The Hunger Games
Below is a list of character creation rules and a description of background notes players can fill out for bonus experience, followed by helpful campaign notes helpful to the character creation process.
For the sake of simplicity, initial characters have been created with the rules found in the original Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition Player’s Handbook, as well as feats from D&D Essentials books Heroes of the Fallen Lands, and Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms. However, players are encouraged to explore additions from any other official 4th edition book, and are allowed with consent from the DM (which is likely).
Answering the following questions will provide bonus starting XP for your character and help find a home for them in the campaign. These notes will be used to build personalized adventures for the players.
- What is the name of the district you’re from, and what is its major export?
- What is the size of your town?
- How did your character acquire his / her abilities?
- Who is your family and what relationship do you have with them?
- Who are your friends and what relationship do you have with them?
- What person, place, or thing do you care about the most, and why?
- What first important, personal secret do you keep from the other players?
- What second important, personal secret do you keep from the other players?
Below are notes on each race, with examples of how they might fit in the Hunger Games campaign.
As described in the Player’s Handbook, the Dragonborn are a proud race once part of a powerful dragonborn empire. Since its destruction in the Fall of Nations, the Dragonborn tend to be found in parts of the Capitol and richer or more militaristic districts, although dragonborn can also occasionally be found in poorer regions.
As described in the Player’s Handbook, dwarves are renowned for their craftsmanship. The flourishing of the Capitol and its penchant for beauty means strong demand for the crafts of dwarves, though the further one gets from the Capitol, the more likely it happens beneath the government’s boot rather than out of love. Though dwarves are renowned for their ties to clan, there exists bitter divisions between those clans, with generations of bad blood from family feuds, class wars, and reckless rumors.
Some Eladrin, originally from the Feywild before the Fall of Nations, have lived within Panem for generations. With the connection to the Feywild supposedly diminished and the dangers of the world teaming outside the Capitol, eladrin have more than enough reason to stay safe within its borders pursuing beauty, swordsmanship, and the magical arts. Rumors exist of eladrin visitors that still have a connection to the Feywild, but eladrin outside the Capitol itself are quite rare.
Elves, like eladrin, are also uncommon, but some have found a niche in Panem society, particularly where wilderness can be found. Some elves choose to be put on border patrol to have contact with the wild, while others find this lifestyle puts their famously long lives too much at risk, and find comfort near the Capitol. Elves living in the poorer districts are generally persecuted and treated with special disdain because their citizens are often terrorized by wild elves, who have for generations lived outside the Capitol in pursuit of freedom and nature.
The union of elf and human produce half-elf children that are considered fashionable within the Capitol and are often afforded luxuries that others are not. They are widely considered to have the best qualities of both races, and often rise to positions of fame, whether they like it or not.
Halflings, as described in the Player’s Handbook, are nomads and opportunists that find themselves in any number of situations within Panem, from those of abject poverty to impossible fortune. Regardless of their situation, they are somewhat common, and often have their ears to the ground regarding what goes on in the world. Many citizens are unaware of where their familial connections meet, and sometimes the richest and poorest halflings maintain surprisingly tight bonds despite their drastically different stations.
Humans are the most commonplace of all the races, found in every station of Panem. It is said that it was the ingenuity of human founders that Panem rose from the ashes of the Fall of Nations, and other races may bear grudges against humankind for this very reason. However, humans are the most commonplace in both the richest and poorest parts of Panem, and a human can be found in almost any situation, sharing the same fate as those around them.
Tieflings have a strange history that make them difficult for others to sort out. Though their ancestor’s devilish dealings are said to be the root of the Fall of Nations and are visible on their very persons, legends also state that tieflings were instrumental in dulling the blow of the Fall, and providing a chance for the enlightened races to escape their ultimate demise. Tieflings are an easy target for bullying by those that cannot see past appearances (and many cannot), but most tolerate their tiefling neighbors, or believe in their roles as dark heroes.
Below are notes on each class, with examples of how they might fit in the Hunger Games campaign.
All the gods are worshiped in various capacity but any large churches are state-sponsored, and usually offer preferential treatment to the upper class. This is typically viewed as a necessary evil and the only means to support local communities, since small shrines and places of worship are pressured to disband by local officials. It’s not uncommon for a local community to erect hidden shrines or meet in secret until such organizations are found out.
Divine prayer is viewed similarly to arcane magic with the exception of healing, though only the rarest of citizens are able to evoke such power. Other prayers are forbidden unless used under the purview of a state-sponsored church or—like the arcane arts—are used in the service of district military.
Fighters are perhaps the most common of the various classes, existing either as gladiators in the Colosseum for the amusement of the Capitol, district militia meant to keep the borders safe, or simple brawlers that fulfill questionable roles on the mean streets of the poorest districts. The martial arts find ways of surviving throughout Panem, and are an instrumental tool—as they don’t attract the same scrutiny as the arcane or divine arts—for gaining power in Panem.
Because the use of divine arts is often strictly controlled, so are Paladins somewhat rare, though perhaps less so than clerics, who typically undergo stricter supervision. Like clerics, paladins might be found patrolling the borders, or become a kind of robin hood, protecting their powers of divine influence as they defend the trampled upon lesser citizens. Within the Capitol, clerics can rise to great power, though this is sometimes done without truly understanding the relationship between the government and its churches.
Rangers are masters of exploration, and thus typically come from backgrounds that allow for exploration beyond Panem’s district borders. They are relatively uncommon within the Capitol (though some, having gained fame in the wilds, may have earned the admiration of its citizens and are treated like a novelty), but much more common within the poorer districts, where citizens may sneak outside the borders, desperate for food and supplies that can be found in the dangerous wilds. They might also be an important part of bands that patrol the borders of Panem, for the government.
A rogue is certainly not uncommon within Panem, whether part of the deeply entrenched crime scene just under the surface of the Capitol’s beauty and opulence, or the equally entrenched (and often, connected) crime scene in poorer districts, hawking exports for a more-comfortable living among the impoverished. The most skillful might even act as lone agents, managing to avoid both the law and competing rogues for whatever benefit they seek, be it comfort or a sense of street justice.
Many secrets were lost in the Fall of Nations, and the dark arts of warlocks are most certainly one of them. Though these secrets are highly guarded, and often only the privileged of the Capitol’s elite have access to them (and only with the strictest supervision), these forgotten arts have a way of being kept secret and surviving, sometimes passing from generation to generation in strange families, or simply found in the ruins of forgotten kingdoms, by chance. Still others have natural talents for hearing whispers from other dimensions, and have the curiosity needed to unlock their potential. Luckily, for many warlocks, the common villager lacks the tools to distinguish between these forbidden arts and the magic that fuels the lifestyles of the rich.
The role of a tactician is sometimes important in defense of Panem, even in the poorest districts, as the forces of evil rally on its borders and occasionally wage wars. Though major war has not been waged in some time, a constant vigilance and sense of threat exists, and training for these battlefield commanders is highly prized. Though warlords are less common in impoverished districts, they can be found with Capitol connections and as part of defense and patrols, and still other citizens have a natural knack for leading and inspiring their allies.
Magic is strictly observed and controlled by the Capitol. The academies of magic tend to be militaristic, and are extremely sensitive about its use by citizens not beholden to the Capitol’s interests after the Dark Days, when the districts rebelled against the Capitol. Using magic without permission is met with severe punishment—usually death—and district citizens are almost never given the authority to wield magic unless they have ties to the Capitol via district military or they farm components for use in magic rituals.