As you know, I am working on a set of house rules that adapt the old Moldvay/Cook Basic and Expert D&D rules and make them play more like a 4th edition campaign. I am calling these rules "Heroes of Karameikos" after a country in the Known World setting that was originally presented in the Moldvay/Cook sets. I have always enjoyed the Known World setting and my house rules will attempt to capture some of the flavor of the setting, but they will continually direct readers to the original rule books for additional rules.
Take my most recent addition, the Order of the Griffon, as an example. At the beginning of my Character Classes section, I make it clear that Player Characters are different from normal people. They have the potential to become heroes of legend. As such, most people are merely "Normal Men," and even special non-player characters are represented by the character classes presented in the Moldvay/Cook rules. My house rules tell you to use those rules for non-player characters, but they provide sub-classes specially designed for player characters. These sub-classes have abilities granted to them at every level in a way I believe reflects the 4th edition feel. I wanted the abilities to be significant enough to matter, but not so powerful as to make using them the equivalent of playing D&D on "easy."
For members of the Order of the Griffon, the military order of the Church of Karameikos (you can read more about them in the excellent Grand Duchy of Karameikos Gazetteer), they gain the following special abilities.
Order of the Griffon (Cleric)
- 1st Level – Cure Minor Wounds. A member of the Order of the Griffon may call upon the power of the immortals to heal up to 3 points of damage dealt to himself/herself or allies each encounter. These points of healing may be divided as the Cleric wishes.
- 2nd Level – Military Training. The member of the Order of the Griffon is now trained in the use of Normal Swords and can use them in combat.
- 3rd Level – Strike Against the Stained Soul. Once per Encounter, the Cleric may add +3 points of damage to a successful attack against an enemy of Chaotic alignment.
As always, you can find a working copy of my house rules here.