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Sunday, September 5, 2010

The games these kids are playing these days...-

I'd love to talk about all the layers of Player interaction in my friend's Pathfinder game, but I'll confine this little 'get off my lawn' monologue to the slogging monotony of making a multiclassed character in the post 1e era.

I was faced with a slight re-build and one level increase for my LN Cleric of Heironeous, now that the Paizo Advanced Player's Guide trumped the Adamant Entertainment Tome of Secrets stuff. My eyes were practically bleeding by the time I had finished allocating my 17 Skill Points, and I still had PAGES of entries to complete: Special Abilities, Feats, Channelling, Spell DCs, ...
--For the love of Moshiach! When did this all go so horribly wrong? Is GURPS to blame? Starfleet Battles? Chivalry & Sorcery? !!!

There is entirely too much stuff to track; and 12 page character sheets?!
--I was exhausted before I even had my first scene in the game.

Where's my Geritol?
--I'm off to bed.


  1. Welcome to D&D, RuneQuest Edition.

  2. This sounds like our group every time we tried to play any version of 3rd edition rules. We gave up, and went back to AD&d, 1st edition. (warning: geezer voice ahead) And we liked it!

  3. Ha. I had that same feeling when I was trying to make a Hackmaster 4th ed character. I bled out my eyes also.

  4. * Roger GS: Ironically, that is very accurate.
    --There are many things I prefer about the base RQ system, but the boatload of lousy percentage skills was not one of them.

    * Leo: For all of the Modernist leanings I HAD as a youngin', I now long for the totally unfair, capricious, and obtuse AD&D game I was abused in during Jr. High.

    * Thank you, Brother Ryan. And now, Mrs. Penelope will play us out on the Wurlitzer. Please turn to the Lesser Gygaxian Hymnal, number 143: Swing Low Sweet Chariot of Sustaire.

    * Tim: It is like Mythos Lore. Once you know, there's never any getting that portion of your mind back. Evah!


  5. Months ago, someone posted that skills systems are better than class systems. Bah. Humbug.

  6. And how do you keep all that straight in your head? Bad enough as a player, trying to remember all the resources at your disposal when they're scattered over 12 sheets of paper. I can't imagine trying to build an adventure for players, with 60 pages to juggle for a "small" group of five.

    No wonder computerized organizational tools are all the rage. :/

  7. Heh, you know things have gotten bad when even an experienced rules crafter such as yourself can't hang with this crap.

    Speaking of GURPS, that was my personal moment of zen--when I realized the latest of edition of the game had "out-GURPS'd GURPS"! I really don't know why some segment of the gaming population has developed Stockholm syndrome for lists and lists and lists of "powerz" to keep track of. And why anyone would want to run that...

  8. I agree completely. I tried running Pathfinder for a bit, it does have some cool stuff, but my gaming interests/patience just goes to the more simpler systems these days.

  9. [ Whistles aloofly }

    Gaming's a lot of fun. Accounting's a drag.

  10. Pathfinder is a beautiful game, well written and filled with gorgeous art. It is just too time consuming to run in comparison to older editions. My players love pick up and run gaming, for one reason, we get more gaming in, for another, those extras don't help all that much.

  11. Speaking of "Pathfinder", and what our kids are playing these days, was in the LGS a few weeks ago and was trying to buy a Reaper-for-Pathfinder miniature. The lad behind the counter was very put out that I wasn't actually playing Pathfinder, but just buying the miniature because it looked like a good-for-Tekumel figure. After some sharp comments on my part about the large sums of money I spend in the joint on miniatures and miniatures, I was allowed to buy the figure without signing up for the shop's current Pathfinder game.

    As you say, what kind of games are these kids playing, these days?

  12. I'm receiving notifications of your comments seemingly out of order, so please forgive me if I seem to be ignoring a few; that is not the case.

    * APiC: I've dropped particulate Skills in favour of a Broad Definition skill set of ten entries, simply because I found that the New School folks were motivated to gain every small ability as its own Percent-bonus-rated skill. I had to quash that.
    --I still think that Classes/Archetypes by themselves are simply springboards for individual characters, not something to desire to create and run. Furthermore, I feel that the never-ending slew of NPC and PC Classes is certainly less desirable than a Character-building System.
    ---To field the middle ground, I re-examined my disdain for 'race-as-class', and inverted my dislikes, making the Ethnicities (etc.) their own Progression (Adventure Points, Fight Dice, Focus, etc.), as well as interfacing with things unique to my set, such as Elemental Blood and certain Aberrations.

    * Trollsmyth: I agree with you, and I suspect that the GM is hard-pressed to account for everything the party is capable of doing, RaW, let alone how the synergistic mesh can easily put a wrinkle in his plans.
    --To his credit, he knows his game well, and if he doesn't have a planned response, he is entirely capable/willing to wing it until he's had time to re-consider things. Furthermore, he has embraced much of the Classic-style, and is fine with us going off on side-treks (screwing ourselves, timeline-wise parallel to the big baddies doing their things off-screen).

    * Sir Larkins: If the HERO System would simply migrate to using a d20 instead of 3d6 for resolution rolls, I think we could get over the conceit that the modern Deeandees are "basically the same game" as the originals, and get on playing that sort of game, but also with a truer sense of numeric balance.

    * bat: I am frequently psyched to play a more traditionally 'fantasy' style game when I look at the Paizo stuff, but I really don't have the time for any other systems than my own, and the two (the vibe I get from it, and my system/setting) simply don't mesh well enough for me to do anything with it except be a Player in that game. I simply wish the glut of (often repetitive) abilities and slightly tweaked ('this is Con-based instead of Dex-based') variants would be thinned out to a more refined and unified version (see my HERO System comment, above), or stripped almost completely out of the mechanics (a la 5th Edition T&T), rather than occupying some monstrous grey area in between the two.
    --I mean, yes one could play a game like Car Wars without all of the 'charm' of tracking Weight and Cost and Spaces, but it wouldn't really be Car Wars then, and likewise, if OD&D was capable of being the great mental springboard that launched all other RPGs, and with so few rules, one really needs to determine which approach is called for for the desired play experience. Starfleet Battles and Knight Haws are not simply in different milieux, they are qualitatively different play experiences and designed for different players.

    * Jeff: Go on, drink the Koolade, it tastes $$$wonderful$$$. ;D
    --More seriously, those minis are nice, and I look forward to your showing it to us in a finished form. I treasure the mini you painted for me (and long to play her in your game some day).
    ---Thanks for commenting; don't be a stranger (time permitting).

  13. 12 pages...

    With a little effort, someone could put everything they needed to play a Commando PC on a 3x5 index card. That was, and always will be, one of my #1 design priorities.

  14. Victory Games' AMBUSH! had a very small character data footprint (roughly 3"x5"), and actually tracked character development, weapons, and ammo. loadout. Keeping track of a squad/platoon was not as difficult as managing a Party of adventurers, to be certain.