Monday, 7 May 2012

A return to Basic Dungeons & Dragons?

I'm really enjoying running my current Pathfinder campaign but I do miss my simple games, such as Dragon Warriors or Star Wars D6. I want to make sure the gaming group enjoys the game we're playing so I'd like to stick with the system we're using now. In other words, I want simplicity but I want to keep playing the D20 system game.

This has bought me back to Basic D&D. I recently got the basic rulebook for the black box edition and it's perfect for a decent game from levels 1-5 (that's a couple of campaigns easy, if I limit the XP for gold angle) but I've never been a fan of the THAC0 system or the dicey saving throws. Surely it can't be that difficult to take the new new 3.X rules and incorporate them into the Basic D&D game? If I could do that, I could drop the rules I dislike and my players would have a lite version of the game system they love.

There's a greater sense of progression and achievment in any version of D&D then there is in any other game and I think that's what my players enjoy. I love game systems that allow characters to grow of their own accord - Runequest and the D6 system spring to mind here - but right now there's a 'goal to aim for' sensibility at the table and a heady mix of old school and new blood.

I like Pathfinder, but I'd like that progression to be a little less complicated. I must be getting lazy in my old age as simple suits me just fine.


  1. Now that you mention character development... have you considered using some of the progression rules in Adventurer Conqueror King within Dragon Warriors (or even basic D&D)? Sounds like a potentially good fit.

  2. That looks really intriuging that does - I'll probably check it out, depending on where this campaign goes. Cheers.

  3. Jonathan Hicks said: "I must be getting lazy in my old age as simple suits me just fine."

    I prefer to think 'wiser, not just older."

    I've gone in for minimalist games mechanic in recent years.

    Which brings me to the point of the post - I don't think I ever sent you a 'way cool' or a 'I'm a fan' email for SKETCH.

    "First principles, Clarice. Simplicity. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself? What is its nature?”
    Hannibal Lecter

    SKETCH kicks ass - way cool - I'm a fan!

    It was the mechanic for the last FtF game I ran, Alligators in the Sewers.

    And I'm noodling a SKETCH / Labyrinth Lord crossover. Six skill levels, six attributes... coincidence?

  4. It's fondness for d20, but recognizing it might be too crunchy that has lead me to return to True20.

  5. "Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily."
    William of Ockham

    Simpler is better.