Friday, September 6, 2013

Slayers D20 - Oh God I Miss D20!

D20, and the SRD, were ideas that were so good they can never really die. Wizards of the Coast, back in the '90s, had recently bought the rights to D&D from the failing TSR. The reign of tyranny had come to an end, and the gamer friendly WotC (which later became the more mainstream company anyway!) had a revolutionary idea.

"Let's make D&D more accessible!" they thought, and created a fun, easy to learn game, that while not perfect for every circumstance, was superior to most of what had come before it in terms of flexibility and playability. Plus, the open license made it very modular, with tons of publishers putting out material that was then compatible with little or no modification.

As you might gather from the above, I loved the d20 system with all of my wretched little heart. Anyway, all of this is a segue to illustrate just what is exactly so cool about Guardians of Order's 'The Slayers' campaign setting. In my recent spate of anime-obsession, I came across a great old series called 'The Slayers,' which appears to be a comedic spoof about Anime, RPGs, and the Fantasy genre in general. It's actually pretty cute, and there's a lot of it to watch, which is good for me, since I'm so voracious.

The thing about The Slayers is that, while it's a comedy, it really does have a lot of great content for real RPGs to be run. So, imagine my joy when I came across a supplement for my beloved d20 system to run it! Now, I had heard about GoO's 'Big Eyes, Small Mouth' anime RPG back in the day, but I never had really encountered it. I did have some experience with their d20 Mecha supplement though, so I had high hopes.

I have managed to lay my hands on this now, and I can tell you, I am not disappointed! The classes are a little overpowered compared to base D&D, but that's in line with the setting, where Sorcerers can cast fireballs all day without breaking a sweat (though Sorceresses sometimes...can't use their powers for a few days. Wink ).

Anyway, sorry for the long-winded dissertation on the D20, the Open Gaming License, and Anime Gaming. It certainly has tons of inaccuracies, since much of this took place when I was in high school, but that's the way I remember it at the time. I remember TSR, I still have some of their stuff. I remember when 3e came out, and I felt obligated to buy it since I was a AD&D 2e player. The feeling of joy when I first cracked the Player's Handbook is hard to explain. 3e was the first game where I was really confident I knew the rules, and that I was doing it right without help. Finding a fun new d20 game to jump into reawakens all of that fun and adventure afresh!

1 comment:

Dave Bone said...

Refreshing to hear someone say this. I happen to quite enjoy D20, and it really did breathe new life into the RPG hobby. Even today, our game club continues to play D20 and derivative games.