More books does not equal more fun

I learned D&D from, and have played in and run several memorable campaigns using only that website, a player’s memorization of the XP chart, and a couple of online encounter calculators. It is entirely possible to run games bookless of course you end up with Wizards casting non-proprietary floating disk and no one in particular’s acid arrow, but in a home brew campaign that may even be preferable.

Many options presented in supplements are not appropriate for your particular campaign. I had two players wanting to play a Samurai and a Ninja respectively, my campaign is set in an area that fights wars like the Ancient Greeks using massed infantry wielding shield and spear, those classes just don’t fit thematically. Yes the Samurai could have been a warlord, but the class is based around using a bastard sword and short sword and many of the features are identical to those of a Fighter. The Ninja doesn’t offer much over a Rogue, the Ninja can turn invisible once per day which doesn’t fit with the low magic feel I am trying to convey. Both players argued that these classes added more “flavor” to their character.

Campaign guides are valuable books when running a campaign set in that world or time period. When the Legacy Era Campaign guide came out I read through it and found nothing worth bringing into my Knights of the Old Republic campaign, in fact weapons and armor presented in that book would have been detrimental to my current game as they added extra unneeded complexity to combat by way of certain weapons changing between damage die types for critical hits and one blaster allowing characters to attack a 10’x10′ area without the normal -5 penalty for making an autofire attack. The power creep was readily apparent in this supplement as options here were clearly superior to options presented in the core book. This power creep on the part of the players leads to the DM needing to equip enemies with more powerful equipment and turns into more work as standard baddies out of the core book are less threatening than they once were.

When I run games it is Core Books/SRD only and possibly a relevant campaign guide, though I prefer to build my own worlds and in a sense write my own campaign guide for my players. I am still working on a perfect campaign world; I’d love to one day create my own cosmology, gods, kingdoms, rich history, and logical connections between areas. Time and effort will be required, I think I’ll start a notebook with world ideas today.


~ by katallos on September 22, 2009.

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