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Recent content by Jonathan Tweet

  1. Jonathan Tweet

    EVERWAY Then and Now

    Years before I worked on D&D 3rd Ed, Wizards of the Coast hired me not to work on D&D but to compete with it. The result, my 1995 RPG EVERWAY, a daring artistic innovation that, for various reasons, never got off the ground. Now EVERWAY is back from a new publisher with a new format selling on a...
  2. Jonathan Tweet

    Helper Classes

    At Wizards one year, I gave a short lecture to the RPG R&D crew about why clerics are impossible to balance. Since most of their power (healing) helps other characters, it’s power that doesn’t feel cool. To help the cleric feel cool, it needs a double-helping of power, and that’s what we gave...
  3. Jonathan Tweet

    D&D 3E/3.5 Andrew Finch’s Monsters by Level

    One unsung hero of D&D game design is Andrew Finch. He had a lot of roles at Wizards over the years, and he was involved in D&D playtesting and design as early as I was. To my mind, his biggest single advance was his table of monster stats by level. The table went against our general design...
  4. Jonathan Tweet

    D&D 3E/3.5 Monsters in the Miniatures Handbook

    The other day, I was looking up the nothic in the Miniatures Handbook (2003), and I was happy to be reminded of all the other worthwhile monsters we put in that book. Whereas the core three rulebooks were mostly devoted to translating traditional content into the new edition, the MH was a chance...
  5. Jonathan Tweet

    D&D General Alignment in D&D

    Alignment is, on some level, the beating heart of Dungeons & Dragons. On the other hand, it’s sort of a stupid rule. It’s like the hit point rules in that it makes for a good game experience, especially if you don’t think about it too hard. Just as Magic: the Gathering has the five colors that...
  6. Jonathan Tweet

    D&D 4E The Dungeon of the Fire Opal

    Aw, thanks. It's a cool, little dungeon.
  7. Jonathan Tweet

    D&D 3E/3.5 Multiclassing in D&D 3rd Edition

    My best friend Rob Heinsoo was the lead designer on 4th Ed, and one of his jobs was to fix things that 3rd Ed hadn’t fixed. Multiclassing was on that list of systems that needed work. At one point when playing 3rd Ed, Rob was running a 3rd level barbarian-fighter-ranger. Given the way...
  8. Jonathan Tweet

    D&D 3E/3.5 Jonathan Tweet: Third Edition and Per-Day Spells

    On the Third Edition design team, we were tasked with rationalizing the game system, but there were some big elements of the system that we didn’t question. We inherited a system in which spellcasters get better in three ways at a time as they level up; they get more spells per day, higher-level...
  9. Jonathan Tweet

    D&D 3E/3.5 D&D 3E Design: The Unbalanced Cleric

    What do you call a D&D cleric who can’t heal? A 1st-level 1970s cleric. The original first-level cleric could turn undead but had no spells. Skip Williams says that the original conception of the cleric was sort of a Van Helsing figure, someone who bought the wolvesbane, belladonna, and garlic...
  10. Jonathan Tweet

    D&D 3E/3.5 Diversity in D&D Third Edition

    The three evil alignments are "the most dangerous". The other six are "the best alignment you can be".
  11. Jonathan Tweet

    D&D 3E/3.5 3E and the Feel of D&D

    You were supposed to miss it. It was subtle. There was no rule, but the descriptions of the alignments implied that evil alignments were for enemies.
  12. Jonathan Tweet

    D&D 3E/3.5 Diversity in D&D Third Edition

    That seems right, and I can live with that. The three neutral alignments (LN, N, and CN) were also described as "best".
  13. Jonathan Tweet

    D&D 3E/3.5 Diversity in D&D Third Edition

    Next time I do an essay that touches on stuff like this, maybe I'll add an appendix of topics to please not bring up in the comment thread
  14. Jonathan Tweet

    D&D 3E/3.5 Diversity in D&D Third Edition

    Mark and I both paid attention to pronouns when we worked together on Ars Magica. I would say that he and I were both inspired that that early collaboration.