|Do you play d20 games?
If you do, you may not wish to spend time learning another rule system, no matter how elegant it might be. I aim to persuade you that, even so, the free material on our website and even our publications will be of use to you.
The Dying Earth is a superb fantasy background in its own right, well able to support the warriors, rogues and magicians of Dungeons and Dragons. In fact, D&D has many of its roots in the Dying Earth, in his article "Jack Vance and the D&D Game" in XPS 2, Gary Gygax stresses the influence that Vance had on the rogue class "fire and forget" magic system and magic items. IOUN Stones, Prismatic Spray, and even Vecna show that D&D and Dying Earth are closely connected.
While we at Pelgrane believe that the Dying Earth rules created by Laws and Snead best reflect the background of Vance's books; The d20 system in the hands of a good GM is flexible enough to put across a strong flavour of the strange vistas and decadence of the Dying Earth. And you of course, are a good GM or you wouldn't be reading this!
Dying Earth comes in three flavours, to reflect the differences in the Vance's four collections of Dying Earth stories. The first of these collections most strongly influenced D&D, with genuine heroes and villains overlaid with a pulp-style fantasy, horror and even elements of SF. This level of play features powerful but not omnipotent warrior-magicians, driven to find the last hundred spells; demons, witches and gods in conflict; Valdaran's Green slaughtering demon-worshippers; and Chun the Unavoidable, seeking out victims to make his Robe of Eyes. We'll be publishing a supplement "Turjan's Tome" which concentrates on this fearsome environment.
d20 is quite stat-heavy; DERPG isn't - and it's easy to ignore the piddling DERPG stat blocks when you use DERPG material for your d20 games. Use PCGEN or eTools to generate stats, make up your own, or wing it at the table if you are that kind of GM. Our adventure publications have been created with other RPGs in mind.
The Kaiin Player's Guide is our most generically useful publication; in an "Out of the Box" review of Kaiin, Ken Hite said "I'm sure a really good D&D GM can use Kaiin as a setting for his game, given Dying Earth's less-than-overwhelming stat blocks. However, in all conscience, I would urge players of other, lesser, RPGs than Dying Earth to restrict their purchases to at most one copy apiece. If you choose otherwise, I cannot be held responsible for any sudden onset of mendacity, elegance, or churlishness by players when confronted with a city less splendid than white-walled Kaiin."
The Excellent Prismatic Spray contains lots of adventure seeds, items and background material useful for d20 players and GMs. Cugel's Compendium is full of items both magical and mundane con tricks and cantraps, all of general applicability. At some stage we will produce a d20 version of The Dying Earth, you comments firstname.lastname@example.org on this would be most welcome.
To see if the Dying Earth background would be suitable for you and your players, take a look at XPS 1, available for free download, (in particular the adventure Zaramanth) and XPS Online 1 (My Master's Manse.), or simply purchase the Kaiin Player's Guide without further shilly-shallying.
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All words and images are ©2000 Pelgrane Press. Based on the Dying Earth book series by Jack Vance. Produced and distributed by agreement with Jack Vance c/o Ralph Vicinanza.The Dying Earth Roleplaing GameandDying Earth Quick Start Rules are trademarks of Pelgrane Press. All rights reserved.