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General The Best Non-D&D System for Each D&D Setting

Aldarc

Legend
The settings of D&D were obviously designed for D&D or with D&D in mind, but what if they weren't? Or have you ever thought that there were other systems out there that could take a setting and capture the spirit of the setting, dare I say, better than D&D can? That's what this thread borne from boredom and shooting the breeze is about.

What is the best non-D&D system for each D&D setting?

When I say "non-D&D," I also would clarify by stipulating no retroclones, fantasy heartbreakers, or any system where you are basically just picking an off-brand D&D or D&D-based game with the serial numbers filed off. Try not to quibble about this too much, as the point is not to try to cheat the spirit of the premise of this discussion.

For example, I believe that Keith Baker has said that Savage Worlds would be a suitable non-D&D system for running Eberron.
 

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uzirath

Adventurer
I ran an extended (10+ year) GURPS Fantasy campaign in the World of Greyhawk in the '90s and early '00s. More recently I've used GURPS for D&D 5e content in both Greyhawk and the Realms. (I've run Saltmarsh, one of my favorite introductory adventures, with GURPS more than I've run it with D&D, though I've run the Sinister Secret at least once in each version of D&D.) I'm currently planning out a GURPS version of Rime of the Frostmaiden.
 


TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
Reign seems like a easy fit for Birthright.

It would require a fair amount of hacking, but Mage: The Ascension has a lot of tonal fit with Planescape (factions jockeying for their philosophy to take control of reality), and everyone being some kind of caster fits better with the setting, I think.

Dungeon World and Greyhawk seem to go together like peanut butter and chocolate.

Ravnica would be an interesting place for a Forged in the Dark type game.

Forgotten Realms seems to have a lot of famous characters of very disparate power levels, so maybe a Cortex type game? You could have Elminster, Drizzt and Volo in the same party.
 

Shardstone

Adventurer
Reign seems like a easy fit for Birthright.

It would require a fair amount of hacking, but Mage: The Ascension has a lot of tonal fit with Planescape (factions jockeying for their philosophy to take control of reality), and everyone being some kind of caster fits better with the setting, I think.

Dungeon World and Greyhawk seem to go together like peanut butter and chocolate.

Ravnica would be an interesting place for a Forged in the Dark type game.

Forgotten Realms seems to have a lot of famous characters of very disparate power levels, so maybe a Cortex type game? You could have Elminster, Drizzt and Volo in the same party.
That Ravnica idea...that is good. I like that. I like that a lot!
 

Aldarc

Legend
It would require a fair amount of hacking, but Mage: The Ascension has a lot of tonal fit with Planescape (factions jockeying for their philosophy to take control of reality), and everyone being some kind of caster fits better with the setting, I think.

Ravnica would be an interesting place for a Forged in the Dark type game.
NICE! There is a Forged in the Dark game on Kickstarter (Sig) that's clearly Planescape-inspired, but Ravanica would also work well for a FitD game too! I could see a game like Burning Wheel also working for Planescape, where you are constantly having to test your beliefs/ideologies against reality.

Nentir Vale: Exalted

Greyhawk: Iron Heroes, Torchbearer, Forbidden Lands
 

jmartkdr2

Adventurer
NICE! There is a Forged in the Dark game on Kickstarter (Sig) that's clearly Planescape-inspired, but Ravanica would also work well for a FitD game too! I could see a game like Burning Wheel also working for Planescape, where you are constantly having to test your beliefs/ideologies against reality.

Nentir Vale: Exalted

Greyhawk: Iron Heroes, Torchbearer, Forbidden Lands
Honestly, I'd rather just play Exalted using the 4e ruleset...

Torchbearer would be a great fit for Dark Sun.
 



THEMNGMNT

Adventurer
Great thread!

13th Age for Dragonlance. It delivers the type of big damn heroes you see in Dragonlance's epic fantasy, and the Icon system could model the forces at play in the War of the Lance. 13th Age often has a gonzo tone, but that has more to do with the voice of the authors than the system itself.

Cortex could also work for Dragonlance, too.
 
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Aldarc

Legend
Great thread!

13th Age for Dragonlance. It delivers the type of big damn heroes you see in Dragonlance's epic fantasy, and the Icon system could model the forces at play in the War of the Lance. 13th Age often has a gonzo tone, but that has more to do with the voice of the authors than the system itself.

Cortex could also work for Dragonlance, too.
13th Age was created by the lead designers of 3e and 4e D&D to be something of a hybrid system, so 13th Age basically falls in the practically D&D category.
 


ChaosOS

Hero
Supporter
Re: Eberron - Keith Baker is good friends with Kristian Serrano, who wrote the Eberron for Savage Worlds conversion and up until recently was a co-host of the Manifest Zone Podcast.

For Dark Sun I'd say Savage Worlds as well, but afaik lots of folks at that point jump over to Dragon Kings, which is by the same folks just not under the D&D/WotC banner.
 

GlassJaw

Hero
Savage Worlds is great, especially for low-magic/sword & sorcery settings. There are a few products for that genre too: Beasts and Barbarians, Lankhmar, and Solomon Kane to name a few.

SW is great for any low-magic setting really. The magic system is incredibly modular and not tied to classes (SW uses skill-based advancement) so it's really easy to tailor the rules so the setting.
 


Aldarc

Legend
For Dark Sun I'd say Savage Worlds as well, but afaik lots of folks at that point jump over to Dragon Kings, which is by the same folks just not under the D&D/WotC banner.
I would also consider Paleomythic for Dark Sun as that is a setting specifically designed for "no metal." The only modifications needed would be for defiling/preserving magic and psionics.
 

DnD Warlord

Explorer
World of Darkness 2e for dark sun

wait hear me out...
Use the base mortal mechanics but graft on some vampire disciplines to duplicate psychic and such... throw in some werewolf gifts as life shaped items
Finally. Use mage rules for magic but instead of paradox and quintessence use the drawing from the land.
 

DnD Warlord

Explorer
Savage Worlds is great, especially for low-magic/sword & sorcery settings. There are a few products for that genre too: Beasts and Barbarians, Lankhmar, and Solomon Kane to name a few.

SW is great for any low-magic setting really. The magic system is incredibly modular and not tied to classes (SW uses skill-based advancement) so it's really easy to tailor the rules so the setting.
Orginal dead lands rules for raven loft
 


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