Running a Fifth Edition Character Funnel

This past Tuesday I ran part one of two part Dungeons and Dragons: Fifth Edition (5E 🔍) 0-level Dungeon Crawl Classic inspired character funnel adventure (i.e. many enter far fewer leave). I’m not going to go into a session recap, but I will go through the character creation.

Character Creation

Each player created 4 characters by rolling the following:

  • Random Stats
  • Random Race
  • Random Background
  • Random Extra Languages (Optional)
  • Random Hit Points (1d4+CON)

Random Stats

Players could choose one of two methods for each character they created:

Method #1

Roll twelve (12) sets of 3d6 straight down keeping order (Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha). This method is by far my most favorite method for D&D stat creation.

Method #2

Roll 4d6 straight down keeping order and optionally replace one stat with an 8.

Here is the Ruby script used to generate the simulation data.

Bell Curve Showing Method 2 (i.e. 3d6 clumps) around +5 or +6 and method 2 (i.e. 4d6) has higher standard deviation.
A visual distribution of the likely modifiers based on each of the stat methods.

Random Race

Based on the results of a group poll, we wanted a plurality of races. The following tables generated that.

Table 41: Random Race
1d20 Race Source
1– - Human Player's Handbook
9– - Common non-human Roll on "Common non-human races" table
19– - Uncommon non-human Roll on "Uncommon non-human races" table
Table 42: Common non-human races
1d20 Race Source
1– - Dwarf, Hill Player's Handbook
3– - Dwarf, Mountain Player's Handbook
5– - Elf, High Player's Handbook
7– - Elf, Wood Player's Handbook
9– - Half-Elf Player's Handbook
11– - Half-Orc Player's Handbook
13– - Halfling, Lightfoot Player's Handbook
15– - Halfling, Stout Player's Handbook
17 Dragonborn Player's Handbook
18 Gnome, Forest Player's Handbook
19 Gnome, Rock Player's Handbook
20 Goblin (Eberron)
Table 43: Uncommon non-human races
1d20 Race Source
1– - Aasmir Dungeon Master's Guide
6– - Tiefling Player's Handbook
11 Changeling 🔍 Unearthed Arcana: Eberron
12 Elf, Eladrin Dungeon Master's Guide
13– - Elf, Drow Player's Handbook
15 Genasi (1d4 for element) Elemental Evil Player's Companion
16– - Gnome, Deep Elemental Evil Player's Companion
18 Goliath Elemental Evil Player's Companion
19 Shifter 🔍 Unearthed Arcana: Eberron
20 Warforged Unearthed Arcana: Eberron

Random Background

My 0-level adventure is set by the sea in a small community. So the table reflects that distribution.

Table 44: Random Background Generator
1d20 Background
1– - Guild Artisan
4– - Sailor
6 Acolyte
7 Sage
8– - Criminal
10 Entertainer
11 Folk Hero
12 Hermit
13 Noble
14 Charlatan
15 Soldier
16– - Urchin
18– - Outlander

Random Extra Languages

Some of the players wanted help choosing their language. So we referenced the following.

Table 45: Random Starting Language
1d8 Language
1 Dwarvish
2 Elvish
3 Giant
4 Gnomish
5 Goblin
6 Halfing
7 Orc
8 Exotic – Roll on "Random Exotic Starting Language" table
Table 46: Random Exotic Starting Language
1d10 Language
1 Abyssal
2 Celestial
3 Draconic
4 Deep Speech
5 Infernal
6 Primordial
7 Sylvan
8– - Undercommon