Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Goodbye D20, It's been fun

I love the d20. It's big, it's swingy, and it's pretty much the universally recognized symbol of tabletop rpgs. I will miss it.

One of the biggest changes I made between the first iteration of Northern Realm and the second was the spell system. The spell system was based on a pool of points that you could spend to roll d6s. The d6s would determine the spell DC, crazy extraneous effects, and its power level. I like the spell system a lot. So when it came to reconciling the d20 system I had in place and the new spell system, I had to fudge the mechanics. I've been fudging it for months now, until a couple weeks ago when I finally decided, fuck it, change everything. It's all going over to d6 mechanics. Oh and I never liked levels so those are gone as well.

I don't have much experience with d6 rpgs but what I was doing seemed to balance out really well. My goal with the system had always been to make the game more strategic and risk-based without making it crunchy. Resource management plays a huge role as well. I didn't always succeed in doing that with the d20, but I think I'm succeeding here.

Anyone interested in trying it out: The Northern Realm PHB

A note: The campaign world book now needs new creature statistics so that'll take priority over editing. Until it's done the stats are incompatible with the new system.

And a question: How important is character advancement? Now that its level-less, there are only a few mechanisms for making your character numerically better other than wealth the experiences you have in game. There are a couple of other things, but they won't always play a role (like boons or tomes). To me, mechanical advancement is not so important. That said, flexibility is, so I added the statement, "You may choose to pick skills during play rather than during the character creation process– however; once each skill has been chosen it cannot be changed later." I added the same for spells. Is that sufficient for most?

Edmund Dulac