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From Kickstarter page:

The "e20: System Evolved" project has the goal of designing a genre-neutral roleplaying game whose mechanics allow for fast gameplay, streamlined character creation and advancement, and a cinematic storytelling experience. Its name is inspired by the decade-old "d20 System" license, and this project's intent is to help that venerable rules system evolve into its newest incarnation.

The project's designer, Gary M. Sarli, was editor and developer for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Saga Edition Core Rulebook, which won ENnie Awards for Best d20/OGL Product, Best Rules, Best Game, and Product of the Year in 2008. Now that Wizards of the Coast has announced that it will be retiring Saga Edition this year, the designer hopes that the e20 System can emulate the feel of Saga Edition: building on its strengths, compensating for its weaknesses, and evolving into a universal system for any setting and style of play.

Concept

At its most basic level, this project is about grass-roots game design. Unlike most game design projects, the e20 Core Rulebook will have the direct input of fans from the very beginning. If you choose to back this project, you will have not only behind-the-scenes looks at the development process but also the opportunity to shape the final product by voting in polls, joining the message boards at http://GMSarliGames.com/forums, playtesting rules to provide direct feedback, and even contributing content for the game.

Why is it so important to bring fans into the process at such an early stage? Years of play have provided substantial hands-on experience with the "d20 System" and all its variations -- thousands upon thousands of hours of play that give significant guidance on not only what most needs to be changed, but also how and why.

Information technology makes it possible to decentralize design and development, but game publishers generally employ designers and developers in small groups, bringing fans in for playtesting only in the latest stages. In other words, they are using a development model that doesn't take advantage of the technological changes of the past decade. An individual or small group might have an innovation, but only a population can evolve through trial and error on a mass scale over years of play. This project is therefore an experiment that seeks to determine if it is possible to change the way games are made.

Background

Since 2000, the "d20 System" license and the Open Game License (OGL) have allowed publishers to share a common framework for creating roleplaying games using the System Reference Document (SRD), which contains the same core mechanics as those found in Wizards of the Coast's Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition. Under the OGL, third-party publishers use the SRD as the basis of many different games meant for many different genres: fantasy, science fiction, horror, superheroes, spy thrillers, and many more.

However, the SRD is intended first and foremost as the rules system for a heroic fantasy game, and as such it requires substantial modification to adapt it to different genres. The result is the creation of similar but not completely compatible game systems for each setting. In addition, the last decade has revealed that the rules themselves have some issues with game balance, tempo, and playability; each publisher addresses these issues in slightly different ways, leading to further compatibility issues.

Eventually, Wizards of the Coast abandons the OGL entirely with Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition, and the new game is even more focused on heroic fantasy at the expense of other genres. In fact, its strict license requirements allow so little latitude that many third-party publishers choose not to continue creating compatible products. The result is a more fragmented roleplaying game industry, further isolating each game's players and making crossover even more difficult than before.

Objective

The goal of the "e20: System Evolved" project is to create a new rules system that supports any genre. Though it uses the SRD and the OGL as a starting point, it is a complete revision meant to address the rules issues that have been found over the past decade. When complete, the e20 Core Rulebook will provide a common starting point for any number of genres and settings created by players and third-party publishers.

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