Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The 23 Rules of the Basic Set ~or~ Easy Action

Just out of curiosity, I wanted to see how basic Basic D&D is.
After characters are created and before experience points are awarded, there are about 23 basic rules.
For this list I'm looking at situations during the game in which the outcome of a decision is determined by a die roll. The only exception to this are the rules for movement.
Also not included are the various modifiers to rolls.
I'm just listing the bare bones.

1. Clerics vs. Undead
2. Thieves' Abilities
3. Dwarves can find slanting passages, traps, shifting walls, and new construction
4. Halflings can hide
5. Movement with encumbrance
6. Force open a door
7. Find a secret door
8. Listening
9. Retainer reactions
10. Retainer loyalty
11. Triggering a trap
12. Finding a trap
13. Wandering monster roll
14. Encounter distance roll
15. Surprise check
16. Initiative check
17. Monster reactions
18. Monsters stopping pursuit for food or treasure
19. Attack roll
20. Damage roll
21. Healing wounds
22. Saving throws
23. Morale check (optional)

23 skidoo!

And here's a song that rocks. Just because.



  1. Dang, when you look at it that way it is very basic. It also puts OSR rules hacking discussions into perspective..

  2. It would be interesting to go through the Expert Set and AD&D to see what they add.
    Also, I was happy to see there are 23 basic rules.
    Very Discordian.
    I don't think Robert Anton Wilson would have been surprised.

    1. Which version of Basic is this from? (Holmes, Moldvay, or Mentzer)

      What is the "Healing Wounds" thing? I'm not familiar with that.

  3. The one with the Erol Otus cover.
    Healing wounds. Recovering hit points.
    Not really a die roll but it a decision to either stop and rest or keep going without recovering hit points.