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13

There's nothing you're missing. When both sides are surprised, the first round goes by without any action: When both sides are surprised, they do not act the first round, but the second round initiative is rolled for each side normally. — Labyrinth Lord Complementary No-Art Version, p. 50 One wrinkle that might help is that you, as DM, shouldn't feel ...


13

Combat in the old-school systems is immensely faster. Yes, there are also fewer interdependencies between actions than in WotC-era editions, which reduces the amount of tactical wrangling over what each player should do; but even apart from a simpler choice of actions, everyone taking actions at once just vastly simplifies the process of getting the round ...


11

I sat down with both PDFs this morning and compared them system-by-system, drawing on my experience with B/X D&D and Adventurer Conqueror King System to zero-in on the parts of early D&D that frequently vary and make the most difference. These notes apply only to core Swords & Wizardry (not White Box), and core Labyrinth Lord (not including ...


8

Describe the sudden appearance of the bad guys to the PC's. Then describe how they seem just as surprised as the players. Then roll for initiative as normal for a non-surprise round. The difference is slight; you've had a round to notice things while your perception dilates due to adrenaline. So have they. That slight difference isn't mechanically ...


8

Even assuming you don't fall, you need to release one end of a sling to release the bullet; this is not possible if items smaller than 5 pounds stick to your hands.


7

The affected creature must have its hands and feet free and bare to climb in this manner. Holding a sling doesn’t leave your hand free, thus you cannot climb in that manner, and barring any other way to stick to the wall or ceiling, it certainly seems to me that you would fall.


7

ACKS is closely derived from B/X by way of Labyrinth Lord. Ascending AC is one of its differences as explained here. The esteemed Mr. Conley does a good job of describing the other things ACKS is designed to do "out of the box", although I think the rules for running a thieves' guild and sending out your underlings to do hijinks are also worthy of mention. ...


6

In old school D&D (Basic/1e), no group I ever played with did the declaration of actions. We knew it was there, but it was universally ignored as slowing things down and being pointless. We simply did group initiative. And it helped make combat colossally faster than in 3e/4e. The main drawback of group initiative is that it makes combat more "swingy." ...


6

I think it can be done quite easily. In Labyrinth Lord, each monster has a set of Saving Throws like this: MONSTER SAVING THROWS Save Type: GM rolls this or better Chance of save: Breath Attacks: 16 5/20 Poison or Death: 11 10/20 Petrify or Paralyze: 14 ...


5

It's design is basically an expansion of B/X D&D. It still has race as class but expands the number of racial classes into a section labeled Demi-Human Classes for example there is a Dwarven Vaultguard and a Dwarven CraftPriest. It adds proficiencies which are skill and abilities mostly non-combat oriented. They represent something that the character ...


5

Note: Labyrinth Lord is not a true Retroclone. It's a really close pseudoclone, but has mixed and matched bits from both Moldvay/Cook and Mentzer D&D. The progressions, however, of several items do not match Moldvay basic, Cook Expert, nor Mentzer Basic/Expert/Companion, namely: save tables, to hit tables, thief skills table. Few games actually give ...


5

I hesitate to answer, because the only answer I can think of is tangential to your question. Really, classic D&D relies on the DM is making certain kinds of decisions, and part of that decision process involves rolling to decide things behind the scenes. I absolutely love semi-diceless mechanics, but there are so many parts of class D&D that I just ...


4

As a GM, do you think in percentages? If so, and if you're going to tweak in LFP, then skip the d12 and jump to the d20. That makes it much easier to award bonuses & penalties in 5% increments. When that 1/6 is downshifted to 3/20 the difference is miniscule (1.6%)... or what the heck, tilt it in the player's favor (4/20); it won't change the game. ;>


4

A d12 skill system can be very elegant. See for instance Lord Kilgore's direct translation of the thief skill progression to d12. http://www.lordkilgore.com/labyrinth-lord-d12-thief-skills My ref uses a roll-high d12. Add your skill bonus to your roll; if the total is 12 or higher it's a success. E.g. with a +1 bonus you must roll 11 or 12, so 1/6 chance. ...


3

If you look carefully you'll notice that after 10th level the four human classes all have the same increase in XP between levels that they did from 9th to 10th. In fact it starts after 8th for clerics and 9th for fighters and magic-users. For example fighters: 8: 120,001xp 9: 240,001xp 10: 360,001xp that increase of 120,000xp per level continues to level ...


3

There were, in BXCMI D&D, 2 options for initiative.... Group and individual, both rolled every round. Group is fast, simple, and straightforward. It also ignores individual considerations like Dexterity, gear, and racial sensory bonuses. It's harder, however, to keep track of who's doing what, since the players can act in any order. It's much easier on ...


2

Since you're assumed to walk on all fours, I suspect it's only logical that while you move, not all 4 of your limbs are always touching the surface. I would assume you could hang in place only using 3 limbs (probably only 2), but not able to move this way. The other problem is the 5 pound objects rule. I would say that when you swing the sling, the momentum ...


2

When I'm running an old-school game, none of those d6 rolls are made by my players, to better preserve the players' ignorance of things that their characters don't know, such as a missed Find Secret Doors roll or even the fact that such a roll happened. In this tradition, rolling dice for these things is more like a private Oracle for what situations the DM ...


1

Looking over the Specialist Rules I don't see going with a d12 and doubling the granted skill bonus would make much of a difference. The reason why is that there is only Nine abilities to spend points among. If you play into the high teens you are going to have most of them maxed out. Unlike the +2 jump in Fighter to Hit that some D&D variants have you ...


1

I think that, in the case where both sides have Surprise, the Surprise round is a good time to roll a Reaction check (or a Morale check, if appropriate), if you haven't rolled for it already, to see what the opposition does. Some random monsters don't want to fight, been beaten by the PC's already, or are only prepared to defend themselves if attacked, ...



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