As homage to “what could have been” the Companion is laid out in much the same fashion as the original Basic and Expert rule sets (you can see some photos here). Those who are familiar with the Moldvay/Cook/Marsh rules should find the B/X Companion readily recognizable. It is designed to work with the B/X rules and pick up where they left off (specifically, level 15). Because Labyrinth Lord is based on B/X, it is readily adaptable to LL. However, LL also adds “bonus material” not present in B/X, specifically:Levels to 20
Variant Save/To Hit Charts
Additional Spells for high level spell-casters
Because of this additional material, there WILL be some “over-lap.” As I state in the Foreword, I expect players at the table to decide which rules they want to use…my purpose is to provide a Volume 3 to B/X players and LL players should certainly find it useful. If you ONLY have Labyrinth Lord but want to use the Companion “as intended,” I suppose you could:
a) ignore all information/tables in LL for players after Level 14
b) defer to the B/X Companion for all tables and charts (specifically Spell Lists, Combat Matrixes, and Treasure Tables).
Here’s what else you’ll find in the B/X Companion:
Around 70+ monsters not found in B/X or LL. Some (like the phoenix or sphinx) can be found in BECMI/RC rules but all have been adjusted for B/X play. Many are similar or “knocked off” from AD&D monsters, some are fairly new (though perhaps found in myth and legend)…all are designed for high level play.
Around 100+ new magic items. Some (like the vorpal sword) are taken from AD&D, while many (like all miscellaneous magic items and rings) are entirely new. There is a new CATEGORY of magic items (in addition to the standard B/X and LL categories) that accounts for 23 or these items (well, technically 30 ‘cause of the different types but whatever).
Spell tables up to Level 7 (8 spells each) for clerics and up to Level 9 (12 spells each) for magic-users. Some of these will be readily recognizable (Word of Recall, Resurrection, Power Word Kill), some have been slightly modified in name or use (Wall of RIGHTEOUSNESS, Meteor STRIKE), others are completely new (Bring the Dawn, Life After Death, Break Enchantment) and others function fairly differently from their appearance in other editions (Contingency, Endless Dance, Mage Blade). For B/X players, you’ll find a total of 58 new spells PLUS “detect invisible.”
Additional abilities for high level characters generally starting around 15th level. Rules and suggestions for how to include demi-humans in high level play, including additional combat abilities (similar to Mentzer’s “Attack Ranks”) but tied to demi-human XP rather than human friendship. Additional (optional) rules are provided for allowing dwarves to craft magic items.
Rules for dominions and rulership, income and confidence level based on Reaction tables (wow…Charisma matters to leadership?); mass combat and siege rules adapted from Swords & Spells; rules on aging, retirement, and inheritance; half a dozen new specialist hirelings including the assassin, court magus, and the often forgotten smith.
Spot rules for hazardous environments (underwater, desert, arctic, etc), ideas for designing other dimensions and inventing cosmologies, optional rules for including astral projection as an ability (not a spell) of high level magic-users, an optional Player Character class…plus more “DM as a Fine Art” tips and ways to adapt normal scenario creation to high level play.