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Thursday, January 30, 2014

1st Edition AD&D Part II- My character, Relendor Silkenweb

In my previous installment I chronicled the genesis of THE CAMPAIGN here In that post I talk about the broad scope of the game from the 40,000 foot level. Before I chronicle the rest of the adventuring party I will discuss the only real piece I have from the game other then my memories: my character sheet. Below is the scan of it, but before I get to it, from what I can piece together this is not the original one. The typing is not mine on the first sheet it is Jeff's. The second sheet of equipment and magic items is my typing (misspellings and all). This I recognize as I hand typed it on my old Atari 800 XL Also it was later on in the campaign as I had acquired a few more magic items and lost others. 

Now looking at the first page a few things are noticeable. First, I wonder why my character has such a low charisma? Trying to tell me something Jeff? Hah! The notation for strength and the exceptional rating is I found a magical studded bracer of ogre power (same as gauntlets) but only on the arm I was wearing it on. Makes you wonder, but it really was never an issues as my character fought with an unusual weapon for a dark elf, a spetum. Note the parts where it says ambidexterity and under abilities where it notes “You have all of the male drow abilities and penalties”. During the entire campaign I can never remember fighting two weapon style, not once. Why? Well I was specialized in spetum and by the end of the game I believe double specialized, Now granted this was diverging from the rules as written, but as I noted in part one we were treading different ground. I think at one point I went through a number of magical spetums as all of us in the party were failing item saving throws at one point or another. Despite all of this stacking, yes I was a decent fighter, but probably not the best one as that went to the half ogre fighter. I do remember I did get a new set of smoke colored translucent dice in the mail prior to the start. They best part is the d20 rolled 19 on a very regular basis (I must have used all of the luck back then because it now rolls like crap).

Innate abilities are listed and I seem to recall my dark elf had lost his magic resistance, but had access to his daily powers. I recall faerie fire, darkness and levitate were ones I used quite often. Also Jeff as I noted last time Jeff incorporated the fighting styles from Dragon #127. Also not appearing on the sheet is alignment. I think it was inadvertently left off. I say this as I seem to recall him being True Neutral in the sense of concerned about himself rather then balance.

The equipment on the first page is interesting too. It points to this not being the first generation of the character sheet because some of the magic items I acquired are in the typed text while some items are written in. The book of black poetry and the broom are of special note, why I was hauling them around is another mystery that only my 14 year old self can answer... The short bow came about because I wanted to pick up longbow as the damage from a hand crossbow is anemic due to the fact they are just injection methods for the poison that the dark elves coat on their bolts with. Without the poison? 1d3/1d2? And terrible range to boot. So as I remember trying to go longbow and settled on short bow. I didn't use either all that much. I do have a few memories of using a magical long sword on occasion, but mainly it was spetum and shield. I did use the hand crossbow on other occasions when stealth was needed coating with some varying poisons

Lastly a Fighter/Rune-caster? For this game the magic users used runes. Each day we would chisel our spell to a rune and then cast as needed. This was more for flavor and had no difference from how it works in normal spell casting. In fact I had spell books and in my pouch of holding I had quite a few as the next sheet shows. 


The equipment sheet as noted was typed by me, misspellings, warts and all; it is what it is. Since identify was so underpowered in 1st edition and the nature of the campaign we quite frequently didn’t know exactly what an item could do. Looking at it the list is hardly earth shattering. Remember as I noted in part one we had done a quick high level campaign prior so we were going more low powered this time around. I already mentioned the magical bracer of ogre power. It was the first magic item I picked up in the game and surprisingly survived every item saving throw through to the end. Another item I had that clearly is not on there but remember distinctly is the cloak of the bat (although cloak of the arachnid would have fit better). I remember it getting nuked in a failed fireball saving throw much to the parties relief as I was annoying them with it. The book of summoning “homucumuls” deserves special note, apparently aside from bad spelling I never used it. I think I left it in the pouch of holding waiting for my familiar to bit the dust... Summoning a homunculus would have been cool and in the theme of the character.

The familiar is a special story. I hate cats, cant stand um and I'm a dog person to boot. And what happens through random rolls after I cast the spell? A cat? WTF. Over the course of the campaign something unusual happens however. Jeff's basement cat decides he wants to park himself on my lap every session. Don't know how it happened, but that was the only cat I ever liked and when Saturday came around there Cogswell would be: on my lap and purring. The odd thing is I don't recall him wanting to move or sitting anywhere else*. (Quick note: despite my dislike of cats I don't like to see them harmed. My wife calls me Diego the animal rescuer as various animals, strays and injured ones are often drawn to me for some reason, sometimes randomly showing up at our house.) Somehow the familiar survived the game through sheer luck I'm guessing or the purring feline on my lap had something to do with it, go figure. I also believe to this day the cat loved the fact we gamed in the basement as the usual ritual was to chip in for pizza (which the older guy Mike would drive and get) and we would eat our fill. More as often then not the pizza box would get left in the basement and we would often find the cat munching on some rock hard pizza or crust the following week.

Of special note is Jeff used his extensive citadel collection for miniatures which he painted quite well by the standards of the time, Dave may have painted his (I wasn’t into painting at that point). Looking back on them the minis really influenced character design. My mini was one of the 3rd edition Foot calvary- Toruviel Longstride the rest of the parties minis likewise influenced the characters. In my case he was painted blue skinned, black as a dark elf and his shield would later on factor in to his goals.

There he is, one of my favorite fighter/magic users, Relendor Silkenweb. For the name I remember leafing through D3- Vault of the Drow for names and on page 14 appears “Captain Relonor” and it somehow got changed to Relendor. Finally Relendor had one other distinction: in this game he was the only PC to not be slain. Every other PC had died at least once. I do remember in one dungeon being knocked down to -9 and stabilized immediately through sheer luck owing to the fact that one of the other PCs was near by.

His back story is lost but I do remember he was sent by the church of Arion (there was no Lolth in this game) to recover the shield of Arion which had been stolen by Dragotha, same name, but not the undead dragon. Dragotha would be woven into all of our characters backgrounds as point unifying us together. I hope Jeff has them stashed away in his bin of stuff as I only ever read mine but no longer have it.

Thats it until next time when I chronicle the remaining adventuring party and the players. Last time I said there were seven of us, but there may have been eight as Jim might have playing with us at that time and I recall a dwarf fighter of his. I'll have to see if I can jog the memory.