Results for tag: Game Design
Posted by: The_Jester on Feb 16, 2013 at 03:59:02 PM
With the design of 5th edition still underway, I wanted to rant a little about the ability (or rather the current inability) to add PC classes to monsters. Being able to make an orc into an orc fighter is pretty vital to my enjoyment of the game, mostly because making a classed creature equates with the DM’s ability to make NPC opponents.
This is a topic with some baggage, which needs to be discussed and acknowledged: past attempts have led to preconceived assumptions of what mixing classes and monsters means.
What Has Come Before
Almost no monsters had classes in the first couple editions. You had monsters and you had PCs and the rules were sketchy when you tried to make an encounter with say human fighters or an evil necromancer. You could add classes to some humanoid monsters,...
Posted by: The_Jester on Sep 22, 2011 at 07:08:45 AM
D&D came out in 1974. More or less. Which means in a little over two years the game will be 40 years old.
This means that someone who started playing with the first booklets at age 15 will qualify for senior discounts at many stores and restaurants, and – if they invested well – they’ll be eligible to retire. I’m nowhere near that age and got into D&D much later. My first introduction to the game was seeing older kids play, when I was still too young to even grasp the basics of the game!
However, I’m far from young. I’m married with a child and a well-paying career that required multiple years of schooling to even qualify for, but I’m still younger than D&D. In my lifetime, there have always been twenty-sided dice. Dungeon Masters have never not...
Posted by: The_Jester on Mar 3, 2011 at 05:32:19 PM
Indulge me, while I engage in some game mechanical fan-wanking.
I was never a big fan of the same-ish design of classes that initially came with 4e, where every class was a 3e sorcerer. Yes, I’m aware that class features can impact how a class plays, as rangers with identical powers will act completely different depending on if they use two-weapons or a bow, but that’s a corner case; most of the time how a character plays at the table depends entirely on their role and if they’re a close-range character or a long-range character. Everything else is nuance. And class features don’t change with level; a 1st level fighter has the same features as a 21st, yet plays differently.
With Essentials there’s the possibility for some fantastic creativity and diversity...
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 Apr 9, 2010 at 07:18:17 AM
I'm not a big fan of how 4e handles class powers. Now, I like the general idea of powers/spells for all classes and the overall execution is fine. And the entire system is a vast improvement over 3e where some classes had no real powers or options in combat beyond how much to power attack for this round and other classes had dozens of spells of varying levels and potency . And the system is much fun in play.
My first problem with powers was the lack of options in the initial book. There were two set builds for each class and a power and a half for each build. Most classes of the same build and race would look very much alike. But this was a very, very short term problem and now there are hundreds of powers to be mix-and-matched. A quick search in the Compendium reveals 340...
Posted by: The_Jester on Mar 13, 2010 at 02:52:49 PM
In my previous blog entry I discussed the whys of secondary skills (skills related to trades, professions, and hobbies). Today's blog is primarily on the hows. A few possible options with some discussion on their strengths as well as weaknesses.
A Mechanic for the Non-Mechanical
In the comments to yesterday's blog wrecan asked why a game element was needed for something other than combat. A fair question.
The overly simple answer is: because that's how the game works. Which, upon writing, seems a little more snide than intended. There are several factors that determine any success in D&D: raw talent, skill, experience, and luck. This is the same regardless of the presence or absence of combat. This applies to attacking (ability mod + proficiency+ 1/2 level + 1d20) or use of a skill (ability...
Posted by: The_Jester on Mar 12, 2010 at 03:44:15 PM
An old complaint that continues to dog 4th Edition is that is all about combat. While the game is as much or as little about combat as your DM wants to make it, the game is all about adventuring. A party could be dumped in the wilderness at first level and continually adventure for three tiers and the game would play just fine. But, if anyone ever stops to try and paint a picture or blacksmith a weapon or horseshoe and the game suddenly hits a wall.
The Older Professions
There were no skills in 1e. At all. Some were tacked-on in later expansions and splatbooks, but for the most part the PCs were assumed to not have useful skills beyond killing monsters. The exception being thieves who could climb walls. 2e cemented skills, adding the optional proficiency rules from the splatbooks into in...