Having recently acquired the AD&D core rulebooks, I would like to soon run an AD&D adventure, and am interested to do so the ''Gygax way'', starting with character creation. For that matter, I would like to know, what were Gygax's known character creation methods and preferences?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you mean, known character creation methods and preferences apart from those he recommends in the DMG (p. 11)? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 19, 2014 at 19:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes. More specifically, I am looking for what methods he personally preferred to use, be they in the books or not. \$\endgroup\$
    – derp
    Sep 19, 2014 at 20:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ A good clarification: which time in his career? Given that he worked on RPG's for a good long while, he's likely to have varied his opinion on it. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 19, 2014 at 20:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ I hadn't thought of that. If possible, an overview of his various evolving opinions would be best. But if it would have to be just one period only, I would say during the years that followed the release of AD&D. \$\endgroup\$
    – derp
    Sep 20, 2014 at 2:23

1 Answer 1


Gygax could be very cagey about questions like this and would give answers such as this one.

But my impression of reading his comments, and sometimes communicating with him directly was that he didn't really stick to any one method and let players choose how to generate characters from the options listed in DMG and others he deemed "not cheating".

Both he and Frank Mentzer often said that ability scores neither saved stupid players (if high) nor damned clever ones (if not).

Generally speaking, Gygax made very little reference to the RAW when actually running a game from the reports I've seen.


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