This Is How We Used To Roll

Roll up a ton of characters for our dungeons, that is.

Back in the day (circa 1981) I mostly only played Dungeons & Dragons (Moldvay Basic) in head-to-head ("solo"?) games with my nephew. In those days, I played and acted as Dungeon Master at the same time. We each played a primary character that we put more thought and care into, and a few secondary characters that more or less acted as fodder. (Although, occasionally, a secondary character would - via particularly memorable dice rolls and such - distinguish him- or herself and get promoted to a primary position. Mostly, though, they just ended up dead.) Although I had the same primary player character from Day One, my nephew took a while to find his.

As a result of our style of play and my nephew's seeming inability to find a character worthy of becoming his primary PC, we usually needed a lot of characters for our games. To fill this need, I began creating characters on multi-columned sheets (the same ones I generally used at that time for my dungeon maps). This way, we had at any given time a large pool of characters from which to choose.

I found these sheets while digging through my folders looking for items to scan and post. Since posting my minions' sheet yesterday had me thinking about such things, I thought I'd share with you a few samples of this bit of my gaming history:

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  1. I love seeing all these documents sharing personal gaming history. Keep 'em coming.

  2. Yeah, it is fun to see how others used to do it.

  3. Wow. That is eerily similar to some old NPC sheets I just came across. I will have to post them.

  4. Who are you?

    "I am Gandalf, Magician of the First Level"

    Also I notice not one of them has a magic item or any extra money. I assume the main PC picked clean any henchman who died (which was evidently all of them?)

  5. @Telecanter: I'll do my best. :)

    @Tim: Shouldn't you be hounding Eden Studios about getting the hardcopy of Ghosts of Albion on the streets? (;D Just kidding!)

    @Lord Kilgore: While I could say that's probably to be expected as part of the nature of the game, I think I'll instead go with great minds thinking alike. :D

    @Tacoma: Let's see: Gandalf the Grey, Gandalf the White, Gandalf the Poseur... Clever NPC's will weasel in on a recognizable brand name whenever possible. :P

    As for picking the henchmen clean, we were actually (mostly) fair and (generally) honest about the NPCs' gear, money, and treasure. We didn't see them as henchmen, hirelings, or retainers; they were full-fledged party members. Treasure was split evenly; magic items may have been picked over first by the "primary" characters, but secondary characters were not overlooked. I believe we tracked this sort of thing on separate sheets of paper, that's why you don't see it here. (I think I have some of these sheets floating around somewhere - I'll have to see if I can locate them.)


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