Monday, August 17, 2015

One Character, Nine Systems: Part 4

Last week, I proposed an experiment of generating the same character in nine different editions/variations of the D&D game. In the first post we introduced Junco Eliade, now it's time to give him some crunch. In this iteration we'll use:
Basic D&D
"Basic" is a good bit different from the other editions so far, in that it was released (multiple times) as a boxed set, and did not include any real expansions (other than "The Book of Marvelous Magic" which was magic items only). The follow-up boxed sets (Expert et al.) are not relevant to a 3rd-level character.

Race: Dwarf
Class: Dwarf
Here we have the first big deviation from the original version of the Dungeons and Dragons game -- race as class. I would argue that this is THE biggest deviation from the intent of the game's creators in any version of D&D yet published. Whereas in OD&D and AD&D, Eliade was a Fighter and a Cleric, now he is just a "Dwarf" with a significant loss in capabilities relative to his original incarnation.
Level: 3rd
Minimum XP: 4400 (as a single-class character, he requires much less experience in this version)
Alignment:  Lawful
Hit Dice: 3d8+3
Average Hit Points:  16
Stats:
  • Str: 9
  • Dex: 16  -- +2 to hit with missile attacks, -2 to Armor Class, +1 to initiative
  • Con: 15 -- +1 hit points per die
  • Int: 16 -- Read and write native languages, +2 additional languages
  • Wis: 11
  • Cha: 8 -- -1 reaction adjustment, 3 retainers, morale 6
Basic D&D has no racial ability adjustments. Dwarf characters must have a Constitution score of 9, but Junco has that covered.  Basic D&D introduces standardized modifiers for abilities of specific levels (which we shall see used to even greater effect in later editions).
Dwarf Abilities:  
  1. Dwarves may use any type of armor and may use shields. They may use any type of weapon or normal or small size, but may not use long bows or two-handed swords.
  2. Dwarves are very hardy creatures and have better saving throws than most other character classes (see below).
  3. Dwarves often live underground, and have infravision (heat-sensing sight) which allows them to see 60 feet in the dark.
  4. They are expert miners and are able to find slanting passages, traps, shifting walls, and new construction one-third of the time (1 or 2 on 1d6) when looking for them.
  5. All dwarves speak Common, Dwarvish, and the alignment tongue of the character, plus the languages of gnomes, kobolds, and goblins.
Once again we see a drop in the number of languages Junco can speak from 11 in OD&D, 9 in AD&D, to only 8 in Basic (Common, Dwarven, Gnome, Kobold, Goblin, an alignment language, and 2 of his choice), losing automatic access to Orcish.

Cleric Abilities:
Not Applicable.
Fuck this shit.

Fighter Abilities:
Not Applicable.
Fuck this shit.
Attack Rolls:  As a 3rd-level Dwarf, he strikes an unarmored opponent on a roll of 10+ on 1d20.
Interestingly, the attack matrix for characters of levels 1-3 in this version are not class-dependent. A 3rd-level fighter has the same chance of hitting as a 1st-level magic user, a thing we will not see in any other edition until 5th.
Saving Throws:
  • Death Ray or Poison:  10+ on d20.
  • Magic Wands:  11+ on d20.
  • Paralysis or Petrification: 12+ on d20.
  • Dragon Breath:  13+ on d20.
  • Rods, Staves, or Spells:  14+ on d20.
This version shows a significant improvement in Junco's ability to avoid a dragon's breath weapon, but a corresponding reduction in his ability to avoid magical spells (a strange reversal from the typical assumption in other editions).
Skills/Proficiencies: 
Not Applicable.