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D20 - the new Rule-master??

Rasyr

Novus Rex!
Validated User
Over my many years of gaming, one of my favorite games has been Rolemaster, once I discovered it. It allowed me the freedom to make characters I wanted, and how I wanted to make it (within reason). :D

Then I started hearing the various additional names that folks called Rolemaster (chartmaster, rulemaster (cause of so many options), etc....). While this was a little irksome, I took it as a good sport (thinking on how I knew what they were missing - the important part being that at least 80% of the folks that derided RM had never tried it in the first place...)

Well, then a few years ago, I became a little disillusioned (i.e. found it hard to find gamers), and turned to d20 as it was getting ready to appear (while not a playtester, I was one of the few who signed the NDAs to get a look at it about a month before it was released). While I really was not fond of thevarious incarnations of D&D, I found that I liked this new version very much. It was a lot more gamer freindly, in offering options to players, and over all, much closer to what I would have liked to see it become. I was in hog heaven, for a while at least.....

Along with d20 came the OGL. A wonderful idea that allows other companies to produce products for the d20 system (thus furthering the spread of the system itself - an excellent bit of marketing and corporate PR).

But now we come to the crux of the problem. Since the release of the d20 system, there have been a virtual tidal wave of products. You have something like 5 different products for almost everyconceivable idea there is, including supers, of all things (to me the genre of superheroes cannot be properly expressed in a system that uses levels). It is statistically impossible that every single product on the market for it is a good product (although most of them are very good), and this is likely to adversely affect consumers opinions of games in general....

And now that brings me to my question....

Many years ago, folks used to call Rolemaster by the derisive name of Rule-master. Has d20 replaced RM in that measure?

Are all these thousands of possible options good for the game?
(Note: one problem that RM2 had was that with all the options available, no two games were alike)

Have things progressed to far? How will new players know what to purchase, when their DM is using rule variants from 12 different books, and the player is then at a disadvantage to the others because he cannot get all twelve?

Pretty much just rambling at this point, but I am serious in this question.... Is there such a thing as having oo much of a good thing (i.e. hundreds of variant rules by dozens of companies)?

Will this help or hurt the industry in the long run?
 

Matthew

SquareMans
Validated User
D&D has a lot of rules. A lot of rules. Not all to its benefit. Stuff like, you can draw a weapon as part of a move-equivalent action if you're BAB is +1 or greater, but if not you need a feat. And I'm, like, WTF? How many characters don't have a BAB of +1 or greater? How would the game be worse if they just took that rule out?

But, and here's the important thing, it's what works. The popularity of the concept of RPG is based largely on a huge, sprawling rules system (AD&D) little of which made much sense when compared to the rest of it. Yet people dig it. Gotta go with what works.
 

Seroster

Miw!
Validated User
mattcolville said:
D&D has a lot of rules. A lot of rules. Not all to its benefit. Stuff like, you can draw a weapon as part of a move-equivalent action if you're BAB is +1 or greater, but if not you need a feat. And I'm, like, WTF? How many characters don't have a BAB of +1 or greater? How would the game be worse if they just took that rule out?
Oh damn, I'm in nitpick mode. Are you talking about Quick Draw? It lets you do more than just draw a weapon as part of a move-equivalent action.

But your point about the +1 restriction is pretty spot on. I mean, that's going to affect who? First level characters ONLY, who aren't in fighter-type classes.
 

necron99

Retired User
I'm sort of with Matt on this. I ran RM and D&D and most other games. When I ran RM we actually ignored most of the rules, same goes for d20. I never found either game to suffer in enjoyment because of this. No, I did not sytematically decide which rules to keep and which to discard. I just kept what our group found usable and ignored the rest. Sometimes this even meant different player's at the same table were using different subsets of the rules.

So I suppose that yes d20 is the new Rules-Master. And I think the plethora of new rules are a good thing. I don't plan to buy or use most of tehm, but I am glad to see products like Deadlands d20, or Slaine that let me buy a setting a like and use rules I already (mostly) know. If I decide I want to do a Pirates game I can look at various d20 pirates supplements and pick the one that gives the best options for my style.
 
S

Seanchai

Guest
Rasyr said:
How will new players know what to purchase, when their DM is using rule variants from 12 different books, and the player is then at a disadvantage to the others because he cannot get all twelve?
How was this dealt with when we were talking homebrew rules instead of purchased one? And I would imagine that someone has a purchased copy of the rules...

Rasyr said:
Is there such a thing as having oo much of a good thing (i.e. hundreds of variant rules by dozens of companies)?
There is. When a person cannot sort through all the variants, then it's too much of a good thing.

Rasyr said:
Will this help or hurt the industry in the long run?
If you think it hurts then industry, then you agree with Ryan Dancey. But I think it's basically neither...

Seanchai
 
mattcolville said:
D&D has a lot of rules. A lot of rules. Not all to its benefit. Stuff like, you can draw a weapon as part of a move-equivalent action if you're BAB is +1 or greater, but if not you need a feat. And I'm, like, WTF? How many characters don't have a BAB of +1 or greater? How would the game be worse if they just took that rule out?
Huh? Are you sure that rule exists? I though that drawing a weapon was always a move-equivalent action unless you got Quick Draw (which IIRC does require that you have a BAB of +1) in which case it is a free action.
 

Marion Poliquin

I eat plants.
Validated User
Jan-Willem van den Broek said:


Huh? Are you sure that rule exists? I though that drawing a weapon was always a move-equivalent action unless you got Quick Draw (which IIRC does require that you have a BAB of +1) in which case it is a free action.
What Matt meant was that you can both move and draw a weapon as part of a single move action if your BAB is +1 or more.
 
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