Mortem Aeternum Permadeath

Dungeons & Dragons Online with permanent death

The land of tears gave forth a blast of wind,
And fulminated a vermilion light,
Which overmastered in me every sense,
And as a man whom sleep hath seized, I fell.

— D. Alighieri, “Divina Commedia,” canto III, trans. H. W. Longfellow 1867

Kismet Characters

Kismet characters are randomly-rolled characters that present a fresh way of playing the game, and a special challenge compared to their (generally more powerful) bespoke counterparts. In exchange, kismet characters are granted some leniency under the rules, due to their game-mechanical handicap.

Kismet Character Roller App

To aid with character creation, there is a little applet here that runs in the browser (using JavaScript).

Making a Kismet Character

Kismet characters are created in a series of steps, as follows:[1]

Step 1: Rolling for Race

Rolling for race is easy; just uniformly select from the set of all races that you have access to. If you have access to all races, this means rolling 1d13 if not making an Iconic, or otherwise 1d7. If you don't have access to all races, roll 1dN, where N is the number of races you do have access to. For convenience, a list of basic races and a list of Iconic races is given & numbered below:

Basic races
  1. Dwarf
  2. Elf
  3. Halfling
  4. Human
  5. Drow Elf
  6. Warforged
  7. Half-Orc
  8. Half-Elf
  9. Aasimar
  10. Dragonborn
  11. Gnome
  12. Wood Elf
  13. Tiefling
Iconic races
  1. Purple Dragon Knight
  2. Bladeforged
  3. Deep Gnome
  4. Sun Elf (a.k.a. Morninglord)
  5. Shadar-kai
  6. Aasimar Scourge
  7. Tiefling Scoundrel

Step 2: Rolling Ability Scores

First, figure out how many build points you are going to have. Usually this is either 28 or 32, but if this is not your first life and you are making a kismet character — I applaud your audacity! — you may be starting with 34 or 36 points. Also, if you're a Drow Elf, you start with 4 less points than normal, to a minimum of 28 points. You'll need to keep track of how many points you have left to spend as you roll for your ability scores. Also note that rolling for ability scores is independent of racial bonuses and penalties to ability scores; your raw ability scores will be rolled and then your race will automatically raise and lower those scores as appropriate.

  1. Roll 1d5 + 13 and write the result down (this is your first ability score result). Subtract from your remaining build points the cost that it takes to have an ability score of that value.
  2. Repeat step 1 until you have fewer than 16 build points remaining.
  3. If you still have any build points left, roll 1d9 + 8 and write the result down. Subtract from your remaining build points the cost that it takes to have an ability score of that value. Discard results that you don't have enough build points left for, and/or use a smaller die to avoid invalid results (e.g. roll 1d7 + 8 instead). NB: 1d1 is a die that always rolls a 1.
  4. Repeat step 3 until you run out of build points or you've written down five ability scores already, whichever comes first.
  5. If you still have build points left, use as many as possible to obtain your last (sixth) ability score. If you still have build points left after that, spend them to raise whatever the lowest ability score is.
  6. If you don't have six ability scores written down by now, keep adding ability scores of value 8 until you do.
  7. Randomly assign each of the six ability scores that you've written down to a distinct ability (STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS, or CHA). This is essentially a random (fair) shuffle, and can be achieved by successively rolling 1d6, 1d5, 1d4, 1d3, 1d2, 1d1.

Step 3: Picking an Initial Class

While one or two classes are always randomly rolled for every kismet toon, one class is actually available for you to choose! But there are restrictions. You can only choose a class that you “qualify for”, meaning that your ability scores (after being adjusted by your racial bonuses/penalties) must be high enough to meet or exceed the standards listed here:

If you don't qualify for any classes that you have access to, you must randomly roll one instead (1dN, where N is the number of classes that you have access to). You also have the option of rolling even if you qualify for one or more classes.

Step 4: Rolling for Additional Classes

All kismet characters are multiclass. Roll 1d2 to determine how many classes you will have in addition to your initial class. Then, randomly roll for what class(es) they are by rolling 1dN for each, where N is the number of classes that you have access to and haven't already chosen/rolled for. You may also have to cross classes off of the list due to alignment restrictions (e.g. if Bard is already one of your classes, you can't also be Paladin and/or Monk since both of those classes require lawful alignment)

Step 5: Rolling for Feats

Before you roll for feats, make sure you've spent your skill points, since they may affect what feats are available to you. All feats (including feats like e.g. Aasimar's Bond feat) must be randomly rolled. To roll for a feat, randomly & uniformly select from the set of all feats that can be put in the feat slot in question. For the purpose of this rule, each of the following groups of feats counts as effectively a single feat, and if you roll that feat, you can choose which sub-feat you want (or you can roll for it, of course):

Note also that Warlock Pacts are restricted by alignment, so don't pick one that is incompatible with your other classes' alignment restrictions!

Step 6: Rolling for Alignment

Now that you know which 2 or 3 classes you will be (and what your Pact is, if you're starting as a Warlock), randomly & uniformly select from the alignments that are available to you. For example, a Rogue+Wizard would roll a 1d6 for alignment and a FvS+Paladin+Fighter wouldn't have to roll (they must be lawful good).

Beyond Character Creation

While the section on Making a Kismet Character covers character creation, there is more rolling to be done in future levels.

What You Don't Have to Roll For

Taking Levels

When you advance to the next level, the class that you advance as is as follows:

Feats after character creation follow the same rules, as outlined in Step 5: Rolling for Feats.

Special Rules for Kismet Characters

Kismet characters generally have to follow all of the same Rules that other characters in the guild do, with the following exceptions (these exceptions are dupliated on the Rules page):


[1] When random rolls are asked for, physical dice are suitable, as well as other sources of randomness such as or /dev/urandom. If using physical dice, and the requested die size (“size” being the N in 1dN) is one that you don't have access to (e.g. 1d13), one of three methods can be used:

  1. If you have a die whose size is evenly divided by the desired size, you can roll that and divide the result by how many times the smaller size divides the larger, then round up to an integer.
  2. Roll the smallest die size that you do have that exceeds the requested size (in the case of 1d13, rolling e.g. 1d20 is suitable) and discard (re-roll) results that are too large.
  3. Roll KdN, assigning each of the K dice to a distinct one of the integers NK-1, NK-2, ..., N, 1 beforehand. Then, subtract one from each die-roll result and then multiply it by the integer that it was assigned to beforehand. Sum those products up, and the result will be an integer x randomly & uniformly selected from the range 0 ≤ x ≤ NK-1. This is, by the way, just rolling one die for each place in a K-digit number in base N; this method is used for so-called percentile dice, where specifically KdN = 2d10. Ensure that the desired range is included in this range, and discard (re-roll) results that are too large or too small.