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Here’s how you create your character in the Gloomhaven RPG

Board game publisher Cephalofair shares details on how character creation works in the upcoming TTRPG, Gloomhaven: The Roleplaying Game.

Gloomhaven RPG character creation - Cephalofair art of a Cragheart character

With the Gloomhaven RPG currently funding on Backerkit, publisher Cephalofair has been sharing snippets of the new tabletop RPG with fans – including an early look at Gloomhaven RPG character creation. The rules for this were shared in a Backerkit update from June 26.

The RPG shares a lot of DNA with the Gloomhaven board game it’s based on. We already knew combat in the Gloomhaven RPG would use decks instead of dice, and character creation has also inherited Gloomhaven’s deck-building features.

The Gloomhaven classes and ancestry a character is assigned determine which ability cards they can choose to include in their ability deck. While class cards make up the core pool, you can also choose to swap in some cards granted by your ancestry. You’ll only be able to use cards of certain levels at the start of the game, and you’ll need to decide which to add to your limited hand for a day’s adventuring.

In combat, players use these cards as they would in the board game; but outside of combat, they’re turned face-down to represent stamina. This can be spent on the various skills a character was given during character creation.

Gloomhaven RPG character creation sheet (image from Cephalofair)

Different skills use different levels of stamina – you’ll need to discard a card to brew a potion, but creating a mechanical ally requires you to lose one instead. Discard all your stamina cards, and you’ll need a quick breather to get (most of) them back.

Players also choose four background cards they feel fit their character. As well as flavor, these provide mechanical benefits too. Any time a player wants to improve their chances in an attribute check, they can spend a background card to gain its bonus.

The Gloomhaven RPG has a lot more cards than a game like Dungeons and Dragons, but there are some similarities. Like most tabletop RPGs, Gloomhaven has several core stats that represent what characters can do. The five Gloomhaven RPG stats are:

  • Athletics
  • Finesse
  • Focus
  • Influence
  • Knowledge
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Each stat has a starting value of one, but these can be increased to a maximum of a character’s level plus two. Players can also decrease stats to boost others higher.

Cephalofair recommends checking out the video above to get more of an idea of how character creation plays out in the Gloomhaven RPG. You can also read the full explanation in the Backerkit update.

For more in this universe, here’s how designer Isaac Childres says Frosthaven learned lessons from Gloomhaven. And here’s our Frosthaven review to help you decide whether to back the mighty sequel.