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Jun. 22nd, 2006 | 01:58 pm

I want to play a roleplaying game again.

I was first thinking of GURPS transhuman space, but GURPS is annoying to anyone who isn't comfortable using a spreadsheet. I could try hacking up some d20 Modern to work with it but that seems like too much work.

So I started thinking of some kind of steampunk D&D-esque world. The World of Warcraft RPG has some rules for an engineer class which on quick scan seems reasonably balanced with other d20 classes.

I'm tired of the standard D&D magic system, so I was thinking of using the D&D psionics rules for the magic system that can be used in a short term, though I was thinking it'd be fun to include a ceremonial magic that is perhaps a bit too inspired by Call of Cthulhu. (Takes a long time to cast, and is mostly useful for summoning things, hopefully binding them, and opening portals to places you really shouldn't go.)

Further running with my basic lazyness I then decided that the core races, Human, Elves, Dwarves, and Orcs were all descended from an original (probably human) race (so you can have half breeds).

One of my issues with the standard D&D world is it made no sense to me for the humans to be in power. So in this game world idea, the Elves are the imperial overlords who've been dominating the region for millennia, and they've outlawed the "sub races" (anyone whose not an elf) from practicing any form of magic. (Not that the other races can't learn/have the right talents, they just get to be hunted if the elves find out about it).

The humans and dwarves have managed to start up a steam powered industrial revolution which deeply annoys the traditionalist elves.

Now I'm trying to decide how science fiction the history should be? Is this a ring world in a far future that's suffered some kind of technology collapse? Were the elves the bioengineered transhumans, and the other races are more closely related to us?
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Comments {9}

Ree

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from: triskellion
date: Jun. 22nd, 2006 09:34 pm (UTC)
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Oh my. Sounds like fun.

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Bolowolf

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from: bolowolf
date: Jun. 22nd, 2006 09:40 pm (UTC)
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There's Shadowrun which may be too tech/future oriented for your current desires.

Call of Cthulhu rocks. As for D&D, what about the new Eberron world which has some technology in it? I don't know it well, but it might fit your needs.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Jun. 22nd, 2006 10:19 pm (UTC)
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I don't know much about eberron either, though it was used as the seting fro DDO, and there do appear to be magic airships and some kind of rail.

Hmm... might be worth looking through the first couple of chapters.

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schizoform

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from: schizoform
date: Jun. 23rd, 2006 12:04 am (UTC)
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Mmm I enjoy world building. I agree with your elves are imperial overlords thing -- it's just too easy -- but I kinda like the idea of the different races having their own raisin d'eater (mmm tasty). i think the old AD&D idea was that elves were isolationist but skilled at magic, but that humans were expansionist traders and thus had the "common" tongue and tied everything together. possibly you can maintain these ideas to some extent. but i'd consider carefully the economy/ecology of the world. AD&Ds worst failing, generally speaking, was that there were all these dungeons full of huge monsters with NOTHING TO EAT.

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Josh

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from: irilyth
date: Jun. 23rd, 2006 12:08 am (UTC)
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I disagree about GURPS; it's complex if you want it to be, but as the GM, you can feel free to gloss over as much of the dierolling as you want. To pick a particularly extreme point of view, you could even use the system to build characters (just for balance, or at least to get a sense of how powerful the characters are), and then run it diceless after that (if you wanted to run a diceless game, which you probably don't, but I said "extreme" :^).

More plausibly, you really can handwave away any of the complexity you like. GURPS's strength is the flexible character-building system, IMHO.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Jun. 23rd, 2006 04:05 am (UTC)
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I agree that the GURPS game system is fairly straight-forward, and I agree that GURPS has an amazingly flexible character generation system.

But when I've tried to convince people to create GURPS characters they tend to run and hide. Something about the 3 reference books filled with small print of advantages and disadvantges and lots of math seems to intimidate my test subjects.

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Josh

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from: irilyth
date: Jun. 23rd, 2006 12:10 am (UTC)
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Incidentally, have you ever read Brust's Vlad Taltos series? They have some of the "elves in charge and (mostly) monopolizing magic, humans a resentful underclass" thing going on.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Jun. 23rd, 2006 04:08 am (UTC)
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I read some of the earlier books and I didn't actually even realize they were elves.

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Jeffrey

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from: jeffrey
date: Jun. 23rd, 2006 12:19 am (UTC)
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I love the new D&D system, but I always prefer to build my own worlds to play in. Just haven't had anybody to game with in years. :(

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