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

S'mon

Legend
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.

Yes, D6 System is definitely my go-to system for completely-not-D&D, and it can sustain campaigns of decent length. As I said above, it can do 'dungeon fantasy' very well. PCs go from Luke in ANH to Luke in RoTJ sort of power level, so not exactly 'zero to demigod' as in D&D but definitely solid progression.
 

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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
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.
Thanks for the update!
 




Sir Brennen

Legend
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).
Have you looked at 5E? IMO, they addressed many spellcaster issues. For example, instead of a fireball automatically increasing damage based on the caster level, you need to spend a higher level spell slot to get more damage. This feature was then leveraged to good effect across many spells for all classes. (e.g., there's only one Cure Wounds spell... you just cure more damage by spending higher level slots.)

Thanks to a core concept of "bounded accuracy", things like bloated spell DCs were also reigned in.
 

Voadam

Legend
Have you looked at 5E? IMO, they addressed many spellcaster issues. For example, instead of a fireball automatically increasing damage based on the caster level, you need to spend a higher level spell slot to get more damage. This feature was then leveraged to good effect across many spells for all classes. (e.g., there's only one Cure Wounds spell... you just cure more damage by spending higher level slots.)

Thanks to a core concept of "bounded accuracy", things like bloated spell DCs were also reigned in.
Ubiquitous concentration requirements so most spells can't be used with others at the same time is also a big 5e magic constraint.
 

Voadam

Legend
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.
Earthdawn is a fantastic setting and has really cool concept magic and classes and class powers and a natural setup for dungeon exploration with their newly opened Kaers and the Horrors.

I used a bunch of concepts from Earthdawn in my D&D games.

I bounced pretty hard off the d6s and step DCs rules mechanics though but others might not.
 

Staffan

Legend
Earthdawn is a fantastic setting and has really cool concept magic and classes and class powers and a natural setup for dungeon exploration with their newly opened Kaers and the Horrors.
Another really cool thing about Earthdawn are its magic items. Any magic item worth a damn has a Name and a history. In order to use the item well, you need to "weave threads" to it to align its magic with yours (in game terms, spend XP). And in order to do that, you need to learn its history and in some cases repeat some of the deeds done with it in the past.
 

Voadam

Legend
Another really cool thing about Earthdawn are its magic items. Any magic item worth a damn has a Name and a history. In order to use the item well, you need to "weave threads" to it to align its magic with yours (in game terms, spend XP). And in order to do that, you need to learn its history and in some cases repeat some of the deeds done with it in the past.
Agreed. Also most had multiple levels of power that could be successively unlocked with more uncovered lore/mythic recreations/rituals and xp/weaves so they could grow as you leveled and adventured.
 

Egon Spengler

"We eat gods for breakfast!"
Have you looked at 5E?

Yes. Not my personal cup of tea. Aside from the fact that it's just a poor fit for my play-style, the bounded accuracy is a bit too bounded for my tastes, and combats above 3rd–4th level are too slow and predictable to keep me engaged.

How about Against the Darkmaster? I think it checks on all parameters, plus it looks just amazing for the nostalgic factor alone.

I completely forgot about Agasint the Darkmaster! I've never played it (or MERP), but I'm eager to give it a try sometime.
 
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Reynard

Legend
Agreed. Also most had multiple levels of power that could be successively unlocked with more uncovered lore/mythic recreations/rituals and xp/weaves so they could grow as you leveled and adventured.
It's too bad the system is such a convoluted 90s mess or i would be inclined to use that. There's a Savage Worlds version but it has poor reviews.
 



Voadam

Legend
Are you familiar with the PF version? If so, is it any good? "First level" Earthdawn characters were pretty badass and I am curious how a more zero to hero system like PF/3.x handles it.
No, I am aware of but not familiar with the Pathfinder versions. They are a bit on the expensive side and I am playing 5e now as my system of choice (although I played d20 and Pathfinder for a long time) so they are lower on my list for acquiring them. So I do not have a basis for commenting on the Pathfinder mechanics they have for the neat classes, races, monsters, magic systems, magic items, and such for Earthdawn.

I have had a couple of the 1e Earthdawn stuff (corebook, companion, the magic books) for a long time and have picked up a couple more of them in PDF and enjoy most everything except the actual rules system.
 

Reynard

Legend
I have had a couple of the 1e Earthdawn stuff (corebook, companion, the magic books) for a long time and have picked up a couple more of them in PDF and enjoy most everything except the actual rules system.
I own pretty much the entire line, unfortunately not stored in the most book friendly location (basement). I wish I could get past the system and run a campaign. It's so good.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
…instead of a fireball automatically increasing damage based on the caster level, you need to spend a higher level spell slot to get more damage. This feature was then leveraged to good effect across many spells for all classes. (e.g., there's only one Cure Wounds spell... you just cure more damage by spending higher level slots.)
I’m not a fan of 5Ed, but I have to admit this was a good idea. In fact, I would have appreciated it they did that to ALL the direct damage spells.*

That would have played into some of my character concepts where a spellcaster focused on a tightly bound set of spells, improving his potency with them as he leveled up. You know, kind of like the
Force Missile Adept PrCl of 3.5Ed.





* I have no idea if they did or didn’t, not having bought any 5Ed.
 

Aldarc

Legend
I didn't see that as attacking FAGE, they were just pointing out something that was likely important to anyone considering systems.
I do agree that SotDL has better adventure support than AGE. (Schwalb is prolific.) Also in SotDL, characters gain a level by completing an adventure, which are broken up in different level-appropriate tiers: i.e., Starting, Novice, Expert, Master.

While SotDL does have a lot of mechanical options, it can almost be a bit overwhelming because a lot of it is scattered across various supplements. It's almost 3e levels of bloat. Thankfully there are fan-created spreadsheets for keeping track of the various ancestries, paths, and magic traditions. SotDL does consolidate a lot of this in later works. If you are interested in SotDL, I would recommend buying Shadow of the Demon Lord, Demon Lord's Companion 1 and 2, and Occult Philosophy.

Again, the rollout for FAGE was far slower due to legal issues surrounding Wil Wheaton's Titansgrave. There was supposed to be further adventures and a more comprehensive setting book for Titansgrave, but that died in the Legendary buy-out. In the mean time, GR published Blue Rose AGE - which has a lot of adventure support - and Modern AGE. However, I suspect one issue that has limited GR's ability to provide adventure support - in contrast to SotDL - is that there is not presently a default setting, though I believe that the new Core Rulebook will present one in the same universe as their Free Port mini-setting.

AGE, as some people have said, is far more action hero oriented. My partner found FAGE easier and more fun to play than 5e D&D, because there was less moving parts for them to keep track of, but they still could make their limited selection of spells do cool things through rolling doubles and generating stunt points. AGE does have a lot of dials and knobs for dealing with some of its known problems (i.e., HP bloat), and I believe the upcoming Core Rulebook will also address some of it (within reason due to a desire for backwards compatibility). But my partner and I took part in the playtest last year, and the revised FAGE shows a lot of promise.

Have you looked at 5E? IMO, they addressed many spellcaster issues. For example, instead of a fireball automatically increasing damage based on the caster level, you need to spend a higher level spell slot to get more damage. This feature was then leveraged to good effect across many spells for all classes. (e.g., there's only one Cure Wounds spell... you just cure more damage by spending higher level slots.)

Thanks to a core concept of "bounded accuracy", things like bloated spell DCs were also reigned in.
Have you looked at either Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures or Through Sunken Lands? Neither game even has Fireball. These games present a much flatter power level between Cantrips, Spells, and Rituals. Cantrips and Spells don't have a spell level, though Rituals do based on character level (e.g., a level 2 ritual requires mage level 2+; a level 7 ritual requires a mage level 7+; etc.). Mages simply cast a number of spells per day equal to their level, and both games go to ten levels. Mages can still do amazing things, but the more powerful feats of magic power rest in Rituals, which require one hour per ritual level. Resurrection, for example, is a level 10 ritual; therefore, only mages of tenth level can cast it, and it takes ten hours to cast.
 

BrokenTwin

Biological Disaster
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.
Assuming you have experience with it, what would you say is the "best" version of Earthdawn, rules-wise?
 


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