John, "The Fighter"
John is a traditionalist. He usually likes to play the Tank, the Defender, the axis around which the party pivots. That role isn't directly provided, but can be created, though a combo of short-range Control and Combat toughness.
He selects the Soldier background. Among the skills lists, proficiencies, and other benefits, it sets up a list of starter feats which he has improved access to, reducing or eliminating their prerequisites.
Strength: 17 (+3) Melee damage, Brawn check
Agility: 14 (+2) Melee attack, Dodge check
Endurance: 16 (+3) Starting base HP, +HP per character level
Intellect: 10 (+0) Starting base Skill pts, +SkPts per character level, Ranged damage
Perception: 15 (+2) Ranged attack, Spot check
Charisma: 10 (+0) Will check
A starting character gets three feats, at least one of which must be a starter feat. He selects Combat Strike and Bodyguard, the Skirmisher and Defender starter feats, plus Battle Rage, a non-starter feat that acts as a gatekey into the Rage powerset, one of a few class-neutral ability trees. This lets him play like the 4e Berserker, defending for his allies, dealing decent damage, then blowing his top and raging out when he needs to pull some extra damage out of his back pocket.
I won’t go into the specifics of all his powers (mostly because I don’t have them written up much yet) but generally, the levels in Skirmisher and Defender each grant skill points to be spent on powers that match appropriate keywords/schools. (This is in addition to the base-level skill points every character gets, which get Int-modified.) The number themselves could change, and almost certainly will, since there are also powers and non-skill abilities granted to them with the class levels, which per-level variances in skill points are intended to fill the dead or low-benefit levels.
So, something to note is that characters start as 0-level characters, with their starter feats, plus starter skill points (equal to their Int score) and beginning HP, equal to their End score, as well as the benefits of their Background. They choose which class/path they then take levels of.
So, later in his character's life, he's got 6 levels in Defender, plus 3 levels in Skirmisher.
For hit points, he’s got maxes set by Defender levels, since class-based HP contributions overlap rather than stack. HP resets on a long rest, unless the character has a Sick/Injured/Poisoned condition, in which case they gain or roll the number in parentheses:
- Start: End score in starting HP and negative HP (half of End score)
- 1st level: 3 + End mod, plus 6 Defender HP (better of 1d10 and 1d8, mininum End mod)
- 2nd level: 3 + End mod, plus 6 Defender HP (better of 1d10 and 1d8, mininum End mod)
- 3rd level: 3 + End mod, plus 6 Defender HP (better of 1d10 and 1d8, mininum End mod)
- 4th level: 3 + End mod, plus 6 Defender HP (1d10, mininum End mod)
- 5th level: 3 + End mod, plus 6 Defender HP (1d10, mininum End mod)
- 6th level: 3 + End mod, plus 6 Defender HP (1d10, mininum End mod)
So, with the 16 Endurance above (not counting ability improvements, for now), that comes to 88 total (non-injured).
For skill points, this grants him:
- Start: Int score, free spend
- 1st level: 5 + Int mod, free spend, plus 2 Defender skill pts, 2 Skirmisher skill pts
- 2nd level: 5 + Int mod, free spend, plus 2 Defender skill pts, 2 Skirmisher skill pts
- 3rd level: 5 + Int mod, free spend, plus 2 Defender skill pts, 2 Skirmisher skill pts
- 4th level: 5 + Int mod, free spend, plus 2 Defender skill pts
- 5th level: 5 + Int mod, free spend, plus 2 Defender skill pts
- 6th level: 5 + Int mod, free spend, plus 2 Defender skill pts
So with the 10 int listed above (not counting ability improvements, which likely wouldn’t go to Int anyhow), 40 free-spend points, 12 Defender-skill points, and 6 Skirmisher-skill points.
Now, he’s got a bit more XP he’s gained, and decides to expand on his damage capacity, and go for a little supernatural flair. Expanding on his Battle Rage, using it as a prerequisite he couldn’t bypass, and stepping outside his Soldier background, he takes Elemental Fury, one of the possible starter feats for the Berserker class, which uses supernatural power to enhance combat ability. Elemental Fury also requires a [Pact] feat, such as Storm Pact, granting a connection to elemental spirits, which can be expanded on for other possible elemental abilities in the future. (If a character had started with the right background, that pact would have come free as a perk.)
He takes two levels of Berserker. This adds those two levels’ worth of skill points, plus the Berserker class features, which naturally extend from the martial skillset but add supernatural power into the mix, as opposed to spellcasters, which use a different resource-management system.
Any questions on this, before I go on? I can add more details as I figure them out, a challenge method actually really helps me develop details as I'm forced to commit to them. I’ll get into spellcasters' mechanics on the last two. Next up, the Thief, who is a bit less obvious.