Posted in: Dungeons and Dragons, Role Playing Games, Science Fiction, Star Trek

#RPGaDay2021 Day 6: Explore

Day 6: Explore

There are a couple of different types of role-playing styles played by fans of RPGs. Power gaming, more acting than dice rolling and a few others. One of the biggest styles is Exploring. Star Trek is a classic for this style of gaming. Boldly Going Where No One Has Gone Before. Finding a strange new world and discovering new life forms. While I’ve never had the opportunity to play Traveller, I understand that Exploring is a big portion of that game as well. There have been various rules in different Science Fiction games that gave a methodology of creating new worlds (FASA had a very interesting system) and new aliens. I remember being amazed that Starships and Spacemen had a system that could randomly decide what the aliens bumpy foreheads would look like.

The Dungeons and Dragons Expert Rules introduced Dungeon Masters and Players to the hex crawl. This was the next step up from exploring underground caverns and dungeons as described in the Basic Rules. What will the players encounter when they blaze a new path (hey did I just connect to another one of the words in the challenge?). I remember reading the rules and wondered how many times the DM would actually keep track of the party getting lost? Is the adventure in the travel or is the adventure in the destination? I don’t recall which one of the retro-clones it was, but one rulebook talked about how the regular population hardly moved past the regional area that was controlled by the local baron. This made travelers from other ares carriers of news. The locals would want to know what they saw on their exploration. This could lead to some role playing opportunities when the party reaches a tavern in a new town. That is, if the citizens of the town trust outsiders (insert dramatic music here). Something for DMs to consider between dungeons and hexcrawls.

Final Thoughts:

Flavor is one of the suggestions? Really? I wonder if anyone will really post about Flavor. Path kinda works alongside Explore (which I tried above). But I couldn’t think of anything that would be interesting to post about. I’m still scratching my head about Flavor as a suggestion. Chase could have been an interesting subject. I’ve heard that the James Bond RPG had a good chase system. I’ve just never played it to try it out. Flavor? What are we going to get the homebrew stats of Flavortown King Guy Fieri?

RPGaDay 2021 chart
The RPGaDay 2021 chart
Posted in: Dungeons and Dragons, Role Playing Games, Star Trek

#RPGaDay2021 Day 5: Community

Day 5: Community

The stereotype of a person who plays role-play games is not a good one. Like the Trekkie, the general public tends to look upon gamers as socially inept loners who happens to get together with a couple of other loners on a Saturday night and dress up like their characters. I’ve been gaming since the late 80’s and the only time I’ve seen someone dress up as their character was for a Halloween party.

I really think that the general population doesn’t realize how much the gaming community has grown. I still meet up with friends, and possible new friends, at local gaming stores. I talk with the clerk about what is selling and what is not. And while I miss publications like Dragon Magazine and Challenge Magazine, the internet has taken on the load that those publications once served.

Not only are there active gaming communities on social media like Twitter, Facebook and MeWe, but they tend to be more focused. Want a group that only talks about 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons? There is a Facebook Group for that. MeWe has a FASA Star Trek/Doctor Who RPG community. There are a ton of twitter accounts that you can follow for both classic games and the latest releases. Discord has also become a popular destination for the gaming community for several reasons. You can have private chat rooms to hold games in. You can share files in certain channels. It’s a combination social media and communications platform.

I still think that message boards serve a purpose of bringing together the gaming community. Like some social media pages, they can be very specific, or they can be very general in nature. I’m going to link a few of them here for others to check out.

Old School Trek– If you want to talk about classic Star Trek gaming, this is a place to go. This includes some of the older classic Trek games, semi-official games and fan made creations.

Star Trek Starship Tactical Combat Simulator Online Database and Archive– This message board specializes in topics for the FASA Starship Tactical Combat Simulator for the Star Trek Role Playing Game. Lots of ship designs and homebrews posted here.

Trek-RPG Forums– This message board talks about all of the different Star Trek RPG products that are out there. Unfortunately it is not as active as it use to be.

Basic Fantasy RPG Forums– Basic Fantasy is a good retro-clone of Dungeons and Dragons with a very active community providing new content. Forums– The good thing about this site is it is very active. You’ll be able to find just about anything here if you just ask. The bad thing is that it is very active. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the number of posts made at this site.

Now like any community, the gaming community has it’s good and it’s bad. But overall I think that the gaming community is a good one. has a series of Secret Satan (a joke on Secret Santa) gift exchanges every year. I’ve also seen gamers who have never met offer support to other gamers in times of need.

And there has been an ongoing battle to improve the image of the gaming community. My favorite Dungeons and Dragons DM would take extra time to not only help new players (especially encouraging them with the math in the game) but he would take extra time to talk with a spouse or family member of a gamer to alleviate any concerns they might have (no D&D is not of the devil, etc.)

Final Thoughts:

While “Throne” was begging for a fantasy adventure blog entry, I just didn’t have one that I could post at the time. “Include” could have been integrated in the above post. “Gamble” didn’t bring anything to mind, but I could have talked about gambling in gaming if I had more experience in the subject.

RPGaDay 2021 chart
The RPGaDay 2021 chart

Posted in: Dungeons and Dragons, Role Playing Games

#RPGaDay2021 Day 4: Weapon

Day 4: Weapon

So I’ve been watching a few shows on my Paramount+ account. Yes I picked it up to get the latest Star Trek shows. But my kids have enjoyed watching the Avatar and Legend of Korra episodes. I just completed a re-watch of the Daria series a few months ago (I forgot how much of a dark ending that had). Another good thing on Paramount+ has been several documentary series on The Smithsonian Channel.

One series that I found really interesting (and I hope they have additional seasons) was titled “World of Weapons”. They had ten episodes which covered a subject and looked at several weapons that could be found within the subject matter. It ranged from ancient times to modern days with demonstrations by experts and graphical imagery telling the story behind the types of weapons.

I found the details and demonstrations of the Roman pilum very interesting. But the weapon that really caught my attention was the sling. Before watching that episode, I had always thought of the sling as a poor man’s bow and arrow. The cleric could use it as a ranged weapon since it wasn’t edged. We all know of the tale of David vs. Goliath. I even recall using a sling in the first King’s Quest video game and later in Pitfall: The Lost Expedition game on my Nintendo Gamecube.

The World of Weapons documentary episode demonstrated two things about the sling. It was a common man’s weapon. Thus I did not see many noble or aristocratic users of such a weapon. The Greek and Roman armies used “slingers” to rain down a lot of stones upon an enemy and even included sling snipers who were more accurate with the weapon. The episode even showed how a sling could be easily and quickly created by braiding plant fibers. Thus someone familiar with the sling could create a sling and use common stones found on the ground. The documentary also talked about the Roman Glandes which his made by melting lead into a mold to create an acorn looking bullet. Some Roman soldiers also added messages to their Glandes in a similar fashion of messages being added to bombs that are dropped on the enemy. Another online article I read also talked about how some Glandes came with a small hole in the middle that made a whistling sound as the bullet was projected at high speeds. It was believed that this added a psychological effect to the weapon in battle.

For the purpose of this blog entry, I checked the game stats for the sling in the various editions of Dungeons and Dragons and various clones. Most had the sling giving 1d3 to 1d4 at a very short range. After watching the World of Weapons episode, I wondered if we have sold the sling short? Perhaps keep a standard rock at 1d3, a shaped bullet stone at 1d4 with a longer range and allow the Glandes at a higher damage of 1d4+2 or perhaps even a 1d6 at the longest range.

Now I want to create a Hafling character that uses a sling like a sniper. He could hide his slings as various belts and the Glandes could be decorative brooches or buttons on his clothing.

Final Thoughts:

Another good primary suggestion for Day 4. A subject of “Search” could have talked about searching for hidden doors and traps, but I couldn’t think of some content that would have been interesting to read. This would have been the same result with “Reward” and “Figure”. Someone may have been inspired by these suggestions, but I was not.

RPGaDay 2021 chart
The RPGaDay 2021 chart
Posted in: Art, Dungeons and Dragons, My Creations, Role Playing Games

#RPGaDay2021 Day 3: Image

Day 3: Image

I elected to go with the suggestion of “Image” for today’s entry for several reasons. Graphics, artwork and photography go a long way in helping our imagination with role-playing games. It didn’t need to be a complete illustrated story, but show just enough to get the imagination going. The old saying is, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” but I will say that a good cover usually attracts my attention before a dull one will. For the longest time I had no desire to read The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun because the cover image confused me. The bulk of images used for other modules made sense and attracted me towards the book and gave me a little taste of what I might find inside. But Tharizdun… well I just wasn’t attracted to it and that was due to the cover image.

When we create a character for any system, we usually have an image in our minds-eye of what our character looks like. We can write down a description or bring it up during a role-playing session, but sometimes we just have to have an image of that character. I’ve never had the computer skills to photoshop a image of my characters, but I did attempt to hand draw some of them. Recently I found my old three-ringed binder that I used to store my RPG characters going all the way back to the late 80’s. I started scanning in some of these characters for future blog entries.

One of the AD&D 1e character sheets also included my crude drawings of the character and possible “logos” that could have been used for his in-game persona. Lornic Mynsor was a Half-Elf Fighter/Thief that also went by the name “Stealthblade”. (Hey, I was a teenager, don’t judge) I don’t recall any of the adventures I played him in (it seems like a lifetime ago) but it appeared that we were running with some house rules. There is a Perception attribute that the DM was using. I believe I drew the image and logos while I was waiting for my turn in the game. Here are the images and the character sheet.

Final Thoughts:

The suggestions for today were not bad ones. I was just more excited to post my geeky artwork from a long time ago. A topic on “Tactic” could have easily talked about the Starship Tactical Combat Simulator by FASA. “Risk” could have covered some of the risks that players have to think about as they make their way through the adventure. And “Support” could have been a post about how some companies support (or don’t provide support) for the game that they have published and how the gaming community adds their support as well.

RPGaDay 2021 chart
The RPGaDay 2021 chart
Posted in: Dungeons and Dragons, Role Playing Games

#RPGaDay2021 Day 2: Map

Day 2: Maps

So day two of the #RPGaDAY2021 challenge had four different suggestions for possible subjects. I elected to stick with the primary suggestion of “Map”. We use a ton of maps in different role-playing games. Everything from a dungeon layout on a notebook of graph paper to full color starship deck plans showing every room on the USS Enterprise.

Unfortunately I don’t have any maps ready for public release. I thought about finding some classical maps that could be used for inspirational purposes. However I decided I wanted to display two of my favorite Dungeon and Dragon maps that I spent many days studying back in the early days of the BECMI system.

The Grand Duchy of Karameikos.
The lands surrounding the Grand Duchy of Karamiekos.

Both of these maps came from the BECMI Expert Set Rulebook that was published in 1983. The first map shows the Grand Duchy of Karamiekos (that the players were first introduced to in the “B” and “X” series of adventure modules) and the second map shows the surrounding areas beyond the Grand Duchy’s borders. I loved how the various hexes were set up and filled out (there was a key in the Expert Rulebook) and these maps inspired me to “fill in the blanks” or even just create new maps of my own.

When the Gazetteer series was released a ton of information was dropped in this world. It fleshed out a lot of areas that had just been words on the map. I also loved the fact that they added different rule sets within these Gazetteers such as Dwarven clerics and more. I’m a little surprised that these supplemental rules haven’t been collected into a companion piece to the Rules Cyclopedia.

One additional note about maps. I remember selecting fantasy novels to read from various libraries and book stores. Those fantasy books that had maps in the front of the book were usually placed higher on the reading list. I could follow the adventures by referencing back to the map while reading.

Final Thoughts:

While the maps topic suggestion was an excellent one, the other suggestions were really lacking. Senses, Plan and Voice? I guess I could have posted about how players and game masters tend to over-plan, but that wouldn’t have been very positive. The other two suggestions drew complete blanks when it came to possible RPG subjects. I was happy that I had the opportunity to ignore them.

RPGaDay 2021 chart
The RPGaDay 2021 chart
Posted in: Dungeons and Dragons, Role Playing Games, Technology

#RPGaDay2021 Day 1: Scenario

This is my first year of participating in the RPGaDAY challenge. According to David F Chapman (the creator of the challenge) this is the eighth year that the challenge has been run. And since a lot of people (such as Halls of the Nephilim and The Other Side) are participating in this, I was inspired enough to give it a try.

Unlike the Character Creation Challenge, I won’t be creating the posts the day of the challenge. Certain schedules will not allow that (and it created quite a toll on the CCC). So there may be some entries that are created the day of (such as this one) or I may write the blog post in advance and schedule it to be published on the required day. I will also be posting other blog entries as inspiration strikes or that were scheduled to be posted (such as the Star Trek Quote of the day). This should make for a very busy month.

Day 1: Scenario

There is only one suggestion for Day 1, Scenario. We all have them in our various role-playing games. I could have posted some memories of a past scenario that I’ve either ran or participated in. Or I could have posted about a favorite scenario that I’ve read about. However I’ve decided to talk about keeping notes for a scenario that I’m trying out.

My last Dungeons and Dragons game ended in 2019. I was thinking that another opportunity would come up to jump into a game. Then 2020 hit (we won’t relive that year of hell). I haven’t had a chance to sit around a table, eat unhealthy snacks and just roll some dice with friends. Yea the online gaming programs are out there, but I’ll leave my thoughts about them in another blog post.

So I decided to create a new world from scratch that a series of Dungeons and Dragons (or insert your favorite Sword and Sorcery RPG system here) games could use to explore. In my head I started thinking of the recent history, why things were bad, what allowed adventurers to explore but keep serfs tied to their master’s land, etc. Some was inspired by our own history (this part of the world is ancient Greece, here are the deserts of Egypt, Vikings are located in this portion of the world, etc.) and some was inspired by preexisting RPG scenarios that I’ve found from different sources (just twist this around, add a few more bad guys to add conflict and bingo).

Keeping it all in my head is a bad idea. A very bad idea. In the past I would use plain old pen and paper to write up some notes, draw some maps and more. While this was good, it has several problems. 1- If I lose this notebook, there goes a lot of time and energy. 2- I will not always have the notebook with me when inspiration strikes. I could be eating a meal in a mall food court or in the middle of a family event when ideas float to the surface. Ideas have come to me while watching a historical documentary or cheesy 80’s fantasy movie with bad special effects.

So I decided that I was going to keep everything in a soft copy. I’ve used Google Docs and Google Keep (think electronic post-it-notes) for various simple and detailed notes on other subjects. Both Google and Microsoft have online version of spreadsheets. While those are good for planning things out (such as what topics I want to use for each day of this challenge) it’s not what I was looking for. I eventually decided to utilize the Microsoft OneNote program. I could type things up like a word processor. The search feature really impressed me when I was quickly trying to find things. Uploading images and attachments are another feature that I found very useful. The program is free for anyone to use and connects to your Microsoft Office account (note: You don’t have to use an email address to create a MS account). With the Office account, you can save the data in the cloud storage. This means that you can access it from the program on your computer, a web browser via or an app on your smart phone or tablet. This way when I’m away from my computer, I can quickly write down a thought for the game and then expand it after getting back to the keyboard.

The only downside is that the free Microsoft Office account only comes with 15GB of storage space so you can’t upload a lot of stuff. But students and employees at certain large companies may get a discount for a paid version which comes with more space (1TB of space).

With my usage of the OneNote program, I’ve been able to compile several scenarios together with notes on how things might go. Before I know it, I’ll have enough notes to start up a campaign. Now if I can just keep project creep from affecting what I write down I’ll be good to go.

Final Thoughts: Scenario was a good suggestion for a day 1 RPG topic. I could see different possibilities for #RPGaDAY2021 posts by both players and game masters.

RPGaDay 2021 chart
The RPGaDay 2021 chart
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)

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


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


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)

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

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