Skip to main content

B/X Not Really A Character Class: The Baseline Adventurer

In my previous post of the Innocent Abroad Character Class, I think I was trying to do a few too many things at once. I'd like to break the idea down a little further:
  1. What does the baseline human adventurer look like?
  2. What would a playable untrained adventurer class look like?
  3. What would a playable all-purpose adventurer look like?
I think I'll ramble on the first point, tonight.

The Baseline Human Adventurer, stripped of any class benefits, looks like this:

Requirements: None
Hit Die: 1d4
Save as Thief

Weapons: any type
Armor: Any armor, any shield
Would probably level at around 800 XP, like what I had for the Innocents.

Pretty simple. If well-equipped, a little better in a fight than a spell-depleted MU or a Thief caught out in the open, and much better than a Normal Human. Not very useful to play, but good for evaluating other classes.

The point of interest for me is the 1d4 hit die. I tend to think of 1d6 as the default hit dice, because Clerics, Elves, and Halflings have them. But if you look at Normal Humans, Thieves, and Magic Users, it's clear that 1d4 is supposed to represent a human who hasn't undergone any professional-soldier-grade toughing up.

It bugs me that Halflings have 1d6 Hit Dice. I assume it is supposed to model luck or agility, but there are better ways to model that, and the 1d6 Halflings must surely be the seminal culprit for Hit Dice inflation.

I like the idea of cleaving a little more closely to the 1d4 Human for characters. It makes Clerics look tougher, like the soldiers of gods they are supposed to be, and Fighters look like tanks. And it would surely encourage more varied play, what with death being a single blow away.

Looking back on the Harpy class, I'd wondered  if their 1d4 Hit Die was too low. I'd even written up a tougher version of the class. But, looking at this baseline human, I feel renewed resolve to keep the light-boned Harpies at 1d4.

Another point:
I wish that "Any armor" didn't seem to be B/X's default position. Plate Mail strikes me as very specialized equipment that requires training to use effectively. I'd like to limit Plate Mail to Fighters. Maybe Dwarves and Elves get it, too. Maaaaaaaybe.

Comments

  1. One way of limiting platemail would be to put a Strength requirement on the wearing of any armor. e.g. Leather can be worn by anyone, chainmail requires a STR score of at least 10+, and platemail requires a STR score of at least 13+. Thus exceptional armor is worn only by exceptionally strong characters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sean, I started to reply to your comment, and it turned into a whole new post!
      http://abominablefancy.blogspot.com/2014/03/plate-for-fighters.html

      Delete
  2. I think Sean has a point, I am off the follow the post!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Reviewing Rules for Play-by-Post Optimization

I’ve played a lot of PbP games: all your favorite flavors of OD&D, AD&D, and their retroclones, Call of Cthulhu, Marvel Superheroes, Traveller, Dungeon World, etc. ad nauseam. In almost every instance, I forgot what ruleset we were using at some point. Which is a good thing. Once chargen is over, you spend a lot more time describing your characters actions and poring over the GM’s descriptions than you spend interacting with rules. When you do roll, it’s usually a combat to-hit roll, which you’ve probably programmed into the online dice-roller as a macro. Pretty much any game will work for PbP. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t points of possible optimization. Point 1: Resolution. Anything that can keep the action moving is a boon to PbP. A game that requires a back-and-forth exchange of information to resolve an action is going to progress very slowly. A good rule of thumb is that it’ll take 2 or 3 days to get a response from any given player. At that pace, an exch

Maze Rats by Post

In my previous post , I reviewed a bunch of my favorite rulesets for optimization for Play-by-Post. It occurred to me almost immediately that I hadn't really thought about Maze Rats enough. In fact, I'd mis-remembered and mischaracterized it. Upon reflection, one of the mechanics I took issue with is actually a big strength. Re-reading the rules, it seems like just a few very simple hacks could make it a highly-optimized PbP game. As follows: Danger Rolls are rolled by the GM. Danger rolls usually fail, so it is in the player’s interest to describe their actions plausibly and mitigate as many risks as they can, in the hopes that they don’t trigger a danger roll. 2d6 + ability bonus ≥ 10 If you have taken enough precautions to have a distinct advantage in an action, but not enough to have eliminated the distinct possibility of danger, the GM will give you a roll with advantage. 3d6 keep 2 + ability bonus ≥ 10 Because each character only has 3 ability scores (S

Knaves, fancypants

I've prepared a new layout document of Ben Milton's Knaves . Knaves is a great, light rules set that has an extremely elegant core mechanic while retaining total compatibility with OSR material. It's pretty much the rpg of my dreams. This document contains the complete rules, plus a bunch of useful hacks from the community, plus a few of my invention, plus some useful resources from Ben Milton's previous effort, Maze Rats . EDIT: I've updated the layout to fix errata and make a few tweaks. Further, I've made 3 variations: KNAVES TABLET LAYOUT The Tablet Layout is meant for scrolling on screens, and contains hyperlinks. KNAVES SPREAD LAYOUT The Spread Layout is set up to print on Letter-sized paper. KNAVES A4 LAYOUT The A4 Layout is set up to print on A4 paper, and is probably the most elegant of the three versions. This is presented with generous permission from Ben Milton, and should in no way be an excuse for not purchasing a copy of Knav