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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.


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) so we can find it online.

Coming up next:

Star Trek The Role Playing Game by FASA

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