Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Wizard (Reskinning Classes: Part 1)

Let's start this the right way.

    D&D 4th Edition        OSR Magic        the new guy in town    
So Jeff over at Jeff's Gameblog had this awesome series about the Arduin Grimoire going. Part 5 of this series was about MAGIC IN ARDUIN and Mana. This is the basic deal (I tinkered a little bit with it...):

  • Spells as usual (see spell list below).
  • Memorize as usual.
  • Int 8 or lower - (INT times Level divided by 4) Mana
  • Int 9-12 - (INT times Level divided by 3) Mana
  • Int 13 or more - (INT times Level divided by 2) Mana
  • To cast a spell costs (spell level times 3) Mana.
  • You may use half the Mana costs to cast a spell with half it's effect.
  • You may use double of the Mana costs to cast a spell with 1.5 of it's effect.
  • As long as you have Mana, you may cast any spell you have memorized, but any Mana you used without actually having it will reduce your Hit Points by that amount (last resort, sort of).
  • Mana regenerates after 8 hours of undisturbed sleep.
  • You may attempt to counter a spell if you are faster (Ini) than the casting MU and recognize the spell (via INT-check or any skill, if applicable). You have to use the exact amount of Mana as the casting MU (or more than that) or your counter failed (the Mana would be lost).
  • To activate a spell on a scroll is 1 Mana per spell level.

With the Mana costs at spell level x 3 he couldn't cast more than he actually would with the classic rules, but he is much more flexible in his casting.

What Spells on Level 1?

This is an example, the whole spell list would take to much space, but it shows what I wanted to show:

Spells Lvl 1 (roll 1d20 for random pleasure!)

Basic Spells
Read Magic 

1 Analyze
2 Alarm
3 Armor
4 Burning Hands
5 Charm Person
6 Color Spray
7 Detect Magic
8 Feather Fall
9 Grease
10 Hold Portal
11 Light*
12 Magic Missile
13 Message
14 Read Languages
15 Shield
16 Sleep
17 Taunt
18 Unseen Servant
19 Ventriloquism
20 Wall of Fog

It's a mix of spells from the D&D Rules Cyclopedia and AD&D. All missing spells might be around, but that's what you get. Basic Spells means they have it always memorized (without using a Spell Slot) because it was an essential part of their qualification as a wizard. They should be able to use important spells like Read Magic. Cantrips (1 Mana per Cantrip) are nice flavour for THE GAME. My thinking, anyway.

I discarded any spells a MU could use to fortify some physical ability (be it Spider Climb or Jump) on purpose*. The MU, as I would like to have him in my game, manipulates the physical world to achieve his goals, not the other way around. Feather Fall is disputable in this, but there is a difference between a guy casting a spell to climb a wall (a physical action) and a guy casting a spell because he lost his footing (desperation).

The rest as usual, please!

For progression, hit points and spells per level I use the Rules Cyclopedia. As a courtesy I give them for every +1 INT bonus one more spell (a +3 would mean one more spell for the first 3 spell levels, etc.).

It's not the only way to present the MU in a D&D game, but it's the way I prefer it. I hope there are a few new ideas or perspectives, though.

* The MU in my group commented this with: Why use Jump if you can fly in style?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Black Sabbath introducing Classes in D&D (Reskinning Classes: Prologue)

The OSR made me do it!

Especially this guy. But it's no new idea to customize Classes in an RPG or even to build new Classes to make the players happy. As a regular feature in my Campaign, players may unlock new Classes (it's just my fancy way to give them the feeling they've achieved something...). There are already two examples on this blog. For this series I would like to talk about the basic Classes in the Rules Cyclopedia, though. Like, my view on the Thief, why should a MU have Mana, Cleric spells at 2nd level (but...), this sort of thing. And when I started thinking about this, I considered linking some Black Sabbath to it, you know, for flavour.

And soon I realized it's ALL Black Sabbath!

Dig it! The Wizard:

The Fighter:

The Thief (okay, tricky... Paranoid maybe?):

The Cleric (now, this is a freebie):

The Elf:

The Dwarf:

The Halfling (sorry, nothing comes to mind but this):

Well, it wasn't that easy after all. But very Old School. Next will be an intimate look into the Wizard (Spell lists, Arduin Mana and Cantrips to blow funny smokerings).

The Ranger lost in Slovenia

A 3D map of a giant petrified Purple Worm with a Mad Wizard in it? Sounds cool?

Check it out over at prekomorec!