Monday 28 February 2011

Inheritance and Dynastic Succession in Classic DnD

Henry 1/8: "One day kids, this rainy island full of sheep 
and short-tempered drunks will be all yours."
Junior Tudors: "Erm, yay?"

Q: How do you get hereditary dynasties (even short-lived ones) in a world where killing fools and taking their stuff doesn't just make you an infamous serial killer, it makes you The Goddamn Batman? How do you stop the first King Conan wannabe from waltzing in and kicking your designated successor off the throne his dad worked so hard to acquire?

A: Let's say, for the sake of argument, that a character has effectively 'won' Classic D&D.
He's 10th level or so; rides around on griffon-back wielding a sword of fire, a lance made of lightning and a bow that shoots homing piranhas; and has a fine castle full of swag, blow and harem girls in the midst of an rich province sitting at the heart of an extended network of friends, allies and trade partners. It'd sure be nice for the character to be able to pass this on to a successor of his choice, rather than having all that hard work fall prey to the first gang of lean-and-hungry murderous hobos to wander along.

Well, the wise fathers of our game - as with so much else - already had the possibility of ensuring a bit of dynastic continuity within gameworlds covered. Behold! the Henchmen and Inheritance rules of B/X D&D. 

When Junior (be he lineal son-and-heir or favoured apprentice/acolyte) comes of age his father/mentor/patron can use the rules on acquiring Henchmen to (NPC Reaction Check permitting*) designate Junior - a well-bought up boy who's had the advantage of the best training that unlimited money, favours and fear of magical retribution can buy - a bona fide henchmen in good standing, with all the benefits and appurtenances thereof.

*  all those disgruntled "I'll make my own way dammit!" noble sons adventuring incognito, thieving apprentices who steal spellbooks, and neophytes suffering crises of faith have to come from somewhere...

Pops can drag Junior off on a few ‘bonding with the old man’ adventures, doling out 50% “turning up and holding the torch” XP to the young'un as he passes on those hard-learned wyvern-wrangling and vampire-ganking techniques.  Heck, it he wants to be all Edward III about it Pa can just sit back to “let the boy earn his spurs” as a {knight/wizard/priest} errant, likely garnering full XP from his time in the finishing school of hard knocks. Rinse and repeat a few times and when the gaffer finally decides to jack it all in and (*ahem ahem*) retire to a monastery Junior is already man enough to stand up for himself against the local troublemakers.

Per the Inheritance rule, Junior then pays the customary 10% inheritance tax (either as tribute to the local overlord, or bribes to the neighbours and followers) and inherits dad's gear and title as Lord Warden of the Spongmires free and clear. Thanks to his foresighted old man, the new lord of the manor has the personal clout (i.e. levels) and reputation to back up his newly acquired title. Instead of being some 1HD eggshell armed with a hammer the rightful heir* can use all the sweet adventuring gear he's inherited without the danger of some bandit chief lucking into asymmetric power by doing a William Rufus on him.

* for a given value of 'rightful', seeing as all political legitimacy in D&D-land stems directly from personal power. One man's "rightful heir" is invariably another's "spawn of the vile usurper"...

And that, dear readers, is why - contrary to expectations - you rarely find a mere F1 as lord of that castle that just hove into view, and why death in harness among the land-holding classes only rarely ("Like, less than 50%: hardly at all really...") sets off a frenzy of internecine war and backstabbing.

(Inspired by Keith and Frank's thoughts on dynastic inheritance in 3E.)


JOESKY'S LAW compliance content

Divine the Ancestral Will (Arcane Spell)
Level: 2       Dur: see Speak with Dead
A restricted form of the clerical spell Speak with Dead. Requires rare and expensive unguents, incenses and the like.
No limit on time since death, but can only be performed in the presence of the honoured remains and/or expensive memorial of a lineal ancestor. The ancestor will be the spirit interrogated. 1in20 chance that the caster is geased to avenge some slight to the ancestor, or to perform some task to the benefit of their family line, in return for the knowledge acquired.

(inspired by the Manja ancestor worship rites from Fading Suns "Dark Between the Stars")

Pic Source
Henry VIII and his children (and his jester) from Medieval and Renaissance Material Culture site

Saturday 26 February 2011

Fame and All the Benefits Thereof

"No you jackasses! Kleos; not campness..."

As Tim of Gothridge Manor argued some time back, adventurers can be seen as the big-spending, high-living, tall-tale-telling rockstars of the fantasy world. Kids play out their adventures; swains and maidens have woodcuts of them on their hovel walls; bards sing of their loves, losses and achievements; innkeepers give thanks to the gods when they see them walk through the door. So why not have that social stature reflected in the game? All too often I've seen mid-high level adventurers treated as no-account bums by vendors and functionaries who, by rights, should be licking boots and sucking up.

The K.A.Pendragon game uses Glory (the sum of a knight's personal accomplishments) as its XP equivalent. The more Glory you have, the status you will have among your peers. Why not adapt this, or something like it, to D&D?

Ok, here's a table. Whenever the party first saunter into a new burg roll a level check (d*, equal or less than level = success) to if their reputations precede them (for good or ill). What size die is rolled depends on how big and busy the locale is, and on how far the characters are from home.

Hometown - d6
Other town - d8
Local City - d10
Distant City - d12
'Overseas' - d20
Offworld/Other plane - d30
  • If the character is a regular patron of bards, or a big man on the local social scene; shift the die down a size.
  • If the character lives abstemiously or anonymously (like, for example, a lot of thieves); shift the die up a size.
Why a level check? Because XP in D&D is garnered by doing macho, lucrative stuff that gets you talked about: killing monsters, stealing swag, paying your bar tab with a fistful of rubies.Fame and public recognition will be an emergent effect of the things you do to garner XP (and more personal power) in the first place.

Why scale the dice? Because being 'hometown famous' likely doesn't mean a thing in a big, jaded city like Viridia, but almost everyone in the Wilds has heard at least a few stories about the Heptarchs of Aftane or the Emperoress of Throx (high-level doodz with lotsa kills and big rep). Someone/thing like Demogorgon? He's famous all across the planes.

If the level check is a success the character is recognised as noteworthy. Roll, or choose (as appropriate) public reaction to his presence:

     1-3    Positive impression (brave, learned, generous, etc.)
     4-5    Negative impression (cowardly, cheapstake, braggard, etc.)
     6    False impression (mistaken identity, mis-attributed deeds or scandal, etc.)

Positive and Negative impressions modify NPC reactions by moving them up by one band on the NPC Reaction Table (Unfriendly to Neutral, Indifferent to Friendly, etc.) for Positive reactions; down by one band for Negative.
  • Positive impressions might get you exclusive invitations, discounts, free stuff, convivial company, etc. All as the GM decides.
  • Negative impressions will get you barred from entry (to the baths/palace/city...), sudden outbreaks of "Sorry sir, out of stock/price went up.", surly service, hired thugs gunning for you, and/or the traditional urchins throwning clods of dirt.
  • False impressions should involve any hilarious, farcical complications the GM can devise ("Why are they cheering us/smiling in that sickly manner/chasing us with pitchforks and torches?") Claiming credit for things you haven't actuallt done (or not correcting misattributions from others) can result in unearned gifts and adulation, but expect Lord Slashstab to be more than a little angry when word gets out that a bunch of no-account punks are getting props for supposedly killing a dragon he slew/unhorsing him in battle/cuckolding him...
You might also elect to apply this fame effect to the morale of encountered monsters. Where appropriate use a level check to see if the monsters have heard camp fire tales of these guys (the deeper into the dungeon/wilderness, the larger the die used). If yes, modify their reaction and/or combat morale accordingly.

This last tweak ain't crazy innovation for the sake of it; there was actually something similar in Gygax & Perren's "Chainmail" (see page 30, under the entry for Superhero).  Lowly 1HD oiks had to make a morale check if a Superhero even ambled within charge distance of them. Totally reasonable IMO. I mean, you've heard stories about that wild-eyed albino guy with the burning runesword and the bat-winged helm; do you really want to be the first one to go up against him today?

Header pic from What's On TV?

Friday 25 February 2011

The Footprints of Ayrvaat

"Oh Gods it's horrible here!
Please can we go back to the dungeon?!"

Some ancient and broken roads in the Wilds lead nowhere.  Literally nowhere.  They terminate not in settlements inhabited, deserted or even ruined and monster-haunted, but in badlands that even the jaded natives of the Wilds consider unnaturally twisted and hostile.  Even more so than dungeons, these are places shunned by the sane and sensible.  The men of the Nagai Plains call these ill-omened lands names that variously translate as "Befouled Domain of the Dead", "Tangled Vista of Misery", "Place to Which Only a Damn Fool Goes" and collectively "The Footprints of Ayrvaat". 

Traveller's tales concerning these places are universally cautionary and grim in tone.  Asking around the learned sages or craggier, more travel worn habituĂ©s of the bars and bordellos of Adburg will produce an unchanging unity of tone in responses: "The Footprints of Ayrvaat? Stay away.  You won't find treasure; you won't find glory; you'll just find a slow, painful, ignominious death." Few, and of little credence, are stories of lost treasure in these dread places. 

Whatever the prevailing terrain the environs of Footprints of Ayrvaat are difficult going.  The land becomes ever more broken, directions and distances ever more deceptive.  Prevailing weather within several hours travel of a Footprint is almost universally bad, with vicious crosswind and limited visibility the norm, and dire rains unpleasantly common.

The outermost peripheries of the Footprints are invariably composed of stony fellfields bisected by long berms and hillocks, all of which point back in the direction from which the traveller has come.  There are numerous erratics and a great deal of broken, vitrified ground.  The little water that can be found is brackish and unpleasant at best, and more often dangerously toxic.  The terrain is sparsely scattered with remnants of what may once have been crafted metal and stone crafted to an inhuman aesthetic, but might just as easily be naturally-occurring materials heated and shaped by immense, alien forces. 

The broken, cliff-scarred lands at the heart of the fellfields, surrounding a Footprint of Ayrvaat proper, will be scattered with stark, sharp-edged monoliths and rows of sculpted rocks positioned to form mile-long stretches of wall or dragons teeth blocking forward progress in the most awkward manner possible.  Numerous unburied humanoid skeletons of strange form lie unburied around the monoliths and fellfields.

The monoliths - all prominently situated - variously resemble spiked trees or vast lightning bolts flung into the ground at crazy angles.  Some are solid; others contain seemingly random hollows and voids.

The (obviously artificial) walls and dragon’s teeth are composed of strangely-angled blocks of hard-wearing stone, deliberately positioned so that only difficult to find narrow, twisted pathways exist between them. 

Within the broken rings of the monoliths and walls are found the foci of the Footprints.  These are invariably vast depressions furlongs across.  These vitrified and blasted badlands are most commonly bone dry and afflicted with constant dust storms, but some are partially filled by miasmal toxic lakes.  Intruders rapidly become prone to progressive malaise and wasting sickness.  Dead organic materials (leather, wood, paper, etc.) begin to decay at an accelerated rate.  Metal radiates a strange form of St Elmo's Fire which streams away from the centre of the Footprint.  Nothing good grows here; normal life rapidly sickens and dies. 

The inner reaches of Footprints of Ayrvaat are devoid of any by the most stubborn life; a few warped mewling blasphemies of life crawl across the landscape scrounging whatever meagre sustenance they can from the strangely fleshy ground-hugging plant life that struggles to survive here.  As if the attenuated ecosystem were not stressor enough, living creatures are further afflicted by both wildly unnatural environmental conditions and insanely howling spectres of the long dead. 

At the very centre of each Footprint is a strange area of tortured space.  Gravity, space, time and magic all become unpredictable in the vicinity of these Twists.  Normal sight and darkvision simply refuse to register whatever is at the focal point of a Footprint, treating it almost as a blind spot.  Magical probes blink out of existence, register contradictory information or react in unexpected ways, often driving those investigating them insane.  Approaching these strange cankers in the substance of things is generally fatal, even to the best-protected explorers. 

All who have survived a journey to a Footprint of Ayrvaat agree: there is nothing of value, only a lethal enigma.

Footprints of Ayrvaat, Notes and Rules

Yeah, the Footprints of Ayrvaat are my attempt to add a little Gamma Wastes/Cacotopic Stain/Chaos Wastes/Mournlands vibe to the Wilds.  They’re not exciting treasure- and danger-filled focuses of excitement; they’re a (pretty heavy-handed) reminder that the Wilds are a post-apocalyptic setting which eats unique and special snowflakes for breakfast.

This link on Warning People Away from RL Bad Mojo should be of interest.

Locating a Footprint of Ayrvaat
There should be a non-trivial chance (my pref. 50%) that any large town or city rolled on your preferred random terrain generator is instead a Footprint of Ayrvaat.  The hex containing the Footprint of Ayrvaat, and all surrounding hexes, will be considered very difficult/badlands terrain for purposes of overland movement.

General Rules for the Footprints of Ayrvaat
  • Divination magic ("commune", "contact other plane", etc.) generally yields little information beyond a general theme of "We have no desire to talk about that.  Stay away."

In Proximity to a Footprint
  • Living creatures take periodic radiation damage (see below).  Check once per 4 hours in the outer reaches of a Footprint (within 10 miles of the Footprint proper, but if outside the monolith walls)
  • Inhabitants? Break out Mutant Future or your preferred random beasty generator. Low frequency of encounters.
  • Compasses and dead reckoning navigation work erratically, if at all (increase chances to become lost by as much as you see fit). 
  • Weather is invariably bad, with occasional unnatural storms pouring out of the Footprint in defiance of prevailing winds. Fun Fortean storm chart here.
  • Quality of hunting is poor and foraging for food is nigh impossible.
  • Animals are skittish and unruly.
  • Intelligent summoned entities are sullen, nervous and keen to leave as quickly as possible. 

Within a Footprint of Ayrvaat
  • Living creatures take increasingly large doses of radiation damage.  Check once per turn within the crater, and immediately if anyone is foolish enough to drink from a toxic pool.
  • Inhabitants?  Swarms of screaming incorporeal undead. In between fending off the howling dead sprinkle with Mutant Future, or your preferred random beasty generator. Don't spare the rod.
  • Natural items decay at an accelerated rate (Item saves per hour?). 
  • Food sours, or picks up radiation.  Enjoy those rations folks.
  • Magic has a 50% chance of misfiring (effects at GM's discretion, although invariably malign).
  • Magic which allows instantaneous transportation (teleport) or which uses/allows travel to other planes as a means of transit (ethereality, shadow-walking, etc) tends to backfire horribly.
  • Most summoning spells either do not work, or work in a horribly unexpected manner.
  • Summoned elementals are entirely uncontrollable and invariably hostile within a Footprint.
  • Animals absolutely will not enter a Footprint, and will turn on masters who attempt to compel them by force.
  • Other effects as the GM's evil mind decides.

At the Loci of Footprints
  • Living creatures are bathed in dangerous radiation.  Check once per round, increasing minimum intensity as distance closes. 
  • Coming into direct contact with the locus of a Footprint should be impossible.  Anyone foolish enough to have attempted it should be torn to pieces by arcane physics gone berserk before getting within reach.
  • Using divination magic on a locus causes the scyrer to suffer a random effect: 
1-3 - Cause Fear
4-5 - Feeblemind
6 - Symbol of Stunning
7 - Symbol of Blindness
8 - Symbol of Insanity

All effects as the spell of the same name (see LL & LLAEC, or equivalent book of your choice). Save at –2. No save allowed if the spell true seeing was used to scry.

Radiation in the Vaults Game

Generally, as Mutant Future pp50-51. 
Roll d6 for intensity; d10 if the PCs have wandered into somewhere horribly dangerous...  or if you're in a bad mood. 
Failing a string of saving throws against radiation (treat as Save vs. Wands, per MF 145) doesn't result in glamorous new mutations; it results in death.
Radiation damage cannot be healed naturally; bed rest is no help, ditto macho pulp hero slugs of alcohol.  Hit points lost to radiation damage can be regained only through the use of magical healing (yeah, as 3E's Vile damage type). 

It's an established trope of the Vaults game that large amounts of magic does bad sh*t to you. I'll be using these rules for areas of unnatural (often sickly-green or lurid purple) high-magic radiance.

Header image from The Wandering Scot blog
Landscape of Thorns and Forbidding Wall images from Excerpts from Expert Judgement on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, Sandia National Laboratories report SAND92-1382

Thursday 24 February 2011

A-to-Z All Killer, No Filler Challenge (Prelim)

 (Me, some time hence, when 
I realise just what I've agreed to)

Here's something I spotted in a blogroll and snuffled out at the (rather unfortunately named) Tossing It Out blog:

The premise of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge is to post something on your blog every day in April except for Sundays.  In doing this you will have 26 blog posts -- one for each letter of the alphabet.   Each day you will theme your post according to a letter of the alphabet.

You will only be limited by your own imagination in this challenge.  There is an unlimited universe of possibilities.  You can post essays, short pieces of fiction, poetry, recipes, travel sketches, or anything else you would like to write about.  You don't have to be a writer to do this.  You can post photos, including samples of your own art or craftwork.    Everyone who blogs can post from A to Z.

So, bandwagon ahoy then.

I'll be needing 26 subjects on which to exude brain custard throughout the month. I could just pick them myself, but, in my unlimited masochism, I've decided to let my esteemed (well-groomed, erudite, and not at all prone to the cheap gag, or to inflicting nigh impossible and hilariously ironic Sisyphean punishment) readership use me as their personal performing monkey-cum-sideshow geek.

Pick any word you like, post it in the comments (along with any additional conditions you elect to impose) and I'll blog on it in connection with the Vaults setting. In accordance with JOESKY'S LAW each post will contain actual substantive game-able content.

I'll start the game by doing A to C (picked entirely at random from the Collin's Concise English Dictionary):

A is for "atrophy"
B is for "broth" (dodged a bullet there methinks...)
C is for "curtsey"
D is for "destiny" (Geordie Racer)
E is for "equinox" (Geordie Racer)
F is for "fisticuffs" (Geordie Racer)
G is for "geometry" (Ragnorakk)
H is for "haze" (Ragnorakk)
I is for "immortality" (Ragnorakk)
J is for "Jungian" (Sham, aka Dave)
K is for "kibble" (Sham, aka Dave)
L is for "lopsided" (Sham, aka Dave)
M is for "Maenad" (ckutalik)
N is for "nostalgia" (ckutalik)
O is for "orgasmatron" (ckutalik)
P is for "putrescence" or "pandemonium" (Flynn) or "parallax" (Carter Soles)
Q is for "quarrel" (Stuart)
R is for "ransack" (Stuart)
S is for "silver" (David) or "syzygy" (Erin Palette)
T is for "Thulsa Doom" (David)
U is for "unsettling" (Stuart)
V is for "vermin" (Byron) or "vagabond" (Trey)
W is for "wafting" (Byron) or "were-folk" (Trey)
X is for "xenium" (Byron)
Y is for "yew" (migellito)
Z is for "Zarathustra" (migellito)

Note: due to insufficient days in the month of April this challenge will not include the full richness and variety of the Suessian Reformed Latin alphabet.

Image source: Booklust blog

Tuesday 22 February 2011

Broad-Brush Human Cultures of Nagoh

Just a quick-and-dirty cultural origins table for humans IMG. Differentiates them nicely from one another, gives new players a handle on what the world is like, and keeps distressingly cliché RL archetypes ("Oh, a Viking named Olaf. How... unexpected.") to a minimum.

Game-mechanical effects? None as written. This is classic D&D. It's intended as nothing more than a hook for the player to hang characterisation on. If the players whine (and I'm feeling generous) I *might* allow some minor mechanical benefits.

Roll d8:  
1-3 Urban   
4-6 Rural
7-8 Oddland

Urban (d8)
  1. Cinnabarite - You come from solipsistic Cinnabar, City at the Centre of Time. Your physique is godlike, your skin golden, your self-satisfaction total.
  2. Elsweran - You come from the misty city of Els. Your eyes are unusually large and you have feathers rather than hair.
  3. Tarasqualtan - You come from Tarasqualta, City of the Godbeast. Your teeth are disconcertingly sharp, your nails are iron-hard black claws.
  4. Throxian Vatborn - You come from the Dome City of the Emperoress, where men are created rather than born. Your flesh is hairless and ghoulishly pale, your mien distant.
  5. Viridian - You are a descendent of the mighty sea-kings of Viridia the Ever-Glorious. Your skin is green-tinged, your eyes black and slightly bulbous.
  6. Aftani - You come from far Aftane, City of the Seven Red Kings. Your hair blows in unseen winds. Your voice echoes strangely.
  7. Adari - You come from Adar, Temple City of the Ten Thousand Gods. Your neck is elongated, your eyes slanted. Your skin is tattooed with scriptural passages.
  8. Neteshan - You come from Netesh the Damned, Peripatetic City of the Apostarch. Your red limbs are short but sturdy, your face unusually flat. You're not sure how to get home...

Rural (d8)
  1. Nagai Plainsman - You come from the wind-swept plains beyond the Nagai Pass. Your eyes are narrowed, your blue-tinged skin weathered. You call no man master.
  2. Nagai Hillsman - You come from mining country. Your hands are large, your eyes beady, your skin ingrained with soot. Things can only possibly get worse...
  3. Nornmonter - You come from the Nornmounts, the cursed mountains beyond the ruined City of Nagoh. You have an unusual number of fingers and a tendency to flinch from things others can't quite see.
  4. Toxfeller - You come from the cratered, sinkhole-infested Toxfells around the ruined City of Nagoh. Your features are malleable, your limbs oddly articulated. You don't like to be out after dark.
  5. Funglan - You come from the outlying areas of the Fungal Forest. Your features are strangely elfin, and you are carry curious infections. You are also prone to periods of vacancy.
  6. Vorran - You come from the rich downlands of the Vorra River. You are broad-beamed and web-footed, and you like livestock entirely too much.
  7. Islander - You come from one of the islands of the Sea of O'sr. Your people are unique and especially marked by the gods; not like all those other islanders, who are merely inbred arrogant weirdoes.
  8. Hexlander - You come from the mysterious Hexlands, where the ground falls away and men are prey to alien beasts. Your arms are long, your skin radiates a subtle orange glow.

Oddlands (d10)
  1. Ganymedean - You come from the Gandymedean Marches, where true warriors ride the mighty Men-o-War in glorious aerial combat. Your skin is bronzed, your voice LOUD!, your mettle true.
  2. Crab Dancer - You come from the shoals of Thadamkrabh. You wear garments of coral and shell. Your feet are strangely jointed and your eyes retract rather than blink.
  3. Anachron - You come from the land of Anachronia, where the impossible is everyday. You carry in your body artefacts of strange make and obscure function.
  4. Janus - You come from the land of the Januses, where men have two faces. Some call you dishonest, you prefer to think of yourself as multi-faceted.
  5. Amazon - You come from the land of the amazons, where men are slaves or sacrifices. Sharp-edged stony shards grow from your shoulders.
  6. Pan - You hail from the idyllic hill-country of Panistan. You are goat-legged and sybaritic.You do not answer to 'Mr Tumnus'.
  7. Stiffneck - You hail from the fog-shrouded Vergrun. Your neck is thickly-muscled and rigid, your eyes wide-set. The Mindslugs of Shgaxx are your ancient enemy and rightful prey.
  8. Shug - You come from the eastern margins of the infamous Iron Forest. Your extremities are disproportiately large. Your mouth is in your belly.
  9. Resonite - You come from the sulphur swamps of Mokad'nar. Your face is eyeless, your head crowned with antlers. You don't seem to bump into things...
  10. Merelunder - You come from the ever-damp Merelands, domain of the Sleeping King. Benign leeches suckle your blood and feed you exotic drugs. Your eyes are close-set, your legs long and gangling.
image from The Book Palace Moebius gallery
Tarasqualta from The City Built Around the Tarrasque by various
Cinnabar from "Cinnabar" by Edward Bryant
Throx from World of Thool by Scott Driver
Viridia from Majestic Wilderlands by Rob Conley
Aftane from Birthright by Rich Baker, et al.
Sea of O'sr from Sea of Os'R Adventure Path by Carter Soles and others
Oddlands from Map of Mosaic from DC's Green Lantern

Saturday 5 February 2011


Cripes it's dusty in here! I was temporarily seduced away from the path of (hairy, mad-eyed) gaming righteousness by the Evil Empire and Eurogames, and that's all I'm saying.

Just emerging from lurkitude to waffle about a small change to rules for charging with lances.  This was inspired by Delta's notes on lancers as kinetic weapons and by the gift-that-keeps-on-giving that is the K.A.Pendragon RPG.

"I'm 9th level and right now my cat-bird
does more damage than me. Sad that."

IMO a high-level griffon-mounted fighter should be doing bad-ass, thematically appropriate stuff like swooping down on his foe and stapling varlets to the ground St George-style.

Suggested changes:
  • Movement stays as is.
  • No change to weapon reach priority (lance and spear/polearm cancel each other's First Strike).
  • Roll To Hit stays as is, at least for the mo'.
  • Damage on a charge changed to 2x(d* + mount's HD), rather than 2x(d* + Str).
  • Mounts make only 1 attack/round in melee. Usually a trample or hoof/claw attack.
So Sir Boggo on his warhorse does 2x(1d*+3), while Sir Shinypants de Railroad on his dragon does 2x(1d*+10-12). Horrible overkill for low-HD opponents, but enough to give even big beasts like sabretooth cats and wyverns something to think about. And yes, you can try to train a purple worm (15HD) or whale (36HD) as a lancing mount if your DM is demented enough to allow it.

* I always thought lance damage was a d8 in B/X D&D. It turns out that LL says d6 and BECMI says d10...
    This doesn't have much mechanical effect on 1HD nameless dudes on horseback, but hopefully it keeps lances interesting for higher level fighters.


    Right. I shall now revert to my accustomed existence as the Drive-By Abuser ("Discussing D&D on the internet? Looks like it and all") of other peoples comment thread. ;)
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