Gaming Update: Markers for a Heartbreaker…

Back when I discussed our shift to Rolemaster I admitted I don’t really like D&D.  That’s not quite true.  I like D&D a lot except for a few things but they become deal breakers.  More and more I’m finding myself writing a heartbreaker for another try at “old school” gaming…probably more a retro-clone supplement more than a full on game.

That said, given we didn’t play last Friday and thus have no gaming update to make I thought I’d throw some markers for a retro-clone 1st generation derivative I might write:

Flatten the Hit Point Curve: While I have no problem with increasing hit points I do have a problem with the D&D curve and it’s a fairly common one: At first level even a fighter can be killed by a house cat and by 10th level the average Magic-User is roughly on par with a White Dragon in hit points (24 vs. 27).  There are a couple of ways to accomplish this: separate wound and fatigue points or just a flatter curve.

Lack of the Ability to Be Good at Things: I have discussed before why “skills” aren’t anti-old school when they are seen as what the character is good at as opposed to what he can do.  In City States of the Apocalypse I tried using the Tunnels & Trolls saving roll and talent system but they didn’t work out well due to poor design (and DMing) on my part.  Today I read a post on using FATE Aspects in C&C that was similar to my idea but not as game breaking.  I think I’ll look into something similar.

Magic Shouldn’t Be Unified: If there is one thing the first edition of The Palladium Fantasy Roleplaying Game got right it was the multiple types of magic-users.  Magic isn’t one method or set.  However, we don’t need a dozen classes either.  I’d say have three or four who do different things.  If you do real campaign time you can have an alchemist as one.  The spell slinger of D&D is another.  A more ritual oriented mage is a third.

Dungeons: I’ll admit I’m a Silver Age quest player more than a dungeon delver.  That said, there Tolkien/modern fantasy super world changing quest doesn’t appeal either.  Is there a middle ground, more of a “Knights of the Round Table” approach?

I’m sure I can come up with others but I think these three will be among the hallmarks of whatever system I come up with.

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