Labyrinth Lord OEC House Rules

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I mentioned starting a Labyrinth Lord Original Edition Characters (OEC) campaign recently, and having created some house rules. I tried to keep them as minimal as possible, my main goal was to slightly increase the power of the Fighting Man and give Magic-Users (MUs) some extra flexibility to cast utility spells by way of the Holmes scroll rules (a MU of any level can create a scroll of any spell they know for 100gp and 1 week per spell level). I’ve created a player quickstart, like I did for a few other games, which allows the MU to start play with a scroll of one 1st-level spell, or 100gp (I’ll post the quickstart in the next few days).

I’ve also incorporated the special trait tables for demi-humans from the Non-Human Player Codex, to add some flavor. I don’t think this gives demi-human PCs too much power, the trait abilities are minor, and I am still using the by-the-book level limits for
Halflings, Dwarves and Elves.

The save vs. death rule is one I’ve been using in my games recently. I’ve found it works very well in play, without eliminating the pervasive fear of death that makes old-school games so exciting. If anything, leaving the PC who saves vs. death alive with 1hp but no second chance and no possibility of non-magical healing increases the tension during a combat.

Ability Scores

  • All classes get +1 to open door attempts and +600 coins carry capacity for a STR 15+, with corresponding penalties for a STR of 6 or less.
  • Fighting Men get +1 to damage rolls for a STR 15+.

Combat

  • If a Fighting Man kills his opponent, he can immediately attack another foe who is within melee range (one only).
  • Variable weapon damage is used.
  • Spears do double damage if set against a charge, and can attack from the second rank. They do d8 damage if used two-handed.
  • Firing missile weapons into melee is risky (-4 to-hit). On a miss, roll a random friendly target and re-roll attack with no bonuses or penalties.

Wounds/Dying

  • PCs at zero or negative HP must save vs. death to survive, adding any CON bonus/penalty and +1 for Fighting Men. If they fail they are dead, otherwise they live with 1 HP and cannot regain more without magical healing or a full day’s rest.
  • Any PC can bind wounds of another (or themselves) after any combat to heal 1d3 HP, but this can never restore full HP.

Class and Racial Abilities/Limitations

  • Elves, Dwarves and Halflings roll one special trait from the Non-Human Player Codex.
  • Clarification on weapon use: Dwarves and Halflings cannot use lances, polearms, two-handed swords, or longbows (but can use other two-handed weapons).
  • Halflings gain +1 to missile attack rolls and can sneak quietly & hide when not in metal armor.
  • Magic-using Elves can cast spells in Elven chain armor (in addition to magic armor).
  • Magic-Users know read magic as an extra spell each day.
  • Holmes scroll rules in effect for MUs.

Simplified Encumbrance

  • PCs can carry a reasonable amount of equipment (the easiest way to do this is to have them note where they are carrying each item) and 1,200 coins (one large sack), no more.