Monday, January 30, 2012

More stuff about the next D&D

  • A video game art studio from China has been hired to fully detail the Realms.
Eh, what? Oh sure, because when I think Forgotten Realms I think of videogames. And China. Were there really not enough artists available who actually might play D&D or know people who do? Was this a volume thing or an expense thing or getting a unified look or what? 

For all the hubbub about accomodating the tatses of lapsed players not all of this is looking too retro:
  • So what we want is to empower DMs and players so that if you want to attempt to do something "I want to open the door" then the DM doesn't have to even have you roll, he can just look, see you have a 17 strength and says "Yeah, you burst through that door". We want to get past some of the mundane rolls and not tie up a lot of table time with that and move on to the more interesting stuff and the table narrative. 
Every edition of D&D has included a roll to bust open doors. Early on it was a d6 roll based on Strength, later it was a fixed DC by door type that was attempted on a d20+Str mod  roll. Apparently we're moving to a "Str X = broken door" which I admit does make some sense and does eliminate some of the more mundane rolls, but it's definitely not "traditional D&D" in any sense.
  • Monte: Making a saving throw against something has become something that's really a part of D&D. So again, what we've done is tie those into the ability scores. For example you'll make a strength saving throw or wisdom saving throw against a certain effect and so far it's become a big part of some effects and abilities. The attacker makes a check and that sets the DC for your saving throw.
I can see bringing saves back in a more prominent way but it seems like all we're doing is changing for the heck of it: AD&D was a defensive roll against a fixed attacking number, 4E went to an attacking roll against a fixed defense, now Next appears to be going for mutual opposed rolls. >Shrug< OK, I suppose we can do that.
  • Bruce: Looking at the playtest characters here, you might have noticed that a class or a theme might have given you a bonus to skill, but you didn't have a skill list. Normally if you were to call for a check, you would just call for the ability score - like a dexterity check for sneaking up. But if you have a class or character feature that gives you a bonus to sneak, you would add that in. There are a lot of different expressions for skills. Trained, sneaking at full speed (stealth twice). Lots of options.
 I can see this working, but I'm not sure it feels a whole lot like D&D. Flexible, easy, sure. Have to wait and see on this.
  • Bruce: One of the things we're doing is moving things more to a silver standard instead of a gold standard. 
I know this is a mere technicality, but seriously? Every edition of D&D has used the gold piece as the standard - every edition. You can't say that for saves, turning undead, classes, races, or nearly anything  else in the game, yet someone thinks it's a good idea to change it? Why would you do that? So much of what I'm seeing sounds good, and then I see stuff like this that seems like a spur of the moment decision or an answer to a question that no one was asking. 


Back to planning Star Wars and more 4E  - for now.

1 comment:

Adam Dickstein said...

This reminds me of a line from 'All in the Family'.

"New and Improved. Everything now is New and Improved. What were we using before? Old and crappy?"

Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.