Rule of Three - (2012 April 10th)

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Rule-of-Three (2012 April 10th)
by Rodney Thompson

You've got questions—we've got answers! Here's how it works—each week, our Community Manager will be scouring all available sources to find whatever questions you're asking. We'll pick three of them for R&D to answer.

Talk about this news here.

 
Completely uninteresting Rule of 3 (no new relevant information, except for saying that they won't do real-time-based measurement units). Did anyone really expect that hit points would be different? (Not that they shouldn't be different: I'd prefer a Vitality/Wounds system, but I never really imagined D&D would consider that, at least not for core).

Anyway, the best part of this week's Ro3 is still coming: HAIKU TIME! Where are you, wrecan?
Right here!

What's Next in crafting?
No idea.  Need to balance
Adventure with cash.

What's Next in hit points?
Nothing.  Hit points work just fine.
Don't fix what ain't broke.

What's Next in timespans?
Abstract time's probably out.
Keepin' it real, yo!
Part 3 is probably correct about the disadvantages of linking hit point and ability recovery to real word events like "once per game session". On the other hand that doesn't eliminate the option of linking recovery to story or adventure based events, such as "once per encounter", "once per milestone" or "once per adventure". Personally, at least in the case of an adventure based campaign, I think recovery based on story driven events is superior to basing recovery on in-game time units such as "once per eight hours" or "once per 24 hours", etc. Under that sort of system players are able to take the appropriate type of recovery based on where they currently are in the adventure, sacrificing a minimal amount of freedom in resting for greater predictability in terms of pacing and adventure balance and construction. Of course under that sort of system DMs would still always have the option to allow for more extended rests as appropriate if the players make a reasonable argument for why it should be possible, so such a system doesn't totally eliminate voluntary resting as an alternative. It simply mitigates issues such as the one-encounter-adventuring day in a campaign designed around multiple encounters per day on average.

Anyway there's lots of other threads on this sort of topic. I mainly just wanted to clarify that not having real world event timing doesn't preclude the possibility adventure-based timing. Also note that it's quite possible to have more than one rules module to handle recovery, with one having "per day" and "per hour" and another having "per encounter" and "per adventure", etc. Overall having a few different modules for recovery for different campaign styles might be the best way to go given that different groups have different preferences when it comes to resting.
I like how the answer re: hit points is "we're not going to change anything," despite the fact that there's a pretty significant difference between 4th Edition HP and pre-4th HP. The amount you get in 4E is tied to a very specific set of game mechanics not shared by previous editions, so one way or another they are going to change how HP are handled.
I like how the answer re: hit points is "we're not going to change anything," despite the fact that there's a pretty significant difference between 4th Edition HP and pre-4th HP. The amount you get in 4E is tied to a very specific set of game mechanics not shared by previous editions, so one way or another they are going to change how HP are handled.


The numbers, proportions, and amounts of hitpoints changing doesn't mean that what hitpoints mean is changing.  That's what his point was.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I like how the answer re: hit points is "we're not going to change anything," despite the fact that there's a pretty significant difference between 4th Edition HP and pre-4th HP. The amount you get in 4E is tied to a very specific set of game mechanics not shared by previous editions, so one way or another they are going to change how HP are handled.


The numbers, proportions, and amounts of hitpoints changing doesn't mean that what hitpoints mean is changing.  That's what his point was.


Which is fine, except that the article also says they may "tinker with the amount or acquisition of hit points," and that is necessarily going to involve underlying mechanics. Basically, it's a non-answer all around.
Wait.

They said they aren't changing the general concept of hitpoints, but they might change the specific numbers and mechanics.  How is that a non-answer?

You do realize they haven't written the game yet, right?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
To be honest I'm actually more curious about their plans for HP recovery than I am for the raw numbers of HP that you'd get. 4th did something kind of intriguing with the healing surge idea, it might not have been perfect but I liked the idea of healing surges representing how much 'rebuilding' your body could handle, that maybe using healing effects taxed the body so there were finite limites on how often it could be used. And using certain monsters that could drain healing surges actually seemed a lot better than level drain, at least in that games context. If they add in some kind of regen system that could be cool too but the recovery method is probably going to do a lot with class interaction. Are all classes going to have some means of self recovery with a few classes being able to help others? The healer archetype is almost intextricably linked to the HP system and that makes me wonder what their system will look like since it will probably have to be developed in tandem with the healing classes.
The real innovation of the healing surge mechanic is that it added another timescale for durability.  There's the encounter timescale, where if you take more damage than you can heal your character dies due to acute, short-timescale wounds.  What healing surges did is also add the daily timescale, where the gradual wearing down of your character leads to death over a much longer period.

This allowed a truly large disparity in long-timescale durability between classes, such as between a Warden and a Wizard.  A Warden could very well have over twice the healing surges and be much more efficient at using them.  This leads to an enormous difference in how much punishment the Warden can take over the course of a day, but the gap between how much damage the Warden can take during a fight is much smaller, so that encounter balancing and design are easier.  Furthermore, it is the healing surge mechanic that is the true representative of a defender's durability - damage taken on a wizard costs the party more resources to heal than the same amount of damage on the warden.  As far as the monsters are concerned, if they're really thinking strategically, avoiding the -2 penalty for the mark isn't really the biggest reason not to attack the warden.  It's that it just won't actually hurt that much.

I'd definitely like to see some sort of representation of these concepts that allow defenders to really be tougher in a meaningful way, rather than simply being a wall of nigh-impenetrable defenses that can be easily ignored.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
The real innovation of the healing surge mechanic is that it added another timescale for durability.  There's the encounter timescale, where if you take more damage than you can heal your character dies due to acute, short-timescale wounds.  What healing surges did is also add the daily timescale, where the gradual wearing down of your character leads to death over a much longer period.



I'm being purely pedantic here.


The timescale that surges added was the encounter timescale.  D&D has always had a daily timescale for hit points; the healing surge mechanic added an encounter limit, that lmiit being the number of healing surges you could get to spend in an encounter.  (Some daily powers blurred the lines somewhat, but most ways to spend a surge are encounter-based.)
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
crafting should be exponential, in multiple competing areas, rather than some subpar 1d6 alchemical explosion, some crappy +1 to hit but +0 to damage sword, or some lame healing salve that yields 1d3 damage over 24 hours of rest.

Here are the exponential variables:
Size - a castle is exponentially more challenging than a brick.
Material - crafting something out of exotic ironwoods, gemstones, or adamantium.
Complexity - clockwork is exponentially harder than book ends. Even armor is complex.
Servants - more employees allows you to micromanage even the pyramids.
Time - there are 6 seconds in a round, but 31,536,000 seconds in a year. Use them.
Evolution - making rocks is exponentially easier than Alice (the psionicist from Resident Evil 2).

Somewhere in the middle you have Teamwork, High Stats, and Skill levels opposing specific functions, like the question game, is it a weapon, a building, armor, a vehicle? Does it effect living things, etc.

Damage values should be proportionate to the types of monsters they might be able to kill, regardless of presumptions about Balance. If you drop a 20,000 pound boulder on a giant's head from a cliff as an engineering spectacle, your damage should be a sufficient kill, probably something like 10d20 with a "critical" for double damage by 4e standards - none of that "you have +23 in your skill, which rounds down to 20, divided by 5 is a max of 4d6 damage" nonsense.
Options are Liberating
As far as crafting goes, and skills in general, I wouldn't mind if they took the Iron Heroes route.  Have all the skills from 3.5, but allow skill groups.  Each class would have certain sets of skills grouped together where spending one skill point to the group icreases all the skills in the group by one.  Individual skills not grouped for that class are bought at a normal 1/1 ratio.  None of that 1/2 point crap.

Also, Iron Heroes had a great thing going with many of its feats that I wouldn't mind seeing implemented into this next edition.  Many feats had multiple levels you could buy into, making the abilities of that feat stronger over time.  Really a great system overall.
Is it just me, or does this weeks Rule of Three seem to be a placeholder?

There doesnt seem to be a great deal of info or anything new we haven't heard before.

Hopefully next week is more informative.
"If it's not a conjuration, how did the wizard con·jure/ˈkänjər/Verb 1. Make (something) appear unexpectedly or seemingly from nowhere as if by magic. it?" -anon "Why don't you read fire·ball / fī(-ə)r-ˌbȯl/ and see if you can find the key word con.jure /'kən-ˈju̇r/ anywhere in it." -Maxperson
Both the Rule of Three and the Legends and Lore column were pretty light. It's probably because they had the Pax East to go to, so didn't have as much time to prepare.
"I don't want to fight dragons." - Hiccup If dragons are to be invovled, I much prefer to play as a dragon, dragon rider, dragonslayer-slayer, dragonfriend, or anything else *but* a dragonslayer.
I'm fairly pleased with what was said about #1.
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
Knights of W.T.F.- Silver Spur Winner
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