So I'm scrapping the whole Fendojon/Hekinoe in 5th Edition thing I was going to do. There are a few specific reasons for this, so I'll explain.
One of the things I really want to do, eventually, is run a campaign in Hekinoe using GURPS. That's the dream. One delaying factor to this is setting up a complete campaign book. It's not hard per se, it's just time consuming. Which is why it takes so long.
One of the things I really like to do is tweak rules and systems so they make more sense to me or better fit my concept of what the rules or world should be. I'm kind of good at it and I heartily enjoy coming up with all the rough drafts and slightly more finalized versions of tweaks and whatnot. This is why I considered pushing the Hekinoe octagonal peg into the 5th Edition square hole for a campaign for my other gaming group. Because it was fun to see if I could make if fit by hammering and brute force alterations to the rules. Sort of a challenge to myself of sorts.
And I did make it fit. To be fair, I had to modify the background material slightly to fit with what I wanted to do with 5th Edition and Hekinoe, but I was confident I was going to make it all work and finalize it all. But it was going to require some work and some time.
The problem with that is that if I'm going to put forth a bunch of effort on gaming, especially modification of rules and whatnot, shouldn't it be towards my final goal of converting Hekinoe to GURPS and completing the campaign book? I feel like it should be. It feels somewhat immoral to be focusing in on Hekinoe and 5th Edition when I am taking so fucking long on GURPS Hekinoe. Feels like I'm cheating on myself or something here.
The quickest solution to this would be to just say we're all playing GURPS Fendojon, fuck 5th Edition. But I don't really feel right doing that. This group's preferred system appears to be DnD versions, and GURPS books are expensive and I don't really like the idea of giving everyone a bunch of pdfs, because I like GURPS/Steve Jackson Games, and want to continue to support them with my financial contributions. There's also a somewhat significant time investment factor in learning a completely alien system when you've only just familiarized yourself with a DnD system. Plus, I kinda like 5th Edition. Excluding Pathfinder, it's probably one of my favorite versions of DnD. It's less "every class is a carbon copy of every other class" than 4th Edition, lighter on rules and modifiers in a good way than 3.5, and it is way more streamlined than 2nd Edition.
So I don't feel right forcing GURPS on this group. I don't feel right spending extensive time and energy on forcing a piece of Hekinoe into 5th Edition. I also don't feel right using a system that needs such heavy modification to accommodate Hekinoe/Fendojon. If you're going to use a system, it should first and foremost be one you like to run and your players enjoy playing, but it should also be able to fit your world into it without mangling the system's rules or changing your world to fit into the confines of the ruleset. It should all fit together.
So where does that leave me? I need to scrap Fendojon and run something in 5th Edition designed for 5th Edition, or just give up DMing for this group. I would really like to DM for this group, and I do enjoy 5th Edition, so I think it might be something worth doing to create a 5th Edition campaign. But that kind of puts us right back where we started with putting effort and energy into a campaign instead of working on the GURPS Hekinoe campaign book, which is my Gnomish life quest.
So what we need to do here is come up with a campaign that utilizes 5th Edition rules in their mostly unmodified form, and uses traditional background elements in their mostly unmodified form. So don't create an entirely different mechanic for casting spells, completely change the way armor and AC work, don't create all new races, etc. Keep the tropes of elves living in forests and being generally good, orcs and goblinoids being generally evil, dragons are powerful, etc. If I maintain those guiding principles, it's basically just plugging in new names in every fantasy trope that has come before. Obviously I'll need to play with some ideas to make sure that I find the campaign compelling and enjoy running it. There's no sense creating and running something I am apathetic about.
I dunno. We'll see. If more develops, I'm sure I'll yammer about it here. Actually, I already have some ideas that I kind of like involving the map of The Outlands from 2nd Edition and elements of Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion series. Kind of.