The Challenge

Posted: 31 January 2010 in Tryouts

“In games where there are no thieves, everyone’s a thief.” – Tony Prior.

I read through Swords & Wizardry, and I wondered why there is no thief class. I would have put that in the core rules, myself, along with a few other classics – they’re all available on the internet already if you Google for them.

That got me thinking about the lowest-impact way to add one, and I came up with the idea of a list of things the character could do, like Climb, Pick Pockets etc, and a saving throw to see whether he succeeds or not. Then I thought, any character could do those things anyway using the same mechanic.

Next, the chain of thought led me to using the challenge rules from Two Hour Wargames, which appears in almost all their rules. (One of the beauties of rules-light systems is that you can mash them up like this without any trouble.) The character rolls two dice against his Rep; if both results are his Rep or less, he succeeds; if only one is his Rep or less, he can back away without suffering any consequences or get some kind of partial success; if both are over his Rep, he fails and suffers whatever heinous consequences are appropriate.

Statistically, the Reps, equivalent saving throws, and approximate character levels for this approach are as follows; these give very poor chances for low level characters, so maybe it would be better just to treat character level as if it were Rep, especially if the game stays low-level and gritty as most of mine do.

    Saving  Rough Level of...     HD of
Rep Throw   Cleric  Fighter  M-U  Monster
 1    17       -       -      -      1
 2    15       1      ~1      1     2-3
 3    11       5       4      5      6
 4     8       8       7      8      8
 5     4     ~11      11    ~11     11
 6+    1       -       -      -      -

The logical conclusion is that I could use this technique with the reaction charts from Warrior Heroes or Swordplay to run solo games of S&W. Now that, I have to try…

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