A DM Discussion: Nothing Conclusive

09.2007 at 3:51 pm 1 comment

Jon says:
The thing is, 2nd has no specific rules for variant races, ie, there is no xp or other penalty for playing a stronger kit or race. 3rd has that at least. Further, in 2nd, if you get 19 Strength, you’re crazy powerful, in 3rd, 22 still isn’t a huge deal. We just level up super fast and start super-strong in char creation, which is why it seems to have no challenge.
Robin says:
No challenge in 2nd?
Jon says:
No, 3rd, no challenge in 3rd. 2nd has its own set of challenges.
Robin says:
I’d say the opposite to the above, 19 strength meant something in 2nd.
Jon says:
True, but a character that starts with 19 in second is as possible as a character that starts with 20 in 3rd, and that 19 makes the game a lot easier than that 20.
Still, we have always been way to generous in the character creation (and by we, I mean everyone who has been a DM in our group, unless you’ve gotten stricter in our absence).
Robin says:
I vary – the Guts game they could only roll 3d6 six times.
Jon says:
Wow, that is harsh. Any modifying? Or was it take what you get?
Robin says:
Take what you get.
Jon says:
The stats must have sucked.
Robin says:
Yep, but they had time to increase as they were almost at level thirty when we stopped.
My main thing with 3rd is that it is geared towards levelling and getting stronger, as opposed to how to roleplay a character.
Jon says:
I think that’s a personal decision for the gamers. If you’ll recall, you had a 2nd edition halfling capable of doing as much damage throwing rocks as the Alaghi, the minotaur, and the Ogre with their massive weapons. I was PO’d about it at the time. We were all crazy powerhouses and you were actually able to kill as quickly, or moreso then we were.
Robin says:
Amanda gave him those returning rocks!
Jon says:
Oh, right. Still. You were doing almost as much damage before that. Either way, those characters never even made it to level ten and could probably be a massive threat to our 3rd ed epic characters. So it’s all in whether you choose to aim for RP or for character development. Though in truth, character development isn’t much of an option in 2nd ed.
Robin says:
I’ve been rereading the 2nd ed stuff, and even the monstrous manual has more about roleplay than stats.
Jon says:
I don’t know… the combat rules are the largest chunk of most monster’s writeups. At least, I would say that’s true for the evil creatures.
Robin says:
RP combat rules.
Jon says:
True. How the character fights.
Robin says:
Yes. Well, we’ll see. I’m going back to 2nd ed to see how things go.
Jon says:
I think that 2nd spelled a lot of things out and was very minute in its details, almost to the place where it could be very cumbersome. At the same time, it provided more RP guidelines. 3rd is less cumbersome, but the result is that the party is less likely to RP.
Robin says:
Which is why I want to go back to 2nd. More stuff doesn’t necessarily better quality.
Jon says:
Ah, but I’m saying that there is more detail in 2nd than in 3rd.
Robin says:
By stuff, I mean, options.
Jon says:
Maybe not. But the characters, just to look at, are more cookie-cutter in 2nd than in 3rd. Every ranger at x-level will have x-stats in x-abilities and x-range of HP.
Robin says:
That is true, but that forces you to rp as a ranger. Then there are RP focused options with kits, like barbarian ranger, amazon ranger, etc.
Jon says:
Ah, but then you have the fact that some kits are more useful from a logical, gameplay perspective, and 2nd forces the DM to do a lot more work. A lot of kits practically require the DM to come up with massive worlds and whatnot. The required prep is relatively enormous for a serious campaign, or, to be more accurate, many of the kits require the campaign to be serious.
Jon says:
Further, have you ever used the secondary skills?
Robin says:
Yes.
Jon says:
Or how often do you really use the NWPs?
Robin says:
Secondary skills are replaced by the “profession” skill in 3rd ed, which people don’t use.
Jon says:
I know. One massive part of 2nd is compressed to one stat in 3rd that still doesn’t get any use. At least, not by our group.
NWPs are a borderline joke in 2nd.
Robin says:
I find the nwps more flexible though.
Jon says:
Yes and no. I would say that the skill list in 3rd has more outright useful skills for a game (our games) than 2nd’s NWP list. In 2nd, it’s so easy for the DM to say, “Oh, none of you took seamstress/tailor, so you can’t do that.”
Robin says:
That might be a bad example.
Jon says:
Alright, I once played a D&D campaign that had strict character creation, and animal handling didn’t even occur to me based on my character concept. So, I had a horse but the DM’s like, “Nope, you don’t know how to take care of it, cause you didn’t take the stat.” Fortunately, I had charmed the ranger in the party, so it wasn’t an issue, but you get the point.
Robin says:
Yeah.
Jon says:
At least, in 3rd edition, you’re allowed a default roll on skills you don’t know. There are negatives, but that sort of thing wouldn’t be an issue when you consider I was just hobbling my horse for an evenings camping.
Robin says:
Yeah, but I just do stat checks for that stuff.
Jon says:
My point is that those sorts of things should all be handled by the RP. The character starts the game with a horse, the party is formed during the first game, therefore the character knows how to take care of a horse. If the game starts with a seriously defined character from an RP perspective, then the rest shouldn’t be much of an issue, hang the rules.
Robin says:
Agreed, but easier said than done.

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Entry filed under: Scouring of the Shire: d&d evolution.

Gibson’s New Romancer The 4 Parts of 4th Edition

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. 4E Primer « Anatomy of a Halfling  |  03.2008 at 4:14 pm

    […] here. This was on a similar topic to a post from last year, which you can check out the discussion here – most of this was merely speculation as not a whole lot had come out on 4E. I think the biggest […]

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