Acclaimed author of the Universal Decay Role Playing Game rule set, Tyler Barrell frequents DRAGON to find new test subjects. Tyler is a full time author, his books can be found here. He is always looking for people interested in trying his books on for size.
EDITION PI (aka 3.1415) (DnD variant)
This system is a mix of the best/most playable parts of 3.0 and 3.5, with some balance tweaks (like non-suck monks and a haste spell that WORKS), and a LOT of "why wasn't this in the base books?". Most noticeable are the additions of all the PC-ready races into the pi PHB, introduction of elemental wizards, and the full integration of a balanced and easy to play psionics system (which takes up only about 20-30 pages, including "magic" item chapter in the pi DMG).
EDITION PI BOOKS
* Edition Pi Personal How-To Book (pi PHB): The big book of "how to make a character" using the Edition pi rules.
* Edition Pi Dominant Magi's Grimoire (pi DMG): A guidebook for DM's using the edition pi rules, containing DM-specific rules and reference material.
* Edition pi Minions and Monsters (pi MM)L: The tome of things that go bump in the night...or at any time, really.
* Can of Dragon Juice (Warning! Do not cast spells or operate magical items when under the influence of this beverage): Despite it's tongue-in-cheek name (a hallmark of all the "splat-books" for Edition pi) this is essentially the guidebook for arcane spellcasters.
* Can of Sacred Oil (Caution! Contents under divine observation, defile at your own risk): This is the second-most developed of the "Can of" series books, focusing on divine spellcasters.
* Can of Slimy Goodness (Warning! Drinking this beverage may lead to a career in politics or law): This book adds extra options, and explores the subsystems of, characters that are on the sneaky and social side. Mainly geared for rogues, it also can be used for social-oriented bards, sneak-oriented rangers, and so on.
* Can of Whupass (Caution! Contents under extreme pressure, point away from face when opening): This book is all about characters that kick ass, giving them more feat choices and even some nice progression paths. One thing people seem to like are the "no pain monks", at least in concept.
UNIVERSAL DECAY (d20 variant)
This system is a complete reworking of the 3.0/3.5 system, to the point where it is barely recognizable. The entire system has been broken down, reshaped, and built back up into a MUCH more balanced and modular set of rules. Despite all the changes this entails, it still takes only a few minutes to learn (partly BECAUSE the modular nature lets you mess around with only the things you want to mess around with). Here are some highlights -
* "Dead Stars" Setting: Instead of a pseudo-medieval fantasy world the core rule book incorporates a sci-fi setting with horror elements. This is not such a big deal, it contains an entire chapter (and copious in other settings entries) for using the system wherever you might want to tread...or just rock on with your blaster-wielding bug-man.
* Character Creation: Instead of rolling dice for ability scores you prioritize what is most to least important to you in a character, with ability scores being just one aspect. Want the highest ability scores? Then you have to cope with average-to-lousy ratings in other areas like skill points and starting cash.
* Durability: Your Hit Points equal your Constitution score...deal with it. If you are LUCKY you can eek out a few more points from other sources, but no more 100+ HP fighter heat shields!
* Races: Each race has a list of skills that are ALWAYS class skills for members of that race.
* Classes: Each base class has only 10 levels, and prestige classes only 5. Not all classes get a base attack bonus!
* Skills: The game is FAR more skill-based, with all types of skills fully integrated into the game. Meat-headed warriors can still kick butt...but without any social skills they have a hard time buying decent gear!
* Combat: No more "critical hits", instead the amount you pass the to-hit roll by becomes a damage bonus! Also armor ABSORBS damage (and gets messed up QUICK) instead of deflecting it, so you better get yourself sum o' dat. Finally the rules have a fully integrated (and optional of course) item creation system that allows you to play technogeek to get the best gear for the situation...instead of having to buy a separate book for a dozen more varieties of swords.
* Powers: Each type of special power has been seriously rethought and rewritten. Magic uses the Spellcraft skill to ACTUALLY CRAFT SPELLS! Psionics are now a mix of feats to access categories, and skill checks to USE them successfully.
UNIVERSAL DECAY BOOKS
* Dead Stars Rule Book: This is the main rule book in the Universal Decay system. It includes the sci-fi/horror Dead Stars campaign setting, as well as a guide on adapting the book to OTHER campaigns.
Currently an Edition Pi 'Pirates' game, GM'ed by Tristan Eifler, and a Dead Stars campaign run by Samuel Weber, both occurring at DRAGON on alternating weeks.
We are currently looking for a fourth player for Sunday afternoon gaming sessions; currently slated for game play are the UD Supers campaign, Cape and Hammer, and the modern day horror setting, 'The Shadows Move'.
For more information, feel free to contact Tyler at <strutinan AT hotmail DOT com>
TYLER'S PLAYTEST RULES
For DnD they are: elite array for ability scores (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8), 3rd-level characters, DaemonEye Publishing products ONLY (since WotC products are expressly forbidden from even being acknowledged to exist by WotC, not a single word in them can be used without fear of litigation).
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