Extraneous Voices of Picayune > Tomes and Illusions

Starter Roleplaying books. What to get!?

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Chaosmark:

--- Quote from: valadaar on January 30, 2013, 07:31:18 AM ---As for GURPS, its a good system, but it predates 3.5 edition significantly (1986) and if I remember correctly has a completely different rule system :)  Pathfinder seems to be the best match for 3.5 D&D as it is essentially a 'fork' of the 3.5 stream.

--- End quote ---

Whoops! I was totally thinking of Pathfinder. Somehow I substituted GURPS instead. Ker-derp.

Shadoweagle:
A lot of info to consider, and it seems that its largely based on personal choice. I'm thinking maybe 3.5 dnd or something to start on. I just want to browse through a book to get a general guide as to what gming a game will entail. For the forum game itself, I'll probably bodgy up my own system, simplified for ease of play and quicker levelling.

Chaosmark:
Truthfully, I think you'll get a more useful idea of what GMing entails by reading MoonHunter's articles on the topic than by reading what Wizards of the Coast publishes for DMs.

3.5 is probably the common-denominator that just about everyone has at least seen and would recognize. It's a common ground for getting into rulesets and, imo, seeing just exactly how ridiculous you can get if you try to make a rule for every little situation while also trying to model reality. You probably can't go wrong at least picking up the Player's Handbook and the GameMaster's Handbook.

MysticMoon:
I don't play either of these, but you might take a gander at Savage Worlds and/or Cortex. They are relatively rules-light (compared with the monstrosities that are D&D and Pathfinder) but still manage to hit all the basics. Savage Worlds has become quite popular and there is a lot of supplementary material available for it. The basic rulebook is an easy read and the system itself is nicely coherent.

I would recommend staying away from D&D and PF if you don't have a group who can introduce you to those systems. Digesting all of the rules is much simpler if you have a chance to see it in action.

My personal preference is for the OpenD6 world. The original D6 system(s) were opened up via OGL several years ago so there are a number of variations. The generic OpenD6 provides more of a toolkit, so it seems to draw the type of GMs who like to tweak things. I use a highly stripped down version called MiniSix because I'm more a fan of the story than the rules. I can throw characters or a game together with almost no warning and in very little time. It gives me quite a bit of freedom to do whatever the hell I want as GM. There is a semi-active forum for OpenD6 at http://www.d6online.com/forum/forum.php.

If you want some good ol' fashioned D&D-ish fun without the decades of crustiness, there are systems like Swords & Wizardry and OSRIC which try to bring back the less complicated old school goodness. Also the tongue-in-cheek Mazes & Minotaurs.

MysticMoon:

--- Quote from: Chaosmark on January 30, 2013, 06:18:18 AM ---Finding a 1st edition D&D manual is rather impressive nowadays. From my understanding, those rulebooks are rare as hens teeth.

--- End quote ---

You might be surprised. I've picked up a number of nostalgia-inducing 1st ed AD&D books from Amazon for very reasonable prices. Occasionally you'll see something weird, like $250 for Gamma World, but that's the rarity (pardon the pun) rather than the rule.

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