OEC Elf Hit Dice

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OEC Elf Hit Dice

Postby aspiringlich » Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:11 pm

After some research, it turns out that the HD progression for OD&D/OEC elves is utterly mysterious. There's no consensus anywhere on how to go about calculating it due to the weird way in which the elf alternates between fighting man and magic-user. Here's what I've come up with as a way of doing it and I'd be very interested in hearing some feedback.

At 1st level, the elf PC rolls hit points for both classes and takes the higher of the two totals. Using the OEC parameters, that means he rolls 1d8+1 (fighting man) and 1d6 (magic-user) and takes the higher roll. From then on, when he levels up in one or the other, he rolls the corresponding dice for that class. For example, let's say he's roughly dividing his XP evenly between the two classes (by alternating between fighting man and magic-user each gaming session). That would mean he'd hit level 2 as a fighter first, so he'd roll another d8, because 2nd level fighters have 2d8 HD. When, a few gaming sessions later, he reaches 2nd level as a magic-user, he simply adds 1 hp, because 2nd level magic-users have 1+1 HD.

Now, let's say he decides to focus on his magic-user aspect for a while and plays a number of gaming sessions in a row as a magic-user, thereby funneling all his XP into that class. So now he'll eventually become a 3rd level magic-user and thus roll another d6 for hit points. Staying with his magic-user class, he reaches 4th level and adds 1 hp. Now, however, he goes back to adventuring as a fighting man and eventually reaches 3rd level in that class, so he rolls d8 hit points upon doing so. And so on ...

I know that it sounds like he's piling on a lot of hit points, but remember that he's advancing in levels at roughly half the rate that the other PCs are, so (admittedly not having done the math) I think it should balance out in the long run. Also, he maxes out at 4th level as a fighting man, so from that point on he can only earn more hit points using the much weaker magic-user HD progression.

What say you?
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Re: OEC Elf Hit Dice

Postby greyarea » Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:15 pm

Interesting (and quite complicated). Why are you capping their progression as Fighters at 4th level?
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Re: OEC Elf Hit Dice

Postby aspiringlich » Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:20 pm

greyarea wrote:Interesting (and quite complicated). Why are you capping their progression as Fighters at 4th level?


That's the rule. Maximum Level: Fighting Man 4; Magic-User 8 (OEC pg. 11)
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Re: OEC Elf Hit Dice

Postby merias » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:02 pm

Those Elf level caps are straight from OD&D's Men & Magic booklet. There are many epic threads on this very subject at the OD&D and Dragonsfoot boards. I do know Gary (Gygax) himself handled it by simply rolling both hit dice at each level gain and dividing by two, rounding up, if I can find the post at dragonsfoot I'll link to it, it came up in response to this very question in one of the threads Gary participated in there.

EDIT: Here is the post: http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=12918&p=247768#p247768
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Re: OEC Elf Hit Dice

Postby aspiringlich » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:59 pm



Hmm, I'm not down with how Gary played it. I would have the elf use fighting man saves and attack rolls when adventuring as a fighting man, and magic-user saves and attack rolls when adventuring as a magic-user. As for the HD thing, I've never liked dividing rolls. What do you do with the .5 hp?
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Re: OEC Elf Hit Dice

Postby merias » Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:27 pm

aspiringlich wrote:Hmm, I'm not down with how Gary played it. I would have the elf use fighting man saves and attack rolls when adventuring as a fighting man, and magic-user saves and attack rolls when adventuring as a magic-user. As for the HD thing, I've never liked dividing rolls. What do you do with the .5 hp?


I would just round up, but I agree it's kind of clunky. I think it's perfectly fine to take the best of two totals, so at a level gain you roll for both classes and just take the higher result, staying the same (or adding 1 HP) if you don't end up with more than your old HP total. I think it's also common to use the best saving throw at any given time. Since they advance more slowly than other classes, I think that small advantage is OK.
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Re: OEC Elf Hit Dice

Postby noahjgreen » Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:40 am

Hi merias, this is "sparc_spread" from your S&W forums - how's it going? Hey quick follow-up question to this OEC Elf thread: what about prime requisites? The OEC book lists them as "STR and INT" for Elf. I wouldn't think that this means the same as regular LL, where the character needs high scores in both to get XP bonuses, since in OEC the Elf character operates only as a fighter (STR) or MU (INT) in the course of the game, rather than being a hybrid of both classes as is the case in regular LL.

We know for sure that XP are applied only to the class chosen for the day. So maybe the prime requisite is just whichever attribute corresponds to that class - i.e. STR for fighter or INT for MU?

Thx for help
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Re: OEC Elf Hit Dice

Postby merias » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:07 pm

Good question - when I have run Elves with this method I use the prime requisite for whatever class they earned experience in. So, for example, they don't need high scores in both STR and INT to get a bonus as a fighter, just STR. I think that makes more sense when running OEC. But this was one of the really gray areas of the original game, so I could see requiring both as a valid method, if you thought the Elf F/MU had enough advantages versus the other classes.
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Re: OEC Elf Hit Dice

Postby noahjgreen » Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:25 am

This resolves it for me - thanks so much! I'll probably go with the first approach, but will mention the second (yes this is for a new supplement I'm working on!)
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Re: OEC Elf Hit Dice

Postby noahjgreen » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:10 am

Hey merias, I'm back. Quick question . . .did Gary mean rolling both dice and dividing by two at a level advance, or just rolling the die corresponding to the class advanced and dividing that by two? I can't quite tell from his post.
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