This is another "gem" that I discovered recently while going through old files on my computer. I wrote this shortly after v2.0 came out. There were some things I liked and other things I didn't about 2.0. I think this was the first time I was prompted to take a comprehensive look at the D&D rules with an eye toward making some sweeping changes opposed to the small rules modifications that I had made in the past.
Some of the wholesale changes I use today owe their existance to this brainstorming session.
I haven't changed anything other than to add some formatting. A lot of it is pretty cryptic and some of it won't make any sense to anyone but me. I thought that it was better to post it in its original form though, instead of coloring it with my current opinions.
It isn't intended to be anything other than entertaining. A lot of it deals with game mechanics that don't even exist anymore (THAC0, etc) and some of the ideas are downright silly.
It is, however, a good example of how to brainstorm. Don't worry about whether an idea is good or bad, just throw down on paper whatever comes to mind and go through it later to see if it produced anything useful.
For good or bad, here it is… Enjoy!
- 3d6 is not sufficiently restrictive of the extremes.
- Alternative ability generation methods teach players to expect all 15's or better.
- 3-18 range does not allow much room for improvement from initial scores.
- Exceptional Strength scores between 18 STR and 19 STR are annoying.
- Ability Tables are either linear or nearly exponential. There should be a more gradual rise permitting expansion.
- Ability Table values seem randomly selected in places. Reevaluate all info.
- Hit Points (HP)
- Hit Points are increased to simulate increased fighting ability.
- A fighter should not be able to fight indefinitely without tiring.
- There shouldn't be such a huge difference in Hit Points between classes.
- PCs vs. hirelings, henchmen and followers.
- Consider one character per player (at a time) with numerous hirelings, henchmen and followers.
- Party members die. It is less painful to have a henchman die forever than to lose a PC.
- Do players have enough information to run a non-human PC? An Elf is NOT a human with funny ears!
- Why would non-human PCs live exclusively in human cities?
- If PCs are allowed to be non-human they should know their centuries-long pre-adventuring history.
- Shouldn't all PCs have, or be able to learn, at least limited ability in the other classes?
- Consider making all PCs Fighter/Wizard/Cleric/Thieves and let them assign EP as desired.
- If this is to be meaningful then it should be revamped.
- Should it be enforced? What are the consequences of deviation?
- Armor Class (AC)
- Heavy armor should slow you down and make you easier to hit not harder.
- Armor should absorb damage.
- Needs a massive overhaul to incorporate changes in HPs, AC, etc.
- Needs Critical Hit and Fumble Tables
- Needs a better system of unarmed combat (Wrestling, Overbearing, Subduing)
- Review Surprise, Initiative, and Weapon Speed
- It would be less confusing if all weapons did (1d10 + modifier) of damage.
- A dagger (1d4 damage) should be able to kill someone.
- Bows and crossbows should do a lot more damage.
- If armor absorbs damage, weapons will have to do more damage.
- If a cleric can kill someone, why not with a sword? Selecting a weapon should be a personal choice.
- Why must the spells be selected in advance?
- Wearing armor should be a personal choice.
- Selecting a weapon should be a personal choice.
- A spell energy system would work more smoothly. Energy should be regained nightly.
- There is no need to relearn (memorize) spells each day. Once learned, spells should not be forgotten.
- Consider Critical Cast and Fumble Tables for spells.
- Define where magical energy comes from, how it is accessed and what repercussions this may have.
- Can more powerful magic be performed by reading from a book, performing a ritual or working in groups?
- Wizards should be able to attempt higher level spells.
- Highly intelligent wizards should have a better chance of casting spells.
- Lower level wizards should be able to create low quality magical items.
- Wearing armor should be a personal choice.
- Selecting a weapon should be a personal choice.
- If all classes can wear any armor and use any weapon, then what is the benefit of being a fighter?
- Experience Points (EP)
- Why are there different progression tables for each class? If valid, then why not for each race as well?
- Progression tables are too steep. They make upper levels unattainable.
- Stress EP is given for resolving situation NOT swinging swords and casting spells.
- EP is giving 1:1 for each GP of treasure retrieved and secured.
- Should level progression be automatic or require short training sessions, as per book?
- A shop keeper may earn 100-1000 GP per year. Why would a group of 4 orcs carry this much with them?
- Many monsters have no use for treasure. They will not stockpile it. They will leave it at the kill site.
- Not all treasure is limited to GPs. Consider trade goods, information, gratitude of powerful people, etc.
- Treasure is heavy and bulky, hard to transport, store and sometimes even to exchange.
- Few people can afford to purchase valuable gems from characters.
- Magical Items
- Magical items DO NOT have a set price. PCs must set the value of each item themselves.
- Few people can afford to purchase valuable magical items from characters.
- There should be common magical items for sale, such as Continual Light cast on items.
- If a sword can be intelligent, why not other objects?
- Gem type and value determination is bulky.
- Art Objects
- There is no system to determine type of art object.
- Value determination is bulky.
- Do away with material components except for spells that would be too powerful without a monetary restriction.
- Many spells require rewording, definition, adjustment, level shift, or deletion.
- Not all spells are necessarily available to be learned.
- Getting Rich
- Successful adventurers WILL be noticed.
- Where do you store your treasure where it will be safe? If there are banks, what do they charge?
- If you search a ruined castle, how will the displaced heirs react to you taking their family heirlooms?
- A group of powerful adventurers will make the Monarch very nervous.
- A large enough influx of hard currency into a city will certainly effect the local economy.
- One minute rounds during combat are ridiculous. Try 10-Second rounds but leave turns as 10 minutes.
- Consider 12 movement meaning 120 feet per (10-second) round during combat. (8.2 MPH)
- Clothes and/or armor worn, as well as bulky equipment, will restrict movement to a maximum speed.
- Weight carried will restrict movement as well. The most restrictive of the two will determine movement speed.
- Encumbrance, due to unwieldy garb or weight, will restrict AC bonuses due to agility.
- Humans require light to see.
- Demi-humans with infravision either see without light (would see undead) or see heat sources (would not).
- High demand for efficient light sources would create a varied supply including Continual Light on objects.
- Campfires while sleeping
- The light and smoke from a campfire will attract the attention of all people and creatures for quite a distance.
- Once attracted, non-intelligent creatures, afraid of fire, will avoid a campfire unless particularly hungry.
- PCs may move 1/3 their movement in MPH at a brisk walk all day (with breaks)
- PCs may move 1/2 their movement in MPH at a jog for short periods.
- PCs may move their movement in MPH at a run for brief periods.
- PCs may move x times their movement in MPH at an extreme run momentarily. Determine x. (1.5 ?)
- Horses may move the same as PCs
- PCs must sleep 6+ hours per night to be at normal effectiveness.
- Determine natural healing rate.
- Spell Energy Recovery
- Determine Spell Energy recovery rate
Proposed Modifications to AD&D Rules system
Each player may run only one character at a time. However, more than one character may be rolled up in case of an untimely demise. Each character may hire as many hirelings as she desires and may attract henchmen and followers as well.
Six Ability Scores will each be rolled using 4d6 and generating a range of 4-24. These scores will be assigned by the player, as desired, to the six abilities: Strength (STR), Intelligence (INT), Wisdom (WIS), Dexterity (DEX), Constitution (CON), and Charisma (CHR).
Player Characters (PCs) are always Human but hirelings, henchmen, and followers may be Human or Demi-Human: Elf, Half-Elf, Dwarf, Gnome, Hobbit.
PCs will start out, at 1st level, as either a Fighter, Wizard, Priest, or Rogue and 0-level in the other three categories. As the character gains experience (EP), the player will assign the EP as Fighter EP, Wizard EP, Priest EP, or Rogue EP (Assuming, of course, that the character meets the minimum ability score requirements for that class). When enough EP is gained to take the character to the next level (Initially 2nd level in primary class or 1st level in any of the others), the character must be trained by a higher level character (in that class) before gaining the benefits of the new level.
Training is offered in all cities and some villages at a typical cost of 100 GP per week per level to be attained, with training taking from 1 to 6 weeks. Alternatively, a character one or more levels higher (in the appropriate class) than the level to be attained may perform the training, although the time involved is typically doubled and the fee is up to the individuals involved. Note that training precludes all other activities during this time.
Unarmored characters have an Armor Class (AC) of 10 modified by their agility. Armor will INCREASE AC due to its weight and encumbrance but will absorb some of the potential damage. Shields will decrease AC by one against 1, 2, 3, or 4 attackers depending upon the type of shield. Each plus of magical armor or shield also decreases AC by one. Additionally, AC decreases as the character goes up in level.
Any character may wear leather armor and use any basic weapon. A character must be 1st level as a fighter to use metal armor (excluding plate) and to use advanced weapons, and 2nd level as a fighter to use plate and complex weapons.
All weapons do 1d8 points of damage adjusted by a weapon type modifier. Ability scores and magical enhancements will adjust this as well.
All characters have 15 points to distribute amongst the Rogue abilities. At 1st level and each level thereafter as a Rogue, the character may distribute an additional 15 points. Note that many of the Rogue abilities may not be performed in certain types of armor and/or when encumbered.
No magical abilities from the Wizard class are available until attaining at least 1st level as a Wizard.
No clerical abilities from the Priest class are available until attaining at least 1st level as a Priest. Note that a Priest is giving her powers at the discretion of the particular god that Priest worships and each god may have special requirements of her Priests, restricting armor usage, weapon usage, alignment, sex, etc. This may even preclude certain class ability use (Such as the Paladins of Heronious who must be of Lawful Good alignment, start out as a Priest, and never gain EP as a Rogue or Wizard).
The damage a PC may withstand before losing consciousness is referred to as her Hit Points (HP). These consist of Endurance (the average of STR and CON) and Fatigue (the average of STR and DEX). Endurance represents the actual physical damage the body may withstand while Fatigue represents the character's ability to twist and turn so as to avoid taking actual physical damage. Normally, damage is first deducted from Fatigue and when that is exhausted, from Endurance. A critical hit and certain spells and attack forms will affect Endurance directly. When Endurance falls to zero, regardless of Fatigue, the character falls unconscious and is considered to be "at death's door". Each round thereafter, the character's condition will worsen, losing 1 point of Endurance per round. When Endurance reaches -10 the character dies but may be raised by a high level Priest if done in time. At -50 the character is irretrievably lost.
Endurance is recovered naturally at a rate of 1 point per 6 hours of bedrest. Fatigue is recovered at a rate of 1 point per hour of low activity (sleeping, sitting around, standing guard). Either may be restored through the use of various spells.
Attack rolls are made on a 20-sided dice (1d20) based on the normal THAC0. A roll of 1 indicates a potential fumble. Roll again with a miss confirming the fumble. On a confirmed fumbled, the number rolled to confirm the fumble is subtracted from the number needed to avoid the fumble. This number determines the result of the fumble. A roll of 20 indicates a potential critical hit. Roll again with a hit confirming the critical. On a confirmed critical, the number required to hit, plus one, is subtracted from the number rolled to confirm the critical. This number is used to determine the result of the critical hit. Note that this means that a character that doesn't need very much to hit cannot fumble very badly but may get a powerful critical hit. Conversely, a character that needs a lot to hit can get a minor critical hit but has the potential of a nasty fumble.
Wizards and Priests both use spell energy based on their level and Intelligence. When casting a spell, the caster rolls 1d12 and multiplies this by the level of the spell being cast. A 1 indicates a potentially fumbled spell while a 12 indicates a potentially extraordinarily well cast spell. See the appropriate tables for details. If all went well then the spell was cast, if being attempted by a Priest. If attempted by a Wizard then the Percent Chance for Success must be rolled. See appropriate table. Note that this table allows a chance for highly intelligent Wizards to attempt higher level spells and handicaps less intelligent Wizards. Average intelligence Wizards are more or less unaffected.
If the spell energy rolled reduced the caster to zero or less, then the spell fails. Additionally, if reduced to zero energy, the Wizard or Priest falls into a coma, which may last for days (1d100 hours). If the caster was a Wizard and she was reduced to less than zero energy, then for each point below zero, the Wizard loses the memory of one spell (selected at random). The spell(s) forgotten may be relearned at the normal rate (see below) but the Wizard must have access to his books (or another's) in order to do this.
Priest spells are granted directly by the individual god so they need not be learned nor may they be forgotten.
A Wizard, however, must learn each spell that she ever intends to cast (or relearn in the situation described above). This is done by studying the spell instructions. It will take a number of hours equal to (25 minus the Wizard's Intelligence) times the level of the spell. Normally, casting a spell does not cause the Wizard to lose the memory of the spell.