My wife's fourteen year old asked me to run a D&D game for her and her friends and cousins and I used the opportunity to run OD&D using the Chainmail combat system.
Honestly, it was a blast.
previous game I ran for them had run a little flat, I think because
being videogamers to their core, roleplaying in a town setting as a
leadup to adventure kind of bored them. One kid enjoyed it but the
others were kind of "meh." So this time I decided to go for something
quick and full of action.
I ran off copies of the Fantasy
Creatures Table from Chainmail, blank character sheets, and cleric and
magic user spell lists from OD&D and let them examine these to
decide upon a character or characters. I said you have 100 points (from
the Chainmail point values) to either run a single 100 point value
character (Superhero, High Priest/Priestess or Wizard) or you create
lesser point characters and add followers or a run a group, maximum four
per player as I had five players and arbitrarily decided four was
enough per player. I treated the Priest as a Wizard but used Turn and
Undead tables and Cleric spell list. I assigned a Magic points system,
they had a set number of points and each spell cost a number of points
equal to it's spell level to cast.
As for HD, I gave them a HD
equivalent to their titular level in the OD&D handbook but did not
restrict spell levels as to casting. For both characters and monsters,
HD was actual number of hitpoints, a d6 for all damage rolls. I used a
d20 for order of initiative and for savings throw, otherwise we used the
Chainmail combat matrices, troop type and fantasy combat table and
rolled d6 for all attacks.
The party they assembled was a
Superhero named Lucas, a High Priestess of Athena named YoYo, a
Wizardess named Mad Meg, another Superhero named Pingus the Brave, and
one player ran a Hero named Cragalanch the Mighty with a Dwarf and a
Halfling for loyal men at arms after he had saved them from death in the
War of Irony.
I have to say it made my job really easy and
flowed awesomely. I started them off simple : You have been summoned by
scroll letter to the Iron Tower of Zelligar the Wise, a wizard famed
throughout the realm and highly paid by kings and queens for his
astrological and spellcasting powers. He has learned where a relic he
wants is, the Crown of Command (as per Talisman board Game). He cannot
go himself because he is in the midst of thirty day magical ritual he
cannot leave before completion, thus having heard your fame, he will pay
you handsomely to visit the labyrinth and seek the Crown--warning them
with a little roleplaying by everyone that they had best not even
consider keeping the Crown or, an even more dire warning, trying to use
it since the Crown destroys any person it deems weak upon them trying to
use it. He assures them he only wants the crown to keep it from the
from there they took a boat journey to the isle where the ruins where
and within 15 minutes were into the dungeon. They discovered a lower
Shrine where a human priest led Goblins and Trolls in worship of an ugly
idol, Magubliyet the Goblin God from Deities and Demigods, to the sound
of drums in the deep. They managed to snek past and enter the lower
level, where they found a bricked up chamber warded with goblin curses
(the Wizardess used Read Languages), behind it was a fountain statue of a
maiden holding a sword. Drinking from the fountain gave them an extra
HD temporarily and upon speaking the statue it came to life, challenged
them to a riddle, and upon answering correctly the Lawful Superhero
could claim the magic sword, it was +1, had a Light Spell once per day,
and could answer one question of a divinatory nature once per day but in
only in cryptic rhyme.
At this point some of the more restless
ones prevailed on the party to go up and simply crash the church
service, they did and wonderful melee ensued. Cragalanch's men at arms
almost died but they used healing potions provided by Zelligar. It all
ended with most of the goblin force wiped out, the Wizardess used
Polymorph Other and turned the Evil Priest into a slug (but not before
he had cast Cause Disease and Cause serious Wounds on some characterrs).
With their leader a slug and the trolls and most goblins wiped out,
five goblins begged for their lives and were granted this if they would
answer questions about the ritual and the dungeon. Turns out they were
only on the isle because they use the lower shrine bt are actually from a
large goblin enclave in the forests on the shores of the Great lake.
They were sent packing, the spell casters rested and regained some spell
points (the priestess did some healing), and then Mad meg dispelled
Polymorph and once the Evil priest was bound she set to trying to
torture information out of him, which led to the lawful characters
engaging her in moral and ethical debate.
At one point the priest
offered mad meg a place within their order, which she was wanting to
happily accept but was disappointed to learn that it would mean her
character leaving the game....so instead, she cast Charm Person on the
Priest, he failed his saving throw on a 1, and became her loyal and
devoted friend, happily sharing information with her. Turns out they are
all in league with a Queen of the realm who pretends to serve Law but
is as Chaotic as they come and wants to see humanity fall to the Dark
Gods. So got a plot hook in for further adventures! It ended on a high
note with Fred the High Priest on the Wizardesses good side which these
kids intend to fully exploit next session
also got some loot and are ready to plunge ahead in the dungeon. Mad
Meg got an evil magic sword from the priest and potions, spell scrolls
and treasure was found in a secret compartment discovered by Lucas.
of the most enjoyable games Ive ever played. I used the spell
complexity table from Chainmail and all spellcsters had to roll to
succeed at a spell, but sentient targets also got a d20 saving throw. I
also informed them that spellcasters always had the option of casting a
counterspell against an enemy priest or wizard but to do so they had to
roll equal to or higher than what the opponent rolled in the casting,
counterspells nullified the incoming spell attack.
pretty well, and one thing I liked was how quickly combat was resolved.
There were almost thirty combatants in the Shrine melee but the whole
battle only lasted 7 or 8 rounds, about twenty minutes of game time. I
let players use individual d20 initiative, then I broke the forces up
into units, so I rolled initiative for trolls, then goblins, then the
priest and we kept the same order throughout the battle. Goblins were
one hit wonders anyway--players were delighted to discover you only had
to hit one to make green and red mush. The trolls and the evil priest
proved much more challenging.
Anyway, just wanted to share this. Ive always wanted to try it.