I don't remember many of the details of my very first character. Just that he was a Vrusk (think giant ant body with a humanoid torso) from Star Frontiers. My older brother finally gave in and taught me how to play (but only because he was bored and his gaming group wasn't meeting that day.)
I consider my first real character to be a Barbarian from 1st Ed AD&D, built from the wholly unbalanced and completely fun Unearthed Arcana rules. I was probably about 12 or 13, his name was Grunt Slash, and he excelled at wenching and brawling. The biggest danger to his health and sanity was a halfling thief who resembled Tasslehoff Burrfoot in many ways and had "picked up" a startling array of dangerously wild magic items (I think we took his wand of wonder away after he sent someone to another dimension.)
We usually had the radio playing during that long campaign and so a lot of 80's pop songs make me wax nostalgic. I found it is decidedly not romantic to tell a woman that Cheap Trick's The Flame makes me think of a bloodthirsty barbarian. :)
I don't have much to say about this. It seems pretty straightforward and usable.
I suppose a few plot hooks would be helpful to get the imagination working, but I doubt it would take much to come up with something on my own. If you have a player really willing to get into the role, you could have them find it and play up the effects until the rest of the party realizes there's a problem and have to intervene.Go to Comment
Some interesting considerations. I was once on the player's side of the equation for most of a summer and I agree with what has been said. Game mechanics were mostly ignored in favor of heavier role-playing. I rarely interacted with more than one NPC at a time. I got myself into a few jams, similar to what has been described (no other players to reality check my ideas.) I was lucky to have a creative and forgiving GM.
Good article manfred. I especially liked ephe's idea about using solo gaming to warm up a group.