2011-03-15 Character Generation Shortcuts PDF

A few days ago I revisited my Character Generation Shortcuts and added backgrounds and starting equipment for demihumans. A reader wrote me an email to say that he liked it and used it when he played with his kids. Awesome!

This mail also pushed me to add another four demihuman backgrounds to bring the number up to eight and add a starting spell to all wizard and elf backgrounds. I updated the PDF file, too. Unfortunately I had to reduce the font size to 12.

In an effort to fight mediocrity (read the intro to Greg’s review of Lamentations of the Flame Princess), please let me know if I can improve spelling, grammar, layout, or the entries themselves if they didn’t work for you.

There still is no thief class.

In my games, magic users and elves have as many spells in their spell book as they can cast per day. Thus, they start the game with a single spell in their spell book.

I really should add a license to the file. For the moment, this notice will have to do: The two documents are made available to you under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 license. The font used for the titles is Behrensschrift, free for non-commercial use; the font used for the body is Garamond No 8, also free for non-commercial use.

Update: This also appeared in Fight On! #12. :)


Comments on 2011-03-15 Character Generation Shortcuts PDF

Access to the ODT file is forbidden

– Harald Wagener 2011-03-15 08:50 UTC

Permissions fixed. Thanks for the heads up.

AlexSchroeder 2011-03-15 09:14 UTC

Sometimes I wonder whether I should be adding (descending) AC to the armor and damage dice to the weapons handed out. And stats for the animal companions and familiars.

AlexSchroeder 2011-03-23 12:09 UTC

Descending AC? Seriously?

Adrian 2011-03-23 13:40 UTC

It works for the kids! :)

AlexSchroeder 2011-03-23 17:13 UTC

Thanks for this. I might see if my players are interested in changing to it from the standard rules.

James Hutchings 2011-04-17 11:21 UTC

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2010-11-01 Character Generation Shortcuts Reviewed

About a year ago I wrote about character generation shortcuts and half a year later I provided an expanded list as a PDF file, and eventually a slightly modified version of it ended up in Fight On issue #10. Today I saw that the bitter ranting madman of Your Dungeon Is Suck reviewed it and said the following:

‘Fast Company’ – Useless: if your players’ creative abilities reach their limit during chargen, get new players.

In a sense, he’s right.

I think the table still works in a convention context, where you want to show off character generation instead of coming with a handful of pregenerated characters. Part of what I’m trying to achieve at a convention is show people how flexible the old rules are. You can go a long way with just three classes, and instead of saying it, I can have people roll on the tables and they’ll experience it. At least I hope they will.

Plus: I like the challenge of random character generation. As such, random backgrounds and traits are just one more trick to get my creative juices flowing, just like random hats at character generation.


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2010-06-24 Character Generation Shortcuts PDF

Last year I presented a little table with character backgrounds for the players of a Labyrinth Lord one-shot.

I’ve been feeling inspired and worked on it some more. It is now available as a PDF.

Attention conservation notice:

Should I expand the tables on the last page or are they good enough?

I’ve called the entries “subclasses” – ie. bandit is a subclass of fighter, hermit is a subclass of cleric. Theoretically it would be possible to provide real class abilities for them all. I’m not sure this is required, however. Instead, I might eventually add one or two spells for each wizard and cleric to cut character generation time down even more.


Comments on 2010-06-24 Character Generation Shortcuts PDF

I love it! Very colourful, and it’s not “balanced”.

I will use this as a starting point and expand on it for my own group.

Tim 2010-06-25 04:34 UTC

Fantastic. Simple and evocative.

Harald Wagener 2010-06-25 09:14 UTC

Thanks! :)

As for “balance” – I guess if I wanted to be obsessive about it, I could check whether the average equipment cost was about the average starting gold you would get.

AlexSchroeder 2010-06-25 12:28 UTC

Don’t know if you still look back here, but I used this for some Swords and Wizardry games and my players love it. Very flavourful, very fun, and very quick to use. It helped get some of our brand new players right into the game and establish a character identity.

– Joe K 2013-06-18 01:40 UTC

I always keep an eye on old posts. Thanks for the feedback! Knowing it helped at the table makes it all worth while. :)

AlexSchroeder 2013-06-18 18:38 UTC

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2009-08-23 OerliCon

Ich war zum ersten Mal an der OerliCon, einem kleinen Con mit etwas weniger als vierzig Leuten im Pfadiheim Dietikon von Freitag Abend bis Sonntag Morgen.

Am Freitag konnte ich für drei Leute etwas Labyrinth Lord leiten. Außer Charaktererschaffung, Einkaufen, Diskussionen innerhalb der Gruppe, dem Verhandeln mit sechzehn Kobolden und dem Erschlagen einer Riesenkröte und dem Heben eines Schatzes ist allerdings nicht viel passiert. Eigentlich wollte ich Stonehell leiten, hatte aber alle Unterlagen daheim vergessen.

Ich habe einen Spielleiter für Mazes & Minotaurs getroffen!

Habe mich dann einige Stunden gelangweilt weil keine neuen Spielrunden mehr aufgingen. Alle schienen Munchkin Quest und Kobolde (12-15 Spieler!!) zu spielen.

Zum Glück hat mich ein Spieler dann noch heimgefahren. Mit ihm hatte ich schon Rolemaster und Mouse Guard gespielt. Er schlug für Samstag Abend Burning Wheel vor. Das habe ich dann auch fünf Leuten erklärt und mit zwei Leuten gespielt.

Sehr interessant war auch die Legends of the Five Rings Runde vom Samstag Nachmittag. Leider hatte ein Spieler etwas Mühe mit dem pseudo-japanischem Setting. Aus Zeitnot musste dann später im Plot gekürzt werden. Setting, Spielleiter, Abenteuer, vorgefertigte Charaktere, die L5R Regeln – alles hat super gepasst und haben mich motiviert, doch wieder ein pseudo-japanisches Spiel auszuprobieren. Vielleicht wird’s ja mal was mit The Blossoms Are Falling für Burning Wheel? :)

Das war’s! Ich hatte keine Energie für eine unsichere Sonntag Nacht und bin dann auf einen späten Zug.


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