Category Archives: D6

First Impressions of West End Games D6

I am one of those people who is an incredibly slow reader. If Mrs R is showing me an article on a webpage she is forever trying to scroll down long before I get to the end of the screen. I am also pretty slow and untidy when I have to write using a pen. I think that is part of what attracted me to role playing in the first place, the ability to tell incredible stories without the torture of having to write it all down. In a single sentence or two I can paint a picture for my players that would take hundreds of words to describe in a book. If they imagine something different to what I am seeing that makes no difference. Their character is a product of their imagination. If I told you…”The inn is dark and shuttered up with just rays of light from splits in the boards, the tables are upturned barrels and the only seating, planks resting on smaller kegs. The locals all turn to face you as the door opens and the inn falls silent. A curl of smoke drifts up though a shaft of light from a pipe held by bear of a man sat close to the door and nearest to you.” I would hope you are all imagining at least something like the inn in my minds eye.

So for a blog that does a lot of reviews I am not a brilliant reviewer as it takes me forever and a day to read rule books and to top it off I tend to dig deep. I have been looking at Mini SIX and that lead me to WEG D6 OGL System book from West End Games. From 40 pages to read and understand that goes up to 130. Just reading RPG rule books is not enough, you need to create characters and ideally run a session or two as well.

So I thought I would do a ‘first impressions’ post first to buy me some time. I don’t want to disappear off the radar for ages as it looks like I asked for advice, got it and then completely ignored it.



First Impression 1

I am a huge fan of OGL games and content. The fact that the D6 system book is OGL immediately makes me want to like this system. That is a good start!

First Impression 2

The scope of the system book is brilliant. It has fantasy, modern, sci-fi and supers all in the one book. That is more than I hoped for. I have a project on the back burner to create a d100 system like that and I think I can learn a lot from this book in terms of game design!

First Impression 3

The art in section 1, character creation is really creepily sexualised. The book was published in 1996 and I would have thought attitudes would have moved on by then, but apparently not.

I created my first character in about 5 minutes which was cool. I had the idea of a Fantasy style version of John McClane (Die Hard) and the sample professions gave me all the direction I needed.

So what comes next?

Over this weekend I will get a chance to run a quick session so I have downloaded A Dark and Stormy Knight. I want to see if I can through a single character through a 1st level D&D adventure with little or no prep. Before the session I will read up on how to make monsters.

So right now, having never played the game I am quite impressed. I have not read the GMs material yet but I did see references to Stunned and Lacerations which instantly appealed to my inner Rolemaster-kin.

Let the Quest Begin!

In my recent post (‘Looking for a Spiritual Home’) Johnkzin made loads of constructive suggestions and asked a few questions.

The problem with Pathfinder and 5e for that matter is that I have suggested both these systems to my players in the past and they are definitely not interested. I think to some extent they have closed their minds against all things D&D. I have been playing with this group since the early 1980s so I am not about to abandon them and try and find another group.

I have never played Pathfinder or even read a rulebook so I have no valid opinion.

5e on the other hand I have a strange relationship with. I have never played it but 5e and I keep crossing paths. I was one of the two editors in the 5e to d100 conversion project 5e x5. More recently than that I am doing a port of all the 5e SRD monsters to a generic form compatible with all versions of Rolemaster including the old RM2 right up to the forthcoming Rolemaster Unified and taking in HARP along the way.

There are two reasons for doing this. Guild Companion Publications jealously guard their IP. This means that you cannot publish any home brew adventures that use their monsters or the spell lists. I personally think that this closed shop approach has damaged the Rolemaster game community. If there are no free or pocket money price adventures out there or even throw away home brew supplements, then the system appears dead or worse unsupported. GCP have a terribly slow rate of production.

Rolemaster started life as a set of house rules for AD&D so there is a kind of symmetry in reintegrating the open attitudes of WotC and the 5e SRD back into Rolemaster. This gives independent supplement writers like myself a complete set of monsters with which to create adventures.

The other sticking point is spells and spell lists. I have future plans to write up my house rules for magic in Rolemaster and reintroduce the 5e SRD spells back into Rolemaster. That is a potential project for another day. I have already written up and sell my house rules for character creation. I have also fleshed those same rules out into a full on standalone rulebook.

The reason for the character creation and magic system is an insurance policy. One Rolemaster Unified comes out GCP are not going to support either current version of the game. It would be madness to release a new version of the game and still produce material for older versions. If, heaven forbid, the new version is a failure then there could be no future support for Rolemaster players. On the other hand, if there was a 100% compatible system out there released under the OGL and free for anyone to take, use and change then all these over versions can be supported. I will write more on this at a later date.

So back to my gaming investigations…

I do like my games on the light side of crunchy and more simulationist than narrative. This coming week I am going to start with looking at Mini Six: Bare Bones Edition by AntiPaladin Games. I have not checked but I guess that Michael reviewed this years ago. I will give my thoughts next time.

The featured image is obviously me, setting out on my quest for a new game system!

The Force is with us!

By now you probably know Fantasy Flight Games is doing a reprint of the Star Wars Role-Playing Game originally published by West End Games for its 30th anniversary. I made video about it on my YouTube Channel and I’m sharing with you all here!

You can get the West End Games D6 games here. Check out Mini Six here.

Check out this Rolling Stones article about the game.

Have a great evening! May the force be with you.