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Class-less 4E D&D Compatible RPG system, Complete w/post-apoc fantasy setting with gun powder weapons. 4E finally means "For-Everyone!"

Class-less 4E D&D Compatible RPG system, Complete w/post-apoc fantasy setting with gun powder weapons. 4E finally means "For-Everyone!" Read More
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This project's funding goal was not reached on September 7, 2011.

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About this project

The "Open Gateways" RPG system is a pen &paper gaming system (that is a hybrid of d20 systems and the newer 4E rules) that removes tradition classes from the game; instead players choose Gateways, which are multi-branched tree structures of Skills, Talents and Powers of like abilities. The further down the trees you get the more powerful the abilities are.

These Gateways function as mini-classes that can be combined in any ways that the players want; it forces choices when a character improves, but no longer are they forced to surrender every Feat they get to complete their ability to attempt a multi-class.  Your role as a Striker, Defender, Controller or Leader is now separate from your class and implement, these can be mixed and matched in any possible way you choose.

See Character creation blog post or more detail, also in blog are many other details about game system :

Also, this system allows choices between improving Hit Points and gaining another Feat, or improving Defenses or learning a new Power. It also allows characters to attempt more actions in a of round combat, so rather than being restricted by the "Standard, Move, Minor" actions, players can now role-play during combat and attempt to "do more", but at a penalty.

Experience is now split, so two pools.  One is for Role-playing type abilities that add little advantage to combat, except maybe by creative players.  The other pool is for weapon and combat centered abilities.  This way players actually may choose the Feat and abilities that are most often pasted up to increase their combat survivability.

In addition to rules alterations and streamlining a large catalog of new items are presented, which include an elite category of weapons, black-powder items such as grenades and the Double-Barreled Dragon's Breath, also crystal socketed items, runic items and interesting cursed-blessing items.  Many other modifications have been made such as Mana Pools, Double Daily Powers, snap and triggered rituals, faster paced encounters with longer lasting effects, and reclassification of skill challenges.

Combat is deadly and faster paced, immobilization now actually has a combat penalty, and there are more situational modifiers and penalties. Defenses typically don't rise into the 30's; but neither do the attack modifiers: more things hit and more things hurt, so encounters are resolved faster.

Additionally, a feeling a realism is applied to the game (keyword being "game"; I realize it's fantasy, but it still can be internally consistent), and the players and the game-master are encouraged to simply veto or alter things that just don't make sense, rather than simply saying, "I guess, that's what the power says...".

From the campaign setting, In the realms of Kraterra, the Land of the Crater, in the year 2655 of the God-King...

Far from the Dust Sea, from the wasteland of the Frozen North, he came.  Dragging a trophy, the head of a once powerful demon-lord...A man, resistant to the powers of the Hellions.  He knew not his name, nor his origin, all he knew was his hatred for the Horrors of the abyss.

None could argue at his skill in battle with the demonic creatures of the abyss that plagued the realms for over two millennia.  A following began around this champion, who could finally take the fight to the hordes.  No longer did people have to rely on their ability to remain hidden from the Hellions.  No longer did they have to be forced to sacrifice their own in pathetic attempts to keep the hordes appeased.  No longer would the allies of man be forced to simply survive, they could live once again.

He began to lead them, first hundreds, then thousands.  They came from the ruins, and forests, from the mountains and caves, where they’d been hiding and surviving for over 2,000 years.  The clans of Humans, Elves, Dwarves and others races came together to begin to rebuild their once great empires as a unified force in wake of his man...this champion...This Emperor of humanity.


  • Most people that play, I mean Wizards (because they refuse to call them Arcanists) feel like they are broken. They want the fear-factor they used to provoke in early edition games with their 10d6 fireball or cloud-kill. Instead they feel like every other cookie cutter striker/controller and typically deal in the range of 4d6+Int with their daily powers, on top of this most the role-playing spells are converted to rituals, so they cannot be cast in combat.

    Well, to fix this there now exist powers that effectively are x2 Daily Powers, which are nearly all within the arcane areas of expertise, but the psychic characters have some these as well. These powers bring back the fear factor to the beings that posses them.

    So those characters that choose to build War-Mage type characters will gain access to these extremely powerful abilities. The cost, does reduce you back to the earlier edition Mage/Wizards where once you drop your "bomb" your limited in your effectiveness for the duration of the battle, but that's how the war-mage like it.

    In addition to this, there are snap-rituals that can be pre-cast on a trigger or very quickly cast (such that they can be used in combat) to give the ability to use more of these the way Wizards have been in the past. Excellent examples of this are the Silence Ritual, where the 10 minute casting time totally negates its effectiveness.

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  • I've started a Blog here:

    That anyone can go to and follow if they want more information, but not quite sure they are ready to support this effort. I welcome comments and anything that people want to add.

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  • Even if you don't have cash to donate, word of mouth would be awesome. If you know friends who are interested in RPGs, 4E D&D in particular, point them in our direction and we'll be very appreciative.

    Posting links to this on Facebook, Google Plus, and other social media and blogs is a great way to help the cause, and can multiply your donations many times if you get this is front of the right audience.

    If you have digital design, print on demand (POD), or artistic skills/experience we would also love to hear from you about donating your time and skills to the project.

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  • I'm in the process of getting my site up and running where I can post these types of questions, and answers. The major differences are the Attributes, I have five of them (Essentially I drop Charisma). I no longer use the 3 to 20 scale, I just refer to the modifier. So rather than an 18, I'd just call this a 4.

    Then I add 5 things I call Attrills (Attribute-Skills) which are in-between the Attributes, so Con+Str = Power, Str+Dex=Coordination, Dex+Int=Reflexes, Int+Wis=Awareness, and Wis+Con=Will. Essentially all the abilities in the game go off of these, or the few that go off an Core Attribute gain a x2, so Endurance would be Conx2 as the base. There are about 8 more skills and I do remove some as well.

    The other major change is that I have 5 DEFs, and 5 attacks. Since 4E typical uses the classes Primary Attribute as the classes base, and you would see a lot of the same Powers repeated, just using a different Attrib or target a different DEF. I no longer needed that duplicity of Powers, as a melee type character is going to focus in the "Coordination" realm or the "Power" realm, and this more governed by the type or weapon rather than the power itself.

    The Defenses are Body, Vitality, Dodge, Spirit and Mind. Typically you'll see a Coord vs Body, Power vs Body, Range vs Dodge, or Psyche vs Mind, as some examples. However, a warrior-type could find a Ghostblade Longsword, which would now give him a Coord vs Spirit attack.

    Typically from this to traditional 4E can be visually converted, Body = AC, Vitality = Fort, Dodge = Relfex, Mind = Will, and Spirit gets dropped. Health becomes HPs, and many other things stay the same.

    For getting ideas across I'm giving these explanations in terms people will be familiar with, actual terms and descriptions will be a little different.

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  • As far as Kraterra goes, I have so much to say that I'm sort of stumped on details to give you. Essentially think Darksun with metal and guns, overrun by demons. There is definitely a Gamma World type of feel, as some items operate with concepts like batteries, whether this are Psi-Crystal, Mana-Stones, or even rounds of ammo depends on the item.

    “Black Powder” weapons, such as the double barreled Dragon’s Breath (think Flame-thrower). There’s an elite class of melee weapons like “The Anvil” (a Hammer that is essentially a portable anvil) and the Kingsword (wide bladed sword that looks impossible to wield). Many fantastic arrows and bolts give archer types deadly attacks against single targets or clusters of enemies.

    Living symbiotic crystals that can be sculpted into beads or plates for armor: Bloodstone are beads that are cut into ones skin for protection; or Crystal Deathmail which are large plates grafted to ones body parts. Crystal weapons can also be crafted in knuckle type weapons such as Liveclaws. Other living-crystal weapons such Crescents help one focus psychic energy.

    The new races are: Di'Ten (Winged Human, small Angel), Ramoc (a tough bandaged wrapped orc-like creature), Mothran (sprite like creature), Slithan (armed Snake), Garinth (nimble kobold-like creature), Lyon (Lion/Human centaur mix). Their are a number of elite creatures like the Rockholm, Sho'Dra, Vran as well as Angels an Abyssal creatures that aren't really designed for Character species, but half-breed options are available on some of these.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00 USD

    A place on the "Special Thanks" page in both books.

    1 backer
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10 USD

    You will receive a PDF copy of the Open Gateways Core Rules and an email of thanks from me, plus the previous rewards.

    4 backers
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25 USD

    You will receive a PDF copy of the Kraterra Campaign Setting, plus the previous rewards.

    5 backers
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40 USD

    Gain access to special "Major Contributors" section of the web-site, which will include a Compendium-like search engine for all items in PDF, plus future items that are added/errata-ed, plus the previous rewards.

    0 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50 USD

    You will receive a hard copy of the Open Gateways Core Rules, plus the previous rewards.

    8 backers
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100 USD

    You will receive a hard copy of the Kraterra Campaign Setting. In addition to this you get the handy conversion PDF that maps traditional 4E games to this system and vice-versa, plus the previous rewards.

    2 backers
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150 USD

    Signed hard copies of books, plus two custom d20's. First is a "Player's Dice" which has nineteen 1's and one 20 on it. Next, is the "Game-Master's Dice" which has one side being 1, and the rest are 20's, plus the previous rewards.

    1 backer
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250 USD

    Get yourself of favorite character added to the campaign setting as a hero/villain of the realms. As well as getting your name moved to the "Executive Producer's" section of the books, plus the previous rewards.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500 USD

    Become the leader of one of the major factions of the realms, describe to me your organization, your followers, what your purpose is. Are you an Angel and defender of man, or are you a Hellion lord that runs a massive slave pit? The choice is yours, plus the previous rewards.

    1 backer
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000 USD

    What else could I give you...Become a GOD of the realms, yes you become a deity of the world, or even one of the God-Kings that walk the dunes of the Dust Sea. Create your church structure, your symbol, and what you are the deity of, plus the previous rewards.

    0 backers

Funding period

- (60 days)