Portland Oldschool Rules

The guidelines below have been mostly superceeded by the rules as written by the most current edition of Adventurer Conquror King. ACKS is our favored ruleset for the current campaign but the some of the rules below still are in effect. Check with your DM for details.

Although I like to mine most OSR sources for new ideas, our primary guideline sthat we will stick to are as follows.

We are primarily based off the Dungeons & Dragons Basic book by J. Eric Holmes. circa 1980.

Appended to this, we are using the level expansions and extra simplifications of Meepo's Holmes Companion available here.

There are several additions and a couple house rules that we have added, but nothing that alters things in a major way. We will hew to the holmes book as closely as possible. Some of the additions/differences include:

  • No stat swapping allowed at character creation.
  • First level PCs have max HP. NPCs roll as normal.
  • All player characters have a special ability that the player can specify either at time of creation (rolling) or later on in play. These can either give slight mechanical game advantages or fit into a charcter's background to give a PC an extra edge in certain aspects. Examples include: Blacksmith, poison expertise, demonological knowledge, weak turning ability, smell like cats, etc.
  • Typically we use group initiave rolling d6, with ties going to the higher DEX.
  • PC can survive with HP at a negative value of their level in an unconcious state. HP reduced lower is death as per rules.
  • PCs can bandage wounds after combat to recover one HP if the characters have time and players explicitly state they are doing so.
  • Some spell effects have a saving throw that are not specifically mentioned in the book to prevent evil wizards from killing a whole party with a sleep spell.
  • Firing missle weapon into melee. Firing into a crowded melee is rather insane unless the archer doesn't care who they hit. Following AD&D guidelines, a percentage roll is used determined who is shot at in a melee. All combatants adjacent to each other are considered to be in the same melee. The percentage chance is altered to reflect the size of the combatants as well. After the true target is determined by the percentage roll, a to-hit roll is made against the targets AC as normal.
  • Using Flaming Oil. Oil is typically spread on target and lit on fire in two separate steps. An oil flask must be prepared to shatter easily when thrown and the character must be aware of the fragility of the flasks during rough adventuring misshaps. A flask can also be lit with a molitov-like wick device before thrown but is dangerous to use and can immolate the user for full damage if they roll a fumble on the toss. A flask is thrown with a normal missle roll-to-hit at a target and adjacent targets may be splashed with oil as a result. Once doused with oil, a torch can be tossed at a target on a to-hit roll of AC 9 to ignite the oil. A target doused with oil suffers 1d8 damage on the first round and 1d8 damage on the second round. Splash damage does 1d3 damage to adjacent targets for the first round they are next to a flame. Oil poured on the ground covers a 5' area.
  • Good etiquette is for players to help DM clean up his stuff at the end of the session.

Custom Character Classes

Lizard Man

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License