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Thread: "Busywork" in RPG's...
Monday, 27th November, 2006, 07:28 PM #21
The Great Druid (Lvl 17)
Originally Posted by buzz
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Monday, 27th November, 2006, 07:36 PM #22
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
We usually give the DM time to do official XP between sessions, too. I'm just saying, I don't think the process is that complicated, and with all the XP calculators available, it effectively takes no time. At the very least, I think it's pretty far down the totem pole of busywork in 3e, IME. YMMV.Originally Posted by Lanefan
I think Mark wins the thread with NPC creation. The main reason I stopped my CotSQ game after chapter one was the massive amount of time spent converting the NPCs/monsters to 3.5 and formating stat blocks. If this thread points to anything that WotC needs to remedy about 3.x, it's that.
Monday, 27th November, 2006, 08:05 PM #23
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
I still don't think N/PC generation can be called busywork. It's essential to the game, and therefor not something that could be skipped or dropped in the interest of speed. (Unless you want to go stat-less or dice-less, but then you're no longer playing D&D, at least as people commonly think of it.)
I agree that magic item identification, treasure division, and shopping expeditions are all busywork. When I DM, I try to get the players to do this stuff between sessions. They don't, but I keep trying.
Spell preparation is a tricky case. It has elements of busywork, yet it's essential for several core classes. And if you remove those classes, you fundamentally alter the game. But the sheer number of spells available makes spell preparation a daunting task.
= = =
Here's another one: shapechanging magic or abilities, from alter self to wildshape to polymorph. Recalculating everything is tremendous busywork that is often irrelevant, particulary if the form was selected for non-combat purposes.
Monday, 27th November, 2006, 08:12 PM #24
Novice (Lvl 1)
I love generating characters. In fact I probably enjoy it more than the average game. For me that is definitely NOT busy work.
I do find keeping track of equipment rather a pain.
Monday, 27th November, 2006, 08:34 PM #25
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
The problem on the NPC side is that there's currently only one process, and it's the same one used for creating PCs. Ergo, you're generating a lot of data that's simply not really relevant for a character that may only get used for one adventure. Losing or abbreviating that extraneous data doesn't affect gameplay, ergo, the process could be simplified. All that matters is that the end result is a suitable challenge (or suitable color) for the scenario.Originally Posted by Joshua Randall
Spycraft 2.0 and Iron Heroes both have presented solutions for this, and neither take veers towards unwanted simplification.
Monday, 27th November, 2006, 08:39 PM #26
The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)
You're a better man than I. I hated it so much, I largely removed xp from my game.Originally Posted by buzz
Interesting, NPC generation isn't nearly as much busywork for me nowadays as it used to be. Even though my group is 20th-22nd lvl, NPC gen takes about a fifth the time that it used to. I think that's because I no longer write down every miniscule detail. More powerful NPCs means that combat bonuses can come from a variety of sources (inherent bonuses, high stats, luck, permanent magical effects, all sorts of things) so I can craft a good challenge without feeling like I have to enumerate where every skill point or attack bonus comes from. It saves a ton of time.
Conversely, I love character creation. I find it really fun.
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Monday, 27th November, 2006, 08:47 PM #27
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
Monte Cook outlined a sorta similar way to wing NPCs in a Dungeoncraft article a few months back.Originally Posted by Piratecat
Thing is, this kind of process isn't what the rules say. It only comes with experience and a little math-fu. The simple fact that you felt it necessary and beneficial to do this says to me, "D&D could be made better by giving DMs a faster way to make NPCs."
The current chargen process is great if you're a player; there's lots of bits to fiddle with and plan out to bring your PC to life. If you're a DM, it's simply more work than should be necessary, IMO.
Monday, 27th November, 2006, 09:03 PM #28
Superhero (Lvl 15)
The fly rules are bloated and difficult to run. Unless you have perfect fly, its a whole lot of numbers and mini work to run the scenario correctly.
Monday, 27th November, 2006, 09:14 PM #29
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
Strangely enough, this is one of the reasons I love the HERO System. For all its math and wonky formulae for creating new powers, when the rubber hits the road all you need to think about are "the parts you need to think about" so to speak. If you want a character to be ferocious but maneuverable in combat, you just give them n levels in combat and the Acrobatics skill and you're done, without having to think, "Oh, well, he'll need to have X amount of fighter to have enough BAB, Y amount of rogue in order to tumble effectively, which means that skills P, Q, and R can only have thus-and-so ranks and oh yeah, that'll nerf his Will save, won't it?" HERO characters aren't the complicated lattices that D&D characters are. For the average adventure I could build the BBEG for HERO in a matter of minutes compared to the time it takes me in D&D. E-Tools has helped in that regard, but we all know the fate of that now, don't we?Originally Posted by buzz
OTOH, the reason I play D&D (besides my players not being intimidated by it the way they are by HERO for whatever reason) is that there's so much pre-written stuff for me. Dungeon is a godsend. If/when I ever want to run something that doesn't use the 3.5 ruleset straight from the box (and thus isn't supported by E-Tools), I'm going to have a lot of heavy deciding to do.
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Monday, 27th November, 2006, 09:24 PM #30
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
I'm a big HERO fan. That said, it's still sort of fudging to only stat out the bits you think will matter. I mean, there's no system that lets you spit out an NPC that will be a good challenge for a group of 350pt PCs. You're still kind of winging it and using your GM-fu.Originally Posted by The_Gneech
That said, it is nice to just be able to throw some points around, instead of leveling up and piecing classes together. It also helps that Hero Designer is one of the best chargen apps in existence.
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