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Coming up with a player quickstart for 1974 Dungeons & Dragons three “Little Brown Books” (3LBB OD&D) is a bit harder than for other games. If you consider just the 3LBBs, there just isn’t much that is set in stone, and a lot is left to referee interpretation. This is, of course, the charm of the thing. But it means that by its nature, any quickstart I come up with will have house rules and interpretations of my own. This is in contrast to the Moldvay quickstart, in which it is all rules-as-written, and the White Box FMAG quickstart, which lies somewhere in-between the other two.

OD&D Player Quickstart

Still, I’m providing the source LibreOffice document, so you can tweak it to suit your own campaigns. Here is a summary of my own house rules in the PDF version:

  • There is a small STR adjustment for Fighters to attack and damage rolls.
  • There is a coin carrying adjustment for high or low STR scores.
  • WIS gives a save vs. spells adjustment.
  • Fighters have some added class skills.
  • Magic-User (MU) starting spells are codified, and the 1st-level spell list adds spells from the Greyhawk supplement.
  • The Holmes scroll rule is reflected in the equipment packs (choose 100gp or a 1st-level spell scroll).
  • Elves can be the Fighter or MU single classes.
  • Only Clerics can speak their alignment language.
  • Extra languages are for humans only, and the languages table is my own creation.
  • Demi-human abilities are a merge of Chainmail, 3LBBs, and Greyhawk.
  • Encumbrance is my simplified system that tracks just coins carried.
  • Equipment packs are as in the other two quickstarts, modified slightly to reflect the OD&D equipment list.

As usual, I’m leaving out some details like the explicit chance of Elves finding secret doors, or of non-humans hearing noise. That reflects the fact that the referee will be rolling those, not the player.

Click on the above image, or use the download links below to get it.

OD&D Player Quickstart (LibreOffice)
OD&D Player Quickstart (PDF)