Anyone heard of Talislanta here?
The books are all free in PDF format on www.talislanta.com.
One of my favorite weird fantasy worlds.
My introduction to it was someone bringing it up specifically because it didn't have elves, when posting a picture of a technicolor elf.
That was all I ever felt I needed to know.
It was the original d20 system, but way simpler. It's gone through several rules variations, but originally it was a simple "pick an archetype" system where archetype = race + class. You'd roll a d20, modified by skills and attributes, and consult a brief chart:
0 or less = critical failure
1-5 = failure
6-10 = partial success
11-19 = success
20 or higher = critical success
Very simple rules, fairly simple magic, but quite flavorful for its time.
My first touch with the setting was way, way too many races with little depth to them. Like anon said earlier in thread the game has the stench of someone's fantasy heartbreaker to it.
Fantasy heartbreakers are based on D&D, or some other RPG that already exists, with minor (petty and irrevelant) tweaks that the new author loves but everybody else just finds frustrating.
Talislanta is nothing like that. You may not like it, and that's fine, but it's no fantasy heartbreaker. Here's the full definition of the term:
Yeah,I don't think that's entirely fair. Talislanta has some interesting ideas going for it, and I personally regret initially dismissing it as "just another D&D clone."
I think you fail to realize that elves were fruity dancing wood folk that smiles all the time back when Talislanta first came out. Grim-dark woods defenders who would cut you for snapping a twig was still years in the future.
Basically, you're complaining that the old cutting edge is now cliche, rather than still cutting edge.