Quick rules for playing D&D, any edition

(c) Den Yang-Ho

So you want to throw together a new game, but it has to happen real quick, and maybe, just maybe, if y’all like it, you’ll keep playing even without the books. I get it.

Let me make a suggestion:

  1. Surf over to Matthew’s quality blog and read all about his GENIUS idea, “Adventure Points“.
  2. Create your character. For cool skills, spells, abilities or equipment, pillage your game books.
  3. What kind of game do you want to play? Hardcore OD&D stuff where, at least for starting characters, one average hit means death? Or something more forgiving? Figure out how many hit points your character has. Each hit reduces your hit points by 1. Average early D&D-like games would have 2 hp for starting characters.
  4. If you’re down to 0 hp, consider using Mike Evans’s “Deadlier Dying” tables. They were written for The Black Hack, but you can easily adapt them.
  5. When you gain experience, do you get a new hp every time? Or is that something only the fighty types get?
  6. Now, armor. Light armor gives you armor class 1. Slightly better armor 2, and so on, up to 6. The absolute bestest armor you can ever have is around 10. When you get hit, roll equal to or under your AC, and you negate the damage.
  7. To hit is 9+HD. Roll on or under. 
  8. When not sure if something a character tries will work, roll a d6, higher is better. Interpret accordingly, and let the character’s skills inform your decision.
  9. Leveling up? Use Arnold’s brilliant idea: popcorn leveling.
  10. Make up cool stuff and go on adventures.
For instance:
Ansgar der Übelgelaunte
  • Carries the Cursed and Mighty Ax of Righteousness, a rune-inscribed dwarven instrument of destruction that collects the souls of slain foes. When Ansgar dies, those souls are set free in a dark and silent implosion that sucks everyone nearby into the abyss if they fail their save.  1 Adventure Point.
  • Nice armor (AC 5). 1 Adventure Point.
  • Earthshaker (1/day): When Ansgar stomps on the ground HARD, everybody within 30 feet has to make a save or be swept off their feet. 2 Adventure Points.
  • Starting hp: 3
  • To hit: 10

(A huge big thanks goes out to Rattlemayne, for his MoldHammer rules, and to Matthew Halton for his Adventure Points idea)

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