When designing large D&D tournaments, I would create a party and then design an adventure specifically for them. Later, when only running individual games, I was too busy to create an all-new party every time (for up to 10 conventions a year, several all-new adventurers every year), so I dug back into history and revisited an adventure called “Needle”.
The party in AD&D module I-11 has become pretty famous, primarily because of the artist Clyde Caldwell. You’ve seen them around the internet (first photo).
I used that party at conventions for a while, adding some more characters to improve the options. But then a fan in Italy asked if I could run BECMI while I was there, instead of 1e AD&D. That seemed logical (author who wrote the edition, all that), so I converted the characters to the system I wrote, and have used them frequently ever since.
The first two pages herein (00a and 00b) are an Overview of everyone — the stuff everybody knows about each other — and a list of all magic items in the party, for tactical planning. Pages 01-12 are the twelve possible player characters. You won’t need all of them for most games (unless you really do run for 12 people), so the players get to choose which will be used today. * I often permit the PCs chosen to borrow some few magic items from the characters not selected. (Players can be covetous…)
Character notes: They all use nicknames, for privacy. You’ll see that Blondy and Lily are sister ‘tanks’ (heavy fighters), Blaze and Cuss are elves, female and male (just friends), Montana and Wyoming are dwarven brothers, and Susie & Ghost are brother & sister hobbits. Astute players will demonstrate those relationships at the table and add personal touches.
And yet, despite all this careful prep, the players needed more data. BECMI is popular but hasn’t been a public focus for over 30 years.
I realized that anyone who has played any version of D&D published before 1999 can probably do fine with only minimal help… so I helped them, filled in the last gaps:
The accessory sheets (R01 thru R04 attached) are the numbers needed for everyone (to-hit rolls, saving throws) and crib sheets with the crunch for ALL cleric & druid spells, and magic-user spells up to level 4.
Bottom Line: With this kit — 12 PCs, party overviews, and references — you can run a BECMI game with no books at all. If you really need all the verbose spell or weapon descriptions to satisfy rules lawyers, just bring one book (the Rules Cyclopedia, $10 PDF) and you’re done.
Well, almost done, that is. You’ll need an adventure too. 🙂
FEEL FREE to download all the images and use them as you wish. (But don’t publish them, or WotC will beat you up.)