24
Apr
14

there’s a new sheriff in town

Well, if Joesky can find the strength to post, so can I.  He is the beery wind beneath my wings.

attention must be paid

Ain’t my campaign, but word in the New York Red Box is that co-blogger Charlatan has hit the level cap for his bad-ass Halfling, Cut Coutelain, who has struggled all the way up from Level 1 in a fairly by-the-book B/X game.  Strongholds and dominion rules await, if Cut hasn’t blown all his cash building a “burrow boxing” arena for his kin-folk.  I don’t follow the blogs enough, but I’m wondering if anyone else has gone from 0 XP to Name Level since the OSR really got rolling 5-6 years ago.  It’s taken Charlatan something like 150 sessions.

The verdict among our Red Box crew, by the way, is that the Halfling may be one of the very best classes in B/X.  Great saves, very respectable attacks, an absolutely sick ability to hide outdoors (and respectable odds of hiding indoors), plus the ability to get Dex 18 with the Moldvay point-swapping model which yields a great AC and terrific bonuses to ranged combat.  In B/X, a Halfling can build a stronghold any she has enough cash – which could be pretty damn early in the campaign.  All wrapped up with a Fighter’s XP curve and mid-tier hit-dice.  True, the music stops at 128,000 XP, but that apparently takes 150 sessions of play.  If D&D Classes mean you are what you repeatedly do, it’s no wonder the Hobbit Halfling gets to have his cake and eat it too.

Hurray for Sheriff Coutelain, champion of the half-sized pugilists!

floydvsgreatest


9 Responses to “there’s a new sheriff in town”


  1. April 24, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Don’t forget +1 to missile attacks separate from DEX and +1 initiative.

  2. 2 Greengoat
    April 24, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    Congrats to Charlatan and his besoulpatched hobbit pugilist. The real question is: What now for Cut? Full-time philanthropy to screw with young minds like Bill Gates?

    Mechanics-wise, it’s the attribute point swap that tips the TINY TANK that is the B/X halfing into cheese fondue. I have DMed redbox halfings and a -1 AC at charcter creation is NOT COOL. Simple fix is to make Str the only halfling prime requisite (as it technically was in older editions).

    Also, this blog isn’t dead? I thought super-frog killed it.

  3. 3 James Nostack
    April 24, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    Greengoat, from a design perspective, what’s wrong with -1 AC at char-gen, versus a Fighter with, let’s say, Dex 13, Plate Mail, and a Shield for AC 1?

    This blog *is* dead. It is now arising in zombie form.

  4. 4 Naked Samurai
    April 24, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    In practice, the near-invisibility in the wild hasn’t been used in ages. We’ve basically forgotten they could do that. Nor has the decent near-invisibility indoors (having to stand still hurts a lot). The existence of two Halflings with Dex 18 in the campaign had the DM change the chargen rules, to no point swapping, and since then we haven’t had any Halflings of note. After a certain level, at least in B/X, ranged combat seems to go completely out the window. Anyone shooting crossbows or throwing knives at this point is a hireling or a newbie first level. (That’s an interesting evolution to contemplate, btw.)

    The initiative bonus is really nice. Really, really nice. The bonus AC against greater than mansize is very nice. The saves are aces. The lowered hit die is not great, but not horrible, but the need to find smaller weapons and (as we’ve found) especially magic armor, hurt.

    In short, I’m not sure I would say Halfling is the very best class, but it does rank high for that initiative bonus alone. Going a beat before nearly everybody is invaluable. Speed kills.

  5. 5 Naked Samurai
    April 24, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Oh, and congrats to Charlatan. He’s not the first 8th level character, I should mention, but the first to run out of hopes and dreams.

  6. 6 Scott LeMien
    April 26, 2014 at 1:10 am

    Lol @ Greengoat, trying to make a ridiculously hard game even harder.

    Gaming the halfling class probably had a helluva lot to do with Glantri’s success. It got them over the hump so they were a high enough level to raise dead, if need be.

    If I remember correctly, the stat swap was later banned.

    Congrats to Charlatan.
    I remember trying to hit third level before I moved with a trader PC, but probably my biggest achievement was a second level Elf.

    Miss youse guys.

  7. 7 Greengoat
    April 26, 2014 at 3:40 am

    From a design perspective, the 1st level full-armored stat-swapped halfling will be three times harder to hit than the full-armored “fighting-man”. From a DM’s perspective, this ramps up the “glass cannon” suituation where the party of PCs will wade through most HD parity encounters and find themselves only challenged by higher HD critters who have a slightly better chance of hitting the front row while the party is still at 1st level. These higher HD monsters also tend to do more damage creating a thinner margin between challenge/player death when the beast finally connects to the 1st level halfling for d8 damage and then goes wandering into the back ranks to snack on the mage and thief. You could say this is just risk pushed by the PC group, but the halfling is the only RAW class that can pump up it’s Dex and wear heavy armor and have a d6 HD. But that’s just me. (I am glad to see the hated stat-swapping had been exorcised in my absence.)

    Oh Scott, tsk, tsk. My thinking on Basic D&D after having DMed it for a bunch of new to OSR players, is that it’s not so much “hard” as it is “slow”. Not mechanically slow, just advancement slow (developmental?). There is nothing “hard” about having your wizard’s face melted off or having his soul cashed-in by a demon, these things just sort-of happen ya know? It’s the rate of advancement that make it feel difficult.

  8. 8 Naked Samurai
    April 28, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Stat swapping adds a level of awesomeness to character generation. My suggestion would be adding a limit to how high an attribute can be raised. Say, to 15. Or, say, only one level of +1 acquired. This would mirror the fact that there are limits to how low they can be dropped. Changing a Halfling’s prime attribute to Strength might work, but I don’t think is necessary.

  9. May 10, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    If I were starting a new game, I’d limit the halfling to chainmail. 18 Dex in chain armor isn’t too much of a problem.

    Also: miss you too, Scott. (Ditto Chris, not that he’d ever admit any affection for us. He’s a hard man, our Chris.)


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