log in or register to remove this ad

 

What is "grim and gritty" and "low magic" anyway?


log in or register to remove this ad

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Y'know, since tauton did a better job than I did ( :p ), I'm starting to think that for a 'mythic feel' nerfing and railroading are par for the course....I can't think of any significant literature or myth with the same amount of random chance, luck, and ingenuity possessed by one party of PC's. You put four players playing halflings in the position of Frodo & Co., with the same magic, same limits, same design, you don't get "Lord of the Rings" out the other end, you get people griping about uber-NPC's, and railroading ("I give the ring to Merry." "NO, YOU CAN'T DO THAT! YOU'RE THE ONLY ONE PURE ENOUGH!" "I don't care, this isn't fun anymore." "ARGGH, MY CONTINUITY!!!!!").

But then, being able to mimic plots I'm not sure is ever anyone's goal with D&D.....it seems that people want to more 'capture the feel' than 'capture the plot.' And in that respect, I don't think high-level D&D is any worse at it than anything else....you can get a mythic feel in high-level D&D.....but perhaps what constitutes a "mythic feel" should be defined first?

You know, Wulf, you're right, I was railroading and using a certain amount of DM fiat to get them to go on my little quest (I could point out some specific problems in your counter, but meh, my argument has changed. :))....but then again, so did Homer....so did I really fail in mimicing the 'mythic feel'? Because from what I can tell, DM Fiat, railroading, uber-NPC's, etc. are a big portion of feeling like a myth. Odysseus can't use his sailing skills to get home fast because the Gods/DM says so. Achilles got hit in the heel because the Gods/DM says so. Hercales can succumb to the poison because the Gods/DM set the DC at an impossible DC, ditto with Gandalf not being able to use the Ring. It seems that the basic answer is that no, I can't precisely mimic the Oddyssey without restorting to the same measures that Homer did, just like I can't mimic Lord of the Rings without resorting to the same measures Tolkien did. Because what works in those books to get the heroes to do their quests would annoy the hell out of a human being who wants to do the same. If Odysseus wanted to planeshift-teleport home the most basic answer is that the gods would screw him over, because that's what happens in classical greek myth -- your most powerful weapons are useless in the face of Gods/DM Fiat.

That said, I can still do an arduous journey at 15th level. Check out the "How-To" thread, for that, but the gist of it is that the PC's find out that since there are Suitors in their homeland, and they outnumber the PC's, simply materializing at home will have their loved ones killed by the suitors, who aren't about to let the hero come back and claim what they already have dibs on. The Suitors, of course, aren't entirely slackers themselves, and though the family could be raised again (maybe....since they're NPC's, the DM can decide that they *like* hanging out in Paradise...), the simple disregard for their untimely deaths would probably be enough to put every Good-aligned church on the island out of wanting to do it (and the evil-aligned churches would probably be more trouble than they're worth). Thus, the best approach is to try and sneak in....underneath the enemy's constant survielance of the homeland. A disguise is pretty iffy, since the enemies also have access to powerful magic to dispel such a thing (true seeing and the like). Each PC has a connection outside their house (their own personal Telemachus) that a secluded nation has hidden away, with a powerful artefact of disguise and obscurement. The adventure then is going from place to place to follow threads of this hidden nation, to find the people who can help them sneak in, so that they can ensure the safety of their family and friends before routing the wicked. This isn't DM fiat, this is simply tactics...soon after the PC's were preoccupied, the suitors moved in to lay claims to the land, and they have the threat and ability to kill the PC's family, whom they might not get back (and definately wouldn't get back easily) if they took the most expedient means. This is the goal of the bad guys, since they want to keep what they got, and it's a bit shaky right now (there's a brat running around, and the wife still hasn't married any of them), so they're worried about each other, and about other powerful forces, and the PC's (Divination says they're still alive!, but the family of the PC's of course doesn't get this news...unless by secret means....). The PC's then have to find a way in that doesn't immediately alert anyone to the trouble, or else their family dies (and there's never a garuntee that an NPC will come back, or like them very much when they do). The steps can be the steps above.

Suffice it to say for now that no one can mimic literature or myth at any level with D&D because it requires such obnoxious DM turns as to render it not entertaining for the majority of those playing. But that doesn't mean that the challenges and problems presented in myth and literature cannot still exist in high-level D&D. There's a thread right now that's concentrating on that very thing.
 
Last edited:

Desdichado

Adventurer
I'm not entirely sure that a "mythic" feel is really appropriate for low magic, grim and gritty. Maybe the former, but not the latter. Something like the Game of Thrones or the Black Company is hardly mythic, and that's what I think of when I think of grim and gritty.

And that's why I like it, too. I'm not really aiming for mythic, I'm aiming more for a more verissimilitudinous (if that's even a word) game than standard D&D. I'm looking for Call of Cthulhu in a fantasy setting with characters that are more pulp and swashbuckling in nature; a Robert E. Howard kinda feel, I guess. I don't see how that's mythic, but I see how low magic, and at least an element of grim and gritty (relative to D&D) is essential to that feel.

I think maybe the other issue is one of degree. In actuality, I'm not claiming that I like D&D to be more low magic or grim and gritty, because I don't consider my game to truly be D&D anymore. There's a big difference between low magic and grim and gritty that is defined as "some villages actually don't have 'Ye Olde Magick Item Shoppe' and high-level clerics to do healing/restoration/resurrection" and "I've completely changed the classes and magic system to the point that my game isn't recognizably D&D, but is some other d20 game."
 

tauton_ikhnos

First Post
Kamikaze Midget said:
Y'know, since tauton did a better job than I did ( :p ),

:p

Kamikaze Midget said:
I'm starting to think that for a 'mythic feel' nerfing and railroading are par for the course....I can't think of any significant literature or myth with the same amount of random chance, luck, and ingenuity possessed by one party of PC's. You put four players playing halflings in the position of Frodo & Co., with the same magic, same limits, same design, you don't get "Lord of the Rings" out the other end, you get people griping about uber-NPC's, and railroading ("I give the ring to Merry." "NO, YOU CAN'T DO THAT! YOU'RE THE ONLY ONE PURE ENOUGH!" "I don't care, this isn't fun anymore." "ARGGH, MY CONTINUITY!!!!!").

Lord of the Rings, problem is that invisibility is not attractive enough to players. In book, ring itself held sway over minds; hard to hold sway over players' minds :). Suggest making ring provide spellfire feat for free plus some spell level charges per day, and redefine spellfire as brilliant energy (per the weapon enhancement), watch players murder each other over it :).

Brilliant energy, of course, no effect on undead and ringwraiths :]

Why destroy it? Because if Sauron gets it (and he has army of undead coming for players to ensure he does), he can decimate landscape with it.

Next point for Lord of the Rings: arduous journey will not be the same, but it will still be arduous journey. Point is to make it tough, force sacrifices, to get where they are going. In some places, maybe REQUIRE the PC abilities to advance - instead of nerfing teleport, make it so that teleporting is the only way to survive, by staying a few steps ahead of the trace teleporting ring wraiths who are pursuing you, but only have a few teleports per day.

Could be done. Will add this to mythic high magic thread :).
 

Bendris Noulg

First Post
Joshua Dyal said:
I'm not entirely sure that a "mythic" feel is really appropriate for low magic, grim and gritty. Maybe the former, but not the latter. Something like the Game of Thrones or the Black Company is hardly mythic, and that's what I think of when I think of grim and gritty.
See if you can find a copy of Excalibur at you local video store. There's a whole new level of grit there, hard-core in some spots (particularly during the quest for the Grail). The opening and ending battles are particularly grim.

We also find that Merlin did indeed have a worthy nemesis in Morgana, although Morgana wasn't necessarily more powerful then him; rather she had guile, deception, and sexuality to bolster her use (and aquisition) of magic.

And that's why I like it, too. I'm not really aiming for mythic, I'm aiming more for a more verissimilitudinous (if that's even a word) game than standard D&D. I'm looking for Call of Cthulhu in a fantasy setting with characters that are more pulp and swashbuckling in nature; a Robert E. Howard kinda feel, I guess. I don't see how that's mythic, but I see how low magic, and at least an element of grim and gritty (relative to D&D) is essential to that feel.
Yep.

I think maybe the other issue is one of degree. In actuality, I'm not claiming that I like D&D to be more low magic or grim and gritty, because I don't consider my game to truly be D&D anymore. There's a big difference between low magic and grim and gritty that is defined as "some villages actually don't have 'Ye Olde Magick Item Shoppe' and high-level clerics to do healing/restoration/resurrection" and "I've completely changed the classes and magic system to the point that my game isn't recognizably D&D, but is some other d20 game."
That's the spirit, ol' boy. :D
 

Desdichado

Adventurer
Bendris Noulg said:
See if you can find a copy of Excalibur at you local video store. There's a whole new level of grit there, hard-core in some spots (particularly during the quest for the Grail). The opening and ending battles are particularly grim.
I'll one-up you, actually, look for the Warlord Trilogy by Bernard Cornwell (Winter King, Enemy of God and Excalibur) for a grim and gritty take on King Arthur that makes Excalibur look downright hoaky in comparison. But I suppose it depends on what you mean by a "mythic" feel; if anything, I think that's even more poorly defined than grim and gritty is. Excalibur and the Warlord Trilogy are arguably not very mythic; in fact, the Warlord Trilogy specifically attempts to reduce the Arthur legend to a believeable, "historical" fiction account. And Excalibur certainly doesn't feel much like Le Mort d'Arthur, so if one is mythic is the other not?
 

Wulf Ratbane

Adventurer
Not to curtail this discussion, but early on I made a distinction between tales of myth and fiction; out of pure laziness I stopped citing both.

But while I think that all myths make good fiction, not all fiction is necessarily "mythic."

And, of course, I still maintain that high-level D&D is not well-suited to replicating those certain key elements of good fiction. In my mind it really boils down to "conflict," in the generic and literary sense, and the many ways in which magic eases conflict.

There have been some good suggestions on "that other thread" that go a ways towards maintaining conflict and tension in other ways.

Wulf
 

Bendris Noulg

First Post
Joshua Dyal said:
I'll one-up you, actually, look for the Warlord Trilogy by Bernard Cornwell (Winter King, Enemy of God and Excalibur) for a grim and gritty take on King Arthur that makes Excalibur look downright hoaky in comparison.
Noted (and thanks!). At any rate, I do see how Excalibur can be viewed as hoaky; While the movie has a lot of great actors in it (including Patrick Stewart!), the over-abundance of Shakespearian acting does keep it on the "loved but not often watched" shelf.

But I suppose it depends on what you mean by a "mythic" feel; if anything, I think that's even more poorly defined than grim and gritty is. Excalibur and the Warlord Trilogy are arguably not very mythic; in fact, the Warlord Trilogy specifically attempts to reduce the Arthur legend to a believeable, "historical" fiction account. And Excalibur certainly doesn't feel much like Le Mort d'Arthur, so if one is mythic is the other not?
Generally, the myth of Arthur and the Round Table has a tendancy of being viewed differently (anyone see the trailer for the supposedly "true" Arthur, imaginatively called Arthur?) by different people. I would indeed regard both as mythical, although Le Mort d'Arthur is arguably closer to the myth as it was during the time of its writing, with publication and other (modern) media since that time taking the legend in directions that it likely wouldn't have gone without such.

To a degree, that also relates to the lm vs hm aspect of these discussions: It's a question of how far from the origins of fantasy does the individual want to go. High Magic repels the people it repels because it is too far from the "source", to the point of not resembling it at all aside from weapons and armor, where as other material, or the same material "reigned in" to less common levels, brings the atmosphere of the game more in-line with its origins.

We can pretty much agree that, as a tale, Le Mort d'Arthur is as close to "source" as one can get to the legend of Arthur, while Excalibur returns to its source yet has its own spin on several story elements (and compare those elements to their portrayal in Mists of Avalon for a completely different take). And, given the political and religious climate of the (European) Dark Ages, each of these is a "believable myth" (Merlin's statement in Excalibur that "the one God has come to replace the many" even explains why magic is no longer seen in our world today, by which the powers of Merlin and Morgana don't detract from the tale but reinforce it). By comparison, Disney's The Sword and the Stone only has a fleeting simularity to that same source, yet is itself the same tale.

And let's not even bring up First Knight.:\
 

WizarDru

Adventurer
Bendris Noulg said:
We can pretty much agree that, as a tale, Le Mort d'Arthur is as close to "source" as one can get to the legend of Arthur...
Well, it's as close as you're going to get for a modern expectation of the Arthurian Myths. One has to remember that there were lots of them, written or invented over a long period of time, and Le Morte d'Arthur is just one collection, albeit the first definitive written version that we accept today as the standard. One merely needs to ask "Who was Merlin?" to see how radically diverse the stories and myths were, although I think we can agree that 'Morte" is the most common baseline to work from.

GURPS King Arthur is a great book for this sort of thing.
 

Belegbeth

First Post
G&G, LM DnD with UA

Many people have claimed that the DnD rules are intrinsically incompatible with "grim and gritty" and/or "low magic" games.

Although I think that a lot can be done to promote a low magic and/or a grim and gritty feel based on how the DM manages her campaign, the new *Unearthed Arcana* book of variant rules appears to provide a few "crunchy" tools for playing such a campaign.

Introduce:

(1.) The Vitality and Wound Points system. (Adds some grimness to combat.)
(2.) Use spell points, but with the "vitalizing" variant. (Causes fatigue when casters use up half of their spell points; exhaustion when they use up two quarters of their spell points).
(3.) Treat some/most high level (7+) spells as incantations.
(4.) Use the generic classes (though you should probably give Experts a d8 HD and 8 skill points per level, to make them comparable to the other classes). The Spellcaster, though she gains access to both divine and arcane spells, does not know nearly as many spells as most standard DnD spellcasters (I think she gets the sorcerer's "spells known" progression).

These variants -- all now part of the new and improved tasty WotC "DnD menu" -- can produce a relatively low magic, grim and gritty game!

Thoughts? Comments? :cool:
 

Bendris Noulg

First Post
Well, mine just came today, and while there's a few things not to my taste, there are a few things I'd definitely would like to incorporate into my game.
  • Environment Variant Races (to fine tune races I already have as well as develop races I "know" are there but never wrote up)
  • Variant Scout and Thug (Side Note: Expert variant looks very much like my own version)
  • Variant Paladins (although as Prestige Classes)
  • Bard as a Prestige Class (something I'd been considering, now made easy for me)
  • Backgrounds (under consideration, will likely do something modeled in a similar fashion but more setting-specific)
  • Action Points (although giving less, just to "try them out")
  • Contacts (for fleshing out background; contacts are actually a common occurance in our game already, but this UA system is good for characters starting above 1st Level to determine past associates)
  • Reputation
  • Taint
Stuff I already use/have done include:
  • W&V (or essentially my own take, which I originally built from SW combined with various bits from message board discussions)
  • Spell Points with a Fatigue-like system is something I already have, converted from Spells & Magic.
  • Paladin as a Prestige Class (Barbarians and Monks, too)
  • Defense Bonus and DR for Armor (although Defense is scaled higher, combined with a defense roll, with your Defense roll effected by the Armor, thus providing a Defense mechanic that scales with the Attack mechanic)
  • Facing (based on MEG's Fighter's Corner)
  • Themed Summoning (albeit through a different method)
  • Legendary Weapons (from their initial release in Swords of Our Fathers)
  • Sanity (although becoming more familiar with these rules, combined with some commentary regarding them in the Sanity thread, I'm looking at the possibility of merging the system I use with the UA version; still not sure, yet, and will likely throw that one past the group for their opinion.)
Not sure if I'll actually use them, but I am looking over the Incantations and these do seem nice. Not entirely sure if I want to use them, as I already applied True Ritual rules to spells our group wanted to trim-down and I feel the two would occupy the same "niche" of spellcasting methodologies. I can see them having been a great addition if such wasn't the case already.
 
Last edited:

malladin

Explorer
Saeviomagy said:
To me
"Low magic" usually means "I hate handing out magical items, so I removed them, inadvertantly making anyone who plays a wizard or cleric significantly more powerful than the rest of the party, but that's ok, because I cover it by saying that wizards and clerics are uncommon. Even though there's one of each in every party."
Actually, I think that if you have a look at our DarkLore game you will see that, if anything, the reverse is true. Yes, there is an emphasis on rarity of items and spells, but spellcasters are limited to 5th or 4th level spells whilst there is a system that allows characters to gain powerful items just by developing levels (The point of this is to emphasise that the items are rare and a significant part of the character, whilst not detracting from the enjoyment of having a FB Sword, Bow or whatever.

Saeviomagy said:
"Grim and gritty" usually means "I love save vs death mechanics and I hate hitpoints. I've further devalued the fighters of the party by removing any staying power they have."
Largely a fair point. I do love 'save vs death' mechanics. However, the fact that this system destroys the fighter's stickability is something that we have taken great care to consider. Firstly, though, I need to say that we have completely removed the basic classes and replaced them with six more generic , readily multiclassable, basic classes, therefore allowing us to completely rework any balance issues appropriately. I think this is actually a valid point you make here, and only by replacing the classes can we produce a system that is balanced.

I also think that this highlights another aspect of 'Grim & Gritty'. I think that versatile characters is an important part of toning down the setting. In writing DarkLore I have tried to develop a 'fantasy novel' feel, taken from the types of fantasy novels I like, such as Tolkien, KJ Parker and Robin Hobb. The characters in these stories are usually difficult to define as any one class and have a lot of different abilities and complex character histories. With the versatile classes we've done for DarkLore and the free multiclassing I think we've highlighted this.

Saeviomagy said:
Simply put - if someone uses either of these phrases to describe their campaign, it means that they didn't really think about the campaign world beyond their own personal DMing preferences.
Well, this is now where you start to get a bit silly. I can understand that you don't like grim & gritty and previously had some reasonable arguments for why taking this apporach may unbalance the game. Hopefully I have provided the counter argument to say that by putting the extra work you can get around these problems. However to dismiss the concept in this manner is bigotted.

To say that DarkLore is ill thoughtout is so badly wrong it makes me laugh. DarkLore is the culmination of probably about 60 years of roleplaying experience (4 people have been signifcantly involved with developing the setting ideas). There's hundreds of pages of notes on history and the different nations, cosmology, secret societies, politics and the like. Not only that, but it's been built by History, Paeleontology and Ecconomics graduates so has been developed with an eye to tying the world together in an ways that shows how the societies have developed and interacted with each other.

Anyway, what's wrong with thinking about my own DMing preferences? I'm the one that puts the time into planning the adventures and making sure it all runs smoothly. I think the whole game is a synergenic experience for all. If the GM has a system they enjoy playing with the players will respons favourably whereas if the players are put off by the system

Ben, Malladin's Gate
 

Bendris Noulg

First Post
malladin said:
Actually, I think that if you have a look at our DarkLore game you will see that, if anything, the reverse is true. Yes, there is an emphasis on rarity of items and spells, but spellcasters are limited to 5th or 4th level spells whilst there is a system that allows characters to gain powerful items just by developing levels (The point of this is to emphasise that the items are rare and a significant part of the character, whilst not detracting from the enjoyment of having a FB Sword, Bow or whatever.
Indeed, it's often the nature of most LM games to bestow the players with "upper level" items at "mid levels" (6-12) rather than a constant upgrading of items from minor to major. It's even occured where artifacts/epic items have landed in the hands of a low level character (although not being able to draw upon the "full might" of the item, or the item being most useful only in certain situations, are features often applied to provide balance).

Largely a fair point. I do love 'save vs death' mechanics. However, the fact that this system destroys the fighter's stickability is something that we have taken great care to consider.
My solution in that regard was to alter the way Wounds are determined, being handled as (Constitution x Size multiple) + BAB. This has worked wonders to prevent melee types from being nerfed.

I also think that this highlights another aspect of 'Grim & Gritty'. I think that versatile characters is an important part of toning down the setting. In writing DarkLore I have tried to develop a 'fantasy novel' feel, taken from the types of fantasy novels I like, such as Tolkien, KJ Parker and Robin Hobb. The characters in these stories are usually difficult to define as any one class and have a lot of different abilities and complex character histories. With the versatile classes we've done for DarkLore and the free multiclassing I think we've highlighted this.
Yep.

Question: By "free multiclassing", due you mean to indicate that there is no Exp penalty for "uneven" multiclassing? Reason I ask is that Favored Classes are, to a degree, a part of Racial balace, and while I dumped the penalty, I retained Favored Classes by applying a "reward" system for taking levels in the Class (that being the semi-popular +1 Skill Point per Class Level variant that you might have seen pop up on the boards from time to time).

Well, this is now where you start to get a bit silly. I can understand that you don't like grim & gritty and previously had some reasonable arguments for why taking this apporach may unbalance the game. Hopefully I have provided the counter argument to say that by putting the extra work you can get around these problems. However to dismiss the concept in this manner is bigotted.
Welcome to the club.:\

To say that DarkLore is ill thoughtout is so badly wrong it makes me laugh. DarkLore is the culmination of probably about 60 years of roleplaying experience (4 people have been signifcantly involved with developing the setting ideas). There's hundreds of pages of notes on history and the different nations, cosmology, secret societies, politics and the like. Not only that, but it's been built by History, Paeleontology and Ecconomics graduates so has been developed with an eye to tying the world together in an ways that shows how the societies have developed and interacted with each other.
How much of it's on the web? Sounds like a good read.

Anyway, what's wrong with thinking about my own DMing preferences? I'm the one that puts the time into planning the adventures and making sure it all runs smoothly. I think the whole game is a synergenic experience for all. If the GM has a system they enjoy playing with the players will respons favourably whereas if the players are put off by the system
I've had good experiences in this regard; Indeed, my players were put off by 3E and insisted that I wouldn't be able to preserve the feel and flavor of our campaign if we converted. After explaining the d20 engine and how it works, and that seperating the operating mechanic from the conditions and expectations of D&D itself was possible, they got really excited. And while a bit has changed from the 2E campaign regarding mechanics and meta-game set ups (and after 3 years is still being thought out and improved on through continued game play), flavor and fairness have definately been retained, much to the delight of my group.
 
Last edited:

Wulf Ratbane

Adventurer
Bendris Noulg said:
My solution in that regard was to alter the way Wounds are determined, being handled as (Constitution x Size multiple) + BAB. This has worked wonders to prevent melee types from being nerfed.

Grim Tales sets the Massive Damage Threshold at CON + armor + natural armor. In effect, an attack must pierce both the armor and the CON to force a Massive Damage save.

I find that in gritty games overall, damage dealing capacity is also reduced. Giving a dragon a MAS of CON x Size effectively means the MAS will never be used.

On the other hand, since natural armor scales up with size anyway, I found it works pretty good to increase MAS without necessarily putting it out of reach entirely.

Although Grim Tales is low magic, it remains high adventure/action, so dropping a dragon with a shot to the heart should remain a (albeit distant) possibility.

I also made a last-minute incorporation of the Armor Damage Conversion rules from Unearthed Arcana, though those are optional. As noted in UA, that particular rule doesn't change the duration of combat, it merely means that most combats will end with unconscious characters, rather than dead ones. (Which, in itself, has its own grim implications.)


Wulf
 


Wulf Ratbane

Adventurer
Bendris Noulg said:
What's the target date on that, anyways? The more you post, the more I'm itching to get it.

Perfectionism yields delays, as always, but it's finally going to print this weekend.

Any plans to review it?


Wulf
 

Bendris Noulg

First Post
Well, I don't actually do reviews, but if you know my postings at all, then you know that if I like it, I'll plug it (and if I use it, it gets a banner on my site;) ).
 

malladin

Explorer
Bendris Noulg said:
My solution in that regard was to alter the way Wounds are determined, being handled as (Constitution x Size multiple) + BAB. This has worked wonders to prevent melee types from being nerfed.
That's an interesting idea. Our philosophy with DarkLore was a fantasy-ised D20 Modern, so we simply adapted the D20M massive damage mechanic, but borrowed Mutants and Mastermind's critical hit system to end up with something which copes with reducing a character's abiluity as they take critical hits (one of the best things about the storyteller system style health levels) whilst retaining the need for them to keep an eye on those nasty little nicks that can add up to them blacking out (which storyteller health levels does not account very well for.

Bendris Noulg said:
Question: By "free multiclassing", due you mean to indicate that there is no Exp penalty for "uneven" multiclassing? Reason I ask is that Favored Classes are, to a degree, a part of Racial balace, and while I dumped the penalty, I retained Favored Classes by applying a "reward" system for taking levels in the Class (that being the semi-popular +1 Skill Point per Class Level variant that you might have seen pop up on the boards from time to time).
We got around that by completely rejigging the race system. Now all races can freely multiclass and get a bonus feat, but only humans get a free choice on these feats. This means that most other races are a little more powerful, as they tend to be in the literature, particularly Tolkein. So we came up with a new mechanic for letting people play more powerful races which doesn't involve messing around with ECLs.

Bendris Noulg said:
How much of it's on the web? Sounds like a good read.
As a PDF product its all 'on the web', but unfortunately not all for free. we have a preview available from this link:
http://www.malladinsgate.com/downloads/previews/DarkLorePreview.zip
This has the basic classes, prior to a slight reshuffle following 3.5 release. The product is self is only $5 and can be downloaded from RPGNow (http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=2146&). Plus all our takings go to ENWorld's continued upkeep.

Cheerio,

Ben
 

Bendris Noulg

First Post
malladin said:
As a PDF product its all 'on the web', but unfortunately not all for free. we have a preview available from this link:
http://www.malladinsgate.com/downloads/previews/DarkLorePreview.zip
This has the basic classes, prior to a slight reshuffle following 3.5 release. The product is self is only $5 and can be downloaded from RPGNow (http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=2146&).
Kewl...

Plus all our takings go to ENWorld's continued upkeep.
Hmmm... That is interesting. How's that work exactly?
 

takyris

First Post
Great thread. GREAT thread.

Not much to add -- I've done D&D and d20 Modern recently. d20 Modern ended up being lmgng, since the characters were ordinary folks investigating an island with Odd Occurrences. After the TPK (ah, Takyris the new d20M GM, with his less than stellar grasp of the mechanics and consequences thereof), we played other stuff for awhile.

I recently asked my players what they wanted to do for the next game. A low-magic historical-setting game was on the list. I said I'd be using d20 Modern classes and rules, with skills and some class abilities altered to keep things balanced (ie, making an Alchemist to replace the Techie AdC). My players, as a group, said, "Nah, not interested. If we're playing in a fantasy game, we want to be able to blow stuff up."

Case closed. The DM's job is to give the players the kind of game they want.

Personally, I can enjoy either. I enjoyed Pirates of the Carribean, which was low-magic -- no spellcasters, one magical effect -- and I enjoy watching Justice League -- all kinds of people with amazingly powerful powers. i can get a sense of character from both. Both held vast amounts of enjoyment for me. For me, the key is to know which one I want to play, and which one I want to DM, and which one my players want me to DM.

Depending on the exact definition of gng, however, I'm not sure I'm as interested. Was PotC grim & gritty? Nobody took on a full regiment of soldiers -- when the heroes did, they got captured. On the other hand, nobody lost an eye or suffered internal bleeding or anything like that. It is, as people better than I have noted, a spectrum. At various levels of grittyness, you get, for one melee attack of a mid-level character by another mid-level character:

Grittiness level:

Low: You slash at him, and he flies backward and crushes a brick wall from the sheer force of your power. Then he gets up, sneers, and says, "It'll take more than that to take down Ol' Gruff!"

Medium: You slash at him, and he parries but seems a little slower to react now -- maybe you nicked him?

High: You slash at him, and he takes a slash across his hip as he tries to parry. He's bleeding freely, and he's going to be slowed down if he tries to move very quickly.

Uber: You slash at him, and you hit. Hold on, I'm going to make his Pain Threshold check, his Shock check, his Fear check, his Arterial check, his Bone Chip check, his Tendon check, and his Musculature check. I'll wait on Disease and Rust Poisoning until after the combat.

Frankly, I like swashbuckling in my fantasy. Swashbucklers don't take on entire regiments -- or, if they do, it's because they're leaping across tables and slashing the ropes holding candelabras and such. It's not because they're cutting a swath through the entirety of the town guard. That said, swashbucklers also don't die from a single hit unless they're fighting someone MUCH more powerful than they are.

Ergo, that's what I tend to play. d20 Modern lets me get most of that, and D&D lets me get the rest. And M&M lets me shoot laser beams. Come on. Laser beams. Don't tell me you never wanted to shoot laser beams...
 

Halloween Horror For 5E

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top