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I was going through some of my gaming books the other day and rediscovered my copies of Fantasy Flight's Dragonstar setting. I always considered it a very inspired universe (pretty much D&D meets Star Wars) and always wanted to run it, but never got around to it due to the fact I never really enjoyed running 3.5 at all (I'm not going to make any anti-D&D comment here - just never thought it was a good match for a scifi setting).

 

I got to thinking, though... this would be a perfect way to use my D6 fantasy and Space books, if I could do it justice with a conversion. Has anyone worked on this, and if so how did it turn out?

 

Tyson

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I haven't tried, but I have all the Dragonstar stuff and I'd love to see a D6 version if you ever do it. D6 Space meets D6 Fantasy.

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Well, I've decided to start converting. Until I actually have a conversion document typed up, I'm going to be using this thread to post observations and talk my way through some options. Feedback is welcome and appreciated.

 

Things I'm pondering:

 

Character creation

Attributes: d6 Space style (18D) or Star Wars style (species min/max, 6D)? I'm leaning toward the latter, as I'm going to be detailing the various species anyway.

Skills: Thinking about treating specializations like a skill bonus (one skill die gives a +1 bonus to all activities relating to the area of specialization (similar to Trademark Specialization, but modified). A specialization in laser pistols wound give a +1 bonus to firearms when using a laser pistol, but would also apply to firearms repair (you know how to clean and reassemble your favorite weapon), streetwise (you know a source for black market pistols), bargain (your knowledge of laser pistols helps you pick out the best pistol for the best price), etc.

Funds vs. Credits: Haven't decided. I'm slightly in favor of the former, since I don't like bogging the game down with bookkeeping. My Torg games always operated by "Wal-mart" rules when I ran it - if you could have purchased it at Wal-mart between scenes for $20 or less, there was a chance you had it. Keeps the scene from grinding to a halt because nobody had a flashlight written down, but their characters knew it was going to be dark.

Advantages: This is a rough one. I'm really thinking of either not bothering or providing a very small list consisting primarily of my aforementioned specialization variant. Almost all of the social ones (Authority, Contacts, Patrons, Fame) should be campaign specific and dealt with through roleplaying, and the Special Abilities should be species-related and not optional.

Disadvantages: Since I'm unlikely to use Advantages as written, there's no real need to do a lot with Disadvantages. I tend to run action-oriented campaigns where physical handicaps really hinder gameplay, and social handicaps really should be roleplayed. I'm strongly considering just having players detail 2-3 negative character traits (greedy, stubborn, short-tempered, etc.) and tossing them extra character points for roleplaying them.

 

I'm also very likely to use the Drama Deck (using the Shatterzone d6 card rules). I've loved them since Torg first came out, and they do a good job of inspiring extra roleplaying and replacing the whole Advantage/Disadvantage thing. Social options are dealt with by cards like Connections or Nemesis. Skill Bonus by Idea, Action, or Breakthrough cards. Keep the action moving and the cards flowing and nobody cares that they weren't able to squeeze out another +2 bonus to firearms by being colorblind and suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.

 

More wandering thoughts to follow...

 

Tyson

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I've been thinking a lot about the Extranormal attribute. I'm strongly considering leaving miracles and psionic out of this conversion and having everything operate on a single attribute, Sorcery.

 

Wizards and sorcerers will be pretty much the same in this system. I'm going to use arcane knowledges from Bloodshadows d6, so it will encourage mages to specialize a little in the type of magic they use rather than having a huge junk drawer of spells that never get cast.

 

Clerics are still devoted to the Church (Unification or Dualist), but will have access to church-specific spells unavailable on the open market. Druids will be treated the same way, with special spells available from the Druidic Society. This additional access is offset by additional duties to their respective organizations.

 

The prime reason for this is simplicity. It's a lot easier to saddle players with only one mechanic and change the special effects than it is to make people (including myself) responsible for multiple systems.

 

If I were going to keep multiple systems, I'd have four: magic, miracles, psionics, and martial arts. I haven't completely rejected the notion yet, but at the moment I don't see the advantage in getting that detailed in a conversion that I may or may not ever get to run.

 

Tyson

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Another thought? Just how D&D do I want to be? What are the essential elements to Dragonstar, and do they need to be tied to D&D? Here are some of the things I think bear discussion:

 

Alignment: While one of the main themes is good vs. evil, I don't think it's necessary to strictly polarize creatures the way D&D does. I don't see any intelligent creature being evil "just because they are". Are orcs born aggressive and brutal, or is this behavior due to their upbringing? Emperor Mezzenbone is undeniably evil, but is this due solely to him being a red dragon (and therefore evil in D&D terms), or could he have been a benevolent leader with the right role models and influences in his life? I'm inclined to treat all matters of alignment as individual natures and personalities rather than base them on an inherent attribute of a species (extraplanar avatars of moral principles and demonic creatures excepted, of course).

 

Qesemet vs. Asamet: If not all chromatic dragons have to be evil, and not all metallics good, then what does that do to the Royal Houses and the Golden and Iron Kingdoms? I'm likely to stick to them as written. I think it's safe to say that the vast majority of blue dragons are raised to see nothing wrong with a cruelly stratified system of tyranny, and silvers to believe that it is their noble duty to look after the little people. That's not to say there can't be an honorable black dragon in House Deserene, or a brass dragon with a tarnished soul lurking the halls of House Esmer. But they are the exceptions, not the rule.

 

The Drow and halfbreeds: I've never liked the idea of subspecies and halfbreeds. I'm perfectly happy with a schismatic group of "dark elves" who have succumbed to demon worship and atypical elven cruelty. Do they have to be "drow" and gain a bunch of extra abilities to make them extra scary? Decades of D&D and Salvatore fans aside, I think not. Dark elves will remain a strong influence in Mezzenbone's empire, but they won't be "drow", and they won't all work for the emperor. Half-elves and half-orcs are also unnecessary. Since their torn-between-two-worlds angsty nature doesn't add anything to the setting, I'm dumping them in favor of their fullblooded relatives. Plus, it fits better with one of the main tenets of the setting: science defines the rules, magic breaks them. Science says two distinctly different species can't interbreed (I'm saving the mule/liger discussion for a different thread), so why can humans and orcs? If they can, and humans and elves can, then why can't elves and orcs? Call me burned by too many 3.5 template characters, but in my campaign it just doesn't happen. One magically created half-something to inspire a really good plotline? Sure. A whole subrace of them created through anthropomorphic bestiality? No thanks.

 

Half-dragons: After my above rant, it's probably clear what my position on half-dragons is. I can't see a species as arrogant and self-centered as dragonkind running around dallying with humanoids, monsters, and barnyard animals at the drop of a hat. Still, I like the idea of a humanoid elite, favored by dragons due to familiarity. I'm considering calling all half-dragons "drakes", and making them a special case. I'm thinking a percentage of dragon eggs hatch into a couple of drakes rather than a single dragon. This would be a gift of the gods when dragons were created to give them a sense of humility (a lesson they still haven't learned). Their status in the empire would remain the same - pampered offspring that have no chance of ascending to any real seat of power.

 

Soulmechs: Now, I really like the idea of soulmechs - another prime example of science vs. magic (we can't create artificial intelligence with technology, but we can magically bind a creature's soul to an android body). I've thought about using a modified set of droid character rules, but I'll probably go with just making a species template. If any of you Star Wars GM's would like to chime in with your droid character experiences, that might help me decide how to handle them.

 

Well, that's enough pondering/ranting for now. I look forward to any criticism or insights, especially before I start working on those sections of the conversion.

 

Tyson

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Since their torn-between-two-worlds angsty nature doesn't add anything to the setting, I'm dumping them in favor of their fullblooded relatives. Plus, it fits better with one of the main tenets of the setting: science defines the rules, magic breaks them. Science says two distinctly different species can't interbreed (I'm saving the mule/liger discussion for a different thread), so why can humans and orcs? If they can, and humans and elves can, then why can't elves and orcs? Call me burned by too many 3.5 template characters, but in my campaign it just doesn't happen. One magically created half-something to inspire a really good plotline? Sure. A whole subrace of them created through anthropomorphic bestiality? No thanks.

 

They aren't species. They are Races. Subtle distinction, but it is there. And our definitions of species is slightly off as creatures we've classified as separate species actually can interbreed. They are just geographically separated on this world (e.g. Lions and Tigers can create offspring). Why can't Elves and Orcs? Nothing says they can't or haven't. Just it is generally treated that half-orcs are half-human, but isn't required. Most of the anthropomorphic races are just the gods messing around (doesn't require the Minotaur bestiality idea from Greek Mythology).

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They aren't species. They are Races. Subtle distinction, but it is there. And our definitions of species is slightly off as creatures we've classified as separate species actually can interbreed. They are just geographically separated on this world (e.g. Lions and Tigers can create offspring). Why can't Elves and Orcs? Nothing says they can't or haven't. Just it is generally treated that half-orcs are half-human, but isn't required. Most of the anthropomorphic races are just the gods messing around (doesn't require the Minotaur bestiality idea from Greek Mythology).

 

You make a couple of good points, and I willingly concede our slippery definition of species. I'm happy to discuss this further in another thread. Keeping back on topic, when going through the time and effort to make a conversion, I'm debating what things are important enough to keep the flavor of the setting intact, and what ultimately don't contribute enough to the setting to make them worth retaining. At this moment I don't feel half-orcs, half-elves, etc. as a race/speciesare vital to the setting, and I'm not planning on converting them solely because they are a part of the D&D world. As I said before, I'm not running with the mule/liger debate in this thread. I'm willing to be convinced that they should stay, but only if they really do bring something to the world rather than appear simply because Tolkien had written about them and Gygax and Arneson ran with it.

 

Okay, even as I was writing this I started thinking more about the issue (or rather how much of a non-issue it is). Given the parameters of the setting, I can accept "because the gods let it happen" as a reason for their existence. Reading the source material more, I'm willing to focus on the universe being a more cosmopolitan, accepting place. But I'm still not allowing infernal aquatic feral half-dragon-half-orc let's-see-how-many-more-templates-we-can-stack-on characters. So there. :)

 

That matter settled, any thoughts on any of my other top-of-the-head ramblings?

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This is what I've been working on so far:

 

Chapter 1: Character Creation

 

Dragonstar D6 uses two primary methods of character creation: templates or defined limits. Those familiar with the D6 Space creation point system may use it with GM approval, but it will not be detailed here. If you choose to use a template, select one of the character templates provided and assign seven skill dice to the skills listed; attributes, character options, and equipment have already been done for you. Note that the listed skills are ones that your character might typically have, though you are welcome to choose others.

If you wish to create your own template from scratch, assign the following:

 

Species: Choose from one of the approved player species. While many others exist in the empire, these have been balanced for use as player characters.

 

Attributes: Every species lists a minimum and a maximum die for each attribute. Distribute 18 dice among these attributes, making sure to stay within the species minimums/maximums.

Note: the Sorcery attribute begins at 0D for most species, but has no maximum.

Dexterity: Physical agility, hand-eye coordination, and reflexes

Fitness: Physical power, health, and ability to resist damage

Knowledge: Overall book-learning and intelligence

Mechanical: Skill at operating mechanical equipment (vehicles, spacecraft, sensors)

Perception: Awareness, intuition, and skill at social interaction

Technical: Ability to manipulate, repair, and modify technology

Sorcery: Ability to understand and manipulate magic

 

Skills: Distribute seven dice among the skills. The maximum number of dice added to any one skill is 3D.

 

Move: Per species. Most species have a move of 10 meters per round. If using miniatures, halve this number to get the number of inches moved (10 m/rd = 5”/rd).

 

Strength Damage: Drop the pips from your character’s Fitness or strength score (including any modifiers that affect the die code), divide the die code by 2, and round up. This is the Strength Damage die code.

 

Funds: Funds measures how much wealth your character can usually get without too much trouble. All characters start with a base Funds die code of 3D.

 

Talents: Player characters are a cut above the average citizen. Choose one area your character excels in or received special training in, and select three skills related to that area. When using your Talent, you gain a +1 bonus to all skill checks where that Talent would apply. Examples:

Athletic: You gain a +1 bonus to climbing, jumping, and running checks.

Charismatic: You gain a +1 bonus to command, con, and persuasion checks.

Well-connected: You gain a +1 bonus to bureaucracy, business, and streetwise checks.

 

Traits: As much as they’d like to deny it, everyone has a couple of quirks that can cause trouble from time to time. Choose three traits that personify your character. Exceptional roleplaying of these traits can earn your character additional character points. If the scene involves skill checks, you may take a -1D penalty on your rolls to help simulate your trait. Sample traits are:

Arrogant: Your character’s pride or overconfidence typically gets him in over his head.

Phobic: You have a powerfully irrational fear of something others are not bothered by.

Shy: You have difficulty speaking up or relating to others in person.

 

Equipment: You should work with your GM to determine appropriate starting equipment. This typically includes 1-2 weapons, 2-3 useful items relating to your template or background, and 3-4 miscellaneous items of limited or specific use.

 

 

Talents and Traits are my version of background Advantages and Disadvantages. I want to encourage roleplaying and discourage cherry-picking during character creation, so I decided to effectively give everyone one Rank of Skill Bonus for free to reflect that there's something their character is a bit better at than normal. Traits are essentially quirks and hindrances, but rather than give skill dice up front I'm choosing to award their appearance in-game with character points.

 

Trait Example #1:

Kendric the Elven Scout has the "Stutterer" trait (which he just made up). He weaves it into his background as part of the reason he chose a career that keeps him away from people for long periods of time. During the session, he finds out some information that the other characters need to get from him in a hurry. If the player doesn't want to deal with it, he can just pass it along as normal. Instead, he decides to play out the "Cathcart Towers" interrogation scene from "A Fish Called Wanda". This makes me laugh hard enough that Dr. Pepper sprays everywhere, so I throw him a character point and make him go get me a towel. Later that session, he decides to try to seduce a merchant's secretary to gain access to the inner offices. He voluntarily takes a -1D penalty on all interaction rolls with her to represent his inability to speak clearly and general nervousness. Another character point comes flying his way.

 

Trait Example #2:

Lynna is an investigative reporter desperate for a story. On her first assignment she was trapped in a walk-in freezer by a snarling guardian hellhound. While she was eventually rescued, she now has "Claustrophobia" written in big bold letters on her character sheet. While pursuing a reluctant lead down an alley, he climbs down an open manhole into the sewers. Though it means losing her story, she decides she just can't do it. She gets a character point for playing out a logical but inconvenient response to her fear, and now has to find an alternate means of tracking down the information she needed. Later that night, she finds herself in an elevator with media sensation Krulla Navarre. She'd love to get a couple of good quotes regarding his most recent scandal, but it's hard to concentrate on a penetrating interview when the walls are closing in. Taking a deep breath (and a -1D penalty for the scene), she begins...

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Well, I've decided to start converting. Until I actually have a conversion document typed up, I'm going to be using this thread to post observations and talk my way through some options. Feedback is welcome and appreciated.

 

Just how D&D do I want to be? What are the essential elements to Dragonstar, and do they need to be tied to D&D? Here are some of the things I think bear discussion:

 

Alignment: While one of the main themes is good vs. evil, I don't think it's necessary to strictly polarize creatures the way D&D does. I don't see any intelligent creature being evil "just because they are". Are orcs born aggressive and brutal, or is this behavior due to their upbringing? Emperor Mezzenbone is undeniably evil, but is this due solely to him being a red dragon (and therefore evil in D&D terms), or could he have been a benevolent leader with the right role models and influences in his life? I'm inclined to treat all matters of alignment as individual natures and personalities rather than base them on an inherent attribute of a species (extraplanar avatars of moral principles and demonic creatures excepted, of course).

 

Qesemet vs. Asamet: If not all chromatic dragons have to be evil, and not all metallics good, then what does that do to the Royal Houses and the Golden and Iron Kingdoms? I'm likely to stick to them as written. I think it's safe to say that the vast majority of blue dragons are raised to see nothing wrong with a cruelly stratified system of tyranny, and silvers to believe that it is their noble duty to look after the little people. That's not to say there can't be an honorable black dragon in House Deserene, or a brass dragon with a tarnished soul lurking the halls of House Esmer. But they are the exceptions, not the rule.

 

The Drow and halfbreeds: I've never liked the idea of subspecies and halfbreeds. I'm perfectly happy with a schismatic group of "dark elves" who have succumbed to demon worship and atypical elven cruelty. Do they have to be "drow" and gain a bunch of extra abilities to make them extra scary? Decades of D&D and Salvatore fans aside, I think not. Dark elves will remain a strong influence in Mezzenbone's empire, but they won't be "drow", and they won't all work for the emperor. Half-elves and half-orcs are also unnecessary. Since their torn-between-two-worlds angsty nature doesn't add anything to the setting, I'm dumping them in favor of their fullblooded relatives. Plus, it fits better with one of the main tenets of the setting: science defines the rules, magic breaks them. Science says two distinctly different species can't interbreed (I'm saving the mule/liger discussion for a different thread), so why can humans and orcs? If they can, and humans and elves can, then why can't elves and orcs? Call me burned by too many 3.5 template characters, but in my campaign it just doesn't happen. One magically created half-something to inspire a really good plotline? Sure. A whole subrace of them created through anthropomorphic bestiality? No thanks.

 

Half-dragons: After my above rant, it's probably clear what my position on half-dragons is. I can't see a species as arrogant and self-centered as dragonkind running around dallying with humanoids, monsters, and barnyard animals at the drop of a hat. Still, I like the idea of a humanoid elite, favored by dragons due to familiarity. I'm considering calling all half-dragons "drakes", and making them a special case. I'm thinking a percentage of dragon eggs hatch into a couple of drakes rather than a single dragon. This would be a gift of the gods when dragons were created to give them a sense of humility (a lesson they still haven't learned). Their status in the empire would remain the same - pampered offspring that have no chance of ascending to any real seat of power.

 

Soulmechs: Now, I really like the idea of soulmechs - another prime example of science vs. magic (we can't create artificial intelligence with technology, but we can magically bind a creature's soul to an android body). I've thought about using a modified set of droid character rules, but I'll probably go with just making a species template. If any of you Star Wars GM's would like to chime in with your droid character experiences, that might help me decide how to handle them.

 

Well, that's enough pondering/ranting for now. I look forward to any criticism or insights, especially before I start working on those sections of the conversion.

 

Chapter 1: Character Creation

 

Dragonstar D6 uses two primary methods of character creation: templates or defined limits. Those familiar with the D6 Space creation point system may use it with GM approval, but it will not be detailed here. If you choose to use a template, select one of the character templates provided and assign seven skill dice to the skills listed; attributes, character options, and equipment have already been done for you. Note that the listed skills are ones that your character might typically have, though you are welcome to choose others.

If you wish to create your own template from scratch, assign the following:

 

Species: Choose from one of the approved player species. While many others exist in the empire, these have been balanced for use as player characters.

 

Attributes: Every species lists a minimum and a maximum die for each attribute. Distribute 18 dice among these attributes, making sure to stay within the species minimums/maximums.

Note: the Sorcery attribute begins at 0D for most species, but has no maximum.

Dexterity: Physical agility, hand-eye coordination, and reflexes

Fitness: Physical power, health, and ability to resist damage

Knowledge: Overall book-learning and intelligence

Mechanical: Skill at operating mechanical equipment (vehicles, spacecraft, sensors)

Perception: Awareness, intuition, and skill at social interaction

Technical: Ability to manipulate, repair, and modify technology

Sorcery: Ability to understand and manipulate magic

 

Skills: Distribute seven dice among the skills. The maximum number of dice added to any one skill is 3D.

 

Move: Per species. Most species have a move of 10 meters per round. If using miniatures, halve this number to get the number of inches moved (10 m/rd = 5”/rd).

 

Strength Damage: Drop the pips from your character’s Fitness or strength score (including any modifiers that affect the die code), divide the die code by 2, and round up. This is the Strength Damage die code.

 

Funds: Funds measures how much wealth your character can usually get without too much trouble. All characters start with a base Funds die code of 3D.

 

Talents: Player characters are a cut above the average citizen. Choose one area your character excels in or received special training in, and select three skills related to that area. When using your Talent, you gain a +1 bonus to all skill checks where that Talent would apply. Examples:

Athletic: You gain a +1 bonus to climbing, jumping, and running checks.

Charismatic: You gain a +1 bonus to command, con, and persuasion checks.

Well-connected: You gain a +1 bonus to bureaucracy, business, and streetwise checks.

 

Traits: As much as they’d like to deny it, everyone has a couple of quirks that can cause trouble from time to time. Choose three traits that personify your character. Exceptional roleplaying of these traits can earn your character additional character points. If the scene involves skill checks, you may take a -1D penalty on your rolls to help simulate your trait. Sample traits are:

Arrogant: Your character’s pride or overconfidence typically gets him in over his head.

Phobic: You have a powerfully irrational fear of something others are not bothered by.

Shy: You have difficulty speaking up or relating to others in person.

 

Equipment: You should work with your GM to determine appropriate starting equipment. This typically includes 1-2 weapons, 2-3 useful items relating to your template or background, and 3-4 miscellaneous items of limited or specific use.

 

 

Talents and Traits are my version of background Advantages and Disadvantages. I want to encourage roleplaying and discourage cherry-picking during character creation, so I decided to effectively give everyone one Rank of Skill Bonus for free to reflect that there's something their character is a bit better at than normal. Traits are essentially quirks and hindrances, but rather than give skill dice up front I'm choosing to award their appearance in-game with character points.

 

Trait Example #1:

Kendric the Elven Scout has the "Stutterer" trait (which he just made up). He weaves it into his background as part of the reason he chose a career that keeps him away from people for long periods of time. During the session, he finds out some information that the other characters need to get from him in a hurry. If the player doesn't want to deal with it, he can just pass it along as normal. Instead, he decides to play out the "Cathcart Towers" interrogation scene from "A Fish Called Wanda". This makes me laugh hard enough that Dr. Pepper sprays everywhere, so I throw him a character point and make him go get me a towel. Later that session, he decides to try to seduce a merchant's secretary to gain access to the inner offices. He voluntarily takes a -1D penalty on all interaction rolls with her to represent his inability to speak clearly and general nervousness. Another character point comes flying his way.

 

Trait Example #2:

Lynna is an investigative reporter desperate for a story. On her first assignment she was trapped in a walk-in freezer by a snarling guardian hellhound. While she was eventually rescued, she now has "Claustrophobia" written in big bold letters on her character sheet. While pursuing a reluctant lead down an alley, he climbs down an open manhole into the sewers. Though it means losing her story, she decides she just can't do it. She gets a character point for playing out a logical but inconvenient response to her fear, and now has to find an alternate means of tracking down the information she needed. Later that night, she finds herself in an elevator with media sensation Krulla Navarre. She'd love to get a couple of good quotes regarding his most recent scandal, but it's hard to concentrate on a penetrating interview when the walls are closing in. Taking a deep breath (and a -1D penalty for the scene), she begins...

 

Alignment: I agree that monster and race alignments should be thought of as just tendancies when descriping their dispositions, including for the dragon houses. Of course there can and should be exceptions. In Star Wars, the Aqualish species (walrus-men) tend to be violent and agressive, but there could still exist a rare Aqualish pacifist.

 

Half-dragons: These were a large part of the reason that I acquired Dragonstar. I love the idea of playing dragon-like humanoids so much that I am creating one for my Star Wars game. A further twist on lizard-folk races. With the game being named "Dragonstar" I think it is appropriate that the game at least have them, even if not allowed to be a PC race (see below). If not half-dragons, then some other humanoid dragon-like PC race would be very cool. That's one of the cool things that D&D 4E did with core species. Very appropriate for D&D.

 

The Drow and halfbreeds: I think there could possibly be Elf-Orc hybrids, but as far as the question of why there aren't any, isn't that because Elves and Orcs are racial enemies? If they tend to hate each other, it is extremely unlikely that they would ever mate with each other. Of course, along the same lines, why would anyone mate with Orcs, except other Orcs. :-)

 

As far as all the half-races and sub-races, I think they have a place in the Dragonstar universe since they have a place in D&D. But that doesn't mean they should all be allowed to be PCs. All the races can exist as NPCs, but I agree that you as the game designer/GM can decide which races are "approved" PC Races. If you dont think Drow or half-Orcs should be PCs, then leave them out. But I still think you should approve are create a new dragonlike humanoid species. :-)

 

Soulmechs: I think Soulmechs are kinda cool too. Like the later Warforged in Eberron. I don't allow strait droids as PCs in my Star Wars game, but I really like the idea of a species called Shards. They are basicly sentient crystals that communicate through electromagnetic auras. They can't move on their own but they can be placed into specially-prepared droid bodies which they can take control of. I haven't approved/treaked/created rules for this yet because the race will be discovered in my next campaign and they won't be allowed as PCs until then.

 

Species: All that being said, you should list the "approved" PC races for Dragonstar D6. The Galactic Races supplement adds a lot of races playable as PCs for the Dragonstar d20 game, so it would help to have your definitive list at this point, even if later changes.

 

Attributes: Good choice of attributes, and I really like your simplification of types of magic in D&D into one extranormal attribute, sorcery. I like the attribute ranges for each species. So player characters can either choose a 18D template (making sure all attributes fall within the min/max ranges for the species and treaking accordingly) or allocating the 18D amongst the 7 attributes.

 

Talents and Traits: Your Traits and Talents system is simply, and should work. If players have to choose a talent, then I would suggest adding more than 3 options to choose from. It wouldprobably be good to add more Traits too.

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Half-dragons: These were a large part of the reason that I acquired Dragonstar. I love the idea of playing dragon-like humanoids so much that I am creating one for my Star Wars game. A further twist on lizard-folk races. With the game being named "Dragonstar" I think it is appropriate that the game at least have them, even if not allowed to be a PC race (see below). If not half-dragons, then some other humanoid dragon-like PC race would be very cool. That's one of the cool things that D&D 4E did with core species. Very appropriate for D&D.

 

Half-Dragons will most definitely be a part of the conversion. As I said, I just never cared for the idea that a species as powerful and arrogant as dragonkind would regularly mate with (in the standard D&D universe) just about everything except for undead and oozes. Again, a rare exception is an interesting story - literally hundreds of thousands of half-dragons as written running around strains my suspension of disbelief (and that's saying a lot).

 

In Dragonstar D6, a percentage of dragon eggs will hatch 2-3 drakes rather than a dragon wyrmling. These drakes are basically humanoid dragons, both doted on and pitied by their draconic parents. They form a useful bridge between the dragon elite and a universe that is primarily not built to their scale, allowing them to relate better to the "little people" that are their subjects. While their lifespan may be long compared to a human, they lack their dragon parent's lifespan measured in millenia, and are likely to be spoiled rotten by their parent out of guilt and pity. Ironically, the drakes of Asamet are more likely to be self-sufficient and receive useful training, as they are seen as valuable assets to be used rather than babied and spoiled.

 

I'm not quite certain what I will do to balance a pc drake, as their breath weapon and social advantages are powerful assets. They are one of the few species I would consider a skill die cost to play. The package below is completely off the top of my head, as I do not have my books handy - feel free to toss up an alternate version for discussion.

 

Drake

 

Package Cost: 3 Skill Dice

 

Dexterity: 2D/4D

Fitness: 3D/5D

Knowledge: 2D+2/4D+2

Mechanical: 1D+1/3D+1

Perception: 2D+2/4D+2

Technical: 1D+1/3D+1

Sorcery: 0D/ --

 

Move: 10 (5")

 

Night Vision: Drakes can see clearly in low-light conditions, and suffer no penalties for lighting provided there is some light present.

Breath Weapon: Like their draconic parents, drakes possess a powerful breath weapon. This takes the form of a 20m (10") line or 10m (5") cone of energy (fire, frost, acid, poison, steam, etc.), dependent on the drake's heritage, which does 6D damage to all within its area of effect. Continued use of the breath weapon is exhausting - if the breath weapon is used again without at least an hour between uses, the drake is Stunned (-1D to all actions) until able to rest for an hour. This penalty increases by -1D for each additional use until the drake rests.

Nobility: In the dracocentric universe of Dragonstar, draconic heritage is enough to grant instant nobility. Wherever a drake goes, he is treated as a member of the aristocracy, with all of the privileges and responsibilities that entails.

 

Common Traits:

Spoiled: You are used to getting your own way, and having the finest things in life handed to you on a mithril platter.

Ivory Tower: You have never had to make it in the world of the "little people" until now, and have trouble relating to commoners.

Noblesse Oblige: You feel obligated to help those who you perceive to be unable to properly help themselves, regardless of their desire for your assistance.

Black Sheep: You have done something to alienate you from your peers. While still a member of the aristocracy, you are rarely afforded any respect from them, and receive no assistance from your House or family.

 

I'm sure this package still needs work, but it's a start. It's a 13D template, so I'm not positive I've charged enough for it. I consider the breath weapon to balance out to a net zero cost, as it is probably a one use attack that rapidly debilitates if abused (I'd probably apply the -1D to the damage as well). It can't be focused or tuned, so it will rarely be useful outside of combat (no aciding your way through a locked door without it spraying everywhere). The nobility idea may need some work, but with their background drakes are by birth members of the aristocracy, so I felt that should be an inherent part of the package.

 

Thoughts?

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Talents and Traits: Your Traits and Talents system is simply, and should work. If players have to choose a talent, then I would suggest adding more than 3 options to choose from. It wouldprobably be good to add more Traits too.

 

That was in fact a sample list just to give an idea of how the Talent system works. It's essentially one free rank of Skill Bonus every character receives for a well-thought out character and to compensate for the fact that I'm not using standard Advantages and Disadvantages to help define their character. I'm planning on writing up some more, but I fully expect players to create their own Talents that fit with their character's background or training (with GM approval, of course).

 

I'm going to write up more Traits as well, and intend to include 3-4 "stereotype" Traits with each species package to show the roleplaying "tone" of the species. We'll still have gruff dwarves, nature-loving elves, curious gnomes, and food-obsessed halflings - and now they have the chance to earn character points for playing these Traits (so long as they actually hinder the character in some way). Remember, to earn the CP they have to handicap themselves for the scene, either through roleplaying or voluntarily taking a -1D penalty to all actions that would reasonably be affected for the duration of the scene.

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Cool.

 

Half-Dragons...Drakes

 

I understood from your previous posts that you didn't like the idea of Dragons mating with humanoid races and having dragon-hybrids. I think that Dragons, being hypersapient beings, cannot be completely understood by humans, so their mating practices are beyond our comprehension. And even with the space opera element, it's still fantasy. But whatever. I'm not trying to convince you or anything. I think that Dragons mating with humans is more realistic than Elves mating with Orcs, anyway. :)

 

I also understood from your previous posts that "Drakes" replaced half-dragons in the social structure of the Dragonstar Empire, but I did not understand from your previous posts that your replacement, Drakes, were humanoids that could be played by players. I thought that drakes were a previously existing dragon-like (dragon-form) monsters in D&D.

 

I don't think it matters much how the dragon-like humanoid race comes into being (dragon cross-breeding or your method of occasional "birth defects"). Your idea is as good as any. If it works better for you, then great.

 

Thanks for your clarification and for putting in dragon-humanoid PCs!

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Honestly those stats could just as easily be used for half-dragons in any setting. Even if I decide to stick with the half-dragon origin, I'll likely use a variation of such (drakes could just as easily be a slang term for them, after all).

 

The important thing overall is consistency - the problem I've had in D&D with hybrids is mechanical for the most part, and my biology rant is based in part on that knee-jerk reaction to having to deal with the various half- templates. If I keep the origin, half-dragon/drakes will still all have one set of stats rather than be a dwarf/elf/etc. with some extra draconic features. By fiat if nothing else, the humanoid dragon form will be the default, rather than draconic-looking gnomes and minotaurs. If other unions do occur, they just won't bear fruit (at least not any that can be statted as a pc.)

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Your rare drakes in the egg batch thing is really fine. Of course if you want to be biologically technical, how would that ever happen? A long time ago a dragon mated with a humanoid and all surviving dragons pass those genes down thus the few drakes in an every so many eggs? Was it magical curse on dragons that causes it?

 

But as far as all the the wide variety of dragon hybrids, I thought the dragon half was dominant anyway so would a dragon-elf be any different than a dragon-human? If your real resistance is game mechanics being simple and not so complicated, you could rule they all hybrid options use the same game mechanics, and rule out the non-humanoid combinations like dragon-centaur (at least as PCs).

 

Just saying. But the game has to first work for the creator or it probably won't turn out very good for everyone else. I think you came up with a good enough solution and kept dragon-people in the game, so that's cool. If that's simpler and works for you, run with it.

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