Some things I noticed while reading Chainmail

I’ve been meaning to try out Chainmail for quite some time, and I was looking over the rules the other night and a few things jumped out at me. I imagine they’ve been noted before at other OSR blogs but here is an unsorted list:

  • Tolkien and Howard are named in the introduction to the “fantasy supplement” as sources of inspiration.
  • Orcs are described as “overgrown goblins” and there is also mention made of “giant orcs” which are more effective in battle.
  • Elves kick serious ass, not quite as tough as Heroes but they are the only “regular” troops that can fight on the Fantastic Combat table, owing to their magic swords.
  • The spell list is explicitly described as incomplete and only listing spells commonly used on the battlefield.  I am reading the 3rd edition, & this text might have been slightly revised after D&D was published.
  • It takes four simultaneous hits to kill a Hero (not four cumulative hits — all four must be inflicted at once), and heroes only take hits after the any other models in their unit are killed, so they seem to be pretty safe in combat against regular troops. Superheroes presumably take eight simultaneous hits to kill, which really does make them the “one man armies” the rules state.
  • The invisibility of sprites/pixies merely spares them from taking hits the first round of combat. After that it doesn’t really have any effect on a fight, since there is visible blurs and movement. So their “improved invisibility” is nothing like the version you see in later D&D rules.

Interesting stuff.  More later, probably.

Published in: on July 12, 2010 at 10:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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