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Dragons of the Earth by Paul Elliot

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House rules for Basic D&D

Text of Dragons of the Earth by Paul Elliot

Dragonsof the

NorthCampaign Conversion Notes for D&D by Paul Elliott/Mithras

INTRODUCTIONThese conversion notes are intended to be used for a regular Basic D&D game refereed by me, with my two young sons (9 and 12) as players. I've already introduced them to roleplaying, and through BD&D I want to introduce them to published games. Since they have a good grasp of, and a real interest in, English myths, legends and fairy tales, I intend to alter BD&D slightly to set it within a 'fantasy England' (the late 6th century - 580 AD). with some fantasy elements dotted around a vaguely historical Dark Ages setting. I have taken more than inspiration from Dragon Warriors, a ruleset published in the late-80's by Corgi, and written by Dave Morris and Oliver Johnson. That game most definately is set in a late-Dark Ages world and captures the feel well. We will be running many of the published Dragon Warriors adventures. The PCs are young heroes in a small Anglian kingdom struggling to survive against its northern neighbour and against the arcane power of a resurgent Morgana, Witch-Queen. King lla is ruler of Deira and will become a patron of the PCs. The arch-enemy of the PCs will be Morgana, the surviving enemy of King Arthur - dead these past fifty years. Each northern kingdom has a dragon standard. Morgana, the evil witch who was King Arthur's greatest enemy, is free. She had been imprisoned within Dinas Emrys, the magical hill beneath her father's old fortress by Merlin the magician. Fifty years later she is free from her prison, from the Cave of the Dragons where she was chained. And now she has vowed to conquer Arthur's realm, Britain, and to use all of her magical powers in that conquest. The evil queen has woken the dead to create a horrible undead army of skeletons, ghouls and zombies. Goblins, ogres, giants and other supernatural monsters have allied with her. Humans whether Saxon, Anglian, Briton, Pict or Welsh must fight her! It is AD 580. lla was the son of Yffe, the son of Uxfrea, the son of Wilgisl, the son of Westerfalca, the son of Sfugl, the son of Sbald, the son of Segegeat, the son of Swebdg, the son of Sigegar, the son of Wdg, the son of Woden. The campaign begins in North-East England. King lla siezed power in Jorvik in 560 and founded the kingdom of Deira (dee-ay-ra), in East Yorkshire. He is an Anglian warrior chief with two sons, thelric (the oldest) and Edwin (the youngest). He also has a daughter, Acha, about to be married to fierce warriorking thelfrith, ruler of the growing northern kingdom, Bernicia. His queen is called Gudrun, and King lla has a royal advisor, a monk of some standing currently converting the Anglians, called Paulinus. Player characters are retainers of King lla, warriors, clerics scouts and magic users who are loyal to the king and keen to ensure the survival of his kingdom, Deira.

CHARACTERSAbility ScoresRoll six times. Select one to re-roll. Re-roll all ability scores if none are 12 or above.

Character Classes

There are certain changes to the available character classes. All are Good or Neutral. Choose from the following classes:

FIGHTER A warrior fighting for his lord, or members of mercenary bands. Use D&D Fighter as written. CLERIC A holyman and follower of God. The holyman has powers from God and helps those around him. One of his most important roles is to find and destroy monsters and other evil creatures. Recognised by the cross around his neck. Use D&D Cleric, but allow any weapon. THIEF A robber, bandit, thief and raider. Use the D&D Thief, but allow a d6 Hit Die. MAGIC USER An apprentice wizard, learning magical spells and seeking out items of power. Use the D&D Magic User but ignore any reference to 'spell books' and utilise the Magic Point system delineated below. ELF The elves are a Saxon/German creation, and part of the world of Saxon Britain. Elves live in many of the forests, but their centre in these islands is Alfheim, which is the greater part of Cymri. Use Elves as described in the D&D rulebook. DWARF Like elves, dwarves are also a Saxon/German creation. Niddafjoll is the home of these dwarves, a cavernous realm beneath the Peak District. Use the D&D Dwarf. HALFLING There are no Halflings.

Hit Points

Characters will normally begin the game with maximum Hit Points for that class (modified by Constitution), plus 4.


Money in Dark Age Britain appears as gold nobles and silver pennies which are the same as BD&D's Gold and Silver Pieces. Armour is much more expensive than in BD&D. Use the following prices: Item Chain Mail Armour Scale Armour Leather Armour Plate Armour Helmet Shield AC 6 7 8 4 (-1)* (-1)* Cost in gp 220 160 20 600 20 10

*deduct 1 from Armour Class number if shield or helm is used.

LANGUAGESWe shouldn't get too hung up on languages. This is fantasy, but sometimes a language barrier is a great way to emphasize the 'otherness' of some folk. Use this language list: English - This is the standard language of the Saxon or Anglian kingdoms. Latin - The old language of Rome, used by the Church and by administrators. Elvish - A secret language used by goblins, ogres, elves and other inhabitants of faerie Draconic - The ancient language of dragons. Pictish - The language of the wild northern tribes. Gaelic - The language of the Irish tribes. British - The language of the Western Lands: of Cymri, Rhegeth, Dumnonia, Strathcylde and other native British kingdoms.

RESOLVING TASKSTo resolve any type of non-combat task the player rolls either 3d6 (a challenge) or 4d6 (very difficult) and he must roll equal to or less than his character's relevant attribute (Str, Dex, Wis, etc.) to succeed. Thieves have a number of useful skills, when that character attempts a task using such a skill, he gets to add his character level to the attribute for the task roll.

MAGICUnlike the 'fire and forget' magic of BD&D, the magic in Dark Age Britain is handled slightly differently. When a magic-using character reaches a new level, he learns all of the spells for that level. Look at the spell lists given below. They follow the pattern in Dragon Warriors. A magic-using character can cast any spell from the list at his level (or lower), once or more than once per day. To determine how many spells a character can cast in a day, Magic Points are used. A spell costs a number of MP to cast equal to its level. When a character's Magic Points reaches zero he can cast no more spells. Expended Magic Points regenerate at precisely midnight. A durational spell can usually be terminated early by a magic using character, he must spend a combat round 'willing it' to do this, and he receives half of the Magic Points (rounded down) that he expended to cast it. Magic Points Level MP Useable/day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4 8 12 15 19 23 25 28 31 35

+4 MP's per level thereafter

The Magic User Spell ListFirst Level Spells 1 Charm Person 2 Detect Magic 3 Floating Disc 4 Hold Portal 5 Light 6 Magic Missile Second Level Spells 1 Protection from Evil 2 Read Languages 3 Read Magic 4 Shield 5 Sleep 6 Ventriloquism Third Level Spells 1 Continual Light 2 Detect Evil 3 Detect Invisible 4 ESP 5 Invisibility 6 Knock Fourth Level Spells 1 Levitate 2 Locate Object 3 Mirror Image 4 Phantasmal Force 5 Web 6 Wizard Lock Fifth Level Spells 1 Clairvoyance 2 Dispel Magic 3 Fire Ball 4 Fly 5 Haste 6 Hold Person Sixth Level Spells 1 Infravision 2 Invisibility 10' radius 3 Lightning Bolt 4 Protection/Evil 10' radius 5 Protection/Normal Missiles 6 Water Breathing Seventh Level Spells 1 Charm Monster 2 Confusion 3 Dimension Door 4 Growth of Plants 5 Hallucinatory Terrain 6 Massmorph Eighth Level Spells 1 Polymorph Others 2 Polymorph Self 3 Remove Curse 4 Wall of Fire 5 Wall of Ice 6 Wizard Eye Ninth Level Spells 1 Animate Dead 2 Cloudkill 3 Conjure Elemental 4 Contact Higher Plane 5 Feeblemind 6 Hold Monster Tenth Level Spells 1 Magic Jar 2 Pass Wall 3 Telekinesis 4 Teleport 5 Transmute Rock to Mud 6 Wall of Stone Eleventh Level Spells 1 Anti-Magic Shell 2 Control Weather 3 Death Spell 4 Disintegrate 5 Geas 6 Invisible Stalker Twelfth Level Spells 1 Lower Water 2 Move Earth 3 Part Water 4 Projected Image 5 Reincarnation 6 Stone to Flesh

The Cleric Spell ListFirst Level Spells 1 Cure Light Wounds 2 Detect Evil 3 Detect Magic 4 Light Second Level Spells 1 Protection from Evil 2 Purify Food and Water 3 Remove Fear 4 Resist Cold Third Level Spells 1 Bless 2 Find Traps 3 Know Alignment 4 Hold Person Fourth Level Spells 1 Resist Fire 2 Silence 15' radius 3 Snake Charm 4 Speak with Animal Fifth Level Spells 1 Continual Light 2 Cure Disease 3 Growth of Animals Sixth Level Spells 1 Locate Object 2 Remove Curse 3 Striking Seventh Level Spells 1 Create Water 2 Cure Serious Wounds 3 Neutralize Poison Eighth Level Spells 1 Protection/Evil 10' radius 2 Speak with Plants 3 Sticks to Snakes Ninth Level Spells 1 Commune 2 Create Food 3 Dispel Evil Tenth Level Spells 1 Insect Plague 2 Quest 3 Raise Dead

COMBATUnless surprised (1 or 2 on d6), the player characters go first in combat, followed by the monsters. A surprised opponent will still make an attack roll (see below) but will not inflict any damage if he wins. The combat procedure differs to that presented in D&D, but plugs in all the same numbers and comes out with very similar outcomes. Only the hidden mechanics are different, and they are different to speed up the procedure. To Hit - both combatants roll. The highest wins and inflicts damage

Character Attacks: Monster Attacks:

Roll D20 Roll D20

+ + + +

Character Level Monster's Armour Class Monster's Hit Dice Player Character's Armour Class

When fights are unequal, only one roll is made by the lone fighter, and his multiple antagonists must all overcome that total to harm him

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