...to be original in any way, shape, or form. Clearly, I am constantly to find myself duplicating efforts that have already been done.
Picked up a copy of Al-Qadim today, the "Arabian adventures" campaign setting book for 2nd edition AD&D. Ugh. How can someone steal idea 20 years before you even have it?
Al-Qadim was written in 1992 (carrying the by-line of Jeff Grubb, a designer for whom I have immense respect due to the Marvel Superheroes RPG). It basically sets out to do everything I intended to do as background material for my D&D Mine project, drawing on the "three distinct versions of Arabia" for its material:
1) the historical Arabian Empire
2) the legendary or "mythic" Arabia
3) the Hollywood (TV and movie) Arabia
Which is exactly what I was drawing from as well.
Other sources of irritation:
- the "Holy Slayer" (i.e. assassin) carries the same hard-line guild requirements that I included in my version of the assassin. Remember I was saying I still wanted to use the problematic assassin class because I dig my version/rules for the class? Well, Grubb did it first.
- they include lamellar armor, dammit! Here I thought I was being all cool and innovative with that. Of course, AQ still keeps "scale mail" instead of replacing it with the former, which is kind of lame.
- the magic-user classes, ESPECIALLY the shi'ar kit, is done better than my own spell-using classes, which adhere too closely to the original game rules (even as they don't...more on that later). Double-ugh...it makes me want to scrap the whole mage concept and ONLY use a knock-off version of the shi'ar. Dammit!
I suppose I could just make my game MORE generic (i.e. more like "classic D&D"), but I agree with the conclusion Noisms came to the other day: having a particular authorial flavor or personality makes rule systems a lot more palatable (if not more digestible) than more generic, "bland" RPGs. I guess I'll just bite the bullet and accept that I'm not terribly original.
Or maybe I'll throw more Gorean elements into the game/setting.
I am NOT tempted to re-write Al-Qadim wholesale (say, as a B/X campaign setting, something I was looking at doing with Dark Sun for sure)...it looks a little over-worked and under-whelming in most areas, and even though I LIKE a lot of what's in the book, I'm not sure it really delivers what it promises. And how can they get away with NOT presenting the True Faith as an option for character worship?
That being said, I fully intend to keep this one on the work bench, and may well borrow some of its cooler ideas (like the shi-ar class or random sandstorm tables) for my own game.