Results for tag: 3e
Posted by: The_Jester on Jun 17, 2010 at 10:31:27 AM
It's that lovely time of year when book catalogues come-out and new WotC books are popping-up on Amazon, just a few months before they're announced at GenCon.
Player's Option: Heroes of Shadow
Mike Mearls and Robert J. Schwalb
The Shadowfell is a cold place through which the spirits of the dead must pass on their way to...whatever. Dark, evil things live there, suffused with the power of shadow.. Some mortals in the natural world learn how to tap into this source. Assassins. Necromancers. Hexblades. By all accounts, a ruthless lot. However, not all beings that draw strength from the Shadowfell are vile, blackhearted fiends. A few even dare to call...
Posted by: Goken100 on Jun 12, 2010 at 09:55:32 AM
What makes us excited about role playing? At some level, we are swept up in the story. If not, we'd be happy playing chess. No, we love to get excited about all the cool stuff that our characters can do, and the stuff they can get. We love the places we can go and the feats we can accomplish. Why does all of that stuff seem so cool? Because of the stories!
The movies, books, and childhood stories drive our imagination to want to take part in all of that cool stuff. It's a shame that so many are content to run characters that have so little in the way of story to them. A hero that doesn't have a good story isn't much of a hero at all. Those heroes are DOIN IT WRONG.
See, if you are a fan of modern fantasy fiction such as Lord of the Rings (the prototype) and Star Wars,...
Posted by: The_Jester on Jun 11, 2010 at 11:44:35 AM
The idea from this blog came from a Podcast (the Power Source, specifically Ryven Cedrylle's ending segments) and a forum topic. Yes, I'm terribly unoriginal. But I'm one blog post away from the big 1-5-0 so I think I've earned some slacking on topic creation
Today's blog is about rewarding excellence, specifically role-playing. When someone goes above and beyond through role-playing and makes the game more enjoyable for the group, or does something very much in character even if it negatively impacts them.
Its Own Reward
First, let's start-off with the initial counterargument. If everyone is having more fun, is a reward needed? No, probably not. But, if everyone is having fun because someone is spouting a dead-on recital of a Monthy Python skit it's not technically enriching the game....
Posted by: Goken100 on Jun 9, 2010 at 11:47:59 AM
Before anyone gets mad, let me also add that you're doing it right as well. I've often heard something along the lines of, "as long as you're having fun there's nothing wrong with the way you play your RPG." Nonsense, I say. If you're having fun, that just means you're doing SOMETHING right. There is always room for improvement... or in other words, you're doing it wrong.
If there's one thing I learned from 7 years of college classes about economics it is that we know a lot of ways to screw an economy up. To keep things humming along without any trouble... we're still trying to figure that one out. But the noble calling of the economist is to figure out what went wrong, write it down on a post-it note or something and try to remember not to do it again. Yet despite all of...
Posted by: The_Jester on Jun 8, 2010 at 10:00:06 PM
I've talked about alignment a couple times before: first here then here but I thought it warranted some extra attention given the current fervour over on the forums here and here. This is not exactly breaking new ground on the subject, but I plan my blogs a few weeks in advances, and this was the first opportunity that fit.
So let's return to that wonderful world of three weeks ago and discuss alignment.
Unaligned: The New Chaotic Neutral
In earlier editions, Chaotic Neutral was the go-to alignment of players that wanted to run evil characters but whose DMs would not let them. CN meant they didn't have to be good or noble or even remotely trustworthy, being random in their actions. There was some measure of control, as CN characters still couldn't perform evil acts because they were...
Posted by: The_Jester on Jun 6, 2010 at 09:21:56 AM
In earlier editions of D&D, monsters would often run away. It makes sense, let's face it: PCs are a scary bunch. Running away was handled mechanically; every monster had a statistic determining if the monster was cowardly or brave or even fearless. This was "morale". When a monster failed their morale check they disengaged from the fight and fled, leaving the surviving PCs to claim victory.
Morale has been removed from the game. Actually, it was removed some time ago. Should it see a return?
Morale was a leftover from the miniature wargames of yore. The morale of troops is a key component of large-scale battles, and many important military victories resulted from a demoralized enemy. It makes sense that when converting Chaimail into Dungeons & Dragons that this element was retained....
Posted by: The_Jester on Jun 2, 2010 at 12:22:31 PM
The worlds of Dungeons & Dragons have very few similarities with the worlds of Star Trek save one: everyone always speaks English. In D&D most people you meet have English crossed-out and Common written in its place. Even in the height of Gygaxian realism and the push for a consistent, realistic, and living world there was always Common: a mythical universal language, like Esperanto or interlac.
Yes, today's blog is all about languages, language rules, and D&D.
It's a simple enough idea. If you have dozens of disparate races and cultures intermingling and talking languages with no similarities or overlapping origins it makes sense you'd want a single language to be accepted as the standard second language. The fantasy equivalent of Esperanto. And yet, aside from that recent example,...
Posted by: The_Jester on May 31, 2010 at 12:28:08 PM
This blog returns to the issue of the Game System Licence and the Fan Site Policy of WotC, first discussed here. Recent developments, or the lack thereof, have compelled me to return to the subject.
You can access the relevant documents here.
Third Edition D&D had a revolutionary approach to its base system. It put all the basic rules online for free for easy reference and use. It also opened-up the game and copyrighted terms, so anyone could make D&D material. This was the Open Game Licence.
This was big for two reasons. First, it allowed small publishers (third party publishers) to make and produce content such as adventures and campaign settings and accessories. This was part of WotC's strategy, as campaign worlds and adventures did not sell as well as other products. Secondly,...
Posted by: The_Jester on May 27, 2010 at 10:11:50 AM
The PCs in my current 4e homegame are rapidly nearing the end of the heroic tier. As part of the evolving campaign story they're venturing into the Underdark. The Underdark, despite what the book of the same name tries to do, is really set-up for Paragon-tier characters. The iconic monsters are all over level 10 – even ones like the drow that can also be a player race and thus encountered at all tiers of play.
The Underdark is portrayed both mechanically and story-wise as an inhospitable place that is a dangerous environment to live in, let alone adventure throughout.
And yet the book tells me the players should encounter no problems coping with the setting.
Reality Versus Fun
The issue starts with the sidebar on page 11 of Underdark, which is emblematic of the attitude of 4e. The sidebar...
Posted by: The_Jester on May 7, 2010 at 02:57:57 PM
When Star Wars Saga came out it had changed the saving throws of 3e (Fortitude, Reflex, and Will) into static defences, but also removed Amour Class. Instead, melee attacks defaulted to targeting Reflex, which makes a kind of sense: you can avoid an attack through agility, armour, or both.
But then 4e came along and Armour Class was back in the game.
Let's talk about that.
Armour Class has always been one of the funkier mechanics of D&D, making the most sense in 3e. In 1e and 2e it went down instead of up, with AC being better the lower it was. This lovely bit of contrary logic always made my head hurt, and how it was retained well into Second Edition always emphasised how small the changes of that edition were.
Saving Throws were also strange oddities, with different numerical...
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