D&D Next Genre Books

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From what we’ve been told about D&D Next, modular rules are going to make it possible to craft a campaign like a player would make a character. What I am interested in knowing is how the community would feel about them releasing genre books to cover rules modules for using the core D&D Next rules to play a modern or scifi game. Similar to what, I hope I don’t get banned for this, Savage Worlds has done with their companion books.


Obviously since I’m starting this thread I would personally love books like this. Being able to add or remove which rules and sub systems you don’t need to play your scifi, high magic, pirate game would be a great way for WotC to keep their product line moving without having to focus on books that relate to a specific genre.


 Ok that’s just my 2 cents, but ultimately I just want to know if the community would be interested in these kinds of books.

I don't know how many of them I would purchase, but I think it would be a good idea.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Full inter-compatibility within 5Es D20 would be great.


  • Want to drop a Tiger Tank into a D&D campaign?  Here's the statblock.

  • Want to awaken a cryogenically-frozen Wizard in D20 Future?   No problem.

  • The party somehow manages to land their starship in Ravenloft?  O...kay.  Your guess is as good as mine what laserguns do to vampires.

"Your guess is as good as mine what laserguns do to vampires"


Other than burn nice little Radiant holes in them?  

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Full inter-compatibilty within 5Es D20 would be great.


  • Want to drop a Tiger Tank into a D&D campaign?  Here's the statblock.

  • Want to awaken a cryogenically-frozen Wizard in D20 Future?   No problem.

  • The party somehow managaes to land their starship in Ravenloft?  O...kay.  Your guess is as good as mine what laserguns do to vampires.




Indeed.  If all the Genre books are well-balanced against one another, you could do a kind of time-travel/dimension-hop game with each PC coming from a different 'time zone'.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I've been in favor of this since I found out DDN was in the works.  I love SWSE and D20 Modern.  Modern is the red-headed stepchild  of WotC's rpgs.  I'd love for it to get a revival with the DDN ruleset, even if it only comes in the form of a genre module.  I think it would be a good idea for WotC because they would effectively be able to create multiple games that appeal to different (but often overlapping) audiences without having to design different base systems (lower cost + more revenue = WIN!).
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Full inter-compatibility within 5Es D20 would be great.


  • Want to drop a Tiger Tank into a D&D campaign?  Here's the statblock.

  • Want to awaken a cryogenically-frozen Wizard in D20 Future?   No problem.

  • The party somehow manages to land their starship in Ravenloft?  O...kay.  Your guess is as good as mine what laserguns do to vampires.



Back in 3e I ran a Modern Ravenloft campaign.  The Ravenloft internet was its own domain ruled by an AI darklord.  Remember how Darklords can shut their borders when they want to?
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I advocated that in 4e with my Dungeontech series.  I think they could have a Gamma World supplement, an Iron Age supplement, a Space Age supplement, etc. 

I think it would also be fun to have actual genre supplemets: Romance, Gothic horror, Pulp Fiction, Magic Realism, etc.
Personally I like the idea, especially if they open up genre books to 3rd party publishers.
Yes, we will see umpteen dozen steampunk and pirate books, but we will also see some really cool settings.
Done right, this could be cool.
Full inter-compatibility within 5Es D20 would be great.


  • Want to drop a Tiger Tank into a D&D campaign?  Here's the statblock.

  • Want to awaken a cryogenically-frozen Wizard in D20 Future?   No problem.

  • The party somehow manages to land their starship in Ravenloft?  O...kay.  Your guess is as good as mine what laserguns do to vampires.



Back in 3e I ran a Modern Ravenloft campaign.  The Ravenloft internet was its own domain ruled by an AI darklord.  Remember how Darklords can shut their borders when they want to?

I planned to run a d20 Future campaign in Ravenloft, with a cluster of domains in the stars, including a pocket domain that was a sentient warship.  I never got to run it, unfortuately.
Didn't they kind of try that with Alternity? I don't totally recall how it worked. I perused the books years ago but never actually played. Gurps works on the same concept as well yes/no?
I'd be on board with the idea. Altho if I'm gonna play a futuristic game I'm going to pick Shadow Run.
Would be cool to incorporate aspects of other timeline/genres into a typical campaign.


  • The party somehow manages to land their starship in Ravenloft?  O...kay.  Your guess is as good as mine what laserguns do to vampires.




That could be awesome - if you thought having an AlienTM in your ventilation shaft was annoying - what about a gaseous Vampire?

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I already suggested this approach a couple times, and would absolutely love it. From a design standpoint, it is obviously a great choice: limits bloat, generates quality products, satisfies the public.

From a commercial standpoint... I don't think it's that great. But I may be wrong. I hope I'm wrong, in fact, since I would very much like this approach.
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Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept.
Ideas for 5E
I agree with other posters who express interest from a design or personal standpoint, but concern on the commercial side.

One thing that might be leveraged from a commercial point of view, though, is the idea of "multimedia event", much like the current "Rise of the Underdark" theme. Indeed, the Underdark is a (sub)genre in itself, albeit one very specific to D&D.
But you could see something similar done with gothic horror (Ravenloft), dying earth (Dark Sun), wuxia (Kara-Tur).
I'd see more difficult to have Sci-Fi or other Modern genres take that kind of space, though -- mostly because I don't think they will have the opportunity of or aim at releasing so many books per year.

GP
ITT: People not understanding that the core mechanics intended to fit the high fantasy genre will be utter garbage for anything but that and mechanics generic enough to be used for any will be uninspiring. Its almost like none of you learned the lesson that d20 modern and future taught us about this (that they are widely regarded as the worst systems to use for those genres because the dissonance between the core mechanics which originated from a high fantasy game and the genre tropes of those genres).
In my games players have always been Exceptional individuals, not Exceptions to the internal logic of the game world.
ITT: People not understanding that the core mechanics intended to fit the high fantasy genre will be utter garbage for anything but that and mechanics generic enough to be used for any will be uninspiring. Its almost like none of you learned the lesson that d20 modern and future taught us about this (that they are widely regarded as the worst systems to use for those genres because the dissonance between the core mechanics which originated from a high fantasy game and the genre tropes of those genres).



I honestly don't know what possessed the design team on d20 modern to think that their gun mechanics were good enough to use, abstracting is one thing if its in the name of something satisfying but those rules were not and felt so divorced from what guns actually behave like it was jarring. The feats associated with them were counter-intuitive, firing more bullets should make it more likely to hit because your projectile is the cloud of bullets not individual bullets, not less likely and justifying it as balancing it against the additional damage just didn't work in a system where armour is hit avoidance not damage reduction because any competently built character will have a defense high enough to avoid level appropriate enemies using any "less accurate, more damage" feats 80-85% of the time.

Additionally, abstracting things like swords and ray spells is one thing because most people modern people are not famailiar with how they are atually used. Modern weapons on the other hand should behave closer to the way they actually do because many more people are actually familiar with them and it takes away from the experience when there is such a wide dissonance between how you know they work and them game reflecting it awfully.
ITT: People not understanding that the core mechanics intended to fit the high fantasy genre will be utter garbage for anything but that and mechanics generic enough to be used for any will be uninspiring. Its almost like none of you learned the lesson that d20 modern and future taught us about this (that they are widely regarded as the worst systems to use for those genres because the dissonance between the core mechanics which originated from a high fantasy game and the genre tropes of those genres).


D20 Modern was far from perfect, but it's hardly the abortion you describe it as.  The fact that the ruleset was originally designed for high fantasy really wasn't an issue in the entire time that I played it.  As a matter of fact, the only real issues I ever had with the game were the same issues that I had with D&D 3e.  I would posit that the 3e/D20 Modern system wasn't bad at doing a modern setting, rather that the system had problems with both high fantasy and modern action.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

ITT: People not understanding that the core mechanics intended to fit the high fantasy genre will be utter garbage for anything but that and mechanics generic enough to be used for any will be uninspiring. Its almost like none of you learned the lesson that d20 modern and future taught us about this (that they are widely regarded as the worst systems to use for those genres because the dissonance between the core mechanics which originated from a high fantasy game and the genre tropes of those genres).


D20 Modern was far from perfect, but it's hardly the abortion you describe it as.  The fact that the ruleset was originally designed for high fantasy really wasn't an issue in the entire time that I played it.  As a matter of fact, the only real issues I ever had with the game were the same issues that I had with D&D 3e.  I would posit that the 3e/D20 Modern system wasn't bad at doing a modern setting, rather that the system had problems with both high fantasy and modern action.



Tell me then what other game systems have you played modern or near-modern games in? 99% of the people who don't feel d20 Modern was an abortion of a system have not played a modern or near-modern campaign using any other system. WoD, GURPs, even Shadow Run do a significantly better job handling modern technology, modern weapons, modern character archetypes and vehicles than d20 Modern ever could, even with mountains of house rules.
In my games players have always been Exceptional individuals, not Exceptions to the internal logic of the game world.
I use steam punk and boot hill type elements in my games and would be happy to let someone else design these elements for me. 

I have searched for inspiration and rules to borrow for years. I'm sure that there are others better suited to designing these genres than I am. 
ITT: People not understanding that the core mechanics intended to fit the high fantasy genre will be utter garbage for anything but that and mechanics generic enough to be used for any will be uninspiring. Its almost like none of you learned the lesson that d20 modern and future taught us about this (that they are widely regarded as the worst systems to use for those genres because the dissonance between the core mechanics which originated from a high fantasy game and the genre tropes of those genres).


D20 Modern was far from perfect, but it's hardly the abortion you describe it as.  The fact that the ruleset was originally designed for high fantasy really wasn't an issue in the entire time that I played it.  As a matter of fact, the only real issues I ever had with the game were the same issues that I had with D&D 3e.  I would posit that the 3e/D20 Modern system wasn't bad at doing a modern setting, rather that the system had problems with both high fantasy and modern action.



Tell me then what other game systems have you played modern or near-modern games in? 99% of the people who don't feel d20 Modern was an abortion of a system have not played a modern or near-modern campaign using any other system. WoD, GURPs, even Shadow Run do a significantly better job handling modern technology, modern weapons, modern character archetypes and vehicles than d20 Modern ever could, even with mountains of house rules.



I don't know if you intended it to come off that way, but I feel like you're asking me to justify my right to my opinion of how D20 Modern runs by demanding a "diploma" of having played various modern or near modern games.  I find that rather offensinve.  However, since that may not have been your intent:

I have played Nightbane, Ninjas & Superspies, Mystic China, Heroes Unlimited, Rifts, and Robotech.  I have played WoD and Vampire.  I have played the BtVS and Angel rpgs.  I have played the Mechwarrior rpg.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

ITT: People not understanding that the core mechanics intended to fit the high fantasy genre will be utter garbage for anything but that and mechanics generic enough to be used for any will be uninspiring.

Which "core mechanics", exactly?
You surely can't be referring to the six scores, derived defenses, hit points, armor class, or the skill system, which really have nothing intrinsically 'European Fantasy' about them.

Drop magic from a setting, and all that really happens is a tiny handful of feats become irrelevant and nobody would have drop skill ranks into Spellcraft.

Considering DnD Next is all about modularity and allowing players and DMs to choose the style of game they wish to play, supporting other genres is a natural progression.  Nothing would make me more excited than news that books/modules covering other genres will be available, and that they would work seemlessly with each other and the core rules.

Modern, Future, Post-apocalyptic, Steam-punk etc. etc. etc....the list could be endless.
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Considering DnD Next is all about modularity and allowing players and DMs to choose the style of game they wish to play, supporting other genres is a natural progression.  Nothing would make me more excited than news that books/modules covering other genres will be available, and that they would work seemlessly with each other and the core rules.

Modern, Future, Post-apocalyptic, Steam-punk etc. etc. etc....the list could be endless.


That sounds nice, but how should they adapt the HP system. A 10th level D&D character can survive a fall from a fairly high building. Modern humans cannot survive such a fall.

So perhaps the fantasy rules of D&D will have to be adapted a bit before they can work in a modern campaign.. 
DISCLAIMER: I never played 4ed, so I may misunderstand some of the rules.
Considering DnD Next is all about modularity and allowing players and DMs to choose the style of game they wish to play, supporting other genres is a natural progression.  Nothing would make me more excited than news that books/modules covering other genres will be available, and that they would work seemlessly with each other and the core rules.

Modern, Future, Post-apocalyptic, Steam-punk etc. etc. etc....the list could be endless.


That sounds nice, but how should they adapt the HP system. A 10th level D&D character can survive a fall from a fairly high building. Modern humans cannot survive such a fall.

So perhaps the fantasy rules of D&D will have to be adapted a bit before they can work in a modern campaign.. 


That's not a matter of genre, that's a matter of playstyle.  You can have heroic modern games (just look at most action movies) and you can have gritty modern games.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

. A 10th level D&D character can survive a fall from a fairly high building. Modern humans cannot survive such a fall.  So perhaps the fantasy rules of D&D will have to be adapted a bit before they can work in a modern campaign.. 


That's not a matter of genre, that's a matter of playstyle.  You can have heroic modern games (just look at most action movies) and you can have gritty modern games.


That is a good point.

DISCLAIMER: I never played 4ed, so I may misunderstand some of the rules.
Considering DnD Next is all about modularity and allowing players and DMs to choose the style of game they wish to play, supporting other genres is a natural progression.  Nothing would make me more excited than news that books/modules covering other genres will be available, and that they would work seemlessly with each other and the core rules.

Modern, Future, Post-apocalyptic, Steam-punk etc. etc. etc....the list could be endless.


That sounds nice, but how should they adapt the HP system. A 10th level D&D character can survive a fall from a fairly high building. Modern humans cannot survive such a fall.

So perhaps the fantasy rules of D&D will have to be adapted a bit before they can work in a modern campaign.. 



Modern humans have survived falls at terminal velocity.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Considering DnD Next is all about modularity and allowing players and DMs to choose the style of game they wish to play, supporting other genres is a natural progression.  Nothing would make me more excited than news that books/modules covering other genres will be available, and that they would work seemlessly with each other and the core rules.

Modern, Future, Post-apocalyptic, Steam-punk etc. etc. etc....the list could be endless.


That sounds nice, but how should they adapt the HP system. A 10th level D&D character can survive a fall from a fairly high building. Modern humans cannot survive such a fall.

So perhaps the fantasy rules of D&D will have to be adapted a bit before they can work in a modern campaign.. 



Modern humans have survived falls at terminal velocity.



But people don't know about it because of the huge conspiracy from the parachute industry.

I'm glad to see more people are interested in this idea. Hopefully this will get a look from a Dev at some point.


So what kind of genres would people be interested in seeing?

So what kind of genres would people be interested in seeing?

All of them.

So what kind of genres would people be interested in seeing?

All of them.




Yeah, but to detail a bit more...


  1. Oriental setting

  2. Modern setting

  3. Futuristic setting

  4. Pirates and navy setting

  5. Desert setting

  6. Jungle setting

  7. Artic setting

  8. Planar stuff

  9. Political intrigue

  10. Large scale wars

  11. Prehistoric setting

  12. Far Realm stuff


Each with enough modularity to allow for extracts to be added to any campaign. I want to have the above books and then say, hey, my adventure will be half in an artic region and half in a traditional one, with plenty of political intrigues and large scale wars, but with touches of madness induced by Story Element A (which I'll totally use Far Realm rules to represent). Oh, and it's a prehistoric setting too.
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Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept.
Ideas for 5E
I thought I would put together a list of modules I would like to see based on environment, history, culture and genre.  Just brainstorming here with a lot of overlap and not really focusing on play style.

Core: assuming high fantasy loosely based on medieval europe.

Environment: can overlap with culture and genre.
  Arctic
  Desert
  Nautical
  Jungle
  Urban
  Underdark
  Planar
  Planetary
  Interstellar
 
History: to flavour a campaign or create historic adventures.
  Prehistoric
  Bronze Age
  Iron Age
  Gunpowder
  Industrial Revolution
  20th century
  Contemporary

Culture: similar to history but focusing more on specific cultures.
  Arabian/Persian
  Greco-Roman
  Rennaissance
  Asian
  Pirate
  Indigenous

Genres: mix and match environment, history, culture to create genres?
  Steam Punk
  Cyber Punk
  Gothic
  Sword and Planet
  Hard Sci-fi
  Wild West
  Age of Exploration
  Time Travel
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