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(Ars Technica)   "Dungeons & Dragons Next"...begun, the Nerd Wars have   (arstechnica.com) divider line 202
    More: Interesting, Dungeons & Dragons, classic games, Wizards of the Coast, Gary Gygax, cohesiveness, Mike Mearls, PAX  
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7226 clicks; posted to Geek » on 17 Sep 2012 at 2:12 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-16 09:25:10 PM
I agree with the author 4e sucks.

Attack the gazebo!!!
 
2012-09-16 09:41:59 PM
Our local group's been playing Next since it was released two months ago, subs.
 
2012-09-16 09:46:51 PM
Meh,
My group is fully invested in Pathfinder, I don't think there is any going back at this point.
 
2012-09-16 09:57:18 PM

doglover: Our local group's been playing Next since it was released two months ago, subs.


Did I say "begun, the Nerd Wars will"? I think not.

/still use 2nd edition
//I attack the darkness
 
2012-09-16 10:08:01 PM
To hear them tell it, this won't merely be another layer to cover over what has come before, but a flexible ruleset with variable complexity, perfectly capable of playing as a tactical miniatures game like 4e, or as an old school "talkie." Without a 1-inch grid ever being rolled out on the table, and without a single ounce of pewter cast in the image of an elf or a dwarf, D&D Next games can consist entirely of the interactions between the players and the DM, of dice and words alone.

Boy, I sure hope so. Though I'm not sure I'll end up getting back into it at this point.
 
2012-09-16 10:26:50 PM
www.starburstmagazine.com


War ? What does DnD know about war ?
 
2012-09-16 10:46:49 PM

NowhereMon: Meh,
My group is fully invested in Pathfinder, I don't think there is any going back at this point.


me too
 
2012-09-16 11:50:34 PM

dahmers love zombie: doglover: Our local group's been playing Next since it was released two months ago, subs.

Did I say "begun, the Nerd Wars will"? I think not.

/still use 2nd edition
//I attack the darkness


Next is basically a cleaned up version of 2.

A lot less data and tables, same basic idea.
 
2012-09-16 11:53:45 PM

One Bad Apple: [www.starburstmagazine.com image 510x336]


War ? What does DnD know about war ?


cf.geekdo-images.com

And a closer little detail:

cf.geekdo-images.com 

Game on.
 
2012-09-16 11:59:29 PM

dahmers love zombie: still use 2nd edition


I always liked AD&D with 2nd edition settings and background material.
 
2012-09-17 12:16:09 AM

Methadone Girls: NowhereMon: Meh,
My group is fully invested in Pathfinder, I don't think there is any going back at this point.

me too


yup, add me to that list. I'm currently running the pathfinder 'skull and shackles' adventure path for Pathfinder. I see little reason to ever go back to vanilla D&D. there's nothing there for me anymore.

and if I ever feel the need to switch things up a bit, there's always Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader and/or Black Crusade.
 
2012-09-17 12:32:55 AM
I tried D&D in real life in like sixth grade. Then I realized I didn't actually want to PRETEND I was a character in a game I was playing.

Thankfully video games came along around that time and made that sort of nonsense obsolete except for rare groups of extreme nerds nowadays.

Technology has made your endless painting of silly models sort of silly now, D&D old-schoolers. Still love that AD&D Monster Manual book from my preteens though. Yum, succubi!
 
2012-09-17 12:37:31 AM

Methadone Girls: NowhereMon: Meh,
My group is fully invested in Pathfinder, I don't think there is any going back at this point.

me too


Same here. Loving the Skull & Shackles right now, and our group just got done with Kingmaker.
 
2012-09-17 12:42:03 AM
FTFA: Four years later, we still have yet to reach level 11.

Now you know how the elves feel. I mean seriously, you are 400 years old and you are still level 1? Are you farking slow in the head?
 
2012-09-17 02:05:59 AM

Makh: FTFA: Four years later, we still have yet to reach level 11.

Now you know how the elves feel. I mean seriously, you are 400 years old and you are still level 1? Are you farking slow in the head?


Yes. They are.
 
2012-09-17 02:24:43 AM
Any set of rules that let me pull off silly shiat like using a glass cauldron full of green slime sitting inside of a bag of holding and tossing people in for shiats and grins after robbing and raping them is a set of rules I can play by.

/never did get to rape a goddess
//not for lack of trying
 
2012-09-17 02:28:03 AM
Trying to figure out how using the Realms excludes other exotic settings as the article claims. The Realms is BY FAR the most friendly setting for including other settings(except Dark Sun due to that settings own rules) considering all the planar gates as well as the many, MANY references to Spelljamming ships and such. Hell, most major cities in the realms have ports for Spelljammers.

But even forgetting that, it is kind of the most well known setting, followed by Greyhawk. It just makes sense to keep using it as long as they can fix the crap they pulled with 4E and how that basically ruined everything that made the setting fun. At least they're getting rid of World of D&D powers.
 
2012-09-17 02:34:32 AM

NowhereMon: Meh,
My group is fully invested in Pathfinder, I don't think there is any going back at this point.


I'm sure we'll take a look at the next edition, but we feel really burned by 4e, and Mearls is still in charge. So, Pathfinder it is for the foreseeable future. It's loads of fun!
 
2012-09-17 02:39:14 AM
Enjoying the Fantasy Flight / 40 K RPGs - but looking forward to Monte Cook's Numenera
 
2012-09-17 02:55:55 AM

Methadone Girls: NowhereMon: Meh,
My group is fully invested in Pathfinder, I don't think there is any going back at this point.

me too


earthdawn.nerps.net
 
2012-09-17 02:57:20 AM
Wow. That came out a whole lot larger than I had intended....
 
2012-09-17 02:58:47 AM
No. There is another....

So far, it looks promising. Slightly more complex than WEG, but lightyears better than WoTC/SAGA. Plus, innovative story mechanisms.
 
2012-09-17 03:00:15 AM
Pathfinder uber Alles.
Never ever going back.
 
2012-09-17 03:05:18 AM
gamers-garage.com

My best friend from high school, back in 'aught 93, took all of his super nintendo games down to the local game store and loaded up on ALL things MERP. Ahh many days did we nerd out, and on the side threw in some Might and Magic on his awesomely fast 2x CD-ROM or threw down with the Kilrathi on some Wing Commander 2...those were the days.
 
2012-09-17 03:23:16 AM

SouthParkCon: [gamers-garage.com image 365x485]

My best friend from high school, back in 'aught 93, took all of his super nintendo games down to the local game store and loaded up on ALL things MERP. Ahh many days did we nerd out, and on the side threw in some Might and Magic on his awesomely fast 2x CD-ROM or threw down with the Kilrathi on some Wing Commander 2...those were the days.


Never got into MERP, and stuck with AD&D 2nd Ed in my olden days. But Wing Commander 2 was one of my absolute favorite PC games back then. Played through it again a couple of years ago. Very, very dated, but still entertaining.
 
2012-09-17 03:57:41 AM

Nezu Chiza: Trying to figure out how using the Realms excludes other exotic settings as the article claims. The Realms is BY FAR the most friendly setting for including other settings(except Dark Sun due to that settings own rules) considering all the planar gates as well as the many, MANY references to Spelljamming ships and such. Hell, most major cities in the realms have ports for Spelljammers.

But even forgetting that, it is kind of the most well known setting, followed by Greyhawk. It just makes sense to keep using it as long as they can fix the crap they pulled with 4E and how that basically ruined everything that made the setting fun. At least they're getting rid of World of D&D powers.


The problem that I always had with FR is that everything seems so run over already that there is nowhere to go that I wouldn't need an extra book. Plus, I never really got into any fantasy series at all (except for Discworld) and as the perpetual DM I was actually at a information disadvantage compared to my friends who read FR and DL. The best setting is D&D Basic Mystara because even though all the themed countries and hollow earth were obviously annoyingly pat, the place was pretty well empty...so Adventure and so forth. I wrote my own settings mostly, but that was definitely the best pre-built they've ever made.

I do kind of wish I had been a PC more. But, hey, someone has got to write the thing or there is no fun.
 
2012-09-17 04:01:00 AM

SouthParkCon: [gamers-garage.com image 365x485]

My best friend from high school, back in 'aught 93, took all of his super nintendo games down to the local game store and loaded up on ALL things MERP. Ahh many days did we nerd out, and on the side threw in some Might and Magic on his awesomely fast 2x CD-ROM or threw down with the Kilrathi on some Wing Commander 2...those were the days.


MERP was too close to its parent Rolemaster for my tastes. Way back when one of my gaming friends tried to get us to play Rolemaster and I swear a fight between 3 PCs and 3 orcs was abandoned after 5 hours of rolling and chart consultation. Not a fan of that system at all. As for the article itself, I also am a Pathfinder fan.
 
2012-09-17 04:31:07 AM
Ah, but MERP (and it's parent, Rolemaster) had the most entertaining critical hit tables of ALL TIME.

Ahhh, to roll the dice and kick a man in the crotch so hard his lower body explodes and showers a 10 foot diameter circle in gore. And... man bits. Ewwwwww.

/Pardon me, Bubbariel, you've got some wang hanging from your eartip.
 
2012-09-17 04:39:33 AM

The Stealth Hippopotamus:
Attack the gazebo!!!


The gazebo does not respond.
 
2012-09-17 04:41:18 AM
1.bp.blogspot.com

Having been involved in the above and the 24hr marathon creation of this companion piece, I'm getting a kick...
 
2012-09-17 04:43:21 AM
And Mike Mearls starts talking like its his own baby. 5e or DND Next, in its present form, is a product of a visionnary man: Monte Cook. This guy is an awesome writer who produced a lot of stuff in Planescape for TSR, then worked on the 3e from Wizards and many supplements including the best loved Book of Vile Darkness.This was one of the best designers Wizards had, and when Hasbro took over, was one of the designers who was shown the door. Still he loved DnD and he designed D20 material for it, which were awesome.

Then came Wizard who asked him to come and work on the 5e. He started by saying that 4e was like Trash metal, Trash metal is good but a lot of people dont like Trash. What was obvious is that he was saying 4e was trash, and he at least convinced the new designers for the 5e. Which was good. Also he said, and his whole mindset going into this was that he wanted to regroup all editions into one, including the 3e and Pathfinder. He wanted to bring harmony in the edition wars, because lets face it: Wizards are not winning that war, Paizo's Pathfinder is.

However it seems that he had a difference of opinion with the leaders at Wizards, and quit the assignement. I think that tells you a lot. Another clue was an interview that he gave here. Pay close attention to his rant. Yes my friends, his vision may still be what the remaining designers are working with, but they arent including feats ( a staple of the 3e and Pathfinder ) inside the 5e. So its going to be an unified edition, except the one that still works well and the one that makes a lot of money.

We will never know what Monte said to the asshole who forced the 4e down on us ( wizards CEO ), probably it wasnt very SFW. Monte Cook is still one of the best designer out there, and his new project seems interesting. When he left the 5e, I was floored because I knew the best chance of an unified edition would die with him leaving. Now with big cannons like Sean K Reynolds leading Paizo, who will be left to make the 5e a real winner? Mike Mearls is perhaps the only man left.

What I really like is that supposedly, this time, the adventures will be edition neutral and the source material will be the same. That shows a good deal of good sense, while it lasts. What doesnt fly high is the Pathfinder world; this needs work Paizo. Right now the best campain world is still the Forgotten Realms in my opinion. So they might sell some material this time, and show Hasbro how stupid that CEO is.

"It's the very people who must now solve the problem of a very fractured marketplace who fractured it in the first place." - Monte Cook
 
2012-09-17 05:00:07 AM

Lonestar:
We will never know what Monte said to the asshole who forced the 4e down on us ( wizards CEO ), probably it wasnt very SFW.


Wizards isn't calling the shots on 5e. Hasbro is.
 
2012-09-17 05:00:57 AM

FueledByEthanol: Rolemaster) had the most entertaining critical hit tables of ALL TIME


I quite liked Rolemaster, I think you just hit on why. I also loved it when you rolled a 66. Those tables were so much fun. 
 
We've gone back to AD&D in our own GM generated setting. 4e was just annoying and we felt it was a pretty underhanded attempt to sell more plastic minitures.
 
2012-09-17 05:03:52 AM

wippit: Lonestar:
We will never know what Monte said to the asshole who forced the 4e down on us ( wizards CEO ), probably it wasnt very SFW.

Wizards isn't calling the shots on 5e. Hasbro is.


Hasbro and the CEO of Wizards, which they put in place.
 
2012-09-17 05:12:32 AM

Lonestar: And Mike Mearls starts talking like its his own baby. 5e or DND Next, in its present form, is a product of a visionnary man: Monte Cook.


Egads, man. Monte's stuff doesn't even work right on paper. He's the one that insisted on the noobie traps in 3E like Toughness. 5e will fail trying to please everyone and pleasing no one, not for lack of Monte.
 
2012-09-17 05:14:02 AM
I maintain that 4e DnD would have been an enormous success if only it was called something like "DnD: Tactical Miniatures Combat" or something, making it clear that it was a side project rather than a new edition. It's a lot of fun, it just doesn't feel like DnD. It plays more like a small-scale skirmish wargame (like Mordheim or Necromunda) than a full RPG.

I've run my group through the DnD Next playtest, and it went reasonably well. it avoids the immersion breaking artifice of "encounter powers" and so on that 4e had, but it keeps the better class balance and superior low-level play that 4e had over 3e. Here's hoping the final product shapes up.

Lonestar: And Mike Mearls starts talking like its his own baby. 5e or DND Next, in its present form, is a product of a visionnary man: Monte Cook. This guy is an awesome writer who produced a lot of stuff in Planescape for TSR, then worked on the 3e from Wizards and many supplements including the best loved Book of Vile Darkness.This was one of the best designers Wizards had, and when Hasbro took over, was one of the designers who was shown the door. Still he loved DnD and he designed D20 material for it, which were awesome.


Damn dude; we get it, Monte Cook is your messiah, and will lead you to the promised land. Blessed are those who white knight him on internet forums, and may death come on swift wings to those who actually liked 4e.
 
2012-09-17 05:15:55 AM
Next is a total piece of crap.

Player: "I want to do something cool, can I?'
DM: "Did you roll a wizard or a cleric?'
Player: "No"
DM: "Go sit down over there and play with some crayons"
 
2012-09-17 05:17:34 AM

Lonestar: Right now the best campain world is still the Forgotten Realms in my opinion.


I'm a long-time Realms lover, from back in 1st ed and before the novels came out.I would say that the Pathfinder Campign setting is just as rich and vibrant as the Realms were back in 1st/2nd edition. The difference is the horde of novels that have come out set in the Realms, basically adding another couple dozen world designers to flesh things out. One of the big advantages Pathfinder has is that they avoid a lot of the stock tropes (especially in regards to race) that the Realms has. The history in particular is well done, integrating a lot of themes together. Humans were raised up by the Aboleth, giving a very Lovecraftian theme. One of the main nations is Aldoran, a break-away nation with thematic ties to the American Revolution, in contrast to the nation of Galt wich is more tied to the bloody French Revolution. Rather than having set racial pantheons, Gods attract followers of many races; you can find Humans worshiping Elven gods and Dwarves worshiping Human Gods. It's a very cosmopolitan setting where there's areas for just about every taste in fantasy adventuring.
 
2012-09-17 05:25:45 AM
Also, since people are posting various RPG covers, here's one I enjoyed from back in the day (though it's not meant to be taken as a favorite or one I think that trumps all others)

home.insightbb.com
 
2012-09-17 05:31:32 AM
I always liked West End's Star Wars run. Easy to pick up and play. As for DnD, 2nd Edition for me. Used to like Rifts back in the day before it turned into a game of minmaxing one uppers.
 
2012-09-17 05:32:54 AM

Gunther: I maintain that 4e DnD would have been an enormous success if only it was called something like "DnD: Tactical Miniatures Combat" or something, making it clear that it was a side project rather than a new edition. It's a lot of fun, it just doesn't feel like DnD. It plays more like a small-scale skirmish wargame (like Mordheim or Necromunda) than a full RPG.


4E was simply the culmination of a trend that started with 3.5E toward focusing on miniatures combat
at the expense of the more theatrical aspects of RPGs.

I played Living Greyhawk extensively, and even as far back as the second year of the campaign it
became plain that WOTC regarded it as simply the "D&D Book of the Month Club", wherein they
ceased to care about the (sometimes compelling) local campaign plots in favor of making sure that
adventures showcased powers and things in whatever the latest sourcebook they were hawking.
And the adventures were only a collection of 3 combats with only lipservice to actual role playing.
Granted, the decentralized nature of the campaign did mean that they had to skew toward things that
could be objectively quantified, and that meant they had to focus on combat, but they also did their
damnedest to quash the regional flavour that the original campaign in the later years, and it is quite
informative that the current Living campaign is essentially regionless and wholly planned by a
WOTC-controlled committee.
 
2012-09-17 05:40:06 AM

INeedAName: Next is a total piece of crap.

Player: "I want to do something cool, can I?'
DM: "Did you roll a wizard or a cleric?'
Player: "No"
DM: "Go sit down over there and play with some crayons"


Kind of sums it up for me. That and the baked in Vancian nonsense despite the promise of everything optional, and people hopping mad about it. I don't play 4e because it's so tactical and takes up so much time in combat, but the class balance and giving fighters cool stuff to do instead of flailing about ineffectively and then waiting around while the wizard shows off again was one of the best things to ever happen to D&D. Combine the (sorta, hey at least more) fluid combat of earlier editions with the powers and balance of 4e and I think they'd have a winner. And that's not what 5e is shaping up to be at all.
 
2012-09-17 05:52:06 AM

Relatively Obscure: since people are posting various RPG covers


Yep, like Alternity too. Best SciFi  RPG I've played and while we are at it... 
 

ArcadianRefugee: [earthdawn.nerps.net image 454x253]

 
I also enjoyed EarthDawn. I like the RP of having an art to proove you weren't tainted by the horrors, but I also loved the compromise of having open-ended crits. It makes using a lighter weapon like a dagger a bit more fun. 

 
 
2012-09-17 05:59:30 AM

1. Put snakes on plane: INeedAName: Next is a total piece of crap.

Player: "I want to do something cool, can I?'
DM: "Did you roll a wizard or a cleric?'
Player: "No"
DM: "Go sit down over there and play with some crayons"

Kind of sums it up for me. That and the baked in Vancian nonsense despite the promise of everything optional, and people hopping mad about it. I don't play 4e because it's so tactical and takes up so much time in combat, but the class balance and giving fighters cool stuff to do instead of flailing about ineffectively and then waiting around while the wizard shows off again was one of the best things to ever happen to D&D. Combine the (sorta, hey at least more) fluid combat of earlier editions with the powers and balance of 4e and I think they'd have a winner. And that's not what 5e is shaping up to be at all.


I don't know about fighters, but I've been testing the Next rogue for a while now... it is NOT a boring class (at least not the way I play it). The non-combat skills/abilities are useful (depending on your gm's style, of course), and the advantage system turns a halfling rogue into the 'boom, headshot' guy. Bear in mind, my style of playing a rogue usually comes out looking more like an Errol Flynn movie than anything else...

Fighters look like they got some interesting updates in the August release, but I haven't played around with them yet.

Re: Vancian magic... I'll just end up rewriting the spell system like i did in 1e, 2e and 3e anyway. I'll never understand why they like that system so much, but I guess I'm resigned to it.
 
2012-09-17 06:09:41 AM
Oh, and for the Monte Cook fans... The Numenera kickstarter funds at 5pm EDT today (9/17/12). $50 gets you a pdf of everything (9 sourcebooks, 3d paper terrain, GM screen, 3 card decks) and a free copy of the character creator app.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1 433901524/numenera-a-new-rolepla y ing-game-from-monte-cook

/frack it, the mobile site hates my links, so you can take the spaces out yourself.
 
2012-09-17 06:10:36 AM

Toriko: Yep, like Alternity too. Best SciFi  RPG I've played and while we are at it...


i30.tinypic.com

I've got to put forth this as my favorite SciFi RPG. I thought the system was pretty simple and elegant, and I like a lot of the setting and character ideas. I've played it a couple of times, and had a short-lived campaign largely inspired by Firefly. It also worked really well with one of my favorite third-party add-ons, known in our group as "The Big Book of Backgrounds".

ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2012-09-17 06:14:54 AM
Me: Wanna play DND?

Friend: Sure. Roll a D20.

Me: uhh... ok. I got a five.

Friend: Your head explodes.
 
2012-09-17 06:23:16 AM

RoyFokker'sGhost: I'm a long-time Realms lover, from back in 1st ed and before the novels came out.I would say that the Pathfinder Campign setting is just as rich and vibrant as the Realms were back in 1st/2nd edition. The difference is the horde of novels that have come out set in the Realms, basically adding another couple dozen world designers to flesh things out. One of the big advantages Pathfinder has is that they avoid a lot of the stock tropes (especially in regards to race) that the Realms has. The history in particular is well done, integrating a lot of themes together. Humans were raised up by the Aboleth, giving a very Lovecraftian theme.


You called?

Although I am an Aboleth, the game I still run from the 80s til now is:

img.photobucket.com
 
2012-09-17 06:40:24 AM

1. Put snakes on plane: INeedAName: Next is a total piece of crap.

Player: "I want to do something cool, can I?'
DM: "Did you roll a wizard or a cleric?'
Player: "No"
DM: "Go sit down over there and play with some crayons"

Kind of sums it up for me. That and the baked in Vancian nonsense despite the promise of everything optional, and people hopping mad about it. I don't play 4e because it's so tactical and takes up so much time in combat, but the class balance and giving fighters cool stuff to do instead of flailing about ineffectively and then waiting around while the wizard shows off again was one of the best things to ever happen to D&D. Combine the (sorta, hey at least more) fluid combat of earlier editions with the powers and balance of 4e and I think they'd have a winner. And that's not what 5e is shaping up to be at all.


I think the problem is they are being way too apologetic about 4e, I think the haters just talk way too loudly. 4e had it's issues, but so did all editions.

The problem is they lost a lot of people to Paizo and are trying to win them back. Problem is they risk alienating their current players trying to get them back into the fold.

I hate hate hate Vancian, it's dumb from both a combat and RP perspective.

"Cast Fireball again!" "Uh I can't I forgot it and now have to study it... again" (faceplam)

The only solution is to playtest often and write-in a lot before the munchkiners take it over. I have to plan a playtest for next week sometime.
 
2012-09-17 06:41:57 AM

Jgok: Oh, and for the Monte Cook fans... The Numenera kickstarter funds at 5pm EDT today (9/17/12). $50 gets you a pdf of everything (9 sourcebooks, 3d paper terrain, GM screen, 3 card decks) and a free copy of the character creator app.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1 433901524/numenera-a-new-rolepla y ing-game-from-monte-cook

/frack it, the mobile site hates my links, so you can take the spaces out yourself.


I bought this too. It's an awesome deal and the game looks really fun!
 
2012-09-17 07:18:25 AM
i599.photobucket.com
 
2012-09-17 07:27:03 AM
Okay, I'm going to give my opinions on D&D Next, but I have NOT had the chance to playtest it yet. I've been watching a lot of their youtube videos though and I am planning to playtest soon.

I'm a little afraid of the whole "you can customize D&D the way you want too!" angle they are touting. Not only because I'm afraid they'll turn it into a clusterfark AND it's what players and DMs have been doing since day one, it's not some "new feature". It just gets under my skin, that's all.

I think the company is in full on panic mode now, and I'm not sure if they are going to be making the right decisions trying to appease an angry crowd that has either stuck to 3.5 or left for Paizo already. It doesn't make them look good at all. :(

I confess I loved 4e, I could actually survive as a first level wizard! Yay! No more Vancian magic! Gameplay was streamlined and fun! I hope they don't scrape 4e's good innovations entirely. 4e had issues: book cash grab, no hybrid class rules, etc but so did all editions. I hope they don't wipe 4e entirely off the map just to appeal to haters.

The really smart thing they are doing is PDFing all the old stuff and making it available online to recapture the old school market.

TL;DR: players been customizing D&D forever, it's not a new feature. I'm worried that trying to appeal to EVERYONE is going to backfire hard. I like 4e and I hope they don't scrape everything entirely to appeal to a market share that they lost, and the only smart thing they're doing now is PDFing all the old stuff and making it available for the marketplace.
 
2012-09-17 07:44:59 AM
OSRIC
Swords & Wizardry
Labyrinth Lord
Pathfinder
Dark Dungeons
Dungeon Crawl Classics

And I haven't even scratched the surface of what's out there. Pazio and the OSR ate WotC's lunch, and they know it. 5e or Next or D&Dwhatthefark is too little, too late. 

i46.tinypic.com
 
2012-09-17 07:45:35 AM
Ran this a few weeks back:

cdn.shopify.com

Think of it as B&E&C condensed to 14 levels, with a workable domain management and trade system.
 
2012-09-17 07:46:41 AM
Wow... that was painful to read. Quite possibly the worst writing I've been subjected to in a long time, and thats saying something.
 
2012-09-17 07:55:32 AM
4e was fun for about 2 campaigns. It was simply difficult to make *your* character. You wind up with more of a multiple choice test than a carefully crafted character. What's worse is that they track you based on which stats you pick out at the start so there is a more and less powerful choice. It did add some nice things like revamping saves, but any sufficiently long combat makes the characters look like 1-3 trick ponies which is kinda sad given that only combat was its big thing. The skill system was nice and clean, but it felt impersonal and delegated.

So far 5e is playing well, but until the full version is out it's hard to tell.

Mostly, I feel like there hasn't been a strong entry in the genre since 2nd edition. It's not that it didn't have flaws, but it really pushed the boundaries compared to what came before it. Recent editions have only attempted to clean up details. Yes, that applies to Pathfinder as well. It didn't go anywhere new on its own. Perhaps all some people want is polish, but it feels like the industry needs a jolt of innovation. Feats were cool and all, but they make the system impossible to balance. When the same feats get picked 1000x more often than the next one on the list, there's an issue.
 
2012-09-17 08:10:39 AM

Dracolich: 4e was fun for about 2 campaigns. It was simply difficult to make *your* character. You wind up with more of a multiple choice test than a carefully crafted character. What's worse is that they track you based on which stats you pick out at the start so there is a more and less powerful choice. It did add some nice things like revamping saves, but any sufficiently long combat makes the characters look like 1-3 trick ponies which is kinda sad given that only combat was its big thing. The skill system was nice and clean, but it felt impersonal and delegated.

So far 5e is playing well, but until the full version is out it's hard to tell.

Mostly, I feel like there hasn't been a strong entry in the genre since 2nd edition. It's not that it didn't have flaws, but it really pushed the boundaries compared to what came before it. Recent editions have only attempted to clean up details. Yes, that applies to Pathfinder as well. It didn't go anywhere new on its own. Perhaps all some people want is polish, but it feels like the industry needs a jolt of innovation. Feats were cool and all, but they make the system impossible to balance. When the same feats get picked 1000x more often than the next one on the list, there's an issue.


I always thought they should separate the feats out into "combat feats" and "RP feats", getting one of each. That way in combat you don't feel punished for wanting RP.
 
2012-09-17 08:13:33 AM

shortymac: Okay, I'm going to give my opinions on D&D Next, but I have NOT had the chance to playtest it yet. I've been watching a lot of their youtube videos though and I am planning to playtest soon.


A lot of elements only really make sense when you see them in play. The advantage/disadvantage thing for instance; it sounds like they're making a big deal out of a simple mechanic, but then you play the game and you realize how much it speeds up play by removing a lot of the tedious "Oh, I have a +3 from this and you have a -4 from that" stuff.

Simply comparing the first playtest (which was fairly crappy) to the second, it's apparent they're really putting a lot of work into trying to listen to the fanbase. The overwhelming criticism of the first was that fighters are effective but dull to play, and they fixed that in rather a clever way in the second. There's still a few flaws, but I'm fairly optimistic.
 
2012-09-17 08:19:20 AM
robboyle.files.wordpress.com

Everything about it just oozes cool, easily the best sci-fi/horror rpg out there.

/And whoever they have doing the layout for their books is an absolute genius
 
2012-09-17 08:21:54 AM

shortymac:
I'm a little afraid of the whole "you can customize D&D the way you want too!" angle they are touting. Not only because I'm afraid they'll turn it into a clusterfark AND it's what players and DMs have been doing since day one, it's not some "new feature". It just gets under my skin, that's all.

I think the company is in full on panic mode now, and I'm not sure if they are going to be making the right decisions trying to appease an angry crowd that has either stuck to 3.5 or left for Paizo already. It doesn't make them look good at all. :(


WOTC is in a strange position. On one side, they have Paizo taking a bunch of their standard-bearer old-style D&D players.

On the other side, due to the relatively recent advent of print-on-demand services, there's a ton of small, indie-style games now that are REALLY pushing the boundaries of role-playing games and make old-style D&D feel really old and archaic. I think that's where this whole "customizable" thing is coming from. I'm not sure they can succeed, given that these small games are really streamlined to do what they do, and don't require the $300 worth of compendiums and manuals that WOTC has to sell to support the weight of their corporation.
 
2012-09-17 08:23:29 AM

thunderbird8804: /And whoever they have doing the layout for their books is an absolute genius


That would be this guy.

/Been enjoying being an Octomorph uplift in the game.
 
2012-09-17 08:32:41 AM

Dracolich: 4e was fun for about 2 campaigns. It was simply difficult to make *your* character. You wind up with more of a multiple choice test than a carefully crafted character. What's worse is that they track you based on which stats you pick out at the start so there is a more and less powerful choice. It did add some nice things like revamping saves, but any sufficiently long combat makes the characters look like 1-3 trick ponies which is kinda sad given that only combat was its big thing. The skill system was nice and clean, but it felt impersonal and delegated.

So far 5e is playing well, but until the full version is out it's hard to tell.

Mostly, I feel like there hasn't been a strong entry in the genre since 2nd edition. It's not that it didn't have flaws, but it really pushed the boundaries compared to what came before it. Recent editions have only attempted to clean up details. Yes, that applies to Pathfinder as well. It didn't go anywhere new on its own. Perhaps all some people want is polish, but it feels like the industry needs a jolt of innovation. Feats were cool and all, but they make the system impossible to balance. When the same feats get picked 1000x more often than the next one on the list, there's an issue.


The issue with 4e and RP is that they didn't come out with RP rules like character backgrounds, hybrid classes, etc until later. Hell i only found out about them because I had their digital subscription.

The problem is they shouldn't have launched when they did, the book splitting and subscription service to get the "complete" game was a total cash-grab and one of the issues with 4e.

Is it just me or is it just that the D&D franchise keeps on making boneheaded business decisions and it's screwing with the game?
 
2012-09-17 08:32:57 AM

Aboleth: thunderbird8804: /And whoever they have doing the layout for their books is an absolute genius

That would be this guy.

/Been enjoying being an Octomorph uplift in the game.


I was wondering where he went after Catalyst started self destructing.

/Rockin' the reaper, cause nobody messes with a solid ball of murder
 
2012-09-17 08:36:54 AM

Gunther: shortymac: Okay, I'm going to give my opinions on D&D Next, but I have NOT had the chance to playtest it yet. I've been watching a lot of their youtube videos though and I am planning to playtest soon.

A lot of elements only really make sense when you see them in play. The advantage/disadvantage thing for instance; it sounds like they're making a big deal out of a simple mechanic, but then you play the game and you realize how much it speeds up play by removing a lot of the tedious "Oh, I have a +3 from this and you have a -4 from that" stuff.

Simply comparing the first playtest (which was fairly crappy) to the second, it's apparent they're really putting a lot of work into trying to listen to the fanbase. The overwhelming criticism of the first was that fighters are effective but dull to play, and they fixed that in rather a clever way in the second. There's still a few flaws, but I'm fairly optimistic.


We just did one of the second round of playtest. Our thought were:

Advantage/Disavantage... good idea. Who doesn't like rolling more dice. Sort of like the action point system. The bad part is that it is hard to determine when you have A/D. Some of it is DM call, but other stuff is a bit nebulous. This make combat with a rouge a bit more difficult, as they are deadly (too deadly maybe) when they have advantage.
 
2012-09-17 08:42:54 AM

Weaver95: Methadone Girls: NowhereMon: Meh,
My group is fully invested in Pathfinder, I don't think there is any going back at this point.

me too

yup, add me to that list. I'm currently running the pathfinder 'skull and shackles' adventure path for Pathfinder. I see little reason to ever go back to vanilla D&D. there's nothing there for me anymore.


I've been getting ready to start a S&S adventure my self after my coworker has been running a Rise of the Runelords campaign, pretty excited. A few of us are a little too into pirates, so this is right up our alley.

I'm assuming you like the S&S settings?

/haven't DM'd since highschool
//did pretty terrible as my group wasn't focused
 
2012-09-17 08:48:31 AM
hmmmm Begun? The edition war was over before it started. Won, Pathfinder has.
 
2012-09-17 08:53:08 AM

sfounder: hmmmm Begun? The edition war was over before it started. Won, Pathfinder has.


Okay what is so great about pathfinder compared to 3.5 and 4?
 
2012-09-17 08:54:43 AM
1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-09-17 09:39:29 AM
upload.wikimedia.org

Th eonly game I know of that you can get killed in chargen.
 
2012-09-17 09:41:07 AM
Pathfinder is probably the best expression of the 3d Edition rules style. It's hard for me to play other d20 games than Pathfinder without re-normalizing them to the Pathfinder rules.

4E was pretty crappy -- it strove for simplicity and ease of play, but I found nothing simple or easy about that game. It takes a lot of time to apply a half-dozen different marks and status effects and keep track of saves and when things end. 4E was ultimately simulationist, but it simulated a video game. The further disconnect between Combat and Roleplay, where Combat was (extra) over the top and cartoony making it difficult to play the Roleplay straight, pretty much sunk the game for me.

I find myself missing WEG Star Wars, and I've played some d20 (Revised) Star Wars, but WEG plays a little funky, and the authors of the d20 version might have never watched any of the movies or played any of the games -- replicating iconic Jedi actions (leaps, pushes, etc) requires an inordinate amount of effort and reading certain powers with your mouth held just right -- and the character classes are entirely lackluster.

I love Shadowrun (3d Edition). 4th has the problem of somehow turning all of the streamlining efforts into added complexity.

I don't know if D&D can be "fixed" in this newfangled modern world. It's got a terrible burden of expectation and a team of barely-trained monkeys at the helm.
 
2012-09-17 09:43:11 AM
Want some more 1st edition monsters? I wrote this a few years ago: Monstrous Tome II: Book of Beings.
 
2012-09-17 09:43:35 AM
4e fixed what it was supposed to fix: combat actually made sense and didn't leave players randomly out in the cold because they weren't as skilled at building a character or just picked a lower-powered class.

The problem was that in fixing combat, they basically just dropped skills, plot events, non-combat NPCs, exploration, racing, large-scale encounters, and the benefits of treasure hunting, which are kind of the things that make D&D an RPG instead of a wargame.

So in the end their combat worked for the first time... ever, but at the cost of the game being a shiat wargame instead of a decently good RPG. If we wanted to play wargames we'd play an actual wargame.

//My favorite RPGs are still Mage and Spycraft, so no skin off my nose if they release D&D editions that are quantitatively bad instead of just arguable, but still.
 
2012-09-17 09:47:05 AM
I played AD&D (v1) for nearly fifteen years, and never once did I see anyone using miniatures.
 
2012-09-17 09:51:04 AM

Thunderboy: I played AD&D (v1) for nearly fifteen years, and never once did I see anyone using miniatures.


I see miniatures as a matter of choice. I like a little hard tactical edge to things, personally, so for complicated encounters I like to break out the battlemat. If the characters stumble across 4 orcs playing poker, though, I don't find it necessary.
 
2012-09-17 09:53:13 AM

shortymac: sfounder: hmmmm Begun? The edition war was over before it started. Won, Pathfinder has.

Okay what is so great about pathfinder compared to 3.5 and 4?


Pathfinder is D&D 3.5 (based of the OGL), just with a bit more polish and spin on it. No issues mixing and matching the two really.
 
2012-09-17 09:53:17 AM

narkor: Enjoying the Fantasy Flight / 40 K RPGs - but looking forward to Monte Cook's Numenera


I really like Warhammer Fantasy RPG, but unfortunately Fantasy Flight appears to be dropping support for it. No PODs in months, and only one new product by the end of the year.
 
2012-09-17 10:00:29 AM
i remember twilight 2000! never managed to get a campaign sustained, but enjoyed the character gen and scenarios we played

/nothing's obscure on fark

i rather enjoyed GURPs, but as the crew moved away (including myself), I've moved towards video game RPGs - single player means not having to get a group together, and avoids the anonymous MMO arseholes.

I prefer the kind that let me create my own character in my head, have a system flexible enough to facilitate my vision, and a non-linear story line that I can fool around in.
 
2012-09-17 10:01:12 AM
upload.wikimedia.org

This was my preferred RPG in my days of being GM. The group had to be limited to one or two players (since when did Bond work with a posse?), but the use of skills was very easy to learn, A pair of 10-sided dice to determine your percentage of success against the skill being used was quite easy to grasp. Add to that the missions that were as straightforward as the Bond films, and the games were quick enough to never be boring.
 
2012-09-17 10:14:31 AM

delathi: [upload.wikimedia.org image 238x181]

Th eonly game I know of that you can get killed in chargen.


Chargen was a game in itself in Traveller.
 
2012-09-17 10:16:30 AM

Thunderboy: I played AD&D (v1) for nearly fifteen years, and never once did I see anyone using miniatures.


Same here. Since the heady old days of the Basic Set and AD&D I never saw miniatures used until 4th Edition.
 
2012-09-17 10:22:06 AM
Honestly, I think it's over with. WotC would be just as well off not doing it, I think.

They really want a time machine to go back and stop the OGL before it started - they gave a hobby that does nothing but fiddle around with rules the ability to make their own, and publish, for money, and then there's the Internet there to eliminate the costs inherent to that.

I do look forward to what they eventually come out with though - I like what I've seen, and I look forward to the ideas inherently trickling back into the OGL.

Anybody else looked at 13th Age?
 
2012-09-17 10:26:28 AM

I eat mop: i remember twilight 2000! never managed to get a campaign sustained, but enjoyed the character gen and scenarios we played

/nothing's obscure on fark

i rather enjoyed GURPs, but as the crew moved away (including myself), I've moved towards video game RPGs - single player means not having to get a group together, and avoids the anonymous MMO arseholes.

I prefer the kind that let me create my own character in my head, have a system flexible enough to facilitate my vision, and a non-linear story line that I can fool around in.


Tabletop D&D had one weakness as a gaming system that the manufacturer could never solve: asshole DMs. I could never get into the games, and would rather play than have to generate and maintain a world, so I resigned myself to character generation.

Computer RPGs were awesome when they first came out. What was that ancient one...Pools of radiance? Ultima? I had months of fun on a neverwinter nights server world that was modeled after LOTR.
 
2012-09-17 10:29:41 AM
I wasn't impressed with D&D Next - we gave it a chance, and found it too wargamey and fiddly, with too many status effects and stuff like that. We went over to Pathfinder from 3.5 at the beginning of our last campaign, about two years ago. It's not perfect, of course, but I find the class balance is better than 3.5 and it's excised some of the needless bloat that 3.5 had - and, inevitably, that same problem is creeping back into the game. That's the trouble with a game that depends on selling system sourcebooks to generate revenue.

I'm also running a Savage Worlds game, which I can see being my go-to system for running just about anything non-fantasy for a long time, and possibly even that. I like it quite a bit - helps that I've always been a big Deadlands fan. The trappings rules are awesome - as long as you use roughly the same mechanics, you can describe the spells however the heck you want, and it really helps to make characters more thematic.
 
2012-09-17 10:31:21 AM
Errr, durr, I meant 4e, not Next. From everything I've seen the base game of Next is 2e without all the strange subsystems, which isn't a bad base. I like having lots of skills, though.
 
2012-09-17 10:39:19 AM

Epicedion: Thunderboy: I played AD&D (v1) for nearly fifteen years, and never once did I see anyone using miniatures.

I see miniatures as a matter of choice. I like a little hard tactical edge to things, personally, so for complicated encounters I like to break out the battlemat. If the characters stumble across 4 orcs playing poker, though, I don't find it necessary.


3rd edition/D20 started the trend of heavily encouraging the use of miniatures (attacks of opportunity
come to mind immediately), but you could still manage combat without them.

Unfortunately, 4th Edition required them by virtue of the fact that ALL character abilities were defined
in terms of their effects on the physical makeup of the board. This was, of course, a conscious
decision on the part of WOTC, since they make a decent markup on the sales of miniatures.
 
2012-09-17 10:39:34 AM

SteelDraco: From everything I've seen the base game of Next is 2e without all the strange subsystems


I may have to check it out.

I've always had to strip down 2nd because the weird way that magic is unrestrained at higher levels makes the world simply nonsensical.

/never got my shamanic magic homebrew into a usable place, sadly
 
2012-09-17 10:40:56 AM
I'm 40, and my buddies still manage to get together once or twice a year to play the same 2nd edition characters we started in high school. There's a lot more drinking, eating, and shooting between rolling, though.
 
2012-09-17 10:42:04 AM
I'll say I've been kind of bummed out by character levels in my games, lately. I like the idea of characters getting better, and gaining new spells and abilities and whatnot, but I don't like how the game is shoehorned into keeping up with the players. I've said it before, but D&D is essentially a game of a couple dozen villages, where village 1 is being attacked by Orcs and village 20 is being attacked by greater demons of the abyss, and the players move from one village to the next in a line.

Yes, yes, intricate stories and whatnot, but we're talking about game systems here.

D&D is a game about never being able to unring a bell. The cultists you fought at 1st level are (necessarily) laughably weak compared to your characters even just a few levels down the road, so the cultists you fight at level 5 have to by immensely powerful compared to your characters at 1st level -- and unless your DM is a total jerk, you won't encounter into them in reverse order. The game ridiculously scales beneath the characters' feet.

Early editions (2nd and prior) of the game actually made efforts to level off the power curve by limiting hit points over some level, capping AC at -10, etc. The latest trend is to just keep exploding.
 
2012-09-17 10:46:02 AM

Tyrone Slothrop: narkor: Enjoying the Fantasy Flight / 40 K RPGs - but looking forward to Monte Cook's Numenera

I really like Warhammer Fantasy RPG, but unfortunately Fantasy Flight appears to be dropping support for it. No PODs in months, and only one new product by the end of the year.


Fantasy Flight seems to be porting the WFRP3E system to the new Star Wars RPG, but so far with no sign of action cards and condition tracks.
 
2012-09-17 10:49:08 AM

DjangoStonereaver: 3rd edition/D20 started the trend of heavily encouraging the use of miniatures (attacks of opportunity
come to mind immediately), but you could still manage combat without them.

Unfortunately, 4th Edition required them by virtue of the fact that ALL character abilities were defined
in terms of their effects on the physical makeup of the board. This was, of course, a conscious
decision on the part of WOTC, since they make a decent markup on the sales of miniatures.


I think 3d edition followed the trend of the early CRPGs (Pool of Radiance, Champions of Krynn, etc) to break up the game into a tactical grid, which more easily allows for guaranteed access to special abilities (backstab), general crowd control (attacks of opportunity), and mass attacks (cleave, fireball) without excessive bickering. Even playing 2nd edition, my groups tended to use little representative maps made of dice when things got too complicated to adequately envision.

4th edition is just ridiculous. The slide/push/pull mechanic alone is enough to make me hate it.
 
2012-09-17 10:55:20 AM
I prefer the HERO system, but my group has been playing Pathfinder steadily for a bit now. Pathfinder is sort of like "extended D&D 3.5 with shiny new stuff."

Also: This is where the gamers are? Seriously not on TF?

I've been bugging TFD wondering who might actually be interested in RPGs over Skype, and it's the peasants unpaying ba you liters who are into it?

Holy crap!

um... EIP if any of you people who can't see TFD threads want to ever game over Skype. in fact, a heavy-on-the-RP game consisting of Farkers sounds freaking awesome.
 
2012-09-17 11:00:20 AM
I'm totally new to D&D (always wanted to play, never found anyone interested on my group of friends until recently), so I've been playing 4th Edition.

It could be because I'm a complete newbie, but I've been having TONS of fun so far. The combat systems is easy for me to understand and I really love play the part (Lawful Good Avenger, was a Dragonborn Paladin, but seems to be that I build it wrong so I had to roll a new character). I understand that previous editions are way harder so 4e seems to look like a dumbing down of the game, but for those of us who are new to the game, it's really cool.

/Want to try Chtulhu Tech some time.
 
2012-09-17 11:06:43 AM

Epicedion: Early editions (2nd and prior) of the game actually made efforts to level off the power curve by limiting hit points over some level, capping AC at -10, etc. The latest trend is to just keep exploding.


The limitation of hit points at high levels was a huge game changer in 2nd, IMO. It made magic much, much more dangerous as even moderate level wizards could chew up your party bad if they got their spells off.

Another huge difference was gear creep - 3rd edition was pretty much written to encourage monty haul gameplay, and focused magical benefits directly onto sheer numerical bonuses. 2nd's magical items list had a much greater focus on magical items being niche, with only a fraction dedicated to a raw power increase. It's one of the weirder inconsistencies with the systems' attitude; it's supposed to function like a low magic world for everyone but the players and their enemies.

Epicedion: I've said it before, but D&D is essentially a game of a couple dozen villages, where village 1 is being attacked by Orcs and village 20 is being attacked by greater demons of the abyss, and the players move from one village to the next in a line.

Yes, yes, intricate stories and whatnot, but we're talking about game systems here.


I think a big part of scaling danger is simply setting up encounters/the world properly via narrative. The standard method of dealing with events is to make them very straightforwardly black and white and have solutions limited to various ways to kill the Big Bad of This Weekend to death, but this method can only really be sustained by suspending motivation of the opponents, as if you have to subscribe to Bond Villain Method Acting class to be allowed to gain a few hit dice. As long as the DM is willing to let the characters stir up some nasty hornets nests, the players will act in a more measured manner. The world should be a dangerous place rather than just this encounter, and when you're putting the character's power against the world even low power enemies become very dangerous.

It's not a matter of storytelling so much as the villain not intentionally being a moron and refusing to leverage his much greater power.
 
2012-09-17 11:12:24 AM

IronJelly: Also: This is where the gamers are? Seriously not on TF?

I've been bugging TFD wondering who might actually be interested in RPGs over Skype, and it's the peasants unpaying ba you liters who are into it?

Holy crap!

um... EIP if any of you people who can't see TFD threads want to ever game over Skype. in fact, a heavy-on-the-RP game consisting of Farkers sounds freaking awesome.


Google Hangouts and Tabletop Forge is the way to go. Lots of folks at Google+ running a whole bunch of games over there. If you do a search you'll also probably find Youtube videos of games being run using Hangouts. I've tried it once playing Azamar RPG. Pretty awesome intercontinental role-playing.
 
2012-09-17 11:16:06 AM

sprawl15:

3rd edition was pretty much written to encourage monty haul gameplay


Sort of. 3rd Ed was actually designed around the idea of fitting in a a full 1-20 campaign within 6 months. There was a survey done while they were writing up 3rd Ed, and the result was that the average campaign or group lasted 6 months before breaking up for whatever reason. So, Monte Cook and the others focused on how to get the most out of those 6 months in terms of character advancement & gear.

Note that I said *average* and not *every* campaign.
 
2012-09-17 11:16:16 AM
I got tired of the systems constantly changing, and wrote my own rules system.

I don't have anyone to play with, but i'm sure it works.
 
2012-09-17 11:20:17 AM

Gunther: I maintain that 4e DnD would have been an enormous success if only it was called something like "DnD: Tactical Miniatures Combat" or something, making it clear that it was a side project rather than a new edition. It's a lot of fun, it just doesn't feel like DnD. It plays more like a small-scale skirmish wargame (like Mordheim or Necromunda) than a full RPG.


You mean this, right?

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-09-17 11:22:19 AM
Personally, I loved the depth of the game worlds in 2nd edition -- Dark Sun, Ravenloft, Dragonlance, Grayhawk, Spelljammer, etc., etc., -- and the rule set in 3rd edition.
 
2012-09-17 11:28:43 AM

DarkPascual: I'm totally new to D&D (always wanted to play, never found anyone interested on my group of friends until recently), so I've been playing 4th Edition.

It could be because I'm a complete newbie, but I've been having TONS of fun so far. The combat systems is easy for me to understand and I really love play the part (Lawful Good Avenger, was a Dragonborn Paladin, but seems to be that I build it wrong so I had to roll a new character). I understand that previous editions are way harder so 4e seems to look like a dumbing down of the game, but for those of us who are new to the game, it's really cool.

/Want to try Chtulhu Tech some time.


I actually find 4E way too difficult to play, since combat is a war of keeping things fast-paced and exciting versus keeping perfect track of all the cooldowns, status effects, marks, reactive abilities, buffs, debuffs, etc. And on top of that, it puts a large rolling burden on the players (who are invariably slower at dice rolling than the DM) whenever they catch a bunch of enemies under one spell or ability and have to target each one's defenses separately.

sprawl15: The limitation of hit points at high levels was a huge game changer in 2nd, IMO. It made magic much, much more dangerous as even moderate level wizards could chew up your party bad if they got their spells off.

Another huge difference was gear creep - 3rd edition was pretty much written to encourage monty haul gameplay, and focused magical benefits directly onto sheer numerical bonuses. 2nd's magical items list had a much greater focus on magical items being niche, with only a fraction dedicated to a raw power increase. It's one of the weirder inconsistencies with the systems' attitude; it's supposed to function like a low magic world for everyone but the players and their enemies.


The gear creep has always made me sad, since characters are already getting huge bumps in power from level to level -- encouraging additional massive increases from gear can get out of hand quickly.

I still have no idea how level 1 commoners have a life expectancy of more than a week. Just getting from the farm to the market has got to be pretty deadly.

sprawl15: I think a big part of scaling danger is simply setting up encounters/the world properly via narrative. The standard method of dealing with events is to make them very straightforwardly black and white and have solutions limited to various ways to kill the Big Bad of This Weekend to death, but this method can only really be sustained by suspending motivation of the opponents, as if you have to subscribe to Bond Villain Method Acting class to be allowed to gain a few hit dice. As long as the DM is willing to let the characters stir up some nasty hornets nests, the players will act in a more measured manner. The world should be a dangerous place rather than just this encounter, and when you're putting the character's power against the world even low power enemies become very dangerous.

It's not a matter of storytelling so much as the villain not intentionally being a moron and refusing to leverage his much greater power.


The issue still remains that if your 15th level characters want to fight a damn orc, the orc has to be the Lord God Emperor of All Orc-kin Through Time and Space, or he's less threatening than a legless kitten.

Take a look at scaling computer games for an example. Elder Scrolls games leap to mind, especially Oblivion. In that game, everything scaled to be a challenge, so inevitably you'd run into groups of road bandits that could topple kingdoms with one hand tied behind their back.

The downside to forced scaling is that high-level threats effectively don't exist until your players are powerful enough to deal with them, and low-level threats go away as the heroes get stronger. Sure they might be window dressing, but the 1st level heroes aren't going to actually encounter the dragon unless the DM is a dick, and the 15th level heroes aren't going to stop and clear the graveyard of skeletons for 10 shiny pieces of gold.

I had a DM once who tried to make the world a non-scaled place, a low-magic / low-power game in which high-level threats would exist and act but be rare enough not to break the majority of dirt farmers in the rest of the world. Guess what? We very unfortunately bumped into a high-level threat and all died.
 
2012-09-17 11:33:28 AM

Confabulat: I tried D&D in real life in like sixth grade. Then I realized I didn't actually want to PRETEND I was a character in a game I was playing.

Thankfully video games came along around that time and made that sort of nonsense obsolete except for rare groups of extreme nerds nowadays.

Technology has made your endless painting of silly models sort of silly now, D&D old-schoolers. Still love that AD&D Monster Manual book from my preteens though. Yum, succubi!


What page would you find trolls in your Monster Manual?
 
2012-09-17 11:33:49 AM

NowhereMon: Meh,
My group is fully invested in Pathfinder, I don't think there is any going back at this point.


Yup, Pathfinder took 3.5 - which wasn't broken - and improved all the areas that needed improvement, plus left it pretty much backwards compatable. D&D 4 was a money grabbing scheme, heck they even brought about a "Cataclysm" in Faerun to invalidate all your old Faerun books so you'd have to buy all their new ones. Wow, a cataclysm, that's original.

Fark WotC right in the ear, Pathfinder rocks.
 
2012-09-17 11:50:11 AM

Confabulat: I tried D&D in real life in like sixth grade. Then I realized I didn't actually want to PRETEND I was a character in a game I was playing.

Thankfully video games came along around that time and made that sort of nonsense obsolete except for rare groups of extreme nerds nowadays.

Technology has made your endless painting of silly models sort of silly now, D&D old-schoolers. Still love that AD&D Monster Manual book from my preteens though. Yum, succubi!


I can't speak for the rest of D&D players, but the idea of being a character in the story was the main thing that made me interested on play RPG's. Combat is tons of fun, but to me is even more fun when I can get into the character and picture myself on the scene. Also, how you play the character and interact with your partners and with the NPCs is something that never quite felt on video games (I'm the only good guy on a group of chaotic neutrals, to me it's exciting and infuriating at the same time).

Love videogames, but when it comes to RPGs, I've enjoyed D&D sessions more than any other videogame on the genre.

/Aware of the trolling possibility.
 
2012-09-17 11:54:06 AM

Epicedion: I'll say I've been kind of bummed out by character levels in my games, lately. I like the idea of characters getting better, and gaining new spells and abilities and whatnot, but I don't like how the game is shoehorned into keeping up with the players. I've said it before, but D&D is essentially a game of a couple dozen villages, where village 1 is being attacked by Orcs and village 20 is being attacked by greater demons of the abyss, and the players move from one village to the next in a line.


Ah! That's a good way to put what I've been thinking for years.

That mostly happened, I think, because they ditched "XP for Treasure" and went fully "XP for Kills".

That's how we got to the point where you've got to stack 8 character levels and a template onto a set of goblins because you've got a 10th level party, and they're still killing monsters and not busy raising armies or building strongholds.

Once you dial back the number inflation, flattening out HP/BAB especially, that pack of goblins can *stay* at 1 HD and still be a threat - and you don't need 1,000 of them either, because you're mowing through them to get to the 8HD Goblin King who has the treasure that is the rest of your XP gain.

The game above's that I ran (Adventerer, Conquerer, King) domain system allows for XP/level advancement just by running a barony/etc: if you're making gold off of your holding in excess of some level determined by size of domain, that "profit" equals XP.
 
2012-09-17 12:01:18 PM

RoyFokker'sGhost: Sort of. 3rd Ed was actually designed around the idea of fitting in a a full 1-20 campaign within 6 months. There was a survey done while they were writing up 3rd Ed, and the result was that the average campaign or group lasted 6 months before breaking up for whatever reason. So, Monte Cook and the others focused on how to get the most out of those 6 months in terms of character advancement & gear.


Well, the way that I mean it is that what constitutes 'powerful gear' became much, much higher in 3rd Ed in large part because of the inflation of stats. A sword +5 is a much bigger deal in a world where a 15th level fighter has around 90 HP and a -4 AC than in one where a 15th level fighter has around 140 HP and 35 armor.

That plus the CR system ensured that your characters needed to constantly have magical items dumped on them to keep them up to speed. You had to purposefully go against design to stop the breakneck power gain, and even then once the characters became sufficiently powerful they could fire up the breakneck power gain again.

mark.jms: That mostly happened, I think, because they ditched "XP for Treasure" and went fully "XP for Kills".


I've always preferred XP per encounter/adventure and basing it on actual player risk. If their current quest is to stop bandit raids on the villages, a per-kill system actually penalizes the players for any action but a massacre. Convincing the bandits to agree to a truce where they become mercenaries of the town rather than parasites should be worth MORE XP than killing half of the bandits and driving the other half away.

Not to say that an XP value for kills isn't a useful tool, but it's more useful in determining the basic value of an encounter rather than the primary method of distribution.

Epicedion: I still have no idea how level 1 commoners have a life expectancy of more than a week. Just getting from the farm to the market has got to be pretty deadly.


I have no idea how they're even around in the first place. This is a world where a few magicians could replace thousands of stupid peasants with elemental/golem slaves and can wish any mundane object into existence. Why have mud farmers when you can put a mud golem in a summoning circle and have him shiat all the mud you need into a handy collection bin? Hell, even a standard magical item vendor deals in tons of gold per customer.

Epicedion: The issue still remains that if your 15th level characters want to fight a damn orc, the orc has to be the Lord God Emperor of All Orc-kin Through Time and Space, or he's less threatening than a legless kitten.


Well, a big part of the standard narrative is that players are facing a threat stronger than themselves and can manage to overcome the threat by their guile and cunning. You're fighting Gozer, a walking God, so you take a risk and cross the beams and save the day. The Ghostbusters didn't have a power level of over 9000, but they won anyway.

That entire concept, when applied to enemies, makes for much more interesting gameplay. I don't believe a Big Bad should be particularly stronger than the waves that you mowed through. Head Orc of Orc Mountain shouldn't be much more than a slightly stronger orc. He should threaten the players not by simply throwing mindless Orc Fodder at the players, but by intelligently using his resources. One shaman casts an illusion spell that makes it seem like a dozen orcs are tromping around the forest, totally unaware of the PCs. The PC's, seeing the opportunity, get the jump on the illusions, the orcs get the jump on the players. One round of flat footed crossbow fire into the PC's knocks a few levels of strength off the players. Add in casters that focus on disabling threats and you have much, much rougher combat - a hold person on your tankiest character, archers focusing on your wizard, that kind of thing. Leveraging situations lets a dozen orcs become a much harder, much more tense encounter despite not just making them a bunch of Mook +2's. Using (read: abusing) illusion magic to scare/confuse the players every few encounters is a straightforward way of making them nervous.

The whole trope of monsters either being too dumb to act intelligently or too powerful to pay attention to the players until it's too late is the root cause of a lot of the problems with encounter scaling.
 
2012-09-17 12:04:22 PM

Confabulat: I tried D&D in real life in like sixth grade. Then I realized I didn't actually want to PRETEND I was a character in a game I was playing.

Thankfully video games came along around that time and made that sort of nonsense obsolete except for rare groups of extreme nerds nowadays.

Technology has made your endless painting of silly models sort of silly now, D&D old-schoolers. Still love that AD&D Monster Manual book from my preteens though. Yum, succubi!


I don't know if you're trolling or not, but I actually feel the same way. I tried advanced D&D in Jr. High and as much as I wanted to love it, I just couldn't get into it. Granted I just had my younger brother to play with and a few friends that I begged to play. Grew up in the country so there wasn't many people interested in it...

Excited 'cause my discounted copy of Dark Souls arrives today for my 360.

//carry on
 
2012-09-17 12:14:12 PM

zarberg: NowhereMon: Meh,
My group is fully invested in Pathfinder, I don't think there is any going back at this point.

Yup, Pathfinder took 3.5 - which wasn't broken - and improved all the areas that needed improvement, plus left it pretty much backwards compatable. D&D 4 was a money grabbing scheme, heck they even brought about a "Cataclysm" in Faerun to invalidate all your old Faerun books so you'd have to buy all their new ones. Wow, a cataclysm, that's original.

Fark WotC right in the ear, Pathfinder rocks.


I am also a Pathfinder fan. In addition, I've never liked 4e. However, I think it might be a bit much to say it was a money grab. Like any product, they needed to spread to a new audience, and reflect current trends in the demographics. MMOs were really bringing in new audiences to the RPG market. WoTC can't always rely on the transfers from 2e to 3e to just keep going. They need fresh blood from adjacent markets. So they created something that was basically a tabletop MMO. Very good idea, in fact. Doesn't interest a lot of people in their core audience, but I get why they did it. Now, they seem to be adding a stronger war-gaming audience (face it, miniatures bring in the dough, and modern audiences like the visuals).

The great advantage to being a fan of RPGs is that they can't be taken away. I'm not upset about 4e, because they can't "take away" 3e or Pathfinder, which will still give me decades of enjoyment. The books are out there, the rest is up to the players and the GMs. Source material can be created by anyone with a brain and some time. MMO servers can shut down. Miniatures can stop being produced. Card gaming can make decks dependent on new expansions. But if you like 2e, and want to run a dungeon crawl and bludgeon yourself with THAC0 calculations, there is no difference in the experience now vs. 15 years ago. And so while I'm not a fan of 4e, and will be critical of it and push for improvements, I can't get mad about it because what I love can't be taken away.
 
2012-09-17 12:17:11 PM

sprawl15: Well, the way that I mean it is that what constitutes 'powerful gear' became much, much higher in 3rd Ed in large part because of the inflation of stats. A sword +5 is a much bigger deal in a world where a 15th level fighter has around 90 HP and a -4 AC than in one where a 15th level fighter has around 140 HP and 35 armor.

That plus the CR system ensured that your characters needed to constantly have magical items dumped on them to keep them up to speed. You had to purposefully go against design to stop the breakneck power gain, and even then once the characters became sufficiently powerful they could fire up the breakneck power gain again.


Yes, this is a huge pain in the ass.

The extra problem is that 2nd edition AD&D is a sheerly awful mess of conflicting systems, so you can't actually say that it's any more fun to play. It's been 20 years and I still can't wrap my head around the grappling rules or how the hell a player scores a Haymaker.

sprawl15: I have no idea how they're even around in the first place. This is a world where a few magicians could replace thousands of stupid peasants with elemental/golem slaves and can wish any mundane object into existence. Why have mud farmers when you can put a mud golem in a summoning circle and have him shiat all the mud you need into a handy collection bin? Hell, even a standard magical item vendor deals in tons of gold per customer.


Yes, in a world where the average person maybe makes 50 gold pieces in a year, you'll totally find a buyer for that 16,000 gold piece sword, and there's a wizard selling 500 gold piece single-use scrolls off the shelf.

sprawl15: Well, a big part of the standard narrative is that players are facing a threat stronger than themselves and can manage to overcome the threat by their guile and cunning. You're fighting Gozer, a walking God, so you take a risk and cross the beams and save the day. The Ghostbusters didn't have a power level of over 9000, but they won anyway.


When did players ever have guile and/or cunning?

sprawl15: The whole trope of monsters either being too dumb to act intelligently or too powerful to pay attention to the players until it's too late is the root cause of a lot of the problems with encounter scaling.


No, it's not. Providing a challenging, interesting encounter to high-level characters requires scaling the enemies to within a certain range of the characters.
 
2012-09-17 12:20:09 PM

DarkPascual: I'm totally new to D&D (always wanted to play, never found anyone interested on my group of friends until recently), so I've been playing 4th Edition.

It could be because I'm a complete newbie, but I've been having TONS of fun so far. The combat systems is easy for me to understand and I really love play the part (Lawful Good Avenger, was a Dragonborn Paladin, but seems to be that I build it wrong so I had to roll a new character). I understand that previous editions are way harder so 4e seems to look like a dumbing down of the game, but for those of us who are new to the game, it's really cool.

/Want to try Chtulhu Tech some time.


I feel the same, I played 3.5 but I felt that I was punished for not picking the "right" build.

I found that 3.5 lent itself every well to min/maxing and complicated combat rules.

The problem with 4e was it launched incomplete, only a third of the players guide, no hybrid class rules, etc. It alienated a lot of people right away.
 
2012-09-17 12:22:52 PM
No love for Call of Cthulhu?

/The adventure will always end in A) Insanity B) gunplay the insanity C) explosions D) Prison then Insanity E) rarely death.
//"I know that little old lady is a deep one. I'm going to torture the true out of her by putting my cigarette out in her eye"
///"So the .600 nitro-express has no effect on it?!?"
////FYI - the little old lady was a deep one.
//MA-DEUCE FTW BABY!
 
2012-09-17 12:27:37 PM

Zulthar: No love for Call of Cthulhu?

/The adventure will always end in A) Insanity B) gunplay the insanity C) explosions D) Prison then Insanity E) rarely death.
//"I know that little old lady is a deep one. I'm going to torture the true out of her by putting my cigarette out in her eye"
///"So the .600 nitro-express has no effect on it?!?"
////FYI - the little old lady was a deep one.
//MA-DEUCE FTW BABY!


Just follow along at the back of the party with your eyes closed and never read any of the books.
 
2012-09-17 12:29:37 PM

PacManDreaming: dahmers love zombie: still use 2nd edition

I always liked AD&D with 2nd edition settings and background material.


Still my fave too. Probably because it was the one I learned on. THACO! I remember devouring the PHB the day I got it. Then the supplements came... That is still where D&D goes downhill. I guess that is up to the player in particular. Some are lawyers and some push through and some just dwell on logistics of opening a door for an hour lol. I unfortunately traded all of my 2ed stuff to my dealer in college for his wares once he got into it. Hope you continue to have fun playing. My csb is I recently got my wife and her friend into playing a campaign. So far fun, but I've been keeping the kid gloves on. We are using 3ed. My main gripe being the layout of the books lol. Take care :)

/That one soceress in the dmg from 2ed with the black thong--whew.
//goes to half.com
 
2012-09-17 12:31:15 PM

PacManDreaming: dahmers love zombie: still use 2nd edition

I always liked AD&D with 2nd edition settings and background material.


Alqadim was undervalued. Spelljammer, Dark Sun and Planescape were great twists on standard campaign settings. For fast paced storytelling i always enjoyed the old west end games star wars.they seemed to "get" how to do away with tons of tables without going fullbore larp.
 
2012-09-17 12:33:35 PM

Epicedion:
The extra problem is that 2nd edition AD&D is a sheerly awful mess of conflicting systems, so you can't actually say that it's any more fun to play. It's been 20 years and I still can't wrap my head around the grappling rules or how the hell a player scores a Haymaker.



HA! Oh wow, I totally forgot that existed. I think that was the first time I'd encountered the word 'Haymaker' in print?

There are many unarmed/grappling rule systems in the world that are best left forgotten.
 
2012-09-17 12:33:45 PM
Instead of Axefold, they should have called the town Axewound. That's about as close as any of these guys are gonna get
 
2012-09-17 12:34:40 PM

Fano: For fast paced storytelling i always enjoyed the old west end games star wars.they seemed to "get" how to do away with tons of tables without going fullbore larp.


I actually enjoyed it for the tinker-ability of the ships and stuff. It had the best ships. The Force rules were pants-on-head, though. I don't think a Star Wars RPG has ever gotten Jedi right.
 
2012-09-17 12:37:03 PM

Epicedion: Fano: For fast paced storytelling i always enjoyed the old west end games star wars.they seemed to "get" how to do away with tons of tables without going fullbore larp.

I actually enjoyed it for the tinker-ability of the ships and stuff. It had the best ships. The Force rules were pants-on-head, though. I don't think a Star Wars RPG has ever gotten Jedi right.


Also, for the love of crap, how have they made two Star Wars MMOs and neither of them have interesting spaceships? The movies are half set on spaceships!

And no X-Wing/TIE Fighter game in over a decade? WTF?
 
2012-09-17 12:43:18 PM

Epicedion: No, it's not. Providing a challenging, interesting encounter to high-level characters requires scaling the enemies to within a certain range of the characters.


The entire point is that "within a certain range" is a much wider range than it appears if the DM is willing to put in a little work. Simply throwing endless waves of mindless mooks of a roughly appropriate CR at the players is lazy DM'ing.

The big thing with high level characters is the amount of power they can sling, and bads are normally shackled by DM's not wanting to be unfair. There's no reason why the players couldn't walk around a corner into three wizards, who immediately disintegrate the first three people in the party. So the DM either doesn't have those wizards know that spell, or they provide magical items/protections to prevent that before hand, which is pretty much the same thing.

The original Tomb of Horrors, for all its flaws, is a pretty good example of a dungeon designed by someone wanting to fark the players long and hard. Sure, it's totally unfair, but that's kind of the point. A powerful creature wanting to be left alone isn't going to make at least one of the three chests have rad loot in it that coincidentally helps the players overcome later traps. There's no reason why the monsters the NPCs face shouldn't have a similar mindset (though obviously with less daunting resources). The kobolds shouldn't play fair. They should know right away that marching right into the players' swords is a quick death and should be focusing on tricks and 'farking bullshiat' to harass the players and drain their resources.

(Of course, the overreliance on traps and no-save instagibs made it not a particularly fun dungeon beyond one drunken night of experimentation, but it's still a pretty good example of significant threat that doesn't need to scale to remain very dangerous.)

Epicedion: I don't think a Star Wars RPG has ever gotten Jedi right.


I don't think it's possible to get Jedi 'right' as long as they're accessible to PC's.
 
2012-09-17 12:45:48 PM

Toriko: Relatively Obscure: since people are posting various RPG covers

Yep, like Alternity too. Best SciFi  RPG I've played and while we are at it... 
 
ArcadianRefugee: [earthdawn.nerps.net image 454x253]
 
I also enjoyed EarthDawn. I like the RP of having an art to proove you weren't tainted by the horrors, but I also loved the compromise of having open-ended crits. It makes using a lighter weapon like a dagger a bit more fun. 

 


What cracked me up the most about Earthdawn was this was pretty much what one attack roll turned into after a while:

www.coyotethunder.com 

On the bright side, it let me use every damn die in my bag. Even the old gnarled up d12 my friend's basset hound chewed up.
 
2012-09-17 12:47:41 PM
upload.wikimedia.org

Can't remember the edition but definitely felt like a masochist while playing a character.
 
2012-09-17 12:49:24 PM

dahmers love zombie: doglover: Our local group's been playing Next since it was released two months ago, subs.

Did I say "begun, the Nerd Wars will"? I think not.

/still use 2nd edition
//I attack the darkness


I have 4x 4" binders of material I wrote for Forgotten realms under the 2nd eddition...Added to Undermountain, Myth Drannor, Menzoberranzen, and waterdeep boxed sets and the 4E will never touch my table. Not a single player in my campaign has ever questioned this decision either.
 
2012-09-17 12:50:54 PM
sprawl15:
mark.jms: That mostly happened, I think, because they ditched "XP for Treasure" and went fully "XP for Kills".

I've always preferred XP per encounter/adventure and basing it on actual player risk. If their current quest is to stop bandit raids on the villages, a per-kill system actually penalizes the players for any action but a massacre. Convincing the bandits to agree to a truce where they become mercenaries of the town rather than parasites should be worth MORE XP than killing half of the bandits and driving the other half away.

Not to say that an XP value for kills isn't a useful tool, but it's more useful in determining the basic value of an encounter rather than the primary method of distribution.


Oh, sure. Every DM does, as far as I've ever heard, though I'm not sure of a (major) game that's codified that as the only reward system? (I'm looking forward to the answers on that one, may find a forgotten gem of a game)

I'd actually argue that XP-for-Treasure puts players in the right mindset to start playing in a way that make XP-for-Actions work, after they realize getting the gold without the fight, when able, eliminates risk for the same reward. Once you've gotten them in that state, reducing the gold and handing out XP -for-action naturally follows.

Plus it works in-game too - that Lawful 13th Level Baron used to be just as mercenary as any other 1st level fighter before he got to a point where he wanted to cement his legend in the world.
 
2012-09-17 12:54:08 PM
encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com
encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com
 
2012-09-17 12:57:50 PM

Epicedion: I'll say I've been kind of bummed out by character levels in my games, lately. I like the idea of characters getting better, and gaining new spells and abilities and whatnot, but I don't like how the game is shoehorned into keeping up with the players. I've said it before, but D&D is essentially a game of a couple dozen villages, where village 1 is being attacked by Orcs and village 20 is being attacked by greater demons of the abyss, and the players move from one village to the next in a line.

Yes, yes, intricate stories and whatnot, but we're talking about game systems here.

D&D is a game about never being able to unring a bell. The cultists you fought at 1st level are (necessarily) laughably weak compared to your characters even just a few levels down the road, so the cultists you fight at level 5 have to by immensely powerful compared to your characters at 1st level -- and unless your DM is a total jerk, you won't encounter into them in reverse order. The game ridiculously scales beneath the characters' feet.

Early editions (2nd and prior) of the game actually made efforts to level off the power curve by limiting hit points over some level, capping AC at -10, etc. The latest trend is to just keep exploding.


In theory, the D&D sets (beginner, expert, companion, master, immortal) worked the scale by increasing the scope of your actions (small dungeon raids, then the outdoors, then running a small territory, to actual wars, then the quest for immortality, followed by dimension bending adventures)

In practice, DM's just kept giving stronger monsters to whack.

The legend of Tucker's Kobolds needs to be ingrained into every DM's head. Powergamers always gonna powergame, the trick is to not give in to that.

BTW, the mention of MERP made me smile. The critical hit table was spectacular, and I never ran a game since the manual implied that for locks and traps you pretty much were supposed to design working ones yourself.
 
2012-09-17 12:58:14 PM

sprawl15: The entire point is that "within a certain range" is a much wider range than it appears if the DM is willing to put in a little work. Simply throwing endless waves of mindless mooks of a roughly appropriate CR at the players is lazy DM'ing.


Yes, yes, but eventually the PCs are actually going to fight something. Every monster can't be an aberrant intelligence. Sometimes it's just a horde of orcs. The hobgoblins might try to attack with tactical advantage, but after a few levels, tactical advantage isn't sufficient. After a few more levels, they're completely worthless as threats unless you inject them with super-soldier serum.

Essentially, a campaign can't both A) abide by the rules for leveling and gear and whatnot, and B) be about "reasonable" threats the whole time. Just like you can't throw a dragon into the mix at 1st level, you can't throw 3,872 orcs into the mix at 10th. The game handles both situations poorly.
 
2012-09-17 01:11:12 PM
ED: You see a well groomed garden. In the middle, on a small hill, you see a gazebo.
ERIC: A gazebo? What color is it?
ED: (Pause) It's white, Eric.
ERIC: How far away is it?
ED: About fifty yards.
ERIC: How big is it?
ED: (Pause) It's about thirty feet across, fifteen feet high, with a pointed top.
ERIC: I use my sword to detect good on it.
ED: It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo!
ERIC: (Pause) I call out to it.
ED: It won't answer. It's a gazebo!
ERIC: (Pause) I sheathe my sword and draw my bow and arrows. Does it respond in any way?
ED: No, Eric, it's a gazebo!
ERIC: I shoot it with my bow (roll to hit). What happened?
ED: There is now a gazebo with an arrow sticking out of it.
ERIC: (Pause) Wasn't it wounded?
ED: Of course not, Eric! It's a gazebo!
ERIC: (Whimper) But that was a plus three arrow!
ED: It's a gazebo, Eric, a gazebo! If you really want to try to destroy it, you could try to chop it with an axe, I suppose, or you could try to burn it, but I don't know why anybody would even try. It's a *)@#! gazebo!
ERIC: (Long pause. He has no axe or fire spells.) I run away.
ED: (Thoroughly frustrated) It's too late. You've woken up the gazebo, and it catches you and eats you.
ERIC: (Reaching for his dice) Maybe I'll roll up a fire-using mage so I can avenge my Paladin.
 
2012-09-17 01:19:36 PM
25.media.tumblr.com
 
2012-09-17 01:24:53 PM
There's no war here. Real gamers will continue to use modified 2nd edition, posers that stop gaming when their girlfriend/wife finally has a kid will continue to play everything else. Nothing new under the sun.

/I keed
//if you like the system, play it!
 
2012-09-17 01:27:57 PM

sprawl15: I don't think it's possible to get Jedi 'right' as long as they're accessible to PC's.


I think it's possible, but you have to find a way to make the other characters equivalently awesome, or else the game would turn into the Jedi show.
 
2012-09-17 01:32:49 PM
Has no one heard of Dungeon World?

What is Dungeon World?

/also loves me some Apocalypse World
 
2012-09-17 01:42:54 PM

Thunderboy: I played AD&D (v1) for nearly fifteen years, and never once did I see anyone using miniatures.


It all depends on play-style and what people focus on. I never did miniatures or battlemaps - the DM had a map of some areas and just told us options for travel, combat was done verbally.

But for those who focus on minutiae you may have to use icons and a grid (even if it's the Monopoly wheelbarrow and a salt shaker) just to make sure you are applying all rules correctly. For instance how do you know your Rogue is in position to execute a backstab and isn't actually on the wrong side of the room or there are objects inbetween? I preferred just to let the d20 roll make that choice and not complain, but some folks want to nail down every square foot of the space tactically so they need to actually lay it out in physical space.

One area D&D failed miserably is in not creating come middle-ware in which you could have players meeting physically to do the run but use a computer display to interpret things graphically so as to minimize the need for endless calculations. iPad on the table would have been a perfect app, but they failed at that.
 
2012-09-17 01:43:49 PM
So, while we're on the topic of D&D 3.x, I'm going to be running Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil with Pathfinder rules for a group of friends on Wednesday nights, I don't suppose there are any local Farkers with interest?

/e-mail and location in profile.
 
2012-09-17 01:46:34 PM

Epicedion: When did players ever have guile and/or cunning?


I once DM'ed a group (using 3.5E) that had an incredible amount of guile and cunning--in one encounter, they determined that a succubus was going to teleport into a certain room in an inn, so they sat and waited, and as soon as she arrived they all jumped her and tied her up with bedsheets--thus preventing her from using any of her spell-like abilities to escape. And then they interrogated her. In retrospect, I may have let them off too easily (the monster manual never actually says that a succubus's powers have somatic components), but since it was a second-level group and a direct confrontation with any demon would most likely have meant a total party kill, it seemed more reasonable to let it slide.

I had another challenge planned (which, unfortunately, we never got to) where the group would storm a slaver hideout that had a large pit in the middle, and one of the two big bads was a fast-moving, dual-wielding ranger with Improved Bull Rush--not the more formidable melee combatant, but if he knocked one of the fighters into the pit, he could have seriously messed up their tactics.

Also, as a DM I would always award XP for defeating an opponent, regardless of means. Thus, in the aforementioned succubus encounter, I awarded full XP for hog-tying the succubus even though they didn't actually kill her. And since they foiled the succubus's plan to persuade a warlord into declaring war against a neighboring city, I also gave them a XP bonus based on the CR of the warlord.
 
2012-09-17 01:49:48 PM

zarberg: So, while we're on the topic of D&D 3.x, I'm going to be running Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil with Pathfinder rules for a group of friends on Wednesday nights, I don't suppose there are any local Farkers with interest?

/e-mail and location in profile.


When you say you're in Raleigh, do you mean that you're in Raleigh, or just around the area?
 
2012-09-17 01:51:37 PM

Epicedion: Yes, yes, but eventually the PCs are actually going to fight something.


No shiat. What does that have to do with anything I'm saying? Do you really think that "players can be challenged by below-level monsters through clever play" is equivalent to "NO FIGHTS ANY TIME"? This isn't a facetious question, I honestly want to know if that's what you got out of it.

Epicedion: The hobgoblins might try to attack with tactical advantage, but after a few levels, tactical advantage isn't sufficient.


The point is that tactical advantage lets them remain a threat for longer. It's a damper on the PC/monster arms race, and the tactical advantage skyrockets as monsters gain power; especially considering the nature of the game lending itself to the bads playing home much more than away.

Epicedion: Essentially, a campaign can't both A) abide by the rules for leveling and gear and whatnot, and B) be about "reasonable" threats the whole time.


If the DM wants to vomit armories of powerful items on the player, then complain that they have to throw armies of storm giants led by lesser deities at the PC's to make it a challenge, that's entirely the DM's fault.

Then again, I'm a big believer in lower magic systems and a push towards niche magic items such that a generically powerful magic item like a sword +1 is an interesting compromise. Do you use that, or the axe that destroys shields on block? Or the sword that has no damage/hit bonuses but acts as if it had 0 speed? This is kind of a tangent, but I'm kind of against the whole idea of fighters being very good with a specific weapon - all the advanced specialization benefits in 2nd Ed. supplements and 3rd Edition and whatnot. I like to think of fighters as being very good with weapons in general, such that they're able to take full advantage of piles of niche weapons. If you get a magic spear with an interesting magical ability (like it ignores magical defenses), it shouldn't be vendor trash, but rather the fighter should keep it in his armory in case he ever needs to fight whatever it trumps.

Epicedion: I think it's possible, but you have to find a way to make the other characters equivalently awesome, or else the game would turn into the Jedi show.


Which itself would be wrong, considering Jedi are pretty much overpowered by definition.

Epicedion: When you say you're in Raleigh, do you mean that you're in Raleigh, or just around the area?


Raleigh's his dog. He lives in Kansas City.
 
2012-09-17 01:53:32 PM
www.thedudes.us

HK-5
 
2012-09-17 01:59:07 PM
haven't played D&D since 2nd ed. Dabbled in White WOlf games and Cyberpunk 2020 in my mispent twenties, but have been slowly lured back into gaming by these two games from the same publisher:
2.bp.blogspot.com
www.trollandtoad.com
 
2012-09-17 02:04:40 PM

Epicedion: zarberg: So, while we're on the topic of D&D 3.x, I'm going to be running Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil with Pathfinder rules for a group of friends on Wednesday nights, I don't suppose there are any local Farkers with interest?

/e-mail and location in profile.

When you say you're in Raleigh, do you mean that you're in Raleigh, or just around the area?


I work in Raleigh, a few minutes from downtown, and the game will most likely be within 10-15 minutes of there.
 
2012-09-17 02:08:38 PM

sprawl15: No shiat. What does that have to do with anything I'm saying? Do you really think that "players can be challenged by below-level monsters through clever play" is equivalent to "NO FIGHTS ANY TIME"? This isn't a facetious question, I honestly want to know if that's what you got out of it.


I don't agree that "clever play" makes up very much for the massive stat imbalance that level progression introduces. Now, "clever to the extent of broken" play can, but that's often no fun.

sprawl15: This is kind of a tangent, but I'm kind of against the whole idea of fighters being very good with a specific weapon - all the advanced specialization benefits in 2nd Ed. supplements and 3rd Edition and whatnot. I like to think of fighters as being very good with weapons in general, such that they're able to take full advantage of piles of niche weapons. If you get a magic spear with an interesting magical ability (like it ignores magical defenses), it shouldn't be vendor trash, but rather the fighter should keep it in his armory in case he ever needs to fight whatever it trumps.


Well that falls into the territory of randomizing the game versus tailoring it (or some point between). Fighter attack and damage specializations more or less exist because it's the only way to crank up the damage output of Fighters to make them comparable to other classes, and it stems from the era of play where Fighters were what you used to kill things. In the post-WoW landscape, things are now shuttled more into Tank/Damage/Heal roles.

sprawl15: Which itself would be wrong, considering Jedi are pretty much overpowered by definition.


Sort of. They've only gotten significantly more awesome the longer Star Wars has developed. Vader, the guy who murdered all the Jedi, was disabled in his ship by a tramp freighter pilot, and his biggest displays of power are choking a couple dudes and absorbing a pistol shot then stealing the pistol. And he's supposed to be "most powerful in the galaxy" strong. Luke manages to jump really high once and do some tricks (and the big "use the force, Luke" moment in the first film). Everything they do seems to be really patient and deliberate.

It was the prequels that really introduced the whole fast-as-lightning leap-tall-buildings fight-legions-by-yourself sort of crazy power that RPGs have been trying to emulate.
 
2012-09-17 02:09:35 PM

zarberg: I work in Raleigh, a few minutes from downtown, and the game will most likely be within 10-15 minutes of there.


I'm going to email you. You'll know it when you see it.
 
2012-09-17 02:12:02 PM

Epicedion: Zulthar: No love for Call of Cthulhu?

/The adventure will always end in A) Insanity B) gunplay the insanity C) explosions D) Prison then Insanity E) rarely death.
//"I know that little old lady is a deep one. I'm going to torture the true out of her by putting my cigarette out in her eye"
///"So the .600 nitro-express has no effect on it?!?"
////FYI - the little old lady was a deep one.
//MA-DEUCE FTW BABY!

Just follow along at the back of the party with your eyes closed and never read any of the books.


This
 
2012-09-17 02:14:16 PM
www.sarna.net

Steiner PPC, we made those one time.
 
2012-09-17 02:15:09 PM

Clash City Farker: [www.sarna.net image 280x356]

Steiner PPC, we made those one time.


Ha, I have the 2nd edition of that. I've never played it.
 
2012-09-17 02:22:27 PM

Epicedion: Clash City Farker: [www.sarna.net image 280x356]

Steiner PPC, we made those one time.

Ha, I have the 2nd edition of that. I've never played it.


We played it. I still have my character in my notebook after 25 years.
 
2012-09-17 02:23:34 PM
I just downloaded the rules. After a quick skim, it looks like a mashup of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th edition. Probably pretty fun to play.

My fave old RPG was the Marvel superheros set from the 80s. One table, one roll, and the GM decided what an 'amazing' success was. Super simple and super fun.
 
2012-09-17 02:31:50 PM

Epicedion: I don't agree that "clever play" makes up very much for the massive stat imbalance that level progression introduces.


Considering I'm not arguing that 1 hd opponents can remain viable threats to level 17 characters, I really don't know what the point of your disagreement is. I'm simply saying that CR style systems assume to-to-toe fights and calling that a silly assumption in the context of a capable DM. Mindless zombies should be much weaker threats than hyper intelligent creatures even if they have the same statline (other than intelligence), but that extra threat can only come from the DM doing their job.

Epicedion: Well that falls into the territory of randomizing the game versus tailoring it (or some point between). Fighter attack and damage specializations more or less exist because it's the only way to crank up the damage output of Fighters to make them comparable to other classes, and it stems from the era of play where Fighters were what you used to kill things. In the post-WoW landscape, things are now shuttled more into Tank/Damage/Heal roles.


It wasn't so much that they were what killed things, it was that they were able to deal damage while depleting as few resources as possible. They got hit the least and had the most ability to deal with hp loss while just whacking shiat. A caster could nearly always (barring very early game) gib stuff much faster and with much more reliability than a melee guy, but burning through a spellbook in the first room of a dungeon doesn't fly. It's the DM's job to mitigate that by providing varied enough threats that a wizard isn't able to just dedicate themselves to being an artillery platform.

It's a big reason why I really don't like 3rd edition's spells/day bloat.

Epicedion: It was the prequels that really introduced the whole fast-as-lightning leap-tall-buildings fight-legions-by-yourself sort of crazy power that RPGs have been trying to emulate.


True, though sadly that genie is out of the bottle. I can't imagine a Star Wars system that doesn't consider the prequels canon.
 
2012-09-17 02:38:03 PM

Lord Bear: I just downloaded the rules. After a quick skim, it looks like a mashup of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th edition. Probably pretty fun to play.

My fave old RPG was the Marvel superheros set from the 80s. One table, one roll, and the GM decided what an 'amazing' success was. Super simple and super fun.


The new Marvel RPG is a lot of fun too. I played the old one and picked up the new one a couple of weeks ago. It's fast and very flexible. We liked it a lot. I played a bit with my friends and they enjoyed it. Taught it to my kids that next week and they had a blast. Easy enough for them to understand, intricate enough to pull off complex moves. Just depends on the group you have playing with you.
 
2012-09-17 02:46:02 PM

sprawl15: Considering I'm not arguing that 1 hd opponents can remain viable threats to level 17 characters, I really don't know what the point of your disagreement is. I'm simply saying that CR style systems assume to-to-toe fights and calling that a silly assumption in the context of a capable DM. Mindless zombies should be much weaker threats than hyper intelligent creatures even if they have the same statline (other than intelligence), but that extra threat can only come from the DM doing their job.


I think you've missed something here, as I haven't varied my point -- that in a simplistic overview, D&D is a march from fighting kobolds to fighting interdimensional superpowers. Threats move onto and drop off the usable scale at predictable intervals, and only with a great degree of shoehorning can you fit old threats back into the game once they drop off.

I further think that this damages the storytelling of the setting, since you can't realistically expect all the low level party encounters to be orcs, and all the high level party encounters to be dragons. You just ultimately have to play it that way because you don't want the game to be unfair (the dragon breathes! you.. all.. die) or boring (you quickly dispatch the 200 orcs), which means that high level parties essentially are followed around by a giant cloud o' doom that just so happens to rain down CR 20 Liches every so often, a phenomenon that would clearly wreck the world of level 1 commoners. When the party enters a dungeon, it just happens to be about the right challenge for them, even though it could, by the rules of the world, be ruled by anything from a single myopic kobold with heat rash to a Death Knight and his legion of 50-foot skeletal devourers.
 
2012-09-17 02:49:22 PM

Epicedion: Sort of. They've only gotten significantly more awesome the longer Star Wars has developed. Vader, the guy who murdered all the Jedi, was disabled in his ship by a tramp freighter pilot, and his biggest displays of power are choking a couple dudes and absorbing a pistol shot then stealing the pistol. And he's supposed to be "most powerful in the galaxy" strong. Luke manages to jump really high once and do some tricks (and the big "use the force, Luke" moment in the first film). Everything they do seems to be really patient and deliberate.


You forgot Luke walking into Jabba's Palace, killing the Rancor and defeating Jabba's entire sailbarge full of guards by himself.
 
2012-09-17 02:51:54 PM

Lonestar: And Mike Mearls starts talking like its his own baby. 5e or DND Next, in its present form, is a product of a visionnary man: Monte Cook. This guy is an awesome writer who produced a lot of stuff in Planescape for TSR, then worked on the 3e from Wizards and many supplements including the best loved Book of Vile Darkness.This was one of the best designers Wizards had, and when Hasbro took over, was one of the designers who was shown the door. Still he loved DnD and he designed D20 material for it, which were awesome.

Then came Wizard who asked him to come and work on the 5e. He started by saying that 4e was like Trash metal, Trash metal is good but a lot of people dont like Trash. What was obvious is that he was saying 4e was trash, and he at least convinced the new designers for the 5e. Which was good. Also he said, and his whole mindset going into this was that he wanted to regroup all editions into one, including the 3e and Pathfinder. He wanted to bring harmony in the edition wars, because lets face it: Wizards are not winning that war, Paizo's Pathfinder is.

However it seems that he had a difference of opinion with the leaders at Wizards, and quit the assignement. I think that tells you a lot. Another clue was an interview that he gave here. Pay close attention to his rant. Yes my friends, his vision may still be what the remaining designers are working with, but they arent including feats ( a staple of the 3e and Pathfinder ) inside the 5e. So its going to be an unified edition, except the one that still works well and the one that makes a lot of money.

We will never know what Monte said to the asshole who forced the 4e down on us ( wizards CEO ), probably it wasnt very SFW. Monte Cook is still one of the best designer out there, and his new project seems interesting. When he left the 5e, I was floored because I knew the best chance of an unified edition would die with him leaving. Now with big cannons like Sean K Reynolds leading Paizo, who will be left to m ...


Okay dude, first of all, Monte Cook wasn't laid off by WotC. He left on his own and was the inventor of online PDF sales for the rpg industry. He founded Malhavoc Press, which was extremely successful. He moved back to Seattle and worked on 5e but then left during the development cycle that he disliked, and realized that Mearls' vision of the game was different enough that he should part from WotC. Monte Cook is a class act. I have no doubt that anything he said to the creators of 4e was in fact very safe for work, and well said, and soft spoken. This is not a guy who burns bridges.

And while I love Sean Reynolds' work, you really have Lisa Stevens (who worked on Ars Magica and Star Wars), Erik Mona, and Jason Bulmahn to thank for Pathfinder RPG. Sean does great design work, and he's definitely left his mark on Golarion, but Lisa, Erik, and Jason are the three folks who made PRPG happen. 

Btw, Monte did some consulting work for PRPG.
 
2012-09-17 02:59:58 PM

SuperChuck: You forgot Luke walking into Jabba's Palace, killing the Rancor and defeating Jabba's entire sailbarge full of guards by himself.


Does he even use any Force-y stuff on the Rancor? I thought he just choked it with a bone then crushed it with the door. I'd expect any of the heroes in the movie to manage that one. The sailbarge fight was him and every other main character in the movie, so "by himself" doesn't really apply.
 
2012-09-17 03:07:12 PM
3.5 rule set was the best and I think Gary would agree
 
2012-09-17 03:14:11 PM

ltdanman44: 3.5 rule set was the best and I think Gary would agree


You think 3.5 is better than Pathfinder? How so? Not trolling or picking a fight, but I haven't really heard anyone make this argument (well, no one who has played both).
 
2012-09-17 03:35:02 PM
I want to party with this guy. Screw magic or backstabbing, just gimme a kick-ass sword and some sixteen-siders.
diehardgamefan.com

/So, you want to be a Fighter? Congrats, you're going to be the major force in the party for the next 10 levels while the wizard's spells slowly corrupt and dissolve him.
 
2012-09-17 03:39:21 PM
Meh, I played Runequest, but you've probably never heard of it.

/Had a duck named Neosynephrine.
 
2012-09-17 04:31:52 PM

sprawl15: I have no idea how they're even around in the first place. This is a world where a few magicians could replace thousands of stupid peasants with elemental/golem slaves and can wish any mundane object into existence. Why have mud farmers when you can put a mud golem in a summoning circle and have him shiat all the mud you need into a handy collection bin? Hell, even a standard magical item vendor deals in tons of gold per customer.


That mirrors the real world so closely that we'll be able to find out the answer in several more decades if we just wait and see. We've been putting hyperproductive machinery into our factory and farm labor pools for ages now, and at some point, there will be nothing for the peasants to do.

But they won't go away. How does a society cope when it is based around the idea of "work for money" when there is no longer enough work for everyone to do?

It's sort of funny to see the same conceptual gap and lack of solution show up in a totally fictional magical world. Although I suppose the "let the dragon eat them" solution is more viable there than here.
 
2012-09-17 04:44:44 PM

SuperChuck: Epicedion: Sort of. They've only gotten significantly more awesome the longer Star Wars has developed. Vader, the guy who murdered all the Jedi, was disabled in his ship by a tramp freighter pilot, and his biggest displays of power are choking a couple dudes and absorbing a pistol shot then stealing the pistol. And he's supposed to be "most powerful in the galaxy" strong. Luke manages to jump really high once and do some tricks (and the big "use the force, Luke" moment in the first film). Everything they do seems to be really patient and deliberate.

You forgot Luke walking into Jabba's Palace, killing the Rancor and defeating Jabba's entire sailbarge full of guards by himself.


Well, they planned that all pretty carefully, and had the element of surprise when what was supposed to be an execution ended up in a surprise battle. Awesome fighting, but not "take on a legion of stormtroopers, tossing them like ragdolls and deflecting thousands of blaster shots, then bringing a star destroyer down on them" strong.

WEG:SW was pretty good about ensuring that everyone in their game was a minor enough Jedi they would have escaped the Purge. I don't want to derail this awesome RPG thread into a Star Wars rant, but the Prequels made Jedi so impossibly skilled and powerful they shouldn't be balanced as a PC in a game with normal mortals.
 
2012-09-17 05:03:54 PM

raygundan: That mirrors the real world so closely that we'll be able to find out the answer in several more decades if we just wait and see. We've been putting hyperproductive machinery into our factory and farm labor pools for ages now, and at some point, there will be nothing for the peasants to do.


As far as I can tell, the entire purpose of peasants is to be set on fire to incite outrage from future heroes.
 
2012-09-17 05:08:56 PM

sprawl15: raygundan: That mirrors the real world so closely that we'll be able to find out the answer in several more decades if we just wait and see. We've been putting hyperproductive machinery into our factory and farm labor pools for ages now, and at some point, there will be nothing for the peasants to do.

As far as I can tell, the entire purpose of peasants is to be set on fire to incite outrage from future heroes.


Also to breed the next generation of PCs.

It's a very PC-centric world out there.
 
2012-09-17 05:17:53 PM

Clash City Farker: [www.thedudes.us image 607x800]

HK-5


God this takes me back, I loved this RPG.......Classic indeed!
 
2012-09-17 05:27:57 PM

Epicedion: When the party enters a dungeon, it just happens to be about the right challenge for them, even though it could, by the rules of the world, be ruled by anything from a single myopic kobold with heat rash to a Death Knight and his legion of 50-foot skeletal devourers.


Yeah, making this not seem forced has always been a challenge in designing campaigns in D&D. I think the first big step to minimizing this problem (as well as many other problems in editions 1-3), is to reign in the players' level advancement, so that they progress at a much slower pace. I love D&D, but have to admit the game has always become insanely unbalanced and borderline unplayable at high levels. I think the game probably works best with characters in the 4th-6th level range. After 9th, stuff starts to get pretty bad with spellcasters teleporting, plane-shifting, raising the dead, conversing with gods, etc.

Save the truly high level status for a few legendary NPCs.
 
2012-09-17 06:07:12 PM

Skyrmion: Yeah, making this not seem forced has always been a challenge in designing campaigns in D&D. I think the first big step to minimizing this problem (as well as many other problems in editions 1-3), is to reign in the players' level advancement, so that they progress at a much slower pace.


Another way is to simply structure the world in such a way that certain areas are less dangerous than others. The players start off in relatively civilized lands, and orc incursions are New and Scary and Pretty Easy, and eventually they travel to the Evil Woods, up to the Dickbreaking Mountain, and eventually deep into the Darkevil Undernightdarkblood Caves.

If they really want to go to Dickbreaking mountain at level 2, that's fine, but they're going to get their dicks broken.
 
2012-09-17 06:11:28 PM

raygundan: sprawl15: I have no idea how they're even around in the first place. This is a world where a few magicians could replace thousands of stupid peasants with elemental/golem slaves and can wish any mundane object into existence. Why have mud farmers when you can put a mud golem in a summoning circle and have him shiat all the mud you need into a handy collection bin? Hell, even a standard magical item vendor deals in tons of gold per customer.

That mirrors the real world so closely that we'll be able to find out the answer in several more decades if we just wait and see. We've been putting hyperproductive machinery into our factory and farm labor pools for ages now, and at some point, there will be nothing for the peasants to do.

But they won't go away. How does a society cope when it is based around the idea of "work for money" when there is no longer enough work for everyone to do?

It's sort of funny to see the same conceptual gap and lack of solution show up in a totally fictional magical world. Although I suppose the "let the dragon eat them" solution is more viable there than here.


My understanding is that in a typical fantasy setting, the demographics wouldn't support an industrial society based on magic. Sure, maybe one or two percent of the population can cast Magic Missile once per day, and there may be a few extraordinary locations where even commoners have at least enough magical skill to briefly animate a dust-broom, but summoning elementals or building golems requires far more powerful magic. And as you get to higher and higher levels of magic, the number of people with the ability to wield it drops exponentially, so it would be extremely rare to find a magician who could offer the sort of industrial magic you describe.
 
2012-09-17 06:27:04 PM

anfrind: My understanding is that in a typical fantasy setting, the demographics wouldn't support an industrial society based on magic. Sure, maybe one or two percent of the population can cast Magic Missile once per day, and there may be a few extraordinary locations where even commoners have at least enough magical skill to briefly animate a dust-broom, but summoning elementals or building golems requires far more powerful magic. And as you get to higher and higher levels of magic, the number of people with the ability to wield it drops exponentially, so it would be extremely rare to find a magician who could offer the sort of industrial magic you describe.


Problem is, the structure of a society is based on need. As magical powers increase, even though those people who can wield them are rare, their ability to meet not just their need but everyone's need becomes trivial. And even then, if you had only had one Super Wizard, he could pawn off a lot of the lower power tasks to a few apprentices. You could easily have entire cities maintained by a dozen, two dozen mid-high level magicians as long as they focused on civics instead of combat. And their peasant revolts would be MUCH more exciting.

In 3.5, I believe the spell wish is limited to giving you 150,000 gold pieces, which is a ton and a half of gold. Yet a farm laborer makes something like 1-2 silver a week.

Which alone is bizarre. Lets say a laborer makes 1 silver a week...that's worth 10 copper, which means for that week of work he can make at most 10 purchases.
 
2012-09-17 06:30:20 PM

sprawl15: In 3.5, I believe the spell wish is limited to giving you 150,000 gold pieces, which is a ton and a half of gold. Yet a farm laborer makes something like 1-2 silver a week.


Oh, I forgot to add a point to this. That means that a single wish is enough to employ over 28,000 farm laborers for a full year. That's more than enough agriculture for a single city, and with that amount of income you could fuel the rest of the city. By spending one wish a year. And, for the record, there are extraplanar creatures that can make one wish a year that you are able to enslave.
 
2012-09-17 06:35:45 PM

Hawnkee: Toriko: Relatively Obscure: since people are posting various RPG covers

Yep, like Alternity too. Best SciFi  RPG I've played and while we are at it... 
 
ArcadianRefugee: [earthdawn.nerps.net image 454x253]
 
I also enjoyed EarthDawn. I like the RP of having an art to proove you weren't tainted by the horrors, but I also loved the compromise of having open-ended crits. It makes using a lighter weapon like a dagger a bit more fun. 

 

What cracked me up the most about Earthdawn was this was pretty much what one attack roll turned into after a while:

[www.coyotethunder.com image 375x281] 

On the bright side, it let me use every damn die in my bag. Even the old gnarled up d12 my friend's basset hound chewed up.


Now now, ED never got THAT bad. Not like "Champions" bad anyway ("So I'm rolling ... 45-- no, 46d6..."). At least not until you were significantly higher Circle.

Later editions of ED did away with the d4 (yay!) and d20, making all rolls with d6's 8's, 10s, and 12's (although the old table could still be used without affecting anything else in the game, if you so desired).
 
2012-09-17 06:44:35 PM

sprawl15: anfrind: My understanding is that in a typical fantasy setting, the demographics wouldn't support an industrial society based on magic. Sure, maybe one or two percent of the population can cast Magic Missile once per day, and there may be a few extraordinary locations where even commoners have at least enough magical skill to briefly animate a dust-broom, but summoning elementals or building golems requires far more powerful magic. And as you get to higher and higher levels of magic, the number of people with the ability to wield it drops exponentially, so it would be extremely rare to find a magician who could offer the sort of industrial magic you describe.

Problem is, the structure of a society is based on need. As magical powers increase, even though those people who can wield them are rare, their ability to meet not just their need but everyone's need becomes trivial. And even then, if you had only had one Super Wizard, he could pawn off a lot of the lower power tasks to a few apprentices. You could easily have entire cities maintained by a dozen, two dozen mid-high level magicians as long as they focused on civics instead of combat. And their peasant revolts would be MUCH more exciting.

In 3.5, I believe the spell wish is limited to giving you 150,000 gold pieces, which is a ton and a half of gold. Yet a farm laborer makes something like 1-2 silver a week.

Which alone is bizarre. Lets say a laborer makes 1 silver a week...that's worth 10 copper, which means for that week of work he can make at most 10 purchases.


sprawl15: Oh, I forgot to add a point to this. That means that a single wish is enough to employ over 28,000 farm laborers for a full year. That's more than enough agriculture for a single city, and with that amount of income you could fuel the rest of the city. By spending one wish a year. And, for the record, there are extraplanar creatures that can make one wish a year that you are able to enslave.


3.5 imposes one additional constraint to that level of magic: any time you create a permanent magical effect (e.g. a golem) or cast a Wish spell, you lose some amount of XP in the process. Which means that in order to continuously churn out those sorts of magical boons for the society, he'd need to constantly replenish his XP somehow. And at least in 3.5, the only way to gain that much XP is through adventuring--I could imagine awarding a player some XP for use of Craft or Profession skills associated with creating magical items, but not nearly enough to balance that equation.

In 2nd edition and earlier, the equation is even more unbalanced because enchanting magic items permanently drains a wizard's constitution, and wish spells cause five years of premature aging.

I think it's also implied that a society can possess an industrial level of magic (although the economics are never really explained), but if it does then it's prone to destroy itself in some sort of man-made catastrophe. Which is why the ruins of ancient civilizations like Netheril so often factor into adventures.
 
2012-09-17 06:47:57 PM

sprawl15: In 3.5, I believe the spell wish is limited to giving you 150,000 gold pieces, which is a ton and a half of gold. Yet a farm laborer makes something like 1-2 silver a week.

Which alone is bizarre. Lets say a laborer makes 1 silver a week...that's worth 10 copper, which means for that week of work he can make at most 10 purchases.


I think wish is limited to 25k. And it burns 5000 XP off of the caster. The real problem there would be in having enslaved creatures around to cast it for you, as you alluded to.

In the DMG, the recommended daily wage of a laborer is 1 sp, or 1/50th of a pound of silver. That's about 5 pence (each 1/240th of a pound), which is reasonable, but actually on the high side for (say) a 14th century laborer in England, whose daily wage was likely in the 1-5 pence range.

What's strange about the D&D prices is how expensive weapons and armor are compared to bulk materials and basic goods. Weapon prices might be inflated by a factor of 20 or so, while the basic goods are at least reasonably close to historic.
 
2012-09-17 07:03:52 PM

sprawl15: anfrind: My understanding is that in a typical fantasy setting, the demographics wouldn't support an industrial society based on magic. Sure, maybe one or two percent of the population can cast Magic Missile once per day, and there may be a few extraordinary locations where even commoners have at least enough magical skill to briefly animate a dust-broom, but summoning elementals or building golems requires far more powerful magic. And as you get to higher and higher levels of magic, the number of people with the ability to wield it drops exponentially, so it would be extremely rare to find a magician who could offer the sort of industrial magic you describe.

Problem is, the structure of a society is based on need. As magical powers increase, even though those people who can wield them are rare, their ability to meet not just their need but everyone's need becomes trivial. And even then, if you had only had one Super Wizard, he could pawn off a lot of the lower power tasks to a few apprentices. You could easily have entire cities maintained by a dozen, two dozen mid-high level magicians as long as they focused on civics instead of combat. And their peasant revolts would be MUCH more exciting.

In 3.5, I believe the spell wish is limited to giving you 150,000 gold pieces, which is a ton and a half of gold. Yet a farm laborer makes something like 1-2 silver a week.

Which alone is bizarre. Lets say a laborer makes 1 silver a week...that's worth 10 copper, which means for that week of work he can make at most 10 purchases.


The difficulty is that the medieval stasis that keeps most campaigns going explicitly don't have a mindset that leads to industrialization or even a realistic economy. Keep in mind that most of the wizard schemes to improve the world don't typically work. Giant swamps caused by everflowing bottles and such like that. TSR took on the subject multiple times in Dragon Magazine, pro and con. I'd have to dig into my longboxes of magazines to come up with the article where they point out that an ancient city with a magic tax should have ridiculously insane defenses due to accumulated scrolls and magic items.

The wishing for gold issue can be explained by pointing out that you would just flood the market with gold, wrecking a gold based economy if you have somebody regularly wishing for gold.

At any rate, it's a common handwave to assume that all wizards and clerics are unique craftsmen who don't do things like make potions by assembly line. Just like they rigged the rules so that PCs wouldn't spend all their time making magic objects and instead go adventuring. If you want to go further, the gods themselves meddle to make sure nobody does that. See the Forgotten Realms and the Church of Lantan.
 
2012-09-17 07:18:00 PM

anfrind: 3.5 imposes one additional constraint to that level of magic: any time you create a permanent magical effect (e.g. a golem) or cast a Wish spell, you lose some amount of XP in the process.


Skyrmion: And it burns 5000 XP off of the caster.


Put that in a memo for me and title it "Shiat I Already Know". That's why you enslave an extraplanar creature (like an efreeti, CR 8); they suffer the penalties, you reap the gold.

anfrind: I could imagine awarding a player some XP for use of Craft or Profession skills associated with creating magical items, but not nearly enough to balance that equation.


Crafting magical items costs XP (4% of the item's cost?), last I heard.

Skyrmion: I think wish is limited to 25k.


Er, yeah. I was thinking 15k and thought it was too low and added a zero. That's what i get for Farking at work. That's still almost 5,000 people's wages paid for a year, which is still more farmers than you'll have for farmland.

Skyrmion: In the DMG, the recommended daily wage of a laborer is 1 sp


Day laborers get quite a bit more than farm workers, since farm workers are intended to survive off what they produce.

Skyrmion: What's strange about the D&D prices is how expensive weapons and armor are compared to bulk materials and basic goods.


Eh, the strangest thing to me is the idea of intrinsic value. A magic sword is worth exactly 1000 gp. Supply/demand have nothing to do with your ability to get rid of your shiat. It's particularly bad in video games when a DM can't step in and decide that no, a barkeep is not getting a good deal by buying that magic sword for only 900 gp when there's nobody he could possibly sell it to and his family will starve.  I can't imagine what the hell Warmaiden's in Whiterun does with the billions of shiatty weapons I dump off at their door every 3-4 days, but they seem to be turning one hell of a profit.
 
2012-09-17 07:29:34 PM

Skyrmion: sprawl15: In 3.5, I believe the spell wish is limited to giving you 150,000 gold pieces, which is a ton and a half of gold. Yet a farm laborer makes something like 1-2 silver a week.

Which alone is bizarre. Lets say a laborer makes 1 silver a week...that's worth 10 copper, which means for that week of work he can make at most 10 purchases.

I think wish is limited to 25k. And it burns 5000 XP off of the caster. The real problem there would be in having enslaved creatures around to cast it for you, as you alluded to.


The rules don't explicitly say so, but I would imagine that if an outsider can cast Wish, it would suffer in some way comparable to how a wizard loses 5000 XP. If nothing else, it probably means that unless the rules explicitly say otherwise (e.g. the genie that grants three wishes), the enslaved creature would attempt to escape every time you force it to grant you a wish.

What's strange about the D&D prices is how expensive weapons and armor are compared to bulk materials and basic goods. Weapon prices might be inflated by a factor of 20 or so, while the basic goods are at least reasonably close to historic.

I had never thought about that. I do remember once trying to figure out how to translate the prices of modern machinery into gold pieces for an "Independence Day" sort of D&D adventure, but that never seemed to work well (more due to how imbalanced the game get at high levels than anything else).

Although I did once figure out that if you follow the rules in the Player's Handbook and Arms & Equipment Guide and you have the necessary resources, you could build a sort of aircraft carrier--an over-sized warship carrying as many ornithopters (animated hang-gliders with flapping wings) as you can afford, each with a pilot that could drop vials of alchemist's fire and/or use various wands (Fireball, Lightning Bolt, etc.) to lay waste to even the most fortified coastal city. However, at least in the Forgotten Realms, building and arming just one such aircraft carrier would probably bankrupt even a relatively wealthy nation or city-state.
 
2012-09-17 07:45:01 PM

sprawl15: anfrind: 3.5 imposes one additional constraint to that level of magic: any time you create a permanent magical effect (e.g. a golem) or cast a Wish spell, you lose some amount of XP in the process.

Skyrmion: And it burns 5000 XP off of the caster.

Put that in a memo for me and title it "Shiat I Already Know". That's why you enslave an extraplanar creature (like an efreeti, CR 8); they suffer the penalties, you reap the gold.


Even if a wizard is so powerful that a direct confrontation with an efreeti is no threat, I could imagine that if it ever breaks free, it could do some serious harm to innocent bystanders before being contained or killed. Which might explain why it never seems to happen on an industrial scale. Although I suppose it might be relatively safe if you kept it as far away as possible from a populated area.

Crafting magical items costs XP (4% of the item's cost?), last I heard.

And when you look at the level advancement of your typical commoner or expert who makes a living off of Craft or Profession skills (and admittedly there's very little to go on), it seems to be a very slow way to earn XP, and wouldn't even come close to replenishing the 4% of item cost XP burned creating an item. I think I once saw a published adventure that featured a 6th-level commoner, and I think she was middle-age by that point. Which I would assume means that it took at least 15 years for her to get to sixth level without adventuring.

Eh, the strangest thing to me is the idea of intrinsic value. A magic sword is worth exactly 1000 gp. Supply/demand have nothing to do with your ability to get rid of your shiat. It's particularly bad in video games when a DM can't step in and decide that no, a barkeep is not getting a good deal by buying that magic sword for only 900 gp when there's nobody he could possibly sell it to and his family will starve.  I can't imagine what the hell Warmaiden's in Whiterun does with the billions of shiatty weapons I dump off at their door every 3-4 days, but they seem to be turning one hell of a profit.

Sometimes you have to simplify the economics for the sake of gameplay. Most DM's aren't that interested in simulating economies where supply and demand might impact the prices of magic weapons, so the "intrinsic value" works as a reasonable approximation.

I do seem to recall something that said that in a low-magic world, the cost of magic weapons should be significantly higher, but I don't remember if that was in a published rulebook or a random copy of Dragon Magazine.
 
2012-09-17 08:37:59 PM

anfrind: Eh, the strangest thing to me is the idea of intrinsic value. A magic sword is worth exactly 1000 gp. Supply/demand have nothing to do with your ability to get rid of your shiat. It's particularly bad in video games when a DM can't step in and decide that no, a barkeep is not getting a good deal by buying that magic sword for only 900 gp when there's nobody he could possibly sell it to and his family will starve. I can't imagine what the hell Warmaiden's in Whiterun does with the billions of shiatty weapons I dump off at their door every 3-4 days, but they seem to be turning one hell of a profit.

Sometimes you have to simplify the economics for the sake of gameplay. Most DM's aren't that interested in simulating economies where supply and demand might impact the prices of magic weapons, so the "intrinsic value" works as a reasonable approximation.

I do seem to recall something that said that in a low-magic world, the cost of magic weapons should be significantly higher, but I don't remember if that was in a published rulebook or a random copy of Dragon Magazine.


It seems like a lot of work for a DM to generate values based on supply and demand, especially since magical items are all intended to be unique items of craftsmanship. In theory, every +1 sword was forged somewhere by a master smith and then ensorcelled. They all should have some sort of history. Magic is not technology, it is intended to be somewhat mysterious, even if munchkins know all the rules. This is where gamers trained on videogames can fall apart.
 
2012-09-17 08:47:14 PM
Whee! Edge of the Empire RPG Beginner Game from FFG!

www.fantasyflightgames.com 

It's just the abdridged game, but for some reason I'm excited for this. Hope it runs smoother than WFRP3E.
 
2012-09-17 09:02:11 PM

Fano: It seems like a lot of work for a DM to generate values based on supply and demand, especially since magical items are all intended to be unique items of craftsmanship. In theory, every +1 sword was forged somewhere by a master smith and then ensorcelled. They all should have some sort of history. Magic is not technology, it is intended to be somewhat mysterious, even if munchkins know all the rules. This is where gamers trained on videogames can fall apart.


That's one of the places where I 3rd and 4th edition have wandered in a direction I dislike: the commodification of magic items. They carry the attitude that players can pretty much sell anything and buy any item they feel like off the "list". There's also the carrying of 5 dozen little cheep potions and scrolls. I feel like that approach takes the wonder and mystery out of magic items.
 
2012-09-17 10:53:44 PM
If I wanted to hang out with a bunch of nerds wearing black capes and fake ears, I wouldn't still play these:

www.dazeland.com

Nerds.
 
Skr
2012-09-18 04:04:01 AM
Always have been partial to AD&D 2e myself. Though I found an odd blast from the past when going throguh the bookshelf a few years back..

www.gamereactor.eu

JUICER
 
2012-09-18 06:59:09 AM

Skr: Always have been partial to AD&D 2e myself. Though I found an odd blast from the past when going throguh the bookshelf a few years back..

[www.gamereactor.eu image 300x390]

JUICER


Juicers always bothered me because they basically traded in the rest of their lives for a few good years, I.E. there's really not much consequence on the player in doing that unless both player and DM know the campaign will last much longer.
 
2012-09-18 10:38:46 AM

Skr: Always have been partial to AD&D 2e myself. Though I found an odd blast from the past when going throguh the bookshelf a few years back..

[www.gamereactor.eu image 300x390]

JUICER


Got a ton of those. A bunch of the Wild West and Psyscape supplements too. Most of the Heroes Unlimited set as well. Old Heroes, Revised Heroes, Powers 1 2 and 3, the GM's manual, and Villians guide.

A few years back, I went on a shopping spree and picked up a ton of old rule books from a bunch of different systems. Got a lot of Palladium, some old Shadowrun, GURPS, Paranoia, one I hadn't heard of called Children of the Sun, Marvel Superheroes RPG (the TSR version), in addition to all the AD&D, D&D 3.x and the one 4th ed manual I have.
 
2012-09-18 10:54:41 AM

Skyrmion: Fano: It seems like a lot of work for a DM to generate values based on supply and demand, especially since magical items are all intended to be unique items of craftsmanship. In theory, every +1 sword was forged somewhere by a master smith and then ensorcelled. They all should have some sort of history. Magic is not technology, it is intended to be somewhat mysterious, even if munchkins know all the rules. This is where gamers trained on videogames can fall apart.

That's one of the places where I 3rd and 4th edition have wandered in a direction I dislike: the commodification of magic items. They carry the attitude that players can pretty much sell anything and buy any item they feel like off the "list". There's also the carrying of 5 dozen little cheep potions and scrolls. I feel like that approach takes the wonder and mystery out of magic items.


I think that's the video game influences on table-top.

The problem with table-top RPG is that it's up to the GM to really make it work. Like another poster said there is really no solution for it, finding a good GM is like finding a good husband or wife.
 
2012-09-18 11:32:44 AM
So, with a little research done, except for the "Next" name this is actually shaping up to be a pretty decent thing.
 
2012-09-18 11:40:29 AM

Lonestar: And Mike Mearls starts talking like its his own baby. 5e or DND Next, in its present form, is a product of a visionnary man: Monte Cook. This guy is an awesome writer who produced a lot of stuff in Planescape for TSR, then worked on the 3e from Wizards and many supplements including the best loved Book of Vile Darkness.This was one of the best designers Wizards had, and when Hasbro took over, was one of the designers who was shown the door. Still he loved DnD and he designed D20 material for it, which were awesome.

Then came Wizard who asked him to come and work on the 5e. He started by saying that 4e was like Trash metal, Trash metal is good but a lot of people dont like Trash. What was obvious is that he was saying 4e was trash, and he at least convinced the new designers for the 5e. Which was good. Also he said, and his whole mindset going into this was that he wanted to regroup all editions into one, including the 3e and Pathfinder. He wanted to bring harmony in the edition wars, because lets face it: Wizards are not winning that war, Paizo's Pathfinder is.

However it seems that he had a difference of opinion with the leaders at Wizards, and quit the assignement. I think that tells you a lot. Another clue was an interview that he gave here. Pay close attention to his rant. Yes my friends, his vision may still be what the remaining designers are working with, but they arent including feats ( a staple of the 3e and Pathfinder ) inside the 5e. So its going to be an unified edition, except the one that still works well and the one that makes a lot of money.

We will never know what Monte said to the asshole who forced the 4e down on us ( wizards CEO ), probably it wasnt very SFW. Monte Cook is still one of the best designer out there, and his new project seems interesting. When he left the 5e, I was floored because I knew the best chance of an unified edition would die with him leaving. Now with big cannons like Sean K Reynolds leading Paizo, who will be left to m ...


You know reading that article I think I figured out why people love 3.5 so much.

If "Game Mastery" was incorporated as a key component in the game it explains why they don't want to switch. Hardcore players have figured out the best builds and don't want to start over again. It also explains why I felt punished for picking an "non-optimized" build.

For example, an old friend of mine was very angry that in 4e he couldn't do his magical lawnmower of death. A wizard that could dual-wield great-swords at like level 8. From an RP perspective I couldn't figure out why that would happen but he loved that character.
 
2012-09-18 11:44:23 AM
D&D needs to drop the last truly broken mechanic they have: hit points. Replace it with a damage save, and how bad you fail = how wounded you are. Simple, easy, direct, and no math for those who hate all the management that entails.

I must be the only one who liked 4e, but I saw it for what it is, not what I wanted it to be.
 
2012-09-18 11:57:20 AM

shortymac: You know reading that article I think I figured out why people love 3.5 so much.

If "Game Mastery" was incorporated as a key component in the game it explains why they don't want to switch. Hardcore players have figured out the best builds and don't want to start over again. It also explains why I felt punished for picking an "non-optimized" build.


People like 3.5 (and Pathfinder) because it allows a huge range of options, so you can tailor a character to do whatever it is you think is cool. In any system with the introduction of massive numbers of new abilities, classes, spells, etc, there's a significant danger (inevitability, really) of introducing unbalancing combinations or ludicrous effects.Since it's not a competitive game, and it's moderated, this isn't a huge concern for the rules. It's more of an issue of meshing play styles.

3.5 was excellent at introducing variety, and it really only gets nuts if you add in a lot of the supplements. Personally, I tend to only use core books in my games, in order to avoid power creep. If your groups was using 30 supplements, that should probably tell you something about your group, not all groups.

shortymac: A wizard that could dual-wield great-swords at like level 8.


I can't even imagine how you would do that, let alone why. I can't think of a single way that would ever be effective, anyway.
 
2012-09-18 12:12:25 PM

fudgefactor7: D&D needs to drop the last truly broken mechanic they have: hit points. Replace it with a damage save, and how bad you fail = how wounded you are. Simple, easy, direct, and no math for those who hate all the management that entails.

I must be the only one who liked 4e, but I saw it for what it is, not what I wanted it to be.


HIGH FIVE! My group and I loved it as well! :)

They launched with an "incomplete" product because they wanted you to buy the 10 buck subscription and more books, I think it alienated a lot of players. D&D keeps on making bad business decisions sadly.
 
2012-09-18 12:20:09 PM

fudgefactor7: D&D needs to drop the last truly broken mechanic they have: hit points. Replace it with a damage save, and how bad you fail = how wounded you are. Simple, easy, direct, and no math for those who hate all the management that entails.

I must be the only one who liked 4e, but I saw it for what it is, not what I wanted it to be.


Also, if you squat for like five seconds, you should get all your health back.
 
2012-09-18 12:22:25 PM

Epicedion: shortymac: You know reading that article I think I figured out why people love 3.5 so much.

If "Game Mastery" was incorporated as a key component in the game it explains why they don't want to switch. Hardcore players have figured out the best builds and don't want to start over again. It also explains why I felt punished for picking an "non-optimized" build.

People like 3.5 (and Pathfinder) because it allows a huge range of options, so you can tailor a character to do whatever it is you think is cool. In any system with the introduction of massive numbers of new abilities, classes, spells, etc, there's a significant danger (inevitability, really) of introducing unbalancing combinations or ludicrous effects.Since it's not a competitive game, and it's moderated, this isn't a huge concern for the rules. It's more of an issue of meshing play styles.

3.5 was excellent at introducing variety, and it really only gets nuts if you add in a lot of the supplements. Personally, I tend to only use core books in my games, in order to avoid power creep. If your groups was using 30 supplements, that should probably tell you something about your group, not all groups.

shortymac: A wizard that could dual-wield great-swords at like level 8.

I can't even imagine how you would do that, let alone why. I can't think of a single way that would ever be effective, anyway.


He said he did it with feats somehow???? His idea was use up all your spells and then mow down the stragglers. I don't know the exact way he did it.

The problem I had with 3.5 is that I usually pick wizards and other magic users. A level 1 wizard in 3.5 is well boring. :( "Used up all my spells. I'll hold the torch and try not to die."
 
2012-09-18 12:28:26 PM

shortymac: The problem I had with 3.5 is that I usually pick wizards and other magic users. A level 1 wizard in 3.5 is well boring. :( "Used up all my spells. I'll hold the torch and try not to die."


Level 1 can be a bit of a chore for wizards (though it was far worse in 2nd Edition). Pathfinder fixes that somewhat by making cantrips (0-level spells) unlimited per day as well as providing some Specialist/Universalist abilities that let you continue to be useful even if you've burned all your prepared spells.

Next is apparently doing something similar (prepare X cantrips, cast indefinitely).
 
2012-09-18 12:31:29 PM

Epicedion: shortymac: The problem I had with 3.5 is that I usually pick wizards and other magic users. A level 1 wizard in 3.5 is well boring. :( "Used up all my spells. I'll hold the torch and try not to die."

Level 1 can be a bit of a chore for wizards (though it was far worse in 2nd Edition). Pathfinder fixes that somewhat by making cantrips (0-level spells) unlimited per day as well as providing some Specialist/Universalist abilities that let you continue to be useful even if you've burned all your prepared spells.

Next is apparently doing something similar (prepare X cantrips, cast indefinitely).


I hope they do that, I hate the vancian magic system. I also hope one of them is like fireball or magic missile or something like that.
 
2012-09-18 12:35:13 PM

shortymac: I hope they do that, I hate the vancian magic system. I also hope one of them is like fireball or magic missile or something like that.


Pathfinder is otherwise 3.5 (though they were nice enough to include some small damage cantrips).

Next seems to be modified Vancian (though magic missile is a cantrip) where you prepare X spells for the day, and can cast X spells, but they're not prepared on a one-for-one basis. So you don't prepare 3 Burning Hands and a Feather Fall, you prepare Burning Hands, Feather Fall, and two other things, and can cast 4 of them in any combination.
 
2012-09-18 12:37:10 PM

Epicedion: shortymac: I hope they do that, I hate the vancian magic system. I also hope one of them is like fireball or magic missile or something like that.

Pathfinder is otherwise 3.5 (though they were nice enough to include some small damage cantrips).

Next seems to be modified Vancian (though magic missile is a cantrip) where you prepare X spells for the day, and can cast X spells, but they're not prepared on a one-for-one basis. So you don't prepare 3 Burning Hands and a Feather Fall, you prepare Burning Hands, Feather Fall, and two other things, and can cast 4 of them in any combination.


So you prepare the spells and can cast them all day long?? Okay I can go with that.
 
2012-09-18 12:40:51 PM

shortymac: He said he did it with feats somehow???? His idea was use up all your spells and then mow down the stragglers. I don't know the exact way he did it.


I think there was a feat in one of the supplemental books (Complete Warrior, maybe?) that let a character wield a two-handed weapon with one hand (although I think it had prerequisites that would be difficult for a wizard to meet). Pair that with two-weapon fighting, and it's at least doable.

Although a wizard would need a lot of magical buffs to be any good in that configuration. It would probably make more sense for a multi-class fighter/wizard, although even then it's kind of silly.

The problem I had with 3.5 is that I usually pick wizards and other magic users. A level 1 wizard in 3.5 is well boring. :( "Used up all my spells. I'll hold the torch and try not to die."

That's a problem that goes all the way back to first edition. Which is why when I DM'ed, I would always roll my own spell system in which all spell-casters can cast X number of spells of each type per day (similar to bards and sorcerers, who in turn get more uses per day). Since in my experience encounters almost always end before the bad guys have a chance to use all of their spells, it didn't unbalance the game to let everyone cast more often in a single day.
 
2012-09-18 12:44:04 PM

shortymac: So you prepare the spells and can cast them all day long?? Okay I can go with that.


Well, like Pathfinder, 0-level spells can be cast all day every day. The new thing still puts limits per-day, but with more of a 3.5 Sorcerer's flexibility. Prepare X first level spells, get X castings per day of any of those first level spells.

It is however way more flexible than your 'can only ever cast 1 fireball a day' 4E wizard. I think they're also getting Ritual spells a la 4E (with the flexibility of being able to prepare or ritual cast them as they like) as well as some other intrinsic abilities (like a permanent Mage Armor they don't have to toss spell slots at). The idea apparently is that Wizards will have an array of tools, and then a stack of big powers to use. You can plink away with Magic Missile all day for inerrant dagger-quality damage, or you can shift to the big guns.
 
2012-09-18 12:45:40 PM

shortymac: Epicedion: shortymac: I hope they do that, I hate the vancian magic system. I also hope one of them is like fireball or magic missile or something like that.

Pathfinder is otherwise 3.5 (though they were nice enough to include some small damage cantrips).

Next seems to be modified Vancian (though magic missile is a cantrip) where you prepare X spells for the day, and can cast X spells, but they're not prepared on a one-for-one basis. So you don't prepare 3 Burning Hands and a Feather Fall, you prepare Burning Hands, Feather Fall, and two other things, and can cast 4 of them in any combination.

So you prepare the spells and can cast them all day long?? Okay I can go with that.


It sounds more like the Bard/Sorcerer magic system (albeit with preparation instead of innate casting ability). Depending on level, you can prepare X spells of level Y, and you can cast any combination of those spells up to Z times per day.
 
2012-09-18 01:06:57 PM
Did anyone ever have success with the Sha'ir from Al-Qadim? It always seemed like sending the gen to grab a spell took way too long.
 
2012-09-18 02:18:33 PM
Here's what needs to be released for D&D Next: A DM's Guide, a Player's Handbook, a Monster Manual, and one game setting book. That's it. Everything else should be released by third-party companies. Don't lock players in. If Hasbro/WOTC gets this right (which they won't) they could be releasing the best edition ever, one that will draw back lost players and expand the core group ... but inevitably they will screw it up.
 
2012-09-18 03:24:13 PM

fudgefactor7: Here's what needs to be released for D&D Next: A DM's Guide, a Player's Handbook, a Monster Manual, and one game setting book. That's it. Everything else should be released by third-party companies. Don't lock players in. If Hasbro/WOTC gets this right (which they won't) they could be releasing the best edition ever, one that will draw back lost players and expand the core group ... but inevitably they will screw it up.


I think it would be awesome for them to have an apple or amazon style "self-publish your adventure/content" store where they can take a small cut of the profits.
 
2012-09-18 03:50:01 PM

fudgefactor7: Here's what needs to be released for D&D Next: A DM's Guide, a Player's Handbook, a Monster Manual, and one game setting book. That's it. Everything else should be released by third-party companies. Don't lock players in. If Hasbro/WOTC gets this right (which they won't) they could be releasing the best edition ever, one that will draw back lost players and expand the core group ... but inevitably they will screw it up.


Another issue. I went to a talk with Ed Greenwood here in Toronto (he lives here so he always attends Fan Expo).

He said WOTC is owned by Hasboro. Hasboro wants a big box that Mom and Dad buy at Wal-Mart and place it under the Christmas tree. D&D isn't a game like that. I think what he was trying to get at is Hasboro doesn't really know what to do with D&D as a franchise. Hell, from stories it sounds like TSR didn't know what to do with it either.

It does sound like they want to bring old-school players back into the fold with PDFs of all the old content. Hell I might just buy a pdf of the first edition just to read it.
 
2012-09-18 05:27:11 PM

shortymac: The problem with table-top RPG is that it's up to the GM to really make it work. Like another poster said there is really no solution for it, finding a good GM is like finding a good husband or wife.


with games like dnd, yes, gms tend to have to tell the story, and players react/ participate. or, it is free form, but then the poor gm needs to have set pieces or really know all the rules, backwards and forwards, in order to keep play rolling. it doesn't demand much from the players if they don't want to engage deeply, which is a huge problem.

this is why I like Burning Wheel. you have to grapple with the horns as a player, and the role of the gm is to get the story out of emergent play, from the player characters. games that are more "narrativist" are different in the approach towards game theory, though not necessarily better for every kind of player.

sadly, Burning Wheel is fantasy and "notdnd", so it occupies a very small niche of a niche hobby.  at least Mouse Guard is fantastic.
 
2012-09-18 06:55:16 PM

anfrind: shortymac: Epicedion: shortymac: I hope they do that, I hate the vancian magic system. I also hope one of them is like fireball or magic missile or something like that.

Pathfinder is otherwise 3.5 (though they were nice enough to include some small damage cantrips).

Next seems to be modified Vancian (though magic missile is a cantrip) where you prepare X spells for the day, and can cast X spells, but they're not prepared on a one-for-one basis. So you don't prepare 3 Burning Hands and a Feather Fall, you prepare Burning Hands, Feather Fall, and two other things, and can cast 4 of them in any combination.

So you prepare the spells and can cast them all day long?? Okay I can go with that.

It sounds more like the Bard/Sorcerer magic system (albeit with preparation instead of innate casting ability). Depending on level, you can prepare X spells of level Y, and you can cast any combination of those spells up to Z times per day.


That's the one thing I thought Earthdawn did really well. The Spell Matrix. You cast your spell into it, and you can use it over and over. You have two matrices at level one, and gain more as you go. You can always cast a new spell into the matrix, but that takes time and energy.
 
2012-09-19 02:23:24 AM
Still have all my first edition material and everything inbetween...been going for 30+ years.

Playing a 4e campaign now.
You're right about the length of time to level up...and battles are just huge time killers.

We've reduced it a bit by only rolling "to hit" for each...but dmg for is the same for all hit...just is easier/quicker.
And We'll go through a few good battles to prove our worth...ask the DM to level up...time to move on.

Although I do like it for the lower levels ability to stay alive for spell casters.
and the character generation app and compendium are useful...a bit of dollars per month is actually cheaper
than trying to chase and buy all the books and mags...and a place to store it.

And we've gotten past the "make it your own" situation and being stuck by a house rule.
We allow power changes during rests...as if you were a wizard in previous editions.
This allows players to adjust for the environ, mix it up and work with what works...
And it doesn't unbalance the game...still same daily, encounter, utility limits...so you're still thinking how to conserve "sweat"

Oh yeah, Feats can be fully revamped for each level.
This also allow players to start focusing on the flavor of the char...not the powers.
Again, what works...not being stuck.

We're focused on having fun for that little time we have,
after getting multiple adults with full lives together.

Experimentation with balance is the key.
We've got some good characters with very complex backgrounds...powers re-inforce the background and vice versa.
The bad chars get written out...a different trial gets written in...see what works.

As we've gone on...we've incorporated more role-playing...even the battles and decisions within are based on chars personalities.

Rules are meant to be broken...with agreement between DM and all players...for what works.
 
2012-09-19 10:04:37 AM
My main issue with MERP was that sometime after level 3 your character was a disfigured maniac due to the critical damage tables.
 
2012-09-19 12:18:36 PM

rogue49: Still have all my first edition material and everything inbetween...been going for 30+ years.

Playing a 4e campaign now.
You're right about the length of time to level up...and battles are just huge time killers.

We've reduced it a bit by only rolling "to hit" for each...but dmg for is the same for all hit...just is easier/quicker.
And We'll go through a few good battles to prove our worth...ask the DM to level up...time to move on.

Although I do like it for the lower levels ability to stay alive for spell casters.
and the character generation app and compendium are useful...a bit of dollars per month is actually cheaper
than trying to chase and buy all the books and mags...and a place to store it.

And we've gotten past the "make it your own" situation and being stuck by a house rule.
We allow power changes during rests...as if you were a wizard in previous editions.
This allows players to adjust for the environ, mix it up and work with what works...
And it doesn't unbalance the game...still same daily, encounter, utility limits...so you're still thinking how to conserve "sweat"

Oh yeah, Feats can be fully revamped for each level.
This also allow players to start focusing on the flavor of the char...not the powers.
Again, what works...not being stuck.

We're focused on having fun for that little time we have,
after getting multiple adults with full lives together.

Experimentation with balance is the key.
We've got some good characters with very complex backgrounds...powers re-inforce the background and vice versa.
The bad chars get written out...a different trial gets written in...see what works.

As we've gone on...we've incorporated more role-playing...even the battles and decisions within are based on chars personalities.

Rules are meant to be broken...with agreement between DM and all players...for what works.


Being an oldhat D&Der, did it always take forever to level up? I think in my next campaign I'm going to have everyone start at level 10 in 4e just so I can experience those levels.

Maybe in the new version there should be a way to get to level 10 relatively quickly
 
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