How to Buy Starting Equipment for a Dungeons and Dragons V3.5 Character

Before you can start playing any Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) character you have to buy starting equipment. As the name suggests, these are the possessions that your character begins play with.


  1. 1
    Check with your Dungeon Master (DM). This article covers the standard method to pick starting equipment for a 1st level character. Your DM may have something special in mind so before you spend the time picking your new equipment make sure that you are following the procedure that your DM requires.
  2. 2
    Consider a Starting Package. In the entry for each class near the end there are some starting character packages. In addition to some recommended starting skills and feats there is also a starting package of equipment. You can use the starting equipment package without using the recommended starting skills and feats. If you use a set package then you are done.
  3. 3
    Roll For Starting Gold. On page 111 of the Player's Handbook (PHB) there is a table of starting gold values. Find your class and roll the appropriate dice. The number in parentheses is the average value of the roll, many DMs will allow or require you to use this number. Some players prefer to always take the average if they can because it is consistent.
  4. 4
    Look Up Your Carrying Capacity. On page 162 of the PHB you will find the information on how much weight your character can carry this, in addition to monetary value, limits what you can buy. The table has the information for a medium sized, bipedal creature, if you are something different (such as the small sized Halving or Gnome) then you need to read about how to alter these numbers.
  5. 5
    Know What You Get For Free. All characters have starting clothing. This can be a artisan's, entertainer's, explorer's, monk's, peasant's, scholar's, or traveler's outfit. In addition to being free this outfit does not count as weight that you are carrying. Page 131 of the PHB describes all these various outfits. Wizards get their first spell book for free. The weight of this spellbook does count as carried weight however the book is free.
  6. 6
    Make a List. To keep track of what you have spent and how much you are carrying you should make a list. There is room for this on the character sheet but because your inventory changes very often many people keep their list on a separate sheet of paper so that they do not damage the character sheet with frequent erasing. If you are so inclined this can be done very easily and neatly with a spreadsheet program on your computer.
  7. 7
    Double Check Everything. Most classes have certain items that they cannot use for some reason or another. You should always make sure that you have not purchased something that you cannot use. Once the campaign starts you cannot undo your starting decisions.
  8. 8
    Read the Descriptions. Every item has a description of it in the equipment chapter. This description often includes important information that is not included in the table.
  9. 9
    Do Not Forget the Essential. Some items are essential for certain characters. For example, every character that can cast spells needs to carry a spell component pouch. This pouch contains the little odd bits and pieces that are required to cast many of the spells in D&D.
  10. 10
    Do Not Forget the Mundane. On pages 128-9 of the PHB there are several mundane items that adventurers can purchase. These things may seem rather silly at times, such as soap, however you may never know when you will need one of these items. At higher levels you can often replace these items with magic, but not at lower levels. At this point you must consider the style of campaign you are in. Some players resent other players who do not buy items such as a bedroll and soap that most characters should have but there are no game rules concerning. You need to know what the attitudes of the other players are, as well as how detailed you want to be about your character.


  • Beware of carrying too many items or you will have difficulty getting through various places e.g. tunnels etc.
  • You can shape your character's image with their possessions.
  • Get the big things first such as a weapon and armor.


  • Do not forget something important, like food or a water skin.
  • If you exceed a light or medium load there are penalties to your Armor Class and movement speed.

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Categories: Role Playing Games