i just rolled up the best dmpc ever

This week I ran an OD&D game in preparation for possibly DMing at Arneson Gameday. The PCs pooled their money and announced they had enough to get a hireling.

I offered them a candidate, a fighting man named “Huckabear” (I’m not always great with on-the-spot names).

The PCs wanted to get a sense of how strong Huckabear was, even though strength has no mechanical effect in OD&D besides a lousy XP bonus, so I rolled up his strength. 18. The PCs hired him then and there.

Really, the most important stat for a hireling is hit points, so I rolled them up: 1d6+1 for a level 1 fighter. I rolled a 6 on the die. Then I rolled his Constitution: 17. He had 8 HP, the unlikely maximum for a level 1 OD&D character.

All these rolls were in the open, by the way, and the players were freaking out. This musclebound, Conan-like fighter was a far better character than any of them. I’m usually careful not to run an NPC ally who outshines the characters, and I was seeing one form before my eyes, one d6 roll at a time.

Later, the PCs met an enchanted princess. They wanted to make a good impression, so they asked me: was Huckabear as charming as he was strong? I rolled up his Charisma – out in the open again. Three sixes. Another 18. They sent him in to talk with the princess. Negotiations went well. Huckabear even rolled well on his reaction rolls.

Huckabear’s character sheet:
Huckabee, level 1 fighting man
HP 8, Ac 2 (plate mail and shield)
Str 18
Int 17
Wis 15
Con 17
Dex 13
Cha 18
Huckabear might be my group’s new Chuck Norris. “There used to be a street named after Huckabear, but it was changed because no one crosses Huckabear and lives.”

Huckabear was looking like he might be the only character I ever rolled up that could honestly qualify for the first-edition Paladin class. Too bad the Paladin hadn’t been invented yet.

Just for curiosity, we rolled up the rest of Huckabear’s stats. These weren’t as memorable, but were still statistically unlikely enough to be met with incredulity and mirth. He got a 17 intelligence (far smarter than the party wizards), 15 wisdom, and, the real letdown, only a 13 dexterity (still enough to get the +1 to missile attacks). We joked that Huckabear never had his sword out because his hands were constantly full with a lantern, ten-foot pole, sextant (“how can Huckabear even see the sky in the dungeon?” “Oh, Huckabear can do it”) – astrolabe, lute, and the score to the new opera he was working on.

Halfway through the dungeon, one of the PCs was killed by an ochre jelly, and took over Huckabear as a PC (and who wouldn’t want to?) In his first combat, he spent the first round putting down his ten-foot-pole, opera, etc. and lighting a torch. In the second round, he attacked the ochre jelly. Rolled a natural 20. Rolled a 6 on the d6 damage roll. It wasn’t my dice that made Huckabear great. It was Huckabear.


12 Responses to “i just rolled up the best dmpc ever”

  1. Jeff Rients says:

    What a great story!

  2. LS says:

    That is amazing and hilarious and I love it.

    Thanks for sharing.

    (By the way, I assume OD&D is Original/Old D&D? In other words, first ed?)

  3. katre says:

    Huckabear was great. The best part was that, after the player ran Huckabear for a bit, she rolled up a new character, because Huckabear was just too awesome to be one player’s PC.

  4. paul says:

    Hey LS, OD&D is the little booklets that came before Advanced D&D. I played AD&D when I was a kid, and I mostly play 4e now, so this world where everyone gets d6es for hit dice and damage rolls is a little alien to me. One thing I’ll say for OD&D: combat is fast. We got a mess of wandering monster encounters into two OD&D sessions.

  5. Tim Shorts says:

    Ha, all hail Huckabear. And I think that’s an excellent name.

  6. Jay Adan says:

    These are the kinds of things that make roleplaying awesome.

  7. Legion says:

    This is one of the best game stories I’ve heard.

    “after the player ran Huckabear for a bit, she rolled up a new character”: Tell her she’s as awesome as Huckabear for that.

    “because Huckabear was just too awesome to be one player’s PC”: And because of that, here’s my notice that I’m stealing him for my campaign which kicks-off in one week. Oh, and he’ll be a Paladin. Or rather THE Paladin.

  8. paul paul says:

    I’d like to convert him to a 1e paladin but I’m almost afraid to roll the percentage dice for his strength. What if he doesn’t get 00??

  9. aamedor says:

    Oh man huckabear sounds awesome!

  10. Legion says:


    May I have your email address? I want to send you a pic of Huckabear.



  11. Leg1on says:

    Hey There:
    I finally got around to posting my expansion of Huckabear:


    I hope you like.

  12. Paul says:

    This is great! Huckabear immortalized!

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