Ruminations on Dungeons and Dragons, brought on by the game’s 40th anniversary
I loved playing Dungeons & Dragons so much that I didn’t want the sessions to stop. If I didn’t have anyone available to play with, I would sit by myself and roll up characters.
That sounds sad and lonely but not to worry, it got better, much better.
And it left me with a huge pile of differing characters. I came across the pile again recently and I found it interesting to see the evolution of my character naming and creation skills over time. Some of these names are truly cringe-worthy, but go gently, I was young and knew no better.
My first character was named Bar Geoffrey because (1) I was assigned the role of cleric and that sounded vaguely like the name of someone in a holy order and (2) I had no idea what I was doing. “Roll these dice six times, write down the numbers, and then give it a name”. Not much to go on. I added “of Assissi” because again, the monkly thing. Bar Geoffrey de Assissi.
He died, but then I learned that “Bar” meant “son of”, and so my second character was also named Bar Geoffrey de Assissi. And then things got really sad. Randomly thumbing though the pile of characters, some so old they are on 3×5 cards, just names and six numbers. Glimpses of creativity past, although in many cases it is more accurate to say “lack of creativity past”:
- Geoff the Good – cleric
- Geoff the Just – cleric. No idea what was up with all these clerics named after me.
- Saxen – male human cleric. At least he was not named Geoff.
- Jack Daniels, a human fighter, and a reference to one of the reasons I didn’t finish college.
- Belthebe, the half-elf fighter
- Peregrine Took, hobbit thief. They were still hobbits back then, not yet halflings. Also they were still thieves back then, not yet rogues.
- Amarissa – human cleric
- Devon Dungeon Delver – human thief/magic user
- Saracen – male elf fighter
- Thorbolt – human barbarian
- Wimpy – male halfling thief. Yes they were halflings now, but still not yet rogues
- Solstice – male dark elf thief/magic user/fighter (wouldn’t it have been simpler to just be a bard?)
- Armand Hammer – male dwarf fighter, and no relation to the billionaire or his son the actor
- Arco Godiva – female human cleric. Named after a misheard song lyric that turned out to be “Arc of a Diver”
- Apogee – human male magic user
- Hearth Raider – male humanoid alien and anti-paladin. Not at all based on Darth Vader. Except completely.
- Cookie Jarvis – male gnome magic user (and delicious cereal mascot)
- Thorbolt (again) new version, same basic character
- Cookie Jarvis (again) now an illusionist
- The Shadow – human fighter/thief. Part of paired set with Thorbolt, modeled after Fafrhd and the Gray Mouser
- Pantera – female human magic user/thief
- Gwendolyn – human cleric
- Smash – male human fighter, a character with natural 18/00 strength, would have been a barbarian if only they existed then
- Victrola Vein-Voulger – female gnome magic user/illusionist
- Merlissa – female human thief/magic user. Apparently I really liked played thief/magic users
- Duane – half elf thief. As I recall, based on a real person who had stolen from me. A character rolled up in anger!
- Locusta – female human assassin
- Mawrella Haversack – female halfling cleric. At least I’ve stopped using actual Tolkien names verbatim
- Hallucinogen – male human magic user, and another reason why college was so fun, yet so short
- Hops, Malt and Barley – three dwarven fighters, and yet more college failure explainers
- Equilibria – female human druid
- Smiley – human male cleric
- Doc Hobbitay – halfling cleric/fighter
- Elena – human female magic user
- Buzz – male hippie magic user
- Roland – male dwarf fighter
- Devon Dungeon Delver – (again, now a gnome)
- The Shadow (again, same character, newer version)
- Del Botham – male halfling bard
- Dante – human male magic user
- Mandrake – human male illusionist
Brick – male sprite thiefreincarnated to Bricky Lee – female nymph druid
- Ensemble – male human cleric/druid/fighter/ranger/magic user/illusionist/monk. Because I guess someone had to be
- Marquoz – male rigellian cleric. A Rigellian was a man-sized dinosaur with prehensile claws
- Saracen (again) – still a fighter, now has equipment!
- Miranda – female human magic user, with psionics! And a pretty character sheet
- Apogee (again) – now neutral good, this version appears well-played and worn
- Glass-Hoppa – female sea spirit monk
- Bryn Haversack – male halfling cleric/rogue
- Mawrella “Mawry” Haversack (again) – now a ranger and the original Halfling Commando
- Nunya/Zero – male human wu jen and secret ninja
This is by no means the complete list of all the characters I’ve played, these are D&D only and exclude characters from Runequest, Champions, Traveler and the like, and it is not even all of the D&D characters. Only those that happened to be in the old folder I stumbled across last week.
It is amazing how many they are, did I really have time to play them all?
No one will ever say I don’t have character.
🙂 😀 🙂