With the openDND movement exploding at the moment and the changes to DND we thought it would be good to look at some alternative systems. so in this article we will explore powered by the apocalypse and how it differs from DND.
Comparing Powered by the Apocalypse to Dungeons & Dragons: A Look at Two Popular RPG Systems
Powered by the Apocalypse (PbtA) is a game design system and framework for creating role-playing games (RPGs). It was created by Meguey Baker and Vincent Baker, and is best known for its use in the game Apocalypse World, which was first published in 2010.
The core of PbtA is a set of mechanics that are designed to create a fast-paced, improvisational game experience. The system is based on a set of moves, which are actions that the players can take in the game. These moves are triggered by specific situations or events, and they allow the players to advance the story and resolve conflicts.
One of the key features of PbtA is that it is designed to be easily adapted to different genres and settings. The system is designed to be flexible and open-ended, allowing game masters (GMs) to create their own custom worlds and stories. This is accomplished through the use of playbooks, which are character templates that define the abilities and special moves of different types of characters.
Another unique aspect of PbtA is its focus on creating a narrative-driven game experience. The system encourages players to think about their characters’ motivations and goals, and it allows for a high degree of player agency. This means that players have a lot of control over their characters and the direction of the story, which allows for a more immersive and engaging game experience.
PbtA has been used in a wide variety of games, including fantasy, science fiction, horror, and post-apocalyptic genres. Some popular games that use PbtA include: Apocalypse World, Dungeon World, Monsterhearts, and Urban Shadows.
In comparison Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is a fantasy role-playing game (RPG) that was first published in 1974. It is widely considered to be the grandfather of modern tabletop RPGs, and it has had a significant impact on the development of the RPG genre.
Powered by the Apocalypse (PbtA) is a more recent game design system and framework.
One of the main differences between the two systems is their approach to character creation and advancement. In D&D, characters have a set of statistics (such as strength, intelligence, and dexterity) that are determined by rolling dice. These statistics are used to determine a character’s abilities and skills, and they are used to resolve combat and other challenges. In contrast, PbtA uses a simplified character creation process, where players choose a character playbook that defines their abilities and special moves.
Another key difference is in the way the game is played. D&D is a more rule-heavy system, with a lot of different mechanics and subsystems that players need to be familiar with in order to play the game. PbtA, on the other hand, is a more narrative-driven system that is designed to be fast-paced and improvisational. The game is based on a set of moves, which are actions that players can take in the game, and they are triggered by specific situations or events. This allows for a more fluid and less predictable gameplay experience.
D&D is also set in a fantasy world where players can have magic spells, dragons, and enchanted weapons and create their own stories in a pre-established setting. PbtA allows the game master to create their own custom worlds and stories, and it can be easily adapted to different genres and settings.
In summary, D&D is a classic fantasy role-playing game that is known for its complex mechanics and subsystems, while PbtA is a more recent, narrative-driven system that is designed to be fast-paced and improvisational. D&D is set in a fantasy world, while PbtA allows for more flexibility in terms of genre and setting. Both are popular and have a large player base, but they appeal to different types of players and offer a different type of gameplay experience.
With one of the systems more open than the other.