The DnD Beyond site has recently upgraded to include the character builder. One of the most interesting things to me is the order that it presents you choices. While you are allowed to select options (race, class, equipment) out of order, there is a specific order presented.
The DnD Beyond character builder presents Race first, then Class, and then other options. If I’m just walking through the builder to see what’s available, it doesn’t matter what I see first. I have a specific idea for a character, I can jump back and forth and get what I want (or I will when more content is added).
However, if I’m a new player, the standard progression of options can limit my choices. I add a dwarf, and based on the abilities, I’m going to be “guided” to certain classes and options solely based on my choice of Race. Once I look at Bard or Wizard, I realize that Cleric or Fighter are better suited, and cut my choices down.
This isn’t an exclusive issue with DnD Beyond. They’re following the standard Wizards playbook for creating characters. Rather, I think it’s an issue with how Wizards has presented character creation. The first section in the players handbook about characters is Race. Why? I know they had to make a choice, but why Race? Does it have the biggest impact on other abilities? Possibly. Is it what everyone thinks about when first creating a character? No.
I want to play a:
Mystical priest who is tortured by his past
Nimble fighter leading a resistance
Practical wizard looking for power.
All of these are valid character concepts, and none of them mention race.
I don’t really have a solution here. I just think it is a good question to ask. Where would you start with character creation? Is there a better method? What place does your character creation start with? Is it always the same?