“KD&D,” Part 3: Simpler & Better Character Classes

This post is part of a series describing the rule changes I've made for my current fantasy role-playing campaign. "Kenton's Dungeons & Dragons," or "KD&D," is a full-fledged variant of the 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game initially released in 1977. Feel free to use some or all of these rule changes for your own D&D gaming, no matter what edition you play.

As I described in the inaugural post to this series, I’ve recently started playing 1e AD&D again, running a campaign for my neighbors and family.  While I’ve always enjoyed AD&D, the game system itself can be clunky and difficult, and some parts are, frankly, lame.

To make what I consider to be improvements to the core rules, I’ve borrowed ideas from issues of Dragon magazine and later D&D editions, as well as come up with a few of my own.  My operating motto for re-tooling the game is to make it, “Simpler & Better.”

In the previous post, I looked character races. This time, I’ll examine classes from the Players Handbook (PHB), and Unearthed Arcana (UA).

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“KD&D,” Part 2: Simpler & Better Character Races

This post is part of a series describing the rule changes I've made for my current fantasy role-playing campaign. "Kenton's Dungeons & Dragons," or "KD&D," is a full-fledged variant of the 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game initially released in 1977. Feel free to use some or all of these rule changes for your own D&D gaming, no matter what edition you play.

As I described in the inaugural post to this series, I’ve recently started playing 1e AD&D again, running a campaign for my neighbors and family.  While I’ve always enjoyed AD&D, the game system itself can be clunky and difficult, and some parts are, frankly, lame.

To make what I consider to be improvements to the core rules, I’ve borrowed ideas from issues of Dragon Magazine and later D&D editions, as well as come up with a few of my own.  My operating motto for re-tooling the game is to make it, “Simpler & Better.”

In this post and the next one, I’d like to discuss creating characters. First up, let’s look at races, which, in AD&D, are covered in the Players Handbook (PHB), and in the supplement Unearthed Arcana (UA).

 

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“KD&D,” Part 1: A New Take on an Old Game

One might think, judging by the size and longevity of this site, that Warhammer 40K is my favorite game. It’s true that I’ve been playing 40K ever since I was introduced to the original, Rogue Trader, version in 1987. I kept playing ever since, keeping up with each edition, and I intend to keep playing for years to come.

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7 (not 9) Things I’d Like from 9th Edition

In case you missed it, Games Workshop announced a few days ago that they are releasing a new version–the 9th Edition–of Warhammer 40,000.  Here’s a promo video from warhammer40000.com:

I’ve been playing since 1987’s 1st Edition–aka “Rogue Trader”–and 8th has been my favorite of all the versions. So, I don’t have many complaints.

But seeing as how a new game is on its way, here are a few things (a mere seven) that I’m hoping will be changed (and it looks from the video that some definitely will be).

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Battles With the Becker Boys, Part 5

For almost 20 years, my family and I have been good friends with our neighbors across the street, the Becker’s, who have two sons: Nathan (19) and Dylan (18). The “Becker Boys” are ardent video gamers, and recently got into 40K, with Nate choosing Space Marines, and Dylan picking up Space Wolves.

I’ve been teaching them to play, with demo games against Necrons, a “for-real” match against Tyranids, an Open Play vs. my Dvergar Steeljacks (proxied Adeptus Mechanicus), and a pair of Christmas-themed battles against my Dark Eldar.

Back home early from college (thanks, Corona-Chan!), Dylan wanted to get in a game a few weeks ago, so I proposed that we mask- and glove up, keep our social distance, and pit his Wolves against my proxied Chaos Daemons of Khorne.

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“Who Let You Do That?”: Prime Examples of Power-Gaming Shenanigans

by Kenton Kilgore

I’ve been playing 40K with my friend and fellow Jungle Guide Patrick Eibel since the game debuted in 1987.  Our games are almost always very casual and fun, and we have a great time.

Often, one of us will surprise the other with a fiendish and blisteringly effective—but perfectly legal—unit, item of wargear, stratagem, formation, or combination thereof.  Whereupon, the one being surprised by this power-gaming will good-naturedly ask, “Who let you do that?”

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Armies of the Jungle: Fearful Symmetry

In this series, we showcase armies used by your humble Jungle Guides. By detailing how the army was collected, how the background and color schemes were developed, and how the army is used on the battlefield, we hope that this series will provide inspiration for those interested in collecting similar armies.

In the chilly dark just before dawn, Shamshir Talatra—accompanied, as always, by Panja, the Vedic Great Tyger—surveyed his army.  Once again, the Scepter of Shiva, a holy relic in the form of a curved sword, had done its work well, summoning scores of the fearsome rakshasas, greater and lesser, to the material world.

Tiger-headed humanoids from Lankapura, a realm outside of time and space, the rakshasas had terrorized and preyed upon the humans of Veda ever since it was settled, before the Age of Strife.  But no longer.  Now, they served Shamshir.

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Veda In the Balance Campaign, Battle #1: Old Grudges Die Hard

by Patrick Eibel and Kenton Kilgore

Huron Blackheart strode from the hastily constructed shanty he was using as a headquarters, and joined the Master of Executions, who was standing in the shadows of the fuel dispensary.  The two made a grotesque pair, one disfigured in a long-ago explosion that left his face hideously scarred, the other encased in the skull armor of his station.  They surveyed the Red Corsair warband making preparations for battle throughout the bivouac. 

“It will be soon,” rasped Huron, “that our old friends the Fighting Tigers will be in the area.  No doubt, they intend, like us, to use these abandoned fueling stations to supply their ships.”

The Master of Executions grunted.  “The men are not ready.  We are too few to wage a full battle as yet.”  His voice was flat, dead, the creak of a coffin lid.

“I agree.”  If the leader of the Red Corsair warband took any affront to his lieutenant’s lack of deference, he showed no concern.

 A dull hum could be heard off in the distance, and Huron turned to watch as a plume of dust approached, kicked up by a rapidly moving vehicle.  “That is why I have made other arrangements.”  He waved to the others in the warband to let the vehicle approach.

With a loud rumble, a ramshackle bike-like vehicle skidded into the encampment.  A large, green Ork disembarked, and, spewing a string of profanity, made his way to the two Red Corsair leaders.

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Deployment for Dumbasses (Like Me): Heavy Support, Part 2

Proper deployment is at least as important to winning as having a good army list is. Though I am by no means a master tactician, I will share with you what I've learned by trial and error (mostly error). 

The lessons in this series won't get fancy or complex: this is basic information that new players or dumbasses like me need to know and remember to better their chances at victory. 

This article was originally posted in 2015, and has been updated for 8th Edition rules.

Welcome to the second installment of this series on how to better deploy your 40K forces.  Previously, I discussed best practices for placing Heavy Support units whose main strength is shooting: Space Marine Devastator Squads and Predators, Eldar Dark Reapers, Tau Broadsides, Tyranid Exocrines, etc.

Though most Heavy Support units’ primary task is the shooting of very large guns, a few units are more dedicated to close combat, or for conveying troops from one location to another.  There are enough of these units  to warrant their own article.  Here are some examples:

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