New Year, New Character
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 2nd Edition
I'm pretty sure that the 2nd Edition of AD&D was the first RPG I ever played, and was probably the default game in my life for more than any other. In fact, I'm pretty sure it was the longest lived of any given edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Despite that, it appears to be something of forgotten beast these days. The first edition and the various permutations of "basic" get much more attention in the "OSR" community, while 2nd Ed is often barely remembered. Still, it had some wonderful settings and supplements, and fired up my imagination for years.
Having said that, this is still going to be a bit of a learning experience for me. There were a ton of supplements over the years, and I don't think I've ever created a proper "by the book" character in all that time. Elven Fighter/Mage "Bladesingers," Orcish dark clerics, "Ratcatcher" dwarves--sure, all of these were played, and played heavily. But all of them were made with supplements, and add ons, and Dragon articles, and not a small number of DM houserules and handwaving to make it all work. For this, I want to do it as by the book as possible.
But, options are part of what makes 2nd Ed so much fun. And "options" are something I've been avoiding so far. So, for this take, I want to make a non-human, non "normal" type character. Since I'm limiting myself to the core book only, this leaves me doing something with a Elves, Dwarf, Gnome, or Halfling. I have never made a Gnome or a Halfling, and so I'm going to pick one of those two. And with that, let's get started!
Step 1 Abilities & Race
AD&D keeps the classic six abilities (or "attributes" for other games)--Strength, Dexterity, Stamina, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. There are 6 provided ways to generate abilities; for this Challenge, I will be using Method II--roll 3d6 twice and pick the best for each ability. Here are the results:
Clerics in the 2nd Ed Core Book are pretty "generic" with little mention of specific deities or the like. Though, later, there are notes and rules for Priests of Specific Mythoi. This was greatly expanded with the Complete Priest's Handbook, but I'll embrace this for Gilbert. Rather than being a priest of a specific deity, I decide that he will be a priest of the "halfling pantheon"--something of a community priest who honors the various gods and spirits as the calendar and needs of the people dictate. As a cleric, he also gains the power to Turn Undead.
Any sort of "skill" system is optional in 2nd Ed, and there are two options provided. I decide to go with the more robust "Proficiency" option. For this, skills are divided into 2 categories--Non-Weapon Proficiencies and Weapon Prophecies. I'll start with the non-weapon (NWP) first. As a Priest, he begins with 4 NWP's. His Intelligence of 13 gives him 3 languages. With the Proficiency system in place, these become 3 additional NWP's, for a total of 7. NWP's are divided into various categories. He can pick any General or Priest proficiency at cost. If choosing a Rogue, Warrior, or Wizard proficiency he would have to spend an additional NWP.
I grab Religion, Reading/Writing, Local History and Ancient History from the Priest Group, and Agriculture from the General. I then spend the remaining two on Modern Languages, picking up Elven and Common--he already knows Halfling.
Each NWP is tied to a specific ability, with a modifier. For example, Agriculture is tied to Intelligence with a modifier of 0. So, Gilbert has that at 13. Ancient History is also tied to Intelligence, but with a modifier of -1; Gilbert has that at 12.
I use the remaining funds to pick up some basic adventuring gear--backpack, torches, rations, etc. After all that, I have 37 gold and 5 copper left. Due to being a Priest, however, this drops to 3 gp and 5 cp. All I need to do now is pick his starting spells. As a Cleric, he can know any of the 1st level Priest spells. I grab Animal Friendship, Cure Light Wounds, and Magical Stones.
Here is the final character sheet: