Character Creation

This page describes character restrictions, and questions players should answer for their characters before playing.


Any official Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition source can be used to create characters, but races outside the Player’s Handbook need DM approval. For reference on how the Player’s Handbook races might fit in the Gotham campaign, see the Civilized Races.

Background Questions

New characters are an opportunity to enrich the campaign setting with new adventures and foundations for storytelling. Players of new characters are expected to provide answers to the following questions before playing. If a character joins the party at level one, it gains bonus XP for each question answered. After level one, this XP is divided between the party.

Personal Questions (100 XP each)

Personal questions flesh out the origin, skills, motivations, relationships, and secrets of your character.

  1. Where are you from and why? Are you from the slums where your immigrant parents sought a better tomorrow? Are you from the upper-class orphaned in a high society temple? Are you a small villager expected to take up the family farm? Or raised by beasts in a faraway land when your parents died en route?
  2. What do you currently do for a living and why? Did you become an apprentice mage to unravel the mystery of the automaton? Did you stumble upon an a living as an artisan carving wooden sculptures? Or do you search the dangerous ruins beneath Gotham just for the adrenaline rush?
  3. Who are your family and what relationship do you have with them? Did you come from a large family, distant to your military father but close to your siblings and mother? Or is your brother your only family, estranged since the death of your parents in the Crash?
  4. Who are your closest friends and how do you know them? Are your closest friends soldiers met in the guard before you dropped out? Did you come to know an old alchemist walking him home in the streets of Gotham each night? Or is your only friend a neighbor child too young and naive to fear your troubled past?
  5. Where did your abilities, skills, and powers come from? Did you learn how to charm others in the high courts of Gotham? Did streetwise and intimidation come from a previous life as a bully? Or did you channel your resources training to defend Gotham like the Shadow Knight?
  6. What person, place, or thing do you care about the most, and why? Is your little sister the light of your life in a city of darkness? Is your only desire to make it into the elite guild of Gotham knights? Or is the relic sword of your father represent your only hope of salvation?
  7. What heavy, personal secret do you keep from the other players? Are you secretly an assassin sent to destroy a corrupted official? Do you feel responsible for the death of someone important to another party member? Or were you a member of one a dangerous cult before trying to start a new life?
  8. What second heavy, personal secret do you keep from the other players? Do you carry a mark that binds you to a strange ancient prophecy? Do you carry out orders for the Shadow Knight in secret? Or are you haunted by visions passed down by the deity you worship?

Group Question (200 XP)

The group question, with input from other players, describes your relationship with the other player characters.

  • How are you allied or under what circumstance are you likely to be? Are you fast friends from the same tavern? Would you accept the same mercenary job to pay the bills? Would you rush to the the scene of a crime? Or did you form a secretive alliance to fight crime in the absence of the Shadow Knight?


Feel lost? Some friendly advice:

  • Make it up. This is a chance to carve out your place in the world of Gotham and permanently change the world, and on the rare chance that something cannot fit as imagined it can probably be adjusted to keep the intent and flavor completely intact.
  • Draw on your life. If you aren’t sure what your family, friends or work would be like draw them from your own life and convert it to your character. If nothing else, it makes roleplaying that much easier.
  • Ask for help. Your DM loves you!

Character Creation

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