The Guardians — Episode 21: All aboard!

We are back to using the Basic Fantasy RPG ruleset starting from this session to make it easier for me to prep and run our weekly games. Some noticed the downshift in power from the 5e-version of their characters but I hope they’ll be okay (since the monsters are also all weaker now).

This session’s PCs:

  • Diana – human fighter, level 4 (controlled by other players)
  • Elfred – elf fighter/magic-user, level 3
  • Fredo – halfling thief, level 5
  • Hermione – human magic-user, level 4
  • Mistamojo – human cleric, level 5
  • Lavandes – elf druid, level 4
  • Oracle – human fighter, level 5

Atop a cliff inside a huge cavern stood Oracle, Lavandes and Diana against a single wight. With the corridor behind them sealed off with boulders and loose rocks, they didn’t expect the two zombies to crawl out of that rubble. Fortunately, there were only two that got through.

It has just dropped its sword when it bacame to hot to hold, thanks to Lavandes’ Druidic magic. Oracle wasn’t too pleased though because now that the wight is unarmed, it will very likely attempt to touch him and drain his energy — a worse outcome than just getting slashed by a sword.

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Back to Basic

After a couple of sessions running fifth edition D&D (5e), I’ve come to realise that although Wizards of the Coast did a pretty good job at simplifying this latest incarnation of D&D, it still has a lot of tiny moving parts. Too many moving parts, in my opinion, as compared to Classic D&D.

Sure, old school D&D has a few subsystems for different tasks instead of the one unified 1d20 + modifier rule, but they really are just about two handfuls of rules to learn and then that’s it. With 5e, I feel like it’s a death from a thousand cuts as the dungeon master (DM).

It doesn’t feel like that much rules at the beginning but I could see that as the players level up and they start to get more features, I’d have to put forth challenges and creatures with just as many features for me to learn and run. I probably wouldn’t mind the overhead when I was younger but these days, I don’t have lots of free time after work to figure out challenge ratings and read up on rules and all that adventure prep.

In the end, I asked the players if it’s okay to go back to using Basic Fantasy RPG and they were fine with that. Thankfully.

And so I’ve converted their characters back except for Lavandes and Elfred. I’ve converted Elfred from cleric to ranger to multi-classed fighter/magic-user. For Lavandes, I’ve allowed her to stay as Druid using the supplemental rules for druids.

I also started to look for a new character sheet to use but couldn’t find a form-fillable one I liked. In the end, I liked the 5e character sheet so much that I ended up modifying it a little and used that as our BFRPG character sheet!

I kept the background stuff because I think that helps guide my players as to who their characters are. I also kept the two axis alignment more as a reminder of their character’s moral code. Just for flavour.

If you want to check out the converted sheets for the Guardians group, you can find them here:!AnJOWypFepGXxVsVvOOmWaLbcQhs

The Guardians — Episode 20: Into the darkness

Elfred caught the boat just before it got washed away by the strong current below

This is our second session after we’ve converted to D&D 5e, and our last.

I mean, after this session, I’ve asked my players if it was ok with them if I convert everybody back to Basic Fantasy RPG. Thankfully, they said yes. I’ll write more about this in a future post.

In the meantime, below is the session report for our twentieth session and the first session in 2018. I think we all had fun with it. There were monsters to fight but given the apparent endless supply of them, our heroes decided to focus on getting out of the caves and figuring out how they could do it given their situation.

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House rules – revised for 2018

After over a year of running two separate campaigns with Basic Fantasy RPG, I’ve decided to change the house rules I use around character classes based on what I’ve seen in play.

Now that I’ve decided that I will no longer run D&D 5e and had to convert my players’ characters back to BFRPG, I want to make sure extra sure that my players will be happy with their characters, especially those who are fighters.

On top of the normal benefits a character gets for his/her class, I have additional Class benefits for the PCs.


Pick one special skill at levels 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18.

  • Heavy hitter:
    • Rank 1: Do +2 melee damage but get -1 to initiative.
    • Rank 2: Do +2 melee damage but no initiative penalty.
  • Weapon Mastery (chose weapon):
    • Rank 1: Gain +1 to hit and +1 damage with a chosen weapon type (chose upon picking this option)
    • Rank 2: For the same weapon in Rank 1, gain +2 to hit and +1 damage.
    • Rank 3: For the same weapon in Rank 2, gain +2 to hit and +2 damage and increase attack rate (the original rate of fire of 1 per 2 rounds becomes 1 per round; 1 per round becomes 2 per round; and 2 per round becomes 3 per round).
  • Swashbuckler:
    • Rank 1: Gain +1 AC when wearing chain mail, lighter armor or no armor.
    • Rank 2: Gain +2 AC when wearing chain mail, lighter armor or no armor. Also gain an AC bonus equal to your Strength modifier.
    • Rank 3: Gain +3 AC when wearing chain mail, lighter armor or no armor. Also gain an AC bonus equal to your Strength modifier and any attack bonuses due to held weapon’s magical attack bonuses.


  • Arcane Blast: This is a bolt of raw magic. To avoid getting hit, the target rolls a save vs. magic wands with a penalty equal to the caster’s Intelligence modifier. The bolt has a range of 30 feet and does 1d4 magic damage. Since it is pure magic, it will affect creatures which are only affected by magical weapons, but does not affect inanimate objects.
  • Cast Cantrips (Minor Magic): Magic-users are allowed to cast everyday magic at will. This is usable once per round if no other action taken. This ability is for non-combat use only. Attempting something abusive fails automatically. Abusive uses include pickpocket attempts, combat effects, etc.
  • Read Magic: Can be cast at will. No spell slot is required and it’s automatically known.
  • Spell Bonus based on Intelligence:
    • 13 to 15: +1 Level 1 spell
    • 16 to 17: +2 Level 1 spells
    • 18 above: +2 Level 1 spells and +1 Level 2 spell


  • Spell Bonus based on Wisdom:
    • 13 to 15: +1 Level 1 spell
    • 16 to 17: +2 Level 1 spells
    • 18 above: +2 Level 1 spells and +1 Level 2 spell


  • Hit Dice of 1d6: Instead of 1d4.
  • Racial bonus to skills:
    • Dwarf: pick pockets +5, remove traps +5, listen +5, climb -10.
    • Elf: open locks -5, remove traps -5, move silently +5, hide +5, listen +5.
    • Halfling: pick pockets +5, move silently +5, hide +5, listen +5, climb -15.
  • Ability score bonus (5% per +1 modifier):
    • Dexterity: open locks, pick pockets, move silently.
    • Intelligence: remove traps, hide.
    • Wisdom: listen.
    • Strength: climb.
  • Knife Fighting: Cause 1d6 damage with daggers, knives, dirks, stilettos and similar weapons that normally deal only 1d4 damage.