“KD&D,” Part 5: Simpler and Better Combat (Explained)

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.

After many years of role-playing retirement, I started, in 2020, running a 1st Edition AD&D campaign at the request of my neighbors and family. Coming back to the game, I’ve realized that, while it’s still my favorite, the mechanics of it can be clunky and difficult, and that some parts are 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.”

Thus far in this series, I’ve talked about:

This time, I’d like to take a deep dive into making combat “simpler and better” by looking at the 10 steps to a  melee round that I listed in the previous blog post. Those steps are:

  1. Is Anyone Surprised?
  2. How Far Away is the Enemy?
  3. What Are You Going to Do?
  4. How Will You Fight?
  5. Who Goes When?
  6. Roll “To Hit”
  7. Is it a Critical Hit?
  8. Roll Damage
  9. Does the Enemy Hit You?
  10. The End of the Melee Round.

Again, I developed some of the revisions myself, but most of them, I cribbed from the 1e Players HandbookUnearthed Arcana, and DMG, as well as the 2e Player’s Option: Combat and Tactics book.

So, grab your favorite beverage (I take my tea with lots of lemon and sugar), and perhaps a snack, and let’s have a long chat.

Continue reading ““KD&D,” Part 5: Simpler and Better Combat (Explained)”

“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.

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