The Tribulations of Bai'Shahoi
An AD&D 1st Edition campaign that stresses roleplay. I use both the Players Handbook (PHB) and the Unearthed Arcana (UA) to build characters and get spells. I have multiple hard copies of all 1st Edition books so it will not be difficult to reference them during game play.
Common dice checks:
- Perception – Roll Dexterity or less to see if you notice something, then if successful, roll Intelligence or less to see if you understand the significance of what you noticed. (Why is that apple emitting smoke?)
- Memory – Not for spells but for factoids that may have suddenly become significant. What did that orc say his dog’s name was? Roll against Wisdom and Constitution on a d20 to see if your character recalls if you as a player cannot.
- Others as the need arises – No stat is left unabused!
Some Idiosyncrasies / House Rules:
Stat rolls: 4d6 rolled in the presence of the DM – For all but one stat, you keep the 3 highest. For one stat, you keep the 3 lowest. If you take 2 low roll stats, you get to add 1 point to any chosen high stat. Arrange scores as you see fit. This is done to facilitate roleplaying opportunities. Some of the most memorable and best times I had in gaming were results of extremely poor stats and / or failed stat checks.
Comeliness is not used because I heard that the very last player in the world who liked the stat died in 2009 of excessive lameness. Such is life.
There are NO stat limitations based on gender. If you want to play a character of opposite gender than yourself, go for it. But let’s try to avoid stereotyped roleplay…there are damn few female adventurers that wear bikini chain mail and come on to all the males they encounter. Just sayin’
Experience: Bonus XP are awarded (at the DM’s discretion) for inventive, improvised and / or roleplayed actions regardless of whether or not they were successful. You will learn from your mistakes even MORE than from your successes. Ergo, you would gain XP from the action. XP are neither awarded for coin looted, nor for magic items taken. XP means EXPERIENCE, which means the character learned something from the adventure, not that they had the fastest hands or the best die roll when splitting loot.
Classes: All PHB Classes are allowed. All UA Classes are allowed EXCEPT for Cavalier, Thief Acrobat and Bard. Paladins are referenced from the PHB, Rangers from the UA. Half-Orcs can be Barbarians with a level limit of 10. Looks like meat’s back on the menu boys!
Weapon Specialization: Not used.
Races: All the PHB and UA races are allowed. Racial level limits are enforced and being human gives a +10% XP bonus. This bonus does NOT apply to XP awarded for roleplay or inventive actions, only to standard XP that everyone else is given at the same time.
Multiclasses: Handled as a single class character with a new title. See Footprints #2 for details. Note: There are some changes to this document, so see me for a hard copy of the list.
Alignments: Unlike many campaigns, Evil characters ARE ALLOWED! But being evil does NOT mean being “Chaotic Stupid”. Chaotic Stupid play by any alignment will be awarded with logical responses. So yeah you could kill a whole village and get away with it once…or twice, maybe even three times. But not long after, don’t be surprised to see Wanted posters with your likeness and / or large groups of well armed bounty hunters out to get you.
Criticals & Fumbles: As one goes up in level, it would be expected that one would be more adept at making critical hits and avoiding fumbles. Therefore, if a natural 20 is rolled, there is a (Character Level x 5)% chance of that hit being a critical hit. Conversely on a natural 1, there is a (Character Level x 5)% chance of that hit NOT being a fumble. Criticals and Fumbles are handled on a percentile basis using charts I have at my disposal balanced by the situation at hand i.e. even if the chart says limb removed, it is unlikely that an elephant will be missing a leg after being critically hit by a dagger wielding mage. Criticals and Fumbles apply to PCs, NPCs and monsters alike.
Money: Silver pieces are the base coin to your average town. A beer today costs anywhere from $2.00 – $8.00. Likewise an ale in most towns will be 2-10 sp.
10 gobs of half-orc navel fluff = 1 cp
10 cp = 1 sp
10 sp = 1 gp
10 gp = 1 pp
10 pp = Holy crap I’m rich!
There is no Electrum; my most humble apologies to the 17 Electrum Piece fans out there. :O(
As you can see, over the course of a game time year (at the current exchange rate), a fastidious half-orc player can generate an extra 3 silver pieces for themselves for FREE! Playing a half-orc has never been more profitable.
Magic Items: Magic items are things of wonderment and NEVER mundanely treated or considered. Many of the magic items encountered will not be recognized by even a very experienced 1st Edition player.
Level Training: Up to about 5th level (give or take), a character will most likely be able to learn new skills, spells, etc. without the use of extensive training. Cohorts, colleagues, associates, etc. will be available for such things to be taught. After that however, characters will need to seek out someone specifically skilled in the ways of their selected avocation to gain new knowledge. This will likely mean guilds and traveling overland to larger cities. What fun!
Spell Casting: Spells WILL need to be memorized ahead of time for all spell casting types. Mage classes will get bonus spells per day based on Intelligence scores similar to Cleric types with Wisdom. The higher Intelligence allows one to remember more spells per day. Cantrips are available by the book (UA) if you want them.
Material components are enforced but I am not a dweeb about it. I’m not going to be too concerned where you claim you got that hunk of wax or gob of half-orc navel fluff, but if your spell calls for a 500 gp gem, you better have a verifiable source for it.
Like the magic items in my world, expect to see some spells that are not listed in the core books from time to time. Because I am such a nice guy, if you end up learning a non-standard spell, I will supply a hard copy of its information at no additional cost to you. Yay!