d20 without character levels?

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

Is d20 without levels possible?

We have classless d20 (Mutants and Masterminds). If I wrote a
level-less d20 would it still be d20?

Suppose I adjusted it to have higher amounts of XPs for the
level advancement (exponential scale like 1e) and gave only half
a hit die per level - would that be d20?

Is d20 just the core mechanic for handling conflicts, skills and
feats, etc OR does d20 also include the rules for generating
characters and character development?

In advance to all those out there who are going to tell me to
use something else - apart from d20 - I already know of 1000
such rule systems but..., The first thing people say to me when
I try to recruit them is "Is it D&D", the second thing they say
is "I haven't time to learn yet another rule system". I went to
the trouble of writing my background for Tri-Stat - but couldn't
find any takers. When I said it was "like BESM" - that just made
things worse - they thought I wanted them to play an Anime
character. I'm thinking that if I have rules based on d20 - I
will be able to say to them "Yes - it's very like D&D" (lying
through my teeth, because the only resemblance to D&D will be
the core mechanic).
192 answers Last reply
More about character levels
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    shoggoth <shoggoth@rlyeh.com> writes:

    > Is d20 without levels possible?

    > We have classless d20 (Mutants and Masterminds). If I wrote a
    > level-less d20 would it still be d20?

    According to the technical definition of "d20", yes, it would, though
    I suspect that a lot of people who find "d20" a selling point wouldn't
    be interested in it.

    > Suppose I adjusted it to have higher amounts of XPs for the
    > level advancement (exponential scale like 1e) and gave only half
    > a hit die per level - would that be d20?

    Absolutely. The exponential scale is one of the variants in
    /Unearthed Arcana/, and re-jiggering the damage mechanic is one of
    the most common things that d20 games change from D&D.
    [...]
    > I'm thinking that if I have rules based on d20 - I will be able to
    > say to them "Yes - it's very like D&D" (lying through my teeth,
    > because the only resemblance to D&D will be the core mechanic).

    Well, I'd be pretty irritated to learn that a GM had lied to me when
    he pitched the game.

    --
    Matt Pillsbury
    pillsy[at]mac[dot]com
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    As a proponent of Fudge I have the "I don't know that system so I wont play"
    problem very often. My advice, go ahead and write the game you want to
    write. Sell it to the players based on the _setting_ not the system. Offer
    a one-shot adventure with (mostly) pre-generated characters to get them into
    the setting. (leave a little room for them to customize the character). I
    even like to have players go into the game with just the setting info and
    little or no character generation done before hand. This article describes
    how: http://www.fudgefactor.org/2004/05/05/fudge_on_the_fly.html . Even if
    you don't know or play Fudge it's good advice.

    Remember, our hobby is called role-playing... and _playing_ implies "having
    fun" <G>

    Mitch
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    On 24 Nov 2004 00:41:15 -0800, Matt Pillsbury <mtp@seesig.com>
    wrote:

    >shoggoth <shoggoth@rlyeh.com> writes:
    >
    >> Is d20 without levels possible?
    >
    >> We have classless d20 (Mutants and Masterminds). If I wrote a
    >> level-less d20 would it still be d20?
    >
    >According to the technical definition of "d20", yes, it would

    Thanks for the advice Matt and don't take my other (rather rude)
    post too seriously. I've been let down a few times by players
    showing interest in the background and backing out when they
    learnt that I was using a rule system they were unfamiliar with.
    I shouldn't take that out on you - after you were so kind to
    post me advice. So - please accept my apology for the rudeness
    of my previous post.

    I will write my new d20 rules today. [I meant - edit the system
    reference docs]

    If I can't get players for this game I will get a new job and
    move to a big city or something!!

    >, though
    >I suspect that a lot of people who find "d20" a selling point wouldn't
    >be interested in it.

    I suspect that a lot of people play D&D because it's easy to get
    a D&D game - as so many other people know how to play it.
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    shoggoth wrote:

    > Is d20 without levels possible?
    >
    > We have classless d20 (Mutants and Masterminds). If I wrote a
    > level-less d20 would it still be d20?

    Well, technically M&M is OGL and not d20 STL, but that's not that much of a
    distinction.

    In any case, though, M&M is already almost levelless. "Level" is simply
    used to set points and set limits on powers and abilities. Find a
    different way to set those limits, and you can easily convert it to a fully
    point-based system.

    > Is d20 just the core mechanic for handling conflicts, skills and
    > feats, etc OR does d20 also include the rules for generating
    > characters and character development?

    To use the "d20" logo and trademarks, you have to use their rules for
    character generation and development.

    What constitutes a "real d20" game, on the other hand, is a matter of
    opinion. Most people seem to consider M&M to be one, in spite of the fact
    that it can't call itself one under the d20 STL.

    Technically speaking, the "d20 System" includes everything that's in the d20
    System Reference Document. So it also includes hit points, the rules for
    movement, opportunity attacks, the different "conditions" that the game
    describes and their effects, etc. Most of these things can be changed and
    still have a "d20 System" game under the STL, but the more of them you
    change, the less likely it is that people will consider it to really be a
    "d20" game.

    > In advance to all those out there who are going to tell me to
    > use something else - apart from d20 - I already know of 1000
    > such rule systems but..., The first thing people say to me when
    > I try to recruit them is "Is it D&D", the second thing they say
    > is "I haven't time to learn yet another rule system".  I went to
    > the trouble of writing my background for Tri-Stat - but couldn't
    > find any takers. When I said it was "like BESM" - that just made
    > things worse - they thought I wanted them to play an Anime
    > character.  I'm thinking that if I have rules based on d20 - I
    > will be able to say to them "Yes - it's very like D&D" (lying
    > through my teeth, because the only resemblance to D&D will be
    > the core mechanic).

    I wouldn't recommend lying to people you want to get to play your game. It
    sets a bad precedent.

    What I'd really recommend is *talking to your potential players*. You say
    they're asking "is it D&D" rather than "is it d20". They may *only* be
    interested in D&D, and not other d20 games. Talk to them about your
    setting -- they might have recommendations for a d20 system to run it with.
    And getting them involved "on the ground floor" like that will help
    increase their interest.

    --
    ZZzz |\ _,,,---,,_ Travis S. Casey <efindel@earthlink.net>
    /,`.-'`' -. ;-;;,_ No one agrees with me. Not even me.
    |,4- ) )-,_..;\ ( `'-'
    '---''(_/--' `-'\_)
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    >>>>> "s" == shoggoth <shoggoth@rlyeh.com> writes:

    s> The first thing people say to me when I try to recruit them is
    s> "Is it D&D", the second thing they say is "I haven't time to
    s> learn yet another rule system". [...] I'm thinking that if I
    s> have rules based on d20 - I will be able to say to them "Yes -
    s> it's very like D&D" (lying through my teeth, because the only
    s> resemblance to D&D will be the core mechanic).

    Whether this works or not will depend on why they like D&D. If they
    like D&D because they have an affinity for roll d20, add modifier,
    compare to target number, they'll be happy with your system. If they
    like D&D because they like playing half-elven ranger-sorcerers with
    two big swords, or if they like playing D&D because they've figured
    out where the sweet spots in combat tactics are, they probably won't
    like your system at all.

    Further, the people in both groups would likely be annoyed at the game
    having been misrepresented. I know I would be; I've never played with
    a GM again once he pulled off a dishonest bait-and-switch. ("There's
    a surprise in this game coming up, but I'd rather not tell you about
    it; trust me, ok?" is not dishonest, though I've only known one GM who
    actually pulled it off successfully.) Better to be honest and play
    with few players than to develop a reputation as a bait-and-switch
    type of DM and play with none.

    Charlton


    --
    cwilbur at chromatico dot net
    cwilbur at mac dot com
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    On Wed, 24 Nov 2004 14:29:43 GMT, Charlton Wilbur
    <cwilbur@mithril.chromatico.net> wrote:

    >>>>>> "s" == shoggoth <shoggoth@rlyeh.com> writes:
    >
    > s> The first thing people say to me when I try to recruit them is
    > s> "Is it D&D", the second thing they say is "I haven't time to
    > s> learn yet another rule system". [...] I'm thinking that if I
    > s> have rules based on d20 - I will be able to say to them "Yes -
    > s> it's very like D&D" (lying through my teeth, because the only
    > s> resemblance to D&D will be the core mechanic).
    >
    >Whether this works or not will depend on why they like D&D. If they
    >like D&D because they have an affinity for roll d20, add modifier,
    >compare to target number, they'll be happy with your system. If they
    >like D&D because they like playing half-elven ranger-sorcerers with
    >two big swords, or if they like playing D&D because they've figured
    >out where the sweet spots in combat tactics are, they probably won't
    >like your system at all.
    >
    >Further, the people in both groups would likely be annoyed at the game
    >having been misrepresented. I know I would be; I've never played with
    >a GM again once he pulled off a dishonest bait-and-switch. ("There's
    >a surprise in this game coming up, but I'd rather not tell you about
    >it; trust me, ok?" is not dishonest, though I've only known one GM who
    >actually pulled it off successfully.) Better to be honest and play
    >with few players than to develop a reputation as a bait-and-switch
    >type of DM and play with none.
    >
    >Charlton

    A very fair comment Charlton. I will try to make sure that they
    know that the power-level of the character classes has been
    pruned, the monsters are all different, that 30% of the feats
    have just vanished, etc. I'll call it d20 fantasy. I wouldn't
    want people who were wedded to D&D for the reasons you give. I'm
    looking for more adventurous types (willing to try new things)
    who just don't want to spend time thinking about another
    mechanic during play.
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    In rec.games.frp.dnd shoggoth <shoggoth@rlyeh.com> wrote:
    > I would, of course, describe it as d20 fantasy, and elaborate
    > that it uses the same core mechanic as D&D. That's what I mean
    > by "like D&D" - like the mechanics.

    "buy my car."

    "i want a ferrari. is it a ferrari?"

    "well, it's like a ferrari, and uses the same core mechanics..."

    --
    \^\ // drow@bin.sh (CARRIER LOST) <http://www.bin.sh/>
    \ // - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    // \ X-Windows: The defacto sub-standard.
    // \_\ -- Dude from DPAK
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    On Wed, 24 Nov 2004 08:22:00 GMT, shoggoth <shoggoth@rlyeh.com> wrote:

    >Is d20 without levels possible?
    >
    >We have classless d20 (Mutants and Masterminds). If I wrote a
    >level-less d20 would it still be d20?

    Mutants and Masterminds doesn't really have levels as such.
    While M&M's power levels are vaguely analogous, really they don't work
    like D&D levels, much. You don't get anything for going up in power
    level except a higher ceiling on what you can purchase and experience
    point advancement system is more like GURPS or Hero than it is D&D's
    level driven system.

    >
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    On Wed, 24 Nov 2004 09:30:05 GMT, shoggoth <shoggoth@rlyeh.com> wrote:

    >On 24 Nov 2004 00:41:15 -0800, Matt Pillsbury <mtp@seesig.com>
    >wrote:
    >
    >>shoggoth <shoggoth@rlyeh.com> writes:
    >>
    >>> Is d20 without levels possible?
    >>
    >>> We have classless d20 (Mutants and Masterminds). If I wrote a
    >>> level-less d20 would it still be d20?
    >>
    >>According to the technical definition of "d20", yes, it would
    >
    >Thanks for the advice Matt and don't take my other (rather rude)
    >post too seriously. I've been let down a few times by players
    >showing interest in the background and backing out when they
    >learnt that I was using a rule system they were unfamiliar with.

    But what you're talking about isn't going to solve this problem. It'll just
    postpone the point where they back out on you.


    --
    Hong Ooi | "COUNTERSRTIKE IS AN REAL-TIME
    hong@zipworld.com.au | STRATEGY GAME!!!"
    http://www.zipworld.com.au/~hong/dnd/ | -- RR
    Sydney, Australia |
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    On Wed, 24 Nov 2004 20:39:21 +1100, Hong Ooi
    <hong@zipworld.com.au> wrote:

    >On Wed, 24 Nov 2004 09:30:05 GMT, shoggoth <shoggoth@rlyeh.com> wrote:
    >
    >>On 24 Nov 2004 00:41:15 -0800, Matt Pillsbury <mtp@seesig.com>
    >>wrote:
    >>
    >>>shoggoth <shoggoth@rlyeh.com> writes:
    >>>
    >>>> Is d20 without levels possible?
    >>>
    >>>> We have classless d20 (Mutants and Masterminds). If I wrote a
    >>>> level-less d20 would it still be d20?
    >>>
    >>>According to the technical definition of "d20", yes, it would
    >>
    >>Thanks for the advice Matt and don't take my other (rather rude)
    >>post too seriously. I've been let down a few times by players
    >>showing interest in the background and backing out when they
    >>learnt that I was using a rule system they were unfamiliar with.
    >
    >But what you're talking about isn't going to solve this problem. It'll just
    >postpone the point where they back out on you.

    Unless they don't back out.

    Maybe they've just not had an opportunity to play in a world
    where they could get into deep immersive roleplaying - which is
    what I want out of them?

    If they do back out then - at least we would all have learnt
    something from the experience.
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    shoggoth <shoggoth@rlyeh.com> wrote in message news:<n2g8q013qhpn11epf4aq7n4r4sja6tl0o8@4ax.com>...
    > Is d20 without levels possible?

    Just wondering why is it you want to get rid of character levels?

    If it's to slow down progression then just divide the XP you would
    normally give out by some arbitrary number.

    If it's to stop the 'jumps' in power that levelling gives then try the
    following:

    Every time a PC earns, say, 10% (or whatever works) of the XP needed
    for the next level let them take one benefit from it. e.g. For a third
    level character they'd get benefits at 3300, 3600, 3900, etc. These
    could be split up as follows:

    +1 BAB
    A new feat or 'feat-like' class ability (e.g. Sneak Attack, Wild Shape
    or whatever)
    An increase to an existing 'feat-like' class ability
    All new Spells / Spells per day of one spell level
    (Up to) 4 skill points
    etc.

    Of course this would mean that they'd have to decide which class level
    they're going to take earlier than normal but I don't see that as a
    problem. When they finally achieve they normal XP for that level they
    get any benefits from it that they haven't yet (if there are any,
    maybe 10 steps is too many?)

    This also means players are more likely to be more forgiving of the
    lower XP as they're still advancing fairly often anyway (just in
    smaller steps).
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    On Wed, 24 Nov 2004 07:15:37 -0600, "Mitch Williams"
    <m_a_w@bellsouth.net> wrote:

    >As a proponent of Fudge I have the "I don't know that system so I wont play"
    >problem very often. My advice, go ahead and write the game you want to
    >write. Sell it to the players based on the _setting_ not the system. Offer
    >a one-shot adventure with (mostly) pre-generated characters to get them into
    >the setting. (leave a little room for them to customize the character). I
    >even like to have players go into the game with just the setting info and
    >little or no character generation done before hand. This article describes
    >how: http://www.fudgefactor.org/2004/05/05/fudge_on_the_fly.html . Even if
    >you don't know or play Fudge it's good advice.
    >
    >Remember, our hobby is called role-playing... and _playing_ implies "having
    >fun" <G>
    >
    >Mitch

    Cheers Mitch. I did just that. I used Tri-Stat (which is the
    core behind BESM) and wrote out some lovely rules. As soon as I
    mentioned "Tri-stat" they said whaaat and when I mentioned BESM
    they said: "Oh no, not Anime". I replied "yes that's right, not
    Anime", but by then they'd gone.

    I will used d20 with the characters pared back to 1e
    power-levels and the XPs per level based on an exponential range
    such as:

    Level
    1 2000
    2 6000
    3 14000
    etc.

    or something similar. The outlandish feats removed. HD per level
    half that of D&D.

    I always enjoyed playing weak characters forced to live on their
    wits and I'd like the PCs to try that too. If it just doesn't
    work out, well, at least I tried. Next time when people who meet
    me at a game ask "Do you GM?" I'll reply "Yes, but I can't find
    any players". They'll say "We can't find a GM" and I'll reply:
    "Perhaps you should consider going half the way?, I will".
  13. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    shoggoth@ryleh.con wrote:

    > the characters pared back to 1e power-levels
    >
    > [...]
    >
    > The outlandish feats removed. HD per level half that of D&D.
    >
    > [...]
    >
    > I always enjoyed playing weak characters forced to live on their
    > wits and I'd like the PCs to try that too.

    Note that it's important to consider whether the players would like that
    too.

    And if they would, maybe the simplest way to play D&D at power levels
    half those of standard D&D is to play D&D at the lower half of the 20-
    level range? Even without diminished XP, 10 levels provides plenty
    enough game time and neatly eliminates the more powerful half of...
    well, everything, which seems to be in tune with what you want.


    --
    Jasin Zujovic
    jzujovic@inet.hr
  14. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    On Thu, 25 Nov 2004 16:14:41 +0100, Jasin Zujovic
    <jzujovic@inet.hr> wrote:

    >shoggoth@ryleh.con wrote:
    >
    >> the characters pared back to 1e power-levels
    >>
    >> [...]
    >>
    >> The outlandish feats removed. HD per level half that of D&D.
    >>
    >> [...]
    >>
    >> I always enjoyed playing weak characters forced to live on their
    >> wits and I'd like the PCs to try that too.
    >
    >Note that it's important to consider whether the players would like that
    >too.
    >
    >And if they would, maybe the simplest way to play D&D at power levels
    >half those of standard D&D is to play D&D at the lower half of the 20-
    >level range? Even without diminished XP, 10 levels provides plenty
    >enough game time and neatly eliminates the more powerful half of...
    >well, everything, which seems to be in tune with what you want.

    As I see it, the desired power range is closer to AD&D levels
    1-5. Which I estimate map to 3e D&D levels 1-3. Anything above
    that and I'm having to make all kinds of adjustments to my
    background world to accomodate the rules. The rules shouldn't
    impose themselves on the background world. It should be the
    other way round if anything.

    I'll keep people up-to-date on whether I manage to recruit
    players. If I can't I'll have to go further to get a game but at
    least I'll have my Tri-stat rules back
  15. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    On 25 Nov 2004 08:35:39 -0800, IHateLashknife@hotmail.com (Phil
    Pettifer) wrote:

    >shoggoth <shoggoth@rlyeh.com> wrote in message news:<n2g8q013qhpn11epf4aq7n4r4sja6tl0o8@4ax.com>...
    >> Is d20 without levels possible?
    >
    >Just wondering why is it you want to get rid of character levels?
    >
    >If it's to slow down progression then just divide the XP you would
    >normally give out by some arbitrary number.

    I decided to keep the levels. But I'm going further than that:
    returning to the exponential XP scale of 1e, halving hit points
    per level, getting rid of the supernatural powers and OTT feats.

    Basically bringing everything down a notch. If players don't
    want to play at these reduced levels then I won't want to play
    with them.

    >If it's to stop the 'jumps' in power that levelling gives then try the
    >following:
    >
    >Every time a PC earns, say, 10% (or whatever works) of the XP needed
    >for the next level let them take one benefit from it. e.g. For a third
    >level character they'd get benefits at 3300, 3600, 3900, etc. These
    >could be split up as follows:

    No, it's not just the jumps in level it's the speed of level
    advancement, and way these PCs shoot from being nobodies to
    being the most powerful characters in the world in the space of
    a year or two's gaming. Also, if I have a monster that is
    supposed to be terrifying with 4HD then I don't want a 5HD PC
    making mincemeat out of it (without having really earned to
    right to do so). Nor do I want to constantly change the stats of
    my monsters just to accommodate rising PCs stats - what's that
    point of that? The very last thing I want to do is to get into
    the syndrome of having to bring in more powerful monsters with
    extra powers just so that the PCs will have a challenge.

    All the standard D&D monsters from the MM are already gone. I
    only have about 60 types of monsters, these are the ONLY
    monsters and I won't be making any new ones up when/if the PCs
    gain 5th level, nor will the monsters be gaining corresponding
    levels too. And - you've guessed it - only demons, gods and
    their servitors have stats of more than 8HD.

    >+1 BAB
    >A new feat or 'feat-like' class ability (e.g. Sneak Attack, Wild Shape
    >or whatever)
    >An increase to an existing 'feat-like' class ability
    >All new Spells / Spells per day of one spell level
    >(Up to) 4 skill points
    >etc.

    The problem isn't just the gains in stats, HD, feats, etc. Many
    of the feats in D&D are supernatural and this is a game world
    where people are not supernatural - only magic, and magic is not
    innate. Those feats are banned outright.

    >Of course this would mean that they'd have to decide which class level
    >they're going to take earlier than normal but I don't see that as a
    >problem. When they finally achieve they normal XP for that level they
    >get any benefits from it that they haven't yet (if there are any,
    >maybe 10 steps is too many?)
    >
    >This also means players are more likely to be more forgiving of the
    >lower XP as they're still advancing fairly often anyway (just in
    >smaller steps).

    Not being able to advance a level for many months at a time (not
    even from 3rd to 4th) never stopped me playing 1e and 2e - why
    do people NEED their characters to become more powerful? - I've
    played with loads of groups where we had no kind of gain in PC
    power throughout the campaign (not D&D) - and we didn't worry
    about that one bit. I'm not saying that this kind of D&D
    development of PC powers is always bad but it needs to be kept
    within reasonable bounds. Those bounds are reasonable for the
    D&D universe but my game-world is in another universe where that
    kind of thing doesn't happen.
  16. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    In article <KO%od.42573$jE2.37898@bignews4.bellsouth.net>, m_a_w@bellsouth.net
    says...

    >Offer a one-shot adventure with (mostly) pre-generated characters to get
    >them into the setting. (leave a little room for them to customize the
    >character).

    Gee, you have players who accept pre-gens "as is"?

    Just about every group I was with insisted on modifying the pre-gens I
    gave them, screwing up the adventure because someone would inevitably
    replace a skill or feat I gave to help with part of the adventure.
  17. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    shoggoth wrote:
    > He can see the magic rules. He just doesn't get to see the advanced
    > spells which his character couldn't possibly know about anyway. The
    > only thing his character could know about those advanced spells are
    > names and approximate effects. I shall let him see 30 basic spells in
    > those rules. The other (100+) higher level spells work on the same
    > principles but are only available at higher levels and he will just
    > have to extrapolate according to his imagination.

    Why bother? That only works once anyway, just like keeping the Monster
    Manual or DMG secret.

    > I'm not empowering the potential players. I'd only want to
    > empower actual players - but only if they put the effort in do
    > they deserve the effort back from me.

    Bah. If there's anything more stupid than the God GM idea, it's the
    Mysterious God GM. Indeed, the latter is one of the main reasons why the
    God GM idea is stupid.

    > After all why should I write 100+ spell details out when 90% of those
    > spells are unlikely to get cast unless players stick with the campaign
    > for at least 4 months?

    Even better -- the Lazy Mysterious God GM. Good luck with that.

    > Is that reasonable?

    No. You want to run a game, do your homework first. Like you said above:
    You only deserve the Big Chair if you put in the effort.

    > How does it empower me to waste my time --

    So it's much better to waste the players' time instead, eh? Lying to
    them about what you plan to run, keeping the rules secret, etc. Shoo.
    --
    Bradd W. Szonye
    http://www.szonye.com/bradd
  18. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    shoggoth wrote:
    > He can see the magic rules. He just doesn't get to see the advanced
    > spells which his character couldn't possibly know about anyway. The
    > only thing his character could know about those advanced spells are
    > names and approximate effects. I shall let him see 30 basic spells in
    > those rules. The other (100+) higher level spells work on the same
    > principles but are only available at higher levels and he will just
    > have to extrapolate according to his imagination.

    If this really neccessary, think about looking for other players. A good
    player should be able to distinguish what his character may know or not,
    and also play his character this way. If it ain't working this way in your
    group, your're out of luck. Godlike secrecy used against the players is
    bad ... very bad. Never ever try to do this!

    > After all why should I write 100+ spell details out when 90% of those
    > spells are unlikely to get cast unless players stick with the campaign
    > for at least 4 months?

    Who told you that you need to do this? If none of the players is capable of
    weilding mighty, mighty mojo, you can design higher magic at a later time.

    --
    To get my real email adress, remove the two onkas
    --
    Hendrik Belitz
    - Abort, Retry, Fthagn? -
  19. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    shoggoth <shoggoth@rlyeh.com> wrote in
    news:n2g8q013qhpn11epf4aq7n4r4sja6tl0o8@4ax.com:

    > Is d20 without levels possible?
    >
    > We have classless d20 (Mutants and Masterminds). If I wrote a
    > level-less d20 would it still be d20?
    >
    > Suppose I adjusted it to have higher amounts of XPs for the
    > level advancement (exponential scale like 1e) and gave only half
    > a hit die per level - would that be d20?
    >
    > Is d20 just the core mechanic for handling conflicts, skills and
    > feats, etc OR does d20 also include the rules for generating
    > characters and character development?

    d20 is a (pretty darned successful) marketing ploy by WotC. If you want to
    call your game d20 and it follows the rules of the d20 liscense, then it's
    d20, whether you have classes, levels, or even d20s in the game. There is
    absolutely nothing stopping you from publishing your homebrew that uses
    tarot cards and bottlerockets for conflict resolution and calling it d20 if
    it makes you happy, as long as you follow all the other rules.
  20. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    shoggoth <shoggoth@rlyeh.com> wrote in
    news:a0p8q01fi38rekud63iiipkf81n9pi24ef@4ax.com:

    > On Wed, 24 Nov 2004 20:39:21 +1100, Hong Ooi
    > <hong@zipworld.com.au> wrote:
    >
    >>On Wed, 24 Nov 2004 09:30:05 GMT, shoggoth <shoggoth@rlyeh.com> wrote:
    >>
    >>>On 24 Nov 2004 00:41:15 -0800, Matt Pillsbury <mtp@seesig.com>
    >>>wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>shoggoth <shoggoth@rlyeh.com> writes:
    >>>>
    >>>>> Is d20 without levels possible?
    >>>>
    >>>>> We have classless d20 (Mutants and Masterminds). If I wrote a
    >>>>> level-less d20 would it still be d20?
    >>>>
    >>>>According to the technical definition of "d20", yes, it would
    >>>
    >>>Thanks for the advice Matt and don't take my other (rather rude)
    >>>post too seriously. I've been let down a few times by players
    >>>showing interest in the background and backing out when they
    >>>learnt that I was using a rule system they were unfamiliar with.
    >>
    >>But what you're talking about isn't going to solve this problem. It'll
    >>just postpone the point where they back out on you.
    >
    > Unless they don't back out.
    >
    > Maybe they've just not had an opportunity to play in a world
    > where they could get into deep immersive roleplaying - which is
    > what I want out of them?
    >

    Who cares if she says no, if I stick my dick in her she's sure to like
    it.



    > If they do back out then - at least we would all have learnt
    > something from the experience.

    They'd have learned not to trust you.


    >
    >
  21. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    clarkrs@mindspring.com wrote:

    > >>But what you're talking about isn't going to solve this problem. It'll
    > >>just postpone the point where they back out on you.
    > >
    > > Unless they don't back out.
    > >
    > > Maybe they've just not had an opportunity to play in a world
    > > where they could get into deep immersive roleplaying - which is
    > > what I want out of them?
    >
    > Who cares if she says no, if I stick my dick in her she's sure to like
    > it.

    So that's what they mean when they say "deep immersive".


    --
    Jasin Zujovic
    jzujovic@inet.hr
  22. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    On 24 Nov 2004 07:50:55 -0800, "Nockermensch"
    <nockermensch@hotmail.com> wrote:

    >shoggoth wrote:
    >> On Wed, 24 Nov 2004 13:16:19 +0100, Jasin Zujovic
    >> <jzujovic@inet.hr> wrote:
    >>
    >> >shoggoth@rlyeh.com wrote:
    >> >> What potential players want to know is 'will I understand the
    >> >> rules'. I'll offer them edited versions of the d20 system
    >> >> reference documents. They can have nearly the full rules if they
    >> >> want - the same ones I use. [But no - they can't have the
    >> >> monster rules too and can't see the magic rules unless their
    >> >> character is a mage.]
    >> >
    >> >Can they have the crafting rules even if the character is not a
    >> >craftsman?
    >>
    >> Yes. For crafting non-magical items.
    >>
    >> But there are no Feats allowed for crafting magic items -
    >> available to sorcerers below, say 10th level because the Temples
    >> won't allow such spells to be learnt by such low-level types.
    >
    >Interesting.
    >
    >> >Can they have the fighting rules rules even if the character is not
    >a
    >> >fighter?
    >>
    >> Of course.
    >>
    >> >Can they have the jumping rules even if the character is not a
    >jumper?
    >>
    >> They can have all these mundane rules.
    >>
    >> They don't get to have the special rules, which are basically
    >> rules for monster stats and magic stats. They can have some
    >> verbal and even written descriptions of the effects of spells
    >> and reports from people who previously encountered monsters -
    >> just as characters would get in any world.
    >>
    >> If they manage to learn a particular spell then the spell-caster
    >> only can have the rules for the spell thus learnt.
    >
    >And if this spellcaster then explain the rules of that spell to his
    >friends? And if these friends do the same to their friends? And if the
    >world, with spellcasters, their friends and the friends of their
    >friends is going this way for some time? Do you realize that there's a
    >good basis for those verbal and even written descriptions being
    >actually effective?

    The Temples with the complete backing of the state will hunt
    them down like dogs and kill them. Such independent (of the
    Temples) spells exist but must be kept totally secret and
    spell-casters can't just teach those spells to anyone - only to
    their dearest friends and closest relatives - just so long as
    they keep the secret too.

    There are also high higher ability score restrictions needed to
    do magic - so most people aren't going to be able to benefit
    from spells you try to teach them because they won't have the
    high abilities. At the same time, those people are then a
    liability because they can always turn you over to the temple
    for offering to teach them magic without authorization. So magic
    learnt outside the temples is extremely rare.
  23. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    On 29 Nov 2004 06:07:35 -0800, "Nockermensch"
    <nockermensch@hotmail.com> wrote:

    >shoggoth wrote:
    >> On 24 Nov 2004 07:50:55 -0800, "Nockermensch"
    >> <nockermensch@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >>
    >> >And if this spellcaster then explain the rules of that spell to his
    >> >friends? And if these friends do the same to their friends? And if
    >the
    >> >world, with spellcasters, their friends and the friends of their
    >> >friends is going this way for some time? Do you realize that there's
    >a
    >> >good basis for those verbal and even written descriptions being
    >> >actually effective?
    >>
    >> The Temples with the complete backing of the state will hunt
    >> them down like dogs and kill them. Such independent (of the
    >> Temples) spells exist but must be kept totally secret and
    >> spell-casters can't just teach those spells to anyone - only to
    >> their dearest friends and closest relatives - just so long as
    >> they keep the secret too.
    >
    >I'm talking about descriptions of spells, not spells. There's a
    >difference.
    >
    >> There are also high higher ability score restrictions needed to
    >> do magic - so most people aren't going to be able to benefit
    >> from spells you try to teach them because they won't have the
    >> high abilities. At the same time, those people are then a
    >> liability because they can always turn you over to the temple
    >> for offering to teach them magic without authorization. So magic
    >> learnt outside the temples is extremely rare.
    >
    >The important thing here is not to teach others how to DO magic, but
    >WHAT magic does. I don't know how to make explosives, but I know the
    >smell of powder and I know what powder does when it burns in an
    >enclosed space.
    >
    >For instance, suppose that in your world there's D&D's Charm Person. If
    >people talk about magic then even an informed non-spellcaster could
    >suspect that somebody is charmed if he sees a sudden and unexplained
    >change of behavior. If Levitate and Spider Climb are known to exist,
    >then guards will also look up when patroling their posts.

    Knowing that someone is casting a spell on you is normally easy
    enough to detect - they usually use incantations and hand
    gestures. Stopping them doing it is not so easy. I imagine
    knowledge of what magic does is quite common, at least among the
    more educated. Magic is no kind of secret weapon in this world -
    it's just restricted - a bit like handguns in Japan.
  24. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    shoggoth wrote:

    >
    >
    > The Temples with the complete backing of the state will hunt
    > them down like dogs and kill them. Such independent (of the
    > Temples) spells exist but must be kept totally secret and
    > spell-casters can't just teach those spells to anyone - only to
    > their dearest friends and closest relatives - just so long as
    > they keep the secret too.
    >

    Well, actually he was talking about teaching the RULES of the spell,
    not the methods of the spell itself.

    However, the Temples' approach to controlling magic will work:

    a) Only as long as the spells in question aren't sufficient to
    reverse the balance of power. ("Lina Inverse, we of the Temples insist
    you surrender for your execution!" "So you're saying you WANT to see
    me cast the Giga Slave again, with YOU as the focus?")

    b) Only as long as there is no other power that doesn't LIKE the
    Temples for some reason, and therefore will aid rogue mages. ("We of
    the Temples command your execution, rogue!" "Fine, discuss it with my
    patron, the God of Magic. He likes the idea of free exchange of ideas.")


    --
    Sea Wasp
    /^\
    ;;;
    Live Journal: http://www.livejournal.com/users/seawasp/
  25. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    Oh no! It's shoggoth!
    > Knowing that someone is casting a spell on you is normally easy
    > enough to detect - they usually use incantations and hand
    > gestures. Stopping them doing it is not so easy. I imagine
    > knowledge of what magic does is quite common, at least among the
    > more educated. Magic is no kind of secret weapon in this world -
    > it's just restricted - a bit like handguns in Japan.

    Sounds reasonable; it's no coincidence that this is precisely what
    people have been trying to persuade you of. The point is, you don't seem
    to understand that this blows your whole rationale for not letting
    players see the magic rules right out of the water.
  26. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    On Tue, 30 Nov 2004 18:55:56 GMT, Jeff Heikkinen
    <no.way@jose.org> wrote:

    >Oh no! It's shoggoth!
    >> Knowing that someone is casting a spell on you is normally easy
    >> enough to detect - they usually use incantations and hand
    >> gestures. Stopping them doing it is not so easy. I imagine
    >> knowledge of what magic does is quite common, at least among the
    >> more educated. Magic is no kind of secret weapon in this world -
    >> it's just restricted - a bit like handguns in Japan.
    >
    >Sounds reasonable; it's no coincidence that this is precisely what
    >people have been trying to persuade you of. The point is, you don't seem
    >to understand that this blows your whole rationale for not letting
    >players see the magic rules right out of the water.

    I have no problem with letting players see the magic rules apart
    from the fact that those rules aren't written down as D&D rules
    and I'm not wasting my time to convert them untill I actually
    need a spell in an actual game of D&D.

    If people want to know what's available they can read the
    non-D&D rules and try to project or extrapolate them to D&D.

    There's a pragmatic reason for not showing them those non-D&D
    rules - it'll just confuse them.
  27. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    Classes are like Gurps and Hero package deals?

    Mike
  28. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    In article <41AFF0A9.7D8A9B9F@yahoo.com>,
    Abrigon Gusiq <abrigon@yahoo.com> wrote:
    >Classes are like Gurps and Hero package deals?

    Only at first glance. IIRC a package deal affects you at character creation
    time but not during play. A class also governs how you advance, typically
    requiring specific amounts of advancement in specific skills.
    --
    "Yo' ideas need to be thinked befo' they are say'd" - Ian Lamb, age 3.5
    http://www.cs.queensu.ca/~dalamb/ qucis->cs to reply (it's a long story...)
  29. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    Abrigon Gusiq <abrigon@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<41AFF0A9.7D8A9B9F@yahoo.com>...
    > Classes are like Gurps and Hero package deals?

    Classes are not at all like GURPS templates (I can't speak for Hero).
    A player creating a character is free to add or subtract anything from
    a template (subject to campaign requirements). A template is, really,
    just a collection of abilities a character of that type should have
    and allows a player to more quickly create a character without
    accidentally leaving some ability out. Finally, one *doesn't* have to
    use a template to create a character in GURPS and a character created
    using a template has no game advantage over a character built
    "normally".

    OTOH, in systems with classes, you normally have very little ability
    to customize them, you have to take abilities you may not want, and
    they are not optional.

    Brandon
  30. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    >>>>> "BC" == Brandon Cope <copeab@yahoo.com> writes:

    BC> A player creating a character is free to add or subtract
    BC> anything from a template (subject to campaign requirements). A
    BC> template is, really, just a collection of abilities a
    BC> character of that type should have and allows a player to more
    BC> quickly create a character without accidentally leaving some
    BC> ability out.

    To extend this: there are two basic kinds of templates in GURPS.

    You have the template that Brandon is talking about. As a
    for-instance, there's a Beat Officer template in GURPS Cops. Someone
    who wanted to play a beat cop could start with that template, make the
    choices that are in it (of the form "10 points of Advantages from this
    list of 8 possible Advantages", or "5 skills from this list, at the
    levels indicated"), choose enough extra skills and advantages to reach
    the campaign's point total, and have a fully playable character in
    much less time than it would take to create such a character from
    scratch.

    That sort of template is incredibly useful, even to experienced
    players; it prevents the moment of stunned silence when you realize
    that this character, who's supposed to be a master detective, doesn't
    have Forensics or Interrogation skill. It also offers no point breaks
    over buying all the things on it separately.

    The other sort of template is a racial template, and it usually
    doesn't have the same level of picking and choosing. For instance,
    the campaign's racial template for Orcs might include baseline ST 12,
    baseline IQ 9, Primitive, Blood Lust, and Social Stigma: Orcs. In
    that case, a player who wanted to buy off Primitive would have to
    invest points in explicitly buying it off, and might not be able to
    buy off the Social Stigma (though he might be able to counter it with
    a Reputation, or Wealth or Status.) If I understand things correctly,
    it's *possible* for racial packages in GURPS 3e to have point crocks;
    in this example, part of the Orc racial package cost would be 20
    points, paying for ST+2; orc characters would then buy their ST score
    up or down as if the baseline were 12 rather than 10. So an orc
    character with ST 14 would pay 40 points for it, rather than the usual
    45. This has been altered in GURPS 4e, due to flat level costs for
    advantages.

    BC> OTOH, in systems with classes, you normally have very little
    BC> ability to customize them, you have to take abilities you may
    BC> not want, and they are not optional.

    Or, rather, any ability to customize is dependent entirely on the GM.
    (If I were Peter Knutsen, I would no doubt make a comment here about
    fellatio.) In practice, it's not that big a deal to customize a
    class; you say to the DM, "hey, can I take a level of <class>, but
    with this benefit instead of that one?" and the DM says yes. But this
    is working outside the rules, and there's little rules support in d20
    for making sure that classes are balanced against each other or for
    cleanly swapping out class traits for others.

    Charlton


    --
    cwilbur at chromatico dot net
    cwilbur at mac dot com
  31. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    Charlton Wilbur <cwilbur@mithril.chromatico.net> wrote in message news:<87mzwts9lz.fsf@mithril.chromatico.net>...
    > >>>>> "BC" == Brandon Cope <copeab@yahoo.com> writes:
    >
    > BC> A player creating a character is free to add or subtract
    > BC> anything from a template (subject to campaign requirements). A
    > BC> template is, really, just a collection of abilities a
    > BC> character of that type should have and allows a player to more
    > BC> quickly create a character without accidentally leaving some
    > BC> ability out.
    >
    > The other sort of template is a racial template, and it usually
    > doesn't have the same level of picking and choosing.

    Right. I didn't mention this one since a professional template
    resembles a typical class much more closely than a racial template.

    In general, you have to take everything that is part of a racial
    template, although with GM permission you may be allowed to drop
    certain advantages (the result of injury or illness, for example) and
    mental disadvantages (which could make the PC fit in better with
    humans). Of course, this could easily lead to other members of the
    PC's race considering him a freak ...

    > it's *possible* for racial packages in GURPS 3e to have point crocks;
    > in this example, part of the Orc racial package cost would be 20
    > points, paying for ST+2; orc characters would then buy their ST score
    > up or down as if the baseline were 12 rather than 10. So an orc
    > character with ST 14 would pay 40 points for it, rather than the usual
    > 45.

    This has long been one of the major complaints with racial templates.
    The one balance, arguably, is tht the player has very little ability
    to alter the racial template.

    > BC> OTOH, in systems with classes, you normally have very little
    > BC> ability to customize them, you have to take abilities you may
    > BC> not want, and they are not optional.
    >
    > Or, rather, any ability to customize is dependent entirely on the GM.
    > But this
    > is working outside the rules, and there's little rules support in d20
    > for making sure that classes are balanced against each other or for
    > cleanly swapping out class traits for others.

    AD&D 2e had rules for building a character class from scratch.
    However, it had the problem that the standard classes had a "point
    break" (that is, if you tried to recreate a standard class with the
    system, it would always cost more to advance).

    Brandon
  32. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    On 4 Dec 2004 18:00:30 -0800, copeab@yahoo.com (Brandon Cope) wrote:

    >Abrigon Gusiq <abrigon@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<41AFF0A9.7D8A9B9F@yahoo.com>...
    >> Classes are like Gurps and Hero package deals?
    >
    >Classes are not at all like GURPS templates (I can't speak for Hero).
    >A player creating a character is free to add or subtract anything from
    >a template (subject to campaign requirements).

    <sigh>
    First, that's marginally misleading: there are restrictions (rooted
    primarily in balance.) Namely, points: you can't add anything unless
    you have the points to do so.

    Second, D&D allows you do the same thing with classes. It even
    provides an example of such, implying that such changes should not be
    discouraged. D&D just uses "DM consent" as the balance mechanism
    rather than point values on the components.

    In either case you're allowed to subtract things - in GURPS that gets
    you more points to add, in D&D that gets you more credit wrt DM
    judgement call.
  33. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    copeab@yahoo.com wrote:
    > Kaos wrote:

    >>Second, D&D allows you do the same thing with classes. It even
    >>provides an example of such, implying that such changes should not be
    >>discouraged. D&D just uses "DM consent" as the balance mechanism
    >>rather than point values on the components.
    >
    >
    > If this is so easy to do, then why still have classes? I think the
    > answer is that it really isn't that easy to do.

    It's TRIVIALLY easy to do. "Hey, I'd rather have Feat X as my freebie
    than Feat Y" or "Hey, could I pick this spell from the Cleric List
    instead of the Mage list? I want Spell X, which fits what I'm going
    for", and the GM says... "Sure, go ahead."

    It's far easier than tracking points. I just think "Hey, does that
    make sense for the character? And does it step on anyone's toes? If
    the answer to the first question is 'yes' and the second is 'no', then
    I tell the player 'go ahead'."


    --
    Sea Wasp
    /^\
    ;;;
    Live Journal: http://www.livejournal.com/users/seawasp/
  34. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    <copeab@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:1102596750.553281.119200@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
    >
    > Kaos wrote:
    > > On 4 Dec 2004 18:00:30 -0800, copeab@yahoo.com (Brandon Cope) wrote:
    > >
    > > >Abrigon Gusiq <abrigon@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    > news:<41AFF0A9.7D8A9B9F@yahoo.com>...
    > > >> Classes are like Gurps and Hero package deals?
    > > >
    > > >Classes are not at all like GURPS templates (I can't speak for
    > Hero).
    > > >A player creating a character is free to add or subtract anything
    > from
    > > >a template (subject to campaign requirements).
    > >
    > > <sigh>
    > > First, that's marginally misleading: there are restrictions (rooted
    > > primarily in balance.) Namely, points: you can't add anything
    > unless
    > > you have the points to do so.
    >
    > True, but character point totals can be considered part of "campaign
    > requirements".

    So can the number of classes possessed by a single character. Your
    definition is, as usual, beneath contempt. In essence it boils down to "if
    there are no restrictions then there are no restrictions".

    > > Second, D&D allows you do the same thing with classes. It even
    > > provides an example of such, implying that such changes should not be
    > > discouraged. D&D just uses "DM consent" as the balance mechanism
    > > rather than point values on the components.
    >
    > If this is so easy to do, then why still have classes? I think the
    > answer is that it really isn't that easy to do.

    *Non sequitur*. Classes are often*(1) a mechanism whereby families of
    abilities are packaged together in order to limit a completely free
    choice. They are there to offer both balance and inherent conceptual
    consistency.

    Alternatives may also be balanced (and therefore considered) and they may
    also be consistent (and therefore considered).

    *(1) Some class systems have more in common with Gurps than D&D. Such an
    system is used in Morrowing whereby a class is defined by the skills
    chosen for the character. Subsequent gains in class skills lead to
    increases in Morrowinds version of levels (in which it is more like D&D).

    > > In either case you're allowed to subtract things - in GURPS that gets
    > > you more points to add, in D&D that gets you more credit wrt DM
    > > judgement call.
    >
    > I hate to sound like Peter Knutsen here (egads), but that leaves a
    > player completely subject to the whims and capabilities of the DM.

    *Ahem* Mister no-optimization-by-DM-whim.

    Substitute "by group agreement" as appropriate.

    > It
    > also puts a burden on the DM by forcing him to, theory, consider the
    > value of every class ability.

    No it doesn't. Merely the cost of the things an individual wants to
    change.

    > A point-based system is not quite as
    > arbitary in its costs

    Hah! Point based systems where you can arrive at the same practical totals
    by spending different amounts of points? Pull the other one Cope, that's
    got bells on it. The point of classes is that costs are controlled unlike
    many point based methods. Arbitrary my arse.
  35. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    <copeab@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:1102599373.067334.321260@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
    >
    > Symbol wrote:
    > > <copeab@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    > > news:1102596750.553281.119200@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
    > > >
    > > > Kaos wrote:
    > > > > Second, D&D allows you do the same thing with classes. It even
    > > > > provides an example of such, implying that such changes should
    > not be
    > > > > discouraged. D&D just uses "DM consent" as the balance mechanism
    > > > > rather than point values on the components.
    > > >
    > > > If this is so easy to do, then why still have classes? I think the
    > > > answer is that it really isn't that easy to do.
    > >
    > > *Non sequitur*. Classes are often*(1) a mechanism whereby families of
    > > abilities are packaged together in order to limit a completely free
    > > choice. They are there to offer both balance and inherent conceptual
    > > consistency.
    >
    > And thus unacceptably limit a player's ability to construct a
    > character.

    Incorrect, as usual, little fish muncher.

    > > Alternatives may also be balanced (and therefore considered) and they
    > may
    > > also be consistent (and therefore considered).
    > >
    > > > > In either case you're allowed to subtract things - in GURPS that
    > gets
    > > > > you more points to add, in D&D that gets you more credit wrt DM
    > > > > judgement call.
    > > >
    > > > I hate to sound like Peter Knutsen here (egads), but that leaves a
    > > > player completely subject to the whims and capabilities of the DM.
    > >
    > > *Ahem* Mister no-optimization-by-DM-whim.
    >
    > It's not by whim, jackass. I've already said why.

    So you claim yet every rationalization, justification and example you've
    ever given leads to exactly the same conclusion. DM WHIM.

    > > Substitute "by group agreement" as appropriate.
    > >
    > > > It
    > > > also puts a burden on the DM by forcing him to, theory, consider
    > the
    > > > value of every class ability.
    > >
    > > No it doesn't.
    >
    > In theory it does.

    By your theories maybe. But your theories are little more than crack
    addled fantasies.

    > > > A point-based system is not quite as
    > > > arbitary in its costs
    > >
    > > The point of classes is that costs are controlled unlike
    > > many point based methods.
    >
    > Thus unacceptably limiting choice.

    Not unacceptable to people who prefer consistency obviously.
  36. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    "copeab@yahoo.com" <copeab@yahoo.com> writes:

    > Sea Wasp wrote:

    > > copeab@yahoo.com wrote:
    [...]
    > > > If this is so easy to do, then why still have classes? I think the
    > > > answer is that it really isn't that easy to do.

    > > It's TRIVIALLY easy to do.

    > Not if you want to keep balance.

    D&D already has enough structure to keep it from being too hard to do
    while maintaining balance in simpler cases, as in swapping out feats,
    skills and spells. Doing exotic things is harder, but D&D has a fairly
    strong bias towards optimizing for the most common case.

    > > It's far easier than tracking points.

    > I disagree most strongly.

    Points, IME, make for a nice framework if you want to make major
    changes, but aren't particularly helpful when it comes to minor ones.

    --
    Matt Pillsbury
    pillsy[at]mac[dot]com
  37. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    copeab@yahoo.com wrote:
    > Sea Wasp wrote:
    >
    >>copeab@yahoo.com wrote:
    >>
    >>>Kaos wrote:
    >>
    >>>>Second, D&D allows you do the same thing with classes. It even
    >>>>provides an example of such, implying that such changes should not
    >>>
    > be
    >
    >>>>discouraged. D&D just uses "DM consent" as the balance mechanism
    >>>>rather than point values on the components.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>If this is so easy to do, then why still have classes? I think the
    >>>answer is that it really isn't that easy to do.
    >>
    >> It's TRIVIALLY easy to do.
    >
    >
    > Not if you want to keep balance.

    Balance is in play. It's not in points or rules.
    >


    --
    Sea Wasp
    /^\
    ;;;
    Live Journal: http://www.livejournal.com/users/seawasp/
  38. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    copeab@yahoo.com wrote:
    > Sea Wasp wrote:
    >
    >>copeab@yahoo.com wrote:
    >>
    >>>Not if you want to keep balance.
    >>
    >> Balance is in play. It's not in points or rules.
    >
    >
    > Balance can be in any of the three ... all three, in some cases.
    > Brandon
    >

    It can be somewhat ASSISTED by points and other rules. Play, however,
    is the only way in which it is either achieved, or not. You can have
    total lack of balance in a game whose rules are trying to maintain
    balance; you can't have a lack of balance for any length of time in a
    game where the GM is aware of the need for it and pays attention to it.

    --
    Sea Wasp
    /^\
    ;;;
    Live Journal: http://www.livejournal.com/users/seawasp/
  39. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    Sea Wasp wrote:
    >
    > You can have total lack of balance in a game whose rules are
    > trying to maintain balance; you can't have a lack of balance
    > for any length of time in a game where the GM is aware of the
    > need for it and pays attention to it.

    While I agree with you in principle, I am forced to make one nitpick:
    even if the GM is aware of an imbalance and wants to correct it, his
    hands might be tied by such things as the game contract, etc.

    Biff


    --
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    "All around me darkness gathers, fading is the sun that shone,
    we must speak of other matters, you can be me when I'm gone..."
    - SANDMAN #67, Neil Gaiman
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
  40. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    didn't catch the original, so I'm piggybacking Sea Wasp's post...
    >copeab@yahoo.com wrote:
    >> Kaos wrote:
    >
    >>>Second, D&D allows you do the same thing with classes. It even
    >>>provides an example of such, implying that such changes should not be
    >>>discouraged. D&D just uses "DM consent" as the balance mechanism
    >>>rather than point values on the components.
    >>
    >>
    >> If this is so easy to do, then why still have classes?

    They provide common starting points, just like templates in GURPS do.

    But I don't think that's the question you really wanted to ask; the
    real question is why so many D&D players default to the pure classes
    instead of custombuilds or customized classes.

    There isn't one single answer to that, though; the reality is an
    combination of many reasons. The classes in D&D are complete enough
    and have enough internal customization to suit most cases, the system
    presents them as the default rather than an alternative to 'real
    character generation,' and there's a few insufferable fools like
    yourself who just don't understand that you *can* go outside the
    default templates. Er, I mean classes.

    >>I think the
    >> answer is that it really isn't that easy to do.

    If you're incompetent and game with incompetents, certainly. And
    there are likely varieties of partial competence where the handholding
    provided by a points system outweighs the difficulties of crunching
    numbers; easy is a very subjective descriptor.
  41. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    On Thu, 9 Dec 2004 13:12:06 -0000, "Symbol" <jb70@talk21.com> wrote:

    ><copeab@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    >news:1102596750.553281.119200@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
    >>
    >> Kaos wrote:

    >> > In either case you're allowed to subtract things - in GURPS that gets
    >> > you more points to add, in D&D that gets you more credit wrt DM
    >> > judgement call.
    >>
    >> I hate to sound like Peter Knutsen here (egads), but that leaves a
    >> player completely subject to the whims and capabilities of the DM.
    >
    >*Ahem* Mister no-optimization-by-DM-whim.
    >
    >Substitute "by group agreement" as appropriate.

    Huh. I can't believe I forgot to add that bit in myself.

    >> It
    >> also puts a burden on the DM by forcing him to, theory, consider the
    >> value of every class ability.
    >
    >No it doesn't. Merely the cost of the things an individual wants to
    >change.

    Quite. And it's much easier for qualitative-minded individuals than
    trying to recalculate the points value and various synergies (or
    synergy-like effects) that comes from, say, adding in Eidetic Memory.
    Particularly when you have the burden of DM Prohibitions against
    Excessive Optimization hanging over your head...
  42. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    copeab@yahoo.com wrote:

    >
    > If the game designers have already achieved balance in the system
    > through points and/or rules, then the gaming group has no need to try
    > to attain balance in play; it already exists.

    Yes, I suppose. This is akin to saying "If you had a perfectly
    frictionless surface", however, as no such game system exists.


    --
    Sea Wasp
    /^\
    ;;;
    Live Journal: http://www.livejournal.com/users/seawasp/
  43. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    On Fri, 10 Dec 2004 12:46:16 GMT, Sea Wasp
    <seaobviouswasp@sgeobviousinc.com> wrote:

    >copeab@yahoo.com wrote:
    >> Sea Wasp wrote:
    >>
    >>>copeab@yahoo.com wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>Not if you want to keep balance.
    >>>
    >>> Balance is in play. It's not in points or rules.
    >>
    >>
    >> Balance can be in any of the three ... all three, in some cases.
    >> Brandon
    >>
    >
    > It can be somewhat ASSISTED by points and other rules. Play, however,
    >is the only way in which it is either achieved, or not. You can have
    >total lack of balance in a game whose rules are trying to maintain
    >balance; you can't have a lack of balance for any length of time in a
    >game where the GM is aware of the need for it and pays attention to it.

    Brandon is infamous for (among other things) advocating GM
    intervention for preservation of "balance." How he could honestly
    argue against it as an effective measure is beyond me.
  44. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    On Fri, 10 Dec 2004 23:16:59 GMT, Sea Wasp
    <seaobviouswasp@sgeobviousinc.com> wrote:

    >copeab@yahoo.com wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> If the game designers have already achieved balance in the system
    >> through points and/or rules, then the gaming group has no need to try
    >> to attain balance in play; it already exists.
    >
    > Yes, I suppose. This is akin to saying "If you had a perfectly
    >frictionless surface", however, as no such game system exists.

    And even if it does, as soon as you try to modify the system in any
    way or for any reason the group has to start paying attention to
    balance-in-play again. Even just changing the setting will throw
    things out of whack.

    I'm all for designers making a reasonable effort at system-balance;
    it means less work if the campaign is going to stay close to core,
    after all, and if it's *not* going to stay close to core it makes no
    difference. But unless you're going to play *pure* core, there will
    always be a need to watch for balance-in-play no matter how well the
    system itself is balanced.
  45. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    In article <41b84f30$0$27458$cc9e4d1f@news.dial.pipex.com>,
    "Symbol" <jb70@talk21.com> wrote:

    > > > In either case you're allowed to subtract things - in GURPS that gets
    > > > you more points to add, in D&D that gets you more credit wrt DM
    > > > judgement call.

    > > I hate to sound like Peter Knutsen here (egads), but that leaves a
    > > player completely subject to the whims and capabilities of the DM.

    First, doesn't playing D&D in the first place subject one completely to
    the whims & capabilities of the DM?!

    But more importantly, you say it as if this were somehow a bad thing --
    as if the DM were playing AGAINST you in some game where one of you
    "wins" and the other "loses." Seems to me that D&D is better suited to
    a more cooperative play style between DM & players.

    --
    You have to remove stuff from my e-mail to reply, it's not difficult.
    Everything here is my personal opinion, do with it what you will.

    "[T]he idea of a game with people nicer than in CL makes me wanna puke."
    -Michael
  46. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    Oh no! It's Kaos!
    > On Fri, 10 Dec 2004 12:46:16 GMT, Sea Wasp
    > <seaobviouswasp@sgeobviousinc.com> wrote:
    >
    > >copeab@yahoo.com wrote:
    > >> Sea Wasp wrote:
    > >>
    > >>>copeab@yahoo.com wrote:
    > >>>
    > >>>>Not if you want to keep balance.
    > >>>
    > >>> Balance is in play. It's not in points or rules.
    > >>
    > >>
    > >> Balance can be in any of the three ... all three, in some cases.
    > >> Brandon
    > >>
    > >
    > > It can be somewhat ASSISTED by points and other rules. Play, however,
    > >is the only way in which it is either achieved, or not. You can have
    > >total lack of balance in a game whose rules are trying to maintain
    > >balance; you can't have a lack of balance for any length of time in a
    > >game where the GM is aware of the need for it and pays attention to it.
    >
    > Brandon is infamous for (among other things) advocating GM
    > intervention for preservation of "balance." How he could honestly
    > argue against it as an effective measure is beyond me.

    Consistency has never been Brandon's long suit, but in this case I don't
    see the conflict. One is what actually happens in practice, the other is
    the theoretical / conceptual case. And while the latter may be of
    questionable practical usefulness, he's hardly the first (or worst)
    person on rgfa to go a little too far in that direction.

    Don't get me wrong, Brandon has plenty of actual faults, I just don't
    see this as one of them, at least not in any serious way.
  47. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    Jeff Heikkinen wrote:
    > Oh no! It's Kaos!
    >
    >>On Fri, 10 Dec 2004 12:46:16 GMT, Sea Wasp
    >><seaobviouswasp@sgeobviousinc.com> wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>copeab@yahoo.com wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>Sea Wasp wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>>copeab@yahoo.com wrote:
    >>>>>
    >>>>>
    >>>>>>Not if you want to keep balance.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Balance is in play. It's not in points or rules.
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>Balance can be in any of the three ... all three, in some cases.
    >>>>Brandon
    >>>>
    >>>
    >>> It can be somewhat ASSISTED by points and other rules. Play, however,
    >>>is the only way in which it is either achieved, or not. You can have
    >>>total lack of balance in a game whose rules are trying to maintain
    >>>balance; you can't have a lack of balance for any length of time in a
    >>>game where the GM is aware of the need for it and pays attention to it.
    >>
    >>Brandon is infamous for (among other things) advocating GM
    >>intervention for preservation of "balance." How he could honestly
    >>argue against it as an effective measure is beyond me.
    >
    >
    > Consistency has never been Brandon's long suit, but in this case I don't
    > see the conflict. One is what actually happens in practice, the other is
    > the theoretical / conceptual case.

    Well, without a clear division to show me when he's talking from pure
    theory and when he's talking about real gaming, it's a rather
    pointless discussion. In general, I try to talk about theory as
    theory, and practice as practice... but even in theory, I try not to
    talk about spherical cows, so to speak. There aren't any rule sets
    that are inherently balanced, and certainly not for all reasonable
    game situations. That's why computer RPGs do not even vaguely approach
    FTF RPG capabilities; even the very best computer RPGs can't compete
    with only a passable GM's capabilities.


    --
    Sea Wasp
    /^\
    ;;;
    Live Journal: http://www.livejournal.com/users/seawasp/
  48. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    "copeab@yahoo.com" <copeab@yahoo.com> writes:

    > Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
    > > Kaos wrote:

    > > >> But I don't think that's the question you really wanted to ask;
    > > >> the real question is why so many D&D players default to the
    > > >> pure classes instead of custombuilds or customized classes.

    > > copeab@yahoo.com wrote:
    > > > A: They usually don't have the choice.

    > > How the hell would you know, troll? You don't even play.

    > Would you care to introduce some proof that my statement is wrong?

    Wait, Bradd's supposed to introduce proof that a statement which you
    haven't supported in any way, shape or form is wrong?

    Er, whatever.

    --
    Matt Pillsbury
    pillsy[at]mac[dot]com
  49. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc,rec.games.frp.advocacy (More info?)

    Helpful GM wrote:
    > First, doesn't playing D&D in the first place subject one completely to
    > the whims & capabilities of the DM?!

    No. See the recent thread on consensus group contracts for details.
    --
    Bradd W. Szonye
    http://www.szonye.com/bradd
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