What Do You Play?
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Post Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2004 6:22 pm 
 

The problem lies in the fact that an average 13-year old ONLY has access to 3E. That is what the stores sell, and that is all he can get.


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2004 6:33 pm 
 

Back in the day, you could go to a convention and play an event (AD&D)and pretty much go for broke. Everyone played by the same rules and most people know them.

What they have created is mess. I personally liked more "game" in my game. Again, personal opinion. I also look at those rulebooks and wonder how many 13 year-olds can actually read and understand 3.5. I don't want to make a blanked statement, but you can teach someone 1st ed. in a short time. I don't think the same is true for 3.5.  

That does not make 3.5 bad, just very different from its ancestor.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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Post Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2004 6:34 pm 
 

>>>The problem lies in the fact ...

Yup ... and that's why I make a concerted effort to sell AD&D 1st Edition modules with passion and sincerity, and why I sneak a free 1st or 2nd AD&D item into virtually every 3.0 and 3.5 package I ship.  At the very least, I want them to see the flavor the early editions provide, and to grab adventure hooks for their own games.  I'm 100% for spreading the good word without forcing people to like what I like.
8)

On 3.5, it is very technical and difficult to grasp at first.  The first time I read through the attack of opportunity rules I checked to see if my brain had slid out onto the floor.  But I've seen an amazing overlap in young gamers between 3.5 and Magic the Gathering - both highly technical games where rules lawyering is a competitive sport. The similiarity in art is intended to draw these people in.  Also, teens that like highly technical fantasy vidgames like Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre are catered to as well ... you can see that in the print ads in current vidgame magazines.  Check them out sometime - "We invented god mode."  "We gave boss monsters their first job."  Etc.  There is a direct, concerted effort to link the appeal of videogames to the appeal of 3.5.  It's not accidental or imagined.
8O

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Post Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2004 9:07 pm 
 

darkseraphim wrote:you.  Gripe about the other versions, but don't proselytize.  

Damn, I thought I had a decent vocabulary until that line.  You get that 'word of the day' toilet paper or something?  :)

If anyone else out there is scratching their head, heres' what dictionary.com had to say:

pros·e·ly·tize    ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (prs-l-tz)
v. pros·e·ly·tized, pros·e·ly·tiz·ing, pros·e·ly·tiz·es
v. intr.
To induce someone to convert to one's own religious faith.
To induce someone to join one's own political party or to espouse one's doctrine.

v. tr.
To convert (a person) from one belief, doctrine, cause, or faith to another.

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Post Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:13 pm 
 

darkseraphim wrote:>>>The problem lies in the fact ...

Yup ... and that's why I make a concerted effort to sell AD&D 1st Edition modules with passion and sincerity, and why I sneak a free 1st or 2nd AD&D item into virtually every 3.0 and 3.5 package I ship.  At the very least, I want them to see the flavor the early editions provide, and to grab adventure hooks for their own games.  I'm 100% for spreading the good word without forcing people to like what I like.
8)

On 3.5, it is very technical and difficult to grasp at first.  The first time I read through the attack of opportunity rules I checked to see if my brain had slid out onto the floor.  But I've seen an amazing overlap in young gamers between 3.5 and Magic the Gathering - both highly technical games where rules lawyering is a competitive sport. The similiarity in art is intended to draw these people in.  Also, teens that like highly technical fantasy vidgames like Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre are catered to as well ... you can see that in the print ads in current vidgame magazines.  Check them out sometime - "We invented god mode."  "We gave boss monsters their first job."  Etc.  There is a direct, concerted effort to link the appeal of videogames to the appeal of 3.5.  It's not accidental or imagined.
8O

*dig, dig*
D&D Invented Godmode? | gamegrene.com


I don't have any problem teaching 2nd edition D&D to players who have never played an RPG in their life. By the end of the first session, they have a good grasp of the rules. By the end of the first dungeon, the crazy "I must have MORE dungeon crawling!!!" look comes into their eyes and they are rattling off words like Hit Points, Armor Class, Backstab and Halberd like experts.  
    By contrast I do believe 3 and 3.5 is harder to learn, but then again it's probably just because I'm not interested in it, and had I bothered to learn it maybe it would be as easy to teach.  If a kid learns 3.5 just starting out, I can see where 1st and 2nd edition could be a colossal bore.  But starting out learning 2nd edition, I think it makes moving on to 3 or 3.5 much easier, because they can get the concepts down first.  Then again this is going from a very small sample....one kid who learned D&D with 3rd edition got really antsy playing with my second edition group and eventually left, while two kids who learned to play with 2nd edition in my group left to try 3rd edition and quickly returned with many a horror story.

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Post Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2004 11:20 pm 
 

In thinking about this topic for the last few days, I think what I really want to say is simple - kinda like my pea brain... 8O

It seemed to me that when we played 1st Edition AD&D (and maybe even 2nd), it was about the adventure...I mean the story, the combat, the treasure and the gratification of solving the problem. Afterall, most prepublished modules were nothing more than combat based around some sort of mystery/problem.

I think 3+ is all about the characters. Everything in the rule system is based on the PCs. They have become the storyline. Maybe not in every case, but that is where the rulebooks center their focus. That is how the game has changed. And quite possibly the players, too. I guess this fits the DarkSeraphim line of thought, to some degree.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

New modules for your Old School game http://pacesettergames.com/

Everything Pacesetter at http://pacesettergames.blog.com/

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 1:00 am 
 

Howdy All,


bbarsh wrote:I think 3+ is all about the characters. Everything in the rule system is based on the PCs. They have become the storyline. Maybe not in every case, but that is where the rulebooks center their focus. That is how the game has changed. And quite possibly the players, too. I guess this fits the DarkSeraphim line of thought, to some degree.


Exactly, players have become the main focus of support and DM's have been dropped as the most important aspect of the game. Why? There are more players to spend money than DM's. Sad, really. The DM used to be king, no DM, no game.

Heck, they even stopped making modules for the game. Gave it all over to the poorly regulated quality of the unwashed, d20-license, masses.


Futures Bright,

Paul


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:49 am 
 

stormber wrote:Howdy All,


bbarsh wrote:I think 3+ is all about the characters. Everything in the rule system is based on the PCs. They have become the storyline. Maybe not in every case, but that is where the rulebooks center their focus. That is how the game has changed. And quite possibly the players, too. I guess this fits the DarkSeraphim line of thought, to some degree.


Exactly, players have become the main focus of support and DM's have been dropped as the most important aspect of the game. Why? There are more players to spend money than DM's. Sad, really. The DM used to be king, no DM, no game.

Heck, they even stopped making modules for the game. Gave it all over to the poorly regulated quality of the unwashed, d20-license, masses.


Futures Bright,

Paul


In our campaigns we were all DMs (only one of us at a time, of course).  So the marketing advantage I don't really see.  I do see a huge money grab with all the supplements, etc, etc, etc.  I remember one of the original reasons TSR said it was introducing 2nd edition was that 1st edition had become too cumbersome, with more than 12 hardcover rulebooks to lug around!  :D  

I can what maybe they're trying to do with the d20 license, some sort of pseudo-linuxish open-source thing, hoping that the best work will come out of it.  But it isn't open source, since they aren't sharing their pre-publication notes on the web before the books go to the printers...either that or I'm way off and they're just doing some sort of franchising thing to make more $$$..

I gotta say though...everyone seems to be going on about how great the older 'classic' modules like the G-series are.  Don't get me wrong, I played them many times as well, and enjoyed them thoroughly.  But I just opened one of mine up, (G2) read through it, and was surprisingly unimpressed.  I certainly remember there being a lot more to it, but maybe the experience of actually playing it in a group has a more lasting impression than what's actually written on the page.  Food for thought, anyway.

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 2:08 pm 
 

deimos3428 wrote:
I gotta say though...everyone seems to be going on about how great the older 'classic' modules like the G-series are.  Don't get me wrong, I played them many times as well, and enjoyed them thoroughly.  But I just opened one of mine up, (G2) read through it, and was surprisingly unimpressed.  I certainly remember there being a lot more to it, but maybe the experience of actually playing it in a group has a more lasting impression than what's actually written on the page.  Food for thought, anyway.


I don't think we NEEDED all the bells and whistles when the old-timers gamed 1st edition.  We just kind of added them ourselves.  Sure, G1-3 is skimpy, there is maybe a paragraph of back story, and each adventure practically begins on the doorstep of the new module with no between adventures travel, suggestions for other adventures, background, etc.  
    In contrast, I'm reading through a Green Ronin product right now, Black Sails over Freeport.  It's really a very good product, well written, lots of good artwork, and it looks like it would be a ball to play or Dm.  However, the stinking thing is 254 pages long, the backstory takes up a full four pages of large text, and I've been reading for a day and I'm up to page 28 and nothing has really happened yet that couldn't have been summarized (It's still only introducing the adventure to the characters!!!).  It's a very well written product and I'm reading it to see if it's worth the time to convert to 2nd ed after it was recommended to me.  But seriously, when we started out in the late 70's/early 80's we didn't need four pages of backstory, 44 pages (that's right, 44 pages) of character stats and NPCs, 4 pages of handouts, etc.  
Once again, very nice product...but what an incredible investment of time if you just want to run an adventure, as many of us did way back when.  I fear the cabal making 3rd edition adventures has become enamored with the "See how much I can write!!!" syndrome, shouting "Look how long my adventure is!!!" loud enough to annoy everyone.  Sometime short and simple is better, I'm really not interested in your oh-so cool villain motivation, or the villain backstory that goes into far too much detail, or the interweaving relationships between all the NPCs and the monsters, I DON'T FREAKING CARE, just give me a good map and some decent twists and I'll fill in the rest.
   Besides, I don't know about everyone, but probably 60% of the stuff in these 3rd edition adventures I just leave on the cutting room floor anyway, because it's either setting or campaign specific or concentrates on characters/feats/skills/spells/special monsters/ that I don't use anyway, and probably would never even if I DID play 3rd edition.  I like the maps, and the plotline, and maybe ideas for a few twists or characters. A good DM fills in the spots anyway.  Gygax and company realized this in the beginning, and gave us a good adventure with minimal exposition.  BTW free plug, Goodman games does this with their excellent Dungeon Crawl classics series. The ones that I have purchased truly do give you the feel of an old-time adventure....short backstory, they get right into the adventure with traditional crawls yet always with an interesting twist, nice functional maps, etc.  If any DMs out there are interested in a 3rd edition product that is very 1st edition feel, these are it, and they are quite easy to convert (I've done some up 2nd edition with no problems).  They even look like 1st edition modules on the outside AND inside!

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 2:14 pm 
 

There was a paradigm shift in D&D around 1982, with inklings of it earlier.  The original modules were designed as skeletons to be fleshed out.  This allowed them to be customized to the campaign.  That's why the memories are so near and dear, because each module was 50% designed and 50% the DM's own creation.  You'll see mass variations of Gygax's "This is but a framework, the DM must breathe life into the whole" throughout the early ones.

That all changed with Dragonlance and Ravenloft.  Atmosphere was king.  And if you like pre-scripted adventures, it's great.  But they're much harder to change around if you want to customize them.  In the present day, adventures run the gamut from fully scripted to barebones, depending on DM need.  I can see the advantages of both.  But given the choice, I will buy the 256-page book with 20 barebones adventures, as opposed to the 256-page book with one pre-scripted epic.
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Post Posted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 5:16 pm 
 

darkseraphim wrote:There was a paradigm shift in D&D around 1982, with inklings of it earlier.  The original modules were designed as skeletons to be fleshed out.  This allowed them to be customized to the campaign.  That's why the memories are so near and dear, because each module was 50% designed and 50% the DM's own creation.  You'll see mass variations of Gygax's "This is but a framework, the DM must breathe life into the whole" throughout the early ones.

That all changed with Dragonlance and Ravenloft.  Atmosphere was king.  And if you like pre-scripted adventures, it's great.  But they're much harder to change around if you want to customize them.  In the present day, adventures run the gamut from fully scripted to barebones, depending on DM need.  I can see the advantages of both.  But given the choice, I will buy the 256-page book with 20 barebones adventures, as opposed to the 256-page book with one pre-scripted epic.
:wink:


I agree completely, and I guess the thing that really ticks off old timers like myself is that you are PAYING MORE for the prescripted stuff that you use without all the prescripted stuff anyway.  And I'm noticing more and more that unlessyou use "X" campaign world, the adventure doesn't even work anyway.  A lot of the newer stuff is campaign specific enough to make it useless otherwise.

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Post Posted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 5:21 pm 
 

I think we remember the classics because of the fun we had, not so much the content of the module itself. The adventure - playing it - was great. Therefore, the content of the module (skimpy in the case of the G-series) was not a drawback. Yeah, they were extremely short on info, but the set the stage for epic battles. The adventure was great, to hell with the rest.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

New modules for your Old School game http://pacesettergames.com/

Everything Pacesetter at http://pacesettergames.blog.com/

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Post Posted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 5:25 pm 
 

while i enjoy several of the campaign specific modules, i don't like the campaign specific concept.  it puts too many contraints on the DM.  how can he let the players actions have any real impact in the capaign world if the next module in the series is already spelled out?  what can they do if the players take an unexpected turn and the next module makes no sense any more?  i just use the modules as a guide, but don't set the players in any specific campaign world.


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Post Posted: Sat Oct 23, 2004 12:21 am 
 

Several years ago, I stumbled across Gary Gygax's web site while he was just beginning the Lejendary RPG system. He had a forum going and I posted to its general discussion page voicing my opinion of the expansive rules and about the misgivings I had regarding the huge amount of data that TSR and then WOTC puts out so often that no one with a real job or a real life could possibly keep track of it all.

Well, he wrote back, saying he agreed with me and he also added more or less the following. This is all from an old mans memory and years ago at that, so of course it is Paraphrased.

"The TSR rule books were written as a general guide to help make things easy for those who had less time to make worlds of their own and rules of there own, they were also written with the intention that each individual take what they want from them and then make up the rest. And more importantly have more time for the fun of doing so."

Of course you can read similar thoughts in the core rules books too.

  
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