Varying non-human PC rules in different WB editions

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Varying non-human PC rules in different WB editions

Postby sparc_spread » Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:07 am

I am working on a comprehensive reference of non-human PC rules that will include both WB and Complete. One thing I've noticed in collecting these is that there are differences in these rules between WB editions (which I'll refer to here as WB1, WB2, WB3, and WB3-BH (Brave Halfling)). Is there any kind of precedence or preference for which edition is "definitive"?

Here is just one example of some non-human PC rules that are different by edition. I'm also including references to some other closely related games.

For Dwarves and Haflings:

"Hard to Hit":
-2 to hit by men, -4 to hit by giants, ogres, trolls, etc. (WB1, WB2, WB3-BH, SWL, AD&D 1e, OSRIC)

-OR-

"Fighting Giants":
Half-damage from giants, ogres, trolls, etc. (WB3, OD&D)

I have several other similar questions but first wanted to see if there's a consensus on the definitive WB rules.

Thanks!
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Re: Varying non-human PC rules in different WB editions

Postby merias » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:09 pm

Despite WB3 being the last official published version, you could make the case that the 1st edition WB is the standard since it is what everything else was based on. I always thought the 1st edition was more true to itself, if that makes any sense, since later versions tried to please everyone by adding tables for descending AC and the five saving throw categories.

As you noted the half-damage thing came from OD&D originally and I seem to recall some discussion of it on the old forum where it was changed so that WB3 was more aligned with its source material.
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Re: Varying non-human PC rules in different WB editions

Postby sparc_spread » Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:31 am

Thanks! I agree with your reasoning re WB1. So in the case of WB1 vs. OD&D, do you think I should go with WB1 (i.e. the -2,-4 damage version of the rule) or OD&D (the 1/2 damage version)? From what you're saying, it sounds like you mean WB1. I would agree, mainly because in the end Swords & Wizardry is not meant to be entirely the same game as OD&D, but please let me know what you think.

I apologize for adding on a few more questions, but as long as we're on this topic....
- The "Hereditary Foes" rule in WB1 - +1 vs. Orcs etc. for Dwarves and Elves . . . . do you feel like this is to-hit, damage, or both? WB1 doesn't specify, while the other WB versions say to-hit "or" damage, but that's vague plus we're ignoring them at this point anyway. What do you think?
- Elves noticing secret doors in passing (not actively searching) - this is not in WB1 at all, but in other rules it's a 1/6 chance (SW Complete, OSRIC, AD&D1e) or 2/6 chance (WB3, OD&D). Do you have a preferred interpretation? As I'm trying to unify WB w/ Complete, I guess Complete supersedes WB, but still am not sure.
- Halfling missile accuracy - I've seen this anywhere between +1 (SW Complete), +2 (all WB eds., SW Light), and +3 (OSRIC). And none of them seem to say whether they mean to-hit, damage, or both. Again I guess Complete over WB but do you have a preferred interpretation?

Sorry for piling these on. I will definitely share this reference with you once it is complete.

Thanks again!
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Re: Varying non-human PC rules in different WB editions

Postby merias » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:01 pm

sparc_spread wrote:Thanks! I agree with your reasoning re WB1. So in the case of WB1 vs. OD&D, do you think I should go with WB1 (i.e. the -2,-4 damage version of the rule) or OD&D (the 1/2 damage version)? From what you're saying, it sounds like you mean WB1. I would agree, mainly because in the end Swords & Wizardry is not meant to be entirely the same game as OD&D, but please let me know what you think.


Yes, that is what I'm saying. WB1 was OD&D in flavor but many of the rules are different or inspired from the original, or left out.

sparc_spread wrote:I apologize for adding on a few more questions, but as long as we're on this topic....
- The "Hereditary Foes" rule in WB1 - +1 vs. Orcs etc. for Dwarves and Elves . . . . do you feel like this is to-hit, damage, or both? WB1 doesn't specify, while the other WB versions say to-hit "or" damage, but that's vague plus we're ignoring them at this point anyway. What do you think?


I'd say it is to-hit only, to reflect that knowing how their hereditary foes fight gives them a slight tactical advantage.

sparc_spread wrote:- Elves noticing secret doors in passing (not actively searching) - this is not in WB1 at all, but in other rules it's a 1/6 chance (SW Complete, OSRIC, AD&D1e) or 2/6 chance (WB3, OD&D). Do you have a preferred interpretation? As I'm trying to unify WB w/ Complete, I guess Complete supersedes WB, but still am not sure.


Well I personally like the 2-in-6 passive detection, 4-in-6 active, but WB1 says "Elves are good at spotting hidden and concealed doors", leaving it open for house-ruling.

sparc_spread wrote:- Halfling missile accuracy - I've seen this anywhere between +1 (SW Complete), +2 (all WB eds., SW Light), and +3 (OSRIC). And none of them seem to say whether they mean to-hit, damage, or both. Again I guess Complete over WB but do you have a preferred interpretation?


I like giving Halflings +3 to-hit with a sling, that hearkens back to the Chainmail rule about Halflings and slings. But for WB I'd stick to the +2 for all missile weapons.

sparc_spread wrote:Sorry for piling these on. I will definitely share this reference with you once it is complete.

Thanks again!


No problem! The forums have been quiet as of late, so it's nice to have some discussion.
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Re: Varying non-human PC rules in different WB editions

Postby sparc_spread » Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:21 am

Thanks so much for your help here! All of these points make sense to me and I will incorporate them accordingly in the reference. Hope to have something interesting to show you in the next few months. I will also do what I can to stir up conversation here as well :-)
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