Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Return to the SKLD: Who needs classes?

Two years ago I whipped up a 'lite' version of D&D which I called SKLD! (or Skald) which stands for Search, Kill, Loot, Drink! I've play tested it couple of times but haven't had the opportunity to use it in a regular game. I've been thinking of trying to make some improvements on it it and revise it, so I've decided to write a few blog posts examining certain key features.If you'd like to download a copy you can get a copy from google docs or mediafire

One of my main inspirations for these rules was Searchers of the Unknown.  SotU uses classless system.  In the basic original game, everyone is a human adventurer.  All the differences between characters are determined by their equipment.  On the surface is seems overly simplistic, but the more I thought about it, I found that it had a certain charm.  To me, it's the perfect way to achieve the OSR Murderhobo vibe.  Everyone is just a dude, nothing special at all.  The characters develop based on their actions and the equipment they collect. Certainly there are limitations to this sort of system, namely in the magic department, but there are fairly simple ways to work around this.  

For SKLD, I decided that there should be different races available to the players, and that the characters should have have the 6 standard ability scores (SotU does not use any ability scores, everyone is assumed to be totally average). Ability scores seem too iconic to me, as do the the standard demi-human races, so I had to keep those in SKLD. The one mistake that I may have made is not making the demi-humans significantly different from the humans.  I have given them the standard racial special abilities, and some ability score modifiers, but I may need to do some more with them.  I used the standard B/X ability score modifiers, which range from a -3 to a +3, but I'm thinking of changing this to -2 to +2 system (thanks to Courtney from Hack & Slash). 

One of the important aspects of SotU is that the Armor Class is more important than ever.  AC directly affects movement rate and initiative. In SKLD, I've expanded this concept so that AC also affects a character's chances of pulling off special maneuvers, or using magic.  In this way I feel that AC really lives up to the term armor CLASS, and is not just a physical defense rating.  In effect, the Armor Classes are the character classes in SotU and SKLD. 

Next time, I'm going to talk about a magic system without magic-users.