Sunday, September 1, 2013

Character Creation - Dark Dungeons

In checking out some of the various different old-school systems, I'll be doing a lot of character creation. I'm used to long, involved character creation where I tend to think about specific builds or what I want the character to be really good at. Choosing a race and class before actual character creation even gets started is a big part of D&D 4E and 3.5, so it should be a really interesting transition going to the more random character creation of old-school games.

I'm starting with Dark Dungeons because so far, that's the only old-school system where I've played a character for more than a single one-shot session.

Step one in the book says to pick a type of character you want to play, but to be flexible about it. Works for me. I'll create whatever kind of character seems like it would fit with the stats I roll, so on to the rolling.

Strength 9
Intelligence 16
Wisdom 15
Dexterity 12
Constitution 13
Charisma 13

Huh. I honestly didn't expect rolls that well. Aside from a low Strength score, these are really good rolls. This character qualifies for just about anything aside from the Mystic. With that Intelligence score though, I think I'm going to go with a Magic-User. That Intelligence will give a nice XP bonus.

Okay, so a first-level Magic-User gets two spells in a spellbook, two weapon feats, and four skills (six with an Int bonus of +2). They can use a single spell per day; after that, it's all weapons and relying on their fellow adventurers. So, for skills, I'm going to choose First Aid x2 (because this is going to be a low HP character and he'll need all the help he can get), Arcane Lore, History, Geography, and Diplomacy. For weapon feats, I'll go with staff and sling proficiency. His spellbook has Read Magic and Sleep (because Sleep has the potential to completely end a fight at low levels). Starting gold (3d6x10 roll) is 90. Fortunately, I rolled a 4 for HP, which leaves him with a total of 5 with his Constitution bonus.

Starting gold isn't too bad, especially since a Magic-User starts with their spellbook for free (at least, that's how I'm reading it). I bought some basic adventuring supplies and ended up with just over 50gp to spare. If I was creating this character for a game (rather than as a test character), I'd probably end up using that money for hirelings. All in all, the only part of the gear section I don't really care for is encumbrance, as I prefer to handwave it and use common sense as to what a character can carry. Ending encumbrance is 499cn, all of which is either clothing/staff or will fit into the 400cn backpack. So at the end of it, here's the final character sheet.

I like how the entire character sheet fits on a small piece of notebook paper (I forgot to write down the two spells, but they'd fit too). It's pretty simple stuff; I created this character in about fifteen minutes (not counting the time I spent writing this). Choosing a spell and buying gear took longer than anything else, mostly from tracking both encumbrance and money. All in all, pretty good stuff: simple, fast, easy to roll up a new one when one dies.

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