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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Starter Kit - D&D: The Next Level | Episode 0: Character Creation

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- Hi, I'm Jason Charles Miller and welcome

to a new edition of Starter Kit.

This time around were returning to Dungeons & Dragons

to explore the game a little more deeply

through an urban adventure with fifth level characters.

The first thing we had to do was create those characters,

So we brought our players together with

our dungeon master for this adventure, David Nett.

And we turned those concepts into

full blown Dungeons & Dragons characters.

(dramatic music)

- Hey David.

- Good to see you.

- Good to see you too.

- Let's sit down and make a character.

- Yes, let's do it.

Let's level a character up.

- Yes exactly, so because you already made

a first level character right?

- I did.

- Let's grab that away and just put that--

- There she is.

- So you made your first level character in D&D Beyond,

so D&D's online tool helps you do it.

I took some of what you did and I wrote it down

in pencil on the sheet because we're gonna level her up

manually, the way that God intended.

- 'Cause we need to erase some things.

- Because we're teaching the game.

So we're gonna teach you what to do stuff here.

So D&D Beyond is wonderful tool but

we're gonna do it live here, so let's--

- Do it live!

- Talk to me a little bit about Eraviel.

- I chose a Wood Elf, Eraviel she's a Wood Elf warlock.

And warlock is actually my favorite class

in Dungeons & Dragons and the main reason is

because it has a built in backstory with a demon.

And there is also, not that a lot of the classes

don't have built in backstories, they're all very playable.

But I think for even new players when you have to have

a demon who's telling you what to do

and giving you your power, you have to forge

some sort of relationship away with someone

that you may not necessarily agree with.

- What's interesting to me about warlocks is that,

so warlocks are relatively new character class.

They weren't there when I started playing.

They're sort of the the arcane magic.

You have different kind spells,

divine magic and arcane magic and there's sort of

the cleric of the arcane magic world.

So in divine magic clerics get their spells from their God.

In the arcane world wizards study their magic

and sorcerers, it comes from their blood.

But warlocks it comes from you were saying,

this demon this otherworldly creature who's your patron.

- Yeah and either the demon sought you out or you sought

the demon out which is a different take on it.

But either way it was not really your choice.

It was kind of one of those a God,

or a Satan or whatever went you.

And you're like oh my God I have to deal with this now.

- So let's let's talk about Eraviel

and sort of how she started out in her village,

and how she came to be a warlock.

- Yes, I got a lot of my ideas actually from

the back stories that they provide you, which I think

is a great resource for when you're coming up

with a back story and how you got to where you are.

She was a war leader chosen to lead a squadron

of about 12 people to fight something otherworldly,

and basically she was the lone survivor.

So now she's dealing with survivor's guilt.

Everyone else died, she's trying to deal with

how did I survive when they didn't?

That's where she got her demon.

The demon got very obsessed with the death around

the war and the battlefield and kind of infected her.

- So you you led your men into an ambush

and experienced their death firsthand.

And instead of becoming President of

the United States you got a demon and became.

So talk about the the warlock, your patron,

your otherworldly patron, yeah you chose the Hexblade.

- Yes and that is definitely a war like kind of patron.

- So the Hexblade it's a creature from the ShadowFell

that has a warlike disposition, it's attracted to war,

it's attracted to death, it's attracted to blood.

And it's sort of a martial character.

So you get spells and stuff in magical powers

from the Hexblade but mostly you get

more martial abilities, the ability to.

- Right and the way that I'm using the metaphor is that

she's a little concerned that because, she's just cursed,

she was cursed before the demon,

that she brings death with her.

And while she does want to bulk up and be really good

with her martial skills and be really kind of formidable,

it's also a double edged Hexblade.

Because then she also would be able to do

so much damage that she might kill people.

And then does death follow her?

Does she initiate death?

Yeah it's a dilemma.

But that's why I warlocks because you

innately have a dilemma to deal with.

- That's awesome, I really love this character.

I'm super excited.

And I really enjoy warlocks as well.

One of the fun things for me about a warlock is that

you get sort of two characters to play in some ways.

You're gonna play your character Eraviel but then you

also have, well my patron told me this, or my patron.

And I get a chance to sometimes play that patron too,

which is to day this is how your patron intervenes.

But you also have the power to say

my patron intervenes in this way.

So you get that extra layer, it's a really super fun.

- Yeah the way that I imagine the patron interacting

is through the fibers of plant life.

So whether it's like the rings of a tree,

or the way the blades of grass actually form,

and how you can just see patterns,

or even the bark of a tree, how it just might

form a word or a number or something.

- That's amazing, that's amazing.

It'll be so much to work with, I'm so excited.

Alright so this is sort of the first part of your life.

So let's take you from first level character

up through this traumatic experience,

mechanically now that we've talked about it story wise.

And so this will be the the rolling of dice

and making choices kind of part.

So you start as a level one character,

you've got your abilities over here.

You've got your saving throw,

proficiencies are already filled in.

We don't have numbers here because we're gonna

level you up to five and then we'll do

a bunch of math, off camera mercifully

so we can fill in all of those things.

But you're proficient in wisdom and charisma saving throws

because those are important for warlocks,

the main ability being charisma, other abilities,

wisdom is it's a strong important part of that.

We've got some skills that you're proficient in already.

You're proficient in insight,

and intimidation, and investigation.

Some proficiencies, warlocks are proficient in light

and I think light armor, but medium armor

and shields because of the Hexblade for you.

And then languages, you speak handful of different languages

including of course Common and Elvish.

You've got some basic powers at first level.

You've got your your Elf powers, you can avoid being charmed

and being magically put to sleep.

And you've got your pact magic from your Hexblade,

and this is the magic that the Hexblade gives you.

So that's your first level character.

Start with nine hit points because that's your D8,

which is your hit dice plus your constitution bonus of one.

So nine is your starting hit points.

But when you move to level two, so if your level one

level two happens while you're a war leader and everything.

So we're gonna roll some hit points.

So the first thing you'll do so you can

theoretically take five, that's a rule in the book.

- I don't want to.

- But we roll dice, that's what we do.

So let's see what we get.

- Mommy be good to me.

- Nice you rolled a seven, plus one is eight.

So let's uh, let's modify that guy there and make it.

- Are we just going to two right now?

- Two right now and then we'll move on beyond that.

So we're gonna kind of walk through the whole thing.

So the other things that you get at level two,

we're gonna turn back to warlock here.

And one of the great things about the way

this book is laid out is that you've got

the full progression of your levels,

the mechanical stuff really easy to follow here.

The story stuff comes from us, the mechanical stuff

super easy to follow in the book.

- One of things I like doing is,

but making a wish like I know what's coming up.

So then you're like okay when I get to this,

this is the thing that I'm gonna--

- Well these will all be super fast then.


So the first thing that you get at level two

is you get to hit points, we did.

And then you get your eldritch invocations.

You've got a whole selection of them here.

There's a couple that I thought might be kind of cool

given the nature of your Hexblade but

you can do things agonizing blast,

which means when you shoot somebody with

one of your spells it causes them extreme pain.

That's probably not how your character's gonna roll

given your worry about causing pain.

But you get lots of things the armor of shadows.

- Well the way I'm gonna build her actually is

some of the things that she has isn't her choice,

but the demon is gonna incite some pain,

so she might be a pain dealer beyond her control.

- The second level you gain two eldritch invocations

of your choice so we have to choose two of these guys.

- Okay sweet.

- Anything appeal to you at first glance.

I know you've played a warlock before.

- Oh yeah we have to do, it's always so new to me though.

It's always--

- That's super fun for everybody.

- So a lot of these have prerequisites of levels

which I'm not yet so even if I wanted to do mire the mind

maybe later, 'cause that's a fifth level.

- That's a fifth level one yeah.

- I actually think I want to buff my

eldritch blast which I definitely--

- So that's sort of a default kind of that

a spell caster, a warlock would use.

Just basically a little blast of eldritch power.

So you're gonna make that more powerful, okay.

- Yeah but I like the idea,

I think it's, yes repelling blasts.

When you hit a creature with eldritch

blasts you can push the creature.

So in my mind the metaphor would be

I don't want to hurt you, get away from me.

- That's awesome.

- While I'm doing some serious damage.

- So let's add eldritch invocations over here to your powers

and then we'll just start enumerating them,

and the first one is repelling blast.

- Invocation will do.

- That's cool, we can always look it up.

Usually what I do is I put the page in

the players handbook there so I can quickly flip into it.

- Ooh, not a bad idea.

- Just a little hint there.

- Oh and I get two, oh my God.

- Armor of shadows a big one.

Because you're marshal that's one that I might suggest.

It just allows you to cast magic armor on yourself

if you get in place where you don't have armor on.

- Done, sold.

- The beguiling influence gives you proficiency

in deception but, no you don't have that already.

So allow you to beguile and trick people

if you're feeling in that mode.

- No I want to play, I've never really played a character

who really actually tries to do everything right.

She might make a mistake but I've been

a little bit like I'm gonna fuck with things.

- Perfect, I play mostly paladin.

So I'm the opposite of you in that affect.

- I like the idea of armor shadows, you sold me on it.

- Okay cool.

- So that's just a free mage armor that doesn't

really count against my spell slots.

- Yep just allows you to cast magic--

- Or does it?

- No it's at will you just cast magic armor on yourself.

- But that's still in action though right?

- Yeah it would take an action to do so.

- Okay, free mage armor.

- So that's our second level now

while you are still learning to be a war leader

and getting your command and everything

we're gonna level to third level as well,

and then talk a little bit about that.

- Give me that dice.

- First the thing to do at third level, exactly that.

You're going to roll more hit points.

- Okay mama, love me.

Okay not the worst but not the best.

- [David] Four plus one, five.

Five more hit points, not so bad.

- So we are at 22 now,

for those of you keeping track at home.

- So the big thing that you get as a warlock

at third level is your pact boon.

And this is after being a servant of the Hexblade,

he gives you a boon and the boon is one of three things,

either the pact of the chain, which is you get a familiar,

a creature that comes with you.

It's actually a demon or something like that

manifesting as a cat or a toad or a dog or whatever.

Pact of the blade,

you get a deeper connection to your weapon.

And then pact of the tome where you get more spells,

a spell book with some more spells in it.

So those are your three choices.

Do any of those appeal to you?

- So immediately I'm going to pact of the blade

just to stay super basic and on track.

- Well for the Hexblade that makes sense.

- Yeah it makes sense but I also am wondering,

because it's part of character creation.

What other are the other party members?

I want to consider if there are too many

other spell casters or whatever.

- So interesting, it's an important question.

I think the way that we're doing character

creation for this particular adventure,

because we have to be separate,

is your lives are going to step forward

into the place where you all come together.

- Oh so it doesn't matter.

- Well I think it matters for party balance

as your saying, and a conscientious player

I think it matters but specifically for this campaign.

- I'm a conscientious player.

- You absolutely are.

I didn't expect to say this to you but clearly you are.


So it's an important thing as we play together.

But I think for this case I want it to really be about,

this is the part before you get to the city,

before you get the rest so what

appeals to you for your character?

- I mean my otherworldly patron,

which I will have to come up with a name for her,

she's gonna give me a pact of the blade for sure.

It makes sense for her.

- Yeah absolutely.

And you can use this spell now to create

a pact weapon in your empty hand.

Basically the weapon that you've chosen,

I think you use flail as your main weapon right?

So cool, so rarely seen, so flail's a stick with a chain

and then either a ball or another spike stick on it.

What a cool weapon.

- Which I've been reading some R. A. Salvatore and he,

I just ran into a character who slides into battle,

and I'm gonna totally do this,

gets on her back and starts kicking and using her weapon.

So that I think is gonna be super inspiring.

- So with the pact of the blade you can make

that weapon appear in your hand whenever you want to.

And it counts as magical for the purpose

of overcoming magic resistance.

So there will be some creatures that you could fight

that maybe you need a magic weapon to hit.

No matter what this weapon is when you manifest

it in your hand it counts as magical.

So that's the pact of the blade.

- Okay cool.

- Right down pact of the blade there.

- Okay so that's my pact boon.

That's not an invocation, maybe I'll do that somewhere else.

- The other thing that happens at this level,

at third level from a story standpoint

is you become a battle leader at this level.

So this is when you're giving your command.

This is when you're become a leader.

And this also will be when you lead

your people into this terrible ambush.

But as part of becoming a battle leader in your tribe

you are gifted a magical weapon.

You get a flail plus one.

- Yes!

- So right that in your gear,

just right in your equipment here.

Flail plus one, and what that is a plus one to hit,

plus one to damage, we'll talk about the mechanics of that,

you obviously know it, but when we get to the game.

But this magical weapon you can turn

into your pact weapon as well.

So this is a weapon that exists in sort of

an extra dimensional space until you call upon it.

- Yeah and then I can dismiss it too, I'm done with you.

- It's more than five feet away from you

for any amount of time it disappears by itself

so nobody else can steal it so this is your,

the weapon that you and your Hexblade master sort of share.

- That's so cool.

- Yeah awesome, so after the stuff that we talked about in

the story in her life she leads her party into the ambush.

They are all killed except for her.

She's traumatized deeply.

What we were talking about we talked about this character

is that would be when she sort of gets out.

She leaves her tribe, she leaves her home.

- By the way we're kind of reducing it.

She definitely fought, they fought, everyone fought.

It wasn't just like ah ambush, they're dead, oops bye.


I think the next thing is Dr. Hamilton.

You just charge and leave and you're out of there.

- Exactly.

- No so she fought valiantly, the party died.

- She wanted to save people, she tried real hard.

- But in her shame and guilt she had to leave.

She couldn't even stay with her tribe.

She makes her way to the city.

Now we're playing in Greyhawk but not the Greyhawk

necessarily that's the one that was the published,

well published once upon a time.

But it's the Greyhawk world that

I've been playing in since I was 12.

So my friends and I have affected this world dramatically.

The Greyhawk we're playing in 30 years later

is much different from the Greyhawk that you remember.

But the the Free City of Greyhawk

is still at the center of the planus.

It's still the most important city in the planus arguably.

It's about a quarter of a million people at this point

and this is sort of where you end up.

And I think seeking--

- And we're about to affect your world.

- You're gonna affect our world.

You may run into some of the old characters

that I played with, it's all super fun.

So you make your way to the city and I think

given your background, your martial background

and everything it makes sense as you try to find employment,

probably some bodyguard work, maybe guarding some caravans

and eventually you find your way into the city guard,

and sort of rise up the ranks from a beat cop,

they're called the Crimson Cloaks in my version of Greyhawk.

Beat cop up through, maybe you're flirting

with the idea of becoming a Griffon Guard,

which is sort of the elite fighting squad.

But I think because of your arcane background,

people notice your magical abilities and stuff

and direct you into the Inquisitors.

And the Inquisitors are a magical investigation

group basically that you belong to.

So you become an Inquisitor during this time.

So that's levels as you move into level four and level five.

So let's mechanically deal with those guys here too.

So level four, you're gonna add

hit points obviously, as we always do.

- Alright treat me right.

Oh my God, always talk to your dice.

That's a seven on the die.

- Plus one for your constitution.

- [Amy] So that's eight, we're up to 30.

- Up to 30 hit points, awesome.

At level four you get some more spell stuff going on.

But the big thing that happens at level four

isn't a power that's associated with warlock.

At level four, when you reach fourth level in any class

you get the option to add some ability score points.

Basically you've been training your abilities.

There's an alternate rule where you can add

feats instead of ability scores.

We're gonna stick to the main rule here so

what you basically get, is you get two points.

You can add them both to the same ability score,

or one to two different ability scores.

So let's look at what you've got going on here.

- Also my flail I think,

I really don't remember but are flails finesse?

Like I can use my decks to--

- I think so, let's find that out.

- Just want to make sure.

- Let's do the ability add first and then we'll

find out if you're allowed to use your flail.

- No let's do that because I've got a negative one strike.

- So what we're gonna do is we're gonna go into

the book here and we're gonna look for your weapon,

which is right here in the weapons table.

- And finesse means I can use the hex or?

- So what finesse means, a finesse weapon

you can use as a strength thing,

you can do primarily with strength.

Or you can use it with dexterity finesse.

This is sort of the Arya Stark sword fighter.

A flail, right here, it's just a bludgeoning weapon.

It's only strength based.

- [Amy] Oh okay, sure.

- You're not super strong now so that might be something

that you would consider changing.

- That is 100% what I am going to do

because I'm at negative one strength now.

But I'm not mad about it, obviously I'm not

super well trained in it but I like

people with flaws or lower scores in things.

So we're gonna add two to my strength

which is an eight right now.

So we're gonna give her a 10.

- And that'll be plus a zero then to your constraints.

So you got no modifiers but also no penalties.

- But I do got a magical flail plus one.

- Yes you do, and so basically the idea,

this is you're training yourself, you're fighting,

you're doing training with the other City Watch,

bodyguard duties and all that kind of stuff,

and just buffing yourself up, you're going to the gym.


And then the last thing is you made it to level five.

While you are an Inquisitor you're

gonna level to level five.

And at level five you again add hit points.

- Alright.

Love me.

No, no David!

- So here's the thing.

- That's a one by the way.

- Because I ask my players to roll hit points instead of

just taking five because I like to see the dice roll too,

One of the things that I always do for them

is if you roll a one, let's reroll it.

I want you to be able to stand and fight and have fun.

So let's reroll that one.

On your hit points only. - Yeah ones are no fun.

- It won't happen in the game.

- Alright what did I say last time?

- If you roll a one again though it's.

- Don't screw this up.

Okay a six.

- And then plus one for your constitution so that's seven.

- I have 37.

- 37 is great.

And then the only thing that happens at level five

is mostly you just get more magic so again

because you're a spell caster you're getting more magic.

So let's flip over to your spell sheet

which is the third sheet on here,

and just talk really quickly about your spell's.

Now mostly, the big hardest thing

is going to be choosing spells.

And that's a task we're gonna do off camera.

There's so many spells to choose from.

You're gonna get a lot of spells.

So that'll be your homework between

now and when we play together.

But in the short term we do need to talk about

your spell casting a little bit here.

So your spell casting class is warlock.

And warlock is a charisma based spell casting.

So it's an innate relationship

between you and your Hexblade patron.

So your spell casting ability is

charisma if you write that there.

And then the other thing that's important for--

- Actually I've decided that my

otherworldly patron, her name is Cha now.

- Cha? - Cha.

- Make sure you mark that down so we don't forget that.

- I'll remind you, I'll be happy to.

Actually it's Cha-Cha.

- Cha-Cha, oh perfect.

- Yeah if you imagine her, she wears a boa.

- That's Hexblade flavor all over.


And the last things we need to do here

are your spell save DCs, now if you cast a spell

that somebody can resist against,

they need to resist against this number,

and this is eight plus your proficiency bonus.

At level five this will be plus three.

So let's write that in right there.

That's part of the math we'll do later but this one we need.

So plus three because you're level five,

plus eight, so 11, plus your charisma modifier.

- Is right now two?

- So 13 is that number.

So they have to roll higher than 13 to resist your spells.

- Perfect.

- Similarly if you make an attack spell,

that eldritch blast we talked about,

you're gonna have to roll the hit.

So you're getting a spell attack bonus,

and that is your proficiency bonus plus your charisma bonus.

- That is eight plus five.

- Plus five, and then we'll chose spells

and you'll be able to cast a certain number of spells a day

and that'll all come in the homework as we do

between us between now and when we play.

- Sweet.

- So that's your character.

I'm really excited about this.

I love the idea of a character whose personal nature

is very different from her patron and there's

a little bit of tension between there.

So I think this is gonna super fun yes?

- Yeah.

- Okay, the last thing as you're part of

the Inquisitors, you're a level five now.

You become an important part of an elite command squad,

and we'll talk about this more on the day,

but one of the things that you're granted

at this point is a horn of silent alarm.

So on your gear over here on the first sheet

in the center just write horn of silent alarm.

- Oh my gosh that's awesome.

- And what this does is it allows you to blow the horn,

and you can send a silent alarm to anyone within 600 feet

of you that you choose, one person within 600 feet.

And you can do it four times a day.

- My horn of alarm will take the form of a subtle fart.

- Yeah perfect, this is building up

to be just a beautiful thing.


- Danger.

- I'm so excited for your contribution

to the dignity of the Inquisitors.


It's gonna be awesome.

(dramatic music)

- Ashley hey.

- Hey, good to see you.

- Alright let's sit down and play some Dungeons & Dragons.

Thank you for joining me here in my humble home.

You haven't played Dungeons & Dragons before have you?

- Nope.

- Have you played, are you a video game person?

- I've watched a lot of video games.

I really grew up watching my brother play video games.

He didn't let me play very much.

- You can work that aggression today.

- But I was very helpful 'cause I'd be the one

going well why don't you try that door?

He'd be like oh there's a door there.

Oh you're welcome.

- So paying attention is your strong suit then?

- That is a strong suit of mine yes.

- Perfect.

So I'm super excited to be able

to play with you for the first time.

One of my favorite things is teaching new people to play.

- Well I'm so glad.

- I've been doing this for a long time

so I'm excited to do this.

So when we talked about your character

I asked you what kind of character you wanted to play.

Let's talk about that.

- Yeah coming at this without really knowing

a whole lot about it, you used to very helpful in for me

which was saying well who do you love on Game of Thrones?

And I was like, well can I be Daenerys, is that?

And then so we really started talking about

what I love about her and how she's strong,

how she's a leader but she's compassionate.

She has this family legacy to overcome

and really prove that she's more than

what some of her family members may have done.

And really finding her place in the world that

honors that legacy but also is her own.

- Yeah so this is really exciting for me.

I love the idea of that heroic character.

I play lots of paladins in the game,

paladins are heroic knights.

And I find that lots of people, I mean people

want to play interesting cool characters,

different races and lots of weird things.

But just that that pure heroic character

is really fun for me to explore with you.

So I really appreciated that so I get to dig in.

And so when we we looked at all of those things

it made sense to us, and it made sense to me

as kind of guiding you through this

that you would be a human, because that's what Daenerys is.

and that we would choose fighter.

And fighter is sometimes dismissed as a character class

because it seems the most basic thing.

You're a man of, or a woman of fighting.

But fighter's a really versatile class.

And it allows us to put it in place and let the character

that you're choosing sort of shape how this thing works.

The other thing that was important that you talked about

was the family legacy part and I loved that

because we're gonna be playing in a big city.

We're playing in a world called Greyhawk,

and it's a version of Greyhawk.

So Greyhawk was the original Dungeons & Dragons

world that was published but it's also the first world

that I started playing and when I was 12.

And so the version of Greyhawk we're playing in

is the one that I've been playing in for over 30 years.

And it has all the backstory and all the things

that have happened since I've been playing the game.

Which means it's nothing the Greyhawk world

that you would see now but it will be fun for us.

And we're gonna play in the city called

the Free City of Greyhawk, which is this big

King's Landing style city which is partly

why I asked you about Game of Thrones.

And we're gonna be City Watch characters.

So hearing the kind of character that you wanted to play

in conjunction with the adventure that we're gonna play

I wanted to create a really heroic police person.

So that's what this character is.

And let me show you this character.

So what did you name her?

- I named her Leona Amblecrown.

- That's so awesome.

- Leona for lion, and Amblecrown from a list

you gave me which was very helpful.

Because I had to ask even like

do I have a last name, is that a thing?

I really liked the way that sounds.

- That's awesome, and it's important that it sounds cool.

That's the most important thing

for all of our first characters.

So we rolled some ability scores.

So your basic character is here.

This is your first level character,

or the skeleton of it anyway.

You've got your name and that you're a fighter,

and you're a soldier and all that stuff up here.

Down the sides here you have your ability scores.

And now when we rolled ability scores it was crazy.

So the way that we did ability scores

is we rolled 4d6, and subtracted the lowest one.

That was the standard when I was first playing.

There's lots of different ways

to do it but that's how we did it.

When we rolled your ability scores they were off the charts.

I mean you are a super--

- I'm very impressive.

- Yeah you're a super heroic character.

- I'm so strong.

- You're incredibly strong,

you're incredibly resilient, you're smart.

Well all of this reflects you,

that's the important part of it.

In the story of the game you are a member of the City Watch.

We talked a little bit about how you

became a member of the City Watch

or why you became a member of the City Watch.

- Well I'm a legacy member of the City Watch.

My whole family's been in the City Watch.

My father was in the City Watch,

and my brothers are all in the City Watch.

So it seemed like a natural thing that I was gonna do.

But my grandmother was also in the City Watch.

And she been a real role model to me because

she was a really powerful woman.

And she actually rose to be a Captain.

- Oh awesome, cool.

And so we talked about your brother

and father sort of being like beat cops,

kind of like knock heads kind of guys.

- Yeah they don't ask a lot of questions.

- So you joined the City Watch as part

of this legacy, it's what you do.

And you spend your first couple years of your career

growing into your combat abilities,

into your leadership style.

Like you said you're emulating your grandmother.

So while you've got your knucklehead brothers

there kind of encouraging you to be a beat cop

the way that they are, you have higher ambitions.

So let's do some mechanical work about moving your character

from that first level and a little bit higher up.

So we've got the first level character here.

When you become a second level fighter

a handful of things mechanically happened in the game.

and the first thing is you're gonna roll more hit points.

You're hit die are a d10, and what that just means

is that fighters are resilient,

you have a lot of hit points generally.

And so whenever you roll hit points you're gonna roll a d10.

You could choose just to take, I think it's six

hit points for a fighter instead of rolling the dice.

That's one of the perfectly valid ways

in the game to do additional hit points.

However, I like to roll dice and so

I'm gonna make you roll dice as well.

So let's roll that d10.

Alright so eight, fantastic roll.

You've already got, you start with 13 hit points.

So you're gonna add your constitution bonus to this roll.

So you've got a plus three there.

- 11?

- So 11, plus your 13, so you've got 24.

- And I write that here?

- So just erase that guy and turn it into 24.

- This is why we do it in pencil.

- Yes, so hit points are the first thing.

Now you have 24 hit points.

And that'll be at second level.

- Impressive.

- There's a couple things that you get from powers

at second level too and these are just powers

granted to you because you are a fighter.

The big one is that you get what's called an action surge.

So over here is where your powers are listed.

If you want to write action surge there for me.

And what an action surge is, it means that once per rest,

you can use it once and then you have to rest again

to use it, you can add another action to your turn.

So if you're in combat and you want to use your action surge

you can take another attack, or you can do another movement.

You basically get to do more stuff in the middle of combat

because you're a trained specialized fighter.

In combat you can really take charge.

So that's what action surgeon is.

So just add plus one action in combat.

So that's second level.

So you're kind of becoming a more versatile fighter here.

You're moving up through the ranks.

You're thinking about where you want to go.

Again your brother's encouraging you to stay there,

your dad is, I think we talked about

your dad being a sergeant before he retired.

And so there's definitely legacy in the Crimson Cloaks

which are the base level of the City Watch.

They're the beat cops.

But you also have your eye on, there's the Griffin Guards

which are the elite, sort of the SWAT team

or the elite strike force of the City Watch.

And then there's the Inquisitors which are

the detectives and investigators and stuff.

So you're moving up through second level

and then we move into third level.

And third level is where, for a fighter,

you get a whole bunch of decisions to make,

and a whole bunch of new powers,

kind of come into your own as a character.

It's also where you're gonna choose sort of

the direction of your career in the City Watch.

So by this time you've proven yourself.

You're obviously, just from a pure talent standpoint you've

got a lot of abilities, you've got this family legacy.

So now you're being recruited by the Griffin Guard

who wants you as part of their elite strike force.

And you're being recruited also by the Inquisitors.

The Inquisitors investigate murders and magical crimes

and stuff, and while you don't wield a lot of magic

you are an impressive member of the City Watch.

So you kind of a decision to make here about

which direction you're gonna go.

We talked I think about your oldest brother

being a member of the Griffin Guard.

Your younger brother's in the Crimson Cloaks,

your oldest brother as a member of the Griffin Guard.

So he really would you to join the Griffin Guard.

But there's this Inquisitor thing over here.

And your grandma didn't take the knocking heads path.

She was more of an Inquisitor.

- I see myself following in my grandmother's footsteps.

- Yeah, okay cool.

So this is the point where let's do the mechanical

work then and this is how you'll grow

into an Inquisitor in the City Watch.

So at third level the first thing always is roll hit points.

So you get more hit points.

So roll that d10 again.

Another eight, fantastic.

You're adding a constitution bonus again, so it's 11.

- So now I'm up to 35?

- [David] 35 hit points, at third level

35 hit points you can take a lot of punches.

And then the big choice for a fighter at third level

is what will your marshal archetype be?

So let's look at the fighter book here.

So we're in the book, this is a player's handbook.

This is fighter.

It's laid out really well, there's a little table

here at the top that tells you what happens at each level.

This is the mechanical stuff.

All of the story stuff comes from us, all the mechanical

stuff is laid out really cleanly here in the book.

But when you reach third level,

you get a marked marshal archetype,

and there are three in the players handbook.

We're gonna stick to those core ones.

The first one is a champion, a champion is just sort of

you are the elite fighter, you could be a gladiator.

You are the best combatant in your unit.

You're just an elite combat character.

There's the battle master.

Battle master is more about leadership.

You've got lots of cool tricks and maneuvers

and stuff that you can do in combat.

You can also help your companions, lead them through combat

and make them more powerful as they fight.

So it's more of a strategic role.

And then the last one is an Eldritch Knight.

An Eldritch Knight tonight takes your fighting powers

and adds a little magic on top of it.

So you wield a little magic on top of there.

So do any of those appeal to you

or feel like where Leona would go?

- As much as magic sounds fancy,

I feel like Leona's a battle master.

She's really about using her intelligence in the way

that she fights because that's how you minimize casualties.

- Yeah that's awesome, I love that.

And she's definitely got the intelligence to back it up too.

She's got a 15 intelligence as a fighter, exactly.

So a battle master, so there's a couple of things

that you get when you become a battle master.

So the two big powers are let's see student of war

is the first one it has a student of war

you understand sort of the world and the history of war.

Mechanically it only gives you a small thing

but from a flavor standpoint this is you're studying

about war and combat tactics and strategies.

Mechanically you gain a proficiency

with one type of artisans tools.

So this is sculptors tools, painters tools.

You could be in blacksmithing or leather working

or any of those kinds of things.

So is there anything that flavor wise

kind of appeals to you for your character?

- Well first I have a question as a newbie.

Does what I choose is that something that might come up?

It'll be oh thank God, you know how to do leather work?

- It's probably not gonna matter in combat.

But there's lots of aspects of the game

apart from just fighting other creatures.

There's interactions with other people.

You do the adventure in a city.

So you'll interact with other people.

You'll have to investigate things.

You're an Inquisitor so you'll investigate.

If you think about the flavor of the rest of the things

that we can do and how that impacts our lives.

- You said blacksmithing?

- [David] I did yeah.

- I like blacksmithing for this because that's getting

in touch with how you forge the tools that then you use.

- That's awesome, I like that very much.

So let's, down here by your proficiencies,

let's write artisans tools, blacksmith.

- That means anytime that we need

to question a smith I'll be like yo.

- Or if you need to repair your armor you got it too.

All of that stuff, you've got all that.

You're in touch with the things that make you who you are.

The other thing that you get is combat superiority.

And what this essentially is as you as you said before

you are an intellectual in combat.

You're thinking about your moves.

You're thinking about your strategies.

And so you get this thing called superiority dice.

So I would write combat superiority over here

by your powers and leave a lot of room below

because we're gonna add a bunch of stuff to that.

So the first thing is superiority dice, right below there.

And you have four of them, and they are d8s right now.

And what that means is that when you when you

do these maneuvers, and we'll talk about it when we play,

when we all get together to play but you're gonna roll

extra dice when you do different maneuvers,

and they're gonna have different effects.

There's a whole bunch of these here,

so I'm not gonna have you read all of these maneuvers.

But these are the kind of things your character can do.

But I pulled a few out that I thought

might be interesting to you.

The first one is commanders strike.

So what commanders strike allows you to do is

if you take an action on your turn you can use a bonus

action to direct one of your companions to strike as well.

So you take a combat action and then you can let

one of your companions on your turn also take an action.

Kind of taking a leadership role in combat.

You've got distracting strike.

Distracting strike is when you hit a creature,

they're gonna have a harder time

avoiding other people's attacks.

You've attacked them in a way that

makes it easier for other people to hit them.

- Oh that's also very like part of the team, leading.

- That's very much part of the team.

You've got parry, pretty basic thing.

When somebody tries to hit you

you can parry the blow instead of taking the damage.

Precision attack is just some more,

again using your intelligence finding a weakness

and making this precision strike.

You've got rally where you rally

your party to work better in combat.

You've got repost which is if somebody attacks you

you immediately attack them right back.

And then the last one's a sweeping attack.

Which is you make an attack, but you attack

a crowd of people instead of just one person.

And you get to choose three of them.

And I know it's not a lot to choose from

but there's no wrong choice here, everything is awesome.

So do any of those sound like things you might want?

- So commander strike means I can

give up my strike to someone else?

- So look right here, it says when you take

the attack action, so that means you're attacking,

you can forego one of your attacks and then use

a bonus action to have one of your companions attack.

So I feel like--

- Like if someone was bigger or stronger or something.

- Yeah maybe, or if you're in a flavor place

and you kind of lunge in a little bit.

And then you instead tell your friend to attack.

So instead you're attacking you're

telling your friend to attack.

So yeah you give up one of your attacks

in order to have somebody else attack in your place.

- Which is similar to distracting strike.

- The distracting strike is you're gonna actually

hit a creature, so you're gonna attack and hit a creature.

But when you hit them you do it in such a way

that they have a hard time defending

themselves against other people.

So on their turns it'll be easier for them

to hit that creature, or that person.

Okay I like distracting strike.

- Okay we'll make a mark there.

- I definitely like parry, it seems smart.

- Yep, that makes sense.

- And then, oh you explained things in a way

that makes much more since then using the book.

Well I mean we'll learn this stuff as we go,

I'm summarizing but the precision attack

just makes you better at attacking.

You're using your intelligence, targeting.

Rally helps your crew work better.

Repost was just attacking back when somebody attacks you.

Instead of trying to defend yourself

you just smack him right back.

And then sweeping attack was--

- I'm gonna go with riposte because

that's very much my personality.

You touch me and I'm gonna hit back.

- That sounds like the right thing to do in combat.

So write the repost there.

And this is also the time when like I said

you're moving from being a beat cop,

a Crimson Cloak into the Inquisitors.

And I think in this moment as you make this choice

you move up while you're brother

is disappointed who's in the Griffon Guard.

And your father wanted you to be

a beat cop but he's secretly proud.

I think your mother interjects here,

and she has a gift for you,

and it is your grandmother's sword.

So as you make this choice about being an Inquisitor

you're gifted with your grandmother's sword.

And it's a long sword, but it's a magical long sword.

It's a family heirloom.

No one has earned this to this point.

She tells you that this is something that

your grandmother, she hoped for this for you.

But nobody wanted to push you into this.

But now that this has happened

here is your grandmother's sword.

Let's write that down in your gear right here.

So just put long sword plus one and you can add flavor

to tell that it's your your grandmother's sword.

Yep just right there in your equipment.

And we'll talk about what that means when we play the game.

- Long sword plus one?

- Plus one, that means it's a magical sword

so it's gonna be easier to hit things with it.

And it's gonna do more damage to them, this fine beautiful

silver hilted sword that belonged to your grandmother.

So you move into the Inquisitors, at first it's difficult.

You are a combatant, the Inquisitors are

an investigation squad and they deal a lot with magic.

So this is a point where you learn a lot about

the world of magic, your horizons expand a little bit.

However, again given your natural tendencies,

your determination, you really excel in this role.

And because you've chosen battle master

you become put more and more in leadership positions.

While you don't have magic and you don't know as much

about the arcane when you investigate things,

what you do have is a lot of presence,

a lot of charisma, a lot of leadership ability.

So that's how you move up the ranks

as we go into level four and level five.

So let's do mechanically your level four stuff here.

So the first thing always, you got hit points.

A little bit lower roll this time.

You're focusing more on your studies

and more on the arcane this time around.

But you still get to add plus three.

So that's a six total.

- 41.

- You got 41.

And the other big thing that happens when

you're at level four, and this is for anybody

who reaches level four in their class

is you get an ability score bonus.

There's an alternate rule in the game

where you could take a feat instead.

And feats are just cool things that you can do

but it opens up a whole can of worms for us.

So I want to stay to the straight and narrow the basic rules

so we'll add an ability score bonus at level four.

What that means is you get two points

that you can add to any of your ability scores.

You can add one to two different scores

or you can add two to one score.

Now you already have an eighteen strength,

you're incredibly strong.

You can raise that if you wanted to

but you're incredibly strong.

Your dexterity is a 14 if you're wearing armor.

That's about as as high an index as you need because

anything higher than that your armor is gonna

keep you from getting some of those bonuses.

Your constitution is 16 that gives you

a plus three to your hit points.

You could raise that to an 18

to get some more if you wanted to.

That's your resilience, your ability to take damage.

Your intelligence is a 15.

Now interestingly your intelligence is the first

odd number that we've got here.

And the bonus is mechanically in the game,

the bonus is raised at even numbers.

So if you added one point to here

you're gonna get a plus three instead of a plus two.

So you're gonna want to think about where we want to be?

Do I want to just be stronger and more resilient

or do I want to raise any of these other scores?

And there's no wrong answers again here especially

since you already have such high abilities.

- So what's the real difference

between intelligence and wisdom?

- That's great, so intelligence is sort

of knowing things, it's the book learning,

it's your capacity to learn new things quickly.

Wisdom is a lot more your relationship to the world,

your insight to other people, your sort of gravitas.

And even in some cases your willpower and self control.

- Well relating to other people does

sound like it's gonna be important.

- So charisma also falls into that.

So charisma is, this is more insight into other people.

Charisma is more your interactions with people

like you would think of for charisma.

This is more how people view you,

how you are able to make friends and do that kind of stuff.

So again with leadership as you say

charisma is probably important as well.

- And interrogating suspects.

- Exactly it also works, and it works the other way too.

It's not just will people like you,

it's can you intimidate someone?

Do you understand them enough to?

- So because these are odd I might as well split them?

Give one point to each?

- Absolutely, that seems like a good strategy.

So your wisdom goes up to 14 from 13.

And you become a plus two there so this is plus two.

And then your charisma goes from 15 to 16

and your a plus three, again just an extraordinary

set of abilities for this character.

And then finally you rise into the ranks.

You're part of the Inquisitors.

You are asked to join an elite squad of Inquisitors.

So you have regular people you're working with,

which is where we will start the adventure

when we see each other next.

And so we'd have one last mechanical bit to do,

and that's the level five mechanics.

And there's two big things that happen there.

The first is yes, hit points again.

Oh and there's a 10.

No that's not a zero, that's a 10 yeah.

But I like the impact because I get to surprise you.

It's a 10 so 10 plus your constitution bonus.

So it's 13 more hit points.

So you're sitting at a solid 54 now.

You can take a lot of damage, and then the other

big thing that happens because you're a marshal character

at level five is that you get an extra attack.

So when you take the attack action now

you get two attacks, not just one.

So we'll add that over here in your powers, extra attack.

And that's just again something that marshal characters

like fighters get at level five.

The last thing that happens at this point

is you're kind of rising in the ranks.

Now you're becoming an important part of the Inquisitors.

And you are able to draw from your

different armories when you're on missions.

You're discovering lots of magic and crazy stuff

and some of that stuff ends belonging to

the Inquisitors and to the City Watch in general

because it helps you with your work.

And one of those things is you end up,

because your fighting style we talked about

a dueling fighting style when we talked originally.

You fight with a sword and a shield,

kind of a standard powerful warrior character.

You've got your grandma's magic sword.

So you come across a magical shield as well.

So in the equipment there I want

you to write sentinel shield.

And what the sentinel shield is gonna do for you,

you just write this down and we'll thing we'll deal

with what this means when we play this next time,

is you have advantage on initiative and perception.

And so just quickly what that means,

initiative is the order that you act in combat.

So you're gonna have advantage there to act first,

to be the decisive leader again in combat.

And perception is just seeking things out

and noticing things, you have advantage there as well.

And we'll speak about what advantage means on the day.

So mechanically that is your character.

So the story comes from us like I said.

The mechanics come from the book.

But this is what your fighter character is.

So Leona now is fifth level.

She's established in the Inquisitor.

She's a powerful character, this is a lot of things.

She's very resilient in combat,

she's becoming really wise over her time,

very charismatic leader.

And this is the place where we'll find ourselves

when we get back together and meet

the rest of your party when we play.

Did all this make sense and it seemed fun?

I mean obviously it's a lot for right now.

- You've built me an incredible character.

I just hope I live up to her.

- I think that you will, I mean the idea

from it is from you so this beginning thing,

this thing that you wanted to play.

And again I'm really excited because these are

the kind of characters that I love to play,

these paladin's, these paragons of sort of virtue,

wade in and protect other people.

So I really love that you're doing that.

And I'm excited to see you do it.

Thank you so much for hanging out and doing this with me.

- Thanks for having me.

Thanks for inviting me to your well established world.

(dramatic music)

- [Jason] Dave.

- How are you?

- Good. - It's good to see you.

Let's make a character.

So you and I been doing this a long time.

I'm not gonna ask you how many games you played

or how long you play Dungeons & Dragons

because it's as long as I have which is a really long time.

But let's talk about, so we spent some time

working on a character recently together for this game.

You want to talk a little bit about that character for me?

- Yeah so, the Gith race has been

traditionally just a monster race.

And they've recently opened it up that you can play

as either a Githyanki or a Githzerai.

And when we were talking about party makeup

it looked we were gonna need a healer.

So to me playing a Githzerai probably was

more appropriate because they're more zen.

The Githyanki are the warrior, crazy guys.

And the Zerai, arguably just as crazy but more in a zen way.

- And we talked a little bit about how we

felt about the Gith because you and I've been playing

for a long time like you said and they used to be monsters.

In fact I have with me here my original fiend folio.


- Yeah I know that scared the crap out of me as a kid.

- Technically this is a Githyanki.

So in the old game they didn't look exactly the same.

The Githzerai looked a little different.

- The Zerai looked a little more--

- Like hooded yeah.

So were you always interested in the Gith?

- They just fascinated, I think I was afraid of them

for a long time because of that cover.

And so they fascinated me but the idea was that

they were a slave race of the Mind Flayers.

They broke free of that but they couldn't agree

on what direction to take so they split into two factions.

- Normally the Gith live in limbo which is one of

the planes, the prime material plane that

our players will live in, that our world takes place in.

But the Gith live in limbo.

- Well the Githzerai live in limbo

and the Githyanki live in the astral plane.

- And the Githzerai the big thing about the Githzerai

is that in limbo they have to harness the chaos

and draw things out of it in order to live a stable life.

Because limbo is just filled with chaos.

So your name is--

- Narlak.

- Narlak, and here's the beginnings of your character sheet.

So we talked about this.

We talked about Narlak starting in a traveling--

- Right a traveling fortress.

They travel around and they often the Githzerai

come from limbo in search of Mind Flayers,

in search of Githyanki to fight.

Those are their two main focuses.

And my idea was that he would have been a cleric

for them on one of these missions.

The first time he sets foot on the prime

material plane something happens to him,

something starts to bubble up in his blood.

- Okay well that's cool.

Let's put a pin in that there and then let's talk about,

let's bring our character from that first little character

traveling around with his troupe up to that point

so we can kind of see the decisions and see us leveling up.

We've got the beginnings of our first level character here.

And this is what you and I worked on together.

So I got a pencil for you,

we got some dice, good d8 for hit points.

And so let's start with this first level character

and just kind of talk through it we've got here.

And then we're going to step through

the decisions that you'll make as we level

this character up to level five so we can play.

So these are basic first level stuff, your abilities here.

You rolled all those abilities and we've assigned them.

We've got what skills were proficient in.

We've got some background information

and then we've got your powers over here.

One of the important things about the Githzerai,

or Githzerai is that you've got

a couple of cool psionic powers.

So with your powers, and this is for the Gith.

this is because they were the slaves of the Mind Flayers.

So the Mind Flayers are a psionic race.

They use their mental powers, not magic like

we traditionally think about but mental powers.

And the Gith that spent a lot of time

training in the same manner.

So I just want to talk about a couple of your powers

that are a little bit different from

what other people might have at this first level.

So you have something at first level

that's called Githzerai psionic.

And how that manifests is they use a magic spell,

the spell mage hand that lets you move small objects,

but we're calling it psionics for the Githzerai right?

So that's something you get at first level.

That's really cool.

And as you get into higher level

you get more psionic powers as you grow.

So we'll come back and talk about that.

But I just wanted to call that out because that's different

from the other magic that we'll be talking about.

- Right.

- Got all that stuff for first level.

So let's talk about what happens to you at first level.

You begin traveling with your troop.

You go on a couple of missions and adventures,

probably fight some other Githyanki perhaps.

And then it comes time you've become experienced enough

to move from a first level character

to a second level character.

Now there's a handful of things

that happen to a second level.

It's right here in the players handbook.

So if you're walking through a character,

The player's handbook does a really good job

of laying out a table that shows you exactly what happens

as you progress through your character level.

So you're a, we've got the cleric table here.

And at second level you gain a couple of things.

First is new hit points, every time you raise

a level you're gonna increase your hit points.

So we start with 10 hit points because you are a cleric

and you've got a plus two to your

constitution, and your hit dye is a d8.

And then for hit points you can do a couple of things.

You can choose just to take in this case a five.

The book tells you you can just take five more

hit points and add your constitution bonus.

But I really to roll dice, that's the way

we used to play back in the day so

so let's roll some hit points for this level.

- [Jason] Yeah alright.

- Your constitution is 14 so you have

a plus two bonus to your hit points.

So let's add eight more hit points to right there.

- [Jason] Now I'm at 18.

- We're gonna walk this up, every time we level up

we'll do a little fun roll right here.

The other big things that you get at second level are

the big thing is your channel divinity.

And when clerics channel divinity

they draw upon the divine powers around them.

Now you chose to be, what new cleric, your divine source?

- Life.

- Life cleric.

So Githzerai don't really worship gods generally speaking.

They have Zirth who they kind of talk about

but mostly they're about discipline,

and spirituality, and mentalism and stuff.

And so when we talked we talked about just drawing,

your divine life powers come from just drawing

from the chaos of the cosmos and finding the threads of life

and that's where your divine power comes from.

So at second level you get to channel divinity.

And the channel divinity takes two forms.

And the first one is turning undead.

So write down on your power sheet, yeah.

So write channel divinity, turn undead.

And with channel divinity you get

to use it once every time you rest.

So if you rest a short or long rest you can do it again.

Turning undead means you can just drive

undead away from you, skeletons and zombies and stuff.

- [Jason] And then when you become

a higher level you can actually destroy them.

- Exactly, exactly.

The other thing that you get with your channel divinity

because you are a life cleric is you can

preserve life with your channel divinity.

So we'll add that under your channel

divinity as well, preserve life.

And that lets you heal your party kind of en masse.

The same way that the channel divinity

works you can heal your party.

The other thing that happens to you at second level

is on your first major mission as part of

your training and equipping of your mission,

you're gonna get a drift globe, this is a magical item.

So I'd write this under your equipment, drift globe.

And what this is is just a little globe

that you can make light up at will,

and once a day it can cast full daylight.

and it floats along in the air behind you.

So it kind of follows you--

- How long does that last?

- It can float as long as it wants to

and then the light spell can happen at will.

The daylight is just once a day.

So any time that you want you can have a drifting around.

It's important when you're sailing

the seas of chaos in limbo to have light.

- Gotta have clear sight.

- Yes exactly.

So there's som missions going on and you're

out with your caravan we're talking about.

And you're traveling the plains in search of danger

and maybe trade with your group.

- Learning how to heal my party.

Learning how to be the, make sure everyone's okay.

- And you're drawing from the chaos

like we talked of drawing healing from the chaos.

So you work through your second level a bunch of missions

and then we move to level three.

Level three is an easy level for clerics.

In level three you gain hit points and more spells.

And we'll talk about your spell casting

kind of at the end of this but all along here

because you're a cleric you're drawing divine spells,

you're getting more and more powerful spells.

So the big things here are let's move to level three,

we're gonna roll more hit points.

- [Jason] Come one. (grunts)

- Two, plus two for your constitution so four more.

- 22, not too bad.

- And the other big power here is you just add spells.

So we're just adding more spells and again

we'll take care of those at the end of this,

once we've calculated everything else.

Now when you're a third level cleric,

and you're a powerful cleric now you're going out

on more important missions and everything.

Talk to me about this first mission

to the prime material plane.

- It's the fortress lands and Narlak

already feels something different.

And when he sets foot on the prime material plane,

which is basically our planet, the planet that

our adventure's going to take place on.

- We're playing in Greyhawk so this is,

they call it the planus, so yeah.

- And when he first sets foot he just feels

something different, he feels almost like

an electricity flowing through his blood.

And he deserts his troop.

At his first opportunity he just

runs off into a forest like a madman,

and doesn't stop running for hours and hours.

- Now when we talked about this,

so we talked previously that the Githzerai

live in limbo which is a plane of chaos.

There's a group among the Githzerai

called the the anarchs who help to harness the chaos

and kind of centralize the society.

And that's something that is

naturally present in some Githzerai.

And what we were kind of talking about

is that maybe that there was that spark of that anarch,

that ability to harness the chaos and really

connect to the chaos in Narlak and when you hit

the prime material for whatever reason the combination

of that ability to harness the chaos

and the way the prime material plane works

just exploded sort of the chaos

in his brain and in his blood.

And I think that that's a really cool tie back

to the Giths themselves as well as

getting you into the world that we're going to play in.

- Because why is this Gith here?

You have to have a good back story.

- And so the other thing that happened

when we talked is we talked about you wanted

to multi class your character.

So what that means is you started as a cleric,

you spent three levels as a cleric but when you move into

fourth level, you decided you wanted to choose sorcerer.

So you're going to have three levels of cleric,

and then you're gonna move to sorcerer.

So this makes you a third level cleric,

and a first level sorcerer.

So we've got the sorcerer table here,

sorcerers have the same thing the clerics do.

You've got a little table telling you

what you do when you go there.

Among the first things that you get when you're a sorcerer

is you're gonna get some more hit points.

Now you're not gonna roll the same hit dice

you did for a cleric, sorcerers don't have

as many hit points as clerics do.

So now you roll a six sided die.

So let's get those hit points.

So two, so that's another four.

- Right because I'm still gonna be able to use

my constitution no matter what.

Should we talk about the sorcerers first?

- Yeah let's talk about sorcerers right now.

So we have the hit points.

The next thing you get is a sorcerers bloodline.

So a sorcerer is a magic user kind of like a wizard

but it's innate magical power.

And it's based upon something in your past,

your history, your ancestry or whatever.

They call it the sorceress bloodline.

Now we've been talking about--

- Chaos, makes perfect sense.

- Absolutely and so one of the sorceress bloodlines is chaos

that you've got just roiling chaotic magic in your blood

in your veins and that's where your power comes from.

So we're gonna choose chaos as our font of sorcery,

or as our sorcerers bloodline.

Your spell casting can unleash chaos essentially.

So whenever you cast a spell I can choose,

as the dungeon master, to have you roll on a table

that your spell can have unpredictable outcomes.

So I'll choose that probably most likely

when you're under stress, when things are critical,

at all the worst times that bad things can happen,

that's when you'll have to roll and see.

- I think a lightning bolt's gonna come out

and then a bunch of butterflies fly out my finger.

- The good thing about this edition too is that mostly

those chaos effects happen in addition

to the spell actually working.

- Okay good.

- Rarely is it I try to catch lightning bolt

and I turn you into a goat instead.

It's more other things happen in addition to.

You also have a thing called tides of chaos.

And when you want to use tides of chaos you can

choose to add the advantage on an attack.

Well basically you're gonna draw in

those threads of chaos that you pull,

you're gonna make a magical attack,

and then you're going to add advantage to it.

And we'll talk about advantage in the game

but it makes it more likely for the attack to work.

When you use that however,

you have to roll on the chaos table.

So something else might happen alongside of it.

So those are the things that kind of happen

at first level for that sorcerer with your bloodline anyway.

Additionally, now because chose a multi class,

you become a broader sort of jack of all trades character.

You don't get as deep a power set as everybody else,

who will move up to fifth level in their main class.

But you broaden your power set.

So some more things happen.

You're gonna be more proficient in more things.

Proficiency is an important mechanic in the game

and basically it helps you roll higher,

it adds to your to your rolls.

And so you become proficient in additional saving throws,

we'll talk about saving throws in the game,

but constitution and charisma saving throws

you become proficient in as well.

You're already proficient in wisdom and charisma

because of cleric but you're gonna add

constitution to that set as well.

So what we do is we fill in this little circle

next to constitution right there.

You're gonna get some more skills so you're

more proficient in more skills again broadening

that set of powers, becoming more of a jack of all trades.

We're gonna add arcana and deception.

You already had the other skills that sorcerers have access

to so we'll add arcana as proficient, and deception.

You've got sorceress origin and you're

gonna get a second sheet of spells to cast,

and we'll talk again about spells--

- Crazy, all the spells, I want them all.

- So that's how you move into level four.

You come to play to the prime material plain,

you go crazy and so, as I talked about before,

we're gonna be playing an adventure in Greyhawk

on the planus in actually my living version

of Greyhawk that I've been playing in since I was 12.

And this is the one I've been running games in and so

I will just give a disclaimer that it is not

the standard version of Greyhawk.

It is a very very--

- But that's okay, in D&D you can make it your own.

- Anything that you want.

It is very far from what the standard is

after 33 years of playing in this world.

But you're in Greyhawk and you're gonna

make your way to the Free City of Greyhawk.

There's a bustling city in my world

of about a quarter of a million people,

sort of King's Landing in the middle of the planus.

It's a Free City state filled with people

from all over the place and and while Gith are not

unheard of on the prime material plane, they are rare.

The Free City is a place where you might end up

and feel a little bit less of an outcast.

- Well Gith, luckily they are humanoid.

So with a heavy robe and a hood over top

he could pass as a human.

- Exactly and lose yourself in the throngs of the big city.

- No one's gonna notice or care.

- And so I feel around this time when you're in the big city

this is when you're beginning to harness those powers,

those things that made you crazy.

So at what point do you think it turns from

I'm crazy running in the forest to

I'm getting this under control?

- Well I think actually he had quite a stint in the forest,

that he sort of was wandering for a while

and luckily with his cleric powers

and spells he could sustain himself.

And when he snapped out of it, and when he came to the city

he would have earned maybe that fourth level on his sort of

solo adventures re-harnessing his lawful nature,

and trying to get it under control.

- And he has the great discipline of the Githzerai

because of that's where he came from.

And because of being a sorcerer is more of a natural

source of magic than wizardry which is studied,

he can do that on his own in the wilderness.

So I think he gets to the Free City of Greyhawk

and maybe begins looking for a place

to find a place in society.

- He knows he can't go back, or at least he feels

that he can't go back to limbo.

But he still, now that his brain is back to normal,

he wants to start doing something for society again.

- And a good place for that might be the City Watch,

the Free City of Greyhawk City Watch.

With the City Watch there are a couple of different factions

there's the regular City Watch that they call

the Crimson Cloaks, again in my Greyhawk.

There is the elite sort of SWAT team of the City Watch,

those are the Griffon Guards.

And then there's a third piece,

and those third piece are called the Inquisitors,

and their job is to investigate magical crime,

horrific and magical crime.

And so I think given the power that he's got,

given his origins and trying to find a place

in the world he would have maybe gravitated toward

a place where he could contribute.

He is after all a cleric of life.

He's still I think someone who wants to,

based upon all the things that you've told me,

someone that wants to contribute and help.

And so I think maybe he made his way to that City Watch

and offered services even to that group.

Do you feel like that's maybe something?

- That sounds totally within what he would do.

- And so once they evaluated you and found out

how powerful a sorcerer you are, and a powerful cleric

that you were you would have been welcomed to,

and may be assigned as temporarily

to a mission with the Inquisitors.

Because that's where we're gonna find you

when we all get back together.

So we've got one more level to do

and this is your fifth level.

We'll move you into a fifth level character.

And so this is a level two sorcerer.

Technically you're a third level cleric again

Now you're a level two sorcerer.

So we add a few more things, first again hit points.

So sorcerer hit points.

- [Jason] Yeah.

- Oh yeah so you rolled a six, plus two.

You got eight more hit points there.

The most you could possibly have given your constitution.

- [Jason] That's a pretty good about then, 34 hit points.

- And then you get a couple of things

as a sorcerer at second level.

And this goes in the vein of what we talked about

about sorcery being a natural magic.

It's less of a studied magic and more natural magic.

It isn't as rigid, it's a lot more flexible.

So you get something called font of magic

that comes with second level, if you want to write

this down under your powers as well, font of magic.

And what comes along that is sorcery points.

- Right, those are cool.

- So you get two sorcery points and what these are

is these are points that you can spend

to do cool things with your spell's,

especially as you advance in higher levels.

But even at this point you can

do cool things with your spells.

The first thing is you've got a thing called flexible

casting that you get away at second level sorcerer,

which allows you to create a new spell slot.

So all people who conduct magic and use magic,

whether it's divine magic your cleric,

or arcane magic like your sorcery, you've got a certain

number of spells that you can cast a day.

Your body just can only channel

a certain amount of spell energy.

And when you're multi class you are there's a special table

way back here that tells you how many spells you can cast.

So we've got some homework to do

this next week to deal with that.

But what this does, this flexible casting allows you to do

is it allows you to spend two sorcery points

and get another spell slot back.

So it'll add the ability to cast one more spell.

In desperation you'll dig deep into

your body and cast just one more spell.

So that's your big thing now is that flexible casting.

And you can spend sorcery points to add spell slots.

I think the other thing that that you've done,

as you're kind of searching around the city

and looking to what you want to do is

some of the money that you had with you,

some of the valuable metals and valuable gems

that you brought with you from limbo,

you bought something for yourself as you joined

this new life as part of the City Watch.

And this is a cloak of protection.

- Magic barrier. - Add that to your list here.

- [Jason] Very good.

- So whatever armor so whatever armor you decide to wear,

whatever else we're gonna have when our standard gear

you're gonna have a cloak of protection.

And this gives you a bonus to both

your armor class and to your saving throws.

So whether you're protecting yourself against weapons

or against magic you're going to have extra protection.

So the one other thing that I want to do

before we finish up today and then do our homework.

I'll assign you some homework about picking

spells and things and doing some math here,

is I want to talk about your spells.

So you have two kinds of spells.

With your cleric you'll have divine magic

and with your sorcerer you have arcane magic.

So what I've got here in this pile is to spell sheets.

If you want to pull those guys out.

And there are a couple of important numbers here

that are based upon your level and the things

that we have for your sorcerer, and for your clerical.

And since we have the book open at sorcerer

let's start here with sorcerer.

And up and top here we have your spell casting ability.

This will be your sorcerer side,

so spell casting class is sorcery.

Spell casting ability is charisma for sorcerers.

So you're using your innate natural ability

to channel magic, and we're gonna use charisma for that.

So then we do a spell save DC and what this is

some of the spells that you cast people are

gonna have to make a saving throw against.

And again we'll get into this when we get into the game.

But the higher that difficulty check is

the more powerful you technically are as a wizard,

the more powerful your spells are.

So your spell save DC is eight, plus your charisma modifier.

- Two so 10.

- Plus your proficiency bonus which is three, so 13.

So if you cast a spell that needs a save,

they have to save versus a 13 and again

we'll get into that in the game.

The other thing here is a spell attack bonus.

Your spell attack bonus is if you're casting

a spell that makes you roll an attack, you're gonna

shoot somebody with a ray or something like that.

And that is your proficiency bonus.

- Okay three.

- Plus your charisma modifier.

- So plus five.

- So it'd be plus five.

If you're gonna make a spell attack you're plus five.

On the cleric side we have something very similar.

These are divine smells, so divine spells

instead of being based on your personal inmate charisma

they're based upon your wisdom, your ability to

like we we're talking about, pluck the threads of chaos

and find the life, the life lines in those threads.

And so your divine spells are based upon

the same kind of thing eight, plus your proficiency bonus

which is the same three, plus your wisdom modifier now.

- Right which is higher, another three.

- So it's eight plus three plus three, so 14.

- [Jason] And by the way the ability would be wisdom.

- Wisdom is the ability yep.

The DC is 14, and now your spell attack bonus

again is calculate in the same way.

It's your proficiency bonus plus your wisdom bonus.

- Great, so it's a plus six.

- So if you're casting offensive cleric spells

you'll have a plus six for those spells.

And that's the kind of the basic of your magic.

Now the big task that you're gonna have

is gonna be choosing spells and there's a lot of those.

We're not gonna do them here now

because it would take us a long time,

you have a lot of spells to choose from.

But I want to talk just a little bit about choosing spells

and one of the things that new players do a lot

when they're choosing spells is they will look

just for the spells that do the most damage.

They're gonna look for offensive spells.

And I think that that's okay if you're playing

a very aggressive offensive character

and that's how you want to roll as a sorcerer.

It's harder as a cleric to do that of course.

But I want to just remind you that when you

choose your spell's let's choose some offensive spells

but also some spells that don't necessarily

have offensive or healing components

that you might be able to use in other circumstances.

- Sure yeah.

- So just to make sure that the play is not just combat,

and especially in our adventure

where we're gonna be in a big city.

There's gonna be a lot of conversing with other people.

There's gonna be a lot of environmental things that happen.

And so just to remember that play is not just combat.

- Oh yeah.

- This is an awesome character, I'm super excited.

- Me too.

(dramatic music)

- How's it going David?

- How are you?

Good to see you.

Come on let's play some Dungeons & Dragons.

- I'm super excited about that.

- So first I want to ask you

what's your experience with Dungeons & Dragons?

Have you played the game before, other role playing games?

- I must have played a round or two when I was like 12.

I did a lot of Marvel superheroes as a kid.

So I was really into comics, so I did that.

But since then I really haven't.

I've recently like edged back into it

and done a couple of PBTA style games.

But I have not played D&D in probably a decade.

- I'm super excited to play Dungeons & Dragons.

This is exciting to me.

I love teaching people to play so this is awesome.

So we've been talking for a few weeks about your character.

Tell me what you were looking at.

Tell me how you were feeling about it.

- I was looking at a couple of different kinds of characters

and I always like to play sort of hybrid characters,

people who are caught between races,

caught between sort of cultures and species.

And it's just part of my identity

so I always try to bring it forward.

So I was really interested in the Genasi.

They're half genie, half mortal.

And they're sort of elemental kinds of creatures

tied to the nature, tied to the land.

And that struck me as something that would

be really interesting to play.

'Cause also, yeah everyone's heard of Elves,

and Dwarves, and Trolls or whatever and this was like

I did not know this was a possibility.

- And so it's a relatively new playable race in the game.

And they're also very rare in the world.

So not only are you kind of like you were talking about,

in that caught between two worlds thing

being a mortal version of a genie essentially.

But you're also a little bit alone in the world.

- Yeah could be sad and interesting.

But hopefully I'll have a good crew with me.

and I thought having something that

singular might be really fun for this.

- And so you chose, which flavor of Genasi did you choose?

- I chose an Earth Genasi, so tied to rocks.

I think the name that I went with was Igneous.

- Yes and I have that character here.

So this is the beginning skeleton of

the character that we put together.

This is your first level character skeleton.

And we've got some basic things at the top,

and what class did you choose?

- Druid.

- Yeah, so we talked a little bit about your connection

to the Earth and to nature and things but also we spent

a lot of time thinking about what does that mean?

We're gonna be in a city adventure.

We're playing in a version Greyhawk.

Greyhawk is the first Dungeons & Dragons published world.

And it's the one I played in when I was 12,

started when I was 12 and so this is my living Greyhawk.

This is the same world I've been playing in since I was 12.

All of the events of all of the adventures that I ran

and played in as a child or all part of this timeline.

So this version of Greyhawk looks very different

from the one that you would pick up in a published book now.

But this is the world we're playing and we're playing

in a big city called the Free City of Greyhawk.

In the center of the world essentially is

this Kings Landing style, quarter of a million people

jammed between these big walls city.

And you find yourself as a Genasi druid in this place.

- Exactly, yeah we were talking about that.

And talking about, it's one of the reasons

I went with an Earth Genie, or an Earth Genasi

because of the tie to the sort of

the land itself, the bedrock underneath a city.

I grew up in New York and so it's a big city

of a lot of concrete but a lot of it

is sort of dredged up from what's beneath.

It all sort of blends together into this one sort of mass.

I was thinking about a city that the rocks are pulled

from the bedrock beneath and feeling that tie to this place,

this particular place, not just sort of generalized rocks.

But these rocks are my rocks.

- Yeah that's that's really cool.

This is an exciting character for me.

The idea of the druid in the city.

These layers of sort of isolation

but connection at the same time.