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43

Like every boom/bust cycle, the "d20 bust" was what happened when the "d20 boom" ended. What's the d20 Boom? I don't know if that's an official term, but it's one I use because it works, and it fits the idea of a bust pretty well. If you look back to when 3.0 came out, it did an interesting thing that no game with it's reach had done before: it made it ...


39

For a quick glance turn to page 2 in the book, usually a brown orange colour with all the designers names etc. Look near the bottom of the page. It will start" "Based on the original Dungeons and Dragons rules..., and Peter Atkinson." Under this, if it is a 3.5 book, it will say:" This product uses updated material from the v.3.5 revision." If not, it ...


27

Time Periods... Pre-OGL: Before 1999 OGL/d20 Era: 1999-2007 Boom: late 2000 to mid 2002 Bust: 2005 to 2007 Post d20 To Understand the Bust, you must understand the Boom When the Open Gaming License (OGL) was used on D&D 3.0 in 1999, along with the D20 System Trademark License (d20 STL), it ushered in a new era of 3rd party licensed ...


17

The landscape is your ally, GM Placement of the players can mean a lot to the difficulty of the scenario. If the archers and spellcasters have taken safehaven in the back, have your reinforcements sneak up behind them and launch a charge to the weakest. If your enemies are known as planar creatures or strong spellcasters, have the reinforcements "warp in" ...


15

D&D3.5 was first published in July, 2003. Anything published by Wizards of the Coast after that date will almost certainly be for 3.5. Anything published before that date will certainly be for 3.0. Another source of information is vendors like Amazon.com. The edition will often be in the product description, as it is here: ...


14

4th Edition, from experience When inflicted on a 4e group as part of a curse, it gave everyone a headache and made combats incredibly long. The hex based map presents incredible difficulties in calculating zones relative to the ease of calculating zones in a square map. Either zones in a hex grid are the same area as a square grid or they are the same ...


13

I developed a quickie "mass" combat system for my Pathfinder campaign because the PCs kept having groups of pirates or whatnot on their side. I read some of the existing mass combat rules in various D&D books (mostly third party) but they were always either too complicated for what I wanted or they integrated very poorly with character level action. ...


13

The initial D20 boom was driven by two licenses: The Open Game License allowed third-party creators to reference and reuse a significant portion of the D&D 3rd Edition ruleset. This is, of course, useful for writing D&D3-compatible game content. The D20 System Trademark License allowed creators to actually label their products with the D20 System ...


12

Easiest way is to note the players perception skill (and other useful info) on a stat reference block and make the roll yourself. This means you're making a roll for some reason however, which may get the players meta hackles twitching. An option to avoid this that doesn't even involve rolling a dice (if you don't even want that to be seen) is pre-roll a ...


12

The answer depends on what you're rolling, what your target number is, and what modifiers are already in place. For D20s, the answer is about five, but less if you need to roll really high or really low. See this answer. In general, the formula for probability of success is: 100% - (chance of failure per roll)^(number of attempts). This applies to Choose ...


11

Have players describe what they're doing, then figure out how to model it with game mechanics. If that requires some metagaming to describe why something works the way it does in the scope of the rules, so be it. It might be worth a few "dry run" or "open" encounters so new players can get the hang of how the game flows, what rules come into play, and what ...


11

You're going to trivialize stuff intended for lower levels, except in the case of failure. The particularly worrysome one would be something like traps, where the consequences of failure are based on HP and saves (both of which you didn't scale up). To provide any chance of failure to find/disarm a trap for a character with level 10 skills, you're going to ...


11

Looking at D6 Probabilities with the Wild Die, If you're going to be purely technical about it, it's trivial to figure out the odds of success on a skill check in D&D assuming a set of characters with skills: 1-(difficulty-bonus-1)/20 Therefore, assuming DC 10, and a bonus of 4, the above returns .75. For a strict translation, therefore, figure out ...


10

The most basic stuff – the fundamental core d20 system – is largely the same. That is, you still roll a d20 and add a bonus, and check against a number. Bonuses of the same type don’t stack. Various character options (races, classes, feats, class features, spells, items) are all new, even if they have the same name as a 3.5 option. ...


10

Fundamentally, you'll remove opportunities for advancement on the skill side of the character up to level 10. This will make combat, saves and feats the only options for expanding capability through the game. It will also make your players ability to predict the game at character creation even more important than usual. The biggest benefit to the game is ...


9

The d20 SRD has a simple and useful section on using hexes instead of squares. In terms of ramifications it has this to say: Using a hex-based grid changes relatively little about the game, but poses a mapping dilemma for the GM. Most buildings and dungeons are based on 90-degree and 45-degree corners, so superimposing a hex-based grid on a structure ...


9

If I were making this decision, and none of the players had read the novel, then I would consider both the issue of railroading, and the issue of spoiling the book for them. If it were me, I would prefer to spark their interest in reading it. That puts me on the side of creating a path for the characters that is unrelated to the story told in the book(s). ...


8

Let's see. Iron Heroes is definitely good. The Conan d20 RPG from Mongoose tends to favor warrior types, it lets you play a ritual caster if you are really into that but most of its assumptions are "stick a sword through it." For 3.5e the Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords had a lot of high energy martial arts stuff in it. We've used that in some APs. ...


7

Depending on what kinds of Technology you are looking for there is a broad range of material available. DragonMech (Goodman Games) has a definite fantasy flavor but has rules to add massive mecha. Although mecha is not a purely steampunk element it is present in many steampunk stories and games. Etherscope (Goodman Games) has rules for a more traditional ...


7

Privateer Press published Iron Kingdoms, a d20 campaign setting which mixed fantasy and steampunk elements. The most useful sourcebook for a general steampunk game would be Liber Mechanika. It contains an arcane mechanik class along with rules for creating the arcane machines.


7

This can be a tricky situation for GMs to handle. Firstly, I need to point out that (bolded for effect) Welcoming new players is the task of both the GM and the more experienced players. I'm actually running a Pathfinder game right now, and we do have 1 player new to Roleplaying, though the rest of the group is pretty experienced. Now that we've gotten ...


7

Any large battle can be reduced to a statistical model. It is fairly trivial to calculate the average damage (factoring in the to-hit) of each NPC. (1-(EnemyAC-ToHit)/20-critChance)*(averageDamage)+critChance*critDamage There are two levels of useful granularity here: 1) Tactical Tactical granularity is when you have each enemy on the battlefront deal ...


7

Yeah, the d20 version of Call of Cthulhu is pretty complete. It has a stat block for a demigod version Cthulhu on p.292. You likely don't want to fight Cthulhu himself however... Try on this CR 20 Starspawn of Cthulhu (a mini Cthulhu) for Pathfinder. Cthulhu himself is more of a god, no stat block. Update: Cthulhu himself is now found in Pathfinder's ...


7

The usual way of doing a conversion between systems is to not try to reproduce the mechanics, but to look at what the mechanics are trying to accomplish or model and then figure out the "native" way in the new system for how that would be done. Since you're using D6 Fantasy, you're presumably using D6 Fantasy's combat system instead of trying to emulate ...


6

This might be a digression but there's always the option of using neither of them. A tape ruler and some wargaming templates (warhammer or warmahordes) and you're good to go. Replace squares/hexes with inches and you have a pin point accurate system. Takes a little getting used to at first but it works smoothly once you get going. For the GM, maps suddenly ...


6

There are several databases out there which will tell you such things (besides Googling in general or checking Amazon). RPG.net has a searchable index of most any RPG product ever. Search it for "Complete Warrior" and it says "Wizards of the Coast: Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 (2003 Hardcover)" in the search results even. RPG Geek (a variant site off ...


6

In 4.0 you could run a skills challenge. (@okeefe I was too slow looking up a link. :( ) In 3.5 you could use the given social skills like bluff, diplomacy, sense motive, etc. to create opposed rolls between characters. You could house rule your own system like Burning Wheel's Duel of Wits


6

You would break things. Many prestige class prerequisites, for example, are based on a number of ranks required in a certain skill, without it you'd be looking at PCs with level-inappropriate abilities and abilities that display erratic behavior. Balance aside, you'd be cutting away a significant portion of what you gain from level-ups, and level-ups are a ...


6

No, there is not. Generally, “checks” (ability checks, skill checks, initiative checks) do not have critical effects, and there are some very good reasons for that (5% failure rate is inappropriate for most of them, plus in many cases what would happen on “auto-success” is very unclear: take Jump for example). Natural-1s on saving ...


6

The mean of 2d20k1 is 13.82 - roughly equal to +3, +4 if rounding up. The median is 15 - equal to +5 The mode is 20... The problem being that, if the target number ("TN") is greater than 10, the impact is more, while if less than 10, less. For a TN 15+ save, you go from 30% chance to 51% - slightly better than a +4, while on a TN 5+, you go from 80% to ...



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