Monday, October 19, 2009

Hyborian Age Addendum

I've taken a bit of flak from some folks for claiming that OD&D is an ideal system for handling Hyborian Age gaming. It would seem that even my own Hyborian Age OD&D Hack didn't convince many folks, who think you need something more detailed, somehow, to properly represent pulpy combat. I disagree--why do you need an extensive list of combat maneuvers to spur your imagination about what's going on during a minute of battle? I think my sorcerer class, included in the linked PDF above, solves the magic problem neatly, and that the use of Chainmail-style combat is exceptionally pulpy and action-packed.

In any case, I may get to find out how right or wrong I am. I'll be running a short Hyborian Age OD&D game with my Sunday group, soon, converting Mongoose (and other) modules to OD&D. I'll keep a log of how it goes.


  1. Personally I think you can do it with OD&D just fine. After all that is how people did it for years right?
    Some people might *prefer* to do things other ways but that doesn't make it the *only* way to do it.

  2. I've found that OD&D is much more scaleable than I realized when I was younger, and with little modification seems perfectly suitable for the sword & sorcery and even planetary romance styles. I really appreciate the guidance of texts and blogs like this, Athanor, Algol and others in showing the/a way. Yes, there are some great modern alternatives for me out there like Barbarians of Lemuria and the new "Mars" for Savage Worlds, but there's something about OD&D and the OSR games that feels closer to the source to me.

  3. I've mostly read Howard so maybe my view point is skewed (although I'd argue his is the S&S others should be judged by). People who think detailed combat is S&S are smoking crack. S&S combat is fast, action packed, quick and deadly. Not a slow slog of adding up modifiers and rolling on upteen charts.

    S&S **requires** a rules light system such as OD&D. OD&D might not be deadly enough but being such a simple light system that can be houseruled any number of ways if one feels it necessary.

    Tell the doubters that you'll be wenching and boozing back at the tavern while they're still trying to get though the first combat!

  4. Well, we shall see how it plays out soon. I put a hard limit of one sorcerous character in there--someone's already snatched it up.