Step 1—Determine Ability Scores: Start by generating your character’s ability scores (see Table 1-1 below). Starting Dark Sun characters receive 25 points with which to purchase their ability scores. These six scores determine your character’s most basic attributes and are used to decide a wide variety of details and statistics. Some class selections require you to have better than average scores for some of your abilities.
Step 2—Pick Your Race: Next, pick your character’s race, noting any modifiers to your ability scores and any other racial traits (see Chapter 2). There are ten basic races to choose from, although your GM might have others to add to the list. Each race lists the languages your character automatically knows, as well as a number of bonus languages. A character knows a number of additional bonus languages equal to his or her Intelligence modifier (see page 17 Pathfinder Rulebook).
Step 3—Pick Your Class: A character’s class represents a profession, such as fighter or wizard. If this is a new character, he starts at 1st level in his chosen class. As he gains experience points (XP) for defeating monsters, he goes up in level, granting him new powers and abilities.
Step 4—Pick Traits, Skills and Select Feats: Your character starts with two traits, one being a campaign trait, and the other trait of your choosing. See Traits (pg. 1) for more information. Determine the number of skill ranks possessed by your character, based on his class and Intelligence modifier. Then spend these ranks on skills, but remember that you cannot have more ranks than your level in any one skill (for a starting character, this is usually one). After skills, determine how many feats your character receives, based on his class and level, and select them from those presented in Chapter 5.
Step 5—Buy Equipment: Each new character begins the game with an amount of ceramic pieces, based on his class, that can be spent on a wide range of equipment and gear, from chitin armor to leather backpacks. This gear helps your character survive while adventuring. Generally speaking, you cannot use this starting money to buy magic items without the consent of your GM.
Step 6—Finishing Details: Finally, you need to determine all of a character’s details, including his starting hit points (hp), Armor Class (AC), saving throws, initiative modifier, and attack values. All of these numbers are determined by the decisions made in previous steps. Aside from these, you need to decide on your character’s name, alignment, and physical appearance. It is best to jot down a few personality traits as well, to help you play the character during the game. Additional rules (like age and alignment) are described in Chapter 7.