A quick update

Sunday, March 23, 2008 - 9:16 PM

What with classes finishing up, along with a friend's impending wedding and a number of other busy-nesses, I've let this sit for a little while. So, here's a few quick notes to tide people over.

1/ Paizo, if you hadn't heard, is essentially allowing its audience to playtest their upcoming Pathfinder system, which is DnD 3.75. I'll be posting my full impressions on this soon. You can download the Alpha rules set for free on their website... check it out, and join in.

2/ I've been looking at the pieces of 4.0 that keep creeping out there. I'm interested, but I admit, anything that gets really hyped up always leaves me cold. It's an anti-marketing reflex, I suppose. Now, that said, I like some of the concepts they are kicking around, but while reading about 4.0, I happened across a quote, which is the basis for /3.

/3 A fellow stated that he was happy about what he'd heard regarding 4.0, because it will make the monsters smarter.
No, no no.
YOU make the monsters smarter. The game system, no matter how cool it is, does not magically enhance the intelligence level of your encounters. The system is just a tool to resolve conflicts, and it may offer you more options to determine the outcome (i.e. the simple 'I swing and hit' as opposed to a system that allows hitting, grappling, tripping, stunning, frying eggs in combat or whatever else).
Systems, depending on their architecture, will bias the feel of a game. But ultimately, the one running the game has control over the system. It's a tool. It doesn't use you.

/4 I do, very much, enjoy the general movement towards simplification that is going on with the fantasy RPG market today. I have a general sense that fantasy gaming is beginning to turn full circle, and head back to its roots.
Of course, that means it'll probably turn into a cottage industry again, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Well, unless you want to make money writing games.

More to come, soon.


At March 24, 2008 10:10 AM, Blogger MCHossman said...

Of course, that means it'll probably turn into a cottage industry again, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Not bloody likely. I thought I read that WoTC is owned by Hasboro. That's a corporate entity. The belief that it will be a 'cottage industry' is a pipe dream.

Anyway, I've just been 'discovering' Paizo lately. I might be making some purchases from them in the next few weeks. I'm not surprised that they'll be sticking with the 3.5 system, I think that there will still be a market for it for a little while, not long term, but for the next year or two, sure.

As to the rest of 4E? We've already talked a lot about it. I don't think WoTCs been hyping it up all that much. They put out a few excerpts and stuff to keep interest up and the forums busy, but from what I've seen the hype has been from the younger, more annoying generations(!) and their 'predictions' or musings, etc.

Smarter monsters? Not without giving everything an intelligence stat/boost. I think they are on the right track in giving GMs more of a guideline in how to use certain monsters - it will also make it easier to come up with sound encounters than just leaving everything open for the GM to put together. How well a system they actually have put together? We can only wait, cringe and hope to find out.

Meanwhile, I just purchased my first d20 book (and first rpg supplement based on 3.5) and love it. Midnight has some great elements to it. Fighting a losing battle, very little hope to win, giving in and dying quickly or fighting and dying slowly - just the sort of thing that gets me motivated. The Orc slant is a new one, and mildly amusing, even more so are the half-dwarf/half-orc mix which just doesn't make sense to me if they hate each other so much. But.. this isn't my blog - and I appreciate the Mont'ster in giving me his thumbs up when I told him I purchased it, a good sign for a good purchase.


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