Tuesday, June 3, 2014

TESC Houserules

So it's been a little over a month since my last post.  Real life happens I guess.  Had some life stuff to deal with.  My girlfriend's father passed away unexpectedly, went to a friend's wedding, work things.  I have been able to think a little bit more about my proposed The Episodic Sandbox Campaign.

One thing for sure is that TESC is going to have some houserules.  And nearly everyone is going to be inspired by or lifted from Adventurer Conqueror King.  I just love that rules system.  A lot of modern 'enlightened' rules are in there and I took the best ones to be imported into Swords & Wizardry.  I didn't choose them because they facilitated TESC any better, but because they are just neat ways to make S&W a little more interesting.

Anyone familiar with ACKS will recognize these but here they are:

  • Fighters do additional bonus damage based on level, that stacks with strength bonuses.  This is taken from the ACKS fighter table.
  • Fighter (and ONLY fighters) get cleaving.  This is again per ACKS, but comes down to killing an enemy means an extra free attack, going up to the fighter's level.  The fighter may take 5 foot steps between attacks up to their movement rate unused in their turn. 
I make those changes to give fighters a buff.  They need it.  They can become truly awesome killing machines this way.  I didn't want to give it to any other class like ACKS does because Paladins, Assassins, Rangers, etc. all have other good stuff going for them.  Monster are not getting cleave, as they usually get multiple attacks anyway.

  • Thieves use the skill chart taken from ACKS instead of S&W Complete.
  • Assassins similarly use the skill chart taken from ACKS but now get move silently, hide in shadows, and backstab at the same level as Thieves instead of two levels behind.  To be more clear, Assassins ONLY get move silently, hide in shadows, and backstab from the Thief class.  Other skills are not included.  They do retain their expertise in poisons.  
I want this because rolling a d20 for skills is easier than the different scales in S&W.  I also buffed Assassin skills because in S&W behind 2 levels behind never sat well with me.  They don't get the other skill monkey abilities, but stay good at what they are supposed to be good at.

  • Clerics and Magic-Users now have repertoires, as per ACKS.  Quick summary is that a spellcaster can cast any spell in their repertoire up to their spells per day.  They don't need to memorize each spell for the day.  They can choose like a sorcerer would in 3rd edition of D&D.  A Cleric has all spells in his repertoire the DM decides (default spell list).  A magic-user's repertoire is equal to his spells per day plus extra based on high intelligence.  A spellbook can contain many more spells than a repertoire can have, but if a spellcaster wants to put in a new spell, money and time is required.   
Vancian magic is sort of funky.  Always has been.  ACKS found a good compromise, so I'm using repertoires to make spellcasters less OCD about spell selection.  I absolutely love ACKS's flavor explanation about why a spellcaster can only have so many spells in his repertoire.  I recommend reading it!

  • On character generation, instead of wealth and initial spell selection, the class templates from the ACKS Player Companion will be used.
This one may or may not work out.  It's still fundamentally rolling 3d6 for wealth, but it's taking away the options of the player in favor of a more flavor-driven gear-set.  I think they are neat so we'll see how it goes.

  •  Mortal wounds and tampering with mortality charts from ACKS to be used
Another one of those 'neat' things from ACKS.  When you are brought to 0 hit points or incapacitated in combat the mortal wounds chart is consulted to determine how bad you really got it.  Lots of cool results here.  Tampering with mortality is the result of raise dead and resurrection spells.  Also fun stuff.


Now I think that may be it.  The campaign isn't near happening so I can change this if I need.  It's very much a "peanut butter in my chocolate" set up, but ACKS does so many things right.   You might say, "why not just use ACKS?"  Well, trying to have my players learn yet another system would be annoying I'm sure.  They have the PDF or print version of S&W so giving them some houserules is a lot easier than having them buy new rulebooks and relearn some things based on the mechanics of ACKS.  I don't need the proficiency system or any other frills.  I'm just taking what I think is the best of the best and grafting it onto my S&W.

Anyway, if any of my players read this, I'll have a single page handout with all the applicable rules for you.  Should be good stuff. :)

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