Monday, 3 September 2012

13th Age and D20 Hacks

I have been reading the playtest version of 13th age. It is written as a “love letter to Dnd” by excellent designers who each worked on different very good versions of the game. They also have a Kickstarter for the first expansion book.

On a whim I hacked the first D&D Next Setting I put together and made it into a 13th Age Game. I have run one session of I so far and have another (probably) this week.

The subtle but interesting changes they have made to the D20 standard model got me thinking about my favorite parts of various D20 versions.

I ran a Pathfinder Campaign for a little over a year. I really like the amount of options for players that are available in the game but at higher levels it seemed difficult to threaten them.

The House Rules I used for Pathfinder were:

Either Roll 5k3 7 times keeping the best 6 stats or use the following spread: 18, 16, 16, 14, 12, 10 (largely because I like good stats. I have gone the other way for Thracia for a more old school feel)

Use the best modifier for saves. Fort: Str or Con. Ref: Dex or Int Will: Wis or Cha ( I robbed this from 4th ed)

Max HP for the first three levels. (To make them a bit more durable)

Action Points
(These I stole from The Leverage RPG. However in play the distinctions didn’t come up very often, so they ended up feeling more like Bennies from Savage Worlds)

Each Character starts with 2 Distinctions, These should be short descriptive words or phrases that describe your character. You’ll get another one for each adventure (book) we complete.

When you choose to apply one of your distinctions to a roll you spend an AP and roll an additional D20, if the distinction is being applied in a beneficial way you choose the highest of the two rolls, if it is hindering you you gain an action point and choose the lowest of the two rolls.

You can spend an action point to:
  • re roll a Die or Dice (so a d20 or a damage roll)
  • Stabilise when you are in Negative HP
  • Use an use limited ability an extra time (eg throw another bomb, rage an additional time)
  • regain a cast spell or slot. (1 per three spell levels)
  • Negate the opportunity attack from performing a combat maneuver
  • Confirm an opponents Fumble

You earn Action points when:
  • You roll a 1 and I use it to cause a complication
  • an opponent gets a re roll or adds 4 to a roll
  • You apply one of your distinctions in a negative fashion

We also used the Critical Hit and fumble Decks from Paizo.

What House Rules and systems do you prefer to flavor your d20 based games with?