Monday, January 23, 2017
The Desing System
I thought I would take some time and review a game system that I enjoy that never really took hold. It is a simple game with an OSR feel while still having its own 'flavor'. Why am I reviewing an older game that only never had a lot of support? It's simple really, because I really dig it. Also I love the idea that it is simple enough to be used in several genre. There are Fantasy, Supers, and Sci-Fi versions available.
When I call the game 'the Desing system' it's just a reference to the creator. It doesn't really have a 'name' like some systems but that's no issue. The first thing he released using this system was a game called 'Saga of the Splintered Realms'. The core is a PWYW product as is the adventure book
The game uses the standard OSR attributes although they are rolled a bit differently. The system uses the well-known 1d20 roll to determine success or failure of actions. The main mechanic that changes things up is the Feats system. Feats involve using a special modifier (determined by the character's archetype) to preform special actions.
Feats cover everything from resisting poison and smashing things to picking locks and avoiding traps. It is somewhat of a catch-all mechanic that allows for quick resolution of tasks without a pile of mechanics. There is also a system of Talents that represent special knacks the character's archetype has.
The archetypes that I mentioned can be translated as Classes from other systems. They are simple to understand and easy to use. They have the prerequisite options like Fighter and Cleric but races like dwarves have their own templates. For example a dwarf would have the Myrmidon Template with its own special traits. Magic is also simplified to allow for versatility without bogging things down.
This system of archetypes is used throughout his games. The make things easier overall but I'll admit I want more of them. Thankfully its simple to create your own things for his system.
As I mentioned before there are two other products in his 'line'. One is a supers game called Sentinels of Echo City. The sci-fi version is named Shards of Tomorrow.
Overall I give the 'Desing System' a 4 out of 5 stars. Will it fit everyone's needs? No, of course not. But if you are looking for a simple game with lots of room for growth this will be a good one to check out.