Thoughts on running OD&D last weekend
I had a great time running OD&D last weekend. Almost all the boys were gone on a big Scout outing, but the three players who did attend (including my dungeon-crawling, monster-slaying wife) seemed to enjoy themselves. I ended up making a next-to-last-minute decision to run Dyson Logos’ Burial Mound of Esur the Red as a one-shot. Had a total of two 3rd-level PCs (due to the players’ overlapped comings-and-goings) — a Fighter and a Thief — and 2 hireling men-at-arms. Only three members of the expedition entered the mound (one of the MTAs stayed with the horses in a nearby grove.) Helmut the Sellsword was slain inside the mound by some skeleton warriors, but the two PCs survived thanks to good tactical thinking and cautious play.
Character creation went slower than I expected, largely because one of the PCs started out with a bit more money than expected thanks to a lucky draw from the Deck of Stuff. The PC, a Fighter, got a scroll containing 2 magic spells — one 4th level and one 5th. Having no use for the scroll, she sold them for a few hundred GP and decided to go shopping…
Our twentysomething player was initially skeptical about d6-only weapon damage (“I miss my 8-sider already”) , but she got over it pretty quick. The players also enjoyed my implementation of the “Order of the d30 Rule” as an alternative (of sorts) to BoL Hero Points.
I’m still very curious to see how the boys will react to the different rules when they return. They didn’t complain much when I switched from BoL back to Labyrinth Lord, but will they be cool with a game where (almost) all the weapons roll the same damage die and a +1 bonus is a big deal? After all, if the conversations I hear are any indicator, it seems they predominantly think of their characters in terms of “pluses” and how much damage their weapons do. By switching to OD&D and removing much of this mechanical focus, I hope they start thinking more of their characters as “characters,” not just stats.
I’ll post the OD&D house rules I used (in progress of course), reference pages, and character sheet in the Game Resources section. Suggestions and comments are always welcome!