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Grimace

OpenD6 Core Book: containing what?

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Talk about various options for things and people's different ideas for what works in their games and what is desired in their games brought about this question.

 

If an OpenD6 Core Book was to be released, would you like to see one cut/dried set of rules?

Or would you like to see a set of rules with a variety of options to choose from to fashion your own version of a D6 game?

 

The reason I ask is due to the fact that some books, such as "The D6 System" (also known as the D6 Cookbook), generally got a bad rap from many fans because it didn't pick a color, so to speak. It offered option after option and it expected GMs to fashion their own D6 system based on the various choices offered. So the curiosity of mine wonders if that is something people would want or if they'd want there to be one set of rules with no choice to vary amongst those rules. So one set of attributes, one set of scales, one set of damage, one set of character generation, etc.

 

Or would people rather have a variety of options to choose from for their game if it all worked together? For example, having a dice roll and a static value variant like what is offered in Mini Six, or character generation with point build and template construction...variables like that.

 

What do you guys have for a preference?

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I think the best of both worlds could address all critisms. As a GM, personally I love options after options for building and fine-tuning game systems, but in the past few years it has been pointed out to me that there are a lot of potential GMs out there that want decisions made for them and just want to jump right into an established game system and begin playing. So a core book with one basic universal system and then also countless options after options could make everyone happy. Maybe even put all the options into Part 2 of the book to not muddle the base system for all the "plug-in and go" GMs.

 

Of course the problem then becomes what exactly would the base system be. As past threads have shown, most GMs here have very diverse ideas for a universal system. The fewer GMs that design the "core" system, the greater the chance that a successful consensus can be reached between the authors. But the fewer authors involved, the lesser the chance that the product would be supported by and even acceptable to a majority of D6 GMs. It seems like a fine line.

Edited by Whill

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I think WEG kind of answered that question pretty well back in the day. I look as the assorted D6 System Books as a Developer Kit. The individual settings got their own core book tweaked by the developer to work for that setting. So a Universal Core Book would pretty much have to be the option heaven that is Open D6, a specific setting book should generally be a book of limitations on that option mania.

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I think it had to do with marketing and player expectations. When most folks hear "Core Book" they are thinking "definitive set of rules for a game (usually with a default setting)" and expect later guides/companion books/supplements to offer options to the base system or alternative settings.

 

If you look at some of the other successful games published: World of Darkness, Cortex, DnD, d20, Savage Worlds, etc. The have a definitive core set of rules and things branch off from there. With D6 we have three separate genre toolkits with a clunky translation between the three (the attribute-skill conversion page). And the only setting ever released by WEG was Fires of Amatsumara.

 

While I, too, enjoy the toolkit nature of D6 and the multitude of options, I know that I am in the minority. I also have decades (scary) of experience using the system. OpenD6 is probably not a "new GM-friendly" system. (MiniSix is probably better as a new GM starter kit.)

 

As for what would I want in a Core book, just look at the successes of the past... the Star Wars D6 Corebook is a great example. Definitive set of rules with just a few options here and there along with a setting that fits the style of the ruleset perfectly. Also, evocative artwork REALLY helps sell a game. (Look at the artwork of the D6 Core books with a critical eye and you don't really have to wonder why they didn't win over gamers very well.)

 

To end on a positive note, I think D6 is definitely still a viable game system. It needs to be married to a flagship (iconic?) setting with solid artwork/art design and a definitve "flavor" of the rules. Once that takes hold, a publisher could start releasing rules supplements, variants, companion books to present all the options us die-hards know and love.

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Good points all, Rerun.

 

I haven't looked at it in a while, but wasn't Bloodshadows D6 based on D6 Adventure? That would make two settings for Purgatory D6.

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There's been some interesting ideas and suggestions given so far on the core book components. Does anyone else have an opinion on it?

 

For those that have answered so far, what would you think of the following idea (borrowing from the suggestion from Whill)?

 

An OpenD6 core book with a base system provided. One that says "this is how it is". Then have a section later in the book that says "If you want to change things to the base, these are some of the aspects you can change and here are some alternatives you can change them to."

 

The issue is, if you do one way or another, you're going to be leaving people out of the interest loop. D6 is a variety of methods now. It's something we have to live with. So do we tell people they can only have one way of using D6 and if they don't like it find another version? Or do we tell them that here is a suggested baseline and if they want to change things, here are some of the ways you can change it to fit your tastes?

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...So do we tell people they can only have one way of using D6 and if they don't like it find another version? Or do we tell them that here is a suggested baseline and if they want to change things, here are some of the ways you can change it to fit your tastes?

 

The key is that you're trying to sell the system and the message matters. Giving ultimatums is not the way to go. :)

 

The following might be a better way to word it: "The OpenD6 Corebook is the official baseline version of OpenD6, all options and variations are derived from it." It presents the Corebook as a solid foundation from which to build without saying "take it or leave it." It may be a bit of a fib that the corebook is "official" but some sacrifices must be made in the hopes that more gamers will embrace the system.

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I like the idea of having a single set of rules as a baseline, with all of the optional fiddly bits tossed in.

 

My suggestion for the baseline rules would be to determine which set of the rules is most widely known, and for that, I'd say it would have to be the Star Wars D6 version. Whenever people talk about D6, the discussions always fall back on Star Wars. So, why not use those, or at the very least D6 Space, as the baseline?

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As a GM, Star Wars is certainly my personal baseline D6 system, but one argument against that being a general Open D6 baseline is the attribute set. Technical is not appropriate for game settings with a technology-level less than late 20th century. Mechanical is not appropriate for a pre-19th century technology setting. And a lot of GMs don't like physical awareness skills and social awareness (interaction) skills being lumped together under one Perception attiribute.

 

Of course this one aspect of a baselines ruleset highlights a previous statement of mine above. A "universal" attribute set alone is something that has been hotly debated in this community of GMs, so it would be a struggle to come to some sort of consensus. Not trying to be a negative neddy, just sayin'.

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Yeah, I realize there's going to be debate over which attributes to use. 4 of them? 6 of them? More? Even break between physical and mental? Breaks between types of nimbleness (Reflexes/Agility)? Breaks between physical prowess (Strength/Constitution)?

 

All of those are something that a person creating a Core Rulebook would have to consider. Really, though, it would boil down to making a decision and sticking to it. That goes back to what I was saying about listing all the options or putting it to people as "this is how it is". Do you say you can use attribute styles of A and B and C and D and E and F, or do you simply say that the attributes are THIS style only? That's something the creator of the book must decide. Each one has plusses and minuses to them.

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My suggestion was to go with familiarity. Most folks associate the D6 System with Star Wars D6, so going with the D6 Space attributes list would keep the familiarity factor in place. Perhaps it would be implying that this set of attributes is the "official" set, but by placing the optional attribute sets alongside the main would let folks know that they can use the one of their choice.

 

Like Grimace said, you have to make a choice and stick to it. If there's going to be a book, a physical book, that you can point folks to and say "there's OpenD6," you have to start somewhere. If the attributes are the major stumbling block to getting the ball rolling, choose one, work around it, and move on.

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The problem is, associating D6 with Star Wars is what we, old-timers, do. Younger generations sometimes don't even know there was a D6 Star Wars way before D20 or SAGA. Sad, but I have seen too many cases (online and at tables) to ignore it.

 

As for a baseline D6, I would go with the Adventure set of attributes and skills, and attach some pulp or modern setting.

And the rest of options, added on a separate chapter, with some (the most "extreme" or different) reserved for a separate book.

 

But the danger of this is to end up with three core books again :-P

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Okay, for what it may be worth, here's an informal "poll" I did over at RPG.net on the subject of familiarity with the terms D6, D6 System, and OpenD6. I found that the majority of folks associated those terms with Star Wars, even if they hadn't played the game, or even used the system. A few posters even mentioned their distaste for the three separate core books, and even a couple more didn't care for the D6 System core book from 1996. Of course, Mini Six got some love in that thread too.

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Okay, for what it may be worth, here's an informal "poll" I did over at RPG.net on the subject of familiarity with the terms D6, D6 System, and OpenD6. I found that the majority of folks associated those terms with Star Wars, even if they hadn't played the game, or even used the system. A few posters even mentioned their distaste for the three separate core books, and even a couple more didn't care for the D6 System core book from 1996. Of course, Mini Six got some love in that thread too.
Might be worth looking at the age poll on RPGnet. IIR, it's not a particularly young group which may account in part for the high association of D6 with Star Wars.

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The average user age on this board is not that low either. Most of us are old enough to have played Star Wars D6 between 87-98 (and did play it). And let's face it, WEG Star Wars is D6's claim to fame. There will always be an association between the two.

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There certainly is an association between the two. I wonder if there always should be, though, or whether there should be a new focus for those not familiar with that association?

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