Saturday, September 4, 2010

RPG Game Systems = Languages

As I get older I'm finding it harder and harder to wrap my head around new game systems the further they stray from my D&D roots.  I kinda look at D&D, it's offspring and variants as something akin to German dialects.  It's pretty much the same language, but many things don't translate well betweenthe dialects.  Still, if you know one dialect,  you can probably communicate with  the speaker of another dialect.  So it goes with D&D, 3.5, the retro clones and such.  4e is more like the break between German and English... you can see many German roots in the English language, but they are far apart and totally different.

Anyhow, these days, the retroclones and other variants that are published these days I have no trouble wrapping my head around.  True20 still makes my head hurt, as I know that it is close to what I know, but it's like talking to an Irishman from County Donegal - I know he is speaking English, but I'm still stuck scratching my head half the time ;)  I'd like to understand True20 better, as there are some damn nice settings for that system.

Same goes for Savage Worlds... I've yet to play in a session using the rules, and something tells me until I do, it just won't click.  FATE is another system that I really like, but I don't feel like I really know.  Guess my problem is that I'm a native Dungeons & Dragon's speaker ;)

My weakness in High School and College was Foreign Languages - who would have guessed?  heh

(don't forget, there is a contest going on thru 6pm 9/6//10 - Win a free PDF copy of Realms of Cthulhu for Savage Worlds - check out the contest here)


  1. The trick with Savage Worlds is indeed playing it. Reading it reveals some interesting bits, but nothing that looks all that great. But when you play it, and see how it all fits together, then you might find something you'd enjoy playing. It is my go-to game for non-DnD gaming.

  2. Steve, i am sure you are right. Maybe i'll find my way into a FG2 game of Savage Worlds

  3. I find Savage Worlds to be a versatile game system that contains a surprising amount of depth. For White Haired Man I create both OGL and Savage Worlds creatures and NPCs.

    The 3.5 rules often feel like a labyrinthine straightjacket, especially for creatures. There are so many types and templates and rules to being consistent in creature abilities. On the other hand, Savage Worlds allows me to create creatures and NPCs closer to my vision more quickly. I feel that Savage Worlds gives me freedom.

    But my favorite system of all time is EarthDawn, which many people seem to find very confusing.


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