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D&D 3E
Looking for input... 
23rd-Mar-2005 05:01 pm
I want some input on a question, but first I feel I should sum up some things about me, game-wise.
1.) I LOVE D&D.
2.) I don't give two hoots about Eberron or most of the campaign settings because I make up my own stuff when I DM (players have less to argue about that way and they have to pay attention more -- my players are spontaneous-ADD-prone). I don't care for Eberron in particular because of the tech in it. If I wanted tech, I'd be playing Rifts or something else with tech in it.
3.) I like monsters. I like puzzles. I'm good at creating my own of both when given basic guidelines. I have some new creations in store for my players in the next session of my campaign.
4.) Two out of three of my players are graduating this spring and are moving far away. These two players need to be replaced next year, but it will be difficult because I'm on a Christian campus and most people think D&D is evil/satanic/whatever because that's what they've been told by their churches.
The Question: If I wanted to get some roleplayers to join my RP group without playing a game that strays far from what D&D is, what games might you suggest I invest a little in? I don't want to play a terribly religious-oriented game just to get players, but I'm willing to not play D&D if people have bad associations with it. Input, please?

Thanks in advance!

[Posted in a few places.]

23rd-Mar-2005 10:07 pm (UTC)
ANY RPG is going to be difficult to "sell" to those on a Xian campus, but... if you could bear it...



Not bad mechanics.
23rd-Mar-2005 10:12 pm (UTC)
If all you're trying to do is get away from the D&D name, I'd suggest GURPS, by Steve Jackson Games. It's fairly easy to learn the basics and there are tons of sourcebooks out for it (and relatively few pidgeon-holed campaigns). If its to be fantasy, then you'll need the Basic GURPS set (which I think comes in two volumes now) and GURPS Fantasy to play.

Lucifer >:}
23rd-Mar-2005 10:16 pm (UTC)
I think what you need to do is forget the game is DND. Type out all the important things you need for a day, or write hem out, and use that as a source book. keep copy sheets of spells.

Tell people what they are really playing is a game called "Death t all things none Christian" and in that fighting goblins, heathens, and daemons and the like they are proving just how good Christians they can be.

You could easily rip the covers off your books, and make new cardboard ones.

23rd-Mar-2005 11:42 pm (UTC)
man! that's funny!!
23rd-Mar-2005 11:20 pm (UTC)
Rough. I remember trying to convince my mother that DnD wasn't satanic. I came from a Fundamentalist Christian household. She saw "DRUID" in the handbook and there was no talking to her about it after that. Damn Patricia Pulling.
24th-Mar-2005 12:15 am (UTC)
I saw a d20 supplement called Testament, I think, published by Green Ronin, all about playing biblical-era heros, including stats for greats such as David and Goliath!
24th-Mar-2005 12:54 am (UTC) - Repeat after me
"The Romans treated Christianity the way some Christians treat roleplaying games."

I, like 90% of the RPG public, am a Christian. If RPGs really were evil, I would toss them out the window.

But they're not, and while there is a horrible sin committed in relation to RPGs, it's not committed by those that play them or those that write them. (Unless, of course, you happen to interpret Exodus 20:4 as all images whatsoever, in which case your biology textbook had better be burned and you can play happily just using the picutreless SRD)

Those that claim RPGs are evil violate the second commandment (thou shalt not take the lord's name in vain (Exodus 20:7)), the ninth commandment ("Thou shalt not bear false witness" (Exodus 20:16)), and of course the second-most important commandment, "Love thy neighbor as thyself" (Matthew 22:39). You should play, on campus, in perfectly clear room where anyone can come and watch.

If we let the fear-based christians among us perpetrate this slanderous lie about our hobby, we insult not only ourselves but all disinterested parties and, of course, Him.

Now that I've got that off my chest, if you want to get away from D&D's name and still play a monster-based, puzzle-based RPG, pick up one of the many excellent d20-variant games. Conan, Everquest, Dawnforge, Midnight, Grim Tales, and the generic Prometheus name are all excellent if you want to stick to Fantasy, but if you don't mind modern-day or futuristic there's also Spycraft, Mutants and Masterminds, Babylon 5, Gamma World, and others.

(And then there are the non-D&D d20 books published by Wizards themselves--Star Wars, Wheel of Time, Call of Cthulu, and d20-Modern/Past/Future)

24th-Mar-2005 01:06 am (UTC) - Re: Repeat after me
Yeah, 'cuz Call of Cthulhu's gonna go over better than D&D with the fundies.

Um. But anyway. I went to school at Arizona State, which was certainly way more Christian than I grew up in Liberal Hippy Communist Vermont. (For reference: in high school I had "my Christian friend," and at ASU about a third of the people on my dorm floor were in Campus Crusade for Christ). I didn't have any problems acquiring players and running a game.

My advice: hit the Honors dorm, if there is one. That's where all the geeks live.
24th-Mar-2005 01:24 am (UTC) - Re: Repeat after me
I grew up in Vermont, myself. (Whereabouts did you grow up?)

There is an honors dorm, but that's where most of the gung-ho fundamentalists are. We typically play at a friend's apartment -- he graduated last spring and works on campus, so he always goes to Monday night Games Club and approached me about DMing. That's how it got started some months ago. He'll still be around next year, but the other two players will be graduating. I've found that even some of the not-so-terribly-religious students have prejudices against D&D, so I'm careful about who I even mention it to. The cool thing, however, is that I know professors who've played it and understand that it's not spiritually harmful like so many people claim it is. However, the campus has a set of Christian standards... so I can't take any chances that some obsessive Bible-thumper is going to tattle to the administration about my gaming habits if I talk about it all the time. They'd try to confine me to campus to prevent such "tendencies" if they had to, I'm sure. It's a little nuts sometimes.
24th-Mar-2005 02:35 am (UTC) - Re: Repeat after me
Shelburne, Vermont, crunchy-granola all the way.

Oh. You mean, when you said you were on a Christian campus, you meant ... a full-blown Christian campus. Not just not-in-Vermont-style. I get it. Yeah, good luck. Try your local game store.
24th-Mar-2005 03:22 am (UTC) - Re: Repeat after me
However, the campus has a set of Christian standards... so I can't take any chances that some obsessive Bible-thumper is going to tattle to the administration about my gaming habits if I talk about it all the time.

Pre-empt them. You know folk on the faculty who will say that it's not spiritually harmful. Go to the administration and get guidelines from them as to how to ensure that you don't stray while roleplaying.

Part of going to a Christian college is being held to an "unreasonable" standard of moral behavior, so you can spend four years learning in a specific forum a specific way. It's entirely possible for the college to expel you if you go to see the wrong movie, even if the faculty have all gone to see that very same movie, and they tell you point-blank that there's nothing harmful about it.

Not to mention that being honest and forthright about things that might embarass you is in keeping with Christ's teachings on, well, everything.

24th-Mar-2005 09:12 am (UTC) - Re: Repeat after me
Yeah, 'cuz Call of Cthulhu's gonna go over better than D&D with the fundies.

Actually, it probably will. After all, they are unlikely to have heard of Lovecraft, and thus would have to actually read it first to make up their mind about it. So it is probably safe. On the other hand, almost everyone has heard about D&D...
24th-Mar-2005 05:04 am (UTC) - Re: Repeat after me
There's a couple of things you said that you have to clarify for me, for my own sake of mind.

"...and while there is a horrible sin committed in relation to RPGs..."

What is the horrible sin?

"Those that claim RPGs are evil violate the second commandment (thou shalt not take the lord's name in vain (Exodus 20:7)"

This one I don't follow at all.
24th-Mar-2005 10:40 pm (UTC) - Re: Repeat after me
What is the horrible sin?

They're prepetrating a slanderous fraud, and using their positions as men of the cloth to do so.

It's wrong to lie, and it *might* even be wrong to play make-believe or study pagan gods. But it's a *mortal sin* to slander another in court. It's a *mortal sin* to lie using the Lord's name. It's a *mortal sin* to not love all men as you love yourself.

And the so-called Christians who started and continue the whole uproar about roleplaying games in general and D&D in particular DID ALL THREE OF THOSE MORTAL SINS.

24th-Mar-2005 02:04 am (UTC)
I'm afraid I really don't have an answer for you. I fight similar prejudices all the time.

I just want to say though, that I'm glad someone said this:

"I don't care for Eberron in particular because of the tech in it. If I wanted tech, I'd be playing Rifts or something else with tech in it."

I can't tell you how relieved I am to not be the only one I know who thinks that way.
24th-Mar-2005 07:06 am (UTC)
There is no "tech" in eberron.

There is magic....

Its not steampunk, there is no clockwork devices.

Its all magic.

Maybe if some of you people would actually pick up the ECS and READ the damned thing cover to cover you'd see there was no tech in the setting.

24th-Mar-2005 11:21 am (UTC)
You beat me to this response..

Funny how campaign settings where there are thousands of archmages running around, and all kings are lvl20 fighers are fine, but an attempt to develop a setting that acknowledges the existence of magic in the evolution of the world isnt

Bleh. Campaig setting prejudice, christian bias - The bible is just one big campaign setting ffs
25th-Mar-2005 04:15 am (UTC)
Well, first off, kindly read this response of mine to what arthurq said.

And there's actually a good number of Christians who play games (see christiangamers), but the vocal Christians happen to be the fundamentalists. It really bites how these things work.
24th-Mar-2005 03:07 pm (UTC)
This isn't really the thread for this, but from what I've seen elsewhere, Eberron has robots, trains and flying machines? I don't really care whether they're run by electricity or by magic, that isn't really what I'm looking for in a fantasy game...

And I don't really want to plunk down the bucks for a book I likely won't be able to use in my own campaign.

Lucifer >:}
24th-Mar-2005 05:38 pm (UTC)
Wrong, wrong wrong.

Eberron has Living Golems-like creatures called Warforged. They arent machines. Have you ever had or used Constructs in your games? Imagine a construct with a soul. Thats a warforged. Its not a robot. Eberron is not Starwars.

Trains - psuedo correct. Eberron does have a "train like" system. Large carriages that float along a track of magical stones that require an elemental to power them.

Flying machines - wrong. Flying boats, yes. How many times in various fantasy sources have we seen magical flying ships? Its been done in Greyhawk, its definatly been done in Forgotten Realms, Planescape and Spelljammer. Its nothing new. Its simply a boat with magic that lets it sail on air as well as water!

Look, when Eberron was first mentioned I was very very wary of it myself. But at Winter Fantasy 04 I sat down with Keith Baker (its creator) and played a session. It was fantastic. All these fantasy elements mix almost perfectly together. Unlike in Forgotten Realms, the magical saturation makes sense. It fits like a warm glove on your hand and it really does work as a setting.

If you dont want to buy the book thats fine. Go to your nearest large Barnes and Noble, or your friendly local game store, take the book, and find a chair for an hour and flip through it and read the setting. You wont be dissapointed.

But making assumptions based on third party opinions and old internet rumors is wrong. You're just hurting yourself. If after you read the setting you really felt that its not for you, then the more power too you. But you should really give it a chance before you condemn it.

(If you want more info, you should come to the #eberron chatroom I run on chat.psionics.net or check out the Breland Ledger Eberron news at www.coveworld.net/eberron)
24th-Mar-2005 07:04 pm (UTC)
Okay, let's try to phrase it this way...

I don't want to run a campaign with besouled constructs.

I don't want to run a campaign with a train-like system.

I don't want to run a campaign with flying boats.

It's as simple as that. Look, I'm not crazy about how things work in the Forgotten Realms either, but I take things in the other direction. I prefer magic to be rare, something of a mystery, even to those who use it. In my own home-brew campaign world, there are maybe half-a-dozen NPCs who'd qualify for "Epic" status and the ratio of caster-to-mundane is around 1000 to 1 (and that's ALL casters, including Paladins, Bards, etc). And there just isn't enough free-flowing money in my campaign world to justify the existence of robot...erm..."besouled construct" armies running around.

Eberron, from everything I've seen (including the information that's crept into non-Eberron sourcebooks, like MMIII), just isn't for me. And you haven't really said anything that convinces me of otherwise (or really anything that refutes the comments I made above, in my opinion...I still hold that whether you want to call it a robot, a "besouled construct," or a Warforged, it amounts to the same hill of beans to me.

D&D has gone through "Star Wars" phases before...sure, Spelljammer didn't have X-Wings, but it was essentially D&D in space. And about the same time came Dark Sun, erm...Two Suns...erm...Tatooine...it even had rules for "the force." I hear psionics are pretty heavily integrated into Eberron as well...

Okay, now I'm joking...well, mostly...

In all seriousness, I'm not trying to begrudge you your favorite campaign world. If you like Eberron, that's cool by me. Just please understand its not for everyone.

I mean, it's got robots ;D

Lucifer >:}
24th-Mar-2005 07:13 pm (UTC)
Just re-read my post...obviously, that caster to mundane ratio should read "1 to 1000", not "1000 to 1"...whew!

Lucifer >:}
25th-Mar-2005 04:09 am (UTC)
My opinion of Eberron is not, in fact, from firsthand experience. Since I don't tend to pick up anything involving campaign settings (I'm an aspiring fantasy novelist, so I like to make up my own worlds -- it's great practice), I asked someone to sum up Eberron for me... to tell me what set it apart from other campaign settings. The reply was, "tech."

Now, I don't personally understand "tech" to mean robots, machines, electricity, etc. "Tech" is technology... which simply means more advanced tools and constructions than the basic necessities of a civilization. I did *not* have Star Wars in my mind when my friend said "tech."

It's not that I'm opposed to just Eberron -- I just don't care for campaign settings in general (though I *was* given the Forgotton Realms CS book for my birthday). No hard feelings with anyone out there who loves Eberron? If so, I'll try to grovel a little more in my next comment!

Happy gaming, everyone!
24th-Mar-2005 04:45 am (UTC)
Why not pick up one of the non-fantasy, non-magic-wielding D20 games, like Traveler (T20). Get them used to the D20 mechanics, get them used to role-playing in general, then test their interest in D&D.

If you want a very simple game to teach and learn, I strongly suggest the amusing yet amazingly fun, My Life with Master, in which you all play the minions of an evil master in 1805 in a small town somewhere in Europe. It's not much like D&D, but it's easier for new players to grasp and is more structured in many ways.

If you're looking for games with a "holy" bent without being overbearingly Christian in theme, take a look at Dogs in the Vineyard ("Roleplaying God's Watchdogs in a West that never quite was") or Paladin ("a role-playing game in which the characters are holy warriors, fighting not only against evil, but against the temptation to turn to hatred, lust, fear, and anger and capture the power that evil can bring").

Paladin is free. The other two are cheap and available in PDF form online or in print-on-demand form.
24th-Mar-2005 05:36 am (UTC)
campaign settings make it easy...thats why i like using MY MIND! it rocks!
24th-Mar-2005 01:54 pm (UTC)
I just came across this link, so I'll throw it out there.
25th-Mar-2005 11:05 pm (UTC)
I liked that link. Thanks, Edobrzel!
24th-Mar-2005 04:59 pm (UTC)
Is this a school-recognized student club? If so, then I think you're protected. Were it me, I'd put an ad in the student newspaper looking for players and let the chips fall where they may. (mmmm, chips!) But I love a good argument, and I'm not afraid of getting pummeled by a bible either. If it's not a student club, I'd start one. You'll need to get a faculty advisor, and he/she will be able to advise you as to whether your group violates the school's conduct code. Speaking of which, I'd suspect you have some free speech issues involved if the school was gonna give you the boot for playing D&D.
24th-Mar-2005 05:26 pm (UTC)
Religious people even seem to still have a general acceptance for Lord of the Rings...Middle-Earth Role-Playing might be a good way to start, then you could convert to the rulesystem behind that game without the world intact to it, known as Rolemaster. Both MERP and Rolemaster, completely compatible, are available from I.C.E. They're a d100 system (everything is basically percentages.)
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