Alright guys, sorry it took so long. It was literally in the very last box that I searched in, and I'm not organized. I just found it. I'll take a picture of the front and rear covers and post them along with a synopsis tomorrow.
The Challenges Game SystemR by Tom Moldvay (Challenges International, Inc., 1986).
Front Cover: an adventurer holding a small chest confronted by a fire elemental.
Rear Cover: it looks like a drow elf with a hand crossbow.
Drohem's Crib Notes:
=== This is a boiled down, distilled, or lite version of 1e AD&D. ===
Ability scores: Muscle, Dexterity, Stamina, Willpower, Wisdom, and Charisma. Normal range of 3-18, but player characters roll 2d6+6 for ability scores. Each ability score has a percentage rating if an 18 is generated. So, a character could have a 18 (43%) Intelligence score, or a 18 (89%) Charisma score.
Hit Points: are called Life Points.
Character Professions: Warrior [d10 hit die], Sorcerer [d4 hit die], Cleric [d8 hit die], Thief [d6 hit die], Mirager. The Mirager is an illusionist and uses the Sorcerer class abilities and limitations.
Levels: only 10 levels are listed for space, but it indicates that higher levels are possible.
Saving Throws: all saving throws have been condensed into a single Luck score which is modified by the Wisdom score.
Spells: very similar to AD&D but only 5 spell levels are given, i.e. the highest level spell for a Sorcerer or Cleric is 5th.
Thief Skills: all the thief skills from AD&D have been condensed into two thief skills now- Thief Skill and Stealth. If a thief wants to check for traps, he rolls his Thief Skill. If he wants to pick someone's pockets, he rolls his Thief Skill.
Player character races: humans, dwarves, elves, gnomes, and hobbits (yes, the word hobbit is used in the written game).
Multiple Professions: are allowed for demi-humans, also for humans if the GM agrees. Add experience cost together and then average Life Points from both classes, and use best abilities from both. Can wear armor and cast spells. More than two classes can be combined with GM approval. The game says that a human warrior-sorcerer-cleric-thief is possible if the GM allows it.
Armor Class: Descending Armor Rating. Shields can decrease (improve AR) depending on the size of the shield and the armor worn, i.e. a light shield will provide a -1 AR up to chainmail. If the character is wearing better armor than chain, then the light shield provides no bonus to the Armor Rating.
Game Time: a turn equal 10 minutes and a combat round equals 1 minute.
Initiative: Dexterity provides an initiative modifier, however only the character with the highest initiative modifier rolls for the whole party on a d6. GM rolls a d6 for opposing party.
Combat: The 'to hit' number is determined by subtracting the defenders armor rating from the attacker's attack bonus (negative armor rating is added to base attack).
Example given in the game: Slag Bluetooth attacks Roderick Dragonhelm. Roderick has a -2 armor rating; Slag has an attack base of 8. The player running Slag Bluetooth would have to roll 10 or higher on a 1d20 for Slag to hit Roderick.
There is also a modified combat system which adjusts the damage dealt, the initiative order of an individual character, and adds a wound system. The effect is determined by the degree of success or failure relative to the exact 'to hit' number needed for a given opponent.
So, if you need a 10 'to hit' and roll a 10, then it's a normal hit. If you rolled a 16, then you would gain a +4 damage bonus plus a serious wound. If you rolled a 2, then you would automatically lose initiative on the next combat round.
The modified combat system has three wound levels, or degrees: light, serious, and critical wounds. Light wound = -1 to hit until cured Serious wound = -3 to hit until cured Critical wound = -5 to hit until cured
The various cure spells can reduce the wound penalty even if all life points are not completely healed. For example, two cure light spells equal a cure serious spell. So, if you have a light wound and a cleric casts a cure light wound spell on you, then the wound penalty of -1 is negated even if all the damage wasn't cured by the spell.
1 = automatic miss and loss of next attack (loss next round attack) 20 = automatic hit and gain an extra attack (extra attack taken immediately)
That's about it. Let me know if you have any other questions about it.
Last Edit: Dec 15, 2012 5:29:40 GMT -6 by Finarvyn
Well, thinking about this game has got me interested in giving it a test run; especially the optional combat system. I created an interest thread over on Dragonsfoot for a possible PbP game using this system, but running it through one of the classic introduction modules. If anyone is interested, please let me know.
Post by Vile Traveller on Dec 13, 2012 2:23:00 GMT -6
It's interesting how many of the rules mirror some other common house rules: maximum hp ("life points") at 1st level, abilities rolled on 2d6+6 (with a percentage bonus possible for any score of 18), a single saving throw ("luck roll").
Moldvay is right, the term does pre-date Tolkien. Of course, the Tolkien hobbit is a particular creature, and the Denham Tracts only include them in a long list of fairy creatures:
The word also turns up in a very long list of folkloric supernatural creatures in the writings of Michael Aislabie Denham (d.1859), printed in volume 2 of "The Denham Tracts" [ed. James Hardy, London: Folklore Society, 1895], a compilation of Denham's scattered publications. Denham was an early folklorist who concentrated on Northumberland, Durham, Westmoreland, Cumberland, the Isle of Man, and Scotland.
What a happiness this must have been seventy or eighty years ago and upwards, to those chosen few who had the good luck to be born on the eve of this festival of all festivals; when the whole earth was so overrun with ghosts, boggles, bloody-bones, spirits, demons, ignis fatui, brownies, bugbears, black dogs, specters, shellycoats, scarecrows, witches, wizards, barguests, Robin-Goodfellows, hags, night-bats, scrags, breaknecks, fantasms, hobgoblins, hobhoulards, boggy-boes, dobbies, hob-thrusts, fetches, kelpies, warlocks, mock-beggars, mum-pokers, Jemmy-burties, urchins, satyrs, pans, fauns, sirens, tritons, centaurs, calcars, nymphs, imps, incubuses, spoorns, men-in-the-oak, hell-wains, fire-drakes, kit-a-can-sticks, Tom-tumblers, melch-dicks, larrs, kitty-witches, hobby-lanthorns, Dick-a-Tuesdays, Elf-fires, Gyl-burnt-tales, knockers, elves, rawheads, Meg-with-the-wads, old-shocks, ouphs, pad-foots, pixies, pictrees, giants, dwarfs, Tom-pokers, tutgots, snapdragons, sprets, spunks, conjurers, thurses, spurns, tantarrabobs, swaithes, tints, tod-lowries, Jack-in-the-Wads, mormos, changelings, redcaps, yeth-hounds, colt-pixies, Tom-thumbs, black-bugs, boggarts, scar-bugs, shag-foals, hodge-pochers, hob-thrushes, bugs, bull-beggars, bygorns, bolls, caddies, bomen, brags, wraiths, waffs, flay-boggarts, fiends, gallytrots, imps, gytrashes, patches, hob-and-lanthorns, gringes, boguests, bonelesses, Peg-powlers, pucks, fays, kidnappers, gallybeggars, hudskins, nickers, madcaps, trolls, robinets, friars' lanthorns, silkies, cauld-lads, death-hearses, goblins, hob-headlesses, bugaboos, kows, or cowes, nickies, nacks necks, waiths, miffies, buckies, ghouls, sylphs, guests, swarths, freiths, freits, gy-carlins Gyre-carling, pigmies, chittifaces, nixies, Jinny-burnt-tails, dudmen, hell-hounds, dopple-gangers, boggleboes, bogies, redmen, portunes, grants, hobbits, hobgoblins, brown-men, cowies, dunnies, wirrikows, alholdes, mannikins, follets, korreds, lubberkins, cluricauns, kobolds, leprechauns, kors, mares, korreds, puckles korigans, sylvans, succubuses, blackmen, shadows, banshees, lian-hanshees, clabbernappers, Gabriel-hounds, mawkins, doubles, corpse lights or candles, scrats, mahounds, trows, gnomes, sprites, fates, fiends, sibyls, nicknevins, whitewomen, fairies, thrummy-caps, cutties, and nisses, and apparitions of every shape, make, form, fashion, kind and description, that there was not a village in England that had not its own peculiar ghost. Nay, every lone tenement, castle, or mansion-house, which could boast of any antiquity had its bogle, its specter, or its knocker. The churches, churchyards, and crossroads were all haunted. Every green lane had its boulder-stone on which an apparition kept watch at night. Every common had its circle of fairies belonging to it. And there was scarcely a shepherd to be met with who had not seen a spirit!
[Emphasis added] It is curious that the name occurs nowhere else in folklore, and there is no evidence that Tolkien ever saw this. The word also was recorded from 1835 as "a term generally used in Wales to express a quantity made up of four Welsh pecks." Hobbitry attested from 1947.
There's a whole monster manual in the making right there ...
Post by stevemitchell on Dec 13, 2012 9:30:40 GMT -6
I did a Google search for "Moldvay Challenges Game System," and was surprised to find a pdf file of the game rules available at the TrollBones site. I have no idea of the legality of the file being posted there.