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

Anthony 05-18-2021 10:30 AM

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

Originally Posted by whswhs (Post 2380425)
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.

The D&D first level character isn't likely to get magical gear for a few levels, but honestly, the fact that DF characters 'starting adventurers' are 250 points has always bugged me about DF.

ericthered 05-18-2021 10:33 AM

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

Originally Posted by Anthony (Post 2380432)
The D&D first level character isn't likely to get magical gear for a few levels, but honestly, the fact that DF characters 'starting adventurers' are 250 points has always bugged me about DF.


Henchmen sort of walks it back to 125 points. I'm playing a game at that level now, and they still feel quite powerful, though some of that is about the foes we've been up against so far.

isf 05-18-2021 05:31 PM

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

Originally Posted by Anthony (Post 2380193)
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).


ISTR in a discussion on rpg.net that characters originally had 1 hit point and died if hit (like a counter in a miniature wargame) and that this was deemed unfun so characters got 2 hp so they might survive._

Polydamas 05-18-2021 07:37 PM

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

Originally Posted by Anthony
The D&D first level character isn't likely to get magical gear for a few levels, but honestly, the fact that DF characters 'starting adventurers' are 250 points has always bugged me about DF.

Its one of the quirky things about Kromm's vision of dungeon fantasy. His vision is great and unique but its not necessarily the most common one or the one in other people's books.

I don't think I ever saw a D&D character survive much above 5th level, very few reached 3rd. But some people play one character from peasant to god!

whswhs 05-18-2021 08:48 PM

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

Originally Posted by isf (Post 2380510)
ISTR in a discussion on rpg.net that characters originally had 1 hit point and died if hit (like a counter in a miniature wargame) and that this was deemed unfun so characters got 2 hp so they might survive._

In my copy of Chainmail, it's stated that it takes one hit to kill an ordinary man, but four simultaneous hits to kill a hero, and eight to kill a superhero. On the other hand, in D&D, an ordinary man has one hit die, which seems to mean 1d6 hit points. Or maybe it's 1d6+1, I seem to recall that a "veteran" is a bit better than an ordinary man.

Stormcrow 05-18-2021 09:11 PM

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

Originally Posted by isf (Post 2380510)
ISTR in a discussion on rpg.net that characters originally had 1 hit point and died if hit (like a counter in a miniature wargame) and that this was deemed unfun so characters got 2 hp so they might survive._

That's close. In Arneson's campaign they started out with a one-hit-kill system, possibly more hits for higher-level combatants like Chainmail, but, as you say, it was deemed unfun. So they decided that a "hit" would be randomized into a die: each hit you could withstand was turned into one die, and each hit you caused was turned into one die. This meant that, on average, the number of hits to kill an opponent was the same, but you could get lucky and possibly survive more hits than average or cause more hits than average.

This is why in the original D&D boxed set, all hit dice were six-sided dice, and all attacks caused 1-6 points of damage. (The very few monsters that could cause multiple dice of damage were therefore fearsome.) It didn't matter whether you were wielding a dagger or a two-handed sword; you still did 1-6 points of damage if you hit, because damage didn't represent physical, structural damage to the body, but a randomized system to withstand a potentially fatal blow.

Anthony 05-18-2021 11:37 PM

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

Originally Posted by Polydamas (Post 2380522)
Its one of the quirky things about Kromm's vision of dungeon fantasy. His vision is great and unique but its not necessarily the most common one or the one in other people's books.

I mean, I don't have a problem with using 250 point characters for dungeon crawling. I just have a problem with viewing them as starting characters, because zero to hero is a pretty key component of the dungeon fantasy genre.

Stormcrow 05-19-2021 07:00 AM

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

Originally Posted by Anthony (Post 2380543)
zero to hero is a pretty key component of the dungeon fantasy genre.

And yet soooooo many people started their D&D characters at 5th level every time...

Varyon 05-19-2021 07:24 AM

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

Originally Posted by Anthony (Post 2380543)
I mean, I don't have a problem with using 250 point characters for dungeon crawling. I just have a problem with viewing them as starting characters, because zero to hero is a pretty key component of the dungeon fantasy genre.

The original fiction that served as inspiration for what became the "dungeon fantasy" genre certainly had a zero-to-hero aspect to it, resulting in the genre itself having some aspect of that, but once you get to the somewhat-incestuous point where the entire purpose of the game is "kill monsters and take their stuff" (which is very much the point where GURPS DF is) a lot of people want to just have established delvers from the beginning, not fresh-faced goblin fodder who grow into the role of hero or die.

Stormcrow 05-19-2021 07:35 AM

Re: Game Settings Written for the Game System vs. Generic Systems
 
I would point out that "kill monsters and take their stuff" was NOT a design philosophy of the original D&D. The guiding philosophy was "plunder a weird environment in any way possible."

"Zero to hero" came about because the Chainmail wargame had figures for mundane soldiers that were killed with one hit, Heroes who were killed with four simultaneous (mundane) hits, and Super Heroes who were killed with eight simultaneous hits. As Arneson's Blackmoor campaign evolved, people started to ask, "So what's in between a mundane soldier and a Hero? What about two hits, three hits? Four hits?" And so the D&D concept of character levels was born.

"Kill the monsters and take their stuff" was a later conception as people tried to boil down what THEY thought the D&D experience was all about.

So "zero to hero" far predates pure "kill the monsters and take their stuff."


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