Tuesday, February 26, 2013

AD&D-derived Dexterity-based "Surprise Save (d8)"

In 1st ed. AD&D there's the Reaction/attacking Adjustment awarded for the highest (and lowest) 3 scores. This provides a modifier to missile attack rolls and also adjusts how many segments the character is surprised for.

The cool thing about this is that with this adjustment high dexterity characters could be surprised for zer oor less segments, and therefore not be surprised.

Now, if you don't use surprise segments, but you like the mechanic of high dexterity characters' pantherish reflexes allowing them to avoid surprise, what you can do when the d6 are thrown and the party is surprised is subtract the characters' dexterity bonus from the monster side initiative roll, and if that sum of that operation is equal to or less than the party's surprise roll, then the character isn't surprised.

Or you could just roll a d8 "Surprise Save", that I crunched the numbers for using the AD&D guidelines, and ignoring weird AD&D corner case where a monster isn't surprised because the party is more surprised, and got this:
Dexterity Missile Attack Modifier - d8 save to not be Surprised
+1 - 1/d8
+2 - 3/d8
+3 - 5/d8

You can streamline the process by having the DM or one of the players make the Surprise Save for the high-dex members of the party.

The OD&D Reprints? Brave Halfling... make us a dang box for them!

The only reason I never nabbed the Brave Halfling lurid D&D game boxes was that they weren't digest sized.

With the upcoming re-release of OD&D in a gigantic, hideous box, this is a perfect opportunity for Brave Halfling to benefit from Wizards' mistake!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Oldschool Conversion of Newschool : Shadowdancer Prestige Class for Thieves

When a thief has enough experience points to attain 8th level they can choose to prestige class into Shadowdancer; they lose any progression past 7th level thief abilities in backstabbing, climb, pick locks, and remove traps; they do not gain the ability to use scrolls; and they lose any future stronghold or follower benefits. They keep the same hit dice, attacks and saving throws, and gain the following benefits at the following levels (as per the 3E Shadowdancer Prestige Class):

8th level - Hide in Plain Sight
9th level - Infravision
10th level - Shadow Illusion, Summon Shadow
11th level - Shadow Jump
12th level - Defensive Roll
14th level - Slippery Mind

Prerequisite: When a seventh level thief has gained enough experience points to advance to 8th level, and they wish to become a Shadowdancer, they must unabashedly perform The Dance of Shadows for the other players' and the DM's entertainment in order to qualify for this class.

Or, if your game uses them, the character must blow a non-weapon proficiency or skill on Dancing.

This is my Perfect Underdark...

False  Machine

This cat's vision of the undeworld is pretty much perfect; I want to play in his game.

Reading his entries had me thinking about the vast subterranean vaults of pulp fantasy as the megadungeon, which led to me thinking of the underworld as a wilderness.

If you have a dungeon/underworld complex that spans the tens of thousands of feet, and you use the snails-pace oldschool D&D underground travel rates, you end up in a situation where it takes ~1 day of travel to cover ~1 mile.

Suddenly bringing food and water is even more important.

I love the idea of a megadungeon composed of a complex of miles-spanning caverns and tunnels, connecting various dungeon complexes.

Journey to the Center of the Earth; Descent into the Depth of the Earth; The Descent (novel); mega-spelunking. Caches. Base camps.