Saturday, October 22, 2011

Character Sheet Saturday: AD&D Exorcist

So here's a xerox from the legendary AD&D character sheet packs, those of the orange paper which I can only assume was an attempt to keep them from being photocopied. I love all of the detail and tiny, tiny lettering. I ran some AD&D- a couple of campaigns that lasted for a while. But by the time that Unearthed Arcana came out, various groups in our area had started to migrate over to GURPS and Rolemaster to do fantasy. So I only really have two characters I remember from this period, the one I played in a long-running campaign...

...and this guy. Who I maybe played for a session.

What made this character memorable was the set up. I played with a number of different groups- and some of them were a few years older. They were of my sister's generation or gamers or a little younger. By the time I became a gamer worth playing with, i.e. not an ankle-biter, some of the groups had moved on and the rest shuffled around and reformed. I ended up with a decent crew and we played in the garage during the summer in the Northern Indiana humidity and in the basement in the winter. One summer, a veteran gamer returned fro the Army. He'd been a kind of legendary GM and he wanted to finish out his campaign- one or two players in my group had been in his game. So he asked about using the garage, helped rebuild one of the tables and set the thing up.

I got to make up a character for the game which was going to be the epic wrap-up of the various plot threads and stuff. Of course, given the nature of the time, the game had a ton of house rules mana instead of spells per day; new classes & races; additional stats and so on. And for those of us joining in, we got to make up higher level characters. So you can see my 12th level Elven Wolf Rider Exorcist on the sheet below. I only scanned the first page, on the second page there's something about my character having lost and arm and it being replaced with an ape arm. I don't remember the details of that. And of course on the back of these sheets there's a space for the characters to write in their will.

Anyway, the game started running- I think they were planning on a full weekend of intense gaming to wrap everything up. I was kind of excited- a chance to play in a legendary game with some legendary characters- to add my story to that. But pretty quickly it became apparent that wasn't going to happen. The game was going to go on, but my character and those of the one or two other fill-ins- well, we really didn't matter. We couldn't affect anything, we couldn't get any scene time, and pretty much were left clueless out in the cold. Now I can understand that to some degree- this was a campaign with a rich history that had gone on for a long time. But I'd hoped to do more than just sit there and get to roll my sword. It the first time I experienced a game squarely aimed at one or two players; the GM intended them to be the stars of the show and anything else was unimportant. I hit that a few more times over the years, but this was almost the most blatant. I recall at one point asking a fellow veteran player who had a number of legendary artifact swords if I could use one for the upcoming fight since I didn't have one. Such a request was clearly beyond the pale and offensive. So no sword. At some point I got tired of the whole thing and left, I went upstairs to bed and they kept playing in my garage. I think the game broke up at about dawn. I don't think I ever heard how it wrapped up.

Good times.