Our first pair of plucky heroes have met their end, eaten by a large pack of worgs somewhere along the road east of Corvusburg. The don’t call it the Wolflands for nothing.
Fortunately, and the elites don’t want you to know this, but first level adventurers are free. You can roll them up at home. I’ve got ten of them chomping at the bit to have a go at the local megadungeon. The Ligmatic Cloister of the Bofaheart still waits, filled with danger and gold, for some brave band of adventurers to survive the half-dozen random encounter checks on the way to her doorstep.
As you can see, I’m using a very truncated format for these character sheets, squeezing them into just two pages. All of the “ease of reference” materials such as to-hit adjustments, thief skills, attribute bonuses, and so on have been shaved off to make more room for the most pertinent details. This may lead to more page flipping during play, but that’s an unavoidable consequence of playing complex games like AD&D.
Some of you have asked for written updates to follow along at home, so here are the sheets that I’ll be using for the second batch of characters. These ten would-be heroes were all rolled up using Method II from the AD&D DMG, which requires you to roll 3d6 twelve times and place the six highest scores into whatever attribute you like. Rolling ten of these in a single evening gives us a chance to really look at the results.
To streamline things a little, I’ve separated out the party into a page of fighters and a page of support. We have three front line fighters, a second line fighter with spear and hand axes for support, and our most fragile fighter with a scant 2hp will have to plink away from safety with his little bow.
Some bullet points in no particular order:
- It is really hard to roll up a character with even a single attribute in the single digits. You might roll seven stats at the level, but the chances of getting eight rolls that low are pretty remote.
- The chances of getting an 18 are 1 in 216. Rolling 120 times means you are about as likely to get one of them as not, and the chances of rolling two MAX POWER! stats are remote. We got lucky with one of those plus two 17s.
- We were lucky enough to roll up two paladins. (The classes were determined by random die rolls using the Character Sub table on page 175 of the DMG.) This forced our hand a bit with respect to that lone 18. Wanting to take advantage of the Superstrength percentile bonus, and the 17 CHA requirement of the paladins meant “dumping” the best score on a vanilla fighter.
- In ten chances we didn’t roll a single potential Bard. Those four 15’s are hard to come by. This may explain why no one uses bards in AD&D far better than the “complex” rules governing them and Gygax hiding the class behind a lot of late-game gates.
We’ll take a closer look at those mysterious “kits” referenced on the character sheets tomorrow.