Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Prior Experience and Customizing Characters

Character creation in old-school systems is elegantly simple, but aside from your dice rolls characters of the same class are likely to be more or less mechanically the same. Character creation in newer systems tend to be a bit more involved (with several decision points built into the process), but that degree of customization means making a character takes more time. 

Below is my attempt at a "Goldilocks" solution: assume an OSR game like LotFP as the base, but this adds some quick options at character creation to differentiate characters at the outset:

Prior Experience To account for your character's experience prior to becoming an adventurer, customize them by choosing two items from the list below. You can pick the same benefit twice, if you like.

Esoteric Arts – Pick a 1st level spell; your character can cast this spell once per day.
Hardened – You get an extra die's worth of hit points plus Constitution modifier.
Resilient – You get +1 to saving throws.
Sharpened – Add +1 to your attack bonus.
Skilled – Add +1 to a skill of your choice.
Special Snowflake – Want a special ability not covered by the regular rules? Tell me what you've got in mind and we can probably work something out.
Windfall – You get another 3d6x10 silver pieces of wealth to spend or save as you see fit.