We've gone through several game systems for the World of Daera since the campaign began in 2011. We've most recently moved into D&D 5th Edition, after a disastrous escapade of system hacking. This version of the game should be much more stable.
Allowed Sources Edit
Like previous editions of Dungeons and Dragons, D&D 5th Edition has a Player's Handbook, a Dungeon Master's Guide, a Monster Manual and then an ever-growing stack of additional sourcebooks, manuals and supplements, from both the official publisher (Wizards of the Coast), and third party publishers of
For our game, we'll use the Player's Handbook, the DMG, and official supplements listed on the Sourcebooks page.
Understanding the Character Sheet Edit
Stripping away personality and fluff and rendering a character down to the crunchy bits, we are left with a bunch of numeric ratings and ability descriptions that work together..
Abilities -The raw statistics of your character - how tough or charismatic they are. You have the opportunity to improve these characteristics at several levels throughout your character's career.
Skills - Skills are anything that can be learned or improved with practice and study. In 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons, ability checks are keyed to skills. Low skill proficiency (say a 5 before the d20 roll) allows the character to understand the very basic principles of the skill. History proficiency of 4 or 5 might allow a character to easily know that what the last 5 kings of the neighboring kingdom were named. A history proficiency of 10 or 11 (before the d20 roll) might allow a character to converse thoughtfully about Naga Dominion Era Gnomish Poetry. Skill checks (d20 + skill rating + other factors) allow the character to attempt more challenging or detailed feats within that discipline.
Backgrounds - Backgrounds tell more about where your character came from and might help flesh out what motivates your character. There is a long list of backgrounds in the Player's Handbook, and many more available in other sourcebooks. In D&D 5th edition, backgrounds also inform the character's skills and some ancillary abilities like language or tool proficiency. Some characters may have custom-written backgrounds.
Level - Levels are an artificial measure of a character's ability to influence the world around them. A level 1 character is only distinguishable from the average villager by their adventurous spirit. A level 10 character is shockingly powerful and able to influence change on a national or regional scale. A level 20 character may as well be a demigod or greater demon when compared to the average villager. This level of power is extraordinarily rare and is capable of changing not just this world, but the worlds beyond.
Character level is also a rough measure of fame or infamy. A level 1 character will probably not be known outside their own village or city district. A level 10 character will be known across a nation. A level 20 character will be spoken of in hushed whispers or starry-eyed excitement around the world.
Magic - Many characters have the ability to cast spells. The kinds of spells you know depend on your character class(es) and level.
Equipment - The stuff you carry around to keep you alive and make other things fall down