And, yes, sometimes I learn things that the experts already know. This switch probably happened earlier; I only started paying attention to these box codes in the last few years. The Acaeum calls the updated set the 5th printing. About the book, the TSR reference site notes:. So I put the two books side-by-side, and began flipping pages.
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Thread starter Remathilis Start date Jun 29, Remathilis Legend. What are the differences between the three? I'm curious as to why. My experience and understanding is that some spells changed description a little, and I believe maybe a couple levels here and there. Overall, not many differences though.
I don't recall specifics, and no longer own the books, so that may not be very helpful to you. But the important thing is that the differences were minor in my experience. Just some shuffling here or there. BECMI was the most "consistent", but I believe it was summed up and had a couple small tweaks in the Rules Compendium that made it even better.
Ariosto First Post. Strength and wisdom simply give XP bonuses to fighters and clerics respectively, and dexterity besides being the prime requisite for thieves gives a bonus with missiles. The charisma table was omitted, although effects were suggested.
The intelligence table from Greyhawk was incorporated to determine an m-u's spells known. An interesting twist was that even mages of low level Holmes treated the first three could make scrolls. Elves were described as advancing simultaneously as fighters and magic-users, dividing XP equally, with six-sided hit dice -- a bit of confusion cleared up in later versions. The characters in Module B1 included separate elven fighting men and magic-users, and thieves of all four races; all the clerics were human, though.
Per Greyhawk, thieves had no special ability to find traps, and removal was indicated as applying to "small traps such as poisoned needles". Per the original set, traps by default sprang only on a 1 or 2 on d6. There were only 70 kinds of magic item: 7 categories with weighted probabilities, then an equal chance for each of the 10 entries in the category. There was no treatment of intelligent swords.
The monster list was quite comprehensive; I'm not sure it left out any from the original set, and there were additions from Greyhawk. Besides the hit dice from that work, the multiple attacks and damage dice were incorporated for monsters -- although all characters' weapons still did 1d6. Last edited: Jun 29, Dyson Logos Explorer. I'm doing this from memory, because my books are over at my girlfriend's right now - so pardon any mistakes. Stuff like chance to know spells based on Int for wizards.
It also seperates class and race and has 20sp to the gp. There are 5 alignments. BECMI adds scaling weapon proficiencies, non-combat skills, nerfs the thief skills because obviously the thief needed to become even less useful , and adds material above level 14 to the game. The Holmes set is really it's own beast. Basing initiative on Dexterity, the 5-prong alignment chart, etc.
Most of the difference are at 7th level or higher. The only real difference in the Basic rules were presentation, with the rules being concise and straightforward, and the rules being a tutorial walk through. It has most, but not all of the first four boxes. It also has a number of things that were introduced in the Gazetteer series.
Most notably, the Non-Weapon Skills. But also things like a more detailed spell research system. Really, it's all nitpicking. For being comprehensive, you'd want the RC, even though there are things in it that I think are poorly written the combat rules , and a lot of stuff that I, personally, would never use in my game.
If you're looking for a nice concise well-written set of rules, either the Holmes or Moldvay rules will do. And then use the Cook Expert rules to continue on past 3rd level. The Cook rules have an opening note for conversion from the Holmes set.
I think the Mentzer set is best for people who have no familiarity with rpg's at all. It's too scattered to be a good reference for my taste. I just re-read the Mentzer set last week and I can't believe how bad the layout is and it just feels disorganized and clumsy. And once again, the poor thieves. Like they needed their skills dropped even lower. Specifically, how different they played. Gotta agree with Dyson on thieves; those numbers were pathetic! Then again, thieves usually got shat upon, so If anyone else has more info or experiences, feel free to share Remathilis said:.
Voadam Adventurer. Thieves always sucked at their special abilities at low levels. It is only in the Cook Expert set where they become competent at them. Having skipped the Mentzer basic and expert sets the shock for me when I got the companion set was that the thief skills were ratcheted down. I'm currently reading the Holmes set cover to cover and it is. I haven't read the others in a long while. Nobody advances in attacks or saves.
Fighters can use any armor and get d8 HD. They can use any weapon, but all weapons do a d6 so the wizard is not worse off with daggers fighters can use bows for further range though. Str does not seem to do extra damage. Plate mail is cheap enough to be bought with starting gold.
Sleep is the only big gun spell. Significantly different rules for monsters, they can all see in the dark, dungeon doors work for them unless spiked while players must force them open, their attacks get better with more HD, etc. Mentzer: Magic Users start with 2 spells in their spell books, scrolls can be used to add new spells to the spellbook.
Cursed items are included in the tables. Few cursed items on the charts no sword -1, cursed AC9 armor , replaced with a flat chance that any magic weapon or sword or armor is cursed. And the Mentzer edition has horrendous layout and is very skimpy on art. Other things, such as the hit dice and monsters' attacks, are later developments. Such "Holmes house rules" as initiative by dexterity stem from ambiguities in the seminal text.
The roll to hit for magic missile spells is a reasonable interpretation of the original spell description in Supplement I. That underworld inhabitants can see in the dark, the peculiarities of doors therein, etc. I like the original scheme not only from long familiarity but also because deducting a "move" for various activities -- such as opening a stuck door or deciding which way to go at an intersection -- works in a way that pleases me. The simplified treatment of encumbrance got slightly complicated in later Basic sets.
Consideration of just how one is carrying one's kit -- rather than a "weight" total -- gets special attention in the text including an example equipage , and I think quite properly. Gygax wrote that it offered nothing of significance for owners of the little brown books, but I think that sells short the clarification of some things especially concerning combat. Overall, though, I would say that play is very similar to later Basic editions and that one might without too much trouble move on to either Expert Set or to the Advanced game.
Last edited: Jul 7, Fifth Element First Post. Your mileage may vary. TerraDave 5ever. We need some illustrations.
Which BECMI D&D Expert Rulebook do you have?
If you started with a 1st character, and have enjoyed the wilderness expansion of Expert level play, then you are ready for this set. You can also use this set if you'd like to discover what it's like to own a medieval castle. You can rule a land, bring civilization to the wilderness, and cope with all the threats to your territory, while facing monsters and magic of all kinds. Your adventures will be different than ever before.
So what is the difference between Basic, B/X and BECMI?
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