Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day Post #1 - Alternate Rules: Ascending Saving Throws





Today is Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day!  Well, at least on the East Coast it is.  I'm still waiting here on the West coast BUT I figured I'd get my first blog post for the day posted.  I plan on making another post later today after work.  So stay tuned.

For more blogs that are involved in the event, see Erik Tenkar's Blog!

Oh, and excuse the black text on a dark background for the tables below.  Formatting isn't fun at times.
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Some of the fun of old school gaming is the ability to house rule things or use alternative methods of resolving player actions.  Swords & Wizardry combined this idea with a more modern idea of ascending armor class to create an alternative method for combat resolution that helps those used to more modern gaming rules.  The basic idea behind it is that whether you are using descending or ascending armor class, the goal is to roll a dice (add or subtract modifiers) and hope to meet a required threshold.  In the same way Matthew Finch created the ascending AC conversion method, I give you the ascending saving throw.

In Swords & Wizardry there is a single saving throw used by players for their characters when they are avoiding some catastrophe.  As a character levels up and gains more power and experience, the number needed to be rolled by the player when making a saving throw decreases.  In effect, the target dice roll becomes easier to reach.  When a target is made to be more difficult (or easier) it is suggested that a negative or positive modifier be applied to the roll.  An example would be 'the snake venom requires a saving throw with a -2 penalty'.  For the gamer, this means what they roll is decreased by two.

To create an ascending system, we have to create a baseline.  At first level, the player character classes have saving throw progressions as follows:   


Level
Cleric
Fighter
Magic-user
Thief
1
15
14
15
15
2
14
13
14
14
3
13
12
13
13
4
12
11
12
12
5
11
10
11
11
6
10
9
10
10
7
9
8
9
9
8
8
7
8
8
9
7
6
7
7
10
6
5
6
6
11
5
4
5
5
12
4
4
5
5
13
4
4
5
5

The baseline seems to be 15.  The exception is the Fighter with 14.  We can simulate the difficulty class of a saving throw by setting 15 to instead be a +0 bonus to saves.  With this, the Fighter's saving throw bonus is +1.  As the characters level up, their saving throw bonuses slowly increase.  They will retain their class bonus features like the Fighter's +2 bonus against poison.  With the introduction of DC's to Swords & Wizardry, it will let you standardize saving throw events.  Rather than incur a -2 penalty against a certain venom, the venom's DC would instead be 17.  This assumes a standard DC of 15 for most situations.  What we've done is keep the target threshold for the dice the same, but changed how improvements are tracked. 

The new saving throw progressions are as follows:


Level
Cleric
Fighter
Magic-user
Thief
1
+0
+1
+0
+0
2
+1
+2
+1
+1
3
+2
+3
+2
+2
4
+3
+4
+3
+3
5
+4
+5
+4
+4
6
+5
+6
+5
+5
7
+6
+7
+6
+6
8
+7
+8
+7
+7
9
+8
+9
+8
+8
10
+9
+10
+9
+9
11
+10
+11
+10
+10
12
+11
+11
+10
+10
13
+11
+11
+10
+10
 


This alternative rules variant is recommended to gamers used to modern role-playing  game systems or for those wanting a simpler way of creating saving throw challenges.  Enjoy! 

4 comments:

  1. I'm having a bit of trouble seeing your tables, they're showing up as black text and frames on a dark gray background. Just so you know.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really love the way you discuss this kind of topic.Buy world of warcraft accounts

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