Friday, July 26, 2013

Wizard Needs Answers Badly

Random Wizard recently asked for people to answer ten questions about "Your Game". So, here goes.

(1). Race (Elf, Dwarf, Halfling) as a class? Yes or no?
Yes. I've really come around to this approach of late. I think it encourages people to play humans, while still giving them the option of doing something else if they really want to. I like the idea of non-human characters being mechanically distinct from human ones. (I also like Adventurer Conqueror King's approach, where each non-human race has a couple of unique classes to choose from, even though I don't always like the classes they came up with.)

(2). Do demi-humans have souls?
I don't know. Does anybody have them? I'm assuming this is really asking if Raise Dead and similar spells work on elves. They don't in AD&D, but I'm not playing that, so sure, why not?

(3). Ascending or descending armor class?
I'm not picky. If I ever get the chance to run it, I will be going with descending AC for the Demon Verge campaign, since it's B/X D&D and that's how that game does it.

(4). Demi-human level limits?
Sure. I usually dislike this idea, but I'll be using them in the Demon Verge, partly because that's how the rulebook says it goes, and partly because it doesn't really matter that much in practice. Nobody is likely to reach that level cap anyway. I might change the maximum level for halflings, though, because limiting them to 8th level seems inconsistent with their class abilities.

(5). Should thief be a class?
I think you can make an argument that anybody should be able to use "thief skills". That having been said, I like having thieves as a distinct class. (It makes as much sense as "fighter" being a class, to me.) The problem is that the thief in B/X D&D, as written, is a pretty puny class. I have beefed them up a bit in my house rules. (I also let other classes attempt some thief skills at a lower level of success.)

(6). Do characters get non-weapon skills?
No, but I have considered adding something like "secondary skills" or character backgrounds, where you could say "my character was a hunter before she started clearing dungeons for a living" and that would give her some kind of advantage when doing hunter-y things. Still mulling this over.

(7). Are magic-users more powerful than fighters (and, if yes, what level do they take the lead)?
Hell if I know. I will say that higher level magic-users seem pretty impressive when they have a team backing them up. They can still get into trouble real fast without others to protect them.

(8). Do you use alignment languages?
Yep! But alignment is interpreted differently in my campaign. It's an allegiance with a cosmic force, not a description of your character's moral outlook. (See the sections on languages and alignment in my house rules.)

(9). XP for gold, or XP for objectives (thieves disarming traps, etc...)?
XP for gold, by the B/X book. But you can also get XP from blowing money on stuff like philanthropy, carousing, research, etc.

(10). Which is the best edition; ODD, Holmes, Moldvay, Mentzer, Rules Cyclopedia, 1E ADD, 2E ADD, 3E ADD, 4E ADD, Next ?
Most of them have something going for them. Some are more to my taste than others. I am using Moldvay, Cook, and Marsh's B/X D&D rules this time out because I find them to be concise, well-written, and fun for the DM as well as the players.

Bonus Question: Unified XP level tables or individual XP level tables for each class?
Individual. There are some pretty big disparities in raw power from class to class, and I don't have the time or the inclination to rewrite them, so I'm going with the tables provided in the rules. I have tweaked a few classes slightly, though.