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Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Etherwind posted:

Basically John Wick is really good at what he does.

That actually reminded me of this old rant of his when 3rd Edition came out. (Sorry about the odd formating, I could only find the MST3K-mocking someone did of it, so I pulled out all those comments.)

John Wick posted:

Hi guys. Been a while, eh? Yeah. I know. Trust me, I know.

I hear a few of you have been wondering where I've been?

You see the scars on my face? Smell the dust in my beard? See the ragged horse I rode in on?

I've been away, friends. Far, far away, on a magic journey that led me from the bleak, cold desert to a place where they serve nothing but milk and honey, breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I've tasted a moment of paradise, just enough to give me the strength to return here, and share with you the its sublime beauty.

I'm not sure if I have the skill to convey it all to you, but I'll try.
I'll try.

If you've been following this column for even a short while, you know that I love stories.

You know the people who love animals more than they love people? Well, that's stories and me. Some of my best friends are stories. More often than not, I've trusted stories more than I've trusted people.

And, one of these days, I'll have to take up Mona Hall on her offer, and write down the story she gave me, of a long forgotten fairytale who gets approached by The Mouse. "I can make them remember you again," The Mouse tells the long forgotten fairytale. "Just sign right here on the dotted line, and they'll never forget you again." I owe her for that one. Maybe one day, I'll find the words to tell it.

Another of my favorite stories is Percival, the tale of a simpleton who becomes a knight, who loses his innocence, then by finding it again, heals a wounded king. Those of you who have seen Terry Gilliam's The Fisher King (starring Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges) know the story.

It's a great story, one that continually finds its way back into my life, no matter how much I try to forget it. And it always amazes me how I don't recognize Percival, even when he walks right up to my face and shakes my hand.

He's never upset that I don't recognize him. In fact, it's happened so many times, he's come to expect it.
(I'm terrible at names and faces, by the way.

If I don't recognize you, please don't take it personally. I do my best, really I do.)
So, yes, I've been gone for months. Not a peep.

Where have I been?

My friends, I've been lost in the Wastelands.

And their acrid, dusty air made the sweet nectar of the Grail that much sweeter.
* * *
One of those stories that's been with me so long, I don't even remember where we met, is a little tale told to me by Stan Lee. Yes, you know it well. He's a friendly chap. A friendly neighborhood chap. Goes by the name of Spider-Man.

A wonderful lesson comes out of that story. Not a new lesson, but then again, there are few lessons in this world that don't have long, gray beards.

It's that "Great power, great responsibility" lesson we keep hearing about - the lesson we keep hearing about, and keep ignoring.

Why do I say that?

Have you taken a look around lately? Specifically, at the internet.

Just before I got lost (one of the key steps in the wrong direction), I lost my temper at somebody who decided to write a review of ORKWORLD. Instead of being a responsible adult, instead of pointing him toward the incredible review written in PYRAMID, I told the shmuck to blow himself. Not that he didn't deserve it, the whole thing was flame bait to begin with.

(Any review of any game that includes the sentence, "The rules are broken. I didn't actually play the game, but I skimmed through the rules, and I can tell" is flame bait.

But, hey, if you disagree with me, that's fine. Just go check out the review in PYRAMID. It's just, fair, and well written. Three qualities that the review at rpg.net doesn't have.)

But, frankly, I should have known better. But the whole thing was just another straw on that poor camel's back.

(Just how many straws does he have on his back these days?)

It didn't help that I made such a stink in this very column about Ken Hite getting the only review copy at Gen-Con, that I plugged his column, said a bunch of very nice things about him both here and at Gen-Con.

. and then found the review of my game ran almost exactly two paragraphs.

Three whole columns devoted to that D&D 3E game, and my book gets two whole paragraphs.

Of course, the review follows Gareth Skarka's Underworld paragraphs, and begins with the phrase "If you liked Underworld, you'll like Orkworld!"

In other words, Ken, my game and Gareth's game are pretty much the same thing. Oboy.

(And all of you who think I only bag on people who say negative things about my games, pay close attention here.)

Ken's review was almost entirely complimentary. Unfortunately, it fails as a review.

It tells you next to nothing about the game - other than the fact that if you like Underworld, you'll like Orkworld. Not that the two games have next to nothing in common.

Not that the people who didn't like Underworld will now pass on Orkworld.

Not that people who did like Underworld will buy Orkworld and get pissed off because it isn't like Underworld. Not that people who liked Orkworld will now go and try Underworld and get pissed that they aren't the same game.

Not that Ken Hite, the one and only person in the whole world who got a review copy wrote exactly less than one hundred and fifty words about my game and three whole columns about that poorly laid out, poorly illustrated, poorly designed, two-hundred and eighty page RULEBOOK they called DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS THIRD EDITION.
Let me tell you something about that book, all right?

When's the last time you bought an RPG that was nothing but two hundred and eighty pages of RULES?
You know when?

Nineteen eighty-five. That's when.

Because that's the last time an RPG could get away with being two hundred and eighty pages of rules.

IF D&D3E ANY OTHER NAME ON IT AT ALL IT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE JOKE OF GEN-CON.

IT'S A TWO HUNDRED AND EIGHTY PAGE RULEBOOK!!!

No, check that. I'm entirely wrong. I'm ranting so hard about this that I completely forgot something. It's not just a two hundred and eighty page book of rules.
BECAUSE THE STUPID THING COMES IN THREE VOLUMES!!!

THAT MAKES IT AN EIGHT HUNDRED PAGE RULE BOOK!!!
ALL YOU SUCKERS WHO BOUGHT ALL THREE BOOKS PAID FOR EIGHT HUNDRED PAGES OF RULES!!!

Did you even look at the thing?

I mean, the PLAYER'S HANDBOOK has black and white art in it.

With all the art resources Wizards has, they can't afford to fill that book with FULL COLVER ART???

Wizards has dozens of artists on staff, ready and willing to paint full-color pictures for D&D 3E, and instead, the art director has them drawing black and white pictures for a book that's FULL COLOR.

And the quality of art. I mean, the fellow who did all that painting is very nice, but he ain't no Terese Neilson. He ain't no Rebecca Guay. He ain't no Bill O'Connor. He ain't no Drew Str.

Drew Str. oh hell, the guy who did the cover of the Star Wars RPG. Yeah, that guy. And, ladies and gentlemen, he is a far way away from being Tom Denmark. This is WotC's premier product.

There is no excuse not to have the best drat artists you have painting this book.

Instead, they settled for someone who is simply above standard. Very, very good artist. A talented fellow who has a very lucrative career ahead of him. All my best to him and I hope he finds all the best success in the world.
But, he's still no Micheal Whalen. Or Brom. Or the guys they have over at LucasArts doing concept sketches for Episode II. Some of the best artists in the world are doing concept sketches for Hollywood. Why not hire them?

You're gonna sell 350,000 copies of this book, why not spend a little extra money to make it LOOK NICE???

And then there was the layout. Who the hell did they hire to do the layout on that book? It looks like they scanned a piece of loose-leaf notebook paper, dyed the lines in Photoshop and dropped it in the background.

It's like they said, "Hey! I've got an idea! The typeface is already crunched and difficult to read, why not drop in a bunch of lines that are the same color as the type and make it MORE DIFFICULT TO READ! How's that sound?"

Idiots.

Ryan Dancey fooled you all. Every single last one of you. You all sucked on the big tap of Fool-Me-Three-Times and Ryan Dancey danced all the way to the bank.

And what do you have?
You have three two hundred and eighty page rulebooks. Eight hundred pages of rules. Congratulations.

And all I hear about on the internet is how innovative that game is.
You know, I can't tell you how innovative that game is BECAUSE I CAN'T READ IT! MY EYES START BLEEDING ON PAGE FOUR!!!

But the whole internet is singing the praises of this game. Ken Hite is doing it - even though the book Tom and I put together gets about a hundred and fifty words - rpg.net is doing it, the whole stinkin' world is doing it.

And you know what that says to me? It says, "Screw you, John Wick. Screw you and your screwed up notions of what gamers want. Yeah, you wrote the L5R RPG and won every single industry award for it and made it one of the best-selling RPGs of all time. Yeah, you wrote the storyline for L5R, and all those kids who carry banners on their back during Gen-Con, all those kids who make the L5R tournament LARGER THAN THE MAGIC TOURNAMENT AND THE POKEMON TOURNAMENT COMBINED, who make Ryan Dancey a whole @!#$-load of money, who -

I'm getting ahead of myself.

I'm tipping my hand. I'll have to slow down here for a moment. Let the rant run out. Get back in control of myself.

There we go.
. count to ten.
. stop and take a breath.
. there we go.

Wanna know where I've been for the last two weeks?
That's where I've been.

The Wasteland.
Just try writing anything with that going through your head. Go on. I dare you.

I know what you're thinking.

Sour grapes? Heh. You don't know the half of it.

You are absolutely right. I'll admit it right up front. Absolutely truthful. Ain't no way to get around it.
But that's what's in my head. I'll be honest about it. I'll tell you the whole, ugly, naked truth: I HATE D&D Third Edition.

Why?
The same reason I hate STAR TREK: Because the best-selling RPG on the market isn't the best RPG on the market. It's just the one with the best name recognition.

However, let's get something else out in the open: D&D3 is a good game. I'll say it again: D&D3 is a good game.
And three times, just to make sure. D&D3 is a GOOD GAME

Is it the best game? No. It isn't. I don't think anyone will dispute that.
The layout makes the book difficult to read.

I understand there was a lot of information to cram into two hundred and eighty pages, but they could have chosen a friendlier font and they could have chosen not to put lines between the lines to make the job of reading it even harder.
It already has 50 pages of errata.

It doesn't have THE BEST artists in our industry between those covers. The art is wonderful, but it isn't THE BEST. And when you have the budget, you go for nothing but THE BEST.

The logo is indistinct and difficult to read.
The cover has rhinestones pasted onto it.

It's difficult to read.
It isn't organized very well.
It's difficult to read.

(Tell me something, would you? What alignment is Darth Vader? Chaotic Evil, you say? Well, that makes sense. He is evil; he kills people. But is he Chaotic? He wants to bring order to the galaxy. He loves his son. Shows signs of regret bringing him before his Emperor. Maybe he's Neutral Evil, then. Right? Hm. Or maybe - just maybe - he's Lawful Good. Don't believe me? Check it out. Vader's actions are all but selfless. He's serving the needs of the Empire. He is unconcerned with personal power or gain. He follows a strict code [I don't think anyone can argue the Dark Side of the Force isn't strict on its followers] and [once again] wants to bring order to the galaxy. That sounds like Lawful Good to me. Sure, he has to kill a few people to maintain that order, but when's the last time a Paladin got chastised for killing a few orks, eh? And those rebel scum. Trying to topple the status quo. That sounds a bit chaotic to me. And do you think they evacuated the Death Star just moments before Luke blew it to pieces? How many people did Luke Skywalker murder when he blew the first Death Star up?

And, as Kevin Smith reminds us, the second Death Star wasn't quite complete just yet. That means there were people working away on it when Biggs and Lando blew it to pieces. Innoncent bystanders. All dead. Lawful Good rebels fighting for freedom, right? Wrong. Fighting to restore power to the aristocracy. Or, am I mistaken when I remember that both heroines bore some royalty in their nomenclature? The Rebel Alliance, fighting for truth, justice and restoring a couple of pretty princesses back to power. Yeah.

That's what Lawful Good is all about. And don't forget to kill some orks on your way out. They're worth 50 XPs a piece.)

It still has Character Classes.
(Let me ask you a question. In my years of professional service to the human race, I spent three years as a camp counselor for pre-teens with emotional and family problems, two years as a pin jockey in a bowling alley, another three years as a camp counselor, a few weeks as a singing waiter, a few years as a professional storyteller and singer in a sea shanty group, taught storytelling for three years, two years as assistant manager at Wal-Mart, delivered pizzas, was in a punk band, a blues band and a rock 'n' roll band, worked late night grocery and maintenance and produce at Cub Foods in my home state of Minnesota, worked a year on the Union Pacific Railroad as a switchman and breakman, worked security, served as an office assistant for a foster family agency, looked after developmentally disabled adults, worked as a janitor, tried my hand as staff writer and [part-time] assistant editor at a games magazine, wrote over 1,000,000 words of game fiction, source material and rules and even worked sixteen hours at McDonalds. What character class do I fit into?

(What's that? Three dimensional characters with backgrounds and past careers and such don't fit into character classes? Well, what kind of characters fit into character classes? Be careful with your answer; you may not like it.)

(And for those of you who think you're clever by calling me a "bard," please don't. There are real people walking around with that honor. They go to a school in Wales - St. David's, I think its called - and they memorize long passages of stories and family histories to earn that title. I have not.

(Here. Three quick examples. A couple of friends asked me if I wanted to play in a D&D game. I said, "Sure. Why not. Let's see how it plays." So, here are the two characters I wanted to make.

(First, I wanted a young noble who, at the age of ten, found he had sorcerous abilities. This, of course, meant he was a sorcerer. His father, the king, was elated, but his wise men notified him there was only one way his son could be a sorcerer: if his mother slept with a dragon. That meant my character was a bastard, cast out and ostrasiced by his family and friends. He still has his sorcery, and he's looking for his true father. And when he's strong enough, he's gonna come home and he's gonna free his mother [locked up in the tower], and defeat his tyrant father. Sound like a fun character to play? Well, you can't. There are no rules for royal characters. I wanted contacts and money and other noble stuff.

I can employ in any other rpg on the market but neither the PH or the DMG have rules for playing noble characters. I have to play something else.

(So, I decided to play a bard. A young man who goes to bard school, but his heart is more in wooing women than learning old songs that nobody sings anymore. "Where's the charm person spell?" he asks. They ignore him and teach him a seventeen hour story about people nobody's ever heard of. He steals a couple of songbooks, runs away from the school and becomes a rogue. Well, guess what? I can't play that character, either.

Spuh. That was it. If I can't even make the character I want to play, two characters that are entirely legitimate and within the boundries of standard generic fantasy, then I just won't play. I mean, I can make those characters in GURPS, why can't I make them in D&D?

(Why? I'll tell you why with one word: character classes. Stupid, idiotic, restrictive for the purpose of being restrictive character classes.)

The fact of the matter is, that game has sold enormously well. Has it deserved its sales? That's not for me to say.

However, and this is important here, pay close attention:
I DO THINK THAT ANY GAME THAT BEGINS WITH THE SENTENCE, "WELCOME TO THE GAME THAT HAS DEFINED THE FANTASTIC IMAGINATION FOR TWENTY-FIVE YEARS" DESERVES NOTHING LESS THAN A .357 HOLLOW-TIP BULLET STRAIGHT THROUGH THE SPINE.

As if no other game in twenty-five years has contributed anything to the industry.
Every innovation that's in those books, and The Wick means EVERY INNOVATION is from another game.

There is nothing new in the PG. Absolutely nothing. You can go through, point-by-point, and find every "new rule" in another game.

Not bad for a game that has "defined the creative imagination" for the last 25 years.
It's a presumptuous statement that goes right up there on the top of my list, right next to Sen-Zar's "We had to make this game."

We've mocked the guys who wrote Sen-Zar. Mercilessly. But then, when D&D pulls the same @!#$, we ignore it, and sing its praises high unto the rafters, agreeing like the mindless, slack-jawed pod-people we are.

Well, not me. I calls 'em as I sees 'em. D&D3 is not the holy grail. It is not manna from heaven. It is not the perfect, end all be all game. It is just as wacky and flawed and screwy as it's always been, and always will be.
And, frankly, its still about as much fun.
No question about it: D&D is a helluva lot of fun.

But it isn't brilliant game design. It's still the same game it was when it was the butt of every gamer cliché we know. It's still the clunky, old-school, simple-minded, hack 'n' slash game it's always been.

Just like when the Academy Awards brought out Jane Fonda, welcoming her back to the fold after her two-decade long lunacy period of being married to that strange fellow who owns Atlanta, expecting all of us to be fooled.
Well, I wasn't fooled. Not by Jane (she'll always be Barbarella to me) and not by D&D (she'll always be Barbarella to me, too.)

It's still D&D, folks. The game you were mocking two years ago. The game you complained about two years ago. The game you fought over two years ago. The game you refused to play ever again two years ago.

It's still D&D.
It's okay to like it. It's even okay to love it. I'm not about pissing in people's punch.

But I am about calling a spade a spade, and that game is the damned Ace. Hell, it's the whole damned Royal Flush of Spades.

Don't call it anything other than what it is. It's Dee and Effin' Dee.

It don't matter how many numbers they put behind it. It will always have those stupid alignments that never made sense, it will always have character classes that keep you from making the character you really want to make, it will always reward murder and genocide with profit and power (XPs), and it will always be clunky, awkward and unbalanced.

(Not that I have any interest in "balanced" games but there are folks out there who complain that games I design aren't "balanced" but go on to sing the praises of D&D3. Listen here, buddy. Tell me about it the next time I see your fighter and he's using a longsword instead of a rapier. Wanna know why? Because a longsword does a d8 worth of damage and the rapier only does a d6.

"Aha!" you say. "But the rapier does more damage on a critical hit!" To which, I answer: "So what? Your rapier does a crit on an 18 - 20 and my longsword does a crit on 19 or 20. That means you crit 15% of the time. I crit 10% of the time. And, in the meantime, 100% of the time, I've got a better chance of doing more damage while having an only 5% less chance of getting a crit. Nice game balance there. And don't ever ask me to handle a light axe. D4 that crits 5% of the time. Why in the world would I ever waste my time with a light axe???

(But I digress.)
Yes, this has been my Wasteland. Watching the internet sing the praises of D&D3, claiming it the savior-messiah of gaming.

Folks, it wasn't all that good. It wasn't bad. But, it just wasn't all that good, either. At least, not from my point of view.
And it's funny.

I was at the Berkeley show a few weeks ago, listening to everyone talk about it. The Hero guys told me, "Yeah. It's dressed up Hero." I heard the Chaosium guys say, "Yeah. It's just dressed up BRPS." I even heard someone say, "They just stole a bunch of ideas from Rolemaster."
Funny. No one said they stole anything from L5R or 7th Sea.

(Maybe that's because there's nothing worth stealing from them? One never can tell.)
Its kinda like when every racial group in the world claimed the trade federation aliens in Episode One sounded like them. I heard Native Americans say it, I heard Chinese say it, I heard Japanese say it.
Funny. No one said they sounded Irish.

(Maybe that's because nobody wants to sound Irish? One never can tell.)
The fact of the matter is, D&D3 looks like a lot of different RPGs. There's just nothing new or innovative about it.

I mean, think about the games that have come out lately. Think about the way Unknown Armies handles magic (pornomancy all the way, baby!), the way Feng Shui handles combat (I have to admit, brutes - I mean, mooks are a wonderful idea)

the way Hero Wars handles myth (do I have to say anything here?), the way Orkworld handles hunting -
. sorry . - and the way Conspiracy X handles psychic powers (and if you haven't seen this one, you are missing something).

And think of some older games, and the innovations they made. Cthulhu. Chill. Traveller. Over the Edge. The World of Darkness. GURPS. Hero. Rolemaster. All of these games provided essential building blocks the designers up at WotC used to create the new D&D.

And, let's face it, there is nothing new in those books. Nothing.
The Saving Throw system (your traits give you bonuses) comes right out of Runequest.

Skills are not a new thing. Not even the way they handled skills (making each one a separate ability) is a new thing. I mean, come on. It wasn't even new when 7th Sea did it. Go check out TMNT (and other Palladium books) to see what I mean.

The magic system is still the same old clunky, non-linear, non-sensical magic system. Although, I have to admit, this is one place I felt the game really fell flat. I mean, I miss all those funky names for the spells. Now they read like chemical formulae.
The bonuses thing is cute, but again, nothing new. It's straight out of Pendragon. Identical in nearly every way. Nothing new.

And did I mention they didn't do anything about alignment. Orks - sorry - "orcs" are still chaotic evil.
Chaotic evil and tribal. I'd like to see how that works. A culture of sociopaths sounds a bit oxymoronic to me.

And did I mention half the art is black and white? In a color book, half the art is black and white.
In case you missed that, let me say it again.
IN A FULL COLOR BOOK, NEARLY HALF THE ART IS BLACK AND WHITE.

That's not just bad art direction. That's a waste of money.

So, to recap:

1. D&D3 is a hardbound, full-color book with at least half of its full color pages covered with black and white illustrations.

2. It's mechanics, while improving previous editions, are not innovative, fresh or new; simply patchworks from previous innovations.

3. It is poorly laid out and requires a total of 3 books (a total purchase of sixty dollars) to play.

4. It is a rulebook comprised completely of rules.

Something unseen in this industry for nearly a decade.

My conclusion?
If D&D3 is a rules set for generic fantasy roleplaying. And, like every other generic fantasy game that has released in the last ten years, it should financially fail. However, this is not any other generic fantasy game.

This is Dungeons and Dragons. And because of that, it will succeed.
Despite the fact it is nothing more than eight hundred pages of rules and not a single paragraph of world.

Despite the fact the rules are not well organized or explained.

Despite the fact the combat rules require the use of miniatures.

Despite the fact gamers have been complaining about this kind of book for the last ten years.
Despite this fact, because it was Dungeons and Dragons, this game will sell almost 350,000 copies by the end of the year while Orkworld will probably sell about 3,000.

Sour grapes?
You bet your sweet dowmga.

* * *
I promised you we'd get out of the Wastelands.

But before we did, I wanted you to get a look at where my mind's been the last two weeks. And, to be honest, there's one more step into the Wastelands before we can take our first step out. Just one more. I promise.

I need to tell you one small fact about Ryan Dancey.
See, I know Ryan. And Ryan knows me. It ain't no secret we haven't always seen eye to eye.

I won't get into that here. That's private stuff between me and Ryan.

But, I will tell you a quick story about me and Tom Denmark that involves Ryan in a weird kind of way.

It goes something like this.

Me and Tom and Morgan Gray (more on him later) are sitting outside a coffee shop. I'm eating a turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce. Never had it before, it's pretty neat.

They're smoking. Had that before, it ain't neat.
(Something The Wife said to me just the other day. "If I was married to a smoker," she says, "I'd pour a capful of Drano into my food. Just a cap a day. And I'd eat it right in front of my smoking husband. He'd say, "What the hell are you doing?" and I'd say, "I'm killing myself. Very slowly. And you're gonna watch." She's just amazing. Okay. Back to the story.)

"We should do it," Tom says.
"We should do it," Morgan says.

"You two are crazy," John says.

They're trying to convince me to do something I promised myself - and others - I would not do.

And that, my friends, is write an adventure using the d20 System.

"It's like when CCGs first took off," Tom says. And he's right.
"We've got to get on there quick, before we're just another adventure," Morgan says. And he's right.
"I can't," I say. And I'm right.

See, I know Ryan.

Worked with him for five years. And there's a proud little part of me that doesn't buy into all this d20 hype. I won't. It's a fad. Besides, I won't write something for d20, even if it is for a quick buck, because that'll prove that Ryan was right.

I'll be just like everyone else jumping on the bandwagon.

Everyone else so eager to prove that Ryan Dancey was right about the game industry: sooner or later, everything will be d20 whether game designers like it or not.

The fans will demand it. Game companies have to either make d20 products or go out of business.

The more d20 products there are out there, the harder it will be for anything else to make a mark in the market.

And, if I jump on the bandwagon, Wick Fanboys (hi guys!) will shout "Sell Out!" and throw eggs at my house.

Besides. I already made Ryan Dancey plenty of money. When they sold Five Rings Publishing to Wizards of the Coast, there were a bunch of people who saw a whole lot of money.

No-one on the design team was on that list of people. Not me, not Dave Williams, not D.J. Trindle, not Rob Vaux, not Matt Wilson, not Matt Staroscik.
Not one of us. Not one red cent.

"I've already made Ryan Dancey a lot of money," I tell them. "I'm not interested in making him more."

That's when Tom Denmark looks me in the eye with a smile on his face and he tells me:
"Then it's time you let Ryan Dancey make you a lot of money."
And, my friends, that was only the second time in recorded history John Wick couldn't think of anything to say.

To top it off, Morgan says this:
"Besides, the book we'll do will kick the @!#$ out of anything they're gonna do."

Then, he goes on to tell me that Ryan said D&D fans will hold the Player's Handbook up to the rest of the industry and say, "The bar just got raised." He smiles.
"Let's do a book the D&D players hold up to Ryan and say

'The bar just got raised.'"
I won't count that as the third time. It was just an amendment on the second time.

So, there I am. Sitting there. Thunderstruck. Dumbfounded. Flabbergasted. Discombobulated.

. So, what do I say?
"All right," I say. "Let's steal Ryan's customers."

Ryan once said that he intended to use the PLAYER'S HANDBOOK as a weapon against the rest of the industry.

He said he'd print a full-color, hardbound two-hundred plus page book for only twenty bucks, and the fans would hold that book up to the rest of the industry and say, "Why can't you make something this good?"

Well, friends and neighbors, I have seen D&D3, and I can tell you this:
I'm doing a d20 Adventure.
I've seen the best WotC can do.
It was s***.

I'm gonna blow their socks off.
And they'll hold that book up at the steps of Wizards Central and shout at the top of their lungs: "Why can't you make something this good?"

I've taken my first step out of the Wasteland.

Thanks to a guy named Percival, hiding in the skins and clothes of Tom Denmark and Morgan Gray. They showed me something I'd forgotten:
Gaming is about fun. Providing a tool for others to have fun.

I'm back. Back in the saddle, ready to finish what I started

Namely, ready to finish Warhamster for John Kovalic, ready to finish The Book of Villains for Green Knight, and ready to finish The Flux for myself.

And a few other things as well. More on them later.
Take good care of yourselves. Don't get lost in that Wasteland.

It's a nasty place. And the only guy who knows how to get out is a funny lookin' pair of fellas living in the Bay Area.

And I owe them much.
(PS: I will update Orkworld.com this week with a few goodies. And, next week, I'll show you what's up with Warhamster. Boy. It's been a long road. See you on the other side.)

Pulled from here.

He later tried to say that it was a "joke rant" and that he was "mocking that viewpoint" or some drat thing. Of course, this is also the guy who said that non-designers should not be allowed to review RPGs. This may or may not have been related to the fact that when he released his sock-blowing-off module "What's That Smell?" it was met with a resounding "Meh".

tl;dr: John Wick was upset that the first major revision of the industry's biggest game overshadowed his niche product. Also, he thinks he's awesome.

Evil Mastermind fucked around with this message at 03:22 on Jul 16, 2009

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RagnarokAngel
Oct 5, 2006

Black Magic Extraordinaire


Holy poo poo. It just keeps going.

Etherwind
Apr 22, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 948 days!


Soiled Meat

grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogggggg
gggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggnnnnnnnnnnnn
nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn
nnnnaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRR
RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRD!

demota
Aug 12, 2003

I could read between the lines. They wanted to see the alien.

John Wick posted:


It's difficult to read.
It isn't organized very well.
It's difficult to read.

Didn't this man make Legend of the Five Rings?

Etherwind
Apr 22, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 948 days!


Soiled Meat

Ages ago I posted a :10bux: challenge for the grognard of John Wick. shotgunbadger made a passable entry but I wasn't really very convinced by it.

That, on the other hand, is grade A, purestrain grognard.

I now owe Evil Mastermind :10bux:

shotgunbadger
Nov 18, 2008

WEEK 4 - RETIRED


demota posted:

Didn't this man make Legend of the Five Rings?

So he knows what he's talking about!

DOHOHOHO!

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Etherwind posted:

Ages ago I posted a :10bux: challenge for the grognard of John Wick. shotgunbadger made a passable entry but I wasn't really very convinced by it.

That, on the other hand, is grade A, purestrain grognard.

I now owe Evil Mastermind :10bux:

Yay! I win!

Relentless
Sep 22, 2007

It's a perfect day for some mayhem!




Etherwind posted:

That, on the other hand, is grade A, purestrain grognard.

So can we close this thing up and all go home?

Because I didn't think anyone would be able to top the racial politics drow discussion, and that one post basically destroyed it.

The General
Mar 4, 2007

So gentlemen, we meet again.




Holy poo poo. I skipped to the tl;dr part and then he kept going! This man has anger like no other!

Fidel Cuckstro
Jul 2, 2007



Relentless posted:

So can we close this thing up and all go home?

Because I didn't think anyone would be able to top the racial politics drow discussion, and that one post basically destroyed it.

Wait until someone unearths a scathing review of AD&D from old prodigy message boards. The well is not dry.

Cyrai
Sep 12, 2004


plarp posted:

The complaint that classes excel at different things is mind-boggling. When have fighters not been pigeonholed into hitting things, or rogues into sneaking around backstabbing people?

OK, yeah, you're right. I forgot. The greatest thing to ever come from this thread and 4E is this part of the review:

quote:

...if you play a wizard, your job now is no longer really to level the playing field with fireball after fireball; it's to command the playing field, to help your warriors out to do something, to help your thieves to sneak around to strike and run, to help your rangers shoot their arrows better. If you play a warrior, your job is to run in and hit things...That is, they said, "You know, the fighters get really hosed because the wizards have all these different opportunities and the fighter does, "I attack.""

Those three sentences easily sum up 95% of this thread. "If you play a wizard, your job is no longer to kill every enemy that has ever existed; it is now to help your team do things. If you play a warrior, your job now is to hit things. That's different from the 'real' D&D because they acknowledged that fighters don't do anything interesting because wizards kill every enemy that ever existed and the fighters job is to hit things"

Dinictus
Nov 26, 2005

May our CoX spray white sticky fluid at our enemies forever!
HAIL ARACHNOS!

Soiled Meat

The General posted:

Holy poo poo. I skipped to the tl;dr part and then he kept going! This man has anger like no other!

I honestly, honestly do not want to see what he has to say about 4E.

Yes I do.

NinjaDebugger
Apr 22, 2008


The General posted:

Holy poo poo. I skipped to the tl;dr part and then he kept going! This man has anger like no other!

Anger like few others, and an ego puffed up by tons of blowjobs from L5R fans. L5R 1e, the one he was the lead for, sucked rear end for anything but flavor text. Significant parts of it were broken, and by broken, I mean that they simply did not work. If you looked too closely at the rules, they fell apart.

And I refuse to get into all the places where his rules and flavor directly contradicted each other.

He was also stupid enough to let Ree Soesbee write an entire book on her favorite clan.

The General
Mar 4, 2007

So gentlemen, we meet again.




L5R is awesome, because it's like someone wanted to write a fuedal japanese RPG but had no idea what fuedal japan was and just kinda filled in the blanks based on what they assumed it would have been like.

RagnarokAngel
Oct 5, 2006

Black Magic Extraordinaire


NinjaDebugger posted:

Anger like few others, and an ego puffed up by tons of blowjobs from L5R fans. L5R 1e, the one he was the lead for, sucked rear end for anything but flavor text. Significant parts of it were broken, and by broken, I mean that they simply did not work. If you looked too closely at the rules, they fell apart.

And I refuse to get into all the places where his rules and flavor directly contradicted each other.

He was also stupid enough to let Ree Soesbee write an entire book on her favorite clan.

The General posted:

L5R is awesome, because it's like someone wanted to write a fuedal japanese RPG but had no idea what fuedal japan was and just kinda filled in the blanks based on what they assumed it would have been like.

Now you make me want to get a 1e book to look at.

Etherwind
Apr 22, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 948 days!


Soiled Meat

NinjaDebugger posted:

L5R 1e, the one he was the lead for, sucked rear end for anything but flavor text. Significant parts of it were broken, and by broken, I mean that they simply did not work.

Which rules are you referring to? If you mean the contested rolls rules, they were a known issue going to print, they just hadn't found an elegant solution for them.

quote:

And I refuse to get into all the places where his rules and flavor directly contradicted each other.

Please do. I'd be interested to hear about this, as my general reading of first edition conveys that it was very well done in this department.

The General posted:

L5R is awesome, because it's like someone wanted to write a fuedal japanese RPG but had no idea what fuedal japan was and just kinda filled in the blanks based on what they assumed it would have been like.

This may just be The General being retarded again, but you do know that it's based on more than just Japanese, myth, legend and culture, right?

Fidel Cuckstro
Jul 2, 2007



Dinictus posted:

I honestly, honestly do not want to see what he has to say about 4E.

Yes I do.

I could be thinking of a different game writer, but I thought there was a blog post of his in this thread about 4th edition. Something to the extent of "I watched a group play it for an hour or two, it looked boring." and some whine about what could have been if only [insert various writing buddies] had been given a chance to really make something different.

I'm pretty sure it also featured Robin Laws telling him to STFU.

The General
Mar 4, 2007

So gentlemen, we meet again.




Etherwind posted:

This may just be The General being retarded again, but you do know that it's based on more than just Japanese, myth, legend and culture, right?


I'm aware, there's a lot of asia in those books. But it still feels like some guys decided to make an asian RPG and just tossed a lot of it in a bubbling cauldron, added essence of fuedal japan and ended up with L5R.

Don't get me wrong, there's a lot cool about the setting, and I enjoy the rules set aside from a few oddities from the one or two campaigns that I've played.

Mikan
Sep 5, 2007


NinjaDebugger posted:

Anger like few others, and an ego puffed up by tons of blowjobs from L5R fans. L5R 1e, the one he was the lead for, sucked rear end for anything but flavor text. Significant parts of it were broken, and by broken, I mean that they simply did not work. If you looked too closely at the rules, they fell apart.

And I refuse to get into all the places where his rules and flavor directly contradicted each other.

He was also stupid enough to let Ree Soesbee write an entire book on her favorite clan.

The General posted:

L5R is awesome, because it's like someone wanted to write a fuedal japanese RPG but had no idea what fuedal japan was and just kinda filled in the blanks based on what they assumed it would have been like.

These are some of the truest things I've ever read about L5R 1e.
They're (mostly) great reading material though.

BAWRLIN
Nov 23, 2003

He'll regret it till his dying day, if ever he lives that long.

DeclaredYuppie posted:

I could be thinking of a different game writer, but I thought there was a blog post of his in this thread about 4th edition. Something to the extent of "I watched a group play it for an hour or two, it looked boring." and some whine about what could have been if only [insert various writing buddies] had been given a chance to really make something different.

I'm pretty sure it also featured Robin Laws telling him to STFU.

Robin D. Laws is awesome.

opaopa13
Jul 25, 2007

EB: i'm in a rocket pack and i am about to blast off into space. it should be sweet.


Dinictus posted:

I honestly, honestly do not want to see what he has to say about 4E.

Yes I do.

Enjoy!

John Wick posted:


I bought Octane and Inspectres (both available over at Memento-Mori.com) for twenty bucks each. Forty dollars. What I got out of those games was absolutely invaluable.

Jared's keen insight into roleplaying games changed the way I wrote games. He didn't change the way I played or ran games, but he made me realize I could write games the way I ran them.

See, if truth be told, first edition L5R looked absolutely nothing like the way I ran it. My style of Game Mastering has always been very loose. I encouraged player feedback. I seldom, if ever, used dice. In fact, I only ever used dice if I didn't know what should happen next. I gave players NPCs to run on their own, encouraged them to contribute to the world with suggestions and used narrative techniques that would make most roleplayers wig out. In fact, most did wig out until they figured out what was going on, and then, they jumped on board the train and never looked back.

Reading Jared's work taught me that I could write a game with the same philosophies I was using to run them. I could not have done this at AEG. In fact, the staff at AEG was moving closer to a more traditional RPG approach while I was moving in a far less conventional one. I was tired of making compromises in the games, tired of putting in rules that would discourage cheating or wankery, tired of forcing cliches into the world to satisfy D&D tropes.

(Yes, like guys in armor walking around a swashbuckling RPG.)

I met Jared at exactly the right time. I'd just finished Orkworld--my transition game from "big games" to "little games." We had a long talk at a convention about game design and I found him to be insightful, funny and drat scary. Scary because what he was saying made perfect sense, but I didn't understand what he was saying at all. Yes, that's a contradiction. If you've never met Jared, you don't get it. If you have, you understand exactly what I mean.

I listened to him talk, but it wasn't until I actually read what he designed that everything clicked. I really could make games the way I ran them. I really could. And then came the daunting task of trying it.

All of this is leading to a very important topic I've been waiting to discuss for some time. Something I've been holding off until I had exactly the right words. And, strangely enough, a gmail chat with Jared finally gave me the words to say exactly what I mean.

You see, I've had the D&D 4E box set on my shelf for a long time. I read through it. I liked a lot of advice I found in the DM's Guide, but reading it was like walking through a maze of mirrors: it's all things I've seen before. A lot of it read like Robin's Laws of Good Game Mastering and the dozens of indie games I have on my shelf. Stuff about narrative control, stuff about player empowerment, stuff about spotlight... I mean, yeah. I've seen this before. In fact, I wrote a lot of it for the L5R and 7th Sea GM sections. And I wrote those books a decade ago. I'm glad they put it in the DMG: this may be the first time D&D players ever see it... but I don't think it will affect the way people play D&D at all. I mean, you can give all the narrative advice in the world, but if your game is still about kicking down the door, killing the ork and taking his stuff, that's exactly what players are going to do.

Which brings me to the Player's Handbook.

Reading this book and reading the DMG is a lot like reading two different roleplaying games. One of them rewards killin' poo poo and the other encourages roleplaying. Now, granted, those two goals are not mutually exclusive, but pay close attention to my wording here. One of them rewards killin' poo poo and the other encourages roleplaying. The mechanics do not reward slowing down the game to have talking time.

But that isn't what I really want to say about 4E is something a bit different. 4E feels a lot like a summer movie blockbuster to me. A whole lot of flash and not a lot of substance. More than that, though, D&D 4E doesn't move game design forward at all. There isn't anything innovative or new or daring. In fact, the game itself is... what's the right word?

Oh, yeah. Bland.

When 3E first came out, I said it felt like the design team had been playing Diablo. I'm not the first to say this, but I'll confirm the reports: this version feels like the design team has been playing World of Warcraft. That isn't insight on my part: I'm just confirming it. And that's a symptom of my chief problem with it. The game doesn't feel at all inspired. It feels... adequate.

Adequate. Sufficient. Satisfactory. What's more, it doesn't feel like any fun. Quite simply, there are no risks in the game design. Everything is perfectly safe.

You would think with a ton of money, time and manpower, the most powerful roleplaying game company in the world could design something that was at least a bit more spicy than oatmeal. Now, there's nothing wrong with oatmeal, but nobody eats just oatmeal. You eat what an ex-girlfriend of mine called "oatmeal with..." Oatmeal with honey, oatmeal with sugar, oatmeal with fruit. But this feels like the oatmeal except someone forgot to add the "with."

The real question--the real test--I think, is asking this: "Will this change how gamers play D&D?" The answer, I feel, is "No." They will continue to play the same game, except with different dice tricks. They may as well be playing GURPS or Hero. It's just another generic system designed to produce generic results from a generic fantasy world using the most safe choices possible so they will offend the least number of players.

And that's the part that really disappoints me. I like comparing the Watchmen novel to the Watchmen movie in terms of manpower and money. One of them cost a far less amount of cash, a far less amount of time and a far less amount of resources. The authors had near complete control over the content and the result was a book that's regarded as a classic of human creative endeavor. The other spent a fortune that's the equivalent of the GNP of some countries and produced something... adequate.

D&D 4E feels like that. Given the same amount of time, money and manpower, I think of what Greg Stafford would have made. Or Robin Laws. Or that punk Jared Sorensen. And, frankly, I get kind of weepy. A game that probably cost more than a million dollars to make and it's just oatmeal. It doesn't suck. It isn't a bad game. It's a good game, in fact. It does exactly what it says it does.

But that's all it does. And, to me, that's just a little sad.

He's an A-rank grognard, no doubt, but I'd rather skip an entire paragraph about oatmeal than listen to one second of Mr. "They added new monsters in 4e, and, okay, that doesn't bother me that much".

Drox
Aug 9, 2007

by Y Kant Ozma Post


I eat plain oatmeal sometimes. :(

shotgunbadger
Nov 18, 2008

WEEK 4 - RETIRED


Look I love L5R too, but up till 2nd edition (and then 3rd) it was broken and unworkable, a good read and it gave my group a good idea for setting and such so much props for making a very interesting and fun world, but 1st ed was unworkable poo poo.

Now, 7th Sea (Have I mentioned I like it this page? Nope? Better loving plug it!) is a good system with great fluff he should be proud of.

L5R, no, not at all until later works.

Lugubrious
Jul 2, 2004



Oh look a grognard reads the core books and passes judgment on what the game "feels like" rather than playing it. What a surprise.

SweeneyTodd
May 30, 2002

Forums Barber

That was pretty funny to see him being honest about his writing style. "Oh, maybe I should write rules that I would actually use if I were GMing this."

Hypnobeard
Sep 15, 2004

Obey the Beard





Lugubrious posted:

Oh look a grognard reads the core books and passes judgment on what the game "feels like" rather than playing it. What a surprise.

Wow, you really missed the point of that, didn't you?

lighttigersoul
Mar 5, 2009

Sailor Scout Enoutner 5:
Moon Healing Escalation


quote:

I liked a lot of advice I found in the DM's Guide, but reading it was like walking through a maze of mirrors: it's all things I've seen before. A lot of it read like Robin's Laws of Good Game Mastering and the dozens of indie games I have on my shelf. Stuff about narrative control, stuff about player empowerment, stuff about spotlight... I mean, yeah. I've seen this before. In fact, I wrote a lot of it for the L5R and 7th Sea GM sections.

Wait wait wait.

Stealing from Robin's Laws in 2008 is bad. But back in 1998 it was AOkay, progressive, and poo poo?

I definitely think Robin's Laws is still the most complete work on the subject, so I'm trying to figure out how resembling it can be ANYTHING but a good thing. . .

Of course, I'm not a game designer, so maybe I have no right to talk about things like this?

rex monday
Jul 9, 2001

Pisk. Pisk. Piiiiiiisk!

Interesting points: Robin Laws has worked on D&D books before. I'm pretty sure he wrote some of the 3.5 DMG2. Also, he's going to be one of the three authors for 4th's DMG2.

Second, I'm not sure when Wick wrote that particular article, but he's working on 4th edition material for Kobold Quarterly now. And apparently it's pretty good stuff.

Idran
Jan 12, 2005


Grimey Drawer

lighttigersoul posted:

Wait wait wait.

Stealing from Robin's Laws in 2008 is bad. But back in 1998 it was AOkay, progressive, and poo poo?

I definitely think Robin's Laws is still the most complete work on the subject, so I'm trying to figure out how resembling it can be ANYTHING but a good thing. . .

Of course, I'm not a game designer, so maybe I have no right to talk about things like this?

He wasn't complaining because it was stealing, he was complaining because it wasn't new. And he didn't say his stuff came from Robin's Laws, he said that the 4e DMG took stuff from both. It's still a dumb argument, but it's a different kind of dumb than what you thought.

Dammit Who?
Aug 30, 2002

may microbes, bacilli their tissues infest
and tapeworms securely their bowels digest



Etherwind posted:

Which rules are you referring to? If you mean the contested rolls rules, they were a known issue going to print, they just hadn't found an elegant solution for them.

oh well in that case

shotgunbadger
Nov 18, 2008

WEEK 4 - RETIRED


Dammit Who? posted:

oh well in that case

Come on dude they didn't try to find a solution for it, cut them some slack, they were REAL tired by the time it came to that.

opaopa13
Jul 25, 2007

EB: i'm in a rocket pack and i am about to blast off into space. it should be sweet.


"I can't play my Sorcerer turned Monk/Warlord concept in 4e, roleplaying is dead."

There, I just saved you from having to read:

Felonius posted:


I'll admit up front that I was initially very excited to see what 4th Edition would bring. I purchased a 4th Edition Player's Handbook within 24 hours of its public release.

Unfortunately, I read it and returned it the next day.

And yes, I will admit that playing 4th Edition can be fun. I've played a handful (read: three) sessions with it, and on some levels its fun on a tactical battle scale.

But here's my real beef with it--

The core rule set does not allow me to play a true character of my choice. The 4th Edition rule set simply doesn't account for the fact that a character in the game may have an entirely valid, real set of reasons and motivations for no longer wishing to be a sorcerer, and instead wanting to focus completely on a 2nd class . . . and a 3rd class on top of that.

Let me explain further:

Let's say in a campaign, Billy the Sorcerer discovers some things he's not comfortable with in terms of who he's receiving his Sorcerer-ite training from. In fact, his character meets a monk that he respects highly, and Billy (being played true to character by a good role-player) decides he'd rather commit his time to the path of monk-like enlightenment. But along the way he also discovers that he is very much interested in studying battle tactics, and so takes up with a warlord for a while to study battle strategies.

Again, for the types of campaigns I usually play, these are not at all unusual types of choices for characters to make--who do we associate with? Who do we train with? What are the motivations of Organization X? What if, as a sorcerer, for philosophical and moral reasons I decide I want to discontinue studying sorcerer, but don't want to give up the lessons I've already learned? These are valid, character-driven decisions that will also directly affect the TYPE of character that they ultimately become.

This is not unlike my own "real life"--I have backgrounds in several academic and vocational subjects, and enjoy pursuing knowledge in all of them.

What's 4th Edition's answer on how to play this type of a not-altogether-uncommon real life human being?

"Too bad. You're one type of character, who maybe, kinda, sorta can mix with a second. But otherwise, you're out of luck."

And to stave off the inevitable rebuttals:

"Well, no DM would allow you to mix and match classes like that because it's not lifelike." Bullcrap. Since when did a "roleplaying game" hamstring a player to actually play a true-to-life character concept? Well, in D&D's case, since about June 2008, because it's simply not allowed in the CORE 4TH EDITION RULEBOOKS.

"Well, play what the books give you, and just have fun!" Ummm....okay. Since the TYPE of character concept I want to play just doesn't fit within your spectrum of rules . . . Oh but wait, surely the DM can just "Make it up as he goes," since that's one of the biggest selling points of 4th ed?

"Why do you care anyway? Just play Class X with powers A, B, J, and Q, and go beat the crap out of stuff." Right. Because roleplaying is about min/maxing. Because determining how much damage I do with Weapon X or Spell Z has anything to do with these types of character-driven actions.

Now, I recognize for some of you, this is irrelevant. You couldn't care less that you're not allowed to develop a "real life" sense of a true character motivation arc. You're happily banging away with your "At Wills" at whatever encounter your DM throws at you, and you're fine with that. Character motivations? Pffft, who gives a crap? When's my next encounter, and how many healing surges to I have left?

Well I'm not fine with that. And frankly, I dislike playing roleplaying games with people who ARE "fine with that." People say that 4th Edition frees up the DM to be more flexible. Hmmm, guess so, as long as "being flexible" doesn't involve a character actually moving beyond the rigid structures of their "role." What Wizards apparently lost sight of was that the idea of "What my character wants to do" goes far, FAR beyond simply "Well, I want to grapple the orc on the roof across the way while swinging on my magic spider rope I shot from my butt."

In 4th Edition, you're not a once-upon-a-time sorcerer who's disenchanted with magic and seeking for truth through other means (and your character progression now reflects that motivation). Your entire existence is summed up in one word--"You're a controller," because the exigencies of combat (which is where the real "fun" is, or so Wizards claims now) is more important than true character development.

So by all means, Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro, pump up your minis-based D&D so people can play a dumbed-down roleplaying game. Because heaven forbid a character actually make farther-reaching decisions, and have the rules to make those decisions possible and playable.

And just for the record--I own over a dozen 3.5 edition books, bought ALL FOUR SETS of the original D&D colored rulebooks (Red, Blue, Green, Black), and STILL have my D&D Classic Rules Cyclopedia sitting on my shelf as we speak. I have every Baldur's Gate PC game titles, Planescape: Torment, and own both Neverwinter Nights PC games. What I mean to say is, I'm not writing this just to bash 4th Edition. I'm writing this because I'm invested in the success of D&D as a viable gaming product, and because I hope that Wizards at least considers some of these types of player choices in their inevitable 5th edition.

crime fighting hog
Jun 29, 2006


Felonius posted:

Character motivations? Pffft, who gives a crap? When's my next encounter, and how many healing surges to I have left?


My players fall into this category and it's so much goddamn fun

Etherwind
Apr 22, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 948 days!


Soiled Meat

Dammit Who? posted:

oh well in that case

Yeah okay fair point.

I don't think I've ever seen an RPG that's been perfect rules-wise in its first edition, though.

BAWRLIN
Nov 23, 2003

He'll regret it till his dying day, if ever he lives that long.

There is no perfect game system.

The General
Mar 4, 2007

So gentlemen, we meet again.




BAWRLIN posted:

There is no perfect game system.


d02 :c00lbert:

Relentless
Sep 22, 2007

It's a perfect day for some mayhem!




Am I allowed to agree with the oatmeal rant if I think it's a good thing?

4e really doesn't do anything that special, he's right. But the combat is streamlined and polished and balanced. It's easy to create encounter, relatively easy to DM, but doesn't have much in the way of new stuff. And all of the out of combat stuff is either kind of broken or vague.

Which in the hands of a decent DM is great. They can do whatever they want with out of combat stuff, they can reskin monsters very easily, and customize fights. And when it comes to the actual fighting, it's (mostly) all laid out right there.

NinjaDebugger
Apr 22, 2008


The General posted:

d02 :c00lbert:

No allowance whatsoever for mechanical character advancement, doesn't allow for coin systems that have identical faces, nor for coinage that has more than two effective sides, to say nothing of countries that lack coinage entirely.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



The General posted:

d02 :c00lbert:

My hate of d02 know no limit.

A silent wail posted:

It fails in just about every aspect of a game,and it is more of a rule playign game than role playing game.

Frist off it is way to liniar.You just get better in everyway.THere is no way in avoiding it.I mena no mater what you are, you have have hit points and levels.

It is over comlicated,and simplist at the same time. IT is harder to hit a mmman in plate armor.And hammers and swords tear chaim mail the same way. Then you have the detail of when you can atack,and what range weapons have,and how far you can move.

Classes, are jokes. really.From how hits points.skill points,and bonus powers are moved about. In the end in boils down to this.

levle systems do not work.They may work on paper, but a level 12 fighter or even mag doesn't need to fear having a sword swung at them, or even getting stabed. Also with the way hit points work, your either fighting as if nothing happened or are out cold.Nothing in the middle.

the flaw of rolling a d20 is also that the best fighter in the word, taking up his most magical sword, misses 5% of the time.ALso so all fighters are just as good with all weapons they use.We all know that training with hand to hand weapons will make you great with a bow.Also if your good with guns, you must know how to use a sword.


In the end, d20 is too many rules, and not enough rules at the same time.Has too many strick rules, while leaving many feild wide open with no reason. I am ranting here,and know this dosen't make much sense to many people.BUt in the end I would like to see one come with a good reason d20 is a good system.

I love this post so much. He's trying to be inflammatory but comes off :3:. You just wanna pinch his little cheeks.

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Drox
Aug 9, 2007

by Y Kant Ozma Post


opaopa13 posted:

"I can't play my Sorcerer turned Monk/Warlord concept in 4e, roleplaying is dead."

There, I just saved you from having to read:

It's too bad, really. Now you can do three classes if you do a hybrid with multiclassing.