D&D General How to Read a Rule: Dueling Canons in D&D


log in or register to remove this ad


Voadam

Legend
So ignoring the post hoc Dragon sage advice by TSR employees interpreting the rules of the PH and just looking at the PH RAW there is another possibility.

So we look back at the Character Abilities section. In it, we see that Constitution and Charisma both talk about how they are for everyone. Then each of the other four abilities has a call-out to the core four; strength is the "major characteristic" of fighters. Wisdom is the "major characteristic" of Clerics. Dexterity is the "major characteristic" of thieves. And intelligence? Intelligence is the ... wait for it ... "major characteristic" of Magic Users.

So we have four classes with major characteristics. Clerics, Fighters, Magic Users, and Thieves.

So then it works out if you use the four AD&D classes' major characteristics as principal attributes.

So what about druids and paladins and assassins and so on?

They are all, with two outliers, explicitly subclasses of the four classes in their class descriptions. This is further carried out in saving throws and attack charts.

Monks are their own thing, not specifically listed in the thief class and not explicitly called a subclass of thieves even though they use thief attack and saving throw charts, have thief skills, low HD, and no spells.

And appendix bards which are sort of fighter/thief/druid subclass clerics but also their own thing at the same time.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
So ignoring the post hoc Dragon sage advice by TSR employees interpreting the rules of the PH and just looking at the PH RAW there is another possibility.



So we have four classes with major characteristics. Clerics, Fighters, Magic Users, and Thieves.

So then it works out if you use the four AD&D classes' major characteristics as principal attributes.

So what about druids and paladins and assassins and so on?

They are all, with two outliers, explicitly subclasses of the four classes in their class descriptions. This is further carried out in saving throws and attack charts.

Monks are their own thing, not specifically listed in the thief class and not explicitly called a subclass of thieves even though they use thief attack and saving throw charts, have thief skills, low HD, and no spells.

And appendix bards which are sort of fighter/thief/druid subclass clerics but also their own thing at the same time.

I literally just wrote pages on this. But to briefly answer your question, NO. That wouldn't work for the simple reason I referred to above ... that the text of the rule itself refers to "principal attribute(s)," which means that there will be classes with one, and classes with more than one.

So in addition to all the other problems with that analysis, you can't just grandfather in subclasses that way because then all classes would have one (1) principal attribute and would render the actual text of the rule invalid.
 

ilgatto

How inconvenient
Heh, never had much to do with 2Cs - until recently that is, so I've been winging the no xp-for-trangressions, to the satisfaction of the player (F-MU), btw: "no xp since the last time you got any, which was after the last session" (handed out xp like clockwork in this case, for reasons).
However, I do believe the player isn't gonna be so happy any more now that I read all of this, monsieur Zagyg. No holding a sword when casting a spell, you say? :devilish:
 


Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
Your analysis seems perfect to me.

In practice, I think a good house rule is to substitute in the words "Prime Requisite" on page 33 in place of "Principal Attribute". Which incidentally is how it was changed to work in 2nd edition.

That would work, except for the three classes that lack a prime requisite of any kind (Illusionist, Assassin, and Monk).

I think the house rule would have to be, "Replace principal attribute(s) with prime requisite(s), and if a class lacks prime requisites, then all required minimum ability scores are the prime requisites."
 

Voadam

Legend
I literally just wrote pages on this. But to briefly answer your question, NO.
I wasn't asking a question there. :)
That wouldn't work for the simple reason I referred to above ... that the text of the rule itself refers to "principal attribute(s)," which means that there will be classes with one, and classes with more than one.

So in addition to all the other problems with that analysis, you can't just grandfather in subclasses that way because then all classes would have one (1) principal attribute and would render the actual text of the rule invalid.
Fairly good point. None of the core four classes have two major attributes.

So the potential plural would be extraneous and inapplicable unless that brings in the appendix fighter/thief/druid subclass cleric bard. :)
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
So the potential plural would be extraneous and inapplicable unless that brings in the appendix fighter/thief/druid subclass cleric bard. :)

Since you have to start with the original rule, you'd go with the surplusage canon; it's not going to be extraneous.

And the Bard, once becoming a Bard, is no longer part of the 2C Rule. Same reason that you can't use the rule to add a third class.
 

Tony Vargas

Legend
"Prime Requisite" is how I understood it at the time.

And RaW was hardly a thing back in the day. ;) All rules being open to interpretation. Rules was all house rules - now, when you explicitly changed or/and made stuff up, them's Variants...
 

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top