Okay, this is something that has no direct relation to any of the current "Star Trek Adventures" topics, in any shape, form, or fashion, but it is something that I've been working over for the last while.
When d20 premiered in '99 with "D&D 3.0", my brothers, friends and I were part of the cultural wave that went, "Wow! A new system, and one concocted by a company that specializes in RPGs exclusively! This has GOT to be good!" Cut to a half-decade or so later, and we were left with kilos' worth of hardcover books that were serving as attractive paperweights. The d20 system, no matter how we kept trying to work it, came across as something where the role-playing aspect got left in the dirt in favour of a pure numbers conflict/comparison. One of the most egregious aspects of this was the feats - as my brother stated, every feat you've got is one less thing you CAN'T do in the game. On one site that I post on - and have followed since '00 - one individual involved in the development process for Decipher's Coda system referred to d20 as the "lingua franca" of the RPG world. Coda's point as a clear derivation of d20 stands through in all of Decipher's "Star Trek" RPG publications.
We did - and still do - play "AD&D" first edition, and while I am aware that Paizo Publishing has successfully reworked and expanded the d20 system into "Pathfinder" - and bully for them for doing so - d20, in all its incarnations, has become something of a past RPG generation that our gang talks about, shake our heads over and then move on from. From my perspective, one of the first major breaks from the d20 stranglehold that had apparently been placed on gaming systems was Troll Lord Games' Siege system for "Castles & Crusades", a game I did and still do have enormous respect and liking for.
The point being that, as the industry (if I can refer to it as such) has moved on and forward, we seem to be moving further and further away from d20 as the standpoint that RPGs SHOULD embrace and utilize in order to maximize profitability. Modiphius' 2d20 system, as least as applied to "Star Trek", puts the dice rolling in a definite secondary position as compared to inciting genuine player involvement and contribution; a prime example being the conception and working in Values, Focuses and Talents, all of which are partly or wholly the result of player/GM collaboration rather than picking out of a predetermined list. The point that Attributes and Disciplines do NOT see improvement with experience but rather shifting definitions with the above categories serves as prima facie evidence for this argument. Did the characters LEARN anything or have their view of the world changed in some way? THIS sort of point seems to serve as the focus for character development and maturity, rather than racking up experience points.
The question: Does anyone else feel that we're in what qualifies as a "rebirth" or renaissance era where embrasure of something, or somethings, that VIOLATE the d20 set-up are now not only accepted as valid but regarded as the "new normal"? It's my sincere hope that Modiphius, and 2d20's, point of player/GM cooperation and discussion to create a role-playing story, rather than an accounting exercise where characters "win", is the direction we're looking to pursue - at least as far as "Star Trek" and its like are concerned.
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