Monday, August 31, 2015

One Character, Nine Systems: Part 6

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:

Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition is the first version of D&D to introduce truly expansive numbers of accessories and supplements with additional rules for developing player characters. For the sake of this post, we will assume the scope of 2nd edition rules to be all of the books included in the AD&D Core Rules 2.0 CD-ROM, including all of the "Complete X" handbooks, but excluding the "Player's Option" series of books (sometimes referred to as v2.5).

Race: Dwarf, Hill
While dwarven subraces (Hill, Mountain, Deep, Gray, Sundered, and Gully) exist in AD&D (especially with the Complete Book of Dwarves), the mechanical differences are minimal. Since earlier versions of Junco did not specify a subrace, we will assume that he is the fairly typical dwarf as described in the Player's Handbook (which is the Hill Dwarf).
Class: Cleric / Fighter
The Cleric/Fighter combination is clearly listed in the options for dwarven characters in the Player's Handbook (without the referencing of expansion rules necessary from earlier editions). Earned experience is evenly split between the two classes. The Cleric class requires a minimum Wisdom of 9, and the Fighter requires a minimum Strength of 9.
Kit: Scholar Priest 
Kits are a new rule, introduced with 2nd Edition AD&D and unique to it. Kits are "a collection of skills, proficiencies, restrictions, benefits and hindrances which give the [character] more background and personality". The rules state that "Any multi-class [character] can take one of the kits. However, he can only take one kit, total. If he has several character classes, he can't take a separate kit for each class." While there are numerous kits for Fighters (from the Complete Fighter's Handbook), Clerics (from the Complete Preist's Handbook), and even multi-class Warrior/Priests (from the Complete Book of Dwarves) which Junco qualifies for, his description in the first post, clearly identifies him as "a scholarly dwarven priest", so we will go with the Scholar Priest kit from the Complete Priest's Handbook. A scholar priest must have an Intelligence ability score of 13 or better.
Priesthood:  N/A
While 2nd Edition has extensive rules for priests of specific mythoi, and priests gaining different powers based on their chosen religion or patron deity, the default Cleric class is still an option. Since Junco is not described as having a specific religion, we will continue with the precedent of Junco being a Cleric, rather than some variety of specialty priest.
Level: 3rd
Minimum XP: 8000 (split evenly between to 2 classes or 4000 each)
Alignment:  Lawful Neutral
Hit Dice: ((3d10+6) + (3d8+6))/2
Average Hit Points:  21
As with AD&D, in 2nd Edition, hit dice from each class are rolled (including Constitution modifiers) and summed, then divided by the number of classes. The 2nd Edition version of Junco has the same average hit points at 3rd level as his AD&D counterpart.
  • Str: 9
  • Dex: 16  -- +1 to reactions and missile attacks, -2 bonus to AC
  • Con: 16 -- +2 hit points per die
  • Int: 16 -- 5 additional proficiency slots (see below)
  • Wis: 11 -- 10% chance of spell failure
  • Cha: 7 -- Max 3 henchmen, -1 on NPC loyalty
AD&D 2nd Edition continues the use of racial ability limits (both upper and lower), as well as racial ability adjustments from AD&D. All of Junco's rolled stats fall within the range for dwarves. His Constution has been increased by 1 and his Charisma decreased by 1 by virtue of the AD&D dwarven racial traits.
Dwarf Abilities:  
  1. From living underground, dwarves have found it useful to learn the languages of several of their neighbors, both friendly and hostile. The initial languages a dwarf can learn are common, dwarf, gnome, goblin, kobold, orc, and any others your DM allows. The actual number of languages is limited by the Intelligence of the player character or by the proficiency slots he allots to languages (if that optional system is used).
  2. By nature, dwarves are nonmagical and never use magical spells (priest spells are allowed however). This gives a bonus to dwarves' saving throws against attacks from magical wands, staves, rods, and spells. This bonus is +1 for every 3 - ½ points of Constitution score. Thus, for example, if a dwarf has a Constitution score of 7 he gains +2 on saving throws.
  3. Similarly, dwarves have exceptional resistance to toxic substances. All dwarven characters make saving throws against poison with the same bonuses that they get against magical attacks.
  4. Also because of their nonmagical nature, however, dwarves have trouble using magical items. All magical items that are not specifically suited to the character's class have a 20% chance to malfunction when used by a dwarf. This check is made each time a dwarf uses a magical item. A malfunction affects only the current use; the item may work properly next time. For devices that are continually in operation, the check is made the first time the device is used during an encounter. If the check is passed, the device functions normally until it is turned off. Thus, a dwarf would have to check upon donning a robe of blending but would not check again until he had taken the robe off and then put it on again. If a cursed item malfunctions, the character recognizes its cursed nature and can dispose of the item. Malfunction applies to rods, staves, wands, rings, amulets, potions, horns, jewels, and all other magical items except weapons, shields, armor, gauntlets, and girdles. This penalty does not apply to dwarven clerics using priest items.
  5. In melee, dwarves add 1 to their dice rolls to hit orcs, half-orcs, goblins, and hobgoblins. 
  6. When ogres, trolls, ogre magi, giants, or titans attack dwarves, these monsters must subtract 4 from their attack rolls because of the dwarves' small size and combat ability against these much bigger creatures.
  7. Dwarven infravision enables them to see up to 60 feet in the dark.
  8. Dwarves are miners of great skill. While underground, they can detect the following information when within 10 feet of the particular phenomenon (but they can determine their approximate depth below the surface at any time).
    Detect grade or slope in passage 1-5 on 1d6 
    Detect new tunnel/passage construction 1-5 on 1d6 
    Detect sliding/shifting walls or rooms 1-4 on 1d6 
    Detect stonework traps, pits, and deadfalls 1-3 on 1d6 
    Determine approximate depth underground 1-3 on 1d6 

    Note that the dwarf must deliberately try to make these determinations; the information does not simply spring to mind unbidden.
  9. A hardy and resilient race, dwarves automatically gain the Endurance proficiency (see the Player's Handbook, page 58) at no cost.
Unlike all previous versions, in 2nd Edition, Junco gains automatic proficiency with only two languages: Common and his native language (Dwarvish). While there are a list of languages recommended, skill with languages must be purchased by spending proficiency slots on them (see below). Thus this version of Junco is the least multi-lingual by far.

Cleric Abilities:
  1. Spells are the main tools of the cleric, however, helping him to serve, fortify, protect, and revitalize those under his care. A cleric has major access to the spheres of All, Astral, Charm, Combat, Creation, Divination, Guardian, Healing, Necromantic, Protection, Summoning, and Sun, and minor access to the Elemental sphere. The cleric receives his spells as insight directly from his deity (the deity does not need to make a personal appearance to grant the spells the cleric prays for), as a sign of and reward for his faith, so he must take care not to abuse his power lest it be taken away as punishment.
    1. Cast 2 1st-level spells per day.
    2. Cast 1 2nd-level spell per day.
  2. The cleric is also granted power over undead -- evil creatures that exist in a form of non-life, neither dead nor alive. The cleric is charged with defeating these mockeries of life. His ability to turn undead enables him to drive away these creatures or destroy them utterly. 
    1. Turn Undead: Skeletons 4+ on 1d20, Zombie 7+, Ghoul 10+, Shadow 13+, Wight 16+, Ghast 19+, and Wraith 20.
Unlike in previous editions, spells for various "priest" classes in AD&D 2nd Edition are broken down into various spheres of influence, allowing priests of various mythoi to have unique combinations of spells available to them. Clerics have access to most major spheres, excluding new spheres intoduced in the Tome of Magic. Another difference is the idea of having "minor access" to spells within a given sphere, which allows the priest to only cast spells of up to 3rd level from that sphere.

Fighter Abilities:
  1. As a master of weapons, the fighter is the only character able to have weapon specialization. Weapon specialization enables the fighter to use a particular weapon with exceptional skill, improving his chances to hit and cause damage with that weapon. A fighter character is not required to specialize in a weapon; the choice is up to the player. No other character class--not even ranger or paladin--is allowed weapon specialization.
  2. Able to use any armor, any shield, and any bludgeoning weapon.
The player's handbook states "Regardless of his other classes, a multi-classed priest must abide by the weapon restrictions of his mythos. Thus, a fighter/cleric can use only bludgeoning weapons (but he uses the warrior combat value)."

Scholar Priest Abilities:

  1. The Scholar Priest gains Reading/Writing as a bonus non-weapon proficiency.
  2. The Scholar Priest can "spend" any of his Weapon Proficiency slots on Nonweapon Proficiencies instead. He doesn't have to; he can adhere to the normal pattern of proficiency choice that is appropriate to his priest-class. But if he wishes he may turn Weapon Proficiency slots into Nonweapon slots and thereby become a very skilled character. 
  3. The Scholar receives a +3 reaction bonus from other scholars, admirers of scholastic concerns, writers, journalists, and people who imagine that they are scholars. Because of this, when the party thinks it is in a situation when no one is willing to help, it may turn out that the mousy clerk, antagonistic king, or homely witch they met is an admirer of or even correspondent with the Scholar Priest and will help them.
  4. The scholar-priest must always have writing material, quill and ink with him. If ever he loses them, he must regain or replace them as soon as possible, and in the meantime will be recording his experiences in any fashion he can find.
  5. Many scholars are egotistical, and debates between scholars can become very heated and personal. Whenever the DM rolls a reaction check from another scholar, he should first roll 1d6. On a 1, the player-character scholar gets a -6 reaction adjustment instead of a +3, because at some time in the past (or even the present) he argued or disagreed with this scholar's pet opinion and offended him completely.

All Kits come with some drawbacks, limitations, or requirements in addition to a host of special abilities to distinguish characters of that Kit from others with the same class(es).

Attack Rolls:  As a 3rd-level Fighter, he strikes an unarmored opponent on a roll of 8+ on 1d20.

Saving Throws:
  • Paralyzation/Poison/Death Magic:  10+ on d20.
  • Rod/Staff/Wand: 10+ on d20.
  • Petrification/Polymorph:  13+ on d20.
  • Breath Weapon:  16+ on d20.
  • Spells:  11+ on d20.
The saves vs. Rods, Staves, Wands, and Spells include the +4 bonus for being a Dwarf.

The weapon and non-weapon proficiency system introduced in AD&D is expanded and made core in 2nd Edition. Proficiencies are used extensively with the various Kits, and are intrinsic to their function and many of their special abilities. 2nd Edition also addresses the issue of how proficiencies work for multi-class characters, stating "the character starts with the largest number of proficiency slots of the different classes. Thereafter, he gains new proficiency slots at the fastest of the given rates".

As a Fighter, Junco gains 4 weapon proficiencies at 1st-level, and gains 1 additional slot every 3 levels. Thus Junco has 5 slots to spend on his weapon proficiencies. Unlike in AD&D or the Rules Cyclopedia, 2nd Edition specifies that "Only single-class fighters may have weapon specialization," and limits him to only using those weapons allowed to Clerics, so we will have to find some additional uses for his slots beyond the Staff specialization and crossbow proficiency of previous versions.

The Complete Fighter's Handbook introduces the idea of Proficiency groups, which allow a character to gain proficiency in multiple related weapons for a reduced number of slots, as well as proficiency and specialization with Fighting Styles. While only single-class Fighters may gain weapon specialization, "Warriors, Rogues and Priests can buy Style Specializations. Only single-class Warriors can ever learn more than one Style Specialization,so Junco, as a multi-class fighter/cleric is free to gain specialization in a single fighting style of his choice. The fighting styles are Single-Weapon, Two-Weapon, Weapon & Shield, and Two-handed Weapon. Since Junco traditionally uses a staff, we will go with the Two-Handed Weapon as his specialized fighting style.
  • Weapon Proficiencies:
    • Quarterstaff -- 1 slot (the quarterstaff does not belong to any weapon group)
    • Staff Sling -- 1 slot (seems like a good choice as a ranged bludgeoning weapon)
    • Two-Handed Weapon Style -- 1 slot
      • When you're using a weapon two-handed, that weapon's Speed Factor is reduced by 3.
      • You can use a one-handed weapon in two hands, gaining a bonus of +1 to damage.
    • 2 left over
Clerics start with 4 non-weapon proficiencies, and gain another every 3 levels, for a total of 5. Junco gains an additional 5 non-weapon proficiency slots from his high Intelligence score. We will also take advantage of his ability from the Scholar Priest kit and use his 2 remaining weapon proficiency slots to purchase non-weapon proficiencies, giving him a total of 12 non-weapon proficiency slots to spend. 

The various sources in the AD&D 2nd Edition Core Rules provide well over a hundred non-weapon proficiency options to choose from, with varying costs. The various proficiencies are divided up into groups based on class: General, Priest, Rogue, Warrior, and Wizard. As a Cleric/Fighter, Junco can freely purchase proficiencies from the General, Priest, and Warrior groups. His large number of slots will allow us to double-up on some similar proficiencies to reflect his expertise in certain areas, and offset some of his loss of free languages.
  • Non-weapon Proficiencies:
    • Modern Language (Common) -- automatic
    • Modern Language (Dwarvish) -- automatic
    • Reading/Writing (Common) -- Bonus from Scholar Priest kit
    • Endurance -- Bonus from Dwarf race
    • Religion -- 1 slot (Priest)
    • Philosophy -- 1 slot (General)
    • Healing -- 2 slots (Priest)
    • Direction Sense -- 1 slot (General)
    • Mountaineering -- 1 slot (Warrior)
    • Ancient History -- 1 slot (Priest)
    • Excavations -- 1 slot (General)
    • Teaching -- 1 slot (General)
    • Modern Languages (Gnome) -- 1 slot (General)
    • Modern Languages (Kobold) -- 1 slot (General)
    • Modern Languages (Goblin) -- 1 slot (General)