getting right back into D&D

Toronto, 2014.11.24

I've started modifying the rewrite of the basic/expert dungeons and dragons rules I'm playing with The Boy. I've imported someone's idea that having an intelligence of greater than 12 should give your "magic-user" daily spell bonuses, and that a wisdom of greater than 12 does the same for your cleric. I've also upped the number of spells early in the spell-casters' careers and wiped out spells above 5th level (e.g. 'Wish' and other stuff that's difficult to deal with).

I've also made a Halfling that's something out of Faerie rather than squat shoeless humans. Half elf, half goblin, basically. They make good "rogue" characters. I'm also adding a "Sylvan elf" , another import from Faerie. This has Druid skills, doesn't use spell books, and can track animals etc. I found it available in a PDF somewhere effectively ready to use out of the metaphorical box.

I'm also adding a daily prayer by the Cleric class that can cure all the wounds in a party by taking one hour, sacrificing 30gp/level/character. This gets around the problem of what's commonly called the "fifteen hour work day", in which fighters are hacked half to death, the spellcasters are spent, and everyone needs an eight hour rest. It also means no more "magic wands" of the type that give you thirty-eighty charges of "cure light wounds" for 500gp.

In fact, a magician's magic wand is only going to do minor divination stuff and a "Light" cantrip - the only cantrip in the game.

Then, I was wondering why all dice rolls have to be d12 or d% to look up results on a chart for things like wandering monster encounters. What if you want to make things unequal? Sure enough, there's anydice.com, that allows you to explore different distributions that are possible. For instance, 2d4 + d12. Perfect for cramming dragons and other "total party kill" critters at the low-likelihood ends of the distribution, and all the stuff you'd reasonably expect in the middle. This would have prevented the second wandering animal that The Boy ran into from being a 9-headed hydra. Also, good for center-weighting the results on the values of gems that you find.

There's one guy who keeps writing articles about different silly rules that he's undoing. One of my favorites: roll 2d6+6 for generating each stat. (Plug that into anydice, it's amazing.) Another idea of his subtract your thac0 from your d20 roll to hit. If you've hit, add your damage modifiers: that's your damage.

Hee hee!

The Boy has no idea how much work goes into this game....

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