Tuesday, April 28, 2015

7 Rules to Allow Chainmail Style D&D Games

I have never gotten to play CHAINMAIL, the original fantasy wargame rules that launched Dungeons and Dragons, but that's not because I have not wanted to...have few people to play it with and although I have a decent collection of minis, don't know that I could field whole armies.

CHAINMAIL being wargame and skirmish rules, the rules are much simpler and less involved than in a roleplaying game

There are no various levels of characters or progression of skill as with D&D, only fantastic and military archetypes with set powers, attacks, and movement rates that never change.

I have long wanted to use the CHAINMAIL combat rules for D&D gaming because of the flavor and the cool tables, but the Fantasy Combat Table  in CHAINMAIL presented a problem because for one thing, using that table as a 6 sided die hit system, a D&D Fighting Man would not be able to fight any creature on the matrix until attaining 4th level, and besides that, there would not be much chance of an ongoing campaign with the same characters when a figure is killed by a single hit. And while a D&D Fighting Man would have to wait until 4th level to use the table, other characters must wait even longer, making them fairly useless in melees with fantastic creatures.

So I think I may try a different take.

1. All humanoid, demihuman, and human combatants will use the Man to Man skirmish tables and rules, except those humanoid types which are listed on the Fantasy Combat Matrix.

2. Any character with a magical weapon may fight on the Fantasy Combat Matrix as a Hero. A Fighting Man of lower than 4th level can fight as a Hero on the Fantasy Combat Matrix without a magical weapon but will not fight as a Hero against foes faced on the Man to Man skirmish tables until he actually attains fourth level and Hero status. Fighting as a Hero or Superhero against foes on the Man to Man table means that you get the number of attacks listed in the Hero and Superhero description.

3.A hit by any creature against any creature does only 1 point of damage, plus any adjustments for magic weapons. Magic is somewhat different..where a spell does damage and mentions a number of hit dice of for the damage, convert that to points of damage instead. So a spell that does two dice of damage will instead do two points.

4. Monsters can take as many hits as their hit die. So a dragon in D&D which has 12 H.D. can take 12 hits. At the DM's option a d6 may be rolled and added to this for tougher versions of the same monster.

5. Characters will begin the game with the maximum number of hit points possible for their class at 1st level and gain 2 points with every new level.

6. The movement rates of fantasy creatures will be as per CHAINMAIL. All special powers from CHAINMAIL will be retained for fantasy creatures, including demi-humans, in addition to any additional ones later developed in D&D. If the players encounter fantastic creatures from D&D not listed on the Fantasy Combat Matrix in CHAINMAIL simply use the closest equivalent.

7. The CHAINMAIL rules for Mages casting counter spells against spellcasters of a lower level than themselves will be retained. I may work out spell complexity numbers for every D&D spell.

The rest of the D&D books will be used as normally for purposes of treasures, magic items, and the like.

So this is the model I intend to use. Some would say why? It's less involved. While I love heavily involved games, I go through seasons where I don't want that at all. The narrative rules system I am working on with Brent will be great fun but I will always love a simple game.

As I have mentioned in previous posts I am wanting to run a game with new or open minded players that is figure, terrain, and story based all at once. I want it to have the tactical elements of a wargame with the development of characters found only in roleplaying.

I'm sure I have missed something in this alchemy but I will wing it.

Will playtest soon!

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