First off, I don't think I've ever played "real" D&D. I'm usually DM and try to focus on the imaginative side of the roleplaying, sacrificing certain rules and concepts to make this happen. So that's my exposure to D&D -- loose combat, attributes, some skills and feats and lots of imagination.

I recently learned of Dangerous Journeys. Quickly glancing over the rulebook, I see that its similar to D&D but seems more granular (at least in certain areas).

How do both games compare? Is DJ granular in areas that would still permit fluid gameplay and not inhibit creativity and imagination?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Given the gaming style you describe, why would granular be a good thing? \$\endgroup\$ – lisardggY Feb 7 '13 at 6:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @lisardggY: Granularity in different areas might match up with my style of play. I don't have any specific examples but am curious none the less. \$\endgroup\$ – n0pe Feb 7 '13 at 11:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ The question as stated is too vague to get a meaningful answer. You should expand on your requirements. "Fast and loose" D&D is likely to be like fast and loose DJ or fast and loose any other system. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Feb 7 '13 at 12:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ As this is a system-recommendation question, please adhere to both the FAQ and the rules for subjective questions as outlined in Good Subjective, Bad Subjective and on our Meta. In particular, all responses should be based on actual experience and contain references and examples whenever possible. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Mar 3 '13 at 17:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ The difference between different versions of D&D is enormous. The difference between pseudo-D&D of indeterminate version and Dangerous Journeys is incredibly vague. \$\endgroup\$ – Joe Mar 3 '13 at 18:54

I am currently involved in running a Dangerous Journeys campaign and I regularly play D&D 3.5. The two games differ in the following ways:

Character Creation/Generation

Making a first level character in D&D is relatively simple and can be done in a short amount of time even when all the material is available.

Making a starting Dangerous Journeys character is hours of work, with many decisions to be made along the way. This leads to characters with a lot of individuality but is a big commitment for first time players. Dangerous Journey characters start a lot more capable than their D&D counterparts.

In D&D you have 6 stats, in Dangerous Journeys you have 18 stats that add together to make an additional 3 stats(Physical, Mental and Spiritual) which then have other scores derived from them.

Character Advancement

D&D is a level based system where characters advance by gaining experience points. Upon gaining each level the character advances significantly.

Dangerous Journeys has no level system, characters gain points that they can spend increasing their stats, increasing their K/S (skills) or gaining joss (luck) points. This means that characters tend to advance incrementally, one small change at a time.


D&D 3.5 has a manageable number of skills covering most things that a character might want to do.

Dangerous Journeys has a huge number of K/S areas (Knowledge/Skill) broken into three main groupings Physical, Mental and Spiritual. There are a large number of magic enabling skills as the Mythus game is a high magic setting. This means even a traditional fighter character can easily have some small spellcasting ability.

Other Differences

Dangerous Journeys has a very strong class (upper class, middle class etc) ruleset that limits the profession choice of the character and where and how they can mix in society.

The Dangerous Journeys rules are all over the place, you may need to look in two or three parts of the book to sort out how to do a particular thing. It has lots and lots of rules.

In Dangerous Journeys combat is done in 3 second Critical Turns (CT) and requires initiative to be rolled every CT. This makes for combats that take little game time but lots of real time. The combat rules can be quite deadly as well.

Spellcasting uses a points based system with various ways to generate Heka (magic). The Mythus Magic book has a lot of spells and heaps of rules on how to run a high magic campaign.


From your description of how you run your games, I think you could find a lot to like about Dangerous Journeys if you are happy to ignore a lot of the rules and just use the material you like. After a few months of playing Dangerous Journeys my players and I have decided to keep the setting material and character concepts and change our game across to the new Rolemaster Beta because we have found the rules in Dangerous Journeys to cumbersome to use as written. Nothing is simple in Dangerous Journeys, and the game feels unfinished due to it being bought up and shelved before it really got going.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Awesome answer, thank you. I think I'll try and find a copy of the DJ book and give it a go. \$\endgroup\$ – n0pe Feb 7 '13 at 13:18

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