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Avatar D20

2010 Edition


Another Fan-Made Avatar RPG [ edit ]

Genesys isn't the only system with a fan-made Avatar adaptation: Dungeons and Dragons (3.5 Edition) also has one, called Avatar D20.

The project was originally started in 2007, when D&D 3.5 was at the height of it's popularity.  While there was a later effort to port the rules to D&D 4.0, Goblin Crafted recommends the 3.5 rules over those, for a few reasons.

First, the 3.5 rules have fourteen different contributors, which doesn't even include all of their playtesters, while the 4.0 adaptation lists only three contributors.  Second, the 3.5 rules (and discussion about them, alternative proposals, etc.) can all be fond online.  The 4.0 rules are much harder to find, possibly because 4.0 D&D was much less friendly to open gaming, and that actually leads us to our third reason: while there are lots of online 3.5 resources available, there's a lot less for 4.0.

However, if you are a big fan of 4.0 D&D, you do have the option of using those rules instead.  Unfortunately for fans of D&D fifth edition, there is no Avatar adaptation.

A Familiar Experience for D&D 3.5 Fans [ edit ]

As a D20 game, Avatar D20 characters start by picking a class.  There are no races in the game, although there is a template which can be applied if one character wants to play as the Avatar.  There are different classes for each of the four different bending types, plus Martial Artist and Ranger (which are non-bending).

As is typical in D20 characters gain experience and "level up", gaining more powers and higher bonuses as they go.  The rules are mostly straightforward 3.5 D&D ... but there are exceptions.

The exceptions mainly revolve around defense.  Armor in Avatar D20 gives less Armor Class, but instead gives some damage resistance, making it so armored opponents easier to hit, but take less damage when it happens.  Also, all characters get a bonus to their Armor Class as they level.

Good Core Book, But Little Support [ edit ]

The core Avatar D20 book provides everything you need for a campaign.  In addition to the new rules and classes there are stats for monsters and equipment (including vehicles) from Avatar, and there are even a couple of prestige classes.

However, as a fan-made supplement, there's obviously not nearly as much material as a published product, and it's also the only "product" in the line: there are no supplements.  If you're looking for inspiration as a GM, you'll have to find it in the Avatar TV shows and comics, because there isn't any other gaming material available.

Should You Try It? [ edit ]

There's one simple reason why any fan of Dungeons and Dragons, who is looking to start an Avatar campaign, should check the supplement out: it's price, of $0.  As a free fan supplement, you can easily download it and see if it has what you need for your campaign.  And while it may not have rules for everything ever shown in the Avatar universe, it certainly has enough that any experienced GM should have no difficulty adapting the rest.

If you like what you see, but don't have a copy of the 3.5 Dungeons and Dragons rules (which it requires), you can either use the free online System Reference Document, or you can purchase a used copy of the 3.5 Player's Handbook.