Monstrous Manual? Check!
Good! Ready to start... OK, now... I have pencils and paper and a crapload of dice - a few being amongst my oldest possessions...
Now, I would want to start making copies of character sheets but I don't feel like using a pencil and paper for everything and I want to make sure that the computer will help out the best it can. Unfortunately, most of the various spreadsheet-based sheets or other software packages out there are for 3.0, 3.5, or 4.0. Most of the 2nd Edition Character generators have disappeared from the Web.
It's a good thing that I have a long memory for some things. Back in 1998, TSR came out with a software package called the Core Rules CD-ROM 2.0. Unfortunately, this has been out of print for over a decade... and copies on the open market (for a thirteen-year old piece of software designed for Windows 95!) run in the $70-$100 range...
It's also a good thing that the BitTorrent Protocol started started up since then! If you know what to look for, then you can find what you need floating around in the Pirate Bay. Normally, I'm not much for piracy, but in this case, I'll give it a shot!
The Core Rules CD-ROM includes a number of tools:
- Two (count 'em, two!) map-making programs. One is simpler than the other, but both are essentially drag-and-drop, map tile, graphics programs.
- A bookshelf of almost all of the 2.0 books - in RTF format, but they are there.
- A Dice Roller (I have always shaken my head at these)
- An Encounter and Treasure generator
- A Character Generator! PCs, NPCs, Dice rolling methods, save 'em, level 'em up... you name it!
Using this package, I can create characters for James of Riverfield and his friends (NPCs I can use to round out the party and save "James" from himself). I have also saved a version of Antha, James' mother (and my wife's character from long ago), in case they really get their fat in the fire.
Next time: Creating a world a seven-year-old will enjoy!