Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Rediscovering AD&D 2nd Edition - Part Two - Characters

One of the first things I do when I get a new RPG system is to start creating characters.  This all stems from the first time that I opened the 2nd Ed PHB on Christmas morning.  Thankfully I had some dice I could use.  

Interesting thing about character building, is that as you go you start to slowly create a background in your head.  Which then becomes some world building.  What might be an interesting idea to try, is to start working thru all of the character classes, (possibly on this blog) and create some pregens.  See if a story and world evolve.

Since I started thinking about 2nd edition again, I've been comparing it with Basic, and Fifth Edition.  That maybe another post.  I do have to admit that when I played 2e I pretty much ran it like basic D&D at the time (and probably still will!).  As far as Fifth goes, whilst I appreciate the backgrounds in the PHB, I think you (and I) will find that you can start making assumptions about backgrounds as you create a character.  

So without further ado, I'm going to create a character.  3d6 in order as Mr. Gygax intended. 

STR: 7
DEX:  14
CON:  9
INT:  12
WIS:  12
CHA:  13

Alright, at first glance I think quite a lot of Classes are open to me other than any kind of Fighter.  Let's see how this goes.  First up, what race? It appears that I cannot be a Dwarf or a Hafling (Racial ability requirements chart).  

Hmm, how about a Gnome! So Gnomes can be a Fighter, Thief, Illusionist or a cleric.  They get a +1 to their INT Score and a -1 to their WIS. 

Revised stats
STR: 7
DEX:  14
CON:  9
INT:  13
WIS:  11
CHA:  13

This guy would make a good thief or a cleric!  And possibly at some point he could dual class.  For the sake of argument however, this gnome is going to be a 1st level dude. 

Name..... Galdrick Tipsyrose.  That sounds like a Gnomish name.  Since I feel like delving into some spells, Galdrick is going to be a cleric.  

Just rolled some hit points, he got 2.  He may not be a long lived cleric.  And unfortunately there is no adjustment for hit points as per CON.  

Backstory, Galdrick learned his skills from a priest in the small gnomish village of Hearthton.  The village is on the borders of a great forest, part of it is underground and part of it is located on top of a large hill.  War has not touched Hearthton, for the most part its a quiet place.  The gnomes go about their typical mining/smelting business.  On occasion they trade with the local elves for food stuffs and gems which they covet.  The roll of Nature plays a big part in the Gnomes of Hearthton's lives.  Their success is based on the weather, and the continued strength of the mines walls.  For prayer they turn to AH-KA, Lord of Nature and patron to the Gnomes.  Growing up Gladrick learned a lot from the local priesthood about AH-KA and his wonders.  He grew up in a fairly well to do family, and no evil or tragedy struck them over the years.  As are some Gnomes, Galdrick is quite inquisitive about the world around him.  Deciding to forgo his inheritance and the quiet life of Hearthton, he has ventured out into the human's world to see what he can see, protect nature when he can, obey it when needed and generally spread joy wherever he can.  I neglected to mention that Galdrick is also quite a decent harpist. 

Weapon wise, in the PHB there is a discussion about the types of weapons allowed by certain gods.  In the case of AH-KA the weapons are Club, Scimitar, Sickle.  And I've already made my decision, a Gnome with a Scimitar is bad fucking assed (despite the fact that there's a certain dark elf who carries a pair).  Other than a sling, typical adventuring gear (backpack, lantern, rations, tent) Galdrick carries with him a small portable gnomish size harp.  He carries a few silver pieces to get by, the rest of his wealth has been left at the small church in Hearthton.  

Non Weapon proficiencies & secondary skills. 

I've always had players roll on the secondary skills table, for the sake of having a bit more background information, at least as far as role playing is concerned.  I rolled 28:  Hunter - (basic wood lore, butchering, basic tracking).  Alright that makes some sense doesn't it?  I mean he's a gnome living on the edge of the forest.  Maybe instead of spending time in the mines, he was out hunting small game.  I'm almost positive that Galdrick makes a decent rabbit stew.  

Clerics start off with 4 Non Weapon proficiencies. Of which they can pick from the general ones, or the priest ones.  I tend to take a look at the class specific profs first.  Viola!  Musical instrument, herbalism (which only stands to reason as he's out and about in the forests hunting game etc).  

Alright 2 more to go, let's check the general ones.  Direction sense seems plausible to me.  Everything else is a little boring.  Back  to priest ones.  Hmm local history! Well that makes some sense!  So off he goes with his knowledge.  Maybe there's a small human settlement close by.  If he winds up meeting some fellow adventurers and they want to try their hand at venturing into the darker woods north of the Gnomish village, Galdricks knowledge should come in handy!  

Okay spells.  (Fuck this is a long post.  thanks for sticking around! I'm almost done.  As you might be able to tell, I'm basically writing this as I create Galdrick). 

Galdrick has a few spells, but is only allowed to cast one per day (and memorize from his God).  Here is the spell list that he has access to: Bless, Entangle Cure Light Wounds, Detect Magic, Light 

There are certain spheres in 2e for Cleric spells.  Obviously you can disregard this if you like.  I've decided that Galdrick's god will allow him access to Animal, Elemental, Plant Sun, Weather, Healing spells. 

And that my friends is Galdrick Tipsyrose Cleric Of AH-KA, Gnome from Hearthton.  


  1. Love your enthusiasm, but I think you just proved why streamlined, basic systems are an improvement.

  2. What Scott said...however, they can multiclass from level 1, regardless of ability scores. You could be a cleric-thief (if allowed under the 2E rules) right from the get-go!

    Also, don't you dice for age in 2E (sorry, I'm much more apt at 1E)? Usually, you could count on another small bonus or two to ability scores depending on that result.