I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's. I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.

- William Blake

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Dark Fantasy Basic: elves, dwarves, halflings and half-orcs

Dark Fantasy Basic is an homage to Moldvay's basic, but that's not all; it is also the game I play when I want something close to basic D&D (or DCC, OSE, etc.) with the modern trappings I love (some character customization, identical XP tables, a d20 roll for everything, etc.).

In addition, it is a "version" of old school D&D with dark fantasy features: dangerous magic, ambiguous deities, etc. I wrote an entire series on other aspects of dark fantasy: religion, settings, random monsters, etc.

Now, what DFB dos not include are humanoid "races" such as elves, dwarves and halflings. They are not a great fit for dark fantasy IMO (especially orcs, they scream "Tolkien" to me), but I kinda regret not adding them in the first place - if only to give people who like them more options.

However, they are very easy to add or convert. 

In DFB, you basically get to choose some of your skills, abilities and feats. Just make some of them mandatory, others exclusive (Infravision, small) and you're ready to go. things such as noticing hidden things and hearing noises are all part of "perception". The "small" feat is partly copied from the OSE SRD

Give away limitations as your setting dictates ("cannot cast cleric spells", etc.). Let them trade feats as appropriate (Resilient for Fortitude, etc.). Give everyone a free language and you're good to go.

From the D&D 1e PHB.

So, anyway, here you go:

Requirements: Minimum INT 9
Feats: Dark vision.
Skills: must have at least one of Perception, Nature, or Spellcasting.

Requirements: Minimum CON 9
Feats: Dark vision, Resilience.
Skills: must have Perception.

Requirements: Minimum CON 9, minimum DEX 9
Feats: Small (Halflings can use all types of armour, but it must be tailored to their small size. Similarly, they can use any weapon appropriate to their stature (as determined by the referee). They cannot use longbows or two-handed swords. Due to their small size, halflings gain a +2 bonus to Armour Class when attacked by large opponents (greater than human-sized/ They have advantage in stealth checks)., Resilience.
Skills: must have at least one of Thievery or Perception.

Requirements: Minimum STR 9
Feats: Dark vision, Fortitude.
Skills: must have at least one of Thievery or Perception.

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