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MortonStromgal
05-05-2009, 10:22 PM
I have a friend who uses nWOD for his Eberron game and recently I have been thinking about running the old Dragonlance adventures with Burning Wheel. So the question is how important is that D&D mechanic?

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
05-05-2009, 10:38 PM
I'd run it with WFRP rules.

Sascha
05-05-2009, 10:41 PM
I'd use Spirit of the Century.

Webhead
05-05-2009, 11:27 PM
I'd use:

Spirit of the Century
Savage Worlds
Wushu
Mutants & Masterminds

Rules-wise, all editions of D&D tend to be among my least favorite in one way or another. Fantasy is a fun genre but not all Fantasy need be D&D.

Moritz
05-06-2009, 07:08 AM
D&D isn't D&D if it's not D&D.

For example, class based rules. Fantasy Hero (HERO System) is nothing but a fantasy hack done poorly. You can be do'anything'man and not specialize if you don't want.

Another example would be the monsters. Fantasy Hero deals more with humanoid enemies than true monsters. Sure, there are some, but what's the point. You just hit them till they're unconscious. D&D there is actual death.

If there's to be fantasy RP, then D&D needs to be the guide.

That's my opinion.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
05-06-2009, 10:21 AM
To play Devil's Advocate: Many folks would argue that certain editions of dnd isnt dnd.

Windstar
05-06-2009, 10:33 AM
There is only one other game I would play, "Morrow Project", but I use a mix of homebrew rules to play it. OBTW, all versions of D&D are D&D.

:cool::cool:

Sascha
05-06-2009, 01:34 PM
Furthering the Devil's Advocate, there are arguments that at sufficiently high levels, certain editions' spellcasters were Do-Anything-Men. ;)

fmitchell
05-06-2009, 06:07 PM
If there's to be fantasy RP, then D&D needs to be the guide.

That's a bit over-broad. Fantasy literature existed long before D&D, and D&D hardly epitomizes all fantasy. The world of Conan doesn't have Clerics or Wizards; it has evil NPC small-S sorcerers whose powers revolved around summoning Lovecraftian beings and using their power. Tolkien's only "wizards" were five angelic beings limited to mortal forms and, in D&D reckoning, about 5th level. Elric/Stormbringer and The Dying Earth model their respective literary works far better than D&D ever could, precisely because they were trying to. Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, and its universe, are arguably a darker and more cynical take on D&D: some "clerics" become witch-burning fanatics for their god, "magic-users" risk the taint of Chaos with every spell, fighters can't actually take on a horde of goblins single-handedly, and most "adventurers" come from ignoble professions like "rat-catcher" or "valet". There's plenty of viable fantasy games, each written around different assumptions than D&D.

Given how D&D rules themselves have changed dramatically over the years, there might be better, easier mechanics than the official ones. WFRP has percentile stats and a career system that allows characters to buy appropriate Skills and Talents with their XP. I also know one person on these boards who converted D&D over to a variant of PDQ (using 2d10 instead of 2d6).

Moritz
05-06-2009, 06:29 PM
Sounds like a lot of non D&D hooey to me :)

Webhead
05-06-2009, 07:29 PM
To me, D&D is just a vessel...a ferry to take me to a magical land of excitement and adventure. The de facto rules may not provide the smoothest ride for my tastes (hence why I've since gone walkabout and broadened my horizons a bit) but as long as it gets you to where you're wanting to go and does so in a pleasant way, then I say go with what makes you happy.

*Individual results may vary. The previous statements do not represent the views of Penandpapergames.com, its subsidiaries and shareholders...

gajenx
05-07-2009, 05:43 PM
For me DnD is just the most common fantasy RPG game that my friends and I know well enough for all to have fun and not worry on rules. Though I will play and try anything for a while. I personnally love the expanded version of Runequest which at a high levle game players can be throwing fireballs that kill everything like in DnD, but to start you have to be careful since the system is more realistic than DnD ever will be, and unlike DnD you never gain more HP for the most part. Though I also love taking games like Scion and running it in a fantasy setting or anything as long as its fun. I do not mind other systems as each has their own pros and cons. My 2 favs no one will play or no one will run.

First fav is Runequest and no one plays it really anymore. My second is 7th Seas, though I suck at running it and no on will run it or play it.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
05-07-2009, 05:52 PM
For me DnD is just the most common fantasy RPG game that my friends and I know well enough for all to have fun and not worry on rules. Though I will play and try anything for a while. I personnally love the expanded version of Runequest which at a high levle game players can be throwing fireballs that kill everything like in DnD, but to start you have to be careful since the system is more realistic than DnD ever will be, and unlike DnD you never gain more HP for the most part. Though I also love taking games like Scion and running it in a fantasy setting or anything as long as its fun. I do not mind other systems as each has their own pros and cons. My 2 favs no one will play or no one will run.

First fav is Runequest and no one plays it really anymore. My second is 7th Seas, though I suck at running it and no on will run it or play it.
I have the same troubles with WFRP, gajenx. Most players get turned off on WFRP when they find out their characters cant become "superheros" like in dnd. Then, of course, there are the ones that i talk into playing, and after their first experience, never want to play "cotton candy-bubble gum" (their descriptions) dnd again. They get so hooked on the grittiness, that when talking them into playing dnd again, they demand i make it gritty, unbalanced, and dark. Hey, no problems, for that's the only way i run it. :mad:

gajenx
05-07-2009, 05:59 PM
I loved WFRP. I think my favorite was the character I had in one game that went on for far to long, since I ended up going from scratch to a maxed out wardancer who then turned and was able to max out priest to level 4. You count the XP there.

But I love the more gritty aspects of it and how disease really matters unlike in DnD. I guess I am just more of a urban fantasy, low/mid magic fantasy system player.

Though I do like high fantasy but sometimes it gets boring. I just love Swashbucklers and sea stuff, so naturally going to love 7th Seas games.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
05-07-2009, 06:33 PM
I loved WFRP. I think my favorite was the character I had in one game that went on for far to long, since I ended up going from scratch to a maxed out wardancer who then turned and was able to max out priest to level 4. You count the XP there.

But I love the more gritty aspects of it and how disease really matters unlike in DnD. I guess I am just more of a urban fantasy, low/mid magic fantasy system player.

Though I do like high fantasy but sometimes it gets boring. I just love Swashbucklers and sea stuff, so naturally going to love 7th Seas games.
Glad to meet another WFRP fan. Would you believe i have everything every printed for 1E and 2E WFRP.

I've actually allowed classes to go beyond the 4th(spellcasters), and created very advanced careers. I've even written up some very powerful adventures to go along with them. Honestly, my players were adept, and death was a very real day to day possibility. Great times!

Webhead
05-07-2009, 07:21 PM
...But I love the more gritty aspects of it and how disease really matters unlike in DnD. I guess I am just more of a urban fantasy, low/mid magic fantasy system player.

Though I do like high fantasy but sometimes it gets boring. I just love Swashbucklers and sea stuff, so naturally going to love 7th Seas games.

By all accounts then, I think you ought to try 2 settings in particular from Savage Worlds:

Sundered Skies (gritty, "survivalist", somewhat pirate-esque fantasy aboard flying ships)

and

Pirates of the Spanish Main (piratey, swashbuckling adventure on the high seas)

Great games both and a very workable rules set.

gajenx
05-07-2009, 07:53 PM
I would not need settings as much as rules since I am a firm believer that any fantasy game rules system can be worked to pertain to any fantasy setting you just need a good storyteller to do it.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
05-07-2009, 08:10 PM
I would not need settings as much as rules since I am a firm believer that any fantasy game rules system can be worked to pertain to any fantasy setting you just need a good storyteller to do it.
Bulls Eye! Shot the arrow through the shaft. Would have made Robin Hood proud.

Alot of gamers forget that it's the storyteller, and the comaraderie that makes any game fun and memorable.

Webhead
05-07-2009, 08:46 PM
I would not need settings as much as rules since I am a firm believer that any fantasy game rules system can be worked to pertain to any fantasy setting you just need a good storyteller to do it.

Precisely. That's the same reason I tend to hold on to good RPG settings or ideas even if I don't like the rules that are representing them...because I can always convert the themes, styles and ideas over to whatever rules set I choose. It's the enthusiasm for the "imaginary space" of the game that helps the GM sell it more so than the mechanics that it works off of (for many people, at least).

Hence my recommendation of the 2 settings. More so than the fact that they use a particular game system, I think you would find them appealing on the basis of the shared themes and styles that you mentioned are of interest to you ("gritty" fantasy and swashbuckling adventure).

A good example in my instance is GURPS. I don't like the GURPS rules, but I buy the occasional GURPS sourcebook if it has some good concept material that can be mined for my own games.

gajenx
05-07-2009, 08:54 PM
I mined the GURPS ideas on runes so that people can in game use them more easily and without them being broken from when I did Runequest games. The has it set up that once you cast a rune you can invoke it and all it controls as a swift equivalent action in DnD. So completely broken in that system. Thus UI modified it with the GURPS noun Verb pairings of things and fine it to work better and allow for runestyle casters as PCs.

Though I have incorporated concepts of the game setting into almost all fantasy games I run since I like slightly more realistic based games over the modern world with a fantasy backdrop that DnD has.

Webhead
05-07-2009, 09:20 PM
As I start pondering things that this thread surfaces in my mind, I start to identify that I'm not as much concerned with reflecting "realism" or "grittiness" (though adding a level of "grit" is fun) in my fantasy as much as the idea of "risk and consequences".

Especially when it comes to magic, I find the D&D formula to be far too "dependable". Magic should be at least slightly uncertain and potentially dangerous. This is probably one of the reaons I've always liked the different versions of magic in Deadlands.

You have "Blessed" who use their Faith to call upon their god(s) to perform miracles, but there is no guarantee that the miracle will be granted and even a chance that such denial of gratification may cause the character to slowly begin to doubt their Faith.

You have "Hucksters" whose magic is worked by besting an evil spirit in a contest of wills and forcing it to do the caster's bidding. Naturally, attempting to wrestle such a spirit into slavery and failing opens you up to all kinds of nasty retaliation from said spirit. Tread lightly.

Then you have the "Shamans" who negotiate and barter with natural spirits to perform favors. The more powerful or significant the favor called upon, the greater the requirements of the spirit will be. If the spirit is going to use its power to help you, it needs to receive something equally valuable from you in return.

"There is no action without consequence."

Especially when it comes to magic, I really like to include this theme in my games.

Sorry for the thread-drift. Had some free-association thinking there. Please continue on...

MortonStromgal
05-07-2009, 11:53 PM
Hucksters
This is where the rest of the party tells that player "Just say no, dude.";)

Webhead
05-07-2009, 11:59 PM
This is where the rest of the party tells that player "Just say no, dude.";)

Which happens more often than you might think. :)

The trade-off with Hucksters is that their magic is usually the most powerful. Just don't stand too close to one when he's gonna start calling upon it. Manitous (the evil spirits) don't really care if they catch nearby folks in the backlash as well.

Talmek
05-09-2009, 05:59 PM
As long as it's fun, I'm up to play any combination.

Primarily, my experience is either with WoD or DnD mechanics.

theredspyda
05-09-2009, 06:12 PM
IF it's an rpg I don't mind giving it a try it, if not get a feel for it.

TheSmartestLemming
05-10-2009, 07:26 PM
I've got to agree with you there Webhead, Deadlands is an incredibly interesting system, it's just too bad no one wants to play it :(

Webhead
05-10-2009, 08:37 PM
I've got to agree with you there Webhead, Deadlands is an incredibly interesting system, it's just too bad no one wants to play it :(

Yes, far too few. Deadlands really is something special though as I've neither run, played nor heard about second or third hand a Deadlands game that wasn't a lot of fun for all involved. For me, it's the setting more than the original system that the first edition used.

I think I'm lucky in that I have a couple of players who will gleefully play Deadlands at the drop of a hat. In fact, whenever my current campaign (Sundered Skies) concludes, that's probably the next game I'm going to run. I bought Deadlands Reloaded and have been blown away. All the flavor of the original with a much simpler and smoother system to go with it (and you still get to use the cards and poker chips! :D).

tesral
05-11-2009, 12:25 AM
There is only one other game I would play, "Morrow Project", but I use a mix of homebrew rules to play it. OBTW, all versions of D&D are D&D.

Morrow Project, there is a name I haven't heard in a while. I hung around the Order of Leibowitz while it was being written. So yes, I know the authors. One of my regulars has a Morrow play test version. The Morrow system was not refined. It had rough edges that never really got smoothed out and some of the authors were real "gear heads" and "gun bunnies", so the combat system is over detialed.

I'm not a system Nazi. I play Exalted and know not a thing about it really. Two session do not an expert make. Now if you want me to run something it's going to be D&D, I breathe D&D, d20 modified for species. But only because I do know the system forward and backward.

nijineko
05-13-2009, 05:23 PM
d&d is d&d. for me it is a gestalt experience. you pull out the parts, you don't get the experience. whichever edition you use. but that definition is becoming more and more flexible since they keep performing radical surgery on it. ^^ before too long, the only thing that will be consistent are the iconic monsters, and sometimes not even then. ^^

however, fantasy is not d&d. i would happily play anything i can wrap my head around and feel comfortable with, even if it did use some conventions from d&d.

Windstar
05-13-2009, 06:46 PM
Only 1 other sees it my way, mmmmm. But that's ok. I can deal. FR rules!!!


:cool::cool:

Baron_Samedi
05-13-2009, 06:58 PM
I like to play D&D more than other fantasy based games due to the variety of settings, especially in 2e and some of the setting options given with 3.x. I'm not a fan of d20, but favor the system used in WFRP...the only other system i like for their mechanics is Savage Worlds. But i guess the settings override any objections i have with the core rules system.

madcrazy986
05-20-2009, 06:56 PM
I've always preferred DnD, although my favorite game is Hackmaster; the best of AD&D with all kinds of extra crunchy bits! Certainly not for the casual gamer though.

Rook
05-20-2009, 08:50 PM
D&D is the gateway system; some people are satisfied with the pleasant buzz it provides while others require bigger thrills. RPGs are what the players and GMs make of them. House rules rule. If awarding the money in the middle of the board to the player who lands on Free Parking makes the game more fun, do it.

Webhead
05-20-2009, 10:30 PM
...House rules rule. If awarding the money in the middle of the board to the player who lands on Free Parking makes the game more fun, do it.

Heh...my family plays Monopoly with that particular house rule as well! In fact, my father insists that it's the only "proper" way to play! :)

Sascha
05-20-2009, 10:51 PM
Heh...my family plays Monopoly with that particular house rule as well! In fact, my father insists that it's the only "proper" way to play! :)
"Error" in rules printing, in that it's conveniently missing from all editions ... Is this not expected from an entity known as The Bank? :P

kirksmithicus
05-21-2009, 12:54 AM
I mined the GURPS ideas on runes so that people can in game use them more easily and without them being broken from when I did Runequest games. The has it set up that once you cast a rune you can invoke it and all it controls as a swift equivalent action in DnD. So completely broken in that system. Thus UI modified it with the GURPS noun Verb pairings of things and fine it to work better and allow for runestyle casters as PCs.

You would probably like Athala's (http://www.athala.org/pages/frame_en.htm) magic system. Sounds pretty much like what you just described. It's a French game I came across a while back.

Arkhemedes
06-09-2009, 09:00 AM
I've run DnD games where I did quite a bit of modifying to the rules in order to make the setting more realistic including radical things such as separate pools for hit points (body and stamina), a critical hits system that I devised, a spell point system and other such things. Some may argue that with this many and drastic alterations it isn't DnD. This may be true, but that's beside the point. DnD was the basis and with enough "house rules" or campaign rules DnD can be used for any setting and most players are familiar with it - as long as you clearly state (or better yet, write out) what the changes are and play test them a bit beforehand.

tesral
06-09-2009, 09:29 AM
Some may argue that with this many and drastic alterations it isn't DnD. This may be true, but that's beside the point.

Hey, not throwing any stones over here.

Cardboard Tube Knight
06-09-2009, 10:54 PM
D&D isn't D&D if it's not D&D.

For example, class based rules. Fantasy Hero (HERO System) is nothing but a fantasy hack done poorly. You can be do'anything'man and not specialize if you don't want.

Another example would be the monsters. Fantasy Hero deals more with humanoid enemies than true monsters. Sure, there are some, but what's the point. You just hit them till they're unconscious. D&D there is actual death.

If there's to be fantasy RP, then D&D needs to be the guide.

That's my opinion.

I like the mechanics and feel of D&D 3.5

I like the rules too and when I run a game, I change the ones I don't want there, simple as that.

But do'anything'man made me laugh.

berginyon
07-17-2009, 01:18 PM
if it isn't D&D it's a game some one is just copying from D&D.. fantasy game anyway.

fmitchell
05-29-2010, 10:53 AM
if it isn't D&D it's a game some one is just copying from D&D.. fantasy game anyway.

So Amber, Barbarians of Lemuria, and Elric of Melnibone are just cheap knockoffs of D&D? Someone should tell Michael Moorcock and the estate of Roger Zelazny.

jpatterson
05-30-2010, 05:25 AM
Pretty much the only way I'll play D&D tabletop is if it is NOT D&D/D20 system, so I answered yes to this one. WFRP has its problems but it's light years preferable, and I'd be happy to try out some other rules sets.

Law
05-30-2010, 07:30 AM
I think the WFRP setting is far more preferable than any published D&D setting, but in general, I don't much like the WFRP system. Much of it is just D20 in 5% increments. :D That said, I do prefer the level-less advancement and the general lethality of WFRP (the latter can be accomplished easily enough in D20 at lower levels). My main problem with D&D D20 is that it is really good at and focused on the things I don't much care about: high fantasy and tactical blow-by-blow combat. When I do get a hankering to play high/epic fantasy, we usually just use Mutants and Masterminds. Character creation is much easier and game play goes much smoother.

All "in my opinion" of course. :D

nijineko
10-28-2010, 12:51 AM
i play the d&d mechanics because i've used them for 15+ years and am familiar with them. but i also enjoy playing in other systems with with i'm familiar (gurps, car wars, palladium, star frontiers, rolemaster...) so i think my conclusion is that i'm willing to play any system that i am, or can become, familiar with. and the become familiar with = mooch or cheap/free. ^^

any system works if everyone cooperates and has some familiarity.

jdbailey
11-06-2010, 02:43 PM
D&D's a heck of a lot of fun, but GURPS (GURPS Fantasy, your own GURPS system, or somewhere in between) is also a lot of fun. I just love fantasy RPGs, regardless. I will say though that I don't really look at D&D 4e as D&D. I don't mean that in an elite-gamer way. Two of my friends enjoy playing it, and so we'll all play it. But I found that I have to think of it as just a new WotC game instead of new D&D. New versions should improve upon existing systems and I feel that 4e is just its own brand new system with some common elements. All that being said, I now prefer Pathfinder, but I'll play nearly anything and I'll have a good time doing it.

nijineko
06-08-2011, 11:37 PM
i recently played a mutants and masterminds game... felt like a cross between d20 and gurps or champions. still, was quite fun.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-12-2011, 11:10 PM
I still havent (yet plan to) played AFMBE. Another game that shows potential is: Arcanus, the World of Shattered Empires.

http://www.paradigmconcepts.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=835&sid=d47f4754e5e43db1ffa1bea3ae5c71bf

Dark
06-15-2011, 10:32 AM
To be honest the game's feel has to grab me if it comes off too cartoons or wow like most of the time that turns me off. Now a game that has a dark feel a gritty feel something that keeps you to the edge of your seat I like. Does it have to be D&D? No D&D was my first love and I have played many other games a few took hold of me AFMBE, Chivalry and Sorcery, Deadlands, Dark Conspiracy, Call of Cthulhu to name but a few.

tesral
06-15-2011, 09:47 PM
I thought I had added this, but. If it wasn't D&D what would it be? The Lake Geneva Game We Cooked Up? Doesn't flow off the tongue very well. The question itself is imprecise.

Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?

Sascha
06-16-2011, 07:38 AM
I thought I had added this, but. If it wasn't D&D what would it be? The Lake Geneva Game We Cooked Up? Doesn't flow off the tongue very well. The question itself is imprecise.
It's probably closer to the tradition in certain geographical areas of calling all pop "Coke," rather than coming up with lots of names for the Coca-Cola branded product. ("D&D" here being shorthand for "[fantasy] roleplaying.")

But yeah, I agree.

tesral
06-16-2011, 10:54 AM
It's probably closer to the tradition in certain geographical areas of calling all pop "Coke," rather than coming up with lots of names for the Coca-Cola branded product. ("D&D" here being shorthand for "[fantasy] roleplaying.")

But yeah, I agree.

That makes it even most questionable. What would fantasy role-playing be if it wasn't fantasy role-playing?

Sascha
06-16-2011, 03:45 PM
That makes it even most questionable. What would fantasy role-playing be if it wasn't fantasy role-playing?
It's the weirdly-specific usage that gives us the "fantasy" sub-forum.

(Word usage mutations, making our dictionaries inconsistent since we started writing down word usages :p)

fmitchell
06-17-2011, 01:32 AM
I thought I had added this, but. If it wasn't D&D what would it be? The Lake Geneva Game We Cooked Up? Doesn't flow off the tongue very well. The question itself is imprecise.

Welcome to the slipperiness of vocabulary. Lest I lose my reputation as a killjoy, the original question meant "Would you play D&D {a fantasy role-playing game with elves, dwarves, magic-users, clerics, and other trappings started by Gygax and Arneson and developed by many others over the last forty years} if it wasn't D&D {the set of rules published by TSR or WotC}?"

The Logic class I just finished would call that amphiboly, one word used in two different ways. Well, the class wouldn't if by "class" I meant the syllabus, textbook, and handouts, since those are inanimate and in some cases intangible objects. For that matter, I cannot guarantee the class -- defined as the instructor and students -- would, if we gathered them together again, although inductively I would conclude that the instructor, at least, might match the term "amphiboly" to the two uses of the term "D&D" in this thread's title.

I suppose I could write a class called "Logic" in an object-oriented computer programming language whose instances would reply "amphiboly" when given the string "Would you play D&D if it wasn't D&D", but its response would be undefined if there were a question-mark at the end of the sentence. At that point I would have to decide how close an input string would have to be to the title of this thread with as few false positives as possible. That in turn leads us to the whole matter of natural language processing, which is far from trivial, and beyond the scope of this thread.

Returning to the original topic, if we constructed a class "D&D" in categorical logic, the "D&D" class could not differ from itself, so this thread's title would indeed be logically contradictory. However, if we created one class "games using D&D rules" and another class "games containing D&D trappings", there is no logical necessity for the two classes to be identical. Indeed, we could find examples to support the proposition "Some games containing D&D trappings are not games using D&D rules", e.g. the Basic Roleplaying supplement "Classic Fantasy" which ports wizards and clerics into BRP, or the proliferation of elves, dwarves, and orcs in Shadowrun, GURPS Banestorm, RuneQuest 3, etc. Thus categorical logic classes can assert that "Would you play D&D if it wasn't D&D?" uses the term "D&D" in two different ways.

The truth value of the statement "Some games using D&D rules are not games containing D&D trappings" is left as an exercise for the reader.

Sascha
06-17-2011, 08:31 AM
Welcome to the slipperiness of vocabulary. Lest I lose my reputation as a killjoy, the original question meant "Would you play D&D {a fantasy role-playing game with elves, dwarves, magic-users, clerics, and other trappings started by Gygax and Arneson and developed by many others over the last forty years} if it wasn't D&D {the set of rules published by TSR or WotC}?"
Indeed.

Also, fantastic explanation.

And by "fantastic," it's in the sense of "that which came from one's imagination". Obviously.

(:p)

nijineko
06-18-2011, 01:10 AM
now, i thought you were making a new hybrid word... fan-tasti-c, perhaps meaning 'see aren't fans tasty?', such as a dragon might comment just before asking for the ketchup and after yet another gaming party failed to slay and loot said dragon. ^^

Sascha
06-20-2011, 06:03 PM
Nah, former Coca-Cola product solidified and elongated: the Fanta-stic(k).

Edit: Spelling. Gah.

MortonStromgal
06-23-2011, 01:01 PM
That makes it even most questionable. What would fantasy role-playing be if it wasn't fantasy role-playing?

The question came because one of my old players would only play "D&D" (that and the whole us trying to play Eberon with nwod) by this he actually means d20 games. The poll is more about seeing what "D&D" means to other people. Is it the rules? setting? or just meaning generic fantasy?

tesral
06-23-2011, 01:58 PM
Brand isn't that important to me no. Heck I don't play straignt up D&D.

Sascha
06-24-2011, 01:28 AM
Brand isn't that important to me no. Heck I don't play straignt up D&D.
If I'm remembering my Gygax, ownership of the game *was* the game. You were expected to change the rules as the situation warranted, and make up your own worlds. So, yeah, you could make an argument that play style is as important as rules or setting fiction, in defining what the "D&D experience" is.

fmitchell
06-24-2011, 11:29 AM
The question came because one of my old players would only play "D&D" (that and the whole us trying to play Eberon with nwod) by this he actually means d20 games. The poll is more about seeing what "D&D" means to other people. Is it the rules? setting? or just meaning generic fantasy?

To me it's the rules and their underlying assumptions:


Characters are Heroes with awesome powers (as of 3.x and especially 4e).
Characters fit into standard "classes", sometimes a large and unruly number as in 3.5.
Class abilities progress according to a single "level" in that class; feats and skills modify that somewhat, but add whole new layers of complexity.
Characters gain levels primarily through killing monsters and taking their stuff.
Magic is predictable and powerful, but somehow doesn't change the surrounding pseudo-medieval society. (Kim 2005) (http://www.darkshire.net/~jhkim/rpg/magic/magicandsociety.html)
The world is full of underground structures that somehow support a large and heterogeneous populations of carnivorous monsters, heaps of coins, and otherwise unused enchanted items.
Ye Olde Adventurer's Shop features a selection of magical arms, armor, and other accoutrements.


Breaking some or all of these while retaining the d20 mechanic is difficult, but not impossible, as demonstrated by Midnight (D&D-like but not), Iron Heroes, Call of Cthulhu d20, Mutants & Masterminds, True20, StarSIEGE: Event Horizon, Passages, and "Omega World" (Dungeon #94), to name a few. Even the Old School Renaissance, which recreates older rulesets for new generations, breaks out of tedious "character building" and bends a few other rules (notably Lamentations of the Flame Princess: Weird Fantasy Role Playing which posits a less magical and more cruel world).

Then again, I always preferred the flexibility of skill-based systems like RuneQuest/BRP, D6, or Traveller, or ultra-simple systems like The Fantasy Trip or (in recent years) PDQ.

fmitchell
08-31-2011, 07:39 AM
Yesterday I ran into a thread on another board (http://www.lotfp.com/RPG/discussion/topic/203/vanilla-is-good-but-there-are-countless-other-good-flavors-too/) which argued that there's really no such thing as "standard" D&D. Illustrative quotes come not from the posters but from Gygax and Arneson in the 1974 edition of D&D:


DUNGEONS and DRAGONS will provide a basically complete, nearly endless campaign of all levels of fantastic-medieval wargame play. Actually, the scope need not be restricted to the medieval; it can stretch from the prehistoric to the imagined future...


We urge you to refrain from writing for rule interpretations or the like unless you are absolutely at a loss, for everything herein is fantastic, and the best way is to decide how you would like it to be, and then make it just that way!

So there was no "standard" D&D, at least at first. Later editions, notably AD&D and D&D 4e, added rules which conveyed a narrow idea of what the game could be. Exemplar adventures reinforced the "elves, orcs, and +1 swords" dungeon delve paradigm, as two commentaries on "Keep on the Borderlands" have noted. (Raggi 2011) (http://lotfp.blogspot.com/2011/08/against-giants-review-keep-on.html) (JB 2011) (http://bxblackrazor.blogspot.com/2011/08/secret-of-keep-on-borderlands.html)

tesral
08-31-2011, 12:49 PM
Pretty much describes the Old School view in a nutshell. As that was the set of books I started with I keep to it.

The books are a system, a skeleton on which you lay the meat of the game. The Game is the property of the GM and the players. That is what makes a Game, not the books. No two Games will be the same even if they use exactly the same source books. The only "right" way to play is to take ownership of the Game and make it wholly yours.

One reason I don't have a lot of respect for things like the RPGA or the Pathfinder Society. The Game does not belong to the GM and the Players, they only get to borrow it. I consider the whole shared experience model of gaming a perversion of the very concept. A good Game is the private possession of its participants, not a public park. A good Game is more precious than gold.

Sascha
08-31-2011, 03:33 PM
Yeah, the ownership aspect of pre-"Papa Gygax" era D&D was mentioned upthread a couple months back.


<snip>The only "right" way to play is to take ownership of the Game and make it wholly yours.

<snip>I consider the whole shared experience model of gaming a perversion of the very concept. A good Game is the private possession of its participants, not a public park. A good Game is more precious than gold.
Ah, the "spiritual, not religious" argument applied to gaming. Y'know, potentially inflammatory and alienating phrasing aside, what's wrong with people wanting to be part of something larger than themselves or their gaming groups)?

tesral
08-31-2011, 07:17 PM
If that is what floats your boat. I have never felt compelled to be "part of something larger". The communal urge is something I lack entirely. I have yet to see a RPGA/Pathfinder event i would want to be part of. The play is very mechanical, rushed from encounter ot encounter (A necessity as time is limited.) Event/Convention gaming is a whole different animal. I've run convention events, I've played in them. They are not great places fior a role-playing experience. For a quirky fun one off game, a place to try something you wouldn't otherwise do, sure. Using events as your sole source of RPG play is like trying to live off carnival "food". Elephant ears and corn dogs are certainly fun to eat. A steady diet of same, not so much.
\
As to inflammatory, clearly marked as my opinion.

fmitchell
09-01-2011, 09:17 AM
... what's wrong with people wanting to be part of something larger than themselves or their gaming groups?

Apart from the standardization and regimentation of corporate events, which I know little about, there is the problem of "too many cooks". For a moment, think of gaming as creative writing. A typical gaming group is like a group of writers, traditionally with the DM/GM/blah blah as head writer. (Some indie games, like Primetime Adventures, make this literally true.) Now imagine a bunch of writing groups collaborating on a larger work of fiction; to maintain consistency you need either a Head of Heads or a Writer's Bible (written by some guy) or both. Even with some sort of gatekeeper, inconsistencies creep in over time and among parallel titles, as comic books, long-running TV series, and movie franchises demonstrate.

RPGs (remember them?) have some shared game worlds, like Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun, World of Darkness, Glorantha, and Tekumel. "Everyone's Glorantha is different", say most Glorantha products, and the same could be said for the others ... even with an M. A. R. Barker, Ed Greenwood, or Greg Stafford providing "official" answers. White Wolf's metaplot delighted some and annoyed others; after publishing the apocalypse of the Old World of Darkness in favor of a new and less cut-and-dried version, fans and dipping sales forced White Wolf to support the old stuff again. The more a game company tightens its grip, the more alternate continuities and die-hard grognards slip through their fingers. So while one can feel a spiritual connection to other fans of Tekumel, Glorantha, or a World of Darkness, each GM will still have his own house rules and carefully inspect crossover characters for conformance to their own variant.

From what I can tell, the Camarilla is the opposite of the RPGA: largely anarchic and bottom up, independent of corporate interference (after some bitter legal fights). From what I've heard it does have other problems, notably cliquishness and (appropriately enough) a feudal hierarchy built into its all important experience system. It's also a LARP, and once you convince people to pretend they're vampires who can become invisible, maybe it's easier to convince them of anything.

tesral
09-01-2011, 01:04 PM
RPGs (remember them?) have some shared game worlds, like Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun, World of Darkness, Glorantha, and Tekumel. "Everyone's Glorantha is different", say most Glorantha products, and the same could be said for the others ... even with an M. A. R. Barker, Ed Greenwood, or Greg Stafford providing "official" answers. White Wolf's metaplot delighted some and annoyed others; after publishing the apocalypse of the Old World of Darkness in favor of a new and less cut-and-dried version, fans and dipping sales forced White Wolf to support the old stuff again. The more a game company tightens its grip, the more alternate continuities and die-hard grognards slip through their fingers. So while one can feel a spiritual connection to other fans of Tekumel, Glorantha, or a World of Darkness, each GM will still have his own house rules and carefully inspect crossover characters for conformance to their own variant.

To say again. People that use a published product have to take ownership of the Game. At some point you have to say, "here and no further" to supplements. Thereafter any additional material has to audition for the Game. It doesn't get an automatic pass for being labeled "Forgotten Realms" for example.

Why? Because you and your players will change the shape of the world. That is the whole point of an RPG. Once your game begins it is no longer standard what ever world you use. It is now a custom setting that used the published material as a starting point. That is why the only "right" way to play is to take ownership of the game. It really doesn't matter to me what stylistic choices you make past that point even if I loath your choices. Not mine to judge If you are having fun with it. But, you need to take ownership of the Game. MY game, not Lizard's Game, not Whitewolf's Game, etc.. You and your players will create characters and situations that can radically change the shape of the world, and you should. It's your world, you owe nothing to continuity that someone else writes.

In shared worlds such as Pathfinder Society and the RPGA, you never make a difference in the world. You and every person at the Event are going to run through the same modulo. Nothing will change becasue Bob the Barbarian did the adventure. They are like theme park rides. The fact you rode it makes it no different for the next set of riders. You might have had a blast, but next weekend that ride will be just the same. That is a sponsored Event. Essensially souless thrill rides for RPG characters.

Worse, once your character starts down this path it is a contract with the devil. You can never have unsanctioned fun with that character. They are locked in to the RPG theme park, sentenced to ride the rides forever or 12th level which ever comes first. Every lttle advacment has to stamped signed and verified. The organized part of organized play just sucks all the spontaneity and meaning from the game. Another cog in the great RPG entertainment empire, is all your character is and will ever be.

Home games, like home made bread are much better in every respect.

Sascha
09-01-2011, 02:47 PM
Good responses, thanks. Though, one could use the counter-argument that, with the ownership of the game aspect, play styles emerged with divergent rules relationships - one of which is built on shared expectations, rather than individualized interpretation. The "rulings, not rules" attitude didn't then, nor does it now, encompass the big-tent that is the RPG circus.

Plus Gygax's own public face of absolute rules authority with AD&D. His public and private stances towards rules-relationship aren't great evidence, one way or the other. It's not that great a leap to see how distaff styles coevolved based on the same man's writings.


If that is what floats your boat. I have never felt compelled to be "part of something larger".
Which is fine. Neither have I, actually. (Never been to a con, either; too many people :P) What I inferred from your statement is that there's one 'true' relationship to the rules that everyone must share - imperatives and values statements, and all. Dragon/Dungeon magazine rules articles seem to suggest a demand for more codified play, even before speciation into "Basic" and "Advanced."


As to inflammatory, clearly marked as my opinion.
Opinion doesn't necessarily give one a free pass to insinuate gaming heresies towards other play styles. ("Pervert" and all it's conjugations are rather fun words, even disregarding the most-common modern usage. What with referring to "correct/incorrect" religious text interpretation, and all.) There are ways to express the same sentiments, without blanket values statements towards others.

fmitchell
09-01-2011, 09:06 PM
In shared worlds such as Pathfinder Society and the RPGA, you never make a difference in the world. [...] Worse, once your character starts down this path it is a contract with the devil. You can never have unsanctioned fun with that character. [...] Another cog in the great RPG entertainment empire, is all your character is and will ever be.

Dramatic much? There's nothing stopping you from forking the same character: one version for official play, the other for the home game. The official play version scratches the competitive gamist itch, the home version scratches the story-telling, simulationist, and/or chilling with friends itch.


Though, one could use the counter-argument that, with the ownership of the game aspect, play styles emerged with divergent rules relationships - one of which is built on shared expectations, rather than individualized interpretation. The "rulings, not rules" attitude didn't then, nor does it now, encompass the big-tent that is the RPG circus.

Plus Gygax's own public face of absolute rules authority with AD&D. His public and private stances towards rules-relationship aren't great evidence, one way or the other. It's not that great a leap to see how distaff styles coevolved based on the same man's writings.

If memory serves, AD&D's was Gygax's baby, and Basic/Classic D&D matched Arneson's style. (Did they cut him out of the company at that point?) Even the creators never really agreed, never mind the people who used their product. Then other guys over the past 35+ years looked at D&D and said, "no, it should be like this" and we get the diversity we have today.

Diversity is good. Every variation, even ones which mandate no variation, appeals to someone.

---------- Post added at 09:06 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:00 PM ----------

P. S. This is just my opinion, but Tesral is a cranky old grognard. And a half-orc. Not to be inflammatory. It's just my opinion.

Malruhn
09-02-2011, 11:21 AM
Actually, I think you just proved Tesral's point (if I may be so bold as to speak for the grognard).

The Pathfinder Society is, by all descriptions, a STATIC world that is NOT personal. It's like being on a movie set as an extra... you can have all the fun you want, as long as you don't do anything PERSONAL. Yes, I can play Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars Society (as an example) so long as I abide by the rules and NON-WORLD-CHANGING EDICTS that are in effect - but as soon as I take the same character sheet home, I can do what I want - to include getting the whiny git killed. Tes is speaking (I believe) purely of the former, the strict, "This is our world and thou shalt not muck it up" Society.

Then, you say that it fills a niche (which it does), BUT, you then take the Pathfinder setting home to make it YOUR OWN. This, by definition, is NOT "Pathfinder Society" - it's Tesral's Society, or FMitchell's Society - but it no longer is "public" - it's PERSONALLY owned.

And, yes, Dave Arneson was out by AD&D - and (almost) all record of his involvement in D&D was being erased. This was done by 1978/79/80.

tesral
09-02-2011, 12:20 PM
Good responses, thanks. Though, one could use the counter-argument that, with the ownership of the game aspect, play styles emerged with divergent rules relationships - one of which is built on shared expectations, rather than individualized interpretation. The "rulings, not rules" attitude didn't then, nor does it now, encompass the big-tent that is the RPG circus.

Plus Gygax's own public face of absolute rules authority with AD&D. His public and private stances towards rules-relationship aren't great evidence, one way or the other. It's not that great a leap to see how distaff styles coevolved based on the same man's writings

Which is fine. Neither have I, actually. (Never been to a con, either; too many people :P) What I inferred from your statement is that there's one 'true' relationship to the rules that everyone must share - imperatives and values statements, and all. Dragon/Dungeon magazine rules articles seem to suggest a demand for more codified play, even before speciation into "Basic" and "Advanced."

.

Gygax changed his opinion over time, so yes, his writings support just about any view you want. I do not lean on Gygax for anything or for justification.

Ownership of the Game has nothing to do with system. It is not a style of rule interpretation, it is not Old School, New School or Middle School. Rules and how you treat them is not Ownership of the Game.

System: That is the rules, the source books, the tools you use in creating and playing the Game.

The Game: The game is the actual world and you treatment of same. The Game is an intangible you create with your players, or you Game Master. Rob and Bob can take the same rules, the same exact books, and the same philosophy on rules and create two very different Games.



Opinion doesn't necessarily give one a free pass to insinuate gaming heresies towards other play styles. ("Pervert" and all it's conjugations are rather fun words, even disregarding the most-common modern usage. What with referring to "correct/incorrect" religious text interpretation, and all.) There are ways to express the same sentiments, without blanket values statements towards others.

Except there are no "heresies" here. Ownership of the Game has nothing to do with play style at all. I am not taking about any play style being wrong or right. I want that very clear. Play style is not Ownership of the Game.

Ownership of the Game is taking what ever you do, and making it 100% your work. It is allowing the characters to make changes to the world around them. It is allowing the evolution of your game setting based on events within the Game, not what someone else adds. It is making source book metaplot bend to the will of what happens in your Game. OK, the GC declared that Bobo the Universal President gets a second term, well my players Killed Bobo, there for that metaplot element fails to make the cut for my Gama, we are going this way. It means that yes, Elmenster can die. What NPCs you allow to live and die is is up to you.

Once you start the Game, once session one is done what ever is published you are not responsible to. You are responsible to only what you write and what happens at the table. That is Game Ownership.




Dramatic much? There's nothing stopping you from forking the same character: one version for official play, the other for the home game. The official play version scratches the competitive gamist itch, the home version scratches the story-telling, simulationist, and/or chilling with friends itch.

Then you have two character with the same name. A character is more than the character sheet. They are the sum of the experiences they have. Different experiences, different character.



If memory serves, AD&D's was Gygax's baby, and Basic/Classic D&D matched Arneson's style. (Did they cut him out of the company at that point?) Even the creators never really agreed, never mind the people who used their product. Then other guys over the past 35+ years looked at D&D and said, "no, it should be like this" and we get the diversity we have today.

Diversity is good. Every variation, even ones which mandate no variation, appeals to someone.

See above, I'm not picking a style and calling it right. Game Ownership is not involved in play style.



P. S. This is just my opinion, but Tesral is a cranky old grognard. And a half-orc. Not to be inflammatory. It's just my opinion.

I would think that a community moderator would not lower themselves to Trolling. This is clearly trolling. Shame.

Yes, I am a cranky old Grognard. I have characters sheets older than good many forum members. What's your point?



Then, you say that it fills a niche (which it does), BUT, you then take the Pathfinder setting home to make it YOUR OWN. This, by definition, is NOT "Pathfinder Society" - it's Tesral's Society, or FMitchell's Society - but it no longer is "public" - it's PERSONALLY owned..

Yes, exactly. The PS or RPGA own their world, not yours. You need to own your world completely. No outside agency dictates what is in your world.

Malruhn
09-02-2011, 07:31 PM
Sorry, but I could have sworn I smelled an invisible smiley in FMitchell's post.

And you guys are poopyheads, because I had to go and look up "Grognard"... I had thunk it was just a made up word that meant something akin to, "Drunkard" - but I was wrong... it really DOES exist!

And Friday evenings are NOT supposed to be used learning stuff!!

(insert petulant, pouty face here!)

nijineko
09-04-2011, 04:14 PM
which definition did you find, btw? the americanized one or the original-ish french?

tesral
09-04-2011, 04:23 PM
Grognard: n: Old Soldier. Originally a member of Napoleon’s Imperial Guard, later to refer to old war gamers that want you off their lawn.

Malruhn
09-06-2011, 07:50 AM
That's the one.

tesral
09-06-2011, 09:44 AM
That's the one.

Get off my lawn.:drum:

Thorn
10-30-2011, 01:49 AM
To play Devil's Advocate: Many folks would argue that certain editions of dnd isnt dnd. It is sad but true, THen everybody does have their tastes.

Malruhn
10-30-2011, 01:30 PM
Actually, ALT-A is totally correct - by very strict standards, D&D is nothing but the original three books that had the "Gygax and Arneson" names on them. The purists can argue that as soon as the next three little books came out, it wasn't D&D any more.

Then, when that horrid AD&D came out, it REALLY wasn't D&D any more.

Which is why I have played D&ME for over 30 years... and that is pronounced "DEE AND ME". Sure, I might use the (insert certain edition here) books, but I've personalized it from the I picked up my DM hat and did a horrid job of turning "The Martian Chronicles" into a setting (as in: Edgar Rice Burroughs' series). It's been all downhill from then.

nijineko
11-04-2011, 11:38 AM
... and did a horrid job of turning "The Martian Chronicles" into a setting (as in: Edgar Rice Burroughs' series). It's been all downhill from then.

so long as the players don't find the crowns? or is that a plot twist in yours?

Malruhn
11-08-2011, 09:56 PM
Crowns? It's been over 30 years since I read the books... throw me a bone here, please!!

tesral
11-09-2011, 09:39 AM
Which is why I have played D&ME for over 30 years... and that is pronounced "DEE AND ME". Sure, I might use the (insert certain edition here) books, but I've personalized it from the I picked up my DM hat.

We all do. I call it M'D&D.

nijineko
11-09-2011, 11:21 PM
Crowns? It's been over 30 years since I read the books... throw me a bone here, please!!

hope i'm not mixing up my references... pair of crowns plus a rod. when all three are combined with someone who knows how to use them, they are handy little artifacts of mind switch, true.

Morashitar
06-14-2013, 03:44 PM
As long as it is entertaining for you and the group enjoys your imagination and rules then it doesn't matter if you use the exact rules of D&D, only some of it, or none of it. The main thing is your group enjoys the time spent together. If you can pull that off you should be fine.

Thorn
09-08-2013, 01:56 PM
It never really mattered to me, I aways tried to enjoy each game with respect.

CristenAyers
09-12-2013, 02:07 AM
I would play any thematicly similar fanasty game (Monsters!)

Raven Alex Goff
02-16-2014, 02:06 PM
I would play any game as long as the game is simple and everyone knows the rules and they were posted at the beginning of the thread. It would serve as a reference and a way for everyone to know what happened when they roll the dice. I do 2d6 with evens as success and odds as failures. I make each I individual number a degree of success or failure. Each holds a percentage marker of significance of time, damage, and percentile for damage ticks are rolled each turn when each player or NPC turn is taken or by the spell description of tick frequency. I use Rory dice to help make a storyline and scene. I also like to keep actions liberal as long they can do so by indicator markers as decided by the rolling off the dice.

Nectar
01-11-2017, 12:47 AM
So does the penimaster pro work? (https://www.taledc.com/penimaster-pro-review-results) or not.