For the past couple of years, I’ve been running a small on-again/off-again B/X game. Until recently, this was your typical houseruled game, with a number of small tweaks and a few larger ones. The cleric, in particular, was changed up quite a bit to bring the class more into line with the mystical crusader that I’ve always envisioned them and less as the holy priest/party healer that clerics usually end up being.
The issue I have with houserules, though, is that once I start tinkering with something I have trouble stopping. I was constantly making “fixes” and “improvements” and I was finding myself frustrated by the whole thing even as I made the game “better” by, say, making the spear a much more versatile weapon or by adjusting the cleric’s turning ability for the seventeenth time.
So I decided to go By The Book.
Now–to be honest–there are still a few little tweaks in our game. 4d6, drop lowest and arrange to taste rather than 3d6 in order with point swapping, for instance. Maximum HP at first level. But there are only a few minor changes and most of them produce results consistent with BTB play. I am biting my tongue and pretty much “just going with the flow” even when I run into things that have alwasy bugged me. (The cleric’s turning numbers, for instance.)
I have created my own “KBX Manual,” with a lot of the text based on the work of B/X Essentials from Necrotic Gnome by Gavin Norman. If you haven’t taken a glance at B/X Essentials, you really should. It is a great restatement of the original B/X ruleset, with 100% compatibility. My goal is to play a game that works perfeclty well whether the player has a copy of my KBX Manual, B/X Essentials, or the 1981 Basic and Expert books.
I am having personal use copies of this KBX Manual printed up (complete with cover and artwork that I have NO PERMISSION WHATSOEVER to use) and they should arrive tomorrow. Even though I’ve been running with home-printed copies for a while now, I’m excited to see what my Beta version looks and feels like.
Anyway, I will write more about my KBX game soon. But right now I’ve got a dungeon to stock.