Thursday, 20 August 2015

OD&D Conversion


We wrapped up my Astonishing Swordsman & Sorcerers of Hyperborea campaign last night. Perhaps fittingly it was a TPK. A horde of undead overbore the party, and after a cleric-less battle of valorous proportions everyone was dead. Being aware it was the final session, the players decided to fight to the death (though I think they could have escaped if they wished).

After the session I asked the players their thoughts on the system. We've had a total of 14 sessions by my count, which I think is a decent amount to get a handle on a system. People were generally positive with the experience. The two phase combat has been difficult for me to get my head around (practically speaking) and I think this translated in the sessions. Also the descending armour class was different from the games we grew up on (but something I am personally very familiar with). Unsurprisingly, these were the things which were mentioned as downsides. The upsides were the deadliness of combat and the general mood. Let it be noted that the group played excellently throughout this campaign.

I am currently scheming an OD&D sandbox concept. The goal is open-ended exploration, rife with dungeons, cults, interesting wilderness spaces, odd races, spacemen, and everything else that makes a game of D&D fun. My approach is beginning with the White box. Over time I may add some details from the Greyhawk supplement, but for now I'll keep it super simple. Classes will be custom for the most part, though Fighting-Man, Cleric, and Magic-User will be defaults. Given the player feedback regarding descending armour class, I converted the Men & Magic tables to an ascending system. I haven't fully decided whether I'll keep it traditional, or use ascending armour class. Part of me thinks it may be easier (for both me and the players) to use my conversion.

If you're interested check out my downloads page or click HERE

Print friendly version can be found HERE.

Example Page

I've attempted to keep the representations faithful to the originals - a literal translation. You'll notice I've created a table which extrapolates the attack bonuses for each level (and class). These are not "raw" because I have had to fill in progressions between say +1 and +3, making an executive decision on how those progressions are made. If you do not like the way I have interpreted this, simply use the preceding tables. In the interest of clarity I have also added the Saving Throws in a more readable format. Hope this is helpful!