View Full Version : The 3.5 D&D System - Used in other settings?

2015-01-22, 07:46 PM
Greetings reader, I just wanted to put down a quick question to any DM's or players who have used the 3.5 system for games that aren't set in the D&D universe. Weird question, I know, but bare with me.
I'm just curious to see or hear if anyone has used the class / skill / feat (ect.) system to help run other types of games - or adapted or home-brewed the SRD to fit to other settings.
For example - anyone who has used 3.5 to run say a science-fiction piece, or for particular one-offs or something like that.
I just ask because I was wondering if the general consensus and feedback would be to find out a more appropriate system for each individual setting OR if they had adapted 3.5, how it went and what they did with it?

2015-01-22, 08:10 PM
D20 Modern is a thing....

Edit: I suppose I should be a little more helpful. I personally have never repurposed the rules, but in old school D&D, everything was fair game. Sure, it was clownshoes, but it was fun. In the castle greyhawk module, you meet the cast of star trek.

If you've ever read the book Of Dice And Men, the author talks about how he was in a game of 3.5 based on the post-apocalyptic Vampire Hunter D. And later in The book, he designs a campaign setting that served as a kitchen sink of fiction (something involving crazed nanites and a database of all of modern day earth culture inside a crashed space ship that everyone thinks is a comet).

It's definitely doable.

2015-01-23, 05:50 AM
The SRD is of course the d20 system and there have been a pile of adaptations of it to various settings or to fantasy settings but with some tweaks to the rules.

The d20 Modern system has a core book and then a series of supplements for various timelines. So everything from the 17th century to urban fantasy to the apocalypse and then more scifi.

In addition to d20 Modern WotC also put out a d20 Star Wars game.

An open generic version called True 20 is also out there along with its various supplements.

Mutants and Masterminds, at least the 2ed core book, is a d20 superhero system. But since it's a tweak of d20 that drops classes in favor of a skill based and advantages/faults system you can just strip out the supers and do what you want with that.

Be sure to checkout drivethrurpg.com as they have a number of free intro books and occasionally even the full books themselves are free. All as downloadable pdfs.

Milo v3
2015-01-23, 07:07 AM
One of my favourite settings that I've made was effectively 3.5e + custom magic items to make a sci-fi setting, not full on Tippyverse in it's magic item use but it did the job.

My group also once discussed using 3.5e to run giant mecha vs. kajui battles, sadly exam periods stopped us from trying it, but even just discussing it was immensely fun with us theorising potential characters and figuring out how to reflavour the powers to increase the awesomeness.

2015-01-24, 05:39 PM
From what I've gleaned from the comments:
- The D&D 3.5 system can be successfully adapted to other settings, provided that the mechanical parts of each of the classes and of feats are individually examined on a point to point basis. For example, magic as science but re-flavored.
- Alternatively, other systems made from d20 are also highly recommended as they are purpose built to deal with many of the likely scenarios that would occur. Mutants and mastermind and d20 Modern taking spotlight.

I previously dabbled with the idea of running a giant mech campaign with the 3.5 class system as a basis for different chasis and builds. @MiloV3, we should compare notes!

@Goblin Gilmartin, ah yes, the drivethrurpg website, a useful toolbox. I have it saved. Good plug! I didn't know about the d20 modern supplements, I do know that the SRD is freely available online though, so that's nice.

I suppose the next logical question is - how far do you think / know you can push the 3.5 system? What are the limitations, what isn't d20 good at systematically?

Milo v3
2015-01-24, 06:37 PM
I suppose the next logical question is - how far do you think / know you can push the 3.5 system? What are the limitations, what isn't d20 good at systematically?

In most cases, I think 3.5e system actually isn't that amazing with any setting since how it's main mechanics work (especially magic) do not mechanically represent any real example from media aside from Vance's novels, which make reflavouring amazingly difficult in my experience.

The only reason it functions easiest with generic fantasy is because magic is handwaved the easiest.

2015-01-24, 07:24 PM
What are the limitations, what isn't d20 good at systematically?

Any setting where a knife between the shoulderblades WILL cramp a wizard's style. (Hitpoints just get silly at high levels...)

Are you including M&M in 'd20'? Because most other d20 games I know of are class'n'level, with all the limitations that implies.

2015-01-24, 10:20 PM
It should be noted d20 starwars is also a reasonably popular system. I've never played it but heard it's pretty good.