Grade The D6 System

How do you feel about The D6 System (any variant)?

  • I love it.

    Votes: 7 7.4%
  • It's pretty good.

    Votes: 39 41.1%
  • It's alright I guess.

    Votes: 18 18.9%
  • It's pretty bad.

    Votes: 1 1.1%
  • I hate it.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I've never played it.

    Votes: 26 27.4%
  • I've never even heard of it.

    Votes: 4 4.2%

Lord Shark

Adventurer
In the DC Universe game, characters are built using a pool of dice. At the lowest tier (which cites Batman as an exemplar), a starting character gets 65 dice. At the highest tier, where you're supposed to be a hero like Superman or the Flash, you get 85 dice to make your character.

Meanwhile, Robin has about 200 dice worth of abilities.

I don't think being a novice Jedi who's a good pilot is a particularly gamebreaking character concept. Heck, you can probably get that with the Young Jedi template in Star Wars D6. The problems there aren't with the D6 system, they're with a game world where Jedi abilities are simply better than mundane abilities -- casters vs. martials, again.
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Celebrim

Legend
I don't think being a novice Jedi who's a good pilot is a particularly gamebreaking character concept. Heck, you can probably get that with the Young Jedi template in Star Wars D6. The problems there aren't with the D6 system, they're with a game world where Jedi abilities are simply better than mundane abilities -- casters vs. martials, again.

The D6 system typically makes being a force user suck at small dice pools and assumes that force users can be kept in check by greatly limiting their access to training to receive force powers. And for the amount of time most groups that play would play, force users are not going to reach the point where they just outshine "martials". In fact, if anything for most groups the force user will be worse at everything than the non-force users because pulling dice out of attributes to get limited and very situational force abilities (or basically none) is a bad trade. Early force dice add the equivalent of a pip while cost the same as a dice.

But a Jedi Knight is a whole other matter. At some point, having dice in your Force dice pools becomes a better value than having it anywhere else. It takes a long time to reach that point, but it does happen. At some point your long suffering "Young Jedi" if they survive will be the most powerful member of the party. But what are you going to do? Those Wizard-Knights are intended in the setting to be the most powerful members of the setting. You can sort of keep the martials in play with enough gadgets and magical items (Beskar armor*), but it is strict genre emulation and at best the martials will be as good as the Jedi at one thing, whereas the Jedi is eventually just adding force die to everything that they do to be good at everything.

(*And then the question becomes why don't more force users wear armor?)

This is only a big problem if the group insists on starting play at a level where they can play a full-fledged Jedi Knight, and then we are trying to figure out how to maintain balance at that high level play.

For Star Wars the solution tends to be figure out what you are going to play - force users or non-force users - and focus the party around that so they are all in the same place. If this is the High Republic, everyone is a force user. If this is Rise of the Empire, Alliance Commando, or any sort of Scum and Villany, everyone is not a force user. Exceptions can be made to that as long as everyone understands what they are getting into.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
But then you end up with a silly setting where you have scores of Luke or Vader level characters running around that totally undermines the tone and precepts of the setting. Every time they introduce yet another survivor of Order 66 I just cringe.

I did say "rough weight class". The Jedi are flat out a problem in that setting because of their relatively uniqueness at that time.

But people with Force powers who are not Jedi? Non-Force users who are of the capability level of Han? I'm sorry, there could well be scores of such people running around as long as they're not interacting with each other all the time. Having a cluster of them in a PC group is not any more odd than it is in any other RPG.

And the Star Wars game didn't even want to permit that. They showed that the minute you saw specs for Han or Chewy.


Moreover, most players of most RPGs are going to expect progress. So if your starting character is already as skilled as the most skilled characters in the narrative, where do you go from there? I can understand having rules for CharGen that start characters out at different tiers, but not the idea that if you play you are going to start as the galaxy or world's mightiest hero by default.

The issue wasn't that they didn't start at that power level; the issue was that it was vanishingly unlikely that they could even get there given the advancement system.
 

giant.robot

Adventurer
I'm not going to make any claims that D6 is mechanically perfect or anything (Wookies in armor etc) but a lot of the potential problems with Jedi are mitigated/modulated with MAPs and slow character progression.

A lot of Force powers require multiple Force skill rolls which means the character is hit with MAPs. You need fairly high Force skill ratings to be able to use powers in the heat of combat and actually do stuff. To be able to pull off some stunts seen in the movies would require the use of Force points and uncommonly good rolls.

A Force using character also shouldn't become a Jedi Master in the second session of the game. If PCs start to look like the stats in the books for Luke and Han the GM has probably been giving out way too many character points or you've been playing regularly for years.

Even when Force users start to get powerful they're not invincible. Opponents with a jet pack and explosives will keep a high powered Force user humble. They also stand a very good chance of collecting Dark Side Points. Stuff Han Solo could shrug off as "Ain't I a stinker" will give any Force user pause. Or at least it should. GMs shouldn't allow Force users to go ape naughty word unless that's the game everyone wants to play.
 

MatthewJHanson

Registered Ninja
Publisher
I voted that I hadn't played it, thought that's technically not true.

I did play a some WEG Starwars and Ghostbusters way back in the day, but my memories of the actual system are so hazy that I don't think I can give it a fair grade.
 

I think the problem you run into is these are all high-heroic settings; that means most people drawn to them are going to expect to be playing characters at least in that rough weight class, not everyman heroes.

Obviously, we disagree about what we want out of a Star Wars RPG. But beyond that, I'm going to have to disagree with some other things that you're postulating.

For starters, the Star Wars EU was definitely not a high-heroic setting at the time the WEG version came out (1987). Even ignoring how much of the original trilogy is everyman heroes (the pilots in the Battle of Yavin and Endor, Lando, Wedge, Biggs, etc), the EU was composed almost entirely of minor characters at the time. Pre-Thrawn, the EU consisted of books like The Adventures of Lando and The Adventures of Han, which were both low-powered prequels. We also had the TV shows Droids and Ewoks, based around minor side characters. And to round things out were the Ewok live-action movies, which were so low powered they couldn't even fix a spaceship. Even post-Thrawn, where things did start to power up, some of my favorite books were ones like Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina and Tales from Jabba's Palace. These entries and others were all about expanding the world, not creating superheroes. The "high-heroic" era of Star Wars didn't really start until the prequel trilogy was released, when Jedi became omnipresent.

But people with Force powers who are not Jedi? Non-Force users who are of the capability level of Han? I'm sorry, there could well be scores of such people running around as long as they're not interacting with each other all the time. Having a cluster of them in a PC group is not any more odd than it is in any other RPG.

And the Star Wars game didn't even want to permit that. They showed that the minute you saw specs for Han or Chewy.

Star Wars D6 actually had a trivial mechanic for any character to become force sensitive without any Jedi training - it was only expensive if you wanted to spend lots of points on really powerful abilities. Seems fair to me.

The base stats for characters for Luke and Leia before the Battle of Yavin were really quite reasonable; Han and Chewy were higher because they were more experienced characters. Luke was the one who powered up the most across of the movies (ending more powerful than Han), which is exactly what you should expect.

Meanwhile, Robin has about 200 dice worth of abilities.

IIRC, you could get about 10 points of advancement a session with a reasonably generous GM. Assuming you're playing once every two weeks, that means you're Robin-equivalent after about a year of play. Considering my current game took about two years for us to get from level 1 to 12, and I'd guess Robin would be in the low teens, that's faster advancement than my current D&D game.
 

aramis erak

Legend
I think the problem you run into is these are all high-heroic settings; that means most people drawn to them are going to expect to be playing characters at least in that rough weight class, not everyman heroes.
That's easy to handle... go from 7D to spend and 2D max per skill, go with 14D & 3D, 21 and 4D, or 28 and 5D, respectively.

I mean, Vader has a few skills well over 10...
 

aramis erak

Legend
Star Wars D6 actually had a trivial mechanic for any character to become force sensitive without any Jedi training - it was only expensive if you wanted to spend lots of points on really powerful abilities. Seems fair to me.
A force sensitive cannot access jedi powers without training. The only thing they can do is have more force points, and take training for the force skills...
1e, p69, notes that the first die in any force skill learned in play requires training, but not skill points
2e p 145 notes that a teacher is required to learn force skills. p. 146 requires the teacher have 3d in the skill to teach it. It also removes the free with training first die; 1st die is 6 weeks and 20 SP.
2ER p 140 leaves it to GM choice whether holochrons or books count as training. It also reiterates the 3d requirement to teach, but reduces the cost to 10 CP for 1st die.

in other words, the ability to gain those first dice is entirely at the GM's whim. If they don't count books nor holochrons, that leaves finding a flesh and blood instructor... and they can legit set that at insanely hard, given the Yoda arguments...
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Obviously, we disagree about what we want out of a Star Wars RPG. But beyond that, I'm going to have to disagree with some other things that you're postulating.

For starters, the Star Wars EU was definitely not a high-heroic setting at the time the WEG version came out (1987).

I do not believe that is a statement that even most fans of the setting would have said at the time. It came across as very much pulp space opera, and everything about it pointed in that direction. Bluntly, non-high-heroic settings do not have mooks for a simple element that stands out but its not the only one.

But my point really is, it doesn't matter what you want or what I want (I'm frankly not that big a Star Wars fan, so mine is somewhat irrelevant); it matters what the majority of the RPG fans wanted there, and I'm pretty comfortable in saying everyman heroes wasn't it.
 


Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top