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A more swashbuckling Rake

by Joe Mason

I thought I'd share the house rules I use for OD&D. They're mostly pretty straightforward, but there's one (at the end) that I want to discuss in more detail:

1. High-Level Druids and Mystics

Ignore the challenge/duel requirements. If such requirements exist, they're part of a specific culture and they're needed before taking on posts, not simply gaining levels.

2. First Level Druids

You can - in fact, must - become a Druid at level 1, instead of having to take a Cleric up to level 9 and then switch (which really makes no sense).

3. Viable First Level Characters

At first level (only) you automatically get max hit points. After that, you have to roll.

4. Hit Points That Don't Suck

When rolling hit points, reroll all 1's and 2's.

5. Rakes Are Not Inferior

As written in Dawn of the Emperors, the Rake class is exactly like a Thief, but cannot backstab or pick pockets, and gets nothing to replace these abilities. That doesn't make much sense for a swashbuckling character, though, because backstab is the only thing that keeps the Thief competitive in combat. So:

The Rake gets d6 hit points instead of d4.

I think that's about right for the Rake. Anyone disagree?