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Mazes, Martians, Mead

[Labyrinth Lord] Achievement System

I was lately thinking if it might be possible to have a bit more metagaming aspects in the development of my campaigns. Yes, I know, metagaming is EVUL! but I thought it might not be a bad fit for something like Labyrinth Lord. The main problem, in my opinion, is that people in the beginning of  a campaign are often given too many options which they don’t really appreciate or even understand. The idea I had was that I would only allow players in a campaign the use of a limited amount of classes, and all further classes have to be earned in play.
This is of course very metagamy. After all it would not be the character which would earn things, but the player. On the other hand this might be a good way to introduce people to a game world first before allowing them to take on characters they don’t have a clue about. At the same time I thought about connecting this to an achievement system that gives other benefits as well (titles and bonuses on reaction rolls), and a variation of the Dark Sun character tree. Labyrinth Lord, and the other OD&D retroclones, might be good for that, considering the amount of PC deaths that might be caused by applying the rules as written. So there might be both a constant need for new characters, as well as a reason to have a system that keeps people interested in the game even when their characters die over time.

Starting Character Options
Race: Human
Class: Fighter, Thief (or Specialist)
Optional (limited, only with special reasons, maybe stats): Priest of local god, Magic-User (Apprentice of NPC  wizard or witch), Hobbit

The Achievement Tree

Players (not characters) start out with only a few possible character options. Some of them are available to everyone (e.g. race: human or class: fighter), others are only of limited availability (e.g. a variation of cleric or magic-user). Further options have to be unlocked over play.
Players can hire minions/henchmen/retainers as usual.
Starting from Level 3 onward a character gains the ability to train 1 protégé in a master/pupil or similar relationship. This character can be rolled up as a separate character according to the usual rules for character generation (limited by the players available choices), or can be taken from the ranks of the retainers following the character already. They count against the character’s count of retainers.
The character gains further protegees on level 7, 12, and 17. These protégés can adventure with the group as retainers/secondary characters, can be used as characters in their own right, or be left at home/on some secondary mission. If the main character snuffs it they will be available as replacement characters, even if left somewhere else entirely, within a reasonable amount of time. The highest ranking replacement character will take on the role of master from that point on (at least until someone manages to raise the former master).
Protegees themselves are limited in protegees, they can only take on one protegee of their own on level 7, that is until either their master is killed or retires. Retirees can be brought back from retirement by the DM’s discretion.

Achievements are awards for certain deeds and situations that reflect in one way or another on the character. Achievements might be rewarded for the successful completion of certain tasks or quests. Some grant titles with appropriate bonuses. Most grant additional XP. All of them are subject to the DM’s wishes for his campaign. He might or might not make these public.
Bonuses might give an option to choose from for the sake gameplay (the second time a player receives a character option bonus it’s basically worthless, so he receives an experience bonus instead)

Participating in the killing of 1 dragon
Bonus: Title “Dragonslayer” +1 reaction roll from lawful folk, 400xp

Friend of Dwarves
Saved the life of at least 5 dwarves
Bonus: Title Friend of Dwarves, character option Dwarf (raceclass) or 100xp

Rescuer of Dwarves
Saved the life of at least 500 dwarves, Friend of Dwarves
Bonus: reaction roll +1 from dwarves, character option Dwarf (race/class) or 500xp

Saviour of Dwarves
Participated in saving a nation of dwarves from extinction, Rescuer of Dwarves
Title: Saviour of Dwarves, reaction roll +3 from all dwarves or 3000xp

Talk of the Town
Came back alive from an adventure
Bonus: 100xp, +1 reaction roll from local townfolk

Talk of the County
Came back alive from 5 different adventure situations, Talk of the Town
Bonus: Bonus 500xp

Local Hero
Reached level 3, Talk of the County
Bonus: 1000xp, title “Hero”

Arcane Scholar
Studied at an academy for wizards for at least one semester of courses (6 months)
Bonus: 1 spell of the academy’s specialisation, character option magic-user (specific Academy)

Magister Arcanis
Arcane Scholar, at least level 5 MU, added at least 1 completely new or 3 previously lost/unknown spells to the repertoire of the academy
Bonus: Title “Wizard/Sorceress”

Studied with an illusionist for at least 3 months
Bonus: 1 spell of the school of illusion, character option Illusionist


Studied the methods of necromancy with an appropriate teacher
Bonus: 1 spell of the school necromancy, character option Necromancer


One response to “[Labyrinth Lord] Achievement System

  1. Pingback: [Labyrinth Lord] Thief Skills for everyone! « Stuffed Crocodile

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