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[Tabletop Roleplaying]: Anyway Nazi punks fuck off

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited February 2023
    Darmak wrote: »
    I get why they did the whole, "Asmodeus made a deal with a whole nation and turned em all into tieflings, so that's why his tieflings are so prevalent" thing. It makes it easier to consolidate tieflings into one box than to keep em a weird mixed bag, since simplifying and condensing stuff was 5e's whole thing. But I feel like they lost out on a lot of the uniqueness of tieflings when they did that.

    4E actually was the edition to consolidate tieflings and give them the backstory of being descendants of a fallen civilization called Bael Turath. IIRC the designers stated that they wanted to better define tieflings and their celestial equivalent (which in 4E were a new race of reincarnating angels called devas who voluntarily took on mortal bodies but could potentially reincarnate as rakshasas; the Scales of War adventure path even introduced an island city-state of devas with the awesome name of Nefelus) with a consistent backstory and appearance instead of just having it be a catch-all for people with fiendish or celestial heritage. I also suspect that the uniform appearance was also intended to make it possible to create a standard design for tiefling miniatures.

    Both tieflings and dragonborn got booklets that greatly expanded on their backstories in 4E's default Points of Light setting. The tiefling one was especially neat and featured things like sample Turathi noble families a tiefling could be descended from (I used one, the vampric tiefling House Kahlir, as the noble family a character I used in a one-shot last Halloween was descended from), details on the fall of Bael Turath (that included edgelord pact titles along the lines of "Rite of the Bloodstained Moon"), and a suggestion that the pact Asmodeus made with the first tieflings might have included a clause that at a future date, once the tiefling race had grown more numerous, Asmodeus could lay claim to the souls of all living tieflings.

    There also a large number publications that elaborated on the default 4E tiefling backstory, including write-ups for ruins of multiple Turathi cities (the stand-outs being Vor Rukoth, which got published as a booklet, and Harrack Unarth/Sunderheart, a dual city that had both a ruin in the natural world and a Domain of Dread in the Shadowfell) and PC option articles that added new lore (including one very specific one for an order of Tiefling Paladin/Warlock-multiclass characters).

    EDIT: Damn, how I miss the absolute deluge of content and lore in 4E. 5E's output has been anemic and uneven in comparison.

    Hexmage-PA on
    Endless_SerpentstzeentchlingElvenshaeFencingsaxMatevHappy Little Machine
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited February 2023
    Yeah, I think my preference for 2e Planescape/DeTirlizzi tieflings is because they could be real subtle in their fiendishness. Like just hints of brimstone or the distant screams of oathbreakers in the distance when they're in the room. Otherwise they might just be humans or elves.

    Like, you could make a whole Mörk Borg hack based on having demonic ancestry, with tons of tables relating to obvious traits like horns and tails to seeing the Hourglass of Sin behind every person they meet; instinctively knowing how close to damnation each one of their friends and enemies are.

    Dracomicron on
    Endless_SerpentsHavelock2.0
  • TynnanTynnan seldom correct, never unsure Registered User regular
    Finished off our game of The Quiet Year yesterday. Next weekend: crew creation and character creation for Scum and Villainy!

    Endless_SerpentsRhesus PositiveMaddocElvenshaeFencingsaxWhelkKristmas Kthulhu
  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    My Acq Inc campaign has reached the climactic battle (we paused halfway through as it was getting late)

    The Flumph introduced to generate some cheap pathos by easily dying to the currently has a kill count of two and has shrugged off an attack from the evil ranger

    At this rate he might end up saving the world and become the head of the party franchise

    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
    RanlinEndless_SerpentsDracomicronBahamutZEROtzeentchlingElvenshaeHexmage-PAFencingsaxIncenjucarsarukunMatevfurlionA Kobold's KoboldironsizideKristmas KthulhuNipsUndead ScottsmanIanatorHappy Little MachineMvrckIloveslimes
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    My Acq Inc campaign has reached the climactic battle (we paused halfway through as it was getting late)

    The Flumph introduced to generate some cheap pathos by easily dying to the currently has a kill count of two and has shrugged off an attack from the evil ranger

    At this rate he might end up saving the world and become the head of the party franchise

    Flumph is the hero we need, not the hero we deserve.

    Rhesus PositiveEndless_SerpentsZonugalElvenshaeMatevHavelock2.0
  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    He'll turn up for the next adventure wearing a fancy hat

    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    46gm4y7db06z.jpeg

    MechMantisGlalShadowenDracomicronTynnanChallRhesus PositiveRELtasticBahamutZEROgavindelCruorZonugaltzeentchlingwebguy20ElvenshaeFencingsaxWhelkSleepThe Zombie PenguinsarukunCalicaMatevA Kobold's KoboldironsizideKristmas KthulhuUndead ScottsmanIanatorHappy Little MachineMvrckIloveslimesHavelock2.0
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    mzvnwlb3rfsy.png
    Pls.

    GlalRhesus PositiveRELtasticZonugalEndless_SerpentstzeentchlingElvenshaeWhelkMechMantisironsizideUndead ScottsmanHappy Little MachineHavelock2.0
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    fvgg0i5h4crq.jpg


    Somebody translated the old original Record of Lodoss War d&d campaign report articles from the 1986-87 Japanese magazine it was published in, Compatiq, written to get people interested in the recently officially localized D&D tabletop game. This campaign continued on to become a very popular long running thing and became a big cultural touchstone influence on japanese D&D-style high fantasy stuff, in anime and games and all sorts of shit, though it was not the only thing creating that wave of interest in high fantasy swords and magic stuff. Dragon Quest had been released in '86 inspired by computer games like Ultima, and Final Fantasy released in '87, heavily cribbing from both Dragon Quest and D&D. There was a broad surge of interest in tabletop fantasy games and media inspired by them at this time.

    It's viewable on archive.org: https://archive.org/details/record-of-lodoss-war-comptiq-magazine-english-translation

    The text is simple and bland at times, but having read all this I’m now extremely nostalgic for a kind of dungeon crawler I never actually played. I started roleplaying with Apocalypse World, but I’m loving the humble, homely vibes of Lodoss.

    They’re jus’, they’re jus’ innocent men.

    BahamutZERODuke 2.0Havelock2.0
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    I feel like there's a pretty gaping hole in the market for dungeon crawlers of a genre.

    It's a shame that Torch 'we tried to stealth invite Adam Koebel to 2e' Bearer seems to be the main anchor for it.

    Straightzi
  • DJ EebsDJ Eebs Moderator, Administrator admin
    I feel like dungeon crawlers mostly exist as board games, now.

    Endless_SerpentsCruorSleepElvenshaesarukunCalicaMagellWhelk
  • Dex DynamoDex Dynamo Registered User regular
    The OSR is largely keeping that style of grimy dungeon crawler alive at this point

    That said, I feel like there are a lot of options out there for it but damned if I know which ones aren't lousy with creeps

    Endless_SerpentsZonugalGR_Zombie
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Oh for sure. I’m not certain I’d want to play whatever version of D&D they were on at the time, since evidently none of the fights were worth describing (the author tends to just list what they fought since they were having combat every few ‘turns’). But maybe like, Wander Home or the Quiet Year or on the flipside, a fun board game with light narrative stuff between matches, but you’re explicitly 80’s anime fantasy bozos.

    This dialogue will stay with me awhile though, I think:
    wty0mq66el4n.jpeg

    Rhesus Positive
  • BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User regular
    snip


    Somebody translated the old original Record of Lodoss War d&d campaign report articles from the 1986-87 Japanese magazine it was published in, Compatiq, written to get people interested in the recently officially localized D&D tabletop game. This campaign continued on to become a very popular long running thing and became a big cultural touchstone influence on japanese D&D-style high fantasy stuff, in anime and games and all sorts of shit, though it was not the only thing creating that wave of interest in high fantasy swords and magic stuff. Dragon Quest had been released in '86 inspired by computer games like Ultima, and Final Fantasy released in '87, heavily cribbing from both Dragon Quest and D&D. There was a broad surge of interest in tabletop fantasy games and media inspired by them at this time.

    It's viewable on archive.org: https://archive.org/details/record-of-lodoss-war-comptiq-magazine-english-translation

    The text is simple and bland at times, but having read all this I’m now extremely nostalgic for a kind of dungeon crawler I never actually played. I started roleplaying with Apocalypse World, but I’m loving the humble, homely vibes of Lodoss.

    They’re jus’, they’re jus’ innocent men.

    The actual basic-ass D&D dungeon crawling random encounter nonsense on display here is kind of quaint, but I am given to understand that is fairly accurate to how the game was played in the 80s most of the time. This campaign continued to be published in magazines after this, and got a bit more advanced with the plot and roleplaying as they left behind their "example campaign for beginners" origin. They made a really great anime miniseries based on this first part and some further parts that looks beautiful to this day, lavishly illustrated in the style of the illustrator who did the pieces featured in the magazine articles, which is what actually got me interested in this bit of RPG history.

    BahamutZERO.gif
    Endless_Serpents
  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    If you want to play a classic D&D dungeon crawler there are plenty of good games for it. OSRIC/DCC/Into the Odd. Or just basic-ass Basic D&D.

    I'll happily shit on D&D all day but that game is actually a very good One of Those.

    (Torchbearer is good too but old-school D&D is the midpoint of heroic fantasy in between 5E and Torchbearer, in my experience.)

  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    OSR does dungeon crawlers but doesn't have like, a tight mechanical grasp on them often.

    There's not a game that grasps dungeon crawlers the same way Blades in the Dark grasps shitty british gangs.

    Endless_SerpentsStraightzi
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    There’s a lot of overlapping things in your dungeon crawler, which, you know, is perfectly cromulent. I wonder what you’d end up with if you focused entirely on the dungeon though, and those who’d actually venture into it. Would a knight in heavy armour go into the dungeon? No. That’s what you put on to fight on a battlefield. Ok, there’s only cloth or leather clothes. Why can’t these people just get jobs, they're obviously talented? Surely they’re all outlaws.

    What I’m saying is, is a dungeon is just a heist, and you’ve got to prepare for it… though it’d be best to use flashbacks so we don’t waste play time… maybe some kind of push yourself mechanic that accumulates… stress…

    ElvenshaeWhelk
  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Blades Against Darkness and Heart are that game.

  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    Blades Against Darkness and Heart are that game.

    Yeah I know, just being silly.

    admanb
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Blades is pretty good y’all. Put all your mistreated settings in Blades. Eberron Blades. Shadow Blades Run. D20 Modern Blades. Somehow.

  • DepressperadoDepressperado I just wanted to see you laughing in the pizza rainRegistered User regular
    Blades in the Dark except it's Blades in the Daytime

    Endless_SerpentsmrpakuZonugalElvenshaeGlalRhesus PositiveWhelk
  • TynnanTynnan seldom correct, never unsure Registered User regular
    Blades is pretty good y’all. Put all your mistreated settings in Blades. Eberron Blades. Shadow Blades Run. D20 Modern Blades. Somehow.

    I bet it would be fun to set a game of Honey Heist in Doskvol

    Endless_SerpentsWhelk
  • DepressperadoDepressperado I just wanted to see you laughing in the pizza rainRegistered User regular
    also, Record of Lodoss War is how I got a few older, not much older, co-workers to play D&D with me

    I told them that the anime was based on a D&D campaign and they were like "oh hell yeah can I be an elf?"

    Endless_Serpents
  • NeveronNeveron HellValleySkyTree SwedenRegistered User regular
    Oh for sure. I’m not certain I’d want to play whatever version of D&D they were on at the time, since evidently none of the fights were worth describing (the author tends to just list what they fought since they were having combat every few ‘turns’). But maybe like, Wander Home or the Quiet Year or on the flipside, a fun board game with light narrative stuff between matches, but you’re explicitly 80’s anime fantasy bozos.

    This dialogue will stay with me awhile though, I think:
    wty0mq66el4n.jpeg

    From the introduction it seems like they were using Frank Mentzer's 1983 Basic/Expert sets (more popularly known as BECMI, once you include the full 1-36-immortality Champion+Master+Immortal boxsets), which is a pretty solid and lightweight D&D that, yes, isn't particularly focused on the combat. Or, rather, combat just isn't very detailed beyond "I attack the goblin", "I run away from the goblin", and "I cast a spell at the goblin". It's absolutely not the tactical combat wargame you'd see in D&D 3E onwards, but it's also not as simple as some RPGs where it's one-roll-and-you're-done I guess? There are some interesting things that were lost in later editions, though, like random reaction rolls that could have the goblin be friendly or morale rolls that could have all the other goblins run away when someone dies (including a player character!) rather than fight to the death.

    Personally I'd recommend the 1981 Basic/Expert sets, though, since Tom Moldvay's Basic and Dave Cook/Steve Marsh's Expert present the rules in a much more organized fashion (Mentzer has a cool learn-as-you-read CYOA thing that makes reading it fun but referencing it a chore) and have a less fucky thief skill progression (maxing out at 14 rather than 36).

    If you want a PDF, the Moldvay Basic set is five bucks on DriveThruRPG for a hefty 64-page tome. The Expert set doubles that with another 64 pages, if you want to level to 4-14 and have wilderness adventures. If you're in the US I hear they're also common to find pretty cheap on eBay and whatnot since Basic D&D is, well, one of if not the best-selling RPGs of all time.


    Incidentally, Basic/Expert, or B/X, is what most OSR is based on! The current go-to retroclone seems to be Old School Essentials, which has a free SRD that's basically what you'd see in B/X rules-wise, a free basic rules PDF covering level 1 stuff etc., and then the actual fancy books that you can buy (the Classic Fantasy Rules Tome is 288 pages for $20 as PDF, or $40 printed). It'll basically be compatible with any old TSR adventure or modern OSR adventure that you can get your hands on, though, with some minimal fiddling.

    BahamutZEROEndless_Serpents
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    The funny thing about the old D&D sets was just how many logical knots they tied themselves in to stick with nonhuman characters maxing their level out at 8 (halfling) to 14 (elf) just so humans could be the best and strongest kiddos.

    So when you get past Expert set to Companion, your Frodo, Gimli, and Legolas expys get to earn lettered "attack ranks" to keep them viable. Even immortal halflings are only 8th level, technically.

    OSR stuff is better, mostly.

    Elvenshae
  • The Zombie PenguinThe Zombie Penguin Eternal Hungry Corpse Registered User regular
    Still really craving to play a game of Icon. I've tried applying to a few but had no luck so far or theyve been at terrible times for me.

    Maybe when 1.5 is officially released, it'll be easier to find a game. The 1.5 changes are looking great, a lot of really smart simplification going on, and a ton of fun stuff.

    Though it is very funny that the way the Warden's beast summons work now reads less as them leaping forward to maul targets and more as them being bodily yeeted at Foes

    Ideas hate it when you anthropomorphize them
    Steam: https://steamcommunity.com/id/TheZombiePenguin
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  • CruorCruor Registered User regular
    Crazy cat lady Warden with a never ending bag of yeetable felines sounds good to me.

    tzeentchlingFencingsaxWhelk
  • NeveronNeveron HellValleySkyTree SwedenRegistered User regular
    The funny thing about the old D&D sets was just how many logical knots they tied themselves in to stick with nonhuman characters maxing their level out at 8 (halfling) to 14 (elf) just so humans could be the best and strongest kiddos.

    So when you get past Expert set to Companion, your Frodo, Gimli, and Legolas expys get to earn lettered "attack ranks" to keep them viable. Even immortal halflings are only 8th level, technically.

    OSR stuff is better, mostly.

    Gygax had some strange ideas about how fantasy worlds "should" be humanocentric, yeah.

    Basically, if being a dwarf or a halfling or an elf is just strictly better than being a human, why be a human? The answer Gygax came to was that humans had more potential and flexibility, being able to be any class and reach any level while e.g. dwarves were limited to being Fighting Men with lower level caps, while later editions came to the answer of "actually, let's just give humans a bonus feat and super-flexible ability scores so that they're always a really good option for everything while you might not want to be e.g. an orc wizard".

    Now, it's definitely worth noting that in the original D&D as played the level caps weren't a huge issue (beyond halflings, who got screwed because I'm pretty sure they're a last-minute addition that Gygax probably hated) - the expectation was basically that you weren't going to ever play enough D&D to get to a high enough level that the level cap difference was a huge issue.
    But then time advanced beyond 1974 and you got all sorts of Monty Haul campaigns where people absolutely reached level 200 or whatever.

    Also, even Gygax seems to have quickly realized that the level caps were too restrictive - Dwarves went from level 6 to 9, Elves from FM 4/MU 8 to F 7/MU 11, Hobbits from level 4 to 6, and everyone got the ability to multiclass as a Thief with unlimited advancement.


    And then when Cook/Marsh make the Expert set, Dwarves can reach level 12, Elves can be level 10 Magic-user/Fighters (the only multiclass!), and Halflings... are level 8. Humans have a level cap of 14, though, so they're not that much above the rest I guess?
    Honestly, it's a weird one - by B/X level cap the difference is basically that compared to a human Fighter Dwarves get -2 to attack, +2 to saving throws; Elves get -2 to attack, -2 saving throws, HP slightly lower than Clerics, but also they can cast fifth-level spells; Halflings get -3 to attack, -2 to saving throws vs. dragon breath, and the lowest hit points in the game alongside magic-users.

    It's... kind of funky, because by and large the design philosophy seems to be the reverse of what you see in Magic-Users/Wizards: rather than being weak at low levels and busted at high levels, you're busted at low levels and weak at high levels.

    tl;dr: elves and dwarves are perfectly fine but nobody at the design team liked hobbits I guess

  • ThawmusThawmus +Jackface Registered User regular
    Ah shit I wondered why the thread died.

    So, my CY_BORG campaign abruptly ended. Because of very serious shit that I can't talk about here, that had nothing to do with the game, but suffice to say I'm not playing with a couple of the people in the game anymore going forward. In addition, since I was doing this whole reboot mechanic (which I found out a couple days ago there's a 3rd party zine specifically for that, so that's hilarious) and was gonna have them retread missions, it was gonna feel icky as fuck to try and remember the times we shared with these players and redo those missions. It seriously fucking sucks. Last week before the shit hit the fan, I was on a big high because the session had gone so well, the players had applauded the twist, everyone was looking forward to re-doing the same missions while knowing the twists in advance, but not knowing the new twists being added. I was very looking forward to it. Shit happens, I guess.

    So I basically started a brand new CY_BORG campaign, and we added my wife, who loved Shadowrun 5E (even if she didn't understand it that well), to the group.

    Our new band of shitheads is:

    a synthetic who binds trash to their body and eats batteries
    A cyberdoc who lost their license because they kept losing surgical tools inside the bodies they were working on -played by my wife
    A hacker who knows far too much and is going insane
    An ex-cop who carries a giant laser cannon


    Their first mission was to take a train to a massive freshly-manufactured pyramid, which was secretly a parking garage full of high-tech vehicles, and steal a specific vehicle, The Juggernaut, basically a Humvee on cocaine.

    As they infiltrated the parking garage, they began to hear the sound of mechanical dogs creeping in on them. What's worse, the key fob kept activating multiple cars but they had to make sure they got the right one, for reasons unknown to them.

    One of the dogs found them, and a fight broke out. They killed the dog, and then attempted to haul the expensive-looking body with them as the hacker found the right car. But then 3 more dogs approached, and they dropped the body and ran to the car. The Hacker got in the driver seat, and gives me an agility check to drive out of there! Nat 1! No Glitches to reduce the effect!

    Me: "This is good news bad news actually."

    Him: "Oh?"

    Me: "Yeah, the good news is, you've successfully evaded the dogs, for now."

    Him: "Oh fuck I think I know what the ba-"

    Me: "The bad news is it's because you thought you were reversing, but as you look behind you and floor it, you're actually in drive, a mistake anyone in your panicked state could make, to be sure, but this means you've smashed through the guard rail and are now plummeting 3 stories down to the bottom floor of the parking garage."

    So they fucked up the car pretty bad, but again, Humvee on cocaine, so they had to do a skill test to get the thing righted before the dogs got to them, they succeed, and then a dog lands on the hood, growling at them. The other two chasing from behind. What ensued was a chase scene with the ex-cop going up top and using the mounted autocannon to try and kill the dog, failing miserably, and then the dog bit him and pulled him out of the mount and onto the hood of the vehicle with him. The robot went up top and managed to shoot the hell out of the dog, and the cyberdoc patched the ex-cop up as the hacker floored it and got them out of there.

    Their reward, upon taking the car to the destination, was the car itself. The fixer considers it a down-payment, as they begin their working relationship. Oh you want to fix your car? Hmm, that's gonna put you in a lot of debt, but okay!




    The players seemed to really enjoy it, one of them mentioned the chase scene was especially good, so that's good. But my plan is to actually hit them with the same fucking storyline about the reboot, while also telling them out-of-character I have no idea how to end the campaign.

    Twitch: Thawmus83
    DepressperadoEndless_SerpentsKristmas KthulhuIanator
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    Neveron wrote: »
    The funny thing about the old D&D sets was just how many logical knots they tied themselves in to stick with nonhuman characters maxing their level out at 8 (halfling) to 14 (elf) just so humans could be the best and strongest kiddos.

    So when you get past Expert set to Companion, your Frodo, Gimli, and Legolas expys get to earn lettered "attack ranks" to keep them viable. Even immortal halflings are only 8th level, technically.

    OSR stuff is better, mostly.

    Gygax had some strange ideas about how fantasy worlds "should" be humanocentric, yeah.

    Basically, if being a dwarf or a halfling or an elf is just strictly better than being a human, why be a human? The answer Gygax came to was that humans had more potential and flexibility, being able to be any class and reach any level while e.g. dwarves were limited to being Fighting Men with lower level caps, while later editions came to the answer of "actually, let's just give humans a bonus feat and super-flexible ability scores so that they're always a really good option for everything while you might not want to be e.g. an orc wizard".

    Now, it's definitely worth noting that in the original D&D as played the level caps weren't a huge issue (beyond halflings, who got screwed because I'm pretty sure they're a last-minute addition that Gygax probably hated) - the expectation was basically that you weren't going to ever play enough D&D to get to a high enough level that the level cap difference was a huge issue.
    But then time advanced beyond 1974 and you got all sorts of Monty Haul campaigns where people absolutely reached level 200 or whatever.

    Also, even Gygax seems to have quickly realized that the level caps were too restrictive - Dwarves went from level 6 to 9, Elves from FM 4/MU 8 to F 7/MU 11, Hobbits from level 4 to 6, and everyone got the ability to multiclass as a Thief with unlimited advancement.


    And then when Cook/Marsh make the Expert set, Dwarves can reach level 12, Elves can be level 10 Magic-user/Fighters (the only multiclass!), and Halflings... are level 8. Humans have a level cap of 14, though, so they're not that much above the rest I guess?
    Honestly, it's a weird one - by B/X level cap the difference is basically that compared to a human Fighter Dwarves get -2 to attack, +2 to saving throws; Elves get -2 to attack, -2 saving throws, HP slightly lower than Clerics, but also they can cast fifth-level spells; Halflings get -3 to attack, -2 to saving throws vs. dragon breath, and the lowest hit points in the game alongside magic-users.

    It's... kind of funky, because by and large the design philosophy seems to be the reverse of what you see in Magic-Users/Wizards: rather than being weak at low levels and busted at high levels, you're busted at low levels and weak at high levels.

    tl;dr: elves and dwarves are perfectly fine but nobody at the design team liked hobbits I guess

    The whole dual classing thing got really weird. Only non-humans could multi-class, getting the powers and restrictions of both classes, but humans could change careers, (basically, for all intents and purposes) lose the abilities of the first class until they surpassed the old class's level, at which point they got all the unrestrticted powers of both. It's why an elvish fighter/magic-user is a threat, but a human fighter/magic-user is an absolute blender.

    It's also why bards originally had to be human. You became a bard by taking some levels in fighter, then dualing to thief and exceeding your fighter levels, and then dualing to the extra special bard class (which kinda explains Harpers in forgotten realms all being hypercompetent secret agents).

  • CruorCruor Registered User regular
    Neveron wrote: »
    The funny thing about the old D&D sets was just how many logical knots they tied themselves in to stick with nonhuman characters maxing their level out at 8 (halfling) to 14 (elf) just so humans could be the best and strongest kiddos.

    So when you get past Expert set to Companion, your Frodo, Gimli, and Legolas expys get to earn lettered "attack ranks" to keep them viable. Even immortal halflings are only 8th level, technically.

    OSR stuff is better, mostly.

    Gygax had some strange ideas about how fantasy worlds "should" be humanocentric, yeah.

    Basically, if being a dwarf or a halfling or an elf is just strictly better than being a human, why be a human? The answer Gygax came to was that humans had more potential and flexibility, being able to be any class and reach any level while e.g. dwarves were limited to being Fighting Men with lower level caps, while later editions came to the answer of "actually, let's just give humans a bonus feat and super-flexible ability scores so that they're always a really good option for everything while you might not want to be e.g. an orc wizard".

    Now, it's definitely worth noting that in the original D&D as played the level caps weren't a huge issue (beyond halflings, who got screwed because I'm pretty sure they're a last-minute addition that Gygax probably hated) - the expectation was basically that you weren't going to ever play enough D&D to get to a high enough level that the level cap difference was a huge issue.
    But then time advanced beyond 1974 and you got all sorts of Monty Haul campaigns where people absolutely reached level 200 or whatever.

    Also, even Gygax seems to have quickly realized that the level caps were too restrictive - Dwarves went from level 6 to 9, Elves from FM 4/MU 8 to F 7/MU 11, Hobbits from level 4 to 6, and everyone got the ability to multiclass as a Thief with unlimited advancement.


    And then when Cook/Marsh make the Expert set, Dwarves can reach level 12, Elves can be level 10 Magic-user/Fighters (the only multiclass!), and Halflings... are level 8. Humans have a level cap of 14, though, so they're not that much above the rest I guess?
    Honestly, it's a weird one - by B/X level cap the difference is basically that compared to a human Fighter Dwarves get -2 to attack, +2 to saving throws; Elves get -2 to attack, -2 saving throws, HP slightly lower than Clerics, but also they can cast fifth-level spells; Halflings get -3 to attack, -2 to saving throws vs. dragon breath, and the lowest hit points in the game alongside magic-users.

    It's... kind of funky, because by and large the design philosophy seems to be the reverse of what you see in Magic-Users/Wizards: rather than being weak at low levels and busted at high levels, you're busted at low levels and weak at high levels.

    tl;dr: elves and dwarves are perfectly fine but nobody at the design team liked hobbits I guess

    The whole dual classing thing got really weird. Only non-humans could multi-class, getting the powers and restrictions of both classes, but humans could change careers, (basically, for all intents and purposes) lose the abilities of the first class until they surpassed the old class's level, at which point they got all the unrestrticted powers of both. It's why an elvish fighter/magic-user is a threat, but a human fighter/magic-user is an absolute blender.

    It's also why bards originally had to be human. You became a bard by taking some levels in fighter, then dualing to thief and exceeding your fighter levels, and then dualing to the extra special bard class (which kinda explains Harpers in forgotten realms all being hypercompetent secret agents).

    Ah, so that's where the Final Fantasy games got the idea for the Freelancer class mechanics.

  • NeveronNeveron HellValleySkyTree SwedenRegistered User regular
    Neveron wrote: »
    The funny thing about the old D&D sets was just how many logical knots they tied themselves in to stick with nonhuman characters maxing their level out at 8 (halfling) to 14 (elf) just so humans could be the best and strongest kiddos.

    So when you get past Expert set to Companion, your Frodo, Gimli, and Legolas expys get to earn lettered "attack ranks" to keep them viable. Even immortal halflings are only 8th level, technically.

    OSR stuff is better, mostly.

    Gygax had some strange ideas about how fantasy worlds "should" be humanocentric, yeah.

    Basically, if being a dwarf or a halfling or an elf is just strictly better than being a human, why be a human? The answer Gygax came to was that humans had more potential and flexibility, being able to be any class and reach any level while e.g. dwarves were limited to being Fighting Men with lower level caps, while later editions came to the answer of "actually, let's just give humans a bonus feat and super-flexible ability scores so that they're always a really good option for everything while you might not want to be e.g. an orc wizard".

    Now, it's definitely worth noting that in the original D&D as played the level caps weren't a huge issue (beyond halflings, who got screwed because I'm pretty sure they're a last-minute addition that Gygax probably hated) - the expectation was basically that you weren't going to ever play enough D&D to get to a high enough level that the level cap difference was a huge issue.
    But then time advanced beyond 1974 and you got all sorts of Monty Haul campaigns where people absolutely reached level 200 or whatever.

    Also, even Gygax seems to have quickly realized that the level caps were too restrictive - Dwarves went from level 6 to 9, Elves from FM 4/MU 8 to F 7/MU 11, Hobbits from level 4 to 6, and everyone got the ability to multiclass as a Thief with unlimited advancement.


    And then when Cook/Marsh make the Expert set, Dwarves can reach level 12, Elves can be level 10 Magic-user/Fighters (the only multiclass!), and Halflings... are level 8. Humans have a level cap of 14, though, so they're not that much above the rest I guess?
    Honestly, it's a weird one - by B/X level cap the difference is basically that compared to a human Fighter Dwarves get -2 to attack, +2 to saving throws; Elves get -2 to attack, -2 saving throws, HP slightly lower than Clerics, but also they can cast fifth-level spells; Halflings get -3 to attack, -2 to saving throws vs. dragon breath, and the lowest hit points in the game alongside magic-users.

    It's... kind of funky, because by and large the design philosophy seems to be the reverse of what you see in Magic-Users/Wizards: rather than being weak at low levels and busted at high levels, you're busted at low levels and weak at high levels.

    tl;dr: elves and dwarves are perfectly fine but nobody at the design team liked hobbits I guess

    The whole dual classing thing got really weird. Only non-humans could multi-class, getting the powers and restrictions of both classes, but humans could change careers, (basically, for all intents and purposes) lose the abilities of the first class until they surpassed the old class's level, at which point they got all the unrestrticted powers of both. It's why an elvish fighter/magic-user is a threat, but a human fighter/magic-user is an absolute blender.

    It's also why bards originally had to be human. You became a bard by taking some levels in fighter, then dualing to thief and exceeding your fighter levels, and then dualing to the extra special bard class (which kinda explains Harpers in forgotten realms all being hypercompetent secret agents).

    The 1E Bard is also super weird because, well, like a lot of AD&D 1E material it's based on fan-submitted stuff in The Strategic Review/The Dragon and there the Bard was literally just a normal, if somewhat overcomplicated, class.

    Similarly, while the OD&D Eldritch Wizardry rules for psionics were horribly explained and had outstandingly terrible organization, I still believe that they're legitimately better than the mess 1E made of its psionics. To be honest, though, I also kind of think the only actually good implementation of D&D psionics was in 3.5 where they said "what if it was just a Sorcerer with spell points?"

  • ToxTox I kill threads he/himRegistered User regular
    I liked 5th ed's psionic fighter and rogue, but I am almost certainly an outlier wrt psionics. I've never been a huge fan and always just felt like the spell point mechanic was a cool idea that always felt boringly implemented

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  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    edited February 2023
    Neveron wrote: »
    The funny thing about the old D&D sets was just how many logical knots they tied themselves in to stick with nonhuman characters maxing their level out at 8 (halfling) to 14 (elf) just so humans could be the best and strongest kiddos.

    So when you get past Expert set to Companion, your Frodo, Gimli, and Legolas expys get to earn lettered "attack ranks" to keep them viable. Even immortal halflings are only 8th level, technically.

    OSR stuff is better, mostly.

    Gygax had some strange ideas about how fantasy worlds "should" be humanocentric, yeah.

    Basically, if being a dwarf or a halfling or an elf is just strictly better than being a human, why be a human? The answer Gygax came to was that humans had more potential and flexibility, being able to be any class and reach any level while e.g. dwarves were limited to being Fighting Men with lower level caps, while later editions came to the answer of "actually, let's just give humans a bonus feat and super-flexible ability scores so that they're always a really good option for everything while you might not want to be e.g. an orc wizard".

    Now, it's definitely worth noting that in the original D&D as played the level caps weren't a huge issue (beyond halflings, who got screwed because I'm pretty sure they're a last-minute addition that Gygax probably hated) - the expectation was basically that you weren't going to ever play enough D&D to get to a high enough level that the level cap difference was a huge issue.
    But then time advanced beyond 1974 and you got all sorts of Monty Haul campaigns where people absolutely reached level 200 or whatever.

    Also, even Gygax seems to have quickly realized that the level caps were too restrictive - Dwarves went from level 6 to 9, Elves from FM 4/MU 8 to F 7/MU 11, Hobbits from level 4 to 6, and everyone got the ability to multiclass as a Thief with unlimited advancement.


    And then when Cook/Marsh make the Expert set, Dwarves can reach level 12, Elves can be level 10 Magic-user/Fighters (the only multiclass!), and Halflings... are level 8. Humans have a level cap of 14, though, so they're not that much above the rest I guess?
    Honestly, it's a weird one - by B/X level cap the difference is basically that compared to a human Fighter Dwarves get -2 to attack, +2 to saving throws; Elves get -2 to attack, -2 saving throws, HP slightly lower than Clerics, but also they can cast fifth-level spells; Halflings get -3 to attack, -2 to saving throws vs. dragon breath, and the lowest hit points in the game alongside magic-users.

    It's... kind of funky, because by and large the design philosophy seems to be the reverse of what you see in Magic-Users/Wizards: rather than being weak at low levels and busted at high levels, you're busted at low levels and weak at high levels.

    tl;dr: elves and dwarves are perfectly fine but nobody at the design team liked hobbits I guess

    The whole dual classing thing got really weird. Only non-humans could multi-class, getting the powers and restrictions of both classes, but humans could change careers, (basically, for all intents and purposes) lose the abilities of the first class until they surpassed the old class's level, at which point they got all the unrestrticted powers of both. It's why an elvish fighter/magic-user is a threat, but a human fighter/magic-user is an absolute blender.

    It's also why bards originally had to be human. You became a bard by taking some levels in fighter, then dualing to thief and exceeding your fighter levels, and then dualing to the extra special bard class (which kinda explains Harpers in forgotten realms all being hypercompetent secret agents).

    Actually, it got even weirder than that! (At least, in the AD&D 2E, 1995 printing I've got.) You can "dual-class" up to 3 times, so that you'd have 4 total classes, but they had to be from different class groupings: Warrior (Fighter, Ranger, Paladin); Wizard (Mage, Illusionist, Other Specialist); Priest (Cleric, Druid); and Rogue (Thief, Bard). The ability score requirements were extremely high, though, especially in the era of "fairly rolled" (*snrk*) ability scores: you had to have a 17 or better in the prime requisites of the class you were dualing into, and had to have a 15 or better in the ones for the class you were leaving: so a Mage dual classing into Fighter had to start with at least a 17 Strength and 15 Intelligence, otherwise no dual class for you. Dual classing into Ranger required Strength, Dexterity, and Widsom scores of 17 or better, which I'm sure you totally rolled. Characters who started out as Warriors and rolled 18 for their Strength score could roll percentile dice - you could have 18 / 23 or 18 / 100 Strength. But if you had 18 Strength and dual classed into a Warrior class then you were stuck with 18 Strength.

    You retain your hit dice and hit points from your old class (classes!) when dual classing.

    And, the kicker, is that of course you don't immediately forget all of your old skills - you retain the knowledge, skills, and proficiencies from your old class (classes). But if you use them, and they aren't abilities from your current class, then you get 0 experience points for the encounter in which you used them, and lose half of the XP for the entire adventure.

    And if, say, you were a recently-dual-classed Cleric 3 / Fighter 2, and got hit by a level draining attack, you'd lose your Cleric level, even if you were currently advancing as a Fighter. And on any given adventure, you could elect to advance as a Cleric or a Fighter, but only until you got back to Cleric 3, at which point you had to level as a Fighter - and if you used your Fighter abilities while filling in the missing Cleric level, you ate the XP penalties described above. You were not otherwise allowed to adventure as a Cleric any more. :D

    The whole system was a mess.

    Elvenshae on
    A duck!Dracomicron
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited February 2023
    I remember reading the (terrible) Gord the Rogue books by Gygax. He's with his friends, Chert the cranked 18(00) strength barbarian, Curley Greenleaf, the high-powered druid with a pet bear, and Gellor, a bard.

    They get into a fight with an archmage and a high priest, and
    everyone except Gord and a Solar he pulled out of his ass died when the archmage pulled a retributive strike with his staff of power.

    Anyway the Solar is a dick and says he can rez only one companion. With almost no deliberation Gord chooses Gellor the bard because he's the most powerful.

    THAT is how silly 1E bards are.

    Dracomicron on
  • NeveronNeveron HellValleySkyTree SwedenRegistered User regular
    One of the small things you might not realize with 1E Bards is that they look like a normal class progression...
    k5MgFyL.png
    ...except hey, what's up with those hit dice! Why do they get 0 hit dice at level 1?

    That's because unlike how all the other multiclassing and dual classing nonsense works, Bards get those hit dice in addition to the ones they already had from being a Fighter/Thief.

    A Fighter 7/Thief 9/Bard 11 (that's 330k XP, or a bit into Fighter 9) has 7d10+12d6+19xCON HP (av. 80.5-132.5), while the Fighter 9 has 9d10+9xCON (av. 49.5-85.5).

    Also, again, Fighter 7/Thief 9/Bard 11 is something you'll achieve just shortly after the single-classed Fighter reaches level 9.

    The one saving grace here is that they'll never have better THAC0 than they did at level 7.
    Not that you'll necessarily need that, though, what with having Druid spells on top of somewhat decent Thief skills and the deceptively powerful ability to wield magic swords and, well, the Bard's new musical abilities: buff allies with music (+10% morale, +1 to hit - which you can do while attacking, mind you!), roll to charm nearby creatures, negate harpies etc., periodically get bonus languages, be able to use Legend Lore to identify magical items, oh and also some musical magical items are better when played by bards.

    It's... honestly one of the more busted things in 1E?

    DracomicronElvenshaeFencingsax
  • ToxTox I kill threads he/himRegistered User regular
    Wait what's the fighter's XP progression? Is it not also 2k like the Bard?

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  • MaddocMaddoc I'm Bobbin Threadbare, are you my mother? Registered User regular
    Multiclassing used to be way fucked up

    You would just split XP evenly between your classes, and each class would level up independently

    ElvenshaeFencingsaxSleep
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    The "fun" part about dual classing in 1e is that, since XP for next level roughly doubles every level until you hit unreasonably high levels, if you're hanging with your regular party and getting XP at the same rate, you'll exceed your previous level in short order. The whole "don't get all your powers" bit only lasts a level or two as far as the rest of the party is concerned.

    Meanwhile the demi humans split their xp between their classes (forever, if I recall; even if they hit max level in one of their classes), so they're always going to be a level or two behind humans after first level.

    MaddocElvenshaeFencingsax
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Thank you for helping me get over my nostalgia for a thing I never played.

    ThawmusElvenshaeDracomicronRhesus PositiveFencingsaxGlalKristmas Kthulhu
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