Wednesday, September 20, 2023

The original bard class, adapted for Swords & Wizardry

Doug Schwegman's pioneering bard class, introduced in the February 1976 issue of The Strategic Review, deserves to be celebrated for its lasting influence on the game. Ever since its adoption into the AD&D Players Handbook in 1978 (albeit with numerous alterations), some iteration of the concept has been present in most every official version of the rules. That said, Schwegman's actual article is a tad rambling and has a tendency to tuck vital nuggets of game information away in the midst of some pretty convoluted paragraphs. This is my attempt to clean it up and reframe in the format used by my favorite contempory take on Original D&D, Swords & Wizardy. My only concessions to the new format were the addition of prime attributes (the SR article was mum on this), extrapolating a likely solution to what appears to be a typo in the description of followers available to sixth college bards, and the ommission of the bonus experience awards for succeeding at the charm and lore abilities (as S&W uses a somewhat variant experience system).


The enigmatic Bards are an order of arcane warrior-poets. Cunning loremasters as well as entertainers extraordinare, their ancient art encorporates martial prowess, stealth, and magical might. As true jacks of all trades, they can never hope to rival Fighters, Magic-Users, or Thieves within their respective realms of expertise, yet their unparalleled social aptitude, deep reservoir of knowledge, and sheer flexibility grant them an undeniable edge all their own.

Prime Attribute: Strength and Intelligence, both 13+ (+5% experience bonus)
Hit Dice:1d6/level (Gain 1 hp/level after 10th level)
Armor/Shield Permitted: Leather, ring, chain; shield permitted
Weapons Permitted: Any
Ancestry: Human, Dwarf (maximum 8th level), Elf (maximum 8th level), Halfling (maximum 8th level)


Alignment: Bards may be of any alignment, although most are Neutral and on friendly terms with druidic organizations. Lawful bards do not have access to thieving skills.

Bardic Colleges: Bard characters derive thier many skills from training obtained through scholarly organizations known as colleges. These scarcely resemble institutions of higher learning as we know them, instead being loose yet far-reaching webs of association maintained between individual Bards of similar accomplishment. While Bards of higher colleges can often be snobbish about associating with their "lessers" in lower ones, all Bards tend to be fiercely loyal to their fellows and the college system as a whole, regardless of alignment. It is rumored that magical intruments with wonderous effects exist that can only be properly played by Bards of a high enough college.


Fighting Ability: Bards use the same attack and saving throw values as Clerics. They do not gain any class-specific saving throw bonuses, however.

Thievery: Non-Lawful Bards have thieving abilities equal to a Thief of half their current level (round down). Non-human Bards benefit from the same bonuses non-human Thieves do. Note that Bards do not gain a Backstab ability and cannot climb walls or move silently when wearing any armor heavier than leather.

Spellcasting: Bards learn, prepare, and cast Magic-User spells in the same manner members of that class do. They cannot cast spells while wearing any form of non-magical armor.

Magic Items: Bards may employ any magic item usable by Fighters, Thieves, or members of all classes. Additionally, they may use (but not create) Magic-User scrolls. At the Referee's discretion, magic items based on sound (Horn of Blasting, Pipes of the Sewers, etc.) may have enhanced effects when used by Bards.

Charm: The mystical song of Bards has a percentage chance of mesmerizing any listeners within a 60' radius of them. This power may be used up to once per level per day and affected beings will do nothing but stand in place listening to the Bard until the singing stops, the Bard leaves the area of effect, or they are attacked or otherwise startled. The Bard may attempt to verbally implant a Suggestion in any charmed being (as per the third level Magic-User spell). A saving throw is permitted to resist the Suggestion and success both breaks the charm and is apt to leave the target very angry. A Bard's song also nullifies the hazardous effect of a harpy's. Situational modifers apply to charm attempts, as per the chart below.

Bard Charm Modifiers

Bard has charisma 15+ Bard is an Elf Target is a Monk Target is other classed character Target is undead Target is demon Target is other monster Target has AC bonus from magic items
+5% per point above 14 +5% -10%/level -5% per level over four -10%/HD -200% -5% per HD over three -5% per point of bonus

Lore: This number represents the Bard's base percentage chance to possess information relating to a person, place, item, or event deemed significant enough by the Referee to have inspired tales and legends within the campaign setting. It can be used to identify magic items, but the chance of success will generally be half normal (or less) if the item in question is not a weapon or piece of armor. Bards of Elf ancestry gain +5% to this ability.

Expert Linguist: Being both highly educated and well-traveled, a Bard may learn as many additional languages as he or she has points of Intelligence.

Followers: As natural leaders, Bards attract a much higher than usual number of special hirelings, as shown in the accompanying chart. The class of each is determined using the "Bard Follower Classes" chart. Higher level follower slots will generally be taken up by already existing followers who have advanced in level, rather than all new ones. For example, a Bard who advances from the first college to the second will be joined by a new first level follower and one of the previous two will be promoted to second level in order to fill that slot on the chart. A Bard need not pay these followers, and ones that die or otherwise leave the campaign are not replaced. Bards following other Bards will not have their own followers. If the optional morale rules are used, these followers gain a +4 morale bonus (not cumulative with any bonus from high Charisma, but low Charisma penalties still apply).

Bard Follower by College

College Followers by Level
1 2 3 4 5 6
First 2 - - - - -
Second 2 1 - - - -
Third 3 2 1 - - -
Fourth 3 3 2 - - -
Fifth 3 3 3 3 - -
Sixth 4 4 4 3 3 -
Seventh 4 4 4 4 4 4

Bard Follower Classes

01-30% 31-55% 56-75% 76-90% 91-99% 100%
Bard Druid Fighter Thief Magic-User Roll twice, ignoring 100%

Bard Advancement Table

Level* XP Required for Level Hit Dice (d6)** Saving Throw College Charm/Lore Number of Spells (by level)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 0 1 15 - 10% - - - - - - -
2 1,000 2 14 1st 20% 1 - - - - - -
3 4,000 3 13 1st 30% 1 - - - - - -
4 9,000 4 12 1st 40% 2 - - - - - -
5 16,000 5 11 2nd 50% 3 - - - - - -
6 25,000 6 10 2nd 60% 3 1 - - - - -
7 50,000 7 9 2nd 70% 4 1 - - - - -
8 100,000 8 8 3rd 80% 4 2 - - - - -
9 150,000 9 7 3rd 90% 4 2 - - - - -
10 200,000 10 6 3rd 100% 4 2 1 - - - -
11 250,000 10+1 hp 5 4th 110% 4 2 1 - - - -
12 300,000 10+2 hp 4 4th 120% 4 2 2 - - - -
13 400,000 10+3 hp 4 4th 130% 4 3 2 - - - -
14 500,000 10+4 hp 4 5th 140% 4 3 2 1 - - -
15 600,000 10+5 hp 4 5th 150% 4 3 3 1 - - -
16 700,000 10+6 hp 4 5th 160% 4 3 3 2 - - -
17 800,000 10+7 hp 4 6th 170% 4 3 3 2 - - -
18 900,000 10+8 hp 4 6th 180% 4 3 3 2 1 - -
19 1,000,000 10+9 hp 4 6th 190% 4 4 3 2 1 - -
20 1,100,000 10+10 hp 4 7th 200% 4 4 3 3 2 - -
21 1,200,000 10+11 hp 4 7th 210% 4 4 4 3 2 - -
22 1,300,000 10+12 hp 4 7th 220% 4 4 4 3 3 - -
23 1,400,000 10+13 hp 4 7th 230% 4 4 4 4 3 - -
24 1,500,000 10+14 hp 4 7th 240% 4 4 4 4 4 1 -
25 1,600,000 10+15 hp 4 7th 250% 5 5 4 4 4 2 1

*Bards are capped at 25 levels of ability.
**Hit points shown for levels after the character no longer gains full hit dice are the total combined number. A 12th-level Bard has 10 HD plus 2 hit points total, not 10 HD plus one hit point gained at 11th level and another 2 hit points gained at 12th.

An expanded armor table for Swords & Wizardy

On a recent read through the latest edition of Swords & Wizardry, an adaptation of the original D&D from the mid-'70s, it struck me that the equipment list notably includes ring mail armor in addition to the leather, chain, and plate varieties found in the source text. This got me thinking more generally about the various armor types beyond that "basic three" that were added to game over time, particularly in AD&D. Some of them, like the aforementioned ring armor or studded leather, have little to no precedent in historical or archaelogical records. With that in mind, here's my take on an expanded armor list that's broadly compatible with the ones found in later editions. I kept the more dubious items in for tradition's sake, but flagged them as such, making them easy to ignore if you're a stickler about such things. Enjoy!


Armor Type Effect on AC from a base of 9[10] Weight** (pounds) Cost
Shield -1[+1] 10 15 gp
Padded gambeson -1[+1] 15 3 gp
Leather -2[+2] 25 5 gp
Ring*, scale, studded leather* -3[+3] 40 30 gp
Chain -4[+4] 50 75 gp
Banded*, brigandine, lamellar, laminar, splint -5[+5] 60 85 gp
Plate -6[+6] 70 100 gp
*Possibly ahistorical armor type.
**Magical armor weighs half normal.

Monday, June 5, 2023

Review: Swords & Wizardry Complete Revised

Mythmere Games has recently finished work on Swords & Wizardry Complete Revised, an updated take on their flagship fantasy RPG. As an enthusiastic backer of the book's highly successful Kickstarter campaign and equally enthusiastic reviewer of game stuff, I couldn't wait to dive in and take you all along for the ride. The information below is based on the first PDF release of the core rules sent out to backers, which should be virtually identical to the upcoming final print and PDF releases, barring a few minor last minute typographical fixes.

Before I get to that, however, here's a little disclaimer: This latest release isn't my introduction to Swords & Wizardry Complete (S&WC). I've been a fan of the game's earlier incarnations for years. I even furnished some (very minor!) behind-the-scenes assistance with the preparation of this Revised edition, mainly by collecting outstanding errata. Though my name appears in the book's credits as a result, I'm in no way compensated, let alone employed, by Mythmere Games and purchased my copy of the book with my own money, just like the 2800 other Kickstarter backers. So while my fanboy status means you probably shouldn't expect an unbiased review out of me, you can at least be assured that none of my praise has been purchased.

With that out of the way, what exactly is S&WC? In essence, it's a cleaned up, legally distinct restatement of the very first ("pre-Advanced") set of rules for Dungeons & Dragons that were initially published between 1974 and 1978. In other words, the ur-game all RPGs to this day derive from. The Swords & Wizardry brand has been around since 2008 and is the creation of Matt Finch, author of the acclaimed Tome of Adventure Design accessory and the same fellow who pioneered the whole idea of finding legal ways to publish new material for legacy versions of D&D, thereby kicking off a little thing called the OSR (Old School Renaissance) movement.

Having been born in the tail end of the 1970s, I cut my gaming teeth on a combination of AD&D and the later 1981 B/X D&D line. For the longest time, the only things I knew about the various foundational Dungeons & Dragons rules pamphlets (colloquially known as Original D&D, OD&D, or 0E) were that they were chaotically organized, choppily edited, and expensive collectors items to boot. It wasn't until I saw how the material was presented in Swords & Wizardry Complete that I truly understood the lightning-in-a-bottle success of early D&D. Finch's artful polishing revealed that the original was not only a better game at its core than I would have expected, but a better one than I could have imagined.

See, when the classic D&D family tree split into two main branches in 1978 (largely due to acrimonious high-stakes legal wrangling between Gary Gygax's TSR and ousted OD&D co-creator Dave Arneson), each branch inherited some of the fledgeling game's coolest features. AD&D got the gritty sword & sorcery feel, demonic antagonists, and iconic character classes like the assassin and paladin, albeit wedded to a significantly larger and more complicated set of mechanics. The Basic D&D line, starting with the first boxed Basic set edited by J. Eric Holmes, assumed OD&D's overall simplicity and ease of modification/expansion. S&WC is what demonstrated to me what an elegant "best of both worlds" option the pre-split rules could therefore be.

So far, I could be describing any of several prominent "retro-clone" game lines based on OD&D. What makes this one different? Well, that mainly comes down to the fact that the core mission of S&WC isn't to replicate the primordial 1974 "white box" D&D alone (as with White Box: Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game and Delving Deeper) or AD&D (as with OSRIC), but instead to capture the essence of D&D as it was commonly played right before AD&D grew to dominate the scene circa 1979. By widening its scope to incorporate all the best material from the various OD&D supplements (including Greyhawk, Blackmoor, Eldritch Wizardry, and key bits from the magazine Strategic Review), it's fundamentally doing something no other modern repackaging does.

This leads into the second most common question newcomers to S&WC tend to have: If you're not going to embrace the bare bones three character class approach of the '74 White Box, why not skip straight to AD&D? For me, the answer's easy: The things I love most about AD&D, such as the separation of character species and class (as opposed to every elf being a hybrid fighter/magic-user) and the wide assortment of flavorful class options, come with some major downsides. People are still arguing to this day over exactly how AD&D's surprise and initiative rules are even intended to work, for example. S&WC functions for me like an alternate universe version of AD&D that gathered together the best of the entire OD&D line, reorganizing and streamlining it without dialing up the base complexity or shifting the emphasis away from empowering individual GM's in favor of the "official" rulings from on high. Running combats and other common adventuring scenarios with it is no more complex or time-consuming than doing so with, say, the newbie-friendly B/X edition.

That said, don't underestimate the many nitty-gritty differences between how various character classes were presented pre and post-AD&D, either. The S&WC paladin, for example, is clearly the far less cleric-like version from Supplement 1: Greyhawk. That means no spellcasting or turning undead. Similarly, those only familiar with post-AD&D implementations of the assassin, ranger, monk, and even common fighter are in for some fascinating surprises here.

But enough backstory! If you didn't know what and why S&WC is, you damn well do now. Time to tackle Revised more specifically. What does this rendition of the game bring to the table that previous ones didn't? Most immediately obvious is the new layout by Mythmere's Suzy Moseby. To me, it's a clear improvement on what came before, especially in the area of spell listings, monster stat blocks, and other concentrated nuggets of game data. I find that the situational pivot to a three column format for these list-like sections makes picking out relevant bits of information on a page more intuitive and quicker than ever. While I can detect the influence of Necrotic Gnome's Old School Essentials line at work, S&WC doesn't wholly embrace that paradigm. I prefer this, as it allows for a pleasing middle ground between the somewhat dry OSE bullet point format and Finch's colorful and often witty prose style. For a fine example of the latter, check the description of the spell Holy Word: "Creatures of fewer than 5 hit dice are slain; creatures of 5–8 hit dice are stunned for 2d10 turns; and creatures with 9–12 hit dice are deafened for 1d6 turns. Creatures with 13+ hit dice are unaffected but probably impressed." As a fan of authorial voice in my RPGs (within reason), this suits me fine.

This superior layout is accompanied by new black-and-white interior art from Del Teigeler, J.E. Shields, Brett Barkley, Chris Arneson, Ed Bickford, Ala Fedorova, Mike Hunter, J. Preston, Adrian Landeros, and Matt Finch himself. Though there is perhaps less of it than in some earlier editions, I found every piece to be tastefully done and relevant to the text it accompanies. A quality-over-quantity approach, in other words. My favorites include the assassin who, in a nice twist relative to the stereotypical knifing scenario, is shown running away from the aftermath of a bombing and the adorable pack llama that closes out the equipment chapter.

The two cover art options, a gorgeously understated gold sigil by Del Teigeler (available with premium Smyth sewn binding as well as print-on-demand) and a typically trippy take on a wizard facing down an extradimensional beastie by the inimitable Erol Otus (a print-on-demand exclusive), are both wonderful in my eyes. I've encountered some negative responses to the Otus piece, largely based on the notion that the monster in it resembles a space alien more than a traditional fantasy critter. Need I remind you all, however, that OD&D dates from a time before these sorts of distinctions were treated as holy writ by speculative fiction lovers? The original boxed set includes androids and Martians on its encounter tables and the first officially published adventure, Dave Arneson's Temple of the Frog, was based on a Star Trek episode. So lighten up and embrace the gonzo, already!

Leaving aside their presentation, the rules themselves have seen their most substantial revision and expansion to date. Most of these changes were suggestions by fans meant to bring the game even closer in function to OD&D proper. Monster stats now include the number appearing and lair encounter percentages, as well as morale scores intended for use with the long-awaited optional B/X-compatible morale system debuting here. High level monsters award increased experience. Wilderness travel has been fleshed out with additional guidelines pertaining to encounter check frequency and a nifty section devoted to generating random castles and their powerful inhabitants. Suggested procedures for spell and magic item creation are now provided. Intelligent weapons now get their due in S&W via the addition of simplified rules for Stormbringer style ego clashes. Random treasure generation, a particular sore point for me in prior editions, has been completely overhauled. It now calls for far fewer rolls and makes magic items much more accessible. Too many rolls and too little magic were my two biggest gripes with the old "trade-out" system, so I couldn't be happier. At this point, I feel confident saying that pretty much every worthwhile concept from the OD&D corpus is now represented, and represented well, in S&WC. Only junk like the Blackmoor hit location tables has rightly been left on the cutting room floor.

With these upgrades in place, S&WC at last fully lives up to its title, being an impressively complete fantasy RPG condensed into a mere 144 pages. It encompasses nine character classes (assassin, cleric, druid, fighter, magic-user, monk, paladin, ranger, thief) , five ancestries (dwarf, elf, half-elf, halfling, human), roughly 200 spells, 160 monsters and just as many magic items, procedures for dungeon and wilderness creation, hirelings and henchmen, stronghold building, naval, aerial, mass, and siege combat, and more; everything needed to run any type of adventure for characters of any level. The book's habit of presenting multiple rules options for things like saving throws (the original five categories or the popular "single save" approach unique to S&W?), armor class (ascending or descending?), and initiative (a total of four distinct systems!) makes this overall brevity all the more impressive. Of all the official (A)D&D versions ever released, I'm only aware of one, the 1991 D&D Rules Cyclopedia, that aspired to cover so much ground within a single set of covers. The comparatively focused S&WC manages to do it in less than half the page count, however, and never gets itself bogged down in iffy design cul-de-sacs (Weapon Mastery) and unnecessary math (War Machine) like the sprawling Cyclopedia does at its worst. Its design is a simultaneous triumph of scope and economy.

Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't offer any caveat or criticism. I may be a fan, but I can still acknowledge that the stark simplicity and heavy emphasis on competent, confident GM rulings inherent to OD&D (and hence to S&WC) won't appeal to everyone. Packing all the above-mentioned gaming content into such a slim volume doesn't permit much in the way of digression and handholding. To illustrate that, here's S&WC's description of the infamously tricky Polymorph Self spell in its entirety: "The caster assumes the form of any object or creature, gaining the new form’s attributes (the use of wings, for example), but not its hit points or combat abilities. The Referee might allow the benefit of the new form’s armor class if it is due to heavily armored skin. A great deal of the spell’s effect is left to the Referee to decide." That's all. 63 words spread out over three sentences, and two of those sentences essentially boil down to "figure it out yourself." That's around a third of the explanation AD&D provided and a quarter of what you get in the current (5th) edition of D&D. Hell, the 3rd edition devoted over 700 words to this spell alone. Or perhaps you want to know how much damage falling into a thirty foot-deep pit will cause? Too bad, because S&WC won't tell you. For "rules lawyer" players and GMs who take solace in always being able to crack open a book and be presented with The Answer, this sort of borderline free kriegsspiel roleplaying may not cut it. Whatever your feelings on them, "crunchier" RPGs certainly evolved for a reason. Gamer, know thyself. Some may also lament the lack of a true index, although I myself have found the table of contents entirely adequate for a work this length.

In conclusion, take it from someone with 30+ years of experience: This latest evolution of Swords & Wizardry is easily the best yet; a standout in the crowded retro-clone field and a legitimate contender for the honor of greatest "D&D" rule book ever devised, despite the fact that it can't legally use the name. As a slick distillation of everything that was great about the game from its inception, it demands serious consideration from anyone intent on running an old-school campaign today.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

A "quick and dirty" single class bard for AD&D

Like a lot of old schoolers, I dig the flavor of the AD&D 1st edition bard class and even a lot of its implementation, but balk somewhat at the convoluted pseudo-dual classing shenanigans and the usual lack of player interest in such a delayed satisfaction approach. Since I tend to be a minimalist when it comes to tweaking stuff, here's my stab at a single class version that sticks fairly close to the core concept of a druid/thief loremaster. Combat ability is scaled back to sub-fighter levels, but the combination of the cleric's weapon proficiency and better weapon and armor options than either the druid or thief still maintains some martial emphasis. Thief ability growth should be slow enough to not make dedicated thieves or assassins obsolete.

Stat/race/alignment requirements: No change from PHB.

Weapons/armor/magic items permitted: No change from PHB.

Experience progression: No change from PHB Bards Table I.

Hit Dice: As druid. +1 hp/level for levels 15 through 23.

Combat ability/saving throws/weapon proficiency: As cleric.

Druid spells: No change from PHB Bards Table I. Apart from spell casting (including from scrolls) and knowledge of the secret druidic tongue, no other druid-specific class abilities are available to bards. Bards do not receive bonus spells for high wisdom.

Thief abilities: As 1st level thief at start, advancing at the rate of one thief level at every odd-numbered bard level thereafter.

Other bard abilities (charm, legend lore, etc.): No change from PHB Bards Table II.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Reconsidering AD&D psionics: An honest look at the pros and cons

It's no secret that AD&D psionics have never exactly been popular. And I mean never. A vocal majority (?) of gamers have been deriding, ignoring, and generally neglecting them since day one. Before that, technically, since a version of them first appeared way back in Eldritch Wizardry. But I guess I'm feeling open-minded and generous lately, so I wanted to revisit them and give them the fairest shake I possibly can. Note that I won't be addressing the old saw about how "Science fiction stuff doesn't belong in a fantasy game!" On that score, I'll just refer you to old Appendix N. Anyway, here are my thoughts:


1. Functionality. Yes, really! Much to my surprise, the psionics rules given in the PHB and DMG are fairly straightforward and functional. They are, for all intents and purposes, a standard spell point magic system, albeit with more up-front random factors than are usually seen in the skill-based RPGs that tend to implement their magic type abilities this way. You have your various powers, a pool of points that fuel them, some guidelines for how fast spent points regenerate, and so forth. Psionic combat is oddly light on dice rolling for AD&D, and consists primarily of cross referencing various attack and defense types on a chart and applying the results. I'm genuinely surprised how workable the mechanical implementation actually is for those so inclined.

2. Feel. The details of AD&D psionics may not be too crazy in a wider RPG context, but they're weird as hell for AD&D. Whatever else the psionics practitioner might be, they're not just another core class using a cosmetically reskinned version of the base magic rules. They're...Something Else...Something Strange. That's honestly quite cool if you ask me. Beyond that, they're just such a full-flavor AD&Dism, tied to iconic monsters like the Mind Flayer and Githyanki/Githzerai. There's a mindset that says, "If you're gonna do something, do it with no all gusto and no apologies." That's AD&D with psionics, alright.


1. Situationality. By the book, psionics are rare. Really rare. A complete beast of a hypothetical PC with 18s in intelligence, wisdom, and charisma maxes out at a one-time 10% chance to possess psionics at character creation. 3% - 5% is far more realistic. As a DM, the prospect of learning an entire elaborate sub-system that might (might!) be available to 5% of characters can obviously smack of wasted effort.

2. Character balancing. Equally common and obvious are concerns about psionic characters potentially unbalancing the game. Thankfully, I do think they're overstated. Yes, psionics are "free" for the characters lucky enough to qualify for them. As anyone who's seen the film Scanners knows, however, mental combat between psionics is horrifically deadly. Furthermore, the DMG specifies an increased chance for random psionic monster encounters whenever psionic powers are employed by the party. A true risk/reward dynamic is thus present. Psionics make their wielders stronger than their mundane counterparts in some respects and more vulnerable in others, and players who know the odds may well prefer to go without.

3. The Decker Problem. Psionic combat really is its own thing. When two psychic figures are going mind-to-mind, they each take their actions on a per segment basis. In other words, ten individual exchanges per round! The remainder of the game basically pauses while they hash it out, and the rest of the table...well, they can cheer their buddy on, maybe?


The decision of whether or not to include old school psionics ultimately comes down to whether the individual DM feels that the sheer weird, wild tone of PCs lashing their Ego Whips against an intellect devourer's Thought Shield is worth learning an entire new "magic" system that probably won't see use often, but has the very real potential to hog the spotlight whenever it does come to the fore in combat. Personally, I'm leaning toward doing it in my next game, just for the freaky flavor of it and to actually get some solid use out of all those wacky monsters for a change.

Monday, September 5, 2022

Coming Home

The enduringly popular 1981 edition of D&D, often called B/X or Moldvay D&D, was my introduction to tabletop RPGs. That should come as no surprise, given the name I chose for this very blog back in the day. It's also the version I've played and enjoyed most recently, running a B1 In Search of the Unknown one-shot at the 42nd Dragonflight gaming convention last month. Its approachability, polish, and overall brilliance have stood the test of time. I truly adore it.

It's not home, though. Not really. Shortly after 12 year-old me discovered that little red book in a secondhand store circa 1990, I fell in with a local group of established (and tolerant) adult gamers, and they swore by none other than Gary Gygax's own Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Here, I'm talking the original (dare I say "real?") version, not the then-current AD&D 2nd Edition.

If B/X fired my young imagination, getting my hands on the AD&D books fanned it into a dizzying phantasmagoric inferno. These weighty tomes with their baroque prose and ominous illustrations felt like a world unto themselves; brooding, mysterious, and, in hindsight, metal as hell. Ironic, since I suspect Gygax's own musical tastes were anything but. To a middle schooler, these texts were dense and challenging, almost to the point of hostility, yet the darkly glamorous vistas of fantasy they promised shimmered mirage-like at edges of my understanding, making them paradoxically impossible to put down. It was a profoundly meaningful, once-in-a-lifetime reaction to an RPG system. To put it simply, these are magic books in my eyes.

It wasn't long after this that I became an avid reader of Dragon magazine, which was primarily an AD&D-focused publication at that time. That meant 2nd Edition, of course, but the concepts and terminology employed in most articles was relatable enough. In the pre-Internet era, Dragon was my primary connection to the hobby at large, and this further cemented various AD&D-isms like percentile strength and the nine-point alignment system as the default in my mind.

So what I'm really getting at here, I suppose, is that I've come to accept that I am, at heart, an AD&Der. Then, now, and forever. It's my conceptual norm, my platinum standard, my Real Deal Holyfield of fantasy RPGs. I've played, and harbor no small amount of affection for, all the game's TSR-era iterations. Even 2E is entitled to some love from me. I've also had great luck with the various latter day retro-clone versions of the same, such as Labyrinth Lord, Swords & Wizardry, and, of course, OSRIC. Authentic late '70s/early '80s AD&D still sits at the apex of the pyramid for me, however. Is it flawless? Lord, no! I'm just at a point where those perceived imperfections (the absurd pummeling/grappling rules, for example) don't really grate on me the way they used to. If I don't like a sub-system, I don't need to use it. Any DM remotely worthy of the title knows that. Mine is a hard-earned "warts and all" love, not a naive denial of reality. On the flipside, playing these various simplified or pared-down versions of the game, I always find myself hankering for some AD&D rule or other. Better to have it and not want it than want it and not have it.

AD&D isn't perfect and it isn't for everyone. What it is is the only game that's ever filled me with the wide-eyed awe and shuddering dread of flipping through the demon section of the Monster Manual, picturing the horrors that awaited intruders in the noisome lair of the Demon Price Juiblex. That's irreplacable and that's why it's home.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

OSRIC errata (unofficial)

Yes, it's another one of these. The longest one yet by a country mile, too. As per usual, I must emphasize that this document is 100% unofficial. It is not endorsed in any way by Stuart Marshall or the rest of the original OSRIC writing and editorial gang. That said, it's my hope that the long hours I and others have put in with this superb rulebook will one day be reflected in an even more superb updated version.

All page numbers reference the most up-to-date published edition available as of this writing.

Includes contributions from: Between3and20, Cobalt-60, Drowningman, EOTB, grodog, Guy Fullerton, Harbinger2001, Kellri, Kramer (RIP), Landifarne, PapersAndPaychecks, soner du, squeen, Steppenwolf, Yora.

PDFs by Attronarch: A4 PDF | Letter-size PDF

Last updated: 11 September 2023.


Page 2, Constitution: Resurrection/raise dead survival is not well-defined here. It is unclear what happens when such a roll is failed, for example. In AD&D, this would mean that the character in question could nevermore be raised or resurrected, but lacking this context, a newcomer to OSRIC may well assume that the cleric could just keep trying until the spell "stuck." Further, there's no mention of permanent constitution loss associated with returning from the dead, and it's unclear if this is an intentional change from AD&D or an accidental omission.

Page 3, Charisma: OSRIC is missing the full reaction table referenced in passing in the main body of the text. This renders the correct application of reaction bonuses unnecessarily obsure.

Page 9, Assassin, Read Scrolls (12th): It is not stated that the assassin has any chance of failure when using scrolls, as the thief does.

Page 10, Cleric: No guidance is given for when and how clerics may create magic items. AD&D specified that they may create scrolls starting at 7th level and permanent magic items at level 11.

Page 11, Oil: Burning oil as a weapon appears in many class descriptions, but its precise function in combat isn't described. AD&D specifies that burning oil deals 2d6 damage on the first round and another 1d6 the following round before burning out.

Page 12, Druid: No guidance is given for when and how druids may create magic items. AD&D specified that they may create scrolls starting at 7th level and permanent magic items at level 13.

Page 16, Illusionist: No guidance is given for when and how illusionists may create magic items. AD&D specified that they may create scrolls starting at 7th level, temporary non-scroll magic items starting at level 11 (using the major creation spell), and true permanent magic items at level 14 (via alter reality).

Page 18, Magic User, Magic User Spell Acquisition Table: The use of this table is not well-described. For instance, it is not clear when, if ever, magic users and illusionists may re-roll to understand spells they previously could not.

Page 23, Ranger Level Advancement: The text "May employ followers" appears on the 7th level line. 8th level would be the correct placement.

Page 25, Thief, Read Scrolls (10th): It is not stated that thieves (or assassins) in OSRIC may employ druid scrolls, as they can in AD&D. This may be a deliberate change rather than an oversight, however.

Page 28 Multi-classing: The following paragraph should be inserted between first and second: "Multi-class characters may choose which of their classes' tables they use for combat and saving throws. So for example, a cleric/fighter normally uses the fighter attack charts and the cleric saving throw matrices."

Page 33, Missile Weapons Table: The heavy crossbow has a base range of 60 ft, down from the 80 ft given in AD&D. This could be an intentional change, although it seems odd that both heavy and light versions of the weapon would have the same effective ranges.

Page 33, Missile Weapons Table: The language used to describe ranges ("-2 to hit/increment") is potentially misleading. The penalty isn't supposed to be applied to the first range increment, only cumulatively to each subsequent one.

Page 34, Armour Table II: Splint armour should be listed alongside banded as AC 4.

Page 40: Animate Dead (cleric): Duration should be "instantaneous (permanent)."

Page 44, Cure Light Wounds: The note that the spell doesn't affect "creatures that are harmed only by iron, silver, or magical weapons" should apply only to the reversed version, cause light wounds.

Page 47, Heal: This spell specifies a saving throw of "none (negates)." However, this should probably just be "none," since the AD&D version doesn't provide for any saving throw.

Page 48, Know Alignment: The range given in OSRIC is touch. AD&D specifies 10 ft.

Page 51, Raise Dead: Half-orcs appear on the list of beings able to be raised. This contradicts the AD&D version, which treats them the same as elves for all such purposes.

Page 52, Remove Fear: The spell's reversed version, fear, is not described.

Page 52, Restoration: The spell's reverse effect is not given its proper name, energy drain.

Page 60, Control Winds: "The wind force increases (or decreases) at a rate of 3 miles per hour every round until the end of the spell’s duration, at which time it will return to normal, also at a rate of 3 miles per hour per turn." The word "turn" in the preceding sentence should be "round."

Page 61, Dispel Magic: The correct area of effect should be a single 40 ft cube, not 40 ft multiplied by caster level.

Page 65, Produce Fire: This spell has a 60 ft radius area of effect, but a range of 40 ft, meaning that the caster will always be within the area of effect. AD&D defines the area of effect as "up to 12' per side in area boundary."

Page 66, Pyrotechnics: There is no duration given for the smoke cloud version of this spell. 1 round/level is correct.

Page 71: Animate Dead (magic user): Duration should be "instantaneous (permanent)."

Page 78, Distance Distortion: The last sentence of the spell description is duplicated.

Page 79, Erase: The OSRIC version of this spell specifies that it does not affect glyphs of warding. This contradicts the AD&D DMG.

Page 82, Fire Shield: Per AD&D, "Any creature striking the spell caster with body or hand-held weapons will inflict normal damage upon the magic-user, but the attacker will take double the amount of damage so inflicted!" This potent feature is completely absent from OSRIC's current version of fire shield.

Page 87, Ice Storm: The main heading gives an area of effect of 10 x 10 ft/level. The spell description specifies fixed areas of 40 x 40 ft (for the hail stones variant) and 60 x 60 ft (for the sleet variant).

Page 97, Permanency: OSRIC's version of the permanency spell is missing a very important clarification from the AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide: "There is only a 5% chance of the spell caster actually losing a point of constitution if the spell is cast upon a non-living thing." This has profound implications for magic item creation!

Page 101, Push: The text mentions that objects can be moved at the rate of 10 ft/round. This is misleading, as it implies that this spell lasts for more than one round. In truth, its given duration of instantaneous is correct.

107, Teleport: The "viewed once" column progreses directly from 89-90 to 99-100.

Page 108, Transmute Rock to Mud: This spell should be noted as being reversable.

Page 110, Water Breathing: The duration of the AD&D spell is 3 turns/level, not 1 round/level.

Page 113, Chaos: AD&D's describes this spell as functioning like the druid spell confusion unless otherwise noted. This includes a -2 saving throw penalty that is therefore effectively missing from the OSRIC version.

Page 113, Colour Spray: The duration of unconsciousness should be given as 2d4 rounds.

Page 114, Dancing Lights: The area of effect given for this spell, a 60 ft radius globe, appears to be an error. It should also be "see below" and function as the magic-user version of this spell in this regard.

Page 114, Deafness: The area of effect should be "one creature," not "caster."

Page 120, Shadow Monsters: The created monsters are stated to have 20% of the hit points of actual ones. In AD&D, it's 20% of the hit dice, which has much broader implications in combat. This same discrepancy exists for the illusionist spells demi-shadow monsters (page 114) and shades (page 120).

Page 123, Gaining Levels: Training costs are given as "approximately 1500 gp per level." This should be clarified as 1500 gp times the character's current level.

Page 129, Turning the Undead, Exception: An important general turning rule is buried at the end of this supplementary paragraph on weapons as holy symbols: "If the cleric is successful in a turning attempt, he or she may try again next round. If the cleric fails, no further turning attempt may be made during this encounter." Making those last two sentences into a separate paragraph would be an organizational improvement.

Page 131, Morale: "For example, if the monster is very cowardly and fighting opponents who are inflicting serious damage on its fellows without taking any casualties, then the GM might impose a -30% penalty to its morale check." This should be phrased as a -30% penalty to the creature's base morale, since rolling low on the check itself is a good thing.

Page 140, Sage, Information Discovery: "For example: a sage in a remote location is asked specific question in an Out of Fields category. The GM rolls a 10 on a 1d10 and the table yields a result of 20%. The GM rolls d% again and if the result is 1 (20% of 20) the sage will be able to provide an answer at the regular cost; otherwise research time and cost will be doubled." This example is quite confusing. The underlying principal is that sages in remote locations will typically charge double unless the information discovery roll is 20% or less of what is needed to succeed. For example, if the base chance of the sage having the answer is 60%, any roll of 12% or less would indicate no added cost (60 x 0.2 = 12). This margin increases to 80% if the question is in one of the sage's special knowledge categories.

Page 142, Henchmen: OSRIC does not include any guidance for the disbursement of experience points to henchmen. AD&D specifies that henchmen should receive "about 50% of the experience points which their share in the slaying of opponents and garnered treasure actually totals - possibly even less if your character bore the brunt of the action and closely directed the henchmen."

Page 155, Sample Play Session: "GM: Right, so Floppinjay is caught for 1 segment and everybody else for 2 segments by a half-dozen brownish-green fellows with bristly black hair and pink pig-snouts. They're currently [rolls] 30-ft away to your right (the east), charging at you and hurling hand axes as they come." Despite the wording of the above example, no standard dungeon encounter distances are given in OSRIC. AD&D specifies 1d6+4 x 10 ft under normal conditions and 1d3 x 10 ft if surprise is a factor. Outdoors, 6d4 x 10 ft is standard.

Page 165, Table 10: Treasure Guards & Wards: The header for column 2 on table should read "Guard or Ward" instead of "Treasure."

Page 165, Table 12: Treasure Amounts: The explanatory notes incorrectly refer to a hypothetical die roll of 13; given the example following, the roll should be either 14, 15, or 16.

Page 166: Table 20: Behind the Door: This table specifies that it is only for doors exiting a room. Thus, its correct usage guideline should probably be: "Check this table to determine what is behind any door indicated by Tables 6 or 18." Any result of "door" on Table 18 should say "Door: Consult Table 19 Door Location and proceed to Table 20; if door location result isn't a straight ahead door, check this table again in 30 feet." This change always points the reader toward the next table needed for any type of generated door.

Page 167, Table 22: This table should direct the user to Table 23 on a roll of 19-20, not to itself.

Page 169, Monster Level Three: The carcass creeper entry is mislabled "carrion creeper."

Page 169, Monster Level Four: The number of dragons appearing is 5, which is presumably incorrect in light of the fact that no other dungeon encounter table features encounters with more than 2 dragons.

Page 170, Monster Level Six: Hydra, 7 or 8 Heads has a number appearing of 5, while hydra entries on other level tables are always 1.

Page 170, Monster Level Eight: Demon, Ekivu has a number appearing of 5d4. This is far more than other demon and devil types. 1d4 is likely correct.

Page 170, Monster Level Eight/Ten: Elementals are on these tables, presumably because the hit dice/size of the elementals on the two tables are different (toughest elementals on Table 10), but there's no direction on elemental hit dice in the table cells, unlike other monsters that vary by some element and are on multiple tables.

Page 171, Monster Level Nine: This table goes from "12-30" to "26-40." One of those two should change, either "12-25" or "31-40."

Page 171, NPC Parties (All Dungeon Levels), NPC Levels: Applying these party generation rules exactly means that no NPCs of 5th or 6th level will ever be encountered in NPC parties. Changing the roll specified in the second sentence of this paragraph from 1d6+6 to 1d8+4 would be an effective way to remedy this issue.

Page 172, Party Magic Items, Sub-Table 1: "Potion of polymorph self" should be "potion of polymorph." "Scroll of protection from magic" should be "ward of magic."

Page 172, Party Magic Items, Sub-Table 2: "Staff of paralysation" should be "wand of paralysation." "Bracers of armour, AC 4" should be "bracers of armour +6."

Page 174, Nighttime Encounters/Daytime Encounters: Night hags and rakshasa show up both at day and at night, while rangers and muggers/humanoids are only encountered at night. It is suspected that the nighttime encounter table was mistyped; that night hags and rakshasa should be omitted from the daytime encounters, that encounters should move "up" in numerical slots until the ranger is reinserted at 73 and ruffian at 74-78. Revised daytime table sequence being:
64-65 Noble
66 Paladin
67-69 Pilgrim
70 Press gang
71-72 Thug
73 Ranger
74-78 Muggers/Humanoids

Page 178, Wetlands: There's an error in this encounter table. It progresses:
58 NPC
58-60 Undead (presumably 59-60)
81-95 Water
95-100 Special (presumably 96-100)

Pages 179 - 189: All references to "Bird, Dire" on the encounter tables should be replaced with "Bird, Huge."

Pages 180 - 189: Numerous encounter tables provide for encountering soldier ants by themselves, but the main giant ant entry doesn't provide numbers appearing for them apart from as a ratio of the worker ants appearing. Since worker ants are listed separately/concurrently in the same encounter table, the overall instruction isn't very clear for what to do when soldiers are encountered alone. Since soldiers are at a 1:5 ratio to workers, and workers appear numbers of 1-100, suggest adding a line about soldiers appearing in numbers of 1-20 when encountered apart from any workers.

Page 181, Desert: The "jackal, dire" entry should be changed to "jackal, huge." Additionally, line 12 under the Monster column simply contains the word "monster." It's likely that this is a leftover placeholder for a specific monster type.

Page 183, Graveyard: This encounter table misspells the assagim devil as "devil, assaggim."

Page 184, Jungle: Crocodiles have two non-sequential runs on this encounter table. It seems possible that some of the entries were intended to be giant crocodiles instead. Further, the "jackal, dire" entry should be changed to "jackal, huge."

Page 185, Lost World: This encounter table misspells the assagim devil as "devil, assaggim." Further, the "lion, cave" entry should read "lion, prehistoric."

Page 186, Marine: One of the entries under the Humanoid heading reads "Gnoll (S5, WD2)." The S5, WD2 notation appears to be meaningless and should be disregarded.

Page 188, Plains: One of the entries under the Giant heading reads "Ogre (S3)." The S3 notation appears to be meaningless and should be disregarded. Further, the "hyena, dire" entry likely refers to either huge or giant hyenas, as there are no dire ones detailed in OSRIC.

Page 189, Rural: Gold dragons have two non-sequential runs on this encounter table. It seems possible that some of the entries were intended to be another dragon type or types instead.

Page 190, Tundra: Invertebrates are anomalously titled "vermin" for this terrain type.

Page 191, Flying Dinosaurs: This table is missing 3; it goes from 2 to 4-5. It seems likely that "2" should be "2-3."

Page 192: Monster Statistics, Move: "(See Chapter II)" should be "(See Chapter III)."

Page 192, Monster Statistics, Attacks: "(See Chapter II)" should be "(See Chapter III)."

Page 192, Monster Statistics, Damage: "(See Chapter II)" should be "(See Chapter III)."

Page 192, Monster Statistics, Armour Class: "(See Chapter II)" should be "(See Chapter I)."

Page 192, Tribal Spellcasters, Shaman: Cavemen should be added to the "Seventh Level Max." column.

Page 192, Tribal Spellcasters, Shaman: "Resist fear" should be "Remove fear."

Page 193, Men: In the matrix for magic items, thieves are listed as rolling for magic shields. Assassins can use shields; thieves can't. While thus not errata per se, a note similar to the note for clerics to ignore weapons with edges might be useful, reminding the GM that only assassins would roll for shields. Or the "Y" may have been intended for the armour row immediately above and been misplaced. Furthermore, magic users aren't allowed the possibility of magical potions, unlike every other class. This may not be an oversight, but that feels possible since they otherwise have the fewest categories of possible magical items (4 categories, as opposed to 5 or 6 for other classes).

Page 194, Men, Berserker: Berserkers have no chance of gp treasure in lair, but they do have a chance of 1d3 x 1,000 platinum pieces. This is much higher than other types of men, who have 1dX x 1,000 gp and 1dX x 100 pp. This should possibly be 1d3 x 1,000 gp with no chance for platinum.

Page 194, Men, Brigand: Brigands are noted to have a "+1 morale bonus." This would probably equate to +5% base morale in OSRIC's percentile morale system.

Page 194, Men, Dervish/Nomad: They are stated as having a 50% chance of jewelry as treasure, but no quantity is given. The correct value here is 5d6 per AD&D.

Page 197, Demi-Humans: It's not entirely clear if dwarf clerics, elf clerics, gnome clerics, and halfling druids are intended to be PC options or not. The character creation chapter doesn't mention their NPC-only status from AD&D at all. In this section, however, we find: "Some NPC demi-humans may be clerics. This is not necessarily permitted to player characters of that race....." If this is indeed the intent, it should probably be mentioned right up front as opposed to almost 200 pages in for clarity's sake alone. In any case, this reference to clerics still doesn't address the halfling druid question, since OSRIC doesn't appear to incorporate the concept of sub-classes as such.

Page 197, Dwarf: The lair treasure entry has two gem chances next to each other: 5d4 gems (30%), 1d4 × 20 gems (50%). The first entry should likely be in the individual treasure listing rather than the lair listing, based upon other individual entries, such as merchants.

Page 199, Batrachian: These monsters are said to "surprise opponents 50% of the time, or 80% of the time if hopping." AD&D specifies surprise on 1-3 standard or 1-5 hopping, which is obviously a much better solution since it maps readily to a six-sided surprise die.

Page 200, Cavemen: Cavemen "suffer a -1 to all morale checks." Since morale check penalties are positive numbers in the OSRIC system, and a 1% modifier wouldn't be worth mentioning in any case, this should likely be +5%.

Page 206, Giant, Fire: AD&D specifies that these giants may throw boulders from 10 to 200 feet/yards away. OSRIC lists the range as 120 feet instead.

Page 207, Giant, Frost: "Winter wolves often share residence with frost giants (50% chance, 1d6 in number)." Winter wolves are not described in the OSRIC rules

Page 208, Ettin: This monster's treasure entry is suspiciously generous and also out of format. "Treasure: Individual: 2d10 gp, 1d6 gems (25%), 1d4 jewellery (20%) 2 magic items; Lair: 2d6 x 1,000 gp (70%)." It seems likely that everything after 2d10 gp is lair treasure and that there should be a 10% chance for the magic items, rather than them being present automatically.

Page 208, Giant, Storm: "However, storm giants who have their castle abodes under water will instead have 2d4 sea lions." Sea lions are not described in the OSRIC rules.

Pages 212 - 216, Dragons: The entries for several dragon types (green, red) include the text, "Owing to the magical nature of the creature, it does not require somatic or material components to its spells—it need only speak the incantation." It would be ideal to have this information listed for every dragon type, since all are potential casters. Furthermore, multiple dragon types (blue, brass, bronze, silver) are said to cast spells as "wizards." Wizard is not a class in OSRIC, of course.

Pages 215: The page number is missing.

Page 215, Dragon, Green: It's not stated that a green dragon's breath weapon deals damage equal to the dragon's hp. As "toxic gas," the uninitiated could just as easily assume that it's a save or die attack, which it definitely is not.

Page 216, Demons: "Note that most demons do not actually fall into the five listed categories." There are six main categories of demons (A, B, C, D, E, F), not five.

Page 216, Demons: It it not noted that demons, like devils, may only be permanently destroyed on their home planes.

Page 217, Demons: "Many demons possess the following magical abilities: infravision (as the 5th level magic user spell), teleport (with no chance of error) (as the 2nd level magic user spell)." Infravision is a 3rd level spell. Teleport is a 5th level spell.

Page 217, Demons, Silver: There is a space missing in this chart entry. "No additional damage(according"

Page 221, Class F Demon: This creature's attack form is described as "1 bite." It should be "1 weapon/sword or 1 whip attack."

Page 222, Demoniac: Lair Probability is listed as "See below," but there's nothing in the main description that could be tied to lairs.

Page 226, Devils: The following text is a bit mangled and should be rewritten: "A devil must return to its home plane in Hell for 9 decades of servitude as a lemure before it will resume its home plane in Hell for 9 decades of servitude as a lemure before they will resume their former status."

Page 226, Devils: The section regarding the illusion power of devils should be amended from "phantasmal force as the 3rd level magic-user spell" to "spectral force as the 3rd level illusionist spell."

Page 227, Bearded Devil: It is not noted that this monster can also perform a standard weapon attack with its glaive instead of to using it to entangle.

Page 228, Bone Devil: It is stated: "They have ultravision (60-ft range) which is more suited to icy climates." This is the only reference to ultravision in the OSRIC core rules. Nowhere therein is it defined.

Page 229, Ice Devil: The monster's summoning ability is listed as gate (i.e. the spell) instead of using the the standard "summon" terminology.

Page 230, Scaly Devil: This monster should instead be known as the Manalishi (Lesser Devil; Scaly Devil, Abyssai).

Page 232, Pit Fiend: This monster is missing its 2 HP/round regeneration ability from AD&D.

Page 238, Golems: Flesh, iron, and stone golems list polymorph any object as one of the spells used in their creation. Polymorph object is the correct spell name.

Page 240. Dryad: There may be an error in the experience point value of this monster. OSRIC lists 30+10 xp/hp, while AD&D gives 105+3 xp/hp.

Page 242. Nymph: There may be an error in the experience point value of this monster. OSRIC lists 105+3 xp/hp, while AD&D gives 350+3 xp/hp.

Page 246, Euparkeria: Level/XP should be 1/10+1/hp.

Page 253, Bat: This creature's Aerial Agility is listed as V. As bats cannot hover in the air, however, the value of IV given elsewhere in the text is likely correct.

Page 254, Barracuda: This creature's swimming movement rate of 30 should likely be 300, based on similar fast-swimming creatures such as the giant gar.

Page 258, Eel, Giant: Weed eels have a number appearing of 1d4. AD&D specifies 6d10. Similarly, electric eels appears in groups of 1d3 in AD&D, as opposed to 1d4 in OSRIC.

Page 260, Horse: There are no carry weight allowances given for any of the horse types in OSRIC. As this information is highly useful, here are the AD&D values: Draft: 400/800 lbs, heavy: 500/750 lbs, light: 300/500 lbs, medium: 400/650 lbs, pony: 200/300 lbs, wild: 300/600 lbs. Note that carrying any amount over the first value given (i.e. over 400 lbs for a draft horse) will slow the animal 50%.

Page 263, Mule: There is no carry weight allowance given for mules in OSRIC. As this information is highly useful, here are the AD&D values: 200/600 lbs. Note that carrying over 200 lbs will slow the animal 50%.

Page 265, Squid, Giant: Based on the description(s) for squid/octopus, where two arms are used to attack the ship, with the remainder used to attack the crew, the octopus should have six tentacle attacks instead of the listed seven.

Page 268, Achaierai: These creatures are said to have considerable treasure in their lairs, but a Lair Probability of "nil." AD&D specified 5%.

Page 272, Basilisk: The attack form described ("antlers + weapon") makes no sense for this monster. "1 bite" would be correct.

Page 276, Carcass Creeper: There is no damage value provided for the creature's attacks and no duration given for their paralysing effect. This is in keeping with the AD&D Monster Manual, but may be confusing to newcomers.

Page 276, Caterwaul: "They also possess keen senses and can only be surprised 10% of the time." While accurate to AD&D, this creates problems, since OSRIC generally uses d6 rolls for surprise. It could be changed to 1 in 6 if consistency were to be prioritized over accuracy.

Page 278, Couatl: This creature is noted to have a chance of 2d19 gems being present in its lair. 2d10 is correct.

Page 280, Dark Creeper: "In an area settled by at least 25 solitary dark creepers there is a 90% chance there will be a dark creeper in the area, increased by 2% for every 5 additional creepers." This sentence should read: "In an area settled by at least 25 solitary dark creepers there is a 90% chance there will be a dark stalker in the area, increased by 2% for every 5 additional creepers."

Page 282, Elemental, Air Elemental: "Their primary attack form is a stream of air that they use like an invisible limb to strike for 2d20 damage." 2d10 damage is correct in this case.

Page 286, Genie: The Level/XP given for this monster seems abnormally low. A suggested fix would be 6/650+10/hp for regular genies and 7/1,200+13/hp for nobles.

Page 292, Lizard, Giant, Cave: This creature has a Lair Probability of "nil," despite having lair treasure listed. 20% is correct, per AD&D.

Page 292, Lizard, Giant, Monitor: This creature has a Lair Probability of "nil," despite having lair treasure listed. 80% is correct, per AD&D.

Page 293, Lurker Above: "They have a +4 bonus to their chance of surprise." This is potentially quite misleading, as it could lead to automatic surprise situations. AD&D specifies that it surprises on a 1-4 on 1d6. In addition, Level/XP should be 7/1500+13 hp.

Page 294, Manticore: There are no percentage chances associated with the gems and jewelry in these creatures' treasure hoards. They are 15% and 10%, respectively, in AD&D.

Page 298, Naga, Guardian: This creature is given a chance of 5d6 x 1 cp in its lair treasure. 5d6 x 1000 is correct.

Page 298, Naga, Spirit: The damage notation (1d3) associated with the creature's bite in the text could be mistaken as an indication of how much damage the poison deals. In fact, the bite itself inflicts 1d3 damage and the poison is simply fatal if the target's saving throw fails.

Page 301, Owlbear: There are no percentage chances associated with the various coinages that can appear in these creatures' treasure hoards. Per AD&D, they are: 20% chance for cp, 30% chance for sp.

Page 303, Phoenix: "A phoenix has the innate ability to cause a tremendous heat up to thrice per day; igniting all flammable materials, boiling liquids, and blistering exposed skin." No damage value is given for this attack, but AD&D lists it at 10 hp. Additionally, the AD&D phoenix radiates protection from evil in a 10 ft radius, and can cast a remove fear 10 ft radius. The OSRIC Phoenix radiates a protection from fear 10 ft radius, and can also cast remove fear in a 10' radius. Further, the description references fire quench as the reverse of produce fire, but it's actually the reverse of fire storm. Finally, the OSRIC phoenix may control temperature in a 50 ft radius instead of a 10 ft radius as in AD&D.

Page 305, Remorhaz: "When attacking, the remorhaz rises on the back section of its body and begins beating its bat-like wings. Its attack is blinding..." Contrary to this description, this monster's attacks do not cause blindness. It's possible that the intention was to describe the attack as blindingly fast.

Page 305, Roc: The 1d33 notation for jewelry should be 1d3.

Page 308, Sea Hag: "Magic Resistence" is improperly written as "MAGIC Resistance."

Page 314, Spider, Huge: The +3 bonus specified for saves against the spider's poison should only be +1. Additionally, the AD&D version is stated to surprise opponents on a roll of 1-5 on 1d6.

Page 315, Squealer: This creature differs from its AD&D incarnation in both included details and in omissions. The damages provided are slightly different, some bonuses aren't mentioned, etc.

Page 318, Triton: "Summon allies: 5d4 hippocampi, 5d6 giant sea horses, or 1d10 sea lions (depending upon how blown)." None of these monsters are described in the OSRIC rules.

Page 319, Vulchling: "Vulchlings are weak fliers, tending to swoop upon their prey with a claw attack, then fighting on the ground with a bite/bite routine." This appears to be reversed in OSRIC, and vulchlings should likely instead attack twice with their claws when in the air, and then once per round with a 1d4+1 bite on the ground after landing.

Page 324, Miscellaneous Weapons Table 1: The scimitar is listed both on this table and on Swords Table 1 (page 325). It should likely appear only on the swords table. This is supported by the fact that Miscellaneous Weapons Table 1 is missing an entry for staves, with the implication being that the duplicate scimitar entry took its place.

Page 324: Potions, Table 1: There's a "cursed potion" in the table with no explanation in the text. It seems highly likely that this was meant to refer to the potion of poison.

Page 324: Ring of Charisma: The gp value of this item should likely be 10,000, not 1,000.

Page 325, Scrolls: There is no table provided for determining the number of spells found on a spell scroll and their level(s).

Page 235, Scrolls Table 3: Scrolls of acid and polymorph warding appear on this table, but no such items are described in the main text.

Page 327, Table IV, Rare Miscellaneous Magic Items: There's an error causing magic items to get out of step in between numbers 03 and 14. Two of the items in that span need to be reduced to a 1% chance (down from 2%) to make the table work.

Page 329: Potion of Climbing: Duration should be 5d4 rounds + 1 turn, not 5d5 rounds + 1 turn.

Page 328, Sagacious Volume: This item has a listed gp value of 50,000,312. 50,000 would be correct.

Page 329: Potion of Dragon Control: There is no mention of a saving throw against this potion's effects. See the entry for the potion of giant control for the correct procedure.

Page 330, Potion of Giant Strength: The throwing ranges on the various potions should be rechecked. They went from a respectable 80-160 feet or yards in AD&D to characters being able to throw rocks several miles. Removing all the "thousands" seems to fix the issue (i.e. reduce range from "8,160 ft" to "160 ft").

Page 335, Staff of Compulsion: This entry references a ring of humanoid control and a ring of mammal command. The ring of humanoid control's OSRIC counterpart appears to be the ring of charisma, but there is no OSRIC item equivalent to a ring of mammal command.

Page 338, Wand of Summoning: OSRIC indicates that this item may be used by clerics, druids, illusionists, and magic-users. Its AD&D equivalent, the wand of conjuration, may only be used by magic-users.

Page 340, Holy Sword: This weapon is listed as usable only by paladins, but it should be (FPRT) for fighter, paladin, ranger, thief, as any Good-aligned character of these other classes can use it as a +2 sword.

Page 341, Sword Intelligence and Capabilities, Speech: "Sword will speak its alignment tongue plus 1 or more additional languages determined according to the table below" The preceding sentence is in need of a period at its end.

Page 343, Crossbow of Speed: The weapon's magical bonus (+1) is not given.

Page 346, Boots of the Winterlands: This item's description mentions an endure cold effect. However, this spell is properly known as resist cold in OSRIC.

Page 344, Hammer of the Dwarfs: In OSRIC, all thrown magic hammers (and hand axes) get their magic to-hit bonus but not their magic damage bonus. The hammer of the dwarfs has a note that, "The hammer of the dwarfs retains its attack bonus when hurled as a missile weapon, doing double damage if it hits..." The note seems redundant since every hammer retains its attack bonus. But it would be noteworthy if the hammer retained its damage bonus, which was then paired with 2d4+2 (double hammer damage which is normally 1d4+1). "Attack bonus" may have been loosely worded here.

Page 347, Broom of Flying: The broom's movement speed should be 300 ft, not 30 ft.

Page 347, Carpet of Flying: The carpet's base movement speed should be 400 ft, not 40 ft.

Page 350, Deck of Illusions: Goblin is a repeated entry in the deck, when no other card varieties are repeated. Unclear whether it was purposefully or accidentally duplicated.

Page 352, Figurines of Wonderous Power, Onyx Dog: The description is missing a duration of use and required rest time. Per AD&D, it can be used for up to six hours continuously, once per week.

Page 353, Figurines of Wonderous Power, Serpentine Owl: Many pertinent details on the owl are omitted from the AD&D version: "The normal-sized form of the magical statuette moves with 95% silence, has infravision to 90'. can see in normal, above ground darkness as if it were full light, and twice as well as a human at that. Its hearing is so keen as to be able to detect a mouse moving at 60’ distance; thus, silent movement chances ore reduced 50% with respect to the serpentine owl in smaller form."

Page 354, Horn of Blasting, Greater: The description doesn't mention whether damage is also doubled to 14d6 for crystalline objects, as per the standard horn of blasting.

Page 354, Horn of the Tritons: It is stated that the Horn can summon sharks up to 7 HD. 8 HD is correct.

Page 357, Mirror of Mental Prowess: This item references a "probability to detect scrying." No such mechanic is detailed in OSRIC.

Page 358, Pipes of the Sewers: "The rats take a turn to travel 50 ft." 50 ft per round is the correct speed. Additionally, the AD&D version of this item also allowed for the summoning of giant rats. It is unclear whether this function was omitted on purpose or accidentally.

Page 359: Robe of the Archmagi: The 75% magic resistance listed for this item should be 5%, per AD&D.

Page 359, Robe of Scintillating Colours: Most of the Robe's powers as described in AD&D are not included in the OSRIC version. It is unclear if this is intended or not.

Page 364, Cursed Items: There are seven main types of curses listed: delusion, opposite effect or target, intermittent functioning, requirement, drawback, completely different effect, and substitute specific cursed item. Six of those types get a sentence or two of explanatory text and advice; "completely different effect" is absent from this additional discussion.

Page 366, Specific Cursed Items: The potion of poison appears twice on this table, yet no such item is described in the main text. Additionally, the following cursed items described in the text are absent from this table: Ring of contrariness, ring of weakness, sword +1, cursed, shield -1, missile attractor.

Page 366, Armour of Rage: The reference to armour of command should be deleted.

Page 366, Bag of Devouring: The item's description states that it is both impossible to resurrect its victims and 50% likely for such a spell to succeed. It is possible that the 50% chance is meant to apply to alter reality instead.

Page 367. Broom of Animated Attack: It should be noted that the broom attacks as a 4 HD monster.

Page 368, Net of Snaring: This item "can be commanded to launch from the user's hand and ensnare a creature up to 30-ft away (as the 1st level druid spell ensnare)." There is no ensnare spell in OSRIC, and this most likely should reference the druid spell entangle instead.