Teleri (telerib) wrote,


Websnark is possibly exiting hibernation; witness this essay on D&D 4th Edition.

This game is not for me, if the Websnark summary is accurate. Combat is very, very low on my list of "things I like about RPGs" and defining PCs by their combat roles seems unnecessarily limiting.


It's not like AD&D 2e was a finely tuned engine to encourage lively role-play. It was a galumphing jalopy that encouraged voluminous house rules. It was my jalopy, though, and I'll always remember it fondly. If for no other reason, it taught me three things:

1) Your PC is not her class or race. You can only get so much variety by mixing canned abilities - they are not substitutes for personality. You want to learn to role-play? Play six different human fighters in AD&D.

2) Rules sets do not determine role-play. They can encourage it or discourage it, but they don't determine it. I'm sure gamers who like, or can get past, the MMORPG flavor of 4E will have as many opportunities to RP as we did.

3) Game designers aren't smarter than you. With care and experience, you can write house rules that are fair and balanced and suited to the quirks of your own table.
Tags: gaming
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