Saturday, July 10, 2010

Chainmail Combat in OD&D

I've always used the "alternative combat system" when playing OD&D, as it's the one my players and I are most familiar with, but I've often thought about giving the original Chainmail combat system a whirl in order to get a sense of what things might have been like in the earliest days of the hobby. Unfortunately, though I own a copy of the game -- sadly only an electronic one -- and have read it several times, I'll admit that I don't quite get it in places and never felt entirely comfortable making a go of it. (Yes, I realize this reveals an awful truth.)

Thankfully, D.H. Boggs, author of the speculative clone, Dragons at Dawn, has put together a nice little booklet to help mental deficients such as myself. Entitled Using Chainmail to Resolve OD&D Combats, it's available as a free PDF here. And while you're there, consider picking up a copy of Dragons at Dawn. I haven't gotten round to it myself, I confess, but I plan on doing so soon, if only to show my thanks for this excellent OD&D resource.

7 comments:

  1. Jason vay's Spellcraft and Swordplay uses the Chain mail resolution for combat. I think its works great.

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  2. It's always odd feeling when you encounter something and then somebody else mentions it in the same day. That just happened with me and the "Using Chainmail to Resolve oD&D Combats" and "Dragons at Dawn". How bizarre!

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  3. D. H. Boggs and Dragons at Dawn are awesome.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Totally agree with Geoffrey, it's not only fun to play and DM, it's a triumph of investigation and extrapolation.

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  6. I think you have some slight confusion on what the "alternate" combat system was the alternate to. The d20 alternate combat system was an alternate to the 2d6 man to man system, not an alternate to the chainmail mass combat rules (you make this same mistake in your spellcraft and swordplay review).

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  7. Chainmail included both man to man and mass combat rules, in addition to magic combat and fantastic creature combat.

    The oD&D d20 alternate rules are an optional replacement for the Chainmail man to man rules.

    His usage is correct.

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