I’m going to try my hand at creating classic D&D/OSR classes in BOP, once again. I want to run a game at the local game store. I’d like to use BOP, but it would be more of a high fantasy setting using material from the OSR universe. Therefore, I consider this practice for that activity. If I find it to be too awkward, I’ll probably run Pits & Perils or Swords and Wizardry Whitebox.
When it comes to particular skills, I’m going to use an extra die as an Advantage mechanic when that class attempts something it is good at. That is, roll three dice, keep the highest two. If a situation puts a character at a disadvantage, roll three dice, keep the lowest two.
And as always, non-spellcasters can boost their physical rolls with Might. I will do Fighter, Thief, Sorcerer (as magic-user), Ranger, and Demi-human race-as-class.
Choose a class of weapon: swords, axes, pole arms, bows, etc. When fighting with that class of weapon, roll with advantage.
In Combat, for each point the fighter rolls over the target number, score an additional point of damage.
The fighter gets double the armor value for his armor and shields before needing to repair them.
When engaged in any task of subterfuge: sneaking, hiding, picking pockets, tinkering with locks and fine machinery, or ambushing someone from a hiding place, the thief rolls with Advantage.
As a Blood of Pangea Sorcerer. Damage dealing spells cost 1 Might per point of damage. Healing spells cost 1 Might per point healed.
No clerics. If someone has the favor of a deity, make an ad hoc ruling.
The ranger rolls with advantage when tracking or engaged in wilderness survival activities: foraging, hunting, sneaking, detecting predators, etc. The Ranger rolls with Advantage when attacking with missile weapons. The ranger can, for a cost of 1 might, ask a question of any wild animal and understand the answer.
As cleric. A fighter with the favor of a deity.
The dwarf rolls with advantage when discerning features of stonework: traps, slopes, hidden doors. The dwarf rolls with advantage when resisting magical spells. Choose either the Fighter’s damage ability or Armor ability.
The OSR games cap the the Dwarf’s ability to move high in levels to balance its special skills. So I “balanced” the dwarf by making the player choose which Fighter ability to take. If you have a better idea, please tell me.
A sorcerer with the Fighter’s skills. The elf rolls with advantage when resisting sleep, paralysis, and disease. Elves need only half the sleep other races need. It costs twice the experience as other characters to increase the Elf’s might or acquire new skills.
Halflings roll with advantage when sneaking, hiding, and picking pockets. They roll with advantage when using missile weapons, and have the Fighter’s damage ability when using missile weapons. Halflings roll with advantage when resisting magic.
Personally I’m find all this quite tedious. I played a Halfling in an online forum game of Labyrinth Lord a couple of years back. While all armor types were available to him, I went lightly armored (leather) as I wanted him to be able to sneak. There’s no explicit rules in that game for Halflings sneaking; the fiction informed those tasks when I attempted them. Anyone who has read The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings understands that halflings can move very quietly when they want to.
If I had a game with Halflings, I’d know right off that I’d give advantage of some kind to a sneaky halfling, provided he’s not loaded up with clanking gear. If he’s a bumbling, clumsy halfling, then I wouldn’t. But, unless he was played as a heavy footed clumsy oaf, I’d run with it.
Now that I’ve tried this experiment, I don’t like the idea of using OSR classes for BOP. It feels too restrictive. Perhaps a class could encompass some talents as part of a narrative. As far as explicit mechanical classes, I’d have simply Warriors, Sorcerers, and Rogues (a hybrid of the two), and as racial modifiers something special for each species I wanted to run, and be done with it. I think it would be possible to blend that with the BOP character narrative. Consider my take on Sam Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings:
Samwise is a halfling warrior, skilled gardener and cook. He can carry extremely heavy burdens for a great distance. He is resistant to curses and wields a mean short sword.
Fiction fills in the rest. I’m not sure if I’ll run BOP yet at the local game store but now that I’ve dumped my brain on here and sorted out some thoughts, I’m not entirely opposed to it.
Someone on the BOP Google+ forum suggested letting BOP narratives be longer, but only five talents can be pulled from it.
In such a way, a custom character could be built. This reminds me of World of Dungeons where you can create a custom character by selecting four talents from a list. If I wanted to skip the narrative and let the players build characters from some master list of talents, they can create their desired character type.
This blog post is getting a little long and, being a light-weight, my second beer is making me unnecessarily verbose. So I will end this now.