Friday, February 26, 2010

Rant: I hate D20


Allright, D20 system can be used in Dungeons & Dragons, I don't mind that, but one thing what really, really aggravates me is that every single game must be converted to D20. I'd like to get BESM for my collection, but quess what, easily available version is D20. I think it isn't the original or it doesn't have the original feel anymore. I am not sure of tri-stat system (doesn't it use that) or is D20 actually better system or not, but I don't buy it (as a "feel" or a copy of it). Many of out of print games are again available, but in damn D20 format. There is many games that I'd like to collect, and they are hard to find nowadays and when browsing rpg shops and I actually find a copy of game I'd like to get, I allways get disappointed when I see that cursed D20 logo on them. Hey, c'mon! If I want to buy an older game, I want it older, not damn D20 incarnation of it.

As I am watching Farscape now and really, really like it and I knew there is Farscape rpg available, I almost wet my pants. When I did search it in rpg store's stock I cannot describe my rage, as it is - ofcourse - in D20. I don't want any level or class based Farscape science fiction. I don't want to roll D20 + modifier against difficulty number or what ever it is. I don't want uni-rules for all frikkin' games (at least when those uni-rules are damn D20), so I stopped lusting for my copy of Farscape rpg. D20 system ruined it for me, even if I didn't buy it.

I like Star Wars, not a big fan, but I like it. It has great value in science fiction genre, and I really enjoyed the movies when I was a kid, and I still do (even if episodes 1-3 are bull's butt). I got myself Star Wars SAGA and thought I can bear the D20 system, but never finished reading it. Most of the book is damn D20 rules and them damn D20 rules are stupid in my opinion. I will never run it. Nor read through. I wish I had Star Wars D6 instead of that stupid D20 book.

What about WoD D20? I don't want to even start about it, as in one forum I got my butt whooped over ranting about it. Okay, I know I haven't read it or even kept it in my grip, but still... D20 WoD with totally different backstory than original World of Darkness. I can take the idea of "dungeon crawl vamps and wuffies fighting with each other" and I can even bear the idea of supernatural beings from other darn dimension, but still... LVL 6 vampire. I don't buy it. It just feels so wrong. If the idea of D20 WoD is to give WoD to those D20 purists, it is a failure. If you cannot bear storytelling system and love your D20, don't play damn WoD. It is not ment for you. I can imagine conversation between D20 WoD-player and Storyteller WoD-player. Is there anything common with them? Might be, but I doubt. We are emo.

The fact is, that WotC is huge, they are one of the few dominating the markets, and they got money. It is good and respected effort that they actually cast resurrection spells to games what have been forgotten, or where setting was nice but rules sucked, but I am starting to get really, really angry about everything turning to D20. I don't like D20. I got my D&D 3rd edition and Blue Rose with True20 (please, don't tell me how D&D 3.5, or 4th, or Pathfinder or anything else with D20 system is better than my "experience" with 3rd edition) which is my actual D20 experience. Well, never played D&D 3rd edition but I have read it a couple of times. If I want basic high fantasy adventures, I wouldn't choose D20 even then. I just don't like it. I like to roleplay in my mind, not with minis and battlemaps. I do want to roleplay, not rollplay. I know, you can roleplay even with tv-guide with enough imagination, and I am not rules heavy gm even in games with lightest rules but still, whole D20 concept relies on rules in my opinion. And all those attacks of opportunities and other feats you basically cannot play without buttons, paperscraps or minis is so frustrating. I want to be able to fully play my rpg without any other items. If I want to use minis, I play a game like Necromunda (been adding rpg aspects on it also in the past actually).
True20 was bearable. Take D20 system, make it a bit more simple. But still, it didn't tickle me. It still is lvl based. It still has some combat manouvers what are used in big part of action. I like my action to be "throw dice and describe" not "read your character sheets dozen feats and decide what you use". I like freedom in action, not list of what my character can do and cannot do.

You can still play D20 without rules, or modificate the rules to suit you, or make it rules light. You can ditch the attack of opportunities and other things you don't like, but it still is the same. You cannot change it.

I don't mean to attack all of you D20 lovers out there. Billion people cannot be wrong, and D20 is doing good. It just isn't for me. I don't mind what you play, more important thing is that you enjoy what you are playing. Most annoying about D20 what actually concerns me is that everything seems to be D20. Many interesting settings and books turn me off because of that D20.

Well, as a WoD fan, I don't like nWoD actually, but that is another story. I think Savage Worlds could be a good competitor to D20. I know, it will never take the crown from D20 and claim itself the "one" who resurrects old games, but it has potential. For Savage Worlds there is also good number of old games re-published.

It's good to get this out of my head. Now, peace, finally.

(Pictures from:
http://www.velvetdicebag.net/images/vdb/d20logobig.jpg
http://www.thesuperest.com/heroes/g07_d20.jpg)
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