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Does anyone else share my dislike of d20?


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d20 is a bloody awful system, we only have it because most D&D nerds are too daft to comprehend other, more advanced and better systems.

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"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

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Don't mistake the d20 system for that rubbish they used in the KotOR games. And all the lightsaber colour-class stuff was made up by someone at BIO, it has nothing to do with the d20 or SW canon whatsoever.

 

Oh, I don't - I tried d20/3e long before I played KotOR1, so I know that. The KotOR system *is* close to d20, though. I know because I've played both KotOR games and many sessions of d20 Star Wars RPG.

 

And about using the d20 to explain the movies... you'll see that the people at Wizards don't endorse those practices, so proceed at your own risk.  o:)

 

Hmm, yes. But frankly, isn't that really an admission on their part that their system is flawed and cannot represent the events of the films to anyone's satisfaction? They do give d20 stats for all the main movie characters in the d20 core rules, after all.

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Hmm, yes. But frankly, isn't that really an admission on their part that their system is flawed and cannot represent the events of the films to anyone's satisfaction? They do give d20 stats for all the main movie characters in the d20 core rules, after all.

Star Wars is patently beyond all logic. Therefore, it's impossible to establish a fixed ruleset that can be used to explain every instance of the movies coherently. :lol:"

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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Hmm, yes. But frankly, isn't that really an admission on their part that their system is flawed and cannot represent the events of the films to anyone's satisfaction? They do give d20 stats for all the main movie characters in the d20 core rules, after all.

Star Wars is patently beyond all logic. Therefore, it's impossible to establish a fixed ruleset that can be used to explain every instance of the movies coherently. :lol:"

 

Oh, I don't know. I haven't played WEG's d6 Star Wars, but I've read the rules and they look pretty solid. And the game probably has a fanbase for a reason.

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Oh, I don't know. I haven't played WEG's d6 Star Wars, but I've read the rules and they look pretty solid. And the game probably has a fanbase for a reason.

I own the old d6 books and they are even more limited than the d20. The game has a fanbase, but so does SW d20. :lol:

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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I was actually quite happy with the change to d20 for Dungeons and Dragons. I guess I'm part of the fanbase for d20.

 

From what I understand, the characters and events for the Forgotten Realms series of books were not adequately explained by either the 2nd edition or 3rd edition ruleset. Writing a story set in an existing game system must be irritating. Creating a game system for an existing work of literature must be equally frustrating. After all, to adhere slavishly to the confines of the work denies flexibility to the ruleset.

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And that's just silly. If someone tries to hit you with a sharp object, then you're in danger and could lose your life if you don't defend yourself.

 

Not if you're a hero. If you're a regular person, yes, maybe, but just as the character in a book is not in danger of death if the author doesn't plan on killing him, the PCs aren't in actual danger of death if the story doesn't warrant it.

 

Of course you don't meet Boromir, but the situation is still just as relevant, isn't it? I mean, if my character was mortally wounded, I'd prefer to have the option to making the heroic death-speech along the lines of Boromir before dying, but d20 rules won't allow that or even that my character could be killed by four arrows. Sure, the DM can enforce stuff for dramatic purposes, but that's again avoiding the issue of what the rules say (EDIT: And reserved for NPCs), and they actually don't allow for a leve 15 warrior to be killed by four arrows. So if I'm a 15 level warrior in D&D, then I don't have to worry about that one orc (or even group of orcs, as it was i the novel) point a bow at me, because I know there is no way he can kill me - I can just stand there and say, "Do your worst - see if I care".

 

But it's not avoiding the issue of what the rules say, because the D&D rules aren't designed to be played without DM intervention. They're designed on the assumption that the DM will want to make changes or ignore the rules, and are so structured that they can be changed or ignored with little problems. The fact that the DM can intervene when the rules aren't going to cover what he wishes to happen isn't a fault of the system, it's the point of the system.

 

You're missing my point. You're talking about whether I must play d20. I've alredy said that I don't have to (for now).

 

But what I'm talking about is whether d20 is a flawed and badly designed system at its core. That's the central issue of this topic, not whether you and I or whomever loves or loathes it.

 

You were the one that brought up that you 'had' to use d20 to play a certain game, not me.

 

For now, yes, but as I have demonstrated, WotC intend to make d20 the industry-wide standard for all RPG over time. They have said so. You can go to their site and see this for yourself, if you don't believe me. Just go here and read the d20 FAQ

 

If enough people dislike d20 not to use it, that won't happen. If people decide that they quite like the d20 system, and find it adequate to their needs, then I see nothing so wrong with it.

Hawk! Eggplant! AWAKEN!

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Not if you're a hero.  If you're a regular person, yes, maybe, but just as the character in a book is not in danger of death if the author doesn't plan on killing him, the PCs aren't in actual danger of death if the story doesn't warrant it.

 

An author who writes a passage in a novel where an orc swings a sword at the hero and doesn't describe it as dangerous is a bad author doing bad fiction. We've seen plenty of that, of course, but it's still terrible quality. I don't care if it's a hero or a common man - if someone swings a sharp object at the protagonist, then it's dangerous and should be described as such.

 

But it's not avoiding the issue of what the rules say, because the D&D rules aren't designed to be played without DM intervention. They're designed on the assumption that the DM will want to make changes or ignore the rules, and are so structured that they can be changed or ignored with little problems.  The fact that the DM can intervene when the rules aren't going to cover what he wishes to happen isn't a fault of the system, it's the point of the system.

 

What RPG is designed to be played without intervention by the DM (or GM, Narrator, Storyteller, Keeper, etc.)? There is nothing unusual about D&D or d20 in general that would make a difference here to any other RPG, yet most others are better designed and better written than d20 for the reasons I have mentioned before. The need for the GM to toss out the rules now and then is present in any RPG. If I found that a rule is bad in an RPG, then I'm going to call it a design flaw, since there is no reason why it should have been there in the first place, and D&D/d20 is no different than any other RPG in this regard, so I'll measure it by the same standards.

 

You were the one that brought up that you 'had' to use d20 to play a certain game, not me.

 

I said that because I will not be able to play certain games (like Star Wars) in a few years without having d20 forced on me, and WotC plans to take over more of the market and reduce the "danger" of diversity. I'm not saying d20 should go away, just that its bad design means that it should be about the last system to be considered for an industry-wide standard for all RPGs.

 

If enough people dislike d20 not to use it, that won't happen.  If people decide that they quite like the d20 system, and find it adequate to their needs, then I see nothing so wrong with it.

 

I do, for the reasons I have stated before. d20 is fine for entry-level games, like D&D has been reduced to, but it's not suitable for more complex or deep role-playing like Cthulhu. I also hate it for Star Wars, since it cannot represent the franchise properly within its own rules.

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I was actually quite happy with the change to d20 for Dungeons and Dragons.  I guess I'm part of the fanbase for d20.

 

From what I understand, the characters and events for the Forgotten Realms series of books were not adequately explained by either the 2nd edition or 3rd edition ruleset.  Writing a story set in an existing game system must be irritating.  Creating a game system for an existing work of literature must be equally frustrating.  After all, to adhere slavishly to the confines of the work denies flexibility to the ruleset.

 

Well, I don't like FR either, so that is a non-issue to me. 3e might be okay for a simplistic and very black-and-white setting like FR, so for monster-slashing RPG and dungeon-crawls, it's just fine. But it's not suitable for complex RPG with deep characterization, because the archetypes of the fixed classes are forced much to harshly. Even an official D&D world like Mystara (where I play) does not fit well into 3e IMHO.

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I haven't had the pleasure of reading the Forgotten Realms books. I have to take your word for it that the Star Wars books and movies provide in terms of literary quality. Nevertheless, Star Wars isn't based on a ruleset. Do you contend that George Lucas tossed some dice in order to see what would next happen while writing the screenplay? My point is that most systems don't do very well in depicting events as they would occur in "real life."

 

I respect the fact that you dislike the d20 philosophy. On the other hand, I tend to like d20. I'm not a beginner, but my friends and I don't have the time to get together to play role-playing games more than once a month, and that's if we're lucky. A nice, simple rule-set that doesn't ruin the fun of the game by micro-managing the rules fits us perfectly.

 

At any rate, if there's a large enough niche for alternate rulesets, then you're going to have access choices.

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AD&D 2ndEd all the way :rolleyes:

I don't even bother with 3E.

 

But seriously all this talk about different gaming systems and why hit points, experience levels etc are so bad and why skill-based is so much better...etc.

 

Whatever system you prefer I think boils down to how important it is to you to have gaming system rules to emulate the real world. I don't think the rules system you use matters too much to someone who just wants to tell a story. People who worry about the rules system so much seem to worry about realism and details as much or even more so than the telling of the story itself.

 

Neither approach is wrong.. But for me, I fit in the first camp, I have AD&D 2ndEd, OD&D, GURPS, Shadowrun, Cyberspace, SLA and on and on..etc

And I always end up going back to AD&D or Basic D&D. Heck, the rules are simple and efficient and anything that I feel detracts from gameplay I have house rules for. As a result, the rules don't get in the way of telling the story like they would in GURPS and Shadowrun with the excessive attention to detail (rollplaying!) and realism.

 

And yeah, I am fine with hit points/levels for tabletop just like I am when playing my favorite CRPGs such as Baldur's Gate, Planescape, Ultima (strangely, the aforementioned issues don't bother people when it comes to CRPGs). I am used to these RPG archetypes and as such they have never bothered me personally but then again.. Whatever floats your boat.

image002.gifLancer

 

 

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Well, I don't like FR either, so that is a non-issue to me. 3e might be okay for a simplistic and very black-and-white setting like FR, so for monster-slashing RPG and dungeon-crawls, it's just fine. But it's not suitable for complex RPG with deep characterization, because the archetypes of the fixed classes are forced much to harshly. Even an official D&D world like Mystara (where I play) does not fit well into 3e IMHO.

 

 

It is great to see another fellow Mystaran. :rolleyes: I also DM in Mystara as it is my favorite AD&D setting. Mystara is almost best with just plain old Basic D&D.

And, yes, Mystara is better than FR! :p

image002.gifLancer

 

 

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Oh, I don't know. I haven't played WEG's d6 Star Wars, but I've read the rules and they look pretty solid. And the game probably has a fanbase for a reason.

I own the old d6 books and they are even more limited than the d20. The game has a fanbase, but so does SW d20. :thumbsup:

I've played D6 Star Wars more than any other system. It's all my players clamor for most of the time. I had a 7 year campaign going for a reason. I think the Jedi aren't balanced against non-Jedi, but I make up for it with story. I put alot more pressure on Jedi characters.

 

I think the rules system however is perhaps the most open-ended, flexible system I've seen outside of Toon or GURPS. Toon is a silly game made just for cartoons and GURPS is cumbersome. D6 is made to be quick, fluid and cinematic. I can teach a player the rules in a matter of 5 minutes.

 

I've never seen anything that would suggest the D6 rules would hold any player back with any concept, and players have come to me with about every concept I can imagine in the Star Wars universe. I had a player play a sentient plant named "Ganjan", and a player who played a gelantinus mass. I've had Ewok shamans, galactic clerks inspired by Clerks, you name it. My favorite character was a holo-novel author who became the center-piece to a really neat plotline.

 

Warlord Zsinj was using his books for strategies in his attacks, and tried to kidnap the author so that no one would know what he was doing, and so the Warlord could use him as his tactician. The players had to get to the author first if they were going to stop the Warlord's fleet.

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It is great to see another fellow Mystaran. :) I also DM in Mystara as it is my favorite AD&D setting. Mystara is almost best with just plain old Basic D&D.

And, yes, Mystara is better than FR! :)

 

Well, there is little question that the OD&D (or Basic D&D) material is far better than the AD&D rubbish they publised. The Explorer's Guide in the Karameikos set was good, especially with all the illustrations (which had been lacking before), but the rest was utter garbage. Heck, the Grimoire in the Glantri set wasn't even updated to reflect all of the changes of Wrath of the Immortals, and so the description of the Nucleus of the Spheres was just the same as in gaz3 despite being reprogrammed at the end of the war... :wub:

 

Of course, they never finished the AD&D project, because it died. The problem was that they tried to push Mystara as an entry-level AD&D world, which indicates major misunderstanding of the setting and consequent flaws in the strategy given how politically complex and "grey" the nations of that campaign really are. It's what makes Mystara great, though - no all black or white heroes or villains. Even good King Stefan has to stab his own in the back from time to time, which makes for much better role-playing that the endless "good vs. evil" and "chosen of the gods" stuff in FR. Mystara is inhabited by people instead of all heroes and villains.

 

So yes, the original OD&D stuff - particulary the early adventuring modules and the gazetteer series is some of the best D&D stuff around. Heck, some of it is even among the best role-playing material in general - I count B10: Night's Dark Terror among the best adventures ever made for any RPG. You can't play it outside Mystara, however, since it is so closely tied to gods, races, and places that exist only Mystara. It's what makes it great, though - it really uses the setting's detail to create depth that is very compelling.

 

Er, sorry about the Mystara rant, everybody... :">

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That almost makes me want to play D&D.

 

Thanks, that's praise indeed.

 

I do pride myself on having been able to keep my players' interest for ten years running and counting, but it would have been difficult with a campaign that just wasn't very interesting.

 

In case anyone is interested in Mystara, WotC declared a number of official sites for the "dead" worlds, and Mystara's is here.

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Mystara was definately not what I would call entry level.

 

The new D&D book had some really nice stuff that AD&D didnt have.People tended to look down on it because it wasnt "advanced". Another lesson about not judging a book by its cover I guess.

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

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It's silly to frame hit point-based systems as "primitive", since it does what the designers mean for it to do - it's eminently book-keepable, it contributes to a heroic/literary motif where the character isn't supposed to be in real danger from some shlub goblin, and it can be easily attuned to the level system. And the level/class system itself isn't even primitive, it's just restrictive. Perfect open endedness is not what every game system should be marching towards, and the 3+ edition D&D stuff seems to strike a good balance.

 

But I liked GURPS, so maybe you shouldn't take me seriously. Although, for the love of god, don't use it for modern games with automatic weapons - those rules were so byzantine that it would take a fight hours to finish.

 

On the other hand, I would probably be a little miffed if d20 pushed grittier systems out of licenses/genres that deserve it. Horror games shouldn't have hit points, fer instance, since you should never be thinking, "Ok, I can survive three Quorthubglubmokth mental blasts, I should be able to blah blah." And cyberpunk probably shouldn't have classes, etc.

 

I dunno, I probably don't know enough about d20 to intrude on this conversation, since I know almost nothing about even 3rd edition D&D comparitively, much less the d20 system in general.

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Mystara was definately not what I would call entry level.

 

The new D&D book had some really nice stuff that AD&D didnt have.People tended to look down on it because it wasnt "advanced". Another lesson about not judging a book by its cover I guess.

 

Yes. Especially when it actually turned out to be way more complex than 'advanced' D&D... I mean, the old Gazetteer series had new skills and alternate classes almost every time. That's way more complex than the crappy kits of AD&D.

 

It was annoying for the same reason, though. For example, every gazetteer also had a tendency to redefine the skills so that important skills suddenly worked differently and were based on different stats in each nation. I prefer to have one standard to sort all that out and then stick with that. That's why I played OD&D Known World with AD&D rules long before the AD&D Mystara setting was declared - AD&D gave me one standard proficiency base to operate from, so I stuck with that. And some of all those new classes were pretty silly IMHO (taken the "Master" class for the halflings, for example... That could have been done a lot better - speaks volumes that that gaz was written by Ed 'Forgotten Realms' Greenwood...).

 

I see the same thing happening in d20 D&D today (for the classes I mean), which is another reason why I don't like the system - every new rulebook or supplement introduces "new cool classes and feats that you just must have in your campaign because they're more powerful than ever before, but certainly don't unbalance your game, and definitely are not released because WotC wants more $$..." ;)

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Yes. Especially when it actually turned out to be way more complex than 'advanced' D&D... I mean, the old Gazetteer series had new skills and alternate classes almost every time. That's way more complex than the crappy kits of AD&D.

 

It was annoying for the same reason, though. For example, every gazetteer also had a tendency to redefine the skills so that important skills suddenly worked differently and were based on different stats in each nation. I prefer to have one standard to sort all that out and then stick with that. That's why I played OD&D Known World with AD&D rules long before the AD&D Mystara setting was declared - AD&D gave me one standard proficiency base to operate from, so I stuck with that. And some of all those new classes were pretty silly IMHO (taken the "Master" class for the halflings, for example... That could have been done a lot better - speaks volumes that that gaz was written by Ed 'Forgotten Realms' Greenwood...).

 

I see the same thing happening in d20 D&D today (for the classes I mean), which is another reason why I don't like the system - every new rulebook or supplement introduces "new cool classes and feats that you just must have in your campaign because they're more powerful than ever before, but certainly don't unbalance your game, and definitely are not released because WotC wants more $$..."  ;)

 

Kind of like getting a patch for an MMPORG. Each book changed the balance of power.

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

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I see the same thing happening in d20 D&D today (for the classes I mean), which is another reason why I don't like the system - every new rulebook or supplement introduces "new cool classes and feats that you just must have in your campaign because they're more powerful than ever before, but certainly don't unbalance your game, and definitely are not released because WotC wants more $$..."  :thumbsup:

Well, you don't have to buy the new books. It's not like your official license for playing with old rulesets expires each time Wizards release some new crap.

 

It's a living...

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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Well, you don't have to buy the new books. It's not like your official license for playing with old rulesets expires each time Wizards release some new crap.

 

Actually, that's pretty much the conclusion Monte Cook reached when reviewing D&D 3.5, and he was one of the designers of 3e. According to him, 3.5 was released for the potential of profit and not because there was something wrong with the system. He knew that because an update was proposed by WotC while he was still designing 3e with Jonathan Tweet and Skip Williams. The designers tried to fight the idea that an 'update' should come after a few years, but after leaving WotC, Monte Cook describes in his review that apparently WotC forced the update even earlier than orginally planned.

 

No, he didn't flame the whole thing and hate it all - he did like a lot of the changes - but he also said that 3.5 caused a lot of problems because it came too soon and left players in confusion as to which edition of D&D they were really playing.

 

Maybe it's just me, but I found it damn funny that he criticized 3.5, when he was one of the original designers of 3e.

 

If we follow that strategy, then D&D 3.7 or 4.0 or whatever can't be far away now...

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