Thursday, April 20, 2023

A Hobbit Inspired Campaign V: System

I was debating whether to talk about system or the setting first.  I've decided to tentatively select a system because I believe it will help focus the setting creation.  And I can always change the system later if I'm not satisfied with the outcome.

For this exercise I am going to use White Box: FMAG with a few modifications.  This was a difficult choice.  I was sorely tempted by both B/X and The Hero's Journey.  But for simplicities sake I am going to go with White Box for now.  For the most part the changes will be plug-and-play.

Starting with base SW: FMAG I would make the following changes and additions.

From James Spahn' White Box Omnibus and Compendium I would add:

  • Greenleaf Elf - Although elves are magical, some are more magical than others.  Greenleaf Elves do not command magic but are very attuned to the forest and have forest related skills.
  • The Ranger - The Ranger would not use the magic option.  This class, as well as the Fighter, would represent the Woodmen.  I was also considering the Barbarian for this but went with the Ranger instead.

Other changes I would make:

  • Remove Cleric.
  • Elves would use the variant rules if they are not Greenleaf Elves.  They would use Clerical magic. I still need to decide whether they would use the Elf Variant spell progression or the Cleric Spell progression.  And I would lower the XP needed to reach second level to 4000.  Since Elves are not fading and disappearing into the west, I may let elves progress to the 10th level.  This is were White Box maxes out.
  • Half-Elf - Though I can't quite figure out how to do it.  The one Half-Elf mentioned is Elrond and he seems like any other elf.  The Half-Elf classes I've seen aren't satisfactory.  They usually give the half-elf a single first level spell and some of the Elf abilities.  I might just make Half-Elves the same as elves.
  • Berserker - If I can find a Berserker class that I like I will include it to represent the skin-changing Beornings.
  • Experience Points - Ultimately, The Hobbit is a treasure hunt. And the characters get their hands on two hoards during their travels, the trolls' and the dragon's.  However, gold as XP doesn't necessarily feel right for a game based on the book.  I could either substitute or supplement the traditional system with one that rewards reaching goals, completing quests or being heroic or something like that.  The Hero's Journey has an experience system like this.

And a couple of house rules off the top of my head:

  • Though there is no mention of Plate Armor that I recall it will exist but will be rare and VERY expensive.
  • Add Scale Armor -3 [+3]
  • Max HP at 1st level.

This is what I have so far.  I may add more or change my mind on system completely.

1 comment:

  1. Re: half-elves, if you hearken back to LotR, there are those descended from Melian, who must choose between Immortality (as did Elrond) who essentially remain elves, and those who choose a Mortal life, as did his brother Elros (first king of Numenor and ancestor of Aragorn) and Arwen. Then there are the more common half elves, like the Prince of Dol Amroth, who were merely long lived but mortal beautiful humans (though how much was elf and how much Dunedain, who knows).

    RE: Berserkers, here's a class of mine inspired by Beorn...