I like weird saving throws. In my house rules, one is called “dragon breath, explosions” and another is called “rays, wands”—a bit of implied setting for my players.
For monsters, on the other hand, I like to have just a single save. I use the Swords & Wizardry method: 19 - HD, plus or minus 2 for magic susceptibility or resistance, rarely a minus 4 for even more resistance.
In 2006, Greywulf was a user of Oddmuse, a piece of software I was maintaining. It’s still used to run this blog/wiki. Greywulf kept talking about D&D and eventually I started reading EN World. There, I discovered Greywulf had a huge thread going. He proposed a minimal variant to D&D 3.5 and called it M20 (original files). I loved it and ended up starting a campaign using it. (It later converted to D&D 3.5.)
In 2008, I came across M74 and discovered the “old school renaissance”. I learned about OD&D and its use of a d6 for hit-dice and weapon damage. I was intrigued and wrote M20 Hard Core. I also wrote a little random character creator for my rules variant.
Some blog posts from back then:
(You can get the source files from the Swords & Wizardry download page.)
I was very impressed by Ruins & Ronin. If you check out the Sword+1 blog, you’ll find lots of R&R character classes for download in the sidebar. It really was an eye opener for me. Anything can be turned into a class! This is Do It Yourself D&D!
These days, I still play Labyrinth Lord. It was my first retro-clone. It didn’t have weird elves. I ended up liking race-as-class. As you can see from the list above, however, OD&D and Swords & Wizardry have been an important part of the journey. And I absolutely loved the Peter Mullen covers!
Today is Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day Blogfest! Follow the link and find a list of more than 100 other blogs writing about S&W.