log in or register to remove this ad

 

What to run when you are done with D&D?

Mezuka

Adventurer
I am broadly frustrated with 5E in general, but what I found when doing a session of OD&D was players unhappy with very stripped down characters. I want a not-D&D because I want to find an alternative that still silupports the dungeon fantasy playstyle with the associated expectations and baggage of some D&D variant.
I had the same problem. Tried Fantasy AGE but it was too action hero for my taste. Shadow of the Demon Lord has a really nice path system my players like. They feel the options are better than those in FAGE.

At level 1 you choose a Novice path (magician, priest, rogue, warrior). Then at level 3, you take an Expert path which opens up the Paladin for warriors, the Cleric for a priest, just to name a few. Later you take a Master path to further specialize. Players get something at every level. There are only 10 levels, which is something I really like.

The characters only do 2 actions per turn, with one possible Triggered action. The action economy is much simpler, which is something that irks me in 5e.

You can add more path and race options with The Companion Books 1 & 2.

I don't like the setting of SotDL. I ignore it and use Greyhawk instead. My game is already grimdark, so it works.
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Mezuka

Adventurer
I would also add that the support for SotDL is extensive both in rule books and adventures. FAGE really suffers from that. Green Ronin (FAGE) is not very active on the adventure or campaign front.

To me that is very important. I never play official adventures 'as written' but I find they are great inspiration sources. They help me create adventures outside my usual habits. I suffered from the lack of adventures for FAGE.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
EDIT because it seems to be getting lost: I am talking about wanting to do the whole dungeon fantasy thing, but not with any version of D&D.

More specifically, what do you run when you are done with D&D specifically, but still want something "D&D like" -- dungeons, monsters, traps, treasure, etc...?
HERO is my #1 go-to system. Its flexibility means I can run a D&D style game, a M:tG campaign, WoD, a mix of types, or something most people have never seen.
 

Aldarc

Legend
I would also add that the support for SotDL is extensive both in rule books and adventures. FAGE really suffers from that. Green Ronin (FAGE) is not very active on the adventure or campaign front.

To me that is very important. I never play official adventures 'as written' but I find they are great inspiration sources. They help me create adventures outside my usual habits. I suffered from the lack of adventures for FAGE.
Did FAGE take a piss in your breakfast cereal, shoot your dog, or something?

FAGE and SotDL are both good systems, both of which I enjoy playing. You don't have to endorse SotDL by constantly taking shots at FAGE.

FAGE had a number of setbacks due to some legal issues at Green Ronin as well as the planned Titansgrave setting being gutted by Legendary's acquisition of Geek & Sundry. But Green Ronin has also published and supports Modern AGE (e.g., Threefold setting, the Expanse, etc.) and the Blue Rose conversion to AGE. Green Ronin has also just launched FAGE's community content program and published Trojan War for FAGE, and there is a revised core rulebook set for release this year.

If one is looking for adventure ideas for inspiration, there are plenty out there regardless of system. AGE is not exactly difficult to run or adjust to that, particularly given the overall ease of the system.
 


Reynard

Legend
Did FAGE take a piss in your breakfast cereal, shoot your dog, or something?

FAGE and SotDL are both good systems, both of which I enjoy playing. You don't have to endorse SotDL by constantly taking shots at FAGE.

FAGE had a number of setbacks due to some legal issues at Green Ronin as well as the planned Titansgrave setting being gutted by Legendary's acquisition of Geek & Sundry. But Green Ronin has also published and supports Modern AGE (e.g., Threefold setting, the Expanse, etc.) and the Blue Rose conversion to AGE. Green Ronin has also just launched FAGE's community content program and published Trojan War for FAGE, and there is a revised core rulebook set for release this year.

If one is looking for adventure ideas for inspiration, there are plenty out there regardless of system. AGE is not exactly difficult to run or adjust to that, particularly given the overall ease of the system.
I didn't see that as attacking FAGE, they were just pointing out something that was likely important to anyone considering systems.
 


Well, of my current games, one is D&D 5E and the other is a Savage Worlds sci-fi setting. But when those end, I'm looking at the following (already own them all) as a possible fantasy-but-not-D&D-alternative:

The Fantasy Trip - actual old school that has nothing to do with D&D. Have run a few games so far
Savage Worlds Pathfinder - d20 converted to a completely different system for a different feel. Haven't run SWPF, but plenty of SW games
Mörk Borg - OSR adjacent over-the-topness.
 
Last edited:


Parmandur

Book-Friend
@Reynard have have looked at RuneQuest? They have a new starter set, and it covers the usual sort of D&D tropes shut with a different take, with plenty of character crunch.
 
Last edited:

DarkCrisis

Adventurer
These don't seem like dungeon fantasy games.
Shadowrun totally can be, instead of a deep dark dungeon it's a Megacorp office building. Go in, get the pay data, and get out. Typically guns and spells blazing.

Vampire could be but then you are really narrowing the focus of the game.
 

I own most of the original products for TFT/In the labyrinth. Good game system. Dark City games used a version of the same system for their stuff, too.

Havent gotten my hands on the new edition, though.
I went all in on the Kickstarter for the nostalgia factor, though I still have the original Melee/Wizard Micro-games from my high school days. Not a lot of changes in the new edition (called the Legacy Edition), and there's been a ton of support for it.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Shadowrun totally can be, instead of a deep dark dungeon it's a Megacorp office building. Go in, get the pay data, and get out. Typically guns and spells blazing.

Vampire could be but then you are really narrowing the focus of the game.

In both cases I'd be tempted to just run the system with a different theme. Tech+Magic on a dungeon crawl or humans going hunting vampires that live in a dungeon.
 


S'mon

Legend
EDIT because it seems to be getting lost: I am talking about wanting to do the whole dungeon fantasy thing, but not with any version of D&D.

More specifically, what do you run when you are done with D&D specifically, but still want something "D&D like" -- dungeons, monsters, traps, treasure, etc...?

I ran Mini Six for a year (2020) in the Primeval Thule setting - 2215 AR Primeval Thule with Mini Six RPG

Edit: Ran old D&D adventures - Palace of the Silver Princess, Halls of Tizun Thane, The Licheway. Worked great and gave me a fresh perspective on 'dungeon fantasy'.
 
Last edited:

Greg K

Hero
Unfortunately, I can't offer much help. Maybe, Earthdawn 1e?
For the most part, D&D is my compromise game. However, I am bordering on dropping it.

The games that are interesting me at the moment are:
  • For multiple genres: Savage Worlds, Cortex Plus (various games), Tinyd6 (various games)
  • animation specific rpgs: Cartoon Action Hour, Meddling Kids
  • fantasy specific rpgs: Barbarians of Lemuria, BASH: Fantasy, Fantasy Hero, MERP, Earthdawn, Warhammer Fantasy 1e, and, maybe, Conan (Modiphius)
  • scifi specific rpgs:Atomic Highway, EarthAD.2, Retrostar, and, maybe, Star Trek (Modiphius)
  • supers specific rpgs: Icons: Assembled, BASH: UE
  • swashbuckling/flintlock fantasy specific rpgs: Honor + Intrigue
 

I ran OD&D last night and it was fun but I can tell my player group is irked by the lack of crunchy player bits, so I don't think any old version or OSR game is going to be a solution.

I’ll echo Torchbearer. I haven’t yet played it, but may be starting as a player in a campaign soon, so I’ve been looking through the recent 2E material that released. It is definitely evoking the exploration/delve vibe.

Since you mentioned player crunch, I’ll also recommend Heart: The City Beneath. I’ve read this and ran my first session Friday. It’s got a lot of player options in the form of class abilities. And although the “dungeon” is very different from a simple underground lair, it leans very much into delving and examining the kinds of people who would do this for a living.
 

Staffan

Legend
Unfortunately, I can't offer much help. Maybe, Earthdawn 1e?
God damn it, why didn't I think of that? Earthdawn very much hits the same buttons as D&D, though in a somewhat different order.

The game has classes (disciplines), levels (circles), different types of magic, characters getting seriously more powerful as they get experience, and amazing loot. The setting is sort of post-post-apocalyptic, much like many D&D settings (there has been an apocalypse, but it was a while ago and things are rebuilding). Basically, when the magic level in the world gets too high really nasty things start showing up, so lots of people hid in underground complexes for a few generations to wait it out, and about a hundred years ago things started getting more or less safe again. But a lot of those underground complexes failed, and have turned into death traps filled with amazing loot.

The class/level/powers system works in reverse to D&D. In D&D, you get XP, which makes you level up, which makes you more powerful. In Earthdawn, you use XP to improve your abilities and when you have improved them enough you can level up which unlocks new abilities.

There are 4-5 different editions of Earthdawn, depending on how you count (basically, there are two different second editions). There's more support material for the older editions, but I think the 4th (most recent) is probably the strongest mechanically.

Oh, and the original version was designed by one of the best game designers I know, Greg Gorden, who designed the James Bond RPG, DC Heroes, TORG, and co-designed WEG's D6 version of Star Wars.
 
Last edited:

Jack Daniel

OD&D Referee
When I became sick of D&D circa most of 2013, I tried a number of systems for dungeon fantasy: FATE didn't work at all; Savage Worlds and Victoriana fared no better. Risus held up for two or three sessions at most, while Barbarians of Lemuria could sustain a campaign that lasted maybe triple that.

WEG d6 Fantasy (borrowing as needed from Mini Six and other compatible games) worked pretty well, and to this day, the d6 System is one of the few games I'll gladly run other than OD&D or AD&D.

Incidentally, the main piece of baggage that had me abandoning D&D at the time was the quadratic magic-user. What drew me back into the D&D fold was the more linear magic system from Beyond the Wall (and now Through Sunken Lands). Brilliant piece of game-design, that (even if I've mostly learned to stop worrying and love spell levels again).
 

MGibster

Legend
My most successful fantasy campaign in the last decade was run using Savage Worlds. It scratched that fantasy itch just fine while managing not to be D&D.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top