Monday, July 29, 2013

Random Wizard's Random 10 Questions

Who doesn't love a good questionnaire?

I've actually wanted to talk about some of these topics for awhile now. However, I never felt like I had enough to say about any one of these to justify dedicating an entire post to it. So, that just makes this questionnaire even more interesting.

(1). Race (Dwarf, Elf, Halfling) as a class? Yes or no?: Personally, I prefer a character's race be separate from their class. While I can see the appeal of "Race as Class" and I really like how ACK handles the situation, I prefer being able to mix and match the races and classes. I like that small level of customization.

(2). Do demi-humans have souls?: I would say yes, demi-humans for the most part have souls. However, I think it would be cool to run a campaign where elves didn't have souls and were basically physical manifestations of nature spirits. It could be really interesting.

(3). Ascending or descending armor class?: While I'm fine with either, I personally prefer Ascending AC over Descending AC. I personally find it to be easier than Descending AC and it's what I'm more used to.

(4). Demi-human level limits?: No, just no. From what I can remember, Gygax supposedly included level limits for the demi-humans so the world of the game would remain human-centric. However, I think he could have just written that into the fluff of the game instead of trying to hard-wire it into the mechanics. So, I think its clear that I'm not a big fan of this idea.

(5). Should thief be a class?: Yes, I think the thief/rogue should be a class. It's an archetype that can be easily found in the literary inspirations for the game (like the Gray Mouser and Bilbo Baggins) and I personally find the rogue an interesting class to play.

(6). Do characters get non-weapon skills?: If I had been asked this question a year or so ago, I would have said absolutely. However, I've been doing a lot of thinking and I'm not sure a set-in-stone skill list is all that necessary. I think it would be interesting to just have an "advantage" system where you make an ability check and if you are doing something your class would be good at (like a magic-user identifying a spell or a rogue trying to pick a lock), you would get some kind of bonus to the check. On the other hand, it is nice to be able to determine the specific areas that a character is trained in and skills do allow for a player to further customize their character. So, I think I'm going to say I'm not entirely sure on this topic.

(7). Are magic-users more powerful than fighters (and, if yes, what level do they take the lead)?: If they can still cast a spell and that last spell is an offensive or a really good utility spell, then I would say yes. However, if they've run out of spells for the day and have no scrolls or wands to fall back on, they are kind of screwed.

(8). Do you use alignment languages?: No. The idea of alignment languages have always seemed strange to me and I'm not entirely sure why that is. I do like the idea of some classes having secret languages (like Thieves' Cant for Rogues or Druidic for Druids) though.

(9). XP for gold, or XP for objectives (thieves disarming traps, etc...)?: Generally, characters in my game experience for defeating opponents (not necessarily killing them), defeating an obstacle (like disabling a trap or figuring out a puzzle), and completing an adventure or a goal for their character. If I was running a retro-clone or a game where treasure hunting was one of the main focuses, I'd probably use XP from gold as well.

(10). Which is the best edition; ODD, Holmes, Moldvay, Mentzer, Rules Cyclopedia, 1E ADD, 2E ADD, 3E ADD, 4E ADD, Next?: Such a loaded question. Personally, I don't believe there truly is a "best" edition of D&D. Each edition has their pros and cons. Now, if I had to personally pick my favorite edition, I would probably go with 3E/3.5 because its the edition I started with and the one I know the best. So, it really just comes down to personal preference.

Bonus Question: Unified XP level tables or individual XP level tables for each class?: I get the appeal of individual XP level tables and understand it helps with balance between the classes, but I just find a unified XP level table to be easier to use. Again, personal preference wins in the end.

For those of you who are interesting in filling out the questionnaire as well, you can find all the questions here.