Posted on : 25-01-2011 | By : Brian | In : D&D, Gamma World, House Rules
Tags: dnd, DnDLite, GammaWorld, rpg
When Essentials was being marketed to us, it was marketed as a faster, easier version of D&D (for the most part). To some extent this is true; making an Essentials character is easier than in standard D&D, due primarily to the limited set of options compared to the vast array of abilities available in standard D&D. Some classes, also, are easier to run because they are simpler versions of the standard D&D versions.
That said, some people I game with thought it would be a different beast, not so similar to the D&D they already knew. Once those people started playing Gamma World with me, they told me that they thought it would be nice if Essentials had been more like Gamma World: fast, mostly random character generation, simplified rules, quick(ish) combats. It got me thinking: what if someone were to create a version of D&D based on Gamma World, using its rules where possible and adding things from D&D when necessary. This “D&D Lite” would be a quick-starting, simple, lean version of D&D, ideal for pickup games and one-shots.
Mechanically, there are some things I’m going to assume about D&D Lite. In general, the rules will follow those of Gamma World. There is a simplified set of conditions and keywords, there are no feats, character generation can be mostly random, if that is preferred, though selection of race and class are not out of the question.
Magic items will play somewhat less of a role in D&D Lite. I envision them being more similar to Omega Tech cards, acting as limited-use encounter powers more than magic items proper. As in Gamma World, one’s level will be added to just about everything, to compensate for the lack of magic item bonuses.
Alpha mutations are a key component of Gamma World, but such a mechanic does not fit into D&D Lite. Instead, class- or race-based encounter powers will be introduced as players level up.
There will be a very limited set of races and classes; these will take the place of origins in Gamma World. I’m thinking eight of each, so that a d8 can be rolled for random generation, with the player choosing whether race or class is primary. For races, I’m thinking: human, elf, dwarf, halfling, half-elf, tiefling, dragonborn, and eladrin. For classes: fighter, rogue, cleric, wizard, paladin, warlock, druid, and bard. Each origin will have one novice power, one utility power, one expert power, and a handful of journeyman powers. Journeyman powers will allow for some variation between characters of the same race or class, and will take the place of Alpha mutations. There will likely be three journeyman powers per origin, and any time a player gets access to a new journeyman power, that player will get to choose one of the remaining powers from either origin.
As in Gamma World, the level cap is at 10; however, I’m thinking that players will use the D&D experience point chart rather than the quicker Gamma World chart.
Next Up: A race origin and a class origin!