Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Level Limits

I've tidied up the Non-Human Level Limits, mainly because I've expanded the additional levels for having a high attribute. Please note though, these ruling are really only applicable to my own Lemurian Campaign and are only posted to give an idea of how things could be done.

Race/Class Limitations & Multi-Classing

The Human race has just one special ability in the lands of Lemuria – Humans can choose to be of any class – Fighter, Paladin, Barbarian, Knight, Illusionist, Assassin, Wizard, Cleric, Bard, Ranger, or Rogue – and can rise to great level in that class.

The other races have fewer choices of character classes and usually are limited in the level they can attain. These restrictions reflect the natural tendencies of the races (Dwarves like war and fighting and dislike magic, etc.). The limits are high enough so a Non-Human can achieve power and importance in at least one class. A Halfling, for example, can become the best Rogue in the land, but he cannot become a great Fighter.

The limits also exist for play balance. The ability of humans to assume any role and reach any level is their only advantage. The Non-Human races have other powers that make them entertaining to play -- particularly the ability to be Multi-Classed. These powers balance the enjoyment of play against the ability to rise in level.

Dwarven level limitations

Assassin – 10th
Cleric – 15th
Fighter – U
Rogue – 10th

Elven level limitations

Assassin – 10th
Cleric – 10th
Druid – U
Fighter – 15th
Ranger – 15th
Rogue – U
Wizard – 15th

Gnomish Level Limitations

Assassin – 15th
Cleric – 10th
Fighter – 10th
Illusionist – U
Rogue – U

Half Elven Level Limitations

Assassin – 10th
Bard – U
Cleric – 10th
Druid – U
Fighter – 15th
Ranger – 15th
Rogue – U
Wizard – 10th

Halfling Level Limitations

Cleric – 10th
Druid – 10th
Fighter – 10th
Rogue – U

Half Orc Level Limitations

Assassin – U
Cleric – 5th
Fighter – 15th
Rogue – 10th

Exceeding Level Limits

Non-Human Characters with extremely high scores in their ‘Prime’ Attributes can exceed their racial maximum levels. In the case of Multi-Class characters, the additional Levels only apply for the Prime Attribute of the class in question

Level Bonuses for High Prime Attributes

Additional Levels for having high Prime
Attribute Scores

Level/Bonus

14 = +1
15 = +2
16 = +3
17 = +4
18 = +5
19 = +6

For example – "Kalar the Holy" is a Dwarven Cleric and is limited as such to 15th Level in the Cleric Class. However his Wisdom is 18, this means that Kalar can reach 20th Level as a Cleric.

Multi-Classing & Dual-Classing

Multi-Classing is an option available only to Non-Human characters, is simultaneous advancement in two or more different classes. Dual-Classing, an option available only to Human Characters is the ability to switch classes and begin Advancing exclusively in a new character class.

Multi-Classing

There is specific information about the interaction of the restrictions and abilities of Multi-Classed Characters. Gnomish Multi-Classed characters are (for example) limited to Leather Armour in order to cast spells, while Elven Multi-Classed Characters are not. These restrictions reflect the particular nature of the non-human races. It is a general rule however, that a Cleric/Fighter may always use edged weapons.

When a non-human character has more than one character class, any experience points gained by the character will be divided evenly between those classes, once the character can no longer progress in one of the classes this splitting of XP ends – and the XP is given in its entirety to the Class the character may still advance in.

Restrictions

• Multi–classed characters use the least restrictive weapons list for their classes.
• Multi–classed characters use the most restrictive armour list of their classes.
• Multi–classed characters cannot combine abilities.*
• Starting gold is determined by rolling for each class individually, combining the results and dividing that by the number of classes the character has.

*For example, a fighter’s extra attack means that the character can make an extra normal attack and not use that extra attack to deflect missiles, make a back attack or inspire.

When the character advances in one of his or her classes, additional hit points are determined by rolling the appropriate die (D4 for Wizards and Illusionists, D6 for Thieves and Assassins, etc.), adding the appropriate constitution modifier, and dividing by the number of Classes involved (so two for a Cleric/Thief, or three for a Fighter/Cleric/Wizard, for example). It is therefore entirely possible for a multi-class character to be at different levels of experience in different Classes. As an example, a Half-Orcish Cleric/Assassin of Level 10/12 is possible.

Dual-Classing

In order to switch from one class to another, the human character must have an ability score of 15+ in the Classes Prime Attribute of the original Class, and of 17+ in the Prime Attribute of the new Class.

The character retains his or her Hit Points.

He or she can use the particular abilities of the original class, but doing so will cause the character to forfeit all experience points that would be gained from using the original Classes Abilities (as determined by the GM). This restriction applies until the character has advanced in the new Class to a Level at least one higher than was attained in the original Class.

When the character begins the process of learning a new class, he or she gains the Abilities of the new Class as a First Level member of that Class, and all Experience is applied to progressing in the new class. The Character gains no additional Hit Points until reaching a Level in the new Class one Level higher than in the original Class, after which time the Character’s Hit Points advance as per the new class.

Unlike multi-class characters, dual-classed characters cannot perform the functions of several different classes simultaneously. So, for example, an Elven Fighter/Wizard could cast Arcane Spells while wearing Armour, but a Human Dual-Classed Fighter/Wizard would have to remove his or her Armour to do the same thing. However, with dual-classed characters, any combination of classes is possible, provided the character qualifies in terms of Primary Ability Scores and can comply with any relevant Alignment restrictions. An individual with very high Ability Scores could therefore play a Cleric/Paladin or a Wizard/Illusionist.

Restrictions

• Dual–classed characters take the best to hit bonus of their classes.
• Dual–classed characters use the least restrictive weapons list for their classes.
• Dual–classed characters use the most restrictive armour list of their classes.
• Dual–classed characters cannot combine abilities.**

**For example, a fighter’s extra attack means that the character can make an extra normal attack and not use that extra attack to deflect missiles, make a back attack or inspire.

Skills & Saves for Multi-Class /Dual Class Characters

When it comes to Saves and Tasks involving your Level, you use the Appropriate Level. Aladon is about to Pick a Lock. Aladon is a 3rd Level Thief/2nd Level Wizard. He would use his Rogue Level when rolling to pick the Lock. Likewise, to make an INT based Saving Throw vs. a Spell – Aladon would use his Wizard Level as INT is a Wizards Prime Attribute.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Prime Skills

These notes are based on those written Gary Gygax for the Castle Zagyg boxed set. They are much more of a broad spectrum of talents, almost like a 'mini-class' in themselves.

Purchasing Prime Skills

Prime Skills are purchased with Experience points, the points spent in this way are deducted from the Characters XP total after purchase. A Prime Skill may only be learned by a Character who has that skills governing attribute set as a Prime attribute. Upon having enough Experience the character must find a suitable instructor, and after four weeks of training (and the expenditure of 100 XP) the character gains first level in the Prime skill in question. When you want to increase the Prime Skills level, the character simply ‘spends’ the XP to bring it up to the next level. A Character can never have more Prime Skills than Prime Attributes (So a Human can have three Prime Skills, and a Non-Human can have two).

Prime Skill Level/XP Cost
First/100
Second/300
Third/600
Fourth/1000
Fifth/1500
Sixth/2100
Seventh/2800
Eighth/3600

The Prime skills available are as follows –

AMBUSH (Dexterity)
This ability allows for concealment (objects or person), hiding (in general) and trap construction. The concealment and hiding act in the same manner as a Rogues hide ability. The Traps work in the same manner as a ranger’s Traps ability. This skill also confers a +2 to all surprise checks. If a Rogue or Assassin takes this ability, they add an additional +2 to their Hide, Open Lock and Traps abilities. If a Ranger takes this ability, they gain an additional +2 to all Traps checks.

BUSINESS (Intelligence)
This ability relates to one’s performance in accounting, banking, commerce, finance, investing, and trading (assures literacy and numeracy). As a practical matter, this ability allows a character to partake in and understand various business dealings, understand the complexities of taxing and licensing and, make better business deals for it. It also allows for the decipherment of contracts and an understanding of bookkeeping.

ENFORCER (Charisma)
This skill set affects one’s ability to grapple, intimidate, bully, punch, and threaten opponents. If this ability is taken, it affects all grappling, overbearing and pummelling attacks by giving the attacker a +2 to hit per level of the skill. Further, intimidation and threats are non-violent methods of forcing an opponent to bend to one’s will. The character or non-player character acted upon (threatened or intimidated) must make a charisma saving throw to be unaffected. This saving throw is adjusted by -2 per ability level of the one initiating the act. If the saving throw is not successful, the effected person will essentially do as requested, refuse to fight or back down from a demand.

ESOTERIC KNOWLEDGE (Intelligence)
This skill references a character’s knowledge of ancient history, arcana, artifacts, fables, lost lore, mysteries, occult and relics. This also assures literacy and full numeracy. This skill gives the character or non-player character a range of knowledge in many fields of study that other would not likely know. This ability allows the character an intelligence check to know or at least know where to go to learn about a particular subject or issue related to the above mentioned subjects. It also increases the characters chances of locating items of interest in antique shops, books in libraries or other related activities. In cases in which a character may know of or about a subject and specific knowledge is called for, an intelligence check should suffice to determine if the character knows it. As with all skills, the Keeper needs to use their best judgement on when and how to apply this skill.

FORGERY (Dexterity)
This ability affects a character’s ability to copy, counterfeit, draw duplicates and fake documents. This is skill set is fairly restricted to acts of forgery whether deeds of ownership, heraldic symbols, coinage, papers of heritage and even antique paperwork. When used, the must make a successful dexterity check to adequately create a forged item. A failure indicated another attempt must be made. For those on the receiving end of the forged item, they must make an intelligence check at -2 per level of the forger’s secondary skill. If it is successful, they note the forgery.

INVESTIGATION (Intelligence)
The capacity to mentally note facts – including the power of observation and ratiocination. This Prime Skill covers detection, examining, investigation, observing, searching, and watching, as well as researching and tracking down information. This is an ability similar to that possessed by sleuths of private and public sort.

MILITARY LEADERSHIP (Charisma)
This ability allows for the control, direction, guidance, logistics, management, organization, planning, strategy and tactics in warfare. It also affects the capacity to organize or circumvent problems that might result from the management of an army. This skill allows for the efficient planning and orchestration of
the movement of large bodies of troops. For example, efficient logistics chains are more easily managed and supplies made more available if one possess this skill. The Keeper must their best judgement in the practical application of this skill as it will generally only come into play when the movement of large
Armies occur. However, should a character be responsible for the provision of a party, it is likely that the possessor of this skill may not a deficiency. The Keeper should inform the player of this if a successful wisdom check is made. Further, if a Knight has this ability, his inspire ability is treated as two levels greater than the class level.

SAGE (Intelligence)
The Sage has delved deeply into one topic and knows a lot about that topic through study and experience. Sages are considered experts in the topic that they specialize in. When researching a question concerning their area of speciality, a Sage may make an intelligence check to know the answer to a question or know where to look for the answer.

The areas of specialization that can be used include (but are not exclusive to) –

• Architecture (and construction)
• Engineering (all forms)
• Fauna (including biology)
• Flora (including botany)
• History (local, regional, world, cultural & social)
• History (intelligent races, human & non-human)
• Literature
• Theology

It is up to the Keeper to allow more specific knowledge for more focused fields – a Sage who is specialized in Taxidermy will know a little bit about mammals (as well as most other animals), but a Knowledge Specialist in Mammals will know a lot about them and very little about preserving their hides.

SAGACITY (Intelligence)
This ability allows the detecting of deception, evaluating worth, learning, logic, sophistry and assures literacy and numeracy. Judgement covers a wide range of capacities. It can be used to detect lies another is telling, to interpret the meaning of another words, intent, desires and related emotions. Should this ever be necessary, the person possessing this skill must make wisdom check at +2 per level of this skill to detect a lie, the accuracy of another statement, intent etc. Further, judgement allows for the assessment of the accuracy of another’s statements. This is done by making an intelligence check at +2 per level of ability. This is, of course, presuming the character possessing the skill can even know the accuracy of that statement. For example, should a non-player character make a false claim about a kingdom which the character knows nothing of, there is little chance he would know the statement was false. However, the character could make a wisdom check to determine if the non-player character were dissimulating.

SUBORNARE (Charisma)
This skill set relates blackmail, bribery, convincing, diplomacy, ingratiation, influence and lying. This is a social skill that allows the character to more effectively carry out any of the above actions as he or she knows the specialized languages, body motions, traditions and cultures of those he is dealing with. For example, bribing a city official is a delicate task and requires not a small amount of tact. Blackmail may require some specific piece of knowledge or knowledge of how to acquire that information with which the character intends to bribe a non-player character. In all cases, the possessor of this skill is allowed to make a charisma or intelligence (as appropriate and determined by the Keeper) to determine if one is successful at performing it. A failed check indicates the attempt at bribery failed or diplomacy failed. The character receives a +2 for each level of skill they possess.

SOPHISTRY (Dexterity)
This ability allows for distraction, diversion, evasion and sprinting during combat. Possession of this skill set confers a +2 to armour class if a successful dexterity attribute check is made. This modifier is in addition to all other modifiers that normally apply. This skill cannot be used in conjunction with any other action
with the following exceptions: dodge, disengaging from combat, evade and for a monk when they are deflecting missiles. One cannot make an attack or cast spells in the round this is used nor use any other class ability Further, if disengaging from combat, a successful dexterity check indicates that a hasty withdrawal can be made without incurring the armour class penalty or the free swing from an opponent.

SWINDLER (Charisma)
This skill refers to the capacity to cheat, deceive, fix (as in contests), fraud, gamble, odds (establishing) and promote events (assuring numeracy). This skill allows the character to perform many tasks related to the swindling others out of their money from cheating at cards, running pyramid schemes, fixing wrestling matches and running the odds on dice games. Whenever a character employs this skill they receive a +2 to their checks per level of experience in the skill. For example, should a character with this skill attempt to cheat at cards, they make an intelligence check and if they succeed, they have succeeded in cheating the opposing players. Of course, using the judgement skill, another character can attempt to discover this deception by making a successful intelligence or wisdom check.

WOODSMAN (Wisdom)
This skill refers to boating (small), climbing, fishing, hunting, identification (fauna and flora), lumber jacking, survival, tracking and trapping. Acquisition of this ability replicates the Survival and Track abilities of a ranger. Should a ranger take this ability, they receive an additional +2 to all Track checks per level of this skill and an additional +2 to all die rolls for the Survival ability.

Keep Rollin'

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Primary, Secondary, Tertiary

In Castles & Crusades the Primary Attribute concept is introduced, the Challenge Base associated with a Primary attribute are set at 12+. All other attributes have the Challenge Base set at 18+.

There are no averages, no middle ground - you are either talented at something or you struggle.

What I want to do is introduce the idea of Secondary and Tertiary Attributes.

We all know how Prime attributes work, with the Challenge Base being set at 12+.

The idea behind this is simple - rather than all other attributes being set at 18+, Secondary attributes have a Challenge Base of 15+, and Tertiary have a Challenge Bevel of 18+.

Humans pick three Primes, two Secondary’s, and one Tertiary. Non-Humans pick two Primes, three Secondary’s, and one Tertiary.

This way Non-Humans aren’t quite as penalized, and you get a more realistic spread (the Saving Throws for example are more in line with AD&D). However, ONE of your choices still has to be the Prime of the Class you have chosen.

So, to sum up –
  • Humans – 3 Primes, 2 Secondary’s, 1 Tertiary.
  • Non-Humans – 2 Primes, 3 Secondary’s, 1 Tertiary.
  • One of your Primes MUST belong to the Character Class chosen.
  • Prime Challenge Base – 12+
  • Secondary Challenge Base – 15+
  • Tertiary Challenge Base – 18+
Keep Rollin'

Monsters in Miniature

I was wondering how many people use miniatures for their games, and what they use.

Although I am not a huge fan of the soft bits of rubber Wizards of the Coast produce, but its undeniable that the selection in the range is amazing and they do provide a ready source of Monsters for AD&D/C&C games.

Advantages - the more Common Monsters can be picked up quite cheaply. Huge selection.

Disadvantages - the Rare figures can be quite expensive, but generally cheaper than buying a metal model. Random packaging, only one model shown in the Booster - the rest are purchased 'blind'. Singles can be hard to find.

Then there is the pre-painted Range "Legendary Encounters" from Reaper miniatures, which has one of the nicest Bugbear designs I've seen in many a year.

Advantages - non random packaging. Slightly higher production values than the D&D miniatures.

Disadvantages - Slightly more expensive than their D&D counterparts for common monsters. Not much in the range as of yet.

Lastly, there is Otherworld Miniatures who produce 'Old Skool' miniatures. This range is of the highest quality, and are designed to look like the original AD&D Monsters. Pig Face Orcs, Ogres with clawed feet, Demons & Devils. Even Stirges and Shriekers.

Advantages - high quality, excellent sculpts that look exactly right.

Disadvantages - expensive, mail order only (that I know of).

Keep Rollin'

Friday, 25 September 2009

Exceeding Level Limits

One of the things I quite liked from Second Edition, was allowing extra Levels of advancement for Non-Humans for high attribute scores. So here are said rules presented for Castles & Crusades.

Non-Human Characters with extremely high scores in their ‘Prime’ Attributes can exceed their Racial maximum levels. In the case of Multi-Class characters, the additional Levels only apply for the Prime Attribute of the class in question.

Level Bonuses for High Prime Attributes

Attribute Scores & Additional Levels
14-15 = +1 Level
16-17 = +2 Levels
18 = +3 Levels
19+ = +4 Levels

For example – "Kalar the Holy" is a Dwarven Cleric and is limited as such to 16th Level in the Cleric Class. However his Wisdom is 18, this means that Kalar can reach 19th Level as a Cleric.

Keep Rollin'

Thursday, 24 September 2009

A New (not) Dungeons & Dragons Edition.

I've just had a thought - just like Microsoft was with Windows Vista, its looking more and more as if WotC is very worried about the popularity4th Edition (not) Dungeons & Dragons.

Microsoft very quickly realized the problems with Vistas appeal and its marketing and have within a relatively short space of time produced Windows 7!

I makes me wonder if (not) Dungeons & Dragons 4.5 or 5.0 is looming somewhere upon the horizon!?!?!?!?!

Not much Today

Not much to blog today, not been too well (not that I imagine anyone reading this being too bothered LoL).

BUT on the plus note, two of my closest friends (John and Chris) are looking more and more like they have caught the C&C bug.

John is around halfway through reading the C&C PHB and is marvelling how good it is; and Chris has taken his C&C stuff to Norway on a business trip to work on converting an old character from AD&D 1e to C&C.

So all is right with the world!

Keep Rollin'

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Fear

Something I've ALWAYS wondered about in AD&D (and now C&C) is Fear - and not magical or monster induced fear either, the natural fears people carry within themselves.

Its not just making the save, its WHEN its appropriate to ask the Players to make them.

For Example -

Tobo is a 1st Level Thief, he's never been on an Adventure - he's really REALLY green. His first encounter upon entering a Dungeon is a Giant Spider. He's never seen anything beyond a common garden spider before.

I (as a DM) would rule that Tobo would HAVE to take a Fear Save, or have some adverse reaction to encountering the disturbing creature.

Yet the rules as they stand, do not accommodate 'newbies' encountering things which they might find frightening. Plus, Giant Spiders (even the REALLY huge ones) and Phase Spiders DON'T cause Fear! Even a Drider doesn't cause fear. If I saw a Dark-Elven Spider Centaur FOR REAL I would most likely cack my pants Lol, even desensitized to scary things as I am personally (and the world is in general).

My 'take' on the matter is that when a new Character (3rd Level or lower) encounters something potentially frightening they should make a Fear save. Should they pass, there is no further problems. Should they fail, the very next time they encounter such a creature (even if they are over 3rd Level) they make another Save vs Fear, this time with a difficulty of 2. Should they pass, as before there will be no further problems. Should they Fail this time, the Character has developed a minor phobia about such creatures and will have to make a save vs. Fear each and every time they encounter one in the future. Obviously Magic can circumvent such things.

Now this idea has to be tempered with some common sense, for example - its no good making your Wizard or Cleric taking a Fear test vs Skeletons, as they would have been made aware of such creatures during their training. Its also not a good idea making a Ranger or Druid make a save vs. a giant animal - because even though its size is exaggerated its still an animal and well within a Ranger or Druids experience to deal with.

Great Things about AD&D

Do you remember your fist game of AD&D, your first rush of excitement, and your first sigh of relief when your Character DIDN'T die!

So, here is a list of GREAT memories that I reckon most people have experienced . . . . .
  • Rolling a Natural Twenty JUST when you really REALLY need it
  • Going up a Level
  • Being reduced to Zero hit points, unconscious, possibly dead
  • The 10‘ ft pole
  • The Druid spell Shillelagh
  • Being a 1st level Character with 1 hit point and a Dagger
  • Drinking Ale in the tavern waiting to be hired for an adventure
  • The Robe of Useful Items
  • THE best Treasure Type – Treasure Type Q
  • Magic Missiles - The crutch of every Magic User
  • Backstabs
  • The Monk Class
  • Passing your "Am I Psionic Roll"
  • Drow as Characters
  • Wishes
  • Killing your first Orc
  • Beholders
  • The Deck of Many Things
  • The first time you opened a treasure chest and didn't check for traps
  • The first dungeon door you opened
  • Sleep Spells
  • A first level wizard rolling a D4 for hit points and getting a 4 - you thought you were invincible
  • Kobolds - a monster (if you could call them that) with less hit points than you
Ah, Happy Days . . . . .

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

More from Booty and the Beasts

Well, its time for yet another Magic Item from 'Booty and the Beasts' - this time the 'Ring of Gumbos'.

Ring of Gumbos

Made of a dull sheened pewter, the Ring of Gumbos is carved into the shape of many Gumbos holding hands.

Upon issuing the correct command word, the wearer my call forth one Gumbo from the ring.

These odd little creatures stand around 4 feet in height, with have pale near translicent skin and large bulbous eyes. Gumbos have no mind whatsoever, and follow any and all orders without question.

It is for this reason, Gumbos may be used in a variety of helpful fashions -

For example, one could order a Gumbo to open an obviously trapped door, unlock a cursed chest, or distract the attention of a demon allowing the owner of the ring to escape.

Gumbos have but one hit point, an armour class of 10 and a movement of 15 ft.

Rings of this type generally have 3-36 Gumbos stored within them.

Magic Resistance

You will note in some of my Messages that some of my Converted Monsters (and eventually converted Magic Items) have a Magic Resistance Rating. This is to re-create the 1st Ed AD&D Magic Resistance D100 (%) Roll.

This is taken IN ADDITION to the Monsters Normal Save vs. Magic - and is NOT modified with a penalty to the roll in any way, its a straight D20 roll.

It is expressed as Prime - designated with a 'Pr' (12+) or Secondary - designated with an 'Sc' (18+).

In the case of truly resistant creatures/items, the target Number is also reduced by the Monsters Hit Dice or the Wielders Level; in such cases the letter designation will be followed by a '+' sign.

Demons & Devils

When Gary sold off his remaining shares in TSR it heralded a big change for AD&D. Gone were the Demons & Devils of 1st Edition, only to be replaced with Baatezu and Tanar'ri.

The idea of Devils being a big part of a Fantasy RPG World first appeared in the first edition Monster Manual which was published in 1977. I always liked the Demons and Devils - they provide great Villains and the Party gets a great boost of Moral should they defeat such a vile creature.

The list includes some great monsters - the Barbed Devil, the Bone Devil, the Eryines, the Horned Devil (also known as a Malebranche), the Ice Devil (a personal favourite of mine, more of them later), the Lemure, the Pit Fiend, and the actual Arch-Devils (sort of a Satanic Royal Court) themselves Asmodeus, Baalzebul, Dispater, and Geryon. The Imp - a frequent servant of all Devils (and a first rate Familiar for a Lawful Evil Wizard), also first appeared in the very first Monster Manual.

Astaroth, Belial, and Satan appeared in a Dragon Magazine article "The Politics of Hell," (issue 28 which was the August 1979 issue) - that particularly controvertial article does not appear to be connected in any way to the established AD&D canon of the Nine Hells. Selm, Devil Prince of the Possessors appeared in in an article in Dragon Magazine 42 which was the October 1980 Issue.

The Styx Devil first appeared in the first edition Fiend Folio released in 1981.

Demons appear in the first edition Monster Manual as well - the list includes Manes, Succubus, Vrock, Hezrou, Glabrezu, Nalfeshnee, Marilith, and Balor.

The Demon Lords Demogorgon, Juiblex, Orcus (my Favourite Demon Lord), and Yeenoghu also make an appearance in that most revered tome. The quasit, a frequent servant of demons (again a great Familiar for Chaotic Evil Wizards), also first appeared in the 1st Ed AD&D Monster Manual.

Lolth, the Demon Queen of Spiders is described under the Demon entry in the 1981 Fiend Folio.

Several new demons debuted in the module Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (1982), including the Alu-Demon, the Bar-Lgura, the Chasme, the Dretch, and the Rutterkin - the new demon lords Baphomet, Fraz-Urb'luu, Graz'zt, and Kostchtchie also appeared therein.

The Alu-Demon, Babau, Bar-Lgura, Cambion Half-Breeds, Chasme, Dretch, Nabassu, and Rutterkin appeared in the first edition Monster Manual II (published in 1983), along with Demon Lords Baphomet, Fraz-Urb'luu, Graz'zt, Kostchtchie, and Pazuzu.

The Goristro first appeared in the November 84 Dragon #91 - the article's author Gary Gygax explained that he had intended to put the creature into Monster Manual II along with the other demons.

The Demoness Zuggtmoy first appeared and played a major role in the Temple of Elemental Evil module ( published 1985).Whilst Orcus was a central antagonist for The Throne of Bloodstone series of adventures (another personal Favourite), appearing in The Throne of Bloodstone, along with Baphomet, Klavikus the type IV Demon Guardian, and Glyphimor.

The 2nd Edition Planescape campaign setting used Devils & Demons, (now known exclusively as Baatezu & Tanar'ri under 2nd edition rules), extensively. The change in name not only (for me at least) reduced their apparent threat (theres a Devil after you soundsa a LOT scarier than theres a Baatuzu after you) but was for 'safety' reasons. The new Management at TSR were painfully aware of the bad press TSR had through the whole Dungeons and Dragons Devil Worship fiasco's of the 1980's and wanted to distance themselves not only from that but from Gary and Dave's Creative vision.

At various times in its history, D&D/AD&D has received negative publicity - in particular from Christian groups; generally for alleged promotion of such practices as Devil Worship, Witchcraft, Suicide, and even Murder. Also the showing of naked breasts in drawings of female humanoids in the original AD&D manuals (mainly monsters such as Harpies, Succubi, etc.) caused them problems (also from narrow minded individuals).

These controversies led TSR to remove many potentially controversial references and artwork when releasing the 2nd Edition of AD&D. Many of these references, including the use of the names ‘Devils’ and ‘Demons’, were reintroduced in the 3rd edition (one of the FEW things WotC got right).

ANWAYS back to point, conversions - I will be converting the First Edition AD&D Demons and Devils over to C&C as they will be playing a significant part in my Campaign.

And, without further digression - here is the first . . . . .

Ice Devil (Greater devil)



NO. ENCOUNTERED: 1 (or 1-4)
SIZE: Large (over 10 ft tall)
HD: 11d8
MOVE: 16 ft
AC: 24
ATTACKS: 4 (1d4/1d4/1d8/2d6 + Cold Effects)
SPECIAL: +2 or better Weapon to Hit, Ultravision 60 ft, Magic Resistance (Sc+)
SAVES: P+M
INT: High
ALIGNMENT: Lawful Evil
TYPE: Devil
TREASURE: 8
XP: 4500+10 per HP
PSlONlC ABILITY: 166-166
Attack/Defense Modes: CD/FGH

The frigid eighth plane of Hell is populated in the main with ice devils. Being greater devils, they have personal names.

They are greater devils in every sense of the word, preferring to attack and torment victims by means of their claws, mandibles, and tails.

A few (25%) carry great spears which inflict 2-12 hit points damage and numb with cold the creature thus struck (slow 50% unless save versus paralysation is made).

Ice devils can do any one of the following at will, once per turn or melee round, as applicable: fly, wall of ice, detect magic, detect invisible, polymorph self, or gate in two bone devils (1-6) or another ice devil (7-20) (with a 60% chance of success). Once per day an ice devil can cause an ice storm (as per that spell).

Ice Devils are able to regenerate 1 hit point per melee round, and have a grasping strength of 18/Prime. They radiate fear in a 10'radius (a saving throw vs. wands applies).

General Characteristics of Devils

Only erinyes, barbed devils, and bane devils can be hit by non-magical weapons. The greater devils (malebranche, ice devils, and pit fiends) can be struck by magical weapons, or weapons of silver, but ordinary arms do them no harm.

Abilities (at will)

• Charm Person • Suggestion • Illusion • lnfravision • Teleportation (with no error) • Know Alignment • Cause Fear (effect varies) • Animate Dead

Devils are able to summon their fellows, summoning being similar to a monster summoning spell.

Because they have a special form of telepathy, devils are able to understand and converse with any intelligent creature.

Immunities

Attack/Maximum Damage Taken

Acid/Full
Cold/Half
Electricity (Lightning)/Full
Fire (Dragon, Magical)/None
Gas (Poisonous)/Half
Iron Weapon/None*
Magic Missile/Full
Poison/Full
Silver weapon/Full

*unless affected by normal weapons, in which case damage will be according to the weapon type.

Loads more to do, Keep Rollin'

Monday, 21 September 2009

The Wand of the Marrow-Squid

Booty & the Beasts was a wonderful (if unofficial) tome of ideas, beasties, and items for both AD&D and Gamma World.

Erol Otus did the amazing illustrations, and the inhabitants of the pages ranged from the kooky to the downright bizarre.

I am only going to convert the fantasy elements over to C&C as these days I prefer not to mix my genres (though with what’s in the upcoming Keepers guide, I most likely will be attempting a Gamma World conversion).

Wand of the Marrow Squid

Through some dark Wizardry, an amputated tentacle from a dead Marrow Squid has been affixed to a rod of simple copper, animated, and placed under the control of the wielder of the Wand.

Once pointed at a single target up to 60 feet away and squeezed, this wand sucks out all the target’s bones – unless he makes a Saving Throw vs. Wands.

However, the Wand extracts the victims Bones in such as way that even though the target loses his Skeleton, if he makes a successful Constitution check with a difficulty of 5, he will remain alive.

Of course, he will now be a pile of flesh, organs, and muscle – unable to do anything except gurgle.

Mind Flayers

We have 'imported' the 1st Edition Psionics Rules wholesale, and I must say it looks quite promising. Allowing the use of additional Monsters AND giving Player Characters even more options.

So, in all its glory - here is the (hopefully true to the spirit of the original) Mind Flayer.

MIND FLAYER

NO. ENCOUNTERED: 1-4
SIZE: Medium (Man Sized)
HD: 8d8+4
MOVE: 28 ft
AC: 15
ATTACKS: 4 (Tentacle Strikes)
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1D3
SPECIAL: Mind blast, Magic Resistance (Pr+), Darkvision 90 ft
SAVES: M
INT: Genius
ALIGNMENT: Lawful evil
TYPE: Aberration
TREASURE: 8
XP: 1250+8 per HP
PSlONlC ABILITY: 241-340
Attack/Defense Modes: B/FGH

Mind flayers are found only in subterranean places, as they detest sunlight. They are greatly evil and consider the bulk of humanity (and its kin) as cattle to feed upon.

The mind flayer’s physical attack is by striking a victim with its four tentacles. If a tentacle hits and scores maximum (3 Points) Damage from its attack – the tentacle begins to burrow into its victims skull, and will reach the opponent’s brain in 1-4 melee rounds – drawing it forth, immediately killing its prey. The mind flayer then devours the brain.

Its more feared attack mode, however, is the mind blast of psionic power. All within a 6” directional cone of 1.5 ft in diameter at the point of emanation and 2” diameter at extreme range are affected (Psionic attack on non-psionic).

Mind flayers have the following psionic abilities: levitation, domination, ESP, body equilibrium, astral projection, probability travel. They perform at 7th level mastery.

If an encounter is going against a mind flayer it will immediately flee, seeking to save itself regardless of its fellows or its treasure.

These monsters speak only their own arcane language and several other weird tongues- purportedly those of terrible races of things which dwell in regions of the subterranean world far deeper than mankind has ever ventured.

It is also rumoured that these monsters have a city somewhere deep beneath the earth. Description: The mind flayer's skin glistens with slime. Its skin colour is a nauseous mauve, its tentacles being purplish black. A mind flayer’s eyes are dead white, no pupil being evident. The three long fingers of each hand are reddish, but the hands are mauve.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Class & Level Limits

I PERSONALLY think the Class & Level Limits in AD&D 1st Ed. were a good thing.

They further illustrated the differences in the Races, showed their natural leanings and areas they were particularly strong in.

Of Course AD&D was always centered around Humanity, and the REAL reason why Humans were always unlimited was the fact they had no special abilities beyond unlimited Level advancement.

I had already put the Multi-Classing & Dual-Classing rules/ideas in an earlier Blog.

You will notice when reading the C&C Rules certain things are different, and certain things stay the same. They have messed about with the Races/Classes thing making it more in line with the dreaded (as far as I am concerned 'not' 3rd Edition - I still find it ridiculous that any Race can belong to ANY Class - Half Orc Paladins really don't do it for me). As I intend that the Games I run have some of the original restrictions, its logical that Level Limitations be restored to the Races.

This isn't to say that Halflings (for example) cannot go above 4th Level as a Fighter, one of the things I have done is set the level limitations to their Maximums as stated in Unearthed Arcana (ignoring Attribute Scores) for simplicity.

Then (of course) there are Wishes, Potions, and other life altering Magic Items . . . . . .

Race/Class Level Limitations

Dwarven level limitations

Assassin – 12th
Cleric – 16th
Fighter – U
Thief – U

Elven level limitations

Assassin – 12th
Cleric – 12th
Druid – U
Fighter – 14th
Ranger – 14th
Thief – U
Wizard – 18th

Gnomish Level Limitations

Assassin – 10th
Cleric – 14th
Fighter – 9th
Illusionist – U
Thief – U

Half Elven Level Limitations

Assassin – 11th
Bard – U
Cleric – 12th
Druid – U
Fighter – 13th
Ranger – 15th
Thief – U
Wizard – 8th

Halfling Level Limitations

Cleric – 10th
Druid – 13th
Fighter – 10th
Thief – U

Half Orc Level Limitations

Assassin – U
Cleric – 7th
Fighter – 17th
Thief – 11th

Notice some Classes are missing from each list, the Classes missing are those that the Race in question are normally prohibited from taking.

These AREN'T set in Stone, if a Player shows up with a REALLY cool idea for a Dwarven Child raised in a Monastary - you should allow a Dwarven Monk. But ONLY if the backstory is deserving.

Keep Rollin'

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Weapon Specialization

The Weapon Specialization is a little too simplistic IMHO, so here is the Weapons Specialization from Unearthed Arcana – it’s been tweaked to include more Classes than just the Martial ones.

In Comics and in Literature Barbarians always have a signature Weapon. Conan’s Sword, Krull’s Axe and so on. The Idea a Barbarian cannot specialize is especially ludicrous.

Fighters

Fighters may take one Weapon Specialization at first Level, then another every 4 Levels after that. So at 1st Level they have once specialization. 5th Level they have two specializations. 9th Level they have three, and so on. They may choose to ‘Double Specialize’ in any one Weapon. When they get another Specialization ‘slot’ they may take it in a Weapon already Specialized. Double Specialization yields +1 to Hit and +1 to Dam on top of any other bonuses.

Barbarians

Barbarians may ONLY have one Weapon of Specialization; they gain it at First Level. Plus, if they have a STR of 15+ AND it is a Prime Attribute – they may fight with a Second Weapon at no Penalty for the off hand. Barbarians are always considered to be ‘Double Specialized’ in their Specialized Weapon of Choice. Double Specialization yields +1 to Hit and +1 to Dam on top of any other bonuses.

Knights & Paladins

Knights & Paladins may ONLY have one Weapon of Specialization – which they must choose at First Level. Knights & Paladins are always considered to be ‘Double Specialized’ in their Specialized Weapon of Choice. Double Specialization yields +1 to Hit and +1 to Dam on top of any other bonuses.

Rangers

Rangers may have one Melee Weapon and one Ranged Weapon as Specializations. They must take these at First level, and may take no others. If a Ranger so desires, he may instead Double Specialize in the Long Bow – rather than taking a separate Melee Weapon Specialization. Double Specialization yields +1 to Hit and +1 to Dam on top of any other bonuses.

Rogues & Assassins

Rogues may only ever take one Weapon Specialization, and it must be taken at the First Level. It must either be a Dagger or a Short Sword (or Scimitar in the case of Assassins). In the case of Rogues & Assassins – Daggers ALWAYS count as being specialized for the purposes of Melee AND Ranged Combat. All other Classes must choose them as separate specializations.

Wizards & Illusionists

Wizards & Illusionists (unsurprisingly) may NEVER take any Weapon Specializations; they are far too concerned with matters Arcane to even consider such a worldly course of Training.

Clerics

Clerics only ever get a Weapon Specialization if it’s the signature Weapon of their God (if their God has one).

Druids

Druids never get a Weapon Specialization. Becoming a Master of a destructive tool is outside their Spheres of interest

Bards

At 5th Level, a Bard may choose a ‘signature’ Melee Weapon. The signature Weapon choice confers the Attacks per Round as if he/she were specialized in that weapon. Plus, once per Fight a Bard may attempt a dazzling display of martial prowess. The Bard makes a Charisma Test, with the difficulty modified by the targets Intelligence Bonus (if any). If the Bard is successful, the intended target is ‘dumbfounded’ and the Bard may double his Damage vs. that specific Target for one round (as the target cannot defend himself properly, and the Bard may attack his victims vital areas unhindered).

Dwarven Characters

Dwarven Characters are always considered to be ‘Double Specialized’ in the Battle Axe – should they take the Battle Axe as a Specialization. Double Specialization yields +1 to Hit and +1 to Dam on top of any other bonuses.

Elven Characters

Elven Characters are always considered to be ‘Double Specialized’ In the Long Bow – should they take the Long Bow as a Specialization. Double Specialization yields +1 to Hit and +1 to Dam on top of any other bonuses.

Follow the Above, using the Table on Page 18 of the AD&D 1st Edition Unearthed Arcana.

Unusual Campaigns

I was over at Redbears Ravings Blog, and he was waxing lyrical about a Campaign he had a hand in running many Moons ago - with two DM's and a veritable Horde of PC's.

It sounded amazing, check his writeup here - REDBEARDS RAVINGS

The COOLEST thing I ever did (IMHO LoL), was to run two Parties AGAINST each other. I had two groups, one that consisted of players of - well lets say 'unsavoury' Alignments, and another of 'Goody Two Shoes' Characters.

To begin with neithe group knew about each other, and were constantly foiling each other plans annonymously - then as the Campaign progressed things stepped up a notch including the Bad Guys infiltrating the Good Guys Group (till her Alignment got revealed and the Good Guys put her in Jail and out of the Campaign - BOY she was p***ed Lol).

It ended with a BIG confrontation, luckily the Good Guys won or it could have Royally Screwed my Game World!

Friday, 18 September 2009

Multi-Classing & Dual-Classing

Yet another thing to add Lol - Multi-Classing & Dual-Classing!

Multi-Classing is an option that was only available only to Non-Human characters in AD&D, its the simultaneous advancement in two or more different Classes. The Basic D&D Elf Class was really a Multi-Classed Fighter/Wizard.

Dual-Classing, which was an option only available only to Human Characters, is the ability to switch classes and begin Advancing exclusively in a new character class. Sort of like changing careers.

Multi-Classing

There is specific information about the interaction of the restrictions and abilities of Multi-Classed Characters. Gnomish Multi-Classed characters are (for example) limited to Leather Armour in order to cast spells, while Elven Multi-Classed Characters are not. These restrictions reflect the particular nature of the non-human races.

It is a general rule however, that a Cleric/Fighter may always use edged weapons.

When a non-human character has more than one character class, any experience points gained by the character will be divided evenly between these two classes, even once the character can no longer progress in one of the classes.

When the character advances in one of his or her classes, additional hit points are determined by rolling the appropriate die (D4 for Wizards and Illusionists, D6 for Thieves and Assassins, etc.), adding the appropriate constitution modifier, and dividing by the number of Classes involved (so two for a Cleric/Thief, or three for a Fighter/Cleric/Wizard, for example).

It is therefore entirely possible for a multi-class character to be at different levels of experience in different Classes. As an example, a Half-Orcish Cleric/Assassin of Level 10/12 is possible.

Dual-Classing

In order to switch from one class to another, the human character must have an ability score of 15+ in the Classes Prime Attribute of the original Class, and of 17+ in the Prime Attribute of the new Class.

The character retains his or her Hit Points.

He or she can use the particular abilities of the original class, but doing so will cause the character to forfeit all experience points that would be gained from using the original Classes Abilities (as determined by the GM). This restriction applies until the character has advanced in the new Class to a Level at least one higher than was attained in the original Class.

When the character begins the process of learning a new class, he or she gains the Abilities of the new Class as a First Level member of that Class, and all Experience is applied to progressing in the new class.

The Character gains no additional Hit Points until reaching a Level in the new Class one Level higher than in the original Class, after which time the Character’s Hit Points advance as per the new class.

Unlike multi-class characters, dual-classed characters cannot perform the functions of several different classes simultaneously. So, for example, an Elven Fighter/Wizard could cast Arcane Spells while wearing Armour, but a Human Dual-Classed Fighter/Wizard would have to remove his or her Armour to do the same thing.

However, with dual-classed characters, any combination of classes is possible, provided the character qualifies in terms of Primary Ability Scores and can comply with any relevant Alignment restrictions. An individual with very high Ability Scores could therefore play a Cleric/Paladin or a Wizard/Illusionist.