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Does anyone else share my dislike of d20?


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This went from "D&D sucks" to "I really miss old-school D&D".

 

It must be nostalgia, because I've played all versions of D&D and I think they were fine as innovators, but they pale in comparison to far superior systems.

 

In all my years of gaming and reading and trying out different rulesets I always come back to AD&D. To me, none of the other systems can really compare (except for maybe, SLA).

It is shortsighted to say that any system is inherently better than any other because just like food, people have different tastes.

 

Anyways, Mystara just rocks my world.

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This went from "D&D sucks" to "I really miss old-school D&D".

 

It must be nostalgia, because I've played all versions of D&D and I think they were fine as innovators, but they pale in comparison to far superior systems.

 

Oh yes - d20 is much better designed than the old D&D stuff, but..

 

1. The games are ancient - I cannot blame a game that is 20 to 30 years old and made during the infancy of role-playing for being inferior in design and consistency to a new game that is supposed to be current and balanced. Of course a game that's more than a quarter of century old is going to show its age - especially for RPGs - but d20 is new and yet enforces aspects that are really just as old. That's poor and disappointing. 2e Player Option rules were more 'advanced' and 'progressive' than 3e, even though they were spread out over a gazillion books. That's also true for 3e now, though :lol:

 

2. They were complete systems, whereas 3e is intentionally lacking. Monte Cook once said that people often ask him why there are no mass-combat rules in the 3e books, and his reply was that they weren't allowed to do it - WotC wanted to hold aspects of the game off for future products. You don't have that in the old D&D stuff - if you buy the D&D Rules Cyclopedia, then you buy a complete game in one book. Mass combat, dominion management, Immortal rules, usable descriptions of the nations (though not as extensive as the gazetteers, of course) and maps of them - it's all there in one book, and the rest is just expanding on that.

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And who says that in your campaign, Hel or Thanatos (or some other Immortal of the Sphere of Entropy)won't attempt to destroy the Spell of Preservation, somehow?  And what if they succeed? Entropy has been trying to destroy the HW for some time.. It would be another great plot hook.

Not to mention that Thanatos' burrowers are perfect for Lovecraftian-type horror plot hooks. Since you play CoC, the burrowers would make a great excuse to utilize a bit of horror for a HW adventure. IIRC, on the Vaults of Pandius site there was at least one article detailing horror rules for Mystara. Pretty interesting.

 

The burrowers aren't actually Thanatos', he has just tried (and failed) to use them on occasion. In truth they are remnants of the nefarious 'Outer Beings', who are supposed to be dark and evil gods now entrapped beyond the universe. Sound familiar? They're supposed to be kept in check by the 'Old Ones', who are the gods of the Immortals. Next to nothing is known about the Old Ones, though one does appear briefly at the end of WotI (so my players have actually met one...). For truly Lovecraftian-style Mystara, you really need to use the Carnifex, however. For that I'd direct you to the adventure M3: Twilight Calling. There are people in the Mystara community dedicated to exploring use of the Carnifex and Outer Beings in subtle ways that will enrich Mystara without taking away the mystery. In fact, the list moderator on the Mystara Mailing List (MML) is one of them.

 

Well, the Kingdom of Ierendi, I have always seen not so much as an adventuring spot for PCs but as a vacation resort.. really. It is Mystara's version of Hawaii. :)

(snip)

I just find it interesting that the option for your PC to literally take a vacation exists for when conditions call for it. Not to say that Ierendi is totally devoid of adventure opportunities...

 

True enough. I just mentioned it as an example of a gazetteer that's not so interesting and one of the least used nations. Ierendi is just a vacation spot where nothing happens. There are some interesting areas, if you look around, though. The potential for pirate-stories is great, and there is that elusive Honor Island where those strange wizards live...

 

Interesting you bring up this point because the Mystaran community, in general, likes to believe that the Mystara multiverse and the Planescape multiverse *are* mutually exclusive. I think Bruce Heard even wrote an article once (can be found on Vaults of Pandius) talking about how Mystara is its own multiverse independent of AD&D Planescape. In my campaign, that is total bull as I have been able to blend Planescape and Mystara succesfully. In fact, the 2ndEd supplement "Warriors of Heaven" had appendices that detailed where most Gods realms were located (including Mystaran Immortals)throughout the planes for all of TSR's settings. This product used the Planescape cosmology.I do agree with you that the OD&D and Planescape cosmologies are similar enough that linking Mystara and Planescape in this fashion works just fine.

 

"Wariors of Heaven" seems to be universally hated by Mystara-fans (though not me), so I'd be wary of mentioning it to them... I agree with you, but I've given up trying to define the core of the problem, since it always causes dissent and sore feelings, making it very difficult to establish a constructive dialogue. I guess it's just a case of people not liking having Mystara made into 'just another AD&D world' and then growing angry when they cannot find hard evidence against that being a possibility. The same goes for Spelljammer even though there are conversion guidelines for it in the Champions of Mystara set, which is the only D&D product to ever deal with space travel in any way. In fact, we know nothing about Mystara's space except what is described in relation to Haldemar's travels on the Princess Ark, yet many vehemently oppose the notion that spelljamming might be used for Mystara. They cite that Mystara's space is too cold and have no air, but actually there is nothing in Spelljammer rules preventing that as a local possibility - Krynn's space (that the Dragonlance world) is also very cold, for example.

 

-Well, Planescape and Ravenloft products state that Ethereal Plane contain many demiplanes including a "Demiplane of Nightmares.  So I reasoned that OD&D's "Nightmare Dimension" was actually the "Demiplane of Nightmares."

 

In fact, I think it was mentioned as such in the Monstrous Compendium supplement for Mystara under the entry for diabolus. Still, I'd be just as inclined to put the Nightmare dimension among the outer planes, but then it doesn't really matter.

 

Incidentally, that compendium is about the only AD&D Mystara product to receive some grudging general approval among Mystara's fans. They don't love it per se, but I rarely see it flamed either.

 

-Old Alphatia, Brynn, Mirage, and Draesten also became demiplanes within the Ethereal.

 

Here we would disagree some, since they are all described as outer planes in WotI. Old Alphatia isn't, but it's said to have ties to Draesten, and so would be in the outer planes as well. I'd much rather place these somewhere among the AD&D outer planes. Each of those is supposed to be as big as the universe, so there should be more than enough room. Well, not that it matters so much... I guess I just like the idea that the Alphatians and Flaems originate from an outer plane - it somehow fits their arrogant superiority in a strange way. But it makes little true difference.

 

-Pyts corresponds to the 333rd layer of the Abyss which is Thanatos' realm.

 

That would be my choice as well.

 

- Finally, Entrem , representing the Sphere of Time became an Inner Plane along with the other inner planes representing the Sphere of Energy(Fire; Positive Energy Plane), Matter(Earth; Ethereal Plane), Thought(Air, Astral Plane), and Entropy (no element; Negative Energy Plane)

 

The spheres of Mystaran cosmology are more problematic, since they're tied to the power of the Immortals. I tend to view them as 'sources of existence' that exist on a different level than the inner or outer planes and yet exist on all of them. I'd see them as more philosophical and so have little need to represent them with actual planes. That said, the red sun of the Hollow World is supposed to be a permanently opened gate to the sphere of energy (set up by Ixion), so I guess I need to accept it in some form.

 

Besides, Entrem is also described as an outer plane in WotI, though I'd admit that I have no idea where to put it - it's pretty strange compared to the other outer planes.

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I think D20 is more polished than first edition, but I still wouldn't call it balanced.

 

Well, I did say it was supposed to be more balanced, not that it was :)

 

It is more polished, though - the way they let modifiers from different areas stack for attack bonuses are good, for example - that was a nightmare in 2e with players always moaning if the DM said something wasn't cumulative.

 

The multi-class options are also much better. 2e multi-classes were a god-awful mess, and dual classes were huge loopholes wide open for exploitation of the rules.

 

So yes, more polish, but no more than that. In fact, some the classes are totally unbalanced. Rangers have probably had the hardest history in D&D - they were powerful in 1e, but have been steadily dropping in potential for each incarnation of D&D since...

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The burrowers aren't actually Thanatos', he has just tried (and failed) to use them on occasion. In truth they are remnants of the nefarious 'Outer Beings', who are supposed to be dark and evil gods now entrapped beyond the universe. Sound familiar? They're supposed to be kept in check by the 'Old Ones', who are the gods of the Immortals. Next to nothing is known about the Old Ones, though one does appear briefly at the end of WotI (so my players have actually met one...). For truly Lovecraftian-style Mystara, you really need to use the Carnifex, however. For that I'd direct you to the adventure M3: Twilight Calling. There are people in the Mystara community dedicated to exploring use of the Carnifex and Outer Beings in subtle ways that will enrich Mystara without taking away the mystery. In fact, the list moderator on the Mystara Mailing List (MML) is one of them.

 

Yes, :)I am fully aware of the Mystaran community's invention of the (Outer Beings) OBs (IIRC, it is Geoff Gander's bad boy). As much as I like the whole concept of the OBs, I don't want to confuse non-Mystaran players into thinking that it is canon, because it isn't. The OB concept is a great idea since it does cull concepts from the Cthulhu mythos but the truth is that it is not official OD&D/AD&D Mystara material. It is well done and a lot of people have used this info for their campaigns, however. Even I have used considerable chunks of it myself for my campaign but I just wanted to let everyone know the distinction.

 

As for M3... I have read it and aside from that module there isn't much information on the Carnifex but much fan-made material is available via the Vaults of Pandius site.

 

 

"Wariors of Heaven" seems to be universally hated by Mystara-fans (though not me), so I'd be wary of mentioning it to them... I agree with you, but I've given up trying to define the core of the problem, since it always causes dissent and sore feelings, making it very difficult to establish a constructive dialogue. I guess it's just a case of people not liking having Mystara made into 'just another AD&D world' and then growing angry when they cannot find hard evidence against that being a possibility. The same goes for Spelljammer even though there are conversion guidelines for it in the Champions of Mystara set, which is the only D&D product to ever deal with space travel in any way. In fact, we know nothing about Mystara's space except what is described in relation to Haldemar's travels on the Princess Ark, yet many vehemently oppose the notion that spelljamming might be used for Mystara. They cite that Mystara's space is too cold and have no air, but actually there is nothing in Spelljammer rules preventing that as a local possibility - Krynn's space (that the Dragonlance world) is also very cold, for example.

 

Yeah, I have brought up "Warriors of Heaven" a WHILE back on the Mystara forums and it didn't receive a warm reception :rolleyes: but, who cares, I like it. I am glad we are on the same boat here :).

 

 

 

In fact, I think it was mentioned as such in the Monstrous Compendium supplement for Mystara under the entry for diabolus. Still, I'd be just as inclined to put the Nightmare dimension among the outer planes, but then it doesn't really matter.

 

It has been at least a couple of years since I devised this Mystara/Planescape conversion, so the original motive for changing the Nightmare Dimension to the Demiplane of Nightmares was probably through reading the MC (in addition to reading Ravenloft: Domains of Dread). That does sound vaguely familiar.... Thanks for spurring my memory!

 

Here we would disagree some, since they are all described as outer planes in WotI. Old Alphatia isn't, but it's said to have ties to Draesten, and so would be in the outer planes as well. I'd much rather place these somewhere among the AD&D outer planes. Each of those is supposed to be as big as the universe, so there should be more than enough room. Well, not that it matters so much... I guess I just like the idea that the Alphatians and Flaems originate from an outer plane - it somehow fits their arrogant superiority in a strange way. But it makes little true difference.

 

You *really* like putting everything in the outer planes don't you.. Definitely a purist! :D

I do agree with your points actually and I thought exactly along those same lines. In OD&D these are outer planes but there is something of a tradeoff. I think my logic was (when I did this years ago) that placing OD&D's outer planes as outer planes in Planescape would disrupt Planescape's "Unity-Of-Rings" concept. In other words, you will have planes alongside others that shouldn't be. This would be problematic for planar travel and the Great Wheel, in general.

My logic was that either I live with the above inconsistencies, ignore the OD&D outer planes altogether, or try stuffing them into the Ethereal Plane. I even toyed with the idea of having Old Alphatia as a distinct multiverse independent of the main Mystara multiverse...I thought the third was the best course of action though it ain't perfect either, admittedly.

But if I can get a satisfactory solution for the placement of Old Alphatia among the outer planes, I am open to suggestion.

 

 

The spheres of Mystaran cosmology are more problematic, since they're tied to the power of the Immortals. I tend to view them as 'sources of existence' that exist on a different level than the inner or outer planes and yet exist on all of them. I'd see them as more philosophical and so have little need to represent them with actual planes. That said, the red sun of the Hollow World is supposed to be a permanently opened gate to the sphere of energy (set up by Ixion), so I guess I need to accept it in some form.

 

Point taken... Now this is getting a bit outside of canon, but the spheres are not physical locations in a sense but I've taken them to be tied to certain planes pre-disposed (if you will) to them. And as you mention the red sun being a gate to the sphere of energy...

 

P.7 of the HW DM's sourcebook- "... This was a massive outpouring of magical energy which was continuously fueled by the energies of the central sun(which itself is a pinhole-sized gate to the Plane of Energy).."

 

So yes, this implies that the spheres are in fact connected in some fashion to the physical planes (I don't think the "why" is important.. just that they are and it lends the concept some mystique). This fits relatively well with my proposition that Energy is indeed connected to the Positive Energy Plane.

 

Besides, Entrem is also described as an outer plane in WotI, though I'd admit that I have no idea where to put it - it's pretty strange compared to the other outer planes.

 

Entrem has ties to time occording to OD&D and upon making this realization I was strangely able to find parallels between the spheres and the inner planes.

I think it worked out pretty well.

 

Admittedly, I was never 100% happy with what I had done with Old Alphatia (or even Draesten) but I should try one more time and see if I can put them in the outer planes somewhere.

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I think D20 is more polished than first edition, but I still wouldn't call it balanced.

 

I have yet to come across a system that is "truly" 100% balanced. There are systems that people claim are balanced theoretically... But in actual practice, total bologna.

 

Really, I have always been able to find things I don't like and/or unbalanced in every ruleset I have ever read or played... This goes for the so-called "more modern, advanced" systems too. Unless the ruleset totally sucks, I'd say setting is a far more important criteria for determining whether or not to stick to a particular game than the actual ruleset... Particularly, for a crafty DM.

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2. They were completely systems, whereas 3e is intentionally lacking. Monte Cook once said that people often ask him why there are no mass-combat rules in the 3e books, and his reply was that they weren't allowed to do it - WotC wanted to hold aspects of the game off for future products. You don't have that in the old D&D stuff - if you buy the D&D Rules Cyclopedia, then you buy a complete game in one book. Mass combat, dominion management, Immortal rules, usable descriptions of the nations (though not as extensive as the gazetteers, of course) and maps of them - it's all there in one book, and the rest is just expanding on that.

 

 

Sadly... it is all about profit, my friend. And getting the consumer to clean out his pockets even though he was perfectly fine with his previous edition.

 

I mean, seriously, do we really need the x to-the-nth power edition? In many cases the rules of previous editions were just fine to many fans but for the all-mighy dollar...The sad thing is people actually fall for this and RPG developers have recognized this as a ploy they can continue using that will always work.

 

Business.. Business.

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Yeah, I have brought up "Warriors of Heaven" a WHILE back on the Mystara forums and it didn't receive a warm reception :) but, who cares, I like it. I am glad we are on the same boat here :).

 

Well, I wouldn't say I love "Warriors of Heaven", but unlike most Mystara-fanatics I won't be jumping up and down screamy "HERESY!!!" either :D

 

I found it most useful for assigning individual homeplanes for the Immortals. A lot of Mystara-fans seem to think that the Immortals live in Pandius and nowhere else, but I've always seen Pandius a neutral ground where they meet to discuss stuff, not as their homes. That said, I disagree with many of the alignments granted to the various Immortals. Ixion is said to be Lawful Neutral, for example, which I find completely wrong given his description - I'd put him as a chaotic floating somewhere between good and neutral.

 

Generally the D&D->AD&D conversion was awful for Mystara - all characters above level 12 to 14 were toned down, making 36th-level characters like Thincol, Eriadna, Terari, Anaxibius, Demetrion, etc. into 20th-level, thought there is no roof on levels in AD&D (FR AD&D rules go as high as 35 IIRC). If it had at least been consistent that would be one thing, but it wasn't - Prince Jaggar von Drachenfels from Glantri was a 30th-level magic-user in PWA1, but suddenly a 24th-level Invoker in the Glantri AD&D set. Suddenly he had become more experienced than wizards like Eriadna, Terari, or Demetrion. That's inexcusable.

 

The same problem is there for alignments. D&D had only lawful, neutral, and chaotic. But rather than read the descriptions and reassign alignments, they just stuck whatever good/neutral/evil part fit best and let the rest stay as it was, which is utterly stupid. Eriadna is described as just as chaotic as other Alphatians in Dawn of the Emperors (DotE), but is listed as lawful, because she has learned that she needs to think before acting impulsively and understand the consequences of her choices. To then put her as Lawful Neutral in AD&D is to ignore that description completely. Ixion falls into the same category, methinks.

 

 

You *really* like putting everything in the outer planes don't you.. Definitely a purist!  :D

 

:"> :p

 

I do agree with your points actually and I thought exactly along those same lines. In OD&D these are outer planes but there is something of a tradeoff. I think my logic was (when I did this years ago) that placing OD&D's outer planes as outer planes in Planescape would disrupt Planescape's "Unity-Of-Rings" concept. In other words, you will have planes alongside others that shouldn't be. This would be a problematic for planar travel and the Great Wheel, in general.

My logic was that either I live with the above inconsistencies, ignore the OD&D outer planes altogether, or try stuffing them into the Ethereal Plane.  I even toyed with the idea of having Old Alphatia as a distinct multiverse independent of the main Mystara multiverse...I thought the third was the best course of action though it ain't perfect either, admittedly.

But if I can get a satisfactory solution for the placement of Old Alphatia among the outer planes, I am open to suggestion.

 

Well, I always saw the outer planes as a large, unknown frontier. Each of those planes on the "unity-of-rings" is supposed to be a universe to itself, but we know very little about what is going on on those planes. Even with the plane-sets in Planescape, they still aren't described in any detail going anywhere near the details of even a single AD&D campaign world, so there is more than enough room for it all within the confines of the list planes - in most cases they are still just names and nothing more. The same is true for Mystara's cosmology, which lists only the sphere-relevant planes and Old Alphatia (oh, and the Nightmare dimension).

 

Well, now you've gone and done it - you've made me dig out all my ole Planescape material about the outer planes... And as if that wasn't bad enough, you have thereby reminded me that I really need to clean up my place, and that *IS* bad!! :D

 

Anyway, for something like Old Alphatia, I'd place it inside Draesten, which could be placed somewhere within planes like Limbo, Ysgard, Arborea, or even Pandemonium given the chaotic nature of Energy. Sure local conditions as described in AD&D Planescape might suggest details other than those described for Draesten, but then the various worlds on the prime material also vary a great deal, so we're allowed to make local conditions.

 

The structure of Old Alphatia (before they blew it to bits, that is) might represent the conquest of mind over matter and control over wild energies, for example, and so manifest themselves as local conditions within the general wildness of the plane as a whole. This would also explains the chaotic nature of Alphatians and Flaems, since they do originate from a plane that is chaotic in nature.

 

This would make Draesten a layer of one of the planes the same way you made Pyts a layer on the Abyss. In the same manner Brynn could be placed on Mechanus or similar. In fact, WotI seems to describe Brynn as a "world" rather than a plane, which could mean that it is simply one part of a much larger universe. That would suggest a layer more than an entire plane.

 

Point taken... Now this is getting a bit outside of canon, but the spheres are not physical locations in a sense but I've taken them to be tied to certain planes pre-disposed (if you will) to them. And as you mention the red sun being a gate to the sphere of energy...

 

P.7 of the HW DM's sourcebook- "... This was a massive outpouring of magical energy which was continuously fueled by the energies of the central sun(which itself is a pinhole-sized gate to the Plane of Energy).."

 

So yes, this implies that the spheres are in fact connected in some fashion to the physical planes (I don't think the "why" is important.. just that they are and it lends the concept some mystique). This fits relatively well with my proposition that Energy is indeed connected to the Positive Energy Plane.

 

Well, since it just says "plane of energy" that can really mean anything. I'd be inclined to just let it be the positive energy plane and let the "plane of energy" be what Mystarans call it. There, problem solved. After all, postive energy is still energy, while few would think of 'negative' energy as energy.

 

Entrem has ties to time occording to OD&D and upon making this realization I was strangely able to find parallels between the spheres and the inner planes.

I think it worked out pretty well.

 

Entrem is a bit of a problem, yes, because it really doesn't fit into anything I've noted in the Planescape cosmology. I'd be inclined to make it layer (and a rather large one) of the Beastlands, however, simply because the Beastlands really don't seem as vast and broad as they should be. Otherwise we might place it in the Astral, where time is really strange in any event.

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Sadly... it is all about profit, my friend. And getting the consumer to clean out his pockets even though he was perfectly fine with his previous edition.

 

I mean, seriously, do we really need the x to-the-nth power edition? In many cases the rules of previous editions were just fine to many fans but for the all-mighy dollar...The sad thing is people actually fall for this and RPG developers have recognized this as a ploy they can continue using that will always work.

 

Business.. Business.

 

The problem is that it works - WotC sell far more rulebooks than adventuring modules or campaign-descriptive material like the gazetteers, so which are people going to buy?

 

In fact, WotC has cut down on the adventures, and fantasy RPG has entered a new dark age, since dungeon-crawls with hack'n'slash rule the day now, while quality like B10 is forgotten. These days half the adventures is reduced to the map of some god-forsaken hole-in-the-ground with treasure and mosnters-to-bash in it :p

 

When WotC talk of the "good old days" now, they mean dungeon-crawls like "Temple of Elemental Evil" or "Tomb of Horrors" and not rich plot-based adventures like "Night's Dark Terror" or "Fate of Istus"... :)

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Well, I wouldn't say I love "Warriors of Heaven", but unlike most Mystara-fanatics I won't be jumping up and down screamy "HERESY!!!" either :D

 

I found it most useful for assigning individual homeplanes for the Immortals.

A lot of Mystara-fans seem to think that the Immortals live in Pandius and nowhere else, but I've always seen Pandius a neutral ground where they meet to discuss stuff, not as their homes.

 

Don't worry.. I may have sounded like a Warriors of Heaven fanboy, but I am not actually:). I also only use it as a guideline in assigning homeplanes for the Immortals.

And as far as some people thinking that the Immortals live on Pandius and nowhere else..Really? I must say I find this surprising! I also saw Pandius as nothing more than a meeting spot for Immortals. Perhaps, the main meeting spot for Immortals discussing Mystaran business. In fact even Book One: Codex of the Immortals for WotI (p.128) implies this pretty strongly:

 

"Pandius is not the only city of the Immortals, but it is one of the few where Immortals of every Sphere of Power have estates and meet in peaceful interaction..."

(a few lines down)

"Other planes also feature Cities of the Immortals. For instance, the Plane of Brynn.... etc"

 

 

 

but it wasn't - Prince Jaggar von Drachenfels from Glantri was a 30th-level magic-user in PWA1, but suddenly a 24th-level Invoker in the Glantri AD&D set. Suddenly he had become more experienced than wizards like Eriadna, Terari, or Demetrion. That's inexcusable."

 

They also messed up his alignment in G:KoM with respect to GAZ3, IMHO. But still, (unless you are an extreme purist.. as you can tell, I am not! :rolleyes: ), the DM has the right of changing the alignment and/or stats to how he sees fit.

 

 

And thanks for the suggestions for the Outer Planes. I do like the idea of having Old Alphatia inside of Draesten..Time to get out my Planescape materials with my WotI and Gold Box boxed sets...I got some thinking to do!

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In fact, WotC has cut down on the adventures, and fantasy RPG has entered a new dark age, since dungeon-crawls with hack'n'slash rule the day now, while quality like B10 is forgotten. These days half the adventures is reduced to the map of some god-forsaken hole-in-the-ground with treasure and mosnters-to-bash in it :)

 

When WotC talk of the "good old days" now, they mean dungeon-crawls like "Temple of Elemental Evil" or "Tomb of Horrors" and not rich plot-based adventures like "Night's Dark Terror" or "Fate of Istus"...  :(

 

Neither ToEE nor Tomb of Horrors(nor I6:Ravenloft for that matter) can touch B10 or X10. Speaking of which, have you ever tried X10:Red Arrow, Black Shield? I have never actually run it but it is another Mystara favorite that incorporates real roleplaying elements (like any truly good module :rolleyes:" ) as well as introduces the War Machine combat system as you battle the Master of Hule. From what I read, it looked pretty damn impressive.

 

But, in general, I have never been big on running modules. I always prefer to run my own adventures. Heck, they are better than anything WotC has been putting out!

 

Jediphile, are you a member of the MML? As for me, I become a member on and off.. Sometimes I post and have contributed to the MML in the past (a partially complete weather generator coded in MATLAB, and OD&D Immortal portfolios converted to 2ndEd...etc), but lately I have been lurking around the boards.

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Speaking of which, If Troika would have made their D&D CRPG based on B10 or X10 rather than on TOEE, it would have been a much better game. :-"

 

But, of course, it all comes down to $$$$.. FR is much more popular than Mystara so it would be more profitable by basing a game off of a FR module over a Mystara one.. Even if the Mystara one is of better quality.

 

Heck, what I would give to play a modern CRPG based on one of those OD&D classics.. Even if it used 3E rules...A modern Order of the Griffon.. *dreams*

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Neither ToEE nor Tomb of Horrors can touch B10 or X10. Speaking of which, have you ever tried X10:Red Arrow and Black Shield? I have never actually run it but it is another Mystara favorite that incorporates real roleplaying elements (like any truly good module  :-" ) as well as introduces the War Machine combat system as you battle the Master of Hule.  From what I read, it looked pretty damn impressive.

 

Yes, I know it. We used to have it my old D&D of 15 or so years past, but I hadn't seen it for a long time until recently, so it was sadly lacking in my campaign during WotI events. It is set some 200 years into the future because TSR didn't want to mess around with the Known World continuity at the time, though it was originally intended to take place aournd AC 1000 (which is the year when all the gazetteers are set). When WotI came out, however, they changed their minds again, and there are references to it in the timeline of WotI. I do think it works best if you also have X4: Master of the Desert Nomads and X5: Temple of Death as prequels leading up to it, since they introduce the Master and the danger he poses to the Known World region.

 

In X10 itself, the nefarious Hosadus (aka The Master of the Desert Nomads) finally begins to invade Darokin itself after conquering Sind and rallying the desert nomads in the Great Waste desert areas between Sind and his native Hule. The adventure begins with the PCs in Akesoli as it is invaded and conquered by the Master's forces.

 

The plot the goes on to describe how things go badly for Darokin and how it's losing the war, and the PCs are then assigned to play diplomacy games across most of the Known World in order to enlist allies for Darokin against the Master. This leads to a number of adventures in the various nations, as they try to sway the opinions of the nation's leaders.

 

In Karameikos, for example, they have to save Stefan Karameikos III from a plot by the Black Eagle and then help overthrow him before Duke Stefan will side with Darokin against the Master (yes, this demonstrates the confusion of when the plot actually takes place - are Duke Stefan III and the Black Eagle descendents of Stefan Karameikos and Ludwig von Hendriks? There is no answer to that...)

 

I didn't have the adventure at the relevant point in my campaign, but that didn't stop me from letting the PCs do "diplomatic" missions along the same lines. For example, in Karameikos Stefan wanted to declare independence and so assigned the PCs to escort and help Teldon to Alphatia in order to make a non-aggression pact. Upon returning they then had to save Stefan from being killed by assassins from the Burayas in Sind secretly hired by the thyatian ambassador (I got that idea from a reference to such an attempt in the Karameikos set about that ambassador). There was no proof against the ambassador, though everybody knew he was probably involved. But nobody could do anything and they had to go on living side by side with him. I like that sort of thing - it demonstrates the 'grey' and political nature of Mystara over the cookie-cutter black-and-white of other D&D worlds well.

 

But, in general, I have never been big on running modules. I always prefer to run my own adventures. Heck, they are better than anything WotC has been putting out!

 

Yes, me too. Even if I do use an official adventure, I usually revise it to the point of being unrecognizable...

 

Jediphile, are you a member of the MML? As for me, I become a member on and off.. Sometimes I post and have contributed to the MML in the past (a partially complete weather generator coded in MATLAB, and OD&D Immortal portfolios converted to 2ndEd...etc), but lately I have been lurking around the boards.

 

I am a member, though it's been a while since I've posted anything. I'm in lurker mode now, since nothing particularly interesting is happening at the moment. There was more activity on the Mystara Message Board (MMB) recently, but then I don't post there either due to some personal issues of the past. MMB can be found here

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Speaking of which, If Troika would have made their D&D CRPG based on B10 or X10 rather than on TOEE, it would have been a much better game.

How come?

I was raised by polar bears. I had to fight against blood thirsty wolves and rabid penguins to get my food. Those who were too weak to survive were sent to Sweden.

 

It has made me the man I am today. A man who craves furry hentai.

So let us go and embrace the rustling smells of unseen worlds

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I hate Mystra.

 

Oh.. you mean the FR Goddess of Magic.. Mystra? I don't care much for her either, but I do love MystAra. :D

 

Yes, the naming of Mystara is unfortunate. They chose it because it was a combination of the term "mystery star" that they liked, but I think they should have chosen somthing else, since it is much too similar to Mystra, the goddess of magic in the Forgotten Realms, who was already well established at the time.

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Speaking of which, If Troika would have made their D&D CRPG based on B10 or X10 rather than on TOEE, it would have been a much better game.

How come?

 

Because TOEE (Temple of Elemental Evil) is really just a glorified dungeon-crawl, while B10 and X10 both have potential for genuine plot-building and deep role-playing as well as the mandatory monster-slashing and spelunking.

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I actually wasn't aware of these MMB boards.. Interesting and Thanks! Have they been around long? I bet they have :)

 

And I don't actually have X4 and X5 though I have heard of their importance.. I should probably try to to get them as well to complete the trio.

image002.gifLancer

 

 

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Because TOEE (Temple of Elemental Evil) is really just a glorified dungeon-crawl, while B10 and X10 both have potential for genuine plot-building and deep role-playing as well as the mandatory monster-slashing and spelunking.

 

That's basically it.

image002.gifLancer

 

 

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How does the quality of plotbuilding depend on the setting? Change your fandom meters to off-stage.

I was raised by polar bears. I had to fight against blood thirsty wolves and rabid penguins to get my food. Those who were too weak to survive were sent to Sweden.

 

It has made me the man I am today. A man who craves furry hentai.

So let us go and embrace the rustling smells of unseen worlds

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How does the quality of plotbuilding depend on the setting? Change your fandom meters to off-stage.

 

Oh, it's not the setting. Fate of Istus (which is Greyhawk just as Temple of Elemental Evil is) would also be much better.

 

It's a not a question of "my favorite campaign is better" but simply that the adventures in question is better quality, because they have deep role-playing and good story and plot *as well* as the mandatory monster-slashing and dungeon-crawling.

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