D&D General Has the OGL/WotC debacle motivated you to create your own Fantasy Heartbreaker or homebrew?

Laurefindel

Legend
I picked up my Twilight Imperium RPG once again, built using once-Cubicle 7-now-Free League The One Ring’s system, but it has more to do with inspiration from all the talk of working on your own heartbreaker than me boycotting WotC honestly.
 

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jdrakeh

Front Range Warlock
I picked up my Twilight Imperium RPG once again, built using once-Cubicle 7-now-Free League The One Ring’s system, but it has more to do with inspiration from all the talk of working on your own heartbreaker than me boycotting WotC honestly.

Oh! That sounds cool! The official Twilight Imperium RPG by Fantasy Flight Games (waaaaaay back in the day) was a real disappointment. I'll be sure to check yours out when/if you share it.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
I was talking with one of my players who's been keeping up the most with the OGL saga about what our ideal post-5E system would look like, and unfortunately, it would have to look a lot like 5E, which is the compromise choice between the folks who want a much lighter game than 3E and the folks who want to have lots of player choices in character development.

There aren't any OSR games that can be built up without a lot of work and even Pathfinder 2 looks too crunchy for a bunch of our players.

So our best bet is for an SRD published under ORC that allows Kobold Press to continue producing 5E supplements. Once we have a framework similar to what we have now, including subclasses and advantage/disadvantage, we might build or modify that chassis to better suit our tastes.

If I wasn't actually running a campaign now, I would consider taking Castles & Crusades out to the garage and trying to 5E-ify it, but that's too work for me at the moment at a time when I'm unlikely to switch over my two ongoing play by post games to a new system, not to mention my Discord and live games.

I do look forward to seeing what this new era of D&D clones produces, though, and would happily buy one that works for me and mine.
 

gamerprinter

Mapper/Publisher
While I do game design, I wouldn't call game design my first calling. So I've only ever supported another game system as 3PP, I've never wanted to design my own RPG. I've never had interest in creating my own game system. I much prefer to be playing a particular game and decide something is missing from the game and I have an epiphany on how to fill that hole. Then as pro illustrator, cartographer, graphic designer, I make the whole with high production values, and able to compete at least visually with the Big Guns, since most small publishers aren't artists and cannot afford too much art (I can pack my adventures with maps and illustrations, because I do them all myself.)
 


Greg K

Legend
So who else out there has been motivated or inspired to either dust off or create their own game system, custom rules or setting after this fiasco?
I already had a list of official rules options, third party material (new classes, subclasses, a few spells , revised mechanics, etc), and a few of my own house rules prepared if I run 5e (same for 3e if I were to run it again). However, given everything going on with the OGL, I might be able to get friends to play Savage Worlds, Icons: Assembled, Barbarians of Lemuria, Honor+Intrigue, Tinyd6, Spycraft, or one of several games when I am able to run.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Classic, Plus, or Prime?
Prime would be dead simple.

Take whatever scale the attribute or discipline is on and match that with d4, d6, d8, d10, and d12. Something like: 1=d4, 2-4=d6, 5-8=d8, 9-10=d10, 11-12=d12.

You could literally keep all the attributes, disciplines, virtues, foci, etc the same and just use them as Cortex Prime traits.

If one of your values comes in, +1d6. If one of your foci comes in, +1d6.

The talents would be the "hardest" part. But rebuilding them like Marvel Heroic SFX would be fairly easy to do.
 
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Aldarc

Legend
I was talking with one of my players who's been keeping up the most with the OGL saga about what our ideal post-5E system would look like, and unfortunately, it would have to look a lot like 5E, which is the compromise choice between the folks who want a much lighter game than 3E and the folks who want to have lots of player choices in character development.

There aren't any OSR games that can be built up without a lot of work and even Pathfinder 2 looks too crunchy for a bunch of our players.

So our best bet is for an SRD published under ORC that allows Kobold Press to continue producing 5E supplements. Once we have a framework similar to what we have now, including subclasses and advantage/disadvantage, we might build or modify that chassis to better suit our tastes.

If I wasn't actually running a campaign now, I would consider taking Castles & Crusades out to the garage and trying to 5E-ify it, but that's too work for me at the moment at a time when I'm unlikely to switch over my two ongoing play by post games to a new system, not to mention my Discord and live games.

I do look forward to seeing what this new era of D&D clones produces, though, and would happily buy one that works for me and mine.
Maybe look at Worlds Without Number and Atlas of the Latter Earth?

EDIT: There is a free version of WWN on DriveThruRPG that covers most character options. There are three full classes: Warrior, Expert, and Mage. There is the Adventurer, which is the multiclass option that lets players be a Warrior/Mage, a Mage/Expert, or a Warrior/Mage. Mages can even go full mage in certain magical traditions (e.g., High Magic, Healer, Necromancy, Elementalism) or take two partial mage traditions (e.g., Healer/Necromancer, etc.).

The paid version has additional character options for partial classes, including a spontaneous-casting "Sorcerer" using spell points, a shapeshifter, a classic D&D-style priest, a duelist, a beastmaster, and a psychic. Atlas of the Latter Earth expands this by providing the bard, a warlock (i.e., the "Accursed"), the anti-magic mage-slayer, plus low/no-magic options like the Alchemist and the Wise.

Plus there are "feats" that all classes can take, and some magical traditions and partial classes have special abilities that they can pick.

All in all, it's a nice balance between 3e-style build options and OSR simplicity.
 
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delericho

Legend
No.

I briefly considered it, but then I remembered that every time I've tried to write my own game, with one exception, it has progressed to a certain point and then failed as soon as it got bogged down. The one time I did complete the thing, I almost immediately realized it wasn't a game I wanted to play anyway.
That said...

What I might do is take the 5e SRD, call it a new game, and then house rule it extensively. That would allow me to continue to play "D&D" without actually playing D&D, and allow me to go ahead and fix all the horrible things about 5e that have been bugging me for years.

(I of course have no intention of ever publishing, so the status of the OGL wouldn't matter at all. Likewise, it doesn't matter if WotC take down the SRD, since I've downloaded it long ago.)

Even so, that feels like it's going to end up being another abandoned project, so I probably won't. :)
 

I've been picking at homebrew slowly for a long time. I definitely feel a greater urge to finish the thing I actually got halfway written, and an urge to consider the bits and bobs of design ideas I've had floating around for nearly two decades now.

Whether that will produce work in the end is a different subject.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Classic, Plus, or Prime?

I was expecting to use Prime, because I have this nice shiny book for it. Cortex seems able to sort of mirror the ST:Adv stat structure, without needing the rather fiddly dice mechanics.

The interesting bit will be mirroring the character generation mechanics.
 

Art Waring

halozix.com
I have been working on a non-fantasy project for years, all that will change is the system it uses (going with my own), and the fact that I won't be using the OGL, but another less restrictive license, CC, ORC, whatever fits best with the future of the open gaming community.
 

Laurefindel

Legend
Oh! That sounds cool! The official Twilight Imperium RPG by Fantasy Flight Games (waaaaaay back in the day) was a real disappointment. I'll be sure to check yours out when/if you share it.
FFG also has one in the making (it should already be out but was delayed during COVID) which I'm really looking forward to. It looks like it's a direct TI port into their Genesis system (same as FFG Star Wars), whereas mine is a lot more gimmicky with Action Cards replacing The One Ring's advantage dice gained at the beginning of combats, Command Tokens replacing Hope as the in-game currency to fuel abilities, Victory Points (xp) scored by objectives during the Status Phase (the equivalent of the fellowship phase in TOR), etc. Some people will find it too boardgame-like.
 

payn

Legend
No, im still too lazy. Though, if I did it would be something closer to 3E/PF1. Id look at a 12 level system with archetypes and prestige classes. Feats, expansive skills, bounded accuracy etc..
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
Maybe look at Worlds Without Number and Atlas of the Latter Earth?

EDIT: There is a free version of WWN on DriveThruRPG that covers most character options. There are three full classes: Warrior, Expert, and Mage. There is the Adventurer, which is the multiclass option that lets players be a Warrior/Mage, a Mage/Expert, or a Warrior/Mage. Mages can even go full mage in certain magical traditions (e.g., High Magic, Healer, Necromancy, Elementalism) or take two partial mage traditions (e.g., Healer/Necromancer, etc.).

The paid version has additional character options for partial classes, including a spontaneous-casting "Sorcerer" using spell points, a shapeshifter, a classic D&D-style priest, a duelist, a beastmaster, and a psychic. Atlas of the Latter Earth expands this by providing the bard, a warlock (i.e., the "Accursed"), the anti-magic mage-slayer, plus low/no-magic options like the Alchemist and the Wise.

Plus there are "feats" that all classes can take, and some magical traditions and partial classes have special abilities that they can pick.

All in all, it's a nice balance between 3e-style build options and OSR simplicity.
Thanks. I've never actually heard anyone talk about the player-facing side of WWN, just raves about the DM-facing elements. I'll check it out!
 

Aldarc

Legend
Thanks. I've never actually heard anyone talk about the player-facing side of WWN, just raves about the DM-facing elements. I'll check it out!
WWN comes out of creating a fantasy version of Stars Without Number, which is itself something of a D&D / Traveller hybrid. So skills are typically 2d6 + attribute + modifier, whereas attacks and saving throws are d20 + attribute + modifier. The standard method in the game is that Attributes are rolled 3d6 in order and then bump one to 14. There is also a standard array without the 14 bump. Attribute modifiers are much flatter: 8-13 (no modifier), 14-17 (+1), and 18 (+2).

WWN Character Summary

Backgrounds and Skills:
Players can choose or roll for a Background. Backgrounds provide one free skill. From there, players can choose whether to pick the two quick skills OR they can choose to roll three times for the chance to gain a random skill or attribute (either mental/physical). A character's proficiency in a skill starts at -1. You are trained in a skill at +0. And proficiency in a skill caps at +4. Remember that this is 2d6 + Attribute + Skill Modifier, with Skill Check difficulties of 14+ being only possible by true masters.

Class: Players then choose their class. There are three standard classes: Expert, Mage, Warrior. The Expert is best at skills. The Mage is best at magic. The Warrior is best at combat. Each class gets one or two special abilities as part of the class. For example, the Warrior gains Veteran's Luck, which lets them once per scene turn a missed attack they made into a hit or turn a hit against them into a miss. Additionally there is the Adventurer class, which has rules for the multiclass combos: Warrior/Mage, Mage/Expert, and Expert/Warrior. It's typically in the Adventurer that the other specialized partial classes operate: e.g., Bard (Expert partial class) can be a Bard/Expert, Bard/Warrior, or Bard/Mage. But you can also combine partial classes: e.g., Bard/Psychic, Bard/Duelist, Bard/Priest, etc.

Foci: Players then choose a Focus, which are much like feats. Foci have two tiers, so you can potentially take the same Focus twice and gain an additional benefit. Since a mage's choice of Arcane Tradition provides them access to various non-spell arcane arts, Warriors and Experts (as well as partial Warriors or Experts) gain a bonus foci. Warriors gain a free combat foci and Experts gain a free non-combat focus.

Weapons & Shock: Some weapons have a Shock value. Shock is damage on a miss that is inflicted if the target has an AC less than or equal to the value. For example, a Long Sword has 2/AC 13 for Shock. This means that a Long Sword will inflict 2 + Str/Dex damage against a target on a miss if that target has an AC of 13 or less. This is meant to keep combat (a) deadly and (b) quick so there is not just round after round of misses. Ranged weapons do not have Shock. So this gives more risk/reward with melee weapons.

Race/Ancestry: I have not talked about ancestry yet. Worlds Without Number takes place in a Latter Earth setting where humans are the presumed norm. There are, however, rules for creating more standard fare tabletop fantasy demihumans with some sample ones, including gnomes. ;) If a player picks one of these demihuman options, then they give up their free starting focus. I will also note that WWN also has its own version of elves and dwarves that fit its setting.
 

WWN comes out of creating a fantasy version of Stars Without Number, which is itself something of a D&D / Traveller hybrid. So skills are typically 2d6 + attribute + modifier, whereas attacks and saving throws are d20 + attribute + modifier. The standard method in the game is that Attributes are rolled 3d6 in order and then bump one to 14. There is also a standard array without the 14 bump. Attribute modifiers are much flatter: 8-13 (no modifier), 14-17 (+1), and 18 (+2).

WWN Character Summary

Backgrounds and Skills:
Players can choose or roll for a Background. Backgrounds provide one free skill. From there, players can choose whether to pick the two quick skills OR they can choose to roll three times for the chance to gain a random skill or attribute (either mental/physical). A character's proficiency in a skill starts at -1. You are trained in a skill at +0. And proficiency in a skill caps at +4. Remember that this is 2d6 + Attribute + Skill Modifier, with Skill Check difficulties of 14+ being only possible by true masters.

Class: Players then choose their class. There are three standard classes: Expert, Mage, Warrior. The Expert is best at skills. The Mage is best at magic. The Warrior is best at combat. Each class gets one or two special abilities as part of the class. For example, the Warrior gains Veteran's Luck, which lets them once per scene turn a missed attack they made into a hit or turn a hit against them into a miss. Additionally there is the Adventurer class, which has rules for the multiclass combos: Warrior/Mage, Mage/Expert, and Expert/Warrior. It's typically in the Adventurer that the other specialized partial classes operate: e.g., Bard (Expert partial class) can be a Bard/Expert, Bard/Warrior, or Bard/Mage. But you can also combine partial classes: e.g., Bard/Psychic, Bard/Duelist, Bard/Priest, etc.

Foci: Players then choose a Focus, which are much like feats. Foci have two tiers, so you can potentially take the same Focus twice and gain an additional benefit. Since a mage's choice of Arcane Tradition provides them access to various non-spell arcane arts, Warriors and Experts (as well as partial Warriors or Experts) gain a bonus foci. Warriors gain a free combat foci and Experts gain a free non-combat focus.

Weapons & Shock: Some weapons have a Shock value. Shock is damage on a miss that is inflicted if the target has an AC less than or equal to the value. For example, a Long Sword has 2/AC 13 for Shock. This means that a Long Sword will inflict 2 + Str/Dex damage against a target on a miss if that target has an AC of 13 or less. This is meant to keep combat (a) deadly and (b) quick so there is not just round after round of misses. Ranged weapons do not have Shock. So this gives more risk/reward with melee weapons.

Race/Ancestry: I have not talked about ancestry yet. Worlds Without Number takes place in a Latter Earth setting where humans are the presumed norm. There are, however, rules for creating more standard fare tabletop fantasy demihumans with some sample ones, including gnomes. ;) If a player picks one of these demihuman options, then they give up their free starting focus. I will also note that WWN also has its own version of elves and dwarves that fit its setting.
This is timely. I just downloaded the free version from Drivethrurpg earlier today. I'm trying to expand my gaming knowledge and this being OSR and well reviewed made it a 'two birds, one stone' situation. I've never played SWN but I have stolen a lot from it over the years. Beyond what you've already said is there anything else you'd tell someone before they dive in?
 

Aldarc

Legend
This is timely. I just downloaded the free version from Drivethrurpg earlier today. I'm trying to expand my gaming knowledge and this being OSR and well reviewed made it a 'two birds, one stone' situation. I've never played SWN but I have stolen a lot from it over the years. Beyond what you've already said is there anything else you'd tell someone before they dive in?
There are two other player-facing mechanics that Crawford uses in WWN that may be worth mentioning: System Strain and Effort.

System Strain is a limit on the healing or other magical effects that a target's body can receive that equals to the target's Constitution score. The Healer's Healing Touch ability, for example, heals the target 2d6 HP, but confers 1 point of System Strain on the target. A target cannot receive any additional healing if they are capped, and it takes usually one night of rest to reduce each point of system strain.

Effort is a mechanic similar to concentration, but it's what fuels many mage's non-spell magical arts. Full Mages have an amount of Effort pool equal to their Magic Skill + Ability Modifier + 1, though this gets a bit complicated with partial mages as their pool differs and they have separate Effort pools per arcane tradition that can only fuel their respective tradition's abilities. Mages may have to commit a point of Effort for a scene, a day, or indefinitely for some of their abilities. For example, a High Mage may commit a point of Effort to Sense Magic around them.

I would also add that if your players would prefer more heroic style games and less gritty OSR-style games, there are optional rules in the paid version of the game for Heroic Characters. This is also a good option if you are running a smaller party of 1-2 players. I would probably use these heroic rules, for example, if I ran my partner through a solo campaign.
 


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