The former Tomb of Horrors / current 3e debate thread
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 6:57 pm 
 

harami2000 wrote:
bclarkie wrote:When your System SHock numbers decrease it also means that it is harder to raise you successfully, so dying and ressurecting in 1st edition you kind of get double whammied. :twisted:

Sounds like a good incentive to avoid getting your characters killed in the first place: would have said that might be the biggest "whammy" ;)

Gee... a rule designed to encourage sensible roleplaying; who'd've expected that?! :D


Seriously, imagine that! Trying not to get your character killed through skillful playing. :o  Where is that damn reset button with these tabletop games at anyway. :twisted:  What no cheat codes either?! This game sucks!! :P  :lol:


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 7:09 pm 
 

bclarkie wrote:Seriously, imagine that! Trying not to get your character killed through skillful playing. :o Where is that damn reset button with these tabletop games at anyway. :twisted: What no cheat codes either?! This game sucks!! :P :lol:

I think such players might be advised to hire a team of high-level clerics to tag along and "Word of Recall" them out, should things look like they're going to get that bad.
Will cost more than a quarter, though! :D

  


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 7:22 pm 
 

Nice article, Traveller.
Traveller wrote:In short, whether or not this is realistic really depends on the time and period in which you are playing. For the free-wheeling modern world, I'd say use a skill based system (and here, you're probably better off with GURPS than D20). For a more stratified society, a purely level based system works just fine.

Heh. Or just use Rolemaster (original flavor) for both scenarios.

Not that I know 3e, but just from browsing a character sheet it kinda looks like a bastardised version of that, plus whatever was left from the ashes of 2e... 8O

:P


(Not that I'm saying it's not possible to RP well with most any given system, whatever the mechanics...)

  

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 7:32 pm 
 

More accurately, d20 is a blend of the ashes of 2d Edition, a bit of Alternity, and a heaping dose of RuneQuest (which TSR/WotC owned up until about a year ago).



  

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 7:35 pm 
 

To each his own. I prefer systems to be as realistic as possible. That doesn't mean that unrealistic systems are wrong, I just don't prefer them. Not to Xbox, anyways.


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 7:42 pm 
 

Traveller wrote:More accurately, d20 is a blend of the ashes of 2d Edition, a bit of Alternity, and a heaping dose of RuneQuest (which TSR/WotC owned up until about a year ago).

Hard-pushed to see the relics of RQ on that sheet. Location-based hits would be fun with 133 points of damage meted out in a single round! :)

Yeah, I didn't manage to win John's copies cheap, so still waiting for a 3e PHB to go with Monte Cook's DMG. Oops, almost forgot about that... *goes to fetch/read* :oops:

Maybe some day...

  


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 9:00 pm 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:There are level limits on nonhuman characters because they have other bonuses. If they didnt have restrictions, who in the world would want to play a human?


Precisely. Which is why I don't like that particular aspect - you're choosing something not based on it's strenghts, but on avoiding it's weaknesses.

In 3.5, humans get no mod to stats, and get some minor bonuses. Other races get more signifigant bonuses, and a small penalty (most races get +2 to one stat, and -2 to another, plus racial abilities).

An elven fighter is as good, but not the same, as a human fighter.

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 9:22 pm 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:There are level limits on nonhuman characters because they have other bonuses. If they didnt have restrictions, who in the world would want to play a human?


It seems that Dead and I are the only disciples of the old faith.

I know this may be hard pill for most rpgers to swallow, but games require mechanics to work. That is, there are systems of balance and counter-balance. In the old days, games were designed with certain mechanics in place (i.e. dwarves can't be rangers). The problem (for some people) is that game mechanics don't always make sense or are just plain stupid. But they make the game work - there is balance of a sort. That's 1e AD&D.

3e AD&D is not so much about mechanics (even though the game is extremely rule heavy) but about fluff. The characters are - as Dead so easily points out - video game personas and are, essentially "the game."

Conversely, 1e characters are simply "tools" that are used to play the game. And therein lies the difference between the two games.

I am of the old school. I enjoy the game of AD&D and solving problems (as a player) or developing the the story (as the DM). 3e has changed all that to make the characters the focus of the game. And that is fine, its just not what AD&D or D&D used to be. Playing through a module was about surviving or succeeding; now it has turned into how cool my 11th level Barbarian/Sorcerer/Rogue with 187 hip point is...


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

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 9:33 pm 
 

bbarsh wrote:It seems that Dead and I are the only disciples of the old faith.

I highly doubt that.  Just because I speak of the game I had a (small) hand in creating doesn't mean that I've given up on OD&D, B/X D&D, or AD&D.



  


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 10:08 pm 
 

bbarsh wrote:...now it has turned into how cool my 11th level Barbarian/Sorcerer/Rogue with 187 hip point is...

"Hip points" as a measure of "cool". Now yer showing your age! :D
(Or possibly been playing this one).

Yup, am still in general agreement with the videogame analogy/observation, even though I'm somewhat on the periphery nowadays and know well it's not a clear-cut old/new "style" debate.

Still, it seems somewhat ironic that the potential for "developing the story" was perhaps, if anything, more easily exploited under the simplistic ancienne régimes than some of the newer systems that claim to be "storytelling" but provide more than enough videogame trappings to divert players from such a goal on a grander scale *cough White Wolf cough*.

</removes rose-tinted spectacles>

  

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 11:50 pm 
 

Traveller wrote:
bbarsh wrote:It seems that Dead and I are the only disciples of the old faith.

I highly doubt that. Just because I speak of the game I had a (small) hand in creating doesn't mean that I've given up on OD&D, B/X D&D, or AD&D.


I am not saying that at all. In fact, I am not trying to knock down the new game, either. Just pointing out, what I feel, is a major disconnect between the two.


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

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

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Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 2:08 am 
 

bbarsh wrote:Ship,

Did you say with a straight face that a 11th level Barbarian character in your current campaign has 187 hit points! 8O  

And that same character can be killed by Cloud Giant in one round!


    Did I say 187?  I was exagerating...it is something more like 137, with the possiblity of temporary hit points when the character is berserk.  You never stop getting hit dice in 3.5.  187 would be more like 15th level...which is still playable in 3.5.

    The cloud giant would have to roll pretty well...or there could be two of 'em!  Two rounds is probably more realistic.   :lol:

    It has been fun debating this topic.  Sort of like the old arguments over whether or not Orcus could beat Asmodeus in a fight....or a copy of Gods and Demi-Gods with the gods that have been killed by player characters crossed off.   8O  (Where did I just read that one?)

    I have to say I really hate the presentation of 3.5.  It is too slick and lacks the amateur sense of joy of the early books.

    Funny to read Gary Gygax flaming the new system...he was a snob about the 1st edition as well.  Remember some of the things he used to publish in his column in Dragon?

     I will be sad to see 3.5 go...mainly because that will mean I have to buy 4.0!   8)


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Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 2:41 am 
 

radagast wrote:I don't like weapon mastery, I don't like multiclass characters, I don't like the proliferation of rules and options of 3.5 ... I think that when we had only seven classes (fighter, priest, wizard, thief, elf, dwarf, halfling) there was much more freedom than if we can be paladin, ninja, half elf/demi orc etc. My Gandalf was quite different from my friend's Saruman just because I am different from him.
but this is simply what I like :wink: . Every people likes what he likes, isn't it?! :D


Amen!  I cant' tell you how many different times one of my brothers has played a mage, and the other a fighter...and in 20+ years, they were totally different characters. No one needed any specific rules, they just gamed them differently.  


And more rules or less rules ... cannot make an important difference. DM and the players can.

And, BTW, I love D&D at low levels. When characters reach Name-level they become to powerful for adventure against monsters, but a campaign with rulers, diplomatics, etc etc (a companion level campaign) needs too time and energies. :( I cannot be a full time player (even if I love to :wink: ).


Low Level play is always fun because any hit could be your last.  I feel the new game is missing a bit of this, you are low level a very short period of time...


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Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 2:42 am 
 

MShipley88 wrote:   Did I say 187? I was exagerating...it is something more like 137, with the possiblity of temporary hit points when the character is berserk. You never stop getting hit dice in 3.5. 187 would be more like 15th level...which is still playable in 3.5.

  The cloud giant would have to roll pretty well...or there could be two of 'em! Two rounds is probably more realistic.  :lol:


temporary hit points for going berserk  8O
i dont see what the problem is with increasing to hit and decreasing AC - do you need more than that?

and i STILL cant believe you have a easy time killing a cloud giant! unreal man!

back in the day, when we were winding down from a game, we all used to open up deities & demigods and pick out a god/demigod/hero etc and have a knockout melee tournament and fight them against each other. was great fun and i managed to win once or twice. I always chose Athena as first choice, and if i couldnt have her, my next were Ukko and then Lemminkainen or Vainomoinen

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Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 2:53 am 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:There are level limits on nonhuman characters because they have other bonuses. If they didnt have restrictions, who in the world would want to play a human?



Anyone who wants to actually roleplay and not min/max just for the helluva it. We haven't used level limits in our D&D campaigns since almost the very beginning, and it's never effected the amount of human characters that have been rolled up.  As a matter of fact, I have a brother who won't roll up a Dwarven or Elven character, just because he doesn't like Dwarven or Elven characters. As a matter of fact he doesn't really like non human characters period.  He had a half-orc fighter once and that's about it, and it was for roleplaying purposes only (playing an outcast to society forced to help that very same society, something along those lines).  I never thought the old Gygaxian argument "if there are no level limit's no one will ever play a human!" ever held much water.  Besides, if everyone in the group wants to play Elves, Dwarves and Halflings, then let them, who cares anyway as long as everyone is having fun.  

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Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:06 am 
 

Ma Yuan was the best. Can't beat having an amulet that changes into anything.
The last gaming session I DMed in 3E, one of the characters, a 5th level fighter, had a round of attacks which I deem typical of 3E. He moved 10', attacked a monster, ran 20' to a set of stairs (tumbling past an attack), up the stairs (another tumble past an attacker), and attacked the priest at the top. He had boots of speed or some shit. And it was all legal.
This is the same guy who got all upset because he charged his paladin into battle on the top of Bone Hill (which I adapted), and was getting hammered by magic missiles every round. He didn't agree that the evil mage would see him as the greatest threat, and try to dispose of him first.
The evidence is clear that 3E was designed and geared toward a video game-weaned populace. I don't particularly care, WotC is perfectly within its rights to make money however they want. But to take the name of the greatest game system designed in order to boost sales because of a reputation earned by gaming geniuses 20 years ago is a phuqing insult to them and to humanity in general. It says "Well, people know the D&D name, so if we use it on our new system, they will buy it" (because they are dumbass sheep).
When Janet Jackson whipped out her left tit at the Superbowl, I was insulted. Not because she nippleized the world, but because she actually thought that people would be impressed by it. I am not some lame steer who lets society dictate my every move. And what WotC did is not a heck of a lot different than what Michael/Janet did. It's insulting.
To top it off, they pull the stunt of releasing 3.0, then 3.5 months later. Sorry man, if I want to pay to get screwed I'll get a hooker.


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Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:12 am 
 

bbarsh wrote:
Deadlord36 wrote:There are level limits on nonhuman characters because they have other bonuses. If they didnt have restrictions, who in the world would want to play a human?


It seems that Dead and I are the only disciples of the old faith.

I know this may be hard pill for most rpgers to swallow, but games require mechanics to work. That is, there are systems of balance and counter-balance. In the old days, games were designed with certain mechanics in place (i.e. dwarves can't be rangers). The problem (for some people) is that game mechanics don't always make sense or are just plain stupid. But they make the game work - there is balance of a sort. That's 1e AD&D.
...


    I never felt giving characters unlimited advancement ever hurt our 1st ed campaigns at all. First of all, how often did characters really get high enough level for it to even matter.  Second, who was thinking that far ahead when they started out.  We still played that elves couldn't be raised from the dead back then, so there wasn't a huge rush to play elven characters. Dwarves and halflings and gnomes are still short little fucks, you'd be surprised at how many people hated to play short characters simply because, well, they were so short (like playing a dwarve would cause you to shrink in real life). I guess once we played for a few years we never really trusted tht the creators were all that concerned about game balance or mechanics (as a lot of 1st ed was broke we thought even back then).  If a game mechanic doesn't make sense or is stupid, then it doesn't make sense or its stupid to use it without trying something different. We had fun with a lot of rules adjustments back then, some good, some bad, but we were always tinkering when we felt the PHB or DMG had "missed the boat".
 I felt and still feel a lot of the so called "game balance" from first edition was very arbitrary.  Our changes and tweaks and home brews only made a great game even better, at least everyone who ever rolled dice at my table thought so. Heck, we came up with the idea of spells, armor and weapons of clerics being faith/God specific (instead of El Generic cleric of 1st Edition) way back when, and it made the game a lot better (then and now).
I used to run into gamers that bemoaned having to play clerics because they are boring and generic in 1st edition; these types were always amazed at the variety of clerics in my campaign world and wondered why they never did that themselves in their campaigns.

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Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 4:05 am 
 

bbarsh wrote:
Traveller wrote:
bbarsh wrote:It seems that Dead and I are the only disciples of the old faith.

I highly doubt that. Just because I speak of the game I had a (small) hand in creating doesn't mean that I've given up on OD&D, B/X D&D, or AD&D.

I am not saying that at all. In fact, I am not trying to knock down the new game, either. Just pointing out, what I feel, is a major disconnect between the two.


Bleh! I hope you understand I was referring to Castles & Crusades and not d20 Fantasy, despite the fact that C&C is built from the d20 System Resource Document (it's an OGL game though, or else there would be no character generation rules in it). I enjoy the fact that I hold true to the old school way of things, especially as I've gone right back to the very beginning, and play OD&D. It has the flexibility I want in a game while feeling very much like AD&D. Its only stumbling block is the organization, which is why I had asked myalbinogorilla some time back for a copy of that index in the OCE he had gotten off of ebay.



Since I'm the type that doesn't use every rule in the book, rather than having to slog through six booklets of OD&D repeatedly (and wear them out!), I'm putting together one rulebook with the rules I want to use. And I will be happy, for I will have made the game my own.



Now, why did I feel the need to explain that? Partly it was to show bbarsh that I had read his entire post the second time around (after having only skimmed it the first time :?), and also to come to the biggest difference between d20 Fantasy and Dungeons & Dragons.



The biggest difference between the two is in the amount of difficulty involved in truly making the game your own. d20 Fantasy is rather difficult to truly make your own, because of the problems inherent in a set of rules that are interdependent. Of the Dungeons & Dragons game systems, the closer you are to the death of TSR, the more difficulty involved in house ruling things. I can see the progression here. OD&D was very easily house ruled and in fact was EXPECTED to be house ruled. B/X was very easy to house rule, but unlike OD&D, there was no expectation that the game would be house ruled. AD&D was a tournament system, and thus was specifically NOT to be house ruled, but gamers did it anyway with relative ease. However, 2d Edition AD&D and BECMI D&D seemed to be more difficult to house rule, especially BECMI, as it was all inclusive, with all the levels to 36 defined. Yet they still could be readily tinkered with.



d20 Fantasy doesn't encourage real tinkering with the rules, and that's because the rules as written are so "tight". Really, the only way to loosen d20 Fantasy up to bring back that element of being able to make the game your own back into a gamer's life is to do what I and a lot of other people did together, and that's to systematically tear apart the SRD and write C&C. The thing about C&C that makes it most appealing is its "rosetta stone" effect, or the ability to take any Dungeons & Dragons module from the past, and any d20 Fantasy module from the present or future, and run them with one rule system that has all the benefits of the d20 system, with none of its liabilities.



My games of choice (OD&D and C&C) allow me to truly make the game my own by not filling in all the little gaps. Both are flexible (OD&D in my opinon a bit more flexible than C&C) which to me is an absolute must in a fantasy role playing game. Finally, in both, the rules stay in the background, allowing the players to focus on their roleplay.



Can d20 Fantasy claim any of that? In my mind, no. Therefore, d20 Fantasy is not a good choice for me.



  
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