My 1991 copy of the RC is sitting on my shelf, smiling at me in its almost infinite wisdom. It knows, it just knows that it contains more material than probably anyone will ever need.
I haven’t played it often. But this will change. Because that game, that beautiful game, will become a whole lot easier to play. Of course, your mileage may vary.
I will use The Landshut Rules to play the Cyclopedia. Ayup, again, I’ll use ancient rules to play an old game. And it’ll be fun because that’s what always happens when there’s freedom. ’nuff poetry, let’s get started.
To recap the rules for adapting games to Landshut:
- If you’re playing a published rpg setting: roll attributes. Write down only extremely low and extremely high stats.
- Pick 5 or 10 skills from the rulebook (if the game uses skills)
- Pick 2d6 pieces of regular equipment/gear from the book, then lose 1d6 of them
- Pick 2 “Powers”: special equipment, spells, special abilities, connections, special backgrounds etc.
So, I roll 3d6 in order for STR, INT, WIS, DEX, CON, CHA. Every stat that’s 5 or lower is the weak version, every stat that’s 15 or higher is the strong version.
STR: 6. What I write on my character sheet: nothing
INT: 12. What I write on my character sheet: nothing.
WIS: 13. What I write on my character sheet: nothing.
DEX: 7. What I write on my character sheet: nothing.
CON: 12. What I write on my character sheet: nothing.
CHA: 10. What I write on my character sheet: nothing.
So, that character’s stats are average, nothing worth mentioning.
Next step: I’m picking a character class. Since we’ll be playing without XP, but with milestones instead, the “prime requisite” stat recommendation is not of interest here.
A Magic-User it is.
Next step: Hit Points. Magic-Users have 1d4 hp per level. I roll a 4. Good.
Next step: The Cyclopedia offers a skill list. I pick 5: Alchemy, Alternate Magics, Planar Geography, Ceremony and Mysticism. In play, these are interpreted freely as the opportunity arises.
Then: I pick 2d6 regular items: 10!
- Iron rations for a week
- Fine clothes
Now, I lose d6 of them: 3. I roll 1 d10 three times to find out which: the hat, the rope, and the dagger. So, my magic-user ends up with: Staff d6, backpack, iron rations, fine clothes, lantern, oil and books.
The last step: I pick two powers: My magic-user has a very fine sense of smell, and he can walk on fire and lava, with only 1 hp lost per round.
As usual, attacks are rolled with a 2d6. To this roll, add:
- Fighters, mystics and dwarves: +level
- Clerics: +level/2
- Magic-Users, halflings, druids: + level/3 (round down)
- Monsters: +HD
Armor adds hit points:
- Suit Armor +15
- Plate Mail +10
- Banded Mail +8
- Chain Mail +6
- Scale Mail +4
- Leather Armor +3
- Shield adds +1 to armor
(Also: Because I think it’s cool, I add Jeff’s houserule for overclocking damage: for every 4 points the attack roll is higher than the enemy’s, bump the damage die up by one step)
Spells: Clerics, Magic-users and elves get Spell Points. Magic-users get 4+Experience Level points, all other casters get 2+Level points. All casters can cast spells of any level. But a save is required to cast successfully and avoid paying Spell Points. A failed roll means you lose Spell Points equal to the spell level. If you don’t have enough Spell Points, the referee might allow you to pay the rest with hit points – at three times the cost. The referee might consider giving out treasure that increases Spell Points. This might be done to counterbalance the more costly higher level spells (compared to the old system). To record spells, casters can write, draw, etch, tattoo or paint the formulas on every suitable surface.
I start with 1d4 spells: 3. Yes, this is way more than regular Basic. But we’re not playing very often, so I want to speed things up. I pick 2 1st level and 1 2nd level spell: Hold Portal, Magic Missle and Knock.
(I use the Homesian Random Names generator table for his name and get:)
So, I shift every consonant one step up: Uinsasreg. Better. Win Sasreq is his name.
A title? Sure: the Fearless.
So, this is what Win Sasreq the Fearless looks like:
Win Sasreq the Fearless
1st level magic-user
Hit Dice: 1d4
hit points: 4
Attack Roll: 2d6 > enemy
Spell Points: 5
Spells: Hold Portal, Magic Missle, Knock
Staff d6, backpack, iron rations, fine clothes, lantern, oil, books