Sunday, February 20, 2022

Cook/Marsh Expert: The Encounter

"Part 5: The Encounter" incorporated additional material from OD&D vol. 3 "The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures" but also introduced new rules.


The evasion table on page X23 in the Expert rulebook is based upon a similar table in OD&D vol. 3, likely adapted from Dave Arneson's "Blackmoor" campaign material (see "The First Fantasy Campaign: Into the Great Outdoors").

Saving Throws:

It's mentioned that a character's normal equipment is spared if the character survives an attack requiring a saving throw, but fails if the character dies.

A simplified system for magic item saving throws is introduced (chances equivalent to the character's saving throw, plus a bonus equal to the object's bonus in combat).

Variable Weapon Damage:

Values for the javelin, staff, and lance are given (new weapons, introduced on page X9), as well as rules for lance combat (double damage with a successful hit, charging on horseback).*

*in "Part 6: Monsters" it's stated that "hits on charging creatures by spears or pole arms braced against the ground will do double damage"

Illustration by Bill Willingham.

Unarmed Combat:

A simple system for unarmed combat is introduced (1-2 points of damage per successful hit, plus any strength modifiers).*

*used in module X2 "Castle Amber", where it's further stated there's a 5% chance of a knockout, lasting 1-10 rounds, whenever maximum damage is rolled (ie. 50% of the time)

Mass Land Combat:

"Chainmail" is recommended for large-scale battles in OD&D, whereas "Swords & Spells" is mentioned in the D&D Expert rulebook.

Naval Combat:

Covered in "Part 9: Special Adventures".*

*underwater combat is not covered in the D&D Expert rulebook

Aerial Combat:

Rules for aerial combat are based upon a similar section in OD&D vol. 3, likely adapted from Dave Arneson's "Blackmoor" campaign material (aka "Battle in the Skies")*

*it's stated that casting spells requires a stable means of support, and that "a mount that flies by flapping its wings is definitely not stable!"


Reproduced from Moldvay Basic, possibly for those using the Expert rulebook together with Holmes Basic.

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