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Thread: The One Hour D&D Game
Friday, 23rd March, 2012, 09:33 AM #151
Orcus on an Off-Day (Lvl 22)
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Friday, 23rd March, 2012, 04:34 PM #152
Magsman (Lvl 14)
4E is my favorite edition, hands down, though I have noticed many of its flaws since day 1. I have an exceptionally good time playing it and running it and designing for it. Admittedly, 4E seems to be designed for people who think the way I do, and I understand why some without that mindset find it less fantastic, but I DO think the way I do, so it's been an amazing game for me, and anyone I game with gets the benefit of my perspective.
I was actually comfortable with the notion of 5E up until the Legend & Lore articles began. While a few good ideas have cropped up, I've mostly heard things that worry me as a gamer, a hobbyist designer, and someone who wants to help his FLGS thrive. So much of what I see strikes me as a threat to the franchise, even ignoring my personal preferences.
That all said, an abbreviated one hour D&D game is not inherently bad, and I have no issue with it. I'm just concerned that they think they can actually cover everything a real game does in that span of time - it suggests they have a really shallow view of what those "pillars" actually are, and that bodes ill for the game as a whole.
Friday, 23rd March, 2012, 05:08 PM #153
Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)
Worse, IMHO, is the way it channels the game into resolving things in certain ways. Each mini-game brings in more and more assumptions about how the world works in a given game, the level of detail that a specific type of activity warrants, the kinds of results to expect, etc. Such a system is great if it happens to meet with the needs and expectations of a given group in a given situation, but if not then it is just an impediment. It can create player expectations that may be violated, tends to inhibit DM creativity, and just takes up space in the books with material that as it is more and more niche is less and less likely to be useful to a given DM.
I feel that the best approach really was the 4e approach. Give the DM a very strong base rules platform with a highly generalized resolution mechanic that can be tied into consistently in any given situation, and a basic framework system for dealing with more complex conflicts. The rules themselves stay short and sweet, but the game can apply them to anything. To a certain extent this is really a 3.x innovation, moving a lot of stuff onto a list with consistent mechanics for instance. 4e just streamlined it and got rid of a lot of rather dubious subsystems like crafting that didn't add any real value and often produced absurd and inappropriate results because the guy writing the crafting rules knows zip about crafting much of anything and has no idea how the game he's writing that subsystem for will actually be run.
I'd MUCH rather see sections that talk about how you might approach something like crafting. Talk about what sorts of characters might want to do it, various ways they can accomplish these things, and different resolution mechanics that can be used in different situations. So we might see that "making a living" can simply be cast as a simple skill challenge to see if the character makes enough to get by, with maybe an option for if they succeed really well that the DM might give them a treasure parcel or something and how this activity can generate plot hooks. It can then talk about how PCs might use crafting to solve problems and what sorts of conflicts that might relate to and what to do. You can then talk about how in some situations there IS no conflict and there need not be dice tossed to resolve anything, and in another situation using a skill like that can be applied like any secondary skill in an SC to enhance the chances of success, etc.
Friday, 23rd March, 2012, 05:37 PM #154
Guide (Lvl 11)
Friday, 23rd March, 2012, 05:38 PM #155
Magsman (Lvl 14)
Friday, 23rd March, 2012, 06:39 PM #156
Greater Elemental (Lvl 23)
A 1st level spell made at a 1st level caster level cost 750 GP. That's it. So basically any 1st level spell any of the casters had which was still effective at a 1st level caster level were made into wands, rather than wasting spell slots memorizing them each and every morning. A spell with a 1 minute per level duration was effectively 10 combat rounds worth of buff. So that's all we needed.
So for 750GP we got 50 charges of 1d8+1 healing from CLW.
We got +2 deflection bonus to our ACs for most of every encounter from Shield of Faith.
As a wizard, I got a +4 to AC from Shield every encounter.
We always had a 10 minute burst worth of Comprehend Languages at our fingertips.
Basically, all the typical 1st level spells that had a duration of 1 minute or 10 minutes per level we made into wands, because they were cost effective, plus it made sure we always had their abilities instantly at hand. This then let us save our 1st level spell slots for those spells which were not as effective cast at a 1st level spell level (like Magic Missile for example).
Was that 'gaming' the system? We didn't think so, because these prices were set in the fiction via the rules of the game itself. So our PCs discovered these pricing issues within the world just like us players did within the game. I think it ended up being one of the real problems with the 3E magic item crafting system, as pricing was set exponentially based on spell level and caster level. Really low level stuff was super cost effective on a mass production scale, whereas anything above like 3rd level spells or 3rd level casting level never was.
Friday, 23rd March, 2012, 09:29 PM #157
Lama (Lvl 13)
What I would rather see is more of "How many hours to level" than "1 Hour Game is the baseline" I think it should take at least 8 hours of game play before PCs level. That would mean 8 of those tiny one hour adventures.
I'd much rather 1 short adventure = 4 hours.
Friday, 23rd March, 2012, 11:00 PM #158
Lama (Lvl 13)
I'm re-reading Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan for no real reason, and I couldn't help but notice that the intro states that the players of the tournament had two hours to complete the entire module.
Puts it in perspective, doesn't it.
Saturday, 24th March, 2012, 05:09 AM #159
I'm all for the one hour adventure. I remember AD&D groups that used to play at lunch in middle school/high school.
If your goal is one hour, it helps if your characters are 1st level. Fewer rules, character abilities, and monster abilities at 1st level.
The more abilities the characters and monsters have, the longer the combats.
A 1st level 3e/4e combat can be wrapped up in five minutes. Leaves more time for story-telling, etc.
On the other hand, a 10th level 3e/4e combat can take 3+ hours.
AD&D could significantly reduce that combat time for the 10th level combat. Few AD&D combats lasted over an hour.
Last edited by Endur; Saturday, 24th March, 2012 at 05:16 AM.
Monday, 16th April, 2012, 02:15 PM #160
Lama (Lvl 13)
Well, if someone told me that if I wanted to play 3.5, then play 3.5 ... well, considering that I'm still running a bi-weekly 3.5 campaign that started not long after those books came out, I'd say "sure".
I've been playing since red box D&D. This isn't saying "I've got more experience", just giving context for your claim of "some people believe 3.5 and 4e are the only versions". There already are revisions of older versions of D&D like OSRIC for AD&D. I'd like to see the new version of D&D to build on concepts and expectations that have matured with the whole RPG hobby instead of a lowest common denominator that tries to cater to a wide spread.
I like chocolate and I like steak. It doesn't follow that I'd like chocolate-covered steak. The favorite campaign I played in was run in AD&D 2nd ed because of a great DM, but that doesn't mean I think the system was the best or that even a new system could be improved by bringing back demi-human racial level limits, separate cleric and wizard spells of the same name, multiclassing vs. dual classing, and other points that have been done better in newer version of the rules.
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