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    Greyhawk 576CY Campaign which Rule Set to use ...
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    Joined: Nov 10, 2009
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    Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:44 am  
    Greyhawk 576CY Campaign which Rule Set to use ...


    I am going to be starting a new Greyhawk Campaign next year and will be starting in 576CY.

    Now I am not sure if I have posted this in the correct forum, if I haven't my apologies. (please, move to correct forum)

    I am not sure what rule set to play. Confused

    All of the different editions have their pros and cons. I was thinking of going with 3.5 as my base and adapting some of the rules from AD&D to help bring back the sense of realism.

    • I prefer AD&D’s initiative system.
    • AD&D’s Weapons vs. Armor makes a big difference and you don’t have everyone running around with the same weapon. Weapons then get chosen, either with a theme in mind for the character or strategically chosen.
    • 2nd edition AD&D, IMO killed the barbarian class, compared to what it was in AD&D.

    What would your honest opinion be WRT choosing the right rule set to play Greyhawk? I know it boils down to personal preference, but I would like to see some opinions.

    On another note, what really frustrates me in 3x edition is the “0” (zero) hit point rule, where a player can still perform normal actions but anything strenuous activity your drop back to negative hit points.
    I don’t see characters realistically in combat been reduced to zero and then drinking a potion and back into the fight. A second close irrigational/annoying rule is the, I will "TAKE 10" or "TAKE 20", where is the good old try, try and try again ..... oh what the hell I cleave it with my Great Axe. Happy

    Has anyone else got an opinion on this or a house rule that they have instituted? I was thinking of introducing a “fatigue” hit point optional rule where the value of your FHP = HP. So basically in strenuous situations or where a character has taken a large amount of damage he would be fatigued. I need to see how I can refine and simplify the rule as not to make it slow down combat

    My thanks in advance.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 14, 2008
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    Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:43 am  

    My heart says 1E AD&D. He's got the Greyhawk flavor implanted in the mechanics themselves. And you need very few conversions since most of the Gygax material is 1E I think. And you can quickly create characters and NPCs on the fly if you need them.

    On the other hand I would probably end up using Pathfinder RPG since it a live game, it has almost perfect retrocompatibility to 3.5, good fanbase, and some interesting new rules that are close at hand (Advanced Player's Guide, GM Guide etc.).


    As for fatigue points, if you go Pathfinder I'd make a quick and dirty adaptation of Hero System's fatigue rule.

    - Endurance = Con (unless you get some special feat of your invention)
    - Move action 1 end point, standard action 1 end point (unless you want to grant extras for heavy weapons like mauls), combat maneuvers 2 end points...
    - Each turn you recover 1 END point.
    - When you finish end points, you start using diretcly Con, with relative hp loss (obviously nonlethal). In this case Con = 0 does not mean dead but "unconscious".

    You could start here and design long-end endurance loss for continuous strenuous activty, resulting in "fatigued" or "exhausted" conditions.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Dec 04, 2008
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    Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:25 am  

    Well, I'll give my opinion, but I give fair warning: I quite frankly can't stand anything from 3rd/3.5 edition, so keep that in mind! Smile

    Personally I'd go with either 2nd Edition or Castles and Crusades.

    In my opinion, 2nd Edition clears up a lot of the little things that bugged me in 1st and quite a bit of the Greyhawk specific material was written for 2nd Edition.

    On the other hand, Castles and Crusades does a VERY good job (in my opinion of course!) of capturing the 1st/2nd Edition "feel" while adhering to the "always roll high on a d20" mechanic.

    As for some of your other questions/points, I'm afraid I can't offer too much, as personally, I never really cared for the Barbarian Class as outlined in Unearthed Arcana and thought the Kit they came up with in the 2nd Edition Fighter's handbook plus some Role-playing/setting specific notes/abilities from the DM and player would cover any "barbarian" character. For what its worth, C&C has a barbarian class that in many ways mirrors the UA barbarian.

    As for the iniative issue; unless the battle is REALLY huge (in which case I just did group iniative); I always liked using personal initative from 1st/2nd Edition where each PC rolls a die and adds/subtracts any pertinent modifiers (weapon speed, casting time, etc.) with only 1 minor change: I had each PC roll a 1d6 rather than a 1d10....I kinda got sick of going through actions thru number 25! Smile

    As for fatigue/endurance rules....I never really used any; but MToscan has some good ideas....another one that just occured to me was to use two quick rules:

    First: Each character who is uninjured can fight/take continuous actions for a number of rounds equal to thier Constitution. After this; they must rest for a number of rounds that seems reasonbale to the DM (randomly roll; just say "It'll take 3 round;, whatever seems best to you!) or they will suffer a -1 penalty on all actions for the following rounds, cumulative. (I.e., Bill has a CON of 10, on the 11th round of fighting, he will have a -1 to hit, on the 12th round, a -2 to hit; etc.)

    Addionally, have each character keep track of their HP in either quarters or thirds (whatever works better for you); and when they are wounded to these levels, they must take a round to "steel" themselves; or they will have negative modifers to thier actions. (-1 at a quarter, -2 at half, etc.)

    I'm just thinking out loud here....anyway, that's my two cents! I hope the campaign goes well and post the results if you have the time!
    Adept Greytalker

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    Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:31 am  

    im a 2ed player, but i must say:

    choose the one you feel most confortable as a DM. the one you understand the most so you could use house rules if you want to ;)
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 11, 2009
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    Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:05 pm  

    I'm partial to 2nd edition and think it fits Greyhawk best but I still enjoy 1st edition as well. I have absolutely no desire to play 3rd edition or later editions though. I agree with Rossik that you should play what edition you feel most comfortable with. In the end though, Greyhawk is still good in any format.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:01 pm  

    I'll continue the comfortable sentiment. Play what edition you as the DM and your players are the most comfortable with. If you hate what 2e did to the Barbarian, import the 1e Barbarian rules into your 2e rules set. You can do that with little effort. Same with Cavaliers and the rest of it.
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    Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:09 pm  

    Good tips everyone. Now what edition you play has very little to do with Greyhawk specifically unless you plan on not doing much conversions. Most GH source info and material on canonfire for that matter is editionless fluff. Easy enough. Now if you plan on running say, Age of Worms or Savage Tide from Dungeon Magazine; well unless you use 3.5 you'll be doing alot of converting. In the same vein many classic AD&D mods are not already converted to 3.5 or wouldn't even work as good in that system (Tomb of Horrors, IMO). So for me it would be a question of how much work do I want to do to set up the campaign. If you self write all your own quests, then great!
    Adept Greytalker

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    Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:37 pm  

    I just finished a 576 campaign using Castles & Crusades. It works well and its simple to play 1E modules with.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:41 am  

    also, with you have doubts or questions about how to convert something, ask here! theres a lot of sages at Canonfire!

    (oh, no, not me, im more like a village fool or something Laughing )

    Joined: Nov 10, 2009
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    Sat Dec 12, 2009 5:37 am  

    Thanks to all the responses.

    I am even more confused than before .... (I joke) Razz

    It looks like we will be using Pathfinder as our core with some house rules.

    I am a diehard 1e + 2e fan, but I do like the aspects of the d20 rule system, but I do believe that there are some important fundamental rules left out from 3x and PF, that was in 1e, but these I will introduce as house rules

    Last edited by SgtDarkside on Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:14 am; edited 1 time in total

    Joined: Oct 06, 2008
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    Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:47 am  

    SgtDarkside wrote:
    It looks like we will be using Pathfinder as our core with some house rules . . . but I do like the aspects of the d20 rule system . . .

    Sounds like you've got it figured out, SgtDarkside. Enjoy your game. And by all means let us know how it progresses! Happy
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:01 pm  

    Now for my 2 cents. Don't forget you're the DM! and all the rules are merely guidelines. But be careful! I've run into many newer players who don't like. Its like that old saying, 'with great power comes great responsibility'. I had to learn it the hard way.

    The Grey Mouser
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    Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:45 pm  
    Pathfinder-izing Greyhawk

    Hi all -
    I've always been a big 3.5 player/DM and now with Pathfinder rules, I just feel it's an excellent system. Although, I do really like a lot of things from 2e.
    But you've mentioned that you don't like initiative from d20/OGL (3.5/PF) so what things are you planning on doing to implement your designs? What about weapon speeds? Will you be modifying/importing from 1e/2e to OGL/Pathfinder?
    I think its easy to modify the zero hit point rule. I can certainly understand the take 10 and take 20 rules. Take 10 means that I can keep rolling the dice and with one round I can likely roll good or bad - how many times do I need to attempt? If I roll in the middle (10) will I succeed? If not, then I guess I'm spending as many rounds as it takes - up to 2 minutes. Because if I have as much time as I need - in 2 minutes (20 rolls) I should be able to roll at least one 20. So that mechanic is just there to speed up play - you are still taking as many tries as you need.
    You mention something about an armor vs weapons rule. It's been a long time since I did anything with 1e/2e - so I don't quite understand that area of your question. If you are looking at a mechanic that damages weapons and armor during combat - I think there are some optional rules in the 3.5 DMG, but I could be off.
    I think the 1e /UA Barbarian was cool - but then I was in 7th Grade. But now, I just don't think it fits with Greyhawk. The Stone Fist Barbarians maybe, but not a Barbarian from the Tiger or Wolf Nomad tribes. Maybe those from the Bone March - but other regions, I just don't think a UA Barbarian fits with Greyhawk. Same with the Cavalier - Maybe in regions like Keoland, Nyrond, Furyondy, and regions filled with Knights. However, the new Pathfinder free playtest Cavalier might satisfy that old aspect too.
    Plus in the long run, please remember that Jason Bulman, author of the Pathfinder rules is known as Iuz the Evil (on live journal and so many other things), Erik Mona [does my personal fan-boy for him show through], Lisa "Greyhawk Megababe" Stevens (she was the 1st Greyhawk Brand manager during 2e and AOL Board Days), Sean K. Reynolds (my dislike for him only relates to his work on Greyhawk, but only because he didn't do proper GH research in his modules and works), and so many others come from a Greyhawk background. This helps with the rules as well as their campaign setting (WoG 2.0).
    So I feel that Pathfinder really is the game to play if you want to keep Greyhawk current and with people that have built their reputations on Greyhawk. But I must say that I've never played 4e or even read the Greyhawk related 4e products.
    Be Well. Be Well Editioned.
    Theocrat Issak
    Theocrat Issak
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    Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:53 pm  

    about barbarians, i think theres at elast 2 kinds: the "conan" , a fantasy fighter, and the "dragonlance barbarian", like ice folk, plains folk and so on (more like "real world"...not that i think they are barbarians, but you got the point).

    the Tales of the Lance is a nice place to read about these barbarians
    Master Greytalker

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    Sun Dec 13, 2009 4:22 pm  

    I never really saw a definite need for the "splat kits" growing up the fighter filled both roles rather nicely.

    If the player wanted a sophicated urbanite or the conan-wilderness or the viking beserker each were members of the Fighter Class. The differences depended on the arms and equipment selected.

    However most important of all was the attitude adopted not the kit.
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:31 pm  

    To me the key is your own play philosophy - that will make all the difference regardless of which rules you use (edit - I'm still not too sure about 4e; it just doesn't "feel" right to me).

    Personally, I prefer 3.5e because it's easy to run and easy to teach to new players, and it's incredibly flexible - but only if you don't get all caught up in munchkinizing and min-maxing. The system has its flaws, but IME I've found they can all be dealt with quite easily.

    As for which system fits the "feel" of Greyhawk best with the least need for modification? - 1e, definitely. But I also think it's not too hard to recapture that feel with any other system, provided the DM knows how to make the needed adjustments.
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