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Resources for making B/X style classes?

smarttman

I do some stuff
Validated User
Hey all, I've been considering doing a Labyrinth Lord based game for cyberpunk settings. I have a lot of ideas about classes, but I'm kind of lost on how to actually stat them out and make them balanced. Are there any resources for this type of thing? Or if anyone has done such a thing in the past, can you offer any advice? Seems to me actual mechanical balance is lacking in these older editions, but I'd like to create a level playing field among PCs
 

amethal

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BethDragon

professionally dissatisfied
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robconley

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Hey all, I've been considering doing a Labyrinth Lord based game for cyberpunk settings. I have a lot of ideas about classes, but I'm kind of lost on how to actually stat them out and make them balanced. Are there any resources for this type of thing? Or if anyone has done such a thing in the past, can you offer any advice? Seems to me actual mechanical balance is lacking in these older editions, but I'd like to create a level playing field among PCs
The problem you are dealing with that is not much to balance with. Labyrinth Lord is only a step removed from the original release and each character class has less than a handful of abilities that make them distinct.

Common characteristics are
Hit dice to roll hit points with
A XP level chart
A specific progression on the to-hit chart.
A specific progression on a saving throw chart to avoid "bad things" from happening to them.
Access to a specific set of weapon and armor (or all of them or only a few of them).

Beyond that you have

Fighters
get one attack per level against 1 HD foes

Magic User
can memorize and cast spells a limited times per day sorted by spell level.

Cleric
can memorize and cast spells a limited times per day sorted by spell level.
can progress turning, controlling, or destroying undead creatures

Thief
Progresses on a list of skill-like abilities.

And that it.
If you look at just the four classes above the primary difference between the release of OD&D and the release of AD&D is in the interplay of numbers.

Monsters roll 1d6 per HD in OD&D and 1d8 per HD in AD&D
The to hit progression are different
Fighters went from basic 1d6+1 HPs per level to 1d8 in Greyhawk to 1d10 in AD&D.

So to achieve a specific feel or balance you need to start with the numbers first. Then after that look at the one to a handful of special abilities a class get.

I personally would not worry about balance due to the lack of options to tweak. Rather I would decide how you want your take to feel and tweak the numbers to suit.

Perhaps magic users are far weaker than the normal populace and thus only gain 1d2 or 1d3 HP per level. Or 1d6-4 per level.

Perhaps it more difficult to be a magic user and thus they need 3,000 XP instead of 2,500 xp to gain second level and increases progress from there.

Make spell progression much more stingy For example

Code:
Original
  1 2 3
1 1
2 2
3 2 1
4 2 2
5 2 2 1
6 2 2 2

Slow
  1 2 3
1 1
2 1
3 2 
4 2 
5 2 1 
6 2 1 

or different

  1 2 3
1 1
2 2
3 2 
4 3 1
5 3 1 
6 4 2 
7 4 2
8 5 3 1
9 5 3 1
As far as specific resource I have a general XP chart I used for my work on the Majestic Wilderlands

Aside from the supplement I wrote, this you can download the following as an example where a few tweaks to Swords & Wizardry make the rules fit a lot better with how I conceive my setting.

The last bit of advice is to write an initial version, run it, revise in light of what you experience and run it again until it where you like it to be. This approach was highly effective in getting the rules into the shape I wanted them.
 

eggdropsoap

Cosmic Egg
Validated User
You might want to take a look at Stars Without Number (Revised). It’s based on early D&D, so it’ll be familiar on the same way LL is, but it’s designed to be reasonably balance and already designed for sci-fi. It has hacking in the Deluxe core book, and one of the supplements is explicitly about adding even more cyberpunk: Polychrome. (That’s a DriveThru link; no personal association with me, I’m just a fan impressed by the genre flexibility of SWN.)

Someone might dismiss SWN as only good for space games, but that’s an easy error (and one I’ve made myself in the past). Being built for world-hopping sci-fi in general though, it has tools for making those worlds different and interesting. It’s built so that you can world-hop, or just as easily play on one world for a whole campaign. If that’s a glass towers, cyberware, hacking, mission running, corporate dystopia, that’s your cyberpunk right there. :)

And it manages to do all this without adding a lot of complexity onto the classic D&D chassis, or warping it away from feeling familiar.
 

Particle_Man

White Knight
Validated User
Hey all, I've been considering doing a Labyrinth Lord based game for cyberpunk settings. I have a lot of ideas about classes, but I'm kind of lost on how to actually stat them out and make them balanced. Are there any resources for this type of thing? Or if anyone has done such a thing in the past, can you offer any advice? Seems to me actual mechanical balance is lacking in these older editions, but I'd like to create a level playing field among PCs
There was an article on p. 8 of dragon magazine #109 called “customize classes” for becmi D&D that might help. Obviously more fantasy than cyberpunk based.
 

Kredoc

Registered User
Validated User
The 2nd edition DMG has rules for creating custom character classes. It's flawed, but it may be worth a read for inspiration.
 

Monkey-x

Registered User
Validated User
Also look to d20 modern or similar titles for inspiration ongranted abilities.
 
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