Monday, April 20, 2009
B/X is my Favorite
Below are a number of reasons why the Moldvay/Cook edition of Dungeons & Dragons is my favorite. I know that a number of them are not exclusive to the B/X version but, when combined with the aspects that are unique, I find the complete system and how all of the pieces interact make this the best version for my games.
These are in no particular order.
1. A complete system in 128 pages
2. Unified bonuses & penalties due to attributes
3. Strong archetype classes
4. Race = Class and meaningful level limitations
5. Clerics have to prove their worthiness to their deity before getting a spell at 2nd level
6. Fighters are good with all weapons
7. The spellbook system
8. A tight power scale with a max of 14th level - I know this one is serendipitous given the unpublished Companion Supplement but I think the power level of the Expert set is about perfect for my games.
9. Complete but small subsystems for adventuring in dungeons and the wilderness
10. The Reaction Roll subsytem
11. It takes about 5 minutes to make a character.
12. It is unapologetically gameist in nature - doors in dungeons are stuck closed. You need to roll to force them open. Why? Because the rulebook says so and it is fun.
13. The importance of retainers.
14. The combat sequence
15. Abstract narrative combat system with just enough to make tactics important. Do you charge into the room or try to draw the monster into the hallway?
16. The BEST morale system EVER!
17. The examples of play - I don't know how many times I have read through the exploits of Black Dougal and his ungrateful companions
18. The roster of monsters - I find the roster of monsters in B/X to be very interesting and a large part of why B/X feels the way it does - a subject for a future post.
19. A "magical" array of magic items.
20. Intelligent magic swords
21. The entire "Dungeon Master Information" section - how to make a dungeon (see my Pit of Tortured Souls, which I really need to do some work on) and how to make a wilderness.
22. The first appearance of Save vs Abilities
23. A simple and very concise Spell Research system that is very important given the spellbook system.
24. An endgame
25. Three alignments and not good vs evil but instead law and society vs chaos and anarchy
Edit: 26. Erol Otus I can't believe I missed that one!