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Thread: Why D20?

  1. #1

    Why D20?

    I decided to post this in order to answer the question “Why are you leaning so heavily on the D20 system?” before it's asked. I also intend to address the question “Isn't the D20 system an RPG rule set?”

    To answer the second question first: Yes, the D20 system is an RPG rule set. However, it works very well with what we're doing with Worlds of Magic. We want a combat system that supports things like experience levels, savings throws (to give units a chance to avoid negative spell effects), equipment changes, etc. Combat in WoM is actually slightly simplified RPG combat. There are a large number of things we wanted to take into consideration with every single attack. How likely is the attacker to hit the defender? How much damage will the attacker do? Is the attacker's weapon on fire? Does the defender have damage resistance against this kind of attack? Did the defender dodge that fireball? Etc, etc, etc. There are so many things we wanted to take into account we felt it best to use a system that would consider all those variables. A system like the D20 RPG system. (I seem to have a sub-conscious attachment to the word system.)

    There are a number of reasons we decided to go with D20. The above is the first reason. The second is that it is a well established, thoroughly play-tested and very well balanced system. The system is also published under the Open Game License so we can tweak it in any way we see fit and offer whatever changes we may make to the public. Using D20 will allow us to put together a flavorful, but balanced system while, at the same time, saving us thousands of man hours of play testing. (If not more.) Simply put we can make WoM better, faster. It is a very solid foundation, which is why we decided to build on it.

    Those of you who have never gotten a chance to delve into the world of D20 can check out these links:

    Getting started with Pathfinder

    D20 Rule Set

    If you have any questions about how certain aspects will be handled or how we intend to implement any particular feature feel free to ask.

    (To those few people who want to knock D20 let me just say this: D20/D&D is the most prolific RPG system in the world. It has been around, in one form or another, for almost forty years. I myself have been using it for over twenty. So, if you just want to argue about the merits of D20 we can do that on another post, not here.)

  2. #2
    I for one think this is very good choice, it should be instantly recognised and understood by anyone familiar with any of its incarnations (not only D&D but also Star Wars). How fully is D20 going to be implemented? Saves? Action difficulties?

  3. #3
    We are aiming at supporting as much of the system as we possibly can. Saving Throws will certainly be there as will certain skill checks (like ride). Some things just won't come up in WoM even if our underlying system supports it. For instance "Appraise" is a skill that may be there, but it probably won't come up in game. Lol.

  4. #4
    Mage’s Assistant
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    d20 is an interesting choice for a game with large scale battles as it's mostly used for adventuring level combat. I guess with the proper supplements it will work well enough.

  5. #5
    We believe it's going to work well. Of course, the proof is in the play-testing as it were

  6. #6
    Mage’s Assistant
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Do you intend to keep DR as it is? It makes weak monsters(by CR), like Gricks almost impossible to destroy with mundane weapons. (Of course, you could always not include such monsters )

  7. #7
    I think we're going to leave DR as it is. However, I have a rough idea of giving all elite units (completely leveled up) weapons that defeat all DR. Or provide a way to equip basic units with such weapons. Swordsmen so equipped would be more than a match for Gricks, but still wouldn't be a match for a Balrog if you follow me.

  8. #8
    Mage’s Assistant
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    I guess if you could spend mana to give any unit the ability to bypass DR/magic(Augmentation circle spell?), it'd be okay. Besides, you can always use magic to defeat units with DR, two magic missiles should defeat a grick.
    Not to mention if you have critical hits in the game, since a crit can kill one as well.

  9. #9
    Criticals will certainly be there. Like I said, I'm not sure about the DR defeating weapons yet. It seems like I ran into a +1 bonus equivalent enchantment that broke all DR in some supplement somewhere. That was what I was thinking of when I was considering giving elite units such weapons. Now I have no idea where I saw it. Not that it needs to be in the book, but the book is per-balanced to a certain degree. Either way, play testing should tell us what we want to know.

  10. #10
    Developer Hoverdog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Boat City
    d20 is a good choice, as it's both widely known, easy to use and
    However, for a master of magic-like strategy game, I think it needs some major tweak. For starters, INT/WIS/CHA attributes are an overkill. Simply merging it into one mental stat (let's say Willpower) clears that up.

    Then there are the level-ups. It's one of the things I dislike the most about d20, and it's even worse when it comes to larger forces. A single level-up essentially almost doubles the power of a character. So a spearman unit, let's say ~6 HPs each, will have what, 12 HPs/figure now? It doesn't really add up.
    I find MoM-style leveling, with simply adding a few hit points, attack or defence bonus or point of will every two or three levels to be much better. For example:
    Spearmen, lvl1. 8 figures. 14 STR, 12 DEX, 12 CON, 10 WP. 7 HPs, BAB 0, AC 13 (leather armor), 1/1/0 (fortitude/reflex/will) saves.
    lvl2: +2 HPs, +1 BAB, +1 FORT.
    lvl3: +2 HPs, +1 AC, +1 REF.
    lvl4: +2 HPs, +1 BAB, +1 FORT.
    lvl5: +4 HPs, +1 BAB, +1 AC, +1 to all saves.

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