Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Guest Post: Nonvariable Weapon Damage, Alignment Tongues, and Rolling Hit Dice

[This is the second post in Earlburt’s series on running The Lost City. Welcome back, Earlburt! — Jeffro]

Game Session 1 was quite productive. We got through character creation, introducing the adventure, and into the ziggurat.

A couple notes about rules—we are not using the Moldvay Basic optional variable damage rule, so ALL normal weapons do D6 damage.

I have only enacted two actual rule modifications so far. One pertains to languages. This game is set in a game world of my design. I’ve permitted several things that are somewhat world-bending (such as Elves, spell lists and non-ritual magic) but I just couldn’t stomach bending languages for some reason. So, alignment languages do not exist in this game, and written literacy is conferred only with Int 13 or above. Not a big deal.

The other modification is that ones and twos for 1st level hit points were re-rolled. This is a big deviation from the rules as written—I’m aware of that. Three of the players were new to me (as players, not as people) and I didn’t know how much stomach they’d have for super-quick deaths. Mostly though, I didn’t want to lose too much time potentially having to roll up a bunch of new characters, thus I wanted them to not be paper-thin.

I had three players for the first session (player names in parentheses below). Each created two characters (3D6 in order). We wound up with–

  • Brother Otto, lawful Cleric, AC1, HP3; Str7, Int10, Wis17, Dex13, Con10, Cha8 (Ryan)
  • Brother Gregor, lawful Fighter, AC3, HP7; Str15, Int10, Wis9, Dex8, Con12, Cha10 (Ryan)
  • Grogan Graylips, lawful Dwarf, AC2, HP5; Str11, Int10, Wis12, Dex10, Con11, Cha14 (Derrick)
  • Kraalll of the Canopy, lawful Elf, Charm Person, AC4, HP6; Str9, Int11, Wis12, Dex13, Con9, Cha12 (Derrick)
  • Rictur San Bellurgio, lawful Fighter, AC4, HP5; Str15, Int11, Wis7, Dex10, Con9, Cha10 (R.J.)
  • Fortunato San Bellurgio, neutral Thief, AC5, HP4; Str12, Int11, Wis10, Dex14, Con13, Cha13 (R.J.)

6 responses to “Guest Post: Nonvariable Weapon Damage, Alignment Tongues, and Rolling Hit Dice

  1. Chris Mata October 24, 2012 at 6:46 am

    Although rerolling 1’s and 2’s is a huge deviation, I agree with his reasoning. When I had been running 1st and even 2nd ed, I let everyone have max HP’s for the first few levels. It wasn’t so much to coddle them as to keep it moving. The way we all played was pretty much hardcore and people dropped like flies regardless. I think 65% of the gold budget went into rezzing PC’s. I also enforced the old 1e training rules so they might have experience to be 7th but the funds always kept them lagging. Props to you for running The Lost City again.

  2. earlburt October 24, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Why thank you.

    If they make it to 2nd level, I’ll allow them to reroll 1s for hp. At 3rd, they get what they get. With this modification, odds are that at 2nd level, most (but not necessarily all) characters can withstand one big hit from a normal weapon. Nothing else really improves for anyone until level 4 (to-hit rolls, saving throws). Hit points is kind of all they have, at least for the non-spell users.

    But, I am aware that I’m not doing a pure playtest, which is one of my stated goals. It’s just that I already know the permutations of what possible and likely with low hp chars, and there’s little to be gained through the experience. They’re already paranoid enough, and totally aware of how vulnerable they are. This modifaction has not made them incautious… not at all.

  3. Chris Mata October 25, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Adventurers be ye bold, or stay home and grow old.

  4. Pingback: Guest Post: Setting and Player Introduction for The Lost City « Jeffro’s Car Wars Blog

  5. Pingback: Guest Post: Context, Cut Scenes, and the Pen and Paper Experience « Jeffro’s Car Wars Blog

  6. Pingback: Guest Post: Death Lurks in Every Nook and Cranny « Jeffro’s Car Wars Blog

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