So, I was reading a few blogs when I wild questionnaire appeared. A few months ago, I answered Random Wizard's first questionnaire (here), and I thought it would be fun to answer the second one as well.
(1). Should energy drain take away one level of experience points from the character? Yes or No? If no, what should level drain do?: NO. Level drain has never made a lot of sense to me. Does the effect cause the character to forget the abilities it learned when it gained that level, or did the character just lose the skills to utilize those abilities? I've always preferred ability score drain for situations like this, and I would probably just use that.
(2). Should the oil used in lanterns do significant damage (more than 1 hp in damage) if thrown on an opponent and set on fire? Yes or No? If yes, how much damage should it do?: YES. For Pathfinder, I'd probably have it act like a splash weapon that requires something to ignite it. When lit, it would deal the same amount of damage mentioned in the Core Rulebook's equipment chapter for lit oil. For older editions or retroclones, I'd probably use the 1d8 for 2 rounds rule.
(3). Should poison give a save or die roll, with a fail rolled indicating instant death? Yes or No? If no, how should game mechanics relating to poison work?: YES (Kind Of). Some poisons should have save or die rolls, but those poisons should be rather rare and expensive due to their potency. Poisons that have different affects should exist as well.
(4). Do characters die when they reach 0 hit points? Yes or No? If no, then at what point is a character dead?: NO. For Pathfinder, I use the system presented here. For older editions or retroclones, I would use a save vs. death roll (using the number for Save vs. Poison). If the character succeeds, they are left unconscious for 1d6 rounds. If they fail, they die.
(5). Does the primary spell mechanic for a magic-user consist of a "memorize and forget system" (aka Vancian)? Yes or No? If no, what alternative do you use?: YES. While I prefer spell check systems like the one found in DCC, I like Vancian magic as well and I've never found it as problematic as others seem to. My only beef with the system is fluff-based, not mechanical.
(6). Should all weapons do 1d6 damage or should different weapons have varying dice (1d4, 1d8, etc...) for damage?: NO. I understand why some people like the "d6 for every weapon" rule, but I feel like varying damage dice help make each weapon a little different. Also, I like rolling different dice for different things.
(7). Should a character that has a high ability score in their prime requisite receive an experience point bonus? Yes or No?: YES. While I wouldn't use it for Pathfinder, I actually rather like this rule for older editions. I like how it rewards your character for having a high prime requisite ability score, but doesn't make it a requirement to actually play the class.
(8). Should a character with an Strength of 18 Constitution get a +3 bonus to hit points, or a +2 bonus to hit points, or a +1 bonus to hit points or no bonus to hit points? And should other ability scores grant similar bonuses to other game mechanics?: YES. Yes, I think a high Constitution score should grant you additional hit points and that high scores in other abilities should grant similar bonuses to other game mechanics (Dexterity modifying AC, Wisdom modifying saving throws against spells, etc.).
(9). Should a character have 1 unified saving throw number, or 3 saving throw types based on ability scores (reflex, fortitude, will), or 5 types based on potential game effects (magic wand, poison attacks)? or something else?: UNDECIDED. While I personally prefer the 3 saving throw types, I can understand why others like having the 5 types or the 1 unified saving throw number. Really, it depends on one's personal preferences and what they feel comfortable with.
(10). Should a cleric get (A) 1 spell at 1st level (B) no spells at 1st level (C) more than 1 spell at 1st level?: UNDECIDED. Like saving throws, this one really depends on one's personal preferences. I understand why some like clerics to gain spellcasting abilities at 2nd level, and I can understand why others like them to have it from the very beginning. For me, it really depends on the game and edition I'm playing.