I’ve wrapped up work on some other projects (The Borderlands and Apollo Zero) and I’m back at the keyboard. When we last left off, I’d just finished putting together a small level based on the Hirst Arts gothic dungeon. It was good to get some hands-on (even if they were virtual hands) experience building a dungeon based on practical models. However, as often happens, I ran into some issues with my implementation and took a different approach.

On Prototypes
Everyone certainly has their own approach to prototyping, but for me—in the early stages—it’s involves a great deal of create, tweak, and restart. At each stage, I start anew. Borrowing pieces of code that worked, but willing to toss away whole pieces that don’t quite fit the bill. Such was the case for this stage of the prototype.Continue reading

We’re all probably familiar with the alternate dice-rolling methods for character generation that first appeared in the 1st Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide and then later in the 2nd Edition Player’s Handbook. I’ve never been much of a fan of these methods. They tend to emphasize the “roll” rather than the “role” in RPGs. They often felt like a race to “all 18s,” couched in the language of “these are just suggestions.”

While it may simply be a matter of language, I would prefer that all methods of character generation be presented and codified as viable methods. Below is a list of methods that I find most compelling, presented for use with the One-Sheet rules.

Natural Selection
Roll 3d6 in order for each attribute. Die rolls of 12, 9, 4, 5, 15, and 15 resulting in Might 12, Magic 9, Piety 4, Agility 5, Stamina 15, and Charm 15. A bit clumsy, but this could easily be a Hero or Dwarf with commanding leadership skills.

Nurture vs. Nature
Roll 3d6 six times and arrange by preferences. The same die rolls above could give us a much more effective Hero: Might 15, Magic 4, Piety 5, Agility 12, Stamina 15, Charm 9.

Balanced Party
The GM rolls 3d6 six times and each player arranges the same results according to preference. Continuing with the die rolls above, one player might create the same Hero while another player might create a Wizard for the party: Might 4, Magic 15, Piety 5, Agility 15, Stamina 9, Charm 12.

A Little Extra Luck
Roll 4d6 in order for each attribute, dropping the lowest die.

A Lot of Extra Luck
Roll 4d6 six times, dropping the lowest die. Arrange in order of preference.

Point Distribution
The middle of the bell curve for a 3d6 die roll is 10.5, multiple this by 6 attributes for a total of 63. Distribute these points to each of the attributes. You could max out your Hero (Might 18, Magic 4, Piety 4, Agility 16, Stamina 16, Charm 5), but only by sacrificing wit and charm.