The Roleplay Bug

I’ve been feeling the roleplay itch again lately. My old standby is D&D, and I have no problem running that or any system really. I can tell my story with any proper set of tools. The only concern I have with running the current incarnation (4th ed) of D&D is that Wizards of the Coast is on the verge of releasing an entirely new edition and that would leave myself and my players having to learn a new set of rules sometime this year.

Speaking of those rules, I have been playing around with the D&D Next playtest stuff and it is largely like the 3.5 edition than anything else. I have run both versions 3.5 and 4 and prefer the prior version better, mostly due to variety in characters. I did like the at-will, encounter and daily powers of the latter though, and really liked the ‘power cards’ mechanic that you could incorporate.

This further adds to my dilemma. If I go with the ‘tried and true’ roleplay system, which version(s) do I use, and do I switch over once the Next version of D&D comes along? Another option is to go with another system entirely. Sci-Fi is another genre I’m interested in, and the Warhammer 40K roleplay system(s) are fairly well done. I had a group going briefly with Rogue Trader, but don’t feel like I kept it interesting enough to keep my players into it. Perhaps the system was the issue. I feel like I could make one of those systems work, or even write my own.

Many, many years ago, a group of us, due largely to a lack of a competent, easily obtained system, wrote our own. I’ve caught myself several times over the years wanting to re-write that system into something more streamlined. Maybe it’s time to do so. I can tell my story using almost any system as a medium, but I certainly would prefer if it’s something A) Easy to learn, B) Challenging enough to keep players entertained, and C) Doesn’t become an obstacle for telling my story.

If you are a roleplayer, what system do YOU run/play in currently? What was your choice in doing so, if any?

5 thoughts on “The Roleplay Bug

  1. Do you have a copy of the last update to 5th Ed? Granted it’s Beta material, but it’d get you going until the official releases and hopefully wouldn’t be too different.

  2. Have you thought of Pathfinder? it is a system that was made by the designers that left wizards around the time 4th came out. So its is actually very similar to 3.5 in a lot of ways, but they also added and changed a couple things (stream lined skills, took all the maneuvers (disarm, grapple, trip) and put them into a single score)

    And the best part? every single thing they ever published is open gaming license, at . And its legitimately OGL, unlike all the 3.5 stuff that was on the web till Wizards sued all those people.

  3. I often find the setting defines the system. If I want to play fantasy, I’m reaching for 3.5 or Pathfinder (so easy to convert between the two, might as well consider them one system). If I want to play modern sci-fi/horror, I’m reaching for the World Of Darkness books. If I want to play futuristic sci-fi, I’m looking at Shadowrun, then putting those books down because the character creation system is awful.

    I think the story you want to play is more important than the system you want to play it in. If you’re looking to play a pirates-only campaign, for example, D&D Next probably isn’t a great idea because the pirate supplements don’t exist yet.

    So the question remains: What’s your story?

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