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Showing posts from December, 2015

Holmes/AD&D/B/X: Spells Known

I often find rules in D&D that don’t work the way I expect them to, and blame my younger self for having been too lazy to learn the rules correctly back in the day. Turns out, I’m usually just remembering Holmes Basic. This came up recently, when a campaign decided to switch from LL to AD&D, and I was ready to rock this table: My spell caster was going to get a massive upgrade to his spell book! With INT 18, he was going to go from five spells to at least 18! He had a good chance of making a clean sweep. Then someone kindly pointed out that the above percentages apply to learning spells that you find lying around amongst owlbear pellets. It takes Gygax about five paragraphs to explain this chart, and... well, let's say that clarity is not among its virtues. To summarize: If a spell caster finds a spell, they can roll their percentile chance to learn the spell. This roll can only be made once. If you fail to learn a spell, you can never learn it. Exc

Playbook-style Chargen without Playbooks

Beyond The Wall 's playbooks are a really fun part of the game, and, for awhile, I was into the idea of writing playbook variations . I found myself making them more and more open-ended until I had something that really wasn't a playbook, anymore, but a simple chargen process that can be applied to any 3d6-attribute-type game. Then I forgot about it. Then I remembered! So, here's a process for generating characters, backgrounds, and setting: 1. What part of the campaign setting is your character from? Civilization, Wilderness, Sea, Underworld, Other?  2. Roll 2d4, in order, for each attribute. This is you as a child. What sort of a child are you? What trade were you raised with? (You can google up a list of Medieval occupations for inspiration.)  3. Make up a location and an NPC for the campaign setting.  4. Roll 1d4, in order, to add to each attribute. This is you as an adolescent. How have you changed since childhood?  5. Pick a class. Who trained you?