Thursday, January 08, 2009

Playing with Character Creation

Things are moving along nicely for my new Moldvay/Cook/Labyrinth Lord hack game. There are still a few spots open if anyone wants to join in. If you did email me already about joining the game and I haven't replied to you, that may mean I missed your email. At least one reply got dumped into my spam folder. Please email me again (trollsmyth at yahoo dot com) or post a reply to this blog entry.

I just sent my players the following message:


Thanks again to each of you for your interest in this game. Here follows an outline for character creation. You don't need to follow these steps in order, of course, but I do need each of these steps completed by Wednesday the 14th if at all possible.

Rolling Dice
I've got three options available. Option 1 is meeting with me in OpenRPG to roll the dice using the software's built-in dice roller. This is my preferred option as it gives us all a dry-run on the software, so we can work out any difficulties with the system before we actually start to play. I'm thinking right now we might try to get together this Sunday the 11th at 8 PM central (9 PM eastern). If you'd prefer or need to meet me some other time, let me know and I'm sure we can work something out. We'll be rolling 4d6 and dropping the lowest die rolled for each stat, and then you may arrange them to taste. If you want to do 3d6 in order, I certainly won't stop you, but I'm not requiring it at this point in the game.

The second option, if you don't have time to fuss with OpenRPG, is to let me roll the dice for you. I'll roll with 4d6 and let you know what the scores are.

Finally, if rolling dice is just too much risk for your blood, you can apportion 63 points between the six stats as you see fit, with no stat below 3 and no stat above 18.

Be warned, once you make your choice, you're stuck with it for this character. Future characters, however, can utilize any of the three methods. And yeah, I fully expect that we'll be creating at least a few new characters down the road. More on that later.

Picking a Class

This works pretty much as it's described in the book. There are a few hacks I've made that you need to be aware of, however:

- no thieves or halfings

- dwarves use Constitution, not Strength, as their primary stat

- you may also pick my rogue or gnome as your character's class

- if you do play a magic user, elf, or gnome, keep in mind my hack to spells

- if you decide to play a cleric, you'll need to pick a god. If none of these gods appeal, let me know and we'll work something out.

Give your character the maximum hit points for their class and Constitution bonus. In spite of this and the somewhat forgiving Injury Table I'll be using, I fully expect characters will die in this campaign. So be warned. (Also, in the example, I think I added the character's Constitution bonus to the roll. I won't be doing that in the game.) I do not consider a TPK to be a failure on anyone's part, mine or yours. Heroic last stands have been epic moments in my gaming history. So have been terribly painful and humiliating Oops-es. In either case, we roll up new characters and begin our adventures anew.

Pick an Alignment
This is very different from what's in Moldvay/Cook/LL. More than abstract terms, alignment is a matter of personal alliance. The gods who walk the world are the champions of Law. They wish to impose order upon the world in order to create a golden age of prosperity and peace. Those who feel the gods are a bunch of self-serving tyrants (or, if well-meaning, still not clearly up to the job) rally to the cause of Chaos. Yes, those who follow the gods tend to be more law-abiding, honest, and forthright than those who oppose them, but this is hardly something to be relied on in every case. Those who don't have a strong opinion one way or the other are considered Neutral. There are no alignment languages.

If you don't want to be a Lawful cleric, let me know, and we should be able to work something out. Unless you want to be a Neutral cleric, and then things get very tricky indeed.

Pick a Name

Fairly self-explanatory, I hope.

Give Me a Physical Description

Don't need to go crazy here. Height, weight, sex, hair and eye color, and any distinguishing features, scars or tattoos will do.

Give Me a Background
Again, no need to go crazy. If you really, really want to let your inner Charles Dickens run rampant across the page, feel free, but I make no promises about what I will and won't use.

What I absolutely need are the names and current whereabouts of your character's family, and what your character did before hopping on the boat to Pitsh. Again, you don't need to go into exacting detail, but feel free to elaborate if you want. Here are some quick guidelines.

Humans – Humans are scattered across the world and practice a variety of different cultures and traditions. However, this world is young, and there have not yet been any large human kingdoms or empires. Most humans live in small villages or the city-states that the gods are trying to forge into a unified empire of Law. Some, however, might be refugees from the collapsing Second Empire of the Lizardfolk, where most humans lived as second-class citizens and slaves. Beyond those strictures, however, feel free to let your imagination go wild with this one.

Dwarves – They're not as widespread as the humans, but wherever you'll find mountains or hills rich with ores, you'll probably find a community of dwarves. While the gods seem to favor humans at this time, the dwarves are the most loyal supporters of Law.

Elves – Some elves might be old enough to remember their own great empire. It was destroyed when Tiamat shattered their cities during the Third War Against the Monsters. As punishment for her wanton viciousness, Tiamat was imprisoned within the Red Moon. However, the elves never recovered. Most live in the wilderness, in the places where the Earth and the world of the Fey overlap, and consider the loss of their empire as a caution against hubris. Thus, most elves stand for Chaos.

Gnomes – The gnomes came to the world after the Third War Against the Monsters. Not as long-lived as the elves, none still live who remember their journey from the realms of Fey. They maintain that they came to heal the Earth from the wounds Tiamat inflicted upon him. Even so, there are sometimes surprising tensions between the elves and gnomes. Most gnomes are Neutral, but some are strongly Lawful, and believe Tiamat's children, the monsters, must be eradicated before the Earth can fully heal.

Don't Pick Equipment
I'm not sure yet what equipment list I want to use, but the one in the LL book seems too short to me. I'll let you know about this ASAP. I'm also fiddling with the languages list.

And that should do it, I think. As always, feel free to email if you have any questions.

- Brian

1 comment:

Mike D. said...

Sweet, looking good Brian. Can't wait to get started with this!

--Mike D.