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Monday, August 25, 2008

My AD&D 2nd House Rules Part 3 - Character Class Modifications and Magic

Yes, I know Magic was supposed to be up next. But a little thinking (I know, I should stop having thoughts. All they do is make me miserable. If I quit thinking about things they can't anger or depress me. No wonder so many folks take to booze or other brain deadening things!) made me realize the core classes need a wee tweaking. Its simple, though.


And an addendum to the above section:

Multiclassing: For a Multiclassed character to level up, instead of dividing XP, you merely add up ALL the XP needed for every class to level up at once. That is the XP your character needs to advance. Then you advance as normal PHB rules. If you reach a point where a class may no longer be advanced in, you no longer have to worry about it's XP cost.

Example: If you are a Wizard/Thief your XP requirements to level 2 are 2500, and 1250 respectively. Thus you need 3750 XP to go from Level 1 to Level 2.

(This is much simpler and easier than the normal method. Provided people can add and subtract when writing down how much XP they need to go from Level X to Level Y. No need to worry about partial skills and HP since it all advances at once.)

Class Changes:

Warrior Group: Any class or kit in the Warrior group may take Weapon Specialization if they have spent a Perk on it. (Note to self: Add Weapon Specialization to the Perks list when I make the printer friendly version.)

Fighter: Only class that can take Weapon Mastery levels from Combat & Tactics. Fighters also gain an extra weapon proficiency point for free with their every 5 level perks.

(The Fighter needs a little extra OOMPH. I like the idea of spending a Perk on letting the other other Warrior group classes and kits take Specialization if they burn an oh so rare Perk on it. Perks are like Feats after all. Except they aren't handed out like candy.)

Paladins: Paladins' Detect Evil is reduced to Detect Law or Chaos. They now only need a 16 Charisma instead of 17.

(Detect Evil is too powerful and annoying. So it gets a nerf. And 17 CHA to be a Pally is too high, so it gets a little looser too.)

Wizard Group: Wizards have 1 extra Level 1 spell they can cast. Unless allowed otherwise, they still may not be able to have more than 5 Level 1 spells to cast per day. All Wizard Group characters can learn as many spells per level as they want, and have no chance of failing to learn them. (See Magic for more information.)

(Wizards are the most unbearably BORING characters to play till level 5 or so when they can start casting Fireball and other impressive spells. Being a 1 or 2 shot artillery piece until then is kinda lame. The extra L1 spell gives them a quick pick me up where they need it, but goes away later on when they become nasty, scary, engines of destruction. The unlimited learning of spells is mostly a streamlining thing.)

Rogue Group: Rogues ignore Tables 27-29. Rogues unless specified otherwise may use any weapon they wish.

(The tables just add too many new modifiers to worry about and weaken the Rogue group in the long run and they are already the weakest class overall. Being allowed to fight comfortably in their armor, and use any weapon they choose gives them a little balance bump. Plus Basic D&D never really cared about armor or racial penalties/bonuses. And when it comes down to it, BASIC D&D IS TRUTH.)


Ok, so let's cover Magic now. Since I am feeling randy!

Its basically the same. Memorize your spells, cast em, and forget em. But it needs some hard and fast simplifying of a few things.

Memorizing: It takes 4 hours of uninterrupted rest to learn all your First and Second Level Spells. Another two for Third and Fourth, another two for Fifth and Sixth, and another two for Seventh and Eighth. It takes an entire 24 hour period of nothing but rest and study to learn Ninth. Note resting also includes meals, study time, ect. It is up to the DM if you can memorize while in overland travel of any sort.

(This is me streamlining spell memorization. Its quick, simple, and makes it easy to figure out.)

Spell Components (V/S/M): These are still required but unless the spell specifies a component that is required and its cost, you are considered to have the needed items "on hand". Somatic components may be used with any non ranged weapon the caster is proficient with.

(Again, its just keeping it all simple. Plus stylish. Sword dancing spell casting is just a cool image. For the Mage willing to spend a Perk on being allowed to wield a sword anyhow..)

Casting: Casting works as written though Segments now work as such: Whenever a caster begins casting a spell, it activates AFTER a number of units have gone in the turn that matches the number of segments the spell has. A caster in a Dexterity modifier order may start casting first to "speed up" casting by letting her teammates do something after as to let more segments pass. As Initiative is rolled at the start of the encounter and stays put till the end of it, this may mean a spell will take until the caster's side goes again. In this case (Usually for high segment casting times with small number of active participants in the fight...), segment casting time spells go off just before the caster's side has their actions again. For multi round spells, from when the caster casts a spell to when it is the caster's turn to do something again counts as a round for timing purposes.

(I wanted spell casting time to stay in because its tactically interesting and made for some fun strategic choices in the old AD&D Gold Box games that so inspired me as a lonely teenager. The way the new combat sequence works will be explained further when I get to Combat. But it seems pretty simple to me. You have a 3 segment casting time? You cast your spell, 3 other units perform actions depending on who is up next, then it activates. If its an 8 segment and there are only 5 total units in the encounter, it goes off before the caster's side gets to perform their actions. EASY!)

Learning Spells: As mentioned, casters can have as many spells in their spellbook as they want, and do not have to make a percentile roll to learn them. However, learning from a scroll destroys the spell on the scroll, and if learning from a spellbook it has a chance to destroy the spell in the book which causes the learner to fail to learn the spell as well. This is done as follows:

Learner's INT Attribute roll, with their roll number lowered by their INT modifier, and raised by the level of the spell. If the roll is successful, the spell is copied to the learner's spellbook. If it is failed, the original spell is destroyed and the learner fails to copy it over. As always for Attribute checks, a natural 20 is an automatic failure.

Example: Grozzo of the Northlands has a 16 INT, which is a +2 modifier. He wishes to learn Ice Storm from Doug. Ice Storm is a Level 4 spell. Grozzo rolls a 14, lowered by 2 for his modifier (or you could say his INT is raised by 2 for the INT check. Same difference!) for a 12. The spell RAISES his roll by 4 to a 16 and he succeeds in copying the spell over.

(This is a quick and fair way of learning spells, AND it keeps rampant spell trading in check. With multiple characters all being able to learn unlimited spells people will be a tad greedy and protective, especially at the higher levels. Which is as it should be!)

Banned Spells: Reincarnation, Raise Dead, Resurrection, Detect Evil

(Death is mostly permanent in my games. Its harder for characters to die given my HP rules, but losing a friend should be a terrible event, and not just an annoyance. Outside of Wishes and maybe Limited Wishes and other such powerhouse things, nobody escapes the Reaper. Plus it doesn't make sense from a storytelling and realism factor. So best to remove it altogether. Not too many Wizards are gonna go through hoops to cast Wish for some smelly adventurers after all!)

Wow! 2 more sections covered.

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