Ground Rules for the Clone Project

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I started writing out possibilities before laying down the ground rules publicly. I have the boundaries in my head, but not written anywhere.

I do not expect lots of comments about the project as a whole, but just in case, I want to have somewhere to direct a person that asks about how many character points are used to build a transfigurist.

I started my 2e journey with Spelljammer. I didn't have the 2e rules at the time, and didn't feel like I needed them. Once I figured out what THAC0 was, I was pretty much good to go. As a result of my introduction to 2e, I want the rules to be amenable to lots of very different settings. Extraplanar adventures, travel to the phlogiston and other planets, weird, mundane, elemental, and anything else a person can dream up.

On the other hand, I do not have the time anymore to have a 200 page rulebook. I want the players to have options, but those options shouldn't introduce another book of rules. That means that there is no class building by character points. I also don't want 80 zillion kits floating around. I aim to provide a limited amount of options that can really differentiate one character from another, but do not provide so much minutiae that it takes all night to create a character.

I hope that my efforts to define the five character groups help to do that. Fighters have specialization with weapons and armor. Thieves have all kinds of skills at convenient, if not legal abilities. Wizards have access to tremendous magicks. Priests have their faith to provide them power over certain aspects of the universe. Psionicists can tap into the power of the mind to affect the world around them in many ways. Character groups define common experience point tables, saving throws, and spell progression tables.

Within each of the groups,there are various character classes. Classes within a group are differentiated by their special abilities. For example, within the Priest group, Clerics, Paladins and Druids represent different character classes. In the Warrior Group, there are Barbarians, and Rangers.

Within a given character class, kits can provide options through Non-weapon proficiencies or categories of magic. A kit should not provide a new ability. For example, Clerics are different from one another based on domains, not by other powers substituted for Turn Undead. A Cleric with a different power substituted for Turn Undead would be another class within the Priest group. A better example is the Ranger as a class of Warrior. There is not a kit that can make a Fighter a Ranger due to the different abilities of the Ranger.

Sources used will include the PHB, DMG, and very selected elements from the various settings. For example, Spelljammer will provide aerial combat rules and rules for interplanetary travel. The Handbooks like the Complete Fighter's Handbook will be used sparingly. There will be no character points or players building their own classes.

For GMs, I want to include resources to build adventures. This will be a challenge. I also want to present guidelines for rules so that they are not bogged down adjudicating all the player choices. I ran a kitchen-sink campaign years, but I had better things to do that find obscure rules during a game (although I loved finding them outside of the game.)

That's about it. Hope it helps. Maybe writing this down will prevent me from making a huge game. I realize in retrospect that I may not be cloning 2e as much as Dangerous Journeys. On second thought, I'm not aiming for all that detail and percentile rolls.

Next up will hopefully be some thoughts on Wizard kits.

Odd Notes

If possible, I want to build it either off the OSRIC ruleset or Labyrinth Lord. This is for compatibility and OGL reasons. Why reinvent the wheel for certain things?

The Paladin is in the Priest Group, not the Warrior group for now. The more I thought about Priest Kits, the more it seemed like the Paladin belonged there instead of the Warrior group. This may change.

I want to have a Barbarian class as well as a Warrior class that has some ability to cast Wizard spells. We'll see.

Somehow I want to have a translation kit so that it won't be much work to pick up, say, The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga and just run with it as printed. I mention this adventure because it covers so many levels (seven through twenty if memory serves, though I could see it used for beyond twenty) that it would make a good test.