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Simplified 2e – NWPs

20 February 2011 by

While translating AD&D 2nd Edition into a d20 OGL styled combat was easy, the translation of Non-Weapon Proficiencies is proving to be a bit more difficult.  The mechanic itself is easy – the DM assigns a target result, and the player rolls d20 and adds their modifiers.  The DM’s target is easy, as it’s laid out very plainly in the d20 ruleset.  Additionally, it is easy to assign a +1 for each NWP slot a character has put into a proficiency.  The problem comes in applying an ability modifier.

In the d20 implementation of the 3e ruleset, WotC created a single modifier table for all abilities.  An ability score of 10 or 11 was considered to be perfectly average, with no bonus or minus.  For each pair of points about that, the character received a +1 to their Skill Check (the 3e version of an NWP).  So, a character with a 12 or 13 receiving a +1 to the appropriate skill check, and a character with an 18 or 19 received a +4.

For comparison sake, below is a table of the d20 OGL 3e ability score bonus and the various 2e AD&D bonuses:

3e Hit Dmg React Hit Def HP Lang Def Spl Hench Loy React
10 +0 +0 +0 +0 +0 +0 +0 +2 +0 +0 +4 +0 +0
11 +0 +0 +0 +0 +0 +0 +0 +2 +0 +0 +4 +0 +0
12 +1 +0 +0 +0 +0 +0 +0 +3 +0 +0 +5 +0 +0
13 +1 +0 +0 +0 +0 +0 +0 +3 +0 +1 +5 +0 +1
14 +2 +0 +0 +0 +0 +0 +0 +4 +0 +1 +6 +1 +2
15 +2 +0 +0 +0 +0 +1 +1 +4 +1 +2 +7 +3 +3
16 +3 +0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +5 +2 +2 +8 +4 +5
17 +3 +1 +1 +2 +2 +3 +2 (+3) +6 +3 +3 +10 +6 +6
18 +4 +1 +2 +2 +2 +4 +2 (+4) +7 +4 +4 +15 +8 +7
18/01-50 +1 +3
18/51-75 +2 +3
18/76-90 +2 +4
18/91-99 +2 +5
18/00 +3 +6
19 +4 +3 +7 +3 +3 +4 +2 (+5) +8 +4 +4 +20 +10 +8

From here the question becomes, which bonuses to use. Rather than move to a single bonus table (as in 3e), I am choosing to keep with stat specific bonuses. This keep the inherent balance (or imbalance, as per your opinion) in 2e.

I’m assuming a max stat of 18, and figuring it’s a rarity in 2e, since stats don’t increase with levels. So, an exceptionally high bonus would be rare indeed. Most stats have a bonus that falls in line with the +4 bonus granted at an 18 in 3e.

For strength, I would choose the damage modifier, and take exceptional strength into account. This exceptionally high bonus would be rare, and only available to fighter classes. Additionally, I would use the exceptional hit point bonus for fighters, when considering a constitution-based bonus.

My only real concerns are with intelligence and charisma.  Using the number of languages for intelligence means that almost everyone would get a bonus.  Even an intelligence of 10 would have a +2 modifier.  And, it would mean an intelligence of 18 would get a +7 – quite high indeed.

One option is to subtract two from this value.  It would start the bonus with a stat of 12, and max out at a +5 with the 18.  This would fall in line with an assumption that most people know two languages.  They would know common and a racial language (for demi-humans), or common and a regional language (for humans).  Anything beyond that is truly excpetional.

Charisma is all that is left.  Number of henchmen is out, based purely on the scope of the bonuses.  Loyalty Base doesn’t appeal to me either, due to its non-linear nature and the high end-state.  Reaction adjustment is a bit more linear, and falls in line with using either “adjustments” or “reaction” modifiers from other stats.

So, we have a basic d20 mechanic:  Roll + # slots + ability bonus.  Now, it’s just a matter of settling on the final bonuses.  I will be playtesting the different options in my current campaign.

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8 Comments to “Simplified 2e – NWPs”

  1. I agree with using 2e ability +’s.
    The only thing I need to really review is rogues. As I assign % per level for them to spread around the 2E skills. They do not need the HUGE amount of noweapon pts based on 3E.

    • Agreed. Just remember, this isn’t even looking at the number of NWP slots each class gets – just how you make the NWP check.

      I do think that more NWP slots are needed for characters, especially if you are going to crank up the difficulty levels on the checks. However, that would be covered under a house rule.

      Within that house rule, I agree rogue’s wouldn’t need the massive number of points from 3e. The rogue skills were part of the overall skill system, not a separate class feature. They used their skill points to buy “classic” rogue skills, in addition to their others.

  2. yes, now I am just working on the revised # of points each class gets per level. Rangers too would be touched by this as hide in shadows and move silently could be touched. I “think” I may just take the 3e version of points for all classes and tweak down rogues and rangers if I set there % improvement each level. Or talking with Jacques, perhaps I just go straight with 3e non weaps and anything that I give out in pregame gives them FREE points in such and such skill.

  3. The combat mechanic is the same that I have worked out and for AC also(I was basing my AC on 0 but modified it to 10 as a base to make the to hit generation simpler for all.

    NWP I am leaning toward a 3e type mechanic. Please make sure you bring your 3e book if you have one.(players)

    • ok so the 3e NWP seemed to play nicely with some adjustments. I liked how characters could spread points out over what they wanted to be good at.

      now to begin reviewing the combat portion of the rules.

      #1 issue is that we have all sorts of various classes both from 1e thru 2e, and all sorts of kits.

  4. You could somehow incorporate the 2e “THAC0” progressions as just modifiers to the attack role. This will also have to change the AC from 10-no armor and 0-full plate/shield to 10-no armor and 20-full plate/shield. Just roll the dice like you do with the NWPs and add all mods.

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