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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Using D&D as a Generic RPG Template

I used to do this all the time when I was a teenager. We'd decide some setting or genre was a passing fancy, I'd whip up some quick rules, pretty much on the fly, and away we'd go! Funny thing is, now that I am older and I am trying to write this up for people who won't be sitting at the table with me for me to make a quick judgment call, it's a wee bit harder.

Anyway, I am planning on doing some alpha testing with my family tonight after supper and we'll see at least some of what needs tweaking.

So far saving throws vs lots of things and cover based AC bonuses are looking good. Mission objective based experience points and combat based experience points are looking like how the XP system is going to work.

I have a few ideas that I am going to include as optional, because they draw us away from an even compatibility with B/X or LL, but present them straight out of the gate anyway, just because they enhance the feel I am going for; for instance my HP vs CON as wounds plan, I think straight out lethality in a comic/TV serial version of WW2 should be for NPCs and Bad Guys.

I am also not sure how I can go about making it a rule, but I think it would be great if everyone played as a super clich├ęd member of the team, the southerner(From Georgia or Alabama, with a grandpa that fought with General Lee), the guy from New York City (usually Brooklyn or the Bronx, bonus points for Hell's Kitchen), the Texan (always a west Texas cowboy type), the scrappy Irish kid (usually from Boston), the European immigrant (his family came in the last generation, maybe from one of the antagonist countries causing tension in the squad), the mid-westerner (Tragically, this is always the nice blond kid that dies horribly to show what bastards the Nazis/Japs really are). Sometimes for diversity we throw in a Jew, a Mexican or an Indian, the rest of the country really is under represented.

Obviously for right now I am concentrating on Americans in Europe/North Africa, but this can easily be extrapolated for the Pacific theater or other nationalities too. I think a French resistance campaign could be a lot of fun too and the British invented Commando style warfare, so that could be cool too.

Fantasy/Supernatural are being considered as a default option, because every war has those kinds of ghost stories and Nazi Zombies are starting to crop up everywhere. Plus we all know from the Indiana Jones movies about the 3rd Reich's obsession with occult artifacts.