Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Blast From The Past - My First D&D Character

My very first D&D character was Gobbo Pepperthorn.

Nicknamed "Gonzo" by friends and foes alike for his harebrained schemes and wild antics, Gobbo was a Halfling (Race as Class of course) and the son of a prominent farmer in the Halfling lands (which never got a name aside from 'Halfling Lands').
As mentioned in an old post, Gobbo's adventures began when he was given the task of transporting a case of the Pepperthorn family's secret recipe super-spicy hot sauce (six bottles in total if I recall) to King of Human Lands (who lived, as I remember it, in 'The Great Kingdom'). Gobbo's father had gone missing a year before performing the same duty. The Human King liked himself some spicy food it would seem.

Not so! Apparently the hot sauce, if a saving throw vs. poison was made to avoid spending the next 1D12 hours in the outhouse, granted Humans super strength for a limited time (+2 Strength even if it went over 18 for 1D4 hours). The Human King needed the advantage in his battles with an Evil Priest who, it turns out, had kidnapped Gobbo's father to prevent the King from getting his shipment. Most of the Evil Priest's forces were undead and couldn't use the spicy potion themselves.

I don't recall what level Gobbo reached but I do remember that he had over a dozen or so adventures before his happily heroic death. In order to protect another PC who I had discovered was secretly the lost prince of the Elf Kingdom, Gobbo leaped in front of a blast of Dragon Breath. So heroic was his action that the GM let me have a short death speech in which I told the Elf of his true heritage.

Part of the reason for Gobbo's demise was, honestly, I was growing bored of him. I knew he was probably not going to live through the Dragon battle anyway as he had already been injured and I wanted him to go out a brave hero who would be remembered.

Over time I've developed a feeling that if a PC dies, it should be tragic, epic, meaningful and/or, at the very least, loud and colorful. If you can't go with dignity, go BOOOM! That largely stems from this very first character.

Actually, a lot about my style and outlook as a gamer can be traced back to Gobbo and this first campaign. How I feel about treasure, what makes a hero, how 'Halfling' sounds derogatory and they would probably call themselves something else (Wilders in my homebrew world) and many, many other elements.

This is the first of what I hope is a series of first characters from the various games I've played over the years as part of my August Anniversary celebration. Sadly, there probably won't be a lot of these. I tended to GM much, much more often then I play (still do) and I don't really remember many of my first characters when either they or the game didn't last that long. I remember the ones that matter to me is perhaps the best way to put it. Still, expect Star Trek, Star Wars, World of Darkness, Mekton, Teenager from Outer Space and a few surprises...

Barking Alien


  1. You need a like button. Maybe its just the nostalgia talking, but it seems it was a bit more fun back in the day. I don't even remember my first characters name (it was 31 years ago?), as I was handed a henchman when I wandered into the public library and asked if I could play. But I do remember when many of my characters were odd, but fun to play.

  2. This sounds like it could be the basis of a great D&D-Asterix mashup. Instead of plucky Gauls repelling Roman legions with magic potion, the PCs are plucky Hobbits repelling Saruman's orcs with magic hot sauce! (The actual system would be Risus, of course.)

  3. But of course!

    Awesome idea. And great to here from you Avram!