Tuesday, December 21, 2010

D20 Is Ruining Role Playing?

Today is day number two of the Reader's Choice Challenge.  Last week I asked people to make topic suggestions that I would use this week, Monday through Friday.  Yesterday, I covered Cthulhu, which isn't a strong suit of mine, and it shows.  MEH!

Dave G of the N++ blog, a great blog by the way, even though I don't know what N++ means?  Heh... I'm losing more geek points!  Anyway, Dave gave me a few suggestions,  this one however is the easiest, and with me getting a little burnt out, I'm going to use it.  He wrote:

- Why D20 is ruining roleplaying. (aka, Remember when D&D was about building interesting characters instead of uber multiclass-feat-skill-other weird skill stuff-other weird stuff combos to turn characters into super heros?)

No, I don't think it is.  There, that was easy.  Time for a nap.

Heh... there I go kidding around again, but really, I don't think D20 is ruining any aspect of the gaming hobby much less role playing.  I'm sure there are many people who would argue otherwise, but do they have evidence?  Of course what I write here is just an opinion.

Sure, maybe there isn't much role playing going on, but the level of role playing ( from what I've noticed ) varies from group to group, and game system to game system.

If anything it seems to be keeping the hobby alive?  To be perfectly honest I haven't played any of the current incarnations of the game.  Nothing past AD&D 1st Edition.  That doesn't mean I wouldn't try any other editions, I just haven't had the chance to try them out.  I probably won't get into the current edition of D&D for a lot of reasons, but I would like to at least try it.  How can I form a valid opinion without experiencing it myself?  If people enjoy D20 then I say more power to them!  Whether it's D&D 4th Edition or Pathfinder everyone is free to game the way they want to game.  That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.

Actually, the whole "uber multiclass-feat-skill-other weird skill stuff-other weird stuff combos to turn characters into super heros." sounds kind of interesting.  Then again I also enjoy playing a character who has trouble hacking his way through a horde of orcs, and keeping his plate mail pants on. That actually happened to me in Ultima Online, but it was actually a bunch of dragons, or something, good times... but I digress...

Now, the new Gamma World seems like a rocking good time.  I am buying it as soon as I can.  The same goes for Pathfinder, those seem like big, fun, crunchy books.  However, neither is a big purchasing priority.

And thus, the scribe finishes day two of the challenge.  What will day three bring?


  1. Iron spikes?

    How the D20 compares to the D6 for example is a pet ponder of mine. I'm sure there are statisticians and dice-makers who can comment on the nitty-gritty, but it's over my head for the moment.

    When I wrote out some thoughts on the D6 versus higher numbered dice, the Angry Lurker pointed out the basic issue, the range of outcomes. Mitigating this would probably be seen as a desirable feature in a D20 system, and have repercussions for gameplay.

    There are definitely subjective aspects too. Your comment on liking the incompetence that can creep into PCs is an example. This sounds like a great way of playing. The game changes, but doesn't need to be more or less fun, just different.

    Anyway, dice are the fundamental particles of our world and we could probably discuss them endlessly!

  2. heh, D20 is the name of a gaming system - it's the rule style DnD is now written in.

    My reason for suggesting that was in seeing the shift of many players since all these extra abilities were introduced. Focus seems to have shifted away from creating deep characters with lots of background and moved to buying more and more rule books and combo-building. (Which is what you get when the creators of Magic the Gathering buy Dungeons and Dragons)