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Boo, boo

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  • Dylan Craig
    Boo, boo, D&D bashing to make Dragon Warriors seem better. Why give in to the urge, Nim? D&D is such an easy target. And if DW is as good as we all feel it to
    Message 1 of 17 , Apr 1, 2007
      Boo, boo, D&D bashing to make Dragon Warriors seem better. Why give in to
      the urge, Nim? D&D is such an easy target. And if DW is as good as we all
      feel it to be, we shouldn't need such comparisons to give us a bit of Dutch
      Courage.

      - if the difference between devils, demons and undead has become ho-hum to
      the players, it's no fault of the system; it's repetitive and uninspiring
      DMing that did the trick. There's very little in DW that intrinsically
      hedges this -player- learning off: or are your PCs still fighting Fungus Men
      hand-to-hand and standing still while Wraiths build up their scream?
      - DW has no tables to memorize, eh? OK, what's the fall damage from 20'?
      Range of a javelin? Availability of rope in a village? Speed of a thrown
      chair?
      - 'Everyone accepts magic!' Well, that's the case in DW as well as D&D.
      Peasants see the supernatural EVERYWHERE, from placating fairies with
      saucers of milk to blaming goblins for cows going dry. Monasteries won't
      shelter sorcerers. With the MP system, DW sorcerers are (in fact) flashier
      than their D&D equivalents almost immediately. Sleep/Magic Missile versus
      Dragonbreath - which thumbs its nose at consensual reality harder? Etc.,
      etc. If your point is that magic is rarer in DW, at least in the human
      panoply, then again that's a matter of style.
      - Ah yes, the deep sociological insights into the tax system in Book 2.
      'Beorn will retax the peasants if Harald's saddlebags arent found!' Well,
      I'm off to write a PhD in medieval taxation now.
      - What the hell was that +1 shortsword doing inside the Living Statue
      anyway?

      Luckily, there's one thing in your post that I agree with totally, well two
      anyway, and that is that portable rulebooks rock and Leo Hartas could take
      Whatsisname Elmore anyday.

      Dylan

      --
      'O, the sun to me is dark / and silent as the moon'
      Dylan Craig � American University � Washington, D.C.

      _________________________________________________________________
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    • kharille
      ... give in to ... we all ... of Dutch ... Heh, I love nothing better than bashing WFRP which has little reflection of actual combat. The idea that anybody
      Message 2 of 17 , Apr 1, 2007
        --- In dragwars@yahoogroups.com, "Dylan Craig" <wytchfynder@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Boo, boo, D&D bashing to make Dragon Warriors seem better. Why
        give in to
        > the urge, Nim? D&D is such an easy target. And if DW is as good as
        we all
        > feel it to be, we shouldn't need such comparisons to give us a bit
        of Dutch
        > Courage.

        Heh, I love nothing better than bashing WFRP which has little
        reflection of actual combat. The idea that anybody has a
        standard 'ducking and weaving' technique that means that experienced
        warriors have about 30/100 chance of hitting the guy is a joke.
        That and also the irritating combat results translation. I like the
        initiative rules for WFRP but its still blood cumbersome.

        >
        > - if the difference between devils, demons and undead has become
        ho-hum to
        > the players, it's no fault of the system; it's repetitive and
        uninspiring
        > DMing that did the trick. There's very little in DW that
        intrinsically
        > hedges this -player- learning off: or are your PCs still fighting
        Fungus Men
        > hand-to-hand and standing still while Wraiths build up their
        scream?

        I really think that gamesmasters should spend more time creating
        cultural differences within a race. Rather than have, say a
        halfling nation parked next to a minotaur nation like some amateur
        DM I used to know I'd create orc tribes next to each other.

        Really, the world Dave made is great but I find it too restrictive
        since my knowledge of medieval europe is limited. I prefer creating
        cultures from scratch.


        With the MP system, DW sorcerers are (in fact) flashier
        > than their D&D equivalents almost immediately. Sleep/Magic Missile
        versus
        > Dragonbreath - which thumbs its nose at consensual reality harder?
        Etc.,
        > etc. If your point is that magic is rarer in DW, at least in the
        human
        > panoply, then again that's a matter of style.


        Aside from the topic, I think the idea of spell components to be a
        very, very utterly repulsive and troublesome magic system which I
        hate whether that is wfrp or dn'd. Seriously, all that study and
        crap and you can't cast a spell because you don't have that bloody
        dragon's heart or bat dung or whatever. It totally makes a prison
        break a joke. I always thought thieves and wizards would be the
        best for prison breaks because of their skills. DW has the ideal
        wizards, ideal for escaping the likes of tobias de vantery and all
        the other witchhunters.

        > - Ah yes, the deep sociological insights into the tax system in
        Book 2.
        > 'Beorn will retax the peasants if Harald's saddlebags arent
        found!' Well,
        > I'm off to write a PhD in medieval taxation now.
        > - What the hell was that +1 shortsword doing inside the Living
        Statue
        > anyway?
        >

        DW sure had a good input of the medieval world. I like the section
        on justice even though it would be impractical to apply it. I can't
        see myself breaking from my intended storyline for a few bad 'legal'
        rolls.


        But heh, what the hell was King Vallander doing out there in some
        elven infested woodland?


        > Luckily, there's one thing in your post that I agree with totally,
        well two
        > anyway, and that is that portable rulebooks rock


        Hey, can we try something for DW2? How about plastic pages? Surely
        its possible? Rip resistant, coffee resistant, un-biodegradable
        pages?
      • Nim
        Simple facts, I prefer Dragon Warriors to D&D. I however am in a minority. There are loads of fans of D&D across the world and while there are lots of Dragon
        Message 3 of 17 , Apr 1, 2007
          Simple facts, I prefer Dragon Warriors to D&D. I however am in a
          minority. There are loads of fans of D&D across the world and while
          there are lots of Dragon Warrior fans, we are outnumbered by a huge
          amount.

          So while I prefer Dragon Warriors, I am fully aware that I am in a very
          very small minority as most role players love D&D.

          No offence intended when I went D&D bashing.
        • Tom Cusworth
          I prefer to think of it as an exclusive club... -Tom ... -- Blessed are the cheapskates, for they shall see god and still have change of a fiver - Tom Holt,
          Message 4 of 17 , Apr 1, 2007
            I prefer to think of it as an exclusive club...
             
            -Tom

             
            On 01/04/07, Nim <NdeSilva@...> wrote:

            Simple facts, I prefer Dragon Warriors to D&D. I however am in a
            minority. There are loads of fans of D&D across the world and while
            there are lots of Dragon Warrior fans, we are outnumbered by a huge
            amount.

            So while I prefer Dragon Warriors, I am fully aware that I am in a very
            very small minority as most role players love D&D.

            No offence intended when I went D&D bashing.




            --
            Blessed are the cheapskates, for they shall see god and still have change of a fiver - Tom Holt, Valhalla.

            Want Googlemail? Ask me & I'll invite you!
          • Peter Lee
            ... Most roleplayers have never heard of DW. ... None taken by most, I m sure... the last time I checked, this was a DW forum. Send instant messages to your
            Message 5 of 17 , Apr 1, 2007
              --- Nim <NdeSilva@...> wrote:
              > So while I prefer Dragon Warriors, I am fully aware
              > that I am in a very
              > very small minority as most role players love D&D.

              Most roleplayers have never heard of DW.

              >
              > No offence intended when I went D&D bashing.

              None taken by most, I'm sure... the last time I
              checked, this was a DW forum.

              Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com
            • rumtap@aol.com
              I don t think you did enough D&D bashing. Comparing the handful of tables in DW to the table after table in the book after book after book of D&D is a very
              Message 6 of 17 , Apr 2, 2007
                I don't think you did enough D&D bashing.
                 
                Comparing the handful of tables in DW to the table after table in the book after book after book of D&D is a very poor argument.
                 
                DW may not have taken off in the face of an already well established fan base (perhaps cause D&D players and already spent so much money on their books they couldn't afford to give it up) but for me it was and still is a far better system.
                 
                 
                -----Original Message-----
                From: NdeSilva@...
                To: dragwars@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Sun, 1 Apr 2007 11:38 PM
                Subject: [dragwars] Re: Boo, boo

                Simple facts, I prefer Dragon Warriors to D&D. I however am in a
                minority. There are loads of fans of D&D across the world and while
                there are lots of Dragon Warrior fans, we are outnumbered by a huge
                amount.

                So while I prefer Dragon Warriors, I am fully aware that I am in a very
                very small minority as most role players love D&D.

                No offence intended when I went D&D bashing.


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              • kharille
                For me, the honour of viewing my dw collection was a rare privilege for my players. Most of the time I would tell my players of the legendary set of DW books
                Message 7 of 17 , Apr 2, 2007
                  For me, the honour of viewing my dw collection was a rare privilege
                  for my players. Most of the time I would tell my players of the
                  legendary set of DW books which has greater appeal than a copy of
                  Mayfair. And I'm not commenting about the artwork.

                  I just think the system is perfect. Realistic, maybe lacking the
                  legendary swordsmanship that would come out of a scene or Sanjuro.
                  I really like the idea that a knight could cut through 15 'armed
                  civilians' readily whilst keeping them trapped in a barn. It would
                  be hard to implement that in DW of course. But DW does reflect
                  other things. I think the EVASION could've been applied to the
                  fleeing rules rather than permitting a 'free hit'. So easily
                  applied.


                  I may have mentioned it before, but the closest system to DW I
                  played was Palladium Fantasy (Revised). Not perfect, but it had its
                  good points. The world that Siembieda created wasn't very good
                  though, built from scratch but heavily dependent on 'world guides'.
                  Just a moneymaking idea.

                  You think one of Dave's main problems is that he ain't no
                  bloodsucking pennygrabbing tightfisted twit who counts his coppers
                  over and over again?







                  Or is he?
                • The Grey Man
                  I much prefer DW to D+D. I G.M d DW + played D+D, but I just found DW much more interesting & easy to play. The rules just seemed more intuitive & easy to
                  Message 8 of 17 , Apr 2, 2007
                    I much prefer DW to D+D. I G.M'd DW + played D+D, but I just found DW much more interesting & easy to play. The rules just seemed more intuitive & easy to remember. And U could get by if you wanted with just the two books, rather than half a library & various screens.
                    Also in combat just rolling 1D20 to work out hitting & armour bypass seemed boring in comparison with attack vs defence, armour bypass & shield defence roll


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                  • Gary Johnson
                    Hi, all. With regard to D&D bashing , I m wondering how many people are talking about D&D as they knew it back in the 1980s/1990s, and D&D as it is now, in
                    Message 9 of 17 , Apr 2, 2007
                      Hi, all. With regard to "D&D bashing", I'm wondering how many people are
                      talking about D&D as they knew it back in the 1980s/1990s, and D&D as it is
                      now, in 3rd edition. All this talk about memorising tables makes me think
                      that people are remembering 1st edition AD&D, as opposed to looking at what
                      D&D is like now. In many ways, 3rd edition D&D and DW seem to have very
                      similar basic mechanics - for example,

                      * both systems have attack
                      * both have defence (in D&D, it's your bonus to AC)
                      * both have direct attack spells (in D&D, they don't require a touch attack
                      but usually allow a saving throw)
                      * both have indirect attack spells (in D&D, they do require a touch attack
                      but usually don't allow a saving throw)
                      * both have levels of magical power, so spellcasters have noticable
                      increases in versatility as they gain levels (this affects how you translate
                      the game mechanics into the game world)
                      * both have a bypass defences mechanic (in D&D, it's Damage Reduction, which
                      means a high damage attack may still do some damage past DR - like how AF in
                      DW reduces damage from some spells without eliminating all damage)

                      The principal difference is that DW is an older style "roll less than your
                      value minus their value, which are separated by the right amount to match
                      the average of the dice roll", while 3rd edition D&D is "roll and add your
                      value, and if the total is more than the 10 [the average of the dice roll]
                      plus their value, you hit". I've previously posted about how much easier it
                      is to have a system that uses addition in the game resolution mechanic
                      (quick summary - some people can add and subtract equally well, but some
                      people add better than they subtract, so making everyone use subtraction
                      slows gameplay down for some people), and to have a system which only uses
                      one mechanic (which D&D does but DW doesn't).

                      I aso think it's misleading to claim DW is better than D&D because of the
                      game setting. I've run games in Legend using modified D&D as the game
                      system, and they ran better than when I've used DW, because D&D is more
                      flexible in character design (so players didn't feel as constrained by the
                      limited range of archetypes), has a simpler core mechanic (roll a d20, add
                      your modifier, and try to get a high number), and has more consistent game
                      mechanics (which means it's more predictable, so players learn it faster and
                      can apply what they've learned from one part of the system to another part
                      of the system without the GM having to interpret and apply the rules for
                      them). DW has a great world setting, and it's full of interesting background
                      detail - but claiming DW is better than D&D because the rulebooks come with
                      a great world setting is comparing apples and oranges, because the core D&D
                      rules don't try to provide a game world setting. IMO, it's fairer to
                      separate the two components and compare

                      * Legend with a D&D game world setting, like Greyhawk or Forgotten Realms,
                      and
                      * the DW rules with the D&D rules.

                      I'd pick Legend and the D&D rules as better, but YMMV.

                      Cheers,

                      Gary Johnson
                      --
                      Home Page: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg
                      X-Men Campaign Resources: http://members.optusnet.com.au/xmen_campaign
                      Fantasy Campaign Setting: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg/selentia.htm
                      Perrenland Webmaster: http://perrenland.rpga-apac.com
                    • Wayne Imlach
                      You could modify the DW rules making them additive with only some very simple fudging: Add 10 to all Defence Scores. Deduct 10 from all Attack Scores. To hit
                      Message 10 of 17 , Apr 2, 2007
                        You could modify the DW rules making them additive with only some very simple fudging:
                         
                        Add 10 to all Defence Scores.
                        Deduct 10 from all Attack Scores.
                         
                        To hit an opponent Roll D20 and add your attack score - of you score greater than your opponents defence, you have hit.
                        If you Roll a 20 it's a critical hit. This should give exactly the same probabilies as the usual Attack - Defence rules.
                         
                        Seem familiar? :)
                         
                         
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        Sent: Monday, April 02, 2007 10:08 PM
                        Subject: Re: [dragwars] Re: Boo, boo

                        Hi, all. With regard to "D&D bashing", I'm wondering how many people are
                        talking about D&D as they knew it back in the 1980s/1990s, and D&D as it is
                        now, in 3rd edition. All this talk about memorising tables makes me think
                        that people are remembering 1st edition AD&D, as opposed to looking at what
                        D&D is like now. In many ways, 3rd edition D&D and DW seem to have very
                        similar basic mechanics - for example,

                        * both systems have attack
                        * both have defence (in D&D, it's your bonus to AC)
                        * both have direct attack spells (in D&D, they don't require a touch attack
                        but usually allow a saving throw)
                        * both have indirect attack spells (in D&D, they do require a touch attack
                        but usually don't allow a saving throw)
                        * both have levels of magical power, so spellcasters have noticable
                        increases in versatility as they gain levels (this affects how you translate
                        the game mechanics into the game world)
                        * both have a bypass defences mechanic (in D&D, it's Damage Reduction, which
                        means a high damage attack may still do some damage past DR - like how AF in
                        DW reduces damage from some spells without eliminating all damage)

                        The principal difference is that DW is an older style "roll less than your
                        value minus their value, which are separated by the right amount to match
                        the average of the dice roll", while 3rd edition D&D is "roll and add your
                        value, and if the total is more than the 10 [the average of the dice roll]
                        plus their value, you hit". I've previously posted about how much easier it
                        is to have a system that uses addition in the game resolution mechanic
                        (quick summary - some people can add and subtract equally well, but some
                        people add better than they subtract, so making everyone use subtraction
                        slows gameplay down for some people), and to have a system which only uses
                        one mechanic (which D&D does but DW doesn't).

                        I aso think it's misleading to claim DW is better than D&D because of the
                        game setting. I've run games in Legend using modified D&D as the game
                        system, and they ran better than when I've used DW, because D&D is more
                        flexible in character design (so players didn't feel as constrained by the
                        limited range of archetypes), has a simpler core mechanic (roll a d20, add
                        your modifier, and try to get a high number), and has more consistent game
                        mechanics (which means it's more predictable, so players learn it faster and
                        can apply what they've learned from one part of the system to another part
                        of the system without the GM having to interpret and apply the rules for
                        them). DW has a great world setting, and it's full of interesting background
                        detail - but claiming DW is better than D&D because the rulebooks come with
                        a great world setting is comparing apples and oranges, because the core D&D
                        rules don't try to provide a game world setting. IMO, it's fairer to
                        separate the two components and compare

                        * Legend with a D&D game world setting, like Greyhawk or Forgotten Realms,
                        and
                        * the DW rules with the D&D rules.

                        I'd pick Legend and the D&D rules as better, but YMMV.

                        Cheers,

                        Gary Johnson
                        --
                        Home Page: http://www.uq. net.au/~zzjohnsg
                        X-Men Campaign Resources: http://members. optusnet. com.au/xmen_ campaign
                        Fantasy Campaign Setting: http://www.uq. net.au/~zzjohnsg /selentia. htm
                        Perrenland Webmaster: http://perrenland. rpga-apac. com

                      • Shaun Hately
                        ... I certainly agree that 3 and 3.5 D&D have a much more consistent rule set than earlier editions, with less need for consultation of tables, and I would
                        Message 11 of 17 , Apr 2, 2007
                          On 3 Apr 2007 at 7:08, Gary Johnson wrote:

                          > Hi, all. With regard to "D&D bashing", I'm wondering how many people
                          > are
                          > talking about D&D as they knew it back in the 1980s/1990s, and D&D
                          > as it is
                          > now, in 3rd edition. All this talk about memorising tables makes me
                          > think
                          > that people are remembering 1st edition AD&D, as opposed to looking
                          > at what
                          > D&D is like now. In many ways, 3rd edition D&D and DW seem to have
                          > very
                          > similar basic mechanics - for example,

                          I certainly agree that 3 and 3.5 D&D have a much more consistent rule set than earlier
                          editions, with less need for consultation of tables, and I would agree that a lot of the changes
                          you mention have made aspects of it increasingly similar to the DW model. I regularly play
                          and run D&D and I don't mind it as a system.

                          But personally my problem with D&D is the overload of add on materials, coupled with the
                          attitudes of many of its players. Neither of these things really matters to a particular
                          campaign. I have mature experienced players, who don't go overboard and who are
                          reasonable people. But it often seems that we're a minority among D&D players.

                          A lot depends on what you want in a game. Personally I prefer a fairly generic fantasy world
                          and Legend fits the bill for me - it doesn't "break" any of the major rules of generic fantasy -
                          you still have elves, dwarves, halflings, goblins, chivalrous knights - all the stereotypes. But it
                          also adds a little more. Basic D&D - the core rulebooks do this, so you can run a D&D game
                          like this - and I do - but there's so many D&D players that really seem to think this is the
                          wrong way to play the game, and they wind up creating a game that is a massive hodge
                          podge of ideas from different places. I don't think there's anything wrong with that for an
                          individual game - there's no wrong way to play - but when it seems to have become a
                          dominant, if not the dominant form of D&D I see people playing and talking about, it makes
                          D&D a far less attractive game.

                          It's when you have Steamjacks from the Iron Kingdoms, charging around the Forgotten
                          Realms, which is half populated by Draconians playing prestige classes from Eberron - that's
                          what breaks down D&D for me. Again, it's not because that's a wrong way to play. If the
                          players and the DM have deliberately decided they want a world which allows for everything,
                          OK - but all too often it seems to be an attitude of 'I've got a new rulebook and its got a
                          KEWL new prestige class' and no thought or rhyme or reason is placed into whether that
                          prestige class belongs in a particular environment or what it will do to it.

                          The other issue I have with D&D is that it is way too easy for a player to create a character
                          that more or less renders the other characters worthless. I like the idea of a balanced party,
                          with different skills that complement each other - and 3.0/ 3.5 D&D has really moved away
                          from that idea in my view, by making multi-classing so routine and easy. And not just multi-
                          classing in terms of rendering the other characters worthless. In the D&D game, I play in, one
                          of the other players decided he wanted to play a Minotaur character. He's neither a power
                          gamer or a min maxer. He's a roleplayer, pure and simple, and the idea of an escaped
                          Minotaur slave appealed to him on character grounds. So he created him up, and now our
                          party has something that is basically an unstoppable killing machine. He can do three times
                          as much damage in a single round as any other warrior. He has a simply obscene BAB
                          compared to the rest of us. Frankly, as somebody who is playing the party's second warrior,
                          I've found my character basically without a role in the game. And I see that quite commonly in
                          D&D games nowadays. One or two characters come to dominate the party, providing 90% of
                          its power.

                          The other issue - while D&D has made some major forward steps in 3.0/3.5 in my view, in a
                          couple of ways it has gone backwards (again in my view). Hit point inflation is now simply
                          ridiculous at high levels (you mentioned the difficulties some people have with subtracting - I
                          have never had any in any previous games, but I now often find myself reaching for a
                          calculator to work out the current hitpoints of a monster - and even with basic addition, at
                          high levels of D&D to work out the damage you just did in a round you can end up with
                          calculations like 8 + 5 + 4 + 7 + 5 + 6 + 6 + 10 + 6 - and that is immediately after having to do
                          7 + 15, 17 + 10, 20 + 5, 18 + 5 - one round of mental arithmetic. And the increasing
                          'wargamerfication' of D&D with so many feats based on precise positioning, leading to an
                          increased reliance on minatures.

                          Not to mention the utterly groin straining idea of a 'five foot step'.

                          I like D&D - but I still think DW is a much more elegant system.

                          Yours Without Wax, Dreadnought
                          Shaun Hately | www.alphalink.com.au/~drednort/thelab.html
                          (ISTJ) | drednort@... | ICQ: 6898200
                          "You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one
                          thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the
                          facts. They alter the facts to fit the views. Which can be
                          uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that
                          need altering." The Doctor - Doctor Who: The Face of Evil
                          Where am I: Frankston, Victoria, Australia
                        • Gary Johnson
                          On Tue, 3 Apr 2007, Shaun Hately wrote some very interesting things, ... Fascinating! For me, Legend is very much *not* a generic fantasy world, but a game
                          Message 12 of 17 , Apr 2, 2007
                            On Tue, 3 Apr 2007, Shaun Hately wrote some very interesting things,
                            including:

                            > But personally my problem with D&D is the overload of add on materials,
                            > coupled with the attitudes of many of its players. Neither of these
                            > things really matters to a particular campaign. I have mature
                            > experienced players, who don't go overboard and who are reasonable
                            > people. But it often seems that we're a minority among D&D players.
                            >
                            > A lot depends on what you want in a game. Personally I prefer a fairly
                            > generic fantasy world and Legend fits the bill for me

                            Fascinating! For me, Legend is very much *not* a generic fantasy world,
                            but a game world that models the medieval Europoean worldview much more
                            closely than most fastasy worlds. For example, it doesn't have the
                            "multiracial" assumption built into most D&D settings that there are
                            several races living in relative harmony in most places - instead, Legend
                            presents the non-human races as the Other, living in the wastes, the
                            forests and the mountains, away from the "real" people.

                            To put it another way, I look at Legend and see a variant Earth during the
                            European high middle ages - a human-centric setting, with monotheism, a
                            crusade, a caliph, a former Roman Empire, the Middle East and China. That
                            doesn't match generic fantasy for me, which usually has polytheism,
                            kingdoms ruled by non-humans, and no discernable historical depth.

                            > - it doesn't "break" any of the major rules of generic fantasy - you
                            > still have elves, dwarves, halflings, goblins, chivalrous knights - all
                            > the stereotypes. But it also adds a little more. Basic D&D - the core
                            > rulebooks do this, so you can run a D&D game like this - and I do - but
                            > there's so many D&D players that really seem to think this is the wrong
                            > way to play the game, and they wind up creating a game that is a massive
                            > hodge podge of ideas from different places.

                            That's a quality control issue for me - whoever "owns" the game setting
                            (usually the DM, but when it's a published setting it's often a player who
                            has a stronger interest in keeping the game setting consistent with the
                            published material) should be pushing to keep the setting intact.

                            > but all too often it seems to be an attitude of 'I've got a new rulebook
                            > and its got a KEWL new prestige class' and no thought or rhyme or reason
                            > is placed into whether that prestige class belongs in a particular
                            > environment or what it will do to it.

                            I suspect many of the players who are like this are more interested in the
                            tactical minigame than in the game setting, so the problem is exacerbated
                            - they don't share your (and my) interest in a consistent, plausible
                            setting.

                            > The other issue I have with D&D is that it is way too easy for a player
                            > to create a character that more or less renders the other characters
                            > worthless.

                            This I also find fascinating, as IME D&D's class and feat structures force
                            players to work as a team in a way that point-allocation systems don't.
                            IME, if your group is having to deal with a range of challenges, and your
                            players have a reasonably consistent character design philosophy, everyone
                            gets spotlight time.

                            > I like the idea of a balanced party, with different skills that
                            > complement each other - and 3.0/ 3.5 D&D has really moved away from that
                            > idea in my view, by making multi-classing so routine and easy.

                            Again, IME multiclassed characters are more at risk of being weaker than a
                            single-classed character, because the character's total set of resources
                            are being spread over multiple niches - particularly for spellcasters.
                            Warriors are less likely to be weakened by multiclassing, and skill-based
                            characters are in between. Obviously, this depends a lot on your group's
                            social contract, the level of character design skill, and the way the DM
                            presents challenges.

                            > And not just multi- classing in terms of rendering the other characters
                            > worthless. In the D&D game, I play in, one of the other players decided
                            > he wanted to play a Minotaur character. He's neither a power gamer or a
                            > min maxer. He's a roleplayer, pure and simple, and the idea of an
                            > escaped Minotaur slave appealed to him on character grounds. So he
                            > created him up, and now our party has something that is basically an
                            > unstoppable killing machine.

                            Hmm ... what level are you, and what level is the minotaur? A minotaur
                            without any class levels is equivalent to an 8th level character (6 racial
                            hit dice with a +2 level adjustment because of the bonuses to
                            characteristics, large size, and scent), so if he's a minotaur with, say,
                            2 levels, everyone else should be 10th level. A minotaur should be good at
                            doing lots of damage in melee, because it has a +8 Strength bonus and has
                            additional reach, but it shouldn't be noticably better at killing things
                            than an 8th level fighter who tries to do lots of damage (as opposed to
                            being hard to hit, or being an archer, and so on). Does your group have a
                            second high-damage fighter, or is everyone else a different type of
                            fighter?

                            > He can do three times as much damage in a single round as any other
                            > warrior. He has a simply obscene BAB compared to the rest of us.

                            This makes me very suspicious that the racial hit dice and level
                            adjustment hasn't been applied as it should - for example, a minotaur
                            should always be 2 BAB behind a human fighter because the minotaur's level
                            adjustment doesn't give any BAB.

                            > Frankly, as somebody who is playing the party's second warrior, I've
                            > found my character basically without a role in the game. And I see that
                            > quite commonly in D&D games nowadays. One or two characters come to
                            > dominate the party, providing 90% of its power.

                            I'm sorry to hear that's how your play experience is going. :-(

                            How much does the DM mix up the type of encounters? The minotaur is always
                            going to be good in melee, so if most of the encounters are toe-to-toe
                            melee encounters the DM is setting things up to play to the minotaur's
                            strengths. How many encounters start at a distance, have difficult
                            terrain, involve battlefield control magic like obscuring mist or grease,
                            or involve opponents who can target the minotaur's weaknesses, such as
                            enchanters and flying creatures?

                            > The other issue - while D&D has made some major forward steps in 3.0/3.5
                            > in my view, in a couple of ways it has gone backwards (again in my
                            > view). Hit point inflation is now simply ridiculous at high levels

                            <nods> The numbers are indeed big. One of the things I prefer to houserule
                            away is the need for such big numbers, which is driven (in DW terms) by
                            attack increasing faster than defence and by allowing multiple attacks in
                            a round, so characters have to be able to absorb more attacks as they
                            increase in level to stay up in battle for the same amount of game time as
                            when they were lower level. My D&D houserules include giving characters a
                            defence bonus (so that defence scales more like attack).

                            > (you mentioned the difficulties some people have with subtracting - I
                            > have never had any in any previous games, but I now often find myself
                            > reaching for a calculator to work out the current hitpoints of a monster
                            > - and even with basic addition, at high levels of D&D to work out the
                            > damage you just did in a round you can end up with calculations like 8 +
                            > 5 + 4 + 7 + 5 + 6 + 6 + 10 + 6 - and that is immediately after having to
                            > do 7 + 15, 17 + 10, 20 + 5, 18 + 5 - one round of mental arithmetic.

                            I find adding damage isn't the problem, it's keeping track of the bonuses
                            to hit and damage. "So, the bard is inspiring courage [+2 morale bonus to
                            attack and damage], the cleric cast bull's strength on me [+2 attack, +3
                            damage because I'm using a 2-handed weapon], the cleric previously cast
                            prayer [+1 luck bonus to attack and damage], the wizard cast haste [+1
                            bonus to attack], and I'm a ranger attacking one of my favoured enemies
                            [+2 bonus to damage]" - and this isn't a particularly complicated or
                            improbable example.

                            > And the increasing 'wargamerfication' of D&D with so many feats based on
                            > precise positioning, leading to an increased reliance on minatures.

                            That's valid - maps do slow play down. Personally, I prefer to use
                            battlemaps, because it removes any ambiguity about where your character is
                            when event X happens and you want to intervene - but it also means the
                            tactical minigame is more important.

                            > Not to mention the utterly groin straining idea of a 'five foot step'.

                            Posting from work, so the DW books aren't handy - but doesn't DW allow a
                            2.5 metre move with an attack, which would strain the groin even more? :-)

                            > I like D&D - but I still think DW is a much more elegant system.

                            Fair enough.

                            Cheers,

                            Gary
                            --
                            Home Page: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg
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                            Perrenland Webmaster: http://perrenland.rpga-apac.com
                          • Gary Johnson
                            ... It does - but I d modify this slightly. :-) As I think I ve suggested earlier on this list, I d normalise Attack 11 as +0 and Defence 6 as +5, rather than
                            Message 13 of 17 , Apr 2, 2007
                              On Mon, 2 Apr 2007, Wayne Imlach wrote:

                              > You could modify the DW rules making them additive with only some very
                              > simple fudging:
                              >
                              > Add 10 to all Defence Scores.
                              > Deduct 10 from all Attack Scores.
                              >
                              > To hit an opponent Roll D20 and add your attack score - of you score
                              > greater than your opponents defence, you have hit. If you Roll a 20 it's
                              > a critical hit. This should give exactly the same probabilies as the
                              > usual Attack - Defence rules.
                              >
                              > Seem familiar? :)

                              It does - but I'd modify this slightly. :-) As I think I've suggested
                              earlier on this list, I'd normalise Attack 11 as +0 and Defence 6 as +5,
                              rather than set them at +1 and +6 (which is what your proposal results
                              in). This way, the average human's attack equals what gets rolled on the
                              dice.

                              The bigger effect, IMO, is that magic attack and speed both use 2d10, so
                              the distribution of results is different. The bell curve effects means
                              high magic attack and high speed efffects are going to work much more
                              consistently in DW than they do in D&D, where saves (the D&D counterparts
                              to magic defence and evasion) are rolled on 1d20.

                              Interestingly, in DW the variable in these effects is rolled by the
                              attacker against a standard "10" for the defender, while in D&D the
                              variable is rolled by the defender against a standard "10" for the
                              attacker.

                              Cheers,

                              Gary
                              --
                              Home Page: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg
                              X-Men Campaign Resources: http://members.optusnet.com.au/xmen_campaign
                              Fantasy Campaign Setting: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg/selentia.htm
                              Perrenland Webmaster: http://perrenland.rpga-apac.com
                            • Shaun Hately
                              ... Oh yes, and that is definitely a plus for me. It s what I was referring to in saying: But it also adds a little more. That is the little more. It has the
                              Message 14 of 17 , Apr 2, 2007
                                On 3 Apr 2007 at 10:02, Gary Johnson wrote:

                                > Fascinating! For me, Legend is very much *not* a generic fantasy
                                > world,
                                > but a game world that models the medieval Europoean worldview much
                                > more
                                > closely than most fastasy worlds. For example, it doesn't have the
                                > "multiracial" assumption built into most D&D settings that there are
                                > several races living in relative harmony in most places - instead,
                                > Legend
                                > presents the non-human races as the Other, living in the wastes, the
                                > forests and the mountains, away from the "real" people.

                                Oh yes, and that is definitely a plus for me. It's what I was referring to in saying: "But it
                                also adds a little more." That is the little more. It has the features of a familiar generic fantasy
                                world - and I want that - but I want more on top of that.

                                What I'm trying to get at is that DW doesn't seek to pervert familiar fantasy concepts just for
                                the sake of it. The impression I have of a lot of published campaign worlds is of the authors
                                trying to act as if they are really 'breaking the mould' simply by taking a couple of traditional
                                Tolkien-style fantasy ideas and twisting them. "Let's make halflings into cannibals". I've no
                                problem with a designer doing that, I just don't like it when I wind up with the impression that
                                he or she thinks by making such cosmetic changes, they are really being stunningly original.

                                Legend presents a world in which the other races are definitely other - but they are still
                                familiar to the GM and players, even if they are utterly alien to many of the characters.

                                > To put it another way, I look at Legend and see a variant Earth
                                > during the
                                > European high middle ages - a human-centric setting, with
                                > monotheism, a
                                > crusade, a caliph, a former Roman Empire, the Middle East and China.
                                > That
                                > doesn't match generic fantasy for me, which usually has polytheism,
                                > kingdoms ruled by non-humans, and no discernable historical depth.

                                Well, maybe it depends on what we are talking about with 'generic Fantasy'. I guess I use the
                                term to apply to worlds like Feist's Midkemia, or the world of Eddings Belgarion/Mallorean,
                                and Elenium/Tamuli. Tolkien as well, of course, but I dislike trying to emulate Tolkien in a
                                game, except for very specific purposes.

                                So that is what I am looking for in a game - and DW seems a pretty close match to Midkemia
                                in my view.

                                > That's a quality control issue for me - whoever "owns" the game
                                > setting
                                > (usually the DM, but when it's a published setting it's often a
                                > player who
                                > has a stronger interest in keeping the game setting consistent with
                                > the
                                > published material) should be pushing to keep the setting intact.

                                Yes, they should, but I find it happens much more easily with DW than D&D, largely because
                                there isn't a huge influx of published material to have to deal with, from widely varying
                                sources. Don't get me wrong - I *love* the idea that there's so much material out there for
                                D&D, choice is good. But so many D&D games I've seen and so many players just don't
                                exercise restraint with their choices.

                                With your own group, it isn't a problem unless you collectively let it become one. But I'm
                                going to a Con this weekend, and there's no way I'd play most D&D games at a convention,
                                because of the attitudes so many players bring to the table about how the game should be
                                played - it's not all the players, it's not even most, but it's enough to give me a real headache.

                                And, you know, I never really recall having that problem with 2nd Edition (I'm just a little too
                                young to have played 1st Edition at conventions). It was a slight problem when the complete
                                handbooks came out, but even then most people seemed to regard those as 'optional books',
                                whereas today, their seems to be an assumption among many players that all new books
                                should be incorporated. I think it might have been a growing problem if Combat and Tactics
                                had had more time to infiltrate before third edition appeared on the scene. But it does seem
                                to be an issue for 3.0 and 3.5.

                                I read a webcomic called Order of the Stick, and among other things this comic uses jokes
                                based around the D&D 3.5 system, and there was one comic a few months back that when I
                                read it, struck me as indicative of the problem I'm seeing with 3.5.

                                http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0390.html

                                This is the issue - players discovering rulebooks the DM has never heard of that have new
                                feats or classes in them, and then expecting to be able to bring them into the game. Of
                                course, the DM can say no - but I am seeing more and more players who seem to think that
                                the DM shouldn't say no. That everything should be on the table.

                                Maintaining your own game is easy enough - but the D&D milieu as a whole... that does
                                seem to have changed.

                                > I suspect many of the players who are like this are more interested
                                > in the
                                > tactical minigame than in the game setting, so the problem is
                                > exacerbated
                                > - they don't share your (and my) interest in a consistent, plausible
                                > setting.

                                Yes, precisely.

                                > This I also find fascinating, as IME D&D's class and feat structures
                                > force
                                > players to work as a team in a way that point-allocation systems
                                > don't.
                                > IME, if your group is having to deal with a range of challenges, and
                                > your
                                > players have a reasonably consistent character design philosophy,
                                > everyone
                                > gets spotlight time.

                                Well, yes, I think point-allocation systems are even more likely to create this problem than
                                D&D is, but I'm not comparing D&D and DW to point-allocation systems here. Just to each
                                other.

                                But actually, now that you mention it, it does sum up the issue for me.

                                D&D 3.0/3.5 has moved closer to a point-buy system than it was in the past (with the possible
                                exception of the brief 'Players Option:' period at the end of 2nd Edition). It's headed down that
                                road.

                                Now, I actually *like* point buy systems for some games. But D&D now seems to me to be be
                                something of a hybrid between a class based system and a point buy one.

                                > Hmm ... what level are you, and what level is the minotaur? A
                                > minotaur
                                > without any class levels is equivalent to an 8th level character (6
                                > racial
                                > hit dice with a +2 level adjustment because of the bonuses to
                                > characteristics, large size, and scent), so if he's a minotaur with,
                                > say,
                                > 2 levels, everyone else should be 10th level. A minotaur should be
                                > good at
                                > doing lots of damage in melee, because it has a +8 Strength bonus
                                > and has
                                > additional reach, but it shouldn't be noticably better at killing
                                > things
                                > than an 8th level fighter who tries to do lots of damage (as opposed
                                > to
                                > being hard to hit, or being an archer, and so on). Does your group
                                > have a
                                > second high-damage fighter, or is everyone else a different type of
                                > fighter?

                                We had a Paladin that I was playing as our second fighter until I decided that I wasn't
                                accomplishing anything in combat - no, a game shouldn't be entirely about combat, but I had
                                a vision of that character as a crusading Knight type, and it couldn't work being totally
                                overshadowed by Battle Cattle, so I retired him. We're at around 13th level now, and yes, his
                                character is book legal, with the correct level adjustments. A couple of magic items have
                                given him additional enhancements, he wouldn't be quite as obscene a killing machine
                                without them, but it's still out of whack without them.

                                > > He can do three times as much damage in a single round as any
                                > other
                                > > warrior. He has a simply obscene BAB compared to the rest of us.
                                >
                                > This makes me very suspicious that the racial hit dice and level
                                > adjustment hasn't been applied as it should - for example, a
                                > minotaur
                                > should always be 2 BAB behind a human fighter because the minotaur's
                                > level
                                > adjustment doesn't give any BAB.

                                Sorry - shouldn't have said BAB. It's BAB + strength modifier + item enhancements - Attack
                                bonus, not base attack.

                                And, yes, the items could have gone to my fighter instead but most groups in my experience
                                will buff up their best fighter rather than bring the second best up to standard, so it's basically
                                playing the game the way most people play it in this case, and personally I think rules should
                                look at that.

                                > > Frankly, as somebody who is playing the party's second warrior,
                                > I've
                                > > found my character basically without a role in the game. And I see
                                > that
                                > > quite commonly in D&D games nowadays. One or two characters come
                                > to
                                > > dominate the party, providing 90% of its power.
                                >
                                > I'm sorry to hear that's how your play experience is going. :-(

                                I've changed that character now in fact to one who has more of a role, but a lot of that seems
                                to consist of healing the minotaur - he doesn't have particulary impressive hit points, or AC -
                                he's not overpowered in all areas, but that just doesn't seem to matter as much.

                                > How much does the DM mix up the type of encounters? The minotaur is
                                > always
                                > going to be good in melee, so if most of the encounters are
                                > toe-to-toe
                                > melee encounters the DM is setting things up to play to the
                                > minotaur's
                                > strengths. How many encounters start at a distance, have difficult
                                > terrain, involve battlefield control magic like obscuring mist or
                                > grease,
                                > or involve opponents who can target the minotaur's weaknesses, such
                                > as
                                > enchanters and flying creatures?

                                Quite a few, but we use various tactical measures to get around these things, so we can get
                                the Minotaur into position. The problem is, while they were fun at first, it now means almost
                                every combat is the same. And there's plenty in the game besides combat, but once a
                                combat starts that tends to be the rest of the session.

                                > I find adding damage isn't the problem, it's keeping track of the
                                > bonuses
                                > to hit and damage. "So, the bard is inspiring courage [+2 morale
                                > bonus to
                                > attack and damage], the cleric cast bull's strength on me [+2
                                > attack, +3
                                > damage because I'm using a 2-handed weapon], the cleric previously
                                > cast
                                > prayer [+1 luck bonus to attack and damage], the wizard cast haste
                                > [+1
                                > bonus to attack], and I'm a ranger attacking one of my favoured
                                > enemies
                                > [+2 bonus to damage]" - and this isn't a particularly complicated or
                                > improbable example.

                                Yes, that can get to be an issue as well, but as we plan our combats so much now - we get
                                ambushed or outmanouvered in planning occasionally, but not often - we generally know
                                what we have on us and are used to those numbers.

                                > That's valid - maps do slow play down. Personally, I prefer to use
                                > battlemaps, because it removes any ambiguity about where your
                                > character is
                                > when event X happens and you want to intervene - but it also means
                                > the
                                > tactical minigame is more important.

                                I like minatures in general - but I don't like a game where it's hard to avoid playing without
                                them.

                                > > Not to mention the utterly groin straining idea of a 'five foot
                                > step'.
                                >
                                > Posting from work, so the DW books aren't handy - but doesn't DW
                                > allow a
                                > 2.5 metre move with an attack, which would strain the groin even
                                > more? :-)

                                I believe it does, but I don't think it implies you do it all with one step!

                                'Five Foot Step' has for some reason become a source of amusement in our games -
                                especially when the 3 foot 6 halfling does one.

                                Yours Without Wax, Dreadnought
                                Shaun Hately | www.alphalink.com.au/~drednort/thelab.html
                                (ISTJ) | drednort@... | ICQ: 6898200
                                "You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one
                                thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the
                                facts. They alter the facts to fit the views. Which can be
                                uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that
                                need altering." The Doctor - Doctor Who: The Face of Evil
                                Where am I: Frankston, Victoria, Australia
                              • Gary Johnson
                                ... Ah, the Dark Sun setting. :-) ... One of the big selling points for Eberron, IIRC, is that goblins are socially accepted. In a world where half a
                                Message 15 of 17 , Apr 2, 2007
                                  On Tue, 3 Apr 2007, Shaun Hately wrote:

                                  > On 3 Apr 2007 at 10:02, Gary Johnson wrote:
                                  >
                                  >> Fascinating! For me, Legend is very much *not* a generic fantasy world,
                                  >> but a game world that models the medieval European worldview much more
                                  >> closely than most fastasy worlds.

                                  > Oh yes, and that is definitely a plus for me. It's what I was referring
                                  > to in saying: "But it also adds a little more." That is the little more.
                                  > It has the features of a familiar generic fantasy world - and I want
                                  > that - but I want more on top of that.
                                  >
                                  > What I'm trying to get at is that DW doesn't seek to pervert familiar
                                  > fantasy concepts just for the sake of it. The impression I have of a lot
                                  > of published campaign worlds is of the authors trying to act as if they
                                  > are really 'breaking the mould' simply by taking a couple of traditional
                                  > Tolkien-style fantasy ideas and twisting them. "Let's make halflings
                                  > into cannibals".

                                  Ah, the Dark Sun setting. :-)

                                  > I've no problem with a designer doing that, I just don't like it when I
                                  > wind up with the impression that he or she thinks by making such
                                  > cosmetic changes, they are really being stunningly original.

                                  <nods> One of the "big selling points" for Eberron, IIRC, is that goblins
                                  are socially accepted. In a world where half a dozen other humanoid races
                                  are already socially accepted, this is clearly only interesting if you
                                  know that, in D&D settings, goblins usually aren't accepted.


                                  >> That's a quality control issue for me - whoever "owns" the game setting
                                  >> (usually the DM, but when it's a published setting it's often a player
                                  >> who has a stronger interest in keeping the game setting consistent with
                                  >> the published material) should be pushing to keep the setting intact.
                                  >
                                  > Yes, they should, but I find it happens much more easily with DW than
                                  > D&D, largely because there isn't a huge influx of published material to
                                  > have to deal with, from widely varying sources. Don't get me wrong - I
                                  > *love* the idea that there's so much material out there for D&D, choice
                                  > is good. But so many D&D games I've seen and so many players just don't
                                  > exercise restraint with their choices.

                                  <nods> That's one reason I play more and more Living Greyhawk at home with
                                  friends than at gamesdays and conventions - there's a lot of people out
                                  there who have very different interests and approaches to gaming, and the
                                  clash between what they like/want and what I like/want can make the game
                                  experience fundamentally unfun for me.

                                  > With your own group, it isn't a problem unless you collectively let it
                                  > become one. But I'm going to a Con this weekend, and there's no way I'd
                                  > play most D&D games at a convention, because of the attitudes so many
                                  > players bring to the table about how the game should be played - it's
                                  > not all the players, it's not even most, but it's enough to give me a
                                  > real headache.

                                  Personally, I wouldn't play most games at a convention, full stop. :-) In
                                  addition to the usual assumption clashes about preferred game style, IME
                                  most convention games aren't written for convention play, but are written
                                  for home play. Conventions have things home games usually don't have, such
                                  as time pressure, players with limited rules/setting knowledge, and other
                                  impediments to having a fun game experience: I think it's important to
                                  write convention games with an awareness of those differences, and I've
                                  been burned a few too many times in the past.

                                  This didn't matter as much before my daughter was born last year, because
                                  if I lost a day to some sucky gaming it was only a day - but now I have a
                                  child to spend time with, my spare time is much more precious and I'm more
                                  discerning about how I want to spend it.

                                  > And, you know, I never really recall having that problem with 2nd
                                  > Edition (I'm just a little too young to have played 1st Edition at
                                  > conventions). It was a slight problem when the complete handbooks came
                                  > out, but even then most people seemed to regard those as 'optional
                                  > books', whereas today, their seems to be an assumption among many
                                  > players that all new books should be incorporated. I think it might have
                                  > been a growing problem if Combat and Tactics had had more time to
                                  > infiltrate before third edition appeared on the scene. But it does seem
                                  > to be an issue for 3.0 and 3.5.
                                  >
                                  > I read a webcomic called Order of the Stick, and among other things this
                                  > comic uses jokes based around the D&D 3.5 system, and there was one
                                  > comic a few months back that when I read it, struck me as indicative of
                                  > the problem I'm seeing with 3.5.
                                  >
                                  > http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0390.html

                                  That's actually pretty funny - particularly the reference to "padawan".
                                  :-)

                                  > This is the issue - players discovering rulebooks the DM has never heard
                                  > of that have new feats or classes in them, and then expecting to be able
                                  > to bring them into the game. Of course, the DM can say no - but I am
                                  > seeing more and more players who seem to think that the DM shouldn't say
                                  > no. That everything should be on the table.

                                  Well, that's a social contract issue, not a system issue as such.

                                  > Maintaining your own game is easy enough - but the D&D milieu as a
                                  > whole... that does seem to have changed.

                                  I'm not sure about that - IMO, it's essentially unprovable, because nobody
                                  (not even WoTC) has done a lot of research on how exactly people use the
                                  d20 game system and game settings. WoTC did do some research back in
                                  1999-2000, when they were developing 3rd edition, and that research did
                                  feed into the design guidelines for 3rd edition. For example, market
                                  research indicated most campaigns lasted about a year, which is why it's
                                  much easier to get enough XP to gain a level in 3rd edition than in
                                  previous editions - that way, if you play for a year, by the end of the
                                  year you'll be close to 20th level, and can use the full ruleset.

                                  What does seem to be true (if you can accept what I read on the net), is
                                  that there's been a shift in how the D&D design team (which has completely
                                  changed from when 3rd edition was first developed) view the way players
                                  learn and use the game system. Instead of a "acquiring deep system
                                  mastery" design model, the designers now seem to be writing new material
                                  to promote "acquiring broad system awareness" - which is done through
                                  incorporating material from the game system supplements.

                                  >> This I also find fascinating, as IME D&D's class and feat structures
                                  >> force players to work as a team in a way that point-allocation systems
                                  >> don't. IME, if your group is having to deal with a range of challenges,
                                  >> and your players have a reasonably consistent character design
                                  >> philosophy, everyone gets spotlight time.
                                  >
                                  > Well, yes, I think point-allocation systems are even more likely to
                                  > create this problem than D&D is, but I'm not comparing D&D and DW to
                                  > point-allocation systems here. Just to each other.
                                  >
                                  > But actually, now that you mention it, it does sum up the issue for me.
                                  >
                                  > D&D 3.0/3.5 has moved closer to a point-buy system than it was in the
                                  > past (with the possible exception of the brief 'Players Option:' period
                                  > at the end of 2nd Edition). It's headed down that road.
                                  >
                                  > Now, I actually *like* point buy systems for some games. But D&D now
                                  > seems to me to be be something of a hybrid between a class based system
                                  > and a point buy one.

                                  What Hong Ooi calls "the creeping HEROisation of D&D". I personally don't
                                  mind it, because I like the heightened flexilibity of the class and feats
                                  model used in 3rd edition D&D - but I can see it's a turn-off if you don't
                                  want to have to manage so much complexity, and would prefer the simpler
                                  class model used in older editions of D&D and in DW.

                                  > We had a Paladin

                                  Ah. That helps explain it - paladins aren't usually high damage-dealers
                                  in melee, even with their smite evil class ability, because the need for
                                  high Charisma makes it harder for them to have high Strength (assuming
                                  you're using point-buy and not random generation for characteristics),
                                  they don't have the extra feats of a fighter, and they can't multiclass
                                  in barbarian and access the rage class ability.

                                  > that I was playing as our second fighter until I decided that I wasn't
                                  > accomplishing anything in combat - no, a game shouldn't be entirely
                                  > about combat, but I had a vision of that character as a crusading Knight
                                  > type, and it couldn't work being totally overshadowed by Battle Cattle,
                                  > so I retired him.

                                  Being a lance-wielding spirited-charging evil-smiting mounted knight (with
                                  possibly a bless weapon spell on the lance for the critical hits) didn't
                                  work out? That's the combat role that paladins fill better than anyone,
                                  IME, because their mount is actually tough enough to survive area of
                                  effect spells.

                                  > We're at around 13th level now, and yes, his character is book legal,
                                  > with the correct level adjustments. A couple of magic items have given
                                  > him additional enhancements, he wouldn't be quite as obscene a killing
                                  > machine without them, but it's still out of whack without them.

                                  How did his treasure compare with the paladin's treasure? It sounds like
                                  maybe your group was using a "rich get richer" strategy, where the
                                  powerful character had more powerful equipment than other characters - and
                                  as you note, that exacerbates the divergence in character power. One of
                                  the things I dislike about D&D is that being cool at high levels requires
                                  lot of equipment - it's hard to be cool without a lot of magical gear,
                                  which isn't very much like the sort of fantasy I like to emulate in games.

                                  >>> He can do three times as much damage in a single round as any other
                                  >>> warrior. He has a simply obscene BAB compared to the rest of us.
                                  >>
                                  >> This makes me very suspicious that the racial hit dice and level
                                  >> adjustment hasn't been applied as it should - for example, a minotaur
                                  >> should always be 2 BAB behind a human fighter because the minotaur's
                                  >> level adjustment doesn't give any BAB.
                                  >
                                  > Sorry - shouldn't have said BAB. It's BAB + strength modifier + item
                                  > enhancements - Attack bonus, not base attack.

                                  Fair enough.

                                  > And, yes, the items could have gone to my fighter instead but most
                                  > groups in my experience will buff up their best fighter rather than
                                  > bring the second best up to standard, so it's basically playing the game
                                  > the way most people play it in this case, and personally I think rules
                                  > should look at that.

                                  Each group's social contract is different - I'm not sure this is the way
                                  most people play it (though it may be the way most people in your area
                                  play it). One of my groups would go, "the minotaur is already tough - we
                                  need the other melee warrior to be as tough as possible, for when the
                                  minotaur is stunned, paralysed, unconscious, not present, or (worst of
                                  all) dominated and sent to attack us". One of my other groups would go,
                                  "the adventuring party's contract is that everyone has equal treasure
                                  shares - if the minotaur wants item X, he has to buy it from the party,
                                  just like everyone else".

                                  >>> Frankly, as somebody who is playing the party's second warrior, I've
                                  >>> found my character basically without a role in the game. And I see
                                  >>> that quite commonly in D&D games nowadays. One or two characters come
                                  >>> to dominate the party, providing 90% of its power.
                                  >>
                                  >> I'm sorry to hear that's how your play experience is going. :-(
                                  >
                                  > I've changed that character now in fact to one who has more of a role,
                                  > but a lot of that seems to consist of healing the minotaur - he doesn't
                                  > have particulary impressive hit points, or AC - he's not overpowered in
                                  > all areas, but that just doesn't seem to matter as much.

                                  <nods> Possibly a group play style thing, particularly if you're getting
                                  to ambush a lot of opponents and fight them on your terms. Getting to do
                                  "first strike" tactics again plays to the minotaur's strengths in battle.

                                  >> How much does the DM mix up the type of encounters?
                                  >
                                  > Quite a few, but we use various tactical measures to get around these
                                  > things, so we can get the Minotaur into position. The problem is, while
                                  > they were fun at first, it now means almost every combat is the same.
                                  > And there's plenty in the game besides combat, but once a combat starts
                                  > that tends to be the rest of the session.

                                  If I was the DM, I'd be thinking that major bad guys would be starting to
                                  think of counters to these strategies. If the plucky heroes who are going
                                  to foil my master plan rely on getting the minotaur into position to win
                                  battles, I need ways to negate the minotaur - even if that's just having a
                                  lot of mooks to clutter up the field of combat and stop the minotaur
                                  getting to me before I do my own power stunts. Even if there isn't a major
                                  bad guy who thinks like this, I'd expect the minotaur being 2 HD behind
                                  everyone else will be a problem when opponents start using blasphemy and
                                  other HD-dependent effects.

                                  >> That's valid - maps do slow play down. Personally, I prefer to use
                                  >> battlemaps, because it removes any ambiguity about where your character
                                  >> is when event X happens and you want to intervene - but it also means
                                  >> the tactical minigame is more important.
                                  >
                                  > I like minatures in general - but I don't like a game where it's hard to
                                  > avoid playing without them.

                                  I expect my personal play history has made me very comfortable with
                                  miniatures - I've been playing various superhero games since 1990, mostly
                                  using the HERO system, and we've always used miniatures. I'm also
                                  reasonably good at the tactical minigame, so using miniatures is one of my
                                  strengths as a player - if we didn't use them, I'd have less of a tactical
                                  advantage over some Living Greyhawk DMs. :-)

                                  Cheers,

                                  Gary
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                                • Nim
                                  That is what I do. Though I am not sure if I the modifier with defence should be five or ten. I like the versality of D&D, in that there are more character
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Apr 2, 2007
                                    That is what I do. Though I am not sure if I the modifier with defence
                                    should be five or ten.

                                    I like the versality of D&D, in that there are more character classes
                                    and more magic items. As I do not have as much time as I would like, I
                                    have to convert D&D adventures to Dragon Warriors a lot (though I do
                                    use my own adventures on occasion). The huge number of spells that are
                                    present means that it is very hard to predict what an opposing spell
                                    caster is capable of, let alone what they are. If the party encounter
                                    a man in robes with or without leather armour, they have no idea in my
                                    games, if the spell caster is a sorcerer, elementalist or a D&D spell
                                    caster (mage or druid). Likewise, a spell caster in heavier armour
                                    might not be a warlock, and could be a cleric instead.

                                    It is with this in mind that I have converted bits of D&D to Dragon
                                    Warriors. I agree there are far less tables in 3.5E D&D but I still
                                    prefer Dragon Warriors to it. Skills and feats are an example. I
                                    think they are a great idea (and I am thinking about incorporating them
                                    for higher ranked characters) but too limiting. You have to choose you
                                    background to the skills a character has. In my adventures, I have had
                                    a barbarian who was a sailor from Thuland. He could automatically swim
                                    and sail quite well in addition to his other skills (drink, drink,
                                    belch and smell). A skill allocation system makes his generation more
                                    complicated. Another character is a noble, he has skills with
                                    Falconry, riding and lots of other things that non-nobles have no
                                    knowledge of. Most of his skills are not useful in dungeon delving,
                                    but are useful in other ways. Also, if I or the player has forgotten
                                    about a skill, if he can argue well that his character would have a
                                    skill, I have the flexibility to allow him to have one.

                                    I love many things about D&D, both basic, advanced and 3.5E, but I much
                                    prefer Dragon Warriors.

                                    And with Paladins, do you not find that it limits adventures? You can
                                    not put the players in morally dubious situations as much. E.g. what
                                    to do when you are clearing out a cave system inhabited by orcs, when
                                    you come across children. Kill them or leave them and run the risk
                                    that they die a long slow death from starvation, or live and continue
                                    to attack the local villagers. You take a person prisoner, one who is
                                    obviously very evil. You are in the middle of know where. You do kill
                                    him, or take him back to civilistation where he faces the death
                                    penalty? Or do you set him free to sin again?

                                    And how is the minotaur accepted in human society? My elf has trouble
                                    finding a room in a tavern, let alone getting served!


                                    --- In dragwars@yahoogroups.com, "Wayne Imlach" <wimlach@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > You could modify the DW rules making them additive with only some
                                    very simple fudging:
                                    >
                                    > Add 10 to all Defence Scores.
                                    > Deduct 10 from all Attack Scores.
                                    >
                                    > To hit an opponent Roll D20 and add your attack score - of you score
                                    greater than your opponents defence, you have hit.
                                    > If you Roll a 20 it's a critical hit. This should give exactly the
                                    same probabilies as the usual Attack - Defence rules.
                                    >
                                    > Seem familiar? :)
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                  • Gary Johnson
                                    ... The modifier should be ten - otherwise, you get a bigger range of hits than if you leave the values unmodified: Attack 11 - Defence 6 requires a 1d20 roll
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Apr 2, 2007
                                      On Tue, 3 Apr 2007, Nim wrote:

                                      > That is what I do. Though I am not sure if I the modifier with defence
                                      > should be five or ten.

                                      The modifier should be ten - otherwise, you get a bigger range of hits
                                      than if you leave the values unmodified:

                                      Attack 11 - Defence 6 requires a 1d20 roll of 1 to 5 (30%) to hit.

                                      Attack 1 (11 - 10) requires a 1d20 roll of 15 to 20 (30%) to hit Defence
                                      16 (6 + 10).

                                      If you increase defence by 5 instead of 10, the range of values that
                                      result in a hit doubles:

                                      Attack 1 (11 - 10) requires a 1d20 roll of 9 to 20 (60%) to hit Defence 11
                                      (6 + 5).

                                      <snip>

                                      > And with Paladins, do you not find that it limits adventures?

                                      Not really, no. Most adventures are about stopped evil people/creatures
                                      doing bad things, so paladins shouldn't find the adventure goals
                                      incompatible with their code of conduct.

                                      > You can not put the players in morally dubious situations as much.
                                      > E.g. what to do when you are clearing out a cave system inhabited by
                                      > orcs, when you come across children. Kill them or leave them and run
                                      > the risk that they die a long slow death from starvation, or live and
                                      > continue to attack the local villagers. You take a person prisoner, one
                                      > who is obviously very evil. You are in the middle of know where. You
                                      > do kill him, or take him back to civilistation where he faces the death
                                      > penalty? Or do you set him free to sin again?

                                      Personally, I think that if you can kill them them combat without breaking
                                      your code of conduct, you can kill them afterwards without breaking the
                                      code of conduct either - so long as killing them doesn't involve things
                                      that break the code of conduct, such as torture, mutilation, and the like.
                                      If it wouldn't be appropriate to kill the children in battle, it isn't
                                      appropriate to kill them afterwards. If abandoning the children is
                                      leaving them to die, that sort of indirect killing isn't appropriate
                                      either. Likewise, if it isn't appropriate to kill someone who's trying to
                                      surrender in battle, it isn't appropriate to kill them afterwards.

                                      When playing a paladin, or any other character with a strong moral code
                                      that limits their behaviour, I think it's most important to talk with the
                                      other players and the GM about the game's social contract - to find out
                                      how they think the code of conduct applies when it comes to common
                                      situations (such as the abandoned children dilemma and the prisoner
                                      dilemma you outlined above), how the game participants are going to
                                      respond to having a paladin in the group (for example, will the GM avoid
                                      presenting moral dilemmas where the only solution the paladin can accept
                                      is one the rest of the characters can't accept?). If the GM allows
                                      paladins in the first place, the GM has a responsiblity to give advice on
                                      how to play a paladin in the game - after all, the player's paladin isn't
                                      the first person to follow the code of conduct and face these issues.

                                      > And how is the minotaur accepted in human society? My elf has trouble
                                      > finding a room in a tavern, let alone getting served!

                                      I was wondering that myself - I was guessing either

                                      * a hat of disguise or some other illusion/transmutation magic, or
                                      * being big, bad and famous enough that nobody gives him lip at the bar.
                                      :-)

                                      Cheers,

                                      Gary
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