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Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition is on the way...

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oh, well, sure enough once people is down and unconscious they is complete safe... and trying to heal 'em with heal skill not makes you a target or nothing neither, right? how many heal spells does average level 1 cleric got? and Gromnir is talking 'bout sub-level 1 cr goblins for chrissakes.

 

"Again, adventuring is DANGEROUS."

 

it can be, depending on the dm... but more important is the fact that d&d is disproportionately dangerous at levels 1-3... if you use d&d guidelines for crs.

 

honestly, you is being silly.

 

HA! Good Fun!


"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

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The solutions sounds like ignoring the D&D guidelines for CRs at 1-3. Or skipping your characters a few levels. I don't think it's a good solution to completely get rid of the newbie adventurer experience altogether.


"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."

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cr guidelines don't help too much 'cause of simple problem that weakest opponents gots weapons capable of doing criticals. weakest and most worthless kobold adversary with spear is still capable of killing you with a single blow... but starting at level 3 or 4 is helpful... and simply cheating as a dm is most common scenario.

 

HA! Good Fun!


"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

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The thing is, I have never met a DM who isn't kind or nice to an inexperienced player. If it's someone first time playing, the DM will usually make sure to botch any bad initial die rolls to as to ensure he doesn't die. You want to give the new players a taste, and a chance. They don't usually think in D&D as they do in real life. They get intimidated.

 

There's nothing wrong with going easy on a new player the first couple of levels, as a DM's choice. The problem I have, is that the general rules and guidelines are making it easier for everyone, not just the new players.

 

I find levels 1-6 in AD&D to be the most exciting out of the entire game. The option used to be, "DM can just cheat a bit for the new player". Now the option seems to be, "Players can spend 5 hours sorting out what rules they do, and do not want to use, with the DM. Sorry, new players take precedence here."

 

I don't hold it against anyone involved in the development of the game. You can't make money if you can't bring in more people. If you can't make money, you can't succeed a business, and you can't make any more D&D. That would be bad. :p

 

But I can still whine about things I don't like. :thumbsup:

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They'd better be quicker with the Wild Mage this time. And it better still be wacky with a chance of killing the entire party accidentally while doing mundane tasks.

 

Or I'll have lost what little interest I had in starting D&D in the first place.


"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."

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cr guidelines don't help too much 'cause of simple problem that weakest opponents gots weapons capable of doing criticals. weakest and most worthless kobold adversary with spear is still capable of killing you with a single blow... but starting at level 3 or 4 is helpful... and simply cheating as a dm is most common scenario.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

Not a kobold. Should have kept with the Goblin. Kobold's Strength penalty drops the damage just a bit. Of course in your gaming group the DM may need to cheat but that is often because the players are being stupid.


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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has to do with the numbers and not tactics of players... which is the problem. and yes, a kobold with a spear can very easily slay a 1-3 level character with a single critical hit... as you is quite aware.

 

dms is forced to cheat to keep 1-3 level players alive. once players get to level 4 or so it ain't such a struggle no more. clearly there is some flaws in the system. even if sand honestly believes that levels 1-3 is ok, the fact that those levels is much more dangerous than levels 4+ should be obvious to anybody that there is a problem with the system.

 

HA! Good Fun!


"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

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has to do with the numbers and not tactics of players... which is the problem. and yes, a kobold with a spear can very easily slay a 1-3 level character with a single critical hit... as you is quite aware.

 

WRONG. A kobold, which is a small creature, with a spear sized for him does 1d6 points of damage. With his 9 Strength, he does a total damage of 1d6-1 (x3 critical), or 1 to 5 points of damage, doing the average of 2 points of damage in a single hit. On a critical, that kobold would do at minimum 2 points of damage with a maximum of 17, with an average 8 points of damage. On average that would drop, but not kill a 1st level Wizard. However, a 1st level fighter witha 14 Constitution would only be down, unconscious and not dead, if the kobold's hit did more than average in damage, otherwise the 1st level fighter would still be standing ready to kill the uppity kobold.

 

Stop spouting lies.

 

dms is forced to cheat to keep 1-3 level players alive. once players get to level 4 or so it ain't such a struggle no more. clearly there is some flaws in the system. even if sand honestly believes that levels 1-3 is ok, the fact that those levels is much more dangerous than levels 4+ should be obvious to anybody that there is a problem with the system.

HA! Good Fun!

 

I have DMed 3e and 3.5e since it came out and I have never cheated on die rolls regardless of level. The same with our group's current DM. Cheating cheapens the game and cheapens the fun. You may need to have the DM cheat for you, but that is not the case in our group. Keep your generalities to yourself and your gaming group.

Edited by Sand

Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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Gee, who would have guessed adventuring being... DANGEROUS!

 

:)

Your chances of being killed at 1st level are disproportionately high even if you as a player essentially do nothing worse than simply show up on the battlefield somewhere near combatants in your CR range.

 

A human with a greataxe -- a run-of-the-mill martial weapon -- can score 1d12x3 on a critical, which means an average of 19.5 points of damage even if he or she has no strength bonus. That's pretty devastating, considering it can kill most 1st level characters even if they are at full health. Heaven forbid it's actually a 1/2 CR orc with +4 strength. An arrow can crit a wizard or sorcerer for an average of 13.5 points of damage assuming no other bonuses. You could be playing the most well-intentioned melee-avoiding wizard in the world and still get sucker punched by that.

 

We just ran through a few combat scenarios tonight with a bunch of 1st level 3.5 characters. Sure enough, it was haphazard as hell and the DM had to pull one very bad punch as -- amazingly enough -- a kobold with a spear scored a x3 critical hit against the party barbarian. What are the odds?! Well, of course, they're pretty good over the course of all the encounters you may be involved in, as Gromnir pointed out.

 

Just saying "ADVENTURE IS DANGEROUS" and rolling your eyes isn't an argument. How about we cut the starting characters' hit points in half? How about everyone starts with 1 hit point? That would sure be dangerous. We could also double the recommended CRs of all creatures in an encounter. That would be even more dangerous. I don't think anyone would like it, but I wouldn't insinuate that you're a whiner if that were the case.

 

Yeah, games are supposed to be challenging. The key to "challenge" is that there's something the player or character has to overcome. The more that random chance plays into that resolution -- on a purely statistical level -- the less it's a challenge and the more it's just pure luck. Roulette is a game of pure chance. The player has no way to influence where the ball will fall and thus the only player choice is where to bet money. Poker is a game of chance and skill. The cards you are given are random, but in most games, you have the time and space to read the discards and actually play the hand. Professional poker games are also games of attrition, so players can make tactical choices over the course of many hands.

 

There's a reason why a lot of people enjoy watching hour-long professional poker games more than watching someone playing one roulette bet for $500,000 on 33 Black: the former is engaging and interesting, the latter is completely dull and boring. 1st, 2nd, and sometimes 3rd levels of D&D are the roulette wheels of the game, oscillating wildly between enormous success and terrible failure due to the incredible dominance of the d20's die range and the participants' very low hit points. You can certainly try to make tactical choices to avoid getting involved in combat, but once you're in, you're at the mercy of the die.

 

A lot of people find that 4th-14th levels are the sweet spot of D&D. It has nothing to do with how powerful the characters are, because that's always relative to the enemies. I think it has almost everything to do with the balance of value between the die roll and the character's statistics. Chance is important, the character's build is important, and the player's choices in the moment are important. No single element seems to dominate the various scenarios. Below 4th, chance holds a lot of power. Above 14th, a lot of bonuses start to make the die rolls irrelevant.

 

So when WotC talks about using 2d10 instead of d20 and giving triple hit points to starting characters (including enemies), what they are really doing is normalizing those elements over time. A stray arrow from a CR 1/2 creature wouldn't ever take a 1st level wizard from max health to death in a single shot, but a 1st level fighter PC would also be incapable of outright killing an orc in a single shot. Low-level battles potentially become longer, but players have more breathing room to retreat, heal, defend, etc.

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I guess we just have to agree to disagree. In my experience in my gaming group we don't need our hands held like this. I guess our playing style doesn't need the kidgloves on, while in other gaming groups do. I am not saying yours or Gromnir's need to have the DM or the rules pull punches, it doesn't matter which I guess, but mine definitely does not.

 

In our current campaign, set in Eberron, our group on average have just reach 3rd level and we are in the Mournlands, which natural healing does not occur and cure light wounds and the like fail to work, and we are having a blast and no punches being pulled or the kidgloves on. I will completely and totally disagree with the need to cheat or hold back, as well as arbitrarly inflate the hit points of low level characters. If you know your character's capabilities and weaknesses they just are not needed.


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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It's interesting, because of course (as Gromnir points out) D&D is indeed a squad-level combat game. Albeit a not very realistic one, it's actually more like a superhero game. Nothing wrong with that, I like it lots (for example, The Temple of Elemental Evil might have been dreck in lots of ways, but the combat engine was beautiful and shows what fun a pen & paper ruleset can be on the 'puter if shown a bit of love).

 

OTOH, the RPGs that were more "realistic" were never as popular but the games mechanic actually forced less combat-intensive gameplay that could be just as interesting. I still remember a game of Traveller I played over twenty years ago that was fantastic, just like a console stealth game as our characters infiltrated a computer-controlled space station. If you've never played it, Traveller combat was very "You get shot with a plasma rifle. (rolls dice) You are dead." So when combat did happen, you just did everything in your power to ensure that when it did it was on your terms and you had the best chance of winning. Just like in the R/W.

 

RuneQuest was also a bit like that, where even a powerful character could routinely lose body parts in melee and die. It made people think, plan and (yes) run away.

 

None of these games survived or prospered, really. Certainly not on the PC. D&D did. The success of a brand only takes it so far.

 

As for Visceris suggesting he never fudges dices rolls. Ha ha ha.

 

Cheers

MC


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As for Visceris suggesting he never fudges dices rolls. Ha ha ha.

 

Why would I need to? Our group uses the weighted point buy system, max HP for the first 3 levels, then half the hit die thereafter, and most of my spells don't have to hit rolls. Also if I hit, I hit, if I miss I miss. I am not the primary fighter, and not even the primary archer. I am the academic craftsman which most of the time I take ten on skill checks, take 20 when I can. I don't need to fudge dice rolls because I hardly ever roll a die.

Edited by Sand

Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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I don't need to fudge dice rolls because I hardly ever roll a die.

I think MC was referring to your statement that your group's current DM doesn't fudge rolls.

 

Even if he is not fudging the rolls, I am pretty damn sure he is "fudging" something. If you are not making a lot of rolls, then it means he is not using a lot of traps, or a lot of creatures with abilities that require saves, or something. Plus, he may be intentionally avoiding using "archers," or, if he is using them, he may be avoiding to target your wizard on purpose.

 

I fudge rolls very rarely, but I've introduced a "Fate Point" mechanic in my games (q.v. Warhammer FRP) which pretty much allows the players to have a limited ability to "cheat death" (it's not as simple as that, but it helps). If they forget to use Fate Points, so be it. It's their own fault, after all.

 

But I'd like to point out one thing. If the low levels aren't deadly, then why are you giving all PCs max HP per HD for the first three levels, instead of just at level one? You are contradicting yourself there.


There are no doors in Jefferson that are "special game locked" doors. There are no characters in that game that you can kill that will result in the game ending prematurely.

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I don't need to fudge dice rolls because I hardly ever roll a die.

I think MC was referring to your statement that your group's current DM doesn't fudge rolls.

 

Even if he is not fudging the rolls, I am pretty damn sure he is "fudging" something. If you are not making a lot of rolls, then it means he is not using a lot of traps, or a lot of creatures with abilities that require saves, or something. Plus, he may be intentionally avoiding using "archers," or, if he is using them, he may be avoiding to target your wizard on purpose.

 

I fudge rolls very rarely, but I've introduced a "Fate Point" mechanic in my games (q.v. Warhammer FRP) which pretty much allows the players to have a limited ability to "cheat death" (it's not as simple as that, but it helps). If they forget to use Fate Points, so be it. It's their own fault, after all.

 

But I'd like to point out one thing. If the low levels aren't deadly, then why are you giving all PCs max HP per HD for the first three levels, instead of just at level one? You are contradicting yourself there.

He is running an Eberron campaign and running published modules for the Eberron campaign. He is using what is in the modules. And no he hasn't been avoiding my wizard. My wizard in every major battle has had the best AC in the group due to spells and he has had bad guys target him. I just know how to use defensive spells and cover. That was the DM's call about the hit points. It has nothing to do with the low levels being deadly but the fact that if you roll HP there is a good chance that a fighter will roll a 1 and a wizard roll a 4 and a wizard having more hit points than a fighter due to random chance makes little sense to me and our DM. So he decided max hitpoints for the first 3 levels, then 1/2 after that.

 

Besides, at the 3rd character level my wizard took a level in fighter and while in the Mournlands the wizard is wearing chain mail, and using a magical heavy steel shield. Still AC 20 while the primary fighter has an AC 15. Go figure.


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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What's an easier solution? Forcing people to go out and spend a bunch of money to buy the same three rulebooks again...or a DM deciding to put weaker Goblins without Spears in the adventure? Give the Human a "rusty" Greataxe with worse damage. There are all sorts of simple solutions to this that do not require a revamp of the rules.

 

That's a a lot easier than sorting through the books and debating for hours and hours which guidelines you want to keep in and which you want to leave out.

 

People can try to justify it all they want, but in reality it's all about cash. =P

 

EDIT: And yeah, people die at level 1 from lucky crits. D&D is hard. That's what the game is about. It's not impossibly hard to survive through 1'st level, but it can be difficult. Sometimes you are just unlucky. Smart players will always roll two 1'st Level characters before going off on a new adventure. That way when you die, you can bring in the other one. People should die half the time at Level 1. They're considered inexperienced adventurers, and they're going out and facing dangers.

 

This is tabletop gaming we're talking about. Not CPRG's. Tabletop gaming always has, and always will be more hardcore. CRPG's can be fun, exciting, and beautiful works of art...but they can never be what tabletop D&D is. They are different for a reason. Tabletop D&D isn't for everyone. If you can't handle a challenge or the possibility that you're going to die (a lot) then don't play it.

Edited by TravisPennington

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I don't know how Sammael can say the current (pre-4th edition) stat system is meaningless and arbitrary. Check out any of the JRPGs. Those have meaningless and arbitrary stat systems. When a character's stats are 100x higher than they previously were, they're doing 1000x the damage, and the character is supposedly only slightly stronger than he was before, then it's arbitrary.

 

The D&D stat system appears incredibly meaningful. And I'm not saying that simply by comparison.

You didn't give any example as to why the D&D system is meaningful. The only thing you stated (and I agree with your point) is that it's "more meaningful" than stat systems used in some JPRGs (which I don't play, so I can only judge them from what you've written).

 

Incidentally, there seem to be some people who agree with me on ENWorld.


There are no doors in Jefferson that are "special game locked" doors. There are no characters in that game that you can kill that will result in the game ending prematurely.

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I see quite a few people on that forum that recognize they do have meanings. Pre-reqs, carrying capacity, holding breath. At the very least, I don't see any of them claim its arbitrary. I don't have any references available to me, but I've seen charts that did it for strenght. Heck, strength is probably the easiest to see for me because I can just set up someone's strength to see carrying capacity in NWN2. So, at least strength readily shows its meaning through carrying capacity as that is far from an arbitrary ability and can be directly compared to real world strength.


"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."

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EDIT: And yeah, people die at level 1 from lucky crits. D&D is hard.

Mid-level D&D rarely has situations that result in "oh whoops" death situations. Cyberpunk 2020's FNFF -- now that's a system that makes almost instant fatality a possibility at any level. That's hard. In the big picture, D&D isn't too bad. I think that's why the low-levels feel so different than 4 to teens.

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That is one of the reasons why I love Cyberpunk's combat system. It would be nice if there was a d20 equivelent.


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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Rolemaster is evil. EVIL! :ermm:


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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It looks like the Crafting system and Craft skills is out of the game as well quite a number of other skills, also they now have 25 spell levels and the Vancian system that we have enjoyed since the game's beginning is being partially removed.

 

I can understand wanting to merge Move Silently and Hide into one skill called Stealth but placing Listen, Spot, Search, and such in one skill is completely and totally messed up. Just because my character has good hearing does not mean he can see well, sheesh. Also they are removing skill ranks entirely. How the hell are we suppose to know how good a person is in a skill? Sure one person may have Knowledge (Arcana) at 5 ranks while another has it at 3 ranks, which would mean the person with 5 ranks knows more, but with the Intelligence modifier would govern how well the characters apply that knowledge. Now that sort of distiction has been completely removed.

 

More I hear about 4e the more I hate it.


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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Hmmm. D&D Lite for the console generation. It had to happen.

 

Just be a happy grognard and stick with what you are playing now. Hey, I think it all went horribly wrong with 2E, it's nice out here in the gamer's version of a survivalist camp with your old rulebooks and tinned food, waiting for the gaming apocalypse. :p

 

I am keeping my 1st Edition rulebooks to show my grandkids, my favourite bit being the DMG "Wandering Prostitute" table for urban encounters. Let us also not forget the incredibly sexist strength limits for female characters (18/50 IIRC).

 

Ah, multi-class half-orc fighter / assassins, demi-human level caps, tables for everything, obtuse diktats from Lake Geneva by Mr. Gygax... they were happy days.


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It looks like the Crafting system and Craft skills is out of the game as well quite a number of other skills, also they now have 25 spell levels and the Vancian system that we have enjoyed since the game's beginning is being partially removed.

 

I can understand wanting to merge Move Silently and Hide into one skill called Stealth but placing Listen, Spot, Search, and such in one skill is completely and totally messed up. Just because my character has good hearing does not mean he can see well, sheesh. Also they are removing skill ranks entirely. How the hell are we suppose to know how good a person is in a skill? Sure one person may have Knowledge (Arcana) at 5 ranks while another has it at 3 ranks, which would mean the person with 5 ranks knows more, but with the Intelligence modifier would govern how well the characters apply that knowledge. Now that sort of distiction has been completely removed.

 

More I hear about 4e the more I hate it.

The more I see Sand explain it, the more I dislike it.

 

25 spell levels can be reasonable depending on how it's implemented. I don't like all the merging of skills. Moving silently and hiding are often seperate activities. Listening and spotting are also different activities that not necessarilly should be joined. Largely, it seems reasonable in that they are related. But it also seems a step backwards as it is less detailed. On the other hand they're wanting to make it more accessible and quick to set up.

Edited by Tale

"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."

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