Thursday, August 16, 2012

[Flailsnails] Thieves vs. Specialists

I've been wrestling with how to handle LOTFP Specialists in my Flailsnails OD&D game. OD&D Thieves have d4 hp, set skill %s, and are limited (varying with interpretation) to Daggers and Swords (AD&D pre-UA limits them to club, dagger, dart, swords (long, short & broad) and slings); leather armor & no shields.

Whereas LOTFP specialists have d6 hp, choose their own skills (which is usually a maxed out snaeak attack and stealth), can use any weapon, are limited to their leather when doing sneaky skills and can use shields.

Basically, as I've seen most LOTFP Specialists played, they are analogous to OD&D Assassins (d6 hp, any weapon, leather & shield).

Now I like OD&D/pre-UA AD&D class-based weapon restrictions. Fighters are the bad-asses using bows, pole arms, two-handed swords, morning stars, and the like. In 3E we reached this point where every PC was carrying reach weapons and crossbows and were all members of the Expendables or something, which is cool, but I think OD&D restricted weapons are cool as well and has it's own more-D&D-ish flavor.

Now I want to be a cool flailsnails DM and let people bring in their PCs and play them as they are used to.

Now I was thinking about 3E "munchkin cheese" and how the LOTFP could be seen as the Flailsnails munchkin cheese Thief when I realized something... LOTFP Specialists are forever 1st level when attacking.

Problem solved.

If you play a Thief in my Flailsnails game you are an OD&D Thief.

If you play a Specialist in my Flailsnails OD&D game you are a LOTFP Specialist that forever attacks as a 1st level character.

Balance achieved!


  1. By "balance" I take you mean cut them off at the hips. Anti-munchkin doesn't always work: you may end up with 1 fighter, 1 wizard, and 4 female goblins. Why? Players aren't just tricky, they're also unpredictable.

    1. The balance achieved was a bit of a joke;)

      But I think a choice between the "front loaded" customizable LOTFP Specialist and the D&D Thief that benefits from the generous Cleric attack table (as opposed to 1st level forever), gets Read Languages 80% at 4th level AND at higher levels gets to use magic-user scrolls is a nice choice.

  2. In my LotFP game I added "Medicine" as a skill (Took a full uninterupted turn and a doctor's bag to use, could only be tried once per patient per battle/wound, healed HP equal to the dice roll, i.e. 1-5).
    THAT was the skill all the specialists maxed out, to my surprise at the time. They were all adventuring country doctors and surgical students.Looking back on it I was probably too generous with how many HP it healed, but Raggi's modules were still meatgrinders that killed PCs at a pretty nasty clip so I guess it balanced out.

    1. Awesome! I love the idea of shady adventuring country doctors/surgical students, "I need gold to pay for my education/laudanum addiction"

  3. For an OD&D thief, I like to pretend Greyhawk doesn't exist, and thieves just use the cleric attacks/saves/HD/XP progression, and the LotFP skill system. It's worked fine. The only limitations I impose are that no skill can be more than twice your level, and of course you can only backstab once in a combat (and it generally takes two rounds to do - one to move into position, and one to make the attack).

    From a flailsnails point of view, I just expect that there will be some amount of imbalance, but don't worry about it. It hasn't really mattered or even been noticeable in my experience.

    (You have a munchkin player don't you? I have one and he is the only reason I ever even think about stuff like this.)