Every once in a while I get on a kick thinking about how to house rule BX properly. And by "properly" I mean to suit my tastes.
So now I'm working on a new edit of house rules. It includes all of the ones I already use extensively. The arcane spell roll is there. It has served me well. I'm keeping the elven faery magic rule (random spells)...which I'm pretty sure I picked up from Gavin Norman's fantastic Theorems & Thaumaturgy. I'm making Dwarfs hard to knock down and making Halflings lucky little bastards. Fighters are getting some serious love with what I think is a pretty awesome multiple-attacks system that relies on the actual d20 face value to trigger it.
(In fact, in a recent play-test the Fighter flat busted a handful of skeletons in a single round thanks to this rule.)
The Thief is getting the crunchiest love. I'm not a big fan of crunch, personally. I like clear, concise rules but not a lot of them. Which is probably why BX has always been my true darling and I keep coming to it over-and-over again.
But the Thief is, by nature, the class that is going to be fiddly. Thieves, to me, are idiosyncratic and prone to individualism. Each Thief should be distinct, a function of the special mix of skills and talents picked up through a life of crime.
So Thieves basically get to pick specialties at every even level. Things like better damage with daggers and knives, better backstab damage, forgery skills, and so on. I also included climbing upside-down and ventriloquism...y'know. Because.
(Though the esteemed Frank Mentzer told me at Gary Con he thought those ideas, mentioned in BX, were "kinda silly"...hah.)
My thing about BX is purity. I don't like adding tables, I don't like changing tables, I don't like ignoring rules, and a I don't like adding rules. I like the IDEA that BX is perfect. But, of course, no game is perfect. And we all have our preferences.
My house rules for BX are intended to be a layer on top of the game where the pieces fit right in and no existing element is jettisoned.
What I would like to do is, eventually, publish some BX-style adventures and settings and include these house rules as a single page in each publication. You can use 'em or not.
Just some random 2 AM thoughts.