Showing posts with label Companion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Companion. Show all posts

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Classic Modules Today: Death's Ride

I have been a fan of the "Classic Modules Today" group for a bit now.
The premise is to use the leeway of the DMSGuild to produce 5e conversions of classic TSR modules.
Well you know I am all about that!  So I have been buying as many as I can for the various campaigns I have been running. They are great. All the basic information I need in one place.

Could I have done these on my own? Sure.  But for the price of my triple grande latte, I can grab 2-3 of these pdfs and be good to go.

Since I also believe in giving back I made my own for an adventure I have coming up.

Here is the Classic Modules today conversion of one of my favorites, CM2 Death's Ride.

You can get the conversion here on the DMSGuild and the original module too.
You will need the original, these are conversion notes, not the full product.

You can find these and all the Classic Modules Today conversions (and the original adventures) at the DMSguild.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Basic Library

Migraine today...can't really think.  Just looking through some of my PDFs.

The older I get the more I desire simpler games.  I don't think it has much to do with age as it does with experience.  I have been doing the rpg thing since the late 70s.  Scores of games and variations on the same rules.  I don't really need a lot of detailed rules; I am happy to wing it half the time.

That is one of the reasons I enjoy Basic D&D so much.
Everything I want is there, and nothing I don't want.  Though there are some things it is "missing" for me.
Thankfully I have the OSR.

Here is my Basic Library books.
These are the core of my current gaming.
Dungeons & Dragons: Basic Set
Dungeons & Dragons: Expert Set

What ever is not covered above I can get from AS&SH. Plus it has a lot of great monsters and a good feel for my games.
Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

Various add-ons presents as a "Book 3" or Companion rules.
B/X Companion
Companion Expansion
Basic Arcana

And some extra spells.
The Witch: A sourcebook for Basic Edition fantasy games

And some books to add bits here and there.
Adventurer Conqueror King System
Adventurer Conqueror King System Player's Companion
Magical Theorems & Dark Pacts
Adventures Dark and Deep Bestiary
All sorts of classes from Barrel Rider Games

And of course a new adventure to take everyone through.
The Shrine of St. Aleena

Ok, so maybe not as simple as I thought.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Complete B/X Adventurer

I got my copy of the Complete B/X Adventurer in the mail about a week or two ago.

What do I think of it?

Well, it certainly lives up to it's hype and to it's predecessor the B/X Companion (BXC).  Though there is no emotional investment on this one for me.  I waited for the B/X Companion for almost 30 years.  I waited for this one for only about a year or less.

I am going to make comparisons of it to B/X Companion AND to the old Bard Games "Compleat Adventurer" series (Adventurer, Spellcaster, Alchemist).   I think both comparisons are fair.  The first is obvious, but the second I want to explain.  It is obvious in the construction that this book owes a lot to those previous books.  The author, Jonathan Becker, acknowledges this in his Introduction.  I did the same with the first book on Witches I ever wrote back in 1999, so I might be predisposed to like this.
There is also a feel to this book that reminds me of the later Bard Games books, The Arcanum and the Atlantis series.

In all three cases the books provide additional classes, spells and magic with additional rules that can be added with little effort to your game.  We saw something similar from the official D&D books in the Unearthed Arcana books.

But getting on with the review proper.

The physical book is now perfect bound, not stapled, and it comes in at 62 pages. The cover doesn't try to invoke any other old-school product I am aware of, but I could be wrong.  This is a good thing really since it should have it's own identity. BXC very much wanted to invoke the images of the old Basic and Expert sets.
Table of Contents is on a page, not the inside cover.

Ready to play!
Now on to the meat.  We get a nice introduction from Jonathan Becker about how the book should be used.  It does indicate compatibility with Labyrinth Lord, LoftFP and Swords & Wizardry.  Though I don't see the compatibility licenses those products require.  I hope that is not an issue, but something that the author should look into.  Also this is not an OGL product, so no license and no OGC.  May not matter to you. In terms of buying.  I supposed if someone wanted to use some of this material in say an adventure that was broadly compatible Becker would give his permission (and he has said as much if I recall correctly).  For me I like to operate in the safe harbor of the OGL.  But this doesn't detract my opinion from the book at all.

First up we have charts on random head gear.  While this section is very good, it feels completely random. Not in terms of the tables, but why does the book lead off with this?  I would have made this an appendix or part of a later chapter.  Oddly enough the class table does not include any of the new classes in this book.  Move this to the back in future printings I say.  This follows with class exceptional traits.  Also very cool.  This one would belong here, but I would have put it after all the new classes.  Again, this does not have all the new classes listed.  Sure use the sub-class idea with Witches as a type of Magic-User.   Follwing this firearms. Again move to equipment.  I might not ever use this, but my son wants too (he read the book before I did).

Next up are all the classes.  These are the gems of the book in my eye.  The classes get about a page each.  So this will be nice to print out the PDF pages and re-org as needed.   The classes are Acrobat, Archer, Barbarian, Bard, Beastmaster, Bounty Hunter, Centaur, Duelist, Gnome, Mountebank, Mystic, Ogre-Kin, Scout, Summoner, Tattoo Mage, Witch, and Witch Hunter.

The classes are about what you would expect if you have been in this game for a number of years, but they have their twists.  The gnome, centaur and ogre-kin are obviously race-classes in the Basic/Expert style.  The Summoner is really cool.  You summon creatures to do your magic for you.  So part demonologist, part Pokemon trainer! (ok ok) only really awesome about it.  It is one of the neatest takes I have seen on this ill-used fantasy archetype.  I will discuss the witch and the witch-hunter in detail in a bit.

This is followed by all the new spells that these classes need. It's a good amount, taking up the remaining 20 pages of the book.   The spells are of a good sort and there are a lot of them here.

The art is good and similar in style to BXC, sharing a couple of the same artists. Each class gets an art piece (another similarity to the Bard Compleat books) but the spells doesn't get much if any.  That is too bad since the art is generally very good.

My Thoughts
Again I think I would have put some the beginning material in the back to focus on the classes more.
But I really enjoy all these classes and I think that for my kids old-school AD&D game I would let them choose from this as a possible source.  I can see my youngest wanting to play an Acrobat and my oldest a Bounty Hunter.   I would some tips I have written in the past about converting "Basic" classes to "Advanced" ones, but honestly there is not much here I would change.

Another thought is that most of these classes are stated out to 14th level.  This makes them perfect, obviously, for pure Basic/Expert style D&D.  But there is something else they would work well with, ACKS.
In fact I have mentioned before how well BXC would work in extending ACKS.  Well now you can use the TCBXA as an add on to ACKS.  These two games have different purposes in life, but they fit together rather nicely, and this gives you some new classes to play around with till ACKS Player's Companion is out.

NOW all we need is Jonathan to give us a B/X Companion boxed set.  It can include the B/X Companion, the CBXA, and a brand new module.  I think that would be great!

The Witch
Ok, I have to play special attention to the witch.  Not just because it is a witch class, but because it is different than the other spell using classes.  For starters the witch can cast in groups to cast higher level spells. That is a nice feature really and something very much in tune with the archetypal witch.  The witch is the class in the book that is stated up all the way to 36th level AND built to gain powers to that point, also something I rather like.  Why?  Because a 36th level witch is the only class that can cast 10th level spells.  Yup.  This one goes to 10!

Crafting spells.  The witch does not memorize a spell, but she does have a limit on how many she knows.  The witch needs both a high intelligence (to know the spell) and a high wisdom (to learn and scribe it down in the first place).  So a first level witch with a high Intelligence knows 1+Int mod 1st level spells.  She can also scribe spells of 1st level + how ever many extra levels equal to her Wisdom mod.  I like it.  It is a nice quick way to know what can be done.  In fact I would like to use that for clerics since gods should know ahead of time what spells their flock need and then they just give them to the cleric at that time.

For the witch though I would reverse it.  Intelligence to write or scribe the spell and Widsom to know how many they can cast.  Witches are often called the "Craft of the Wise" afterall.   But all in all I like it.
10th level witch spells are nothing at all to sneeze at.  This is a powerful witch class.

The 10th level spells are a nice solution to the "Coven spells"/"Powerful magic" vs independent witches.  I can't see too many witch covens in groups.  Maybe two or three at a time.  With what JB has done here is given us a way to have powerful magics in groups at lower levels and keep those same magics out of the hands of solitary witches till much later.  This then does not make them a more attractive solution over Wizards/Magic Users.

If you are going to have witches then you should have witchhunters. The ones here are fairly straight forward but they have some nice features.  I like that they get magic, but not as spells but powers.  Sure you could do a multi-classed Cleric-Ranger, but this is B/X not 3.x.  I'd like to give this witchhunter a spin sometime.

Bottom Line
If you enjoyed BXC or even Basic/Expert or other Old School play then this is a great buy.  If you enjoy old school play but are sticking with your clone of choice then I still say get this.  Look at the class list above and decide if any of those sound interesting to you.

I like it and I recommend it.

I'll stat up a witch after a bit and compare her to other OSR witches.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Complete B/X Adventurer is Mine!

NOTE My updated review is here:

I got my copy of the Complete B/X Adventurer in the mail yesterday.

It certainly lives up to it's hype and to it's predecessor the B/X Companion.
You don't need the B/X Companion to use this, but it certainly helps.

It reminds me a lot of the old Bard Games "The Compleat ______" books. That is a good thing in my book.

I will get a proper review up soon.  But here is the brief one.
I like it.  I like the witch class but the summoner might end up being my favorite.
Can't wait for the PDF so I can have it on my tablet.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New Games!

Is there anything better than a new game?  Sure! Lots of new games.

Here is what I picked up over my lunch break.  Cause new games are fun.

B/X Companion.  The Book We Never Got.  You can now take your Basic/Expert characters past 14th level.

Deadlands: Hell on Earth Reloaded. I don't know a lot about this game, but it has a good pedigree, and it is Savage Worlds, so it can't be all bad. ;)

Primeval RPG Core Rulebook. I loved this show when it was on.  A bit like Torchwood, a bit of Doctor Who.  All British.  Well Cubicle 7 has finally got it out to us and it is great.  This game uses the same game system as Doctor Who (which is very nice) so you can have all your Time Travel shenanigans in one place.  This book will sit nice on the shelf next to my Doctor Who game.

Extreme Edge Volume Two Collection. Ok, so. I like the Hot Chicks RPG.  It's silly fun and it doesn't take itself seriously at all.  Plus I know Dakkar and he is a good guy.

Supers Unleashed. A simple supers game that has a lot of potential.  The layout is beyond simple into the sparse category and the artwork is the cover only.  So think of it as a minimalist game. It has a price to match.

More detailed reviews soon.

B/X Companion in PDF

One of the things I like most about the OSR are the products that don't give me things I already have, but things I have always wanted or never knew I needed.

B/X Companion is one of those products. (You can read all I have said about it in the past.)

Well it is now finally out as a PDF. Please stop by DriveThruRPG or RPGNow to get your copy.

So if you have been waiting for this one, her is your chance.

Monday, April 2, 2012

B is for Basic Clones

I was going to do Bunnies and Burrows today, but I wanted to stick a little closer to my home turf for this one.
BTW if you like, check out Bunnies and Burrows. It really is a classic and a piece of RPG history.

But today I want to talk about Basic Clones.
In the OSR (Old School Renascence) a Basic Clone is a game that emulates the rules of Basic D&D, or about the time frame of 1978 to 1984.  I talked about the D&D Basic Game last year and ACKS yesterday.  In fact I talk so much about it here it has it's own label, Basic.

D&D Basic was always my favorite system for quick and fast play.  D&D Basic has been long out of print and usually can only be found at places like Noble Knight Games or Ebay. So I was thrilled when the Basic clones began to come out.

Basic Fantasy is one of my favorites.  It is a simple game that covers the Basic D&D feel, but incorporates ideas from the later Advanced D&D game. Namely is splits up race (elf, human, dwarf) and class (fighter, cleric, magic-user).  In other words it was D&D like how I used to play Basic D&D anyway.  It is flexible, easy to use and totally free.

Labyrinth Lord is the biggest and arguably the most popular Basic clone.  It is closer to Basic D&D than BFRPG is, but for me it lacks a little of the charm.  Not to say that LL isn't great, it is and both lovingly sits on my shelf.

Dark Dungeons is another Basic clone aimed at emulating the old Rules Cyclopedia.  It is a good effort but feels a bit off to me.  Can't quite figure out why though.

Last year I also talked about the Companion rules. When the B/X version of Basic came out we were promised a book called the Companion rules that would take characters from 14th level to 36th level.  We did get one, but is was part of the BECMI version of Basic and thus not 100% compatible and you would have to be a HUGE D&D geek like me to even care about the differences. Or you have to be these guys, since they wrote their own.

B/X Blackrazor came out with his B/X Companion which I have talked about extensively here and is currently sold out. But it is a great book.

Another book is called the Companion Expansion by Barrataria Games.  It didn't get the same level of hype as the B/X Companion, but it covers much of the same ground.  I have not looked at them together to see how they cover similar topics, but they seem very compatible.  You can get the PDF of Companion Expansion for free at DriveThruRPG and a print copy for 16 bucks at Lulu.

My love for Basic D&D and the Basic clones is what prompted me to make my new witch book, The Witch, for Basic Era Games.  Look for that later this month!

Friday, February 10, 2012

ACKS B/XC Or How I commit heresy with Adventurer Conqueror King

I just picked up Adventurer Conqueror King last night and sat down to read it just a bit ago.

I like it.  It is a solid Retro-clone, near-clone and actually does a better job than some of the other "core rules" clones on the market now.  I will get a proper review out later.

One of the things that people are drawing attention to is the fact that this is an "End Game" system.  Characters grow, mature and then move out of the dungeon into rulerships of their own.  It is not unique in that respect, it is in fact often compared to Mentzer BECMI but the comparison can also be made of it and D&D4.  All three have end games and all three have rules for how those end games can play out.

ACKS though caps most progress at 14th level.

This of course got me thinking.  At a hard stop of 14th makes B/X Companion a perfect "expansion" kit!  Yeah, yeah I know, I am totally violating the spirit and intent of the game.  Won't be the first time or the last time.

I did some quick checks and while things don't line up perfectly, they are damn close. Obviously pulling from the same source material.

Both rulesets deal with the idea of creating a life outside of the dungeon, the oft-sited "now you can play like Conan!"  Well Conan can retire, I have characters and a multi-plane universe to explore!

Others though have mentioned that it meshes nicely with Labyrinth Lord.  I have not checked that out for myself yet.

Is ACKS worth it at $10?  I don't know yet.  It is nice. The art is great. AND this might be the most important one, of all the clones out right now (S&W, LL, BFRPG, DD, LotFP, S&S) this is the only one I feel is good for a new player; one that has never played an RPG before.  The rest assume some level of knowledge.  No surprise, they were written by gamers for gamers.  ACKS I feel was written by gamers for non-gamers or even near-gamers.  Gamers too, but I think we have demonstrated that we will buy anything.

So who is up for an ACKS + B/X Companion campaign?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Special: C is for Companion

Yes I know. No A-to-Z posting on Sunday and C is Monday's letter.  But I do have a C for Monday.

The Companion Edition of D&D was one of the near mythical books for me growing up.  As I mentioned yesterday that I began my game playing with the Basic/Expert, known today as B/X, sets from the early 80s.  The expert took the game from 3rd to 14th level and the Companion book was then going to take the game from 14th to 36th level.  Even though I knew of AD&D at the time, I thought that the Companion book was going to be the way to go. So I waited for it.
And waited.

And waited some more.

Finally I gave up waiting and dove into AD&D instead, leaving Basic D&D behind.  Eventually a Companion Rules Set did come out.  But it was for the new Mentzer-edited Basic set (now called BECMI) and I no longer had any interest in it having discovered the world could also have Assassins, half-orcs and 9 alignments.

I did manage to read it once.  I was in college and it was at Castle Perilous Games in Carbondale. Of course now AD&D 2nd Ed was the new hotness and I had no desire to look backwards.   What I saw though at the time did now impress me.  I think the entire Mentzer set at the time (AT THE TIME mind you) made me think of it as D&D for little kids (now I see it differently).

Fast forward to the Old School Revolution/Renaissance/Resurgence/Recycled and I have re-discovered the Basic sets (all of them) in their imperfect glories.  And I am not the only one that must have felt a little gipped by not getting a Companion book for B/X.
JB over at B/X Blackrazor designed his own Companion rules.
If it is not exactly what the companion was going to be, it is really, really close.

I have gushed on and on (and on) about how much I love this book here and elsewhere.  If I went on anymore then Jonathan owes me advertising. ;)

But I have to add this. B/X Companion I think is the best embodiment of the what is the spirit of the OSR, not to diminish the to efforts of others (hardly at all), but the B/X Companion gives us something new, something that we didn't have before.  Something, for me at least, that I have been waiting years for.

I only have two issues with the book.  First I want a PDF of it.  It is  my only old school book that I can't cart around with me everywhere. Though now according to JB the pdf is on the way! Second I wish he had used the OGL so others could expand on it, make modules for it.  But no big deal, I am just thrilled to have it.

Speaking of which, I did get a chance back in the day to get my Companion fix in.  My DM ran the module CM2 Death's Ride under AD&D and it nearly killed us all.  In a perfect world I'd run Death's Ride again using the B/X Companion.  Maybe one day I will.

In general I like the idea of the Companion rules, either of them. They take the rules into a different place; a place that the Basic or Advanced rules had not previously done well.  The idea of running a kingdom or even traveling the planes.  Great stuff.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Up next, Lost Caves, Hidden Temples and Death's Ride

So I am starting up my end game for the Dragon Slayers.

I think their next to the last adventure will be the old D&D Companion Adventure Death's Ride.  I remember going through this one when I was younger and I think it will be a perfect fit for this group.

It will help build up some of the action for the next campaign and it is a good cap for this campaign.

I am going to do S4 Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth first, and maybe squeak in WG4 The Lost Temple of Tharizdun.  There is a blue dragon in S4 that just might become Korbundar in CM2.

Now the question I have for you all.

Does anyone know if CM2 had been updated to 3.x rules at all?  I have a ton of RTF/DOC files of modules that people updated back in the early days of 3.0.  I have them for a lot of modules, but what I don't have is one for CM2.

Anyone know if something like this is out there?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dracula: B/X Companion

The new B/X Companion Rules give us the Greater Undead including a Greater Vampire.  This is awesome since it was also something I had done back when my Expert Set was still new.  Of all the Greater Vampires out there, what one is greater than Dracula himself?
Since I have been watching all the movies I figured now is a good time to see if my B/X skills are still good.

Greater Vampire*
Armor Class: 0
Hit Dice: 18*** (135 hp)
Move: 150', 180' Flying
Attacks: 2 (or 3)
Damage: 1-10 + Special / 1-8 + life drain
No. Appearing: 1
Save As: Fighter 18
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: G+H (in lair only x2)
Alignment: Chaotic
XP: 6,000

Dracula is one of the most powerful of the greater Undead.  In life he was a great warrior and now in undeath he is even stronger.  Dracula can attack with claws doing 1-10 hit points of damage, if both claws hit, Dracula will then latch on with his fangs and drain blood from his victim equaling two energy levels.  He prefers to only drain his prey with his fangs; his claw attacks never drain life levels (though they can if he chooses).
Dracula is quite adept with a sword or spear, but prefers to use his bare hands.

If encountered in his castle he will also have 2-20 human gypsies to serve him (treat as Fighter 1) and his three vampiric brides (treat as normal vampires).   He will have double the normal treasure of his kind when encountered in his lair, but nothing on him outside of it.  He wears a ring of protection +1 with the Dracula family crest on it.

As per the Vampire, Dracula is immune to sleep, charm and hold spells.  HE may summon 10-100 rats (5-20 giant rats), 10-100 bats (3-18 giant bats) or 3-18 wolves (2-8 dire wolves).    Dracula may shapechange into a large bat or wolf, but his hit points remain unchanged.  Dracula may also regenerate 5 hit points per round as long as he has fed.

Dracula shares all the same weaknesses of other common and Greater vampires including revulsion to mirrors, holy items and garlic.  Running water will destroy him, but a stake in the heart will only immobilize him. Dracula may make a "Bend Bars/Lift Gates" check to remove the stake.  He must be beheaded.  Dracula can also move about during the daylight hours, but prefers not too since he cannot shape change.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

B/X Companion is Mine!

I had this cool plan of doing some 4E writing tonight.  A couple of things that have been stewing in the back of my head.  That is till I came home to this:

Yes that is the B/X Companion in all her glory.  The product I think I have been waiting for for close to 30 years.  Sure I have had books that have covered the same ground, and books that made this book obsolete, but somewhere, deep in my psyche there is still that 12 year old version of me wishing he could take his cleric to 15th level.  

The B/X Companion does not disappoint.  Let me just say that if this isn't exactly how it was going to be, then I'd be hard pressed to know what it would have been.  I am reading through it all now and I am purposefully NOT comparing it to the BECMI version of the Companion rules.  Maybe later, maybe even later but before this is posted.  But right now I only want to compare it to the B/X books of which is it is, well, a companion too.

The cover of course is very much part of the original scheme.  The three principle characters, the fighter and the two wizards (or maybe she is a cleric, that could be a "light" spell, though she has a torch too) stand in front of their followers.  They braved the dungeon, the wilderness and now they are ready for the next adventure.  So are we.

For those of us that grew up with the Moldvay/Cook Basic and Expert sets, the Companion book feels very familiar.  The layout is similar, the flow is similar and even the art has a familiar feel.  If you own the Basic or Expert books then finding something in the Companion book is trivial.  I turned right to the character rules and took a glance at all the tables.  Yes sir they run from 15 to 36, just like promised.  Clerics still top out at 7th level spells, but eventually they get 9 of them.  Wizards still go to 9th level, and get 9 of those too.
Fighters get more attacks per round (as they should) and thieves get more abilities.

There are plenty of new spells here.  Many look like they take their inspiration from the products that came after, the Player's Handbook or the D&D Rules Cyclopedia, but nothing is an out right copy.  It does have the feel like Becker sat around one day and thought, what are some good spells and what level should they be.

There new monsters and advanced versions of some others.  The Greater Vampire nearly made me laugh out loud as I had done the exact same thing after reading and playing the Expert book for so long.  My Greater Vampire was a photocopy of Ptah from Deities and Demigods with some fangs drawn in.  I never claimed to be an artist.  Te monsters all seem to be appropriate for the levels, though a few more in the 30 HD range might have been nice, but not really needed.

The BIG additions here though are the ones that were most "advertised" back in the day. 
Running a High Level Game  is great advice for ANY edition of the game.  It gives this book the same place as say, the Epic Level Handbook for D&D 3.0 or even the Epic Tier for D&D 4.  Chances are very, very good I'll be using the B/X Companion in my next D&D 4 game in fact.

Related are running a domain and running large armies.  Battlesystem would later give us these rules for AD&D, but here they are much simpler to use.  Again, something to consider to port over to other versions of the game.

I loved the new magic items and can never get enough of those.  I also liked the part on the planes and how it is totally left up to design of the DM.  I wonder how many people out there will re-invent the Gygaxian Great Wheel for their B/X/C games?

Others have reviewed this book already and my insights won't add or subtract to those.  A particularly insightful one is by James over at Grognardia.  I concur with a lot of what he had to say, with the possible exception of his take on demi-humans and frankly I have no idea what I would have done in Becker's place as I am not fond of level limits or even demi-humans as classes.  That being said lets put this product in context.

I would have liked thicker covers to be honest. This book I am afraid will not wear so well.  I would also LOVE to have it as a PDF.  I don't bring a lot of books to the table anymore, I bring a laptop.  So can you hear me JB!  Sell me a PDF! :)

Companion to Basic/Expert Rules
Obviously this is where it works the best.  But there is something here that I don't think others have tapped into just yet.  Companion makes the Moldvay/Cook rules a complete game.  With these three books you now have a complete D&D game.  The only thing really missing is a "C1" module or maybe a BXC one.

Companion to Labyrinth Lord/Basic Fantasy
The new Becker Companion has a lot it owes to Labyrinth Lord (LL) and Basic Fantasy (BFRPG).  While maybe not directly, these two games showed that there is a market out there for "Basic" styles of play.  Both LL and BFRPG take the modern 1-20 level limit for human classes.  Companion is 15 to 36.  So some adjustments need to be made.  There are a few differences in the how each of these books calculate XP per level, and how they do spells.  But nothing so complicated that a a good DM couldn't figure out.  
Personally if I were playing a LL/BFRPG game, I'd go to 15th level and then switch over to B/X Companion. for the next levels to 36.  OR even go to 20 and use B/X Companion as a guide to levels 30 or even 36.
Frankly the homebrewiness of it all has me very excited for anyone that has decided to throw their lot in with "Basic" D&D.

The B/X Companion vs. the BECMI Companion
Ok, I know I said above I wasn't going to do this, but after re-reading James's post over at Grognardia and his post on the Mentzer Companion I felt it was worth a look.
Now I am no expert on the Mentzer era of the rules.  I had moved to AD&D by the time they were out and I never owned them.  I picked up the Rules Cyclopedia a while back and got all the BECMI boxes on PDF back when Wizards sold them on DriveThru.
Both Companions cover similar ground.  The spell progressions and XP look about the same (given that they use simple math, no surprise).   The BECMI Companion only goes to 25th level, not 36 like the B/X Companion. The BECMI Companion generally speaking has more detail than the B/X one, but that is not really a nitpick since the abstraction of the rules in B/X is greater to allow more with less; just like the B/X books it was modeled after.  

Final Tally
I like this book. A lot.  It makes me want to pull out my ratty Basic and Expert books and play Moldvay/Cook era Basic D&D again.   In the mean time, I think I'll just have to satisfy myself with converting some D&D 3.0 or 4e characters over to Companion,  just for the fun of it.

One thing that did disappoint me though was the lack of the OGL.  There is a lot of really cool stuff here and it could be shared.  I suppose that something like this, talking to Johnathan Becker is always the best the way to go.  

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