True20

True20 (quick review)


I recently picked up a copy of True20 and wanted to throw out some quick thoughts about the system. It’s amazingly similar (obviously) to the essence of d20. Every action has a target number, and there’s a particular combination of skill, feat, ability, modifier, and die roll necessary to achieve success with that particular action.

For anyone who’s familiar with the endless supply of d20 supplements, you’ll find a lot of familiar territory here. The truth is, True20 is basically d20 GURPS.

I was a huge fan of 2nd Edition AD&D, though I hated the huge number of kits that followed the core system. As the system grew (and grew and grew!), I began running games that only used material from the core books, thus giving my games a less expansive feel, and forcing my players to do things through inventiveness. Yes, it is possible to have a Knight without all the kits, you simply have a Paladin who takes an oath to a King. Imagine that.

For this reason, I appreciate the toned down “class” system (it has only three – Adept, Expert, and Warrior). The player would then tinker and tailor their character to fit whatever mold they wanted based on their idea.

I was less impressed with the feat system. Even though I never played a 3rd Edition game, I did buy the books when it first came out and was immediately disillusioned with both feats and prestige classes. I felt they were both nothing more than fancy new ways to integrate all that kit nonsense into the body of the game.

I will say, however, that with True20 being a stripped down/generic version of d20, the feats don’t seem as overpowering as they felt in 3rd Edition. My one big fear is that, like with expansions for 3 and 3.5, the number of feats will grow exponentially toward ridiculous.

Nonetheless, I have to say I’m fairly impressed with the system. I’ve easily come up with a small handful of settings that would be easy to use with True20 and I’m eager to see what the upcoming True20 Companion offers.

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