|All hail Pharaoh Tineen Cleopatra, Daughter of Isis, The Serpent of The Aymans, She Who Is Opalescent Of Appearance, Dragon Pharaoh of Phratil.|
However, as alluded to a fortnight ago, I have been thinking about doing another short campaign in the near future. The 12th of August will mark a decade of my RPG group existing and while the players have cycled over the years, there's still players playing today who have been playing since our group began - two turn up every week, and another two are currently unavailable but turn up when they can. More than half of the existence of this group was spent playing a single D&D campaign, so for our 10th anniversary it seems only appropriate to return to Phratil.
On the question of the new Dragon Pharaoh of Phratil setting, I have pretty strong ideas of what I want to do - I've been pondering this for years and have a clear idea of something different than just "we start playing D&D again, like the old days" and I'm sure I'll be boring you all with more details. But I find myself torn on the subject of mechanics - whether to run it with D&D 4th Edition or whether to go Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition instead.
|The early days of Phratil: me back in 2005, mid-way through running a session of Phratil back in our previous flat.|
|Have you cast Bulls Strength from the 3rd Ed Players Handbook or the 3.5 Players Handbook? One is 1 hour/caster level duration, one is 1 minite/caster level duration.|
|Not just a random race: The Sa'ka are
the elite army of the Dragon Pharaoh. As part of their initiation they are are invested with part of her
magical essence and transformed into what are nicknamed "Dragonborn".|
However, 4E definitely has its drawbacks. The combat focus means some other areas of the rules can be a bit neglected; the focus on tactical combat all but necessitates using a battle map & counters/miniatures, which is an extra space and time sink in play; a class/level system is much firmer of power levels, which limits how much I can do in a short campaign; the 4E books are quite dry reads, being good at the table but something of a chore to read in-between sessions.
So, what's my alternative system for running in the 956th year of the rule of the Dragon Pharaoh?
|A supplement for second ed Mutants & Masterminds specifically on doing fantasy adventures in the style of Conan or Red Sonja comics.|
Of course, going M&M means the combat becomes much more narrative than tactical and some people love the chance to bust out a box of figures and flex their tactical muscles. Converting stuff like Eladrin or Psionid Dragons out of D&D into Mutants and Masterminds isn't hard, per se, but you could argue it's needless when those things already exist in a functional game system. There's also a feeling that if I'm going to go back to my old D&D setting for anniversary, moving to a different edition of D&D is one thing but shifting systems completely seems a bit pointless.
Scunnered is a fine Scottish word, and those of you who are not Scottish are welcome to borrow it) I still own a lot of 3.X material - and there's lots of classes, races etc I never got around to using - but my abiding memory of the end of Phratil is the rules being a millstone around my neck and I'm not interested in going back if I can avoid it.
Unto the readers of my blog, then, I ask for opinions and advice, whether they are likely Phratil players or just fellow travellers on the road of nerdity. What system am I best using for this idea?
|A picture from September 2010; the night before my final session of Phratil, I sit behind a specially made 3D GM screen and make some final preparations.|