Monday, December 14, 2009

D20 and Re-Thinking My Feelings

"D20, its not bad, but its not good. I just don't like it." That was my usual mantra to people who ask me what my opinion on D20 and DnD 3.x was. But recently I have been asked to run Rifts using Mutants and Masterminds as the system. This has caused me to take the time to reflect back on my experiences with d20 and using hindsight try to figure what my true feelings really are on D20.

I have ran several games using the D20 rules in some form, most in DnD 3.0 or 3.5. Nine times out of ten it was because the players wanted it and not me. I've ran Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Greyhawk, Warlords of the Accordlands, Star Wars, D20 Modern, and I am sure several other instances of d20 I am not recalling right away. Each time I have ran one of these games, the players have enjoyed it and the game has for the most part went swimmingly. The few times things went not so well, system-wise, is when I messed around with the rules too much on my own. For the most part the rules are easy to learn and to be honest I had a decent chunk of them memorized by the end of the first time I played a d20 game. Its easy to find players for, and even new players often learn the rules quickly.

So why do I say that I don't like the D20 system? Well the answer is, I have no freakin idea! And to be honest it really bothers me that I have had these feeling for a game without really having a conscious reason to back it up. Its obviously never been enough to stop me from running it, but its been enough to make me complain and lessen my own enjoyment of it for no good reason. Hopefully my hollow belly-aching has not killed others enjoyment of it.

I can't think of a single game, or session really, of d20 that has not been enjoyable for me. I actually find myself looking back and getting waves of nostalgia! Wait a minute.....what can this be true? It is, and fourth edition has barely been out for a couple of years.

So it has come to me now that I in fact really like d20. I have cleared my mind and logically drove away my irrational hate and found a new friend and option in my hobby. I believe I am now more "into" d20 than I have ever been. I now understand why so many are happy with Pathfinder. Whereas before i had the mentality of, its just paying for the same thing, I now see it as hope. Hope that an edition many enjoy will not die, at least anytime soon. I would have killed for this when 2nd edition was dropped, and I am now happy to see it for 3.x.

So getting over my own mental roadblock, I am now re-reading Mutants and Masterminds in an attempt to prepare for the possible Rifts game. I am finding it to actually be a tremendously nice rules set, and already I can see how easy it is going to be to run Rifts with it and a Rifts-MM conversion document I found online. There is a possibility that within the next few days my group and I will be making PCs for this game. I am truly looking forward to it, so as to see if it raises any questions, issues or exciting prospects for Rifts to be ran with M&M. This should be fun!

So in conclusion, I am sorry D20 for not giving you your credit where due. I apologize to any GM or players out there that I may have lessened your fun with my humdrum attitude. I plan to try to make it up to myself and the greater cloud of PnP RPG spirit, by running an awesome game with my newfound mentality.

PS: There are some awesomely low prices on d20 stuff on Maybe right now is an awesome time for this newfound vigor for the system. :)