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  1. #41
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    I didn't read every post, so I'm guessing someone has already said this, but I'd like the rules to be clear and well indexed and I'd like the fluff to be engagingly written and used strategically.

    What you don't want is vague rules or dry flavor text.
    Drew Melbourne,
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  • #42
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    There aren't enough game designers who are capable of writing or competent at identifying good prose to make it a reasonable goal to cram prose down everyone's throats.
    Elemental Heroes: The Harbinger May/16/2012 http://community.wizards.com/incenjucar/blog/

  • #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Incenjucar View Post
    There aren't enough game designers who are capable of writing or competent at identifying good prose to make it a reasonable goal to cram prose down everyone's throats.
    Sure there are.

    And you only need one.

  • #44
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    1e

    Strength Strength is a measure of muscle, endurance, and stamina combined. For purposes of relating this ability to some reality, assume that a character with a strength of 3 is able to lift a maximum of 30 pounds weight above his head in a military press, while a character with 18 strength will be able to press 180 pounds in the same manner. Strength is the forte of fighters, for they must be physically powerful in order to wear armor and wield heavy weapons. Therefore, strength is the major characteristic (or prime requisite) of fighters, and those fighters with strength of 16 or more gain a bonus of 10% of earned experience (explained later). Furthermore, fighters with an 18 strength are entitled to roll percentile dice in order to generate a random number between 01 and 00(100) to determine exceptional strength; exceptional strength increases hit probability and damage done when attacking, and it also increases the weight the character is able to carry without penalty for encumbrance, as well as increasing the character's ability to force open doors and similar portals. The tables below give complete information regarding the effects of strength. Note that only fighters are permitted to roll on the exceptional strength section of STRENGTH TABLE II: ABILITY ADJUSTMENTS.

    4e

    Strength (Str) measures your character's physical power. It's important for most characters who fight hand-to-hand.

    • Melee basic attacks are based on strength
    • Clerics, fighters, paladins, rangers, and warlords have powers based on strength.
    • Your Strength might contribute to your Fortitude defense.
    • Strength is the key abilty for Athletics skill checks.



    I usually get the feeling 1e was written as a somewhat stream of consciousness thing on Gygax's part. He just started writing about strength, and wrote a bunch of stuff he thought was interesting/important about strength and didn't bother to parse it out in any way.


    There are often also times where he sort of goes into a rant about the way to play the game... And we all know what happens when you tell people how to play, or how not to play. :P

  • #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scribble View Post
    I usually get the feeling 1e was written as a somewhat stream of consciousness thing on Gygax's part. He just started writing about strength, and wrote a bunch of stuff he thought was interesting/important about strength and didn't bother to parse it out in any way.
    Good example. And another one where I don't think the 1E version is any more flavorful, or an example of high-quality prose. It's just a lot messier and harder to read, with mechanics more appropriately placed in other sections of the book.

    Having seen that, and the Half-elf section, I'm curious: what are some good examples from 1E? What is it, specifically, that 5E should aspire towards? I've never read 1E AD&D.

  • #46
    I propose a mixture.

    When talking about the GAME (i.e. the rules), precise language is a must.

    So the chapter called 'Combat' that describes the mechanics should be clear, concise and use specific terminology to ensure that the mechanics are well explained.

    However, when describing magical items, spells, the fluff for classes, the gods, domains, equipment, please use some descriptive, evocative text.

    Yes, you can have the crunch at the end, but as I keep repeating, not EVERYTHING in an RPG can be summed up in a quantitative manner nor should you try.

    (This, btw, is why I do not like 4e: if it could not be summed up with numbers, it got thrown out of the game. 4E is lessened by this approach)

    A good example of a fun to read book is Fr4 The Magister. The entire book is a description of magical items.

    Now, you can't have that level of description for all the things I listed above but, at least, give me some flavour text for items and spells.

    Web isn't just 'causes X by Y squares to become difficult terrain' or whatever. It's 'Magical strands of a sticky web-like substance fills an area of X by Y. These strands stick to all the objects in the area or passing through causing the area to become difficult terrain'

    Presently, 4e goes the former way and is about as exiting as reading the specs in a manual. (The most boring part of a boring text).

  • #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Incenjucar View Post
    There aren't enough game designers who are capable of writing or competent at identifying good prose to make it a reasonable goal to cram prose down everyone's throats.
    Then hire a freaking editor. That's what editors are for. If the editors they've got aren't good enough, hire better editors.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Elrond
    As you can see, weve had our eye on you for some time now, Mr. Baggins. It seems that youve been living two lives. In one life, youre Frodo Baggins, well-to-do scion of the respectable Baggins family. You smoke pipe-weed, you celebrate your uncles birthday, and you help teach your gardeners son his letters.

    The other life is lived in the Wild, where you go by the adventurer alias "Underhill" and carry the most powerful relic of evil we have a name for.

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  • #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dausuul View Post
    Then hire a freaking editor. That's what editors are for. If the editors they've got aren't good enough, hire better editors.
    That would be freaking amazing.
    Elemental Heroes: The Harbinger May/16/2012 http://community.wizards.com/incenjucar/blog/

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkyle View Post
    Good example. And another one where I don't think the 1E version is any more flavorful, or an example of high-quality prose. It's just a lot messier and harder to read, with mechanics more appropriately placed in other sections of the book.

    Having seen that, and the Half-elf section, I'm curious: what are some good examples from 1E? What is it, specifically, that 5E should aspire towards? I've never read 1E AD&D.
    The point is, however badly written it may be, it was designed to be read, not just referenced.

    Current rule books resemble reference books. You look something up in then. You don't pull them off the shelf and read them.

  • #50
    Quote Originally Posted by herrozerro View Post
    No, but my point is that perhaps a PHB isn't the best kind of book to use as an example.
    But as all PHBs up until 4th Ed are interesting to read, why not?

    I'm not advocating super cryptic and vague rules.

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