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Anyone tried The Black Company D20 game?


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#1 Phneri

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 11:12 AM

I'm a huge fan of the books and after seeing the number of reviews saying "well, this thing is getting fairly rare" and seeing about 1 copy available online I snapped it up. Just wondering if anyone's tried the setting before? It looks almost 3.5 meets warhammer for the dark, gritty, nasty combats and such.
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#2 woojitsu

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 06:36 PM

A while back, we were thinking of playing this because a couple guys in the group were reading the novels. We got as far as making characters, but the game never got off the ground. I still think that it has one of the most interesting magic mechanics in fantasy RPGs. The magic system was actually released as a separate d20 supplement with all of the setting-specific stuff ripped out of it, but I can't remember off the top of my head what the title was.
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#3 BigJackBrass

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 03:20 AM

The magic system was actually released as a separate d20 supplement with all of the setting-specific stuff ripped out of it, but I can't remember off the top of my head what the title was.

I think that was True Sorcery from Green Ronin. Looked interesting, but a bit complicated in places for my taste.
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#4 woojitsu

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 04:14 PM

It is complicated, but worth it in a low magic setting. One thing that's always annoyed me about D&D is that all wizards cast exactly the same spells. By splitting spells into their component pieces and allowing the player to mix up his own unique concoction, the system makes magic feel more special.
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#5 Phneri

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 04:06 PM

After taking it for my campaign, I can also report that the critical hit tables from the Black Company text makes a 3.5 game feel far, far, far deadlier.

Examples:

Characters breaking limbs after a severe hit,

Characters instantly killing a foe.

Characters losing half their face and both eyes after taking a very nasty hit.

I've basically replaced the massive damage rules with each character having a damage threshold and making a roll on the table if they take enough of a hit. More work for the DM, not the players, and definitely feels worth it to me.

*cackles maniacally as my party tries to find a way to grow the monk new eyes*
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#6 BigJackBrass

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 06:39 AM

*cackles maniacally as my party tries to find a way to grow the monk new eyes*

It would be much, much funnier just to get a Guide Dog for him :D
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#7 Balgin

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 09:39 AM

What is it?

That "spell components" thing sounds a bit like the Cursed Empire magic system (where the players can opt to use the so called "safe list" or do realtime spell creation in game by combining elements to make enw spells and telling the GM what they want them to do, and him looking at their spell composition to see if they've got it wrong and working out what the result is based on which parts they've actualy put together, regardless of what they were aiming for).

Yeah, spells can go seriously wrong inb that game.

"Okay, so you've got destruction, you've got fire, you've got specific target but you forgot to include range..... You're on fire!"
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#8 Phneri

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 04:05 PM

Basically it's not quite as nasty in the consequences on spellcasting, but works in a similar fashion.

You learn basic spell pieces based on the magnitude of wizard your character is (from sparkler-boy to demigod), and piece them together into various things with a Use Magic check.

For instance, scorching a foe with a light burst of flame might only be a check of 20.

Annihilating an entire city with a fiery inferno would be something like 200+.

Checks can be made easier by taking more time (hours..days..weeks...) and by using bits of magical stuff (a target's true name, hair, and blood, a cursed object, etc).

Basically gives arcane casters a very unique feel. They will undoubtedly make and use a specific set of spells for easy reference, but those spells will be something they have taken the time to craft, and likely prove unique to that character.
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