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Voros

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As usual I much prefer the alt covers, will check some reviews and will visit the FLGS if I decide to take the plunge. Another interesting feature is each book, a setting book, a bestiary and adventure respectively, is only 64 pages. A good sign imo.

Spelljammer-_Book-Set_Alt-Cover.jpg

Spelljammer-set-alternate-artwork.jpg
 

Mankcam

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My curiosity is piqued.

How does their ruleset diverge from core D&D5?
In terms of game mechanics, it has different career paths which are often setting-specific, as is the magic, and it has various dials to adjust the rules according to different flavours and themes. I think the closest to how WotC defaults is considered Heroic Fantasy here, but there are dials for Gritty Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, and a whole heap more that I forget.

In terms of setting, it has a European writing team which feels a bit different to the usual D&D stuff, and it's a highly immersive fantasy world with lots of layers, depth, and scope, it is very well done

In terms of collaborators regarding scenarios, they have a range of international writers including Ed Greenwood

In terms of production quality the books are hardcovers with thick glossy pages with full colour art. The artwork alone makes it coffee table conversation piece material.
 

Acmegamer

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Not wanting to start a new thread, this is D&D related, so just dropping this right here as it may interest those following this thread.
(Feel free to add this to the banter, or just ignore):

FATEFORGE

I crowd-funded Fateforge (by Studio Agate), and have been receiving a book every 6-12 months.
  • Fateforge is a self-contained ruleset that uses a version of D&D 5E.
  • Very good quality glossy pages full colour hardcover books, with artwork to die for.
  • Classic Fantasy setting - high fantasy with some sword & sorcery elements at times - lots of flavour, fills in what I expected WotC to be doing before they went too whimsical over the last year or so
  • Now publically available in a great slipcase box set that comes with four main books (core book, magic book, monsters book, setting book), DM screen, two large maps, and three adventures (one written by Ed Greenwood).
  • Highly recommended for D&D 5E fans who want a classic fantasy setting with a bit more depth and flavour
Does that set come with pdfs? I couldn't tell.
 

The Butcher

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In terms of game mechanics, it has different career paths which are often setting-specific, as is the magic, and it has various dials to adjust the rules according to different flavours and themes. I think the closest to how WotC defaults is considered Heroic Fantasy here, but there are dials for Gritty Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, and a whole heap more that I forget.

In terms of setting, it has a European writing team which feels a bit different to the usual D&D stuff, and it's a highly immersive fantasy world with lots of layers, depth, and scope, it is very well done

In terms of collaborators regarding scenarios, they have a range of international writers including Ed Greenwood

In terms of production quality the books are hardcovers with thick glossy pages with full colour art. The artwork alone makes it coffee table conversation piece material.
That sounds amazing actually.
 

The Butcher

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Brock Savage

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I liked that idea in 3e and wish they'd stuck to it more in 5e.
Yeah, you can do a lot with the Monster Manual alone. Like off the top of my head you can make the zombie scary again by swapping boring undead fortitude for the giant shark's blood frenzy.

I own Volo's and Mordenkainen's but rarely need to consult them.
 

Necrozius

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Yeah, you can do a lot with the Monster Manual alone. Like off the top of my head you can make the zombie scary again by swapping boring undead fortitude for the giant shark's blood frenzy.

I own Volo's and Mordenkainen's but rarely need to consult them.
It’s even easier if you don’t bother with trying to accurately gauge CR or whatever.

Even more fun if you give every monster a massive vulnerability that the PCs can discover through investigation and lore.
 

Nobby-W

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It's also much easier for a veteran GM! Crafting a level 1-20 campaign that is gonna keep player interest for the entire run is no small task. Our last 5e campaign took 21 four to six hour sessions to reach level 6 (we wrapped it up at session 24). At one session a month that represented a couple years of play. I saw a spreadsheet somewhere that if a group played once every week with a DM who faithfully adhered to the encounter building rules it would take a little over a year to reach level 20. Granted, a DM can hand wave with milestone levelling but at levels 3+ players really need at least three sessions in between levelling to be meaningful and any way you look at it that's a lot of sessions.

I think the DMG in every edition could do a better job of explaining to DMs how progression works, how long it typically takes, and adjusting expectations for people who want to run a level 1-20 campaign. For some reason people push back hard against campaign with shorter arcs but through experience I have found my personal sweet spot is a campaign aiming to wrap up around level 6 in a setting where level 10 is the cap for normal humans. In 5e, level 6 PCs can punch way above their CR class if they go "all in" and use their noggins.

One good thing about 5e progression is that a new level 1 character can catch up quickly and contribute meaningfully if they join a higher level party (haven't tested this past level 6)

My experience of 5e is that the sweet spot is from about level 3 up to maybe 8 or10. I've played in a couple of games that went up to about 15 or so but I think it's getting into diminishing returns at high levels.
 

Mankcam

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Does that set come with pdfs? I couldn't tell.
hmmm not sure
I received the pdfs as part of the kickstarter, I'm not sure if they come with the box set
Maybe if buying directly from Studio Agate that might be an option, but I'm not sure if bought through other outlets
 

Mankcam

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Ladybird

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I once more suggest that Olivia Hill was on to something when she put forward more use of shorter pamphlet-size books instead of monolithic tomes. Instead of hauling a bunch of stuff I don't need to game night, let me show up with the Core Rules and Class : Fighter booklets.

Yes, I know I can print off just those pages of the PHB and buy spell cards and all that crap, but if only I didn't need those after-market solutions.
 

Mankcam

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I once more suggest that Olivia Hill was on to something when she put forward more use of shorter pamphlet-size books instead of monolithic tomes. Instead of hauling a bunch of stuff I don't need to game night, let me show up with the Core Rules and Class : Fighter booklets.

Yes, I know I can print off just those pages of the PHB and buy spell cards and all that crap, but if only I didn't need those after-market solutions.
That's a great idea, much more useful at the table than lugging around a tome
 

Necrozius

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I’m honestly tired of RPG books being bullet stoppers. One of the reasons I got rid of my Pathfinder books was because I didn’t like thumbing through them at all.
If the game is an "all-in-one" book (as in, you don't need anything else at all to run it) I don't mind it so much.

edit: I think the best approach is the TOME for GMs, and a slimmer "Player's handbook" for players.
 

Mankcam

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One thing I liked with LEGEND (by Mongoose) was that it was digest-sized core book and gaming line
Evil Hat also did really well with this, having a very sturdy hardcover digest-sized core book and gaming line for Fate Core.
I actually thought that WotC did a good job with the Star Wars SAGA D20 line, they were reasonably small sized hardcover books.
Not everyone likes this size however, but I found it very handy to transport, and it's so much easier to access at a gaming table.
I'm surprised that these smaller sizes didn't become the industry standard for the hobby
 
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Acmegamer

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That's a great idea, much more useful at the table than lugging around a tome
It's why for my DCC game I simply print up the class, spells (if I have spells) and combat pages and call it good. A lot less to pull out. I do keep the core book in my backpack but I don't need to pull it out usually.

Actually when I need to pull it out is because the other players don't know what their character can do and the game has stopped because they can't be bothered to look it up themselves. (common often issue)

Edit: Also why I liked the original 1st/2nd editions of GURPS, two 96 page books. I added if I wanted to as a GM sourcebooks that came out later but usually just a few pages which copied for my use as a GM.
 

Necrozius

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One thing I liked with LEGEND (by Mongoose) was that it was digest-sized core book and gaming line
Evil Hat also did really well with this, having a very sturdy hardcover digest-sized core book and gaming line for Fate Core.
I actually thought that WotC did a good job with the Star Wars SAGA D20 line, they were reasonably small sized hardcover books.
Not everyone likes this size however, but I found it very handy to transport, and it's so much easier to access at a gaming table.
I'm surprised that these smaller sizes didn't become the industry standard for the hobby
I'm hoping to make my own copy of Mythras formatted this way (with additional rules from my favorite setting books). I need to get gud at InDesign...
 

Brock Savage

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It’s even easier if you don’t bother with trying to accurately gauge CR or whatever.
My point was to illustrate how you can dramatically change up a monster profile with an ability swap while retaining the original CR value but sure you can just throw out CR if you want, no one is going to stop you.
 

Stan

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Necrozius

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I'm confused. Is this going to be an update of Adventures in Middle Earth or a whole new thing? I know the rights changed publishers so I don't know what to expect. The ad copy mentions the TOR designers but not the designers for this.

I love AiME but I'm going to wait to see how this pans out before buying in.
Yeah that was my concern as well. I've bought most of the AiME books and they are great (the 5e that I actually wanted, funny enough).

The original game wasn't mentioned anywhere in the email I got from Free league about this.

My theory? Completely brand new 5e treatment.

It would really have to BLOW MY MIND to be worth it. Like, better than AiME, VsDarkmaster and Mythras.
 

Necrozius

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My point was to illustrate how you can dramatically change up a monster profile with an ability swap while retaining the original CR value but sure you can just throw out CR if you want, no one is going to stop you.
Yes point taken. I just always got headaches trying to figure out which of these changes would merit a CR adjustment or not. Some changes outlined in the DMG are clear as crystal, others clear as mud.

So I just don't bother with CR anymore. But to each their own, especially if you're playing with people who expect "fair" encounter building.
 

robertsconley

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I have zero interest in using 5E to run LotR anything. If other people do, that's cool of course. I haven't even broken in my shiny new TOR 2E books yet.
The difference is in the level of abstraction when it comes to resolving what characters do in Middle Earth. TOR is more abstract, while AiME is more specific. But at the end of the day, they both used the same setting with the same adventures, with the same themes. They are just implemented differently. And I am not kidding but both using the same stuff. I would guess 3/4 of the supplemental material for both lines is the same word for word.

For example, AiME creatures are far more dangerous and deadlier than their 5e counterparts. There are way more roleplaying elements in stuff like virtues (feats) and class abilities. And like TOR mechanics it not much use unless you are interested in roleplaying it out. Like the insanity mechanic in Call of Cthulu loses some of its usefulness unless the players are willing to roleplay out the results.
 

Necrozius

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If anything, AiME proved (to me, anyway) that you can have lots of fun playing 5e without any spellcasters. At all.

Edit: IF you like it that way. If you want to play 5e in a different set of base assumptions from the "default".
 

Fenris-77

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The difference is in the level of abstraction when it comes to resolving what characters do in Middle Earth. TOR is more abstract, while AiME is more specific. But at the end of the day, they both used the same setting with the same adventures, with the same themes. They are just implemented differently. And I am not kidding but both using the same stuff. I would guess 3/4 of the supplemental material for both lines is the same word for word.

For example, AiME creatures are far more dangerous and deadlier than their 5e counterparts. There are way more roleplaying elements in stuff like virtues (feats) and class abilities. And like TOR mechanics it not much use unless you are interested in roleplaying it out. Like the insanity mechanic in Call of Cthulu loses some of its usefulness unless the players are willing to roleplay out the results.
I'm up to speed on the differences, and despite my remark upstream I do actually quite like AiME, it's just not what I want run. I'd prefer a little less mechanic in my Tolkein. Viva la difference!
 

Fenris-77

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Got it and it make sense for you to go with The One Ring.
Interestingly, I took a hard look at Fellowship, the PbtA LotR game that's also pretty low crunch, but didn't find it interesting, and I really thought I would. *shrug*
 

Necrozius

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Interestingly, I took a hard look at Fellowship, the PbtA LotR game that's also pretty low crunch, but didn't find it interesting, and I really thought I would. *shrug*
Same here. I backed the Kickstarter for that and was oddly underwhelmed. 'Can't quite figure out why.
 
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