Why Pay to Play?™
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Current: September 15, 2013
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Dungeons Daring is a fantasy roleplaying game that has been released as a free, open source gaming product much in the same sense that LINUX® is a free, open computer operating system. The official guidelines and companion products are be available for free downloading in PDF form at this website.
This describes a part of what Dungeons Daring is. To keep things clear, let us look first at what Dungeons Daring isn't:
· Dungeons Daring is not a Dungeons-and-Dragons®-lookalike. It is a different game from D&D®.
· Dungeons Daring is not a d20® or OGL 3.5 product, although it does use some open game content from the d20 Standard Reference Document.
So, what is Dungeons Daring? It is a fantasy roleplaying game that has the following goals:
· To be relatively simple to learn and play.
· To strongly emphasize roleplaying rather than detailed and complex rules structures. Common dice-generated abilities like Intelligence, Wisdom, Comeliness and Charisma are left totally to role-playing in Dungeons Daring. Instead, abilities such as Magical Aptitude and Mechanical Aptitude are measured.
· To focus upon the story and role-playing elements of the adventure rather than being targeted toward hack-and-slash adventuring or an RPG style that focuses upon strategies and rules.
· To be a player-character-driven game rather than one that is forced along its path by gods, deity-like icons or high-powered non-player characters. Gods are regional powers in Dungeons Daring, and their clerics tend to be non-player characters with limited powers.
· To be designed in a manner that allows game masters to modify texts, dungeon plans and maps to suit their own campaign goals. Texts are available in the editable reference documents, and all maps, floor plans, dungeon plans and encounter scenarios are available in editable form for use with the cartographic program Fractal Mapper 8.
· To provide a free and legal game foundation for game masters and players who wish to publish their own adventures and fantasy RPG inventions.
Each of these points has effects. In the interest of simplicity, Dungeons Daring does not have rules that tell you what happens to your character every time he or she sneezes or moves a foot or 30 cm to the right or the left. In such situations, we leave the matter up to common sense, with the game master having the final word.
Dungeons Daring is an ability-based game. There are no character levels, experience points, skills, feats or saving throws. Dungeons Daring does not decide whether a person is won over to a certain argument, bluffed, etc. as a result of statistics and dice rolls. These are matters of role-playing in Dungeons Daring. The basic Dungeons Daring ability scores for strength, dexterity, stamina, magical aptitude and mechanical aptitude and are extended through a wide variety of additional abilities.
The new 4E release package includes:
· The Players Guide, the Game Masters Guide and the Creature Guide as open, bookmarked PDF files. There are no control inscriptions of your name or sections that are protected from copying or editing. The three books have a total of 880 pages, all in Letter Format (similar to European DIN A 4), with 10 point Arial as the predominant font.
· Three reference documents in the .odt format of OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice.org. These files also can be opened and edited in modern versions of Microsoft® Word. The reference documents give you the ability to edit and modify our texts in any way you choose. Under the terms of the Open Game License, you also can cut and paste from our texts in the reference document and use those in your own work, regardless of whether it's material for your own RPG campaign or a new product of your own for the RPG market. With the help of cut-and-paste operations, you also can "snag" JPG versions of all of the maps, floor plans, dungeon plans and encounter scenarios in our publication for your own use in terms of the OGL. This is one part of what our open source system offers.
· All of the maps, floor plans, dungeons plans and scenarios from the Dungeons Daring core books in their native Fractal Mapper™ 8 format. You can download these original maps free and modify or build upon them in any manner you choose. This the second element of our open source concept.
We're excited about 4th Edition, because it was designed just as much by Dungeons Daring players and game masters as by us, the members of the Vintyri Project. 4E is a huge departure from the first two versions and an improvement of 3rd Edition. Our users have been telling us that they want, above all, the following things from Dungeons Daring 3rd Edition:
· An ability-based game.
· A game that is simpler to run and play than the first two editions or OGL 3.5 games.
· An RPG that's just about the opposite of the market leader, Pathfinder® or Dungeons & Dragons® in the current 4th edition and the D&D Next test versions or OGL 3.5 games.
· A role-playing game with its own published campaign setting and adventures.
On the first point, you'll find that 4th Edition is completely ability-and-check based. Characters are made by defining abilities, and the result of actions is determined by ability checks against opposing checks and difficulty levels. Our playtesters are reporting that this system is working well, running smoothly and producing good and credible results with far fewer dice rolls and considerably less math than in most other RPGs that they know.
Our test community is divided on the question of professions, which are much the same thing as character classes in OGL 3.5 games, Pathfinder and Dungeons & Dragons. Our solution is to make the Dungeons Daring professions optional. A player can build a fully competent and extremely versatile PC in 4th Edition without ever choosing a profession (or class). But those who want the strictly defined scope of character classes with a few goal-oriented bonuses added still are free to choose a profession.
Interestingly, the game masters who tested 4th Edition told us that many players were reluctant to give up the traditional class system. They chose the optional 4th Edition professions, but they also said that those who skipped the class system and made PCs based upon ability selection alone had more fun and also had the more successful PCs.
On the second point, our playtesters tell us that we've reached our goal of simplifying the game. Almost everything in 4th Edition from combat to the success of spellcasting to sneak attempts is decided by a d20 roll plus the applicable ability value. The other five dice usually are used only to determine damage (2d4 points, for example), time (4d6 hours), distance (2d8 spaces), number of targets affected (3d10 orcs), number of balls of fire (2d12) etc. Playtesting game masters say they seldom need to look up guidelines during game time. Magic users appear to be the only group that regularly hits the books, still needing to look up information on spells more often than we would like.
In eliminating character levels, experience points, skills, feats, saving throws and the like, we also appear to be satisfying our users' desires for a game that's the opposite of Pathfinder, Dungeons & Dragons and OGL 3.5 games, according to the input that we've received.
As most of you know, the first key products of the free Jörðgarð™ campaign setting are nearing completion. The starting adventure in the 1E and 2E Dungeons Daring games masters guides, The Last Mill, does not appear in 3rd or 4th Edition. Instead, we'll soon be releasing the first adventure in the Jörðgard Fallen Empire Adventure Trail as an introductory adventure.
Like all Vintyri Project products, Dungeons Daring 4th Edition and the Jörðgarð series are being released free in bookmarked PDF form as open source, open gaming products under the Open Game License 1.0a. Free, fully editable versions of all texts, maps, floor plans, dungeon plans and encounter scenarios also are available for free downloading. The only costs are the fees that you pay to your Internet provider. The Vintyri Project sells nothing.
Dungeons Daring 1E, 2E and 3E continue to be available for free download. These are important points for those playing in Dungeons Daring 1E or 2E campaigns. 3E and the current 4E are both similar and compatible.
· The 1st, 2nd Edition and 3rd Edition books will continue to be available for those who don't want to switch systems in the middle of a campaign as well as those who prefer 1E, 2E or 3E. However, these earlier editions will not be further developed.
· 1E, 2E and 3E are not compatible with one another, but 3E is compatible with 4E.
The starter adventure The Last Mill in the Game Masters Guide of 1E and 2E includes a large number of maps, floor plans and dungeon plans. All were made with the commercial cartographic program Fractal Mapper™ 8 from NBOS Software. Game masters who wish to modify these original maps can download them free in FM8 format, which allows full modification. These original maps also have been released under the Open Game License.
The Dungeons Daring game system is Open Game Content. However, the Dungeons Daring name trademark and graphical logo trademark are identified as Product Identity and are not available as Open Game Content. This is necessary to:
1. Preserve the meaning of the Dungeons Daring trademarks.
2. To meet requirements of laws in the European Union and the Federal Republic of Germany to prevent the publication of illegal material with our trademarks.
However, those who wish to publish material with the official Dungeons Daring trademarks can do so under the Dungeons Daring Trademark License Agreement. See the menu option at the top of this page.
Click here to read the Trademark License.
Click here to download the trademark license.
A relatively new game like Dungeons Daring™ can become valuable only after supporting material is available for it, material like campaign settings and adventures. The first core propducts of our new Jörðgarð campaign setting will be released soon as a free, open game, open source product written for the Dungeons Daring™ game.
We also are planning a version for the OGL 3.5 system used by such games as the Pathfinder® RPG from Paizo® Publishing, True20™ from Green Ronin and Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 from Wizards of the Coast® Inc.
So … what does this mean to you?
It means that you not only will have a free RPG in Dungeons Daring but also an open, free and highly detailed campaign setting and adventures (modules) available for it. All of this, of course, underlines the Vintyri Project slogan: Why pay to play?™
What do we mean by that? We think it's great when people create commercial RPG products, and we intend to support folks who want to do that with the Dungeons Daring game system. But we don't believe that creative people who want to make RPG material should be hampered by license fees, threats of suits over copyright violations or by more restrictions than are necessary to see to it that misrepresentations aren't being made and the law isn't being broken.
With Dungeons Daring, anyone who wants to develop material – free or commercial – is able to do so, and not only for the game system but also for the Jörðgarð campaign setting. Click here for more information.