CHANGE PLACES!

I’m getting a bit burned out on the new game system / campaign.

1: The things I’m writing aren’t always better. In many cases they’re just different.
2: A completely huge sandbox is demoralizing for the referee because the adventurers will simply never explore all the cool things you made.
3: Wilderness adventure is a bit boring. The players wander around looking for cool stuff – and that cool stuff is typically a dungeon or town.

So we’re switiching it up to a smaller sandbox. It’s a mountain valley with a ruined city, four rebuilt villages within it, and four dungeons in the surrounding wilderness. You can get across town from one village to the next in 10 minutes. You can get from the village to the nearest dungeon in a day, or a half day on horseback.

And to give me a break from writing rules (I’ve been working on the current set for 2 years, and it’s just the latest iteration of serious game-writing work of the past 6 years) we’re doing 1E AD&D. PHB, DMG, MM.

Of course I’m adding a few things. For one, we aren’t using the surprise / weapon speed rules from the DMG, because I don’t like the fact that the PCs could get ambushed and lose 2-4 rounds depending on the monster and get a TPK based on a single d6 roll. There’s a fairly good chance for the PCs to lose 2 rounds, which really sucks. I’m adding carousing like Jeff Rients. I’m also taking away the racial level limits (retaining class and multiclass restrictions) and replacing them with a +25% Human XP bonus.

To get a new M-U spell in your book you need to burn a scroll to copy it in. The only way for you to steal spells from someone’s spellbook is by seizing it and memorizing from it directly. The only way for you to share a spell with a friend is by creating a scroll. You also gain a new spell of your choice that you can use at the new level when you gain a level.

Training and upkeep costs are in. You need to spend the week doing training. I will be using the training montage tables I made.

Some things leap out at me on a detailed reading of the rules. Multiclass characters gain the better of their classes’ weapon and armor restrictions, except for Thieves. That is, a Cleric/Fighter can use edged weapons. A M-U/Fighter can wear armor and cast M-U spells at the same time. But a Fighter/Thief who wears heavy armor can’t use his Thief skills. This makes demihuman multiclasses powerful indeed!

Dang now I’m speaking vaguely Gygaxian.

I think park of this is because I’m burned out on the current game and have a further-refined idea of how best to prepare and run a game. It’s also partly a nostalgia – I want to try playing the edition I first learned to play on its own terms with all its quirks. Third, I want my players to experience this game because most of them haven’t played anything but the one I’m working on!

I’m not especially against the idea of completely scrapping demihuman class limitations. Heck, why not let anyone multiclass with anything? Is there really some game balance issue with a Human Fighter / Ranger / Paladin? Or an Elf Ranger / Cleric / Illusionist / Monk? But that kind of game feels an awful lot different from AD&D as presented in the computer games of the day.

There are some fun things coming next Sunday in the Valley of Kurland.

Advertisements

Tags: , ,

2 Responses to “CHANGE PLACES!”

  1. Brendan Says:

    I would say that the problem with unrestricted multiclassing is that at first level, players will be heavily incentivized to build multiclassed characters, since it (almost always) results in a character with more power at the beginning. This is especially true if your game is deadly and they need to take any advantage that they can get. The level limits were the major trade-off, but you said that you were getting rid of level limits. In AD&D multiclassing, experience points must be evenly distributed between all the classes, right? That is how I remember it working, but I was just skimming the old DMG and PHB, and could not find the rule.

  2. 1d30 Says:

    The players did all end up multiclassing, except one Human Monk and one Half-Elf Druid. Yes there is a huge incentive to multiclass, especially M-U multiclassed with someone who can use good armor. I’m replacing level limits with slower progression for demihumans, or more precisely a 25% EXP bonus for Humans.

    EXP must be evenly divided, yes. The rule about splitting up EXP equally among all classes is found in the description for each race, repeated unnecessarily. HP must also be averaged, as described on PHB Pg 32 “Fighter/Magic-User” (although this is an example of a rule in use, not the actual rule, but it’s the first thing I found).

    However, look at the following characters at these EXP totals:

    8k
    Human Fighter 4
    Elf F/M 3/3

    70k
    Human Fighter 7
    Elf F/M 6/5

    500k
    Human Fighter 10
    Elf F/M 9/10

    3m (Post Name Level)
    Human Fighter 20
    Elf F/M 14/14

    From what you can see above, the multiclass character is only a couple levels behind the single-class. A 3-way multiclass isn’t too much worse. This is because the EXP requirement doubles every level up to name level, then steadies at a set amount per level. This is why the Elf finally pulls far behind the single-class at high levels.

    That said, this is what it looks like giving Humans a +25% bonus (the number given is the “general EXP”, or the amount given out to each character. This means the multiclass Elf is actually at 4k/4k while the Human is at 10k in the first entry):

    8k
    Human Fighter 4
    Elf F/M 3/3

    70k
    Human Fighter 7
    Elf F/M 6/5

    500k
    Human Fighter 10 (though half a level ahead)
    Elf F/M 9/10

    3m (Post Name Level)
    Human Fighter 23
    Elf F/M 14/14

    So the Human just levels up a little sooner than the Elf, but after they get past Name Level the Fighter begins to actually pull ahead. In order to get a more effective low-level result we would need to give a +100% bonus to Humans, which would put them generally one level ahead of the single-classed demihumans. But that would give them double level gains after Name Level, which is kind of too much.

    The 25% EXP bonus isn’t set in stone, it’s just the first thing I thought of to balance demihuman multiclass choices and racial abilities. Maybe let Humans get critical hits? Still looking for good ideas.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: