive and a great capacity to endure and expand, and as such are currently the dominant race in the world. Their empires and nations are vast, sprawling things, and the citizens of these societies carve names for themselves with the strength of their sword arms and the power of their spells. Humanity is best characterized by its tumultuousness and diversity, and human cultures run the gamut from savage but honorable tribes to decadent, devil-worshiping noble families in the most cosmopolitan cities. Human curiosity and ambition often triumph over their predilection for a sedentary lifestyle, and many leave their homes to explore the innumerable forgotten corners of the world or lead mighty armies to conquer their neighbors, simply because they can.
- +2 to One Ability Score: Human characters get a +2 bonus to one ability score of their choice at creation to represent their varied nature.
- Medium: Humans are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Normal Speed: Humans have a base speed of 30 feet.
- Bonus Feat: Humans select one extra feat at 1st level.
- Skilled: Humans gain an additional skill rank at first level and one additional rank whenever they gain a level.
- Languages: Humans begin play speaking Common. Humans with high Intelligence scores can choose any languages they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic).
Players must choose a subrace if playing an elf. All Elven subraces share the following traits:
- Medium: Elves are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Normal Speed: Elves have a base speed of 30 feet.
- Low-Light Vision: Elves can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light. See Additional Rules.
- Elven Immunities: Elves are immune to magic sleep effects and get a +2 racial saving throw bonus against enchantment spells and effects.
- Weapon Familiarity: Elves are proficient with longbows (including composite longbows), longswords, rapiers, and shortbows (including composite shortbows), and treat any weapon with the word “elven” in its name as a martial weapon.
- Keen Senses: Elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception skill checks.
- Languages: Elves begin play speaking Common and Elven. Elves with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Celestial, Draconic, Gnoll, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, and Sylvan.
Moon elves are the most common type of elf in Faerun. They have fair skin (sometime tinged with blue) and silver-white, blue, or black hair. Their eyes are typically blue or green with gold flecks. Physically, moon elves have the most variety as they are the most likely to mate with humans—most half-elves are descendants of moon elves.
- +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, –2 Constitution: Moon Elves are nimble, both in body and mind, but their form is frail.
Sun Elves are less common across Faerun than their moon elven counterparts, as most live on the island of Evermeet, where non-elves are not allowed. Also called gold elves, they typically have golden, copper, or black hair, bronze skin and green or gold eyes. The most mystical of the elven races, few ever leave their studies on Evermeet.
- +2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma, –2 Constitution: Sun Elves are not quite as nimble as their cousins, spending more time in the library or the classroom than outside; however, they have some of the strongest personalities of the elven subraces.
- Elven Magic: Sun elves receive a +2 racial bonus on caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance. In addition, sun elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Spellcraft skill checks made to identify the properties of magic items.
Wood elves are a reclusive subrace of elves found primarily in the southern forests of Faerun. Their skin is usually coppery to brown and they often have copper-red, brown, or black hair. Their eyes are almost always a dark green or brown.
- +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma: Wood Elves are hardier than their cousins, but less inclined to academic pursuits, tending to rely more on their intuition. Their isolationist and suspicious nature makes these elves less personable than their cousins.
- +2 bonus to Stealth and Climb skill checks when outdoors
Players must choose a subrace if playing a dwarf. All Dwarven subraces share the following traits:
- Medium: Dwarves are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Slow and Steady: Dwarves have a base speed of 20 feet, but their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.
- Darkvision: Dwarves can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
- Defensive Training: Dwarves get a +4 dodge bonus to AC against monsters of the giant subtype.
- Greed: Dwarves receive a +2 racial bonus on Appraise skill checks made to determine the price of nonmagical goods that contain precious metals or gemstones.
- Hardy: Dwarves receive a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison, spells, and spell-like abilities.
- Stability: Dwarves receive a +4 racial bonus to their Combat Maneuver Defense when resisting a bull rush or trip attempt while standing on the ground.
- Stonecunning: Dwarves receive a +2 bonus on Perception checks to potentially notice unusual stonework, such as traps and hidden doors located in stone walls or floors. They receive a check to notice such features whenever they pass within 10 feet of them, whether or not they are actively looking.
- Weapon Familiarity: Dwarves are proficient with battleaxes, heavy picks, and warhammers, and treat any weapon with the word “dwarven” in its name as a martial weapon.
- Languages: Dwarves begin play speaking Common and Dwarven. Dwarves with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Giant, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, Terran, and Undercommon.
The most common dwarf in Faerun, the shield dwarves are a stoic but stern race, ensconced in cities carved from the hearts of mountains and fiercely determined to repel the depredations of savage races like orcs and goblins. More than any other race, the shield dwarves have acquired a reputation as dour and humorless craftsmen of the earth. Male and female dwarves pride themselves on the length of their hair, and men often decorate their beards with a variety of clasps and intricate braids. A clean-shaven male dwarf is a sure sign of madness, or worse—no one familiar with their race trusts a beardless dwarf.
- +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, –2 Charisma: Dwarves are both tough and wise, but also a bit gruff.
- Hatred: Shield Dwarves receive a +1 bonus on attack rolls against humanoid creatures of the orc and goblinoid subtypes due to special training against these hated foes.
Gold Dwarves live in the upper levels of the underdark, often warring against their duergar cousins or the strange beasts of the underdark. They typically have dark brown or black hair, dark bronze or brown skin, and gold eyes.
- +2 Constitution, +2 Strength, –2 Dexterity, -2 Charisma: Gold Dwarves are both tough and strong, but not as nimble as other dwarves and also a bit gruff.
- Hatred: Dwarves receive a +1 bonus on attack rolls against humanoid creatures of the aberration subtype due to special training against the strange beasts that often attack from the underdark.
Optimistic and cheerful by nature, blessed with uncanny luck and driven by a powerful wanderlust, halflings make up for their short stature with an abundance of bravado and curiosity. At once excitable and easy-going, halflings like to keep an even temper and a steady eye on opportunity, and are not as prone as some of the more volatile races to violent or emotional outbursts.
Halflings rise to a humble height of 3 feet. They prefer to walk barefoot, leading to the bottoms of their feet being roughly calloused. Tufts of thick, curly hair warm the tops of their broad, tanned feet. Their skin tends toward a rich almond color and their hair toward light shades of brown. A halfling’s ears are pointed, but proportionately not much larger than those of a human.
There are two playable subraces of halfling, lightfoot and strongheart,, though there are no statistical differences between the two.
- +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, –2 Strength: Halflings are nimble and strong-willed, but their small stature makes them weaker than other races.
- Small: Halflings are Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
- Slow Speed: Halflings have a base speed of 20 feet.
- Fearless: Halflings receive a +2 racial bonus on all saving throws against fear. This bonus stacks with the bonus granted by halfling luck.
- Halfling Luck: Halflings receive a +1 racial bonus on all saving throws.
- Keen Senses: Halflings receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception skill checks.
- Sure-Footed: Halflings receive a +2 racial bonus on Acrobatics and Climb skill checks.
- Weapon Familiarity: Halflings are proficient with slings and treat any weapon with the word “halfling” in its name as a martial weapon.
- Languages: Halflings begin play speaking Common and Halfling. Halflings with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, and Goblin.
The most inquisitive of the races, Gnomes have in insatiable appetite for puzzles, mysteries, and tricks. Gnomes are compelled to always ask “why” or “how”, and are fascinated by mechanical objects.
Gnomes are one of the smallest of the common races, generally standing just over 3 feet in height. Their hair tends toward vibrant colors such as the fiery orange of autumn leaves, the verdant green of forests at springtime, or the deep reds and purples of wildflowers in bloom. Similarly, their flesh tones range from earthy browns to floral pinks, frequently with little regard for heredity. Gnomes possess highly mutable facial characteristics, and many have overly large mouths and eyes, an effect which can be both disturbing and stunning, depending on the individual.
- +2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, –2 Strength: Gnomes are physically weak but surprisingly hardy, and have a surprising amount of curiosity.
- Small: Gnomes are Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
- Slow Speed: Gnomes have a base speed of 20 feet.
- Low-Light Vision: Gnomes can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light. See Additional Rules.
- Defensive Training: Gnomes get a +4 dodge bonus to AC against monsters of the giant type.
- Gnome Magic: Gnomes add +1 to the DC of any saving throws against illusion spells that they cast. Gnomes with a Charisma of 11 or higher also gain the following spell-like abilities: 1/day—dancing lights, ghost sound, prestidigitation, and speak with animals. The caster level for these effects is equal to the gnome’s level. The DC for these spells is equal to 10 + the spell’s level + the gnome’s Charisma modifier.
- Hatred: Gnomes receive a +1 bonus on attack rolls against humanoid creatures of the reptilian and goblinoid subtypes due to special training against these hated foes.
- Illusion Resistance: Gnomes get a +2 racial saving throw bonus against illusion spells or effects.
- Keen Senses: Gnomes receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception skill checks.
- Obsessive: Gnomes receive a +2 racial bonus on a Craft or Profession skill of their choice.
- Weapon Familiarity: Gnomes treat any weapon with the word “gnome” in its name as a martial weapon.
- Languages: Gnomes begin play speaking Common, Gnome, and Sylvan. Gnomes with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Giant, Goblin, and Orc.
Half-elves stand taller than humans but shorter than elves. They inherit the lean build and comely features of their elven lineage, but their skin color is dictated by their human side. While half-elves retain the pointed ears of elves, theirs are more rounded and less pronounced. A half-elf’s human-like eyes tend to range a spectrum of exotic colors running from amber or violet to emerald green and deep blue.
- +2 to One Ability Score: Half-elf characters get a +2 bonus to one ability score of their choice at creation to represent their varied nature.
- Medium: Half-elves are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Normal Speed: Half-elves have a base speed of 30 feet.
- Low-Light Vision: Half-elves can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light. See Additional Rules.
- Adaptability: Half-elves receive Skill Focus as a bonus feat at 1st level.
- Elf Blood: Half-elves count as both elves and humans for any effect related to race.
- Elven Immunities: Half-elves are immune to magic sleep effects and get a +2 racial saving throw bonus against enchantment spells and effects.
- Keen Senses: Half-elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception skill checks.
- Multitalented: Half-elves choose two favored classes at first level and gain +1 hit point or +1 skill point whenever they take a level in either one of those classes. See Classes for more information about favored classes.
- Languages: Half-elves begin play speaking Common and Elven. Half-elves with high Intelligence scores can choose any languages they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic).
Half-orcs are monstrosities, their tragic births the result of perversion and violence—or at least, that’s how other races see them. It’s true that half-orcs are rarely the result of loving unions, and as such are usually forced to grow up hard and fast, constantly fighting for protection or to make names for themselves. Feared, distrusted, and spat upon, half-orcs still consistently manage to surprise their detractors with great deeds and unexpected wisdom—though sometimes it’s easier just to crack a few skulls.
Both genders of half-orc stand between 6 and 7 feet tall, with powerful builds and greenish or grayish skin. Their canines often grow long enough to protrude from their mouths, and these “tusks,” combined with heavy brows and slightly pointed ears, give them their notoriously bestial appearance. While half-orcs may be impressive, few ever describe them as beautiful.
- +2 to Strength
- Medium: Half-orcs are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Normal Speed: Half-orcs have a base speed of 30 feet.
- Darkvision: Half-orcs can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
- Intimidating: Half-orcs receive a +2 racial bonus on Intimidate skill checks due to their fearsome nature.
- Orc Blood: Half-orcs count as both humans and orcs for any effect related to race.
- Orc Ferocity: Once per day, when a half-orc is brought below 0 hit points but not killed, he can fight on for one more round as if disabled. At the end of his next turn, unless brought to above 0 hit points, he immediately falls unconscious and begins dying.
- Weapon Familiarity: Half-orcs are proficient with greataxes and falchions and treat any weapon with the word “orc” in its name as a martial weapon.
- Languages: Half-orcs begin play speaking Common or Orc. Half-orcs with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Abyssal, Draconic, Giant, Gnoll, and Goblin.
Players may choose any class from the Core Rule Book. Other classes, such as prestige classes or other base classes, may be played with GM approval on a case-by-case basis.
Players will receive their maximum hit points at levels one, two, and three. Beginning at level four, players may opt each level to either roll their hit die or accept 3/4 of their maximum HP.
Every player will start with 200 gp to equip themselves with non-magical items of their choice.