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Red Box Characters


Advice


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Back before some of you only knew Red Box as a DVD dispenser there was a box set for D&D called the Red Box.

In it there were 7 Character classes, but only 4 really (It was 3 Fighters, a fighter/Mage, Thief, Magic-User, Cleric).

Got to thinking what feats or skills would you recommend for someone trying to recreate these old characters? What were the iconic abilities you feel they should have? I know the rules have changed, but it is an interesting thought experiment (at least to me)

Fighter (level 1, Human, Dwarf, Halfling)
*Toughness
*Weapon Master (human Only)


Cleric
*Turn Undead
or/and if human
*Heavy Armor Proficiency


Yes, all but the fighters were humans. The fighters were a dwarf, human, and Halfling. The "Elf" I figure was a Magus.


Ok... Thinking this is the feat layout

Fighters...toughness and weapon focus. Humans add power attack
Thief (rogue)...skill focus perception and deft hands
Magic user (wizard)...magical apptitude and combat casting
Cleric...heavy armor and turn undead ...healing and ??? Domains
Elf (magus)...combat casting

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I would suggest

Elf: wizard with VMC fighter with Weapon Finesse.
Halfling: slayer with Weapon Finesse
Dwarf: ranger with an archetype giving Favored Terrain (underground) at 1st level

I wouldn't give out all those Toughnesses either. Fighters only had 1d8 HD back then, so they shouldn't be tougher. Maybe Additional Traits with Deft Dodger and Indomitable Faith.


My thoughts on toughness was that they were the only ones who got to apply CON past a +2...I honestly don't remember if DWARF and HALFLING got them or not. I think your right about Ranger for Dwarf...are there any AT's that remove spellcasting however?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

If you had an 18 Con, you got +3 hit points: cleric, dwarf, elf, fighter, halfling, magic-user, or thief.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Well, lemme go grab my copy of Players Manual off the shelf and take a guess at a few of these.

Cleric: definitely would need to do a turn undead versus channeling energy blasting undead. They also had the no edged weapon restriction. So a very restricted weapon proficiency, down to just mace, club, war hammer and sling. Casting looks to me to be the same, anything on the list is fair game as long as you prep it each day. Don't see anything about swapping Cure spells out as needed. So there's another change up. I'd say they get Iron Will as a feat to mimic the saving throws.

Fighter: this one, I swear requires the least added/removed to it to mimic the original flair. It pretty much used anything and everything. Maybe Iron Will like the cleric.

Magic-User: this is the wizard. Required spellbooks that you keep secret and all! I'd suggest some kind of innate bonus to UMD checks and eliminating any kind of concentration for spell use. If someone interrupts you, you just lose it. Pretty harsh, but it's in keeping with the spirit of the original.

Thief: oh you roguely rascal of squishiness. I know my original party spent a very large of resources keep ours alive until we all finally gave up on it. I'd give this one several bonuses to skills, I'd go a +2 to disable device, perception, climb, stealth and sleight of hand. This is on top of what a PF rogue would get for these. Backstab was a bonus to hit back then, and double damage with any weapon it can use. Which was all 'missile' (ranged) and one handed.

I'll try and add more on the race-classes tomorrow.


Jason Wedel wrote:

...what feats or skills would you recommend for someone trying to recreate these old characters?.

Loved me some red box! How beautifully simple and inspiring. Easley's art was also simple and iconic.

However, no feats are needed to recreate those characters, because... well that was the problem with that version's longevity... no feats, no customization, just fixed progression. That wasn't a problem back then, but compared to Pathfinder of today, there's no going back. It's just like another poster here commented on Arneson, Gygax, et al's work. If you read it now it's like what were they thinking? Bleh.

I love the nostalgia of the old system, because I had such great times with it, but like anything in life, there is no going back.


I was not trying to change the rules, what I was doing was trying to capture the feeling with the current rules. In other words a port of the red characters to current rules. Thus Combat Casting, as concentration was not an issue.

I don't know where I got the "+2 Con bonus only" from...

I think are good:
Cleric: Hvy Armor, Turn Undead (Healing & Law)
Elf: Magus: Combat Casting
Thief: Rogue: Alertness & Deft Hands

Almost There
Magic-User: Wizard: Combat Casting, ????
Fighter: Weapon Focus, Power Attack, ???

Needs work
Dwarf
Halfling


The +2 con limit was in 1ed AD&D.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Dwarf: Ranger, Toughness.

Halfling: Warrior, Skill Focus Stealth. They were terrible at everything except hiding.


What about Slayer for one or the other, I don't feel Ranger is right for dwarf, not sure what is however...


Skirmisher Ranger for the dwarf I guess works, For some reason I keep coming to slayer for the Halfling so the list as of right now

I think are good:
Cleric: Hvy Armor, Turn Undead (Healing & Law)
Elf: Magus: Combat Casting
Thief: Rogue: Alertness & Deft Hands

Almost There
Magic-User: Wizard: Combat Casting, ????
Fighter: Weapon Focus, ?Power Attack?, ???
Dwarf: (Skirmisher) Ranger: ???
Halfling: Slayer: ???

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Dwarves and halflings had really good saves back then, so maybe the saving throw feats would be appropriate.

A rogue trying to be a "thief" should make sure to have ranks in Perception, Disable Device, Climb, Stealth, Sleight of Hand, and Use Magic Device. Start UMD at 4th level for full flavor. Honestly, given how good thieves were at climbing, Skill Focus(Climb) would not be out of line. A 1st level thief had like an 80% chance to climb a completely smooth surface.

I'd leave dwarf and halfling as fighters. They really didn't have nonracial special abilities.


First of all, there absolutely is going back. Dig out the old Red Box or play a retro-clone. Lots of people do and it's a blast. I'm in a B/X PbP here.

But if you wanted to play it in PF, I'd not give the wizard Combat Casting. Magic-users were quite bad at casting in combat and easily interrupted.

The dwarf and halfling could be pure Fighters (the halfling's size bonus accounting for their stealth ability), but would take definitely Great Fortitude, Iron Will, and Lightning Reflexes. As noted, they had outstanding saves. Halflings in B/X typically had very good AC and saves, but not great offense, so Slayer feels wrong. I don't know much about that class but the vibe I get is that it is heavy on offense.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Halfling with slayer and Dodge, Skill Focus Stealth, and Iron Will.

Wizard: Magical Aptitude or Skill Focus Spellcraft? Weapon Finesse for daggers? They had 1d4 hit points, AC 9, and 1 spell per day. No cantrips. No class features. No armor. No weapon bigger than a bread box.

I think the Basic D&D legacy is why I have never played a wizard.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
SmiloDan wrote:

Halfling with slayer and Dodge, Skill Focus Stealth, and Iron Will.

Wizard: I think the Basic D&D legacy is why I have never played a wizard.

I don't think slayer goes well with the halfling. Slayer has a much higher pedigree of 'I can kill anything' than the halfling ever did. I could probably get behind Dodge and the Stealth focus.

But the bookkeeping on them was so stupidly easy.


I think this has the feel of the old game:
Frog God Games
Swords & Wizardry Complete Rulebook (0E) 2013 Edition

It has original classes like Magic User (d4 hp and 1 spell per day initially) and Thief (85%+ climb walls).
Unlike the Red Box, however, the races are races, and not classes.
It does have both Ascending Armor Class and Descending Armor Class options, for a good method mix of Red Box vs. PF in that area.

It is, however, $34.99 for the PDF [on the website currently].

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Dhampir984 wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:

Halfling with slayer and Dodge, Skill Focus Stealth, and Iron Will.

Wizard: I think the Basic D&D legacy is why I have never played a wizard.

I don't think slayer goes well with the halfling. Slayer has a much higher pedigree of 'I can kill anything' than the halfling ever did. I could probably get behind Dodge and the Stealth focus.

But the bookkeeping on them was so stupidly easy.

How about:

SmiloDan wrote:
Halfling: Warrior, Skill Focus Stealth. They were terrible at everything except hiding.

Or maybe chained monk with Skill Focus Stealth? They had really good saving throws too. Maybe a defense-based build and/or archetype? Just de-emphasize the unarmed fighting bits.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
SmiloDan wrote:

How about:

SmiloDan wrote:
Halfling: Warrior, Skill Focus Stealth. They were terrible at everything except hiding.
Or maybe chained monk with Skill Focus Stealth? They had really good saving throws too. Maybe a defense-based build and/or archetype? Just de-emphasize the unarmed fighting bits.

Warrior and SF: Stealth fits a lot better. I'd rather toss in free save bonus feats than try and shoehorn monk into this. I think monk, even if you try and scrape a lot of serial number off would be too good.

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