Monday, October 8, 2007

Poor DM's Almanac (part II)

Sadly, I was thinking ahead with my choice to run a 3rd edition campaign. I knew that I could hook at least two other casual LAN gamers with the “close to Neverwinter Nights” selling point. I had abandoned the Realms as a campaign setting long ago, and already my long slumbering DM-brain was beginning to bubble with heady Homebrew.

I swallowed my pining for the past, abandoned the days of THAC0 (and the associated low-means-good Armor Class), and repurchased the three Core Rulebooks. I longed for that fleeting “feel” of the olden D&D of yore, and resolved to make this campaign as flavorful as possible. Within days, I had my first three players assemble for a character generation session. With each of them, I discussed character options at length, begged for backstory, and sternly supervised the ability score rolls.

They were given the following choice for determining ability scores:
  • 3d6, 10 times, remove 4
  • 4d6 (drop lowest), 8 times, remove 2, but keep one low score.

The players jumped at the second option, which on the surface, does tend to produce higher-powered characters, but with the heroic harmatia of a low score dangling from their necks.

The outcome of this first session was three characters, two of which still play to this day:

Brunnor Coalbeard – A dwarf’s dwarf. The party Fighter. Played rather archetypically by Steve.
Wilhelm Arkam – The Magic-User/Archaeologist with a decidedly dark bent. Played by Woody.
Arun – A Shadow Elf (GAZ13, I dislike Drow, and prefer the other flavor) Assassin, with shades. Played by Dave.

A small start, but fairly well-rounded, with Muscle, Magic, and Miscreant. They would eventually need a Cleric. Already, curiosity was beginning to swell as we chatted at length about the characters around the kitchen table. Word travels fast in this circle of friends, and another former gamer was piqued and picked. Many others would soon follow suit, all with virtually no role-playing experience. I would have my work cut out for me.

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