Monday, August 30, 2010

Basic D&D part 16

Owl Bear: Like many other monsters in Holmes, the Owl Bear’s attack routine has been simplified. Instead of two claw attacks that deal 1d6 damage each and a bite that deals 1d12, it now has three attacks that deal 1d8 damage each. I was all set to castigate Holmes for not providing the rules for an Owl Bear’s bear-hug attack, but it seems he’s just following the lead of OD&D. Supplement I says that the Owl Bear hugs as a Werebear, but lo and behold the Werebear has no hug attack to speak of in the rules. Perhaps Gary was talking about a rule he was using at his own table, without realising that he’d never set it down in the books.

Owl Bear’s get an alignment for the first time here: Neutral.

This is also the first time that the Owl Bear’s physical appearance is specified in writing. Supplement I had an illustration that made it pretty clear, but nothing in the monster entry itself.

Pegasus: They were Lawful in OD&D, and now they are Lawful Good.

Pixie: Their Armour Class has improved significantly, from 6 to 3, and their Treasure Type has changed from C to R + S combined. What this means is that they have less copper and silver coinage, and a much higher chance for gems, jewelry and magic items. In OD&D their alignment was Neutral, but now they can be Neutral or Chaotic Good. They are otherwise the same as in OD&D, with their rules for flying fatigue brought in from Chainmail. There’s some new info provided as well, with Holmes stating that their royalty are powerful magic-users, and that they are friendly with Elves and Fairies.

Purple Worm: Holmes’ irritating tendency to simplify a monster’s attack routine strikes again. The worm’s bite damage has been lessened from 2d12 to 1d12, and its sting has been raised from 1d8 to 1d12. The only other difference from OD&D is that their swallow whole attack is no longer restricted to creatures of ogre-size or less.

Rust Monster: Their alignment is now given as Neutral, and their ability to turn metal to rust is no longer restricted to ferrous metals specifically.

Shadow: Shadows were Chaotic in OD&D, but now they are Lawful Evil.

Skeleton: Skeletons had an Armour Class of 7 in OD&D, but it is now listed as 8. Their alignment is now given as Neutral. Their immunity to sleep, charm and mind-reading spells is also specifically called out in the monster entry.

Spectre: Spectres were Chaotic in OD&D, but now they are Lawful Evil. And look, that reference to the Nazgul is still there!

Stirge: Their alignment is now given as Neutral. Holmes also gives them a +2 to attack rather than saying they attack as 4th level Fighters – a much more elegant way to model the rule. The less charts I need to look up the better.

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