Jamfke

Is OpenD6 dead?

25 posts in this topic

I want some honesty here.

 

I've seen several projects put forward by several individuals/companies over the last few years that have gotten some, little, or no positive feedback whatsoever. You mention D6 on most other boards, and the majority of the answers you get are "never seen it before," or "it's a dead/tired system used for Star Wars back in the day." I don't want to see the system whither away.

 

Can we put some steam back into the engine somehow? Put something together that would bring more interest to the system? Any suggestions?

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OpenD6 is definitely a sleeping system. It may gather some steam in the future, but it would take a dedicated team with a dedicated setting that captures the imagination of gamers to do so. Right now my group is is playing with the system, and they love it. They used to be D20 fans starting out, but none of them would go back to D20 given the choice to play D6.

 

It has the chops, it just needs a setting to display them in. A setting that is being expanded and actively supported, and that captures the imagination.

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Setting, setting, setting. Specifically a fantasy setting that grabs people and receives support. Not six months after release, not a year after, but immediately. Weekly blog entries, monthly adventures, a vibrant and constantly updated setting. Also perhaps it needs to be D6 Legend, which is a much quicker system in my mind. Count successes or add dice? Really the biggest problem is the lack of continuity or support for products released.

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Starting with a fantasy setting might be too big a first step. At that point you are competing directly against D&D and Pathfinder. I think going back to its first real popular product, space opera setting, might be a good first step. Maybe fill some of the other niche markets like supers or urban fantasy. Then once you have some teeth and momentum, then jumping into the fantasy market.

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There have been a few folks here on the boards that have assembled some aspects of a fantasy setting. I've helped Grimace with his Magic & Miracles supplement, and we have spoken about other ideas.

 

As for space opera, there have been several attempts in those directions. Most notable is Bill Coffin's Septimus, alas it has fallen to the non-supported way side. I think one of our other members, RocketDad, started the Black Desert, but I haven't seen much from that line lately either. Hopefully he hasn't fallen away from his projects because of lack of interest in the market.

 

What would it take to get some folks on-board on some projects that might fill the void? Can the OpenD6 community come together on something that wouldn't fall apart after a few days or weeks of collaboration? I'd love to see something put together that would grab hold of other gamers out there and make them yell for more. It doesn't have to be a for profit project either.

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That is a very good question. I'm not sure the OpenD6 community has enough people with enough free time to do it quite honestly. If I had the time I would definitely be willing to do such a project. I just don't have the time.

 

If all the people actually publishing, who seem to be able to get products out, were to combine resources and share profits, you might be able to accomplish it that way.

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I would contribute to such a project in a heartbeat. Almost every genre has been covered by some other game, but that shouldn't be an impediment to any project; how you tell a story is just as important as what story you tell. Only, the pitch has to be something actually interesting; "a fantasy setting" isn't noteworthy, but "King Arthur's knights fighting to bring Peace and Justice to all of Britain", is (at least for some people).

Though I'll be mighty annoyed if anyone takes my Vikings from me. :-P

 

Settings need to have a hook, something that can interest readers in two ways: both as audience (that is, is this a good setting for he types of novels, movies, etc. that interest me?) and as gamers (that is, is this a good setting for me to create a PC in and raise all sorts of hell?).

 

Here's one suggestion:

 

- Heroes of the High Seas: roguish, dashingly handsome pirates fight off an oppressive Spanish-British mercantile colonial empire, discover and explore mysterious islands populated by bloodthirsty savages and terrifying sorcerers, and hunt for treasure in the ruins of ancient inhuman civilizations located in eldritch jungles.

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I like the Heroes of the High Seas idea. I'm sure Grimace would too. Maybe we could start a thread about it and try to hammer something out.

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I have been working on a game system and setting for the past three years. It started as a Runequest setting, migrated to D6, then to D6 Legends, and eventually at this point holds very little similarity to any system. To put it simply it uses D6's in dice pools and counts successes. Regardless my intent is to release most of the rule set under OGL. The mechanics were specifically designed from the ground up for the setting since I did not feel any rule set existing at the time really fit.

 

The design goals for the mechanics were several fold. 1) Rules need to be concise, consistent, easily applied, and instinctive. 2) The rules need to be short enough for someone of average intelligence ages 10+ to not only grasp, but naturally and easily remember after a reading and a couple sessions of play. Full proficiency minimum reference. 3) Commonly referred to charts should fit on one piece of 8.5"x11" paper. 4) A starting character should fit on one 3"x5" index card. 5) The rules should cover many styles of play without being rules heavy/crunchy. 6) The rules should be solid and well tested with room for expansion without requiring it (for those who want more crunch). 7) These rules expansions should allow for both styles of play and be applicable to both (no crunch for the sake of crunch, the descriptive should also provide further guidance for the rules light version. 8) No sub systems. (The magic/psionic system needs to seamlessly utilize the same rules basics.) 9) Sit down with zero familiarity to finished initial character creation time of 15-30 minutes as a group. 10) Utilize common vernacular, with a minimum of gamer lingo.

 

I can say after three years of thinking about it, and tinkering, and the last year of actual designing, writing, and playtesting that I have for the most part (still tweaking some values) accomplished all those design goals. I designed the game with all those things in mind specifically to attract non gamers. The people on this board, on other gaming boards, former Star Wars D6 players, none of these are my target market. My target market is that kid who read or saw The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Conan the Barbarian, the Avengers, Iron Man, Captain America, Centurion, Gladiator, or any other historical fantasy/fantasy movie, who plays video games, who is like I was when I was ten and got that Red Box as a present. The problem with every game, and I mean every game I have looked at or played in the last 30+ years since that time makes assumptions of language, which narrow the market. It then makes assumptions of affordability which also narrowed the market by limiting accessibility. I won't get into my marketing or distribution plans, but simply put they ignore everything that the RPG industry is currently doing because none of it is working, and none of it has been working for at least the last 15 years. So when I see people suggesting to not do fantasy which is selling in Hollywood like hotcakes it makes me laugh because D&D and Pathfinder while being the biggest in the RPG industry are still approaching it from the same place. So I won't be going against them regardless, because their audience is not my target audience.

 

So while I have provided little in the way of concrete details, hopefully I have explained how or why I don't think D6 is dead. I plan on having product before Christmas of 2013 probably closer to September. It will receive weekly blog support, along with monthly adventure hooks/modules, and regular setting updates. I can do this because ultimately it is a labor of love for me not dependent on major streams of income to keep it going. There won't be any new editions, just continually evolving and growing setting material, and GM support. All of it is tied together by a comprehensive business plan that should make it sustainable for the short and long term with modest goals.

 

Currently the setting and rules have been under playtesting for four months. In two months I should be ready to do an expanded playtest, at which point I will be doing an open call for testers and hope to get some people from these boards to do so. I realize it is not strictly D6 but it is D6 flavored. In the end I don't think D6 is dead, it's just in a hibernation tank mutating into something else.

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I like the Heroes of the High Seas idea. I'm sure Grimace would too. Maybe we could start a thread about it and try to hammer something out.

 

Sure thing! Like I said, I'd love to work on something like that, and I do hope more people show an interest in it.

 

 

I have been working on a game system and setting for the past three years. It started as a Runequest setting, migrated to D6, then to D6 Legends, and eventually at this point holds very little similarity to any system.

 

Heh. Me, I went the other way: started a system from scratch, realized it borrowed so many ideas from other systems I might as well have used them in the first place, looked for an OGL to use, tried to fit the game into D20 and gave up in frustration (commercial success or not, I hate that system!), remembered D6 System (an old favourite of mine from all my years playing Star Wars), reignited my love for this system, and now I'm currently finishing the conversion.

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Heh. Me, I went the other way: started a system from scratch, realized it borrowed so many ideas from other systems I might as well have used them in the first place, looked for an OGL to use, tried to fit the game into D20 and gave up in frustration (commercial success or not, I hate that system!), remembered D6 System (an old favourite of mine from all my years playing Star Wars), reignited my love for this system, and now I'm currently finishing the conversion.

 

I did the system from scratch several times in the past...lets just say they were rules intensive and very crunchy. Fiddled with D20 but never liked the system, its built to put a player in a strait jacket, and the D20 just provides too much swing in results. It is a D6 based system but it is definitely a mutant :)

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Sure thing! Like I said, I'd love to work on something like that, and I do hope more people show an interest in it.

 

I'll start a new thread in the OpenD6 design forum in a little while. Have to get my boy to go to bed. :D

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I had to stop lurking on this thread. My group plays d6 and mini 6 almost exclusively with the exception of running In Nomine. Open d6 is what we like it has alot of flexibility and information,, however I can see the reason for the sleepiness of the game. The current open 6d books make the GM work and use their own mind rather than force feeding the setting to everyone.

I love Septimus and would love to have a chance to have permission to work with the setting and try to revive it. It suffers from one LARGE thing though. It has way too many options and it is dang near impossible to know where to go with a game or what to build for setting and character. The holes that are begging to be filled in the game are over run by by other holes begging to be filled and gamed in.

Azamar is frankly cool however its suffers from me having too many stories and needs a hook. It needs to be sold. The introduction is interesting enough however its not caught my eye.

I would love to be involved in any way possible, and have done demo for another game company. Open d6 needs organized and someone to be in charge and love it, and pet it and call it George. Ok only a bit weird in the end but lets do something.

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I'll start a new thread in the OpenD6 design forum in a little while. Have to get my boy to go to bed. :D

 

No worries! I went ahead and did it. :-)

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No worries! I went ahead and did it. :-)

 

Thanks, had some issues come up that I had to deal with.

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Been a while since I've been on the forums here but, I definitely want to say that OD6 is the only system I, and my circle of friends use. Though that circle is somewhat small, OD6 is something very special to us.

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With the talk of a small group of people thinking about products that might come into being perhaps it well fits the phrase "Dead, but dreaming." :)

 

But seriously, folks, I'd love to see a full scale product of a more classic D6 (or even a mini-six) product. Particularly if it fits the type of D6 game that I like to play. But therein lies the problem. When D6 was in the process of going open WEG fell silent, and there didn't seem to be anything done. So a lot of creative and talented people went to work creating something in the vacuum. Some while after, WEG did open up the system, and there were at least three viable variations of the original D6 system. From that point on it seems like we picked our favorites or picked and chose between components of the systems we liked. At that point we kind of did ourselves a disservice because we like one aspects of one and not the other, and so we home brew parts of our own games fitting the system to our own needs. That is to say, some like D6 Magic, others like Grimace's magic system, and I'd been working on a (thus far unpublished) magic system on my own. Though it speaks wonders of the system's adaptability it also hinders potential marketing efforts of a larger-scale product. If we're a small community and we're all getting our own nuanced tastes, then how can a product appeal to all these niche desires of an already niche community?

 

For example, we've had some talk of Heroes of the High Seas. It sounds like a great idea! It's something I've wanted to see for a while. Though on the other hand I see some things in the development conversation that makes me wonder if the product would really suit my needs. The question then becomes whether to purchase it and do the legwork to adapt it, or just leave well enough alone?

 

One die, infinite possibilities indeed. But at this phase it seems that is a double edged sword.

 

Again, I'd love to see a good product. I may even support a solid print book even if it wasn't quite what I was looking for just to bolster the D6 community. It just seems to be hard to get momentum at this particular juncture.

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Though it speaks wonders of the system's adaptability it also hinders potential marketing efforts of a larger-scale product. If we're a small community and we're all getting our own nuanced tastes, then how can a product appeal to all these niche desires of an already niche community?

 

The real question in my opinion is; should you design, and market a product to appeal to the current community? The answer I came up with after a lot of discussion and contemplation was a resounding no. The key to any a successful product is to capture an audience. In order to do that it needs to be well designed, written, edited, etc. It needs to have high production values, and present a system that is easy to learn and quick to play for a complete novice. It also needs a captivating setting attached to it. Trying to market to nostalgia for a game out of print for over a decade is doomed to failure or very limited success. Not a popular opinion probably, but it was the only one I could come up with after my personal attachment to the good old days was removed from the equation.

 

For example, we've had some talk of Heroes of the High Seas. It sounds like a great idea! It's something I've wanted to see for a while. Though on the other hand I see some things in the development conversation that makes me wonder if the product would really suit my needs. The question then becomes whether to purchase it and do the legwork to adapt it, or just leave well enough alone?

 

I doubt it will suit your needs, most designs by committee fail to be truly cohesive. Hell, just agreeing on a set of design goals is damn near impossible. Then you run into the cheese factor. Your idea of a deep and interesting race, item, culture, can very easily lead to me questioning when we went from Heroes on the High Seas, to The Army of Darkness on the High Seas.

 

One die, infinite possibilities indeed. But at this phase it seems that is a double edged sword.

 

I think it is actually its greatest strength, where it fails is when designers and authors continually try to please the "masses" instead of sharing their vision.

 

Again, I'd love to see a good product. I may even support a solid print book even if it wasn't quite what I was looking for just to bolster the D6 community. It just seems to be hard to get momentum at this particular juncture.

 

Good to know. I am much the same way about buying product, the problem is that I have yet to see a recent d6 product that has high production values. The high point in my opinion was Mini-Six. Simple, neat, concise, simply laid out, and very direct about what they were trying to put out. Based on what I have seen so far Wicked North may achieve a similar level with Westward, something they failed to do with Azamar as far as I am concerned, others mileage may vary on that. What I am saying is, the sooner all of us with projects move away from trying to capture the "magic of d6 back in the day" the sooner we will see a revival of sorts. It won't be your dad's d6 so to speak, but it will have its roots in there.

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For example, we've had some talk of Heroes of the High Seas. It sounds like a great idea! It's something I've wanted to see for a while.

 

Thanks! :-D

 

Though on the other hand I see some things in the development conversation that makes me wonder if the product would really suit my needs.

 

Ah, what a shame. What are those, if you don't mind? Navigation rules?

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Navigation rules aren't necessarily a huge deal. It would be nice if there was some optional structure there that I could use or not, but I'll be honest that I hadn't paid a terrible amount of attention to them.

 

It's mostly when I'd seen that gun ranges weren't going to be a consideration and I had also received the impression that even the more basic naval tactics were not going to have a focus for fear that it would make the system too cumbersome. IIRC the general theme was that the focus was to force a boarding to have the swashbuckling moment on deck. Don't get me wrong, the swashbuckling moment is important, but I think that a product that had both would really catch my interest. I think I'd alluded to the idea that I'd even started to do some preliminary research into making a supplement about ships and seafaring, but I realized I didn't have the time to do something that had options of having the high seas adventure movies along with a component of real-life elements (such as representing statistically comparable ships such as frigates and carracks to their RL counterparts).

 

I could be mistaken in my impression that the Heroes of the High Seas supplement in progress will have a few scattered elements of ship-to-ship engagement, but only enough to make the swashbuckling fly.

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P.S.

 

In the end, though, you've got to make the supplement you want. You can't write the thing for me, unless I was your patron or something. Write what you think is interesting, and if I think it's interesting, I'll pick it up. :)

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Sorry, really late to this conversation but I have been away/distracted from D6 for several years. I am (still) working on a quick start/basic D6 game called Infinite Dreams (akin to WEG51005 The D6 System Book from the mid 90s). Once it is ready, I plan to do what I can to promote the D6 System/OpenD6 in the gaming community.

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Sounds promising, Temprus! It would be good to have some new material for the game.

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In the end, though, you've got to make the supplement you want. You can't write the thing for me, unless I was your patron or something. Write what you think is interesting, and if I think it's interesting, I'll pick it up. :)

 

Quite true, but it doesn't hurt to pay attention to that kind of thing. :-)

 

To be honest, though, I'm a bit disappointed that the HoHS project hasn't been receiving too much contribution from other people. This was supposed to be a group project, after all. As it is, I'll focus first on my Vikings project and leave HoHS in the back burner for now.

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Define dead?

 

  • Have people stopped using it? This site is proof that the answer is "no."
  • Have people/companies stopped making products for it? Definitely not.
  • Has the system stopped evolving? Most assuredly not, considering the number of variations and homebrews.
  • Are only existing fans playing it? Since I myself (being relatively new) have introduced it to 7 other people in 3 different groups over the last couple of years, I can say that I have direct evidence to the contrary. I'm sure others can attest to this as well.

 

I think there's a danger in worrying too much about how popular the system is rather than enjoying the system for its own sake. I applaud the efforts to encourage the continued growth and evolution of OpenD6. I love seeing new ideas (Heroes of the High Seas sounds really cool and I will check out the new thread) and participating in discussions about particular topics. It just seems to me that OpenD6 has a fairly specific audience that it plays very well too and trying to codify it into a single, popular ruleset would detract from that strength.

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