Characters will start at first level. We use the D&D 3.0 core books, no mods. You can also use the Sword & Fist etc. series, but make sure to mention that you're doing so, so I can dust mine off. The core SRD can be found online (http://www.dragon.ee/30srd/) and makes for a handy reference away from home.
The old imperial core of the society in which this campaign is set worships the Olympian pantheon, per Deities and Demigods (I'll send anyone who needs it the relevant info). We'll use the names as-is to avoid having to look them up all the time. Non-citizens and non-humans may be exceptions if they have a good background reason. Religion is very much present in the day to day lives of ordinary people.
I personally prefer 4d6-drop low for heroic character generation. You can use another method if you like, just behave yourselves.
I use an old version of Heroforge for character sheets, modified to fit the deities we have. I will mail a copy to anyone who needs one. You are responsible for updating your own character, keeping track of magic items, money, etc. I need to have an Excel copy of your current sheet (not a PDF) so I have someplace to keep situational information during combat.
When creating my own characters, I use a modified version of the 7th Sea question list to work up a background. You don't have to, but it saves a certain amount of on-the-fly decision making.
1.Where is he/she from?
5.Greatest strength and weakness?
6.Most and least favorite things?
8.Single greatest fear?
9.Highest ambition? Greatest love?
10.Opinion of country?
12.Where do his/her loyalties lie?
13.Is he/she in love, married, betrothed?
14.What about his/her family?
15.How would his/her parents describe him/her?
18.Member of a guild, club, or secret society?
19.Thoughts on magic?
20.What advice would you give him/her?
On the subject of character names-No apostrophes, please, and human names should stick close to a European phonetic base just so things don't end up sounding goofy. Nonhumans can do more or less what they like. I use http://rinkworks.com/namegen/ quite a bit, weeding out the most bizarre. For most citizens, last names will be descriptive of something in the family history-a trade, a characteristic, a place, etc.
Should the campaign get to a level where it comes up, the spell Wind Walk is right out. We've only used it once and players and GM alike agreed that it was really problematic.