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Tkalamov

How well would Genesys handle D&D-like dungeon crawls?

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Question in the title. 

Being a generic system, Genesys is supposed to theoretically handle all sorts of genres, but the general vibe I get is more of a pulpy, action-style gameplay, and that sufficient tweaks are necessary to mold the system to be similar to D&D. Has anyone already started a campaign that is D&D inspired, and if yes, what are your experiences? 

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Genesys will handle any setting/genre but its a NARRATIVE rpg not a tactical rpg (ie MMO's or D&D). There are threads here that cover Dragonlance and Pathfinder setting conversions (races, classes, magic) for use in ROLEplaying with the idea the Story is much more important then combat or excessive game mechanics.

Dungeon Crawls are not a genre or setting. It is a slog that is almost always nothing little more then endless combat. This is fine for D&D as it places high emphasis on hack and slash and ROLEplaying is seen as necessary evil that is almost always treated as an impediment to killing the monsters and taking their gold and XP. If your looking to capture this style of play, Genesys is probably not the best option but YMMV.

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The biggest challenge I see to this is how dungeon crawls are typically done on a grid and the specific movement and location of every character is important to the game. Genesys is not really geared toward this type of gameplay. Groups that have been only playing D&D type games that switch to Genesys may have some growing pains.

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I don't think the game need any change to fit D&D. And I think D&D would be far away better if played with Genesys system. 200%.

D&D, played both as hack-and-slash or Lord of the Rings, have similiar aspects: 1) A lot of action; 2) Dramatic things happens all the time; 3) Hordes of small creatures to fight and sometimes few bosses;

All of this is covered with maestry by Genesys. The dice system can provide this, the Story points could help this, the adversary system could help this and so on.

I haven't played but I'm 200% sure that Genesys will fit better to play D&D than the D20 system. I'd cut my fingers if i'm wrong.

The biggest problem is to use the system very well. At least in my personal experience, players have a lot of difficulty to be GM as well, you know? They have some fear to create new things, some of them would use more to create a personal advantage instead of helping the history growth better...

If the players know how to play and want to use this system, it would be awesome. Genesys has almost everything to keep the story going on, with a lot of action an cool moments, much more easier to create than in D&D/Pathfinder system.

OBS.: Try to play like a movie, not like a turn-based RPG.

Edited by Bellyon

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The big thing with the dungeon crawl conversion is that many of the old school dungeon crawls don't have a plot.  The whole goal is attack a dungeon to get stuff.  Genesys could do that, but not well.  Now if your dungeon is set up as the Evil Priest's temple, with underbosses and hordes of minions, it may work.  Just make sure to include a non-kill everything option.  Sneak in to steal the Evil ArtifactTMRescue the captive.  But just killing everything would get rather boring in this system.

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Genesys is a narrative RPG with (I'd say) a medium level of crunch. It's more complicated than Fate or Dungeon World but less complicated than Shadowrun or (involuntary shudder) Rifts/Palladium. About as complicated as D&D 5th Edition, but I'd say more accessible to newbies and with very different goals. The narrative focus of Genesys doesn't preclude dungeon crawls, however, for two main reasons:

1. Gear can be important to character advancement.

In Star Wars Roleplaying, this fact became clear abundantly quickly. You aren't getting a Characteristic increase every few levels like in D&D. You're getting it at the bottom of a talent tree, maybe. In Genesys, you're buying Dedication at Tier 5 once, maybe a few more times if your GM house rules it. Skills cap at rank 5. You want to keep getting more dangerous and better protected? Other than talents, your answer is: find better gear! And what will you find in a dungeon? Better gear. Maybe even gear that helps with other parts of the dungeon.

2. Strain as a meta-economy of plot and survival.

Most RPGs and miniature war games have what's called an action economy: the efficient possibilities for using player actions in combat (actions here as an abstract term, not the specific mechanic in Genesys). But Genesys has a meta-economy of your strain, which should be moving up and down throughout the session. When you plan out a dungeon crawl for Genesys, consider what encounters in the dungeon will be strain dealing (this could be combat, traps, and puzzles) and how that strain can be dealt out in the narrative. How strained each character in the party is at any one time is a good gauge on the tension, and how much further the party can go in the dungeon. They'll need a bit of breathing room to suffer strain activating talents during combat, but if they're consistently clearing all their strain its too easy.

Edited by sfRattan

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In this case, it would be a case of level design. If you can create a location that is elaborate, interesting, and has more to do than just kill monsters, avoid traps, fight a boss, steal treasure, you could pull it off, but you're moving further and further away from the Temple of Horrors. Mysteries, puzzles, lore, resources, story. Create less of a creepy set of caves or a dragon's lair, and more of a place that has significance.

If it's a fortress on a mountain that's been taken over by a necromancer, and the story required the PCs to break in, kill the necromancer, drive out the undead, and reclaim the fortress, that could be a fun adventure, but you'd only ever need to do a single dungeon crawl.

Actually, now that I've written that down it does seem interesting, especially if you shift the focus to managing the fortress, like with the base/homestead rules from Star Wars.

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I'm putting my guys through Tomb of Annihilation at the moment.  It works fine.  We also play in a 5E game my co-GM runs.  Most prefer the FFG dice system.  

Both have their resources that have to be managed, whether it's Strain, or spell slots/hit dice.  I prefer the FFG system because I feel like the PCs are more engaged and enjoy managing a resource that is stressed during the encounter, as opposed to one stressed by the total number of encounters in the case of spell slots and hit dice. 

Strain can still be an issue between encounters as Medicine checks and Cool/Discipline, can't typically replace an entirely depleted Strain pool.

Overall I think the FFG system has way more shelf life for a campaign.  Higher level D&D characters are gods and essentially can't be meaningfully injured or killed without absurd encounters.  A high level FFG character can always take a bad arrow in the eye, or any kind of attack that bypasses Soak, and they're F-ed.

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The biggest difference to me in the 'feel' of the system is adjusting your point of view to how they handle rounds. A 1 minute long round is a more cinematic combat than the blow by blow of most other systems. An attack isn't 'i swing my sword' it's more roll the dice and then figure out what you did. Dodge left to slice the cobalds arm while swinging up to lop off the hand of the one next to him! (critical hit + enough advantage to give that minion group a black die). So if you can get your players in to thinking of how their successes and advantages as more of what cool jon wick stile moves they used while fighting it can be quite fun but it is a departure from most games out their.

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43 minutes ago, Darksyde said:

A 1 minute long round is a more cinematic combat than the blow by blow of most other systems.

Is this RAW in either SWRPG or Genesys? I think it's a perfectly reasonable way to run combat in either system, but I've seen 'one minute' repeated online and not been able to find it in any of the Core Rulebooks' combat chapters. Is it dev advice or FAQ info?

Again, not trying to criticize as I think it's a workable way to define combat rounds, but I want to settle that I'm-going-crazy feeling from not finding it written down anywhere.

 

Edited by sfRattan

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One minute is approximate, a round is as long as it needs to be, think of them like shots in a movie. Sometimes a round is 5 seconds of action, others it’s a minute of back and forth. A round could even be longer, five minutes of chase or a stand off.

 

As far a single the op, yes. In a DnD dungeon crawl you will often have characters searching every single square for traps and secrets, Genesys doesn’t need you to be that granular. I would probably take it room by room, as a group enters a room I would ask them to describe their actions:

”Alfonso is going to search the entire room for traps, moving slowly and paying particular attention to the floor”

Set a Difficulty and roll.

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Something not yet addressed by other posts I think is that Genesys doesn't award you experience on a per-kill basis. This is a rather drastic frame shift (and pretty much summarizes the difference in game design ethos between the two) from D&D. This could certainly be adapted easily into the system, but in Genesys it's about "why are you in the dungeon?" Not "what is in the dungeon?"

To answer your question, yes, Genesys can absolutely do dungeon crawls, but why?

;)

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8 hours ago, sfRattan said:

Is this RAW in either SWRPG or Genesys? I think it's a perfectly reasonable way to run combat in either system, but I've seen 'one minute' repeated online and not been able to find it in any of the Core Rulebooks' combat chapters. Is it dev advice or FAQ info?

Again, not trying to criticize as I think it's a workable way to define combat rounds, but I want to settle that I'm-going-crazy feeling from not finding it written down anywhere.

 

SWEotE page 198 "rounds can last for roughly a minute or so in time, although the elapsed time is deliberately not specified."

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I think it is suited to dungeon crawlers as well as other RPG styles and does indeed make them possible, and potentially better, as following on from the comments above they take it away from number crunching and some of the more mundane things quite a bit and the focus on bash the monsters / who hits zero hit points first to actually thinking more about story, conventional RPG games can and do do story well- I've played great dungeon crawls that have been great fun even though that's basically all they were but the fact Genesys makes narrative the focus should be a boost for any kind of RPG.

 

'Evolving Story'-style RPG's will work really well- if you are GM and prepared to run a game that isn't 'every enemy must be mashed' Genesys will probably work at its best, but those kinds of games can be fun too (especially when it comes to wizards spellcasting each other to smithereens or heroes battling some fantastical beast...) and the system still works fine for this but Genesys makes valuable use of the fact RPG's can be so much more, regardless of if this is a part of them or not, it can also move things away from 'no you've got to keep fighting it 'cause it still has 1246 hit points left and you ONLY win if you die roll it to zero' to (possibly) quicker more fun resolutions of encounters either because the dice and player/GM response to them means the fight progresses more by story than by numbers (even if the numbers are going on 'behind the scenes' which may make for better GM'ing anyway) or because the story aspect means something else other than rolling dice to the death happens.

 

I keep emphasizing though, any system has flexibility- so you can make it work to how you wish to play it, so you could always make it a bit of a combo of other systems plus Genesys to suit the play style of you and your players or you and  your GM- try different things and see which variations of options you most enjoy, but also I'd say see if you can make your ideas fit vanilla Genesys as it is because it could be a lot more fun- after all the less an RPG is constantly rolling dice and mathing out rules and updating numbers and the more it's a fun, dynamic, player involved story the better.

 

I think Genesys also encourages more creativity- what can you present players with other than just other living things and enemies? What can happen other than the 363rd fight? And as both players and GM what stories can these different elements tell. Pages 7 (Narrative play) and 125 (Gaming the system) are worth reading often as a reminder of the benefits of story being key and a narrative system. But this doesn't prevent a dungeon crawl even the standard see what's behind the door/ through there/ round the next corner kind of dungeon crawl, it just adds a lot to it by opening up so many more ways it can unfold. Terrinoth settings are likely to have quite a few dungeon crawler style moments- especially if rooted in the likes of Descent- but the system's quite good for taking any such conventional stock gaming generics far beyond their basic starting point into something more interesting and evolved. I'm trying to keep this in mind for the one I'm working on - not easy but it's worth trying to remember to keep things varied when building RPG settings.

 

In terms of tactical RPG use, remember D and D had a more novice version and an advanced version as it evolved, again with RPG systems being adaptable you could make it more tactics based if you wish- if they work for you and your players you can add any specifics you wish, again you'd have to see how well it worked with the Genesys system and if it works for your players but as has been said elsewhere in the forums some people like RPG play where knowing the game system and ruleset and mastering these is important just as with board games and the like, so if these kinds of strategic games are your group's thing and you want elements of difficulty based on having a system to get to know, as with some other RPG's, you could see if this works. You don't always have to build that in with rulesets though- if it's a particular setting or theme you know well it could have its own conventions that maybe inform what would be weak, average or advanced player character responses that could interplay with the narrative dice to make the game a more challenging one for players who like things a bit meatier. You can add things it does benefit players to build their knowledge of that will enhance their play tactically as a player mastering a game if you do feel Genesys is a bit RPG-lite for your preferred play style.. With so many ways of running and playing an RPG speaking generally about the hobby, the best sessions I've been in have always seen the system as a toolkit nothing more, that toolkit then crafts the style of play most suited to those playing it, which could be sticking rigidly to that toolkit, or adapting it perhaps even bringing in one or two bits that you feel work really well from other systems. What works best for the RPG story you want to share?, how do you want to play it? and how light or strategic do you want it to be?  These forums should be a good place to share feedback on such play style options.

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