Seminar Transcript - Reimagining Skills and Ability Scores - Page 16





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  1. #151
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonblade View Post
    Two things concern me:

    1) With the new emphasis on stat importance, rolling is a horrible idea. To always be second best to the guy that rolled better than you did for the life of your PC? No thanks. Point buy absolutely has to be the default for this.

    2) Feats. It sounds like feats will be incredibly important to customize your PC beyond your choice of class and theme. So how fast do you get one? Considering it sounds like bonuses won't advance much, I'd like to see a feat EVERY level. And you should start with more than one or two.
    On 1 -- Indeed! Castles & Crusades uses a straight 3d6, roll six abilities, put them in the order you want method, and that makes characters on average THAT DIE. Don't get me wrong, I love the old school feel, but if I want a long term game, we either need to start at level 2 or 3, or use the 4d6 drop lowest from regular v3.5.

    What I do like about that method however is that you don't really need a huge list of skills. What would it fall under? Is it a primary ability for your class? Roll vs 12 or vs 18. DONE. It is easy and quick to get back into the narrative.

    On 2 -- If I had to choose between Feats and Skills to be 'not in' by default, I'd rather it have been Feats. The abuse (or failure to get the right ones) of Feats has been the direct cause of most every character that annoys the piss out of me.

    Honestly, I'd rather see BOTH Feats and Skills as optional modules, and them to put in class Talents a la d20 Modern/Saga Star Wars. I think that is a much better way to customize your class to feel the way you want.
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  • #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbdulAlhazred View Post
    I don't follow your argument. In 4e certainly swimming is lumped in with the REST of Athletics. Yes, I can't be a good swimmer and a crappy climber, but I can live with that fine.
    Not everyone can, which is somewhat the point to 5e, to allow more choice on how much detail you want.

    Quote Originally Posted by AbdulAlhazred View Post
    Not sure what I'm giving 4e too much credit for. It makes skills a nice simple thing that is always worked out on your sheet and its pretty easy to remember what you're good at as its a short general list.
    The point was so does the vast majority of RPG systems out there (non-rules light mind you).

    Quote Originally Posted by AbdulAlhazred View Post
    It is a question of is it easier to have the set list and a bit quicker easier play or is it worth it to have slightly more complexity?
    It's the same thing. Either its been pre-defined for you, or you do it yourself. Either way its a wash.

    Quote Originally Posted by AbdulAlhazred View Post
    If there are no really core defined skills and other such 'middleman' numbers then the game can only grant bonuses to more general things or to very specific things.
    This to me would be a bad thing. It goes back to my "brand" comment. At some point the game has to set down some baseline rules that everyone can follow and add options to. With that baseline, it would IMO need to, must really, have a set number of defined commonly used (both in combat and out of combat) skills.

  • #153
    Quote Originally Posted by AbdulAlhazred View Post
    If you want realistic then you'd determine the height and mass of your PC and then derive a minimum STR you would use as a base, etc. Even with a +4 STR for goliaths and a -4 STR for halflings there's a rather large range in which the halfling can be higher STR than the goliath.
    Do you remember the nods to realism L&L article and threads which differentiated between "realism" and nods to realism? I'm not a purist simulationist. I don't care if katanas do more damage than longswords. Like many people (but we never did get to see the poll results for the nod to realism article, so who knows what percenatage), I do enjoy a game that at least makes some effort to acknowledge some amount of nodding to realism.

    As the guy I responded to said, it is a FANTASY world. Halflings and goliaths are already physically impossible in the real world.
    But by appealing to real-life or nothing, that statement is too black-and-white to have any meaning to me. Just because fantasy is fantasy, it doesn't mean anything goes -- if it did, I could take it to the opposite extreme and insist on pink elephants riding unicycles side by side with a fierce warrior called Bob the Barbarian side by side with a shotgun wielding cowboy. The fact that racial modifiers have existed in D&D for years is indicative that D&D players are interested in a middle-of-the-road approach.

    I don't want to be actively punished for it.
    I guess for the same reason that I'd be required to put up with a warlord in the party even if I intensely dislike warlords. That is, the player isn't trying to actively punish me by playing a warlord, it's not personal, and I don't think it helps to frame it that way.
    Last edited by LurkAway; Monday, 30th January, 2012 at 09:00 PM.

  • #154
    I don't like the idea of mortal limits for stats + more importance of ability stats + stat-boosting items. Those 3 things together sounds kinda bad, IMHO.
    I'd rather pick 2 out of these 3.

  • #155
    I have read.

    And I have judged.

    And it is still Good and Spiff.

    However, judging from the comments in this thread, Marty, Bruce and Co. sure have their work cut out for them...


    PS - Woot! to a simpler skill system and NPCs.

  • #156
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    I generally liked everything I heard there. Implementation will be everything, but Monte has usually excelled in this area and playtesting is strong and on-going. More importantly, it sounds like they're informed by previous editions in a way that reminds me more of 3E's advancements of the game from what went before.

    The only thing I didn't like and I suspect I am alone in was the comment that Rob (and presumably the whole of the team) felt that skill challenges needed to 'die in a fire'. While I admit they were flawed somewhat mechanically, I really LIKE the idea of skill challenges. One of the best things I've ever done under 4E was a skill challenge and to hear them described so negatively is the one thing I wasn't thrilled to hear. But I suppose under this system, I could cobble together something similar under 5E.

    The only concern from what I heard was something that's an issue under 3E and 4E: progressively larger stacking bonuses. If skills, feats, advantages and such combine with spells to make so many small bonuses that it gets hard to track stuff, it won't feel like as much of an advancement. Hopefully they realize this and keep them compartmentalized or otherwise find a way to make them manageable.
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    Argh. Double-post.
    Last edited by WizarDru; Monday, 30th January, 2012 at 09:23 PM. Reason: double post, please delete.
    "I'd say it's more appropriate to say that videogames are RPG-ish, wouldn't you?"

    Have you read our current Zad/Wizardru's New Story Hour (Updated 9/8)

    or our older WizarDru's Story Hour?
    You Should.
    I ain't linking to Piratecat's story hour...no sir, I just won't do it. He can just get the next half-million reads on his own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aldarc View Post
    The Great Wheel?
    They never said TGW is returning. I would love it, but expect to see a 4E + GW mix...

    Quote Originally Posted by Erdrick Dragin View Post
    If I cannot take my 3e character sheet, EXACTLY THE WAY IT'S WRITTEN, and play it in D&D Next exactly the way I would have in 3e...then there's no point in playing this 5e.
    That doesn't make sense at all. Really. 3E is a damn fine game, but they never said we would be able to use our old sheets.

    That's just not reasonable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spinachcat View Post
    And the 4e Cosmology was the most gameable. Much better than the Great Wheel because in 4e, the planes bled over to the prime world and allowed much more interaction with planes at lower levels.
    Prime World is a horrible concept. Call it Prime Plane and we can start talking.

    Plane Bleeding is something I use since before 3E in another systems... it's a good idea... 4E cosmology has some nice ideas... but another full hand of dull ideas such as everything is caused by Gods vs Primordials, Elemental Chaos, etc... but it's just me.

    That's why I think we should have a somewhat modular cosmology.

    Quote Originally Posted by catsclaw227 View Post
    I can't understand why some are flat out saying that this is gonna suck and they'll never play it when they haven't even seen the rules that haven't even been finished yet...
    Well put.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thzero View Post
    Nevertheless, the point still stands, i.e. just because someone is an Olympic long jumper doesn't mean they are also an Olympic swimmer.
    This would be more relevant if D&D was a game about Olympic athletes.

    It's more of a game about the protagonists of home-grown fantasy adventures stories, who are typically a broadly-competent bunch, with the caveat each has a few specialties and weaknesses.

    In adventure stories, even the bookish librarian pal of the dashing, whip-wielding archeologist has to ford a raging river or cross a wind-whipped rope bridge on occasion.

    Athletics would be a generic skill, with subskills (or specializations of) Acobatics (DEX), Climb (STR), Jump (STR), Swim (STR). Make it more expensive, in terms of training/experience/etc, to gain the general skill and less expensive to gain the specialized skill.
    This makes the system more complicated, and narrows the target audience down to people who like engaging with complex mechanics. At the very least it bloats the character sheet with a lot of default skills (or worse, it omits default competencies, making each PC broadly inept).


    Quote Originally Posted by WizarDru View Post
    One of the best things I've ever done under 4E was a skill challenge and to hear them described so negatively is the one thing I wasn't thrilled to hear.
    One of the best things I've ever done in any campaign, ever, was to create a (mostly) false religion around a giant pig (whose later tenets included Communism) using a Skill Challenge. It was, literally, a campaign-defining event!

    But even so, I was never thrilled w/the implementation.

    The only concern from what I heard was something that's an issue under 3E and 4E: progressively larger stacking bonuses.
    This worries me a bit, too. I want the numbers to stay small and manageable --and whatever situational modifiers the DM assigns to stay relevant-- throughout the campaign.
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    Not really, its just as relevant whether it be fantasy or sci-fi or adventure genre. And yes, even that wizard pal of the fighter has to cross the raging river and generally he's going to fail at it, unless he gets lots of help or has a fly spell or other magical device that circumvents the need for skills.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mallus View Post
    This would be more relevant if D&D was a game about Olympic athletes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mallus View Post
    This makes the system more complicated, and narrows the target audience down to people who like engaging with complex mechanics. At the very least it bloats the character sheet with a lot of default skills (or worse, it omits default competencies, making each PC broadly inept).
    Actually it doesn't. It does both. If you don't want skills, don't use them and just roll against the abilities. If you want generic grouped skills, use them and roll against ability + skill. And if you want more fine-grained skills, use them. Hardly "bloats" the character sheet anymore than it did or does in 3e or 4e (4e skills may not bloat as much, but it has bloat elsewhere); it may actually decrease the bloat. It is not very hard at all, isn't all that different than what 3e/4e have now, and its tiered so it fits in well with what the stated goals of 5e are which is to allow for varying degrees of complexity for different groups.

    Quite a few older gaming systems have used it (one that springs to mind off the top of my head is WEG's d6). A similar mechanism is used in some parts of M&M2/3e.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mallus View Post
    This worries me a bit, too. I want the numbers to stay small and manageable --and whatever situational modifiers the DM assigns to stay relevant-- throughout the campaign.
    I can agree with this for sure. To me two of the issues with the 3e/4e skill system are the open-ended bonuses, and the lack of a standard progress across all skills.

    The issue, which is probably the reason for it, is the nature of D&D which is to fight really big, bad monsters which may have really large modifiers on abilities or high ranks in a small subset of skills. Not to mention deities. Putting a limit on the range of the overall skill bonuses make its a bit harder, in a linear system, to represent the beyond human nature of these monsters and deities.

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