This week's blog, looking at the small changes I made to my 5E campaign to make it feel old school, without breaking the game ...
Interesting idea ... I looked at the Wight and it's level drain is pretty kind compared to AD&D days, but the old school permanent loss of XP is definitely too punitive. Maybe change it to a restoration of 1 hp per day? Or a level of exhaustion that requires a potent cure spell to remove?Generally good advice in there.
Have you given any consideration to bringing into your 5e such old-school elements as level drain, item saves if the carrier fails vs area-effect damage, and the like?
Love Rappan Athuk!Nice article! Agree with slow leveling. In my current campaign I'm running the 5e version of Rappan Athuk. To give the old-school dungeon crawl experience, but still using 5e I do the following:
GP for XP. XP is earned by extracting gold and some milestones. Not by killing things. You kill things because they attack you, because you want their gold, because your characters think they are evil, etc. But there is no reason to turn the game into a slog of "clearing out the dungeon", though sometimes it makes sense to do that, to exert control over areas of the dungeon to have refuges you can retreat to.
This alone has done the most to make the game feel more old school.
The dungeon was designed based on old-school sensibilities and there are some save-or-die traps and creature attacks that are not common in 5e.
I do wish I made magic a bit more mysterious, but the dungeon itself can be pretty gonzo with magic. Also, I didn't want to deviate from 5e RAW too much and gimp identify, etc.
Interesting idea ... I looked at the Wight and it's level drain is pretty kind compared to AD&D days, but the old school permanent loss of XP is definitely too punitive. Maybe change it to a restoration of 1 hp per day? Or a level of exhaustion that requires a potent cure spell to remove?
For OSR I'd do:
- 3d6 in order
I'm a huge fan of 3d6 in order for my DCC games, but I am not sure that would work in a 5E game, as stats are a lot more critical to character success in the long run
Use skills as saving throws.
In old school characters just did stuff. Do that in 5e and only roll those skills if they do something really dumb or something that gets them stuck or in a bind. Like saving throws. That way you can play very old school like but yet those players that wan't to use those skills still can.
Only Thieves were any good at climbing sheer surfaces; anyone else would probably fall (much like real life) but could still try it.Only Thieves could climb sheer surfaces, or use stealth for example. Wizards couldn't use swords.
The idea came from a blog trying to use the “new” thief skills with older classes in a white box game.On the flip side that was actually a critique of older editions.
Only Thieves could climb sheer surfaces, or use stealth for example. Wizards couldn't use swords.
Take the best of both worlds, i see no wrong in calling for or offering a a nature check to identify a creature. In old school it would have been an Int or Wis check instead, and i nboth cases the DM can adjust the DC appropriately and if the players should have no clue no mattter how high they roll then the DM can simply apply rule zero: they will not have any clue even if they roll 25 with a nat 20.This week's blog, looking at the small changes I made to my 5E campaign to make it feel old school, without breaking the game ...