Red Book Character Generation: Fighters

Last week Melissa and I did a one-shot game with Andrew, one of the Dungeons & Delvers: Red Book backers (friggin' phenomenal player I might add), which you can listen to over here if that's your thing.

He was fine with a pregen, and when prompted for a race and class combo opted for a sword-and-shield human fighter in order to keep things simple. Since we didn't go through character generation then, I figured I could do that now, give everyone an example of how it works.

(Much of this will seem familiar if you've played Dungeons & Dragons and other games based on it; this is mostly for people new to these games, or anyone who wants to see some specifics on how Dungeons & Delvers differs.)

Since I already know the race and class (and desired loadout), the only thing to do at this point is roll ability scores. Rolling 3d6 six times, here's my first set:

13, 11, 10, 9, 8, 5

Using the table on page 10 (of the quickstart PDF, which you can see over on the project page) these convert to +1, +0, +0, +0, -1, -2. Since the total modifier is -2, I'm just going to scrap them and try again (you can discard any set with a total modifier of +0 or less, if desired). Here's my second set (again, just doing straight 3d6):

16, 13, 13, 12, 10, 7

These convert to +2, +1, +1, +0, +0, -1, for a total modifier of +3. Much better. Since I'm rolling up a sword-wielding fighter the +2 is going into Strength, and I'll assign both +1's to Constitution and Dexterity (with medium and medium reinforced armor you can still squeeze out up to +2 from Dexterity). The two +0's go into Intelligence and Wisdom, and the -1 I just drop into Charisma.

Humans can add +1 to any stat they wish: Strength is the obvious choice, bumping it up to +3, though Constitution could have also been good for some extra Wound Points and WP recovery. They also get a bonus skill point and talent, but how I use either depends on what I get with the base fighter package...and since that's all humans get it's time to hit up the fighter!

Taking class features from the top his base WP is 6 + Con, which gives him a total of 7, and he gets 4 VP. Very nice.

Fighters can use all weapons and armor, including shields, and get to choose any three skills they wish. Some classes start with certain skills and let you make other choices, like clerics and wizards, but when it says choose any x skills it really means any: there are no restrictions. You could have a fighter that starts out with Arcana, Nature, and Thievery if you want. You can also spend a skill point to be a Novice in any one Craft skill, but only one, and only at 1st-level.

That said, this is a one-shot and I want to keep things pretty simple and direct, so end up picking Athletics (which could use a boost to offset the armor and shield penalties), Perception (to be harder to surprise), and Survival (since the adventure takes place in and around a forest, and I figure Andrew's character would know how to hunt).

(I should note that there is a random background table in the book. It can give bonus gear and requires GM permission for that sort of thing, but you can use it anyway just to determine what you did before adventuring.)

Now the human bonus skill can be used on another skill, or to boost an existing skill up to +2. Given that his Wisdom is 0, I decide to bump Perception to +2, making Anderew's fighter just a bit harder to surprise.

Fighters get  +1 bonus on Strength and Constitution saves, giving him a total of +4 and +2 respectively, and making him pretty hard to restrain and poison.

They also gain a +1 bonus to hit and damage with every weapon. I could swap out the Damage Bonus for another talent, but humans get a bonus talent anyway (though you could do that and have two talents). Since Andrew wanted a shield I figure I might as well go all in and pick Defender, giving him an additional +1 to AC when using a shield.

For gear you get medium armor right away (base AC 14, DR 2), 5d6 sp (rolled 21, not bad), and can choose between several weapons, or a few weapons and a shield. Since Andrew wanted a sword and shield I go with the second option, equipping him with an arming sword, shield, and dagger.

You also get to choose between a dungeoneer and explorer pack. Again, they're around a forest, so the latter makes more sense, giving him a backpack, bedroll, mess kit, tinderbox, 10 torches, 50 feet of rope, 10 days of rations, and a waterskin.

In the end his relevant combat stats are:

AC 17 (DR 2)
Saves Str +4, Con +2
WP 7 VP 4
Arming sword +4 to hit; 1d8+4 slashing damage
  • Melee +4 to hit; 1d4+4 piercing damage
  • Ranged +2 to hit; 1d4+4 piercing damage

And when it comes to a fighter that's basically it. The whole process of rolling two sets of stats, making decisions and writing everything down took less than 5 minutes. If this wasn't a pregen I'd also need to pick out a name, but even if you suck at names there are tables for each race in the back, with a hundred names for both genders (or 200 in total per race).

Next time I'll go through the process of making Melissa's character, an elven druid.


You can now get a physical copy of Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book in whatever format you want! We've also released the first big supplement for it, Appendix D, so pick that up if you want more of everything.

The first issue of The Delver, a magazine featuring fungal-themed content for both players and GMs (including an adventure in which myconids find religion), is available!

Our latest Dungeon World class, The Ranger, is now available.

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

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