Monday, August 8, 2011

Blair's Lyonesse Inspired OD&D Game: The Rules

The Setting
Vaguely dark ages/Arthurian/Fairy Tale/Lyonesse-ian

The Rules
Original OD&D LBB with Gygaxian OD&D Houserules & some Greyhawk ability score modifiers (STR to hit only; CON to HP; DEX to AC for Fighters only).
Humans, Elves & Dwarves for PC Races.
Clerics are either "Druids" or "Hermits" (vanilla OD&D Clerics with campaign appropriate names & flavor; not New Age/Wiccan/Nature worship Druids but Clerics that are called Druids because that's whay they call religious functionaries in Lyonesse).
Literal interpretation of OD&D class-based weapon and armor restrictions; Clerics cannot use magic edged weapons; Magic-Users cannot use magic armor or magic weapons aside from daggers (or Arnesian "magician swords").
Hit Points are rerolled at every level a la Empire of the Petal Throne; the higher of the old or new HP is retained.

Not tolkein/modern/WOW/Games Workshop/Scottish axemasters but gnomic crooked midget worms of the earth akin to Rumpelstilskin and Norse mythology.

Not Tolken/RPG/Metrosexual/New-age Elves, but Fairies from Fairyland without a consistant appearance. Low CHA Elves are grotesque, high CHA elves are elegant.
Between sessions Elves reside in Fairyland; at the beginning of every session Elf PCs leave Fairyland and enter the mortal world at which poin they choose to function as a Fighting-man or Magic-user for that session.

Explicitally stated: There is NO way a PC can use, benefit from, powergame or exploit the transition to and from Fairyland and the Mortal World; it is an arbitrary and irrational phenomenon. YOU KNOW BETTER when I'm DMing.

OD&D LBB spells along with spells from Elritch Weirdness and selected Arduin Spells.
A saving throw is allowed vs. a Sleep spell; all Fairys & Fairy creatures possess the Elven 90% resistance to Sleep spells (and immunity to Ghoul paralyzation).

Social Class
The 3d6 roll for starting gold is recorded as "Social Class"; if a Fighting-Man has a Social Class of 11 or higher they are a Knight (a loser landless Knight if you have an 11 Social Class)
If your Social Class is 18 you are a Prince or Princess!
Don't expect in-game benefits or powergaming via Social Class
The PC with the highest Social Class is the Caller/Leader of the group; in case of a tie, the higher CHA score breaks it.

Armor & Weapons
STR and DEX weapon and armor prerequisites.
Use the AD&D weapon and armor price lists, but...
Leather and Chain armor only; Plate mail is very rare and very expensive, don't count on finding any.
No crossbows; two-handed swords are also very rare and very expensive.
All weapons inflict 1D6 damage w/o any STR modifiers but Greyhawk STR to hit modifiers for Fighting-Men.
Weapons use an amagamation of the Greyhawk and AD&D weapon vs. AC tables; this information is not provided to PCs.  Roll the dice and I'll tell you if you hit. But...
A positive modifier on the Weapon vs. AC table is negated if your opponent is wielding a weapon that is longer than yours (Ex: The generous Dagger vs. Unarmored modifier is negated if your opponent is wielding a longer weapon).
"Beat The Wretches" houserule.


  1. are you running this on wednesday for redbox?

  2. Naw, just a normal Red Box game.

  3. Just wanted to pop in and say this sounds totally awesome.

  4. Last time I ran an Arthurian D&D campaign, it was back in the early days of The X-Files and the disappearance of Merlin was one of the big mysteries... which the Le Mort D'Arthur-quoting players totally failed to investigate, getting caught up in jousting and tournaments and questing for the Holy Grail - and the Battlefield episode of Doctor Who was another influence on the game :)

  5. You sir, have saved my faith that you CAN impose demands on virtual strangers on the internet! ;-)

  6. That sounds great! I thought of something re: Magic Users. What if, at a certain level, they had to devote their lives full-time to magical research, maintaining their manse, and matters of cosmic importance. But they could create, at their option, a new 1st level individual who could go on adventuring. This person would be composed of elements of their creator, but would have a unique personality, appearance, etc. I'm thinking of Murgen/Shimrod and Desmei/Melancthe + Faude Car filhiot.

  7. What's the "beat the wretches" houserule?

  8. I was skeptical at first, to be honest, but this sounds nice. I love twisted fairy tale dwarfs. The "worms of the earth" phrase reminds me of something i read about them being compared in norse legend to maggots infesting the corpse that is the earth (which could easily be the same thing youre referencing) to say nothing of the awesomely creepy Howard story.

  9. what about sandestins?