[D&D] Symbaroum moving to DnD5e

#1
Great news, best yet from Fria Ligan, with Symbaroum being migrated to D&D5e.

Free League is converting their award-winning dark fantasy tabletop RPG, Symbaroum, to use the Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition system.

The game was designed by a game studio called Järnringen, that merged with Free League in 2018, bringing along Symbaroum and its core team of creatives, including two of us who are involved in the 5E conversion. The Symbaroum rule set is a d20, roll under, fully player-facing system, designed to be quick, punishing, and easy to get into. Also, it is highly flexible and modular, so those who want more complexity are offered numerous optional rules, or can easily introduce their own house rules.

Ruins of Symbaroum [5E] - The Promised Land.jpg
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#2
Not sure that counts as migration.
They will have to adopt a lot of the gritty options from the DMG and it will be interesting to see what they do with magic causing corruption.
It can work in my opinion.
Starting to feel like the worst of the last d20 glut.
Will they have a custom spell list?
 
#3
Not sure that counts as migration.
They will have to adopt a lot of the gritty options from the DMG and it will be interesting to see what they do with magic causing corruption.
It can work in my opinion.
Starting to feel like the worst of the last d20 glut.
Will they have a custom spell list?
History repeats itself. With most players stuck upon the D&D bandwagon, the third party publishers were losing out on a vast demographic.

Personally, I enjoyed playing the original Symbaroum but never ran the GM in GM shoes, do never purchased it.

With DnD5e the engine for Symbaroum, I will purchase it big time to run, like I did with Adventures in Middle-earth and Trudvang Adventures, while I avoided purchase of the original systems of The One Ring and Trudvang Chronicles respectively.

I am betting the sales statistics bear out the advantages of selling new fantasy settings as DnD alternatives in theme only rather than also throwing up the challenges of learning new rules.

I saw this trend earlier when I posted on these forums "the rise and rise of game engines" in that eventually, all games will be powered by DnD or other established game engines like Savage Worlds, FATE, Open d6 or Fria Ligan's d6 YZE (the fastest growing award winning engine) , or more niche ones like Cortex or the Modiphus 2d20 or Monte Cook's Cypher. Chaosium was a bit slow on this uptake, only officially publishing their d100 BRP OGL this year.
 
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#4
For example, I was cautious about the new Masters of the Universe RPG, but it selecting Cortex Prime is something not ideal but still okay.

The Hellboy RPG using DnD5e was a dream come true since it also adopts some of the Modiphius 2d20 Doom mechanics while offering all the DnD5e you need in the core book alone.
 
#7
The d20 boom was such a success, it’s time it happened again.

?!

(If I’m objective, 5e is a better choice for a major generic system than d20 was, as its much simpler at its core, but still).
 
#8
'A 5e conversion!' is the answer to the question, 'how do I make my game blander?' ;)

That said I can see why they they're taking the approach. Symbaroum is a great setting, but system was neither interesting or particularly robust.

With The One Ring they replaced a unique system that really spoke to the theme, with something much more generic and mundane. At least here they're replacing something not great with something serviceable.
 

Dom

Administrator
Staff member
#10
'A 5e conversion!' is the answer to the question, 'how do I make my game blander?' ;)

With The One Ring they replaced a unique system that really spoke to the theme, with something much more generic and mundane. At least here they're replacing something not great with something serviceable.
That was Cubicle 7, not Fria Ligan...
 
#13
The Hellboy RPG using DnD5e was a dream come true since it also adopts some of the Modiphius 2d20 Doom mechanics while offering all the DnD5e you need in the core book alone.
This opinion is still forming, but I’m inclined to say Hellboy doesn’t use D&D 5e as much as fork it. It throws away everything except the core mechanics and rebuilds from there. And other games seem to be doing the same at the moment, so it’ll be interesting to see whether we end up with a unified 5e Modern or a smorgasbord - which is the only link in this post to Symbaroum.
 
#14
This opinion is still forming, but I’m inclined to say Hellboy doesn’t use D&D 5e as much as fork it. It throws away everything except the core mechanics and rebuilds from there. And other games seem to be doing the same at the moment, so it’ll be interesting to see whether we end up with a unified 5e Modern or a smorgasbord - which is the only link in this post to Symbaroum.
There is advantage in having a common chassis and even sharing a base engine. Vehicle manufacturers do that, so why not RPG publishers?

Basically, if you look at the award winning Fria Ligan Year Zero Engine, the foundation is the d6 dice pool, with four baseline attributes, but the games using this engine differ a lot, both in themes and even play. For example, Coriolis The Third Horizon just uses a single of d6, while the Alien RPG uses two, then Forbidden Lands goes further and adds three types of d6 along with other polyhedral dice.

Modiphius Entertainment has done same with their 2d20 game engine. With the first original flavour in Mutant Chronicles designed by Jay Little modified further with Conan then again with Star Trek, with only Infinity the closest RPG to the Mutant Chronicles original 2d20 D.N.A.

So this adoption by the wider gaming industry of using the D&D 5e OGL as the baseline for most games of the near future is a great move. It helps bring players from across the various niche games into one big happy extended family.

For example, with "Ruins of Symbaroum" for D&D5e, I can integrate its nordic themes with those of "Trudvang Adventures" also for D&D5e much easier than the Herculean task of having to integrate the original Symbaroum with the original Trudvang Chronicles. Using the D&D5e OGL may actually become the best thing since slice bread in the industry.

Seriously, it is more difficult to convince Players used to D&D5e, which is the vast majority of Players, to pick up something mechanically alien, like the original Symbaroum, than to pick something built upon the same foundations like their beloved D&D5e fantasy. Else, why is everyone else now abandoning plans for innovative new game engines and jumping aboard the 5e train? I hear the Privateer Press Iron Kingdoms Requiem Kickstarter is on board too.
 
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#17
I would say thought that the awards they won had almost zero to do with system and everything to do with setting and artwork.
Which is great news for the expected award incoming for "Ruins of Symbaroum" and winning in 2022.

I am guessing because of a change in game engine, the same artwork would qualify again for the internal art, cover, and layout award categories. Pretty sneaky, that.
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#19
I have read the document.
It's a very minimal addition of Corruption and Shadow to the rules.
Then a substantial provision of new classes that fill the main roles.
I find the Symbaroum system ok but no more.
I'd run this or play it with this 5e mod.
However if one had all the original system I think it's not really worth it.
 
#20
I have read the document.
It's a very minimal addition of Corruption and Shadow to the rules.
Then a substantial provision of new classes that fill the main roles.
I find the Symbaroum system ok but no more.
I'd run this or play it with this 5e mod.
However if one had all the original system I think it's not really worth it.
Yes, I too do not believe the 5e conversion is aimed at those collectors who already own all the original Symbaroum books.

Much like with Trudvang Adventures and many other D&D 5e conversions, I think from lots of feedback by GMs struggling to convince their D&D Players to try out new games, the only viable option left is to essentially offer them something that speaks 5th Edition. Even Monte Cook had to accept that many would not see the beauty of Numenera unless it was filtered through the D&D 5e lens, or as he called it "Arcana of the Ancients".

Obviously, those Players addicted to the higher levels of D&D leveling up will be disappointed by the lower level tiers locked into Adventures in Middle-Earth or Trudvang Adventures or even these Ruins of Symbaroum that in the playtest only reached class level 6.
 
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