Oregon Trail: character creation.

Having finished a game of d6 Shooters, I’m now going to look at Oregon Trail (the link is to Board Game Geek).

This is a board game, and has nothing to do with the well-known computer game except the theme (by the way, I’ve done my own version of the computer game, which is here).

Unlike d6 Shooters, in Oregon Trail you start by creating a character, who in the fiction of the game is the ‘trail boss’ of an expedition.

There are five attributes:

  • Nature Lore
  • Hunting
  • Indian Lore
  • Military Skill
  • Popularity

They’re all fairly self-explanatory, except that ‘Military Skill’ seems to be how good you are at organising your ‘troops’, not how well you fight as an individual.

A player has 60 points to distribute to attributes, although you also use them to buy rations and extra stock. You’re allowed to give a minimum of 7 and a maximum of 12 to each attribute, after which you roll a (six-sided) dice for each one and add that to your score.

The rating seems to be on roughly the same scale as D&D and other role-playing games, and the usual method of rolling against these attributes is to roll a 20-sided dice, with a success if the score is equal to or under the relevant score.

I spent 47 points, giving the following:

  • Nature Lore: 12
  • Hunting: 12
  • Indian Lore: 9
  • Military Skill: 7
  • Popularity: 7

With dice rolls, this gives the following:

  • Nature Lore:12 + 5 = 17
  • Hunting: 12 + 3 = 15
  • Indian Lore: 9 + 2 = 11
  • Military Skill: 7 + 5 = 12
  • Popularity: 7 + 4 = 11

Bill Beaudine is an uncommunicative, surly sort of fellow, with little time for white man or Indian. There are few, though, who know the trails better than he.

Since I spent 47 points on my character, I have 13 left to outfit the expedition, which I’ll do next post.

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