Dungeons & Dragons Online

‘Dice as Statblocks’ for the OSR inclined

**This idea is only going to apply to those playing OSR style or playstyles who otherwise don't care about encounter balance**

I found this really cool article yesterday about how you can use d6's as stat blocks. The article says they are using this method for Into The Odd, but I think with a little tweaking it could be used for B/X or some other early DnD/retro clones.

To sum up the article: roll some d6's to represent a monster and line them up. The numbers on top represent the monsters HP for a given part, the numbers on the front facing side are attack damage. Turn the HP side when the monster is hit and the damage changes. You can think of the line of dice as head-body-legs or teeth-claws-talons or whatever. This can help you narrate the combat.

Read the article, its great.

I love this idea as I like making custom monsters and I hate flipping through the book to find something that fits the theme of an area. This way I can just think "spiders" or "rabid grandmothers" and then roll stat blocks on the fly for wandering monsters and dungeon stocking.

The only issue is that B/X stat blocks have saving throws and other abilities such as morale, number appearing, spells and other special do-dad's

– I was thinking that if you rolled a stat block with a couple of 5's and 6's that you could just give them dwarf or fighter saving throws and if you rolled 1's and 2's you could give them elf or magic-user saves. It would be easy enough to just print out the charts and give a 3HD monsters 3HD PC saving throws.

– For morale Im not sure. You could just make it up on the fly or just say 6+HD. Or maybe just do it by type. Humanoids and animals have higher self-preservation than zombies or chaotic monsters. Maybe some combination of these?

– For spells, if you roll a monster with elf or magic-user saving throws, then make a d6 chart with some spells. This would also diversify the monsters some. In a group of giant black widows some giant black widows are beefy and maybe one of them ate some magical moss and can now cast magic missile (absolutely terrifying). Or just give spells and abilities based on type. Harpies cast charm because they are harpies, giant snakes have poison because they are giant snakes.

– I have no good method for NA. Maybe highest d6 x lowest d6? That's likely to end up being 6 on many occasions. Also you could just make it up on the fly. That could work better if you are using tension dice or some similar timer mechanic.

Anyway, I just thought this was really cool and Im going to use it on my next B/X campaign. What do you think? How else can this be used?

**Edit: I forgot about AC and Hit Bonus**

AC: You could just go flat AC based on saving class. Magic-y gets 11, Tough-ish gets 15 and Super-tough gets 17.

Hit Bonus: HB=HD. HD 4 is +4. This is more or less already how it is in OSE. If you are using THAC0 though IDK.


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