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Aschlafly
Jan 5, 2004

I identify as smart.
(But that doesn't make it so...)


Night10194 posted:

For me it's basically entirely nostalgia. I was too young to really critically evaluate systems back when I played it and I haven't played it since my old group in high school switched to 3e, so I really couldn't tell you. It's what I ran my first games in, though. Hodge-podged together messes of ways to include other media I liked, the way god intended D&D to be run before it became official shovelware policy with the OGL.

My experience was pretty similar. It is interesting to compare 2e and 3e and realize some of the poor design decisions that went into 3e, though.

3e solidly cemented the "fighters are terrible" trope. A 2e fighter at high levels is pretty scary: s/he gets extra attacks, has a great AC, has a ton of hit points, is the only one who benefits from super-high strength or constitution, and has the best saving throw progression against every type of hazard except spells. Paladins and rangers are still mostly better (the only fighter feature they sacrifice is weapon specialization, which is a damage bonus with a single type of weapon), but they have special alignment and ability score restrictions. A 9th level fighter also becomes a "lord" and attracts a huge number of followers--much more than a wizard does by building a tower, for example (compare this to 3e's "back to the dungeon" design mentality, which completely got rid of the base-building/leadership aspect altogether--probably for the better, but getting an actual army was one of the things that made fighters kind of cool). High level magic is still terrifying and powerful, but wizards aren't nearly as godly as they are in 3e, and a fighter can put up a decent resistance to the wide variety of "save or suck" spells.

The 2e fighter feels like at least a passing attempt at mimicking some of the mythical/fantasy material the class is supposedly based on. It's not a great facsimile, but it feels much more heroic than... whatever the hell happened in 3e.

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Aschlafly
Jan 5, 2004

I identify as smart.
(But that doesn't make it so...)


Maybe the state in question is supposed to be one that mixes right-wing and left-wing elements? Something like Khmer Rouge Cambodia or the DPRK?

Aschlafly
Jan 5, 2004

I identify as smart.
(But that doesn't make it so...)


It was definitely better than life under the Tsar.

Nessus posted:

I am sure someone is out there who will say that this is a fundamental misunderstanding of both projects, simultaneously both liberal and neo-liberal. That said are you talking about Sigmata or Gears of Defiance?
I'm unironically liberal (lol). I was just wondering if either setting's underlying ideology might not be anti-left wing despite superficial appearances of an anti-left wing bent. Co-opting left-wing imagery and symbolism for right-wing purposes is very much a thing.

Aschlafly
Jan 5, 2004

I identify as smart.
(But that doesn't make it so...)


I still think a big part of the problem with the degeneration of the fighter class is that "fighter" has never really been a clearly defined role in gaming/narrative space. In basic D&D it literally just meant "guy who is good at physical fighting". In advanced D&D it was more like "guy who is good at physical fighting but is not qualified to be a special warrior like a ranger or paladin", since you had to have special ability scores or alignment to be either one of those. This meant fighters were the sort of default/everyman warrior class, and deviations from the fighter archetype were rare and special.

3e got rid of ability score prerequisites altogether (and was half-hearted about alignment restrictions), which is a good thing, but then what the hell is a fighter? Why would anyone choose to just be "regular badass with a sword" when you could be "badass with a sword who detects evil and can heal" or "badass with a sword who can rage and has skin made of iron" or "badass with a sword who gets a free pet bear and low level spellcasting"? "Well," they must have said, "the fighter can do the basic fighty things everyone else can do, but better." Then you end up with a bland, flavorless class that people nonetheless gravitate toward because "regular guy with armor and a sword" is still an attractive trope from a narrative point of view, if not a mechanical one, and then 4e comes out, and people get pissy because "hey I can't play a fighter who uses a bow, this is some bullshit" or "my fighter can't be a swashbuckler, what gives?" and yadda yadda.

I still like the way Legend d20 dealt with the fighter class, which was to not have one at all. If you just want to be a "regular guy with armor and a sword", pick the barbarian or ranger class, then multiclass to get rid of whichever bits don't seem fighter-y enough and replace them with another set of abilities (like the knight's bonuses to combat maneuvers and stickiness). Voilą. You have your own, personal fighter "class" that grants you interesting mechanics and choices and still keeps you on par with the rest of the party.

Shame Legend d20 was such a clunky mess and never got completed, because the spirit was great, and it was the only d20 game I've ever seen that handled multiclassing in something approaching an intelligent way.

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