OSR: Race as a Class has Maximized the Butthurt Edition
Currently running/learning LotFP. Suggested modules to run for a 'dungeon' crawl?
LotFP has good gun rules. All are flintlock/match, can also be used as a melee weapon and take 8/10 rounds to re-arm. So basically you get one shot per average combat. Lots of setbacks too, like damp conditions, distance, misfire chance etc.
My character right now is a Welsh Specialist gunslinger.
Just as a reminder, Braggi supports OSR, and therefore by association, all of you are a bunch of grognard fuckwits who hate fun.
Why do you hate fun? Can't you see which way the future is going?
They're cool. Just use crossbow stats, basically, unless you have a desperate need for more crunch.
>My character right now is a Welsh Specialist gunslinger.
Your character specialises in being Welsh? Isn't that a bard variant?
I'm against them. For me, the presence of firearms brings along with it an inevitable technological progression that challenges the many of the assumptions of OSR settings, creating logical inconsistencies unless you're very careful. They also don't work very well with the default class roles. It's not that it's impossible to do firearms well; it's just very tricky, but that's enough for me to want to steer clear of them.
LotFP has awful firearm rules, but then that's par for the course for LotFP's weapon rules. There's too many needlessly complicated side rules it its weapons, and the firearms are the worst for this in a misguided attempt to be realistic.
>They're cool. Just use crossbow stats, basically, unless you have a desperate need for more crunch.
That's the way I like it too. >>45320369 just seems a bit too complicated.
For example, why bother giving the number of rounds it takes to rearm?
>They also don't work very well with the default class roles.
How so? The only thing I can think of off the top of my head is breaking the Fighter's monopoly on ranged weapons by giving the Cleric a blunt option, but slings are already common enough in OSR that that's not really a thing anyway.
Personally I just keep 'em Fighter-only, though. Reskinned crossbows, pretty much.
>For example, why bother giving the number of rounds it takes to rearm?
It was better in "Better Than Any Man" where they have one paragraph of firearm rules, and it was basically just d6 damage, once per combat (how long is a round in LotFP anyway?)
>I don't think the rules are necessarily complicated, but the organization of modifiers in the rulebook needs a major overhaul.
I just don't see the point in simplifying weapons into broad groups, but then have a bunch of individual weapons with weird modifiers, like the rapier getting -2 vs plate armour and such.
I'm not sure how many of you all use miniatures, but pic related was just announced as something that will be happening. At some point. Eventually.
The other two plastic frostgrave boxes are glorious godsends for us miniature-users, and gnolls? I never thought I'd see a plastic boxed set of... gnolls. Really glad to see them doing something that isn't a generic box of orcs or what-not. I guess I'll be looking up some gnoll stats soon.
(it's to tie in with a future frostgrave expansion, much like the cultist box)
What they said on LAF:
>Well, it has been discussed for some time, but, finally, I'm very pleased to be able to reveal this little beauty...
>Out in time for the release of Into the Breeding Pits in July, this boxed set will, like the Cultists, allow you to either build a horde of slavering beasts to oppose your warbands, or to construct a savage warband, well suited for allying with a more bestial wizard (on which, more later...).
>Pics, sprues etc. to follow in due course.
Rounds are six seconds. The 10 rounds (8 for fighters) is for matchlock and wheellock weapons, which historically had a 28 step process to reload. Which is why you had at least two lines of gunners to improve your army's fire rate.
Flintlock guns in LotFP halve the reloading time, and I can't find the rules for pistols, muskets, and arquebuses.
They're metal and more pricey, but Otherworld Miniatures is where it's at. They do boxed sets of common dungeon monsters.
This is their owlbear for your OSR consideration.
You gotta consider prepping, pouring, packing, setting, lighting, then shooting. 10 min might be the default for a clueless layman. I'd add a Specialist non-roll 'Skill Dice' for Gun-slinging that reduces the time for reloads. 1 in 6 = 10 rounds. 5 in 6 = 2 rounds etc.
I know all about them, but a new, relatively cheap plastic boxed set is way more useful for me.
One of these days, though, I will buy loads of all of Otherworld's orcs and build an army of them.
>You gotta consider prepping, pouring, packing, setting, lighting, then shooting. 10 min might be the default for a clueless layman.
Jesus fucking christ some people are bad at game design.
>Rounds are six seconds.
I mean, even Raggi isn't that stupid.
I really dig the orcs. But that's enough shilling.
A lot of the older D&D/Citadel miniatures are really nice. I keep seeing them pop up in eBay, still boxed and reasonably cheap, but I doubt I'd actually use them. Mostly since I suck at painting.
A plastic or even pre-painted OSR-themed line would be great. Someone start a Kickstarter or write an email to Reaper.
The best option, unless you want to do something silly like ogres with cannon or a wizard with two pistols or Baldy from Skullkickers who just... has a six-shooter. For reasons, which never really come up much and boil down to "fell through a hole in the universe and ended up in fantasy land and shoots things."
Nothing at all wrong with that.
>Mostly since I suck at painting.
The absolute best thing about metal is that you can strip it so easily. Paint things quickly or badly, use them until you have time or are sick of them, and repaint them.
You can strip plastic, but it's a bit more awkward and dangerous, depending on the plastic.
>A lot of the older D&D
That reminds me, I have a box of 1/72 Airfix Robin Hood figures to paint up. IIRC Gygax used them as hobbits, and they kind of look the part aside from weight.
Im not running LotFP but my group is doing Death Frost Doom and its alot of fun. Ive never tried running a module before but now Im kinda into it. The God That Crawls looks neat also.
>my groups face when 'Hell Vomits its Filth'
>I just don't see the point in simplifying weapons into broad groups, but then have a bunch of individual weapons with weird modifiers, like the rapier getting -2 vs plate armour and such.
I have to agree with this. Why single out the rapier if it's only to specifically make it worse than all other weapons of its size? The least he could've done was to give it a hit bonus (or automatic initiative) against unarmored enemies. As it is there's literally no reason to have one, and yet everybody in the art uses them.
That's enough to kill or seriously wound a normal man, and don't forget these bits:
¶ They ignore 5 points of Armor at short range (at all ranges for muskets).
¶ The discharge of a firearm causes an immediate Morale check for all enemy characters and creatures with a Morale of 7 or less.
The rapier is cheaper than a medium weapon, and halflings can use it one-handed, whereas medium weapons must be wielded two-handed.
It just seems so odd that Raggi would go to do much effort to actually represent guns, but than make the rapier so ahistorically shitty. But then I'm on team Raggi is bad at game design, so it seems about right.
The system is going to get an overhaul, as Raggi realized that there was enough interest in doing weird stuff with the OSR to divorce LotFP from B/X. For example: the cleric is getting the ax.
You also substract your dex mod and add your encumbrance points to the rounds needed for recharge. A theoretical unencumbered fighter with +1 dex would need only 3 rounds (fighters round down). 18 seconds for a trained soldier to reload an old musket doesn't sound unreasonable.
I'm going to second this.
If anything, Fighters should get the ability to reduce the reload time on firearms, since their whole point is to be the dudes killing dudes in pitched combats.
He promised new edition a long time ago. Not sure about current progress, though i do remember that there was a pair of contests for monsters and magical items for new DM handbook.
I dunno. The game explicitly states guns are uncommon and still new to the world. Saying people traditionally trained in sword fighting and archery would be apt with firearms from the get-go is kind of a stretch.
But I mean, hey, there's nothing stopping anyone from giving the fighter the option in their game.
Got an email from RPGNOW, basically every LotFP pdf is on sale for like 66% off in this bundle, they're trying to raise funds for free rpg day.
>The rapier is cheaper than a medium weapon, and halflings can use it one-handed, whereas medium weapons must be wielded two-handed.
What? A rapier weighs roughly the same as an arming sword (sorry, "longsword") and is actually longer, which I would think would largely counterbalance any increased wieldability due to being a thrusting weapon with a point of balance closer to the hilt.
>they are people who don't like race-as-class
Race-as-class is great.
It makes Race less a matter of minmaxing (my Wizard needs to be a ___ Elf for the Int bonus) and explains how demihumans and humanoids keep back the teeming masses of humanity.
>average Human = level 0
>exceptional Human = level 1+
>average non-Human = level 1+
It allows for Humans in a fantasy milieu to be simultaneously weak underdogs but still have a grand heroic tradition.
Like all D&D games, either don't gimp them or don't include them.
I'm getting into OSR, and I'm thinking of creating a dungeon for my group populated by creatures based on John Carpenter's "The Thing". Basically the local king sends the players to check on a certain village, the people there warn them of the dangerous "Temple of Them", and send the PCs onwards in search of heroism and treasure.
Only to reveal at some point that their guides aren't what they appear, and the entrance is sealed.
I'm creating the basic statblocks as creatures first level PCs could fight, both because that's that level we're starting, and because in the original 1982 movie, the Thing actually went down like a bitch to some pretty basic attacks. Though I'm nerfing them considerably.
-Can turn body into weaponized visera dealing 2-7 DMG
-Any time attacked, there is a 25% a body part will be severed and grow into a creature with 2 HP
-A creature killed by a Lesser Thing can be raised as a Lesser Thing by a Lesser Thing. This transformation takes 10 rounds.
-A Lesser Thing can absorb the body of another Lesser Thing, or a corpse, to become a Greater Thing.
HD 3 
No. Attacks: 2
DMG per attack 2-7 DMG
Abilities: As Lesser Thing
Now, keeping in mind they can't just pass their 'Thingness' from a cell like the movie, they have to intentionally transform someone [and a dead person for that matter], I need a couple of plausible reasons these things just have not totally overrun the setting yet. Why hasn't the peaceful kingdom of Not-Tolkein fallen to the alien invaders?
I've mentioned it before but I still want to work on this system.
Replace To-Hit and attack rolls with just 'Attack'
AC is now just 'Defense'.
You roll a d20 + weapon die for attack vs an opponents defense.
Defense is AC + enemy's armor die, which now represents the tiers of armor (light d4, medium d6, heavy d8, magic or super-heavy d10)
Every point of Attack over defense counts as 1 damage.
If you roll max damage on your weapon die, regardless of what your attack die is (except maybe a critical fail of 1) then it ignores armor and goes through anyway. This makes smaller weapons (dagger, d4, 25% chance to pierce) good at anti-armor.
Any opinions on this? Currently the biggest concern is the lack of forward momentum as it were in fights, as in giving the attack an advantage. So if you slide back base Defense to 9 instead of 10, it gives the attacker a slight numbers advantage, hopefully keeping fights moving forward.
It's all good, Basic Fantasy RPG separates race and class and gives humans a 10% bonus to experience to balance it out.
Not to mention lots of other races in supplements like half-ogres, kobolds, satyrs, kappas, gnomes, etc.
Why do B/X and BECMI hate two handed weapons? No shield, strike last, and with variable damage have an average damage a mere 1 higher. I'm definitely getting rid of the initiative penalty, but I'm hesitant to move them to d12 as that seems too high for OSR. On the other hand though, fuck the d10, it's not even a platonic solid.
I'm fairly certain that the initiative penalty is an age-old holdover from the Chainmail man-to-man combat system, where the longer weapon strikes first in the first round but then last in later rounds.
Or Holmes' weird thing where two-handed weapons attack once every two rounds while daggers attack twice per round. While everything deals the same damage. I think he took it from Warlock and left out the things that balanced it?
It's also worth noting that BECMI gives two-handed weapons a bit more of a niche in Master with the Weapon Mastery system, since they tend to get the debuffs.
Most of the time, though, it's trading +1AC for +1 damage and getting hit. (See also Companion's Smash maneuver, where you add your strength score to damage but lose initiative.)
>Why hasn't the peaceful kingdom of Not-Tolkein fallen to the alien invaders?
Maybe they were just created? Maybe the original substance was left in a jar on a wizard's lab shelf (in the dungeon) for centuries and it only broke when someone stumbled on it recently? Or hell, maybe the poor sucker drank it thinking it was a potion, and became the first victim that way.
Not to mention even more plusses from a magic shield.
Or how the magic item tables make two-handed swords worse than one-handers.
This is older than just Basic, really - one of the big reasons for using Weapons vs. AC in AD&D is "greatswords kind of suck without it", after all.
It goes all the way back to Chainmail, where daggers got multiple attacks against a guy using a greatsword but the guy with the greatsword had a >50% chance of pasting the other guy with a single hit.
And then those weapon vs. AC tables got all kinds of messed up and sidelines for OD&D and AD&D and didn't even get into Basic (despite BECMI sometimes being more complex than AD&D).
Anyone has tried yet superior masterrace Into the Odd system?
there is already a hack made to play fantasy, called Maze Rats; but I prefer the original shit, just change background if you need
Is Traveller considered OSR or nah?
Either way, I'm working on a world which had once been part of an interstellar empire, but has long since fallen in tech level.
Planning on having the players discover an old, decrepit star ship infested with all sorts of nasty things which they can eventually take off-world.
Any suggestions for implementing this? I've only played a little AD&D and Traveller over fifteen years ago, so I'm not too bent on a particular system.
>Why would I want to look at other oldschool fantasy RPG systems? I already have OD&D/BECMI/AD&D!
>Why would I want to look at other fantasy RPG systems? I already have 3.X/Pathfinder!
There's a reason why these thread isn't full of discussion of WHFRP, Rolemaster, Powers & Perils, The Fantasy Trip, and Advanced Fighting Fantasy.
I don't think it's slavish exclusivity or anything. There are just more folks interested in D&D, and if you're using a broader definition of the term, there's no real mechanical unity between OSR systems, so it's hard to have a unified discussion about all of them. They're different discussions to be had. I've personally always been a big fan of Gamma World, but it doesn't have enough of a following to support a real discussion (at least not more than once in a blue moon) and would tend to get drown out by the D&D discussion.
>Why would I want to look at other oldschool fantasy RPG systems? I already have OD&D/BECMI/AD&D!
To me, old school D&D is a sort of lingua franca which allows me to easily communicate with other people. If I wanted to discuss some mechanical issue in another game, I'd probably have to spend a lot of time putting things into context by explaining other rules it interacts with, and at that point, I'd have probably lost most of my audience. But everybody knows D&D, so I can jump straight into pondering how changing armor to a damage-reducing apparatus would affect the game and everybody is up to speed.
This doesn't mean that I'm contemptuous of other old school games. I like Gamma World, the RuneQuest family, Paranoia and even some largely-forgotten stuff like Star Frontiers (granted, with some of these I'm more into the setting than the actual game mechanics). By the time 3e rolled around, I'd been gaming for almost two decades, the majority of that time spent playing something other than D&D, but I come to /osr/ to discuss D&D because that's what it's possible to have a good discussion on.
This guy >>45331952 again
Turns out I remember even less than I thought of Traveller. I'm not picky about my system, so any thoughts on taking what starts out as a fantasy game and has the chance to go into outer space at the later stages of the game would be really helpful.
Anything approximating Traveller's insane mercantile notes for a fantasy world would be even more appreciated.
Can anyone summarize the standard setting of LotFP for me? Is it set in an alternate real-world? My fiancee` is interesting in the Grimderp genre and wants to DM a game with that kind of setting, but not necessarily alternate-earth. She's new to DM'ing and isn't really up to the task of creating her own modules or campaign yet.
I'll be perusing the LotFP folder here soon once I finish DL'ing it later, right now not much time to do so.
The Trove has all of it, except the updated version of Tower of the Stargazer. If you wanna support LotFP and like the moralness of buying things you use, it's obviously a great idea. If you don't want to support it to the tune of $100, buy the tree version of the rules or Vornheim or something else for less.
Other classic OSR hacks that make standard equipment more interesting is allowing fighters to have their shields shatter to cancel an enemy hit (either before or after damage is rolled to your preference), or do the same thing for helmets in the case of critical hits (if your game uses critical hits).
For the most part a number of LoTFP settings seem to suggest 15th century Europe, albeit with Lovecraftian magic, but there's very few assumptions I find about what setting you're running LoTFP in.
If you want a grimderp feel and setting without it being alternate-earth, there's WFRP - few games let you start off as a rat-catcher, although it's somewhat more narratively-oriented than other games in the OSR genre.
Thanks mate. She's been watching some gameplay of Darkest dungeon, and our D&D game was cancelled today due to a sickie, so she's just been pondering on a future game. Since she's taking a liking to Darkest Dungeon, I want to try and slide her into an OSR title with traditional dungeon crawling rules with a grim and depressing allure.
>allowing fighters to have their shields shatter to cancel an enemy hit
I was probably going to use this rule too. I really like it. So that means you have sword and shield for +1 Ac and the above rule, two handed weapons for the higher damage die (with the best of two rolls). That just leaves dual wielding. I wouldn't let you get a second attack from dual weilding, but I was thinking maybe the second weapon gives you +1 to hit and damage, or else you make two attack rolls, and keep the best result.
Balancing things might be tricky. Let's crunch some numbers...
Stats are based on 100,000 simulations, ignoring the piercing effect when you roll maximum.
>An easy fix is to let two-handed weapons roll damage twice and take the better result. This is simple to remember and is a much bigger boost than +1 damage on average.
It's actually not that different in terms of average damage, unless you're both giving them a larger damage die *and* letting them take the better of two rolls. The better of two d8s give you an average of 5.81 as compared to a single d10's 5.5.
If you want to significantly increase effectiveness, just use either a d12 or 2d6 for weapon damage. Either that or keep damage at a d8 but apply twice your strength bonus. This has the added advantage of making two-handed swords better for strong people, rather than comparatively worse in relation to sword & shield (normally, the higher damage die means more if you have a low strength, whereas if you have a really high strength, your damage is already high enough with a longsword, so you might as well increase your AC instead).
Well, not really. OSR is "Old School Revival", not "Everything That's Old." It's specifically about reviving the tactical dungeon-crawling weirdness of early D&D, that had disappeared in the 90s and publishing new content compatible with the old systems.
Traveller is awesome, and it's old school as heck, but it's not "an OSR system" because you can't use all the old D&D compatible stuff (much of it published recently as "OSR" specifically) with Traveller unless you put significant work into it.
So while I love Traveller, it's got its own threads separate from the OSR one.
Have you looked at Mercator and Adventurer? I've yet to read them, but they're conversions of Traveller for antiquity and fantasy, respectively.
I'd recommend boosting the die levels so that even an unarmored man rolls a defense die (a d4), to keep things consistent (and reduce the probability of screw ups).
Either way, the effectiveness of heavy armor vs. no armor is remarkably consistent with the RAW. In Moldvay Basic, with a THAC0 of 17 (which is what most folks would have at mid-level), you're doing 1.86 times the damage per round vs. an unarmored guy as you would a guy in platemail. It varies according to the size of the weapon you're attacking with and whether or not you're upping the dice sizes, but your system ranges from 1.66 times to 2.17 times, with an average of 1.88.
You are, however, inflicting roughly twice as much damage per round as before, so you'd want to bake that into the game. Also, I'm not sure how strength bonuses would affect things. I would think that you'd only want to apply them once to your roll (and not twice: once for to-hit and once for damage) or they'd be too powerful, but I haven't actually crunched the numbers.
Oops. Accidentally ended up with d6 damage weapon stats under d4 damage weapons. Here's a corrected version.
Okay, let's try this again. [deleted botched table]
>I would think that you'd only want to apply them once to your roll (and not twice: once for to-hit and once for damage) or they'd be too powerful.
It actually comes out a bit weak if you only add it in a single time, but if you add it in twice, you could end up hitting almost all the time, I think. It's a bit of a quandry. Maybe you could add strength in an additional time only if you already hit? Maybe strength gives you a bonus die to roll to make this easier to manage? Maybe there's some other way of doing things?
In any case, I'm way too tired to do math anymore at this point. So I'm gonna go to bed.
Oh, the "% normal damage" column on that compares the amount of damage per round you do with and without the +2 strength bonus. So if it says 200%, that means that having +2 strength doubles your average damage per round.
This is more a matter of GM style more than any specific ruleset - especially "crunchy" aspects like keeping track of limited resources.
A lot of this is going to be on you as a GM rather than a specific system, because what makes the experience of something like Darkest Dungeon very grim is that it doesn't fudge the dice and just makes sure to track everything. You could re-skin it with butterflies and rainbows and the game would still feel punishing and brutal, because it's not just the aesthetics but the actual rigid enforcement of rules that communicates the world is bleak and grim.
For a grimdark campaign it's important to avoid as much narrative fuzziness as possible - don't handwave, fudge dice, or try to do quantum ogre stuff or retcons. You may want to consider letting your players draw a map themselves while you keep the "real" blueprint to yourself (thus creating the possibility of getting lost; this was a favourite tactic of Gygax, but it may be too "player vs. GM" for some tastes)
Organize your play sessions in ways that facilitate tracking party resources - that grim and sinking feeling doesn't come from how well you describe your rat-infested tunnels: the grim and sinking feeling comes from your players realizing their torches are running out, there are no safe places to replenish spells, and they're out of healing potions.
Reroll attacks actually generally gives a bigger improvement to average damage than rerolling just the damage die (assuming both methods are using d8s), so this always makes dual-wielding better that two handing weapons in all cases.
Idea: You can dual wield two weapons, but one must be a small (d4) weapon. You roll damage dice for both, take the larger one. That means if your d6 sword rolls a 1 for damage, your offhand dagger could potentially swap that out for a much nicer 4 damage.
This doesn't increase your maximum damage, but can raise the floor and average. You'd have to roll double 1s to only do 1 damage when dual wielding.
Im a new DM, and the torch thing always trips me up. Is there a set standard for how long a torch lasts (like 30 minutes)? I always forget to enforce torch duration in lieu of other things, are there good systems for keeping track from a DM standpoint?
Taking the better of two d6 rolls increases average damage by almost exactly 1 point (.9722 points). Taking the better of a d8 and a d4 increases damage by less than a third of a point (.3125). At the very least, you should let the person use a d6 weapon in their off-hand, increasing damage by .7292.
>That means if your d6 sword rolls a 1 for damage
Wait. Why are swords doing a d6?
>Reroll attacks actually generally gives a bigger improvement to average damage than rerolling just the damage die
Yeah, rerolling attacks is pretty huge. If you wanted a compromise, you could have dual wielding give you a +1 to-hit, but if you hit on the dot, you have to use the damage from your lighter weapon.
+1 tohit and damage could work, as long as your other options are comparatively sweet (shields improve AC by 2, two-handed weapons improve damage by at least 2 points). You could cut the bonus a bit by saying that if you hit on an odd number, you hit with your secondary weapon (thus rolling a smaller damage die, though still at +1 damage).
Print out, tick off a box when a turn passes. Put a mark next to important turns when lights go out or spells die off,
Thanks for feedback.
While strength is kind of weak in its current state, maybe the method could be something like Strength mod (if positive) +1?
OR maybe instead you could do something like add Strength mod to your attack rolls AND add it to your weapon's pierce damage- so if you roll a 4 on a d4 damage you get to add your strength mod to that attack too. Though actually for this system I would probably use that rule and let d4 and d6 weapons be considered 'dex based' weapons and d8 and d10 weapons be 'strength based' weapons instead, giving high strength characters a bigger strength boost when they critically hit or something.
It's only worth tracking everything in a one-on-one game or some special situation where it'll be important like trekking across a desert or delving deep into the earth where you can't come up and get more components easily.
Outside of unusual circumstances, handwave all the small stuff and only track the big expensive ones.
I figured most people mustve done this, I was passed down the AD&D 1ed rulebooks and its me and (most of) my friends first TTRPG experience. I thought some of this stuff seemed kinda... excessive.
The most important variable to keep iron track of is time, since this affects everything - the need to sleep, the need to eat, the distance you can travel, etc. You don't have to use super-detailed minutes and hours - but it's important not to be arbitrary about how much time an action takes.
This is why many OSR rulesets include detailed info on how far you can travel in a given amount of time. In most dungeon-focused rulesets, it's assumed PCs proceed through dungeons slower than they do through "safe" territory.
The second variable to keep track of is distance, because this figures into how quickly time passes. A party that travels. This is why many OSR modules are big on hex-maps and dungeons that are mapped out with distance dimensions in feet, because distance is one of the major ways that time passes and resources are used up. Again, you don't have to detail down to the inch, but avoid fuzzy narrative terms like "long hallway" and use "30-feet hallway" (which would take X turns to traverse or X minutes, depending on the ruleset you're using).
So long as you can keep track of both of these, the rest will sort itself out; use rules of thumb for other resources (a torch burns out every X hours, an adventurer needs to eat every X hours, and so forth).
You can use whatever method you like - a spreadsheet, a fancy prop, tokens or counters - if you're playing in person pick something that all players can see and that sets the mood. Examples might be a spinner dial that looks like a clock, a clay "candle" that gets cut down as time passes (a real candle burns down in real time rather than game time), and so forth.
As I noted before it's important to track resources because often that grim and hopeless feeling sets in from a confluence of different events and the context of when they happen. Running out of lamp oil is a minor annoyance near the surface; it's deadly when it happens in a nest of light-fearing undead.
So I see in both OSR and modern DnD that 'a natural 20 is always a hit' as a rule. My confusion is; does the game actually let Armor Class go that high (or low)? It seems kind of unfair if its possible to raise it to 20+, making it impossible to hit except on a 20.
Most D&D type games prior to 3.x generally did not feature AC that was higher than the dice roll. This is also reinforced by the fact that most OSR games feature level caps or experience caps - at some point your ability to hit things will stop progressing.
During the 3.x era those limits were generally removed, levels were normalized across classes, removal of HP caps, etc. which led to a lot of issues with insane power creep (both in HP, AC, BAB, etc.) and is a source of a lot of the issues with 3.x once you get past level 10.
Use preparation slots my nigga.
Instead, each spell slot is just a general purpose magic slot. Instead of using spells per day, these are 'spells' per adventure, but they aren't all spells. Some are magic items, magic powers, summoned minions, or general purpose interesting things the magic user can take with them.
Now if you don't like the magic slots in general, then you'll have to look for something else, maybe a spell point system, or using some other form of less resource-based magic.
Who pissed in your Cheetos? Nobody says you can't like The Fantasy Trip or that it isn't old, OSR just isn't about that. As >>45334006 points out, OSR is specifically about reviving the playstyle that dominated in OD&D and early AD&D, which is a very specific thing and which games like Rolemaster represented the first step away from. If you're not interested in OSR gaming that's cool, nobody cares, so, why does it bother you that you can't just call anything you want OSR? Do you just NEED to talk about Rolemaster in this specific thread?
>Anything approximating Traveller's insane mercantile notes for a fantasy world would be even more appreciated.
ACKS (Adventurer Conqueror King System) gets a lot of praise for its trading rules. It's in the Trove.
>Most D&D type games prior to 3.x generally did not feature AC that was higher than the dice roll.
Look at -2 AC and say that again.
Still not as bad as 3E, but there's certainly some "unhittable" ACs that have been in the game since Greyhawk.
"20 always hits" has a weird history - it isn't actually that way in AD&D, for instance, nor in non-Rules Cyclopedia BECMI. 20 just hits stuff as if you rolled a 24+modifiers in those systems.
Also, most of the things that have the really high ACs are generally expected to not be fought by low-level characters - high-level Fighters in extremely magic armor, Bahamut and Tiamat, powerful Elementals and Immortals.
This also has the side effect of -5 AC making your Fighter unhittable by the 0-level mooks.
I'm not entirely sure when "20 always hits" became a thing, to be honest - I know that Basic has that as a rule (probably because with the ACs in that set 20 WILL always hit), and it wouldn't surprise me if 2E went with it when they scrapped the attack matrices.
Also of interest, I suppose: in high-level BECMI games, you get bonus damage against enemies that you'd hit on a -3. (You still miss on a natural 1, though. Also high-level Fighters get bonus attacks against enemies they hit on a 2.)
Where possible, the revolutionary war is about the right era for guns etc in my book. Very useful for NPCs, but of questionable utility for PCs (just imagine trying to go into a dungeon and sneak around with a fucking GUN, you'll blow out your eardrums and wake up the whole dungeon).
In what sense do you ask?
Mechanically, RL-historically, and as antagonists they're a national treasure.
Fluffwise/as PCs I consider them close to bottom tier, however, one of the most irritating races to ever exist. Doesn't help that WotC editions stamp out all mechanical relevance to them.
Its sad how garbage two handed swords are in Chainmail, as klutzy as high end weapons are but without the reach. Even in Warlock, you're drastically better off with a beaked axe.
Chainmail two-handers have almost 72% hit chance across the board and are near-guaranteed a first strike unless your opponent has the higher ground or has a longer weapon (i.e. mounted lance, pike). Note that mounted lances require a horse and are thus pretty great in general but expensive, and pikes are the longest weapon but also has bad hit chances.
Two-handers have certainly got a niche, especially if you've got Viking Berserkers with them - 91% hit chance, yo.
Two-handers in OD&D onwards are pretty bad, though. Or at least worse than normal swords, especially when those tend to be the only magic ones.
It may be conceivably worth it to use a two handed sword while mounted, since you count as wielding two flails or two maces as well, which should cover your terrible round 2 penalty.
Well, your horse counts for that.
Also, chances are that your horse is easier to kill than you are, and that when you're flat on your back they probably have massive bonuses to just stab you right through your visor.
Being mounted is pretty damn boss, though. Those defensive and offensive bonuses vs. unmounted men are really nasty.
Also mounted lances are pretty much just better two-handers that you can't use while unmounted and give bonuses to mace- and flail-wielding opponents. And are slightly worse against heavily-armored opponents, but why are you riding down heavily armored opponents?
Also, of course, you can always just drop your greatsword after the first round and pull out your arming sword. Side-arms are a thing for a reason, y'know.
Any idea on what in particular that light, heavy and armored infantry are "supposed" to be armed with that makes them more effective in 20:1 scale?
For example, its really easy to infer the light/medium/heavy horsemen are essentially supposed to have different lance categories (in D&D terms) and 1-2 maces or flails, but I'm not sure why the heavier infantry types are more damaging.
>Examples of troop classification are:
>Light Foot: Missile troops, Swiss/Landsknechte*, Peasants, Crews
>Heavy Foot: Normans, Saxons, Turks, Vikings, Men-at-Arms
>Armored Foot: Dismounted Knights, Sergeants, Italian City Levies and Condottiere
>Light Horse: Magyars, Mongols, Saracens, Spanish, Turks, Hobilars
>Medium Horse: Mongols, Norman Knights, Esquires, Saracens, Spanish, Turks, Turcopoles
>Heavy Horse: Knights, Reiter, Gendarms
Troop classification assumes that you have better weapons and stuff.
For the actual Chainmail game, from what I've heard they basically just went by what weapons the figures had.
As for what miniatures they used:
>The LGTSA Medieval Miniatures Rules were developed primarily for use with Elastolin and Starlux figures, which are 40mm scale. However, they may be used equally well with any scale — including the inexpensive Airfix "Robin Hood" and "Sheriff of Nottingham" 25mm plastic figures.
Also, the maces/flails that horsemen get are the horse's hooves trampling the opponent.
>On the 2nd round of melee the horse as well as its rider attack, the horse counting as the following weapon(s), and able to attack a different opponent than its rider, but only footmen[.]
Blackmoor is weird, rules-wise.
There's the Monk and the Assassin, right. The Monk is weird, but personally I'd at least use the Assassin (and Sage) for the purpose of NPC specialists. No need to reinvent the wheel, after all.
There's hit locations. These aren't in AD&D, but I probably wouldn't use them anyway since they seem kind of excessively lethal. (They could probably work, though - RuneQuest is fun.)
There's various rules for underwater combat, underwater monsters, and underwater magic items. Nothing too exciting, but useful for such a campaign.
And then there's the Temple of the Frog.
And that's pretty much it for Blackmoor.
Now, Greyhawk makes it a lot more AD&D-like. You can probably use EW without turning it into AD&D, though, since the only really AD&D-esque thing is the initiative system (that's actually just for spells and ranged weapons?). Druids are druids and Psionics is actually kind of different from how AD&D handled it, for better or worse.
And then there's the monsters. Demons and psionic monsters, basically.
I've also been contemplating Gods, Demigods & Heroes a bit, but I'm not really sure what to think of that book.
I haven't actually played it yet, but LBBs+Chainmail seems pretty damn solid. I think I'd pull in a few things from later supplements, though - the rules for Sages and NPC Assassins, mostly, but Psionics seems like it could be interesting as well.
Also, if the Alternate Combat System is used then I'd highly recommend the Weapon vs. AC table from Greyhawk. Not necessarily the variable weapon damage or anything, but just the tables. Maybe mess around with them a bit to make them fit better with the Chainmail maths or something, I dunno.
The scimitar also gets +1 to hit leather armor people ie thieves which are a fairly numerous opponent class, theoretically. You may also interpret zombies as counting as having leather armor.
Me personally, if I wanted to simplify weapon vs AC, I'd modify it as so:
Slashing: Penalty against plate and chain. Very high damage against medium & small, hefty boost to hit vs leather/hide/unarmored.
Blunt: Bonus against mail, no penalty against plate. Footman's blunt weapons get additional bonus against both (mace moreso vs chain, pick moreso vs plate, flail moreso vs shield) Reduced damage versus large.
Piercing: Bonus against mail, penalty versus pure plate, tied versus plate mail. Damage bonus against large.
Long swords need 1' more space and have a speed factor 1 higher - they're also ½' longer.
Armor class adjustments are also different:
.2 .3 .4 .5 .6 .7 ..8 ..9 .10
-3 -2 -2 -1 .0 .0 +1 +1 +3
-2 -1 .0 .0 .0 .0 .0 .+1 +2
Note also that armor adjustments are only against actual armor, not monsters.
Thanks, just checked the thread now, when I can download stuff I'll give them a look. Interesting how many variants of Adventurer were in progress
Good to know the division for OSR, makes sense, it's considered more OD&D revival.
Cheers, also on the download list.
>Note also that armor adjustments are only against actual armor, not monsters.
Well, if the DM wants it to and thinks the monster's AC is primarily reflective of its tough natural defenses in a manner analogous to the armor, he can elect to permit it -- for example, zombies strike me as leather armor users, while however one argues vampires are borderline unkillable, its probably not due to a hide like overlapping plates of metal armor.
It's also worth remembering that the Monster Manual is secretly a Holmes supplement and uses a 9-2 AC system rather than 10-2.
So you can't really count on the listed ACs for armor adjustments.
>the Monster Manual is secretly a Holmes supplement
For the record, since there's probably some people that don't know this:
>the MM uses a 9-2 AC system
>the MM uses a LG/CG/N/LE/CE five-point alignment system
Orcus tail is, well,
>Additionally his tail has a virulent poison sting (-4 on all saving throws against its poison), and his tail strikes with an 18 dexterity which does 2-8 hit points each time it hits.
>strikes with an 18 dexterity
Holmes as fuck, basically.
It helps to remember that the Player's Handbook didn't come until the year after the MM.
I don't know the edition I'm reading but it's the one with the angry barbarian on the cover.
Where does it say you need 1 space to swing a long sword?
On the same topic why would anyone, a cleric in particular use the warhammer, it does a measly 1d4+1 damage. Although you are guaranteed at least 2 damage for every hit you land, anything I'm missing here?
Just found some weird random demons I rolled up from the old school random demon generators in Dmag.
Type I: "A horrifying skeletal demon dripping with centipedes. It sees you."
A skeleton/centipede hybrid. Has Speak with Animals, and can Detect Hidden and Invisible Enemies.
Type II: "It is wreathed in shadow. It gnaws hungrily on its unseen and obscene feast. You don't see it, but it sees you." A ghoul/level 3 thief hybrid. Detects Hidden & Invisible Enemies, casts 1d3 magic missiles a day, has telekinesis, can levitate, and cast darkness 10' radius.
Type III: "A rat in the form of your best friend or your worst fear. It makes the dead betray their secrets." Wererats/level 5 thieves. Fly, Pyrotechnics, Telekinesis, Fear, Speak with Dead, Illusion, Polymorph Self.
Type IV: "It is wreathed in shadow. It growls, slavers and howls. You suddenly realize your friends are plotting against you." Werewolf/level 6 fighters. Darkness 5' radius, Mirror Image 1-3 a day, Speak with Animals, Levitate, Read Magic, Web 1-3 a day, Regen 1-3 HP a round, Slow 1/ a day, Suggestion 1-3 a day.
Type V: I didn't come up with a descriptions for these, but the result was a Druid/Necromancer hybrid. In all likelihood they can pose as human. Detect Hidden & Invisible, Detect Magic, Fly. Mind Blank, Produce Flame, Snake Charm, Regen 1-3/round, Slow, Gaseous Form, Magic Jar. V: Telepathy. Very formidable.
Type VI: Didn't figure out a good description of these either, but I got a human and paladin results -- no doubt it is a demon that appears to be a holy warrior, and has similar powers. 85% magic resistance, 70% chance to gate in a level 3 or 4 demon. Poison Bite or Sting, Charm Gaze, Detect Magic. Blink, Darkness 10' Radius, Read Language,Animal Growth, ESP, Stick to Snakes, Projected Image, Clairvoyance with Clairaudience 3/day
Animate Dead (18th), +10 Magic Resistance (figured in) Control Weather
Another possible result for type VI I enjoyed was a wolf/flesh golem hybrid.
Its just a "hammer," not necessarily a warhammer. The poleaxe (not featured afaik) lucerne hammer and the pick (at least the horseman's pick, I'm not sure what a footman's pick looks like) are what would be considered a warhammer.
The generic hammer can be thrown, afaik.
Okay, actually applying your strength mod twice works pretty well, as long as you keep the bonuses to +3 and under (applied twice, so technically +6). Basically, you're adding both your to-hit bonus and your damage bonus to the roll. If you're using standard old school modifiers, they don't go above +3 anyway, so you're sweet.
The only issue that I can think of would be magic weapons. Applying the plus once shouldn't be an issue because there should be a corresponding increase in protection (magic armor, etc.), but double applying it could put you outside of the acceptable range and let you hit pretty much automatically. Maybe you only apply your weapons magical bonus to damage once you've actually scored a hit, but you apply it twice at that point. So a +2 sword adds +4 damage on a hit.
Actually, another concern is monsters that do a lot of damage. Even if they're rare, you're bound to have something in the dame that does 2d10 damage or something, and that could be a real problem. Hmm. Maybe you have to roll at least a 5 on your d20 to-hit die, regardless of how much damage you're pumping out? That means that there's always at least a 20% to miss. It's not a perfect rule, but since it'll probably only be used in fringe cases, it might be good enough.
I don't have my 1st Ed books to hand, but I do remember that in 2nd Ed the warhammer was much cheaper and lighter than the mace, and if you used the optional weapon speed rules, it was much faster too.
>I don't know the edition I'm reading but it's the one with the angry barbarian on the cover.
Ah, you're reading 2E.
2E fucked up a lot of stuff.
>Where does it say you need 1 space to swing a long sword?
It's part of the 1E weapons tables, which probably aren't present in the edition you're reading because 2E fucked up a lot of things.
For instance, you know how 2E removed experience from gold but then left the experience to level tables intact, meaning that it takes at least twice as long to level up? Yeah.
Club: Free, 3 lbs, Speed 4, S-M 1d6/L 1d4
Warhammer: 2 gp, 6 lbs, Speed 4, S-M 1d4+1/L 1d4
I guess another advantage would be the scimitar is usable by druids and thieves.
>Okay, actually applying your strength mod twice works pretty well.
Assuming you up the dice levels, that is, so that they look something like this:
dagger = d6
short sword = d8
longsword = d10
two-handed sword = d12
unarmored = d4
leather armor = d6
mail = d8
plate = d10
If you treat unarmored as no dice roll, your to-hit gets a bit too high when you've got a +3 str mod, applied twice (see d10 vs. 0 on the bottom table as opposed to d12 vs. d4).
Final question I want to ask the grognards, why does the 'plain' brooch (clothing: thing which holds a cloak together) cost a full 10 gold pieces?
I'm interested in playing 1E are there any good retro clones out there with all the rules in the original edition?
>Final question I want to ask the grognards, why does the 'plain' brooch (clothing: thing which holds a cloak together) cost a full 10 gold pieces?
>2E fucked up a lot of stuff.
>I'm interested in playing 1E are there any good retro clones out there with all the rules in the original edition?
OSRIC's pretty much the only one, I think, but even then it's missing some bits and is less a complete game than it is an excuse for people to release AD&D-compliant products without getting a license with WotC.
You probably don't actually want AD&D with all the rules, though.
Does anybody else think the speed factors should essentially be reversed? If I've got a longsword and you've got a dagger and we're charging at each other, I'm going to have the opportunity to strike at you first because my threat range is larger. In fact, unless you've got a shield or something to deflect my weapon and get inside my guard, you're going to have a really hard time getting anywhere near me.
I'll look into OSRIC, thank you! But it doesn't answer my question what is the logic behind it, wasn't there anyone saying "Hey hold on this doesn't make any sense!". I believe the book was released two years prior the closure of TSR and I heard just around it's final years things were getting crazy.
>If I've got a longsword and you've got a dagger and we're charging at each other, I'm going to have the opportunity to strike at you first because my threat range is larger.
That's literally exactly how it works.
DMag 13, its designed for use with OD&D's level 1-6 monster scale, so type I-VI correspond to the six levels of the dungeon, what their component halves are derived from.
Its interesting to me to contemplate what a I-X or I-XX scale for demons would be like.
DCC is the greatest OSR to come out of it all.
dat magic system. the modules. 0-level funnels.
>inb4 chart-whining and zocchi-decrying.
>looks through torchbearer
>those cementer class/race roles
i'm normally ok with race as class shit, but i mean...something about torchbearers I don't like,
Nah, it's just gradually building on the Chainmail rules over a period of seven years or so while also being a historical wargaming grognard.
Hence the polearms.
The thing with speed factor is that it only matters when already in a fight - if someone is charging, the first strike goes to the longest weapon. And then for the later rounds it's the faster weapon.
DYK that when 3E came out there were people that were glad at how it simplified the system? d20's rules aren't that complex, really - it's just all the extra cruft that built up over the years and the combinations of build options that makes it complex.
Almost everything is a straight d20+modifiers check against a target number. That's more than can be said for AD&D.
(Of course, Basic is the superior D&D but that's kiddy stuff so who the hell plays that shit amirite)
For a good larf at how offensively off tone it is, I endorse Dragon mag's #003 issue on women in OD&D. I think this is the origin of -4 str (they get 2-14 str, 1d8+1d6 rather than 3d6-4 tho), AND they get -1 in chainmail combat (fighting-women just count as normal men to start), AND they get an added penalty for using bigger weapons, (flail, battleaxes, morningstars, polearms, pikes, and two handed swords) unless they have a str of 12+. Just use sword, mace, lance, or dagger (the one advantage is a +1 to hit with daggers).
On the plus side they get a bit of an XP discount as fighters and it doesn't matter much if you're a heavy horse, but still, and there's some fairly rude spells as well (which entertained my wife but I don't think most gamers would be as understanding).
I got two issues - Traps and puzzles
I don't usually run dungeons, but I'm trying to make a big one for my party. I'm having trouble thinking up cool traps beyond the normal spear traps, and when it comes to puzzles, I can't really think of anything that isn't game haltingly hard or embarrassingly easy.
Anyone have any tips, trick, or examples?
>Oh? I thought it was reversed so that daggers were quicker.
No. Weapon reach matters about 6x as much as speed factor. Speed factors only matter for ties, but first strike under charges (the only time anyone can move and attack in the same round) are ALWAYS resolved by who has the longer weapons.
>This is some kind of attempt to make 3.5's level of complexity seem reasonable?
Its just an attempt at RAW. Its pretty sweet, and easier if you just monitor it by the cross reference card at the back.
I adore 1e's inits/surprise system -- and the key distinction is that 3e is simple to play and with little variety once your char is built, but very complicated in building your char. OSR has simple builds and in the case of 1e lots of complexity in combat.
How does hex crawling work in play? As in, how does the conversation/narrative go? Do you describe the fatiguing travel and the rolling hills every time, or does it boil down to:
>"We enter this hex."
>"Okay, we try this one."
>"Plains. This one to the north is a forest though."
I misplaced the email of someone who was interested in playing 1e. If someone is interested here, please let me know.
I don't bother with the PCs getting lost normally. There's a map with some fog of war they can explore and each hex has stuff in it.
Its not pure hexcrawl; I'm using modified B2 stuff as well, but a starting party just is plain unlikely to survive the Caves of Chaos, so right now they're exploring the wilderness, and gitting gud.
Nothing stops you from a whole hexcrawl campaign though, but I'm planning on using dungeons and wilderness in a reversed relationship (wilderness is more manageable, dungeons are super perilous).
Note: do not actually use those traps in actual play unless you hate your players.
Might be good to mine for ideas, though.
Also, >>45339018, watch some old adventure movies. Indiana Jones and whatnot. Not just the giant boulder, but shit like having a pattern of tiles you need to cross or weighted traps that activate when you take the golden idol or the entire sequence when they're hunting the grail.
I got grimtooths, but I'm not sure how to work them in mechanically. A lot of those just straight up kill you, and how would you go about disarming these things?
So just keep all the puzzles simple? How about those ancient treasure puzzles and stuff?
There's a neat rotary system somewhere. You have a circle with a marker on your current position in rounds/turns/ten minute chunks/hours/whatever, place the "torch burns out" marker however far ahead.
The players are, in all likelihood, not going to figure out puzzles of moderate complexity or more, as they not only have to be clever but also possess the ability to think exactly as you did when you wrote it -- improbable, to say the least.
If you are the sort to plans out XP progressions and plots and so forth in advance, you should generally plan around the PCs failing 100% of puzzles of moderate complexity or more, and expect that most effort on such things will be content that no player will ever see.
Alternately, use a mix of very simple puzzles, and reverse-cheaty puzzles that are solved by the PCs coming up with any remotely clever or consistent answer or solution.
Take special note that when you come up with a puzzle, it will always seem simpler to you than to the players... because obviously, they don't have the answer in front of them.
>Final question I want to ask the grognards, why does the 'plain' brooch (clothing: thing which holds a cloak together) cost a full 10 gold pieces?
They were often a pretty fancy thing lords would hand out to their loyal men?
I'd assume a cloak comes with a basic fastening brooch, but if you're buying a separate one, even a plain one is something fancy.
That's what I thought, looking at grimtooths - a lot of this just outright kills and maims the party. Maybe it would work, if I allow them to find them in their normal dungeon crawling exploration pace?
And keep it simple then. I guess reverse-cheaty puzzles could work, where I allow them to overcome it so long as they come up with a unique or clever approach.
Incidentally, excessively murderous traps are not in and of themselves a bad thing, so long as you make them excessively obvious. If they enter a tunnel and see at the far end a bunch of corpses with exploded heads, they can probably deduce they should go the other way.
Looking at Grimtooth's traps (which I couldn't find in the trove, but luckily already had them saved on the computer), I think a lot of the intricate, kill you and everyone behind you traps can actually be used, so long as they can be easily found. A party of trained adventurers, going at exploration speed (which is otherwise insanely slow), should notice something weird. And really, a lot of the traps could be disabled, set off pretty easily, provided you find out what it does.
So I might include those, and let them figure out how to bypass them - make them both the trap and the puzzle. Now if they run into them while fleeing a fight, going at combat speed, they're basically guaranteed to run smack into them.
I mean, Grimtooth's are joke books with ridiculous overkill and diabolically humiliating outcomes being the punchline, so I'd be very careful about using anything as-is. With that said, there's plenty to draw inspiration from.
One of the main things to consider here with traps and puzzles is the effect on the adventure. Puzzles can be very frustrating because you can get stuck (and feel stupid about it in the process). Whenever possible, either have multiple ways past something (even if one of them is "cheating" somehow), or have it be technically unnecessary to even get past them (you get access to a bonus item or something, but it doesn't halt your dungeon crawl if you can't figure it out). The way you frame things as GM can be important too. If you present something they don't technically have to solve as a curiosity, then folks probably won't feel too bad about bypassing it. If you play it up big, they may beat their heads against the wall trying to figure it out regardless.
With traps, if you can avoid having them be too deadly, that's usually best. Saving throws can, of course, help you with this (if you're figure shit out, you're golden, but if you set off a trap, your saving throw can still save you). If something is outright deadly though, consider giving a bonus to people's saving throws (either an outright plus or maybe the better of two rolls or something -- or maybe even two successive saving throws, one to put you in the clear and if you fail that one, another to avoid death but not grievous bodily harm).
It's okay to hurt and occasionally kill people; you just don't want to kill people's enjoyment (not to mention the forward momentum of the adventure) but being too arbitrarily harsh. Unless you're explicitly going for that kind of thing, that is. But if so, the players should be in on that fact, and okay with the idea.
There's a DCC module, I think it's 81.5 (?) Grimtooths Funhouse or whatever it's called. It has a section for floor 13 which is all traps. It should give you a good idea on how traps can be avoided or used.
Well currently its sort of a megadungeon exploration campaign, where everyone is just going in to get rich, find artifacts, that sort of thing. Everyone has multiple characters lined up, and we've already lost three during a freak gasoline fight accident. So lethal traps are expected, I just don't want every trap to fall between "Spike trap! 1d6 damage" and "fake panel makes you trip and land face first on a spike, weighing it down and triggering a razor wire to swing down the hall decapitating anyone over 5'3"."
Eh, its good for inspiration and ideas, but by RAW, it kind of sucks that you have to deal with low level PCs dying en masse, but still likely to wind up with spellcasters becoming nasty looking mutant freaks without even getting cool powers because of it. Luck also seems like it is a mechanic designed to cover the crummy stats PCs are likely to have, a la Warhammer RP.
I really like the very crunchy spells, though.
If I want to masturbate to crunch, I'll read the Hackmaster books
>A party of trained adventurers, going at exploration speed (which is otherwise insanely slow), should notice something weird.
Yeah, that's pretty much what exploration speed is for in the first place.
You know what I'd like to see? Okay, in college my dorm-mates and I briefly decided that playing pranks on each other would be fun. There were three individual rooms coming off of a central suite. They actually opened up onto a the mirrored hall that was a combination kitchen / bathroom (well the sink part anyway, the actual toilet was through a door at one end of the hall, while the shower was through a door at the other end). It was tiled, so we didn't have to worry too much about damaging it.
So one of the guys crashed early and another guy and me -- mostly me -- spent in inordinate amount of time booby trapping his door. We put empty cans around the foot of the door so he would kick them and create a horrible racket when he stumbled out of his room still half drunk in the morning. There were a couple of cups of water for him to kick over as well, in addition to Kool-Aid powder spread around the area so that he'd get himself wet and stain his feet.
But the masterpiece was this swinging contraption I came up with. I removed the ceiling tile right above his door and stuck a water balloon at the edge of another one, attaching it to some shoestrings I tied together to his door knob. Basically, the idea was that he'd open his door (inwards), which would tug the shoestring and pull the balloon down on him, soaking his ass.
Now, I kind of wanted to give the shoestrings some slack, so that he'd have the door fully open before the water balloon came down, but I decided not to try to be too clever by half. Sure, if he might not get splashed as well, and maybe the other parts of the trap would never come into effect because he'd never actually make it out of his door, but as long as he got a surprise shower, that's all that mattered. So I fiddled with the shoestrings and the water balloon to get it to where it was just barely perched up on the tile as it was. In fact, I had a hard time keeping it up there it was so precarious, but I finally got it right.
And then it was only a matter of waiting. I lamented the fact that I'd probably be asleep when my fabulous prank went down, but just hearing about it would be great. As luck would have it, I was still awake when the guy got up to take a piss. I still, to this day, don't understand what happened. He opened his door, but his door rubbed against the floor, so you had to put some muscle into it to open it he whole way. Because of this, he only opened it wide enough to slip through. He didn't have to squeeze or anything, but the point was that it was opened maybe a third of the way.
Still even an inch or two would've been enough to bring down the water balloon that was attached with a shoestring to his door knob and balanced so precariously on the ceiling tile. Or logically speaking, it should've been. But for some reason, it failed to come down. Like maybe the shoestrings stretched in the night or something, I don't know. But he pulled the door open, and blearily stepped out of his room, somehow failing to get tangled up in the shoestring, and half-awake with his eyes mostly closed, he mechanically stepped over cans and cups on the floor, kind of paused when he realized what was going on, looked around blearily, kind of grunted and went and took a piss. And that's all there was to that. All the effort and he maybe got a little bit of dry Kool Aid powder on his feet.
Anyway, the point to all of this is that it'd be cool to see one of those ridiculously intricate Grimtooth's traps misfire and just stand there in safety, placidly watching pendulums swing, arrows fire, platforms flip, cages drop and so forth.
I will admit, it would be funny for that to happen. Not to mention a sense of accomplishment for the players, standing back and seeing several deathtraps go off harmlessly, knowing that it could have been them.
Are there any OSR games where crossbows aren't complete shit? They're nearly identical to the longbow in Moldvay Basic, but Expert makes them spend a round reloading between each shot. And this is typical for most clones, with Basic Fantasy RPG giving heavy crossbows a mere one shot per THREE turns.
Did the crossbow maybe have some advantages in Chainmail that got lost along the way like two handed melee weapons did?
Not sure, but one thing I've done is to up crossbow damage, and at the same time give people the opportunity to rush a shot, allowing them to reload and shoot in the same round, only with a disadvantage to hit. So maybe a crossbow does d8 damage (assuming a bow does d6) but gets -2 or -3 to-hit when rushing a shot. Meanwhile, a heavy crossbow, if that classification exists in your system, does d10 or d12, but cannot be rushed.
Nah, in Chainmail longbows get to fire twice per round while crossbow can only be fired once. Bowmen can also give indirect fire, and in mass combat there's no difference in the actual attacks.
Light crossbows are also just straight-up worse than longbows in man-to-man, although they are more accurate and long-ranged than shortbows, and heavy crossbows have more range and accuracy than longbows but have the entire "only fire every other turn" thing.
Crossbows are only 1½ points, though, while bows and longbows are 3 and 4 respectively. This means that if all you care about is to blot out the sky, you should probably go for crossbows - you get twice as many x-bow light foot as you do longbowmen!
I asked this before, but I'm always on the prowl for more... Which OSR books (rulebooks, supplements, monster manuals) have the weirdest bestiaries? Lexicons of really bizarre monsters, I know OSR games should have them by spade, I just need a little pointer - I know for one, not to look into LoFP since it apparently doesn't have any monsters at all. Thanks in advance!
Judges Guild put out the "Field Guide to Encounters". It's more on the dumb side of bizarre, though.
The classic AD&D Fiend Folio is also hella weird if you get rid of your D&D goggles.
There's probably something freakier out there, though.
The Quiet Year's group map making process and Beyond The Wall for involving people in world creation. I use that shit in everything, new town, everyone gets to know a thing, place, person, etc about the town and we map it out. Excited to try it for even weirder moves like the upcoming dissection of an abomination. Thinking everyone gets to make intelligence rolls which determine the accuracy of their ideas/discoveries. The wizard notices something about its construction, the specialist notices something about its tools, the warrior something about anatomy and the barbarian knows a legend of it.
We've been using Apocalypse world's 2d6 partial successes for skills. Skills come in 3 levels, novice, journeyman, and master which give +1,2 or 3. Works well.
>Games where Wizards are punished for being Wizards
>Even though they already have the lowest health points, shit combat stats, and extremely limited resources per day
No. I really hate this trend in games. Wizards shouldn't be punished for being Wizards.
There's one called Lusus Naturae by Neoplastic Press. You can get it from RPGnow, if it's not being shared somewhere.
That one's really fucking weird, and full of monsters that are absolutely not supposed to be simply encounters you run into, but plots in and of themselves. It's pretty nice, although it might feel too grimderp for some. There's shit like a creature that telekinetically molds cathedrals out of young children (because they're innocent and thus the purest building material or something like that) and other such things. A lot of the monsters have a potential to really fuck up a campaign or a campaign world, as well. But there's a lot of really unique material there.
AD&D has crossbows get pretty significant (+3/+4) to hit bonuses against nearly all armor except plate, which has no penalty. Compared to a long bow that will fire 2x as much but faces -3/-4 penalties against plate armor, and lesser penalties against other metal armor.
Complete Warlock has some amazing rules in that camp, I'm pretty sure heavy crossbows are better than longbows in terms of DPR, especially against heavy armor. Its generally 3d6 vs 1d6 x 2 and a lot higher to-hit chance and armor penetration, and to-hit doesn't increase, iirc, with level in that (not that it needs to).
holy fuck this sounds GREAT
apparently Lusus Naturae is a spiritual successor to Teratic Tomb, I'll certainly look into it as well
any other interesting ADnD/ODnD books with classic weirdness like flumph? What book did flumph even come from?
Should also be noted that the monsters in Lusus Naturae tend to be on the lower side of sheer, statistical power. Many have abilities that can totally fuck up players or even the world, but most have quite low HD and consequently HP, and no intrinsic way to prevent tehmselves from being attacked (other than hitting first).
This might not be a problem, but it does open the possibility of a PC winning initiative and just fucking shooting the thing dead instantly. Which, fair enough, is how these things can go, but it might not be exactly a fitting end to creature that's supposedly powerful and impactful to the world.
Hey, I've got a question. What are the official rules for swapping out weapons in old school D&D? Is it just a "surrender a move action" sort of thing, or is it more involved than that? I've played more than a few sessions of various different old school editions, but this is the sort of thing that gets improvised and I wouldn't be surprised if a relatively small minority actually played by the RAW.
>any other interesting ADnD/ODnD books with classic weirdness like flumph? What book did flumph even come from?
It's pretty much the one to go for, to be honest. Or the big one, at least.
See also: flail snails.
It's a compilation of various monsters from White Dwarf, IIRC, which explains the varying quality.
Alright, due to the leading nature of your question I can't seem to figure out what you're talking about. Are you talking about how D&D should be more like X-Men with the social parable route (people persecute them etc) or how their magic should generally fuck up a la wild magic, the Warlock casting method from 2e, or whatever?
I would love to extract all the stress stuff and general survival rules and make it fit d&d. Its made for their dice pool system now.
Is there a nice way to house rule the grind system? That is, the sequence of conditions; Hungry, Angry, Afraid, Exhausted, Injured, Sick, Dead.
Putting torches food and encumbrance in focus is a nice alternative to more combat oriented stuff.
I think im in the same boat as you, and Im sort of realising that its probably fine to go totally indiana jones on that stuff.
Its probably better to have 1 quirky gimmick trap and the rest be cookie cutter spears-dart-pit traps, and work on execusion; its more about how you allude to the presence of traps rather and make it cost either time or somd other resource like long wooden poles or limbs to get past.
I feel like traps and puzzles can be very similair things. A good mix between hidden suprise tax traps and tactical puzzle traps would set the tone right.
DCC's "you must carefully nurture and treasure the rare character that actually survives" doesn't mesh well with the whole "lose permanent stat points and become a freakish degenerate for using your basic class spells." D&D's got its share of dangerous spells, anyway; Charm Person, Cacodemon, Conjure Elemental, Contact Other Plane, Haste, Polymorph, etc; not sure why literally every spell around has to run the risk of draining your stat points.
Not all arcane magic is necessarily coming from 'demons and shit', that depends on setting and intention, but the real reason is for the fairness of the game.
Each class is supposed to have roughly the same amount of usefulness, just in different areas. (Notice I didn't say "POWER", but we are talking about a kind of balance here)
The truth is, Wizards already have their special thing and they pay dearly for it. Low health, poor combat abilities, restricted to only the least powerful armor and weapons, and extremely limited (especially at first level) magic per day. Fighters and Thieves have no such limit of how many times they can use their abilities.
What I'm saying is I am against this seeming trend in the neo-classic revival movement to make Wizards full of dark magic or mutations or whatever, because this doubly punishes them so. The problem with it is to fold;
>It's an attempt to 'balance' Wizards when most of the Wizards problems come from later editions of DnD
>It makes Wizards, who are arguably the most interesting class, even MORE interesting. This furthers the divide.
And finally, setting wise, I am against it because it makes Wizards less sensible. And yes, I know the whole 'its evil magic so only the crazy and power hungry would go for it' is an excuse, but it still makes Wizards a tougher pill to swallow setting wise. Why would anybody want to be a Wizard if they get shit on so much?
I am perfectly fine with the whole corrupted or insane Wizard thing but I think it should be kept for the greatest kinds of magic, stuff over 9th level spells, things like summoning elder gods or creating flying castles and the like, that's the kind of magic that can have dire consequences so you can keep it tied to story instead of 'oops you rolled a 1 and now have tentacle arms, lol enjoy never being able to enter a town again and becoming a social pariah."
>not sure why literally every spell around has to run the risk of draining your stat points.
Because it's OLD SCHOOL. If you want to be handled with KID GLOVES maybe you should go back to PATHFINDER
Not guy you're responding to, but "roll shitloads of dice for doing the most basic class stuff to see how your character is permanently fucked over" type stuff is about as boring as you can get; it massively disincentivizes (sp?) performing actions or taking risks at all.
Sorry, I personally just don't like fucking over a perfectly fine class constantly because of a persecution complex or because I want to make my game world overly edgy and so dark magic.
Why not make the warrior get a scar or cut off a finger or toe whenever they fail an attack roll?
Why not make the thief go to jail each time they fail their skill rolls?
That way I wouldn't be boring, amirite?
Nat 1 on attack roll has to roll for a critical fumble, nat 20 aimed at a character makes you roll on critical disfigurement charts.
Nat 1 on trap finding/disarming means you roll on critical disfigurement charts for the thief's hands or face. Boring as fuck faggots who aren't hardcore enough need to get out of OSR
The lower levels of the dungeon are dangerous as fuck - it's only the higher ones that are "safe", so to speak.
The wilderness, meanwhile, is mostly just dangerous because there's enough space for a whole bunch of monsters to gather together.
Also, note how in myth and whatnot the wilderness is dangerous as fuck and a place you should stay away from. Dungeons being dangerous is a meme that's almost entirely created by D&D.
>Dungeons being dangerous is a meme that's almost entirely created by D&D.
...wha? Well, dungeons are basically a D&D thing, so I guess you can simplify the statement to "dungeons... (are) a meme created by D&D," particularly as anything other than 'the mythic underworld', so I guess. But D&D in general has an oddball tradition of the wilderness being more dangerous than dungeons as >>45343861 points out.
The dungeon as a borderline science fiction complex full of bizarrely alien life does seem to be a D&D invention, with its ecology of fungi, puddings, slimes, weird dungeontech (automated rotating chambers, elevators, and other strangeness), etc., though Moria is relevant.
Its not clear whether the wilderness is "supposed" to be more dangerous or not. Arguing intent is almost a moot point. But you seem to be implied to use Chainmail especially for outdoor encounters (meaning 20-200 orc encounters are just supposed to be against 1-10 orcs), suggests the outdoors are not necessarily so unbeatable. On the other hand, the fact that your character gets a big boost when he's level 4 (Hero), coupled with the fact that Basic = lvl 1-3 dungeons and Expert = 4-14 and wildernessishness, does suggest easier dungeons and harder wilderness is the expectation.
Either way, I'm inclined to flip it, so that the wilderness is where new characters go to thrive, and dungeons are mind blowingly vast complexes where you really need to bring armies.
While I can think of a few cases in fiction and myth with dungeons-as-mythic-underworlds (and Moria), I can't really think of any fiction in which the wilderness is more dangerous than said mythic underworlds.
Also, as a counterpoint, post-OD&D using similar wilderness encounter parameters (20-200 orcs etc) but without Chainmail does indeed make the difficulty of the wilderness greatly increase, kinda like going from playing a solar in exalted to playing a heroic mortal, and so 4-14 is probably closer to accuracy. This means that the wilderness difficulty is partially an accident, an artifact of changing subsystems.
I also always thought it bizarre that orcs/gobs/etc come in huge amounts, but ghouls/wights are in comparatively tiny numbers, and I suspect Chainmail is to "blame."
Basically the answer to this is "no, Chainmail/OD&D was too historically accurate". The crossbow really was inferior to the longbow in reality, I read a paper (it was making the rounds of various related blogs) about how come only England had longbows when they were a flatly better arms technology. It was good, see if you can find it.
Maybe I'm blind, but nobody seems to have mentioned the Arduin Grimoires, the original hyper-weird shit from back in the day.
And Fire on the Velvet Horizon is apparently statless, but it seems super fucking weird. I believe it was written by False Patrick, who is crazy. (The best kind of crazy.)
Arduin is transcendentally strange. It has massive amounts of strangeness, to the point that no one will ever fully know all the strangeness it contained. Liches and driches? Tri-orcs, trelves, tridragons and trogres (are they just triple strength)? 1d4 Kalis? Gold and silver hydras? Sounds horrendously deadly and weird. Yellow mold golems? Ochre were jellies?
I wish there was something explaining all the weirdness.
>What I'm saying is I am against this seeming trend in the neo-classic revival movement to make Wizards full of dark magic or mutations or whatever, because this doubly punishes them so.
Yeah, agreed. If you want to have magic be a darke packt of eevyl dedes, I think Carcosa does it best: the Sorcerer is literally just a Fighter who progresses a bit slower and can use magic. Because it will cave his ass in with about 80% probability.
The book is full of it. There are more recent Arduin books that may or may not explain something, but I doubt it. A huge portion of the book is left utterly unexplained.
its the source of the 3e barbarian rage idea, incidentally, and constitution N/A undead of 3e as well
I assume these are combo constriction/poison snakes. No idea what the others tho.
I like all the different combo monsters.
Both of you sound like pussies. The same types that over obsess on game balance and being upset cause your character might have some setbacks.
Go play 4e and be boring somewhere else.
Eh, I'm skeptical about the idea that heavy crossbows are flat out inferior to longbows, that strikes me as a massive oversimplification.
The longbowman is at least as much of a marvel of exercise and training as the longbow is of technology; its also that the bow is being used by a monstrously strong man who can handle a #110 pull weight.
So sure, if you have an 18 strength, its believable that the longbow is objectively superior. Str 10-13 types need not apply. You can go whole campaigns without ever encountering a human strong enough to use an english longbow.
>When we make next session's characters we are going to draw straws and the guy with the last straw will roll 1d6 for all his characters stats.
>What do you mean that's not fair and makes the game not fun for the last guy? Stop being a pussy! Go play X and be boring somewhere else.
LotFP has a table for translating ACs from other systems in the ref guide.
Why does it skip a row under Labyrinth Lord? And why do the Labyrinth Lord and OSRIC progressions skip from 7 to 5 when the S&W and Basic Fantasy progressions (which use the exact same math as Labyrinth Lord: leather improves AC by 2, chainmail by 4, platemail by 6) don't have any skips?
Actually one of the reasons people tend to like OSR is the superior level of balance. In 1e for example, while there are a lot of options that are questionable one way or the other, the fighter, magic user, and cleric are masterfully balanced with each other and yet totally different.
Also, he was talking about how penalizing someone intrinsically for engaging in class based actions is bad design -- it punishes activity and rewards inactivity, ergo it leads in the direction of boredom.
>DCC's "you must carefully nurture and treasure the rare character that actually survives" doesn't mesh well
This is one of many issues with it. They just didn't think shit through, a lot of the time.
>The dungeon as a borderline science fiction complex full of bizarrely alien life does seem to be a D&D invention, with its ecology of fungi, puddings, slimes, weird dungeontech (automated rotating chambers, elevators, and other strangeness), etc., though Moria is relevant.
The dungeon/megadungeon structure that dates back to OD&D is damn-near a carbon copy of, ugh, wossname. One of the books in Appendix N. The SF books. Woman author. She basically defined what dungeons use as levels, complete with sub-levels and all the reasons a dungeon level isn't just a single floor in a skyscraper.
Not too interested in the game, but the squarehex guy is a good guy who runs decent kickstarters and sells useful nerd shit. Pads of hex paper in various sizes, and so on. Right down to A7 pocket-size, which is neat, and little quick-reference cards for features when you're dungeon mapping. Nothing essential, but...
(not a shill)
Got any tips on turning a 5-room dungeon into a more traditional dungeon crawl TSR map with a bunch of rooms and corridors?
I was thinking of having the 5 five "main" rooms and tie them together with some other stuff, so that it feels like the main rooms are hidden in plain sight (the players shouldnt really know about the 5-room structure right?)
I don't understand why the 'five room dungeon' thing has to be a meme anyway.
Having a few empty rooms, while boring, plays up a little tension or opens up for intrigue later. Like have a few empty rooms each with an arcane symbol on it. Then later, find a magic item that can make the symbols do something, or find a scroll that says that this symbol means a secret passage is nearby, so that room then becomes the target of a secret passage search.
>I don't understand why the 'five room dungeon' thing has to be a meme anyway.
It's a simple way to make a "complete" dungeon in five rooms, thus making it so that you can clear the entire thing in one sessions.
3E bullshit, basically.
I don't want to join in the doucheparade here, but I do think this is saddled with some problems. The idea of the five-room concept is kinda to make the dungeon manageable, in pretty direct opposition to the sprawling TSR labyrinths. Maybe you could use "vast sprawling corridors" as the "trick" or "puzzle" sections, though?
And no, you shouldn't tell players about the five-room structure. In fact, if they catch on I'd say you have to ditch it: it's like all narrative structures, it only works when it's invisible. (Example everyone knows: those cunts who spout TVTropes "trope names" at everything they see happening on a screen)
1. "Small dungeons" aren't particularly a 3e thing. Plenty of OSR campaigns also revolve around single session plots that aren't necessarily revisited (Westmarches etc)
2. Five room dungeons aren't literally about having five rooms.
Simple. Take a five room dungeon, remove the "five room" part. You're talking about making a normal dungeon.
Unless you just mean taking a dungeon with five rooms, and adding more to it?
Overall this post doesn't seem to make sense.
Cool! I'll have to check that out. I'm sure my wife will get a kick out of the idea of a wiccan author inventing the concept of dungeons-as-a-scifi-thingy instead of a mythic underworld.
It is actually a strawman, even if he was answering to another strawman. But mostly I just wanted to made a joke since he talked about a man picking a straw while making a strawman. Sorry.
Similar underlying mechanics for the classes, races, etc. but 2e simplifies a lot of elements, which resulted in a ton of cut content and weapons becoming super imbalanced since they removed a lot of the balancing factors on various weapons. Different XP tables, the 2e DMG loses out a huge amount of advice and practical stuff (no random encounter charts), etc.
The good news is that 2e has phenomenal splatbooks and campaign settings, 1e splats are very minimalistic and only a few exist.
They're very similar. 2e tidies up 1e and gets rid of some of the wonkier stuff (alignment languages, different to-hit adjustments for each individual weapon vs. each individual armor class, etc.). It also rolls some of the stuff from the supplements into the core (particularly the Non-Weapon Proficiencies that form a simple skill system). Because of the who D&D satanic scare, it dropped half-orcs and assassins from the core book, and did away with demons and devils (though it ultimately added them in, calling them tanar'ri and baatezu in an effort to disguise them or something). 2e is more presentable than 1e, and a bit less all-over-the-place, but in my opinion, it lacks 1e's energy and raw creativity. It's a derivative product that failed to really progress the game.
The other anons already gave good explanations, but one thing I'd point out is that 1E was still pretty balls-to-the-wall dugeoncrawl focused, whereas 2E was much more about Fantasy Heroes Doing Epics Like In Your Nerd Books, which shows through in a ton of the rules changes, art and addon products. One thing I'm almost sure it caused was the removal of XP for gold as a standard, which actually crippled the gameplay pretty bad. I think they also loosened up the rules around timekeeping, which is equally bad, but honestly that might just have been me and my friends not giving much of a fuck as kids, so I won't swear to it.
Thanks Anons, I appreciate the help. I'm going to want to read through both of the PHB's before i make any decisions on which one I would prefer to use, but this will help in that process.
Regardless of which edition you go with (even if it's OD&D or Basic), you should thumb through the 1e Dungeon Master's Guide. It's a great source of information and ideas... presented in a disorganized, stream of consciousness manner. I think it'd be almost impossible to follow all the rules in the DMG, and you definitely shouldn't look at it like a step-by-step instruction manual, but it's a wellspring of inspiration just waiting to be tapped (assuming one taps wellsprings; I'm not conversant in such things).
Just to confirm OD&D is the first one (1974) and Basic refers to its updated versions, and 1e is then an even more updated/different system?
I will also take a look at the DMG you suggested, thanks in advance.
>Just to confirm OD&D is the first one (1974)
>and Basic refers to its updated versions, and 1e is then an even more updated/different system?
Kinda. Not exactly; 1E AD&D is more like "OD&D plus all of its supplements and then some tidying up and...". Basic isn't straight OD&D either, it's more like... simplified OD&D + Supplement 1? People like it for being streamlined and super fucking easy to learn and run without sacrificing the classic gameplay.
Sort of. OD&D is, indeed, the original 1974 edition, but it then forks into two different lines: Basic, which is more-or-less a continuation of base-level OD&D (without most of the material added in the OD&D supplements), while AD&D is a continuation of expanded OD&D (with a lot of the supplemental material). Basic and AD&D ran concurrently with each other.
I personally find that the base-level material tends to be the best, so that while it's nice to have more options and material in AD&D, they are often somewhat unimpressive or merely very derivative (fighters, clerics, magic-users and thieves are pretty distinctive, but paladins are basically just fighters with a few powers added and minor cleric spellcasting at higher levels, and rangers are basically just fighters with a few powers added and minor spell casting at higher levels, etc.). Additionally, AD&D adds a lot of needless clutter that doesn't really make the game more fun: a lot of restrictions and new stats and so forth. I like the idea of using Moldvay Basic (the simplest version of Basic that's more than a 3-level introductory deal) and selectively grabbing stuff you like from AD&D. That way you get the simplicity of Basic with whatever added options you want from AD&D. I should mention that all old school D&D has the same core system, and the difference between the editions is mostly a matter of the details stacked on top, so it's pretty easy to port stuff from one edition to another (one of the bigger things you have to take into account is the fact that all classes but magic-users have their hit dice increased a level in AD&D over Basic, so a thief in AD&D rolls a d6 rather than a d4, a cleric rolls a d8 rather than a d6, and a fighter rolls a d10 rather than a d8 -- but this doesn't have much of an impact on the larger game).
I get you. I'm running a psudogreek campaign and one of the cults are harvest related. They sometimes carry little dolls made out of straw and grass and burn them in ritual that makes everyone around them extra suggestible. One day my players will realize I dm to see how much word play I can cram into a game.
Eh, which classes one likes are mostly subjective -- its hard to say that the thief is a better class than the paladin or ranger, and likewise paladins & rangers were based off genre fiction used as inspiration for D&D while the cleric is a pure D&Dism.
OD&D is OD&D. It then got supplements, and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons came out of those. Well, the Monster Manual came out. The PHB & DMG followed months later.
Meanwhile, you have Basic, which started out as a slightly-simplified rewrite of OD&D by someone who knew how to make words work and evolved into Basic/Expert (a different Basic) and eventually into Basic/Expert/Companion/Master/Immortals/Rules Cyclopedia (different different Basic, different Expert). This at least partially happened to screw Arneson out of royalties by claiming that AD&D was obviously not D&D but something new and improved and unrelated.
There is also at least one obscure weird starter set or reboot or whatever for Basic during this time, which is generally ignored. Basic had the actual good game design going on, as far as TSR D&D went.
Then AD&D 2e came out, and... yeah.
I wouldn't really call thieves distinct, since... that's, basically all characters, right? It'd be quicker to list character types who aren't thieves than who are. I mean... we have paladins, sure, but even clerics are basically thieves; both the very shrewd Knights Templar, and of course Van Helsing, who was even used as the inspiration for a thief called Van Richten.
And yeah, like the cleric, the ranger shares a lot with the fighting man, but I mean, nothing about the ranger is less distinctive than the cleric.
Thieves are mechanically distinct. Clerics are made distinct by their spells. And even just in terms of fighting, they're more distinct from fighters than rangers are (restricted weapons and slower to-hit progression). The ranger does eventually get a limited number of spells, but they're cribbed off other classes' lists (and honestly, I'd rather they not get spells, as it doesn't feel to me like it fits their theme, but that's a matter of aesthetics, which is somewhat beside the point here).
Well if mechanical distinctions are enough to justify a class, then obviously the ranger is sufficiently distinct and we need no further debate. But I'm guessing you're not convinced, so obviously them just having mechanics isn't enough.
Okay, so I've got a question for anyone who uses battlemats/minis with OSR games.
The standard square footage of one square in most games that use grids is 5 square feet. This works fine in games that are designed for this, like, say, 4th Edition D&D. Combat is pretty gamified. Also, the grid is usually designed so one mini/token/figure can use one square at a time.
This makes pretty good sense.
However, in OSR games, it's implied that in a ten-foot-wide dungeon corridor, AT LEAST three humanoid creatures can walk abreast, allowing for sort of phalanxes in how you arrange your party, and all sorts of other fun tactical choices.
In this case, how do you use a battlemat effectively with more abstractly defined mechanics?
I'd really like to use minis with my Swords and Wizardry games, since they're a big help in explaining where everything is in an encounter, but I'm not sure how to handle them well with groups that are accustomed to more "rigid" systems.
I use them as guidelines and to help understand who can be hit by ranged attacks, aoe spells, etc. PCs don't have to deal with piling in with melee. The key is that in 1e and some other editions (I think?) you can only move and attack by charge attacks, limited to 1/turn. So distinct clusters of groups have to be separated for melee purposes, but there aren't much in the way of requirements for precision as far as exact placement in melee usually -- other than presumably for intentional formations. I'm clear when something is a discrete positioning that players must obey.
Chainmail's concepts have grown on me. one element is how it handles horses:
1. Horsemen get significant advantages over footmen: +2 to hit on round 1/+1-2 mace/flail hits on round 2, and -1 to be hit. In 1:20 combat, its similarly huge, and if anything more of an advantage.
2. Heroes & superheroes are even better at trampling people or something, since their horses are supercharged as well. Nothing wrong with this, but gear/horse advantages seem to be magnified rather than lessened.
I wonder how one would handle a system by which your level magnifies, rather than diminishes, the value of higher end gear and having a warhorse? Essentially the total opposite of how its normally handled, in which it matters a huge deal for start chars and much less for high level chars.
I really wish the fighter had retained more of the advantages of the hero and super-hero. Tonnes of attacks, immune to fear effects, see invisible opponents, super horses. They're amazing.
>I wonder how one would handle a system by which your level magnifies, rather than diminishes, the value of higher end gear and having a warhorse? Essentially the total opposite of how its normally handled, in which it matters a huge deal for start chars and much less for high level chars.
>Heavy armor: Add your level to AC
>Medium armor: Add level/2 to AC, but minimum +1
>Light armor: only gain modifiers from the Weapon vs. Armor Type table compared to going unarmored
>Rocinante: A hero's warhorse is a splendid creature! From level 4, your horse rolls to hit with the same bonus/matrix line you use.
>Tonnes of attacks
That's the one thing they did retain, though.
Unless you're playing in Basic, I guess. But that's what the "1 attack/level against 1HD critters" rule in AD&D is - it's "against normal men" in OD&D, too. Note also OD&D's Fighting Capability.
>2. Heroes & superheroes are even better at trampling people or something, since their horses are supercharged as well. Nothing wrong with this, but gear/horse advantages seem to be magnified rather than lessened.
Where are you getting that from? I don't really remember anything like that.