Wednesday, September 10, 2014

D&D Rules Comparison 4

Race Abilities
Elves find secret doors on a roll of 1-2 only (reduced from the 1-4 of D&D74).
Dwarf and elf characters have infravision.
Dwarves no longer gain a combat advantage against larger than man sized "clumsy monsters"  as they do in D&D74 (Monsters & Treasures p 16).
Halflings can hide in shadows on a d6 roll of 1 or 2. 
Halflings receive a +2 combat advantage against larger than man sized. 
Halfling accuracy with missile weapons specified at +1. 
Halflings get some oddball +1 if only Halflings are attacking.

Selling Items
Player Characters may sell personal items for half the cost listed on the equipment list. (p30)
Magical weapons will sell for their mundane cost x d%.
Magic items such as potions and scrolls sell for 1d20 x d%.

Armor Class:
Negative numbers acknowledged.  D&D74 mentions no AC better than 2.

Saving Throws

Monsters “save as” nearest class equivalent for saving throws.  D&D74 makes no mention of saving throws for monsters.

Discussion: Inrfravision for dwarves seems entirely sensible, but for elves I'd say it is more of a take it or leave it thing.  These kind of details are probably best left to the individual campaign.

Gimping the dwarf, by taking away their combat advantage (1/2 damage) against the attacks of giants and ogres is a much bigger deal.  Likely, it was an oversight that this rule was dropped from D&D.  The detail is given in the monster entry for dwarves, not in the character race description in D&D74.

Curiously, D&D94 grants Halflings a combat advantage against the very creatures who formerly 
had such a hard time with dwarves.  Better, I think, to choose a single combat advantage (either the halfling +2 or the dwarven 1/2 damage) and apply it to both dwarves and halflings.

The mechanics for Halflings hiding in shadows and their accuracy with missile weapons merely clarify things left vague in D&D74, so that's a good set of rules to bring in to an OD&D game, but the +1 for halfling only combat seems really useless.

There are no rules for selling items in D&D74, and this is a curious omission given that selling items is one way to get experience points via the gold value.  The rules given in D&D94 for personal items would work well in an OD&D game.  The rules for selling magic items and potions might be okay too for a quick sale, but the market value of magic items should usually be greater than their cost to manufacture.

Negative AC - personally, I think the game is better without it.  First class armor (AC1) really should be the best their is and delving into negative numbers invites confusion.  Any other modifiers can be applied to the "to hit" number, if needed, for the same effect.

Lastly, monster saving throws are well established from at least 1975, but it does help the players if you choose to not allow them.

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