OSR/Classic Hybrid

Discuss B/X rules, BECMI rules, Rules Cyclopedia, and the crunchy bits from the gazetteers here.
The Book-House: Find Classic D&D (BECMI) products.

Moderator: Blacky the Blackball

Post Reply
paladinn
Hobgoblin
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:53 pm
Gender: male

OSR/Classic Hybrid

Post by paladinn »

I'm working on a hybrid game, starting with an OSR/BECMI/LL/S&W/etc. framework. I'd previously thought to start with 3.x, but OSR games are much more hackable.

So going with that assumption,I would like input as things develop. I've already made some design decisions:

1. Ascending AC

2. A single-save system similar to S&W. Probably using something similar for skills.

3. Porting over 5e's magic slot system (as opposed to "fire and forget")

4. Mostly race-plus-class, but possibly making allowances for "standard" racial classes.

5. Assuming 20 class levels. No other limits on class advancement for demihumans

6. Some limits on classes available to races. Dwarf and halfling mages are just wrong.

7. Prefer to keep spellcasting for actual spellcasting classes (mage, cleric, druid). Not completely settled on this.

8. 4 core classes (maybe 5 with the druid); all others are subclasses to some extent.

9. Keeping OSR power/attribute level limits as much as possible

10. Prefer to use a unified xp/level progression, but open to changing my mind.

I know that 3x and Pathfinder went off the deep end with the feat explosion. But I do think there is a place for feats in character customization, Especially for "plain" fighters and thieves/rogues/experts/whatever. But feats don't need to be given out with every level (fighters) or even every other level (everyone else). What would be a reasonable feat progression for martials (and maybe others - Gandalf needs to be able to wield a sword!)?

Please share any relevant thoughts ("You're wasting your time" isn't helpful), and please keep it respectful. I don't want to start an edition war, just want to meld the best of all worlds.

Peace!

Michael

User avatar
shesheyan
Cardboard Hero
Posts: 2872
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:58 pm
Gender: male
Location: Montreal

Re: OSR/Classic Hybrid

Post by shesheyan »

Have you read the Black Hack? If not it is a short must read.
https://the-black-hack.jehaisleprintemps.net/english/

paladinn
Hobgoblin
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:53 pm
Gender: male

Re: OSR/Classic Hybrid

Post by paladinn »

Thanks for the recommendation. I'd read the Black Hack before. It's interesting, but I'm not a fan of roll-under mechanics anymore. And I'm definitely not in favor of possible ASI's at every level-up. Not even sure if/how I want to allow ASI's, especially in a Basic-level game.

paladinn
Hobgoblin
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:53 pm
Gender: male

Re: OSR/Classic Hybrid

Post by paladinn »

I've gotten a bit of direction on a "single save" approach, similar to what's used in S&W. I have no doubt that it can also be used for skill and ability checks. Very possibly could be the basis for the attack mechanic as well. Still beating around ideas.
The goal is to keep the core mechanics as dirt-simple as possible, while also keeping what made "Basic D&D".. well.. basic.

I agree that low-level monsters should/can still present viable challenges. Another thing in the works. Not sure how far to take the "bounded accuracy" idea.

As for attack cantrips, as quoted I want to keep one defensive and one offensive cantrip for wizards/MUs Only. I agree that a wizard should have at least Something s/he can do when spell slots run out besides going for the crossbow (and missing). Maybe a very low-powered Bolt spell and an equally low-powered Shield-ish spell. I am a big believer in being able to upcast spells, so a cleric doesn't have too have 5 versions of Cure Wounds. It's possible we could do a cantrip version of Magic Missile and Shield that gets stronger as/if one burns spell slots for it. But I do Not want cantrips for firebolt, chill touch, etc.

I'm also wanting to keep classes structured within the "core four" classes, allowing for subclasses, archetypes and kits within those four categories. I don't see a need for a sorcerer class when all casters are "spontaneous." Paladins and rangers need to be fighters first and foremost, regardless of whatever special abilities/spells they have. Not even sure druid needs to be a distinct class if the Cleric is properly designed and a nature domain is a strong option (and wildshape is at least a nature spell)

Keep the ideas coming!

Michael

User avatar
shesheyan
Cardboard Hero
Posts: 2872
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:58 pm
Gender: male
Location: Montreal

Re: OSR/Classic Hybrid

Post by shesheyan »

This may be too radical for you but I believe you only need three basic classes: The Warrior, the Caster and the Rogue. Create class kits. Let the player choose one kit at level 1 to customize the character's class.

Warrior Kits: Fighter, Paladin, Ranger
Caster Kits : Wizard, Cleric, Druid
Rogue Kits : Thief, Monk, Bard

User avatar
Tim Baker
Axe Beak
Posts: 3183
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:51 am
Gender: male
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: OSR/Classic Hybrid

Post by Tim Baker »

You might want to look at Castles & Crusades for some ideas. It doesn't align with 100% of your wish list, but it hits several of them. For example, it has:
  • Ascending AC
  • Supports spell slots (optional rule found on Castles Keepers Guide (CKG) p. 55)
  • Race-plus-class
  • 24 levels, but it's easy to cap at 20
  • Bard, Paladins, and Rangers are spell-less and have class features to provide their iconic spell-like abilities
  • Was built to emulate the feel of 1st Edition AD&D, so it maintains the power level of OSR games
  • "Advantages" and are similar to feats and are optional in C&C (CKG p. 322)
    • Advantages are intended to provide characters with options on levels where they'd otherwise get no benefit aside from increased hp
    • Thus, different classes receive advantages at different levels
    • Combined with C&C's class-specific XP tables, advantages won't be provided evenly across classes

paladinn
Hobgoblin
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:53 pm
Gender: male

Re: OSR/Classic Hybrid

Post by paladinn »

Tim Baker wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 3:03 am
You might want to look at Castles & Crusades for some ideas. It doesn't align with 100% of your wish list, but it hits several of them. For example, it has:
  • Ascending AC
  • Supports spell slots (optional rule found on Castles Keepers Guide (CKG) p. 55)
  • Race-plus-class
  • 24 levels, but it's easy to cap at 20
  • Bard, Paladins, and Rangers are spell-less and have class features to provide their iconic spell-like abilities
  • Was built to emulate the feel of 1st Edition AD&D, so it maintains the power level of OSR games
  • "Advantages" and are similar to feats and are optional in C&C (CKG p. 322)
    • Advantages are intended to provide characters with options on levels where they'd otherwise get no benefit aside from increased hp
    • Thus, different classes receive advantages at different levels
    • Combined with C&C's class-specific XP tables, advantages won't be provided evenly across classes
I'm very familiar with C&C; I just bought the Adventurer's Backpack 2 weeks ago.

My biggest issue with C&C is the Siege engine. Which is sad, because it has also been the basis for Amazing Adventures and Victorious, and there is soo much cross-genre potential there.

Still, I am definitely raiding C&C for ideas :)

paladinn
Hobgoblin
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:53 pm
Gender: male

Re: OSR/Classic Hybrid

Post by paladinn »

Crazy magic idea.. probably many more to come.. lol

If I went with a type of spell-point system instead of spell-slots, it could open up some possibilities. Let's say a level 5 spell would burn 5 spell points. A 10th lvl MU (in BECMI) has 3/3/3/3/2 spells. I'm thinking s/he would have 40 spell points/day, and it's up to the player how to use them. If they want to use 8 level 5 spells, go for it; but the point will run out fast. This will also facilitate easy upcasting

In BECMI, the MU would "memorize"/know the exact number of spells on the chart, total 14 spells. In 5e, if s/he had 18 Int, s/he would have 3-4 (Int bonus) + 10 (for level) spells "prepared", so much the same. Clerics technically wouldn't have to "prepare" spells; they have their whole list available as "answers to prayer" and such, but would have the same limits on spell points for their level, as well as the limit on spell level.

So the MU/wizard "chart" would show:

Mage Level~ Spell Points/Day~Max Spell Level
10~ 40~ 5
11~ 47~ 6

This gives a caster complete freedom in what s/he casts and when; but there is a serious limit on how much magic per day. It's an exercise in resource management. It could also be a framework for psionics, ki, powers, etc.

Obviously we may need to juggle the numbers a bit..lol

Thoughts?

User avatar
shesheyan
Cardboard Hero
Posts: 2872
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:58 pm
Gender: male
Location: Montreal

Re: OSR/Classic Hybrid

Post by shesheyan »

I prefer spell points. Do you want a hard limit on the number of times a spell can be cast? In Romance of the Perilous Land, which uses spell points, the hard limit is 3 casting of the same spell per day.

User avatar
FaerieGodfather
Shroompunk Warlord
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:16 pm
Gender: male
Contact:

Re: OSR/Classic Hybrid

Post by FaerieGodfather »

The Spellpoints system by Rogue Genius Games for PF1 "limits" spamming spells by increasing the spellpoint cost by the spell's level (for prepared casters) or by +1 (for spontaneous casters) for each casting.

paladinn
Hobgoblin
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:53 pm
Gender: male

Re: OSR/Classic Hybrid

Post by paladinn »

shesheyan wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 8:15 pm
I prefer spell points. Do you want a hard limit on the number of times a spell can be cast? In Romance of the Perilous Land, which uses spell points, the hard limit is 3 casting of the same spell per day.
I would not use such a limit. If a caster has sufficient remaining points, s/he can cast whatever spell up to his/her max spell level. Also works for upcasting spells and probably metamagic, if we go there. But it's up to the player to manage his/her resources wisely.

Once you're out of points, you're stuck with a dagger or hand crossbow.. or the low-powered, at-will Bolt cantrip:)

User avatar
Tom Bulls Eye
Wanderer of Ahl
Posts: 356
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:49 pm
Gender: male
Location: Valley of five Surprises

Re: OSR/Classic Hybrid

Post by Tom Bulls Eye »

shesheyan wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 8:15 pm
I prefer spell points. Do you want a hard limit on the number of times a spell can be cast? In Romance of the Perilous Land, which uses spell points, the hard limit is 3 casting of the same spell per day.
I’ve always played a combination of spell points and memorized spells, following a rule of thumb saying: “If the spell is used a lot, it expends spell points equal to its level. But if the spell is used rarely or infrequent, it must be memorized.”

The argument in favor of this rule being something along the lines of, that the apprentice MU, who has barely seen a kobold in his life, must arduously study his spells each and every day, whereas the ultimate 36 level MU, who’s slaughtered foes by the hundreds using magic missiles and fireballs cannot forget to cast them (rather, they haunt his dreams), and therefore they expend spell points.
Last edited by Tom Bulls Eye on Thu May 28, 2020 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
shesheyan
Cardboard Hero
Posts: 2872
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:58 pm
Gender: male
Location: Montreal

Re: OSR/Classic Hybrid

Post by shesheyan »

Since you are using spell points would you allow wearing armor for casters but impose a spell point extra cost when casting?

User avatar
Tom Bulls Eye
Wanderer of Ahl
Posts: 356
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:49 pm
Gender: male
Location: Valley of five Surprises

Re: OSR/Classic Hybrid

Post by Tom Bulls Eye »

shesheyan wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 2:30 am
Since you are using spell points would you allow wearing armor for casters but impose a spell point extra cost when casting?
I play MU's according to the book. No spell casting when wearing armor if you're not an elf.

But I've never understood why a MU after using up his/hers spells/spell points cannot wear armor and use a sword or a club?

paladinn
Hobgoblin
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:53 pm
Gender: male

Re: OSR/Classic Hybrid

Post by paladinn »

In following the last topic, is there any place for metamagic (Quicken Spell, Subtle Spell, Silent Spell, Maximize Spell, Twin Spell, etc.) in a OSR-level game? If so, how/often should metamagic be available to wizards (since we're folding sorcerer into the wizard class)?

If we're using spell points this should be pretty simple. And I'm all about simplicity lol. But if we just go with spell slots, how/would this work?

paladinn
Hobgoblin
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:53 pm
Gender: male

Re: OSR/Classic Hybrid

Post by paladinn »

shesheyan wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 2:30 am
Since you are using spell points would you allow wearing armor for casters but impose a spell point extra cost when casting?
Something to that effect.. a spell point cost, or automatically upcasting 2 levels, or requiring a save. Something simple.

paladinn
Hobgoblin
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:53 pm
Gender: male

Re: OSR/Classic Hybrid

Post by paladinn »

Ok, next topic.. ASI's (Attribute Score Increases). Editions 3.0+ allow increasing attribute scores every 4 levels. 5e allows a player to take a feat instead of an ASI. 3.x gave ASI's Plus feats.

Ignoring the feat idea for now, is this something that has a place in an OSR game, or it is OP? If allowed, how often?

User avatar
FaerieGodfather
Shroompunk Warlord
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:16 pm
Gender: male
Contact:

Re: OSR/Classic Hybrid

Post by FaerieGodfather »

paladinn wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 4:55 pm
In following the last topic, is there any place for metamagic (Quicken Spell, Subtle Spell, Silent Spell, Maximize Spell, Twin Spell, etc.) in a OSR-level game? If so, how/often should metamagic be available to wizards (since we're folding sorcerer into the wizard class)?
I'm not going to say it worked fine in 3.X, but it worked well enough. It uses higher level slots, and a Wizard can use it as enough as he wants.

Or, you know those Sudden Metamagic feats that came out later? Still Spell and Sudden Still Spell are both great feats on their own, but they're not really that much better if you combine them. They're two different ways of doing the exact same thing, so it's a little silly that they weren't combined in the first place-- except for WotC being loathe for supplements to change previous content rather than adding new content.
paladinn wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 4:55 pm
If we're using spell points this should be pretty simple. And I'm all about simplicity lol. But if we just go with spell slots, how/would this work?
I'm working on my own solution for G&G, which is using a spellpoints system-- I'm working on a system kinda like a cross between the Grouped Skills variant from Pathfinder Unchained and the Skill Unlock system from same, where a single proficiency slot buys the majority of your skill bonus and additional proficiency slots buy you more things you can do with it. Loosely, dumping slots in Spellcraft unlocks "metamagic feats" and raises the cap on how many spell points you can spend on metamagic.

Loosely, and tentatively. I am really bad at committing to a design.
paladinn wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 9:24 pm
Ok, next topic.. ASI's (Attribute Score Increases). Editions 3.0+ allow increasing attribute scores every 4 levels. 5e allows a player to take a feat instead of an ASI. 3.x gave ASI's Plus feats.

Ignoring the feat idea for now, is this something that has a place in an OSR game, or it is OP? If allowed, how often?
Dragon Fist gave you an ASI every level. 2nd, 5th, and 8th were your Primary Ability, 3rd, 6th, and 9th were one of your two Secondary Abilities, and 4th, 7th, and 10th were one of your three Tertiary Abilities.

I don't think this is incompatible with old-school gaming, as long as you're not using the AD&D ability scores where the gulf between an 18 and a 19 was so enormous. I'm probably going to do something aggressive, like a combination of 4e and Conan d20.

paladinn
Hobgoblin
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:53 pm
Gender: male

Re: OSR/Classic Hybrid

Post by paladinn »

18 max attribute score, +3 bonus. Thinking to cap any single bonus at +3. That way, if things stack up and you still blow a roll, you can still fail.

Failure Is an option!

paladinn
Hobgoblin
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:53 pm
Gender: male

Re: OSR/Classic Hybrid

Post by paladinn »

so I'm thinking to go with the 3e+ model.. an ASI every 4 levels, +1 to one attribute, 18 cap. It may take 2 ASI's to get another bonus point, but it's something. B/X and BECMI didn't offer anything, IIRC.

Onward and upward!

CommanderCrud
Gnoll
Posts: 120
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:34 pm
Gender: male

Re: OSR/Classic Hybrid

Post by CommanderCrud »

I would not add ASI to B/X or BECMI or any retroclone of them.

paladinn
Hobgoblin
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:53 pm
Gender: male

Re: OSR/Classic Hybrid

Post by paladinn »

CommanderCrud wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 4:51 pm
I would not add ASI to B/X or BECMI or any retroclone of them.
May I ask why/not?

Post Reply

Return to “Classic D&D”