B/X D&D Character Creation

The Back to the Mud campaign using the 1981 Basic/Expert set of rules for Dungeons & Dragons (known as the Moldvay rules or B/X). Character creation will be rolling 4d6 drop the lowest for stats in order (the order being as they appeared in the rules): STR, INT, WIS, DEX, CON, CHA. The standard rules apply to modifiers and classes.

Though the Back to the Mud campaign is centered primarily on humans and their lands, I will allow the non-human classes for player characters, though they will be treated as outsiders in the civilized areas of the game and may have some homespun lore to set them apart from typical dwarves, elves, and halflings.

Some house rules:


All characters start with maximum hit points at first level, and at each level gain they roll new dice and either accept that roll or keep their current score. So at 2nd level a fighter would roll 2d8, if less than current (which would be 8 with no modifiers) they can keep new roll or stay at 8 (possible there will be no improvement at low levels).


Clerics are NOT restricted to blunt weapons, however they cannot use any missile weapons and may not use magic swords.


Magic-Users are not restricted to daggers, however they may not use missile weapons (other than crossbows which require little training) and may not use any magic weapons other than daggers and staves. They still cannot wear armor or use shields.

Magic-Users all begin with a spell book that contains Read Magic and 1 other spell chosen randomly. Roll 1d12 and re-roll 9 (Read Magic).


Elves must roll for a random 1st level spell and do not automatically know Read Magic.


All thief abilities (other than hear noise) are now resolved using a 1d20 roll, roll equal to or less than below target number (DEX modifiers apply as missile fire adjustments to target number). A roll of 1 is always a success, and a roll of 20 is always a failure. Some rolls may be made by the DM as the player will not know the results of his test in cases of hiding and stealth.

LevelOpen LocksFind/Remove TrapsPick PocketsMove SilentlyClimb SurfacesHide in ShadowsHear Noise
2nd 43551731-2
Thieves’ Abilities

Character Creation Part II (VsD version)

After generating your starting statistic values, you pick a culture and vocation as per the written rules. (Remembering that all characters are human the Fey and Woad background cultures are off limits).

Next up is the background options, as this campaign is low magic there are a few changes here. All characters start with either 2 minor tier background options, or 1 major background option.

Finally complete the finishing touches on your character as per the book. Note that starting equipment and wealth will be handled differently (with a more traditional coin based equipment system instead of a general wealth score which will be the subject of the next post).

Character Generation Part I (VsD version)

Back to the Mud makes some slight changes to the rules of the Open00 System (find the open license here). I have made changes to the attributes (stats) replacing them with the more common (and best known) names. This required 1 skill name change, Charisma is now called Persuasion.

This is a human centered game, and features no playable non-human kin, though most cultures remain unchanged. That does not mean there are no humanoids present, but those that are, are too alien or inhuman to make good characters. They are mostly misunderstood or outright evil in service to the Dark Master.

With no playable kin other than human, you may add +5 to any one stat after finding your starting values.

Starting hit points are 30, with max hit points still at 120 as per the VsD rules. All other human values remain unchanged as do the rules/values for cultures.

Generate Starting Statistics

To generate your starting statistics, roll 1d100 for each of the below in order. If you roll a negative stat, embrace the suffering. Use it as character development, we can’t all be superheroes. The name of this game/campaign comes from a saying in the First Law series of books by Joe Abercrombie (I will post a page of my own “Appendix N” for the inspirational media for this game later).

  • Strength (Brawn)
  • Dexterity (Swiftness)
  • Constitution (Fortitude)
  • Intelligence (Wits)
  • Wisdom (Wisdom)
  • Charisma (Bearing
RollStat Value