Before I get into the meat of this post, there’s a couple things I need to say first.
1) I’ve updated my SCP Game Report with the rest of it. It’s not much, admittedly, but I don’t recall the exact conversations that took place so I decided to just skim over them. I didn’t have much time–I felt I ought to get it done before running session two, which should start as soon as a couple people finally make their way to my house (cough BOV cough CONNOR cough).
2) I haven’t actually done much writing recently. Mostly because I was playing Mass Effect 2. Damn good game.
3) Despite not doing much writing, I managed to write up a pitch for an article that I sent to Cracked.com. Hopefully they’ll pay me to write it. Fingers crossed.
And now to the important stuff.
I’m creating my own version of D&D. I don’t like 4th Edition, 3.5 is kind of rules-heavy and unbalanced, and earlier iterations all have their own weird problems that I don’t feel like dealing with. So I’m designing my own system, specifically for use with a campaign idea that I had. The players will all be lower-class citizens of a large fantasy metropolis–probably set in my usual D&D world, since that’s what I have on hand–and will use the city as the sandbox for the game. When I run a sandbox game I usually have a hex map covering a large amount of terrain: with this game, I’ll draw up a city map instead. Seed it with adventure hooks, personalities and rumors, and then set the players loose in it. Could be a grand old time, I think.
This derivative system of mine is going to be heavily influenced by the campaign I want to run with it. This is not quite D&D, but not quite something else, either. I want low-magic, but with minor magitek and steampunk worked in, and gritty combat; the entire system will be low and desperate around the edges. First-level characters will not be adventurers charging into the wilderness for gold and glory; they will be fighting to get another meal. Dirty gutter-rats just trying to survive and make something of themselves in a city that doesn’t care. Gutterpunk.
Let’s get started, shall we?
A D&D Derivitive by Adam Watts
I’ll start by examining the usual assumptions of D&D (considering “D&D” to mean versions 3-4, because that’s what I know) and either keeping, changing or discarding them.
Abilities: They work. Might change the names around a little to make them fit the street-rat vibe, more–Wisdom becomes Cunning, for example.
Classes: Going to have to change these all around. For example, damn near everyone down on “street-rat” level would be considered a rogue of some kind.
Skills: Don’t know if they’re necessary or not. Usually the domain of the rogue or other skill-monkeys, but if I’m going to go with the “everyone is a rogue” tack I might get rid of them entirely or modify them significantly. Some thought-experiments are in order, I think.
Levels: Yeah, still going to be a level and class based game. Don’t want to change that around too much.
Magic: Might get a rewrite along the way. The whole Vancian magic system has always struck me as a little odd, but I’m not sure if I can come up with anything better.
Combat: Grittier. Easier to get killed. Faster. I think I already know what I’m doing with this section of the rules.
I’m going to be working on it bit by bit on this blog for a while, before gathering it all together to form a complete system out of it. Should be good times.