Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The RPG Character Library: Introduction and White Box D&D

My friend Jonathan stole this idea from his friend Matthew McFarland (who I met a couple of times, but who likely doesn't remember me out of the sea of faces he saw at Gen Con that year).  The idea is as follows:

Make a character for every role-playing game that you own.

I don't know how long I'm going to do this and, fair warning, it may not last beyond this, the first entry.  That said, I took a long look at my RPG shelves and decided to give this a shot.  It seemed appropriate that I start off with the oldest game in my collection and go from there.  With that in mind, here's my White Box Dungeons Ampersand Dragons character, named after one of my very first D&D characters.

Navino the Blue

First Level Neutral Magic-User (Medium)

STR:    9
INT:    13                    XP Bonus:       +5%
WIS:    11       
CON:  13                    Withstands Adversity
DEX:   10
CHA:  6                      Hirelings:         2          Loyalty:           -1

Death Ray, Poison:     13
Wands, Poly, Para:      14
Stone:                          13
Dragon Breath:           16
Staves & Spells:          15

Common, Neutral, Elvish, Dwarvish, Halfling


Daggers x2                  6
Iron Rations x1           15
Torches x6                   1
Leather Backpack       5
50’ Rope                     1
10’ Pole                       1
3 Stakes & Mallet       3
Steel Mirror                 5
Wine, Quart                1

Total Encumbrance:    182
Movement Rate:          12”

AC:     9
HP:      3
FC:      Man


Read Magic

Character Creation Notes

I just recently made two characters for D&D 5th Edition, and it's interesting to see how much the game has changed while how much remains the same. Some of the rules from OD&D wouldn't work at all in the newest edition, while others could be ported forward without any issues whatsoever.

It's interesting how many "quality of life" improvements have been made to the game, including such basic things as variant attribute rolls and attribute placement, getting the chance to have more than one spell at first level, and so on. There's also no mention of role-playing in the character creation rules at all (or, at least, very little). Make a character. Pick a class. Equip that character. Enter the dungeon. Die (probably). Repeat.

I was tickled to note that a high enough Constitution gives you the ability to Withstand Adversity. Constitutions of 12 or less have diminishing percentile chances to survive. Presumably, this is for system shock or similar. I haven't the faintest idea.  

I did all my encumbrance, for the first time ever, and found out that I was lightly equipped and moving at 12" per turn, as is right and proper for a wizard. Erm. Magic-user.

FC stands for Fighting Capability. My character fights as a "Man." This would mean something if I had the Chainmail rules to use while playing D&D, but I don't. Thankfully, a variant rolling mechanic is described elsewhere.

First level magic-users get one spell and one spell slot to start out with. Since there were six first level spells, I rolled randomly and got Read Magic. Boccob help me.

The wandering tabs provided by Blogger seem to fit very well with the very first edition of the game rules which, as far as I can tell, have virtually no pretentions of formatting or layout at all. I'll keep the ragged columns this time and try to figure out how to make future entries neater.


  1. I can't do this. I have toooo maaaany.

  2. I can't do this. I have toooo maaaany.

  3. I don't have nearly the amount that you do and it's still a daunting task. We'll see how long I last!