As I realize more and more that my gaming group will not be putting down Pathfinder in favor of Next, I decided that if I want to DM ever again, I’ll have to start twisting and shaping PF to what I want to play.
I’ve always been in favor of low magic worlds, and hate games that follow Dancy’s character advancement scale of gritty-fantasy hero-wuxa-super hero. I decided to check out E6 and the more I read about halting character advancement at 6th level… the more I realized that E6 really is what I want to be running… but a problem… so far no game is really giving me the cinematic/tactical combat that I enjoy even at higher levels.
Once you start asking people about low magic E6… inevitably they start talking about Iron Heroes. I was completely unfamiliar with the game but once I heard that it was designed by both Mearls and Cook I really started taking an interest.
I can’t say I love the game, it’s entirely too crunchy, there is little balance between classes magic classes are interesting but greatly flawed… It isn’t really a finished game as far as I’m concerned but I did like some aspects of the combat and resolution systems… in particular…
Iron Heroes has a wonderful stunt and challenge system, similar to what I have seen in other story telling systems where you can use skills to delay or effect combats. I also liked the synergy of some of the classes… just the way that doing what they were designed to do leads to bigger and bigger combat advantages (tokens).
All of this led me to wonder…
Monte Cook left D&D Next due to disagreements with the company but not the other designers… (I still wanna know what all that was about) and was a complete surprise to Mearls… what would have happened if Cook didn’t leave?
Might D&D Next have looked a little more like Iron Heroes? Would we have the stunt/challenge system included?
I heard that now Cook is working on Numenera, (new men era?) the follow up to planescape. I went to the website and read a little news… the art is pretty amazing, they claim they have been playtesting for several months (Hummm… disagreements or better offers including a way in to the MMO market?) I think when Next comes out, I'll get it and see who did a better job... Cook with his design team of two or Next with all of WotC's resources... should be and interesting comparison...