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Original D&D: What Classes & Rules Would You Use?

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randalls
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« on: May 24, 2008, 01:04:28 pm »

Original Dungeons and Dragons is more of a toolkit than a hard and fast set of rules.  In addition to the three little beige books, there are additional rulebooks (Greyhawk, Blackmoor, Eldritch Wizardry, Chainmail, Swords & Spells) and important articles in The Strategic Review and early issues of The Dragon magazine (e.g. classes like the ranger and the illusionist, new monsters, etc.) with more rules and options to choose from.

If you were going to DM OD&D, which classes and rules would you use?
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Greyharp
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2008, 05:28:36 pm »

I've been spending a lot of time lately looking through the original books. I did this after starting my project of re-formatting Holmes to make it more user friendly for my gaming group and then realising that Holmes was basically OD&D distilled. I joined the OD&D forum and have become quite excited about it all. So now on top of the various different things I'm doing with the Holmes rules, I now have a couple of OD&D projects I'm working through.

Our gaming group (3 adults, 5 kids) is currently playing 1e, the game I used to introduce them to role-playing. Myself and the current DM are discussing switching to something much simpler (the kids are turning into munchkin rule lawyers) and I'm leaning towards OD&D. Because all the add-ons you mention Randall (supplements, SR, etc.) basically turn OD&D into AD&D, I think I'll be pushing for the original 3LB with a few extras from Greyhawk (the thief class mainly). I'm hoping this will help the kids learn to role-play more than roll-play and help them to rely on their own imaginations more.
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randalls
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2008, 09:24:26 pm »

....I think I'll be pushing for the original 3LB with a few extras from Greyhawk (the thief class mainly). I'm hoping this will help the kids learn to role-play more than roll-play and help them to rely on their own imaginations more.

It will definitely do the latter. When you can't rules-lawyer and you can't just roll the dice to do everything, then you have to use your imagination to find solutions to the situations your characters are in.

Or they die a lot.  Cool
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Richter_Bravesteel
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2008, 12:31:38 am »

I'd probably just go with the classes in the original 3 books. If I were to play OD&D, I'd want to go as simple as possible.

I may use Paladins from Greyhawk, just because its always been my favorite class. Though I'd probably give it to a particularly noble Fighting-Man if he had proven himself, or something like that.
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Philotomy
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2008, 01:48:16 pm »

I prefer to run with Fighting Men, Magic Users, and Clerics (my class & race musing has a few more details).

As far as rules, I stick mostly to the three brown books: ability bonuses, weapon damage (d6), hit dice, experience, et cetera.  I do use the space required rules for weapons (from Supplement I) as a guideline, and I cherry pick monsters and spells from the supplements.  I import the scroll creation rules from Holmes basic.  My combat sequence is based on the one from Swords & Spells (which was based on Chainmail).  Most of my house rules (and the thinking behind them) are described on my website.
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randalls
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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2008, 04:11:33 pm »

I import the scroll creation rules from Holmes basic. 

I found those to be a bit of a problem at higher levels (although I can't remember exactly why or what I changed to solve the problem), although they were great for making lower level magic-users more useful.
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Philotomy
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« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2008, 04:49:58 pm »

I found those to be a bit of a problem at higher levels (although I can't remember exactly why or what I changed to solve the problem), although they were great for making lower level magic-users more useful.

I imagine it was because it allowed high level magic users to have multiple high-level spells, since it's relatively easy to create scrolls (i.e. a certain amount of time and a certain amount of gold, representing the materials).  I handle that by making the materials less abstract; in some cases, the materials may not be immediately available, requiring in-game adventuring or play to acquire.  (I have a musing on this, too.)
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randalls
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« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2008, 09:48:17 pm »

I imagine it was because it allowed high level magic users to have multiple high-level spells, since it's relatively easy to create scrolls (i.e. a certain amount of time and a certain amount of gold, representing the materials).

That was most likely good part of it but I vaguely remember some other problem my group had with it. Other than remembering one of Tom's characters was the the cause, I'm drawing a blank. However, I think I can remember how I fixed the issue: by having a small chance the copy of the spell in the magic-user's spell book faded when copied for a scroll. As I recall, the chance of fading became greater as the level of the spell increased and increased with each scroll made from the spell.
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RobertFisher
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« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2008, 10:13:54 am »

If you were going to DM OD&D, which classes and rules would you use?

On the one hand, I could say Moldvay/Cook/Marsh. (^_^) It basically is a game built from the oD&D toolkit. Just one that got published. On the other hand...

I'd probably go fighting-man, cleric, magic-user, and possibly thief for the "no approval necessary" classes. I'd consider any other class with the caveat that I reserve the right to alter it on-the-fly and never allow it again for another PC.

My current line of thinking is that the thief has merit. But if I'm actually saying that I'm playing "oD&D" rather than "B/X", then maybe I should leave out the thief. I dunno.

I'd use some of EGG's house rules. Simple bonuses for ability scores above 14. No exceptional strength. HD: 1d6+1/level for fighting-men, 1d6/level for clerics, 1d6-1/level for magic-users. All weapons do 1d6. I'd be tempted to use a modified version of the Chainmail man-to-man table for combat.
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Sham
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« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2008, 09:14:41 pm »

Just the LBB Vol.s I-III for me. I home brew like mad. I felt that Greyhawk was going to lead me back to AD&D, so I haven't used any of that supplement (or the others) yet. I'm taking the approach that I'm a DM form circa 74-75 (although I have this handy reference tool called the internet).

Right now I'm using FM-MU-C with some subclasses (Barbarian, Scout, Templar, Shaman).

I'm planning a fully home brew version using six custom classes (one each for the six abilities  of STR-INT-WIS-CON-DEX-CHA) in a sort of post-"return of the old ones" Howard/Lovecraft campaign.

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randalls
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« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2008, 07:10:44 am »

....in a sort of post-"return of the old ones" Howard/Lovecraft campaign.

It's real shame you don't live in Waco as that sounds like a fun campaign. It doesn't hurt that Howard and Lovecraft are two of my favorite pulp era fantasy writers.
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driver
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« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2008, 09:19:49 pm »

I use the 3 little books, with classes from Greyhawk (Paladins), Blackmoor (Monks), and the Strategic Review (Rangers, Illusionists).  I don't use Thieves, and have removed the percentage-based Thief skills from Monks and Rangers, though they're pretty good at sneaking around in a non-codified sort of way.  I fill the blank spots in the non-human abilities using Chainmail as a starting point.

I use a few spells and most of the monsters and magic items from Greyhawk, some of the monsters from Blackmoor and the Strategic Review, and the movement and spell memorization rules from Moldvay Basic, along with 1d6-based Initiative and 10 second rounds.  I was using the Moldvay combat sequence but have dispensed with it.

So far, so good -- hands down, my favorite edition these days.
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My Wilderlands OD&D blog:
http://wilderlandsodnd.blogspot.com
randalls
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« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2008, 06:55:43 am »

I use the 3 little books, with classes from Greyhawk (Paladins), Blackmoor (Monks), and the Strategic Review (Rangers, Illusionists).

Someone else who like the original Illusionist. I've always loved the class, perhaps because one of my Illusionist characters made it to tenth level.
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Philotomy
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« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2008, 08:52:23 am »

I'm partial to using Illusionists as evil NPCs.
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lostboy65
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« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2008, 03:38:54 pm »

I've been working on a OD&D style campaign using Labyrinth Lord. The only drastic changes I've made is to make is to seperate the demihuman races from the classes and make their combined class options race specific classes using the Paladin and Ranger classes as a template. It's still simpler than character creation and development for 3.5. But then again, so is theoretical physics. As far as subclasses I've made Druid a race specific class for elves(fighter/cleric), tweaked it to allow long sword and bow use. I haven't decided whether or not Ranger should be available to humans or an elven class. Any opinions?
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