D&D General Gen X D&D


Follower of the Way
Thinking more critically, beyond the limits of what I said above (which, I admit, is a bit colored by my experiences)...

Punk aesthetic is a must. Gen X was all in for leather and studs and dyed mohawks.

As noted in the other thread...Question Authority. This was the generation that grew up facing the realpolitik realities post-Watergate. Institutions are suspicious. Authority figures, especially those who claim that authority without a clear mandate, are EXTRA suspicious. Sticking it to the man is a core principle. This doesn't mean legitimate authority can't exist, but all authority figures really really have to prove themselves--often repeatedly/continuously.

Violence and sex are treated much more casually. That doesn't necessarily mean violence is embraced, per se, but it's not seen as being nearly so off-limits as a solution to problems. Of course, it's understood that this is a drastic action and it can lead to more problems if done poorly, but the same can be said about any attempted solution to complicated problems. On the sexuality side, various "transgressive" elements are acceptable, even laudable--LGBT (though the T is technically anachronistic, that sort of stuff didn't become a major topic until the 2000s or later), BDSM, various other fetishes are seen as within reason. That doesn't mean the books should be overtly violent or sexual, just that a climate of acceptance is reasonable.

Environmental causes started to become a real Thing in roughly this period. People were pretty worried about acid rain and the hole in the ozone. I think this is best implemented through making magic have some sort of dangerous side-effect--preferably arcane magic, as it's the one most naturally aligned with "things man was not meant to know."

Organized religion is....not favored, to put it mildly. Clerics, if they're affiliated with an organized faith at all, will be at best "conscientious" participants, aka immediately willing to defy orthodoxy or convention the moment it fails to pass a smell test. (See also: question authority, gods are authorities too.) Paladins would NOT be required to be Good, and in fact their default state would probably be just Lawful, assuming alignment is retained at all.

Speaking of alignment...either the Good/Evil axis is chucked out entirely, or it's replaced with something more ambiguous, like "Light vs Dark" or the like, where it's rather more valid to have excessive and dangerous aspects of both sides. This fits with both the grimdark aesthetic (there are no heroes, only mercenaries), but also with the questioning of authority and the punk aesthetic/mores.

Lethality should probably be on the high end, and resurrection, if it's available at all, should have Consequences. Exactly what those are, hard to say, but I imagine it would probably end up polarizing a person toward some extreme or other--clinging to life when you're "supposed" to be dead is antithetical to a healthy, balanced mind or somesuch.

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All characters are automatically proficient at opening locks and survival (foraging), resistant to charm spells, and the only alignment is "?"

Gen X cantrip: "Whatever." Your target must deduct a d4 from their next d20 roll. So must you. Because none of it really matters, anyway.


Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
The thing you don't realize is that all D&D is Gen X. We were the only ones allowed out completely unsupervised, riding our bikes wherever the winds took us until the streetlamps came on. We drank from water hoses, rode in the back of pickups and station wagons without seats much less seat belts. We raised ourselves. And like adventurers, the ones that survived became mighty.


Follower of the Way
You’ve forgotten the bright colors of New Wave and Glam/Hair Metal.

And the pastels of Miami Vice!
I guess I considered all of that wrapped up in the "dyed mohawks" part of it. And it's not like hair metal bands didn't wear tons of skintight black leather...

More to the point, though, I see all that neon-and-pastels as glimmers in the dark, when it comes to "Gen X D&D." It's flashy, it's edgy, it's shiny, but in a way that highlights and accentuates the dark. Neon signs blaring through the rainy night, as it were, is deeply associated with the "cyberpunk" aesthetic. It's the glitzy, glamorous sheen put up by corpos and wageslaves, the bright veneer over the grim darkness within.

"Slacker" is a character background.

The world is filled with an unusually large number of magical Symbols of Hopelessness. Many monsters cause magical depression. Characters on antidepressant medication make this saving throw at advantage.

Voidrunner's Codex

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