Posts Tagged ‘DnDnext’

The Role of Rolls – Skills Numerical and Non

February 7, 2012 1 comment

There is a bit of a philosophical debatSkills - like perception, or stealthe going on about DnDnext. Many players who were introduced to Dungeons & Dragons through 3rd or 4th edition have a different view of skills then those who grew up with earlier editions. In WotC’s quest to unify D&D under one big tent, the community must confront balancing player skill vs. PC skill.

The 4e mechanic of skill challenges may have exacerbated the situation. Skill challenges tried to quantify roleplaying challenges and reward making character building choices sometimes at the expense of actual roleplaying. This commonly occurs during a skill challenge when a player says something along the lines of, “I’m rolling diplomacy… I got a 19.” This makes the “old guard” cringe.

Ideally, you would come up with a convincing argument, and speak in character to the GM. Something like, “We are honored to be in your presence your majesty. Forgive our intrusion m’lord, but we come bearing urgent news. Your enemies gather on the border and are threatening war!” In the old days, the DM would evaluate how you presented yourself and make a judgement on the spot as to how the NPC would react. This requires some serious improv skills on both the player and the GMs part.

Some people just aren’t into this style of play, while others live for it. How does DnDnext plan on bridging this gap between a PC’s role in the party and what they “should” be good at, and rewarding player ingenuity for creative solutions outside the numbers?

I would propose I hybrid approach, and would be surprised if this wasn’t too far off the mark. (If I get a cease and desist from WotC, I’ll know I’m *really* close!) What I would do is have skills similar to that of 3e and 4e, but reward significant bonuses for creative role-playing. If you just roll a die, maybe you get that score, maybe there is a penalty for not role-playing, but if you describe what your character is doing in detail (for physical skills) or make a convincing speech/bluff/argument (for social skills) the DM would have the option of lowering the DC or providing a bonus to the check, anywhere from +2 to +10, if it is incredible. That provides a mechanical reward for out-of-the-box, off-the-character-sheet thinking. A roll would still be required, and a 1 would auto-fail, and a 20 would always succeed (you’ve always got at least a chance, no matter how improbable), I think this system could lead to a really great experience and encourage some really awesome role-playing. What’s more essential to ALL the editions than that!?

Categories: 5e, Adventure, DnD, Lore, News, Tips Tags: ,

Core DnD – True Essentials

January 24, 2012 4 comments

Art for DCCRPG by Jeff Easley

Rule of Three took their regular three questions mined from various sources, but this week the questions were about DnDnext. One of the stated goals of the next edition is to create a common core DnD that has all the main ingredients that make DnD what it is, what it was, and what it shall be:

“One of the primary goals of the game will be to take the best elements from all editions and find ways to unify them around a tight, central core of a game aimed at providing the essential aspects of Dungeons & Dragons.”

So what unifies all the editions? As you look at character sheets of all the different editions, what would feel weird if it were missing? Here are a few things that I feel have to be included to the base core for it to feel like Dungeons and Dragons. Everything else is negotiable.

1. The six stats. DnD would not be DnD without Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Mess with the holy six, and thou shall incur such nerd rage the servers shall run red with developers blood tears. Well, maybe not, but to me nothing is more integral to the DnD experience than our old familiar stats; preferably with values 3-18.

2. Armor Class. All other defenses are negotiable. Do you roll a save, or does an enemy target your Will defense? Doesn’t matter. But without AC, you aren’t playing DnD.

3. Hit Points. These terms transcend edition. If you go to anyone who has played any version of DnD, and pretty much any RPG video game, they’ll know what hit points are. Don’t go getting creative with this one, guys.

4. Class. I may not be in the majority here, but I don’t mind the super-old-school notion of race-classes like the classic dwarves, elves, and halflings. That being said, you can’t have DnD without classes. Races are optional to me, but will likely cause a nerd-uproar with the majority of DnD players. I feel like the core classes will and should be the old standbys: Fighter, Cleric, Thief, Wizard. I feel like Ranger is pretty iconic too, but not absolutely core.

Now that I look at this list, it may just be a big ad for Goodman Games’ Dungeon Crawl Classic RPG. It has all of these elements, and once it comes out, will probably be what I’m playing while we wait for 5e. If you haven’t downloaded the beta, do yourself a favor and get it here. It will certainly give you something to think about while us commoners wait to be invited to the 5e beta.

Categories: 5e, DnD, Lore, News, RPGs Tags: ,