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Confused: Hollow Earth Expedition NOT D6?

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I'm really scratching my head over this. I've looked through the Hollow Earth Expedition Ubiquity dice core book. Am I crazy or is it quite clearly a slight variation of d6 Legend? It doesn't use wild dice or exploding dice but otherwise, every other part of it appears to obviously be d6, with the same dice pool and skill setup, subskills, Talents, Flaws, etc., with the numbers filed off.


Was it published before d6 was fully released as OGL as a paid license so they didn't have to credit their game as using the d6 system? Or did they make it afterward and simply choose not to give d6 credit (and isn't that illegal)?

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Have you played the game? It's not really D6, even though it has similarities.


It was definitely published well before D6 became OpenD6.

And while the game can certainly use six-sided dice, it could also use D4s, D10s, D20s, or even coins. It's a pass/fail system. Even counts as a success, odd doesn't.

Count successes vs. the difficulty.


There are other games out there that use this system of resolution.

One thing HEX did, which I liked, was the "quick resolution" for skills. Half your skill dice is the quick resolution value. So if you have 6 dice in a skill, you have a quick resolution of 3 for that skill. That means if you ever have to do a skill check and the difficulty is 3 or less, you AUTOMATICALLY succeed...without a roll.

That idea alone made me want to somehow incorporate an easy way to do this in D6.


I've run several games with HEX, and with players who have played D6. By about the 4th sitting, the players were expressing frustration over the dice resolution in the game. They started counting the times they were rolling 5+ dice and getting 4 "5's", 1 "6" and failing in the die roll because of only 1 success. They'd cry "BUT THIS IS AN OUTSTANDING ROLL IN D6!!"


It boiled down to the players deciding they'd rather play with the D6 system than with the HEX system.


Now, converting was modestly easy (not a "gimme" by any means, but simpler than from something like a D20 system) so HEX is pretty easy to turn into a D6 game. But it's not a simple port straight across.


The one very positive thing I can say about the Hollow Earth Expedition books is that they are fantastically illustrated and quite well written. It puts you into the setting! I loved that about the books.


I'd probably use the HEX system for simple one-shot scenarios, but for an ongoing game, I'd use D6. But they are not really the same system with the name filed off.

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Well I haven't played it, but my interest is in mechanics, and their setup for their mechanics in the way of skills and subskills and talents, including how much it costs to upgrade, and how many dice/points you get at char creation and such, are all very blatantly d6, which is why it seemed strange to me they don't credit it. You can't copyright mechanics I know, and they didn't directly steal anything per se, but if you didn't know what/how dice were being rolled, you would very easily find it to be a d6 system restatement, and i have no doubt it is not much of an effort to convert between it and d6.


That said, yes, the book(s) is terrific and very atmospheric and well set up and reminds me a lot of the understated and compartmentalized, easily referenced way that Savage Worlds does its thing. Although I have things I would change about it (apparently including the even/odd dice since I've seen multiple people complain about that), I feel like the HEX design is probably THE best iterations of d6 system that could be made.

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Well honestly the way the dice work and skills are set up in many games are very similar. Shadowrun (All editions), World of Darkness (New and Old), and FUDGE all have enough similarities to make the same claim. I mean really the only reason to claim association with D6 is to partake of the customer base, legally speaking if things are different enough it is a case of no harm no foul. Also just because you were influenced by a particular game system does not mean you have to "do a shout out". I know during the process of making my "D6 Legends" variant, it started as a Mongoose Runequest setting/variant. It did not really do what i wanted it to do, it was too random. I moved to regular old Generic D6, and it had similar problems. I played with a multi-d20 pick the best roll and fixed modifiers, but that turned into a numbers game and had the same lack of tactile involvement that I think is key to involving players, it just becomes addition, no real action, and the variance was still something I don't like. When I speak of variance or randomness I am referring to the luck factor. I like a certain degree of it both as a player and a GM, but in the end most times skill should prevail, unless there is a one in a million occurence, if you are skilled you are luckier is my motto. I knew I needed to look to dice pools to provide the right mechanics for my game. I looked at d6, d10, and d12 dice pools with adjustable target numbers and all sorts of fiddly bits. None of these met all of my requirements.


D6 Legends did not meet my requirements at all either, yet I am going to release it as OGL under the D6 license for a number of reasons. It is similar enough that a person who likes D6 Legends will likely enjoy my game, so it becomes a marketing point there. I am not the only person in the world who likes a game built the way I have built this game. I have played and GM'd for over 30 years and never found a game that satisfied all my requirements, this one finally does, and it is easily adapted to different genres. It can be played as a cinematic story (baseline) or a tactical exercise (in process of designing the high density tactical rules/optional because I know some people love miniatures and the boardgame aspect of some RPGs). So part of me wants to let others build on that for their unique settings or campaigns if they want to, and this adds to the community which I enjoy being a part of. So that is reason number two. Reason number three is that I personally feel it is the right thing to do, because I want to OGL it, and I will make a nod to those games which influenced me in other ways in the foreword. I gather that anyone making a product goes through a similar process and sometimes they don't have the same conclusion I had, that is their prerogative. I could easily release my product as a unique system, but I won't, because I don't think it hurts my IP in anyway over the long haul to associate myself with a product that is now essentially public domain. I guess it goes hand in hand with being a big believer of opensource software :)

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