Joined Mar 2012
455 Posts


by beldinme, Oct 13,2012
The Core of Core project analyzes the common threads we find between various editions of D&D. This page looks at the general rules common to the rules set forth in the initial release of each "edition". The entries in italics are those elements not found in the Oe books. You can see the sources we used at the bottom of this page.

[[Dnd:Core_of_Core | Core of Core - General Elements ]] |[[Dnd:Core_of_Core_Monsters | Core Monsters]] | [[Dnd:Core_of_Core_Spells | Core Spells]] | [[Dnd:Core_of_Core_Items | Core Items]]

General Game Mechanics

Character Creation Rules

  • Abilities as a game mechanic
    • 6 common Abilities: Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma
  • Race as a game mechanic
    • 5 common Races: Dwarf, Elf, Half-Elf, Halfling, and Human
  • Power Sources
    • 3 common sources: arcane, divine, and nonmagic/martial
  • Class as a game mechanic
    • 4 common Classes: Cleric, Fighter, Magic-User/Wizard, and Rogue/Thief
    • Weapon proficiency
    • Armor proficiency
  • Hit Points as a game mechanic
    • Unconsciousness, death, and dying rules
  • Alignment as a game mechanic
  • Levels as a game mechanic
    • Experience points as a reward and measure of progress towards a new level

Combat Mechanics

  • Surprise
  • Initiative
  • Armor Class
  • Saving Throws/Defenses
  • Arms and armor with differing mechanical benefits
  • Silver(ed) weapons (other special materials such as cold iron are not found in all editions)
  • Charging
  • Two-weapon fighting
  • Unarmed/nonlethal combat
  • Status effects (poisoned, diseased, unconcious)
  • Circumstantial modifiers (flanking, invisibility, cover, etc.)
  • Mounted combat
  • Exotic combat (aerial, aquatic)
  • Turning undead

Rules for Monsters

  • Supernatural combat abilities
  • Damage resistance
  • Special defenses


  • Magic items (equipment)
  • Mounts and/or vehicles
  • Mundane equipment

Rules for Exploration

  • Disease
  • Encumbrance and its effects on movement
  • Falling damage
  • Lighting and vision (darkness, infravision, etc.)
  • Poison
  • Recuperation (hit points, spells, removal or status effects, etc.)
    • Magical (spells, items, etc.)
    • Mundane (spells, first-aid, etc.)
  • Terrain and its effects on movement
  • Traps and hazards (arrows shooting from the walls, cave-ins...)

DM Advice

  • NPC's as a concept
  • Designing and running combat and noncombat encounters
  • Puzzles
  • Monetary treasure as a reward and means of purchasing supplies
  • Multiple planes of existence as possible adventure settings (elemental, astral...)


The analysis used the following materials
  • Oe: Underworld&Wilderness Adventures, Men&Magic and Monsters&Treasure
  • 1e: DMG, PHB and MM
  • 2e: DMG, PHB and MC1/MC2
  • 3.0: MM (DMG and PHB pending, little if any effect on analysis)
  • 3.5e: DMG, PHB and MM
  • 4.0e: DMG, PHB and MM
  • 4.5e: DMK, RC, HFK, HFL and MV