View Full Version : Experimental Adventures

03-05-2009, 10:32 AM
I used to play old-school D&D in the late 80's & after a long hiatus, I'm currently in a 4e campaign...one that is having a hard time getting together. But the itch to play is overwhelming, and I can't seem to find an extra local group to join. Maybe its a shortage of DM's in my area?

Well, I don't want to DM a D&D game. 4e is too much for me to want to learn as a DM. And the old-school retro D&D I played was fun, but there was a bunch of stuff I would've changed. So, over the years, I've had ideas of my own that I thought made sense for an rpg, and I've been making notes on them. Maybe now is the time to try to put my system into action?

Essentially, its what you're already used to in fantasy medieval gaming...weapons, armor, magic, races, special skills. But the mechanics are different from traditional D&D...my goal was to come up with something that makes sense & is easier to learn than the mass-marketed games like D&D.

I have 2 versions of my game in mind...the basic edition, which keeps things as easy to learn & as simple as possible, and the ultimate edition, which takes some simple concepts from the basic edition & adds a whole lot more detail.

So as of right now, I'd like to recruit 2 or 3 players for my basic edition. It'll be a work in progress, which I think will make it alot of fun. While I have alot of mechanics already planned out, there may be some things that you could throw at me that I might not have expected which will only help me round the system out. This isn't meant to be a strictly regimented game, where we know exactly where we're headed every step of the way. Rather, I mean it to be a light-hearted experimental adventure to see where it takes us. I'm not looking for "Rules Lawyers" either, just 2 or 3 players who want to have some fun trying something different. I'd like to play weekly, but not necessarily on a fixed day every single week...whatever day works best for the lot of us that particular week is good enough. And the time of day we would be playing is late afternoon through evening (I work overnights).

Any questions, feel free to ask. I'm not going to post my entire rules set, but I will give more basic info if asked.

Thank you.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
03-05-2009, 11:09 AM
Wish i lived closer. I'd also love to be a tick on the head of the person reading your entire homebrew ruleset. Best of luck.

03-05-2009, 01:34 PM
Thank you Thoth, that means alot to me. :)

If all goes well & I can get enough kinks hammered out, I'd love to release a complete finalized set of rules. Although I've never played any homebrew games myself, I do think having a healthy variety of game systems available is good for the genre overall. I have no delusions of putting D&D out of business, but I would like to put my ideas together for an easy rpg suitable for all ages, and a more complete game that uses some of the same root concepts but has a steeper learning curve for older players. And if its good enough to get published one day, all the better

But above all else...I just wanna have the fun of adventuring with a game system that really satisfies me. :peace:

03-07-2009, 09:23 AM
I know its only been a couple days since my original post (and no, I didn't expect a flood of local gamers to magically appear), but I thought I'd add some more info from time to time (without giving away too many "trade secrets"), just to keep things fresh. So, seeing as I'm currently working on my "Lite" version (which, again, is meant to be as simplistic as possible, something you could play with all ages including pre-teens), here's some basic info on the system...

I'm using as few Skill Scores as possible, since many actions can be categorized into a singular Skill. For instance, old D&D had several skills listed with individual scores for Thieves (Open Locks, Find and Remove Traps, Climb Walls, Move Silently, Hide in Shadows, Pick Pockets, and Hear Noise), but now 4e simply groups the bulk of them under Thieving. Same concept here. K.I.S.S...Keep It Simple, Stupid!

Proficiencies are here, but done in a much different way from 4e. You don't simply get bonuses in everything for "raising a Level." Who is the greatest swordsman in the land? Generally (but not entirely) the one who has done the most swordfighting! It only makes sense that the skills you use will be the ones that you get better at.

There are no Classes, only Skills. This prevents the unrealistic notion that a Fighter-type could never learn a basic magic spell. I know, 4e allows its own form of multi-classing, but I use a much more open format. However, I do use some common sense to maintain realism & balance...for instance, if a Fighter decides to dabble in Thieving, sure, he could try to pick a lock. But if he tries to "move silently" while wearing full Plate Armor, he's asking for trouble! Might I also add that Plate Armor is quite restrictive, and while not the best choice of apparel for casting spells (which will require gesticulations), its not impossible for a highly skilled Mage to wear the Plate, take the penalty, and still produce a pretty decent Fireball...although not as effective as if he had the freedom of movement that Robes provide.

Also on the subject of Classes, there will be several sample characters to illustrate how you could create whatever Class it is you're shooting for. Want a Paladin? No problem, there's a sample. Do you like the classic, old-school Dwarven Fighter-type? He's in there, too. Don't be intimidated by a Classless game, you can still build a specific Class-like character if you want!

So that's all I'm giving away on the game for now. Hope you enjoy reading about it (or in Thoth's case, just wishing he could be a part of it). ;)

Maybe next time I'll talk a little about the world my system takes place in.

03-18-2009, 02:57 PM
Time for another update, this time on My World (in the lite version, which I'm toying with calling "Junior Edition" to push the idea that even pre-teens can play it with ease, assuming they have an adult DM to help guide them).

My world is inhabited by Demi-Humans...Dwarves, Elves, Halflings, Gnomes and Humans. Those are the "good guys." Not to say there aren't a few bad apples among the bunch, but just in general. All 5 major races get along well (or tolerate each other, in the case of Dwarves & Elves), but interbreeding just doesn't happen regularly. Halflings, btw, are more Kender-like in my world...not the earlier Hobbit-like Halflings or the modern Rastafarian criminal-like Halflings of 4e. I'd say they are Kender-influenced in terms of considering consquences, but with more consideration for the party. And Gnomes are more Hobbit-like than the 4e magic-based Gnome. (What can I say? Its my world, and it just feels good to me.) The other races are as you would expect.

Dwarves live in the northern mountains of Klagsdale, under the guidance of their deity Klag (hence "Klag's Dale"). Elves live to the south in a forest (name TBD), with no known Drow or Drow-like Elves. Halflings & Gnomes are somewhere in the middle, living near one another & visiting each other often, but in seperate villages. And Humans are the race who settle anywhere they can find, ranging from small villages to mid-sized towns.

The Land, as it is simply known, is basically wedge-shaped, with an ocean on the west & a mountainous shelf to the east. The protruding wedge is inhabited by the Demi-Humans, a few other intelligent humanoid races (goblin & kobold being the most plentiful, although looked down upon by other races for their greed & deceit), and your typical animals.

Now, here's the gimmick. No one in The Land has ever ventured beyond The Great Shelf. But there are rumors, of course. Rumors of lost races & civilizations and creatures never before seen in The Land. (This is my way of making the world a little more interesting...not everything inhabits the same area all at the same time.) So essentially, the idea of being big-time adventurers is new to my world. And the lucky players who join up will (hopefully) make history for The Land.

As far as everyday life in The Land, Fighting is more for hunting & sporting events, as there are no wars going on (and haven't been since The War Of The Races). Magic is as commonly accepted in The Land as science & technology is in the real world. And Thieving...well, there are professional locksmiths for those who accidentally lock themselves out of their homes, but remember what I said earlier about bad apples? You got it. ;)

So those are the basics about my world. Still looking for players to test everything out!

03-29-2009, 10:04 PM
Been working on my rule-sets, both Lite & Ultimate editions. Seeing as I want the Lite rules to be easy enough for adults to play with their pre-teen kids, I've decided to go in a completely different direction with it. Rather than being a full-fledged RPG, with each adventure continuously building the characters up in terms of skills & experience points, I think it'd be better suited as a one-shot game. Each time you play it, you put together a party by choosing from the pre-made characters & run through a simple dungeoncrawl (which will have enough variables to ensure that no two dungeons are ever the same). Younger kids, shorter attention span, nice little intro to adventure-style gaming.

But my Ultimate edition rule-set will still be a full-flavor RPG.

Now, seeing as I'm not being swarmed with requests to playtest my rule-sets locally (and I'm a big boy, I can wait patiently for some interest), I'll work on both rule-sets simultaneously depending on which one strikes me that particular moment. But if I get interest in one game or the other, well then that's when I'll focus more on one game.

05-30-2011, 10:49 AM
Been quite awhile since I started this thread, and I've had some changes in my ideas for a full-flavor rpg. I finally got to sit down with 3 guys I've been 4E'ing with for the last year & a half to try out some of my ideas. It was a colossal bust. They hated one aspect of it (the way I handle Luck), had a major dislike with non-melee combat rules (missile fire & magical missile fire such as fire bolt & cold blast), and also Hit Point determination (essentially Str + Con, in D&D terms). We never completed even half a round of combat before all the complaints flooded in.

Admittedly, I had some problems before even starting the playtesting. For one, all my notes are handwritten in a notebook that has been "misplaced" since moving from my old apartment to our new house. So in the couple days prior to playtesting, I realized I'd have to re-write everything & hope I remembered things right. I mean, some concepts for the game & simply KNOW, but other stuff like specific proficiencies were spotty.

I still like alot of my ideas for the game & think that with some tweaking they could work. On one hand, I'd like to stay true to my basic concept because I think the concept makes sense. On the other hand, it was clear that the game "as is" simply was not fun for the players...and if it ain't fun, it ain't worth playing.

Despite their intense dislike of some aspects, they were all honest but compassionate...applauding the desire & effort to try something different, but still not liking what it was. They offered alternative ways of handling things to make them more likeable, and also asked an important question: "What is it you want to do with this game?" My goal is to simplify combat & (in 4E terms) skill challenges. While I enjoy 4E's more cinematic battles, they just take too long sometimes (hour & a half real-time for a 30-second game-time battle, anyone?), and I'd like a more "hit or miss" combat system rather than metagaming with "well if I pull him 2 he'll be flanked, then the rogue can backstab for insane damage with his tiny dagger, then you can knock him prone, and then the barbarian can use his Headman's Chop for +5 damage"...sometimes it just feels like too much.

Well anyway, I'm starting to ramble so I guess I'm at the end of my post. Here's hoping you come back & read this one, Thoth!

---------- Post added at 11:49 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:50 AM ----------

P.S. Although I've changed my own location as a user, I don't know how to change my Game Location in this thread. :(