Fantasy Adventure #5: Character Creation & Advancement

I might as well write about the char-gen principles of my D&D-rewrite, considering that those hew so closely to the Ability and Class definitions I discussed earlier. All this is to some degree useless without solid rules for adventure management and conflict resolution, but I’ll get to those at some point, too. For now, some specific ideas for how to create and advance characters: Read the rest of this entry »

Fantasy Adventure #4: Downtime and Adventure

After a brief bout of illness, back on track with my routines, including laying down track on my version of challengeful fantasy adventure. The topic this time is bootstrapping for adventure; this is not exactly at the center of my vision as far as my personal interests go, but it’ll probably be useful to understand the context in which the rest of the rules are supposed to operate. This is also an often neglected part of rules in this kind of game design, so it’s good to say a word or two about it now and then. Read the rest of this entry »

Fantasy Adventure #3: Combat system basics

The combat system is at the heart of classical D&D, which is something that is actually a bit annoying for me. The core content of adventuring never was violence for me, so the relentless focus on fighting strikes me as a bit dull and wrong-headed. Thinking back, this is the main reason for why I preferred systems like Runequest or MERP to D&D during the ’90s as well: while those systems as games are just as violence-focused, the basics of character depiction, which is the kind of surface feature a teenager will get obsessed about, strived for more of a balance in depicting the life of a fantasy adventurer.

Regardless, combat needs resolving, and I want to resolve it in ways that both synch well with other means of conflict resolution and allows interesting combat-specific tactical options. I also want to move away from the unrealistic and dull initiative systems of old, which requires a system pretty different from D&D. Read the rest of this entry »

Fantasy Adventure #2: Classes and Levels

Continuing my notes on my own version of the traditional fantasy adventure game, next up are character classes. My approach here is to preserve the 3rd edition multiclassing kernel and the way players define their characters as combinations of different classes. Meanwhile I also want to utterly decimate the D&D idea of preplanning character advancement far into the future. Likewise, experience as the primary reward mechanism receives a critical look. Read the rest of this entry »

Fantasy Adventure #1: Abilities

Re-creating Dungeons & Dragons is a common pastime of rpg enthusiasts. I started doing it myself with the 3rd edition in 2001 or so, when I decided to run a traditional fantasy campaign with the rules set. At the time I ended up rewriting the whole game starting with the combat and magic rules and ending with experience, character classes and races. The fundamental core of a traditional adventure game was there still, however.

Looking back now, I think I’m at least double as smart as I was then. I haven’t put a pen to the paper over this topic for years, but I have thought about it now and then. Tonight I feel motivated to jot down some fundamentals on a new game that strives to do challenge-based adventure roleplaying in the D&D vein but without the things that annoy me in D&D, like the combat mechanics and cumbersome rules details. Sleeker, faster and more focused. Read the rest of this entry »