I found the EverQuest Role-Playing Game Player’s Handbook at a local thrift store several years ago. I picked it up to read about the system and the world it was set in. I had heard of the MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) previously, but I had never played it. I recall seeing a copy of this game in a game store when it first came out. It was licensed to Sword & Sorcery Studios by White Wolf Games. It is a D20 based game using the 3.0/3.5 OGL released by Wizards of the Coast. So I figured that it could make for an interesting Character Creation Challenge.
When I did my first glance of the rules I noticed that there were several races not normally seen in the D20 systems. Barbarians are a race, not a class. There was a race of lizard folk (Iskar) and a feline race called Vah Shir. You could also select Ogres and Trolls as well. I believe these were options in the original MMORPG. For players of the online system, there was a conversion guide to create a paper and dice version of your character. Since it’s not available in any other system, I’m going to create a Vah Shir. The classes are limited for each race so out of the options available I selected Rogue.
As a D20 based system, you have the standard attributes. STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS and CHA. However instead of rolling 3d6 or 4d6 to create your stats, you start out with a base rating of 8 in all categories. You then have 27 points you can spend to increase the attributes. Each increase is 1 point per attribute until that attribute reaches 16. Past that the cost is 2 points per attribute. Keep in mind there are still racial modifiers to the attributes (+2 to STR and -2 to INT for the Vah Shir). After all was said and done, Fareed ended up with the following attributes. STR: 14, DEX: 16, CON: 12, INT: 10, WIS: 10, CHA: 13.
I then went through and filled in the Savings Throws, Hit Points, Initiative and other base stats normally seen in a D20 system. Skills were slightly different (again probably to reflect what was from the original source) but they made sense. I didn’t like the fact that I had to write in all of the class skills on the character sheet. Another thing that surprised me is that a cat race wouldn’t have any type of low-light vision? There is a section of the character sheet where you can record the resistances to certain types of damage (Cold, Electricity, Sonic, etc.) but in the character creation process, I didn’t see any information on what my character’s resistances are. When I found the description in the rulebook, it talked about them, but not how you gain them. This might be a special item bonus.
Equipment was provided by a starting package for each class. Why a Rogue would need a sewing needle made me wonder (he already has thieve’s tools). With the money that was provided in the package, I did add two bag’s of caltrops. Fareed was designed to be an expert at getting into impossible places and getting out quickly if caught. He would work for who ever could afford his fee. And with that, I declared the character done. Here is the character sheets.
Creating a character by spending points instead of rolling dice was probably something that MMORPG players was familiar with. So I can see why the game designers would have elected to go this route. The ability modifiers had a greater range than I had seen in other RPGs. You had to reach a stat of 10 before you avoided any negative modifiers. I wonder if this was a reflection of the MMORPG? I’m a big fan of the 1st level characters starting out at class max HP (plus CON modifiers) so it pleased me that it was listed in the RAW this way. I’m not playing a Bard character, but it looks like they have a selection of songs that act like spells. There is also a 150 pages of spells. I think that fans of magic based classes would love this game.
Out of curiosity, I looked up the online game and discovered it has been running now for twenty years. That is impressive considering I’ve seen other MMORPGs die off after a few years. I’m currently not playing any MMORPGs now. My past experiences and thoughts on these types of games will be a future blog post or page.
I came across another blog of a participant for the Character Creation Challenge and added it to the list of links. The number of discovered blogs is slowing down but every once in a while another one pops up. If you see one that I haven’t added yet, feel free to let me know.
Coming Up Next:
The name is Bond, James Bond.