Post by raisin on Jun 7, 2018 2:04:11 GMT -6
John Bell from The Retired Adventurer blog has put recently updated his classless fantasy adventure game, Into the Depth.
Its simplicity and toolkit feel spells OD&D to me, and I thought some of you gentlemen might want to know about it .
It's four pages and free so I won't waste your time telling you what's in it, and instead share what I like about it and what I'd do with it.
What I Like About It
• No Demihuman rules - if your setting has inhumans, you can still allow the players to have them, but there are no mechanical incentive to not just be a human.
• Morale is checked by having whoever's got the advantage try to roll over their foes' Morale score, which has a nice gamey feel to it.
• I like how time is managed, even though in practice my combat round have elastic, undefined time. The shifts thing is probably obvious to most here, but new to me.
• The Risky Actions rule tied to armor, with a simple change for PCs helping each others is also to my liking. I would use it as a guideline for Talysman's style of "checks".
• Saves and Attack Rolls add half your level, rounded down. No bookkeeping, no need to write down the bonus on your sheet either!
• The Chase rules are functional and easy, I had fun with them in play.
• Simplified Language check to maximize building characters through play.
• Don't know the price of something? Use the number of letters in it, choose a currency, solved. Also negative tags to reduce the price of things is a good incentive to have low-level PCs get cheap with their gear in a way that makes sense in-fiction. I often find that if I don't write down some guidelines for gear deterioration, I tend to forget entirely about it as a Ref and PCs will live through most of their lives with the same Plate armor or sword.
• To learn Magic is a huge quest to be undertaken in-game. Gotta earn your Wizard title.
• The levelling rules are also a nice touch, although my players complained it was too difficult to get a new level in the earlier version - now there are "PC goals" and "missions" in the list, although I'd give a little more weight to more setting-specific general goals to encourage a particular style of play if I didn't want to run a sandbox.
• I'm a sucker for Ability Scores. In my latest OD&D, I had removed the mechanical effects of these entirely to focus on what happened in-fiction. I'd keep these for Into the Depths, or maybe even go with some other list of stats for various themes, like using the Traveller Classic stats if I want to run a sci-fi version, etc.
• I wouldn't mind making all weapons do d6 damage and giving more situational advantage to various weapons (attack while grappled with a dagger, attack from second rank with a spear, etc.) and also lower all HD to d6 since I favor using these at the table, having much more of these than d8s (I don't record HP, I just put the dice and change their faces as HPs are lost, to save on paper). I'd have to think more about this one as my players do like rolling weird dice.
• Not sure about how Hirelings are handled, I might just make them regular characters instead of having them provide a bonus to the PCs rolls, as I think that's a little bit too much abstraction for my taste. I also prefer to follow the Charisma rules for # of Hirelings, because I noticed a 10 CHA character can bring around 4 buddies with him, meaning he just might be able to make it out alive on a first or second level delve into the dungeon, with two "normal" CHA characters being able to form a full company of about 10 adventurers, for days when there are few people available to game with.
That's it for me, please have a look if classless OSR D&D focused on little bookkeeping while staying relatively away from full abstraction is relevant to your interests, and tell me what you think, like, dislike, or change.