Musings of a D&D 5th Edition DM

Last year I started playing D&D 5th Edition with one of my regular groups. Actually we just created characters and did a short introductory adventure set into a campaign setting of my own creation. Things went pretty well, everyone had a lot of fun and it was very easy to run D&D 5th Edition.

But my homebrew setting caused some issues. Initially I wanted to create an open sandbox for the characters to explore, but in the end things turned out differently. The frontier town turned into a metropolis and all the ideas I came up with were of the “save the world” variety. And the worst problem of all: it didn’t feel like D&D. I can’t really put my finger on it, but the setting just felt wrong.

My players didn’t mind changing the setting, since we just started, and I thought starting with “Lost Mine of Phandelver” would be a fun idea. Heck, I could even run them through the whole Tyranny of Dragons campaign.  So I did some research and found a lot of less than flattering reviews. Especially Hoard of the Dragon Queen seems to be pretty bad. Continue reading Musings of a D&D 5th Edition DM

Kickstarter: Packs!

Today I want to point out to you the Packs! Kickstarter campaign. Packs! is the English-language version of the German indie RPG Ratten! (engl.: rats) in which you play … rats. Personally I am not so fond of games in which you play anthropomorphized animals of any kind, but a lot of my friends just love the game.

The upcoming English version will contain rules for two systems: Savage Worlds and the original rule system which has been developed for Packs! in the first place. Especially the original rules are very easy and quick to learn and play.

08a49ebfd899c16e1c313fff9dd11015_largeThe pledge levels of Packs! are pretty reasonable. You can get the PDF version of the rules for a $10 pledge and for just $40 you get all the digital stuff funded plus a nice hardbound book. There’s even a limited leatherbound edition! Shipping is free to the EU and the US. Everyone else has to add $50 to their pledge for shipping, which sounds pretty high, but is probably unavoidable.

Packs! is definitely a solid game, and the new support for Savage Worlds may be interesting to fans of the system, so if you love playing rats and experiencing weird and creepy adventures from a new perspective, then have a look at the Packs! Kickstarter!

Why there will be no 2nd Edition of WR&M

Over the last years I have thought several times about creating a 2nd Edition of Warrior, Rogue & Mage. No game is perfect and WR&M is no exception. The combat rules need fixing, some talents don’t work as intended, several of the monsters in the bestiary need to be looked at. Most people don’t seem to mind, but I look at the Wyrm System and see its flaws in every little detail. I guess it’s true that the worst critics of any game designers are themselves.

Fixing some of the issues would probably be doable, but whenever I start working on WR&M I get the urge to change more than just the problematic parts. Perhaps a new dice mechanics would be fun! Why not make weapon damages static? Let’s remodel the whole magic system! I guess it’s a sign of what I call game designer ADD. I just can’t help myself, I just have to mess with my own designs.

Recently I released the WR&M SRD under the very open Creative Commons Attribution license. So WR&M is now basically in the hands of the community. I am confident that they’ll treat “my baby” with respect. In a way that helps me not to turn all George Lucas on it and totally mess it up in the long run.

A new edition of WR&M would probably be very different to the game you all know, just because I like to come up with new solutions to old problems just for the heck of it. The same thing happened when I started working on WR&M Pocket Edition. At first I tried to simplify the rules even more, so that I could fit it into Pocketmod format. But then I read about dice-less RPGs and decided it would be cool to make it dice-less as well. What I finally came up with might have worked as a system, but it just didn’t feel WR&M anymore.

Long story short, the reason why there won’t be a 2nd Edition of WR&M is that I just can’t help myself changing the game beyond recongnition. So instead of doing that I should just take the elements I like and create something new with them. WR&M is better off in the hands of its fans. I don’t want to become the George Lucas of the RPG industry. Zwinkerndes Smiley

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