Tuesday, November 13, 2012

D&D Happenings

A few weeks ago I really liked this article on levels, advancement, and rewards in general in RPGs. I went back and read it again tonight and I still find it thought provoking so I thought I would share:

A new article on monsters in Next (and a survey on presentation) which had me thinking a bit about information and design for efficient use in play. EN World discussion here.

Wait, What? There's a new version of ... PCGen? That's a  bit of a surprise. Notes here, downloads here. Back when I was looking for a 3E character generator for the boys to use I thought this one was just about dead. Maybe not!


Barking Alien said...

The first article is indeed interesting but sadly all it does for me is remind me of why I dislike Class/Level systems. They seem both arbitrary and not really creating a balanced starting point to build on.

I would rather everyone start on equal footing. A first level Mage and a first level Fighter should be equally (if differently) effective in a given adventure. Then XP points would be awarded as the game progresses and the players play their characters. In the end, where you put your points will not only determine how powerful you become but also how versatile. You would also be able to customize your character for the type of play you enjoy.

The monster article...I am not sure I get what's so special about it. Is that not how Monsters are listed anymore generally speaking? The way I read that I could use it in AD&D, my D&D-But-Not, 3.0/3.5, etc.

The generator is neat. Anything that saves the GM's time is awesome.

Blacksteel said...

Class and Levels: well if you choose balance as maybe the top design goal then you get 4E in a class and level game and it does work as advertised. It's balanced, if you mean character capabilities at any given level. For your preference as described I'm thinking point build systems are more to your taste, which is not really surprising after all of the Champions discussions : )

3E style multiclassing came close to this though, if at a more granular level - points are awarded as the game progresses and after accumulating a certain number of points you can take a level of any class in the game, with certain more specialized classes having some prerequisites for entry. Maybe you should try Pathfinder!


The monster thing was more about what's important to know as a DM designing a campaign vs. information needed in play. 4E was king of the for-play monster statblock, but left out a lot of the flavor early on. There is some clamor to move back towards a 1E style block with more cultural/non-combat type information. It's interesting but I'm not sure how much I care at this point considering that I'm not really sold on Next.

I'm guessing PCGen has been around for 10 years or so - it's nice to see a useful piece of software continuing onward.