Labyrinth Lord House Rules

We’ve played a fair amount of Labyrinth Lord over the past few months. My initial inclination was to begin house ruling left and right, but we’ve settled on a rather short (and apparently not unusual) list of official house rules:

  1. Abilities – 4d6, [drop lowest], arrange to taste
  2. Hit Points – Maximum hp at 1st level
  3. Thieves – Get d6 hit dice
  4. Bonus Spells – Clerics with Wis 15+ or Magic-Users with Int 15+ get one extra first-level spell per day
  5. Critical Hits – A natural ’20’ means roll damage dice twice
  6. Critical Miss – A natural ‘1’ means no attack next round *
  7. Death and Dying – 0 hit points (exactly): Unconscious 1d6 turns, revive with 1 hp
    -1 to -10 hit points: Save vs death to survive, save means 0 hit points (as above)
    Below -10: Dead, no save
  8. Bind Wounds – Heal 1-3 hit points after each combat if 5 minutes spent
    Can bind unconscious character’s wounds to revive (with 1 hp) after 5 minutes
  9. Infravision – Simply see in the dark…no IR heat-sensing vision

* We plan to replace this with a different system which will give variable results. A critical miss with a missile weapon against a foe in melee with a friend means the friend may be hit.

One thing we’re sort of waiting for is the upcoming Advanced Edition Characters system for LL which will bring AD&D-style classes to the LL rule set. Our expectation is that we will adopt AEC for our LL game. I was initially resistant to the idea of bolting advanced characters onto the basic game, thinking that if I wanted advanced characters I’d play the advanced game. But then I remembered that our AD&D game back in the day was a heck of a lot closer to B/X than to AD&D even though we had never played B/X.

The plan at this point is to play Labyrinth Lord more or less by-the-book and to house rule Swords & Wizardry White Box to the hilt. I’m actually in a bit of a quandary about S&W, because though I love the concept of the lower power curve, Labyrinth Lord is getting everything done I want to get done. I’m actually a bit hesitant at this point to commit to another rule set, particularly one I plan to customize seven ways to Sunday if I use it.

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