Monday, April 30, 2012

Good news for gamers

Coincidence is a funny thing.

So last night, before going to bed, for reasons unknown to me, I remebered something, and thought if I had a time machine, I'd be tempted to go back to just a year ago, when the contents of an unpaid storage unit belonging to the late Dave Arneson were auctioned off, and as far as I knew disappeared into the void.

Over the past few days - prompted, I think by an interesting post he wrote on the symbols on the door of the temple of elemental evil - I've been thinking of contacting Paul Stormberg to see if he would interview for the blog.  This morning I started to draft an email to Mr. Stormberg.  When I went online, however I discovered an announcement from Mr. Stormberg himself.

Coincidence is indeed a funny thing, for the announcement concerned the very contents of that storage unit.  He's got it.  The whole thing.  And he's carefully documenting, preserving and copying the contents.  Once that's completed, the original materials will be auctioned off with a portion of the proceeds going to the Arneson family. http://www.thecollectorstrove.com/site-news/2012/4/29/the-big-announcement.html  

That's just a million kinds of awesome.  What's more, Mr. Stormberg is creating a new section on his website dedicated to preserving the history of our hobby.  Check it out here  http://www.thecollectorstrove.com/gary-con/

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Holmes Elf Varient

A few days ago, I noticed something I had never noticed before in the Holmes rulebook: that elves are listed with the fighters EXP chart and no others. That's peculiar.

So I took a look at this quote again:

"Elves progress in level as both fighting men and magic-users, but since each game nets them experience in both categories equally, they progress more slowly than other characters." Holmes D&D p7

A reading of that can be that XP are split in two, half for magic and half for fighting.  Right, but, it doesn't necessarily tell how to apply that net XP.

The charts do tell where to apply XP, and Elves use the fighter chart.  So you take the elves earned XP, split it in half, and apply to the fighter chart.

Now I wouldn’t bet one way or the other that this is what Holmes really intended, and who knows who put “elves” in the fighter table header when the booklet was printed.  But the idea sparked my creativity.

From other entries in Holmes D&D it seems that Elves can be fighters or fighter- magic-users.  There’s even one reference to elven thieves but that seems odd since in another similar reference they are excluded.  So to avoid getting too complicated, I’ll ignore elven thieves here.

So if elves only use the fighter table to advance, and they can put their experience point into being either fighters or fighter-magic users, the result might be something like this:

Elves can progress as either a fighting man or as a fighter - magic-user combination.  They either devote all of their experience points to the fighter class or split them evenly between Fighter class and Elven Magic user class.  Should an elf character reach maximum level as a fighter (Hero) before progressing to level 4 (Theurgist) in magic, they must still split their experience points in half and can devote only half to magic progression. The remaining half is simply lost.  Upon reaching level 4 in magic they may progress normally applying all experienced earned to reach levels 5 through 8.  Elves must always have achieved level 4 (Hero) as a fighting-man before achieving level 5 as an elven magic user.
            Hit dice earned on both tables are combined; meaning the hit dice earned on the fighting man chart below is added to the hit dice earned in the elven magic user chart.  For example, an elf who earns 3rd level as both a fighting man and magic user will receive 3d6 plus 3d4 hit points.




ELVEN FIGHTER


Spells Per Level

Level
Experience
Points
Hit Dice
(d6)

1

2

3

4

5
1  (Veteran)
0
1+1
1
-
-
-
-
2  (Warrior)
2000
2
-
-
-
-
-
3  (Swordsman)
4000
3
-
-
-
-
-
4  (Hero)
8000
4
-
-
-
-
-






ELVEN MAGIC USERS


Spells Per Level

Level
Experience
Points
Additional Hit Dice
(d4)

1

2

3

4

5
2  (Seer)
2000
2-4 sided
2
-
-
-
-
3  (Conjurer)
4000
3-4 sided
2
1
-
-
-
4  (Theurgist)
8000
4-4 sided
2
2
-
-
-
5  (Thaumaturgist)
32000
5-4 sided
2
2
1
-
-
6  (Magician)
64000
6-4 sided
2
2
2
-
-
7  (Enchanter)
120000
7-4 sided
3
2
2
1
-
8  (Prince)
240000
8-4 sided
3
3
2
2
-



Notice level 5 – 8 in magic user is actually double the normal fighting-man XP requirement – because that seemed less complicated to me than telling the player they only get to keep ½ their XP.  Also, by allowing the elf to add HP from both levels, the character shouldn’t complain so much about the level limits.
This may be my favorite “elf” so far.