17 September 2015
Creating An FRPG Player-Character
This is from the Moldvay Edition of Basic Set Dungeons & Dragons but makes a handy checklist for all your D&D games. Quoted without permission from TSR or subsequent holders of TSR's IP.
Roll Ability Scores: using 3d6 to generate a number from 3-18 in the following order -- strength, intelligence, wisdom, constitution, dexterity, charisma.
Choose A Class: fighter, magic-user, cleric. If you're a complete newcomer to games of this type you should practice the following statement and say it anytime someone suggests to you the best type of starting character ... I would like to play a fighter, please.
Adjust Scores: most versions of D&D and its various simulacra allow some adjustment of rolled ability scores. For the PbP game that inspires this post players may swap the prime requisite of their desired class with any other rolled ability score.
Roll Hit Points: in S&W rolling hit dice is easy! Throw a six-sider and write the result on your character sheet. Fighters add +2 in my PbP (it's usually +1).
Roll For Money, Equip Your PC: 3d6 x 10 for starting gold. You may spend your money on whatever you wish, or save it, lend it, or even give it away. It's yours to do with as you wish. You should always have at least one weapon, the best armor you can afford, a waterskin, some rations, and a backpack. Large sacks, rope, light sources, holy water, vials of oil, iron spikes and hammer, mirrors, items of this sort can be distributed among the various party-members.
Find AC, etc.: like it sounds. We are using AAC (ascending armor class) for this game, so your attack roll is a piece of cake! Note your saving throw and saving throw modifier based on class.
Name The Character: I will often research traditional names for the flavor of the campaign. For example, I used the Nordic name "Esbern" once in a Viking-styled campaign. Failing that, make one up or use an online fantasy name generator for inspiration such as this one or that one.
That's it! When you're used to it the whole process takes < 5 minutes.