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             /\

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            \\//

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                              \   \   \ \   \       \   \   \   \          

                              \    \\\   \\\        \\\\  \\\\\ \\\\\   \  





     AN ALTERNATE SYSTEM FOR THE SADOMASOCHIST AD&D PLAYER



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     >> INTRODUCTION



   After a player such as myself becomes accustomed to kicking the heinies

of monsters right and left, one gets burnt out on that sort of thing.

Higher - level characters, especially, do not fear danger as much as they

used to when they were low - level tykes. I wondered how long it would be

before one of my characters could take on a great wyrm dragon and live.

What I mean is, the great beasts that were supposed to be feared and

dreaded have now become inconveniences to a character who's reached the

retirement level of most other beings, but instead goes on to do greater

things (not a bad thing) and consequently gets more and better stuff, and

can look forward to besting a great wyrm; such was a creature that once

gave him and his friends nightmares at night, and once upon a time it was

hardly regarded as a joke to point to the sky and say, "Oh no! It's three

black dragons!".

   I sat down one day and decided that it was far too easy to create

superhuman characters. Realism was missing from the way they developed. The

general idea began to coalesce that player characters still needed to have

a healthy sense of danger even while they honed their skills to perfection

and acquired better and more powerful weapons and defenses. The notion that

you could still be killed by more than mere random change gradually

evaporates with levelling, thereby reducing the danger that always, always

came with adventuring. After all, what is the thrill of battle or

exploration without that nagging fear of sudden death in the back of one's

mind? It was ultimately this last question that spawned the "Life Sucks and

then You Die" system.



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  I. Attributes



     A. Rolling up attributes

        1. Use standard methods I, II, or III to roll up attributes only

           (no "power character" methods).

        2. This method can also be used

           a. Roll 2d6+3 then assign the number to an attribute

           b. After the attribute is set, it cannot be altered even if the

              player rolls a more desirable number afterward (the "Yahtzee"

              method)

           c. Repeat till all attributes have been filled

           d. Racial adjustments are implemented after all rolls are

              tallied, of course.

        3. Other methods may be used, so long as they cannot produce

           characters with an average of attributes above 16.



     B. Exceptional Strength

        1. Whenever a Strength score of 18 is adjusted upward, instead of

           making it a 19, becomes 18/01.

        2. Whenever adding to an Exceptional Strength score, it is raised

           one percentage category for each +1.

        3. This means that it will take a +6 to raise from 18 to 19.

        4. Examples

           a. 18    +1   = 18/01

           b. 18/01 +1   = 18/51

           c. 18/80 +1   = 18/91

           d. 18/99 +1   = 18/00

           e. 18/00 +1   = 19

        5. Only an 18/00 can go directly to 19.



     C. At every level divisible by three, plus one (4th, 7th, 10th, 13th,

        etc.) a character may add a +1 to one of his attributes.

        1. It need not be a prime requisite (but a character wishing to

           switch classes may need to build up attributes before it is

           possible).

        2. This attribute advancement is fully subject to racial

           limitations.



     D. The Constitution HP Bonus is used as a Saving Throw Bonus.

        1. This Saving Throw bonus applies to purely physical magic attacks

           only, in the same way that a high Wisdom Magical Defense is a

           bonus against mental attacks.

        2. Breath weapons, petrification/polymorph, and paralyze/poison

           always have this bonus.

        3. Death magic that causes actual physical death (instead of

           attacking the spirit or mind) also comes under this bonus.

        4. Spells which have a physical attack are included as well.





 II. Hit Points



     A. At 1st level, HP are determined by the following:

        1. Add the Strength and Constitution attributes together (base HP

           score)

        2. Roll a Size HD, one of the following:

           a. Tiny       (0'-2')   = 1d2

           b. Small      (2'-4')   = 1d4

           c. Man-sized  (4'-7')   = 1d6

           d. Large      (7'-12')  = 1d8

           e. Huge       (12'-25') = 1d12 \ hardly ever used, but

           f. Gargantuan (25'+)    = 1d20 / you never know. :)

        3. Roll the character's class HD once and only once; The

           Constitution HP bonus is not used for HPs (see I - D).



     B. More HP can be gained by using the attribute adjustment rule above

        (I - D) to Strength or Constitution; no other HP are added for

        level advancement.





III. Warriors and Rogues



     A. Paladins and Rangers should be as rare as the rolls it takes to

        meet their minimum attribute requirements (natural rolls; i.e.,

        unaided by arbitrary attribute adjustments or pick-and-choose dice

        rolling methods)



     B. No Warrior or Rogue classe receives spellcasting abilities.

        1. Other magical and nonmagical abilities remain intact.

        2. Use of magical items is still permitted.





 IV. Wizards and Priests



     A. Wizards and Priests receive mana for their spellcasting.



     B. The base amount of mana is three times their experience level, plus

        a bonus according to Intelligence (Wizards) or Wisdom (Priests),

        from the following chart:



  WIS/INT SCORE:     9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19



  BONUS:            +0   +0   +0   +1   +2   +3   +4   +5   +6   +7   +8



     C. One mana point is expended for each spell level cast.



     D. Mana is replenished either through time for Wizards or through

        prayer for Priests, at a rate of one mana point per day.





  V. Psionics



     A. Psionics is simply too powerful for any player characters to be

        psionicists; unless Psionics is widely known and used, PCs cannot

        be true psionicists.



     B. At the most, PCs can be Single - or Double - Wild Talents, but must

        be another class of character.

        1. A Double Wild Talent is a character who automatically passes the

           Wild Talent Test, and can choose any one power for free in

           addition to the roll to determine a random power

        2. Rolling one's selected power is treated as a bonus for two

           random powers instead of one, but this can occur only once).



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Text Created:  10 Jan 97          (c) 1996, 1997 by Xeno, where applicable.

Last Revision: 10 Jan 97            http://www.people.memphis.edu/~mlsheltn

                                                    mlsheltn@cc.memphis.edu



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