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  1. #61
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    ° Ignore Incenjucar
    They've been talking about making D&D more like TV off and on, so this move makes sense. They also have lots of board games they're probably getting inspired from. Weren't they already playing lunch hour games with an abbreviated version of 4E over at WotC?
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  • #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy Jerome View Post
    This is like the difference between "dead" and "mostly dead". It isn't much difference in some ways, but huge in its implications. Anyway, it is at the confluence of the two points that you can get some reasonable milage out of an XP pool mechanic, even with those limits.

    If your XP pool is 10,000 XP, and it is divided up among 10 "encounters" roughly evenly, then where it can be useful is giving the DM a rough idea of it being balanced--when the default conditions are met. Ideally, you'd like those default conditions set well away from the extremes--all creatures at once or all 10 groups separate. So say that the default presumption is that you'll have 3-5 encounters, of no more than three of the "encounter groups" at once. If you stick fairly close to the default conditions, you'll get something close to "fair fight" most of the time. If you crowds the creatures into fewer fights, it will be tougher. If you spread them out, it will be easier.

    Where I think you are correct is that such a system is going to do a fairly poor job of telling you how much easier or tougher for X amount of crowding or spreading. That is going to depend so much on circumstances, resources, exact party mix, etc. as to make the variables too much to manage. However, that makes such an "adventure budget" system limited, not entirely useless.

    What individual groups do about express crowding or grouping is where table preferences need to enter, anyway. Perhaps the amount if fixed, earn it best you can (divide and conquer is a prime goal). Alternately, perhaps easy or hard fights get an XP adjustment. Maybe the DM simply eyeballs it, with an eye towards maintaining the pace the group wants--"Man, that was a little harder than I expected. That puts us just a bit shy of 8th level. So what the heck, just bump 'em on up."
    Actually, here's how it works...

    I decide to write an adventure that will cover a level. I know that I thus need to give out say 10k XP for the PCs to progress that one level. I also know that the game BASICALLY is built around a vanilla level being 10 encounters, so each one is roughly 1k XP each. I also know that the expectation is that there will be a few bigger encounters and maybe one or two smaller ones, and the total will more reasonably be around say 7 encounters total, including SCs and plot XP (quests).

    So, lets say 9k of that is adventure XP. I start out and say OK, I'll have 7 encounters 9000/7 is whatever, 1200xp each roughly. I can now move some of that around to make say an 800xp encounter, a 1600xp encounter, and 5 1200xp encounters, or whatever. Within reason I can plan things out that way and it WILL work pretty well.

    Of course, if I make one giant 9000xp encounter it will be fail. If I make 27 300xp encounters it will be fail too. You still have to follow the encounter guidelines basically. You can also amp up a couple of the weaker encounters if you split things more by making them waves of 2 encounters, etc.

    The point is, if you have looked into the whole thing some, you can use the XP guidelines in 4e adventure-wide. All that would be needed in the DMG is a couple paragraphs on explaining that concept.

  • #63
    Quote Originally Posted by AbdulAlhazred View Post
    The point is, if you have looked into the whole thing some, you can use the XP guidelines in 4e adventure-wide. All that would be needed in the DMG is a couple paragraphs on explaining that concept.
    You'll still have to slot in rests somewhere. Maybe that's what MM's getting at?

  • #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkyle View Post
    My main concern is that Core will be basically an OSR game. And be rife with old-school game balance problems. Which is OK for that style of game, but it makes it difficult to take that, and add tactics modules, and somehow arrive at a well balanced game. And without balance, all that fancy tactics is for naught.
    There is no reason that a simpler game should be harder to balance than more complex ones. Quite the reverse, in fact. If there are OSR games that are unbalanced, that's not due to their simplicity.
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/4e-discussion/213067-unified-theory-gnomes.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whizbang Dustyboots View Post
    There is no reason that a simpler game should be harder to balance than more complex ones. Quite the reverse, in fact. If there are OSR games that are unbalanced, that's not due to their simplicity.
    Yes, simpler games tend to be easier to balance. If encounter/class balance is an actual design goal. Which is often not really the case in OSR games. And even if it is, balance for a CaW-focused game (heavy exploration/interaction and strategy, light on tactics) is very different than for a CaS-focused game (heavy on deep tactics).

    I'm concerned that old-school D&D ideas like "Wizards are awesome because they're magic" and "Wizards use Vancian casting" will be backed into Core, and it will be hard to turn that into a game focused on tactically deep, well-balanced combat encounters.

  • #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry View Post
    Me, I want a D&D option (that says "D&D" on the cover, to quell skittishness) that I can break out to new players who have never played an RPG before, when I say, "Have you ever played D&D before?" and they "no", I can say "would you like to play? It only takes about an hour to show you how. we'll play a game."
    That's totally my feeling... I've got a long list of non-gamer friends whom I'd love to play D&D with, but the entry barrier has always been too high.
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  • #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Incenjucar View Post
    They've been talking about making D&D more like TV off and on, so this move makes sense.

    Yeah, a movie that was just a single 2 1/2 hour combat might not do too well.
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  • #68
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    ° Ignore Crazy Jerome
    Quote Originally Posted by AbdulAlhazred View Post
    The point is, if you have looked into the whole thing some, you can use the XP guidelines in 4e adventure-wide. All that would be needed in the DMG is a couple paragraphs on explaining that concept.
    Right. So in other words, exactly like treasure parcels are meant to work. If someone tries to use them exactly as written, as a rule instead of a baseline approach, they are a terrible straight-jacket. At best, following them exactly is a way for a beginner to practice until they get a feel for the system--training wheels, if you will. Then when you feel confident, you vary things as you want--within reason. It's that last bolded part that keeps tripping people up, when it comes to mathematical guidelines.

    @dkyle, note that I did not say that such a system would be perfect in every way, and have no mathematical issues. I was answering your objection that such a system is functionally useless. It's not useless, but it does require a hefty dose of DM judgment. The cruise control in my car is still useful, even if it doesn't work well on steep hills, much less function as "auto pilot".

  • #69
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    ° Ignore Incenjucar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark CMG View Post
    Yeah, a movie that was just a single 2 1/2 hour combat might not do too well.
    Aside from DBZ. :P

    Overall I'm ambivalent about this. I worry that they might take too much out of the core game in order to make this idea work, but if they can do this without affecting the rest of the game, hey, win for people who want this.
    Elemental Heroes: The Harbinger May/16/2012 http://community.wizards.com/incenjucar/blog/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Incenjucar View Post
    Aside from DBZ. :P.

    Well, I cannot say that I'm a follower or fan of DBZ. What little I know of it didn't attract me as a viewer. Do you think that 5E should, or some version of D&D does, emulate DBZ well?


    Quote Originally Posted by Incenjucar View Post
    Overall I'm ambivalent about this. I worry that they might take too much out of the core game in order to make this idea work, but if they can do this without affecting the rest of the game, hey, win for people who want this.

    It might be that "core" means something different to some folks. This is a new game, so they aren't taking anything out of its core though they might not be putting everything into it that some might feel should be core. I think the plan is to make sure the options are there so that if someone feels something should be added that wasn't, they can add it themselves. However, maybe I am not understanding your post? Do you think that if something is available as an option that you could add to the core that would be worse than if others found it a struggle to try and remove the portion(s) you thought should be core?
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