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The PoE rule system in relation to actual PnP


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So during the course of my work week, I've had quite some time to sit back and pontificate about things regarding PoE's system in relation to other PnP systems:

 

FIrst off I think the roll system is charming in essence but cumbersome. Seriously, I understand that pc RPGs 'need' new granularity and cookies to keep a certain pace/incentive, but what PoE has done has made things less intuitive compared to a D20 system and definitely less decisive than a D100 system. Some major issues related to this are (IMO) :

 

1.) Each stat is trying to do too much and too little. The whole 3 bonuses per stat paradigm seems more about a developer trying to make a system symmetrically pretty than functional. During character creation, its like there's a party going on, and everyone I don't care about is invited.

 

I recall that during beta, the devs were trying to show how different combinations could be used with their paradigm - escaping the dump stack more so. Well, its turned out to be nothing but 'streamlined freedom'. We have all of these fun bonuses flying around but different 'dump' stats.

 

It feels like a salesman pulled a fast one on this stat system, something to the tune of: 'Each of our cars can go fast or slow; the model doesn't matter, its all about what you want....". Now, I understand there are still distinctions between the classes in PoE, but in relation to how the attribute choices particularly relate to the class choices, there is less to distinguish between real strengths and weaknesses (or ones more obvious and consistent with reality).
 

 

2.) After hit resolution there are not the usual 3 hit conditions but now 4 (graze). I understand the desire to add some distinction between the types of hits landed ( like a diametric opposite of a crit - thus 'graze'), but even for a pc game, this makes damage less predictable in not a good way. Its as though its trying to maintain a feeling of rock, paper, scissors, than truly a good abstract sense of diametric opposition.

 

Minimum damage on a character sheet gives an impression of a ball park figure and thats already thrown off by damage absorbs from armour. I like damage absorb systems, I really do but from my evaluation between the two types (poe absorb vs wfrp for example), having an adjustable attribute that contributed to DR helped stabilize damage across the board AND made it obvious to the player.

 

The graze mechanic seems to be attempting to emulate a soft global DR to a degree but it feels too volatile & nigh convoluted.

 

3.) The 'Accuracy' stat utterly neuters the glory of the remaining attributes. Usually the idea is that in a pen and paper rpg, you sculpt your character with various strengths and weaknesses in mind, accuracy is very often one of those direct considerations.

 

There is almost no choice in this system to change its base and that's very sad. I personally like choice, I think most pnp'ers do. Perhaps the board game crew or pc gamers don't ?

 

4.) Regarding Might, as well as bonuses that seem out of place. Most RPGs have stuck to a classic definition of physical & mental stats (like  SPECIAL or SDCIWC) for good reason: Its a good compromise to maintain necessary intuitive details for an immersive tactical AND roleplay experience. I don't mind trying new things, but that doesn't mean I want to play something confusing because it's different.

Edited by Kveldulf
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