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Lode

Free alternatives to the d20 system

11 posts in this topic

Even though the d20 system appears to have an open game license, it doesn't look like I could use it in a computer game the way I want, I mean, you aren't even allowed to say you're using the d20 system with that license. It's still owned by a company. Does there exist a gaming system similar to d20 (ie, can be used both for pen & paper playing with dices, as in a computer game), is also set in a fantasy setting, and has a list of standard weapons, monsters, classes, etc... available, as well as a free world available (like Faerûn)? I mean Free like the GNU/open source kind of Free. Thanks :)
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I don’t see why so many people want to copy Dnd, making your own system isn’t that hard when you don’t have to worry excessive calculations involved (as in computer can crunch numbers a bit faster than the average Dnd player) and most of the monster are fairly generic/ taken from mythology or lord of the rings. The tables of items and weapons might help a bit but you could probably just take a list off any role playing site/forum and convert it to what your using fairly easily.
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Original post by Kaze
I don’t see why so many people want to copy Dnd, making your own system isn’t that hard when you don’t have to worry excessive calculations involved (as in computer can crunch numbers a bit faster than the average Dnd player) and most of the monster are fairly generic/ taken from mythology or lord of the rings. The tables of items and weapons might help a bit but you could probably just take a list off any role playing site/forum and convert it to what your using fairly easily.


There's a lot more to it than just inventing some formulas, the massive amount of classes, races, weapons, skills, etc... and making it all balanced is a lot of work, and a consistent system used for different games seems cool to me, and is what d20 is, though d20 isn't free.
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Original post by Lode
There's a lot more to it than just inventing some formulas, the massive amount of classes, races, weapons, skills, etc... and making it all balanced is a lot of work, and a consistent system used for different games seems cool to me, and is what d20 is, though d20 isn't free.

i guess it depends on exactly what type of game your making but,
a lot of the skills like craft, appraise, bluff usally dont work in computer games that well, and most of the weapons are just a damage value and ranges/mele,
most of the races are just 2 or 3 modifyers unless you just want there storys/historys

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I found the D20 system so boring... of all pen and paper RPG's Ive played, its probably the worst.

Shadowrun's system was better (a pain for the DM, but still better)
Warhammer's system was MUCH better (best critical hits table in the world!)
Cyberpunk system was better, from what I remember
even early editions Star Wars the RPG's system was better than the current D20.

They should revamp and balance the Warhammer RPG system, and license it for video games. Career systems rules.
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Im not for sure, but i thougt that KOTOR and KOTOR II both used the d20 system, as well as the forgotten realms games, like icewin dale and baldurs gate.

i could be wrong thou
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Original post by Lode
[...]There's a lot more to it than just inventing some formulas, the massive amount of classes, races, weapons, skills, etc... and making it all balanced is a lot of work, and a consistent system used for different games seems cool to me[...]
Many would argue that the reason you should make your own system is exactly because the [Insert Name Here] system isn't any of those things. I'd certainly argue against D&D in the areas of breadth, depth, consistency, and balance. GURPS goes a lot farther in each of those categories IMO, and while HERO doesn't do quite as well as GURPS, it's far more suited to a computer game (at least the previous edition was, haven't been able to find the latest version). Then there are games like FUDGE, which are about as generic as you can get and yet still perfectly ballanced, but it's not at all suited to a computer game and doesn't come with an encyclopedia of world trivia.
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Original post by chessmasterhex
Im not for sure, but i thougt that KOTOR and KOTOR II both used the d20 system, as well as the forgotten realms games, like icewin dale and baldurs gate.

i could be wrong thou


Kotor games used the D20 system, but icewind dale and baldur's gate used the previous advanced dungeons and dragons game system (which was a total mess).

That's an opinion and I don't want to discuss about it, so don't even try to cite this bloc and begin to argue: I happen to like the D20 system very much (because of its simplicity, its extensibility, its abstractness and its relative completeness that allow you to handle nearly all the cases you want to play). The old D6 system of Star Wars was also very neat (as well as the first incarnation of the James Bond system - those heroism points were so fun!) but IMHO the D20 system is still better.

D20 can't be adapted in any game - as the D20 license prohibits this. You have to make a Wizard of the Coast sponsored game to be able to use it (and guess what: they only target major developpers). The restriction also covers the open game license, so you can't use the SRD at all.
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Original post by Emmanuel Deloget
The restriction also covers the open game license, so you can't use the SRD at all.


What is the open gaming license all about then?

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Few years ago, they sold these books without silly additional license. Rights of owners were implied by type of work. Then someone was a little afraid how it could be compatible with current copyright, and they added that license to allow explicitly at least minimal rights for users.

I would be very offended if someone would use GNU license for this type of work. Either put it into the public domain, or allow author rights as defined in EU (This means NONTRANSFERABLE author rights). Actually there is an additional problem. This isn't software. It contains algorithms (noncopyrightable), stories, descriptions, and images (all three copyrightable, and copyrighted in a reasonable way). So using software license for this would be idiocy (and would violate certain traditions).

So your choices are:
Do it for your home usage. Then you can copy it completely and if police will not find it you are without problem.
Use it in freeware. You could have mail them for permission and explain them that part about freeware. If they will not give you a permission, you might mail to SJ Games.


(Of course if you'd get to the court for a case that is against reason, and judge would not be able to understand any of implied rights of users given by tradition, you can tell the judge, the author of one of these games said he is an idiot.)
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