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Day 1: Original Dungeons & Dragons

I can’t think of a better place to start a 31-Day Character Creation Challenge for RPGs than with the first RPG. Welcome to three classes and 3D6 in a row.

We start on page 10 of Men & Magic:

Prior to the character selection by players it is necessary for the referee to roll
three six-sided dice in order to rate each as to various abilities, and thus aid them
in selecting a role. Categories of ability are: Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Constitution, Dexterity, and Charisma. Each player notes his appropriate scores, obtains a similar roll of three dice to determine the number of Gold Pieces (Dice
score x 10) he starts with, and then opts for a role.

Men & Magic by Gary Gygax and Dave ArnesonMe

So, lets roll some bones. Strength: 16. Intelligence: 8. Wisdom: 11. Constitution: 10. Dexterity: 12. Charisma: 14.

I think I rolled a Fighting Man. The most significant value of abilities in the LBB without supplements is a bonus to experience via your prime requisites: strength for fighters. At a prime requisite of 13 or 14, you get a 15% bonus, and at 15, you get a 10% bonus to experience. There is a system to trade the other two classes’ prime requisites for your own, but since we have a strength of 16, we won’t bother.

The only other item for which rules are provided is a +1 to each hit die for a constitution over 15, a +1 or -1 for high and low dexterity (above 12 and below 9, respectively), and a limit on hirelings and an adjustment to their loyalty base from charisma. Our Fighting Man doesn’t qualify for the constitution or dexterity bonuses. His charisma of 14 allows him to have 5 hirelings with a +1 to their loyalty base.

We also need to roll 3D6 for his starting gold pieces. We got a 10 for 100 gp to start. We’ll make sure to get a weapon and armor, specifically a sword, plate mail, and shield, for 70 gp. This gives him an AC of 2. We’ll also get 50′ of rope, a 10′ pole, 12 iron spikes, six torches, two small sacks, a leather backpack, a water skin, and a week of iron rations. Those will use up 27 of his remaining 30 gp. We’ll hold onto those other 3 gp for now.

With an intelligence of 8 he cannot learn any languages beyond the common tongue.

A first-level fighting man has 1D6+1 hit points. Our character has 7, a very fortunate roll.

The last item before filling out a 1977 Mark I character sheet (the ones I started with), also known as an index card, is a name. I’m going to go with Hengist. The name is one of the two brothers who are traditionally listed as the leaders of the Anglo-Saxons that came to Britain. Hengist is listed as the first Jute to be King of Kent.

Below, the 1977 character sheet for Hengist, First Level Fighting-Man.

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