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The 6'4'' Dwarf Guide to AD&D Character Creation

Written by The 6'4'' Dwarf


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These scores, while not great if you want a instantly powerful character, reflect the life experiences of Yusef al-Alzar'ed, and should be the beginning of an enjoyable adventuring career.

The next thing to do here is decide what other skills are suitable for the character. Most of the campaigns I have played in use Non-Weapon Proficiencies, or at least secondary skills. Deciding what NWP to give a character should reflect two types of capabilities; inherent capabilities and developed capabilities. The inherent capabilities are basically innate and potential abilities of the character. To a large extent, they are surmised in the ability scores of the character. They are the physical capabilities of the PC, such as strength, endurance etc, and the mental capabilities, such as willpower, concentration, learning ability and so on. Whilst these affect play mainly as ability checks, they give an idea as to the limitations of the character.

Developed capabilities are a result of the character's background and upbringing, as determined in Steps One to Three. They represent the skills that the character had developed over the course of their pre-adventuring life. These could be trade type skills, such as smithing, farming, or animal handling, or they can be other skills such as cooking, dancing, singing or horse-riding. These skills need a reason to be part of the character, and you should be able to provide a reasonable explanation as to how a character learned them. For example, an elven ranger, raised in the forest would hardly be likely to have learned to navigate a ship, or have learned to mine. He may have learned how to make arrows, track, and identify animals, however, and consideration should be given to the background you have created when choosing NWP.

For example, Yusef has had some formal education, and can read and write his native language. He has never been outside of Dhantazar, so can not speak any other tongues. Growing up in an urban setting, he has never ridden horses, had to track foes over broken ground, handled pack animals, learned how to fish, or navigate by the stars. What he has done is been a city guard, and learned tales of the good old days from his grandfather. This being the case, I give him the following non-weapon proficiencies:

Read/Write Semphari
Local History-Semphar
Information Gathering
Danger Sense

These are skills developed over the course of Yusef's early life and career as a guardsman, and are appropriate to both the setting and to the character.

It is usually quite easy to decide what skills a character should have, but sometimes they are not the most appropriate skills for an adventurer.


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