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Stephen Amber

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Posts posted by Stephen Amber

  1. To be fair in regards to the importance of maps and minatures, that seems to be where game players have been going (as far as I know the main reason WotC abandoned the P&P Star Wars line was because they found that the minatures were selling better, and concentrated on that).


    So kinda not surprising 4e is built to favor maps and minatures to me.



    Your orc mini can be as simple as a 1 inch square cardboard chit with an "o" printed on it. For the map I recommend the chessex mat and a water soluble magic marker. The representation is what's important and not the quality of the props. Though I enjoy the elaborate maps/minis that Wotc has produced over the last few years, they do encroach a bit on the player's imagination. Do people like all the props?

  2. The things are only 10 bucks... about the most affordable thing wotc makes anymore, so I got all of them. Though if you've a chesex magamat, hex or square, you're good to go I suppose. With curved alcoves and such of course you'll also deal with half squares in some dungeons, but they won't be as prevalent... you won't have to play hopscotch with you pc figure down every corridor. To each his own. :ermm:

  3. No I simply want you to answer the question on your own.


    I like squares for a few different reasons:


    Flanking is easier to determine, especially on very large opponents, since the dragon's space has 4 sides no matter how large it is.


    The compass point directions of squares are intuitive... N side NE corner E side....


    You threaten more squares and have more options for movement with the four sides and four corners, making combat a bit more nuanced.


    Melee reach 3/4 are a bit easier to determine.




    Movement is worse... you don't have to deal with the diagonal movement and every other square counting as two with hexes.


    Spell templates are probably a bit better with hexes, though that's really minor quibbling.


    But, ultimately, the ease of mapping out the dungeons with squares outweighs both the positives and negatives... it's the reason dungeon maps have been as they are for 30+ years. Outdoor areas are occasionally hex though.

  4. Why the heck don't they just switch to hexes? It's the most efficient use of space and allows for very easy modeling of circles and cones. HEXAGONS: NATURE'S POLYGON.


    Hexes rule, squares drool.



    Why would they do that after releasing all of the dungeon tile packs, which are square based? It would make those, which should be usable under any edition, obsolete, along with all of the spell template transparencies they've already done for burning hands, cone of cold, and I think a couple others... though those were limited to the miniatures support packs I believe. They even made different templates for the different cone angles... ala those you can photocopy out of the DM's guide. Is it really that difficult to use those? All in all a bad suggestion by Sawyer.

  5. really? the 1e PHB had no combat rules. it had a list of weapons and, of course, spells like fireball, etc.


    Weapons and spells most of which are a part of the combat rules... which in fact have no meaning outside of combat. Granted, 3e and now 4e, have introduced reams of rules minutiae and options compared to previous editions, but the books have always been combat heavy.

  6. in 3e, you have to pay double for the cross-class skills for each increase in rank, making it very clear that you really shouldn't take skills outside your class.


    When taking a skill cross-class it's usually in anticipation of taking a different class later in which the skill is class or as an attempt to meet requirements for a prestige class. Thus the NWN conundrum of how to get the points in hide and qualify for the Blackguard. It's not as if points invested cross-class are wasted... there is usually a long term goal.

  7. 2nd edition players option skills & powers was a book of bad rules... You could do stuff like ban a character from ever using potions and gain a range boost on all spells. Don't know if he tries drinking, chokes, and gurgles it up like jungle juice or what, but nope, no more potions... All sorts of things like this in there. And keep in mind that these player's option books came out in '95 about 6 years after the core books, well after TSR had begun it's downslide, and don't really reflect what 2ed was. They are in a world of their own.

  8. 3. While 2e can be excused to some extend for its age, 3e was still horribly, inexcusably outdated for its time. I can accept a horribly rigid, inflexible system coming out in the late 90s. I cannot accept a horribly rigid, inflexible system coming out in 2000. And frankly, 2e Player Option rules were less rigid than 3e and 3.5e. Looks to be less rigid than 4e, too, from what I can tell...


    A radically different system could really have come out by the year 1990 or so. D&D had been around for over 15 years and systems like GURPs, MERP, Call of Cthulu, and many many others had existed through-out the 80's. Instead, they produced a sanitized version of the same game, removing alot of the things people liked or that gave the game flavor(monks/barbarians, the devil princes, etc) and getting rid of blatantly bad rules(like the ranger's +1 damage vs giants per level!). Due to mismanagement, or whatever, another 10 years would have to pass before the radical changes, and a new game, would be made. Before his ouster from the company, Gygax had been around for the initial planning of the 2nd edition, and I've always wondered how it would have turned out had he been in charge, or at least had substantial input.


    And of course a class based system is going to be rigid, but people like the archetypes, especially in high fantasy. Take something low or non fantasy, like Fallout, and archetypes don't matter so much.

  9. 2nd edition had some interesting material in terms of campaign settings... I sort of liked the Birthright world and what they attempted with it's political game and low magic, sort of Highlander sort of Tolkienesque qualities. But it had to have been a big part of what sunk TSR. I remember other ridiculous things: a monster manual that was actually a ringed binder with creatures on loose leaf sheets! The thought was that people would expand the thing over time, temporarily removing what creatures they needed for a given module. The problems with lost or damaged sheets are obvious enough. That having failed, they finally came out with a more traditional manual a few years later, but it contained probably the worst art I've ever seen in a d&d product. They initially caved into the whacked out, religious conservatives and kept demons/devils out of the manual all together... they would only appear later on the silly loose leaf sheets. Or Dave "Zeb" Cook rationalizing away the core barbarian class calling barbarism a socioeconomic condition unfit as the basis for a class.


    Overjoyed? Because that's what I felt. I played 2nd Ed. for 11 years and couldn't wait to be rid of it.


    But you could run around in a loin cloth in Dark Sun!

  10. Wish they'd start fresh with a new world for 4e, but looks like it will be FR/Greyhawk once again... I liked how it was done in the Red Box days(what I started with), where the borders didn't extend beyond the Grand Duchy and only in later products would you sail toward the Isle of Dread or wherever. Always plenty of space for the dm's imagination to fill in. Granted the rules were simpleton compared to what we have now, but the adventures/world were pretty friggin cool.

  11. Shields just grant special defensive abilities and don't improve AC? Rings sound interesting... almost like they're making them into artifact type items.


    I think I'd rather have seen even less dependence on magic items, but I'm probably in the minority there.


    That's easy. Don't drop a high number of stat boosting items for your players and balance encounters accordingly. Doh...

  12. sytem shock 2 were 'posed to be scary? if you say so. for Gromnir ss2 were a slightly annoying fps game with some half-baked rpg elements thrown into the mix. is a genuine difference 'tween media that freightens and one that startles. some pudgy and balding 40 year old accountant can leap out from behind a corner and scream... manage to startle you, but ain't genuine scary. games startle, but never really scare.


    Startle and scare have pretty similar definitions. But that's just one of the methods of delivering horror in multimedia. There are others. And SS2 certainly delivered more than simple shock, and was effective in the way it used shock.

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