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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Breaking AD&D character classes to itty bitty bits

Why not? It's the kind of question one usually asks after the fact.

So one night a while back I made a table whose elements in a few hours went beyond d100 range, but stayed far shy of d1000. I stopped somewhere in the 150-160 number, listing out discreet elements of the AD&D character classes. An heretical idea had seized me - instead of picking a class, players make 2-5 rolls on this table, and these elements would define the class. Magic user that can disguise like assassin? Cross your fingers and roll! With the right five rolls, the generated class could conceivably fight like fighter, spell like a cleric AND a magic user, sneak like thief, and get druid level powers (as their career of near assured success continued).

So yeah, the table got huge. Throw'd in race-specific stuff, spell-like powers, magic resistance, starting wealth and magic items, etc... I started getting bored. And then I started trying to write it up as a table. Too many elements for d144 (d12 tens, d12 ones)... oh, I should edit it down... I think I got tired.

There's recurring board-debate on such pressing issues of class-as-mechanically-immutable-archetype vs. 'why caint my wizard wear a sword?', etc, etc. My response would be to have 2-5 rolls made on some refined version of this sprawling, half-baked list, to see exactly which classes have their turfs (turves?) tread upon.

I largely forgot about it, and then found it today while cleaning up. Enjoy. It's just a list...
fiddly fiddly fiddly!

  1. +1 to hit with blunt weapons
  2. +1 to hit, +1 damage with one melee weapon
  3. +2 damage with one melee weapon
  4. +1 damage with missile weapons
  5. Gain use of weapon not normally allowed (or +1 to hit with 1 weapon if weapon use unrestricted)
  6. +1 to hit with missile weapons
  7. +1 dexterity reaction/attacking adjustment
  8. +1 to hit with one melee weapon
  9. Turn undead as cleric of same level
  10. +1 constitution hit point adjustment, +10% system shock/resurrection survival
  11. +1 to hit with spears/polearms
  12. Disarm at +2
  13. +1 damage with one melee weapon
  14. Turn undead as cleric of level/3
  15. Turn undead as cleric of level/2
  16. Has d3 doses of poison and +2 on saves vs poison
  17. Has d6 doses of poison
  18. +2 to hit with one melee weapon
  19. Backstab as thief (if already a thief, may use assassination table when appropriate)
  20. Infravision (30', or +30' if already has infravision)
  21. +1 dexterity defensive adjustment
  22. +1 wisdom magic attack adjustment
  23. +1 to hit with on type of melee weapon (axes, swords, polearms, etc)
  24. All saving throws at +1
  25. All saving throws at +2
  26. Immune to disease
  27. Immune to poison
  28. Immune to petrification
  29. “Lay on hands” as a paladin
  30. Surprise as a ranger
  31. Dodge missiles as a monk (if a monk, saving roll at +2)
  32. Track as a ranger at half listed chances (if a ranger, add 5% to chances)
  33. Track as a ranger (if a ranger, add 10% to chances)
  34. Open lock and find/remove traps as thief of same level (if a thief or monk, add 10% to chances)
  35. Read languages as a thief (if a thief/assassin/monk, add 10% to chance)
  36. May use assassination table at ½ listed chance (if assassin, improve chance by 5%)
  37. Disguise as assassin (if an assassin, reduce chance of detection by ½)
  38. Infravision (60' or +60' if already has infravision)
  39. +1 to hit against one type of creature
  40. AC improved by 4 when fighting one type of creature
  41. +1 to hit and AC improved by 2 when fighting one type of creature
  42. Secret concealed door detection as elf
  43. Surprise as elf
  44. +1 (+5%) to reaction rolls
  45. +2 (+10%) to reaction rolls
  46. +2 to hit with thrown weapons
  47. +1 to hit, +1 damage with thrown weapons
  48. Knows 1 additional language per 4 points of intelligence
  49. +1 to hit with melee weapons
  50. Half chance of getting lost
  51. +10% improvement to climb walls*
  52. Herbal lore allows location and preparation of minor toxins and physicks
  53. +d4 hit points
  54. +2 hit points
  55. +d6 hit points
  56. +4 hit points
  57. Internal clock allows unerring sense of passage of time
  58. Earth detections as a dwarf (if already a dwarf, improve all chances by 10%)
  59. Earth detections as a gnome (if already a gnome, improve all chances by 10%)
  60. Reduce final price of weapons purchased by ½
  61. Reduce final price of armor purchased by ½
  62. Reduce final price of animals, equipment and supplies by ½
  63. Improve initiative by 1
  64. Does barehand damage as a monk of level-2 (if already a monk, +1 to hit barehand)
  65. Does barehand damage as a monk of level-1 (if already a monk, +1 to hit barehand)
  66. Does barehand damage as a monk of own level (if already a monk, +1 to hit barehand)
  67. +1 to hit with missile weapons, may extend range of missiles by 25%
  68. Improve AC of armor worn by 1
  69. May use a shield against 1 more attack than normal.
  70. Natural Horseman
  71. Outdoorsman
  72. Encumbrance penalties halved
  73. May use a shield as a off-hand weapon (treat as a club)
  74. +10% pick-pockets*
  75. Add open hand attack damage to a successful hit with a melee weapon
  76. +5% Move Silently and Hide in Shadows*
  77. +10% Move Silently*
  78. +10% Hide in Shadows*
  79. Re-roll any fumble. If second roll hits, no damage is done, but fumble is ignored.
  80. Heal at x2 normal rate
  81. +10% Hear Noise*
  82. No off-hand penalty applied while using two weapons
  83. +1 on saves against any source of heat/fire or cold
  84. +2 on saves against any source of cold
  85. +3 on saves against any source of cold
  86. +2 on saves against any source of heat/fire
  87. +3 on saves against any source of heat/fire
  88. +2 on saves against any source of heat/fire or cold
  89. +2 on saves against any source of electricity
  90. +3 on saves against any source of electricity
  91. +2 on saves vs poison
  92. +1 on save vs poison per 5 constitution
  93. Decrease chance of surprise by 1 and gain +4 to hit against surprised opponents
  94. Number of henchmen x1.5, loyalty base +10%
  95. Regenerate 1 hit point per minute unless killed (must be inactive to regenerate)
  96. +1 to strength damage adjustment
  97. Shields used reduce armor class by 2 steps
  98. Blunt weapon and impact damage (including falls) to character are halved
  99. If reduced to half or less hit points, to hit and damage at +1
  100. If reduced to half or less hit points, AC improved by 1
  101. AC improved by 1 against 1 attacker/round
  102. AC improved by 2 against 1 attacker/round
  103. AC improved by 1 against up to 2 attackers/round
  104. Photographic Memory
  105. Unaffected by mind-influencing spells
  106. +1 damage per level against one type of creature
  107. +1 damage per 3 levels against one class of creature
  108. Invisible to scrying
  109. Knows one 1st level magic user or illusionist spell, and gains 1 1st level spell per day
  110. Knows two 1st level magic user or illusionist spells, and gains 1 1st level spell per day
  111. Knows one 2nd level magic user or illusionist spell, and gains 1 2nd level spell per day
  112. May cast spells as a cleric (if cleric, one additional spell/day)
  113. May cast spells as a cleric of ½ level (if cleric, one additional spell/day )
  114. May cast spells as a druid (if druid, one additional spell/day)
  115. May cast spells as a druid of ½ level (if druid, one additional spell/day)
  116. May learn and cast spells as a magic user (if magic user, may retain memory of one spell cast/day)
  117. May learn and cast spells as a magic user of ½ level (if magic user, may retain memory of one spell cast/day)
  118. Has Magic Resistance equal to charisma + (level x 2)
  119. Has Magic Resistance equal to wisdom + (level x 2)
  120. Saves versus spells, rods, staves and wands at +1
  121. Saves versus spells, rods, staves and wands at +1 per 6 points of wisdom
  122. Saves versus spells, rods, staves and wands at +2
  123. Saves versus spells, rods, staves and wands at +1 per 4 points of wisdom
  124. Saves versus magic user and illusionist spells at +4
  125. 50% magic resistance vs spells and powers of creatures from other planes
  126. Saves versus cleric and druid spells at +4
  127. May learn spells from one other class
  128. May learn spells from two other classes
  129. Sixth sense – cannot be surprised
  130. Saves vs spells, rods, staves, and wands at +1. Saves versus spells cast by character at -1
  131. Operates as a thief (if already a thief, +5% to all skills)O
  132. perates as a thief at ½ level
  133. May cast Remove Curse 1/day
  134. May cast Dispel Magic 1/day
  135. May cast Animal Friendship 1/day
  136. Ethereal Sight for 2d10 minutes, 1/day
  137. Saves against spells cast by this character are at -1 **
  138. Saves against spells cast by this character are at -2 **
  139. Magic Resistance of those targeted by character's spells is halved **
  140. Magic Resistance of those targeted by character's spells is ignored **
  141. May save vs death at +1/level to ignore spell disruption effects **
  142. Spells cast have double area of effect/number of targets when applicable **
  143. Touch range spells have range 5', ranged spells add 50' to range **
  144. Self range spells have range touch, touch range spells have range 5' and ranged spells add 50' to range **
  145. Duration of spells cast is doubled when applicable **
  146. If magic user/illusionist, may wear leather armor. If druid, may wear chain. If other, improve AC by 1
  147. Has d3 potions
  148. Has a scroll
  149. Has a magic sword
  150. Has a miscellaneous magic weapon
  151. Has a magic wand
  152. Has a magic staff
  153. Has a magic rod
  154. Has a magic ring
  155. Has a miscellaneous magic item
  156. Has magic armor or shield
  157. Double starting gold
  158. Begins the game with d3 henchmen (up to maximum)
  159. Begins the game with d6 henchmen (up to maximum)
  160. Begins the game with 2d6 henchmen (up to maximum)

!EDIT! Ugh! A PDF! Improved? I dunno, but even a little longer...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Spell casting foiled

1. Spell fails, memory of it is retained
2. Spell fails
3. Spell fails, memory of it replaced with other known spell, determined randomly
4. Spell fails
5. Spell fails, 50% chance it replaces spell written on a scroll in possession
6. Spell fails

Friday, September 25, 2009

drop of water in ocean vs drop of water in wildfire

Haven't posted in a while because I wanted to wait until I had the overlord thing 'in full swing'. Well - I wouldn't say it's in full swing, but it is starting (after some fits and starts, butting up against the edge of my disorganized & accident-prone nature). What's that about battle plans surviving first contact? Oh yeah, that they don't!

I was thinking I'd start it after I got a group of people playing at the table, but this has proved a stumbling point. The gamer club at the state university here is pretty 4e centric when it comes to RPGs, with a couple of Rifts enthusiasts(!). Three prospective players responded to a flier I put up, but they've all washed out. Hrumph.

Nevertheless, the coffee shop down the street makes a room available to reserve, for free(!) so my thinking is just to start an open with a couple of my friends and toss around a couple more fliers...

OSRIC supplement development is big news. E&S continues (glacially). Seems the S&W megadungeon is pretty back-burnered. Trying to set-up this overlord game has really made clear to me how thin I'm spreading myself - but once it finds its legs, I think it will largely 'run itself'.

But the thing I came here to get off my chest is this: play Tunnels & Trolls! It's a great great game that deserves more love! No - more [b]use[/b]!


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dreaming of D&D

Savage Swords talks about dreaming of games - this has been happening to me a lot recently. A lot. I recently reacquired the 1e DMG, and poring over it like I used to do when I was 12. A lot of the setup for the overlord side of the game I'm getting together is coming from the DMG - it's sinking into the subconscious. Last night I dreamt of tables - and like there's not enough in the book (can there ever be enough? uh...yeah, probably so...anyway) - like there weren't enough in the book as is, I found a cache of tables I'd never seen before - somewhere in the random encounter by dungeon level area, which was a sort of uber-table.

This was a dream, remember, and it was vague. I was totally psyched - it was the table to end all tables! I think I was generating a dungeon. And, of course, I can't remember what it was about. I remember rolling on it and generating some information and being really excited, feeling like a thorny problem that had existed for years was solved by this discovery - but yeah, in the waking world, I have no idea what the table was. Ugh. Oh well. Perhaps it'll bubble back up out of the subconscious at some point (like while I'm trapped at work, or fixing dinner or something). Perhaps it will appear in the next Fight On! - stranger things have happened.

Makes me think of something I used to do when I ran games pretty regularly. Provide dreams. When the characters slept, (and when I remembered) there was a chance they'd have a dream (the chance was 10% + Int + Wis I believe...)). So I had about a dozen index cards with some content of some generally random dream-things that had no bearing or symbolic relevance to the characters - of course, I did not tell them that - they were free to 'read into it' as much or as little as they wanted to. There were also 1 or 2 cards for each character that DID contain a clue or a message that was relevant to their character, though couched in obscure terms and such. I'd draw a card at random if they had a dream, and give it to them to keep. Sometimes they'd latch on to something that was suggestive of import and really try to suss it out - and this gave birth to some interesting play!

Dream On!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

3 conclusions I've come to (randomly)

Tekumel is not a game because of its wilderness rules. is the real home of Chainmail on the web.
Stop picking on Jeff Reints, he’s the most level-headed swine, after all.

Offered with no supporting arguments and a large can of ad hominem just waiting
to crack open.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

setting info 2

Link to Google Doc PDF of more information warping together, and still a few more threads to stitch in, in sort of general-overview mode.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Setting Info

A timeline
Some history-lite
Cursory geography
A crude map (WIP!)

Still in the 'setup' phase. Players are submitting ideas and information, so it is still a work in progress. I'm trying my damnest to keep kinda quiet about what this looks like under the hood, and it's difficult because there's really cool things happening in here. Emergent patterns and such. Once the first turn starts, I'll have to start posting the words of the town criers, border edicts and travellers' stories...

One thing is certain, which seems to be much a truism in human internet-based text gaming - the initial plan never survives!

    <*> I thought I'd get a couple of people, maybe a slow trickle. Nope!
    <*> I was gonna randomly assign players to NPCs I already had in place. It immediately became apparent that that would not be the case across-the-board.
    I am not complaining about this - the stuff being submitted is making the setting so much more interesting - so many ideas I would have never come up with. And here's where the 'emergent behavior' thing got really freaky (as in cool). Different players unaware of each other coming up with character and 'kingdom' ideas independantly, that work together very well...different hooks that seem easily related to each-other...etc

One thing that has remained pretty consistent is a sort of 'omni-game' approach. Players are using different systems for game detail of their characters as they see fit. I'm sticking to 1e AD&D as a 'lingua franca', and using it for a lot of the implementation details on my side of things, but there's 2e-isms, some T&T-isms,
and some other stuff from I don't know where!

In real world, I went to the college youngins game club this evening for their first meeting of the semester, and met with three guys that responsed to the flier I put up in a few places last week (like outside the game club's meeting room on campus for one!). One of them was somewhat aware of internet OSR stuff, they all seemed at least somewhat interested (I kinda half-assed pitched Swords & Wizardry/OSRIC aka "Old D&D" - I've never been much of a salesman...but), we're supposed to get together next week to start. In Search of the Unknown.

Quasqueton aside, they're gonna be walking into an amazing environment. Thank you overlords! I can't wait to get the internet ball rolling, so that the players can see what's going on too.