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Avernum/Geneforge Pen & Paper RPG


wkwkwkwk1

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Greetings, everyone!

 

I have been playing Spiderweb's games for about four years or so now, and I have been lurking in these forums for about three years (I may even have made one or two posts, but nothing relevant).

 

I recently ran a Google search, as well as one in these forums, for Geneforge or Avernum conversions to a Pen & Paper RPG. How many results did it return? Google returned one post (not even a thread) where someone expressed their interest on such a thing. These forums returned, if I recall correctly, one single thread where someone did a bit of conversion to D&D 3.5. I couldn't believe that was all.

 

Now, why couldn't I find anything else? Was it due to poor search-fu? Or author rights matters? Or simply because nobody ever went through with it?

 

wkwkwkwk1

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It's due to a really lousy search function for these boards. I know there should be at least 2 Geneforge topics since the last time the other was mentioned.

 

Welcome to posting and not lurking.

 

Edit -

 

Geneforge D and D

Geneforge rpg converting to 3.5 D and D standards

Geneforge pen and paper/

 

Thanks for the references (and greeting ;) )!

 

However, I was looking for a more literal conversion to pnp (in this case it would have to be pbp, since doing all the calculations in real time would be a pain in the neck), not unlike the Fallout PnP. Which I wouldn't see as being as hard as converting to D&D, actually, since (if I recall correctly) there is detailed knowledge of the game inner workings, such as stat calculation and effects, and weapon damage dice.

 

Any other pearls of wisdom you can give? :p

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A direct conversion of Geneforge's mechanics to a tabletop system would be kind of unwieldy: a high-level character could easily end up rolling fifty or more dice to calculate the damage on every successful attack, and they'd often be nonstandard dice like 5-sided or 11-sided dice. Imagine how many rolls you'd have to make if you cast Aura of Flames in a room full of enemies. I don't think it'd be practical without computer assistance; if you want it to be playable at a physical tabletop with physical dice you'd need to simplify things.

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The highly crunchy combat of Spiderweb games, like most CRPGs, is especially unsuited for PBP games. It'll grind to a miserable crawl whenever the swords, batons, and fireballs come out.

 

 

Unless your tastes definitely run to extremely crunchy simulation-oriented gaming I'd recommend something snappy and more story-oriented. Like Fate, which has a fervent following (although I'll confess I'm not among it) or even an Apocalypse World hack.

 

—Alorael, who believes the most complete conversion of Avernum was, in fact, to D&D 3.5, or more specifically to Arcana Evolved. Sadly the site went down years ago.

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The highly crunchy combat of Spiderweb games, like most CRPGs, is especially unsuited for PBP games. It'll grind to a miserable crawl whenever the swords, batons, and fireballs come out.

 

 

Unless your tastes definitely run to extremely crunchy simulation-oriented gaming I'd recommend something snappy and more story-oriented. Like Fate, which has a fervent following (although I'll confess I'm not among it) or even an Apocalypse World hack.

 

—Alorael, who believes the most complete conversion of Avernum was, in fact, to D&D 3.5, or more specifically to Arcana Evolved. Sadly the site went down years ago.

 

Could said Alorael have a way of retrieving said page with help from the Wayback Machine? :p

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Not archived either, I'm afraid.

 

And I've forgotten the URL because after the site went dark and it wasn't archived there was no reason to keep it in memory. I don't even remember when, except it was a very long time ago, since it was already long gone as of 2007.

 

—Alorael, who somewhat suspects that it was issued a C&D for violation of intellectual property. Not for Spiderweb's but for the Arcana Evolved stuff.

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Not archived either, I'm afraid.

 

And I've forgotten the URL because after the site went dark and it wasn't archived there was no reason to keep it in memory. I don't even remember when, except it was a very long time ago, since it was already long gone as of 2007.

 

—Alorael, who somewhat suspects that it was issued a C&D for violation of intellectual property. Not for Spiderweb's but for the Arcana Evolved stuff.

 

Dammit. Thanks nonetheless.

 

Say, if one wanted to play Avernum or Geneforge as-is, crunch-heavy, purely by post, where the forum handles the dice rolling and calculations can be made fairly quickly (in terms of relative time), how would you predict the overall experience to be?

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Miserably slow, as I said. It's not the difficulty of any individual roll, it's the huge number of actions and rolls required for any given combat. A round will take days. An entire combat weeks. And by then everyone will have lost all interest in the overall game.

 

—Alorael, who believes PBP is a very special, fragile way to play. Don't dump Geneforge on it.

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Miserably slow, as I said. It's not the difficulty of any individual roll, it's the huge number of actions and rolls required for any given combat. A round will take days. An entire combat weeks. And by then everyone will have lost all interest in the overall game.

 

—Alorael, who believes PBP is a very special, fragile way to play. Don't dump Geneforge on it.

 

Eh. I won't, don't worry :p

 

Thanks for the answer!

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Miserably slow, as I said. It's not the difficulty of any individual roll, it's the huge number of actions and rolls required for any given combat. A round will take days. An entire combat weeks. And by then everyone will have lost all interest in the overall game.

 

—Alorael, who believes PBP is a very special, fragile way to play. Don't dump Geneforge on it.

 

I mean, if you used an automated dice roller, playing with the Geneforge rules via PBP wouldn't necessarily be that much slower than playing D&D via PBP. But that's already pretty slow (especially when, as you're likely to in Geneforge, you have a throng of summoned monsters following you around and taking their own actions too).

 

Another issue that occurs to me is that Leadership and Mechanics in Geneforge are all-or-nothing affairs; you either have enough of them to do what you're trying to do, or you don't. This makes sense in a computer game where random events outside of combat tend to be made irrelevant by the possibility of either retrying or reloading your saved game, but something a little more random might be a better fit for a tabletop game in order to add some uncertainty to the outcome of actions rather than requiring the GM to set a difficulty number that effectively acts as the sole determinant of whether a PC succeeds or fails.

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I mean, if you used an automated dice roller, playing with the Geneforge rules via PBP wouldn't necessarily be that much slower than playing D&D via PBP. But that's already pretty slow (especially when, as you're likely to in Geneforge, you have a throng of summoned monsters following you around and taking their own actions too).

 

Another issue that occurs to me is that Leadership and Mechanics in Geneforge are all-or-nothing affairs; you either have enough of them to do what you're trying to do, or you don't. This makes sense in a computer game where random events outside of combat tend to be made irrelevant by the possibility of either retrying or reloading your saved game, but something a little more random might be a better fit for a tabletop game in order to add some uncertainty to the outcome of actions rather than requiring the GM to set a difficulty number that effectively acts as the sole determinant of whether a PC succeeds or fails.

 

Hmmmm, I like this comment. Also, related to Leadership, Geneforge is a video game where you have a dialogue tree, not freedom of choice like in a real life RPG. Thanks!

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