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Messages - Murphy78

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1
Here's the deal with RQ. You could easily play RQ 2e with a light sprinkling of Glorantha based on the setting material of the core book, and back in the day, we played lots of RQ 2e with tremendous freedom in the setting.

AKA, imagine Star Wars campaigns between 1977 and whenever your table all saw Empire Strikes Back. You'd be doing all sorts of crazy non-canon stuff.

But then RQ3e hit and there was LOTS more Glorantha in the core book and that made Glorantha fans very happy...and lost everyone else.

D&D's success was that there was no core setting. As a thought experiment, imagine how D&D would have done if Empire of the Petal Throne was the default setting in the core book?

EPT is a wonderful setting...but it's not for everyone.

You've pretty much nailed it...and that's a Tekumel fanboy speaking!
And Tekumel would have a lot more players if the system of choice were still EPT ( Old D&D - that is) and not all the zillion alternatives proposed/suggested in all this years...I still remember how I forced my players to move their characters to Gurps (still one of saner options), because AD&D 2nd wasn't "up to the task" of running Tekumel...

3
I guess I put the topic in the wrong section. Lex Arcana might not be perfect, but it's surely an rpg not a storygame.

4

Sounds a bit like playing a Star Trek themed game, with all the vastness of the world, but you can only be in Star Fleet.

You pretty much nailed it. Also, this Star Trek comparison is better than X-files as the characters can be posted pretty much everywhere in the empire and also abroad. The author explained this as a way to give a reason for the characters to be together, avoiding the you-met-in-a-tavern clichè. Also, the mood is quite different from X-files, Call of Cthulhu or WFRP, as the PCs are expected to see themselves as the heroes that will save the empire.

There actually are five D&D-ish classes  (called cursus - career paths inside the Cohors Auxiliaria Arcana): fighter, explorer, diplomat, scholar (doctor/scientist) and augur ("wizard" doing divination/clairvoyance). Every class is under the protection of a Patron Roman God, for example Mars for fighters.
 I figured out the classes are cleverly reskinned D&D ones, with the explorer being a ranger/thief type, the diplomat taking the role of the bard and the scholar that of the cleric (as he can heal wounds through medicine/surgery).

The system is skill-based and there`s no reserved class special power, so for example the fighter can try to do divination if the augur is not available. You throw an exploding dice equal to your skill/attribute value against a difficulty set by the master or against a contrasting roll of the monster/NPC (like in combat). If the PC get the maximum (like 6 on a d6), he reroll and add the result. That's explained in game as the Fate Roll, as the PCs, being members of the Cohors Arcana, are assisted by the Roman Gods themselves.
More or less the rules of Savage World, but a lot simpler.

Furthermore, once per adventure, a PC can ask his patron god to help him, this time only in his expertise field (ie the fighter ask Mars to help him in combat). So the player can reroll the dice and add the result. If a PC displease the gods, the Fate Rolls disappear and he cannot invoke his patron god.

Both the setting and the system are beautiful for one-shots and mini-campaigns, but for a longer campaign...


5
You're not wrong. Some of this stuff is just silly. The spell customization in particular makes me snort, because I've had a policy that spells (at least in D&D) always have SOME level of variance from caster to caster. Spellcraft and arcana checks are just able to determine the common aspects from spell to spell and identify them.

You're right, it's a very old concept. I remember that spell "personalization" already was in Gaz 3: The Principalities of Glantri. Maybe is even  older than that.

Also, about subclasses: I remember the chaos that "kits" brought to AD&D 2nd. Fighter kits were ok, bard one were...no comment. I guess that is the usual splatbook degeneration cycle.
A big: No, thanks.

If I start something with 5e, I'm going to outlaw everything outside corebooks and also dragonborn and tiefling.
The Pundit in a video suggested that one should only play humans. He's got a point, but I'm such a sucker for dwarves that I'm keeping the core classes.





6
Lex Arcana is maybe the most famous Italian Rpg...well, I understand that doesn't mean a lot, but I remember fondly playing it in early '90. The rpg scene was very thin in Italy then, just Becmi, Cthulhu and few more.
The swines were still to come, Magic had not stolen breath to the hobby yet.

Described unofficially as "X-files in the Roman Empire", Lex Arcana is set in an alternate 476 AD where the Roman Empire is unscathed thanks to the mastery of magic (mainly divination). The characters are agents of a special unit of the Pretorian Guard, the Cohors Auxiliaria Arcana, that investigates unknown/enemy forms of magic.

Here comes the problem...while the characters are given some investigative autonomy, they`re in a military structure and the games expect them to be just that...good agents of the Empire. The game risks to transform in a "monster-of-the-week" show that the PC have to defeat.

And what is left of sandbox and of the player freedom cherished by Old School?





 

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