Saturday, July 3, 2010

Dungeons and Decisions, Part I

After spending some time with various D&D and retroclone sources, I have hammered out my issues detailed in the previous post and have arrived at the following decisions:

The character creation date has been set for my new Cyclopedic campaign. I was thinking about some house rules or adjustments I'd like to make. Although about half this group has no experience with the older editions of the game, they're all pretty capable people, so I will implement these changes without fear. Here's what is on my mind:

1. Classes-
The following classes and sub-classes are available to humans:

*Fighter- Straight out of the Cyclopedia. Note that this includes the ability to change to a Paladin, Avenger, or Knight at Name Level.
*Ranger- The "damage bonus" ranger from the Delving Deeper downloads.
*Barbarian- Stolen from JB's blog (His B/X version)

*Thief- Straight out of the Cyclopedia, plus they can take Thieves Cant as a secret language.
*Mountebank- Taken mostly from Rob Conley's Majestic Wilderlands, but with a few changes. (Prime reqs are now Dexterity and intelligence, thief skills are Pick Pockets, Open Locks, Find Traps, Remove Traps, Move Silently

*Cleric- Straight out of the Cyclopedia
*Healer- Taken from Mike's White Box stuff from his blog, Sword+1. Modifications: Healers can only use staff, sling, and net for weapons, save as clerics, and meditate for their spells instead of keeping a spellbook.
*Druid- Straight from the Cyclopedia

*Magic-User - From the Cyclopedia, but their ability to decipher spells is based on Intelligence and spell level. (More on that later, with general house rules)
*Bard- From the Delving Deeper series. Yes, bards are a sub-class of magic-user in this campaign.

*Mystic- From the Cyclopedia. All mystics are acrobatic mystics in my game, meaning they level 20% slower.

I initially planned each class to have two sub-class options, but I think this is quite enough. Sub-classes that were left on the cutting room floor include thief (assassin), magic-user (alchemist), and the mystic sub-classes (martial artist and weapon master)

The three demi-humans appear mostly as written, though they will be using Weapon Mastery. I have also given each race an option or two when it comes to class. All these options were cooked up using OD&Dities Issue 7, from the fanzine's first incarnation. Demi-humans have the same level restrictions even if advancing as one of the alternative classes. Except where stated, these alternate classes behave like their normal demi-human counterparts.

Dwarves may be Warriors (the basic dwarf class) or thieves. Dwarf thieves are sturdier than human ones (d6 hit die, +2/level after 9th.) Dwarf thieves, however, cannot climb walls, pick pockets, or hear noise. They level as thieves, but with 10% more experience needed to level. Dwarf thieves consider themselves engineers and treasure hunters, not petty larcenists.

Elves may be Adventurers (the basic elf class), or one of two classes: Scout and High Mage.
-Scouts have d4 hit die and fight as clerics, though they gain +2 to attack rolls with all missile weapons. The can wear only leather armor. They still cast spells as a normal elf. They can Move Silently, Hear Noise, and Hide in Shadows as a thief of equal level. Their prime requisite is Dexterity.
-High Mages have focused entirely on magical training. High Mages begin the game with four hit points, though ever level thereafter they roll a d2 for hit die. They fight and save as magic-users rather than elves, and can use no weapon but a dagger or staff. They have double the spell slots of a magic-user of equal level. Their prime requisite is Intelligence.

Halflings can be Wayfarers (the basic Halfling class) or Burglars. A Burglar has all the skills of a thief. Burglars can wear only leather armor and can use only daggers, slings, and short swords for weapons. They are exceptionally cowardly and fight on the magic-user attack table. A burglar can use either his halfling woodland abilities or his thief skills to hide, whichever is more advantageous in a given situation.


  1. At least give the High Mages 4 hit points at first level.

  2. That's not a bad idea. Perhaps I'll give them 3-4 at first level and stick them with a d3 on subsequent levels.