Tuesday, August 3, 2010

B/X Headgear - New Charts to Gear Up Your Game!

Even though the time signature may be earlier, I didn’t finish yesterday’s last post till well after midnight…which is unfortunate because my brain was starting to go by that time.

HOWEVER, the only reason I was writing about headgear was as a precursor to this “goody” which I came up with yesterday afternoon. Since I wanted to give people a chance to check out the Exceptional Traits for B/X tables, I figured I’d better hold off on posting THIS deal-i-o till today. Unfortunately, I could hardly contain myself…hence the reason for the late night (and rather bleary) posting.

Sorry about that. Hopefully, this will make up for it.
; )

Every D&D character should have some recognizable head decoration or accoutrement. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it till someone tells me otherwise. However, it wouldn’t be “Old School” D&D without some random tables (yeah, that’s not a question), so I figured I’d do all the creative “heavy-lifting” for people and provide some. Because they’re so extensive, I’ve made a one-sheet .pdf that you can download from here:

B/X Headgear


Yes, it is also useful for non-B/X versions of Dungeons & Dragons…even 4th edition (though would anyone playing 4E care? Probably not…). This is all just set-dressing (or rather “head dressing”)…there are no mechanical bonuses or systems associated with it. Just something to help characterize each player’s adventurer.

[by the way, I think the lack of system mechanics is a PLUS. While helmets are, admittedly, a form of "armor," I prefer AC determination to be limited to suits and the active use of a shield, not a person's headgear or lack thereof. As such, magic-users and thieves are fully able to wear crazy-ass helmets in MY B/X game]

DMs running campaigns with high level characters may allow players to roll more than once.

The headgear tables’ purpose is four-fold:

A) To immediately instill a character with a recognizable trait (“decoration”)

B) To help paint a picture in the player’s mind (“hmmm…ok”)

C) To supply an otherwise “boring” set of stats with personality (“what does this say about me?”)

D) To have a quick and easy “add-on” to character creation (really, no sweat here).

Anyway, I think it’s fun. I shall be giving all my pre-gen characters random pieces of headgear for my upcoming B/X game and fully intend to make any new players “dice for a hat.” Hey, you know how quick chargen is for B/X? This is hardly an extra minute of added time!

Hope you enjoy!
; )

22 comments:

  1. Ah, there's a problem. A while ago, Jeff Rients said that all elves wear hats, and I see no reason to change that. The rest is fine. ;)

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  3. I like it but I don't get how the color table for hoods and wraps works. I don't see how those combinations of dice can generate a number between 1 and 24

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  4. Yes, the color chart is confusing, but I could totally see using the overall tables. Perhaps offering an XP bonus to those who create a PC with distinctive head trappings and don't just jettison the result right away.

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  5. Love the charts.... thanks JB!!!

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  6. Excellent! I've only had one D&D character with a distinctive hat (a sort of tricorn), but she was my absolutely favorite. And I'm loving those old Erol Otus-style chapeau.

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  7. @ Kelvin: Using these tables an elf can still end up with a hat. Are they required to wear ONLY hats?

    @ Ghost and BigH: Haven't you guys ever played AD&D? Sorry...this is a little something picked up from the DMG in the days of my youth:

    Roll D6...if the result is a 1-3 add 12 to the roll of a D12. If the result is a 4-6 just take the result of the D12. You're either generating a number from 1-12 or a number from 13-24. See?

    By the way, the color table is just as easily used for hats as for hoods.
    ; )

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  8. D'oh! Now I get it. Sorry, I started with 2e about 17 years ago when I was 14. The Basic Boxed set(http://www.acaeum.com/ddindexes/setpages/setscans/basic96book.html)was the first product I bought from the clearance isle of a KB toy store not even realizing that they were different rules. I completely bypassed AD&D 1st ed! So 1st edition I've only experienced in retro-clone format thanks to OSRIC and only briefly. By the way I'm trying to get a hold of a set of B/X if anyone has an extra.

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  9. @ Ghost: Good luck with your search...if you can get hold of it, it's definitely worth the effort. I still have both my Basic and Expert sets from 1981, still totally serviceable, and I use them both at the game table. Labyrinth Lord is definitely a handy substitute, but Moldvay...man, he really did a good job.
    : )

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  10. Brilliant. Plainly and simply brilliant.

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  11. I think that elves can only wear hats, but you'd have to confirm with Jeff. ;)

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  12. This hats are significantly better than the ones in TF2.

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  13. Yoinked for my LL game. And my 4E game.

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  14. My players loved to roll on the table. One of them is playing a Bard from the B/X Companion and he was very disappointed ;) when he realized that there was headgear for bards!

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  15. @ Alex:

    For the bard class from B/X Companion, I'd suggest the thief baseline...more hats and hoods, less helmets.
    : )

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  16. I made a substitute table on my german blog (but the table is in English) here (http://rorschachhamster.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/zufallsmutze-alter/) for use with AD&D, 3.x, Advanced LL, Pathfinder etc.
    The bard has more hats than hoods because he wants his charisma to shine... ;)
    Thanks, JB!

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  17. I adapted the idea for Old School Hack and posted it here. A great notion! Thanks for sharing it. I think this turned out really well...

    http://fictivefantasies.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/old-school-hack-headgear.pdf

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  18. 2nd most downloaded document from my mediafire account.
    ; )

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