"Black Dougal gasps 'Poison!' and falls to the floor. He looks dead."

Saturday, March 9, 2013

B/X Cover-to-Cover - pages B6 and B7


Quick thoughts while I read pages B6 & B7:

  • "To choose a class, a player should first look for his or her highest ability scores." - Moldvay was a rabid power gamer ;)  As an aside I always loved playing clumsy thieves, sickly fighters, clerics that are lacking common sense, etc. It is funny how often these "sub-par" characters can sometimes last in a campaign.
  • Strength, Intelligence, et al are called "ability" scores instead of attribute scores, stats, etc. The word "ability" is also used throughout the descriptions.
"Strength" is a measure of muscle power and the ability to use that power.
 "Intelligence" is the ability to learn and remember knowledge, and the ability to solve problems. 
etc...
  • I noticed a number of times in the descriptions terms (or closely related terms) that become "skills" in later editions - balance, endurance, intuition, knowledge, etc.
  • Ability Score Adjustments - "This adjustment shows that a character may practice hard and learn how to fight or reason well..." I always new the option for the 2-for-1 swap but I don't remember ever reading this sentence before. As such I find it somewhat perplexing that Constitution cannot be raised or lowered.
  • A very short description about Hit Points and what they are. No talk about them being part luck or divine favour such as found in the 1st edition Dungeon Masters Guide.
  • Surprise, surprise... I love the standardized -3/+3 ability score bonuses.
  • "Maximum Number of Retainers" - at one time or over the life of a character?


4 comments:

  1. Always interesting to see what people pull out when they do a read-through of something. Fun series of articles!

    I started with Moldvay, bitd, and just realized I have always called them "ability scores". When did that change to "attributes" I wonder?

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  2. Another interesting thing is that you don't reroll all hit dice when gaining a level. In a recent discussion with Brett Slocum he was surprised that rerolling all hit dice was considered to be a house rule. I quoted B/X and he quoted 0E and Tékumel. Now I'm wondering where this changed.

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  3. From the various threads over the years, I've heard Gary say that he was using his Greyhawk changes even before OD&D was first published and that he always used the roll and add method over the reroll each level. The inclusion in EPT indicates that rerolling each level is probably a Dave thing which explains why that method died out.

    Unfortunately, I can't remember exactly which of the dozens of Ask Gary threads this came from.

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  4. Still wish I'd had my chance to play my 2nd level fighter with the Constitution of 3. The "old man," indeed!

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