Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Dungeons and Dragons, Role Playing Games, Star Trek, Star Wars, Website

Feedback on catalogs and ships

So I’ve been getting feedback from people who have visited my blog. Thank you. This tells me that others are reading some of the stuff I’ve been posting here. I had several people send me thank you notes for putting together the Character Creation Challenge. I’ve noticed that a few new challenges have started in April displaying the works of different homebrew stats. Unfortunately my April was booked up with some personal issues that prevented me from trying to participate. However seeing creativity inspires creativity so keep it up.

Shane Bradley asked about the ships in my Master Book that I talked about in Homebrewed Stats for Starships Part II. I am still planning to scan the other starships in there that I made when I put the book together back in the 90’s. At this time I just plan to make them into PDFs from the original printouts. Once that is done, then I may consider other tweaking of them. As an example, Shane sent me one of the ships I had presented in Excel format. I’ve linked it here. Thanks Shane.

Mark from from the Xon Gaming website (now hosted by a friend, click on “resources” link at the top) was impressed with the FASA catalogs that I had posted previously. He sent me a better scan of the 1983-2 catalog. It’s a direct scan, not pictures of the pages so it may be easier to read.

This next catalog is the FASA 1986 catalog that someone scanned and sent to me. It is only showing the Star Trek material in the book. However I don’t recall who sent it to me. I’ve looked back through all of my emails and message board posts and I can’t find the person who sent this to me. So sorry, buzz me again and I’ll credit you in a future feedback post. Here is the catalog to share.

Another reader sent me some Star Wars SAGA RPG books that he didn’t want on his shelves any more. This will give me a chance to review the system and see how it differs from the earlier D20 Star Wars books.

I am continuing to search through my past collections for items to post. I was also reading the Dungeons and Dragons Rules Cyclopedia and it inspired me for a possible homebrew to write up.

Thanks for the feedback. Keep it coming.

Posted in: Collecting, Dungeons and Dragons, Humor, Role Playing Games

Buying Dice: The Jason Fox Lucky D20

Jason Fox Lucky D20
I wonder if my DM will notice?

On the right I have a Ko-Fi affiliate link titled “Buy Me Dice!” Well I had an opportunity to order a special die that arrived the other day. The Jason Fox Lucky D20 is a die that has the number “20” on all sides. So you would always roll a 20 every time.

I’ve gotten back in the habit of reading online comics. Some are the mainstream comics that a lot of people have heard of like Dilbert, The Far Side and Bloom County. But when I found some of my older bookmarks, I was amazed to find out that some of my non-mainstream comics were still in production (or on a repeat). Comics such as User Friendly, Irregular Webcomic, Dork Tower and Real Life.

One of the comics I started following again (which only posts a new comic every Sunday) is Fox Trot. I really liked the geeky adventures of Jason Fox. At the bottom of the page was a link to the Jason Fox Luck D20. When I saw it, I knew I had to have one. $11 bucks after shipping and handling and a week later it arrived in the mail. My wife gave a good laugh as I had her open up the package.

Part of the reason I wanted to get this is because of a house rule that my D&D 3.5 DM had in his campaign. If you rolled a natural 20 it was an automatic hit and it threatened a crit. You had the opportunity to roll the D20 again and if you successfully rolled a to-hit roll, you added the special crit damage as per the weapon’s stats (usually double the damage). If you rolled a natural 20 a second time, you had the opportunity for an instant kill. To obtain this, you had to roll a natural 20 a third time. Yea, it didn’t happen to often. But it did once…

The Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 campaign that wrapped up in 2019 ran for 5-6 years. We had a ton of fun playing in this game. I played an Elven Wizard named Tovark. So my character didn’t do a lot of physical fighting. But he did get creative with some spell combinations. However, even a wizard needs a good dagger and staff to protect himself. In one particular dungeon hallway that had six wooden doors down the hall the party had just encountered a mimic disguised as one of the doors. Luckily we were able to defeat this particular monster. This, of course, made the party a little nervous about the remaining doors and we went into “slightly paranoid PC” mode. This included throwing daggers at the other doors to see if they would react.

When it came time for Tovark to pitch a dagger at the door, I rolled a natural 20. Dang, I could have used that in battle, but I’ll take the hit. What? My second roll was a natural 20 as well? Well if it is a mimic, it’s going to be hurting from the start. Then my DM said, “Go ahead and roll your D20 again.” As fate would have it, I rolled my third natural 20 in a row. The DM smiled and then described how the plain and ordinary wooden door had shattered into a million pieces. The fates smiled on us and there was nothing dangerous behind that door, but I still groaned on the inside. Three natural 20’s used on a normal wooden door. No, it couldn’t have been the big bad guy at the end of the dungeon we were trying to find, just a door to a room. Sheesh. Tovark’s attempt to use the battle cry of “You are a door!!!” didn’t last very long.

So with this new die, I should be able to get a good laugh out of the table when I first “use” it. And that is the purpose of getting this prop. I’ve done things before to try to make the players or DM laugh. I’ve even earned extra experience points if I could make the DM laugh at the right time. Would I earn some more XP with this die? Perhaps. We will have to see when we can all get back together around the table.

Oh, and I’m looking for any good suggestions for online comics. There are some real gems out there that I’m sure I haven’t read yet. Send me any suggestions to my email. Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com.

Posted in: Comic Books, Cosplay, Dungeons and Dragons, Fan Club, Movies, Rant, Role Playing Games, Science Fiction, Sports, Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate

A rant on True Fans and Gatekeeping

So I got involved in a discussion on a Stargate fandom page online. The topic was the much debated Stargate Universe series. Some people stated that they liked it, others (including myself) stated that we didn’t like it. The conversation was going pretty well until someone posted the following “You are not a true fan of Stargate unless you’ve watched all of Stargate Universe.” Now this was a statement that I really had to respond to as I’ve heard this “True Fan” comment before and it bugs me a lot. Rant Mode On: I think this meme said it best.

True fan meme

As most of you know (or have probably guessed), I’m a fan of a large number of science fiction and fantasy franchises. And there are some shows that I have not found entertaining. I could never get into the Buffy and Angel series no matter how hard I tried. It seemed like every time I sat down to give The X-Files a chance while it was first airing, it turned out to be the episode of the season with the most blood. There are other series, movies, comics and books that I just couldn’t get into. Some I will talk about in future blog posts.

Even in my favorite franchises, there are stinkers. I’ve only seen the last episode of Star Trek: Enterprise once. And I only plan to watch it once again (to mine it for quotes and trivia questions) before I avoid it at all costs afterwards. If someone would have had the misfortune of having that episode be their first introduction to the Star Trek universe, I could understand why they may not like Enterprise or even Star Trek itself. They get to decide what they are fans of, not me nor anyone else.

Using the term “True Fan” is a form of Gatekeeping. Gatekeeping, in the fandom/hobby sense, is allowing only those the “true fans” deem worthy to join them in the fandom. They may use this to keep fans of a certain series in a franchise out of their club/social media group/etc. (i.e. “You can’t be a true Star Trek fan if you like Star Trek: Discovery), or they may use this to keep certain players out of their games (i.e. “You can’t play in our Battletech game with papers figures, you have to only play with painted figs). A note on this last one. A sanctioned tournament for a miniature or card game requiring certain items to use in the tournament is a method of marketing and sales, not gatekeeping. And one I see in cosplay groups is, your cosplay isn’t worthy of inclusion. Really? With how much time, energy and effort goes into cosplay you are going to get upset because it’s not “screen accurate”? Someone who puts their heart into their fandom doesn’t deserve to get it crushed.

Gatekeeping by “true fans” makes the base of participants smaller and could kill our fandoms. You never know what was someone’s introduction to the fandom or hobby. While I was manning the USS Ticonderoga recruiting booth during the opening weekend of Star Trek: Into Darkness, a new fan came up to me and stated that the previous Star Trek film had inspired him so much that he went and watched all of the original Star Trek television series. He was now a fan of the franchise itself and was checking out the other shows. Had he been talking to a “true fan”, he could have been discouraged by the belittlement and not checked out the rest of the universe that awaited him.

It’s not just geeky movies and hobbies that his plagued by this. I’ve seen this same “true fan” mentality in sports fandom. “You can’t be a true fan of the (insert team name here) unless you can name a player from their 2009 championship run.” As our Dwight meme says above: “False!”

Now when someone asks a question like “Is the new Superman & Lois television series any good?” I usually respond somewhere along the line of “I’ve enjoyed it.” If I found that I haven’t been a fan of a series, I state that it is something I haven’t enjoyed. If someone says they enjoyed a series that I have not, then I’m glad. Not everyone has to enjoy what I enjoy. I request the same respect in return. The “I’ve enjoyed it” answer is also how I avoid the bait posts where someone is trying to start an opportunity to troll fans of a series.

So to recap, if you were to say to me “I’ve only seen a handful of episodes of the anime Cowboy Bebop and enjoyed it, am I a fan?” my answer would be yes. If you asked if you wanted to cosplay as a gender-bended Robin Hood and his band of thieves in the Sherwood Forest, would I consider you a fan? My answer would still be yes. “I really like Real Salt Lake because they are a local team.” I’d say welcome to the fandom. Would I shun you if you only wanted to play Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition? No, I would not and I even might ask if there is an opening in your game. You get to decide if you are a fan of something, not these “true fans.” Enjoy what you want to enjoy and don’t let anyone tear you down for it.

Now to get back to the Stargate Universe discussion. I really enjoyed the original Stargate movie ever since I first saw it on opening weekend. It took me a while to get a chance to sit down and watch Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, but I enjoyed them both to the point where I call myself a fan. Because I had enjoyed both of these series so much, I took the opportunity to get season one, disk one DVD of Stargate Universe from Netflix (this should tell you how long ago this was) and my wife and I watched the first five episodes. There was one good episode in that first set (it was about time travel). I liked the nerdy kid who’s name I can’t remember. I really wanted to follow Samantha Carter in command of the USS Hamond and see her adventures. And I thought the concept of being trapped on a living spaceship not under your control sounded interesting. But I found the writing in SGU horrendous. The acting really wasn’t up to snuff despite some good names on the acting list. The use of the tech to switch bodies to go back to Earth and spy on your ex-wife was dumb. It was dark, dreary and depressing and was practically a soap opera. Talking into the floating camera things was too much like how reality TV show contestants would react to a camera between dramatic takes (a major turn off). And the scene where some woman is talking to her floating camera making a message for her husband, and then forgets to turn it off while she cheats on him with another member of the crew really made me roll my eyes. I think I realized this show wasn’t for me when the lead scientist and the lead military guy was fighting in the fifth episode and I turned to my wife and said “I don’t even care who wins this fight.”

Now if you are a fan of Stargate Universe. Good for you, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Some of the SGU fans in the discussion stated that it got better in season two and encouraged me to sit down and give the series another try. I could see myself doing this once I’ve gotten all of my other catch-up and new watching completed. I’m really enjoying Superman & Lois and I watch it every week. WandaVision was another series I had to keep up on. I need to finish my first watch through of Farscape (yea I missed it when it first aired) and someday I’ll watch all of the episodes of Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda. There are a ton of shows in my streaming lists and interests that I want to watch. And that doesn’t even count the number of books and comics I want to read or games I want to play. Bottom line is that SGU is really down on the priority list. So yes I’d give it another try if my list has been completed, but that will not be for a very very long time.

I think I’ve said enough to end this rant. If you are still reading, thank you. Just remember, you decide what you are a fan of, not other people and not those who gatekeep with the term “true fans”.

Tally Ho

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Dungeons and Dragons, Role Playing Games

Character Creation Challenge Day 31: Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 1st Edition

Character Creation Challenge Day 31

I started this Character Creation Challenge with the BECMI Dungeons & Dragons edition because it was the first D&D game that I owned. I thought that having Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition as the last entry would be a perfect bookend. My gaming buddies all owned different copies of the game. I had BECMI, another had B/X Dungeons & Dragons, and another had AD&D. We played all of them depending upon who the Dungeon Master was.

When I printed out a yellow AD&D character sheet it brought me back to those days. However instead of printing one, it was photocopied. The yellow didn’t copy out very well in grayscale. I’ve decided that I would make a character from a class that I’ve never played. So today I am rolling up the stats for Kellerin a Human Paladin.

The method to roll the ability scores wasn’t listed in the Player’s Handbook, I had to go pull out my Dungeon Master’s Guide to see what options were available. Method IV sounded interesting (roll enough stats for 12 characters and then pick one set of stats), but I didn’t have that much time for dice rolling. So I stuck with Method II, roll 4d6 and discard the lowest die twelve times and select which score will go with which attribute. Kellerin ended up with the following stats. STR: 16, INT: 14, WIS: 15, DEX: 14, CON: 15, CHR: 17. It’s probably a good thing I selected Method II, there were a few very low rolls that were eliminated.

I then wrote down all of the class benefits, ability modifiers and background information from the DMG. Apparently Kellerin was the son of a Taylor who thought he was going to go into the family business. I can’t think of a reason right now, but somehow he ended up associated in a holy order that trained him to be a Paladin. If I was talking to the DM, I would discuss that the reason he is out adventuring is due to his assignment of protecting the cleric in our party that is also a part of the same order.

My eventual goal is to get Kellerin in a suit of full plate mail with a powerful magic sword so that he might be able to smite evil. However until that time he would be starting out with some non-magical armor and weapons that was selected from the equipment list with the starting GP rolled up as per the RAW.

The saving throw information was also in the Dungeon Master’s Guide. I’m glad that the later editions made sure that was all in the Player’s Handbook. Kellerin isn’t high enough in levels to list any spells or turning abilities. So I think I’m done. Here is the character sheet.

Kellerin character sheet

Afterthoughts:

It had been a while since I had thought about the STR 18/[percentage] attribute score. I remember having a character that was lucky enough to have an 18 strength score. I then rolled the percentile dice and got a really low number in the single digits. I remember thinking “really?”

While I had a blast going through memory lane going through the AD&D 1st Edition Player’s Handbook (and Dungeon Master’s Guide) I can recall why I stuck with BECMI when I wanted to play. There were too many nooks and crannies in AD&D 1e. I think that the reason I had never created a Paladin previously was due to the restrictions of role-playing such a character. At the time I wasn’t experienced enough to want to play it. I may be interested now, but I can understand why I wasn’t then.

Additional Notes:

And with that I’ve met the challenge. Thirty-one characters different characters from a different system, one for each day of the month in January. Whew. I will be giving a detailed analysis in tomorrow’s after-action post.

Coming Up Next:

The Character Creation Challenge After Action Report

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Dungeons and Dragons, Role Playing Games

Character Creation Challenge Day 25: Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition

Character Creation Challenge Day 25

So another confession time. I’ve played Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition, but I’ve never created a character for it. Back when the 4th edition of the rules had just come out, my wife and I went to a local gaming store and joined the official gaming league and participated in a demo of the game. The characters were pre-made on these half-page sized cards. Even though we bought the Player’s Handbook, we never went back to continue in the game. We just were not impressed with the rules that gave it an “MMORPG” feel. So when the Character Creation Challenge came about, I decided that this would be a perfect opportunity to create a character using the Rules-As-Written.

I haven’t created a ranger yet and I haven’t created a Dragonborn character. So today’s entry will be for Kriv the dual-wielding ranger. There are three methods of generating ability scores. I selected method 2, customizing scores. The six scores start with one at 8 and the remaining at 10. Then you have 22 points to spend (consulting a chart) for the attributes you want. By the time I added my racial modifiers and spent my points Kriv had the following attributes. STR: 16, CON: 13, DEX: 15, INT: 10, WIS: 15, CHA: 10.

While I was writing down my class abilities, they had things called Class Features, Powers and Exploits. If I read the rules correctly, you get all of them for your level. It is something I haven’t seen in any of the other D&D editions and I think this gave it that MMORPG feel. I’m really glad they didn’t continue this part of the game into the 5th edition.

Wait, if I want low-light vision I have to take it as a special feat? The race doesn’t have it automatically? As I read through the feats it sounded like there were some that should have been automatic for the races. But when I went back and checked the racial descriptions, they were not listed. While I was still jumping from section to section in the book (and using a lot of bookmarks) they a least had a section showing the character sheet with information on where to find the information to fill in for each section.

Equipment was pretty quick an easy. Not a lot on equipment but a lot of information on magical items that you could obtain. Very strange. Here is the character sheet after filling in everything that I could find.

Kriv character sheet
Kriv character sheet

Afterthoughts:

While I was going through the book I found the original character card stuck between the pages of the book for Alvenor the Paladin. Apparently it had remained there since that first game. There was also a second paper showing the Undermountain Play Tracker. I head earned 100 XP, three more Renown Points and 13 GP. The DM’s name was Matt.

While I was creating this character, I talked it over with my wife and got her thoughts. She also didn’t like how this edition was set up. She also used the term, “It was too much like the online games”. I’m glad to see that I wasn’t the only one that recalls this. I don’t see myself playing or homebrewing for this edition. But I do wonder if the other books smoothed out or aggravate the rough edges found in the players handbook.

I will say I did like how the character sheet had guidelines for some sections. It did help.

Additional Notes:

I was able to locate another blog with someone who is participating in the Character Creation Challenge. Chimerical Realm has been added to the list of links. I’m not certain how I missed this one before. It looks like this person has been participating for the entire month. If I’ve missed anyone, please let me know via email Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com.

Oh and for those of you who asked, we were able to get a permanent fix to our furnace issue. Luckily it was an inexpensive sensor that needed to be replaced. Thanks for asking.

Coming Up Next:

Star Trek Roleplaying Game by Decipher

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Dungeons and Dragons, Role Playing Games

Character Creation Challenge Day 22: Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, 2nd Edition

Character Creation Challenge Day 22

I had a subscription to Dragon Magazine back in the late 80’s. I don’t remember what issue it was, but I remember reading the announcement that TSR was going to release Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition. I immediately called up one of my gaming buddies and I had to read the entire article to him. I don’t recall how much of 2nd edition I played. Just after the game came out I had moved to a rural area for a job and it took a while before I found any gamers. When I did, they wanted to play Twilight 2000. But I still have my 2nd Edition Player’s Handbook so I decided that I would revisit that time by placing an entry into the Character Creation Challenge.

Xal Tolman is a Human Wizard that has just set out to find his fortunes after studying under a master in his home city. His goal is to come back with an artifact that will secure his membership within the local spell casters guild.

The RAW for generating character ability scores is vast in 2nd Edition. There are seven different methods that can be selected. I’ve already done Method I in this challenge (roll 3d6 for each attribute in order) and Method V (roll 4d6 and discard the lowest die) so I decided to try Method II (roll 3d6 twice for each ability and keep the highest score). This didn’t always guarantee a high roll for each stat. One roll set had me selecting between an 8 or 7 for the attribute. Ugh. While another had me choosing between a 14 and 13. Double ugh. I had forgotten that ability scores of 13 and 14 don’t really get any adjustment bonuses, but on the flip side the STR of 8 will not give me any penalties either. The remaining attributes are DEX: 13, CON: 14, INT: 16, WIS: 12 and CHR: 14. I wrote down my abilities and stats.

A wizard didn’t get or need a lot of equipment so that was pretty easy to select. Magic Missile was the lone spell I got at first class. Filled in some skills and called it good. Here is the character sheets.

Xal Tolman character sheet
Xal Tolman character sheet
Xal Tolman character sheet

Afterthoughts:

It had been a long time since I had created a 2nd edition character. I can see where it still has hold overs from 1st edition and I can see where the foundation was laid down for 3rd edition. I really don’t know if I’d ever get a chance to play in a 2nd edition campaign. Most players want nostalgia with 1st edition or they liked 3.5 of the new 5th edition. But it was fun to go through the rules again. I’ve also been finding old notes in some of my older books. Some have been interesting to read.

Additional Notes:

Started getting the final prep done for the rest of the month. I’m trying to make it as easy as possible for the later half of the Character Creation Challenge. If you are still going, good job. If you’ve run into a stumbling block, pick yourself back up and keep going.

Coming Up Next:

Top Secret NWO

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Dungeons and Dragons, Role Playing Games

Character Creation Challenge Day 11: Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 Edition

Creation Challenge Day 11

Outside of the early Dungeons and Dragons editions (Blueholm, B/X, BECMI) the 3.5 edition is probably the version of D&D that I have played the most. I participated in a campaign with a very good Dungeon Master who loved running Dungeons and Dragons 3.5. He explained the world and scenarios very well, while still giving us just enough freedom to screw up as characters (as we would often do). While playing this version, I would often wonder if I could port the rules to cover another genre. Especially since the D20 system could be used (within reason) for other universes.

In that long campaign, I played an Elf Wizard who had become quite powerful. In the game he had participated in rescuing the Grand Druid for a god called The Great Oak. When this campaign was ending, I started thinking about what would make for my next character. I wanted to play something I hadn’t played at all, so I came up with Dral Ironhand, a Dwarf Cleric who was instructed by the Dwarvish God of Knowledge to write chapters for a Dwarven holy book. Thus the character’s quest would be to write down his experiences for the Tome of Ironhand. Unfortunately we were unable to get back together to start a new campaign, so I thought I’d make this character for the Character Creation Challenge.

I like how the 3.5 Players Handbook has a Character Creation list directly on page 6 of the book. In my humble opinion, too many RPG books try to go into too much detail at the start of the publication when I want to know how the mechanics work. If I’m standing next to the shelves of books at my Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS) and within a few minutes of previewing the game I have a good idea how the system may run, that increases the likelihood that I’ll buy the book. I also like how the ability rolls use the 4d6 drop the lowest technique. I’ve always been a fan of this idea. After rolling and adding the racial adjustments, Dral Ironhand had the following stats. STR: 16, DEX: 12, CON: 15, INT: 10, WIS: 18 (woot 3 sixes) and CHA: 10. Rolled a 7 for hit points, but added 2 for the Constitution bonus. I later selected the Toughness feat which added three more HPs. I wrote down my Feats, Special Abilities and selected my spells. For my spell domain, Ironhand is in the Good Domain. I started out with 130 GP to equip the character. I had to buy a warhamer since that was the favored weapon of the character’s deity. One of the interesting changes from the earlier editions of D&D is the requisite that Clerics are forbidden from using bladed weapons is gone. I purchased the remaining equipment that the character could afford and I considered the character done. Here is the character sheet.

Dral Ironhand sheet 1
Dral Ironhand sheet 2

Afterthoughts:

Creating Dral Ironhand reminded me why I enjoyed the 3.5 edition of Dungeons and Dragons. The system was detailed enough to be unique, but simple enough to put a character together. If I get another chance to participate in a 3.5 campaign, I’m seriously considering asking if I can use Ironhand as my character.

Additional Notes:

To the owners of the blogs I have listed on the Character Creation Challenge page, I am enjoying visiting your sites and seeing your entries into the challenge. Not only am I interested in the choice of gaming systems, but why you selected that system as well. Thank you.

Coming Up Next:

The steampunk game Age of Empire.

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Dungeons and Dragons, Role Playing Games

Character Creation Challenge Day 7: Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition

CCC Day 7

OK, confession time. Even though this game has been out for a few years, I have not had a chance to play it yet despite purchasing the book when it first came out. When the Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Players Handbook was released in 2014 I was playing in a very long-running Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 campaign with a very good Dungeon Master. This game didn’t end until late 2019. While I’ve been looking to get into a D&D 5E game, an opportunity hadn’t come up yet. Then the COVID-19 bleakness hit and while I’ve moved to some online RPGs (which is tolerable, but not preferred) none of them have been for this system. My college-age child has played the 5E game quite a few times with friends and loves it. I was also in a game store a few weeks ago and the owner described how 5E was more simpler and streamlined than the previous edition. While I’ve read through the rules, and they intrigued me, I haven’t had a chance to play. So for the Character Creation Challenge I decided that one of the entries would be for this edition.

I’m going to go with a race and class that I haven’t seen in the earlier editions of Dungeons and Dragons. Morthos will be a Tiefling Warlock who is on a quest for knowledge out in the unkind world he inhabits.

The RAW instruct me to roll 4d6 for each attribute and drop the lowest die. We then assign the scores to each attribute. I like this method because I think it makes for more heroic characters. With the racial modifiers Morthos ended up with STR: 11, DEX: 11, CON: 12, INT: 15, WIS: 15, CHA: 20 (I rolled an 18 and added 2 for being a Tiefling). I also like the fact that the starting hit points at 1st level is the max for the class plus CON modifier. This gave me 9 hit points.

There character sheet had very small fields for equipment and spells. I placed equipment on the 2nd page and the spells would eventually end up on the same page, so I just put them there. I found out after I had completed everything that I was missing a third page. The skill section could have used a little bit more explanation. I also elected to use feats since I was familiar with them from the 3.5 game. I think I got the bulk of the items needed down. Feel free to shoot me a message if I made any major mistakes. Here is the character sheet:

Morthos Character Sheet page 1
Morthos Caracter Sheet page 2

Afterthoughts:

I can see the appeal of 5th edition. It seems a little bit more streamlined. I wonder if the actual gameplay is that way. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to find out soon. I thought it was interesting that humans get +1 to all attributes (usually they don’t as they are the base race). I liked some of the spells. As I mentioned above, the feats and skills could have been explained a little bit better. But I feel like I should be able to pick it up quick.

Additional Notes:

I came across another blog participating in the challenge today and added it to the CCC page. I’m still on the hunt for others. I am very pleased with how many people on the RPG.net message board who are participating in the challenge. I’ve even received a few “thank yous” for suggesting this. I’m glad that others are getting joy out of this.

Coming Up Next:

Mutant Crawl Classics by Goodman Games

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Dungeons and Dragons, Role Playing Games

Character Creation Challenge Day 4: Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game

Creation Challenge Day 4

The Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game is a very good retro-clone which combines elements of Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 and Old-School editions into a rules-lite system. A PDF copy of the rules and supplements can be downloaded for free on the Basic Fantasy website (which also contains a very active community of content creators) or for the low cost of $5.00 on Amazon (which is where I picked up the book seen in the photo above).

I haven’t done any long campaigns with BFRPG, but I did use it to teach a niece and nephew how to play when they were interested in learning about role-playing games. It must have worked because at least one of them joined a local gaming club at his school. I’ve also heard of other groups using the low cost as a way to provide RPG materials to their members. I do know that when I see the creativity on the BFRPG Message Boards, it makes me want to be creative as well.

This character is going to be completely random going in. I’m not going to decide on a race or class until I’ve rolled the attributes. Doing the straight 3d6 method the following attributes were created. Strength: 11, Intelligence: 9, Wisdom: 12, Dexterity: 14, Constitution: 15, Charisma: 10. With stats like this, I’ll run with a Halfling Thief. I filled in my abilities, languages, savings throws and other statistics. I ended up rolling 120 gold pieces for his starting money and I equipped the character.

Character creation was quick and simple. Especially since the character sheet pointed towards the page numbers needed to fill in the details. I had never really created a Halfling character before so I had to look up some name generators online.

Ponto Greenbottle is a young Halfling that was bored in his farming community which often got him into trouble. One day a roving band of Goblins attacked the farming community were Ponto lived taking the Halflings for an easy target. Ponto and the community members were able to hold the raiding party at bay long enough for a band of adventurers to ride in and drive the Goblins off. One of the rescuers was a Halfling who recognized Ponto’s abilities and secretly gifted him a set of thieves tools to practice with. Realizing that he also wanted to be an adventurer, Ponto quietly gathered the equipment he would need to be to survive in the wilds. Just after he turned 20, Ponto quietly slipped out of his village vowing to seek his fortune.

Here is the character sheet.

Character Sheet for Pronto Greenbottle

Afterthoughts:

Basic Fantasy RPG is just that, which is a very good thing. An old school game for anyone who wishes to play. The rules are easily accessible and quick to learn. The armor class scale is better going up than down. Races and classes are separated which I liked. There is only one rulebook, but many minor supplements. This allowed DMs to customize their game by stating: “Use what’s in the rulebook and add items from the following supplements, Druids, Barbarians, 0-level spells and the Equipment Emporium.” More supplements are in development by the BFRPG community on the community message board.

Additional Notes:

I thought I had set up the blog to accept comments on posts. Apparently I messed something up and comments are currently not allowed on the new blog. I am trying to see if I can get this issue resolved.

Several more blogs of players who are participating in the Character Creation Challenge have been added to the main page. I am still looking for other blogs and message boards.

Coming Up Next:

Frontier Space by DWD Studios

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Dungeons and Dragons, Role Playing Games

Character Creation Challenge Day 1: Basic Dungeons and Dragons

Character Creation Challenge Day 1

I was really debating about which system I should use for the first day of the Character Creation Challenge. I knew it should be the first game I played, which was the basic Dungeons and Dragons game. But we all had different rule books. One friend had the blue covered (Blueholme) edition. Another had the magenta covered D&D B/X edition and my first purchase was the red covered basic Dungeons and Dragons BECMI edition. We had pulled things from all three books while playing. We didn’t care about editions, we just wanted to have fun.

Since the BECMI edition was the first RPG that I had purchased, I selected that as my final choice. I may still make a B/X or Blueholme characters in the future depending on how the month progresses. So without further ado, let me introduce you to Vaaltin the Elf, Wanderer of the Realms.

Most of you know the basic rules for a D20 type system. So I won’t go too deep into detail. I rolled 3d6 for my abilities. The strength roll was 6+4+2 for a total of 12. Intelligence was 6+6+5 (wow) for a total of 17. Wisdom was 5+5+3 for 13. Dexterity was 5+3+3 for a total of 11. Constitution didn’t fare too well with a 4+3+2 for a total of 9, but I guess it could have been worse. And finally the Charisma roll was a 5+4+2 for a total of 11. I wish the Constitution was higher to gain additional hit points, but I’ll take it. Since the rules-as-written (RAW) allow for adjustments to the prime requisites (for the elf it is Strength and Intelligence), I elected to take two points from Charisma (making it a 9) to add to Strength (bumping it up to 13). [Edited this section to correct some bad math. Thanks for the feedback]

I wrote down my special abilities for being an Elf. Infravision at 60 feet. A special ability to see secret doors and an immunity to paralysis from ghouls. I also wrote down the standard languages known by Elves. Common, Elvish, Gnoll, Hobgoblin and Orc. Next I added the savings throws. Poison or Death Ray gets a 12, Magic Wand gets a 13, Turn to Stone or Paralysis gets a 13 as well, Dragon Breath has a 15 and I wrote down 15 for Spells or Magic Staff. Wow I had forgotten how clunky the original savings throws were set up.

I added my adjustments for my good ability scores. Thus Strength and Wisdom both have +1 adjustments but that good roll for Intelligence netted a +2. Since there was no adjustment from my Constitution, I rolled my Hit Points and lucked out with a six. As an Elf Veteran-Medium (i.e. 1st level) I knew one spell. Since my Dexterity didn’t give any added adjustments for ranged combat, I selected Magic Missile for my first spell. The second spell in my characters book is Detect Magic.

Money, money, money. I rolled the 3d6 x 10 for my starting gold which came up as 5+3+3 x 10 for a total of 110 GP. I then pulled out the equipment list and outfitted Vaaltin for his first adventure. Not having a lot of money, but wanting protection I picked up a suit of chainmail and a shield. This would give me an Armor Class rating of 4. A sword and short bow would make up the character’s weaponry. In a backpack, the elf has a week’s worth of rations, 50′ of rope, a tinderbox, six torches, a wineskin and a large sack to put treasure in. The final sheet look liked this.

Character sheet for Vaaltrin

So why is Vaaltin out exploring? He was the member of a minor house within one of the Elf kingdoms. Vaaltin’s father saw how bored he had become after reaching the mature age for adventuring. The other siblings within the family were not as much of a troublemaker that Vaalin was, but his father had a need for all of them to fulfill. He gave them all a task to go out into the world and find a powerful weapon or artifact that would increase the standing of their minor house. Within the laws of their land, the father could declare his children as “wanderers”. This would allow them to complete a quest or other important task for the family instead of serving in the armed forces of the kingdom. Vaaltin was suspicious of his father’s request and wondered if his siblings would blame him for the task they had been given. But he decided he didn’t care since they were all being sent to the different corners of the map. Instead of occasionally fighting intruders that came into the kingdom, he could make a name for himself out in the world before returning home. He was provided with some basic equipment and set off out on his adventure.

Afterthoughts:

I forgot how the original book was designed to introduce new players to the game. I was jumping through several pages trying to confirm that I had the correct information and was following the proper procedure. I can see why TSR cleaned this up a little bit for the Rules Cyclopedia. But I wanted to create the character using the RAW. Creating this character I was remembering some of the excitement when I was writing in the stats and equipment. The background I came up with while making the character. I almost wish there was a game starting so I could play this character.

Additional Notes:

I’ve already had several people contact me with their entries into the #CharacterCreationChallenge. Thank you. I’ll be posting some links soon. If you are just reading about this, you can still get involved. Just grab a system you would like to create a character for, make it as per the rules listed and then post the character online. Us the hashtag or email me (Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com) so we can find it online.

Coming up next:

Star Trek The Role Playing Game by FASA