West End Games D6 2e is coming!

And as with all the good things that are coming, it’s time to talk about it and give some insight into the process. We first announced our license with Nocturnal Media & West End Games last October, and that intervening 15 months has been spent playing all manner of old West End Games products, ranging from Ghostbusters, to various incarnations of the Star Wars Roleplaying Game to the later OpenD6 and even the arguably more obscure titles like Hercules & Xena. 

West End Games and their D6 system is a storied and valuable part of the past of the roleplaying industry. The design strength that underlies this previous incarnations is apparent, even today, and it’s an exciting chance to refresh, update, and pay homage to a historic design!

The Core of OpenD6

When deciding to do a new edition of the D6 System, there are a few key points that must be considered first. What are the guiding design principles of D6 and what are the essential identity elements a new revision & edition must have?

Our design team felt that the core of the classic D6 System can be distilled down to a few core elements:

Fistfuls of D6s.

  • The core D6 idea of rolling lots of d6s is key to the game. The core resolution of “roll against TN” task resolution is essential in maintaining the feel of the game (as is the Wild Die). Losing that feel would violate one of the core tactile experiences you get from D6 System!

Moderate Crunch

  • D6 System is an game closer to simulationist than narrative, best defined as “moderate crunch”. Streamlining the game is acceptable, but the game should remain recognizable and maintain a similar level of complexity at the deepest level (the core idea being complexity, not complication).

Lots of Customization

  • D6 is flexible and can run a variety of genres. It’s easy to customize and adapt the D6 System engine to all sorts of amazing games!

After about 6 months of intensive playtime (the best part of the job!), we landed on some core ideas we wanted to bring to the D6 System Second Edition.

Updates to the D6 System

Character Creation – Streamlined

  • Improving the speed of character creation and ease of creation will be a primary goal. Templates are absolutely essential to this process, as is updating and streamlining the freeform chargen processes.

Complexity, not Complication

  • A game like D6 thrives upon complexity, but dies if it’s too complicated. Deep tactical choices are fun, complicated and finicky rules are not.  In playing the various iterations, both with new roleplayers, experienced roleplayers, and new and experienced GMs, the core feedback kept being that the simpler versions of the D6 System were more enjoyable, easier to teach, and more accessible.

(Even More) Modular and Optional Rules

  • By continuing to provide (as well as improve on) modular and optional rules, we can achieve a core design goal for this edition, and provide players and GMs “dials”, that they can arrange to their liking. This will allow quicker and faster adaptation to genres.

Update Language

Gaming communicates in a different way in the decades since D6 came out. Updating, clarifying and modernizing the communication in the books is a key goal.

There’s a lot to unpack in such a storied line of games, and we’ve been hard at working, working to design a game that will appeal to fans of all ages, experience levels, and familiarity with previous D6 products. We’re really proud of what we’ve got, and we’re going to start unveiling the pieces soon!

  • The Gallant Knight Games Design Team!