Post by llenlleawg on Jan 29, 2014 15:19:46 GMT -6
For those looking for inspiration to tweak their B/X games (or Labyrinth Lord, or honestly anything else old school) but wanted to lean more towards Logres and Narnia than Middle Earth or the Hyborian Age, here are some class variants of the Elf and the Dwarf.
Fae (for B/X D&D, variant for elves)
The fae are one of any number of generally man-sized (around 5 to 5-1/2 feet tall), magical beings of the fields and woodlands, such as elves, fauns, or nymphs. Of all of the beings of Faerie, these are the most bound to the mortal world, while still retaining much of the magic of their fey heritage. Ageless and undying, apart from violence, most of the fae spend their days in pursuit of pleasure in their hidden woodlands or underground grottoes, but others pass the time seeking adventure in the outside world.
The fae are all skilled warriors, and they may make full use of all weapons and armor. They are also naturally magical, and they may cast spells as does a cleric or magic user, but with their own list of spells. Like clerics, the fae have no need for spellbooks as do mortal magic users, but like magic users, they only know a limited number of spells, two for every level of experience (and only those of a level of spell they are able to cast). In addition, the fae cannot cast spells while wearing armor unless the armor itself is enchanted.
The keen perception of Faerie allows the fae to see 60 feet in the dark. In addition, they can spot secret or hidden doors on a roll of 1 or 2 on a d6 merely by walking past them, or on a roll of 1-4 when actively searching for them.
(Experience, hit dice, saving throws, attacks, and spells per level as per elves. Spell lists as below, taken from the magic user list, as well as the druid and illusionist lists.)
Illusion (as per Phantasmal Forces)
Glamour (Change Self)
Protection from Evil
Becloud Senses (as per Blindness or Deafness)
Entrance (as per Hypnotic Pattern)
Speak with Animals
Cure Light Wounds
Major Illusion (as per Spectral Force)
Invisibility 10' radius
Nightmare (as per Phantasmal Killer)
Cure Serious Wounds
Polymorph (Self or Other)
Growth of Plants
Speak with Plants
Elfshot (as Feeblemind, but against any target)
Commune with Nature
Slumber (as Death Spell, but effect is sleep for 1hr/level, and save vs. spells)
Transmute Rock to Mud
Post by llenlleawg on Jan 29, 2014 15:20:22 GMT -6
Talking Beasts (for B/X D&D, variant for halflings)
While there are many talking beasts, from the smallest of songbirds to the greatest of bears, or even of whales, the most commonly found are those of a lesser sort: cats, rabbits and hares, foxes, beavers, badgers, mice, squirrels and the like. Unlike their brute kin, these talking beasts all range from 2-1/2 to 4 feet in height. Also, unlike other talking beasts, these lesser ones can stand upright with ease on their hind legs and may freely use their front paws as hands. They may thus use weapons and tools, and may freely wear armor, so long as these are of a small enough size for their use.
Talking beasts have a wide range of personalities, from the clever foxes to the intrepid hares to the loyal beavers, but as a rule, talking beasts are trustworthy, generous, and fair, although some may prefer to mind their own business, and others have been known to be selfish and cruel. They enjoy to frolic and play in their woodland homes, but they are not opposed to hard work when need arises, and when threatened, they can make deadly adversaries.
The prime requisites for a talking beast are Strength and Dexterity. If either score is 13 or more, the talking beast receives a 5% bonus on earned experience. If both are 13 or more, this bonus increases to 10%.
Because of their keen senses, talking beasts (and any party accompanying them) are only surprised on a roll of 1 on a d6. When attacking unarmed with their claws and teeth, they may inflict 1d4 (plus strength bonus, if any) damage. Because of their small size and natural agility, attacks by opponents larger than man-sized are at -2. When in an outdoor environment with natural cover (e.g. bushes or trees), talking beasts are exceedingly good at hiding, having only a 10% chance of being spotted. Indoors or in dungeon environments, a talking beast may hide on a roll of 1-2 on a d6.
(Experience, hit dice, saving throws, and attacks all as per halflings.)
Post by llenlleawg on Jan 29, 2014 15:21:34 GMT -6
Basically, I would leave dwarfs as is, except that it is they, not the fae, who can craft magic items, specifically magic armor, shields, weapons, and of course, magic rings!
Level 6 Magician
Got your mirrorshades?
Post by Koren n'Rhys on Jan 29, 2014 16:23:55 GMT -6
Very cool stuff! I like your take on a more fae-inspired spell list, and the talking animals are pretty well-done and well-balanced, I think. Creative way to re-skin the Halfling! Two thumbs up!
Post by llenlleawg on Jan 30, 2014 11:36:31 GMT -6
: Thanks! I figured that a folkloric kind of "elf" would need its own spell list, one that dealt with beguilement, illusion, transformation, with a little bit (but not too much) of nature and healing magic thrown in. By limiting spells known, you could also make very different feeling fae all with the same rules and general list of spells, one being more about healing and nature, for example, another about charming and sleeping, another about illusion and transformation, or any combination of the above. Folkloric elves or fauns blasting foes with fireballs doesn't feel right at all! For mortal
magic users, I might just use the normal list, on the premise that mortals, to work their magic, need to bind dangerous elemental (or demonic!) spirits to do their will. I wouldn't add any new *rules* for this, so much as use it to account for the different feel of many magic user spells (i.e. often more deadly or dangerous). I likewise thought that, for the Talking Beasts, there was really no need for special rules, so more or less I dropped the skill with missile weapons for the natural weaponry.kipper
: Indeed, keeping within the rules as given was my goal. You could express these things with all kinds of special rules, I suppose, but for me, that suggests that you either want to play a different edition of D&D, or actually another fantasy rpg entirely. OD&D and B/X are not about a lot of new rules for new classes, and my thought here was to show that slight modifications of existing classes could make for a very different "feel".
Post by llenlleawg on Feb 7, 2014 16:27:11 GMT -6
Here's another option which isn't a reskinning of one of the existing classes, but one which is, I think, both if the spirit of a more Arthurian or Medieval folkoric campaign and in line with the simplicity of B/X in general. In fact, I see no reason why this same class could not be used in a regular B/X campaign, using normal MU/Elf spells and spellcasting rules.
In any event, for those of you looking for the archetype of the diminutive, fey trickster, here's the Gnome!Gnomes
Short in stature, rarely growing much taller than 3-1/2 feet in height, gnomes dwell under the ground, in grottos beneath lakes, in burrows beneath the roots of great trees, or in fabulous and enchanted caves beneath wooded hills. Although kin to dwarves, gnomes prefer magic, trickery, and wit to the hardness of steel and force of arms. While many prefer to remain hidden from the outside world, others leave their underground homes to seek adventure in the broader world.
Gnomes act both as fae magicians and thieves. They use spells just as the fae do, drawing from the same list and having access to the same number, i.e. two spells per level, of a level of spell able to be cast, which may be prepared without need of a spellbook. In addition, gnomes may operate as thieves, with the following adjustments: Open Locks +10%, Remove Traps: +15%, Pick Pockets: +5%, Move Silently: +10%, Climb Sheer Surfaces: -15%, Hide in Shadows: +15%, Hear Noise: +1. Like talking beasts (halflings), gnomes may use any weapon small enough for their size, but they may not wear armor of any kind nor use any shield. Being accustomed to life under the ground, gnomes may see 60 feet in the dark.
Gnomes must have an Intelligence of 9. Should the Intelligence or Dexterity of a gnome be 13 or more, he receives a bonus of 5% to earned experience. If both of these are 13 or more, he receives a bonus of 10%.
Gnomes may advance as high as 8th level. They use the same spell chart as fae (elves), the saving throw tables as talking beasts (halflings), and the ability chart for thieves, as adjusted above. They fight as a thief of the same level, although they do not have the ability to "backstab" for a bonus to hit and multiple damage.
Post by krusader74 on Feb 7, 2014 19:53:18 GMT -6
Anyone interested in using folkloric elves and Faerie folk in their setting ought to take a look at Dragon #155
. These articles are for AD&D, but I easily adapted them to a B/X adventure circa 2006-2007. The relevant articles are:
"Wild Into the Woods", The point of view of the grugach-the wild elves, starts on p. 9.
"The Elfin Gods", Four new additions to the elven pantheon, by Denise Lyn Voskuil, starts on p. 20
"In the Frost and the Snow", A new elven character race: the snow elves, by David S. Reimer, starts on p. 26
"The Ecology of the Satyr", Taking a look at Mr. Fun himself, by Gordon R. Menzies, pp. 42-45
And my favorite
article in this issue:
"The Folk of the Faerie Kingdom", A full list of faeries and faerie-folk, by Vince Garcia, Art by Robert Klasnich, pp. 33-41
- Atomie (MM2)
- Bogart (MM2)
- Booka (FF)
- Brownie (MM)
- Buckawn (MM2)
- Dryad (MM)
- Faerie Dragon (MM2)
- Grey Elf (MM)
- Grig (MM2)
- Killmoulis (FF)
- Korred (MM2)
- Leprechaun (MM)
- Pixie (MM)
- Quickling (MM2)
- Satyr (MM)
- Sprite (MM)
- Swanmay (MM2)
- Sylph (MM)
This article also has a complete write-up of Rhiannon
, The Faerie Queen:
Also take a peak at Dragon #87
, "The Ecology of the Dryad", by Shaun Wilson, pp. 18-20
And Dragon #109
, "Hooves and green hair", by Bennet Marks, p. 58-59, describes Half-satyrs and half-dryads
Post by krusader74 on Feb 7, 2014 22:30:13 GMT -6
I almost forgot to mention the following B/X supplements, in the Mystara Gazetteer series, which also have write-ups for playable character classes of Faerie folk:PC1 Tall Talls of the Wee Folk
by John Nephew
PC2 Top Ballista
- Wood Imp
by Carl Sargeant
GAZ05 The Elves of Alfheim
by Steve PerrinGAZ06 The Dwarves of Rockhome
by Aaron Allston
Post by llenlleawg on Feb 8, 2014 10:55:19 GMT -6
: You could certainly use the standard thief table as is. The adjustments I took from a combination of the adjustments for dwarf, elf, and halfling thieves in Greyhawk
which, after all, is where the thief (and several of the MU spells) came from. However, the gnome certainly can work just as easily without any adjustments at all.
Level 6 Magician
The Lighter The Rules, The Better The Game!
Post by idrahil on Mar 22, 2014 7:59:40 GMT -6
Yes we did! We play Delving Deeper rules but played a side adventure where a fantasy style "bridge to no where" led them to a large garden where it is always Spring. They teamed up with a Faerie Dragon to help her overthrow a nest of giant wasps. They got some help from Brownies they met too. My daughters had wanted a "Disney" style setting so what that translated to was all the animals in the garden could talk.
For me, the simple spell lists were enough to flush out an appropriate fairy-tale feel.