Skip to main content

Boilerplate Fantasy Playbooks

Once in a while I do something I think might actually be useful.

These playbooks should greatly speed up chargen, especially for new or young players. Ask the player what kind of character they want to play, hand them the appropriate packet, and then answer any questions that come up. You should be done in about five minutes.






















NOTES
They are mostly S&W Whitebox, but with bits of Holmes and OSR-gestalt. And I couldn't help but fiddle a smidge. It's a compulsion.

Some eccentricities from standard OD&D:
The S&W single Saving Throw and Ascending AC are used.
The demi-humans have different prime attributes. For no particular reason.
Fighters get Backgrounds based off of the "Backgrounds for Human Characters" sheet from Zenopus Archives.
The Turn Undead Table is replaced with Delta's alternate formulation.
Oh, and I gave Elves a slightly different spell list than MU's, and gave them a spell at first level (otherwise, it's a loooooooong slog through that first 4000 XP).
Equipment Packs are pretty much copy-and-pasted from Microlite20.
Heresy of heresies: to make the playbook thing work more smoothly, I imagine the players choosing their Class first, and then let them roll 4d6-chose-3 for their prime attribute. Everything else is 3d6-in-order, Crom be praised.
Oh, and I roll attribute checks against xd6 instead of d20.

Okay, that seems like a lot. I honestly tried to stay as close to the Platonic ideal of OD&D. But in case any of the above is a deal breaker for you, here is a blank Word doc playbook that you can edit to your heart's content. Or, you know, make up additional classes.


Comments

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

An Exaltation of Rockets

I've been toying off-and-on with a rockets-and rayguns campaign/ruleset based heavily on the original Buck Rogers strips. I started working it up as a Black Hack, but I've since switched over to Maze Rats, which has become my ruleset of choice for Play-by-Post. I don't have a good name for it. I want something that conveys the baroque majesty of science fiction in the 20s and 30s. "Planetary Romance" is an accurate description of the genre, but needs about 20% more pulp. Pseudo-pulp magazine names seem like a good way to go, but that's such an easy well to dip into that the results can sound pretty generic. Request for feedback #1:  On this particular morning, I'm enamored of "An Exaltation of Rockets," but it may not carry the right resonances. I'd be eager to hear from you what your first impression was when you saw that as the post's title. What sort of imagery did it conjure up? What sort of world does it belong to? The prem