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D&D style magic rules for 2D20 system (for Dark Sun)

I would love to see something like Gurps or Cypher where you get the generic, core, fantasy, and Sci-fi books for this system. I love the IP’s they are using, but I think there is a market for just the base system as well.

I would like to use 2D20(Conan) to run Dark Sun but I need some ideas for the magic system and psionics.

Has anybody tried this yet?

I am thinking something like this:

every consequence or doom you take is a foot of ash
but momentum is free

and Defilers
every success, consequence, or momentum you spend equals a foot of ash

This would uphold the lore that Defilers can’t hide their magic but preserves don’t have to destroy

I have no idea for the list of spells though short of reworking them all there are just not enough spells in 2D20 yet.

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This is just my ideas, as I have been considering the same thing:

At least 1 Doom is required to cast a spell and ONLY Doom may be spent in place of Momentum spends for Defiler magic.

Radius of ash/defiled area around the Defiler would be equal to square of the Doom spent in feet -
1 Doom is a 1 foot radius, 2 Doom 4 feet radius, 3 Doom 9 feet radius, 4 Doom 16 feet radius, 5 Doom 25 feet radius, 6 Doom 36 feet radius.

Using Doom for magic decreases the Difficulty for casting spells by 1, to a minimum of 1.

Complications and additional Doom spends increase the radius of ash by one category.

2 Momentum can be spent to decrease the effect of the Defiled area by one category (repeatable).

Complications and Doom spends cause defilement, as though the spell was a Defiler spell.

2 Momentum can be spent to decrease the effect of the Defiled area by one category (repeatable).

Increase Difficulty of magic by 1 due to the additional care in drawing energy for magic without causing defilement.

As for spells, I would look at trying to combine spells from DnD/Pathfinder in some kind of related grouping and give the overall spell another name, similar to how spells are set-up in Conan.

Enthrall (Difficulty 0)
Command (Difficulty 1)
Charm Person (Difficulty 2)
Suggestion (Difficulty 3)
Compulsion (Difficulty 4)
Mass Suggestion (Difficulty 5)

More work would obviously need to be done to make it fit with the 2d20 Conan mechanics, but it could work.

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Dark Sun to me begs for the “classic” Conan magic. The existing system can easily allow defilement to work as an alternative to sacrifice, I would think. Preserving is tougher but I think it would work, too.

I think Conan would be a great system to run Dark Sun or other pulp/swords & sorcery genres, actually, in a way that D&D, especially 5E, isn’t so fantastic at, at least without a good bit of hacks.


If you look at the original art by Brom, it’s clear they were HEAVILY influenced by Frazzetta’s art.

One reason why I love the 2d.20 system. Feels more like heroic fantasy than Dungeons and Dragons ever did.

D&D definitely has its moments and I’ve played a ton of it, but it doesn’t really have the tools in the system for heroic fantasy. In particular, Threat/Momentum really help ensure the heroic feel, whereas D&D is much more of a wargame in its roots, even in 5E, with very few mechanisms for affecting rolls aside from magic items and strong niche protection.

I will say this, though: D&D is one of the best games for a party of about five PCs, especially lower level. I think STA does a somewhat larger group well, but my feeling from having run Conan and JCA is that they really do best with a smaller group, say one or two PCs and maybe some hench to beef them up. Makes sense if you read the Conan stories. He is a lone wolf or has a few followers that aren’t really PC-worthy most of the time, only rarely really having a peer around, such as Valeria in Red Nails. John Carter might have Deja Thoris or Tharks. Conan with five PCs was, in my experience, just sick and wrong.

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