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View Full Version : Opinion: would you play OGL rules that weren't D&D



fmitchell
04-12-2009, 01:09 PM
My "Orc Lands" (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/blog.php?u=222&blogcategoryid=1) campaign is on the rocks. I only have two players currently, which means that if either one can't make it the game doesn't go on.

One solution I've considered is to convert systems from BRP to a D&D variant. Magic in this world is very subtle and indirect, mainly the influence of spirits on mortal minds, so the D&D spellcasting classes would be inappropriate. Borrowing from Omega World (http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/9/9919.phtml), I thought all orcs would be one class, based on the Fighter but with greater flexibility in skills and feats, including some abilities from other classes. (I've also thought of emulating how 4e skills work with additional feats, and a consolidated skill list, but that's not a given.)

So I ask the group: how many D&D 3.x players would want to play such a thing? Would you be willing to play without clerics and wizards (etc.)? Do you want a selection of classes, even if they have no spells? Would you want to play not-evil orcs, or would you miss being humans, elves, dwarves, and the rest?

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
04-12-2009, 01:33 PM
My answer: YES!

cmac
04-12-2009, 01:50 PM
I choose "if I like they setting". However I haven't played D&D since the ol' advanced days. I have since progressed on to other systems that don't limit creativity.

Farcaster
04-12-2009, 02:23 PM
You'll have to tread carefully and modify some of the rest / recuperation rules if you want to eliminate healing spells from the game altogether. Either that, or you cannot have as much combat as D&D assumes the typical adventure will contain.

fmitchell
04-12-2009, 02:32 PM
You'll have to tread carefully and modify some of the rest / recuperation rules if you want to eliminate healing spells from the game altogether. Either that, or you cannot have as much combat as D&D assumes the typical adventure will contain.

Following in Omega World's footsteps, I was thinking of using Unearthed Arcana's Reserve Point (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/reservePoints.htm) mechanism. Also, in the world of the Orc Lands, there aren't a lot of big monsters: other orcs, humans, animals, mutants of the Wastelands. It's primarily an exploration/investigation/negotiation game.

One piece I still need to figure out, if I do a conversion, is how to translate the POW statistic, which is a direct measure of psychic force. It's important in Spirit Combat and in the ritual-based "spirit magic" system I designed.

EDIT: One tack is to synthesize POW from an average of WIS and CHA, and transplant the BRP rules. Maybe a better one is to use Incantations (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/MSRD:Incantations) with an Occult skill, and come up with some Spirit Combat mechanic using multiple Will saves.

Malruhn
04-12-2009, 05:23 PM
I only have two players currently, which means that if either one can't make it the game doesn't go on.I'm sorry, but I take HUGE exception to this statement!!

As a DM for two years with only ONE player, I discovered SO much more about my world and the NPC's that live there than I EVER would have had there been a full party. With only one character, the player had to be much more cautious - and since he was so cautious, I had to provide MUCH more background and detail info than were he just headstrong and charged ahead.

And then he made my DM day. One day he sat down, set up his provisions and sold everything he couldn't carry - and said the words that made my DM heart swell with pride.

He said, "I'm heading west until I can't go west any more."

All I had was my central kingdom mapped and detailed.... and he knew that the kingdom was on the eastern coast.

The things he made me come up with to assist him in his westerly quest are still used in my campaign today.

So I just have to say, don't poo-poo the idea that one PC screws things up. It makes you think more - which is always a good thing!!

fmitchell
04-12-2009, 05:38 PM
]I only have two players currently, which means that if either one can't make it the game doesn't go on.


I'm sorry, but I take HUGE exception to this statement!!

As a DM for two years with only ONE player, I discovered SO much more about my world and the NPC's that live there than I EVER would have had there been a full party. With only one character, the player had to be much more cautious - and since he was so cautious, I had to provide MUCH more background and detail info than were he just headstrong and charged ahead.

It's different when you have 2 PCs, and half of them don't show up. It's also different when you're running BRP, where combat is deadly enough, and neither of your PCs is a primary combatant. I simply can't think of enough non-combat challenges to keep people amused ... and it simply doesn't make sense to send one guy (or even two) out into the Wasteland alone. Of course, then I have the problem of NPCs fighting other NPCs.

I've thought about running a one-on-one game, though, even after seeing "Fear of Girls". I'd have to make sure the single PC could take care of himself in a fight, though ... especially since I prefer Conanesque swords-and-sorcery to high fantasy.

Beaumont Sebos
04-12-2009, 06:31 PM
So I ask the group: how many D&D 3.x players would want to play such a thing? Would you be willing to play without clerics and wizards (etc.)? Do you want a selection of classes, even if they have no spells? Would you want to play not-evil orcs, or would you miss being humans, elves, dwarves, and the rest?

I'd give it a try. But I like lots of magic, so no clerics and wizards would be tough for me. And since there wouldn't be clerics and wizard, you'd have to have some cool classes to choose from. i'd play a non-evil orc, though, no prob.

cpljarhead
04-12-2009, 07:21 PM
i've DMed before in your situation of two players and only one showing. just make up npc's and allow the players to play them or give the players a chance to have more than one character in the game. it is your world and you can create any rules you want and run it as you see fit, just remember to make it fun for the players no matter whether you dont have spellcasters or not or whether you play other races like orcs or even minotaurs or goblins or whatever. the group im involved in played a homebrew game where wwe all played a bunch of hobgoblins or dragon like characters made up by the dm and it was actually a lot of fun playing something other than the standard type races. never give up. just do what is fun!!!!!!!!!!

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
04-12-2009, 08:01 PM
i agree with cpljarhjead. I have run many a game with a single player. Truth be told, some of those were very memorable.

TAROT
04-12-2009, 09:12 PM
It's different when you have 2 PCs, and half of them don't show up. It's also different when you're running BRP, where combat is deadly enough, and neither of your PCs is a primary combatant. I simply can't think of enough non-combat challenges to keep people amused ... and it simply doesn't make sense to send one guy (or even two) out into the Wasteland alone. Of course, then I have the problem of NPCs fighting other NPCs.

An urban setting often works well in this situation. Sometimes Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser are together, and sometimes they're working on their own personal projects in different parts of the city.

Soft Serve
04-13-2009, 04:30 PM
Just give me a dice, a setting, a character, and lets play something. :lol:

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
04-13-2009, 05:52 PM
Just give me a dice, a setting, a character, and lets play something. :lol:
Now thats the attitude i like to see. Youre welcome to sit in on my games, anytime, Soft Serve.

Soft Serve
04-13-2009, 10:24 PM
Now thats the attitude i like to see. Youre welcome to sit in on my games, anytime, Soft Serve.

Alright pre-roll me a character. I'd like a goatee, and my lightsaber shall be orange.


...wait what game? :D

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
04-13-2009, 10:27 PM
Alright pre-roll me a character. I'd like a goatee, and my lightsaber shall be orange.


...wait what game? :D
Your character would fit right in to one of my Traveller campaigns.

cpljarhead
04-13-2009, 11:19 PM
Just give me a dice, a setting, a character, and lets play something. :lol:

hey soft serve that the attitude that a hard core gamer should have and i like it. i feel the same way!!!OOOH RAAAH! as we say in the Corps when thats the right attitude.

nijineko
04-14-2009, 12:04 AM
I choose "if I like they setting". However I haven't played D&D since the ol' advanced days. I have since progressed on to other systems that don't limit creativity.

any system is only as limited as the imagination of the participants and the timidness of said participants in stepping off into uncharted territory; whether it be rules territory, setting territory, or game map territory.

It is all one's own game, who is there to tell one 'no', but ones self?




for me, the original set of questions would be answered largely depending on how compelling and interesting what was being offered was. if it comes across as d&d minus this, that, and the other... then no. but if it had a rich storyline, interesting plots, engaging challenges, a fascinating world setting with lots to explore and discover... in short, if it got me as the player interested, then yes-where's-my-dice-please!

ps: does it have psionics? that's always a win for me. :lol:

Grimwell
04-14-2009, 12:28 AM
I'm totally down for a good game. Any system, any setting. If I find that someone I know runs good games, that's the end of my concern. I have systems I prefer to run myself, but when it comes to playing I have no limits.

Finding a person who can run a good game in any system is a rare enough thing without me fighting over system. :)

fmitchell
04-14-2009, 12:45 AM
any system is only as limited as the imagination of the participants and the timidness of said participants in stepping off into uncharted territory; whether it be rules territory, setting territory, or game map territory.

That's true to some extent, but system does matter. For example (and not to start a flame war), I know from experience that D&D 4e doesn't contribute much to a game of political intrigue and coalition-building; the DM borrowed ideas from other games to measure how well we were running the kingdom. I also wouldn't pick GURPS for a high-powered super campaign, or Truth & Justice for grim-and-gritty modern adventures.


ps: does it have psionics? that's always a win for me. :lol:

There's spirit magic ... does that count?

Soft Serve
04-14-2009, 02:15 PM
I love psionics in D&D, but I think in hardcore Sci-Fi games like Traveller they just don't make a lot of sense. Neither do races in Traveller as a matter of fact. Especially races that so closely resemble earth animals. (Lions, Birds, and Dogs.)

John Wolf
04-15-2009, 02:05 AM
I'm always open to new and inventive rules and ideas. Just give me a D20 and I'm good to roll.

Dragon2605
04-17-2009, 07:03 PM
I am not too picky about what I play. I'll give any setting a try at least once.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
04-17-2009, 07:24 PM
I love psionics in D&D, but I think in hardcore Sci-Fi games like Traveller they just don't make a lot of sense. Neither do races in Traveller as a matter of fact. Especially races that so closely resemble earth animals. (Lions, Birds, and Dogs.)
You're not alone with your feelings on lifeforms in Traveller, Soft Serve. I, myself, altered them accordingly, for i, too, care not for lions, birds, and hibrid dogs, oh my... in the galaxy. But that's the 1970's for you.

BrotherDog
04-18-2009, 04:36 AM
As OGL material goes, I consider many other reasons/choices as to why to use them. Many were not choices in this poll. New player options, additional spells/feats/skills/PrCs/Full Classes/Races and so on, as long they are balanced.

In the example of feel/flavor, I have haven't found many I completely liked. Don't like 4e for that reason, it feels more like a very badly done MMO than anything resembling D&D. A few that I found bits and pieces of good stuff never got completed(or just available in my area) before WotC violated D&D was stuff like Iron Kingdoms, 3rd party Psionics stuff, plus Green Ronin's Bastards & Bloodlines. This stuff seems harder to find nowadays.

Soft Serve
04-18-2009, 06:45 PM
You're not alone with your feelings on lifeforms in Traveller, Soft Serve. I, myself, altered them accordingly, for i, too, care not for lions, birds, and hibrid dogs, oh my... in the galaxy. But that's the 1970's for you.


Also plants...I Forgot the Hivers. :rolleyes:

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
04-18-2009, 07:39 PM
Also plants...I Forgot the Hivers. :rolleyes:
I find i tolerate more with animals and plants with Gamma World.

esoclectica
04-19-2009, 10:01 AM
If you are looking for a low magic version of D20 you might try Monte Cook's Iron Hero. I ran a game for a year using a combo of Conan RPG and Iron Hero set in Judge's Guild Wilderness Campaign <I actually had a lot of the original 70s/80s material!>. The one spellcaster in the group had no truly effective combat magic but got blamed/framed for every coincidence and piece of bad luck in the campaign.

fmitchell
04-19-2009, 05:22 PM
If you are looking for a low magic version of D20 you might try Monte Cook's Iron Hero.

I saw Iron Heroes when it first came out, and it inspired the style of fantasy world I'd like to run. The system itself, however, had far too many Token Pools for my liking, so I've been looking for alternatives. I just received the Conan RPG in the mail, so I'll take a look at that.

BTW, one of my players doesn't want to change systems in mid-stream, so I may just start a low-magic d20/OGC game on the side, and hope some of them hop over. (I've also been dying to play/run WFRP.)

As far as Traveller goes ... I have the same philosophy as I do with fantasy: only a few non-human sapients who are very strange and unsuitable for PCs, and limited or no psionics. (Actually, I'd love to have a River-Tam-style psychic, with borderline paranormal abilities and a whole lot of trauma over them.) My preference would be a game of Solomani and Vilani only, with a little more transhumanism and maybe Hivers or the like on the edges of Humaniti's domain.

jade von delioch
04-20-2009, 09:56 PM
wheres the "i hate D&D" selection on this poll?

MortonStromgal
04-21-2009, 12:23 AM
Personally I like BRP, but I can understand it may not be as easy to find players.

fmitchell
04-21-2009, 01:17 AM
Personally I like BRP, but I can understand it may not be as easy to find players.

Yep. There are so many systems that are simpler to learn than D&D, and so few people will try them.

For example, I'm sick of this fantasy crap (much as I'd like to try WFRP), and I'd like to run a science fiction game. So far my candidate systems are GURPS, Traveller, "Legends of Time and Space" (pdf) (http://www.darkcitygames.com/docs/TimeAndSpace.pdf), and PDQ (pdf) (http://www.atomicsockmonkey.com/freebies/di/pdq-core.pdf) supplemented with a slightly more realistic take on weapons.

GURPS and Traveller have name recognition, but their complex character generation rules and very non-d20-ness might scare the average D&D player. "Time and Space" characters are easier to make, but there's no "GM guide" for some of the mechanics like Weapon Reach/Range, Karma, Wishes, and "required" vs. "assisted" skill checks. PDQ characters are almost trivial ... once players grok the idea of Qualities, and players who want crunch will look elsewhere.

EDIT: For that matter, BRP has free (with registration) Quick Start (http://catalog.chaosium.com/product_info.php?products_id=3700) rules, running only 32 pages including cover, character sheet blanks, and seven page "what is a roleplaying game" section. PDQ, Dark City's "Legends of ..." PDFs, the Traveller SRD, GURPS Lite, even the SRD formerly known as d20, are all free. Add in a few optional rules, maybe a magic system or two (for fantasy games), and you've got a complete, playable game.

But no, everyone wants to pony up $35 or more for 4th Edition D&D.

tesral
04-24-2009, 01:10 AM
I rewrite the whole book anyway so I really have nothing to stand on where canonical is concerned. I just want to know what the changes are and want them consistent.

Heck the rules as written are not "fair and balanced" in every respect. Everyone has tweaks.

BrotherDog
04-25-2009, 04:43 AM
I rewrite the whole book anyway so I really have nothing to stand on where canonical is concerned. I just want to know what the changes are and want them consistent.

Heck the rules as written are not "fair and balanced" in every respect. Everyone has tweaks.

You can say that again. Many rules don't makes sense even for flavor.

DragonsDelight
05-18-2009, 02:48 PM
I've been away from D&D for a few years, so at this point, as long as the setting is interesting, I could care less about it being canonical!

TheRageOfGaia
05-18-2009, 09:21 PM
Just gimme a d20, or heck, a handful of d10s or d6s, haha. I'll just roll for damage.

fmitchell: Your game sounds interesting, and I would play something like that. I have tried a couple different things with classes and restrictions that have worked out very well. The first was a game where all the PCs had to be a paladin or a cleric, but I included Deities & Demigods for variety. The second was based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire (which I highly recommend) and that one sort of flopped, mainly because of real life problems such as girlfriends, marriages, children, jobs, etc.

tesral
05-18-2009, 09:46 PM
There are few systems I will refuse to play. Right now that is two, Harnmaster and Forry. One or two that I find a turn off if the concept is not completely compelling. You would have to have a kick ass game to get me to play Basic Role-Playing.

In general you need a good concept. Just because it's a D&D game I am not in. I need a reason, and group that I feel compatible with.

Mead
05-19-2009, 12:10 AM
Sometimes I get sick of the D20 System. There's something about Feats that just annoys me. Sorry, can't get any more specific than that :)

And then there's Castles & Crusades, which seems to me to have gotten all the good marrow out of D20 without leaving any splinters to stick in the craw.

Webhead
05-19-2009, 12:27 AM
Sometimes I get sick of the D20 System. There's something about Feats that just annoys me. Sorry, can't get any more specific than that :)

Yes, the d20 System and I have a love/hate relationship. I'm thankful for d20 because it has led to some really awesome things (chiefly Mutants & Masterminds, Star Wars Saga and Omega World) but the game system itself in its original D&D-inspired formula (the one that so many early 3rd-party publishers clung so blindly and desperately to) has irked me for a long time. I don't think it's the core system itself so much as the type of game design and implementation it enforces, demands and rewards. The best renditions of d20 are those that took the seed of coolness from deep within its core and then pruned away all the tangled, choking, venomous weeds that were stealing all the life from it...to use colorful analogy. :)

Sascha
05-19-2009, 02:12 AM
Yes, the d20 System and I have a love/hate relationship. I'm thankful for d20 because it has led to some really awesome things (chiefly Mutants & Masterminds, Star Wars Saga and Omega World) but the game system itself in its original D&D-inspired formula (the one that so many early 3rd-party publishers clung so blindly and desperately to) has irked me for a long time. I don't think it's the core system itself so much as the type of game design and implementation it enforces, demands and rewards. The best renditions of d20 are those that took the seed of coolness from deep within its core and then pruned away all the tangled, choking, venomous weeds that were stealing all the life from it...to use colorful analogy. :)
Same sentiments. It's the system mastery aspect that bugs me most: requiring one to learn every nuance of the game to be awesome isn't a design goal with which I'm particularly enamoured. (Hmm, why I default to the British spelling there is beyond me ... :P) Action points are kinda good, covering pretty much all the things I'd want them to, but it's not a particularly inspiring implementation ... well, that and the fact that nobody I play with uses them. Blah.

templeorder
05-19-2009, 09:31 AM
Its been a while since i played 3rd ed+, but it would not matter. Since i dislike magic anyway, ditching that would be no big deal. I don't think DnD any edition handles faith well, so i would not miss that either. If the combat is gritty, and the intrigue is good, the setting adds the main dish and you got a full meal.
If you're trying to interest people tell them about the setting first, then the system. A lot of people may be turned off if its not their favorite system, and then you have to struggle against a negative reaction to achieve a positive one.

tesral
05-19-2009, 10:09 AM
D20 issues: Feats, I agree, they are not balanced. I don't like the way they are handed out, and frankly don't like the feats that there are. About the only class that truly benefits are the fighters.

Scalability, it is never going to go away. The system simply does not scale. One can compensate to some extent with roll through and roll under, but it is a feeble fix. The only real solutions are to not let the numbers get about +10, or don't use d20.

The solution to "all the rules" is to limit what can be used in a game. I think that trying to use every book that exists just breaks things. They do not play well with each other and broken combinations can and will happen. A warning I issue on my site: "Fantasy creatures removed from their natural environment can prove to be dangerous, even deadly to the local ecology of another finely crafted fantasy world, so use them with extreme care for the flavor of your world and the balance thereof. What works for me might not work for you. So as much as I like my creations and like other people to like them too. Be careful what you use." This goes double for extra books.

Skills: Under used and with a bit of tweaking can replace feats in total. I re-did the entire skills chapter (http://phoenixinn.iwarp.com/fantasy/fantpdf/05_Manual_Skills.pdf). I move skills around, alter how many skills one gets (Removing the class bias) and trying to bring the skill list more in line with actual skills. Knowledge skills reflect the thinking of the early Renaissance for example.

DragonsDelight
05-19-2009, 12:58 PM
Skills: Under used and with a bit of tweaking can replace feats in total. I re-did the entire skills chapter (http://phoenixinn.iwarp.com/fantasy/fantpdf/05_Manual_Skills.pdf). I move skills around, alter how many skills one gets (Removing the class bias) and trying to bring the skill list more in line with actual skills. Knowledge skills reflect the thinking of the early Renaissance for example.


The reworking of the skills was interesting.

I always loathed having to pick skills because I hardly ever used them. In 3.5-- my preferred system-- I almost always played Clerics. "Heal" was damn near useless since I could just spontaneously convert an orison into a cure minor wounds for the same effect, so I usually stockpiled my skill points into non-class skills that might come in handy like Bluff or Diplomacy, and put the rest into Knowledge-- which actually did come in handy from time to time.

tesral
05-20-2009, 12:56 AM
I like it, but I wrote it. Skills are important in my game. One reason I ditch the "non-class" skills nonsense. The fact you are one class or another should not affect your ability to learn. Likewise I don't see how being one class or another should affect how many skills you can learn. Intelligence? That I can see, but not your profession.

So, no cross class skills, skills are skills, and 5 per level.

acnoll
06-06-2009, 09:34 AM
i would play if it was 4e, even though i chose "I want everything in the PHB, or I'm out.", that only applies to regular D&D. Now that i look back at it, i would change my answer. But there is more than just fighter. Druid, shaman, barbarian, etc.

Bob the Dalek
06-18-2009, 01:52 PM
I can has d20 nao?

DarQuing
06-18-2009, 02:35 PM
I'm generally willing to try any d20 system at least once, some I enjoy more than others, though.

Edit: The d20 system, in my estimation, isn't always the most grokkable, but in comparison to some of the other systems (WoD, Shadowrun, Firefly), it feels simpler in some ways. One thing I liked about WoD, its easier to marry character fluff to character crunch (haven't played with Shadowrun or Firefly enough to make a decision character fluff:crunch).

Soft Serve
06-18-2009, 02:40 PM
I'm not even that picky. There could be no dice at all and I'll play it.

Hell I've played games where you drew cards for results. That was actually one of my favorite. Red Joker meant great things happened . It was like rolling a 100...

...on a d20.

Black Joker usually meant you were about to get thrown into a near-death situation or 4.

Black Joker actually almost always involves a chainsaw....

...chainsaw nunchuks was a fun one.

DarQuing
06-18-2009, 02:44 PM
Munchkin is a good collectible RP cardgame. :D