Tweaking D&D with effort, effortlessly

Tonight, after selling about half of our furniture and saying goodbye to neighbors who are going on vacation and won’t see us any more, I was in the mood for some tweaking. Tweaking D&D, that is.

So I rolled a fighting-man with OD&D. Modified him using Delta’s rules. And then, I modified him again, using Index Card RPG as a plugin.

This is what I got:
STR+2, DEX 0, CON 0, INT 0, WIS 0, CHA +1
7 hp, to hit +3, flail d8, AC 14.

I pitted him against 4 orcs. He killed two before they got him. Still good. And I liked the ICRPG approach.

This is what ICRPG as a plugin does different from D&D:

  1. No stats, just the bonuses. I used Delta’s rules for that.
  2. A single target number instead of many. The ref assigns ONE target number for ONE room. Easy tasks slap a -3 on that target, hard tasks a +3. Simple. And works really well.
  3. The different die sizes for weapons are something I like. I used Delta’s rules for them.
  4. One of the single best innovations of ICRPG is “effort”. Effort is like rolling damage, but for non-combat tasks. To quote the ICRPG book: “Simply assign a die to the work being done, give the challenge a value like 5 or 10, and let players ‘earn’ the victory.”
    For instance: climbing up that 30′ foot rope while the archers are shooting at you? That’s worth 20. Your character gets a d6, and a +3 because he is a really good climber. If you do enough 1d6+3 “damage” to the task (which has 20 “hp”), you have climbed the rope successfully. I

I could also put a time limit on this: I set a d6 to 4. That’s the number of times you can roll a DEX save against the room target number, and then roll your effort (“damage”) for the climb.
This is GENIUS.

To quote from the ICRPG again: “Overcoming with EFFORT will change how players use their time, and make many tasks seem more triumphant when accomplished.”

True.

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