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Number Three
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« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2007, 09:26:42 PM »

Yep, looks like they wanged themselves.  Sing it a lullaby, it's done

When all is said and done, I'm all for making the game easier to get into. Adding Saga changes does that, as well as finally putting all the tools for an online game in one spot (for a nominal fee, of course.  )  I just don't like the pace at all, especially after the joke that was 3.5.  It feels like Hasbro is trying to milk it for all it's worth.
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« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2007, 09:45:50 PM »

I wonder about the line "Concepts for 4th Edition gameplay were tested in the new Star Wars RPG, and the Book of 9 Swords."
Specifically the patch about the Book of 9 Swords. I owned that for a while, and it was pretty ambitious. Key to that ambition was doing a lot to offer melee specialists more combat options in the form of semi-spell effects, reactive abilities, and generally stuff more complex then "I swing, I hit!, I do damage, I repeat." Not tricks, not like SC, more limited by feats/classes/lists/themes.
Nine Swords was, incidentally, not approved material for any Living campaign I knew of (or at least played). Probably due to a cocktail of balance issues (You hit me, I reactively blast you for 4d6 Fire! Whee!) and distaste (as expressed by the local Greyhawk Triad members I'd chatted with at the time) conjured by....creativity! Who knows.

And though I can't find the entry I'm sure I read somewhere the first updated D20 setting will be The Forgotten Realms. I'll admit, that's kind of interesting...I'm hoping FR got chosen to boot Greyhawk as the official setting. Cuz, y'know, Greyhawk sucks thundering buffalo toe. Could be wise, could be brutal.
Since about 1996 the list of local Forgotten Realms fans has diminished under waves of Harry Potter, literary criticism for Salvatore and Greenwood, and the pressure created by those hideously expensive FR hardcovers themselves. That's in addition to the long-gone Living City -the former Living bastion of the Forgotten Realms.

Or in plainer terms, if the change comes will anyone give a crap? Living SoylentGreyhawk is rather popular in the circles I know, though not for the setting so much as the PC's wedded to it. That's just life in the Duchy of Urnst though; chatter at Origins year after year suggests to me a higher degree of satisfaction elsewhere.

Irregardless, I'll probably buy and play. Not for any real love, WTB Classic Fantasy plz, but because it's what will probably be going on most weekends. And THAT is the great decider because even when the mod sucks the company's grand and the pizza's at least decent.
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« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2007, 10:38:07 PM »

The setting for the core books are campaign neutral.  Forgotten Realms will be the first campaign setting to be updated (in August 2008).  Other campaign settings will be updated at a rate of one per year.   

Whoops, standing corrected.
Oh well. Campaign neutral. W/e, yo.
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« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2007, 12:19:04 AM »

And it is being tied to the new digital initiative. Yay.  Roll Eyes This is actually the part I am most annoyed by - I rather hope that the DI is a tremendous flop. It feels far to much like paid licensing, which is something I detest in software. (Yes, Hero Labs, I am looking at you!) I do not want to spend $10 a month to get the most out of books I have purchased. The other thing that annoys me is that WotC was so adamant in their protestations that they were not developing 4D. It makes me want to hit them.

I may pick it 4D, I may not - I am actually fairly happy with 3.25 (I still use some 3.0 rules...), and feel no great need to change.

It did come as a pleasant surprise that Wizards is going to continue updating the SRD - I expected the various D20/OGL licenses to be abandoned. They could not prevent people from continuing to use the OGL, but they could ignore it to death. However they are planning to update the SRD, and to allow 3rd party support to continue.

Otherwise, I am keeping a dubious eye on developments.

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« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2007, 12:54:09 AM »

Hopefully with Star Wars moving over to a HP track, Vitality/wounds will get added to the 3rd edition SRD.

Interestingly, they are saying that there will be a 4th edition SRD.
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« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2007, 01:12:41 AM »

Campaign Neutral, what does that mean?

The Book of Nine Swords is quite interesting, though the designers should have taken clue from SCs conflict cards when designing their own cards.

I'll look into it, no hurry to change since 3.25 works just fine.
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« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2007, 01:24:20 AM »

Personally, I'm rather annoyed with Wizards recently.

I liked the RCR rules better than the Saga rules because it was easier to have very different characters in the party through feats and skills while allowing rather easy conversions into the system.

Also much of Saga seemed like tearing out the guts of the game to make it more of an advanced version of the minis game while hurting everyone who preferred not to use the minis in the first place.

The Star Wars OCR to RCR split was a lot like the DnD 3.0 to 3.5 split, the basics stayed the same, but it was mainly fixed for easier use as well as balancing things a bit more while expanding on the rules. My DnD games still have a lot of 3.0 stuff in it and I've bought several 3.0 things recently because there are small nich sections of the game where it comes into play.

I'm beginning to regret getting Saga though.
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« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2007, 01:28:02 AM »

Campaign Neutral sounds exactly like the approach crafty are taking with thieir Origins of the Species line - so nothing about ecology or culture, just the mechanics.

I like SAGA on the whole, I do think it is a mostly streamlined version of the game - and you have an actual chance of pulling off the tricks Jedi are seen to pull off without being completely screwed when it comes to skills (I dislike aspects of the skill system) and am fence-sitting on making grappling feat-based.

I notice that in all the hype ove their online content they've not released a single technical specification on what sort of box you'll need to run it.

Also: The D&D Sizzle. Ware the THAC0!
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« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2007, 01:35:58 AM »

See, I have the Star Wars Saga Edition rules and I really do like them...for Star Wars.  I remember saying to my friends when I read the Saga rules, that a lot of what went into it I wouldn't care to see in D&D.

The characters in the Star Wars universe have always been omni-competent, so I really don't mind it if someone who has never looked at a computer before still has a chance to make something happen with it.  It's a Space Opera, that's what's supposed to happen.

D&D has always been more of a High Fantasy setting, where +5 Double-bladed swords are the norm.  I have never actually seen a +5 Double Lightsaber, and I hope I never do.

I think what REALLY irks me most was best stated by a friend of mine when he said that "d20 is trying to be the ONE GAME SYSTEM TO RULE THEM ALL".  I like the 3.5 D&D rules set.  I like the d20 Spycraft rules set.  I like the 7th Sea and L5R d10 rules set.  I like Shadowrun's d6 rules set.  I like In Nomine's d666 rule set.

I like all of these games because the rules were designed to reflect the flavor of the game, not the other way around.  Too any times, I have seen games stripped of their uniqueness by this need to conform to the d20 set.

I didn't like the d20 rule set for 7th Sea, er "Swashbuckling Adventures" nor did I like the d20 system for Gamma World.  They both basically became D&D games without all the magic items.

I'd be perfectly happy playing 3.5 as is and using Saga Edition rules for Star Wars.
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« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2007, 02:13:25 AM »

Semi-compulsory paid online content

I'm sorry, WHAT?!

I don't know why i'm surprised. White Wolf have majorly pissed me off with this McWoD crap as well this week, so i'm kinda down on most of the industry tonight. Grrr.
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« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2007, 02:36:47 AM »

The characters in the Star Wars universe have always been omni-competent, so I really don't mind it if someone who has never looked at a computer before still has a chance to make something happen with it.  It's a Space Opera, that's what's supposed to happen.

D&D has always been more of a High Fantasy setting, where +5 Double-bladed swords are the norm.  I have never actually seen a +5 Double Lightsaber, and I hope I never do.

Don't play KotOR: The Sith Lords then. Tongue

But seriously, I completely disagree with you about high fantasy lacking omni competence memes - most adventures seem capable of turning their hand to most anything, and what they don't know how to do at the beginning of an adventure, they seem to have a reasonable faculty for picking up along the way.

Conversely, picking up the all powerful MacGuffin to defeat the bad guy is freqently a space opera resolution.

I've mentioned it before, but SWSE's revision of the skill system is really harkening all the way back to 1st Edition's Unearthed Arcana and it's intrduction of non weapon proficiencies (from whence the 3rd edition skills arose)
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« Reply #26 on: August 17, 2007, 02:38:19 AM »

I'm surprised and pleased to hear you say this. I've been grimacing a bit as Spycraft tries to be more of a generic system, and less of 'just a spy game.' What I loved about it when I read it is that seemed well thought out to blend into it's genre, despite it's d20 roots. It takes more than just a glossy overview (d20 modern) to change the genre a game was intended for.
I want them to focus on being a spy game, but I believe I may be in the minority. It was only my years of experince that convinced ANY of my players to try it at all (and they now love it) but It shows me that Spycraft may need to be more than a spy game to stay alive and make money. Sigh.

I also don't really want one game for every purpose. I like variety, and I get frustrated when my group pins down to one system.

My favorite systems and some limitations of them.

1> Hero. Hero is one of the orginal 'generic systems. I played Fantasy Hero way back, since we were all so fond of Champions. I even ran a 4th ed FH game for a few years. Despite this, running FH feels a bit like running Fantasy Superheroes. A valid genre perhaps, but not really a Fantasy Game, as most people envision it. The freedom tends to make players ask for unusual races and characters more often, and makes the group a bit more bizarre. I loved my FH game, but it was not a true fantasy game.
I also ran a historical game and tried to use FH. It still didn't work really well, because it's just not what the game was designed to do. The game flourishes when you have the freedom to do the bizarre, and it's strength is the breadth of character concepts avaiable..restrict them and you weaken the game.

2> Spycraft: It seems great for a spy game. It seems to have added enough to D20 to make it useable, and flourish. The gear system makes a James Bond game feel doable for the first time ever.
However, as you steer away from spy games, the gear system looses it's pizzazz, the chase system seems less needed, and it reverts to being d20 modern again, with a couple of extra conditions and rules. I don't think I'd ever run a Fantasy Spycraft game, though having options there makes the variability of spy games nice.

3> Rolemaster. Rolemaster is to me the best fantasy game running. However, Modern rolemaster is virtually unplayable.

4> Deadlands (pre d20)..I loved this game system. The world needed some tweaking, but I loved adding 'cards' to a western game, and the initative systems, and a few other doo dads. Magic was just plane FUN to use. I'd never run Deadlands with another system, and I'd never use the deadlands system for another game. It's perfect for what it does, useless for everything else.

5> Eternity and Scion seem ludicrous, trying to build essentially superhero concepts into a system designed for dark gritty horror. I can't even get through the books, much less play the game. I played WW for years, currently play Werewolf, and have absolutely no desire to incorporate these odd shifts into the world.

In short, I try to find the best system for any one game. If a system can be used for more than one game, I don't really care, because there's probably a better one out there for that one, and even if their isn't..part of the fun is in trying. I love playing new systems, and I hate getting cut off from exploring them.

We spent years sort of 'locked in' to hero, and I finaly just quit playing it all together for awhile, so we could try other things. It seemed to need to be a complete break because it was so easy whenever I came up with a concept to try hero, even when it wasn't the ideal choice.
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« Reply #27 on: August 17, 2007, 03:44:26 AM »

btw: high level D&D characters are nothing like omnicompetent. Skill DC's like to scale and that very much means there's no replacing the skill monkey who can hit a 50 rolling a 10. There are frequently bypass techniques (why Climb when you can Fly/Teleport) but there still exist "happy" circumstances where finding out that no one in the actual party can Swim is disastrous. 1 rank is just failing twice: blowing the check and wasting skill point(s).
+X for a stat (-) some random penalty factor is usually just failure and death.
Incidentally the mentioned bypasses allow for large numbers of party members who are utterly skill useless. The Wizard, master of contingencies and knowledge checks, is irreplaceable, but as a career dungeon-crawling bomb-squadie I know Dispel Magic is too often a decent stand in for Disable Device.
Hence my love for SC. You can be skill worthless if you really want, but being a combat specialist/moron is strictly optional.
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« Reply #28 on: August 17, 2007, 06:05:32 AM »

I was under the impression that Anderson was talking about High-Fantasy as a genre rather than D&D. Pointing out that Omni-Competence is in fact well known in high-fantasy novels/films etc, just not reflected in D&D.

I've pretty much given up on D&D - it seems to do a great job of being D&D and not really reflecting anything else very well.
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« Reply #29 on: August 17, 2007, 07:14:18 AM »

I got seriously burned by D&D 3rd edition as a player and a budding game designer, and I just haven't tried to keep up beyond that.

When the books do come out, I'll probably just head to Books A Million, buy a cappuccino, grab a copy and a note pad and just pilfer anything I think is worth while. When I'm done, I'll just put the book back on the shelf.
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