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As various versions of OpenD6 come out we see a variety of levels of detail presented. Some have more detail on stats and some have less detail on stats. Some have greater detail in the rules, with more options or more rules to account for certain things. Some have less rules and keept things extremely trim, with few options to muddle the rules.

 

My question for all of you gamers and gamemasters out there is: How much detail do you want in your D6 game?

 

Let me give a couple of examples so people know what I'm talking about.

 

For a stat of something, a less detailed version might be:

Pistol

Range: 5 / 10 / 15

Damage: 2D

 

A more detailed version might be:

M9 Beretta

Type: Semi Automatic Pistol

Ammunition: 9mm

Capacity: 12 rounds

Range: 5 / 10 / 15

Damage: 2D

 

Even greater detail might be:

M9 Beretta

Type: Semi-Automatic Pistol

Weight: 1 kg

Skill: Pistols

Tech level: 8

Scale: 0

Damage Type: Ballistic

Ammunition: 9mmP

Capacity: 12 round box magazine

Recoil: 1

Range: 5 / 10 / 15

Damage: 2D

 

 

So there you have three versions of detail. The first gives you everything you'd need to run a basic game with the weapon. The second gives a you bit more detail about the weapon. The detail differentiates between it and another type of pistol. It also includes details on the amount of times the weapon can fire if you wanted to include that in your game. The third version gives you a whole lot of detail. The weight of the weapon, the skill used, the scale of the eapon, the specific ammunition used, and what effect there is if you fire more than 1 shot in a round with this weapon.

 

In all cases, it's the exact same weapon. It runs the same no matter which version of detail you use or how many additional rules you decide to use (ammunition expenditure, scale, recoil, technology, damage effects, etc.)

 

So do you think the first, the second, or the third is better, or more preferrable? Is it better to have the additional information and not need it? Or is it worse to not have the information if you decide that you do need it in your game?

 

 

Now let's take character generation as an example:

You could say "Choose a template and assign 7D to skills" and be done with it for the most basic level of character generation.

 

Or you could have a system where you are given a certain number of attribute dice and a certain number of skill dice to allocate to your attributes and skills as you see fit. That's a slightly more detailed version.

 

Or you could have a system where you are given a number of points that are used to purchase attribute dice, skill dice, advantages, and disadvantages. Each different one costs a differing number of points, but it's up to you how to spend all of your points. It has a much finer control over every aspect of the character. This is the even greater detailed version of character generation.

 

Or you could have something altogether different, something using a life-path sort of character creation, where the various stages of life development grant certain skills to the character. The choices of creating the character are more varied, but not as fine of control as the methods. You get options where to put skill dice, but the options are dependent on the life path your character ends up on. This is a different version of a potentially greater detailed version.

 

So which one do you all think is better to have in a D6 game? Keep it simple? Go with more detail? Is it dependent on the setting? Is this different than the stats in that you can't simply ignore the rules you don't use because this is such an integral part of making a character?

 

What do you all think? What level of detail in D6 games is adequate, what level is superior, and which level is preferred by you?

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Well, my preferences run along the lines of Better to have something, and not needing it, than needing it and not to have it available ;)

The extra detail (no only rule-stats, but extra info too) is just something than those not needing them can ignore, but some people will find useful. For equipment, I consider it necessary the extra detail, since not many people knows what a pistol looks like, how big and heavy a 1960's walkie-talkie is, or how many doors a particular car has. And pictures help, too.

The gaming group doesn't nedd tha much detail? Just ignore it. Someone likes to know everything that can give their character an edge? Give it to them.

 

As for rules, I detailed some extra skills and specializations, and supplied some situations in which a roll may not be necessary to succeed (language and information skills, mostly). In the version of the rules I'm cobbling together for handing to my players (playtesting a couple things, and letting people at conventions know OpenD6 exists), I included in big red letters the word OPTIONAL behind every part that is not necessary for them to learn, because maybe are not included in the game in question, or I use wounds instead of body points, etc. (and, even so, some complain there are many rules).

 

Since D6 has a simple core system, and character creation is fast with the templates (the detailed method is already there, but many will not use it often), I will leave that part as is. But certainly an extra-detailed character creation is something that can give much "flavour" to certain settings.

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In a setting unspecific game the less detailed verion is fine. It's kind of a generic pistol.

 

Pistol

Range: 5 / 10 / 15

Damage: 2D

 

In a modern real world setting game then I want greater detail.

 

M9 Beretta

Type: Semi-Automatic Pistol

Weight: 1 kg

Skill: Pistols

Tech level: 8

Scale: 0

Damage Type: Ballistic

Ammunition: 9mmP

Capacity: 12 round box magazine

Recoil: 1

Range: 5 / 10 / 15

Damage: 2D

In a supplement on Equipment or Weapons I want greater detail on all the items.

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So, Bren are you saying that in a "core book" type of product, you'd want the least detailed version? Basically the detailed version would only go in setting books?

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If the core book is setting unspecific (think GURPS) then I don't want a named and detailed gun (because that is setting specific) - I want a generic gun or guns. Maybe a single shot black powder, a revolver, and a semi-auto. If the core book is setting specific (think Star Wars D6) then a small number of detailed guns, say one of each type: holdout, sporting, regular, and heavy blaster pistols is fine.

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I'm doing something of a mash-up for my game. I present weapons in the least detailed version, but then add a special ability to each so as to better differentiate between them.

 

For instance:

 

Knife

Damage: PHY/2 + 1D

Special: +1D to Stealth rolls for concealing the weapon. +1D to the first attack roll in a combat scene when drawing a concealed knife and attacking with it in the same round.

 

Two-Handed Axe

Damage: PHY/2 + 3D

Special: -1D to defense rolls when using this weapon to parry.

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Lately, I decided to do my own setting for a D6 Fantasy game and wanted to chime in the skills/templates issue.

 

The free-form Template is good for quick and easy characters in a game with high lethality. If your character bites the dust, sure it sucks, but you can whip up a new one in a few minutes. You can make the Jack-of-Every-Trade that is totally defined by what skills he chooses.

 

On the other hand, a sort of composite Template/Life Path/Advanced Path model could offer a more varied approach. It would allow for Special Abilities that are linked only to that life-path (making a defacto Class). It would represent Professional Training of a sort (thereby restricting some Skills to only those with that Profession, such as Blacksmithing as happened in our history). You could, with Character Points (say, 20 after Character Creation) buy Professional Training which would allow you access to those Special Abilities linked to that Path and/or Advanced Path. Throw in a limit on just how many Path/Advanced Path's you can realistically learn new stuff for at any given time (say 2 paths per Chapter of 10 Adventures). You can still make the basic Vagabond Jack-of-Every-Trade that has few Special Abilities and thrives simply on those skills not restricted to certain Paths.

 

Or not....:P

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