Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ongoing D&D Hacks

Stopped in at a used book store today (Page1 Books in Albuquerque) and picked up a softcover printing of the old AD&D 2e Spells & Magic sourcebook. I'm glad to have it back in physical format (I have a PDF of it), because I think it was the most successful of the Players' Option books, particularly for the variant magic systems it collated.

This, naturally, got me thinking about sitting down and formalizing a 2e houserules/hack project that's been sort of dancing around in my head for a while now. My few notes on this are on my desktop hard drive back home, but this is what, I believe, I've got so far:
  • Use Castles & Crusades as the base system, then add 2e sub-systems to my heart's content.
  • For example, classes are pared way down. Humans can choose from the 3e core of Adept, Aristocrat, Commoner, Expert, and Warrior. I plan to adapt the simplified NPC classes from Mongoose's Lone Wolf RPG to this purpose, when possible. Demi-human races become classes.
  • These broad classes are then, optionally, customized by choosing kits. I haven't narrowed the list down yet, but races will get to choose from a customized list (with Elves mostly choosing from Druid kits, Dwarves from Fighter kits, and Halflings from Thief kits) and each human class will have access to a customized list as well.
  • I intend to use many of the alternate magic systems from Spells & Magic for individual classes and/or kits. Still haven't figured out how exactly I'm going to go about doing that, but I have some notes back home.
  • I'll use the Proficiency system from 2e, but I might use the 4e approach to resolving Proficiency checks: possessing a Proficiency gives you a "skilled" bonus to your roll.
That's about all I've got so far. I have to sit down with my old Core Rules CD and 2e PDFs and see what else I want to graft onto the C&C skeleton. What will I use it for? Probably sandboxing in the Wilderlands of High Fantasy and that's about it. But it's a fun little project nonetheless.

My Uresia hack has been on hold for the last couple months, but I've been thinking about getting back into it. Inspired by this post by Alexis, I've begun seriously considering using a card system for the whole game. I mean, the setting is inspired partly by CRPGs, after all, and cards would be an awesome way to evoke the feeling of a typical CRPG "character sheet," complete with item slots and "tabs." I'm envisioning one's character sheet taking the form of a stack of cards. One card would be the character's basic info (attributes, AC, hit points, saves bonuses, etc.), other cards would consist of magic items, spells memorized, henchmen, etc. Maybe even a different card for each class and each level, listing current bonuses, abilities, and attack matrices. This very well might turn into quite a little project....
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