D&D That Never Was (1)

Let's say OD&D was released as published. Later Gygax decides to use different Hit Dice for different classes. Instead of bumping Fighters and Monsters up to d8 (and later d10), he instead does this:

Fighters: d6 per level.
Clerics: d6-1 per level (equivalent to d4).
Wizards: 1/2 d6 per level (equivalent to d3).

So: (1) Different classes have different hit dice. (2) Everyone uses d6 dice for hits. (3) Monsters can cleanly add Fighter levels, since they use the same Hit Dice. (4) The DM can roll all monster hit dice with a big handful of regular d6's, instead of having to keep track of a set of d8's just for that purpose. Ah, sweet relief. :)

(Also, an elegant way to roll d6-1: Roll d6's, turn any "6" into a "1". Average is 2.67, compare to d4's average of 2.5.)


  1. Are you aware of the OD&D Discussion Forum?

    I think you will love that site.

    Google it as "odd74".



  2. I like...

    Fighting-men: d6+1
    Clerics: d6
    Magic-users: d6-1

    (And if MUs roll a one, they get zero. First level is the only exception.)

  3. Robert, I can definitely see that.

    Also, do the d6+1 for all the monsters, too. In fact, sometimes I do that now as an easy way to simulate d8's with a fistful of d6's.

  4. I go with:

    Fighting-man: 1d6+1 per level.
    Cleric and Monster: 1d6
    Magic User: 1d6-1.

    I also make the player re roll all hit dice upon gaining a level. If they don't get a higher value, HPs increase by 1.


  5. So, Anonymous, my instinct says that your method will mean higher hp totals on average than the mine (with the “standard” only-roll-the-new-HD). I’d have to think about it some more to be sure. Is that the case?

    Another idea I’ve toyed with is having a 0-level hit die. So, the average 0-level human would have, say, 1d6. PCs would then have the 0-level HD in addition to their class HD. So, a 2nd level fighter would have 3d6+2 (i.e. 1d6 + 2d6+2). A 3rd level mage would have 4d6-3.

    Of course, you might want to make 0-level weaker. 1d3 or something.