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Thread: Dear Mike & Monte
Wednesday, 28th December, 2011, 03:36 AM #71
Superhero (Lvl 15)
1. Personal and creative DIY character tokens ...and more.
This means somewhere in the rules a material figure or icon is used to represent a character or creature in front of the players. I've found some players really engage once they learn they can paint or draw or sculpt their own character to represent themselves. Maybe they cut it out of a magazine? Maybe they buy and paint a miniature? Maybe they draw on a 1" square of paper and attach to a block like a few players in my game?
Toys are a big part of play (and a great way to create another viable consumer market). Enabling game space to sit down and create a representation of a character (or setting terrain, items, effects, etc.) can create a buy in that pure book reading/consuming cannot. So please retain at core or optional the ability to use your toys and ours to play the game.
2. Consider earlier versions of D&D as setting.
Single book settings sound economically profitable. There is more than enough material in the pre-2E non-campaign setting core books to be a comprehensible setting in and of themselves. This doesn't mean maps of course, but characters and items and histories are all laden through those works. This could go a long way towards swaying early edition groups to become customers again and potential long term buyers.
I don't suggest this be the only setting or that other pre-millennial, traditionally understood campaign settings be republished. Only that artistic works may be best field tested before giving them the green light. Do we want a steampunk D&D setting? An underwater one? Test the waters first. Given the long tail of gamer attachment to D&D I think testing for an "old D&D" setting is a smart plan.
One alternative for the goals of D&D:
- Endlessly puzzling about and expressing into a reality puzzle game via a character.
- Challenging the players to improve their imaginations and memories.
- Engaging in the joy of discovery and invention with other people.
Last edited by howandwhy99; Wednesday, 28th December, 2011 at 03:52 AM. Reason: ugh. Boy my post editing was lacking - all grammar
Wednesday, 28th December, 2011, 03:39 AM #72
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
I agree about the art.
The best Fourth Edition art which I have seen have been scenes and landscapes:
There is the scene of the shrine made of gorgon's blood mortar:
The scene where the party emerges from a forest and comes across the mysterious tower:
The scene with the golden dragon reading in his library:
Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game Official Home Page
However, I do notice that Heroes of the Feywild has many interesting pictures with real stories: there are even thought provoking captions.
Wednesday, 28th December, 2011, 03:43 AM #73
Defender (Lvl 8)
In the aforementioned spirit, have a look at the new Gamma World. A game with about that level of complexity for the GM is what I want. But it needs more character building for the players--perhaps choices of archetypes, powers and skills. It also rocks to have all the maps & counters in the boxed set--very fire & forget. Offer a few PC minis to round it out and to differentiate them on the playing field. I am sad that WotC missed the chance to market the Ravenloft in the same way as announced at GenCon 2009, but now's the chance to make it so.
Wednesday, 28th December, 2011, 03:43 AM #74
Superhero (Lvl 15)
As an OD&D ref I like the variety and B&W of earlier works. But...
This... is better than...
This, which is in the 3LBBs.
And I think the following is every bit as D&D and of great quality as any of the more iconic images.
EDIT: Virgil Finlay is this last one as I've recently discovered. Do an image search for him. You won't be disappointed.
Last edited by howandwhy99; Wednesday, 28th December, 2011 at 04:13 AM.
Wednesday, 28th December, 2011, 03:45 AM #75
Hydra (Lvl 25)
[edit - 3 people posted while I typef this]
Wow. That IS an idea! You might actually be a genius!
1E is a setting, not a rule set . So are 2E, 3E and 4E. How better to define their different feels?
Greyhawk is 1E, FR is 2E; the settings themselves can define the edition feels. Low magic, high magic, gritty, high fantasy, etc. That might be a simple and easy solution to appeal to everyone. It's not like setting specific rules are a new thing. Each setting has rules which suit it's atmosphere. A setting book is half rules expansion, half setting. Why aren't I designing 5E? Ah well.
I remember Piratecat once describing how he ran ToEE and RtToEE. He ran the latter in 3E, and used the former for flashback sequences featuring the PC's grandparents - but used 1E AD&D for those scenes using the original module. The players actually played using two different rules systems depending on the time period, much like a director might play flashbacks in black and white. I can't think of a better way to illustrate the way different systems can evoke different feels and could be represented by actual different settings. As far as I'm concerned, that was a flash of genius.
Last edited by Morrus; Wednesday, 28th December, 2011 at 02:15 PM.
Wednesday, 28th December, 2011, 04:03 AM #76
The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)
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ø Block Mark CMG
Wednesday, 28th December, 2011, 04:34 AM #77
Superhero (Lvl 15)
Thanks. I've been rereading the AD&D books to pull out content I liked and there is plenty which really doesn't amount to game mechanics at all. I haven't gotten to the early modules or Dragon magazine material yet, but what is in the DMG and PHB alone is quite sizable already.
Wednesday, 28th December, 2011, 04:34 AM #78
Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)
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ø Block FireLance
My current wish list might not seem like D&D to some people, but here goes anyway:
Themes: 4E Dark Sun style themes become the macro building blocks of a character. There are themes to represent races, themes to represent classes, themes to represent backgrounds, special training (weapon styles, wizard school specialization, divine spheres of influence, etc.), and other character-defining traits (Eberron dragonmarks, Birthright bloodlines, angelic, draconic or infernal ancestry, etc.). A character's powers, abilities and other benefits are selected from those that his themes grant him access to. Level determines a character's number of powers and abilities, themes determine the number of choices for each power or ability. Hence, themes are mostly intended to add breadth (and not power) to a character. The number of themes that each character has access to can be left to the DM. If he want to run a simpler game, each character can have only one or two themes. If he wants to gradually increase the complexity, characters can be granted access to a new theme every few levels.
Races: Race is a theme. There will thus be racial powers and benefits and characters who select a race theme are able to choose those powers and benefits. Mixed-race characters can be represented by selecting two racial themes.
Classes: Class is also a theme. In addition to class themes, there can be power source (arcane, divine, martial, primal, shadow) themes and role (striker, defender, leader, controller) themes. Depending on the number of themes a character is granted access to, he could play a ranger, a martial ranger (or a primal ranger), or a martial striker ranger. This ensures that characters who have the same power source theme or role theme have access to the same powers and abilities, and allows for "iconic" and non-repetitive powers. Multiclass characters can be represented by selecting two class themes.
Power Structure: I'd like to see more flexibility in terms of trading off powers of one type of frequency for another, e.g. at certain levels, a character could select an at-will power or an encounter power or a daily power.
Feats: Feats are generic abilities that anyone can gain access to regardless of theme. When selecting a power, ability or other benefit, a character can select one that one of his themes grants him access to, or he can select a feat power, ability or benefit.
HP: I think every type of character should have some kind of ability to recover hit points, but they can differentiated more in terms of flavor and maybe mechanics. For example, cure light wounds could be a power tied to the Divine theme, and it can be used on allies as well as the character who has the power. Second wind could be the equivalent from the Martial power source, and becomes extra effective if used while the character is bloodied.
Magic Items: CR balancing is done assuming the characters have no access to magic items, but powerful magic items adjust the characters' level. Hence, if a +3 flame tongue has a +1 Level Adjustment, a 14th-level character with a +3 flame tongue is considered a 15th-level character for the purpose of what challenges he can reasonably expect to be able to overcome. Certain iconic magic items can also have associated themes to represent characters who spend extra effort to train with the items and unlock additional powers.
Ability Scores: In possibly the most non-traditional of my ideas, ability scores are indirectly affected by the player's choices instead of being rolled or directly selected by the player. Think the Dragon Age: Origins system where the choice of race and class grants bonuses to specific ability scores, so that choosing a Fighter might grant +4 Str, +2 Con and +2 Dex, while choosing a Dwarf might grant +2 Str, +4 Con and +2 Wis. At character creation, and as the character gains levels, the player will also have the option to choose benefits which might indirectly affect ability scores. For example, training in Diplomacy might also grant +2 Cha, while the Iron Will benefit might grant +2 Wis in addition to a bonus to Will.
Wednesday, 28th December, 2011, 04:41 AM #79
The Great Druid (Lvl 17)
I just want D&D to improve my sex-life. Is that asking too much?
Wednesday, 28th December, 2011, 04:46 AM #80
Hydra (Lvl 25)
Ah! Another biggie for me!
Make the races actually matter. A +2 bonus at first level to an ability score simply doesn't matter later in the campaign. The dwarf may as well be an elf (except that he got some minor differences 8 levels ago).
Racial ability bonuses should be twice as large as they are. And, like classes, they should continue to gain stuff which reminds them they're a halfing not a goliath.
Make the level based ability bonuses race based, and make the initial bonuses - and penalties - twice as big. A halfling should always know he's a quarter the size and strength of a goliath. Bilbo never started wrestling Smaug, after all. He was always a hobbit.
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