Saturday, April 2, 2022

Fixing OSE To Hit Bonus progression

If you have spent more than an hour talking to me about OSE, you undoubtedly know that I hate the plateau effect

To explain, here is the typical Fighter progression in OSE. Notice how our combat based character gets exactly zero better and actually hitting things for 7,999 experience points? At this point he gets better to the magnitude of 2 points. Then, they need to score another 55,999 xp to get better. This always drove me crazy. Your character plods through the dungeons for days or weeks, never really getting better and the SUDDENLY he jumps up by TWO points. I cannot think of one thing that goes through three (or four, or five) iterations and then goes up by two points. Shouldn't there be growth by one point somewhere along the way??? Just fails to pass the common sense test for me. 

Now, about this time some well-meaning asshat grognard is going to come along and explain how hit points increasing is a measure of their ability to get better in combat, or some other halfbrained idea.  And YES, I know the historical reasons as to why it goes up by two or three points every three or four levels. I get it. Whatever. This is my blog, so hop off. 

This method is dumb. Always has been dumb. Period. Full stop (for you old people like Brandon).

My friend Steve came up with the mathy behind this better idea. I opened up Affinity Publisher and fixed the original OSE page below. Thanks Steve!

Now, your favorite fighter can not suck at second level and actually show he has learned some fighting stuff when he killed those 100 goblins! Look at that!

I also did the cleric, original:


Thief, original:

I will continue to work on these and post more classes soon. 


  1. Found a typo on the Thief table. At 11th and 12th level, instead of BAB +6 in parentheses, you have +4.

    I've considered doing something like this, or maybe even giving Fighters +1 per level like in 3E, but haven't decided if I like this better or not. Still thinking...

  2. Neat, thanks! It's also tempting to tackle with the saving throws progressions...

  3. I've been considering this change, and also smoothing the saving throw progression. My players complained about "samey-ness", where it didn't feel like character level progression actually did much. I blame video games, but it also occurred to me I could improve the situation slightly by smoothing out the sudden jumps in saves and attack bonuses.

  4. The POINT in AD&D is that before you get better, you TRAIN before actually gaining the level and it's abilities. With that in mind, it makes perfect sense.

  5. Makes me think of Lamentations of the Flame Princess, where the Fighter starts with an attack bonus of 2 and then gets one on top of that at every level.
    The non-fighters start with an attack bonus of 1 and stay there: They have other things to raise, like spellcraft and thief skills. Thereby the fighter gets better all the time, plus killing and maiming is his special forte where none other can compete.
    And yes, that means a sixth level fighter attacks with +7.

    1. I really like what LotFP does with the BX framework. My table loved Lamentations but loathed OSE which was a shame after all the money I shelled out for the kickstarter and extra books ha ha.