Legends & Lore 09/03 - RPG design philosophy - Page 7


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    Quote Originally Posted by underfoot007ct View Post
    Sounds more like YOU have decide the correct method of 'sand box' play style. Why can't I run a sand box campaign any way I want ? Play styles should conform to the group of players rather than the player conform to the play style.
    Any playstyle is acceptable if the group is having fun. My point is that I do play sandbox and sandbox does mean something. He alluded to sandbox in his comment but he did it in a detracting way. Words do mean things. Sandbox has a definition. Obviously there is variation within that definition but it does mean something.

 

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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverSlayer View Post
    This gentleman may disagree with you.
    That does not show the game is balanced for short people. Exceptions aren't rules

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratskinner View Post
    ehh..fine then...They're more like the positions in American Football. Quarterbacks, Receivers, Linemen, Cornerbacks, etc. all have special rules that define how the game works around them. It seems to work out for them, the NFL is the single most profitable sports league in the world and American kids don't seem to have a lot of trouble getting into the game. This in spite of the fact that the Quarterback is demonstrably both the most important position and gets to call the plays. Talented receivers still seem to think that they are God's gift to...well, everybody...in spite of being merely the QB's "pawns". (Maybe more like bishops...)
    Centers are the QB pawns. And they are, actually, a better analogy to fighters and wizards.

    I might be wrong, but I feel the amount of kids who want to be center, is arguabily much lower than those who want to be QB. And by sure, their wages are lower...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadeydm View Post
    So your position is that he has been disparaging 4E?
    I definitely have felt some of this during the Keynote address and some other places. I also feel like my style of gaming (which is a gamist, mechanics-focused one) has been presented as undesirable or "not what brings people to DnD" during discussions of DnD Next at several points.

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    Quote Originally Posted by triqui View Post
    Centers are the QB pawns. And they are, actually, a better analogy to fighters and wizards.

    I might be wrong, but I feel the amount of kids who want to be center, is arguabily much lower than those who want to be QB. And by sure, their wages are lower...
    While I think we are flirting with extending the analogy too far...

    Sure, everybody would love to be the QB, but people still show up to be the Center.

    To be clear, I don't particularly want an "unbalanced" game. What I don't want is for the designers to spend inordinate energy worrying about a finely detailed "balance". Approximate balance or Workable balance is fine with me. I feel this way for several reasons, not the least of which is that I feel that "balance" usually means "combat effectiveness" and I think D&D has become far too combat-centric in its rules-weight. Secondly, the value of any given character ability is campaign-dependent, so what is balanced in one game may not be in another. Forcing the game to play a certain way just to maintain balance...would not be good, IMO. All I would want as far as balance amongst the classes is for them to get it in the ball park, and let the DM handle it from there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratskinner View Post
    While I think we are flirting with extending the analogy too far...

    Sure, everybody would love to be the QB, but people still show up to be the Center.

    To be clear, I don't particularly want an "unbalanced" game. What I don't want is for the designers to spend inordinate energy worrying about a finely detailed "balance". Approximate balance or Workable balance is fine with me. I feel this way for several reasons, not the least of which is that I feel that "balance" usually means "combat effectiveness" and I think D&D has become far too combat-centric in its rules-weight. Secondly, the value of any given character ability is campaign-dependent, so what is balanced in one game may not be in another. Forcing the game to play a certain way just to maintain balance...would not be good, IMO. All I would want as far as balance amongst the classes is for them to get it in the ball park, and let the DM handle it from there.
    But certainly the approach of "Just publish anything that we feel like publishing" was fundamentally broken, yes?

    I mean there should be some consideration to the power level of feats/spells/class features when they're designed, they shouldn't just throw something in because it "fits the flavor" or "makes sense to be able to do."

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreyICE View Post
    But certainly the approach of "Just publish anything that we feel like publishing" was fundamentally broken, yes?
    That seems like too much of a business-end evaluation to call it "fundamentally broken". Also, I'm not sure which edition that attitude would refer to. Even to my amateur eye, it was obvious that part of 4e's design impetus was to make it easier to "publish anything we feel like publishing" by leveraging their experience with card-game exceptions-based design.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreyICE View Post
    I mean there should be some consideration to the power level of feats/spells/class features when they're designed, they shouldn't just throw something in because it "fits the flavor" or "makes sense to be able to do."
    Honestly, that depends on your motivations for playing, AFAICT. For some players, having characters that don't "fit the flavor" or that can't do something that "makes sense to be able to do" is far more intolerable than having one type of character be more powerful than another.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreyICE View Post
    But certainly the approach of "Just publish anything that we feel like publishing" was fundamentally broken, yes?
    Are you saying that's what the approach has been? Because I'm pretty sure that's untrue. You may have little appreciation for the output from before, but that doesn't mean your assessment of the process is correct.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
    I am sure on this I didn't make myself clear. The 4e attitude that I disliked was the "we know best" attitude. It really wasn't an attack on design per se. I do that occasionally but this wasn't one of the cases intentionally.

    But to address your comment...
    1. I am expecting respect for many playstyles. Not just editions.
    2. Sandbox, gritty, etc.. are some styles along with story, narrative.

    I felt he was disparaging sandbox a bit in his comment. I also think at the PAX Q&A I felt they were a tad disparaging of the simple fighter option. Now to be honest I'm happy to play a more complex fighter if done right. But I still think that those who want simple deserve respect too.
    I'm not really sure if this is a "we know best" attitude". Mearls & crew said the feedback from First playtest, overwhelming disliked the simple fighter. Where as this pleases myself, it might not please you. Play style certainly crosses editions, so support many is their plan. There should be option for the fighter to be more simple/old school.

    I enjoyed 1e for many years, played all the early mods, fond memories of sandbox years. Yet now as a 4e fan, too often people seem to blame 4e for everything, I am fairly sure the 4e did not make any older play style wrong, nor is the cause of global warming.
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish !

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    Quote Originally Posted by billd91 View Post
    Are you saying that's what the approach has been? Because I'm pretty sure that's untrue. You may have little appreciation for the output from before, but that doesn't mean your assessment of the process is correct.
    I see your process and raise you Venomfire, Divine Metamagic, and the Planar Shepherd.

    I mean seriously. Monks, Barbarians, Wizards, and Druids are all in the same handbook as if they're similar things. Rangers have 1/2 level animal companions next to druid because apparently the guy with full caster progression and wild shape needed a boost.

    I would STRONGLY argue that prior to 4E there was little to no impact or testing of features or spells before they were tossed in the manual, and at times they seemed almost bizarrely nonsensical. And that's 3E. Shall we discuss AD&D? TSR, in its heyday, produced more metric tons of paper than the Internal Revenue Service.

    I think that going through books with a black sharpie banning stuff is exactly the sort of thing that becomes a dealbreaker for casual players and pushes them away from the market.
    Last edited by GreyICE; Wednesday, 5th September, 2012 at 09:28 AM.

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