Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Half-Mile and Six-Mile Hex Cheat Sheet

I've always struggled with distance and scale in tabletop RPGs. I'm also...let's say "rusty" on my geometry, especially that of the hexagonal persuasion. Converting between different mapping scales is one of my biggest bugbears, as is the whole process of...you know, taking a real-world place or object and figuring out how to size it on a map, or conversely, looking at a map and picturing in my mind's eye how big or far it should be realistically. I'm exponentially worse at this with hexes than with squares.

Thanks to a very enlightening post at The Hydra's Grotto, I've grown fond of using 6-mile hexes for wilderness travel. Rereading that post the other day, I was struck by the idea of subdividing 6-mile hexes into half-mile ones, and after trying to sketch this out I realized I didn't know how to actually make that work - as in, how to fit the little hexes into the big hexes. After scouring the internet for a map or diagram demonstrating this technique, I resorted to just screwing around with some hex grid paper (courtesy of Imcompetech) until I figured it out. Well, at least I think I did. If there's a better way assemble these dang ol' hexagons can someone please let me in on the secret?

At that point, I took a few more notes, and now I think I've almost got my head wrapped around the problems mentioned above. This is probably "no duh" territory for a lot of people, but I personally found the whole exercise useful enough that I figured I should share my notes in case anyone else has been hexed by hexes like me. It would put a real smile on my face if I helped make the subject less intimidating for even one person.

Coming to D&D from a mix of 3rd Edition and various video games, I was slightly perturbed by the sudden influx of hex grids into my life when I started delving into older editions and OSR stuff. I've grown increasingly fond of hex maps over time, but I almost wish I could send posts like this back in time to myself circa 2013 or so and clear up the concepts that confused me the most.

Here's a side view, so you don't have to turn the image or your head/monitor.

Now I just need someone to explain THAC0 for the millionth time so that'll hopefully sink in.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Combat Metagaming is Fine

That's right, ANOTHER hot take, baby!

When it comes to RPGs like D&D that feature A) lots of focus on tactical combat and B) big ol' super-enticing fancy-looking bestiaries, I think that metagaming is A-OK. This isn't an original thought, nor is it particularly controversial among the RPG intelligentsia I hang out with, but I guess this is still a controversial opinion for some.

My opinions are important!

Blah blah "Metagaming creates dissonance between the knowledge and actions of the characters," yadda-yadda whatever. I know you can't "win" D&D in the conventional sense, but some of the main goals of the game are generally considered to be keeping your character alive,* improving their abilities or status, and achieving their personal goals. When a PC dies in a way the player did not want them to die, that's a fail-state, right? Are you going to look me in the eye and say "Justin, I want you to get totally invested in the role of this character. I want you to care about them, and desire to do whatever you can to see that they succeed. Now I want you to fight a bunch of life-or-death battles with one hand tied behind your back," and expect me to feel no qualms, no resistance to at all? What about my dissonance? The goddessdamn nerve!

I don't like to punish players for being good at the game, and one form of "being good" is being knowledgeable. If your players derive genuine fun and joy from the tactical aspect of your game SO MUCH that they're willing to memorize the whole fucking monster manual, just let them enjoy themselves. Sheesh. Besides, those "Monster Manuals" and suchlike are just so cool with their illustrations and (in the best cases) intriguing ecological/mythological details and suggestive bits of lore and other imagination fuel...how can I begrudge anybody for wanting to read them in their own free time?

You know what draws so many people into RPGs in the first place? The monsters! Build on that enthusiasm instead of working against it. Capitalize on your players' craving for more MORE MORE to get them completely invested in the game's setting and the decisions they make.

Here's a fun idea: try giving your players reasonable in-game access to the kind of information they already know about your setting's monsters, so that their characters know the same things they know about the game in reality. "Oh look, it's a shambling mound. Woah, hold on there, my magical friend! Remember that codex we read in the Gardeners' Guild library? It said these freaks don't mind getting hit by lightening. Better adjust our tactics." Voila, no dissonance.

Besides, imagine how annoying it would be if you had to pretend not to know how the knights and bishops move at the beginning of every game of chess. The nice thing about RPGs is that when the "knights and bishops" get stale, you can swap them out for more interesting pieces you haven't used yet. Not only are there probably a bajillion pre-made pieces waiting in the wings, but there's also anything you can personally create. Make some shit up!

Here's my important caveat about metagaming: Homebrew monsters (including novel variations on "official" existing monsters) are also perfectly fine, and their use should be savored and encouraged, as long as such monsters are not solely meant to serve as total screwjobs for the players. By this I mean monsters that cannot be overcome and/or avoided and/or outsmarted at all, or at least in any reasonable way that the players could have discovered.

But other than total screwjobs, if your players are whining about homebrew content just because they can't metagame it, then your players suck and need to git gud. RPGs open a world of limitless imagination, and if the rulebooks hold back joy of creativity and wonder, fuck the books.

Metagaming is like sex: there's nothing inherently wrong with it, you can have lots of fun doing it, and too many people get all hung up over it...but no one owes it to you either, nor do you owe it to anyone else, and most people don't want to literally do it all the time.

TL;DR Metagaming is totally hot and all the sexy nerds are doing it. #metagaming #sex #seo-optimization

Pics courtesy of https://deathgenerator.com/

*At least until they can die in a satisfying way...which probably doesn't involve the vast majority of possible deaths they face. Hence why death is generally a fail-state in the game.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Check out Dissident Whispers!

Now you can contribute to the Nation Bail Fund Network and obtain a veritable treasure trove of incredible RPG content in one fell swoop! Dissident Whispers is a new for-charity adventure compilation by the Whisper Collective.

Purchase Dissident Whispers as a PDF HERE or HERE.
Purchase a physical copy of Dissident Whispers HERE (in the U.S.) or HERE (internationally).

Behold the official blurb from Tuesday Knight Games:
An anthology of 58 original two-page RPG adventures made by a diverse, international collective of creators in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. 
All proceeds go directly towards the National Bail Fund Network.
Delve into mythic underworlds, shiver through haunted space ships, schmooze with high society. You'll never go unequipped for game night with this eclectic host of adventures in hand.
Adventures for Mothership, MÖRK BORG, Trophy Gold, Troika!, Electric Bastionland, Dungeon Crawl Classics, The Ultraviolet Grasslands, The Black Hack, Mausritter, B/X, 5e, and many System Agnostic scenarios.
  • Cover by Jabari Weathers
  • Introduction by Laura Simpson
Created by a team of 90 authors, designers, editors, and illustrators including…
  • Writing by Chris McDowall (Electric Bastionland) and Luke Gearing (Fever Swamp)
  • Layout by Johan Nohr (MÖRK BORG) and Sean McCoy (Mothership)
  • Art by David Hoskins (Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea), Evlyn Moreau (Fabulous Mini Guild, Chromatic Soup), and Doug Kovacs (DCC) 

Black Lives Matter.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Thieves' World Box Set - Choosing a System

I have no idea when I'll do it, but I eventually want to run a campaign in the Thieves' World setting, primarily using Chaosium's old box set. I was originally going to use LotFP with some house rules as my system of choice, but I'm honestly not such a big fan of LotFP anymore, as seen HERE and HERE and in the comment section HERE. So that leaves me with the issue of figuring out which game I want to use instead.

It's not exactly a pressing issue, since I won't be running Thieves' World anytime soon. I want to familiarize myself with the source fiction (and not just the RPG material) before I begin, and I have other gaming plans in the near future anyway. I'm also completely spoiled for choice; the box set includes NPC stats for nine different games, and some later publications (like the Thieves' World Companion and an article in Different Worlds #19) add a few more games to the mix. Besides, most of the other setting information in the box set is presented in a system-neutral manner, so I guess you could conceivably use it with almost any system.

Long story short, I made a list of game systems I'm considering for use with Thieves' World. Nothing definitive, just some ideas I had while the topic was on my mind. Here's what I've got so far, in no particular order:
I'd be glad to consider other suggestions, of course.

P.S. If I do end up using some variety of D&D, I'm also tempted to throw in a pretty crazy house rule. Originally, I was going to make all Blue Star Adepts immortal as a class feature. But what if everyone of a certain level or higher (let's say 9th level, the fabled "name level") were to become immortal, PC and NPC alike, regardless of class? My reasoning is that the gods are very active participants in the setting, and that anyone who reaches such a level of skill and importance is bound to be chosen by one or more gods as a servant or avatar of sorts, a pawn in their machinations, whether they know it or not. This wouldn't exactly be a known fact among the mortal populace, except insofar as they know that sometimes important or legendary figures tend to catch the gods' attention, which can have a variety of effects for good or ill. But if you become an experienced enough character, you're going to catch the attention of someone or something that will want to keep you around for a while as part of some ineffable scheme...

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Super-Casual Syllabus Update

This is the most recent version of my itinerary for the Super-Casual Pulp Campaign I started recently.

Main Campaign
"Sample Dungeon" AKA The Tower of Zenopus (from the Holmes Basic Set)
The Beacon at Enon Tor (from Imagine Magazine #1) - Level 1**
B1 In Search of the Unknown - Levels 1-3
B2 The Keep on the Borderlands - Levels 1-3
B5 Horror on the Hill - Levels 1-3
MSOLO1 Blizzard Pass - Levels 1-3
B4 The Lost City - Levels 1-3
B6 The Veiled Society - Levels 1-3
B7 Rahasia - Levels 2-3
B3 Palace of the Silver Princess (Orange Cover Version by Jean Wells) - Levels 1-3**
B10 Night's Dark Terror - Levels 2-4
X2 Castle Amber - Levels 3-6
MSOLO2 Maze of the Riddling Minotaur - Levels 1-10
X1 The Isle of Dread - Levels 3-7
I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City* - Levels 4-7
AC2 The Treasure of the Hideous One (from "Combat Shield & Mini-Adventure") - Levels 4-7
ST1 Up the Garden Path - Levels 4-7**
C1 The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan* - Levels 5-7
X8 Drums on Fire Mountain - Levels 5-8
X6 Quagmire! - Levels 4-10
X9 The Savage Coast - Levels 4-10
S2 White Plume Mountain* - Levels 5-10
X4 Master of the Desert Nomads - Levels 6-9
X5 Temple of Death - Levels 6-10
WG4 The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun* - Levels 5-10
S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth* - Levels 6-10
UK7 Dark Clouds Gather* - Levels 7-9
I8 Ravager of Time* - Levels 8-10
S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks* - Levels 8-12
X7 The War Rafts of Kron - Levels 9-12
DA1 Adventures in Blackmoor - Levels 10-14
DA2 Temple of the Frog - Levels 10-14
DA3 City of the Gods - Levels 10-14
DA4 The Duchy of Ten - Levels 10-14
S1 Tomb of Horrors* - Levels 10-14
X10 Red Arrow, Black Shield - Levels 10-14

Expansion Pack
CM1 Test of the Warlords - Levels 15+
CM2 Death's Ride - Levels 15-20
CM8 The Endless Stair - Levels 15-20
CM6 Where Chaos Reigns - Levels 17-19
WG6 Isle of the Ape* - Levels 18+
CM4 Earthshaker! - Levels 18-20
CM3 Sabre River - Levels 18-22
M5 Talons of Night - Levels 20-25
M1 Into the Maelstrom - Levels 25-30
M2 Vengeance of Alphaks - Levels 28-32
M4 Five Coins for a Kingdom - Levels 28-32
M3 Twilight Calling - Levels 30-35
And then on to immortality?

*AD&D Module
**Rare, so I might replace it with another adventure.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

"Super-Official" Super-Casual House Rules

Here is the "official" list of house rules for the Super-Casual Pulp Campaign I've started recently. Hopefully this will be easier for my players and I to reference than the post linked above and the various notes I've scribbled here and there. I plan to update this post if I add or change anything.
Additions from the Rules Cyclopedia
  • My B/X + RC Reference Sheet is in effect.
  • The Mystic class uses the house rules found HERE.
  • Page 19: Magic-Users may wield the following weapons: dagger, staff, blowgun, flaming oil, holy water, net, thrown rock, sling, whip. (Note that staves do 1d4 damage per hit; see page X25.)
  • Page 130: To generate ability scores at character creation, roll 3d6 eight times and keep the six best scores. Assign these scores to the character's abilities in the order of your choice.
  • I'm going to start the campaign with the default rule that 0 HP=death. However, if that eventually gets old due to high attrition, I'd be willing to use the "Keeping Characters Alive" variant rule from page 266 of the Rules Cyclopedia.
Major Changes
  • For PCs, Fighters and Thieves are combined into a single class, as explained HERE.
  • Replacements for dead PCs each start at a level based on their players' Checkpoints, as explained HERE.
  • Brand new players joining the campaign in progress will make characters starting 2 levels below the least experienced living PC.
  • Players don't have to roll for HP. They can just take the maximum possible amount each level.
  • No more spell memorization! Spellcasters are still limited by their spells per day, but if they have a particular spell in their own spellbook (or general repertoire for Clerics), and they have an unused Spell Per Day (or "spell slot") of the appropriate level available, they can cast the spell as if they had memorized it. This goes for NPCs as well.
Misc. Default B/X Rules to Ignore
  • Page X4: Wielders of two-handed weapons no longer lose initiative automatically.
  • Page B17: The spell "Read Magic" is removed from the game. Scrolls, runes on wands and magic items, and other typical magical writing that normally requires the use of this spell can instead by read automatically by any Magic-User/Elf. This skill is considered a basic part of a Magic-User's/Elf's training. Essentially, every Magic-User/Elf is under the permanent effect of a "Read Magic" spell at all times.
  • Page B19: PCs are no longer required to rest for one turn after every five turns of movement.
  • Page B20: The optional encumbrance system is not used.
  • Page B21: Unlocked dungeon doors are no longer considered by default to be "stuck" and only capable of being opened with a d6 roll modified by strength. (At the DM's discretion, "open doors" checks may still be used to force open certain locked doors or doors that are specifically selected by the DM to be stuck.)
Other Notes for Players
  • You may play as any class from the Rules Cyclopedia, or any class from one of the Gazetteers or Creature Crucibles or other official Basic D&D books, but I reserve the right to make changes to these classes first.
  • If you want to play a class you found on a blog or something, I'll probably allow it, but run it by me first, please.
  • If there's a rule or something in the Rules Cyclopedia or another supplement you'd like to try out, feel free to ask me about it.

Checkpoint XP - A Simpler Idea

Checkpoint Levels work fine if all of your character classes have the same XP requirements for each level, and if you don't mind consulting an extra chart. But here's an easier and more widely-applicable method of letting players "save" some of their progress between characters when those characters kick the bucket.

Checkpoints 2: Check Pointier
When a player's first PC dies, they divide that character's experience points in half (rounding down if it's not a whole number) and record that as their "Checkpoint." The next character they create in the same campaign will begin with that much XP, and the corresponding level for their class.

Every time that player loses a character in the same campaign afterward, they divide that character's XP in half as before, then compare it to their current Checkpoint. If it is higher than the Checkpoint, then it becomes the new Checkpoint, and the next character begins play with that much XP. Otherwise, the old Checkpoint remains, and the next character begins with that XP amount. Thus, one's Checkpoint never decreases within a given campaign.

Clarifications and Caveats
If a PC dies, the player of that PC may create a new character within the campaign at any level less than or equal to the equivalent of the player's current Checkpoint. Each player is responsible for keeping track of their own Checkpoint; it would probably be best to write it on their character sheets. Checkpoints do not transfer between players or between campaigns.

A PC can lose levels due to magical "energy drain" or other such in-game effects, but a player's Checkpoint never decreases within a given campaign. For example, let's say Susie loses her first PC, a level 4 fighter, meaning her Checkpoint is 4,000 XP (assuming it's a standard game of old-school D&D). She picks another fighter for her next character, who begins at level 3. Unfortunately, she soon loses a level to the chilling touch of an evil specter, becoming level 2. Susie's Checkpoint remains at 4,000 XP, even if her current PC dies with less experience, so she can still make her next character at a level equivalent to 4,000 XP. Of course, if Susie wants to increase her Checkpoint beyond that, she will still need to play at least one PC who survives to gain at least 8,002 XP.

(Yes, this means that a player could have their level-drained PC rush recklessly into danger specifically to get killed so they can make a new character at a higher level. I personally think that would almost always be incredibly lame, and I probably won't feel bad if the player gets mocked for this, but it is technically allowed.)

By default, each player can only control one PC at a time.* This does not include retainers, henchmen, etc., as they are technically NPCs controlled by the referee (and are simply "ordered around" by a PC unless the referee explicitly allows otherwise), they are created by the referee rather than a player, and they are not subject to the benefits of a player's checkpoint level.

*If a referee wishes to allow multiple PCs per player, they could simply determine a player's Checkpoint based on the highest amount of XP that any of their PCs have ever reached in the campaign, as usual. This could be prone to exploitation, as a player with one PC at a significantly higher level than all of their other PCs could purposefully kill off their lower-level PCs for instant higher-level replacements, and that would be pretty lame. To prevent this, stricter rules may be desired. For example, the referee could allow each player a certain number of "slots" to be filled with living, active PCs, and require each player to track a separate Checkpoint for each slot.

Fighter/Thief - Hybrid Class for My Super-Casual Pulp Campaign

As I've discussed before, I'm combining the Fighter and Thief into a single class in my Super-Casual Pulp Campaign - for players, that is, but not necessarily for NPCs. Here's how it'll work.

Fighter/Thief - A class for Player Characters in Basic D&D and similar games

Prime Requisite: Strength or Dexterity, whichever is higher. (If Strength is higher, apply XP Bonus as Fighter. If Dexterity is higher, apply XP Bonus as Thief. If both ability scores are equal, it doesn't matter which one you use.)

Hit Dice: As Fighter

Attacks: As Fighter

Saving Throws: As Fighter

XP per Level: As Fighter

Maximum Level: 36th

Armor and Shields: Any, but cannot use most Thief abilities if wielding a shield or wearing armor other than Leather

Weapons: Any

Special Abilities: As Fighter, and as Thief (with some restrictions: see below)

Race: Humans only

Thief Abilities: This class can Open Locks, Find and Remove Traps, Pick Pockets, Move Silently, Hide in Shadows, Climb Sheer Surfaces, Hear Noises, Backstab, Read Languages, and Cast Spells From Magic-User Scrolls as a Thief of the same level. However, they can only use these abilities if they are not using a shield or wearing armor other than Leather, with the exception of Reading Languages.
At the Dungeon Master's discretion, this class may also be forbidden from using these same abilities if they are encumbered by more than 800 coins' weight.

Name Level: When a Fighter/Thief reaches 9th level, they must choose between either building a Castle/Stronghold and becoming a Baron/Baroness as per the Fighter class, or constructing a Hideout and attracting Thief followers as per the Thief class.
If your campaign includes other alternative Name Level options for Fighters and/or Thieves, such as becoming a Traveling Fighter, Paladin, Knight, Avenger, or Travelling Thief/Rogue, these are also allowed, but all of these options are mutually exclusive.
This does not alter the abilities of the Fighter/Thief described above, but it does limit the territory, construction projects, and attracted followers of the character to those of either a Fighter or Thief of Name Level.

Restriction to Player Characters: NPCs cannot be members of this hybrid Fighter/Thief class. NPCs of the Fighter or Thief classes function as usual, including retainers, hirelings, mercenaries, and henchmen. However, if a Non-Player Character becomes a Player Character, as in the case of a PC dying and one of their retainers becoming the new PC for the same player, the Dungeon Master may allow the character to be "promoted" to the Fighter/Thief class. (In fact, the DM is encouraged by this humble blogger to do so.)
Alternatively, the DM may allow retainers to be members of the Fighter/Thief class (since they are at least partially controlled by players) while excluding other types of NPCs.
Thieves who are promoted to the Fighter/Thief hybrid class are converted to the level indicated by their current amount of XP and the Fighter XP table, rather than their old level as a Thief.

Monday, February 17, 2020

BX25 v0.1 - House Rules to Expand B/X D&D to Level 25

BX25, also known as BXXXV (pronounced "Bee-Triple-Ex-Vee" if you're nasty*) is my set of house rules for expanding the 1981 Basic and Expert D&D system (or "B/X") so as to allow characters of up to level 25. The Expert Set had guidelines for expanding the system in such a way, and this is my attempt to do so, with certain alterations in line with my personal taste.

The twist is, I want to do this without using the later Companion Set or the Rules Cyclopedia. The BECMI version of D&D has a lot of fiddly extra details and added complexities that I don't necessarily want to deal with in a B/X game, like "attack ranks" for demi-human classes, weapon mastery, a new skill system, paladins and druids, etc. Don't get me wrong, I really like the Rules Cyclopedia, but as I've said before, it's just a lot to deal with. BX25 is meant for higher-level play without straying too far from what's already in those short B/X books.

If my BX + RC Bridge Rules are like Zenopus' Bridge Tables in that they allow you to supplement one preexisting set of rules with another, then BX25 is more like Meepo's Holmes Companion (found HERE) or the B/X Companion from Running Beagle Games; The point is to add onto one version of the game without needing to reference another whole version. You just need the B/X rules and this short document, no "BECMI" required.

Why level 25, when the BECMI sets and the Rules Cyclopedia go to level 36?
  1. I think that stretching character advancement to level 36 is overkill. Look at how thief skills got worsened in the Rules Cyclopedia compared to B/X, for example. When you add more levels to B/X, you can either take the basic metrics of advancement (saving throws, HP, to-hit rolls, class abilities like thief skills and spells-per-day) and thin them out, or you can add new abilities (multiple attacks! new thief skills! new spell levels!), or you can just take all of the numbers and make them bigger/better (which can still require new subsystems when you run against certain limits - "Attack rolls still miss on a 1, so let's add extra damage instead,"). I wanted to avoid the first method, and use the second and third methods sparingly.
  2. It takes so many experience points just to earn 25 levels, let alone 36. I tried to make the math work out in such a way as to give players 36 levels worth of capabilities in only 25 levels (at least in some regards), so players would feel truly powerful by level 25. I think you get more "bang for your buck" this way, or rather, "better advancement per level," while mostly still sticking to just B/X. And frankly, players are more likely to see level 25 than 36, so it seems like less wasted effort.
  3. The Companion Set that actually did get released for BECMI went up to 25, and I thought it would be cute to follow suit. Besides, this way you get 3 levels of Basic, 11 levels of Expert, and 11 levels of Justin's Overpowered Antics. Dare I say it, it struck me as being somewhat more elegant.
Did I hit my design goals? Do those goals even make sense? Who knows? This is a very rough draft, of course. As with my B/X + RC Reference Sheet that I mentioned above, I'd like to organize all of this into a short PDF with better layout and convenient tables. It wouldn't hurt for me to playtest it, either. Feedback is welcome, as usual.

*I thought about calling it BXJ, for "Basic/Expert/Justin", but then all I could think about was stuff like "One time, this super hot sorceress totally gave me a BXJ out behind the Comeback Inn," and I suddenly felt the need for a different acronym so I could focus on important things like rules minutiae for a tabletop game from 1981. And no, you wouldn't know her. She's from Canada Greyhawk. Anyway, special thanks to Anxiety Wizard for the better title(s).

BX25 (or BXXXV) - Version 0.1

Level Limits
  • The Cleric, Fighter, Magic-User, and Thief classes are now limited to a maximum of Level 25.
  • The Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling classes are now limited to a maximum of Level 15.
Experience Points Needed Per Level
  • Level 15: 800,000 XP
  • Level 16: 900,000 XP
  • Level 17: 1,000,000 XP
  • Level 18: 1,100,000 XP
  • Level 19: 1,200,000 XP
  • Level 20: 1,300,000 XP
  • Level 21: 1,400,000 XP
  • Level 22: 1,500,000 XP
  • Level 23: 1,600,000 XP
  • Level 24: 1,700,000 XP
  • Level 25: 1,800,000 XP
  • Level 15: 960,000 XP
  • Level 16: 1,080,000 XP
  • Level 17: 1,200,000 XP
  • Level 18: 1,320,000 XP
  • Level 19: 1,440,000 XP
  • Level 20: 1,560,000 XP
  • Level 21: 1,680,000 XP
  • Level 22: 1,800,000 XP
  • Level 23: 1,920,000 XP
  • Level 24: 2,040,000 XP
  • Level 25: 2,160,000 XP
  • Level 15: 1,200,000 XP
  • Level 16: 1,350,000 XP
  • Level 17: 1,500,000 XP
  • Level 18: 1,650,000 XP
  • Level 19: 1,800,000 XP
  • Level 20: 1,950,000 XP
  • Level 21: 2,100,000 XP
  • Level 22: 2,250,000 XP
  • Level 23: 2,400,000 XP
  • Level 24: 2,550,000 XP
  • Level 25: 2,700,000 XP
  • Level 15: 880,000 XP
  • Level 16: 1,000,000 XP
  • Level 17: 1,120,000 XP
  • Level 18: 1,240,000 XP
  • Level 19: 1,360,000 XP
  • Level 20: 1,480,000 XP
  • Level 21: 1,600,000 XP
  • Level 22: 1,720,000 XP
  • Level 23: 1,840,000 XP
  • Level 24: 1,960,000 XP
  • Level 25: 2,080,000 XP
  • Level 13: 800,000 XP
  • Level 14: 1,000,000 XP
  • Level 15: 1,200,000 XP
  • Level 11: 850,000 XP
  • Level 12: 1,100,000 XP
  • Level 13: 1,350,000 XP
  • Level 14: 1,600,000 XP
  • Level 15: 1,850,000 XP
  • Level 9: 300,000 XP
  • Level 10: 600,000 XP
  • Level 11: 900,000 XP
  • Level 12: 1,200,000 XP
  • Level 13: 1,500,000 XP
  • Level 14: 1,800,000 XP
  • Level 15: 2,100,000 XP
Saving Throws
  • Levels 13-16: Poison 3, Wands 5, Paralysis 7, Breath Attack 8, Spells 7
  • Levels 17-20: Poison 2, Wands 3, Paralysis 5, Breath Attack 5, Spells 5
  • Levels 21-24: Poison 2, Wands 2, Paralysis 3, Breath Attack 2, Spells 3
  • Level 25: Poison 2, Wands 2, Paralysis 2, Breath Attack 2, Spells 2
  • Levels 13-15: Poison 4, Wands 5, Paralysis 6, Breath Attack 5, Spells 8
  • Levels 16-18: Poison 2, Wands 3, Paralysis 4, Breath Attack 3, Spells 6
  • Levels 19-21: Poison 2, Wands 2, Paralysis 2, Breath 2, Spells 4
  • Levels 22-25: Poison 2, Wands 2, Paralysis 2, Breath 2, Spells 2
  • Levels 11-15: Poison 8, Wands 9, Paralysis 8, Breath 11, Spells 8
  • Levels 16-20: Poison 5, Wands 6, Paralysis 5, Breath 8, Spells 4
  • Levels 21-24: Poison 2, Wands 3, Paralysis 2, Breath 5, Spells 2
  • Level 25: Poison 2, Wands 2, Paralysis 2, Breath 5, Spells 2
  • Levels 13-16: Poison 8, Wands 9, Paralysis 7, Breath 10, Spells 8
  • Levels 17-20: Poison 6, Wands 7, Paralysis 5, Breath 8, Spells 6
  • Levels 21-22: Poison 4, Wands 5, Paralysis 3, Breath 6, Spells 4
  • Levels 23-24: Poison 2, Wands 3, Paralysis 2, Breath 4, Spells 2
  • Level 25: Poison 2, Wands 2, Paralysis 2, Breath 2, Spells 2
Dwarf and Halfling
  • Levels 7-9: Poison 4, Wands 5, Paralysis 6, Breath 7, Spells 8
  • Levels 10-12: Poison 2, Wands 3, Paralysis 4, Breath 4, Spells 6
  • Levels 13-15: Poison 2, Wands 2, Paralysis 2, Breath 2, Spells 4
  • Levels 10-11: Poison 6, Wands 7, Paralysis 8, Breath 8, Spells 8
  • Levels 12-13: Poison 4, Wands 5, Paralysis 7, Breath 6, Spells 6
  • Level 14: Poison 2, Wands 3, Paralysis 6, Breath 4, Spells 4
  • Level 15: Poison 2, Wands 2, Paralysis 5, Breath 2, Spells 2
Spells Per Day
Cleric (First to Fifth Level)
  • Level 15: 6/6/5/5/5
  • Level 16: 6/6/6/6/5
  • Level 17: 7/6/6/6/6
  • Level 18: 7/7/7/6/6
  • Level 19: 7/7/7/7/7
  • Level 20: 8/8/7/7/7
  • Level 21: 8/8/8/8/7
  • Level 22: 9/8/8/8/8
  • Level 23: 9/9/9/8/8
  • Level 24: 9/9/9/9/8
  • Level 25: 9/9/9/9/9
Magic-User (First to Sixth Level)
  • Level 15: 5/4/4/4/4/4
  • Level 16: 5/5/5/5/4/4
  • Level 17: 6/5/5/5/5/5
  • Level 18: 6/6/6/6/5/5
  • Level 19: 7/6/6/6/6/6
  • Level 20: 7/7/7/7/6/6
  • Level 21: 8/7/7/7/7/7
  • Level 22: 8/8/8/8/7/7
  • Level 23: 9/8/8/8/8/8
  • Level 24: 9/9/9/9/8/8
  • Level 25: 9/9/9/9/9/9
Elf (First to Fifth Level)
  • Level 11: 4/4/3/3/2
  • Level 12: 4/4/4/4/3
  • Level 13: 5/4/4/4/4
  • Level 14: 5/5/5/4/4
  • Level 15: 5/5/5/5/5
Thief Skills
  • Level 15: Pick Pockets 135%, Climb Upside-Down 89%, Throw/Mimic Voices 50%, Read Languages 81%, Spell Backfire 10%, Sneak Attack Damage Multiplier 3
  • Level 16: Pick Pockets 145%, Climb Upside-Down 90%, Throw/Mimic Voices 55%, Read Languages 82%, Spell Backfire 10%*, Sneak Attack Damage Multiplier 3
  • Level 17: Pick Pockets 155%, Climb Upside-Down 91%, Throw/Mimic Voices 60%, Read Languages 83%, Spell Backfire 9%, Sneak Attack Damage Multiplier 3
  • Level 18: Pick Pockets 165%, Climb Upside-Down 92%, Throw/Mimic Voices 65%, Read Languages 85%, Spell Backfire 8%, Sneak Attack Damage Multiplier 3
  • Level 19: Pick Pockets 175%, Climb Upside-Down 93%, Throw/Mimic Voices 70%, Read Languages 87%, Spell Backfire 7%, Sneak Attack Damage Multiplier 3
  • Level 20: Pick Pockets 185%, Climb Upside-Down 94%, Throw/Mimic Voices 75%, Read Languages 89%, Spell Backfire 6%, Sneak Attack Damage Multiplier 3
  • Level 21: Pick Pockets 195%, Climb Upside-Down 95%, Throw/Mimic Voices 80%, Read Languages 91%, Spell Backfire 5%, Sneak Attack Damage Multiplier 4
  • Level 22: Pick Pockets 196%, Climb Upside-Down 96%, Throw/Mimic Voices 85%, Read Languages 93%, Spell Backfire 4%, Sneak Attack Damage Multiplier 4
  • Level 23: Pick Pockets 197%, Climb Upside-Down 97%, Throw/Mimic Voices 90%, Read Languages 95%, Spell Backfire 3%, Sneak Attack Damage Multiplier 4
  • Level 24: Pick Pockets 198%, Climb Upside-Down 98%, Throw/Mimic Voices 95%, Read Languages 97%, Spell Backfire 2%, Sneak Attack Damage Multiplier 4
  • Level 25: Pick Pockets 199%, Climb Upside-Down 99%, Throw/Mimic Voices 99%, Read Languages 99%, Spell Backfire 1%, Sneak Attack Damage Multiplier 4
Explanation of Thief Skills
  • Pick Pockets: The default rules apply.
  • Climb Upside-Down: This works just like the "Climb Sheer Surfaces" ability, except that it applies to climbing overhangs, climbing upside-down, crossing ceilings horizontally without falling, etc.
  • Throw/Mimic Voices: This is the ability to mimic the voices of other people or the calls of animals or monsters convincingly with one's voice, as well as the ability to "throw" one's voice like a ventriloquist in order to make it sound like it comes from a different source or direction.
  • Read Languages: Just as a Thief who reaches Level 4 can "read languages" with an 80% chance of success, a Thief of Level 15 or higher has an even greater chance of success at this ability.
  • Spell Backfire: Just as a Thief who reaches Level 10 can cast Magic-User or Elf spells from a  scroll with a 10% chance that the spell will "backfire" and create an unexpected result, a Thief of Level 17 or higher has a lesser chance of such a backfire.
  • Sneak Attack Damage Multiplier: The damage done by a Thief's "backstab" or sneak attack is usually doubled. At Level 15 it is instead tripled, and at Level 21 it is quadrupled.
Special Uses of Thief Skills
  • Balancing: A Thief can balance on a narrow ledge, and even walk along it, at the same percent chance that they can Climb Sheer Surfaces. A Thief can balance on and walk across a tightrope or high-wire at the same percent chance that they can Climb Upside-Down. Naturally, the ledge/tightrope/etc. must be strong and secure enough to support the weight of the Thief and their equipment.
  • Disguises: If a Thief is able to obtain a convincing costume, the necessary props, etc. in order to wear a passable disguise, they can attempt to keep the ruse undetected at the same percent chance that they can Throw/Mimic Voices. This chance is rolled by the DM at the time the disguise is first donned; as with the Move Silently and Hide in Shadows skills, the Thief does not know if the attempt was successful until the reactions of other characters make the result obvious. If a Thief does something noticeably suspicious or "out of character" while disguised, the DM should feel free to re-roll for the skill. A Thief who attempts to disguise oneself as a specific person or an inhuman creature, rather than a generic type of person (just a typical guard/beggar/merchant/what-have-you) should require many more re-rolls than usual, and it is up to the DM's discretion whether or not to even allow the attempt. If the DM denies the attempt outright, they should let the player know.
  • *Using Magic Wands: At Level 16, Thieves gain the ability to cast Magic-User or Elf spells from a wand with the same chance of a backfire as with a scroll.
Multiple Attacks Per Round
  • Fighters gain a second attack per round at Level 15, a third attack per round at Level 20, and a fourth attack per round at Level 25.
  • The Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling classes still attack as a Fighter of the same level, and they likewise gain a second attack per round at Level 15.
Chances to Hit
Apply the following bonuses to characters' attack rolls at the following levels. (An extended version of the Character Attacks Table may be provided in the future, but this should achieve virtually the same effect.) An attack roll of 1 always misses.
  • Fighters Level 16-18 and Clerics/Thieves Level 21-24: +2 to hit.
  • Fighters Level 19-21 and Clerics/Thieves Level 25: +4 to hit.
  • Fighters Level 22-24: +6 to hit.
  • Fighters Level 25: +8 to hit.
Hit Points Per Level
  • At Level 15 and above, Fighters and Thieves gain +4 HP per level.
    • Optional Rule: At Level 10 and above, Fighters and Thieves gain +4 HP per level.
  • At Level 15 and above, Clerics and Magic-Users gain +2 HP per level.
    • Optional Rule: At Level 10 and above, Clerics and Magic-Users gain +2 HP per level.
  • At Level 10 and above, Dwarves gain +3 HP per level.
  • At Level 10 and above, Elves gain +2 HP per level.
  • At Level 9, Halflings gain +1d6 HP. At Level 10 and above, Halflings gain +2 HP per level.