Given the astonishing
mixture of avarice and malevolence manifested by WotC’s recent actions (here’s yet
another summary, this time from the New Republic), I’ve decided to switch
my ongoing Greyhawk campaign over to the Into the Unknown system.
I purchased Into the Unknown a few months ago upon discovering it in a thread at the RPG Pub
(pretty much the only RPG forum I visit these days). I’ve been fond of it ever
since I looked it over, and even considered transitioning to it before the
current brouhaha. While I like 5e D&D overall, elements of it are quite
fiddly, and I have found myself consulting the rules during play more often than
I would like. Something compatible with the 5e material that I have and want to
run – but simpler and faster – certainly was attractive.
However, at the
time I decided against moving my campaign over to Into the Unknown as it
adhered to a number of elements from the “Basic” and “Expert” versions of old
school D&D (B/X D&D) that did not mesh well with the Greyhawk setting:
in particular, ItU uses only three alignments (Chaotic, Neutral, Lawful) and “race-as-class”
for non-human characters (Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling classes). In addition, my
players had been using certain 5e options – e.g., the Arcane Trickster and
Battle Master class specializations – that are not available in Into the Unknown.
They (understandably) would not appreciate losing those elements from their
these weren’t great reasons to resist the switch. The alignment issue is easily
fixed. I’ll keep the race-classes as unique options for non-human characters,
but tweak the rules so that non-humans can be any of the standard classes as
well. (I’ll also add a slight bonus to humans in order to “balance” things
out.) And given that Into the Unknown is designed to be compatible with
the core 5e rules, I’ll just “grandfather” in the 5e options that the
characters already have into the game.
of switching to Into the Unknown is that the rules are simple enough that
I won’t need to consult them regularly during play. I had grown a bit dependent
on Dungeons & Dragons Beyond to check things. But I’ll be abandoning
my free DnD Beyond account (I never subscribed) once I can download my stuff
(character sheets, maps, and the like).
One worry: Into
the Unknown uses the OGL (1.0a). Given the uncertainty concerning the OGL,
I recommend that any readers interested in the system pick it up as soon as
possible at DrivethruRPG in case it disappears in the near future.