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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> General Forum --> Gaming surveys --> Core Rules Conundrum
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Regular Visitor
Karma: 13/17
76 Posts

Core Rules Conundrum

I like D&D games as much as anyone else, and like to try new and interesting variations of character types and playing styles offered by the various supplements and RP aids available.

But sometimes I like to "revert to basics" and run games using the core ruleset (of whatever version) with no 'bells and whisles', as it were.

But it seems that the games I try to start with that premise have been met with apathy (disinterest?)

While I can understand that my timeing may be a bit off and this is not a good time to start games, I also have the thought that "cire rules only" ganes are generally viewed here as either boring or not challenging enough.

I could be wrong.

Which leads me to this survey. I don't know the most popular style and method of play here, so I ask to learn:

What are your individual view(s) on "core rules only" games, regardless of version (1e, 2e, 3e, 3e5 ... if any)?

Posted on 2009-05-22 at 01:27:14.

RDI Staff
Karma: 357/190
6192 Posts


I have absolutely 0 problem with them. I have to admit, my personal quest is to find a DM who plays 100% by the book. Encumberance, fatigue, sleeping/eating/drinking and all those things that tend to get dropped for not being fun really (really, they're not). I have no idea why I want to do this, but I do.

Also, in response to not-your-question, it is a rather slow time to try to start something up.

Posted on 2009-05-22 at 01:38:59.

Dragon Mistress
Not Brianna
Karma: 68/55
1764 Posts

My 2 Cents

I like 3 or 3.5 the best, though I do have tweaks, I also play with fatigue, sleep, food, etc. But I also play with the idea of real armor. If you are wearing a chain shirt and you get hit in the leg--too bad no armor there. I have a d100 chart of the body broken up into 100 areas by mass of area, easier to it the upper torso that the heart, etc. Everyone rolls their to hits and a d100 for location. I also have a chart to figure out -mods for a called shot. So the fighters need to fight with their heads, not just with the idea I hit-I miss. A well written description of how a protagonist readies to hit an opponent can garner DM Bonuses to their roll.

Before Pathfinder came out I began giving all classes feats a 1 3 5 7 9 etc and Stat points a 2 4 6 8 etc. Also all characters start with the same number of stat points, and everbody get skills points the same. Seems stupid to not have fighters ge spot a listen. I have a list of everyman skills, and general skills and there are some designated for a specific class. I also give a Background feat to start and 10 points to put into backgrounds skill + a posssible 10 points for a well done, thoughtful background.

Posted on 2009-05-22 at 03:48:11.

Regular Visitor
Karma: 13/17
76 Posts

True, true ... but tweaks?

In my core-rules games, I also use fatigue, eat/sleep cycles, called shots (or general area chots), encumbrance vs. movement, weapon size vs. speed, etc.

I agree that most find it boring (or ate least tediously slow). But, like myself, some find it an excellent opportunity to role-play and add "deoth" to the character in questioin. It also provides an opportunity for the characters to interact beyond the our-turn-their-turn rhetoric.

But while this works fine on table-top, I can imagine that that kind of extra detail in a text-based game would be, in fact tediously slow and detail-ridden. This would lead to long-winded descriptions that take away from the interest in the "relative speed" of the game, I think.

But I think I have found a happy medium, thanks to some excellent mentoring in my own experience in gaming. I " tweak" by leaving in play what rules I think is necessary, and allowing "assumptions" about aspects or rules that would be detrimental to player interest. Some may not like the rules/aspects of the game I leave in, but they learn to live with it because I don't focus on them as points of argument.

Posted on 2009-05-22 at 05:06:57.

Trilogy Master
RDI Staff
Karma: 180/119
6554 Posts


I will always be a 2e Disciple it is too me by far the best of all the AD&D Editions. However I do twick them a little

I use the Encumbrance rules for wieght vs movement the extent of character actions per how much they are carrying and what type of equipment is worn.

Magic users & Clerics must sleep to regain spells and prayers and I use the rule that sleeping 8 hrs heals 2 points of Damage.

I use a characters constituion score to see how tired each gets over the course of walking, fighting, and lack of sleep X's thier encumbrance to see how well or how badly they hit in battle the more tired they get.

There are a number of things I have learned from a number of DM's here at the Inn that I have adapted to my game for easier role play but my basis for Rule based play without a doubt hands down is 2nd Edition.

Posted on 2009-05-23 at 22:48:50.

Regular Visitor
Karma: 13/17
76 Posts

Ah !!

I was introduced to D&D using 2e rules, then supplemrts, then RP aids. From themre, my mentors took me backward and showed me the 1e (AD&D) and the boxed-set versions. Thereafter, I picked up 3e and 3e5 on my own.

But, like you, I also prefer 2e AD&D. But even so, I still like to run a core-rules, no-frills, no-supplements/kits/options game. Just the basic rules. Clean, neat, and simple.

Like me, most of my Table-Top group likes that sort of change, because I do it regularly but infrequently. But I have found (and met) many who poo-poo and roll their eyes up at the mere mention of a "basic", coire rules game, as if it is beneath them to participate in such a "beginner's format" ...

Some game tweaks, for me, are, like:
8 hrs Sleep = Loss of memorized or granted spells
8 hrs Sleep = Ability to learn or pray for new spells
8 hrs Sleep = 2 hp heales
8 hrs REST = 1 hp heales

Cpnstitution checks for swimming, holding breah, running, resurrection, modifer(s) for endurance, etc/
Called shots (specific) are at -2,
Called shots (general area) are at -1
Speciics like decapitation, severance of an arm or leg, require a full round of concentration prior to striking, much like the assassin's death blow ... because of the precision, concentration, and effort needed to perform such an action. Of course STR is also a factor in this type oif action ...

Posted on 2009-05-24 at 00:08:03.

Padre J Roulston
Karma: 16/1
428 Posts

My answer

As far as the different versions goes I'm a 3.5 kind of guy.

And I must say as far as 3.5 games go I prefer to play core rules only. I find that a lot of the expansion packs just complicate things. Especially when the characters start taking classes from different books.

The only variation on the core rules that I keep as a house rule is that if you can give me a valid reason why your character would know a skill that is not normally a class skill you can have it as a class skill.

Though when I'm playing 2ed I much prefer to use all the class/race handbooks. But I think that has more to do the RPing base that 2ed has over 3.5

Posted on 2014-03-18 at 00:48:51.

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