Setting Conversions

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andakitty
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Setting Conversions

Postby andakitty » Wed Jun 14, 2006 11:59 pm

Some of the recent threads got me to thinking (uh, oh, my wife would say). Anyway. Based on the reviews we have seen so far, what published settings do you all think would work with MRQ rules, if any? Eberron, Conan, the Accordlands, the Black Company. There have been so many great looking settings published for D20...do you all think any would fit MRQ well enough to produce a workable game? Which one and why?
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Postby Mark Galeotti » Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:16 am

It's been said already, but it's worth repeating: I think MRQ would be perfect for Conan.

All the best

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Postby andakitty » Thu Jun 15, 2006 2:15 am

It has crossed my mind but at this point I can't see the magic being a good fit. Maybe when I know more. Hyboria is one of my favorite settings. I've been a Howard fan since the Lancer editions of the Conan stories of the 60's. I have thought about doing a conversion to BRP, but never found the time. Also I was thinking of something that would be fresh, that I don't have a lot of preconceived ideas of my own about before going in.
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Re: Setting Conversions

Postby Cobra » Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:38 am

andakitty wrote:Some of the recent threads got me to thinking (uh, oh, my wife would say). Anyway. Based on the reviews we have seen so far, what published settings do you all think would work with MRQ rules, if any? Eberron, Conan, the Accordlands, the Black Company. There have been so many great looking settings published for D20...do you all think any would fit MRQ well enough to produce a workable game? Which one and why?
Personally, I'd rather see a uniquely developed setting than one that was already well established in pulp fiction or film. Why? I like to re-awaken the wonder of the players - and that just doesn't happen as well with well known settings. I think this is particularly important when it comes to fighting creatures. Nothing irks me more than when players immediately know how to defeat some creature - there's no magic anymore. D&D is the worst for that.

This is one reason I always liked Chaos in RQ - no two broos or beastmen where the same, thanks to chaos features.

Cobra
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Postby andakitty » Thu Jun 15, 2006 4:56 am

Yeah. But I'm attracted to settings like Eberron. It seems like such a waste, all that pretty art and all with a system I can't get into. And I can't decide if it would be worth the effort, time and expense to convert it. So I thought if someone had converted a setting like Eberron to a BRP style system and was feeling generous he might give me some idea about how well it translates, what the hard parts were and so on. MRQ looks like it might work easier than say, RQ, because it will have multiple magic systems, the heroic ability element, runes and rune-touched, stuff that might translate better to a gonzo setting like Eberron. So what do you think?

Of course, maybe Second Age Glorantha will satisfy the craving...
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I don't know

Postby Utgardloki » Thu Jun 15, 2006 8:02 am

I'd have to see what the Runequest rules look like in their current incarnation before thinking of what settings would be good for Runequest. I do have the ancient 1st edition rules. Assuming the new rules are like that, the following setting ideas come to mind:

* A setting with magic dinosaurs would be cool. I have a few ideas for such settings.

* Runequest might work well for a campaign that introduces magic into the modern world. D20 has the characteristic that characters of any type tend to gain the ability to survive heroic situations due to the accumulation of hit points. This was great for a World War II campaign becuase it allowed PCs to survive while those around them met quick and brutal deaths. A modern Runequest might be more realistic, forcing non-combat characters to worry more for their lives.

* I've thought about converting World of Greyhawk to Runequest. That would be an interesting exercise. My idea was to convert most of the classes to guilds or cults, so there would be a druid cult, a priest cult, and various fighter guilds emphasizing different combat capabilities.

* Old Testament times. Gloranthan Runequest was based on the bronze age. So it seems natural to apply the rules to other bronze age societies such as the ancient Middle East or even ancient China or India.

* 7th Sea. Once I was thinking of running a sea-based campaign. Runequest seemed like a natural choice.

* Rokugan. One of the problems with the two incarnations of Rokugan is that both of them are very limitting in what PCs can actually do. The original d10 system limits PCs to samurai or shukenga characters. The D20 version allows other classes such as monks, rogues, and courtiers. But D20 is a bit limitting in that everybody gets the same spells and attack capabilities, whether they need them or not. Runequest would allow Rokugan characters to be built with exactly what they need for their role in society.

* Fantasy Cthulhu. I'm currently playing a Cthulhu Dark Ages campaing, but it is a bit disastifying because the CoC system does not permit heroic actions like D20 does. OTOH, D20 makes the characters too heroic, so the monsters on Cthulhu are not as horrifying as they could be. Runequest may be a good system for allowing heroes to do heroic things, while still putting many of the monsters on their proper footing.

* Macho Women with Guns. I just had to say it. Any setting or system is good with Macho Women with Guns... 8)
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Postby Archer » Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:20 am

Regarding Rokugan. 3rd edition L5R allows you to play Bushi (warrior), Shugenja (priest), Monk, Courtier, Shinobi (spy/assassin), Yojimbo (body-guard), Ronin (duellist, warrior, or Yojimbo).

That said; I would love to have this setting with a simpler system, since I personally hate dice pools.

As for conversion of Eberron. The main problem, as with any D&D setting, is magic. You would have to create or convert D&Ds basic magic, the spells that are Eberron specific, and the Articifier class spells. It would also be a good idea to convert some of the different classes abilities into some sort of Heroic abilities or spells, which you can easily tie to some sort of archetypical template, if you want to preserve some of the classes abilities at all (for example a Paladin template gives you Lay on hands, or you buy it with Hero Point).

It is pretty stragith forward to convert the abilities of the races, since they use much the same scale, you can just use the ability modifers. STR = STR, CON = CON, DEX = DEX, INT = INT, POW = WIS, CHA = CHA.
Roll 3d6,2d6+6, or what you prefer, and add the modifier from the race.
Some racial abilities are also going to be a problem, such as the different metal bodies of the Warforged, which grants damage reduction, such as 2/Adamantium etc. However, that specific aspect of the warforged is probably most easily directly converted into permanent armour. Since the weapons deal pretty much the same amount of damage in Eberron and RQ, you could just convert DR directly to permanent AP.

In many ways, I think RQ would be a better system for Eberron, than D&D. Because the setting seem to have originally an innate flexibility, which is partly destroyed when you force the different D&D classes etc. onto it.

As for doing Dune with RQ, what is needed is basically rules for the technology, description of technological devices, rules for vehicles, the "magic" of the different supernatural phenomenon that the characters can come to master.
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Postby Adept » Thu Jun 15, 2006 11:39 am

Archer wrote:
It is pretty stragith forward to convert the abilities of the races, since they use much the same scale, you can just use the ability modifers. STR = STR, CON = CON, DEX = DEX, INT = INT, POW = WIS, CHA = CHA.
Roll 3d6,2d6+6, or what you prefer, and add the modifier from the race.
This reminds me... I sure hope the "roll stats with dice" sillyness is left in the trash-heap of history in this game, or at most given as an optional rule in a sidebar. That was a bad idea in the first edition D&D, and hasn't gotten any better over the decades.
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Postby Archer » Thu Jun 15, 2006 11:45 am

Adept wrote:
Archer wrote:
It is pretty stragith forward to convert the abilities of the races, since they use much the same scale, you can just use the ability modifers. STR = STR, CON = CON, DEX = DEX, INT = INT, POW = WIS, CHA = CHA.
Roll 3d6,2d6+6, or what you prefer, and add the modifier from the race.
This reminds me... I sure hope the "roll stats with dice" sillyness is left in the trash-heap of history in this game, or at most given as an optional rule in a sidebar. That was a bad idea in the first edition D&D, and hasn't gotten any better over the decades.
I hope they have the choice of either point buy or roll. Because both methods have their virtues and flaws in my experience.
With point buy players tend to maximize the abilities they think they need to survive combat, if they are power gamers.
And if they are role-players, I tend to hear the argument; "why do I have to be less smart just because I want to have greater stamina". Which is a very valid point.
Rolling stats can easily give you characters that are very weak, or overly powerful.
I think a third option; Roll and point buy in combination would be the ideal. You roll part of the score, to get some randomness, and you spend point to buy the rest (if you are not satisfied with the rolled score).
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Postby Adept » Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:11 pm

Archer wrote: I hope they have the choice of either point buy or roll. Because both methods have their virtues and flaws in my experience.
With point buy players tend to maximize the abilities they think they need to survive combat, if they are power gamers.
And if they are role-players, I tend to hear the argument; "why do I have to be less smart just because I want to have greater stamina". Which is a very valid point.
Here's what we do. You create the character in a discussion with the GM, and the GM then put's down the stats. We actually usually play so that the GM keeps the character sheets (on a computer) and handles all the game mechanics. It works great. Things are much more atmospheric when you don't need to (or can't!) count hit points and know exactly how hurt you are in the thick of the battle.

Even when playing with character sheet in hand we make up a character, and then put down what stats seem correct with the help of the GM. Rolling and or point buy is needlessly limiting.

So... my preferense.

1) free creation with GM assistance & control.
2) point buy
.
.
.
absolute last) rolling for stats
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Postby Archer » Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:15 pm

Well, that method works, if you have players that are willing to do it that way. Unfortunately, not all players are. And as such, it is good to have a good method built into the rules, to fall back on when players do not want the GM to arbitrary assign stats.
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Postby Adept » Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:20 pm

Archer wrote:Well, that method works, if you have players that are willing to do it that way. Unfortunately, not all players are. And as such, it is good to have a good method built into the rules, to fall back on when players do not want the GM to arbitrary assign stats.
It's hardly arbitary. The GM is not the adversary. The GM is doing his/her best to do justice to the character as described by the player. It's important that both the player and the GM have a similar idea of the character.
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Postby SteveMND » Thu Jun 15, 2006 2:05 pm

This reminds me... I sure hope the "roll stats with dice" sillyness is left in the trash-heap of history in this game, or at most given as an optional rule in a sidebar. That was a bad idea in the first edition D&D, and hasn't gotten any better over the decades.
Although I don't like it in d20, I have always liked random stats in RQ, because the skill-based game mechanics and the ability to train up stats meant that it was one of the few games where it didn't really matter all that much what you started with.

In my games (unless there's a specific theme) I tend use the random rolls for stats, previous experience, etc. However, I also allow my players a certain number of rerolls they can use to 'tweak' their character somewhat.

After all, we weren't allowed to assign our own stats when we were born, why should our characters? :D
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Postby Archer » Thu Jun 15, 2006 2:14 pm

SteveMND wrote:Although I don't like it in d20, I have always liked random stats in RQ, because the skill-based game mechanics and the ability to train up stats meant that it was one of the few games where it didn't really matter all that much what you started with.
Very good point.
SteveMND wrote: In my games (unless there's a specific theme) I tend use the random rolls for stats, previous experience, etc. However, I also allow my players a certain number of rerolls they can use to 'tweak' their character somewhat.
I have usually allowed two re-rolls, choose between new or old roll. Only one re-roll per stat.
SteveMND wrote: After all, we weren't allowed to assign our own stats when we were born, why should our characters? :D
Well, I prefer to not go into that argument about us who live in the real world do not have stats in that sense, but I tend to agree in your point of view on the subject.
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Postby frobisher » Thu Jun 15, 2006 2:36 pm

The one thing I tend to see from most game with points based attribute purchases is certain sameness in the characters which is kinda self defeating.

Also "negotiated" characters tend to be a problem too. People are very good at describing what a character is good at, and tend to only describe things they are "bad" at when it doesn't affect them unduly. You also tend to get the same characters, from the same players oevr and over again :(
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Postby Adept » Thu Jun 15, 2006 2:59 pm

frobisher wrote:The one thing I tend to see from most game with points based attribute purchases is certain sameness in the characters which is kinda self defeating.

Also "negotiated" characters tend to be a problem too. People are very good at describing what a character is good at, and tend to only describe things they are "bad" at when it doesn't affect them unduly. You also tend to get the same characters, from the same players oevr and over again :(
I've never encountered this problem among the dozens of characters I know have been created with this method.

We don't see characters as bunches of stats. It's the background and character story that defines the character, and the character sheet just tries to model the character according to the system in use.

If you need tools to enforce roleplaying I find that Quirks and Flaws help with that a lot. They are handy shorthand that is very expressive. In a point buy system there's even a mechanism to encourage players of taking some.

Who want's to play a character with high stats accross the board and no flaws anyway? It's the human weaknessess and personality that make a character come to life.
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Postby Deathdealer » Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:53 pm

andakitty wrote:It has crossed my mind but at this point I can't see the magic being a good fit. Maybe when I know more. Hyboria is one of my favorite settings. I've been a Howard fan since the Lancer editions of the Conan stories of the 60's. I have thought about doing a conversion to BRP, but never found the time. Also I was thinking of something that would be fresh, that I don't have a lot of preconceived ideas of my own about before going in.
Just because the rune based magic is the system presented in the core book doesn't mean it has to be used. I don't really see it as a good fit for Lankhmar or Arthurian Britain either. You just have to throw out the rune based magic and replace it with a system specific set of magic rules.
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Postby andakitty » Thu Jun 15, 2006 5:36 pm

*dryly* It sounds like more work than I want to put into it in any event. Thanks for the responses, though.

Regarding chargen. Adept, you talk like a 'narrativist'. Not a bad thing, I suppose, but personally I have always let the players make up their own characters with no interference (other than base parameters). For one reason, really, and that is I like the game to be everyone's story. In my experience the 'describe the character' approach doesn't work very well. It has always created a better mutual story when the characters' advantages and limitations are allowed to mesh with environment and circumstance to let the plot grow with an organic, unrestrained feel. It gives the player obstacles to overcome which generates plotlines. Doing it the narativist way seems to backfire, leading to shoehorning and a forced game. That's how I see it, right or wrong.

The best way is a mix, as others above suggested. PC's generated in such a way will have advantages and disadvantages, and sometimes a surprising advantage that will lead to more thoughtful play, such as a high score in a stat that they habitually use as a 'dump stat'.
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Postby Adept » Thu Jun 15, 2006 9:07 pm

andakitty wrote:*dryly* It sounds like more work than I want to put into it in any event. Thanks for the responses, though.

Regarding chargen. Adept, you talk like a 'narrativist'. Not a bad thing, I suppose, but personally I have always let the players make up their own characters with no interference (other than base parameters). For one reason, really, and that is I like the game to be everyone's story. In my experience the 'describe the character' approach doesn't work very well. It has always created a better mutual story when the characters' advantages and limitations are allowed to mesh with environment and circumstance to let the plot grow with an organic, unrestrained feel. It gives the player obstacles to overcome which generates plotlines.
Uh, as an iron-hard simulationist I have to say you sound like a narrativist there. Mutual story?

As a GM I run the world. I don't try to tell a story, I run the world and the NPC:s. "The story" springs from whatever the PC:s end up doing.

My gamers create their characters exactly as they want, I just help putting them on paper. This way the gamer in question doesn't have to know every twist and trick of the game system, and get's to play the sort of character they would like to.

The last character I remember being rolled was for my Glorantha game (RQ3), and that was ≈14 years ago. Even then I remember being unhappy about it and letting the player in question shift the numbers around and fiddle with them until he was satisfied with the result.

If I found myself in a game where I would have to first roll up some stats to make a character, these days, I'd just politely walk away. Stats are what you put down when you already have a clear view of the character.
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Postby andakitty » Thu Jun 15, 2006 9:38 pm

:D You narrativist in simulationist clothing, you.

But seriously, if I were asked to make a character as you describe, I would definitely, but politely, decline. And walk away.

To me, a rpg at its best is a mutual tale, created by cooperation between GM and players. And you need rules as a framework. I am what I am, and do not subscribe to gamer jargon. In this case I used it in an attempt to communicate with you. Only.

Looks as though we will have to agree to disagree and let it go at that. :) Or at least that's what I am going to do.

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