Mageblade! a partial B/X retroclone/bash/mod

I’ve been playing a lot of B/X and/or S&W in the past few months (also of AFG, but it’s not immediately relevant to this post). When I run the game, I tend to use the following rules applied to S&W or B/X. Since they need a name, I decided to call them Mageblade! because of the playable Mageblade class.

Ok, I’m going to keep it small and in this post.


Roll 3d6 in order for stats. Stats under 8 give a -1 to the relevant rolls, 13 or more give +1, 17 or more +2.


WARRIORS roll 1d8 hits per level, +1 to hit every level. +2 saves against physical stuff like poison, paralysis, being crushed. They start with one of the following styles at level one and learn another at each level:

  • patient: +2 AC, -4 to hit
  • defensive: +2 AC, -4 to damage
  • rushing: +2 to hit, -4 to damage
  • reckless: +2 damage, -4 AC
  • two weapons: if wielding two weapons (the second smaller than the first) and they miss their hit, they can reroll the hit roll and deal damage as per second weapon, but without applying strength bonus to damage

CASTERS roll 1d4 hits per level. +2 saves against magicky stuff. They can cast all spells and have to memorize them every morning. They can cast spells as per the following table, from both the cleric and MU list, and learn 1 spell per level from either list (to be picked at character creation). They can’t cast in armour.

lvl 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 and so on
 1  2 1
 2  2 2  
 3  2 2 1 
 4  3 2 2    
 5  3 3 2 1  
 6  3 3 2 2  
 7  4 3 3 2 1  
 8  4 4 3 2 2  
 9  4 4 3 3 2 1 
10  5 4 4 3 2 2 
11  5 5 4 3 3 2 1

MAGEBLADES roll d6 for hits, +1 to hit every 2 levels. +2 to all saves. They can cast spells only through a specific single weapon they are bound to, but can wear any amour doing so. Their lack of training means they can’t cast as much: all spells are treated as 1 level higher (level zero spells are treated as level one spells) so at level one they can memorize and cast a single level zero spell. They do not automatically learn new spells as they grow in level.

No thieves, but all character use 5MORE for lockpicking, sneak and so on.


When saves are called for, roll 1d20 under the relevant stat to succeed. Apply the class save modifier to the stat. Each level characters get a luck token: these can be spent to reroll a save. 1 luck token is regained with a night of rest, together with 1 hit point. All luck tokens and hit points are regained by spending 100GP per level and CAROUSING ALL NIGHT. The next morning the character will feel awesome but is at -3 to all rolls until midday.


Level 1 is gained at 10 XP. Level 2 at 20 XP, level 3 at 40, doubling all the way. Each 100 GP of swag “liberated” or trap suffered/disabled or Hit Dice/level of opponent defeated is worth 1 XP.

At each level gained, roll all the hit dice for your character (plus the bonus from constitution ONCE): if the new result is better, you can keep it, else increase your max hits by 1. For example a level 3 fighter with 13 hits get to level 4: the player would roll 4d8. On a 15 or more, the hits become that amount, else they increase to 14.


Guns deal 1d8, cost 100 GP and take 5 rounds to reload, but ignore shields and armours at short distance. Crossbows deal 1d8 and ignore 2 points of armour at short range.

2 thoughts on “Mageblade! a partial B/X retroclone/bash/mod

  1. Which makes me think about the whole “Carcosa controversy” a few years ago. It seems to me the hubbub about the 3 or 4 pages that offended people was an issue because Geoffrey has the dial on 11 and the customers have to opt-out rather than opt-in. (Well the “edited” version he used to sell fixed that by omitting the most “offensive” stuff but I think the current LotFP edition is only available in *uncensored*).

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