Monday, 23 September 2019

Basic D&D: After the Adventure

Cadman is rich by any historical measure of a commoner, possibly conscripted to serve on campaign to fight for Lord and Land. The encounter with the Magic Mouth doubled his treasure collected: 1200gp in gems, 143gp in coin (converted). He walked away with another 360XP from encounters. He adds another 10% XP, or 170, for the Fighter Prime Requisite bonus. The total is 1873XP. Added to Cadman's 253 from the first introductory adventure with Aleena, that's 2126XP. 

Cadman advances to Second Level. A Warrior! While not specifically introduced for another few pages, we know from pg. 12, Experience, that Cadman will get 1d8 Hit Points per level plus Constitution modifier. Cadman's 16 Constitution is a +2 to Hit Dice rolls per level. Cadman rolls a 3 on 1d8! That's 5 Hit Points for the level advance, and a little better than average (with the bonus).

The Solo Adventure closes with an introductory equipment list with the note that there "... are more weapons and equipment available in group adventures." Part of me feels this is an odd reproach for the reader. However, we'll abide for the time being and revisit this much later in Making up a new character following introduction to the seven types, or classes.

We also close the Solo Adventure with a complete map of the dungeons Cadman explored. We now know that behind the locked door was a treasure room that had a secret door and a passage deeper into the hillside. The treasure remains the property of the Lost Eye goblins.

What comes next?

Two other solo adventures were published in the mid-'80s. M1 Blizzard Pass and M2 Maze of the Riddling Minotaur. Both are available on DriveThruRPG, the former had invisible ink entries, and DriveThru tells us the version scanned has all entries revealed.

But D&D is "a group game ... best for 3-6 players." And one of those needs to be the Dungeon Master, or DM. The new DM should read the DUNGEON MASTERS RULEBOOK and "should not try to run a game before looking at that book."

I really enjoy these four paragraphs in this section. In hindsight there is a ton to unpack, and we seem to be relearning so much of it in podcasts and blogs. From table size, to teaching each other how to play, to just starting with the pre-generated characters in the center pages. Everyone can play the same fighter, just give each a different name! And the now assumed roles of Tank, Healer, Damage Dealer are touched on, noting that groups of 4-6 should try to have most of the classes given.

Don't try to memorize everything...

...but try to remember the types of things explained." Truer words of how play evolved in the 36 years since have never been typed.

Character Classes

This section is a bit of an introduction to the world fiction of D&D. What do I mean? Simply put, Humans are ascendant, non-humans, or "demi-humans" (because they seem to be partially human) are descendant. Dwarves1, Elves, and Halflings are "classes [and] also a separate race of beings."

The rules for creating characters of all types will be shortly introduced in the following pages, but we get a recap of the Prime Requisite for each character class and the table. We also get a recap of how each class will also have a Saving Throw Table.

Race as Class or Just... Fighters?

Humans have Fighter, Thief, Cleric, and Magic-User classes, but each race is only a Fighter. The Elf is something of a dual-class type, a Fighter-Magic-User, or more closely, an Advanced D&D Ranger. All the races build on the stereotypes and tropes of contemporary fantasy literature found in the Appendix N of Advanced D&D, but none are Thieves or Clerics and all are Fighters. Advanced D&D introduces finer distinctions, for example, Elven Thieves and Clerics are introduced (and still restrict demi-humans in specific ways), but the limits on the demi-humans in Basic D&D is a hard line difficult to houserule without work.

It is this Fighter foundation, in my opinion, that makes each race less a hard Class in itself, but just a fighter-type with attributes typical of the fantasy setting. I'm splitting hairs of course, but I simply feel that the appellation of Race as Class fails to deals with the simple fact: they are all Fighters in name, Veterans, Warriors, and Swordmasters.

  1. [1] Yes, Dwarves, not Dwarfs. Suck it.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:43 PM in d10
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