Gamers' Corner


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

Written by The 6'4'' Dwarf

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In the second column, we need to create a few Favourite Sayings. These are not necessarily sayings like "Don't count your chickens before they're hatched', but rather things your character commonly says. For example, I had a woodsman character that used to say "Trees don't crash 'til they bin felled" when discussing making a decision. Dirty Harry's "Go ahead, make my day" typifies the type of character he was; straight up and down, and a no-nonsense hard-hitter. From fantasy literature, Conan used to always say "Crom and Mitra", or "By Ymir's beard" and other such expressions. RA Salvatore's "Roddy McGristle" used to say "Had 'im cleaned and dressed", and "Let's see what we can see". These can be provincial sayings, made up sayings, or even a quote that you just like. However, make it appropriate to the setting and the character.

Again, for Yusef, he has a fondness for saying "Laws are for the lawful", and "By the sands!".

Motivations are probably the most important of these three roleplaying aids. The end defines the means, and you have to know what your character wants to know what he will choose to do. Is he in it for the money, on the run, revenge? Is he an adrenaline junkie? These things will help you to decide what choices a character will make in certain situations, and be based on the concepts discussed in Steps Two and Three.

Yusef decided to go adventuring to get away from the reputation of his father, to restore the respect his family once had, to get rich, and to prove to himself he is a better man than his father.

Step Four: Filling in the Blanks

Now comes time to roll some ability scores, to match the personality and character to some attributes. Any method that the DM agrees to can be used for this, or you may be able to arbitrarily assign numbers to the character's stats.

Using 3d6, I get the following numbers: 12, 9, 7, 16, 10, 11. With Yusef, I perceive him as a reasonably noble soul, but quite cynical and streetwise. (Although this is a cliched archetype for a 'hero', often little thought is invested into why.) So where to put the numbers? Yusef has not done much physical labour in his life, and is hardly a burly or strong man. He has no remarkable physical traits, and is basically a member of the rank-and-file guardsmen. What does stand out is his insight into the way people think, and their motivations, mostly due to his encounters with both the lawful and seedy side of society. He is not a very likeable fellow, however, and has difficulty making friends.

With these factors in mind, I organise his attribute scores as follows:


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