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I have heard on this site over and over again that D&D is just a game and that reality should not factor into game mechanics. I agree with the first part, but it is the second that pisses me off. Without an element of reality, any table top gaming system is in the dark with a bunch of confused people staring around at each other.
Like it or not, reality is the only life experience anyone has anything to base anything else on. Take the following sample:
As you splortch afog the egenquack, you skik a brogen wiggersnat on the floberous guggle itchilating your zatch. What do you do?
No really, what do you do? Anyone? I will be very surprised if anyone without some form of mental disease would have any fucking idea whatsoever what to do. In the poe…
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Below are some recommended web links that I would definitely give a look over, as well as expansions:
What is Texture? by Rich Burlew is a great introduction on how to get away from cut and paste jigsaw puzzle adventures. When you take on the role of a GM, the entire rest of the party will be relying on you to tell them everything about where they are and what is happening. If all you describe is a 10 foot square room with two orcs guarding a chest, your player will almost invariably picture their own cut and paste, bland, featureless vision of what the scene looks like. Thus, give detail. Tell them about the stink of orc filth and mildew as they approach the room. Let them feel the cold brass of the door covered in orcish warnings to keep …Read more >
There are a variety of systems out there for role players that display a wide range of systems from the heavily detailed to the over simplified. Here is what I see as the pros and cons of D&D, if not D20 in general:
D&D operates on a skill level system that determines a maximum limit on a characters traits and a way to divide up special abilities to certain skill rankings. This makes character power increase suddenly and across the board, making more skilled characters stronger, more skilled, better in their capabilities, and more survivable than their lesser counterparts. This is a fun system for fantasy play and often has me thinking of the various Final Fantasies. But it can and does result in some retardedness that makes me queazy somet…
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Negotiation and diplomacy: only the most munchkiny, hack festival, break down the door, hardcore mercenaries of war groups have never had a use for it. And yet I think making it a skill and a die roll is a mistake, if not only for the following reasons:
First, the actual skill is flawed in it's write-up. Taking a look at the rolls and DCs, I can see a 10th level bard that never needs to enter combat simply by announcing he is using diplomacy and converting everyone he meets into friendly groupies waiting on his every word. There is no scaling DC, no contested roll of any sort, no will save, and yet it duplicates the effects of some of the games most useful spells. While this is not bad in and of itself, it becomes bad when one reaches the "…Read more >
I've said it once, and I'll say it one more time: if a strategy involves dice, it is not strategy. Here's why:
Rolling dice is random. Always. This introduces an element of chaos. People have tried to explain to me that chaos is bad for strategy and planning. I have never argued against this, and agree with it completely. No, the problem is when in the same breath they start mentioning how they flank to get die bonuses and blah blah blah. I honestly think that they had contracted amnesia at this point. Once you are in game die rolling, be it combat or shopping, you have sworn away any rights to choice in the outcome, throwing caution to the wind and letting fate and chance decide for you. This is really shitty strategy. Gaining bonuses only…Read more >