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CLASSIC FANTASY - A Return to the Dawn of Roleplaying


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The weird and wonderful ways of Chaosium!

3d6, I also wanted to ask you about the Read Magic ability of Magic Users and Illusionists. In some places in CF it sounds like this is a skill, and says something like "if Read Magic is successful" (sorry, I don't have the book with me at the moment). Isn't Read Magic always successful? Did you mean it to be a skill then change your mind later?

Nick

I think I found the part your referring to. On page 81, under Spell Books: "A magic-user can use another caster’s spell book, if he or she can read it (with a successful use of Read Magic), and can make a successful roll of INT x1%..."

Yup, that was a hold over from waaaaay back. Originally Read Magic required a roll to succeed, but I decided it was so basic to a magic-user that

no roll should be required, just the expenditure of a magic point in the case of an unknown spell book or scroll.

So, in this case, think of the "if it succeeds" comment to mean "if the mage expends a magic point". That way I didn't "F" it up again. ;D

Rod

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Thanks Mankcam! Just FYI, Rod (Classic Fantasy guru) has told me he's working on a tome, coincidentally called Manual of Monsters. He's been doing this A LOT longer than I and his conversions will p

For those wishing a little additional information about Classic Fantasy, here is the Introduction in it's entirety. INTRODUCTION What is Classic Fantasy? Classic Fantasy is a return to the d

I used to play computer RPGs like you but then I took an arrow in the knee.

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Classic Fantasy can handle anything 1st ed. AD&D can throw at it!

I just put Classic Fantasy up against it's ultimate test last night. I am running the classic 1st ed. module G1-3 Against the Giants, and I'm running it completely unmodified. I really intended to reduce the numbers of creatures encountered as I always figured this adventure just couldn't be run using BRP, and more than likely, it couldn't have before the Big Golden Book with it's cinematic options. When I used to play 3rd ed D&D, I wanted to run that old classic again, but there had been so many changes that there was no way to do it without reducing the number of giants in some of the encounters. After last nights game, I can honestly say, Classic Fantasy can handle 1st ed AD&D better than later editions of D&D can.

My party just went through a meat grinder of an encounter. I honestly thought this was going to be it. The death of my long time group. The very party depicted through out all the examples in the Classic Fantasy books.

First, just so you know. My party of 6 is powerful. Most have combat skills in the 110% to 130% range now, giving them each 2-3 attacks. Second, Classic Fantasy assumes Total Hit Points as apposed to averaged. But I also use Hit Locations, so individual locations still have fewer than 10 hit points on average. So getting hit by a giant with a +3D6 (on average) damage bonus is going to leave a mark. Finally, my group has some rather nice magic items and armor.

The encounter took place in the Great Hall of the Hill Giant Steading. Encounter number 11 for those wanting to read along, and consisted of the following...

1 Hill Giant Chief

1 Hill Giant Sub-Chief

1 Female Hill Giant (the chief's wife)

1 Cloud Giant (visiting dignitary)

3 Stone Giants (also visiting dignitaries)

22 Hill Giant Warriors

8 Ogres

1 Cave Bear

At the end of the 4 hour encounter, played out tactically using the miniatures combat system, the giants all lay dead, many burned and charred corpses from the magic-user Rengarths tactical use of Fire Ball, some of the others literally chopped in half at the abdomen by our raging half elf barbarian Lorissa or missing their heads due to the lethal attacks of the paladin Sir Drake. We had our tiny halfling thief Lilly Tanglefoot striking from ambush from under tables and the Cleric Alexandra crushing skulls with her magic flail. Our Ranger Sorack was launching 2 or 3 arrows per round and managed to initiate the first kill of the battle by dropping the Cloud Giant with an arrow of giant slaying that he has been carrying in his quiver now for over 8 real years hoping for a chance to put it to use.

There were some close calls, some uses of fate points to change a bad roll or avoid an instant kill. But the great thing about BRP's Fate Point system is it can only be counted on maybe twice then the average character is out of them.

So as the enemy lay smoldering and dismembered, it was time to take stock of the party. Sorack the Ranger was in dire shape, having taking a massive crushing blow to his right arm totally shattering all the bones from his shoulder to tips of his fingers (hit points brought fully negative in arm). He lay unconscious from shock and the arm would be forever useless if not magically healed within 15 minutes, and the Cleric Alexandra with a few rather minor wounds herself was the extent of the casualties in the party. Magic healing was used to bring Sorack back up to just a few hit points short of full and Alexandra was able to take care of herself with only first aid. With this the party retreated to a secret room found earlier to rest and regain spent magic points, knowing that the only one with knowledge of the rooms existence lay dead in that huge hall.

So there you have it. I really needed to run this adventure to playtest some of the big baddies to be found in Classic Fantasy II and make sure I could use Classic Fantasy to run the very adventures I was trying to emulate. So far, so good.

Rod

Edited by threedeesix
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I figured I would show three pics I took of the battle with the giants noted above. I own thousands of metal minis but no longer use them because it's just easier to print out what I need for a specific adventure than to spend days digging through my collection. Plus, I had no where near the number of giants I needed anyway.

The first is the very beginning of the combat, where half the group enters from the northern doors while the rest come through the secret door and into the shadows. The giants are all sitting at tables in the midst of a massive feast.

post-42-14046807493_thumb.jpg

The second picture shows the head table (to the south) after the magic-user takes most of them out with a fire ball. The ones lying down are actually still alive but on fire. The rest of the giants and ogres move to engage the characters to the left and at the norther end of the hall, where only the mage and ranger are at the moment.

post-42-140468074923_thumb.jpg

Finally, the last pic shows the events just before they got bad for the ranger, one of the seven giants crushes his arm and puts him into shock. The mage lobs a fire ball over the onrushing mob and takes out the 7 giants and ogre that you see flattened in the middle of the map (they were moving in on our cleric). Then as the mob continues to rush north, right at him, he uses an action to cast teleport and jumps across the room to the southern most point, right where my hand is in the picture.

post-42-140468074926_thumb.jpg

I had a bunch of pics, but those are the only ones that came out half way decent. I figured I would attach them to give a better idea of the massiveness of the combat.

Rod

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Rod,

Would really appreciate if you could scan and post their original character sheets AND their current character sheets (along w/ magic items, etc) to give us an idea on how YOU run the campaign.

My best,

Mark

Hey Mark,

I no longer have their starting character sheets. This party has been around for longer than Classic Fantasy has. I did make adjustments to them throughout the playtest however so that they are now 100% Classic Fantasy characters and no longer a blend of D&D, RQ3 and Stormbringer.

I have no problem with uploading them for others to take a look at though. There is a lot of magic items on their sheets that are to make an appearance in the next book, some explained on the sheets, some not. They are kind of the Iconic characters for Classic Fantasy and I did intend on including beginning versions of them in the first book but never got around to it.

I'll see about uploading them in a day or so and I'll link to them here.

Rod

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Hey Mark, and anyone else interested. I just uploaded the Classic Fantasy characters as the were at the very beginning of Against the Giants.

They can be found in the downloads section at this link...

http://basicroleplaying.com/downloads.php?do=file&id=344

These are the same characters found through out the Classic Fantasy books in the various examples and have been around for a looong time. They started out as D&D characters twelve or so years ago, then got converted to BRP using RQ and Stormbringer. Then when getting involved in the BRP playtest they were updated again to the Big Golden Book and finally used extensively to playtest Classic Fantasy.

As of right now, they are current and 100% Classic Fantasy. They are NOT beginning characters by any stretch of the imagination. Like every long time group, they have a pretty amazing back story, and I try to use it extensively when writing the examples.

Included are...

Alexandra, cleric of Apollo

Sir Drake, paladin of Nimue (the Lady of the Lake)

Lilly Tanglefoot, halfling thief

Rengarth of Black Tower, human magic-user

Sorack Blackwolf, elf ranger

Lorissa of Stormholm, half-elf barbarian and devout follower of Sif

Also included is Lorissa's sheet when she rages (watch out)

The only thing not included is the magic-users owl familiar named Rassiter,

and the clerics "pet" psudeo-dragon, snaggletooth

They have quite a few magic items, as would any long time group of D&D-like adventurers and while most are self explanatory, some may not be, so ask questions if you have them.

Thanks for your interest.

Rod

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That all looks like a whole lot of fun!

Do the weapon skills shown on the character sheets include the bonus for the magic items? e.g. for the +1 Flail skill of 114 would the normal Flail skill be 109?

Also, i've noticed that the magic armour is lighter than normal. Can you give us a brief run-down on how you do magic armour?

And here's another silly question: The Ring of Defence +2 give a 10% DB. I am assuming that means defence bonus. Is that applied to dodges AND parries?

Thanks,

Nick

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Hi Nick,

That all looks like a whole lot of fun!

It has been so far

Do the weapon skills shown on the character sheets include the bonus for the magic items? e.g. for the +1 Flail skill of 114 would the normal Flail skill be 109?

The bonus is not included, mainly as it's easier to know what the skill roll to improve it is, as well as only the true skill is used to determine when you get extra attacks. The players just write the total with the bonus on the character sheet in pencil. So the cleric with the +1 flail actually has a skill of 119% when using it. They do include the damage bonus however. Also, the weapons hit points have been increased by 5 points per +1, therefore they are very hard to break.

Also, i've noticed that the magic armour is lighter than normal. Can you give us a brief run-down on how you do magic armour?

When you find a suit of magic armor, in addition to rolling for what it is, you roll to find out if it is lighter and by how much. It could be as much as 90% lighter.

And here's another silly question: The Ring of Defence +2 give a 10% DB. I am assuming that means defence bonus. Is that applied to dodges AND parries?

Not silly as all. The Ring of Defense +2 gives a 10% defense bonus. This works like the super power of the same name, making the wearer 5% harder to be hit for each level. In this case, anyone attacking the character wearing the ring would subtract 10% from their chance to hit.

Thanks for the questions. The magic items being used are all undergoing playtesting and are subject to change, but as of right now, they are current.

Rod

Thanks,

Nick

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Not silly as all. The Ring of Defense +2 gives a 10% defense bonus. This works like the super power of the same name, making the wearer 5% harder to be hit for each level. In this case, anyone attacking the character wearing the ring would subtract 10% from their chance to hit.

Aha! I had seen the term Defence Bonus before and wasn't excatly sure what it meant. You've cleared it up, thanks.

Thanks for the questions. The magic items being used are all undergoing playtesting and are subject to change, but as of right now, they are current.

No problem. Thanks for the quick reply. And also the AWESOME work you've done. I'm really looking forward to CF2.

Nick

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Rodney,

I know this is kind of a weird stance, but as someone who really (and I mean REALLY) doesn't like using miniatures in my RPG games....especially in BRP.....I would almost prefer a copy of the original

book or PDF without the chapter on miniatures. Is there a way to get a copy of the PDF/book with everything BUT the miniatures chapter?

Thanks!

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I'm sure I can help you out with that, at least as far as the PDF is concerned. But there has been quite a few changes to the rest of the book and the chapter with the miniatures includes lots of other optional combat rules as well, like what happens when a ranged attack misses and there is another character in line of sight. It also includes The big Table of Combat Modifiers, also very useful. Wouldn't it be easier to just ignore the stuff your not interested in?

Rod

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as someone who really (and I mean REALLY) doesn't like using miniatures in my RPG games.... I would almost prefer a copy of the original

book without the chapter on miniatures. Is there a way to get a copy of the book with everything BUT the miniatures chapter?

You can glue those pages together >:>

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I know this is kind of a weird stance, but as someone who really (and I mean REALLY) doesn't like using miniatures in my RPG games....especially in BRP.....I would almost prefer a copy of the original

book or PDF without the chapter on miniatures. Is there a way to get a copy of the PDF/book with everything BUT the miniatures chapter?

Why not get the PDF and then use something like PDFTK to strip out the offending pages?

You can make your own PDF very easily.

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Reading the character sheets I wonder why the elven ranger gets 3 attacks with his bow. If it's the split attack option for skills over 100 %, shouldn't he have only 2 attacks since each attack must be at least 50 % ?

Well it's like this. Sometimes you read a rule a long time ago (a really long time ago) and never go back to read it again because your sure your doing it correctly. Then someone by the name of Athanor comes along and hits ya right upside the head with a tree limb and lets you know your doing it wrong. :o

Sorack can indeed only make two attacks per round, and boy is he going to be mad at you when he finds out.

Ok, I goofed.

Rod

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just curious about Volume II. How's that coming along? Will it mostly be monster? Any plans to include 1st Ed style random dungeon geomorphs? :)

Hi. Classic Fantasy II is coming along nicely. A good part of it will be monster conversions and random encounter tables for dungeon level and wilderness region, however there will also be NPC character classes like the Assassin, Anti-Paladin, Necromancer, and Witch. These will be just like the PC classes from volume I and can even be used as player characters with GM permission.

I have given thought to both dungeon geomorphs and random dungeon tables but space will be the deciding factor as far as either of those go.

There will be several new Spot Rules dealing with game master specific stuff.

There will be a rather large chapter devoted to treasure and magic items with particular emphasis on random determination.

If space remains, there will also be a chapter giving an overview of The Realm. Just the bare bones however. I hope to do a third book, Classic Fantasy III covering The Realm in detail as well as including a good sized campaign and several shorter adventures.

I have several other ideas for CFII and CFIII but will be keeping them to my self for the time being as I'm not sure of their feasibility.

Thanks for your interest.

Rod

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