Prior to the advent of the d20 system and OGL, it was no big deal for a lot of gamers to learn different gaming systems. It was just something you did when you played various types of games.
However, since the rise of d20, I've noticed that a large number of gamers suffer from what I call the "One Ring Effect".
One Game to rule them all, One Game to find them, One Game to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
I hear and see it pretty regular:
"Eh. I'm not really wanting to learn another system."
When I was younger, we loved getting a new game just to see how it's system stacked up. We'd go down to the local shop, pick up some new game and next time your group got together you'd go:
"Check it out! I just picked up Hellfire Warriors of RAH!!!!.
And your fellow gamers would get excited, roll up characters and test drive the new system.
Now, it seems when you do that you get:
"Meh. Is it d20? If its d20 I might try it."
Why did this change? Why do so many people view d20 as the One True Way?
I like variance in systems. I like having different ways to play a game. I love my AD&D but don't want every other game to mimic its mechanics.
My son, who is 6, has recently become obsessed with rule, regulations, safety and law.
While I appreciate his good citizenship and mind for safety, this is getting to be hilarious.
At present our house is covered in Caution and Warning signs.
Our windows have "Warning: Don't Throw Rocks at Windows" complete with accompanying silhouette art, stuck to them.
Sliding glass door? "Caution: Do Not Kick". Picture of a man crying because he kicked through the glass and cut his leg.
Our stairwell? Use Handrail signs, accompanying picture of a sad man falling down the stairs.
Front door? Beware of Dog. I think there is a foot sticking out of the dog's mouth in that picture.
The coffee pot is simply labeled "Hot".
Yeah, I'm finding those and others all over the place.
He's a midget Citizen on Patrol now too. While driving I was going 63MPH in a 60MPH zone. He plans to notify the police about my transgression.
Yo better not even put the car in gear before everyone in the car is securely buckled up either.
"You can't go yet! I haven't put my seatbelt on all the way!"
I'm not going anywhere, just put your belt on.
"Put it back in Park until I get it on!"
Just a work related venting. Move along. Nothing to see here...
I'm a lieutenant at a rather large prison and in addition to my officers, I have three sergeant that work directly under me as well. Two of those three are newly promoted.
It's cool that they promoted, bettering yourself in your career and all that. But sometimes I just want to shout, "WTF!!!! You CHOSE to promote! Act the role or get the hell out of the way!"
Of the two new sergeants, one is extremely green. He's untested and has little experience in the field. Both of them have great attitudes and have the ability to be good at this but damn it gets frustrating at times trying to get them there. Seriously, we work in a field where when things go wrong, people get hurt which makes it hard for me to give them too big of a learning curve.
Ah well. I know I'll get them there, I always do; I just needed to vent before my growls of "Damned new boot sergeants." to them escalated to something more.
I just wish the higher ups would quit sending the new boots my way. Let me keep the ones I train for awhile and reap the benefits before they send them to someone else and give me more new boots to train.
There is one aspect of making the dwarven women cute and beardless that no one has bothered to discuss.
For years, the typical dwarven stereotype is that of a gruff and surly guy with a gravelly voice and perpetual frown. I would like to put forth the possibility that the reason for this is because for all these years, dwarven males have been forced to be with bearded chicks that look like them.
Wouldn't you be surly too? I mean c'mon, here you see some namby-pamby, tree-hugging ranger run off with a scantily clad, smoking hot elf chick and looking over at your girl you growl as she tucks her beard into her belt. Why is sissy boy getting the hot girls while you are left standing there with little Miss ZZ Top?
Unfair I say. I'd be a surly grouch too.
So, now that dwarven men have hot mama's to go home to, will this overall have the effect of lightening their moods? Could their be an initial outbreak of ecstatic dwarves? Happy-go-lucky dwarves who are proud to show you a picture of their girl as the two of you march off to war?
This could really, really shake up the stereotypical dwarven image as they finally come out of their long, grumpy funk.
I know there has to be other system junkies out there like me and I'm curious as to how you would rate your favored systems by "Tiers"
For the purpose of this I'll use 3 tiers.
Your 1st Tier game (or games) is what you play in or run a large majority of the time.
Your 2nd Tier games are what you play or run when looking for a break from the tier 1 category. Mini-campaigns, a few sessions, etc then back to Tier 1 usually.
Your Tier 3 games are the ones which you only occasionally play in or run, usually as a one-shot just to take a big break from your normal gaming.
Games in queue: These are the games you want to break into one of your tiers, just haven't been able to yet.
Games in lower tiers don't mean you like them less, just that you get less a chance to use them.
My breakdown would be:
Tier 1: Castles & Crusades and AD&D 2nd Edition. I run campaigns in both with high regularity.
Tier 2: Rifts, Savage Worlds, Shadowrun 4, BECM D&D
Tier 3: Crimson Empire, Talislanta, Werewolf: The Apocalypse (and the Wild West)
Games in queue: Scion:Hero and Exalted. I'd like to see how these are.
I received a copy of Races & Classes today as a gift, so this evening I've been sitting here reading through it. While it is tempting to skip forward to look at the sections on both races and classes, I find myself rereading the beginning section of the book over and over, soaking in some of the design philosophy that is going into the new edition of the game. There is some really good stuff here.
The first "Hell Yeah!" elicited by me was from the following:
The parameters and basic game mechanics for 4th Edition player characters are not identical to the rules and powers used by the world's monsters and nonplayer characters.
Woot! This is something I have discussed time and time again on the TLG boards. I have always been an opponent of treating NPC's the same as you would a PC. There is no need for it and it makes for lengthy prep and design times for a DM. I hope this philosophy remains a constant.
The section on Power Sources was particularly interesting as well. As it mentions, the impact it has on design is extremely sweet. A short quote as to what this means:
We no longer have to put every imaginable spell effect into divine and arcane magic, relegating other forms of spellcasting to merely copying existing spells
I'm 100% behind this. Great stuff here. Now, alternate magic using classes do not suffer from the need to "copy & paste" existing spells. Check this out:
Since those classes clearly use magic in a different manner when compared to a wizard, we shelve them under a new power source, build a system of magic that works for their needs, and create spells tuned to them rather than simply use the 3e wizard/sorcerer spell list.
Witches can actually be witches instead of altered wizard or sorcerers. A Master of Runes could be a unique class instead of mimicking wizard abilities with a different look. This thought has a lot of potential.
So far, I have to say this book is succeeding in getting me a little more hyped about 4e.
Just wanted to say Happy Yule to everyone. Tonight me and mine will begin our celebrations after sunset with the observance of Mother Night followed by twelve days of feasting and fun.
The apple wine seems to be extremely promising this year and I look forward to tonight's sumbel. ;D
So, whatever holy tide you may celebrate this time of year, Happy Holidays to everyone.
”The American Empire prospered, ushering in a Golden Age of unparalleled peace and wisdom. During this Golden Age, man grew arrogant. With advances in technology and genetic engineering, humanity began to liken itself unto God, our Lord All Mighty. No more did they pray to Him. No longer did they attend the Holy Masses. Without the Word of God, humankind grew wicked and base.
God looked down on His creation and saw what they had become. He saw that they sought to elevate themselves to His status. So, to teach them humility, God decided that humankind needed to be struck a terrible blow.
Our Lord and Father sent forth his wrath to topple the mile high cities. The oceans themselves rose up in His righteous anger, wiping the blasphemous cities from the shores. To ensure that humanity would never again seek to challenge His Will , the Lord God opened up the Rifts and from them poured the very legions of Hell to punish us for our heresies.
And so the Rifts remain. Testaments to the awesome power of our Sovereign Lord, and our punishment until we atone for our sins….”
Father Abstalar Zantus sighed as he watched the crowd of people mill around his makeshift podium. They weren’t paying attention to his sermon. No, the people of Sandpoint where too heady with the Oktoberfest celebrations to pay the crazed priest any attention.
Turning, he looked at the burned out shell of his church. Five years ago a fire had raged through the place of worship, gutting its interior. The former priest, Ezakien Tobyn and his daughter Nualia had both perished in that fire. Father Zantus lacked the charisma of Father Tobyn, and since he had taken over he was unable to rally the congregation to rebuild the burned out structure.
With a forlorn sigh, the priest began to make his wake back inside the temple. It was no used to preach to the heathens while they where drunk and committing all manners of debauchery. Perhaps tomorrow he could…
Suddenly he was jarred from his thoughts as a resounding explosion rocked the town. The sounds of creams filled the streets. Screams and a chilling maniacal chant…
I started up a new RotR campaign tonight. one with a bit of a twist. A capaign journal can be found at Wayfinder's Woes : A Post-Apocalyptic Pathfinder Journal
I suppose this is more of a rant than anything else...
I first fell in love with the concept of character generators back in the days of 2nd Edition with my purchase of the AD&D Core Rules 2.0. It was awesome. It let me create characters, monster encounter tables, roll up treasure, add custom data (to a degree) and on top of it all...it looked good.
Because of that program, I've picked up several char gen programs for the d20 era of D&D and they hae left me lukewarm at best. E-tools was pretty good, nice look, could buy packs for it, etc it still wasn't as good as the old CR 2.0 though. RPGExplorer is another one I had high hopes for, I can't stand it.
How is it that almost 10 years later, with all of the advances in computers....no one can top the simple, good looking and extremely useful nature of CR 2.0? We're in a digital age of gaming these days and still it seems that the digital content sucks.
I still need to pick up the expansion pack for CR 2.0 though, and as a testament to its usefulness...the price is insane at most places.
I'm not too familiar on how this stuff works, but...
If some folks wanted to make fan sites dedicated to Pathfinder/ Golarion is there any chance Paizo might put together a little pack of logos and clip art that would be acceptable to use on a fan-site? I've heard of other companies sometimes doing something similar.
I was considering making a site but don't want to "jack" art if that is inappropriate and don't want to have a bland looking site either.
Any chance you guys will be offering any of the Pinnacle, Savage Worlds PDF's?
There's several products they make that are only in PDF form, the Toolkits, Screen Inserts, etc.
I know I can just get them elsewhere, but I'm one of these guys who prefers doing business in a few places as possible. Since I already do business here, and trust Paizo in handling my transactions, I'm not always wanting to go elsewhere.
I'm curious what systems other than 3e that folks might be using to run their Pathfinder games, if any. How is the system working out with it?
I was running Burnt Offerings with a C&C group. It worked real well, easy conversion but I ended the group after the 3rd session. Not through any fault of the game, it was the players. This was a new group for me and we didn't mesh real well.
I'm looking at now trying to run it again with another group but using the Savage Worlds system. Its a small group and I think SW will work pretty well.
We did the character creation earlier today. Think its gonna be alright.
Here is the Party:
Taman Darkbow: Level 1, Male, Elven Fighter. Chosen the Lone Wolf special ability and is a bit roguish, possessing the Forgery secondary skill.
Suri: Level 1, Female, Halfling Rogue. Chosen the Cityborn (Riddleport) ability and possesses the Suborning Ability secondary skill.
( I Cant Remember His Name *oops*): Level 1, Male, Dwarven Wizard. Possessing a Varisian tattoo and having a knack for ambushing.
Vartha: Level 1, Male, Half-Elf (Elven Lineage) Druid. Possessing the Lone Wolf ability.
Kayorina: Level 1, Female, Half-Elf (Human Lineage) Ranger. Possessing the Big Game Hunter ability.
Looks to be a pretty solid group. We plan on kicking this off next Saturday, assuming I at least have the Pathfinder PDF in my grubby little hands by then.