Guys, I really need some advice... Look, I love Scarlet Heroes to death. My girlfriend just gifted me the An Echo, Resounding supplement for the Red Tide setting, which at first glance looks INCREDIBLY compatible with Scarlet Heroes! I have a friend that wants to play with me but, the only thing we kinda dislike from OSR games is the class simplicity... We started to play rather young, younger than many existant GMs, with Anima: Beyond Fantasy and D&D4e as our teachers. We're used to gaining flashy abilities level by level.
I downloaded "The Sandbox Magazine 2" where Mr. Crawford presents the Blademaster, an OSR class with a modern feel reminiscent of Godbound's Words, where the player gets new special abilities each level up to 10.
I have both Shadow of the Demon Lord and D&D 5e and I'm thinking... Is there any way or recomendations for turning certain classes and archetypes to OSR material usable with Scarlet Heroes and akin to the Blademaster?
I'd love to give my player many options during his leveling career (I also like that), but I'm afraid I'll end up breaking the fundamentals of Scarlet Heroes, as I'm a terrible homebrewer and system hacker... Help! What things should I do and which should I avoid?
It sounds to me like you really don't want to play OSR. In this case I'd take 5e with all of it's balanced class mechanics, and use the Echo Resounding to build a world to sandbox. Then if your friend wants after a couple of levels, let him have a henchman or 2 to make balancing encounters easier. On top of that, use the Scarlet Heroes' tables to determine the NPC reactions including those friendly henchmen.
Hmmm well, the problem is that 5e is way harder to prep and run than say, most OSR games (at least in my experience) and I got 0 idea on how to keep the hirelings up to my player's level, he has a tendency of growing way too attached to NPCs lol.
Maybe you could try using the 4E classes that interest you, adding fray dice as appropriate to archetype, and otherwise using the SH rules for damage etc.
Based on how that turns out you may find there isn't much tweaking that needs to be done to get the result you're looking for.
Hmmmm that's one of the things I was thinking about, however I've never made it past level 10 in a Scarlet Campaign so IDK how "broken" level 11+ characters are, being that most 5e classes progress to level 20.
Another "fear" I have is how to handle clases that grand extra attacks, being that heroes in Scarlet rely on the Fray Dice to do that.
Good points, and now you've got me thinking about this 😀.
I might have to test this out myself with higher level characters and see how it goes. If I make any discoveries I'll let you know.
When you have an OSR game and a single player, what you do is ask them, "What do you want your PC to be able to do?" And then that is what their PC is able to do.
There is no reason why you should not just make a new OSR class for whatever your player wants to play. You don't have to worry about stomping on anybody's niche, and power levels are extremely forgiving in a solo game, so if he wants to be a Tome Warlock, well, you just make him a Tome Warlock class. If he wants to be a heavily-armored spellslinger who also is good with a sword, just reskin the old B/X Elf class. If he wants something really weird, well, you just guess what that should look like at 1st level and call it good.
And it's not like you need to plan out 10 levels of the class either. You just need to figure out what he should be able to do at 1st level, and every time you go up a level, you figure out what kind of powers they should have then. You only do as much work as you need to do at the moment.
I have two recommendations, which should be taken with a liberal dose of sodium chloride as your furlongs per fortnight will certainly vary!
First, if you do not already have it, you may find it worth the trouble to get a hold of the Red Tide setting book. That's what SH is based on, and there's a lot of material that didn't make the jump to the new rules. There are also a couple of classes found in RT that can be fun to play with but need conversion (the Shou Witch and the Vowed). Unfortunately, the most useful thing for your purposes would likely be a 'fighter' version of The Crimson Pandect, but that isn't likely to happen.
Second, the use of 'traits' allows for a lot of flexibility. Sure, there are "only" four classes...but with a few cleverly worded 'traits' along with some careful multiclassing, you can get some nifty results without having to build in a lot of excess crunch.
SH player characters are pretty badass in their own right without any additional bells and whistles...but I'm betting that if you really want those extra abilities, you can yank them from any other OSR system like Labyrinth Lord and be in pretty fair shape.
(Caveat: I cut my D&D teeth on something called Basic, and that only had seven classes...three of which were Elf, Dwarf, and Halfling. So I rather like the simplicity as opposed to the 'how many freaking classes can one world have' mess that was 3.x and 4e, (grin) To say nothing of all those playable races!)
+Frotz Self Thanks! Also, should I leave modifiers as +1 or +2? I plan to leave the base class stats from SH as they are and build the 5e classes over them (like, Rangers would get Fighter HPD and fray dice with 1/2 attack per level), but for example, if I put a trait like Archery where you "You gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls you make with ranged weapons.", would it be too strong considering Warriors have an already high attack advancement?
There are dozens of classes for B/X or LL. If you want more details (rules) then 3.5E and PathFinder are complete (and complex). 5E tries to find a middle ground and take advantage of more modern rules simplification. But 5E is missing advanced play that 1E and BECMI have for domain management.
I think if you're going to use the SH base classes and then add in your 5E/SotDL style class features, you can probably stick with the +2 from your example, particularly if your friend is willing to work with you a bit while you both are playing and maybe drop the bonus to +1 if things seem a bit too easy.
If you think that it might be less fun for either or both of you to do it that way, you can start more conservatively and work your way up if it seems appropriate to do so.
I'm excited about your idea - I'm going to work some of the 4E classes and features I really like into SH classes and see how they play.
I'd be interested in whatever notes or ideas or even the classes you create, if you'd like to share.
+Kevin Crawford That actually sounds quite nice! Yes, as someone who's used to having a group of three and playing solo myself with SH I got used to this idea of "game balance"...
If you really feel the need for large numbers of explicitly defined classes, the ACKS Player's Companion has a set of rules for designing B/X-scaled classes. But, first, I would seriously consider whether that's really what you want anyhow. Scarlet Heroes already lets you simulate a wide range of classes with its free mix-and-match multiclassing and player-defined abilities (traits), so having varied classes available isn't actually as important as it may look to you.
I think KC makes a great point here. The entire reason for having a class progression premade is to off-load work from the GM to the author. This is true of any RPG product. If you have a definite idea what you want and it doesn't neatly match some mix of things that exists, there is no meaningful reason not to forge whatever you need, especially if there aren't a lot of PCs you need to simultaneously balance.
Honestly you want the full version of Godbound. Create heroic mortal pc and they get new talents every level. These are often equal or more potent than standard OSR class abilities AND you can steal from OSR classes for extra abilities. Alternatively you can grab eidolons and exemplars which are is similar and basically scarlet heroes 2.0
The good thing with a basic Char sheet is you can add to it as your rpg evolves using your story experiences to enhance it . Add things to the background etc , or even add a cantrip from 5e . If it feels overpowered stick with it but tone it down a little for the next encounter etc . An Osr char sheet can develop as your character evolves to be as complex as you like .
Just roll dice and have some fun is my philosophy it does'nt have to be perfect that will come with time .