Yesterday I taught and ran my french class through a simplified version of D&D. You can read all about it HERE. Today I wanted to talk about some of the things I learned and present my version of “D&D” that I showed them.
The first thing I learned was that I should have gone into this thing with a pile of pre-generated characters. Creating characters even in my simplified version of the game was a nightmare. This was due in part to the fact that it was difficult for me to articulate the process only in french and because even if I had been doing it in english I probably wasn’t explaining things as clear as I needed too.
Secondly I should have made a cheat sheet prepared to showcase what a character could do in a scene/combat and what the steps/actions in scene/combat are. All in all things went fairly smoothly and people had fun so I would consider the game a success and I'm happy for the most part with the results.
The Game System
When I first decided to run a D&D game I really struggled with what rules set I should use. My biggest concern was with translating what ever system I was using to french. This is a french class and the goal is to practice speaking properly. After a fairly exhaustive search I settled on the french version of Epées & Sorcellerie. However after a bit of reading I decided that even this might be too complicated for my group. In the end I ended up using it more as a reference book for learning the right french translations and creating my simplified system. After reading it I really liked Épees & Sorcellerie I could see myself playing this with another group one day.
Zombiecowboy's Fantasy RPG Rules Set
Heres my simplified “D&D” rules. Read em, use em, let me know what you think of em in the comments.
Step 1: Think of what you want to play.
Imagine a character from a favourite book, film, or TV series.
Step 2: Choose ability scores.
Take the numbers below and put them into the 6 ability scores Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma in the order that best suits your character concept.
18 (+3), 14 (+2), 11(+1), 10 (0), 10 (0), 8 (-1)
Step 3: Choose a race from below.
- Human: +2 racial bonus to a specific task of choice (skill, weapon, spellcasting)
- Elf: +2 racial bonus to spellcasting rolls or attacks with bows.
- Halfling: +2 racial bonus to ranged attacks, or 1d6 sneak attack (stacks with thief class sneak attack bonus).
- Dwarf: +2 racial bonus to attacks with axes and verses poisons.
Step 4: Choose a class from below.
- Fighter: Starts with 30 hit points + Constitution Modifier, +2 Bonus on all attacks.
- Cleric: Starts with 24 hit points + Constitution Modifier, ability to cast miracles (spells).
- Wizard: Starts with 12 hit points + Constitution Modifier, ability to cast spells.
- Thief: Starts with 18 hit points + Constitution Modifier, 1d6 sneak attack.
Step 5: Determine Armour Class (AC).
10 + Dexterity Modifier + Armour Bonus = AC
- No Armour: Armour bonus +0 (If a wizard casts spells while wearing any sort of armour they take the amour bonus as a penalty to spellcasting checks).
- Leather Armour: Armour bonus +2 (Thieves can wear leather armour without penalty, wearing heavier armour causes the thief to suffer the armour bonus as a penalty to sneaking and other thievery related activities).
- Chain Mail: Armour bonus +4 (Clerics can wear chain mail or less armour without suffering penalties to spellcasting. wearing full plate causes the cleric to suffer the armour bonus as a penalty).
- Full Plate Armour: Armour bonus +6 (Fighters can wear any armour they choose).
Rules of the Game
The rules are simple, but do require a certain amount of adjudication on the GM's part. Basically if it seems right, fun or cool and everyone is cool with it then go for it. These rules are essentially rough guidelines and should not be followed rigorously. They have not been rigorously play tested.
- Determining Success/Failure: In order to make an attack, cast a spell, or attempt an action (climb a wall, sneak, make a perception check etc.) you roll a d20 and add the most appropriate ability modifier and any other bonuses/penalties that might apply based on class, race, or circumstance. (strength for attacks with weapons, dexterity for initiative or tumbling, intelligence for casting a wizard spell, wisdom for cleric miracles etc.) You succeed on a task if your result is 10 or higher.
- Damage: Damage is determined by rolling a 1d6 and adding the appropriate ability modifier (strength for melee, dexterity for ranged attacks, Intelligence/Wisdom for wizard/cleric spells. All attacks regardless of weapon type or spell deal damage the same way.
- Magic: There is no codified spell list. It's up to each person to come up with the spells their character can cast and it's up to the GM and player to adjudicate how they work exactly. For example if a character wants to turn invisible they spend an action and turn invisible. Attack spells require an attack roll and on a success deal 1d6 damage plus intelligence for a wizard or wisdom for a cleric. Area effect spells allow for a saving throw (A successful save is a 10 or higher on a d20 roll) for all targets in the area. Some spells like paralysis allow for an opposed roll between the spell caster and target. The highest result plus modifiers wins the contest.
- Actions in Combat: Characters can perform 1 action (attack, cast a spell, etc.) and make a move of 6 squares. Or a character can run for twelve squares and end their turn. Any other reasonable or logical actions a character could do within that basic frame work could be attempted on GM approval.