Sunday, September 7, 2014

D&D Rules Comparison 2

Ability Scores:

Simplified score  adjustment rules: 
            For every 2 points deducted from other scores, 1 point may be added to a prime requisite.  Only the prime requisite may be improved.  Constitution and charisma may not be altered.  Dexterity can not be lowered.  No score can be lowered below 9.

Intelligence: number of additional languages known reduced from 8 to 3 and penalty given for low scores as follows:
3
Difficulty speaking
4-5
Illiterate
6-8
Simple writing skill
9-12
Normal verbal and literacy skill
13-15
One additional language
16-17
Two additional languages
18
Three additional languages


All the ability bonus/penalties follow this uniform pattern.
 3
-3
4-5
-2
6-8
-1
9-12
No Adjustment
13-15
+1
16-17
+2
18
+3


Strength open doors bonus increased from maximum of +2 in D&D74. 
Strength bonus/penalty added to both attack and damage.

Wisdom provides a saving throw benefit or penalty for all “magic based” saving throws.

Dexterity missile bonus/penalty changed from +1 (13-18) or -1 (3-8). 
Dexterity armor class bonus/penalty added.

 Constitution HP bonus/penalty increased from D&D74’s  +1 (15-18) or -1 (3-6)


Charisma instead of affecting the loyalty and maximum number of hireling as does D&D74, the Charisma score in D&D94 serves as an adjustment factor on the reaction table.

Discussion:  The simplified ability score adjustment mechanic seems like a reasonable and useful change .  I also like most of the ideas regarding what high or low ability scores affect, with the exception of intelligence.  The idea that intelligence determines literacy does not strike me as a good one.  The dexterity bonus to Armor Class is also one that is probably best not taken.

The main issue though is the amounts of the adjustment and that is certainly one of the details OD&Ders point to as a problem in later games.  The idea of a single table of bonuses and penalties is, I think, laudable and a good design feature but, +2 and +3!! bonuses is clearly over the top.  Who wouldn't want a +3 in everything, and who wouldn't feel cheated if they had only "normal" scores?   

Instead, a simple +1 or -1 is much more in line with the philosophy of OD&D and there are already two models to choose from - the Constitution bonus for scores of 15-18 or the Dexterity bonus for scores of 13-18.  We might keep the areas each score affects but alter the table along the broader lines of the Dexterity bonus of OD&D, as follows:


Score
Effect
3-8
-1
9-12
none
13-18
+1


1 comment:

  1. I have been having a problem with a module you know a lot about I believe from something you mentioned and I would love some advice if you have the time. Thanks so much

    Sam

    samkochel @ yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete