Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Discussion: Tell Me About Your First Character (Really)

Another weekend comes for those of us in the RPG Bloggers Network, and we bravely fight off the blogging doldrums it brings here at RPG Blog 2 by engaging in our usual Friday discussion. Each Friday, we get together to talk about a gaming topic. Nothing too serious, nothing too deep--just chatting it up and swapping lies with our fellow gamers.

Today's topic is one that you often can't get that annoying guy at the next table over at conventions to shut up about. That's right, we're discussing our characters--namely, our first ones. Who was your first character in an RPG? How long did he last? And by all means, even if he was a Chaotic Good dual-scimitar wielding Dark Elf, I still want to hear about it. Seriously.

Have a great gaming weekend, and Fight On!


Ron Perkins said...

My first was a Fighter from AD&D1e named Simon Elihu--a human from just outside Greyhawk. He was about as generic as you could get, except for a CON stat. He went from a bare sketch of a character to being a recurring NPC after I switched to a Ranger after a few sessions.

rpgcharacters said...

"Rathe" was an elf in B/X D&D in 1981. A chaotic elf. Chaotic Good being the assumption back in the day. But we didn't have scimitars back then, all our swords were straight. And we couldn't wield two of them, or I probably would have tried.

So I came as close as I could to the Drizzt clone for the time, although as far as I know he predates Drizzt.

He survived modules B1 and B2 and X1. He picked up some sweet loot along the way and got comfortable, although he lost his best friend (and the only other survivor from the B1 group) to the mind control of the creatures in the mud pits of X1.

I recreated him (at the request of the GM) for an AD&D1e game and switched from the classic Fighter / MU of the B/X Elf class to a Fighter / Assassin. In that form he was played for several years on and off to somewhere around level 10.

He was the first character I rebuilt in D&D3e to test out the prestige class rules.

Sebastian Dietz said...

The first character I ever made was an axe-wielding Thorwalian, Aventuria's manifestation of a viking. He was aptly named Thorwa (ahem...), and in later times "Thorwa vom Fluss" - Thorwa of the River.

He survived some of solo adventures and occupied an old cellar in the city of Havena. The cellar formerly belonged to a bunch of goblins and pirates, but Thorwa fought them in the introductory adventure of "Das Schwarze Auge" and found it very practical to have a place to drop off the plunder of later adventures.

Stargazer said...

The first character I actually played was a private investigator from the New Nile Empire that went by the name of "Space Wolf"... *cough*
Don't ask me why I chose that silly name, probably it had something to do with the fact that it was my nickname at the time. I still remember that aside from that atrocious name I managed to play the gumshoe pretty convincingly. Alas I played him at a con and I think I even lost the character sheet.

clash bowley said...

I don't remember his name. He was a ranger. He was first level, and played with ridiculously powerful wizards with retainers and a fairly powerful cleric. Somehow he managed to not die. I played him for one day before I realized that what I really wanted to do is GM. I never went back to that group.

Ryan said...

My first character was a neutral elf in basic D&D. Our DM let you do just about any damn thing with an attribute roll, so among his exploits were breaking a basilisk's neck with his bare hands and flipping over a giant snake to stab it in the back. He ended up with his own giant treehouse fortress and enjoyed a brief in-character romance with the party's lady elf.
His name was Rupert, which I shamelessly stole from the AD&D2 Player's Handbook. (Which we also had and couldn't quite figure out how to incorporate into basic D&D, but we were ten...cut us some slack.)

Giga boy said...

Cleric from Holmes basic around 1980. It was named "King Atlas" after an action figure of the times. Poor K.A. died one room short of exiting the dungeon, killed by a giant rat.

Lurkinggherkin said...

Whoo. You really want to know? Well, I was raised in the 'school of hard knocks'. Holmes Blue Book D&D played in a - shall we say - adversarial style by teenagers. 1978. Expect unpleasantness.

The first dungeon was a meat grinder. We started taking casualties in the first encounter - the first-level party was surrounded by a Minotaur attacking from the front and a Gelatinous Cube from the rear. I was playing a human fighter in plate mail. I can't remember his name, I'm not sure we'd gotten into roleplaying enough to name our characters at that stage. He survived that one and we took on board some new recruits from the surface before exploring a little further, meeting some friendly gnomes. We managed to buy a potion of Giant Strength from them.

The next room was swarming with giant rats. I downed the potion and charged in, laying about me with my sword. One of the rats bit my character and it was determined that I had contracted a disease, which would be fatal. The DM having made no secret of my diseased state, the rest of the party decided that I was a walking dead man so they threw several flasks of oil and a flaming torch into the room and spiked the door shut behind me. Thus ended my first character's brief adventuring career.

I came back for more. My next character even had a name.

Jonathan Hicks said...

My first character back in 1984 was a human thief in Redbox D&D called 'Jammi Donutt' (leave me alone - I was 13 years old). His first kill was a skeleton warrior in an exciting action-orientated homebrew dungeon. He survived the dungeon and got back to the surface to spend his loot.

I don't remember playing him again.

BlUsKrEEm said...

My first character was a mechanic / Locust (LCT-1E?) pilot in a battletech campaign. He eventually ended up with a Specter that he modded by replacing one of the arms with an arm from a Firestarter. The character didn't have much personality, and was basically an excuse to mod-mechs and get repairs done cheaper.

My first D&D character was Deaver Travell, a 2nd ed Chaotic good Necromancer (Specialist Wizard) that worshiped Nerull. He believed that the proliferation of healing magic was depleting the balance between life and death, and if it was allowed to continue eventually it would lead to an end to death and in turn life. While I still like the concept of the character today it was far to disruptive and suicidal in play.

Chali Rilyn'lyl said...

It seems like so long ago, but also just like yesterday. My husband has played since D&D was brand new in the 70's. Finally the women were invited to play! We had a great group & I decided to play an Aasimar Cleric. My friend, Melsie, & the only other woman at our table decided to play an Aasimar Paladin so when our characters met it was like running into a long lost sister you never knew you had.

Our DM, Scott Scarborough, the best in the world btw, got us started on the Temple of Elemental Evil & our party had found a helm of teleportation. So we would slay monsters & undead for a couple of days and then telport back to town. Everyone in our party had something going on in town. My Cleric, Helain, worshiped Selune and was building an outdoor temple in her honor. On one occasion she met some drow priestess followers of Elisteree & was invited to partake in one of their ceremonies. She of course accepted before she knew that the ceremony involved being naked. Helain was, of course, a stunning & exotic beauty who wasn't modest. Ahh... I loved that cleric - battle hardened yet feminine.

Brian said...

My first character was in a planescape game so needless to say we were all a bit odd.

Thogar was an Alaghi (think bigfoot) warrior with great strength but the smarts of a coke machine. His speech was peppered with hoots, and growls and he only referred to himself in the third person. Some of his more endearing traits was that he loved cake, and named all of his weapons "Thogar".

He lasted about 9 levels (about a year of regular game play) and during this time he developed an irrational fear of dogs. Also he got taken over by an intelligent sword who made him spend all of his cash on a bejeweled sheath.

One of the final things that happened to poor Thogar (before the game ended) was that he drank from the River of Unending Thought and took up philosophy. Unfortunately, with an intelligence of 6 his deep, philosophical questions were along the lines of "if tree fall in wood, does Thogar like cake?"

He was a blast to play, especially as my first character. I think I got into heavy roleplaying in rpgs because of Thogar.

Dead Orcs said...

My first character was a Human Wizard from the Blue Book Original D&D game. His name was Zen Jagen. It was a solo campaign (I was the only player, my friend was the DM), so I had two NPCs. His first adventure was a home-brew dungeon. I think he made it past three rooms before being killed by the poison from a large spider.

Later, his "cousin" Milo Jagen (a name I shameless stole from Andre Norton's "Quag Keep") a Paladin, made it to 3rd level (in the new AD&D game we were now playing) before a fellow player (an assassin) killed him with poison.

Will said...

My first character was out of the D&D 3E box set. I played Tordek the cleric and Lydda the rogue. When we got it, my friend and I played for hours until we almost fell asleep at the table. When I finally got the PHB, I went crazy and made dozens of characters (literally). I think that my first was probably a rogue, since it was (and is) my favorite class.

Mark Gedak said...

My first character was a wizard for the red box game. We played Palace of the Silver Princess and I believe he was felled either by a decapus or green slime... ah, green slime, how I miss you.

Kiashu said...

Zach has asked us this before. I repeat my answer from then.

Year: 1983 - April Fool's Day
System/Setting: AD&D 1e
What Character You Played: James Roberts, immediately nicknamed Jim Bob the Luckless
Notable Events: Highest stat rolled was 10, for Strength. Rolled the minimum starting money. DM told us we had a coinpurse and were otherwise completely naked, we had to buy everything. Got halfway through buying his gear and realised he had not enough money, took him gambling for more and of course lost his spare cash; innkeeper (who sold us all our gear) threw in a torch and large sack out of pity. Struggled up to 3rd level and then perished gloriously fighting a Gelatinous Cube.
Highlight: Paul's magic-user was killed by a Piercer
Lowlight: none of the barmaids ever liked Jim Bob the Luckless.
The overall perception you had afterwards: "One day I will meet the Dungeon Master in the dungeon and kill him and then I can run the game."

Yes, that's what we thought, that the Dungeon Master was some character deep in the dungeon somewhere and if we killed him we'd be allowed to DM the game. We were 12, okay?

Jim Bob the Luckless
Fighter 1st level
neutral good

STR 10

HP 8

Weapon proficiencies: longsword, battleaxe, club, two-handed sword

Starting money - 50GP
Loincloth, cost 1CP
Belt, cost 3SP
Sandals, cost 1SP

Long sword & scabbard, damage 1-8/1-12, weight 60GP, cost 15GP
Small helm, 10GP
Wineskin, cost 15SP
Watered wine 1 pint, 5SP
Torch, free
Large sack, free
Total spent 26GP 8CP - rest gambled

Zachary The First said...

@Kiashu: Good memory! I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask it over here this time. :)

tejón said...

My earliest games (1st Ed. AD&D) were one-on-one because we didn't know anyone else who played, the other guy was always the DM because he owned the books, and a session involved drafting a character which was ostensibly 1st level but pure munchkin by fiat, then playing until he killed me. They may have had names, but it didn't matter; this was pure Monty Haul except that I didn't get to keep the haul. He always ad-libbed, and most of his scenarios were based on one of the full-page illustrations in a book. (Except for the time I had to fight giant floating genitals. Junior high, right?)

Anyway, the very first was a paladin. For some reason I had to perform a tracheotomy on a commoner by pouring melted silver on his throat, at which point he was cured of whatever nameless curse he'd had and, paradoxically able to speak better sans larynx, warned me "All hell is about to break loose." Naturally, it did so in the literal sense we thought was clever at the time: massive earthquake, fissures to the abyss, etc. I got to fight waves of devils of (rapidly) increasing power. Turned out my longsword was secretly a Holy Avenger. Pretty sure I was killed by a barbed devil.