Some (mostly) Simple Things

Simple Rules Martial Arts Fighting Styles
Healing Reform +60 Ini-System Proficiencies


We invented this new ability score because it is quite often needed in game. But how does one check for perception if there is no real rule existing. So we thought that it is quiet good to define the middle of wisdom (intuition) and intelligence (reason) as a new ability score, because these two scores represent best a characters ability to take in and handle new information.


Perception = 1/2 (intuition + reason)

Back To Top

Pummeling Knockdown Die:

We found no pummeling knockdown rule, so we set a die code for different sized attackers.
Pummeling knockdown die:

Attackers size
Knockdown die
man sized

(There is a good probability that this one might change in the future when we have collected some in game experience.)

Back To Top



We use the to hit modifier from strength as a bonus when rolling for a knockdown.
E.g.: A fighter with strength 18(00) (+3 to hit) scores a hit with his longsword (knockdown die: d8). He rolls then for a knockdown with 1d8+3.


A size "g" creature is knocked down on a 15 or higher.

Back To Top

Arm Wrestling:

After a character with strength 5 won an arm wrestling contest against a character with strength
18 (99) by pure luck with the dice we thought that this cannot be and so made a small system of how to handle an arm wrestling contest. First of all if the strength scores differ by 2 or more the weaker character will loose. This is because we thought that if one compares the weight allowance and max press figures it simply makes no sense otherwise.
When the strength categories (like 10-11; 18(00)) are equal or differ only by one, then one can roll a small combat.
We make this so:
There are five steps (-2, -1, 0 , +1, +2) which represent the position of the hands of the two combatants. Zero is the middle where the two begin (who is pushed down the - and who the + axis is of no concern). If one character is pushed to (+/-) 2 he has lost.
Beginning in the middle at position 0 both combatants roll a strength check. The one who succeeds with the biggest span of the die roll to his strength score wins and pushes the other by one position. If they have equal results or both failed the check they stay at the actual position.
This is done until position (+/-)2 is reached.


We first invented a more complicated system with more positions and some more rules like critical results or so, but in the end we found out that this one took too much time.

Back To Top

Critical Hit:

We use the critical hit system as found in the combat & tactics. But with some weapons it makes no sense to use the actual weapon size to determine the severity of the critical hit. These are the longbow and the heavy crossbow (there might be others). O.K. bolts and arrows are small, but they simply do have some more power than lets say a dagger. So our DM ruled these two weapons to count as large weapons referring to the critical hit severity (compare target size to weapon size).

In short:

Longbow, heavy crossbow = large when determining critical hit severity

Back To Top

Weapon Specialization:

Because the Skills & Powers and the Combat & Tactics book are not so very compatible one is forced to invent a system which allows a skills character to buy high mastery in a weapon (if one wants to use these further specialization). We simply set the cp cost for
single class fighter / multiclass fighter; paladin; ranger to:

single class
high mastery
grand mastery

Back To Top


This is an elfish maneuver with the bow, where the elf can fire additional arrows in a round. First we said, that this rule is to be understood that way, that a elf can fire up to 3 additional arrows in a round, not up to five altogether. This makes of course a difference only if the character does have more than two attacks in a round with a bow without using this skill.

This is the case for example if this character is an elven fighter with the archer kit from the book of elves and/or if he is a specialist using the new (sense making) rules to additional attacks from the Combat & Tactics sourcebook where (at last!) a specialist with the bow receives extra attacks.

The main thing we changed is the following:

The to hit penalty for firing additional arrows counts for all shots made that round (see example), but to compensate for that the penalty is lower. The old rule says that the last arrow the character could fire without this skill is the first with a penalty (-2) the next, which is the first additional arrow, is at -4 next is -8 and the last at -16.

With our system it is important that the elf declares before the round how many arrows he will fire. Then he determines the penalty which will count for all of his shots.

This results in the following:

# addirional arrows
penalty to ALL shots


Natascha a elven fighter lvl. 11 with the archer kit has normally 4 attacks per round when standing still. That is three because she is a specialist using Combat & Tactics (well, actually she is a high-master but that makes no difference here) plus one additional arrow because of the archer kit (book of elves). In the heat of battle she decides that this is not enough and at the beginning of the next round she declares that she will fire two additional arrows which makes six altogether. According to the small list above all of these six shots are made at a -4 penalty to the attack roll.


Well, it works nicely.

Back To Top

Nonmagical Pluses for weapons:

We modified the old rule for nonmagical pluses from the Fighters Handbook only a little bit. The old rule says that a weapon may be manufactured to carry a +1 to either damage or to to hit or both (a 0/+1 weapon would mean no bonus to to hit and +1 to damage).

We say that it is also possible to give a weapon a +1 to initiative. This gives some more possibilities (x/x/x; hit/dmg/ini). That makes a +1/0/+1 weapon a weapon with a +1 bonus to both to hit and initiative but no damage bonus.


I think that this one will work, but it is quite new at this time and so I can not say for sure.

Back To Top

Less Sleep:

Less sleep is an ability which elves created with use of the Skills & Powers book have access to. It says that four hours of sleep are as good as eight.

This was not modified in any way. We only make one thing clear:

A character with this ability regenerates spell points or psp's with the double rate when (and only when) sleeping (also the elven equivalent of sleep (reverie)).

Back To Top


Normally death occurs if a character reaches 0 (or -10 if this optional rule is used) hit points.
We say a character dies if he reaches -constitution hit points.
(E.g.: A character with a constitution score of 15 will die at -15 hit points.)

Back To Top

Defense adjustment under water:

Under water a character looses his defense adjustment from dexterity.
(If he uses no magic which allows him to move freely, that is.)

Back To Top

Paladin and magic items:

Scrolls and potions do not count against the paladins restriction of how many magic items he is allowed to own.

Back To Top

Fumble of attack or block:

When attacking or blocking a natural roll of 1 is usually treated as a fumble.
Because even the best fighter will then fumble every 20th attack we say the following:

  • Treat the 1 still as an automatic miss.
  • Further ill effects can be avoided if an unmodified saving throw against paralization is passed.

By that the "fumble rate" goes down from 1 in 20 to 1 in 400 which is more acceptable.

Even if one might not think so.... there are still fumbles in the game...

Back To Top

Multiclass and cp's:

When a character advances in level he usually gets a specific amount of character points (see Skills & Powers) like 3 each level.
When a multiclassed character advances one level with one of his classes he gets only this amount divided by the number of his classes (remember fractions, so that there are no cp's "lost").
A fighter/thief advances one level as a thief. In his campaign every character gets 3 cp's per level. So he will now get 1.5.

Back To Top


If a character is struck by fear and has to run from the source of his terror he can still take actions that can be performed while running.
Note also, that these actions should not be directed at the source of the fear.
The character will continue to flee as long as the fear effect (be it magical or natural) lasts or until he does not find any more way to run.

Back To Top

Enlarge/reduce spell:

The 1st level wizard spell enlarge(reduce) is not cumulative with itself. If multiple enlarge(reduce) spells are cast on the same target only the one spell is in effect that modifies the targets size most, but if this one stopps to function the others will take effect one after another if they have not already worn off too.
Please be aware of the fact that this rule is olny in effect, when two or more spells of the same type (meaning enlarge or reduce) are cast on the same target. A reduce still cancels an enlarge and vice versa.


A 10th lvl. wizard casts enlarge on one of his companions increasing his size by 100%. 10 minutes before the spell wears off, another wizaard, this one of 15th level, decides to also cast enlarge on this person. He chooses only to increase the size of his target by 50% and so his spell will only start working when the first weares off. Note that the time untill that latter spell becomes effective counts against that spells duration, of course.

Back To Top

Stoneskin spell:

A character with stoneskins does still take damage from slow crushing damage like lying under a wall of iron.
Moreover, a character who is attacked in a similar way, like throttling for example, takes the damage but will also loose one of his stoneskins.

Back To Top

Teleport spell into water:

An attempt to teleport into a body of water has a 25% chance to fail. In this case the spell is simply wasted and the caster stays where he is.

Back To Top

Remove fear spell:

The remove fear spell is also effective against nonmagical fear effects. So a character with a phobia can attempt a new wisdom check.

Back To Top

Slow spell:

The slow spell does not interfere with spellcasting.

Back To Top

AC and Thac0:

There is no restriction of how low either AC or Thac0 may develop.

Back To Top


We changed the damage a warhammer inflicts to 1d6+1 / 1d6. Knockdown remains unchanged (1d8).

Back To Top


Since cooking is more a matter of how much you know about what you do than combining some new information we changed the ability from intelligence/reason to intelligence/knowledge.

Back To Top

Dispel evil spell:

Dispel evil is effective against all spells (from all schools of magic) on a creature that can normally be affected by dispel magic.

Back To Top

Complete wizards handbook:

Adrian has to bring his complete wizards handbook with him. Otherwise everyone gets -50% experience points for that evening.

Back To Top

Spells in general:

A spellcaster can decide to cast a spell as if he were of a lesser level of experience.
E.g.: A 15th level wizard can cast a fireball which does 2d6 points of damage.

Back To Top

Shape change (druid):

The shape change ability of the druid is magical only in so far, that the process of changing from one form to another is magical. But once a form is achieved there remains no magic (e.g.: can not be dispelled...).

Back To Top

Copy/learn spells:

The time needed to write down a spell in a spell book is 1 hour per spell level. The same time is needed to learn a spell which is not yet known to the wizard.


A wizard found a new spell, say fireball lvl.3, in another spellbook. He decides to write it down in his own spellbook. After 3 hours he has finished his work. Now he, of course, wants to memorize his new spell. To do so he has to fully comprehend (learn) it. Another three hours (and a successful learn spells check) later he is ready to start memorizing his first fireball.

Back To Top

Size of a written spell:

Since it is an insufferable amount of administration work to keep track of how many pages a spell takes if one uses the "1d6-1+spell level" rule we fixed the number of pages to one page per spell level.

Back To Top

Spell fatigue (channeller):

When a channeller casts a spell he suffers spell fatigue (see Spells & Magic). How much a given spell fatigues the caster depends on his level, the spells level, his actual state of fatigue, his loss of hit points and his loss of spell points.
We eliminated the "loss of spell points" dependency, because a channeller should not be that much punished for his casting. It is bad enough.

Back To Top

Meteor swarm spell:

The damage a meteor inflicts in the straight line it passes is counted as 100% magical fire damage as well as 100% impact damage when determining what creatures can be hit or what resistance reduce damage. Use the worst of the applying resistance to calculate the inflicted damage.

  • A fire immune creature takes full damage.
  • A creature immune to impact damage (stoneskin...) takes full damage.
  • A 50% fire resistant creature which moreover takes only 25% of all bludgeoning damage takes 50% of the meteors damage

Back To Top

Spell-like abilities:

A spell-like ability which can be used one or more times per day regenerates after 8 hours of sleep.

Back To Top

Healing spells:

A cure wounds spell heals a living creature but inflicts damage to undead and vice versa (cause wounds spells damage the living but heal the undead).

Back To Top

Thieving skills:

Normally a roll of 96 or higher results in an automatic (mostly spectacular) fumble of the thief. We say that a 1 in 20 chance to fumble a skill is, quite similar to the attack or block fumble, too much. More so if one takes into account that a good thief can have percentile values of well above 100%.
So we decided to reduce the chance of an automatic failure as follows:
Every 10% above 100% reduces the automatic failure chance by one percent. But a roll of 100 is always a failure, no matter what.
E.g.: A thief with a climb wall score of 117 automatically fails on a roll of 97 or higher.

Back To Top


There are initiative modifiers that influence the time a character needs to react (the time after a new round starts until he actually starts doing something). And those that modify how long it takes him to complete a given action. Dexterity reaction modifier, haste spell, quickness skill and such are of the first type, where the magical plus of a weapon or the -3 to initiative of a high-master are of the second type.
Taking this into account initiative can be determined as follows:

  1. roll a d10 for initiative
  2. subtract all reaction modifiers from the roll (can be a negative number)
  3. add the initiative modifier of the action (may still be negative, but note that the modifier of an action is at least one)
  4. treat the result as at least 1 (so no actual initiative is negative anymore)


A fighter with dex 17 (+2 reaction modifier) and the quickness skill (another +2 modifier) attacks with a dagger +4. He rolls for initiative and the result is a 2. He subtracts 4 (reaction modifier + quickness) which makes a -2. To that he adds 1 for the dagger (normal ini factor of 2 but as a +4 weapon the ini factor is reduced by one per plus to a minimum of 1) which results in a -1. But his first attack will occur at ini 1 for that is the minimum possible initiative (with some examples like someone using a scimitar of quickness or a specialized archer who both act before all others).

Another thing is that every modifier that influences the die roll is always used, even when spellcasting.

Reaction modifier
Action modifier
In general all things that let a character react better or worse. In general all things that shorten or lengthen the time of an action.
Dexterity reaction modifier Magical pluses of weapons
Haste spells High-master initiative modifier (-3)
Quickness ability
(see Combat & Tactics)
Casting time reduction for wizards and priests
(see Spells & Magic)
Table: Some examples of what modifier falls into what category.

Back To Top

Elementals and elemental spells:

An element evoking spell cures an elemental of the same type of element as a healing spell of the same level. Such spells of 6th level and above completely heal an appropriate elemental.
E.g.: A fire elemental is healed by a burning hands spell as if it were a cure light wounds spell.

Back To Top

Critical hits:

In the "old" system a critical hit mostly occurred on a natural roll of 20. But because a 20 also always hits this leads to the weird situation, that a creature which can only hit its opponent on a 20 always hits critical or not at all.

With Combat & Tactics a critical hit occurs on a roll of 18 or higher (16 or higher for high-masters) if the attack succeeds by 5 or more.
This compensates the beforementioned situation, but is also not too good because now that same creature will never score a critical hit against that same opponent.

We just changed the Combat & Tactics rule slightly to correct this:

Everytime a attack roll of 18 or higher (16 or higher for high-masters...) occurs a critical hit is scored but only if a second attack roll which must be rolled at once also results in a hit. The second attack roll is, of course, not a second attack but only a check if the attack results in a critical hit or not. It also can not result in a fumble when rolling a natural 1 (but no crit. is scored then, because a 1 always misses) or even a "super critical hit" on another 18+ (16+...).

This gives the earlier mentioned creature the chance to score a serious hit, but most of the time it will hit normally.


Be this mysterious "beforementioned creature" a kobold with thac0 20 and ac 8. And his opponent is a 10th level fighter with thac0 7 and ac of -4.
The kobold now attacks the fighter whom he only hits if he rolls a 20. He does. This means he has hit his enemy, no matter what, but to make a critical hit out of it he has to roll another 20, he rolls a 17 and so he scores only a normal hit.
Then the fighter attacks and rolls an 18, meaning he also hits his opponent, which is no surprise for he only misses this kobold on a roll of 1. So this will also result in a critical hit if the fighter is able to "hit" the kobold with another attack roll. He rolls a 1 and misses, bad luck. But nevertheless: He scored a hit on the kobold (...that will most probably kill it...).

Back To Top

Pluses to AC and how they cumulate...

Within the standard AD&D rules magical pluses which affect the armor class are not all too consistently handeled. Some stack some not, but one can not say for sure which plus is cumulative with wich if one does not look into the item descriptions of all the items in question (and even if one does...).
So we decided to classify magical pluses (and nonmagical as well, by the way...).
(Remark 1: To make it clear: We are talking only about the pluses (and minuses of course...) that affect armor class.)
(Remark 2: The following classification is true for magical as well as nonmagical AC modifiers)

We created these three categories:

1. Force:
Force is to be understood as kind of a shielding force field that surrounds the wearer of the item in question. The form of this "shield" could, in principal, be of arbitrary form and size, but in general all of the protected person and all of its gear is inside.

2. Hard:
An item with a hard bonus is harder (hence the name...) than normal and by that more difficult to penetrate.

3. Active:
This one can be a very curious one. Active means that there is something that actively hinders the enemies blows to land, somehow. This can be anything the game master can thing of.

  • Improvement of the dexterity armor class adjustment, meaning that the protected being ins better at avoiding his opponents blows.
    (Probably the -2 armor adjustement from the boots of speed can be understood in this way.)
  • Improvement of the ability to block blows in so far that it is more difficult for the attacker to hit his target.
    (Most defender swords might be of this type, actually...).
  • We have a plain and very grey plate mail +3(active) in our party which actually originates from the gray waste. It effectively makes everyone and everything believe that it is of no use to strike at the wearer. This is true even for mindless undead creatures. It is the essence of the grey waste,after all, and there everything becomes depressed...
  • (By the way... The nonmagical dexterity AC adjustment is also an active modifier.)

You see, it is possible to be very creative with active modifiers, if one desires...

In general everey item that has pluses could be of any of the beforementioned types.
I will now give some examples what it means when a specific kind of item has a specific kind of plus:

Item or item-class
Jewelry (like rings and such)
Wearer has a invisible protective shield that surrounds him.
(E.g.: Ring +3 works as it always did.)
Improves the natural armor class of the wearer.
(E.g.: Ring +3 improves the natural AC of a standard human from 10 to 7.)
Almost anything. :-)
Will work quite the same as if it were a ring.
Directly improves the AC of the armor by harnening it. Just like as if it were made of a harder material.
Almost anything again, but see the examples above.
... (use your creativity)

So, now that one has some well defined classifications it is not too difficult to define some rules of how to handle the different types of "pluses".

We do it this way:

Type of modifier

Note that an active modifier is always effective, whereas force and hard are not cumulative with themselves, but with each other.


There is, of course, no rule without exception... There are two nonmagical, clearly hard, modifiers that should work together with each other and even with an additional magical hard plus. These are the adamantine +1 and the dwarven made armor +1. (So a magical, dwarven made adamantine plate mail is AC 0.)

Back To Top