Taking Stock of the Recent Discussions

I will be offline pretty much from now until Monday, off camping in the woods with a couple hundred other drunken Heathens.

Please take the opportunity to read through the posts thusfar, and expound on your reactions to the various topics I’ve posted on in the last week and a half. My intention is to make a second pass on the various topics, and hopefully come up with a synthesis based on the feedback, and a more refined look at each of the topics.

Also, I am forced to wonder… Have my musings taken me beyond the very pale of D&D itself? No PC demi-humans, non-Vancian magic (well… sorta), a new combat system, no alignment, and so forth? Are the changes I’m pondering taking me outside the D&D umbrella, or can it stretch in the direction I’m moving? Bearing in mind that I’m just musing on these topics, and trying to suss out the depth underlying the common wisdom.

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Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.

7 thoughts on “Taking Stock of the Recent Discussions

  1. >camping in the woods with a couple hundred other drunken Heathens<

    SCA, right? That was my first real drunken night as a teen – an SCA revel in Ventura. Almost joined up, but spend the next 25 years working West Coast Ren Faires. Good on ya mate, suck one down for me.

    I've been running AD&D 1st ed. for about 30 years, and have house ruled the hell out of it. The one thing I try to be true to is the classes in PHB (not so much to UA, I kind of tone those down). Keep the classes in a more or less classic state, and it's still D&D.

  2. I pretty much gave up on D&D when Empire of the Petal Throne came out, and haven't run any fantasy games other than Chivalry and Sorcery since 1977. C&S addresses a number of the issues you've brought up (more "realistic" combat, non-Vancian magic, et). And I've never let PCs play non-humans even when I ran D&D, except in rare instances.

    My C&S campaign is in a world of my own design, based on a Feudal Kingdom surrounded by Pictish type tribes, Horse Nomads aka the Mongals, and of course, the ever popular Vikings. And there is an island shared by a non-human/Japanese culture and and another inhabited by the Saurians (had to add them because the supplement for them was just too cool).

  3. I think D&D can be stretched WAAAAY beyond what you're doing and still be called D&D. As long as they're campaign-specific, extreme changes to any rules except the experience/level rules are A-OK. Minor changes to experience and level are OK, too, but in my mind, ditching the experience for gold pieces rule is too big a change to be called D&D anymore. Change the classes, races, magic system, or combat system, yes; change th focus from killing monsters and taking their stuff, no.

  4. dispite 20 years of using Fantasy Hero and GURPS my players managed to do the same things in my campaigns as they did when I used AD&D.

    So I say you are still in the realm of D&D.

  5. There's nothing wrong with leaving the D&D umbrella. I am curious as to how a pure Sword & Sorcery RPG / Mostly-Realistic Literature RPG would work in practice.

  6. I'd say your proposed changes would eliminate some of D&D's core tropes, and that those looking for a fresh take on D&D wouldn't give your rules much consideration.
    At the same time I think you should enjoy developing your own fantasy game… and do what inspires your creativity.
    If you're worried about losing the "D&D crowd" maybe you could develop your swords & sorcery/pulp fantasy game and include sidebars for re-integrating standard non-human races (dwarves, elves, half-elves and halflings) and the cleric class (which could operate much as a wizard).
    The skill bundle idea works for me, and could easily be carried over for non-human races and for clerics. In fact you could use skill bundles to discourage non-human races by limiting available options for such characters.

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