Saturday, February 15, 2020

Ultra-Bastard D&D: Introduction

Erik Desmazières
Like many DM's, I have a half-baked version of D&D with rules and mechanics picked from all the editions I've played with sub-systems and house-rules borrowed from any number of other sources. It's not elegant but I like it.

I haven't played it in awhile. My current game is by-the-book 5e (which I mostly like) and that's fine. However, I do have a hankering to drag my stitched-together monster back out, and run it for a few friends this spring.

To that end, I am consolidating the rules (such as they are) into a series of posts here. I'll eventually dump them into a reference doc for my players. I'll include some notes on why I've made the choices I have as I go.

The basic skeleton of the game is multi-edition D&D. Mostly B/X and 5e. These are my preferred "old school" and "new school" rule sets.

The largest source of non-D&D DNA is the Apocalypse Powered games. Mostly Apocalypse World itself. I like the Apocalypse World information gathering moves (like Read A Sitch) and social moves (like Seduce/Manipulate and Read a Person). I also like using Custom Moves for environmental hazards.

My plan is to keep the core rules streamlined and to use modular mini-games to keep things fresh. Many things that are traditionally Always On sub-systems (light, inventory, grappling, etc.) won't be in the basic rules. My plan is to introduce these rules one or two at a time and only temporarily to support particular arcs. I.e. when the characters explore the Mine of Crushing Darkness, I'll introduce the light rules but ignore encumbrance but in the Acropolis of Heavy Artworks, we'll ignore light and track inventory. There won't be a grappling section in the combat rules, but on the day the party faces the Wrestle-monster, I'll hand out index cards with a grappling system.

I will start posting my rules soon.

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