Thursday, 26 August 2010

My D&D

I have no plans to run any D&D any time soon, but if I did, there are some tweaks I think I'd include, most of which would alleviate the problems I have with the original game.

One of the things which struck me most about Dragonlance: Fifth Age was the abstract experience system. Instead of totting up points, a player would get a single "Quests" statistic, which would increase by one with every adventure completed; Quests also determined a player's hand size, and since the game had a card-based resolution mechanic, the more experienced a character, the more options they'd have when attempting tasks. The grey area, of course, is in defining an adventure, but that's easy enough to figure out. I'd use something similar in my D&D, which would alleviate a lot of my pedantic gripes with the old system.

I'd use JB's alternate combat system, not because I have any real problems with the existing mechanic, but simply because I like the ideas behind JB's streamlined approach. I'd tweak it to use ascending armour class, because I've never understood the descending type.

I would also borrow the thief skill mechanic from James Raggi's Lamentations of the Flame Princess rpg because it's neat and clever, and not a million miles away from my own thoughts on the matter. I'd probably also use his "only fighters get better at fighting" rule, although I haven't given much thought to how that would gibe with the above combat system.

I quite like the way that Pathinder clerics heal and turn undead using the same power, so I'd use something similar, although I'd consider simplifying it a little. I might also borrow an idea from the Final Fantasy games and have any healing magic cause damage to undead creatures.

There are probably some other minor bits I'd fiddle with (I like the elegance of Swords and Wizardry's single saving throw), but those would be the major rules changes I'd make for my D&D. Would it still be D&D? Well, that's a question for another day.


  1. ah the joys of thinking of streamlining D&D! When I had more time on my hands I gave this a go to (in my teens, and again in my late 20s/ early 30s). Used Arcana Unearthed/ or was it UA with all its variants for d20. Needless to say it all ended in disaster!!!

    Prob with changing one aspect of a game like D&D/ pathfinder is that it can have ramifications for how the game plays out.

    Take streamlining damage. Yes it may make it faster and simpler to have all fighters level x roll this dice against that AC (or does it - which dice do I use each time rather than I always use this dice!).... but d2 damage is a lot less that 2d6+12 which is what Stuart's barbarian does.... can you imagine how slow combat would become.... Maybe I misunderstood the system you propose... but to make it work, surely you would need to have pcs on less hitpoints, less pc classes, and thus monsters I assume on less hit points... the whole thing starts unravelling...and in an attempt to make things faster, you create a lot of work for yourself!!

    different dice types for thieves... er.... why? Its a blast from the past for sure..... why not stick to the d20 mechanic and do everything with it when it comes to rolls to achieve something, like we stuck with for languages? ;)

    Certainly I think if you are to start introducing your changes, you then have to rework the class system and critters - everything - to make your life 'easier'.... and then persuade others to play it!!

    I guess if you are referring to the D&D Red Box (old version - not 4e) then maybe this could work - certainly from my memory of my OD&D softcover, there were few classes, with whacky rules... and thus these ideas could work. But not with Pathfinder!!

    Questing.... well - you do get xps for questing in Pathfinder (like 4e).... but you also get xps for other stuff you decide to do on the hoof, as it were, plus fighting random monsters I throw at you by chance/ when you have killed something else far to fast. ;) Thus.... it is a flexible system.... Prob of only having xps for quests is that pcs may want to do other things but won't get xp for them.... I guess a more prepared DM could create quest cards for their players onto which they can see their xp awards too.... ??

    Personally I really like the options pathfinder gives you.... & if I was to ever to be able to play a game of D&D it would be Pathfinder or 4e which would be my preferred games of choice. BUT each to their own! (I would like to play/ run some 20th level 4e material against some incredible adversaries in some insane environments to see how it handles at that level (we all know Pathfinder won't work at that level!))

    I think you'd like a game called Dragon Fist which I have on pdf. Its a simpler version of d20 - Far Eastern game - and all the pcs are monks of different styles - and they have some very interesting martial arts moves they can learn. Far better than d20 OA - & as another game says, fast and furious fun! I'll dig it out and give it yer next time! :)

  2. Oh yes, this isn't about the more modern game. I'm quite happy with Pathfinder, much more so than I was with D&D4, but it's not something I'd ever consider running.

    If I were to run a game of D&D, it would be something like the Red Box, probably either Labyrinth Lord or Swords & Wizardry, with these tweaks added.

    So have no fear, I'm not advocating any changes to the game we're playing!

  3. yes - otherwise you would have no stunning fist power and the Stag Lord would live! :D

  4. Until the barbarian hit him, yes.


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