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Best Mechanics to Steal from Non-D&D Games

Someone Else's Problem

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I'd love to hear some suggestions for RPGs with mechanics that make excellent D&D hacks. A few examples that I've discovered myself:

Dungeon World: Fronts have made my campaigns strictly easier to run. It's blindingly obvious now to list out what my antagonists would do if the PCs failed to intervene, and then have that stuff happen.

13th Age: I've merged icons with fronts for a fun little mechanism. If a player's icon comes up in play, I use a front move in play (both positive and negative). This once led to the dragon cultists and the fey crime syndicate launching simultaneous coups in the PCs' home town, so I can't argue with the results. I've also used a variation on the escalation die - when an encounter becomes too one-sided, I introduce a desperation die, an increasingly large die that I add to monsters' damage. Funny how players are willing to accept a surrender if they know the kobolds are adding 1d12 to their damage rolls.

Any other suggestions? No need to keep them to fantasy or d20 related games.
 

AndrewTBP

You are Number 6
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The GUMSHOE principle of always giving core clues with no rolling works for everything.
 

Starcrash

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The GUMSHOE principle of always giving core clues with no rolling works for everything.
Oh God yes. I suck at mysteries (both ways).

Clocks, from Blades in the Dark. Having a couple ticking in the background is great for tension. YMMV for how open they are, but just knowing they're there and the GM keeps ticking segments...

Aspects, from Fate. Let's say it's D&D and I'm a level 6 warlock with an enchanted blade and a bad habit of getting into other people's business. You could call me an Itinerant Spellsword With A Hero Complex. Say I want a re-roll. Tap the aspect, try again. To un-tap the aspect, I have to let it complicate my character's life somehow.
 

Stormraven

Mystical Atheist
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From Burning Wheel, Let it Ride. Do not require or allow a re-roll unless conditions change, somehow.
 

mitchw

Viral Marketing Shill?
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True 20 has things that work like Fate Aspects but they are much less intrusive. That is a good mechanic to port over.
 

Fenris-77

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Seconded - Clocks from Blades, and something like aspects over the current D&D background Inspiration crap.
 

DeathbyDoughnut

a.k.a. Mr. Meat Popcicle
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I also use Fate Aspect rules in D&D, but player side for traits, bonds, ideals, and flaws, which triggers inspiration. A player cna claim: "I'm doing (thing), because my (trait, ideal, bond, or flaw) for inspiration."

That way I don't have to remember to give out inspiration because I never remember.

I use the concept of Cyphers from Numenera in a lot of treasures. Consumable magic items that grant one time bonuses or resource recovery.

One such item I have coming up are glass needles with swirly magic gas inside, during a short rest you may stick one of those bad boys into your skin and you may spend HD to recover spell levels, one HD per spell level recovered. Once used the item is destroyed.
 

Nate_MI

Hail Tzeentch!
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Lots of world building bits from 13th Age, like One Unique Thing and hoardsong. Relationship questions/statements from Masks and Dungeon World. Eclipse Phase Motivations over alignments. Explicitly stating (in-player) short-term goals from Chronicles of Darkness.
 

Baumi

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Lots of world building bits from 13th Age, like One Unique Thing and hoardsong. Relationship questions/statements from Masks and Dungeon World. Eclipse Phase Motivations over alignments. Explicitly stating (in-player) short-term goals from Chronicles of Darkness.
What is the "hoardsong"?
 
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