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Old 09-21-2018, 08:57 PM   #11
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Default Re: Does DFRPG more and more resemble a super hero game to you

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
The phrase 'linear fighters, quadratic wizards' dates back to 1e.
Really? I never once heard it back then, and I played a lot late in that era, even at cons. With frequent random encounters and uneven XP tables, things like this weren't as big an issue back then, at least until levels got to double digits (when we mostly rolled up new characters). Plus 40% of the magic item table was armor/swords/weapons, and another 35% was in consumables (potions/scrolls). (This was even more pronounced in OD&D, when all swords were intelligent (though only half got any benefit) and were 20% of the magic items, while rings/staves/wands/rods/miscellaneous were a mere 15%.)
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Old 09-22-2018, 02:08 AM   #12
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Default Re: Does DFRPG more and more resemble a super hero game to you

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I'm not saying that that's not the case... but in the big picture, DFRPG isn't doing anything different with roles than what other fantasy RPGs do and have always done.

So the question arguably becomes: Did 70s-era D&D begin – consciously or not – as a fantasy skin over a superhero-like base?

(Me, I've never really thought about the superhero genre as a meaningful input into the creation of fantasy RPGs. But it's certainly interesting to look at how the genres of fantasy and superheroes turned out, and make comparisons.)
Well the reason I said DFRPG and not high powered fantasy is because I run DFRPG and not (insert system) fantasy.


As it is there are a lot of comparison between the cinematic versions of Hawkeye and Legolas or comparing say Dr Strange and a DF Wizard and so on.
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Old 09-23-2018, 07:52 AM   #13
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Default Re: Does DFRPG more and more resemble a super hero game to you

Keep in mind that both concepts have roots in the genre of heroic epics, which date back to the origins of literature. The parallels between the fantasy party and the super team are later additions, but probably more an inevitable consequence of structuring a story so multiple characters can contribute to advancing the plot than anything else. Plenty of other genres have specialist characters for just that reason.
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Old 09-23-2018, 01:06 PM   #14
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Default Re: Does DFRPG more and more resemble a super hero game to you

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Really? I never once heard it back then, and I played a lot late in that era, even at cons. With frequent random encounters and uneven XP tables, things like this weren't as big an issue back then, at least until levels got to double digits (when we mostly rolled up new characters).
Which is to say, you stopped playing the game at roughly the level it became broken. AD&D wizards were mostly gimps until about fifth level, and a lot of the really broken stuff didn't kick in until you got 6th level spells, though the quadratic effect was present earlier (higher level meant you got more spells, the spells you already had were more effective, and you got new spells that were even better).
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Old 09-23-2018, 06:51 PM   #15
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Default Re: Does DFRPG more and more resemble a super hero game to you

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Which is to say, you stopped playing the game at roughly the level it became broken.
Which seemed to be common; we weren't into the domain game, which was an essential part of play at that level. A quick look at the Dungeon Magazine index of 60 AD&D adventures, only 3 had a recommended level starting at 10 or higher. Of 29 D&D adventures, only 1 had a recommended level starting that high.
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Old 09-24-2018, 08:03 AM   #16
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Default Re: Does DFRPG more and more resemble a super hero game to you

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Keep in mind that both concepts have roots in the genre of heroic epics, which date back to the origins of literature. The parallels between the fantasy party and the super team are later additions, but probably more an inevitable consequence of structuring a story so multiple characters can contribute to advancing the plot than anything else. Plenty of other genres have specialist characters for just that reason.
This is the answer I'd endorse.

Adventure fiction can operate at the ordinary level (where "heroic," when used, has the sense "courageous, noble, or self-sacrificing") or at the heroic level (where "heroic" has the sense "impressive, legendary, or mythological in power"). There are lots of variations on both – and some takes on horror, in particular, introduce a third level where the protagonists are less capable than ordinary people.

I'd say that supers and dungeon delvers – and action-movie protagonists, and pulp heroes, and many others – operate at the heroic level. This generates similarities, the most important of which are "the protagonists are more powerful than most people around them" and "if there's more than one protagonist, the characters will have distinctive niches to justify the presence of several heroes rather than just one." That doesn't mean the genre conventions or tropes are the same overall.
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Old 09-24-2018, 11:54 AM   #17
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Default Re: Does DFRPG more and more resemble a super hero game to you

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I'm not saying that that's not the case... but in the big picture, DFRPG isn't doing anything different with roles than what other fantasy RPGs do and have always done.
For every edition of D&D except for D&D 4th edition, DF RPG play at much higher power level with a broad ranges of choices both for combat and non-combat encounters. It a result of the focus on 250 points.

Even at 125 to 150 pts GURPS character function a lot like D&D 5th level characters in terms of capabilities except again for D&D 4th edition.

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So the question arguably becomes: Did 70s-era D&D begin – consciously or not – as a fantasy skin over a superhero-like base?
No, the numbers and treasure distribution of OD&D don't support this. That and the primary documentation available that the Blackmoor and Greyhawk were more heroic than superheroic. Although there was plenty of gonzo and anachronistic elements as well.

However liberalize the treasure distribution along with using high stats modifiers from the Greyhawk supplement then the ability of the PCs to deal high amounts of damage often is enhanced. Making it feel more like superheroics.

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(Me, I've never really thought about the superhero genre as a meaningful input into the creation of fantasy RPGs. But it's certainly interesting to look at how the genres of fantasy and superheroes turned out, and make comparisons.)
The demand for more options in part lead to AD&D which in part was a compliation of the rules released in the D&D supplement, Strategic Review, and Dragon Magazine. This lead to an inflation of all character classes to being able to attack more often and do more damage in more diverse ways.

For a full analysis of the inspiration of OD&D and it early development I suggest Jon Peterson's Playing at the World which delves into it in exhaustive detail supported by primary sources.

https://www.amazon.com/Playing-at-Wo.../dp/0615642047

OD&D itself was firmly heroic not superheroic in it's treatment of the genre. Even name level character (9th +) could be taken out by the monster due to the low number of hit points and lack of high bonuses (except through magic items).

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Old 09-24-2018, 12:06 PM   #18
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Default Re: Does DFRPG more and more resemble a super hero game to you

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But sometimes I look at DFRPG and it looks like a super hero game skinned with Dungeon Fantasy
The diverse range of attributes, advantage and skills most DFRPG character possess are little different than what one see from 3rd Edition GURPS super heroes. Doesn't surprise it feels like a form of superheroes although with a more gritty and grounded feel i.e. Daredevil/Batman rather than Superman/Shazam
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Old 09-24-2018, 12:15 PM   #19
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Default Re: Does DFRPG more and more resemble a super hero game to you

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Which is to say, you stopped playing the game at roughly the level it became broken. AD&D wizards were mostly gimps until about fifth level, and a lot of the really broken stuff didn't kick in until you got 6th level spells, though the quadratic effect was present earlier (higher level meant you got more spells, the spells you already had were more effective, and you got new spells that were even better).
People forget that magic items were a factor. Yes magic users as character got a lot of options at higher levels. But Fighter compensated for that by getting magic sword and magic armor. And later with Unearthed Arcana they got some options in terms of character building as well.

By late AD&D it boiled down to who played it smart.

For the record the most broken AD&D character (Unearthed Arcana or not) was a Druid starting around 6th level with a relatively easy to get selection of magic item (all low to mid levels like a +2 scimatar) could defeat any comparable character. One major factor was the ability to control the battlefield with spells like Entangle and to heal damage with shapechanging combine with decent hit point and a decent attack roll.
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Old 09-24-2018, 12:29 PM   #20
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Default Re: Does DFRPG more and more resemble a super hero game to you

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This generates similarities, the most important of which are "the protagonists are more powerful than most people around them"
That is not only view of the relative power of characters nor the most common. Back in the day it was split between the above and every NPC had a level like in Judges Guild City-State of the Invincible Overlord.

In OD&D even if PCs are special and the only ones with levels, low level monsters in quantity remained a significant threat to PCs up to "name" level (9th) and sometime beyond.

Especially if one followed the recommend treasure distribution. It wasn't until late AD&D after Unearthed Arcana where even a 1st level PC was far more capable than a 1 HD monster.

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and "if there's more than one protagonist, the characters will have distinctive niches to justify the presence of several heroes rather than just one." That doesn't mean the genre conventions or tropes are the same overall.
A later addition and one that didn't get cemented until 3rd edition D&D. The trend was to add more mechanics to allow characters to do more things outside of their core class abilities. This trend was in full flower with AD&D 2nd Edition which had kits and customized things for the myriad settings TSR supported.

In OD&D each class (fighter, magic user, cleric) could basically do one unique thing. For everything else the players was expected to use their wits and use their character's attributes as a guide as to what the PC was good at.

Many don't realize that with OD&D all three classes had the exact same chance of a hitting an opponent and all did the same amount of damage except for high strength fighters.

The idea that Dungeon Delving was largely about those two things is what did D&D 4th edition in.
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