Tuesday, March 04, 2008

AD&D 1st Edition

E. Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons and one of the founding fathers of the RPG hobby died today.

In his honour I will be creating a 1st edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons character.

This will be done entirely by the book, no houseruling unless a rule is unclear.

First we have to generate our attributes. These will be generated using Method 1 - roll 4d6, drop the lowest.
Strength: 6 (-1 to hit, -1 damage, -250 weight allowance)
Dexterity: 11
Constitution: 9 (System shock 65%, ressurection survival 70%)
Intelligence: 11 (Can learn up to 2 extra languages)
Wisdom: 16 (+2 magical attack save, 2 bonus 1st level spells, 2 bonus 2nd level spells, 10%bonus xp if a Cleric)
Charisma: 14 (+05% loyalty base, +10% reaction bonus)

Not too great. My best bet is going to be a Cleric. In later editions of AD^D I'd consider making him a demi-human to pick up some stat bonuses, but in 1st edition AD&D that would seriously limit my character's maximum level, so we'll leave him as human.

As a Cleric my character gets 1d8 hitpoints. I roll and get a 6.

At first level my character will get to memorise 3 spells.

I next need to decide on my alignment, and decide on Lawful Neutral.

My last step is to see how much starting money my character gets. For Clerics this is rolled on 3d6*10. I roll and get a rather measly 60 gold.

That 60 gold is just enough for the following:
Ring mail - 30gp
Small sheild - 10gp
Footmans's mace - 8gp
Backpack - 2gp
Iron holy symbol - 2gp
Tinderbox, flint and steel - 1gp
One week's iron rations - 5gp

Leaving me with 2gp for emergencies.

The armor+shield gives my character an AC of 6 (equivalent to a 14 in D20) and the mace does 1d6+1 damage vs. small and medium creatures, and 1d6 vs. large ones.

And there we are, all ready for Bob the Cleric to get murdered by a kobold.

Character generation was quite quick, and required far less referencing of tables than many other far more modern games. That said, I wouldn't want to run or play 1st edition AD&D - just staying in the D&D family, both 2nd Edition AD&D and Basic D&D are much cleaner.


mglosk said...

1st of all you aren't being fair at all. You can do this thing called "RE-ROLLING" your character. I've had characters with good stats. So don't be stupid. Also you can choose a few different options for rolling your character, they are mentioned in the dungeon masters guide as well as unearthed arcana.
If you think that having great stats are all that make up a character in AD&D then that's sad. I've had characters with terrible stats that have done well over time. It just takes a little thing called effort. But if you must play in a game system where you get a ton of powers every level or unnessisary feats, then fine but you are acting ignorant to what role playing is all about.
One thinks that power is all one needs, and in a combat simulator that's true. But this is a roll playing game, not a combat simulator.
Some also think that AD&D is limited in choice. Well that's also wrong. Even if two players have human fighters with equal stats the roll playing of your character will be what is different. And that's all that matters. Intentionally creating a straw man argument to knock down AD&D is pathetic and proof that your 4th edition and 3.5 edition players are without creativity and the mental fortitude for role playing. Sorry, but 2cd edition, 3 rd edition 3.5, and 4th edition are sad examples of role playing and it is what ruined AD&D forever.

Madcat said...

Wow, erm... I wasn't trying to knock the system - the character was made in honour of Gary Gygax's sad demise.

If you read, you'll note that I praise the speed of character generation.

Regarding re-rolling - for a character I was going to play in a game I'd probably ask to re-roll (unless the other characters were also rubbish), but the goal of the project (Create a character for every game I own) is to create characters as the game spits them out, using default options.

Where did I say that good stats are all that make a character?

I'm sure poor Bob would be fun to play (until slaughtered by a kobold), but given that the default gameplay for 1st Edition AD&D was centered around killing things and taking their stuff you have to admit that Bob is a bit of a sub-optimal character.

Anonymous said...

I've been playing since it was on the market & still enjoy 1st edition. I appreciate the character generation in respect of Gygax. Very cool... We always played with the provision of 1 switch allowed on attributes to allow character class placement. So if a 12 is required for a Cleric in Wisdom as a minimum, and a 6 was rolled but your Intelligence was a 15, we switched 'em. It wasn't long before we went to 1 re-roll & 1 switch which we still use today. And remember, the 1st edition was just D&D, AD&D wasn't around until years after. I currently have campaigns w/ 2nd edition & am in the throws of learning 4th edition. The juries still out on that one. Again, thanks for the blog & the character. -Gwyd

Tiwa said...

(The following is a sarcastic comment aimed at mglosk)Apparently all it takes to summon the ADnD Defence League is to make a sub-standard character using an old, obsolete system that no one in the right mind would want to use.
Gary Gygax would be so proud
R.I.P Mr Gygax. May you survive your future resurrection test!