View Full Version : Thoughts on Supplements

03-01-2007, 02:25 PM
Specific, or general... discuss!

03-03-2007, 01:31 PM
Since I use a homebrewed system, I like online open-source supplements and playing aids. The nice thing about using an open-source game (homebrewed or otherwise) is that if you find a supplement or a part of another game that you like, you can integrate it directly into your game. The nice thing about using a computer is that you don't have to fumble with twenty books, or carry them all to every session. (You just have to carry your computer to every session. ;) But if it's relatively mobile, that isn't difficult.) And you never have to print anything.

03-06-2007, 02:37 PM
Supplements are the devil. I'm not a big fan of paying hundreds of dollars for broken rules that no DM in his right mind would allow anyway. The exception to this is the "Complete" series that has some nice additions and relatively few fixes needed.

03-08-2007, 12:03 AM
I'm not a big fan of paying hundreds of dollars for broken rules that no DM in his right mind would allow anyway.

I have to agree with you there. Some of the highest-quality material is available free, while the worst is often the most expensive. Of course, there are plenty of free downloads that aren't worth the bandwidth, but at least they don't take up shelf space.

03-08-2007, 12:31 PM
Its totally a pick and choose game. The "complete" series had a lot of good material, but I would NEVER give a character blanket approval for any book. One of the most extreme was Ninja of the Crescent moon I believe... bab of a fighter, great saves, a list of abilities longer than my.... well... it was long. I had a character that wanted to play that and I had read much of the rest of that book (and it was WOTC) so I figured, sure... how bad can it be. Wotc is usually pretty decent. After the first game I opened the book to that page and my eyes nearly fell out of my head.

Yeah... that character chose a different path.... lol

03-09-2007, 12:49 AM
Well you're talking splatbooks versus hardbound, more importantly 3.0 vs 3.5. Lots of stuff was broken in the 3.0 splatbooks, the Ninja being the worst. The new 3.5 stuff is all pretty much good and requires very little DM intervention.

03-09-2007, 02:09 AM
Being able to cut and paste solves this problem. Just paste the rules you'll be using into a single rulebook, which you can print or email. (If you're shelling out the cash to buy a supplement, they should give you an electronic copy in addition to the hardcopy. At the very least, they should let you buy the supplements on CD.)

03-09-2007, 10:27 AM
I don't know about that. I have seen some pretty outlandish 3.5 stuff in hard books or soft. Of course... its been so long since I have actually PLAYED A GAME that I forget what it was..... ;)

03-09-2007, 05:20 PM
I wasn't by any means saying that a hard cover brings a certain prestige to the material within, but the 'hardbound' splatbooks (i.e. the complete series) are vastly improved over their softer counterparts. I believe they removed the ninja of the crescent moon completely in favor of another ninja class.

Personally I don't understand the necessity for half these stupid prestige classes, many of them could be created perfectly well with just a standard multi-class character. Ninja = monk/rogue.

03-10-2007, 07:52 AM
The original concept of the PRC was specialization. You loose something in favor of greater power in one area. That really isn't the case with most PRC's however. Most of them simply add more power with little or no loss. Virtually all of the spellcasting PRC's for example. You don't lose anything but you gain special abilities, sometimes very powerful ones. The original ones in the DMG had a little more balance. ie the archmage had some really powerful abilities, but you had to sacrifice spell slots to get them. Granted I like the concepts of many of the PRC out there, but I think the balance is lost on most of them.

03-10-2007, 12:16 PM
The problem with classes is that they limit your flexibility in designing your character. Every player wants a class that is slightly different from an existing class, and soon you end up with many classes which are almost identical. A much cleaner approach from a design perspective is to drop classes altogether, or just use them as templates to speed character creation. There's seldom a logical reason for one class to have special abilities that another class can't learn.

03-12-2007, 10:36 AM
The challenge in a system like that is balance. It is a very good point, however, that most everyone wants to play something slightly (maybe even more than slightly) out of the norm. I have played a few skill based systems, and even played a set of options rules back in 2nd ed that made it more skill based. Honestly I liked it, but it by far was not perfect. I would be very interested in playing a good system like that.

03-13-2007, 12:51 PM
My own system is classless, but it's primarily a CARP (computer-assisted role-playing game). It's intended for GM's who use a computer during the game rather than hardcopy. I'm in the process of developing a character generator and combat manager (and later a full-fledged campaign manager) using the BuildaWorld.net (http://www.buildaworld.net/) game engine. You may want to check out the BuildaWorld forums (http://www.buildaworld.net/forums/index.php) if you're interested in that sort of thing; the engine is intended for tabletop RPG's, MORPG's, and all types of virtual worlds. It's still in the early stages, so contributors have the opportunity to influence its direction.

Later I plan to develop a somewhat lighter version of my game for PnP-only use, but it will still be intentionally rules-heavy; I'm good at memorizing rules and tend to favor systems that cover as many situations as possible. If you prefer rules-light systems, I would recommend Yags (http://www.glendale.org.uk/yags/index.html). It's a good classless system which is GPL and can be downloaded free of charge. The author is a really nice guy and a very experienced gamer. Another possibility would be Fringe (http://fringe.freeroleplay.org/), a free RPG developed by FreeRoleplay.org (http://www.freeroleplay.org/). The posted version of Fringe seems to be a pretty old version, though; if you want a copy, I could find out where the current version is located, or you could post on the mailing list.

My campaigns tend to have a high fatality rate (there's generally a fatality every couple of sessions, depending on playing style), and there is no resurrection, so a character generator is crucial. If the players know they can roll up a new character in five minutes, and if they know going into the game that mortality is high, then they generally don't get too upset about losing a character. (A player who wants to customize everything can spend an hour or two, but one who uses a template can have a new character in just a few minutes.) My campaigns are generally focused on the setting and the storyline; I seldom have power gamers, since they're turned off by the lack of resurrection and the low-power setting. (I have nothing against power gamers; they just prefer a different style of campaign.)

03-20-2007, 10:24 AM
See I definitely like the rules heavy. I have an easy time memorizing rules as well and thought I don't always stick to them 100% it is good to have a structure to build your boat on so to speak.

The heavy mortality rate I can't really get on board with. I like long term character development. rolling up a new character every 5 sessions, regardless of how easy it is would bother me. my characters are very detailed, life histories, in depth personalities.... the fun parts of the games for me is interacting and building relationship with the other characters (both PC and non) in the game. If I had to start over every few months, I would quickly lose interest. That is why the CoC games never appealed to me. You never want to develop your character too much because you are bound to lose him sooner or later.

03-21-2007, 02:06 AM
Role-players generally prefer worlds with relatively easy resurrection, because they invest so much in their characters. Story-oriented and goal-oriented players, on the other hand, are usually more focused on the world than on the characters. Some games (usually those set in the real world) even reset at certain intervals, and everyone starts over from scratch.

No game world will appeal to every group. That's one reason it's so important to keep a rules system generic, rather than letting the rules get mixed up with the setting. Once you find a rules system you like, you should be able to use it with any world: a fantasy world with resurrection, a fantasy world without resurrection, a modern setting, a sci-fi universe, or whatever else you have to hand.

People tend to think of the magic system (including resurrection or the lack thereof) as part of the rules, but actually it's part of the setting. A generic rules system shouldn't include magic, psionics, superpowers, or sci-fi technology, because these will vary from world to world. For example, Middle-earth has no resurrection at all (Gandalf doesn't count), while in Oerth resurrection is commonplace (and magic is much more powerful), but the same rules could easily be used with both worlds.