- Home > Rules > Character Creation and Advancement

World of Shantar D&D 5e House Rules

Version 2.0.1

Character Creation

You have three methods for generating character attributes. If you choose the first method you are guaranteed a specific allotment. The second method allows for complete customization. The third method is a compromise and the variant set is a bit weaker then the standard set but the statistical bonus may give you a little bit of an advantage unless you roll poorly.

  1. The “standard set” from the Players Handbook which is 15,14,13,12,10,8.
  2. Point buy: 27 points, 8 = 0 points, 9 = 1 point, 10 = 2 points, 11 = 3 points, 12 = 4 points, 13 = 5 points, 14 = 7 points, 15 = 9 points.
  3. A custom “variant set” which is 14,13,12,11,10,8. You then roll and get (2 + d4) points to allocate, however you have at most 2 points to any single attribute.
  4. Group Roll. Each player rolls 3d6 7 times and writes the rolls on a sheet. Starting with a player and rotating clockwise, each player selects one score for an attribute and records it. After the last player chooses, that player selects a second time, and then the order proceeds counter clockwise. Repeat the order reversal until each player chooses 6 attribute scores.


Your character should choose traits that will help you define your character and role. By role playing these traits, you contribute to the enjoyment of the game, and you will receive a reward for them by increasing the amount of experience points (EXP) you receive, as well as by earning inspiration points during the game. Your character will grow and change with each level. Please feel free to change your traits each level to match the development of your character.

When you create your character, choose 5 traits, including a few that support your race, background and alignment. Your character will grow and change with each level. You can develop your character and change your list of traits for determining experience. If you make changes, make sure they are strengths and setbacks that you are already role playing or desire to embody.

For diversity, you should have one or two setbacks with your five traits. They do not have to be serious liabilities, but they do open up avenues for adventures! Additionally, role-playing a setback gives you Inspiration Points beyond the one you start the game with.

These are just a few traits. Feel free to develop your own list. The more specific, the greater the rewards and challenges.

Common Traits
ProudCompassionateLoyalHonorableHearth and HomeSteadfastPeacefulNegotiator
KindheartedI’ll save the day!DeceitfulCareful PlannerIntellectualPerformerArtistBlacksmith
MerchantLoverHearth and HomeTrickster
Common Setbacks
Short temperedMuteLoves FoodObsessedParanoidDistrustingChip on ShoulderBloodthirsty
DeceitfulLiarEasily boughtLikes painLoves to shopDrawn to ElvesDrawn to HeroesThe underdog
Loves beerMmmmm fireWanderlustSociopath

Variant Character Advancement and Experience Points (EXP)

Instead of the standard experience tables, this variant is simpler while strongly promoting role playing. You start out the game with 100 Experience Points (EXP), representing the work and advancement you have accomplished in your training. Each level is worth exactly 100 EXP more. In order to gain 2nd level, you need to earn 100 EXP (200 EXP total). With a total of 300 EXP you gain 3rd level.

Character Level by Experience Points (EXP)


Each encounter will bring group and individual EXP awards that will bring you closer to achieving your next level. A very easy encounter may be worth 4 to 5 EXP, a medium difficulty one could be worth 8 - 10 EXP, and a deadly encounter can be worth 20 EXP or more!

In a single evening of gaming, you will engage in a number of encounters, some challenging your role-playing, and others your prowess in combat. You will receive EXP for each of these, and if you accomplish milestones along the way, you will receive rewards for those as well. The amount of experience granted is completely determined by the challenge difficulty of the encounter. One misstep in a political engagement can be just as deadly as a powerful dragon.

Experience Points by Encounter Difficulty

Encounter Difficulty(Group) Award(Individual) Role-playTotal Award Range
Trivial00 - 5 (1)0 - 5 (1)
Easy20 - 5 (2)2 - 7 (4)
Medium50 - 5 (3)5 - 10 (8)
Hard80 - 5 (4)8 - 13 (11)
Deadly100 - 10 (6)10 - 20 (16)

The group award is received by each player character of the group (it is not divided). The Individual award is adjusted for each party members contribution. The individual award is calculated based on the following criteria:

  • Roleplay of Traits - How did the character embody the traits that define them in the encounter
  • Moving the Story Forward - How did the character contribute to support and develop the story.
  • Player Focus - Was the player distracting or engaged in the game?

In addition, EXP are granted for achieving milestones and developing your character in exceptional ways

  • Milestones - 5 - 15 EXP for achieving a major milestone or quest
  • Personal Development - 5 EXP for notable development, 10 EXP for a life-altering change
  • Character Creation - 20 EXP Total for character development and initial role-play of traits.

For milestones, consider a major quest of clearing out a series of bandit caves. This quest might take months of game play. For each of the major factions of bandits, award a small milestone EXP (5 EXP). For clearing out the bandit caves and completing the quest, award the major milestone EXP (15 exp).