The only qualm I'd have is if you still included level drain effects. Fear would have to be generated in some other way.
Yeah, um, forgot to mention:
There will be no level drain in the game.
Level drain...as a threat, consequence, danger, penalty...in B/X or any other "old school" edition of D&D is just fine and dandy by me, as I've written many times before. Why? Because it's just one more way of attacking a certain aspect of player characters, and it's a penalty from which recovery is relatively easy (just earn some more XP, dude). And anyway, in a world where character levels go from 1-36 (or 1-20 or 1-infinity-and-beyond) a lost level or two isn't going to make a huge difference in the grand scheme of things.
Yes, I know many people have differing opinions.
But for MY fantasy heartbreaker, there will be no level drain. For a number of reasons (none of which pertain to the statement "level drain sucks!"). Here's why I'm leaving it out:
- While the idea of "negative energy" undead was kind of cool in the original game, it was used inconsistently (i.e. not every "negative energy" undead creature drained levels).
- If you're not going to be consistent with a concept (ghouls and mummies don't drain levels) than it seems a bit lazy not to come up with unique dangers/threats from each individual undead.
- Fantasy heartbreakers give designers the chance to "clean up" the imperfections they find in the original (D&D) game...and I plan on taking advantage and doing the same. This ain't no retroclone, it's a fantasy heartbreaker yo! One thing I can do is look at the source material and change it to be more in line with MY take on traditional monster mythology. And I intend to do so.
- Finally, with only five total levels in the game (less for demihumans) the issue of "keeping PCs power in check" becomes much less about reigning in levels. There are plenty more ways to cripple PCs (and more permanently!) than using level drain.
So right...no level drain. There WILL be undead in the game (even though this is its own game, I plan on using stat blocks for monsters eerily similar to the B/X game...just in case anyone wants to convert with ease). The creatures of the night that I intend to use include the following:
Wights (renamed Draugr)
In other words, the same basic undead found in both OD&D and B/X.
By the way...did I mention there is no "cleric" class in the new game?