I once wrote up playing card-sized OD&D character sheets that included three guidelines to remember when role-playing characters. Some were distilled down from the “code of honor” rules in other games (probably GURPS). Most were tropes, but I still like them…
1. Pursue combat for glory’s sake, as battle tests self-worth.
2. Never flinch before hardships, as pain is only weakness leaving the body.
3. Face death before dishonor, treating your word with care and keeping all promises.
1. Promote how the Faith rewards the faithful.
2. Allow no heretic or infernal threat to survive.
3. Protect, aid and rescue innocents from peril.
1. Remember your only true family members are fellow thieves.
2. Take what you can but never claim property you cannot hide.
3. Keep the whereabouts of accomplices secret.
1. Conceal arcane secrets from those who hinder knowledge or corrupt magical practices.
2. Keep the ignorant safe and unaware of magic’s physical, mental and spiritual dangers.
3. Pursue and promote the discovery of new and old arcane lore.
1. Measure that every action has a consequence.
2. Recognize that everything has a spirit.
3. Exploit that all spirits crave something for which they are willing to bargain.
1. Never linger long with fellow rangers: Search for yourself and let no one else make your path for you.
2. Walk the wilds silently, find those lost, aid those in peril and slay the giantkind.
3. Show gratitude to nature’s bounty and the balance among living things.
1. Respect that all life is sacred.
2. Measure that every action has a consequence.
3. Be mindful of sacred life in all your actions.
1. Show how your worth comes from your strength in arms, your cunning, your people’s blood and the aid of your primal gods.
2. Put family above tribe, tribe above all others.
3. Remember that wounds heal but shame is eternal: An insult to honor is far worse than injury to flesh or bone.
1. Enforce that once a murder contract is made, either you or your target must die.
2. Leave innocents unharmed unless they chose to interfere with a contract.
3. Never identify other assassins or those who have hired any assassin’s services.
1. Remember that greed and glory lead to honor; moderation and mediocrity lead to shame.
2. Put family before clan; clan before gold; gold before beer; and beer before all else.
3. Kill giants before orcs; orcs before goblins; and goblins before men.
Orcs, Trolls, Monsters:
1. Kill those who are not of your tribe; they are food.
2. Eat, for hunger knows no friend but the one who feeds it.
3. Fight to feed; feed to breed; breed to fight.