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D&D 5E Ruins of Symbaroum for 5E Kickstarter


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Johnsson

Explorer
Thanks for your support guys, and for this post imagineGod! :)

Thanks to the backers, we are off to an amazing start, having unlocked all but one original stretch goal in less than 24 hours (and the final one well within reach). The most popular pledge level WARDEN OF DAVOKAR is starting to look real nice, even without the digital stretch goals!

SYM_5E_3_books_maps_gm-screen2.jpg
 

imagineGod

Legend
Thanks for your support guys, and for this post imagineGod! :)

Thanks to the backers, we are off to an amazing start, having unlocked all but one original stretch goal in less than 24 hours (and the final one well within reach). The most popular pledge level WARDEN OF DAVOKAR is starting to look real nice, even without the digital stretch goals!

View attachment 135505
Thanks for posting ENWorld.. You are one of the creative team. Out of curiosioly, is the core creative team on this particular project the traditional Fria Ligan team or the original Jarnringen team?

And will there be a section on TheIronPact website for the 5e rules explanations and new lore?

 

Johnsson

Explorer
You are one of the creative team. Out of curiosioly, is the core creative team on this particular project the traditional Fria Ligan team or the original Jarnringen team?

And will there be a section on TheIronPact website for the 5e rules explanations and new lore?


Yes, I am Mattias Johnsson Haake - Game Director of Symbaroum, also one of its co-creators, lead writers and editors. I am part of the 5E team but only as editor and project manager, and the same goes for my colleague (co-creator and rules designer) Mattias Lilja. The heavy lifting on Ruins of Symbaroum 5E is done by Jacob Rodgers, best known for his work of Adventures in Middle Earth - and a super nice, and super competent guy at that! :)

As for the second question, you have to reach out to the marvelous Paul Baldowski who started and runs The Iron Pact site. It is a fan page that we do not interfere with.
 

imagineGod

Legend
So many maps have been unlocked, that the physical tier is looking so gorgeous.
  • Ambria Region map
  • Thistle Hold and Blackmoor map
  • Yndaros and Karvosti map
  • Kastor and Salindra's Hole map
  • Ravenia and Prios' Pass map (on the way to get unlocked)

    dnd5e_ruins_of_symbaroum.gif
 

Jaeger

That someone better.
Yes, I am Mattias Johnsson Haake - Game Director of Symbaroum, also one of its co-creators, lead writers and editors. I am part of the 5E team but only as editor and project manager, and the same goes for my colleague (co-creator and rules designer) Mattias Lilja. The heavy lifting on Ruins of Symbaroum 5E is done by Jacob Rodgers, best known for his work of Adventures in Middle Earth - and a super nice, and super competent guy at that! :)

As for the second question, you have to reach out to the marvelous Paul Baldowski who started and runs The Iron Pact site. It is a fan page that we do not interfere with.

I'm going to shamelessly take advantage, and ask a question that you might be in a position to answer, or get an answer to...

I am Very interested in this Kickstarter, but I am hesitating due to the issue I have with how the 5e Adventures in Middle Earth conversion was done.

My Issue with AiME: It kept D&D's Hit Point bloat.

The continual expansion of HP in D&D always creates scaling issues. AiME kept the HP increase for every level, and I thought it really broke the game out of the Tolkien mould, and introduced the D&D play paradigm onto a setting that it is not suited for. (I have the same issues with the old mongoose d20 Conan game.)

In looking at this nice rundown of the original Symbaroum system:

Will the 5e conversion of Symbaroum keep the Low, mostly Fixed Hit Points?

I really hope so. I will try and make my case...

IMHO by not introducing D&D HP bloat, it flattens the system Math which would make it much easier to translate everything else over to a d20 roll-high system. I think that the HP would have to be a bit higher in the 5e conversion to account for the damage reduction that the original system uses. But I'm sure that is something that can be roughly calculated. (If I had to eyeball it I would guess something like Con + class hit die; which would put the HP for most PC's in the range of 18-30)

Classes and levels need not change overmuch otherwise. After all a Level is just another way to do Advancement. There is no inherent reason why Hit Points have to increase with every level in class and level based games.

The PC will still get more Class abilities, Feats, and higher Proficiency bonuses - they will get measurably more powerful. But because of the more or less Fix HP totals they will always have a certain vulnerability to all the creatures in the Symbaroum world. This should be seen as a feature not a bug. They will become more competent Hero's, but the "Fantasy Superhero" effect of high level D&D HP bloat will not be there to break the tone of the setting.

Anyway, I have said my piece. I thank you for your patience and indulgence.
 
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imagineGod

Legend
@Jaeger: with respect, if you don't want to play in Middle-Earth (or Symbaroum) using the "D&D mold", then don't buy a 5E-compatible ruleset...?
Well said. Though Trudvang Adventures for 5e introduced an interesting injury mechanic, that if your hero takes a significant amount of damage in one strike, no matter how high the Hit Points remain, that hero becomes disadvantaged as suffering a major injury.
 

grimslade

Doddering Old Git
I am so torn on this. I was all set to back the Kickstarter, but I read the original Symbaroum rules and I love the system. SO decision on whether to buy up the existing in print books or back the 5E conversion for ease of finding players... A good problem to have I suppose.
 

imagineGod

Legend
@Jaeger: with respect, if you don't want to play in Middle-Earth (or Symbaroum) using the "D&D mold", then don't buy a 5E-compatible ruleset...?
Well said. Though Trudvang Adventures for 5e introduced an interesting injury mechanic, that if your hero takes a significant amount of damage in one strike, no matter how high the Hit Points remain, that hero becomes disadvantaged as suffering a major injury.
 

imagineGod

Legend
I am so torn on this. I was all set to back the Kickstarter, but I read the original Symbaroum rules and I love the system. SO decision on whether to buy up the existing in print books or back the 5E conversion for ease of finding players... A good problem to have I suppose.
Why not both?

Obviously, it is costly to purchase both, but the truth is that if you are the GM it is easier to find Players for one-shits at Conventions than GMs to run the original Symbaroum. Longer term play is still a problem.

And obviously, again, it is still much easier to find DnD 5e Players than those interested in playing new rulesets long term.

Probably why we see so many original systems creating 5e alternatives. Even Monte Cook's award winning Cypher System in Numenera could not stop a 5e version of Numenera being more profitable longer term. Bruce Cordell just announced a new 5e Adventures for Numenera.
 

Jaeger

That someone better.
with respect, if you don't want to play in Middle-Earth (or Symbaroum) using the "D&D mold", then don't buy a 5E-compatible ruleset...?

How would having Low more or less Fixed Hit Points for the Symbaroum 5e conversion make the game not 5e compatible?

Class, Levels and the way the system works would remain the same.

Why would keeping a low HP count be an irreconcilable change? The spells will be changed. The class abilities will be changed. Feats will be different.

It would still be instantly relatable to anyone who has played 5e. And would be more true to the play concepts and power levels of the original Symbaroum ruleset.

Plus like I said earlier; it would flatten the math for conversion to the d20, AC based defense, roll-high rules, making the conversion easier for the developers.

I am actually much more interested in a "Fixed HP" 5e conversion of Symbaroum than I am in the original ruleset.

Because:
And obviously, again, it is still much easier to find DnD 5e Players than those interested in playing new rulesets long term.

Yes!

I think that there is plenty of design-space to "Mod" the 5e rules while still having it be completely familiar to players used to the 5e/d20 system.

The popular E6 mod in the 3e era proved this.

What would not be to like? You get a 5e conversion that is instantly familiar to players, and the game would actually give them a different flavor when playing at the table from a standard FR D&D game.
.
 
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zedturtle

Jacob Rodgers
If you're interested in the work we did to match up 5e and the setting of Symbaroum, the free primer will give you some ideas: Ruins of Symbaroum [5E] - The Promised Land - Free League Publishing | Symbaroum | DriveThruRPG.com

To answer things as simply as possible, some folks will want to make use of our classes outside of the Symbaroum setting. Other folks might want to import a class from another 5e compatible product into the Symbaroum setting. So a completely different hit point progression scale doesn't make a lot of sense. But what we can do is tie Hit Dice to origin and size — in other words, all Medium origins have a D8, and any Small origins have a D6. That helps scale things back, since there are no D10 or D12 Hit Dice characters (even Ogres and Trolls, though at the edge of Medium size, don't count as Large).

We also completely change the rest mechanics, introducing an extended rest. Long rests no longer restore hit points or Hit Dice (you need an extended rest for that). So a higher level character with a higher number of hit points has a higher number of resources (hp and HD) when they enter the forest. They can last longer and get deeper in (which makes sense, they're more experienced). But they will reach a point where they don't have any more HD (and Hit Dice in Ruins of Symbaroum represent both your ability to recover hit points and deal with Corruption so even healing magic is limited) and will be just as vulnerable as lower level characters.

Also, monsters/fights in Ruins of Symbaroum are much more likely to be unbalanced — there are places in the forest that are extraordinarily dangerous and you should have no expectation of a 'fair fight' if you start poking into such locations. Monsters also have the ability to deliver much more than just hp damage — we make use of multiple scales (including Corruption, exhaustion and conditions) to represent the characters' health and overall situation.

The Kickstarter is ongoing and we have a lot of updates and questions and answers there: Ruins of Symbaroum for 5E
 

imagineGod

Legend
If you're interested in the work we did to match up 5e and the setting of Symbaroum, the free primer will give you some ideas: Ruins of Symbaroum [5E] - The Promised Land - Free League Publishing | Symbaroum | DriveThruRPG.com

To answer things as simply as possible, some folks will want to make use of our classes outside of the Symbaroum setting. Other folks might want to import a class from another 5e compatible product into the Symbaroum setting. So a completely different hit point progression scale doesn't make a lot of sense. But what we can do is tie Hit Dice to origin and size — in other words, all Medium origins have a D8, and any Small origins have a D6. That helps scale things back, since there are no D10 or D12 Hit Dice characters (even Ogres and Trolls, though at the edge of Medium size, don't count as Large).

We also completely change the rest mechanics, introducing an extended rest. Long rests no longer restore hit points or Hit Dice (you need an extended rest for that). So a higher level character with a higher number of hit points has a higher number of resources (hp and HD) when they enter the forest. They can last longer and get deeper in (which makes sense, they're more experienced). But they will reach a point where they don't have any more HD (and Hit Dice in Ruins of Symbaroum represent both your ability to recover hit points and deal with Corruption so even healing magic is limited) and will be just as vulnerable as lower level characters.

Also, monsters/fights in Ruins of Symbaroum are much more likely to be unbalanced — there are places in the forest that are extraordinarily dangerous and you should have no expectation of a 'fair fight' if you start poking into such locations. Monsters also have the ability to deliver much more than just hp damage — we make use of multiple scales (including Corruption, exhaustion and conditions) to represent the characters' health and overall situation.

The Kickstarter is ongoing and we have a lot of updates and questions and answers there: Ruins of Symbaroum for 5E
Thank you. That is a very wonderful answer. It also helps some of us who backed the Trudvang Adventures for 5e Kickstarter and happy to have some cross compatibility across fantasy Nordic fantasy both using the same 5th Edition engine.

Also, nice to see how you have tried to keep Symbaroum both gritty and dark. 5th Edition DnD works well at low levels for that too, but at high levels in almost all Dungeons and Dragons systems, the PCs become gods essential. Trudvang Adventures limits the character levels to a max of 10. Wonder how Symbaroum reaches Level 20 yet still keeps the world grim and dark for the PCs without turning them into gods fighting other gods.
 


imagineGod

Legend
Before the Auroboros there was Symbaroum and the many great gifts it had to offer.

Checkout the new stretch goal that offered these beautiful gold and silver foil slipcases.

kickstarter _ruins_of_symbaroum_5e_slipcases.jpg
 

Marc_C

Solo Role Playing
Too many great games by Free League. I just pledge on The One Ring campaign. Maybe I'll get it at the FLAG when it hits the shelves.
 

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