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Let's Make a Character: Shadow of the Demon Lord

On The Origin of Amanda Crowley

In Shadow of the Demon Lord one creates a character in a few fairly simple steps, with the aid of several random tables opening the road to fully randomized character generation if you so wish.

Step 1: Your Ancestry 
At '0' level, a PC is largely defined by his race, or 'ancestry' as it is called in SotDL.
For the purpose of this exercise, I am just going to create a Human.

Step 2: Your Attributes
As a human I get the following by default:
Strength 10, Agility 10, Intellect 10, Will 10 
Perception: Equal to Intellect  Defense: Equal to Agility
Health: Equal to Strength Healing Rate: 1/4 Health round down
Size: 1/2 or 1 Speed: 10 Power:0 Damage: 0 Insanity:0 Corruption:0
Languages: Speaks the common tongue and may either speak another tongue or add
a random profession.
We are going to have our character understand Dark Speech, because that opens up many
unpleasant possibilities down the road...
All characters can add one to a stat by removing one from another, but humans
get to also add 1 to any attribute as well due to their 'versatility' presumably.

I am going to wait until we roll for background to select what is 'thematically' appropriate.

Step 3: Ancestry Background 
Here we find out what our character looks like, some personality quirks and religious beliefs. These background options are very different for the different ancestries. Clockwork for example dont worry about religion.

After careful consideration I flipped a coin to determine gender and our (un)lucky PC is female, let's name her Amanda Crowley.

Human Background:
We roll a d20 and Amanda apparently foiled a plot to kill someone important to her or brought the killer to justice.
Let's come back to that later...

Human Personality:
We rolld 3d6 to determine this and find that Amanda puts her interests and those of her friends above all else. Coupled with the background result we can see someone whose self interest can gain vengeful enemies, but she is willing to get in harm's way to protect those who stand with her.

Human Religion:
We roll 3d6... And we find that Amanda belongs to a cult dedicated to a dark power. That ties in nicely with her ability to understand Dark Speech, and perhaps this means that she stopped someone from killing one of her fellow cultists. Quite the protaganist we are building here.

Human Age:
3d6 tells us that apparently she is an adolescent between 12 and 17 years of age... Who is apparently part of or perhaps leading a dark cult that has recently warded off a plot to murder a fellow cult member. (Taking the previous results into conderation.)
We will say that Amanda is 14.

Human Build:
3d6 tells us that Amanda is a bit overweight.

Human Appearance:
3d6 tells us that Amanda is perfectly normal in appearance. Probably a useful trait for someone in a dark cult not to stand out...

Step 4: Professions
 Every PC gets two professions in addition to whatever is granted by their ancestry. PCs may trade a profession pick for the ability to READ a language they know how to speak. I think it makes sense that Amanda can read Dark Speech, but remains illiterate in the common tongue which leaves her one profession (also thematically appropriate for a 14 year old).
The random pick tells us that it is a criminal career, specifically Charlatan or Con Artist...
Perhaps Amanda's cult puts on a 'good face' to the public to get money and recruits. Someone learned their dark secret and while trying to bring one of them to justice, Amanda killed the would be crusader.

So Amanda is a Charlatan Cultist who is willing to kill to protect her Cult comrades. And she is 14.
I bet she had wonderful parents.

Step 5: Equipment
The last step is to determine starting wealth and one 'interesting thing' that the PC has.

3d6 tells us that Amanda is 'Comfortable', this means she starts with a dagger, fine clothing a backpack and some other sundries including an incantation of a Level 0 spell on a scroll.

Interesting Things:
The dice gods give us this: "A tiny idol of a demon carved from green stone"

When I sat down to start working on this I intended to demonstrate the career progression of a warrior, but obviously the dice have given us a young, very dark and manipulative religious leader who will probably muck with demons later on instead.

So as noted earlier she has 1 additional point to add to her stats, and
we will add that to her Intellect.
Further I will pull one point from Strength and move it to Will.
This reflects her age and early ability to manipulate and lead others.

This gives us the following starting adventurer. Note that she does not have a 'class' or the like as that occurs at level one.

For those familiar with the system, I will probably advance her as Priest, Oracle and Apocalyptist or perhaps Paladin instead of Oracle as I see her becoming either the Hand or the Mouth of whatever entity she serves over the course of her career.

That is for a future post, for now this is what Amanda looks like at her humble beginning:

Name: Amanda Crowley
Background: Amanda is a manipulative 14 year old girl that has found her way with a dark cult whose members identify themselves with a tiny idol of a demon carved in green stone. Amanda recently stopped a zealous crusader for the New God from killing one of her fellow cultists, likely saving the cult (for now) from the tender mercies of the Inquisition.
Ancestry: Human
Wealth: Comfortable
Level: 0
Paths: -
Strength 9(-1), Agility 10(+0),Intellect 11(+1), Will 11(+1)
Perception 11, Defense 10, Health 9, Healing Rate 2
Size 1/2, Speed 10, Power 0
Languages: Common, Dark Speech (Literate)
Professions: Charlatan
Magic: -
Talents: -


  1. Taking the "Charlatan" point a tad further, I might have gone with she is trying to infiltrate the cult to save a friend or loved one who got dragged into it unwillingly. Now she's kind of stuck herself.

  2. Taking the "Charlatan" point a tad further, I might have gone with she is trying to infiltrate the cult to save a friend or loved one who got dragged into it unwillingly. Now she's kind of stuck herself.

    1. That would almost literally personify the saying 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions' wouldn't it?


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