D&D General Grateful for Old-School Essentials


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Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
Our house rules of old were:

20/01 - critical success/fail.
At first level, all PCs start off with maximum number of hit points possible for their class.
Three rounds after hitting zero/negative HPs to try and save to get back into positive, unless -ve value is >1/2 Con.
I like-
-Option to "flip" the ability scores (subtract all stats in order from 21) so there are no "hopeless" characters.
-Hit dice for PCs are re-rolled each level but you always gain at least 1 HP. Or just top half of the die.
-Thieves get d6 HD and use all skills on the Hear Noise chance (+2 for Climb Sheer Surface)
-Unconscious at 0 to-3, dead below that.
-20 to hit = +1 damage, OR you may declare a cool situational effect- disarming, knocking a foe back or prone, overbearing, etc. If the effect is particularly devastating, I may grant the victim a save vs poison/death to avoid. One I've been toying with is that Fighters (only) get these benefits on a 19 or 20.
-Elves and M-Us can add spells from scrolls or enemy books to their spell book.
 
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Quickleaf

Legend
Love OSE. Got my boxes sitting behind me.

In my journey I also found Basic Fantasy which isn’t as fancy in presentation but cool and available and quite compatible.
I've just joined the Dolmenwood kickstarter. Gavin Norman is immensely talented.

Now that I'm back into B/X, I really appreciate how modular it can be! I've been able to homebrew some stuff a lot more easily than the more verbose/rule-lawyer-ese of modern D&D.

That's always the tug of war between OSR and modern D&D – even though OSR rules are much easier to learn, the "soft skills" of GMing a game like B/X are more difficult I think. One of my personal interests in design is bridging that gap.

I'd been trying to get my old campaign setting squeezed into the modern D&D box, and it wasn't really working, but when I tried just writing more freeform and experimenting with B/X, things started to click.
 

darjr

I crit!
I've just joined the Dolmenwood kickstarter. Gavin Norman is immensely talented.

Now that I'm back into B/X, I really appreciate how modular it can be! I've been able to homebrew some stuff a lot more easily than the more verbose/rule-lawyer-ese of modern D&D.

That's always the tug of war between OSR and modern D&D – even though OSR rules are much easier to learn, the "soft skills" of GMing a game like B/X are more difficult I think. One of my personal interests in design is bridging that gap.

I'd been trying to get my old campaign setting squeezed into the modern D&D box, and it wasn't really working, but when I tried just writing more freeform and experimenting with B/X, things started to click.
Moldvay was brilliant. Mike Mearls said something along the lines that if they'd modernized B/X a bit and did escalating AC, it might have done very well. It's kinda a shame that TSR didn't double down on the success of B/X.
 

Aldarc

Legend
Moldvay was brilliant. Mike Mearls said something along the lines that if they'd modernized B/X a bit and did escalating AC, it might have done very well. It's kinda a shame that TSR didn't double down on the success of B/X.
Or even WotC for that matter.
 


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