Your favorite d20 System variant?

View Poll Results: Your favorite d20 System variant?

146. This poll is closed
  • d20 Modern

    20 13.70%
  • Basic Fantasy

    2 1.37%
  • BESM d20

    4 2.74%
  • Conan

    11 7.53%
  • Labyrinth Lord

    3 2.05%
  • Microlite20

    3 2.05%
  • SIEGE Engine

    18 12.33%
  • Simple 20

    1 0.68%
  • True 20

    26 17.81%
  • Other (please name)

    58 39.73%
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  1. #1
    Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)

    jdrakeh's Avatar

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    Your favorite d20 System variant?

    I'm just curious what d20 System variant people here dig on the most. I've tried to make this list extensive, though I'm certain that I left a few off (so I included an option for "other" to compensate for my bad memory).

  2. #2
    Myrmidon (Lvl 10)

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    No Grim Tales on the list? Heck, it's in the forum description!

    For me it's 1. Grim Tales 2. Conan 3. True 20

    Honorable Mention: Spycraft, for rules-stealing only, I think it's an overly cumbersome system to actually play.

  3. #3

    Granted, I've only tried three of the variants listed above, but Conan is by far my favorite.

  4. #4
    OMG!!! You left off Lone Wolf?!?!?

    I went with BESMd20, the red headed step-child of d20. It's not perfect, but I feel confident in my ability to cover any weaknesses that it might have. It's got a great range of flexibility, and was (at least in part) hampered by the lack of a setting to really showcase it. Everstone does a great example of showing how it can be leveraged, while turning it back a bit closer to the D&D roots. If there was only one d20 book I own that I could rescue from a fire, it'd be my Everstone book.

    After that, I think I'd go with Lone Wolf. It's pretty close to baseline d20/D&D but slimmed down, and hit points (renamed "Endurance") are also what powers a number of the special abilities that the different classes have. And the abilities are tiered, sort of like Everstone does with its magic spells having different ranks. In the case of the Lone Wolf tiered bits though, it's not just a bump in damage/range/whatever, but in a number of cases the spell functions a bit differently.

    Lone Wolf was the first d20 game I found that I thought, "Heck, I'd be willing to run this straight by the book!" And I still feel that way. I never read a single Lone Wolf book back in the day, although I did enjoy those "Choose your own adventure" books. I picked this book up and thumbed through it, and was immediately engaged. I'm not quite sure why (maybe the cover?) but I kind of got a "Daggerfall" feel from it. "Daggerfall" being the game before Morrowind.

    Reading the Lone Wolf rpg and playing the Daggerfall game... those are the closest things I can think of in fantasy that make me think of Fafhrd and Grey Mouser. Granted, there's differences but... there's a kind of a feel to the three of them. I think it's the "low fantasy" aspect, where things aren't really grim-n-gritty, it's just an everyday kind of world you live in. Magic is a part of the setting, but not everything is about the magic. Dang, as I sit here trying to figure out how to explain it, I realize I just really can't. It's just a kind of tone and feeling to things, if that makes sense.

    It's a compete game in one book as well. You've got all the stuff for the players, a GM section which includes NPC classes (Adept, Commoner, Aristocrat, etc), a bestiary, and world info. The back of the book has a map of the world included in it.

    Lone wolf never has gotten much love it seems, and is a real over looked gem I think.

    After Lone Wolf, I think I'd probably take Grim Tales. Good solid ideas, and a variety of ways to be able to tune the mechanics offered to better suit your tastes. I wouldn't try running a full Grim Tales game (just like I wouldn't run a straight D&D game), but there's plenty of bits and pieces that can be lifted depending on what you want.

    And I'm a _serious_ fan of the whole Creature Creation thing it did. Enough of a fan that I bought the electronic version of it, so I could get the spreadsheet to handle all the calculations and so forth for me.

    After that, things get muddier.

    Random stream of consciousness thing...
    I managed to acquire a bunch of M&M 1E books cheap (Rules, Annual, Freedom City, Nocturnals, GM Screen, Crooks for $45 including shipping) and really like a lot of what I see. It really does seem like it covers some of the same ground that BESMd20 does, only in a bit more coherent fashion. I guess the fact that the Power Point system appears to be Product Identity is what kept people from really trying to leverage it into a more universal system.

    Still, I can't help but feel there's some cool stuff there. 2E just didn't catch my attention (I saw it first), but 1E did. Not quite sure why. Similar story for Blue Rose/True20... True20 falls flat for me, but I like what I see in Blue Rose.

  5. #5
    A Game of Thrones, perhaps. Conan, maybe.

    In the end, homebrew wins.

  6. #6
    Spycraft - the list is way too short there....

    The Auld Grump, why Microlite, but no Spycraft?

  7. #7
    I guess you could always ask what everyone's favourite d20/OGL systems are, even if it's in this thread, then do another poll with at least the more popular ones included, if not all of them.

    Because, just for three examples, Spycraft, Grim Tales and SWSE all have a pretty dedicated following, unless I'm much mistaken.

    There's also Modern20. . . and so on.

    edit --- makes a bit more sense now.
    Last edited by Aus_Snow; Saturday, 1st December, 2007 at 06:31 PM.

  8. #8
    Spellbinder (Lvl 16)

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    I chose True20 because that's what I primarily use now, but d20 Modern is definitely tied with it for my d20 gaming affections.

    I really like Grim Tales and d20 Call of Cthulhu too.

  9. #9
    Skull & absolutely excellent game

  10. #10
    Acolyte (Lvl 2)

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    Labyrinth Lord is NOT a d20 variant. It's the old BD&D game put as an OGL game, with nothing d20 in it. Naming Castle & Crusade "SIEGE engine" is misleading...

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