From Chainmail to D&D Next

Death Comes Quick to first Level Characters
How many way can a character die.

Two brave adventures after a long arduous journey have reached the keep on the borderlands. A lone outpost marking the edge of civilized lands, with the inhabitants doing their best to make the keep feel like home. They are noble and enjoy freedom from the kingdom strict rules. But the Orcs and other foul creates are alway nearby ready to encroach in the civilized lands, claim them for their own.

The often drunken wizard Malijar, dressed in tattered robes and rags has come to the borderlands to seek his fortune. Always seeking gold or barter to keep his wine skin full, he hears rumors of magical arrow and much gold to be found in the Caves of Chaos. Accepting the provisions and blessings giving to those who seek glory for themselves and the kingdom, Malijar sallied forth twice in attempts to reach the caves. Both attempts failed and left his partner dead, giving Malijar a dangerous reputation back at the keep.

On Malijar first outing he was accompanied by a brave dwarven warrior. As they entered the forest near the keep, they heard rustling in the trees. The sound was trying to heard them some place. Deciding to confront the scary sound and to not let themselves be heard into certain doom. A giant spider descends from the trees top, and spats harsh poison right into the eyes of the soon to be deceased dwarf. Malijar using magic missile and one of his throwing dagger drove off the spider and hauled the corpse of his friend back to the keep.

After drowning his sorrows in his wineskin, Malijar decides to try and earn a bit of coin once more by exploring the Caves of Chaos. He teams up with an elderly cleric. This cleric is seeking excitement and escape from the burdens of his family, and hoping to bring back some gold to ease his families concerns. Leaving the keep late due to some excessive drinking, they journey out along the road, now guided by a rough sketched map. Several Wolves attracted by the sound of their heavily burdened mule, attack the party in hopes of some easy supper. A furious fight begins, with the cleric defending the mule from the wolves, but the scared mule kicks the luckless cleric in the head leaving him dead. The mule runs off into the wood with the wolves chasing, leaving Malijar with the last wolf to ward off. He kills the stray wolf with magic missile. Malijar does not know which is worse the lost of his mule and provision or his new comrade, so back to the keep he goes.

Back at the keep Malijar is greeted by the amused scribe, her pretty eyes start to see Malijar in a new and yet to be determined light. Malijar fails to notice her concern and drinks himself into stupor by the central fountain, amazingly his rest was not disturbed by thief, watch or good Samaritan.

Will Malijar be able to brave another attempt at fame and fortune?

I learned that first level characters die quickly, especial when they only have a 2 hit points. This reminded me of a house rule that is now standard in some edition, First level players character are exceptional and start with max hit points. Because a character with a 7AC and 2HP is going to die in his first couple encounters. The wizard starting with more hit points than the Dwarf or the Cleric seems a bit off, but makes for a good story.

The nice thing about Basic D&D is that you make up the story after you roll, there is not fudging or way to make the character your want you have to take what the dice give and be creative from there.


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