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-   -   Game Settings Written for the Game System vs. Generic Systems (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=173235)

whswhs 05-16-2021 07:47 PM

Re: Game Settings Written for the Game System vs. Generic Systems
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by khorboth (Post 2380157)
For several of the people I play with, learning new rules and systems is excruciating. It's the absolute worst part of the role-playing experience. These are people who are excellent at getting into character, bring tonns of narrative strength to the table and help everyone's immersion. They are perfectly capable of learning systems; I put them through Rolemaster for crying out loud. But it's taxing and not fun. GURPS reduces the not-fun and gets to the fun for these people by being consistent and modular.

That's never been an issue for me. I've run campaigns in many different systems, and in fact I sometimes run a campaign specifically to get acquainted with a new system. (And that sometimes results in my deciding not to use a system again; that happened with Godlike, In Nomine, and Space 1889.) My players get to vote for the campaigns they prefer, and I've seen campaigns in a lot of different systems take first place, including systems none of us has looked at previously. So I don't think many of them are reluctant to learn new systems the way yours are.

whswhs 05-16-2021 07:49 PM

Re: Game Settings Written for the Game System vs. Generic Systems
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Polydamas (Post 2380151)
I think that is a great description of why GURPS is better for L. Sprague de Camp stories than four-colour stories. Oddly, D&D is sort of 'its own self-referential thing' because it was put together from different influences by people who had no idea what they were doing. CoC and WoD all had clearer models in traditional storytelling.

I'm not sure how to describe D&D's root metaphor. It could almost be said to be that you are a character in a video roleplaying game, accumulating power by going into dangerous situations. But really it's more nearly the reverse: that model seems to have existed in D&D first. I'm not sure where it came from in original D&D.

Polydamas 05-16-2021 07:55 PM

Re: Game Settings Written for the Game System vs. Generic Systems
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whswhs (Post 2380165)
I'm not sure how to describe D&D's root metaphor. It could almost be said to be that you are a character in a video roleplaying game, accumulating power by going into dangerous situations. But really it's more nearly the reverse: that model seems to have existed in D&D first. I'm not sure where it came from in original D&D.

Maybe from the wargames where the battles are the point or there is an idea of levies vs. veterans and over a campaign levies can become veterans? It would be fun to look at the early games and see where the ideas of "experience points" or levels came from.

thrash 05-16-2021 10:45 PM

Re: Game Settings Written for the Game System vs. Generic Systems
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Polydamas (Post 2380166)
Maybe from the wargames where the battles are the point or there is an idea of levies vs. veterans and over a campaign levies can become veterans? It would be fun to look at the early games and see where the ideas of "experience points" or levels came from.

Original D&D was subtitled "Rules for Fantastic Medieval Wargames Campaigns Playable with Paper and Pencil and Miniature Figures." The idea that this was a wargame variant carries through the text. It is clear from context that "campaign" was understood in the original military sense of a connected series of battles and maneuvers to achieve some objective, implied in this case to be growing individual characters into the heroic figures of fantasy stories. The introduction (Book 1, p. 3) mentions a few specific inspirations, even before AD&D's Appendix N:
Quote:

These rules are strictly fantasy. Those wargamers who lack imagination, those who don’t care for Burroughs’ Martian adventures where John Carter is groping through black pits, who feel no thrill upon reading Howard’s Conan saga, who do not enjoy the de Camp & Pratt fantasies or Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser pitting their swords against evil sorceries will not be likely to find DUNGEONS & DRAGONS to their taste.
Others have pointed out that the concept of "level" may have come from Chainmail (p. 30 in the 1975 edition), where Heroes (level 4 fighters in OD&D, Book 1, p. 16) "have the fighting ability of four figures" and Superheroes (level 8, ibid.) "act as Hero-types in all cases, except they are about twice as powerful."

I do find it interesting that OD&D (Book 1, pp. 12-13) appears to use "non-player character" strictly in the sense of hirelings and retainers of the player characters that are under DM control. Any figure encountered in the dungeon -- even humans -- is a "monster" instead.

Anthony 05-17-2021 12:29 AM

Re: Game Settings Written for the Game System vs. Generic Systems
 
My suspicion is that hit dice were first, probably originally as just hits (so ordinary counters required one hit to kill, special counters required more).

johndallman 05-17-2021 12:30 AM

Re: Game Settings Written for the Game System vs. Generic Systems
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whswhs (Post 2380165)
I'm not sure how to describe D&D's root metaphor. It could almost be said to be that you are a character in a video roleplaying game, accumulating power by going into dangerous situations. But really it's more nearly the reverse: that model seems to have existed in D&D first. I'm not sure where it came from in original D&D.

I think it comes from Chainmail having had warriors and magicians at several levels of power. When the concept of role-playing those units was invented, having them progress from lesser to greater power would have seemed natural.

Icelander 05-18-2021 09:15 AM

Re: Game Settings Written for the Game System vs. Generic Systems
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Anthony (Post 2379670)
This is...oft stated, but not actually true. A 10th level D&D fighter in mundane armor (say, chainmail and shield) goes down pretty fast to a horde of goblins.

Why would a 10th level Fighter in D&D be wearing mundane armour that town guardsmen in D&D settings can afford?

D&D 3e/3.5 explicitly links possession of magical gear to level and a 10th level character should have enough magical stuff to be functionally immune to goblins. Other editions were less explicit, but if you somehow managed to earn enough experience to reach 10th level in AD&D without having magical items and the most expensive armour money could buy, you must have been deliberately trying to avoid it.

Basically, in all the editions I'm familiar with (I don't really know 4e and only played 5e once), 10th level characters should be able to mostly ignore goblins and the goblins will only hit on a natural 20.

Anthony 05-18-2021 09:48 AM

Re: Game Settings Written for the Game System vs. Generic Systems
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Icelander (Post 2380417)
Why would a 10th level Fighter in D&D be wearing mundane armour that town guardsmen in D&D settings can afford?

Because he's being compared to a starting DF character who has mundane armor. Add magic armor and weapon to a DF fighter and he's going to be more potent too.

whswhs 05-18-2021 10:05 AM

Re: Game Settings Written for the Game System vs. Generic Systems
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Anthony (Post 2380421)
Because he's being compared to a starting DF character who has mundane armor. Add magic armor and weapon to a DF fighter and he's going to be more potent too.

That implies that a D&D first level character (in the edition I used, a "veteran," which suggests that any experienced soldier could be a first level fighting man) is in a position to start accumulating magical gear, whereas a DF character isn't likely to find any till they get up to the equivalent of level 10. The worldbuilding assumptions seem quite different. I'm reminded of the filksong where the gamer bemoans

We think that gross artifacts spoil all the funó
Like potions of healing and daggers +1!


This is not to say that either worldbuilding assumption is superior. But they're clearly different!

Varyon 05-18-2021 10:11 AM

Re: Game Settings Written for the Game System vs. Generic Systems
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Icelander (Post 2380417)
Why would a 10th level Fighter in D&D be wearing mundane armour that town guardsmen in D&D settings can afford?

Like-to-like comparison. I posited a starting DF Knight was roughly comparable to a 10th level Fighter in 3.5e DnD (although I failed to specify edition). As a starting DF Knight is highly unlikely to have any sort of magical gear, it was appropriate to outfit the DnD Fighter without such as well. Give a starting DF Knight gear comparable to what a typical 10th level Fighter would have, and he too would likely be largely immune to goblins. Perhaps to a lesser extent than the Fighter*, but still largely immune.

*Depending on specifics, the DF Knight may well be better off. If he has sufficient DR the goblins need a critical hit that halves DR, or doubles or triples damage, to actually harm him, the Fighter is likely worse off. While the Fighter can tank more hits - my test character had 70 HP - you're looking at something like a 5% chance to harm the Fighter (roll a natural 20), while harming the Knight is around a 0.10% chance. That latter is because the goblin needs to roll a 3 or 4 (1.85%) to crit, then a 3-5 or 16-18 (9.24%; combined total of ~0.17%), and finally get a decent damage roll to actually harm the Knight. The Fighter is therefore 50x as likely to lose HP in a given exchange (and will tend to lose more HP per hit). Of course, things get a bit more up in the air depending on exact situation - a Fighter with Great Cleave who gets swarmed will likely deal with fewer exchanges in a fight than the Knight would, even if the latter has Cleaving Strike, as the Fighter will generally kill more goblins per exchange than the Knight will.


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