Vaults & Vagabonds


Vaults & Vagabonds Character Creation Part I

Progress is slowly being made on Vaults & Vagabonds. Thoughts and discussions exists outside this blog, but for the sake of organization and sanity I must write down some of the progress. The outlines given here are not formatted nor final and should, at best, be considered preliminary to the finished document.

Previously I listed some of the principles of old school games as I understand them. I started playing RPG's in the late 80's, first using the Basic rules, but quickly expanded to the 2nd edition of the game. One might say that I've never really played in an old school game, but then again very few people have. I guess most people today only use second or third hand sources to base their play on. With this in mind, i.e. that I don't have first hand experience with the old style, and that my background mainly is from newer versions of the game, I start with the basics and see how it evolves from there.

Ability scores

To determine ability scores roll 3d6 six times and assign the six totals (3 – 18) to the standard abilities in order.

The ability scores generate bonuses that sometimes will be added to specific die rolls. The bonuses mainly apply when rolling d20 to accomplish difficult tasks with an uncertain outcome. How this works will be explained in detail later. Other uses of bonuses will be explained below.

Note: Penalties (negative values) always apply to all classes. Bonuses might only apply to specific classes.

The bonuses are as follows:

Score Bonus %
3 -2 -10%
4 – 7 -1 -5%
8 – 13 0 0
14 – 17 +1 +5%
18 +2 +10%

The six abilities are as follows:

  • Strength (STR) is the physical strength of a character. It determines how much they will be able to lift and help them bash down obstacles. STR is the primary ability for Fighters.
    • STR bonus is added to damage in melee for all classes
    • Fighters add their STR bonus to hit in melee
    • Fighters add their STR % bonus to XP received
  • Dexterity (DEX) signifies the overall quickness, reaction and coordination of the character. DEX is the primary ability for Rogues.
    • DEX bonus is added to hit in ranged combat
    • DEX bonus is given to Armor Class (AC) when unarmored or wearing leather armor
    • Rogues add their DEX % bonus to XP received
  • Constitution (CON) is the overall health and fitness of the character.
    • CON bonus is added to total hit points (hp) per level. Total hit points per level is never less than 1.
    • CON bonus adds to see if a character is recoverable after going below 0 hp. This is explained in the rules for combat and death.
  • Intelligence (INT) is the knowledge level of your character. It denotes how much information they will remember, how good they are at reasoning and understanding abstract concepts. INT is the primary ability for Wizards.
    • INT gives knowledge of one extra language for every point above 10. These need not be selected at character creation, but can be assigned through play. A background for why or how the character know the language must then be given.
    • INT of 14 or above also signifies writing and reading in all the extra languages the character knows.
    • INT bonus adds to total number of spells a wizard can record in their spellbook. The formula per spell level is wizard level + INT bonus - (spell level x 1,5)(rounded up). Minimum is aways 1. This is different than the number of spells a wizard can cast per day.
    • Wizards add their INT % bonus to XP received.
  • Wisdom (WIS) can signify both how spiritual or how worldly the character is. It is in either case an ability that says how attuned to the world the characters are. WIS is the primary ability for Clerics.
    • WIS of 14 or above gives 5% more XP for any character.
    • In addition Clerics add their WIS % bonus to XP recieved.
    • WIS bonus adds to total number of spells (prayers) a cleric may know per spell level. The formula per spell level is cleric level + WIS bonus - (spell level x 1,5)(rounded up). Minimum is aways 1. This is different than the number of spells the cleric can cast per day.
  • Charisma (CHA) signifies the character's personality, their ability to inspire action in others and influence opinions. CHA is both the ability of the entertainer and the leader. In game it will heavily affect reactions, how many followers a character can have and their morale.
    • CHA bonus adds to the base number of followers a character may have. The formula is 4 + CHA bonus with the minimum always being at least 1. Note that there is no restrictions, besides money, to the number of hirelings and regular mercenaries a character may have.
    • CHA bonus adds to loyalty and morale of retainers, followers and mercenaries. The formula is 8 + CHA bonus.
    • CHA of 14 or above gives 5% more XP for any character.

Next up: Character Classes

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