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I mentioned the thief class I’m using in the previous post on my new OD&D campaign, so I thought I’d share my OD&D house rules for thieves and the other classes.  In addition to the four classes below, I’ll be allowing my warden class for OD&D, which I’m working on updating with a few minor changes. In future posts I’ll share my house rules for the races and combat.


Hit points are rolled anew at each level gain,  the old total is kept if it is higher but with a minimum gain of +1.

Note: Prime requisite experience bonuses  are taken in bulk at the start of each level gain. For example, at first level, a fighter with a 15 STR starts with 200xp, since 200 is 10% of the 2000 needed for 2nd level. At 2nd level, he would add 400xp, 10% of the 4000xp needed for 3rd level.


Two-handed weapons: Fighters who use a two-handed melee weapon roll two dice for damage and take the better roll. Note this precludes the use of a shield.

Fighters get +1 to attack rolls with a favored weapon. Add one favored weapon every three levels (so levels 1, 4, 7, 10).

Fighters that kill an opponent with one blow get a free attack on an adjacent opponent.


A thief is a (human) fighter who gives up the favored weapon bonus and free attack and has 1 starting HD (as opposed to the fighter’s 1+1 HD). DEX is the thief’s prime requisite. Thieves are able to perform thiefly skills (pick locks, pick pockets, hide/sneak, sneak attack) in leather armor while unencumbered (up to 600 coins) on a 1-3/d6 (1-4 at 4th level, 1-5 at 8th level).

Luck – A thief can re-roll one die roll per encounter if it affects them only.

Sneak attack is at +2 and does two dice of damage (note adding the normal +2 attack bonus from behind gives +4).

Thieves speak thieves’ cant in addition to any other languages by INT.


Starting Magic-users get a spell book with two first-level spells. M-Us will subsequently learn spells automatically according to the spell level progression chart. Other spells must be acquired through adventuring (copied from scrolls or spellbooks) or study. Example: An Enchanter (7th) who advances to Warlock (8th) would add one 3rd level spell and one 4th level spell to his spellbooks automatically. One spellbook is used for each spell level, and a blank book can hold up to 14 spells.

Read Magic is only needed for spells or scrolls not written by the M-U himself, and is considered to be automatically memorized once per day, as an extra spell. Once Read Magic is used, it is not needed again to understand those particular pieces of magical writing.

Scrolls can be penned by a M-U of any level, (as long as they are able to use that level of spell) for 100GP and one week per level of the spell (so a 2nd level scroll takes 2 weeks and costs 200gp).


Clerics do not have spellbooks, rather they have access to the entire list of spells at each level, and pray/meditate for what spells they will memorize each day.

Scrolls of clerical spells can be penned by a cleric of any level (as long as they are able to use that level of spell), for 100GP and one week per level of the spell.

Clerics receive double the listed CHA bonuses for loyalty.