Posts Tagged 3e

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:


THAC0 Really Was Stupid

9 February 2011 by

We played another session of The Outsiders campaign last Saturday, and we kept having issues keeping combat rolls straight.  The whole “rolling high to hit a low number” caused confusion on multiple occasions.  While this was particularly true for players new to AD&D, even I (the DM) had a hard time explaining it and keeping it straight.

I have decades of experience with AD&D, RPGs and negative Armor Classes – but I’m out of practice and routine play.  When planning the upcoming gaming weekend for our college group, Richard (“EvilDM” here) and I talked about how we were all probably rusty on the mechanics and the rules.  We used to be able to quote rules “chapter and verse”, and instantly find passages in any rulebook.  But those days are long gone.

The problem with new players, is that they have yet to have those days.  And, in the current stage of our lives (work, kids, wives, mortgages, responsibilities…) where we only get to play one Saturday evening every couple of weeks, we probably won’t have those days anytime soon.  We played a bit of 4e early on, and while there are things about it I don’t like; it is certainly more accessible from a mechanics standpoint.


There And Back Again

3 February 2011 by

So our group has started a new campaign and gone back to playing AD&D; somewhere about 1.75e (as Richard calls it).  We’re using the 2e rules, but allow for character classes from the 1e Player’s Handbook, Unearthed Arcana and Dragon Magazines.  So, why go back to AD&D?

Last summer we started playing a 4e campaign, beginning with H1: Keep on the Shadowfell.  Having a pre-made module is essential to our campaign, as I don’t have the time to create my own adventures.  We made our way through the module, and it was rather enjoyable.  However, by the time we were finishing, we were by and large disillusioned with 4th Edition:

  • Combat seems to be the sole focus of 4e. Game mechanics such as non-weapon proficiencies (2e) or crafting skills (3e) are basically non-existent in 4e Core Rules.  These aspects of D&D have always been a large part of my games.  Additionally, the module had very little in the way of traps, puzzles or uses for the party’s skills.
  • Combat was extremely slow. This has been a major point of discussion in the #dnd Twitter world, and is a generally accepted fact.  A single encounter would take an hour or two, with much of the time spent picking which power to use (for both players and DM).
  • Combat is an exercise in micro-management. There are simply too many conditions to keep track of – Marked, Bloodied, Eye-bitten, etc. (more…)