Results for tag: Role-playing game design
Posted by: hartlage on Mar 25, 2013 at 06:05:52 AM
In my post Immersive vs. gamey in D&D Next, I mocked action points as a metagame resource that forces players out of character. “Perhaps action points are like that surge of energy that brings Rocky off the mat at the end of the final movie bout. Why does Rocky only get that surge in the final fight? He always saves his action point until the end. (You can see the scene where Paulie coaches Rocky to save his action point in the director’s cut.)”
Based on the post, you might suppose that I categorically hate action points. Not so. Although I dislike gamey resources in a game focused on role playing, I don’t draw such a hard line that I find something as innocuous as action points terribly upsetting. Sure, you cannot manage your character’s action points...
Posted by: hartlage on Jan 15, 2013 at 01:44:11 PM
In my last two posts, starting with Spells that can ruin adventures, I discussed the various spells with the potential to spoil Dungeons & Dragons adventures, turning hours of fun into a quick ambush. You may say, “Why worry? Just rule that these spells don't exist in your campaign.” Clearly, you have enough foresight to carefully examine the spell lists, establishing a list of dangerous spells and magic items that might ruin your campaign plans. Of course, you could also rule that Zone of Truth doesn't exist in your game the minute it becomes a problem. But your players will hate that.
The D&D system's spells and magic contribute to an implied setting that most D&D players and DMs share. As a DM, you can ban spells, but that offers no help for authors of adventures...
Posted by: hartlage on Dec 4, 2012 at 01:23:39 PM
When Dungeons & Dragons fourth edition came out, I found a lot to like, and one thing I hated: the skill challenge mechanic—not the underlying idea of giving non-combat activities center stage, but the rules framework of the original skill challenge. As originally presented, the skill challenge seemed like an element from a story game awkwardly forced into D&D. I'm not saying that story game elements are wrong for another game, but they do not fit with the D&D game that I want to play.
Other fourth edition players may not have shared my dislike for the original skill challenge, but the mechanic certainly puzzled them. Less then three months after the 4E release, Mike Mearls began his Ruling Skill Challenges column. He writes, “In many ways, the R&D department at Wizards...