Why 2d20?

Why the sudden obsession with 2d20? Firstly it’s not recent. I kickstarted Infinity back at the end of 2016. [Nope, it was 2015, damn it’s late]. Played the beta, enjoyed it a lot. I have some minis, but more I like the art and style and the setting, so the RPG is what i want. Bought some Mutant chronicles but couldn’t [and still can’t] grok the setting. Played the Conan, John Carter and Star Trek Playtests, loved them. Waited patiently for something to come out…Eventually played a few games of Conan in 2017. Enjoyed it a lot. Then had the infinity pdf and looked at doing hacks, starting with a 2 session game of Eclipse phase which worked really well. Eventually the initial Infinity books turned up and we started a campaign. Currently been playing since xmas and done about 4 sessions so far. or maybe just 3!

The Good

  • The books all look great.
    • Nice layouts, useful sidebars, lots of information
  • Interesting character creation.
    • The lifepaths have meant characters have background already from how they were designed
  • The dice rolling
    • both the d20s and the combat dice are great and give interesting choices and outcomes
  • Momentum
    • Gives a lot of player agency and makes for interesting result
  • Heat/Threat/Doom….
    • Love building a big stack to then use as needed. Yes it’s gamey but it makes the GM role fun!
  • Adventures
    • I don’t have time to write adventures. At least not good, detailed ones. But I also don’t have the time to read a massive D&D adventure book. Conan and Infinity have provided me with a tonne of easy to read 1-session adventures which have been a lot of fun to play.
  • Extra systems.
    • Hacking and acquisition in infinity, Science in Star Trek, Carousing and shows of strength in Conan…All the mini-systems work well in their systems and are a lot of fun.

The Bad

  • Talents
    • Trying to keep track of all the talents is a pain. So I don’t. The players have them, and it’s their job to use them, not mine.
  • Psyops in infinity and Reach in conan
    • Needlessly complicated for what it’s trying to do
  • Attributes vs skills
    • Having a high attribute makes you really good certain skills. If you’re lucky at Character creation you get an attribute up to 12, and then that’s doing a lot more than your skill which can only start at +3. This will make doing supers quite hard. High attributes is mostly better than high skills with lower attributes.
  • Lack of a thriving community
    • There are a couple of us that post in 2d20 groups. More in Infinity, more in conan, lots in Star Trek. But it’s nothing compared to other games. This is a real shame. With more 2d20 games I feel like each individual game gets less attention not more…

The Ugly

  • Cost of the dice
    • While I have managed to pick up MC3e combat dice very cheap the rest of the dice are pricey.
    • It’s about £15 for 3d20 and 4d6. That’s a lot. Especially when you need more like 5d20 and 8+ combat dice. Per player. Gets expensive.
    • And Conan and Star Trek have different dice from MC3e and Infinity. Annoying.
  • Release delays
    • Infinity should be finished by now. I have 3 books (not counting player guides). No GM guide or screen, No faction books. Not even the pdfs for them.
    • Conan is doing better, but still a year late.
  • Mutant chronicles.
    • I want to like it.
    • The Setting is good, the character choices look fun, the baddies are cool.
    • But I can’t work out what to do. The only adventures are in massive campaigns – mostly set in the old time periods or one-offs for all faction parties. I need some basic trouble shooter or doom trooper adventures like I have for infinity or Conan. Without them I just have books sitting on the shelf.

 

So no, it’s not perfect, and I think it’s probably too complicated to play with my wife or 6-year old (unlike D&D or C+). But it’s definetly out main game at the moment and between Infinity, Conan, Star Trek, MC3, Devil’s Run, John Carter and hacks (SRD soon please) I think I have enough stuff to just be playing it for quite a while.

So now I just need to convert Rifts, Torg and Shadowrun. Then I’m sorted.

2d20 on Modiphius Site

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