D&D General Going back to Basic(s). A thought experiment.


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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Skill list or not?
Castles & Crusades and Shadowdark both manage to have "skills" without skill lists. C&C basically gives characters the skills they'd reasonably have based on their classes, while Shadowdark also adds in what they'd reasonably have based on their backgrounds.

I vote against including them nowadays. It's a bit of fiddly customization that adds more character creation time than value in-game, IMO.
 


Descending AC is silly. A unified resolution system is a lot more intuitive and speeds up play.
Ok, agree on descending AC. However, while it's true that unified resolution is more intuitive, it also constrains game design in a number of ways, especially when that resolution is always tied to the same stats (as in wotc-era dnd). fwiw, I like the way the Dolmenwood system cleans up b/x in this regard, as it makes everything into a d20 roll (attack, saves) or a d6 rolls (skills, ability checks), and in every case higher is better.
 

Stormonu

Legend
Ok, agree on descending AC. However, while it's true that unified resolution is more intuitive, it also constrains game design in a number of ways, especially when that resolution is always tied to the same stats (as in wotc-era dnd). fwiw, I like the way the Dolmenwood system cleans up b/x in this regard, as it makes everything into a d20 roll (attack, saves) or a d6 rolls (skills, ability checks), and in every case higher is better.
Moderation in all things is wise. After recently playing 2E with my family, while I have no issue with THAC0 and descending AC, I wouldn't put it in a game anymore. I would like to see D20 rolled against the ability score, not the modifier, though. Not doing it as a "roll under your score" would be an interesting challenge of doing it in a way that bonuses to the roll aren't negative numbers (maybe 1d20 + ability score vs. DC default 20?).
 


overgeeked

B/X Known World
Ok, agree on descending AC. However, while it's true that unified resolution is more intuitive, it also constrains game design in a number of ways, especially when that resolution is always tied to the same stats (as in wotc-era dnd). fwiw, I like the way the Dolmenwood system cleans up b/x in this regard, as it makes everything into a d20 roll (attack, saves) or a d6 rolls (skills, ability checks), and in every case higher is better.
Exactly. Not everything fits the d20+stat+skill vs DC model. And not everything needs to be forced into that model. Sometimes a % chance makes more sense, other times a X-in-6 or X-in-8, etc makes more sense. Design mechanics that make sense for what they’re supposed to represent, don’t shoehorn everything into a single mechanic.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Exactly. Not everything fits the d20+stat+skill vs DC model. And not everything needs to be forced into that model. Sometimes a % chance makes more sense, other times a X-in-6 or X-in-8, etc makes more sense. Design mechanics that make sense for what they’re supposed to represent, don’t shoehorn everything into a single mechanic.
Same as advantage-disadvantage isn't the answer every single time a bonus or penalty on a roll is required.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Same as advantage-disadvantage isn't the answer every single time a bonus or penalty on a roll is required.
Meh. I’d rather have a bit of randomness added than fixed bonuses. Something like +1d4 or +1d6 would work better, I think. But anything is infinitely preferable to having to hunt down and argue over an endless string of +1s and -1s. D&D has always been crap at simulating physics. Gygax knew that and said so many times. So trying to come up with any kind of representative list of circumstances and their relevant modifiers is a fool’s errand.
 

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