Dan’s Dungeons and Dragons

Player’s Handbook: Character Creation


Player’s Handbook:  Character Creation  Equipment  Non-Spell Users  The Rules of Magic

       Natural Spell Users  Natural Spells  Divine Spell Users  Divine Spells  Arcane Spell Users

       Arcane Spells Levels 1-4  Arcane Spells Levels 5-9  Mental Power Users  Skills  Combat

       Running a Character

Monster Manual:  Creature Statistics  Normal Animals  Goblinoids and Giants  Monsters  Humanoids

       Insects  Dinosaurs  Dragons  Faeries  Plants  Undead  Elementals and Golems  Angels and Demons

       Water Creatures

Book of Treasures:  Treasure Placement  Treasure Types  Magic Item Descriptions


New Party Setup

       To begin a new group in your campaign, you must have some reason for these people to be together. They could be childhood friends that grew up in the same village and have traveled to their current location to look for work, they could be strangers who have all been hired for a specific job or it could be any combination you can imagine. The point is to have at least the first “goal” to be plainly visible and right in front of them. Parties that start this way rarely have trouble getting started.


Step 1: What do the players want?

Any beginning group needs to have at least 1 each of the four basic character types. That is:

       1: Fighter/Ranger/Paladin/Priest of Crom, Garlig or Xoch.

       2: Druid/Priest of Darmain, Laranie, Loric, Lovitar, Agrick, Correllen or Grumash.

       3: Priest of Oric/Witch/Wizard/Spell Blade/Mystic.

       4: Rogue/Thief/Psychic/Monk.

       The players should decide amongst themselves who will run these four basic types and can be reliable participants in the game. It is not good for the party if you only have one warrior and he only makes it to half the game sessions.

       The fifth and sixth players should run character types 1 and 2. The seventh player should run character type 3. The eighth player and above should cycle through character types 1, 2 and 3 again. Unless you are running a “Thieves Game”, a party should have only one character type 4 in it These suggestions are meant to aid you in setting up a balanced party, not as a straight jacket for your players.


Step 2: Character generation.

Go through the step by step character generation in the Player's Handbook for each player.

The steps are:

Discuss the Character Concept.

Select the Character’s Race.

Apply Racial Ability Adjustments.

Select the Character’s Alignment.

Select or roll Age, Height, Weight and Social Rank.

Player defines all “Other Statistics”.

Select the Character’s Class.

Roll and assign Ability Scores.

Select Class Skills.

Roll Hit Points.

Decide on Background Options.

Roll Starting Money.

Purchase Equipment.

Calculate Encumbrance and Movement.

Calculate all Bonuses and fill out the Character Sheet.


Introducing a new Character

       To introduce a new player/character into a currently running AD&D game, proceed, in order, through these steps. This will ensure that the new character will have a smooth transition into the existing party.


       Step 1: What do the current players want?

The current players should have some say-so as to what characters/alignments are acceptable to them. Ask the group to provide you with any requirements/restrictions they have with regards to the new player or character and honor those when going into step 3.


       Step 2: What level is the current party?

Determine what the average level is for your current party. There should be no problem bringing a new 1st level character into a party of up to 5th level. If the characters are 6th to 10th level, the new player should come in with a 2nd level character. If the characters are 11th level or higher, the new player should come in with a 3rd or 4th level character. The goal here is that you want to give the new player a chance to work his character up in your party, but you do not want to put him in a situation where he will be killed by the first stray attack that comes his way. An adventuring group that is taking on giants and trolls is going to get the 1st level wizard that they just hired killed.


       Step 3: What does the new player want? Discuss with the new player his ideas on what he wants to run and see if that will fit into your current campaign. Work around any restrictions placed on you in step 1.


       Step 4: What is he going to run? The new player can take over an NPC that is already in the party such as a hireling or a henchman. In this case, the older player must be willing to allow the new player to control his henchman and the new player must be willing to role-play a character that is, at least temporarily, subservient to that party member. This is a tough role-playing challenge but it is the easiest way to introduce a new player. The new player is simply handed the info on the henchman and he starts playing him. Since the role of henchman is that of friend and ally to the PC, the new player should be willing to play that role until he can transition him into a fully independent party member.

       The new player can also generate his own new character. In this case, follow the step by step character generation in the Player's handbook. If the DM decides to bring him in at higher than first level, multiply the initial funds by 3 to 5 times the randomly rolled amount.


       Step 5: When introducing a new PC to the established group, it would be good to get the player to attend a few game sessions as various NPCs such as a shop keeper, a town guard or even a band of goblins bent on the characters destruction. Any of the non-mission critical NPCs that the characters should run into will do. The DM can then slip in an encounter with the new PC and it will feel very natural and memorable to the players. The thing to avoid is the “Hi, I’m your new party member” approach. This is quick but not very memorable for the DM or the players.


Character Concept

       The first step in creating a character is to come up with a concept for your character. This concept will direct your choices and lead you to a fun and memorable gaming experience. This concept should be very general. It can be as simple as "A grumpy dwarf' or as complicated as "A generous wizard with a mean streak and the desire to rule his own kingdom". The key here is that it should briefly describe what you want to play.

       Speak to your DM about your idea. Take any suggestions he may have to help you realize your concept. The goal is for the two of you to work together to create a character that will be fun for you to run and fun for the DM to run for.



       A player named Bill has decided on a character concept. He has decided to play a steadfast and dependable dwarf named Blundig. Blundig has a good sense of humor and a sense of curiosity that tends to lead him into trouble. He can, however, usually depend on his combat ability to get him out of it if things get to hairy.



       Which race will fit your character concept? You should choose the race with your concept in mind. There are seven standard races available. The game is balanced for these seven races. Anything more exotic should be approached with caution. Running a Giant might be fun as a novelty game but will quickly prove unwieldy in a "realistic" campaign.

       Each race has one or more “Preferred” classes. A character of that race and class gets a 10% bonus to the experience points earned.


The following races are available:


Dwarves-Dwarves are short, stocky fellows, easily identified by their size and shape. They average 4 to 4 ½ feet tall. They have ruddy cheeks, dark eyes, and dark hair. Dwarves generally live for 350 years.

Dwarves speak common and dwarven.

Preferred Classes are: Fighter and Priest of Garlig

Dwarves are very tough and get a +2 bonus to fortitude saves.

In melee, dwarves add 1 to their dice rolls to hit all goblinoids. When large, Huge, Giant or Colossal Humanoids attack dwarves, they subtract 4 from their attack rolls because of the dwarves' combat ability against these large humanoids.

Dwarves get a +2 to craft skill checks.

Dwarves get a +2 skill bonus to spot and search checks in underground settings. .

Dwarves have infravision. This enables them to see in the dark.

Dwarves are miners of great skill All dwarves have +2 to their Knowledge (mining) skill checks and get it as a class skill.

Because of their sturdy builds, dwarves add 1 to their initial Constitution scores. Their dour and suspicious natures cause them to subtract 1 from their initial Charisma scores.


Elves-Elves tend to be shorter and slimmer than normal humans are. Their features are finely chiseled and delicate, and they speak in melodic tones.

Although they appear fragile and weak, as a race they are quick and strong.

Elves often live to be over 1,200 years old.

Elves speak common and elvish.

Preferred Classes are Fighter, Wizard and Spell Blade

Elves get a +2 to will saves.

Elves get a + 1 to their attack rolls when employing a short bow, long bow, short sword , scimitar or long sword.

Elves get a +2 bonus to move silently.

Elves have infravision. This enables them to see in the dark.

Elves have keen senses. Elves get spot as a class skill.

Elves are very nimble so they add 1 to their initial Dexterity scores. Likewise, they are not as sturdy as humans so they deduct 1 from their initial Constitution scores.


Gnomes-Kin to dwarves, gnomes are noticeably smaller than their distant cousins are. Gnomes, as they proudly maintain, are also less rotund than dwarves.

Their noses, however, are significantly larger. Most gnomes have dark tan or brown skin and white hair. A typical gnome lives for 350 years.

Gnomes speak common as well as the simple common speech of burrowing mammals (moles, badgers, weasels, shrews, ground squirrels, etc.).

Preferred Classes are: Fighter and Wizard

Gnomes are very tough and get a +2 bonus on fortitude saves.

In melee, gnome characters add 1 to their attack rolls to hit kobolds or goblins.

When large, Huge, Giant or Colossal Humanoids attack gnomes, they subtract 4 from their attack rolls because of the gnomes' combat ability against these large humanoids.

Gnomes get a +2 skill bonus when working with gems (Appraising or crafting). They get a +2 skill bonus to alchemy (It's the nose).

Gnomes have infiavision. This enables them to see in the dark.

Being tunnelers of exceptional merit, gnomes get a +2 skill bonus to spot and search checks when underground. They get a +2 bonus to Knowledge(Mining) skill checks.

Gnome characters gain a + 1 bonus to their Intelligence scores, to reflect their highly inquisitive natures. They suffer a -1 penalty to Wisdom because their curiosity often leads them unknowingly into danger.


Half-Elves-Half-elves are much like elves in appearance. They are handsome folk, with the good features of each of their races. They mingle freely with either race, being only slightly taller than the average elf (5 feet 6 inches on average) and weighing about 150 pounds. They typically live about 160 years.

Half-elves speak common and elvish.

Preferred Classes are: Ranger and Bard

Half-elves get a + 1 to will saves.

Half-elves have infravision. This enables them to see in the dark.

Half-elves gain a +2 skill bonus to Spot checks.


Half-Breeds-There are many examples of mixes between humans and other creatures. This is usually due through acts of rape done to human women or rarely, a voluntary mixing for some dark purpose. These hybrids are strong, tough and their personalities are almost always flawed. Half-breeds usually resemble their human parent enough to pass for a human in public. Their skin tone varies widely. They will almost always have one or two abilities inherited from the non-human parent.

Half-Breeds speak common and their racial language if they were raised in that society.

Half-Breeds have infravision. This enables them to see in the dark.

The following are some sample Half-Breeds:

       Normal goblinoid (Orc, Goblin, Hobgoblin, etc) the most common type of half-breed.- +l str, +l con and -2 cha. Preferred classes are: Fighter and Priest of Grumash.

       Large creatures (Ogre, Troll, etc.)- +2 str, +2 con, -2 int, -2 wis and –4 cha. Preferred class is: Fighter.

       Bugbear- +1 str, +1 dex, +1 con, -2 cha and + 1 to Move silently. Preferred class is Rogue

       Demon- +l str, +l con, +1 int –2 cha, Ultravision and some minor skin problems like small horns or scales. Preferred classes are: Wizard and evil Priest.

       Angels- +l str, +l con, +1 wis and can do cure light wounds once per day. Preferred classes are: Paladin and good Priest.

       Dragon- +l str, +l con and -4 cha and one random 1st  level arcane spell that can be used once per day. Preferred class is: Wizard or spell Blade

       Lizard Man- +l str, +l con and -2 cha, they can speak to reptiles, scaly skin that gives them +1 to AC (natural). Preferred classes are: Fighter

       Minotaur- +2 str, +l con and -2 cha, small horns and a very hard head. Can do a head butt attack. Preferred class is: Fighter

       Satyr- +l str, +l con and -1 cha and +2 to perform. Preferred class is: Bard.

       Dryad- +2 cha and Charm person once per day. Preferred classes are: Druid and Bard.


Halflings-Halflings are short, generally plump people, very much like small humans. Their faces are round and broad and often quite florid. Their hair is typically curly and the tops of their feet are covered with coarse hair. They prefer not to wear shoes whenever possible. Their typical life expectancy is approximately 150 years.

Halflings speak common as they have no racial language.

Preferred class is: Thief

Halflings get a +2 bonus to fortitude saves.

Halflings gain a +2 skill bonus to move silently and get it as a class skill.

Halflings have infiavision. This enables them to see in the dark.

Halflings have a natural talent with slings and thrown weapons. They get a + 1 bonus to their attack rolls when using thrown weapons and slings.

Halflings are nimble so they add 1 to their initial dexterity but their small size causes them to subtract 1 from their initial strength.


Humans Although humans are treated as a single race in the AD&D game, they come in all the varieties we know on Earth. A human PC can have whatever racial characteristics the DM allows.

Preferred classes are: All

Humans speak common from their home area.


Racial Ability Adjustments

       Once you have selected your character's race, you need to note all racial ability adjustments on the character sheet. Most bonuses should be noted now but the full bonuses will be finished out in later steps. Note additional class skills on the character sheet. There will be more added in later steps.



       Bill starts building Blundig by selecting Dwarf as the race. He notes the racial abilities on his character sheet. These are: speak common and dwarven, +2 to fortitude saves, +1 to hit all goblinoids, -4 to be hit by large humanoids, +2 to craft skill checks, +2 skill bonus to spot and search checks in underground settings, infravision, +2 to knowledge of mining skill checks, mining as a class skill, + 1 to his initial Constitution and –l from his initial Charisma.



       The next step is to select an alignment that fits your character concept. The character's alignment is a guide to his basic moral and ethical attitudes toward others. Use the chosen alignment as a guide to provide a clearer idea of how the character will handle moral dilemmas. Always consider alignment as a tool, not a strait jacket that restricts the character. Although alignment defines general attitudes, it certainly doesn't prevent a character from changing his beliefs, acting irrationally, or behaving out of character. Alignment is divided into good, neutral and evil. These three alignments serve well to define the attitudes of most of the people in the world.


Pure Good: Some creatures such as angels and spirits are of this alignment. They are virtually incorructable.


Lawful Good: Characters of this alignment are Paragons of virtue. They always behave in the most righteous way possible and often expect others to follow their example. This is the alignment of paladins


Good: Characters of this alignment believe that people should work to make life better for the majority of the people. An honest and hard-working serf, a kindly and wise king or a stem but forthright minister of justice are all examples of good people.


Evil: Evil characters are primarily concerned with themselves and getting ahead. They have no objection to working with others as long as it is in their self interest. An unscrupulous mercenary, a common thief, and a double-crossing informer are typical examples of evil characters.


Chaotic Evil: These are the truest examples of diabolic evil. They are not only out for no one but themselves, they will actively hurt others if they can just because it pleases them to do so. Adolf Hitler and his closest followers are real world examples of this alignment.


Pure Evil: Some creatures such as demons and the undead are of this alignment. They are virtually unredeemable.


Neutral: Neutral characters do not particularly look for ways to better the lives of others nor are they overly opportunistic. They see good and evil' people as extremist. The baron that wants the orcs stopped because they are interfering with his tax collection, a peasant scratching out a living and a merchant that charges what he thinks he can get out of the customer are all examples of neutral characters.


Non-Aligned: Some unintelligent monsters (killer plants, etc.) and animals-never bother with moral and ethical concerns. For these creatures, alignment is simply not applicable. A dog, even a well-trained one, is neither good nor evil. It is simply a dog. For these creatures, alignment is always detected as neutral.


Age, Height and Weight

       Your basic physical characteristics such as Age, Height and Weight are generated next. These should be selected in accordance with your character concept.


Starting Age, Height and Weight

       You will need to know your characters' starting age. Characters can start at any age that is agreeable to both the player and the DM. However, all beginning adventurers are at least the minimum age listed on table 1. A die roll variable is given in case you wish to do a random roll for your character's age. Add the variable die roll to the base age to get the character's starting age.


Table1: Starting Age

Race                 Starting Age

Dwarf              40+5d6

Elf                     100+5d6

Gnome             60+3d12

Half-Elf           15+1d8

Halfling           20+3d4

Half-breed       13+1d3


       Select or roll your character's height and weight off of table 2. Heights and weights for demihuman races not listed on the table must be decided by your DM. Females tend to be lighter and shorter than males. Thus, the base numbers for height and weight are divided into male/female values. Note that the modifier still allows for a broad range in each category.


Table2: Average Height and Weight

                          Height in Inches   Weight in Pounds

Race                 Base* +Modifier   Base* +Modifier

Dwarf              43/41   1dl0            130/105  4dl0

Elf                    55/50   1dl0              90/70    3dl0

Gnome             38/36   1d6               72/68    5d4

Half-elf            60/58   2d6             110/85    3dl2

Halfling           32/30   2d8               52/48    5d4

Human            60/59   2dl0            140/100  6dl0

½ Breed           60/58   2d8             130/110  5d10

Lrg ½ Breed    84/82   2d6             300/275  5d10


Social Rank

       If the player wishes to do a random background, roll 2d6 on table 3. This will tell where the character's family came from. Samples of people who might fit into various classes follow. Players should choose a rank that fits their character concept.


Table 3: Social Ranks

  Roll                Social Rank

   2-3                 Lower class

   4-7                  Lower middle class

  8-10                 Upper middle class

11-12                Upper class


Lower class: Freed slaves, vagabonds, indentured servants, criminals, migrant laborers, beggars, herdsmen, peddlers, actors, men-at-arms, manual laborers, tradesmen, money-changers, fishermen, petty officers, freemen, peasants, messengers.


Lower middle class: Artisans, bakers, petty merchants, junior officers, scribes, brewers, cobblers, landless knights, minor landowners, merchants, weavers, farmers, minstrels, gardeners, miners, dockhands, sailors, blacksmiths, shop owners, bodyguards, sculptors, healers, gamblers, tailors, animal trainers, carpenters, leather workers, stonemasons.


Upper middle class: Local officials, jewelers, sages, senior officers, minor nobles (baronets, barons) guild masters, herbalists, historians, armorers, wealthy merchants, astronomers, major landowners, navigators, weaponsmiths, composers, scholars, minor military commanders, ship captains, architects, engineers, shipwrights.


Upper class: Great landowners, generals, marshals, senior officials, knights, viziers, nobles (counts, dukes), royalty, diplomats, financiers.


Other Characteristics

       There are a number of other personal characteristics your character has. The sex and name of your character are up to you as are his hair and eye color, body shape, voice, noticeable features, and general personality. Select these' traits that match your character concept. There are no tables for these things, nor should there be. Your job, as a player, is to add these details. Remember that you are an actor and your character is your role!


Character Classes

       The next step is to decide which Character Class best suits your character concept. The class is a blueprint for building a character. Pick the class that comes closest to matching your character concept. If you need help with this, confer with your DM. Some classes may not be available in the campaign. Ask your DM if there are any restricted classes.

       Record your class and your class abilities on the character sheet. The following is a brief comparison of the available classes.


Non-Spell Users

       Fighters, Rogues, Thieves and Bards are the non-spell users of the D&D world. They have no direct magical ability and are by far the most prevalent characters you will find in any campaign world. Fighters specialize in combat. Rogues combine combat and manipulation. Thieves specialize in manipulation. A bard is a Jack of all Trades as well as a storyteller and walking storehouse of information.

       Fighters are fairly easy to run while Rogues take a little more experience on the part of the player. Thieves  and Bards are fairly complicated and require a great deal of attention from the player.


Natural Spell Users

Rangers and Druids are the natural spell casters of the campaign world. They draw their power from nature and the natural cycles. The ranger is a tracker and a woodsman. The druid is a pagan priest. They both have access to spells that affect nature and the natural world around them.


Divine Spell Users

A Priest is a Divine spell caster. They draw their magical powers directly from a Deity that they worship and serve. The powers of the Deities are immense but they must be channeled through a mortal vessel. The spells and divine powers available to a priest are specific to the deity that they follow.

       Your Game Master will have specific information about the deities in his campaign. Each type of priest is treated as a separate class.


Arcane Spell Users

       Wizards, Spell Blades and Bards are the arcane spell casters of the campaign world. An arcane caster is versatile in that they can select spells that will enable them to specialize in whatever the player wants. They have access to a wide variety of spells and the player can create new spells if he wants to.

       A Wizard is a pure arcane caster. A Spell Blade is a weaker spell caster than a wizard but he combines martial training with his magic. A Bard is a specialist class that combines arcane magic and several special abilities.


Mental Power Users

       Mystics, Psychics and Monks are characters that access strange mental powers. The Mystic has little other training. He relies heavily on his mental powers and develops them to a high degree. The Psychic develops his mental powers to a lesser degree than a Mystic but also relies more heavily on his combat and manipulation abilities. The Monk seeks the perfection of mind and body by developing the powers of the body and the mind together.

       Psychics are a lot like wizards and should be run by experienced players. Monks are very complicated and should only be run by very experienced players.


Combining Character Classes

        To combine two or more classes, the player must start in one character class. He must then spend the experience to advance to the next level in his current class. This gives him 1st level in the new class. At this point, the player must set the % that his experience goes to each class and spend the experience for each level advanced in that class. The character can advance only one level in only one class at a time.

       Monks and Paladins cannot be combined with any other character classes. Both of these classes require single minded devotion.


When combining classes:

Use the best weapon selection.

Use the worst armor selection.

Use the best hit point add.

Use the best skill selection.

Use the best attack bonus.

Use the best save bonuses.

Use the best attacks per round.

All caster levels are independent.

All special powers are independent.


Rolling Ability Scores

       The next step is to generate ability scores for your character. Each character has six ability scores. These are generated in the following manner:

       Roll 2d6 and add 6. Do this 6 times. These six scores are then applied to your character's stats as you see fit. While it is not required, the highest stats should go onto the prime stats for your character's class. A character can be considered non-viable if it does not have at least 2 scores above 14 Use table 4 and apply your ability score modifiers to your character sheet.


Table 4: Ability Scores and Modifiers

Ability     Stat               Intelligence      Wisdom           Charisma

Score       Modifier       Number of       Charm             Maximum

1                 -4                Additional       Immunities      Number of

2-3              -3                Languages             --                  Henchmen

4-5              -2                      0                       --                       1

6-7              -1                      0                       --                       2

8-9           Normal               1                       --                       3

10-11       Normal               2                       --                       4    

12-13          --                       3                       --                       5

14               --                       4                       --                       6

15               +l                      4                       --                       7

16               +2                     5                       --                       8

17               +3                     6                       --                       10

18               +4                     7                       --                       15

19               +5                     8                 1st level                  20

20               +5                     9                 2nd level                25

21               +6                     10               3rd level                 30

22               +6                     11               4th level                 35

23               +7                     12               5th level                 40

24               +7                     15               6th level                 45

25               +8                     20               7th level                 50



Bill rolls 2d6 and adds 6 to the result. He does this six times and gets 15, 17, 13, 11, 10 and 16. Since his prime stats are str and con, he puts the 16 on str and the 17 on con. He assigns the 13, 11, 1 0 and 15 to his cha, int, wis and dex. Taking into consideration his ability score modifiers of + 1 con and -1 cha for being a dwarf, this gives him the following stats:


Strength 16                  Intelligence 11

Dexterity 15                 Wisdom 10

Constitution 18            Charisma 12


The six stats and what they apply to are as follows:


Strength adjustments are added to the to hit and damage rolls in melee combat and for thrown weapons, any strength based skill checks and the character's encumbrance.


Dexterity adjustments are added to Armor Class, Reflex Saves, Missile Attack Rolls and any dexterity based skill checks.


Constitution adjustments are added to each Hit Die a creature gets, fortitude saves and any constitution based skill check.


Intelligence determines the number of additional languages that creature can learn, the normal adjustment determines the number of bonus spell points Wizards, Spell Blades and Bards get and is added to any intelligence based skill checks.


Wisdom adjustments are added to will saves, the number of bonus spell points that most Priests, Druids and Rangers get and any wisdom based skill checks. Wisdom also determines a creature's immunity to some charm spells. The character's self control has reached a level where some charm spells simply have no effect.


Charisma adjustments are added to initial reaction rolls, the number of bonus spell points Paladins get and any charisma based skill checks. Charisma also determines how many henchmen a person can get through the course of their lifetime.


Skills and Bonuses

       Every character can do every skill. The difference is in the bonus that each character has. Beginning characters have a low base chance modified by their stats, race and class modifications. As they advance in levels, every character gains additional bonuses. They get better because they are exposed to these things and become more familiar and practiced with almost everything. Characters get better at some skills faster than they do at others due to these skills being utilized more prominently than other skills. These are tracked in game as “class” skills as being different than “normal” skills. Use table 5 to determine the bonus your character gets for his skills at his current level.

       Record the numbers for each skill and add any bonuses from ability scores, racial adjustments, class adjustments, special tools, etc. Total all bonuses and record the result as the adjusted skill bonus. This is the bonus that is added to the d20 that is rolled when the DM requests some type of skill check.


Table 5: Skill Bonuses

Level          Class             Normal                                  Level          Class          Normal

    1                 2                      0                                           11               12                5

    2                 3                      1                                           12               13                6

    3                 4                      1                                           13               14                6

    4                 5                      2                                           14               15                7

    5                 6                      2                                           15               16                7

    6                 7                      3                                           16               17                8

    7                 8                      3                                           17               18                8

    8                 9                      4                                           18               19                9

    9                 10                    4                                           19               20                9

  10                 11                    5                                           20               21               10


Background Options

       In order to allow some customization for each character, the player can select up to three special things that he wants the character to be able to do. These can be additional class skills, a weapon that is outside the normal usable selection, special bonuses for specific actions, etc. Your selections can be anything you want and can imagine but all choices are subject to the approval of the DM. The selection should fit your character concept.



       Bill selects his background options in accordance with his character concept. He views Blundig as a smart dwarf with a good sense of humor and a sense of curiosity that tends to lead him into trouble so he takes Knowledge (Local History), Decipher Script and Gather Information as additional class skills.


Equipping the Character

       The next step is to generate your character's starting funds and purchase his equipment. All characters start the game with some cash. Use table 6 to determine your character's starting cash. This nest egg may be your life savings, a gift from his parents sending him out into the world, the booty from an army campaign or any explanation you can come up with. How you came by your money is not normally important but it could be fun to know.


Table 6: Initial Character Funds

Character Group                                           Die Range

Fighter, Paladin*, Spell Blade, Ranger        5d4 X 10gp

Priest*                                                             3d6 X10gp

Rogue, Thief, Bard                                         2d6 X 10gp

Wizard, Mystic, Psychic                                1d6 X 10gp

Monk, Druid                                                   5d4gp

* After purchasing equipment, Paladins and Priests must return all but 2 or 3 gp to their superiors. Their equipment is provided by the church.



       An average person can carry up to 50 Ibs. without suffering any detriment. For every bonus or penalty they have for strength, add or subtract 10 Ibs. from this amount. This means a man with a 16 str could carry 70 Ibs. with no problem. This weight includes all gear and weapons carried as well as all clothing and armor worn. This basic amount is known as the character's light load. Up to twice the character's light load is called his medium load and up to three times his light load is called his heavy load.


Table 7: Encumbrance

                         Move          Move             Combat         Weight

Load                Rate           Penalty         Penalty         Carried*

Light                --                  --                    --                0-50 lb.

Medium           -1/3               -4                     --                51-100 lb.

Heavy              -2/3               -8                     -4               101-150 lb.

2xHeavy          2                   -20                   -10              151-300 lb.

3xHeavy          1                   -20                   -10              301-450 lb.

*These amounts are for a normal human with no strength bonus.


Bill now has to figure his encumbrance. He is carrying 88 lbs and his medium load falls between 61 and 120 lbs so his movement rate drops by 1/3 and he has a -4 to moving maneuvers and reflex saves. On the character sheet, he would put a -4 in the reflex save section and all skills that have a “MP” in it.



       An average person moving at a walking pace will move about 60 feet in 1 round. On the tabletop scale this is a movement rate of 12, that is, 12 inches or 12 hexes or 12 squares. Whatever scale your DM is using, you can move 12 of them. Small characters have a movement rate of 9. The base movement rate is set by your character’s size, modified by the character's encumbrance. This result is used as the base movement rate for the calculation of all movement modifications. These can be based on terrain, magic and various other factors.

       Record your base movement rate and the movement rate at medium and heavy loads on your character sheet. Record the weights that make up the various loads.

Note your move penalty and combat penalty if any and apply these to the weapons and skills that would be affected.

       Running increases your base movement rate by 2X. Moving slowly divides it by 2 (round up), Some activities will restrict your movement. Specific movement restrictions will be noted for each such activity. Movement can combine with other actions. This is detailed in the sections on combat and skills.



       Bill is now ready to finalize the character sheet for Blundig. The character sheet still needs entries for level and experience points. These will be provided by the DM The initial hit points are rolled and must be at least 4 on the die for the first level. The initial experience will be 0 unless the DM decides to start the characters at higher than 1st level.


Finishing the character

       Calculate the total save bonuses for Fortitude, Reflex and Will saves as well as attack and damage bonuses for the weapons carried. For skills, include all bonuses for each skill, the stat bonuses and the encumbrance modifiers as well as any special bonuses.