Monday, August 26, 2013

m20 Dark•Heritage

After spending a fair bit of time on it, I've taken my posts on m20 and created an entirely complete, fully ready to play game from them using the m20 chassis.

Many of the actual m20 documents are not really written in such a way that they're "complete"--rather, they're complete if you can fill in the gaps on what this means because you have prior experience with playing d20, the more complex parent of m20.

Although I don't anticipate that I'll actually have any non-d20 veterans that will play my DH m20, I've still written it in such a way that it's a "complete" game by my reckoning--including, having a decent list of spells and monsters, and my own custom character sheet (don't get excited; it's not that big a deal.)  Those items take up about a third of the document.  With a page dedicated to a cover sheet, one for an "Author's Note", one for the OGL (in fairly small font) and one for the character sheet, this is really quite a compact game.  Keep in mind that the original D&D Basic set was 48 pages, and the Moldvay set (where I came on the scene, and widely regarded as one of the best-written of the first generation of D&D games) was 64.

Now, I'm not really an OSR type of guy, and it's not my intention to create a game that feels "Old School".  There's some discussion from out there on the internet that says "Old School" is light rules and fast and loose style, while "Modern Games" are heavily loaded up with tons of rules and detail.  This is frankly preposterous, and only holds true if you assume that gaming is D&D (and games that spun off of the OGL) and ignore everything else going on in the entire RPG industry.  AD&D is demonstrably "Old School" and demonstrably complex and complicated.  Other game systems, such as FATE are demonstrably modern and demonstrably rules light and fast and loose in structure.  To give just a few examples.

Rather, this is an attempt, made by me (and by my predecessors who have worked on the m20 systems already extant) to take a d20 game, and make it easier, less complex, and less complicated.  It's not really meant to feel too much like D&D, although for simplicity's sake, I've used D&D spells, more or less.  This will make it feel more like D&D (at least in some ways), but the other changes to the system will hopefully make it feel significantly less so.  

Because the state of the Microlite74 was more conducive to being modified than "basic" m20, I've used a lot of text (particularly spells and monsters) from that game rather than from "basic" m20.  This will also drive some very superficial resemblances to OSR type games, since Microlite74 was specifically meant to be a way of using m20 to mimic OD&D (or perhaps OD&D's retro-clone Swords & Wizardry.)  Despite this, I believe these similarities to be more superficial rather than meaningful and significant.

Anyway, here's the m20 document, in full.  The entire thing, including character sheet, cover page, OGL and everything else is 27 pages.

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