D&D General Grateful for Old-School Essentials

Recently got OSE as well and it’s the simplified D&D with some modern touches I’ve been wanting.

A few house rules to make it less deadly (though still a challenge) has been super easy.

Love it.

It’s my D&D of choice
My sentiments exactly. I switched from 5e to OSE Advanced and have not looked back. I also backed the Dolmenwood kickstarter and am hoping to run that when the books drop (I'm prepping using the pdf's released so far, but I find books easier to use), even though I'll likely be running things virtually.

With re: to deadliness, I go back and forth. I've been using Goblin Punches' "Death and Dismemberment Table", which really ups the survivability of characters with the trade off of having them out of commission or mangled as a result. It really meshes better with a "troupe play" style, where characters have henchmen or backup characters that can step in if someone needs a week of rest due to a concussion, or an arm or leg injury, or a cracked skull. My players have enough trouble with the NPCs dying (henchmen) when they hit zero, they'd go out of their minds if the PCs did too. LoL.
 

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Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Which is why I am not arguing it. That would be skipping about 15 years of WotC-owned D&D to jump to its biggest success story. What I had in mind was when WotC first acquired D&D.
I don't think OSR things would have been successful pre-3E. I think a sense of nostalgia drove the OSR and it took literal decades for it to come into vogue.
 




bmfrosty

Explorer
Recently got OSE as well and it’s the simplified D&D with some modern touches I’ve been wanting.

A few house rules to make it less deadly (though still a challenge) has been super easy.

Love it.

It’s my D&D of choice
I've been playing around with a death save idea. Every character has a death save anyway, but it's normally used as a reaction to traps or poison. One could also use it to determine if a character that's gone below 1 hp is dead or unconscious. If you give the cleric the ability to use it for other characters, it becomes a simple lay on hands. Adds a touch better survivability to the game and if you also give the cleric the ability to use it as a lay on hands if a character fails their own death save, it increases it even more. Additionally, if the cleric has that option, it will normally cause them from doing that than anything else they might be considering for that round.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
I've been playing around with a death save idea. Every character has a death save anyway, but it's normally used as a reaction to traps or poison. One could also use it to determine if a character that's gone below 1 hp is dead or unconscious.
The Rules Cyclopedia (p266) first introduced something very similar as an optional rule. You're not immediately dead on going to zero, but make a save vs death that round, and again every time you take more damage or ten minutes passes. Any failure = death. If your HP get raised to 1 or more or someone makes a Healing skill check on you at -5, you're safe.

If you give the cleric the ability to use it for other characters, it becomes a simple lay on hands. Adds a touch better survivability to the game and if you also give the cleric the ability to use it as a lay on hands if a character fails their own death save, it increases it even more. Additionally, if the cleric has that option, it will normally cause them from doing that than anything else they might be considering for that round.
Yes, I've played in OD&D and B/X games that run it this way.
 

DarkCrisis

Reeks of Jedi
I've been playing around with a death save idea. Every character has a death save anyway, but it's normally used as a reaction to traps or poison. One could also use it to determine if a character that's gone below 1 hp is dead or unconscious. If you give the cleric the ability to use it for other characters, it becomes a simple lay on hands. Adds a touch better survivability to the game and if you also give the cleric the ability to use it as a lay on hands if a character fails their own death save, it increases it even more. Additionally, if the cleric has that option, it will normally cause them from doing that than anything else they might be considering for that round.

I use negative HP and bleeding. If you hit -4 you’re dead. If you are exactly 0 you are just unconscious.

As for saves I use stat bonus applies to AC. Like con applies to poison save. Wisdom to spell saves (so clerics get it twice!) dex for dragon breath, etc.

Crit hits/failures also in play.
 

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