[D&D] Symbaroum moving to DnD5e

#21
So basically, if you want your beautiful fantasy worlds to speak to the crowds, then 5th Edition is your megaphone.

Beneath the Monolith brings the critically acclaimed setting of Numenera to 5e. Explore the ruins of incomprehensible civilizations. Discover ancient technologies so advanced that most people think they’re magic. Encounter creatures weird, fierce, and dangerous. Open doors to new worlds and alternate dimensions. And, perhaps, unlock some of the mysteries of the prior worlds.

cover_arcana_of_the_ancients_beneath_the_monolith_numenera_dnd5e.jpg
 
#22
So, I don't know Symbaroum, but I understand it's dark gritty fantasy. I guess a sort of darker version of old D&D, as befits its origin as a copy of/alternative to D&D back in the day.

So how well does that mesh with the high magic, heroic play style that 5e seems to be built around? I only own the Essentials Kit and the Players Handbook for 5e and I've only played LMoP from the starter set, but the one thing that struck me is the magic and magical abilities are everywhere.
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#24
So, I don't know Symbaroum, but I understand it's dark gritty fantasy. I guess a sort of darker version of old D&D, as befits its origin as a copy of/alternative to D&D back in the day.

So how well does that mesh with the high magic, heroic play style that 5e seems to be built around? I only own the Essentials Kit and the Players Handbook for 5e and I've only played LMoP from the starter set, but the one thing that struck me is the magic and magical abilities are everywhere.
It's very gritty and quite terrifying when you start. It wouldn't be as hard as all that to mod 5e with options already in the DMG to achieve that.
There is a lot of magic in Symbaroum but it's deeply corrupting, and the mod in this Symbaroum book will model that and limit widespread spell use that doesn't drive you into a squid like creature.
 
#25
aaaaaaaaaargh!

View attachment 2008

I heard John Hodgson on a podcast saying that
Adventures In Middle Earth (5e) sold ten times as The One Ring (bespoke).. so natch

It is like the first d20 glut!
aaaaaaaaaargh!

View attachment 2008

I heard John Hodgson on a podcast saying that
Adventures In Middle Earth (5e) sold ten times as The One Ring (bespoke).. so natch

It is like the first d20 glut!
Seriously! Oh my God! My finances will see red unless I can boost Income. I must so get the D&D 5e version of Blue Ros now.

After all, the original version was spawned from a variant of the d20 SRD of D&D3e OGL that Green Ronin called True 20.
 
Last edited:
#33
So, I don't know Symbaroum, but I understand it's dark gritty fantasy. I guess a sort of darker version of old D&D, as befits its origin as a copy of/alternative to D&D back in the day.

So how well does that mesh with the high magic, heroic play style that 5e seems to be built around? I only own the Essentials Kit and the Players Handbook for 5e and I've only played LMoP from the starter set, but the one thing that struck me is the magic and magical abilities are everywhere.
Is Symbaroum gritty? Not sure I'd say so. It's kind of a dark fantasy fairy story ghost story thing. And the system is mostly pretty bland but functional. It's simple and it works. (You have six (?) stats, that are basically approaches, giving a target for a d20 roll, modified by difficulty. You also have special abilities like D&D feats or Savage Worlds Edges. And there's a corruption mechanic, and spells give you it.)

Although D&D 5e is a superhero game with fantasy trappings, that doesn't come from the core mechanics but the stuff built around them and the setting. The core itself is, again, bland.
 
#34
Hi, My name's Neil, you may know me from such classics as 'Has been running Symbaroum for three years now'

1. As has been said, but needs to be said again - this isn't the end of the OG Symbaroum system, but rather a parallel development allowing FL to bring their amazing background and story arc to a wider audience. This is, as we say, good business. There are enough people entrenched in the current system and the Throne of Thorns campaign (which is one of the few episodic kickstarters I have seen that has grown over time) to keep that side of things growing.

2. System vs System is going to be fascinating to see. Low level Symbaroum is a lovely, dangerous, fraught experience where you learn the hard way that the world and your actions are going to kill you. It's like living in Australia. High level Symbaroum ... well, it makes me want to cry. Some of the spells and abilities are so badly worded, and I'm going to be generous and say 'sympathetically playtested' that they are legitimately game breaking. Want a spell that, as written, takes ANY creature out of the combat for at least one round, but probably longer? Maltransformation. Want one that takes multiples out? Maltransformation III. When players offer up a self-nerf, you know something is wrong. Will we see the same in 5eSym? Probably not, but some of the things that make Symbaroum ... Symbaroum... will be lost in translation. Especially on the magic side.

3. I have Ruins. I've had it for a while. Decent adventure, decent conversion. I like that they have tied Corruption recovery to rests (rather than in the original game, where Temp Corruption goes away too fast for my liking) and some class/approach system works with the open-but-streamed way the original game. I don't think it has anything as bowel-openingly brutal as the words 'ignores armour' but we will see.

4. As a bit of history, the 3e explosion has already happened in 5e. It's called the DM's Guild. Remember, back in the early 2000s, when people were jumping on board, the only way they could really do it was full scale publishing. So lots of people gambled on printing proper books, and as the retailers had no idea what would and wouldn't sell, distributors would buy lots of everything. Some sold and a lot didn't. I remember being at GenCon and seeing huge piles of 3e supplements being sold off for $5 a book. Fire sales. It crippled the distribution system and took down hundreds of small and medium companies. It also, as a side effect, made people look at the cheaper POD technology, that powered the indie explosion of the late 00s. Nowadays, we have a far more established pdf market that has taken the strain for this explosion of third party materials . The only people who can really afford to print real big art-filled hardback books for 5e are the established companies like C7, Free League etc. and new companies with serious credentials behind them, like Handiwork Games.

Neil
 

Dom

Administrator
Staff member
#36
Hi, My name's Neil, you may know me from such classics as 'Has been running Symbaroum for three years now'
That's shocking. Coming marching into this thread with facts and experience! :eek: :ROFLMAO:

4. As a bit of history, the 3e explosion has already happened in 5e. It's called the DM's Guild. Remember, back in the early 2000s, when people were jumping on board, the only way they could really do it was full scale publishing. So lots of people gambled on printing proper books, and as the retailers had no idea what would and wouldn't sell, distributors would buy lots of everything. Some sold and a lot didn't. I remember being at GenCon and seeing huge piles of 3e supplements being sold off for $5 a book. Fire sales. It crippled the distribution system and took down hundreds of small and medium companies. It also, as a side effect, made people look at the cheaper POD technology, that powered the indie explosion of the late 00s. Nowadays, we have a far more established pdf market that has taken the strain for this explosion of third party materials . The only people who can really afford to print real big art-filled hardback books for 5e are the established companies like C7, Free League etc. and new companies with serious credentials behind them, like Handiwork Games.
I hadn't thought about the DM's Guild, but you're entirely right. The 5e d20 growth has been going on in front of us. Of course, the way that it presents (as a separate storefront for DTRPG makes the scale deceptive as we don't get to see it in the same way that piles of books taking over the FLGS did the first time around.

What does intrigue me is the trigger for some of the bigger companies to start to move this way. Clearly hopes of sales must be part of this; C7 were public about the sales differences between TOR and AiME, but I'm not certain that is a good model for publishers to base a commitment on, as Tolkien is an Appendix N ur-text and one that also builds on six massive movies. Then again, if they can generate even three to four times the sales on the same IP and artwork, that makes sense. If they can combine this with crowdfunding or pre-order, then their risks are minimised, unlike the first boom.

(DuckDuckGo tells me that there's a handy copy of the Appendix N list here: http://digital-eel.com/blog/ADnD_reading_list.htm ).
 
#37
You have to think that the costs of this conversion are going to be a fraction of the original costs. The background is done, the adventures are developed - they just need new Stat blocks and some light editing (for references to Master Loremaster...😉) And the art is all done.

So achieving a reasonable ROI for a 5e adaptation of existing material might well be easily achieved.
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#38
I am pleased @Vodkashok turned up.
The 5e version of this may not have some of my favourite spells but while that might matter to me, it doesn't change the core essence of what makes Symbaroum dark and exciting. the fact that my priest of Prius might cast spiritual weapon or shield or scorching Ray rather than holy aura or Prios burning glass or mystic shield doesn't change the priestly nature of that role.
The bestiary will be key. Symbar creatures are hard but also interesting. The use of reactions and so on for monsters would really help. Trolls, elfs, abominations, those nasty attack quadrupeds, it's not a big list but it's important.
The really important benefit that I can see is the 5E has been adequately play tested and works as a tactical game. I think the use of bonds and the reward of Inspiration for roleplaying would add to the experience.
I may not have run Symbaroum for three years and I am not the system head of my fellows but this doesn't fill me with dread.
 
Last edited:
#39
You have to think that the costs of this conversion are going to be a fraction of the original costs. The background is done, the adventures are developed - they just need new Stat blocks and some light editing (for references to Master Loremaster...😉) And the art is all done.
Sure. A bit more thinking time than that, but the expensive bits are done. Work out how to port the weird class/level thing, throw away the D&D spells and translate the Sym ones, same with feats and make them a core part of the game, etc. (Which is presumably all done now.)
 
#40
Except they're not doing that. The Theurg, for example, just gets a list of the 5e spells they have access to. The same for the Ordo Magica wizards. Just a spell list from the existing spells. Feats are nowhere to be seen. It's a pretty clean direct port.
 
Top