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Stephen Amber

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Posts posted by Stephen Amber

  1. Now I've nothing against other things pulling my chariot, like people for example. Actually a chariot drawn by dire pandas would be awesome.


    Chariots were used, for military purposes, only in ancient times when horses were far smaller and weaker. To think they'd be used in more of a medieval setting, like the FR, with it's armored knights and fully barded destriers is ridiculous.

  2. Mainly aesthetics of course, though horses, in NWN1 at least, have an increased movement rate (haste speed) that gives a tactical advantage in larger, spread out areas, particularly with something like the mounted archery feat. But, of course the fan modders (DLA) did all the work for horses in NWN1. Obsidian would need to decide where horses fit in their priority list, and what could be worked on in lieu of...

  3. Its cheaper to utilize In-house Audio magicians(Mr Brandon and co.) to make music than to hire an independent composer.


    How would you know that? For one thing, it would sort of depend on the composer...


    And, more importantly, do they have compositional skill on the level of Morgan or Solie? Remember that Atari spent 50k to hang a stupid NWN2 banner at E3 a few years ago, yet went on the cheap in terms of music, simply using the scores from NWN1. If they want quality they should be willing to pay for it.

  4. While I think the music in MotB was excellent (More Ambient, and Dark <3), It would be cool to hear some more Orchestral stuff to add to the NWN2 music.


    Much depends on the setting and what one is trying to establish in terms of atmosphere. The wholly stark and ambient tracks of Fallout, for instance, wouldn't work particularly well in high fantasy, I don't think. The forgotten realms with it's hoity toity wizards and fey folk demand an orchestra. With Respighi's "Pines of the Appian Way" you approach Rome, damn it, not Gator's Creek Georgia... The music has to match the setting.


    An example: Troika's Temple of Elemental Evil. Though it had some high quality, ambient tracks they sounded sort of futuristic and Bladerunnerish to me, which lent an odd feeling to the entire game.


    And, not to make another doh statement, such statements abounding on these boards, but you can't go wrong with Morgan if ambient is what you're looking for. Don't understand why Bethesda, and Obsidian for that matter, keep dicking around and don't give the guy gigs.

  5. Still basically just 3.5. Bioware cited the frustration of adapting pnp rules to 'puter as part of the reason for it's own system for Dragon Age. Imagine they got tired of releasing a couple dozen odd patches just to get all the spells right... I'm looking forward to seeing what they've come up with. Suppose it could be greatly simplified compared to what we've seen in NWN/NWN2, which would be disappointing, but we shall see.


    Obsidian should do the same. Forget about the pnp world and come with something novel.

  6. They should make their own rules system, sort of like what Bioware is doing with Dragon Age, and shed themselves from the responsibility, the millstone, of people's pnp expectations. I know that their previous attempt years ago, Torn + special, fizzled, but they should give it another go. Don't know what they are doing with Aliens and rules, but that seems like more of a scary shooter than an in depth rpg... maybe if the material had an actual bestiary and settings outside of derelict space craft & terraforming planetary colonies. Another system shock 2 is the best we can hope for there.

  7. Fallout franchise ended with Tactics.


    Why Tactics? While it had a few redeeming qualities, all the robot maps towards the end were retarded and they introduced a new technology cult (reavers or something?) as if such were needed along with the Brotherhood of Steel and Enclave. I think the original intent of Fallout was to establish a sticks-n-stones world where the advanced technology, while existing, was extremely rare. Tactics squelches that idea.


    No, the Fallout franchise ends somewhere in the wasteland before you reach China Town...

  8. 1. In a technical sense, isometric can only exist in 2D. Whip is very much correct.


    2. The player can't tell and doesn't care, though, if 3D iso is 'fake'. They only care about the perspective's effect on the way they game.


    Great. And diablo 3 uses an isometric perspective, which is all I was getting at, not the way the game is rendered.

  9. I meant the two taken as a whole. As I understand it Diablo3 is still isometric and many others as well of course.


    Diablo 3 is not isometric. It's a fully 3d engine.



    Doh. It's 3d isometric as opposed to 2d isometric which the original Fallout was. Isometric point of view has nothing to do with whether or not the engine is 2d/3d.

  10. If the game had focused on investation, that would have been okay, but mention one dungeoncrawl that gives clues to what you'll find there.


    And invisibility/stealth/listen in no way help towards investigation? Players often investigate of their own volition, telling the dm they want to make a listen check, or whatever...


    And of course the wizard has the option of going back and redoing his memorized spells after a rest. Something a sorcerer can't do.


    All depends on the scenario and how much the dm lets players know in advance.

  11. No comments on my alternative spell casting system?


    Int effects # of spells you can put into the book, but doesn't cap the highest level of which you are capable? So if you had, say, a 16 intelligence you could scribe 6 per level but couldn't learn any 7th(like 3e)?


    The lower tiered spells, 1st & 2nd, are full of variety and usefulness, and I'd not want to be limited to just a handful in my book.

  12. At least the wizard had the option of altering his memorized spells. The sorceror was the one who could really get screwed in this regard. An elf sorceress focusing in enchantment spells for instance then delving into a crypt. Always hated sorcerer because of that.


    If a wizard has even an inkling of what's comming up, and he should with some of the divination spells, he can usually make the right adjustments.

  13. The Vancian spell system forced players to guess what they might fight today


    How often does this happen though? If camped outside the glacier of the frost giant jarl you might want to, doh, learn a few fire ball spells. Granted there will be surprises, but you have to diversify a bit to deal with those.

  14. Wizards = academic book learnin'.

    Sorcerers = innate power from draconic lineage.

    Warlock = demonic/fey link from a pact or lineage.

    Cleric = directly granted by deity or "self-granted" by personal philosophy.

    Druid = directly granted by deity or by nature itself.

    Paladin = directly granted by deity or ???

    Ranger = directly granted by deity or by nature itself.


    You forgot bards who's magic comes from "the heart". Which basically means it doesn't matter where the magic comes from...it simply works.

  15. I like very much what BIS did with IWD2. They implemented some of the unique abilities of prestige classes as selectable feats (envenom weapon, maximized attacks, etc).


    You can also take it too far. To the point that you might question what the point of having classes at all is. IWD2 took it waaayyy too far in a couple instances.

  16. The Elmore/Easley era of over two decades ago remains unparalleled. Though Brom might have approached it with some of his Dark Sun stuff, he was working in an odd milieu.


    Post 3d ed? Forget about it....


    Though not as technically impressive, I'm also partial to some of the black & white pencil works of the past. Particularly Stephen Fabian's Raveloft works and Russ Nicholson's from the original Fiend Folio.

  17. What books do you suggest me to buy?


    Of the 3.5 books I've gotten over the years Book of Exalted Deeds might be my favorite.


    My problem with WotC is that they never bothered consolidating all the information contained in their supplements. If they did that, I would go buy their books without a second thought. I cannot have a dozen books all around the table while DMing, looking for the specific bit of information contained in each one. Sure, there is the spell compendium but I am not even sure I want to buy this one (well, if it costs 12 euros, I might give it a try). In any case, I try to keep things simple and offer reasonable choices to my players without going too far in terms of complexity. For example, I have banned psionics and rules from Magic of Incarnum from my games.


    There is a rules compendium as well.

  18. I don't know how the Warlord is any more Mini centric than any other class. While they claim that he's built off the Marshall, he also seems incredibly to similar to the Hunter class of Iron Heroes, which is not surprising considering Mearl's involvement.


    In order for other party members to benefit from the Warlord they need line of site, to hear his shouts, and to be within a certain distance. And, given the way action points work, the larger the party is (or the more wotc mins you use) the more valuable the Warlord becomes. Much like the Tactical Soldier, blows delivered against enemies have benefits if allies are adjacent. You need to know exactly where he is on a game grid and who he is attacking at all times to get him to work best. Not sure you can say that about any other class.


    Granted, classes in the past have had similar traits (bards work best in large parties for instance), and the game became minis centric with 3.0 and it's attacks of opportunities, but they have taken it to a new level making the Warlord a core class.



    Action points are gamey, but I don't think they are really that hard to explain diagetically. It's as easy as saying a character has a flash of determination in his eyes, and he bounds forward to cleave his foes or whatever.


    That's called rage and only barbs generally get that.



    D&D is gamey in so many ways, pointing out the elements that don't make sense or seems hard to imagine in a real life setting would take a long. They do however sound pretty fun, especially when they start getting buffed up by friends and allies. I'm glad everyone has the base use, but also excited that the optional paths change them up or might give them different tactical value.


    Extra actions in previous editions were no small thing. Didn't 2nd edition haste age the entire party ten years or something? And previous abilities like the Marshel's grant move action were pretty cool. All of these are lessened somewhat now that characters can take extra actions of their own volition and quite frequently... every other encounter.

  19. http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4ex/20080421a


    As further, perhaps decisive, evidence of how mini's centric 4e is, they've taken the martial from the 3.5 mini's handbook, renamed it "Warlord", and put it in the 4e PHB as a core class. Interesting how action points synergize with the Warlord's abilities. I just wish that rather than being generic, "everybody gets them" that there was some rationale behind action points... maybe an outstanding dex score, force powers ala star wars, or action boy perk ala fallout.

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