Tag Archives: YARC

YARC: Fighter

What a better place to start than with the basic of classes? Let’s face it. Often the Fighter is much maligned as boring. So let’s make it a little more interesting.

At its core, the Fighter class has the best To-Hit Progression and the best HP. The Fighter is proficient with all weapons and armor in most games. I’ve adopted the house rule that any class can use any weapon. You want your Magic-User with d4 HP run into combat with a great sword against that troll. Go right ahead. I do have some limits on armor but more on that later.

I sat back and thought about what exactly being a Fighter means and what’s missing. Combat is chaotic and sometimes winning and surviving may rely on more that just hitting your opponent and your ability to take a pounding. Winning the battle is about tactics and adapting to what’s needed to win. Fighters get better at hitting things but they don’t learn to duck. And lastly, Fighters are extremely dependent on what gear and magic items they have.

Folks who have followed the blog will recognize this from previous posts and rules hacks. But it’s been refined a little.

Fighters have a unique class “skill” called Prowess. If you recall in the prior post on updated skill, class specific skills/special abilities run off an x in d6 mechanic. A Fighter’s Prowess begins at 2 in 6 at 1st Level. Increases to 3 in 6 at 4th Level, And 4 in 6 at 7th Level. Remember I’m putting a Level 10 cap for character progression.

So how does it work? The character takes their action to assess the battlefield and their opponents then decides if they want a bonus to AC, To-Hit, or Damage. Then make that Prowess roll. If successful then the number rolled is the bonus. Fail and you wasted your time. For example, if the character has a 3 in 6 Prowess, decides they want a bonus To-Hit, and rolls a 1 then they get a +1 Bonus. The bonus for the character remains in effect until the character takes another action to reassess the situation or the character is knocked unconscious and must return to the fray.

This is how I’m setting Fighters apart. Something quick and simple. Yes, I know I didn’t post this time the full write up with attack progression and saves. Don’t worry. I’ll do that later. Probably when I get the basic 4 classes done.

YARC: Saves & Skills

This is my last part of general overview and navel gazing and then I have to really get down to details.

Saves are actually the easiest part. As I’ve said before I really like Swords & Wizardry with its single Save but I want to go a little beyond that with just a little bit of tweaking. So the easy part there’s the base Saving Throw determined only by the character’s level. It starts at 15 for 1st level characters. Then you’ve got the four broad modifiers for Saves determined by stats, race, and class. In essence, there’ s four categories “Saves”: Death/Disease/Poison (CON); Magic (WIS); Traps/AOE (DEX) and Luck (CHA). Most are pretty obvious except Luck. That’s the when in doubt, just make a Save to see what happens, and catch-all for anything else. Simple and easy.

Now Skills are always a big headache. Some folks like them Some folks hate them. A lot of game just have too many damn Skills and some not enough. It’s a fine line. For this I want to break skills down into three very broad categories and work from there.

First, there’s the crap anybody can do with little or no training. That’s an Attribute check using the good old x in D6 model.

Second, cool stuff a character because of their class. For this I’m talking about cool tricks the only characters of certain class. Once again these are on an x in D6 model.

Then there’s stuff any character can try if they’ve got a bit of training. And this is where I’m really brainstorming. There’s those handful of tasks that just about every adventurer wants to do sometime during their career. Everybody wants to sneak somewhere, forage for food, climb, and so on. To keep things consistent, I could still use the x in D6. But I’m also think of something with more granularity. Maybe x ind d12. Because, hell, d12’s need more love. But then Thief skills were based on percentages so there’s that option. On the positive, it does give skills a different feel than other rolls and can add a different twist to things.

I guess next I need to start actually putting all my rants and ideas together.

YARC: Classes

I know I did a post along time ago on Classes but since I’m redoing this what I’ve learned over the years that’s going to be updated too. Like my other posts, this one is going to be more on my general ideas rather than specifics. Those will coming later.

I’ve gone back and forth on this in my mind dozens of times. Should I stick to the basic four classes; Cleric, Fighter, Thief, and Wizard? Or should just do a bunch of classes. As I’m scribbling down ideas, I think I’m sticking to the basic four.

Oddly enough, it was 5e that pushed me in that direction with its “take your class specialty at 3rd” thing. But instead, this is going to be take your specialty at 1st. However, I’m still keeping it old school with basic four and making the other classes sub-classes of the basic four as they were known back in the day. Let’s face it. Paladins, Rangers, and all the others were just a variation on the basic four. Plus I think it will make things easier to add more sub-classes.

So this means my breakdown is going to look something like this.

Cleric: Druid, Monk

Fighter: Barbarian, Paladin, Ranger

Thief: Assassin, Bard

The base classes will have their own special trick and the sub-classes will have theirs. And I’m probably going to revamp the feel of bunch of them and probably just add some weird stuff because that’s how I’m feeling.

Stay tuned for more.

YARC Resurrected

Everybody has that fantasy heart breaker and I’m no different. I played around with YARC years ago and I think it’s to bring this back. In case you’re wondering, YARC stands for Yet Another Retroclone. Because we got enough right?

So why even do this? Well, there’s lots of retrocones that I like bits and pieces and there are bits and pieces that I don’t like. Plus since I started this whole thing, a lot more ideas have popped into my head. Most of this will be all player material. I want it to be pretty much compatible with what ever adventure or supplement that I happen to pick up.

This is going to be a slow process and there’s going to be a bunch of changes along the way I know that. Plus I’ve got so many other gaming projects that I’m working on. I really should get some of those done.

So I want to talk about Stats a little bit for this inaugural post. I think stats should be important and that dump stats can kill you. Of course, it’s pretty easy to think about Constitution and its effect on HP. And Wisdom and Dexterity help with a characters defenses (Saving Throws and AC). But why would a Fighter need Intelligence or Charisma? Those might not be their highest stats but they still should be important. I’ve done some games where I used Charisma as a measurement of Luck as well as personality. It worked well and with modifiers going to a random thing it made the characters fun and even more unique.

For Intelligence, well, I am thinking about a very simple skill system. I know. No SKILLS in old school games. Sigh. I just thinks it’s possible but don’t over do it. Don’t worry. I’ll rant about skills later.

So for overall here’s how I’m thinking about applying those ability score modifiers:

Strength: Damage with Weapons (not just melee)

Dexterity: AC, Initiative (more on this later), and To-Hit with weapons (not just ranged). That’s right Strength is just for damage but Dexterity is to hit and not get hit.

Constitution: Hit Points of course.

Intelligence: Something with skills but there’s some class specific tricks I have up my sleeve.

Wisdom: Resist Magic (Saving Throw)

Charisma: Randomly applied to something.

Ah yes. I know this is vague but this is the first post of many. So stay tuned and join my crazy ride as put this together. And wish me luck. I’m going to need it.

Magical Research

Things are moving fast and I’m putting together even more house rules for Swords & Wizardry. Now, these have been in my notes for quite a while but I just haven’t posted them here. So here it it.
First, this uses the previously posted Skill rules. But for a recap and just use this here’s the low down. Bonus: Average of Int and Wis Modifiers (Wits Skill) +2 (for being a Magic-User doing magic stuff). Skill check number is based on the character’s level. Just check out Attack Save Cheat Sheet.
So what to roll, how long does it take and how much is it going to cost?
Scribe spell from spell book or scroll: 1 Day/Spell Level; -1/Spell Level; 10 GP/Spell Level
Scribe spell scroll of a known spell: 1 Day/Spell Level; -2/Spell Level; 50 GP/Spell Level
Research new existing (already in the rule book) spell: 1 Week/Spell Level; -2/Spell Level; 500 GP/Spell Level
Research a brand new (not in the rule book with GM approval) spell: 1 Month/Spell Level; -3/spell Level; 1,000 GP/Spell Level.
Of course, other modifiers may come into play. Found an ancient book of arcane knowledge? Summon a demon to give you a hand? It’s old-school so this part is very much based on what the player’s have done, found or previously researched.
Fail the roll? Then you just lost time and a whole lot of money. I may do some lab accident type random table but that’s for another post.

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