Some more thoughts.


I just noticed that a medium weapon, wielded two-handed, does the same damage as a large weapon. Large weapons are more expensive and less versatile. So why use a large weapon?

Also, small weapons (e.g. shortsword) cost 5gp while minor weapons (e.g. dagger) cost 10gp.

10gp seems like a lot of money for a whip. And a whip does as much damage as a dagger?

75,000gp for a warhorse? A warhorse costs 75 times as much as a suit of platemail?

I think some of your more expensive prices, such as those for boats, are a bit unrealistic.

Rent. Do you mean 10 sq ft or 10 ft sq? 10 square feet or a ten foot square?

I assume you mean a 10 foot square. So for 1000gp I could buy a decent sized house in the city, or a mansion in the countryside. Is this right? The price for a city residence seems reasonable, but, again, it does make some of the other items on the equipment list seem very expensive. A barge is worth 50 times as much as a mansion in the country?

Maybe you should explain what some of the items are. For example, specialist's tools, or caravel.

Defeating Enemies. I love this section.

Aging. The interval for elves should be 100, not 10, right?

Falling. I hate this rule. Really, I hate it. And I can't understand how it has survived through so many different editions of the rules.

If you fall 10' in real life, you might be shaken and bruised, and you might even break a bone, but you are extremely unlikely to die. And in real life, people have fallen longer distances than 200' and survived.

BTW, using 1d6 x 10' falling damage makes levitate an decent offensive spell for MUs in the wilderness.

Reducing falling damage will make pit traps less deadly, but realistically, I think anyone wanting a pit trap to be deadly would put spikes at the bottom (or snakes or something) rather than dig a very deep pit.

Healing. Your rules here seem a little harsh to me. Perhaps realistic, though.

Encumbrance. I like the general idea here, but again, the results seem a little harsh.

This is the system I use. Regardless of the amount of weight carried, wearing metal armour other than platemail reduces movement to 90'. Wearing platemail reduces movement to 60'. A character can carry a number of items each roughly equal to a sword in size or weight. at STR 3, this is 4 items, at STR 4-5, 6 items, at STR 6-8, 8 items, at STR 9-12, 10 items, at STR 13-15, 12 items, at STR 16-17, 14 items and at STR 18, 16 items. Characters carrying 1-2 items over their allowed number have their movement reduced by 30'. Characters carrying 3-4 items over their allowed number have their movement reduced by 60' etc.

Of course, this requires DM judgement in deciding what is equivalent to a sword. I say platemail = 2 items, any other metal armour = 1 item, leather armour = 0 items. A dagger or torch = 1/2 an item, a quiver full of arrows = 1 item, food for 1 day = 1 item, 500 coins = 1 item.

Chauffer. Would "coachman" sound less anachronistic?

Wages. Are some of the wages a little on the low side? Comparing this with your price table, some wages seem as if they would be too low to pay the living costs of one person, let alone support a family. Mercenaries seem particularly poorly paid considering they might be risking their lives (and considering how easy it would be for PCs to hire their own private army).

How much do you thing a gp is worth, in modern dollars? I work on the assumption that 1 gp = £50 ($75). This means that at 15sp/month a labourer is making the equivalent of £75/month ($112.50/month).

Hiring Help. Is this a 3d6 roll?

Generally, I really like the rules in these miscellaneous sections. It's not too much, but some professional games don't have this level of detail and clarity (Castles and Crusades, I am looking at you!).

JimLotFP wrote:

In using different material for different games, this kind of thing happens anyway. I used Pod Cavers (an OSRIC module) with the BFRPG rules for my home game last year. It causes little hiccups, I guess the same way as trying to run Horror on the Hill in an AD&D campaign, or running Swords and Wizardry modules with Labyrinth Lord.

I don't see much difference. It'll take some eyeballing, but I daresay running an LotFP adventure with LotFP rules would need a "stop and take a look at this" because of the way the adventures are constructed, regardless of the rules.

Yes, I suppose that's true.

Some thoughts after reading the first twenty pages.

". . . designed . . . to hew so close to the traditional gaming rules as to be able to freely use other games’ support materials . . ."

But in not allowing THAC0 progression for non-fighters, you are in one way making it incompatible with other games. For example, in the original B3, the main bad guy is a mid-level cleric. If his THAC0 is less than that of a first-level fighter, he's a bit less of a threat.

Ability Score Modifiers. 4-5: -3, is this correct?

Explanation of Ability Scores: This is very clear.

Climb. My house rule is to assume that thieves have catlike reflexes, and so I allow this skill to act as a saving throw vs. falling damage, with half damage taken if the thief makes the roll.

Read Languages. I've never liked this ability. My house rule is to replace it with a percentage chance (rolled each level) of gaining an extra language.

Stealth replacing Hide in Shadows and Move Silently. Good idea.

"Each Specialist skill begins with a 10% chance of success . . ." Simple and easy to remember.

The writing in the specialist section is again, very clear. I really like the way you explain and clarify everything.

Starting hit points. Is this a bit complex? You could (for example) just say that all characters start with a minimum of 3 hit points.

Alignment. Well, this is interesting. And a bit confusing at first glance. How does alignment actually affect play?

"If a character starts above first level, then they begin with 180gp plus 3d6 x 10gp for every level greater than one."

There could be a lot of dice involved for high-level characters! How about 3d6 x10gp + 100gp per level higher than 1?

"Costs are given for both City and Rural areas". A great idea!

Weapons. I really like everything you've done here.

Maybe include some illustrations for people who have trouble picturing a mancatcher?

Count me as another person who dislikes the fact that Clerics, MUs and Specialists don't progress in combat ability.

Fighters are already (in D&D) much better combatants than other classes at due to their higher hit points, better armour and faster THACO progression. They generally have STR bonuses too.

It's probably to do with the sword or staff wielding fighting Wizards in the gamebooks I used to read when I was a kid, but I've always imagined *high-level* MUs as more capable fighters than the average orc.

Ditto for thieves. The Gray Mouser was a good fighter, wasn't he? And I've always thought that the thief character-class could be used to represent a stealthy warrior, like Zorro, Robin Hood or the average Ninja. Have you read "Conan the Barbarian, B/X Thief" on the B/X Blackrazor blog?

I have no objection to reimagining Clerics as being poor combatants, like MUs, but you do describe them as "holy warriors" and give them d6 hit dice. Why not allow them to be effective warriors?

Did I miss the rules about what weapons and armour characters can use? It says that fighters are able to use any weapon and armour without restriction. What about the other character classes?

Unlike Geoffrey, I don't see the logic behind renaming thieves "specialists".

I haven't really read this document, just skimmed it . . . I should really read the whole thing.

Using the Opera Browser, I don't seem to be able to post on blogs that don't allow anonymous commenting, so I'll post my comment here instead.

Some systems are far more generous in their monster XP awards than others; for example, C&C compared to BECMI D&D. I actually like the idea of 100XP per hit die for monsters, provided that monsters that are not a significant threat to the party give no XP. The XP gained would be more significant to low level characters than high-level ones, which feels right, because it's the characters with low hit points that are risking the most by tackling monsters.

I like Jeff Rients' idea of XP for spending treasure, rather than getting treasure. I think this idea was in the First Fantasy Campaign supplement too, which listed different things characters could choose to waste their money on.

GAZ3: The Principalities of Glantri gives a variable XP system for MUs, under which they would probably get most of their XP from studying arcane tomes. Of course, this means they have to get hold of such tomes first. Adventures which include libraries would be popular with MUs under this system! In general, I like the idea of different character classes getting XP for different things, but I don't think XP should be awarded for things that are too easy (e.g. casting spells) or that already provide in-game benefits (e.g. magic items). I was thinking Fighter types might get full XP for monsters and treasure, Rogues no XP for monsters and double XP for gold, MUs 1/2 xp for monsters and gold, but 500xp for each tome studied and retained in their library (so they have to have a residence with a library too . . . they are going to need a lot of gold!).

The Dying Earth RPG allows players to select their own goals before or during a game session. XP is then awarded if the player made significant progress towards their goal in the face of adversity, or if they tried hard to achieve their goal but were thwarted by circumstances. I quite like the idea of this as an alternative to "story" awards. Maybe allow PCs the option to change their goal once per session, to take into account new circumstances arising during the adventure.