Thursday, June 14, 2012

Finding a Path to Earthdawn

I have not been active in the Earthdawn community of late, but I still get the occasional update to happenings at Redbrick. I got a message today that ED has been released for pathfinder. I am torn on this news even more than release in the Savage Worlds system. I can go back many years when I attempted to port Earthdawn into 3.5 in order to make it more digestable to D&D players. I am an old school D&D player, having settled on prefer AD&D 2nd edition above all others and falling in love with the Earthdawn setting when I first discovered it. Some of my old players remember that short lived debacle in what they call "DungeonDawn".

The main downfall of the attempt is that the 3.5 setting, while easily ported to, lost all the charm and nuances of the Earthdawn mechanics. We had players raise one talent above all others so it vastly outweighed others of the same circle, this lead to some unique exchanges in social situations that was quite enjoyable. Another example is karma; karma was often a deciding factor in combat situations and not easily reproduced in D&D. We attempted to implement a D6 karma rule in 'DungeonDawn' seemed unbalancing due to the fixed nature of the D20. Finally there was some difficulty with social interaction in the D20 system. In D&D it is a contested roll between two skills where the higher roll wins. In Earthdawn, you have a social defense that comes into play and you have more of combat-like social interaction. While not the most elegant method, overall the effects were more enjoyable the than D&D <winning smile to prove my point>.

All in all, I am happy that Earthdawn is available to all players, but disheartened that those players will not experience Earthdawn in what I feel is a better experience in its own sake.

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