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View Full Version : God, I'm mad at Wizards.



Sequinox
2008-01-26, 10:40 PM
I was at Barnes and Noble today and I opened up a copy of Wizards presents: Races and Classes. I read through it and it all sounded pretty good. And then I remembered that stupid movie on the website about gnomes becoming monsters. So I found the part about why Gnomes are gonna be monsters, and it turned out that they did it because players 'didn't like the technological element they brought to the game.'

So I kinda sorta get it, and then I turned the page... And saw a Warforged. I read the column and it said that 'players tend to like the technological aspect it brought to the game.'

What?

Gnomes were a hugely important race in my world. And they had just unveiled plans too build airships. Huge plot twist, considering that there were only two in the whole world before that moment. All that importance.

Gone. Because most players tended not to like the technological aspect.

EvilElitest
2008-01-26, 10:42 PM
while i realize their are already many other threads on the topic, i must agree. My theory is that in WOW gnomes are a comedy relief and as WOW players are one of 4E target audiences, its focus upon everything being "cool" needs to cut gnomes out. They aren't big enough to hang out with the cool kids sadly
from
EE

de-trick
2008-01-26, 10:45 PM
{Scrubbed}

Collin152
2008-01-26, 10:46 PM
The real answer is they just can't get a particular use for gnomes out of their heads.
But rather than making them taller or putting their mouths on their stomachs, they moved them out of thje spotlight.
Since when are gnomes always techno-geeks, anyways? Since WoW geeks moved to DnD, that's when.

Idea Man
2008-01-26, 10:54 PM
I thought it was back in 1st ed when Dragonlance came out. Tinker gnomes had so much more personality (for whatever reason) than "regular" gnomes. Then they moved that ingenuity to other campaign settings (the Realms, for example), and it just stuck. Makes sense, after a fashon; their mortal enemies, the kobolds, are master trapsmiths, so it helps to have the average gnome be technically minded.

Nobody I've played with ever played a gnome seriously, and usually dropped him after a short time. I won't miss them, and if I really want to play one, I'll bet I can backwards engineer one from MM 4.0.

Icewalker
2008-01-26, 10:57 PM
So, which homophobic jerk in your life got onto your GitP account?


On topic, yeah, I was pretty disappointed by that no-gnome decree. I'm probably just going to stick with 3.5 though, and just look through 4 to see if I like it/would incorporate aspects of it.

Felius
2008-01-26, 10:57 PM
WFT are you talking about?
from
EE
As he is a bugbear in the playground, I'd say it isn't just a spam bot. I'd might risk to say that the account might have been hacked.

Crow
2008-01-26, 10:58 PM
So I kinda sorta get it, and then I turned the page... And saw a Warforged. I read the column and it said that 'players tend to like the technological aspect it brought to the game.'

What?

From my brief times on the wizards forums, I got the impression that a lot of people tend to like the big physical bonuses at early levels, and how awesome it made their warblades.

I never heard anybody mention technology.

EvilElitest
2008-01-26, 10:58 PM
As he is a bugbear in the playground, I'd say it isn't just a spam bot. I'd might risk to say that the account might have been hacked.

Ah, poor man, i won't judge you dude
from
EE

Rachel Lorelei
2008-01-26, 11:01 PM
So I kinda sorta get it, and then I turned the page... And saw a Warforged. I read the column and it said that 'players tend to like the technological aspect it brought to the game.'

What?
Could they just possibly bring different technological aspects to the game? "Gnomes as wacky tinkerers" = lame. Meanwhile, Warforged are interesting and great for exploring all sorts of identity issues (Identity Issues is basically the Eberron Race Theme).

horseboy
2008-01-26, 11:08 PM
Could they just possibly bring different technological aspects to the game? "Gnomes as wacky tinkerers" = lame. Meanwhile, Warforged are interesting and great for exploring all sorts of identity issues (Identity Issues is basically the Eberron Race Theme).
After Gnomes discovered the Theory of Relativity and it was asked if it could be made into a weapon. I'm too scared of gnomes and their "Cold dwomer fusion" to consider them "wacky."

TheOOB
2008-01-26, 11:15 PM
meh, gnomes will be in the MM, and I can all but promise there will be rules for them as player characters.

I think the idea is that gnomes are quite often used as comic relief (not always, but enough to be relevant) and wizards doesn't want to force comic relief into a game. Apparently they have no problems with angst though, the only race more angsty then tieflings or warforged are drow.

Crow
2008-01-26, 11:19 PM
Hey don't put down the Tieflings! They can't help it. Their ancestors made a pact with the god of rock and roll...

Hell-hound, hot leather on your legs
That smokin powder keg
You're riding on is hell-bound
And you're the one they claim
It's going down in flames
You're riding Hades' rails (Hellion)

Hellion - The devil's Hellion child
Hellion - will never have to die

Well child, you're sweatin' and you're stoned
The alcohol you downed
Makes you crazy-
All night, you damn the hurt the pain
Drink the devils rain
Screaming out your name

Hellion - The devil's Hellion child
Hellion - will never have to die

The Gods you worship are steel
At the altar of rock 'n' roll you kneel
A slave who forever rocks
Is chained in the devil's locks
And slain by the bloody axe I wail

Hellion - The devil's Hellion child
Hellion - will never have to die

Collin152
2008-01-26, 11:21 PM
More angsty then half-orcs?

Mark Hall
2008-01-26, 11:23 PM
Hey don't put down the Tieflings! They can't help it. Their ancestors made a pact with the god of rock and roll...


You are quite obviously mistaken. Those are Aasimar because, as everyone knows, God Gave Rock N' Roll to You.

God gave rock and roll to you, gave rock and roll to you
Put it in the soul of everyone
Do you know what you want? you dont know for sure
You dont feel right, you cant find a cure
And youre gettin less than what youre lookin for

You dont have money or a fancy car
And youre tired of wishin on a falling star
You gotta put your faith in a loud guitar

Chorus:
God gave rock and roll to you, gave rock and roll to you
Gave rock and roll to everyone (oh yeah)
God gave rock and roll to you, gave rock and roll to you
Put it in the soul of everyone

Now listen
If you wanna be a singer, or play guitar
Man, you gotta sweat or you wont get far
Cause its never too late to work nine-to-five

You can take a stand, or you can compromise
You can work real hard or just fantasize
But you dont start livin till you realize - I gotta tell ya!

God gave rock and roll to you, gave rock and roll to you
Gave rock and roll to everyone
God gave rock and roll to you, gave rock and roll to you
Put it in the soul

(instrumental break)

God gave rock and roll to you (to everyone he gave the song to be sung)
Gave rock and roll to you, gave rock and roll to everyone

God gave rock and roll to you (to everyone he gave the song to be sung)
Gave rock and roll to you, saved rock and roll for everyone
Saved rock and roll

Chorus repeats out...

I know life sometimes can get tough! and I know life sometimes can be a drag!
But people, we have been given a gift, we have been given a road
And that roads name is... rock and roll!

Why do you think Aasimar make such good bards?

Metal Head
2008-01-26, 11:28 PM
This is the problem with 4e. A good portion of the mechanics are done nicely IMO, but the fluff is just absurd. I remember someone (I think it was EE) saying that Races and Classes book said that the world would center around the PCs, and that interactions between NPCs that don't involve PCs shouldn't be important. And it appears that WotC has fallen in love with angsty emo people who are rejected by society. Just look at the absurd amount of social rejects there are. Half elves, half orcs, tieflings, warforged, sorcerers, etc. It's starting to annoy me.

Collin152
2008-01-26, 11:34 PM
Don't forget Warlocks, Binders, and Evil Favored Souls.

Rutee
2008-01-26, 11:38 PM
This is the problem with 4e. A good portion of the mechanics are done nicely IMO, but the fluff is just absurd. I remember someone (I think it was EE) saying that Races and Classes book said that the world would center around the PCs, and that interactions between NPCs that don't involve PCs shouldn't be important. And it appears that WotC has fallen in love with angsty emo people who are rejected by society. Just look at the absurd amount of social rejects there are. Half elves, half orcs, tieflings, warforged, sorcerers, etc. It's starting to annoy me.

Didn't they dump support for Half Elves/Orcs? And, hm. I need to reread Eberron, sure, but weren't Warforged.. not outcasts?

EvilElitest
2008-01-26, 11:39 PM
This is the problem with 4e. A good portion of the mechanics are done nicely IMO, but the fluff is just absurd. I remember someone (I think it was EE) saying that Races and Classes book said that the world would center around the PCs, and that interactions between NPCs that don't involve PCs shouldn't be important. And it appears that WotC has fallen in love with angsty emo people who are rejected by society. Just look at the absurd amount of social rejects there are. Half elves, half orcs, tieflings, warforged, sorcerers, etc. It's starting to annoy me.

yep that was me

Oh as for Ansty emo people, um my folk, teenagers. We love angsy emo stuff, it helps us drown our pain of trying to come to terms with our massive insecurities and emotional/sexual/social frustrations. As we are easily distracted and have major crushes upon any "no body understands me" sort of characters and "trouble past" Drizzt clones anybody? We are also easily impressed by flashy power and techno mid evil worlds with video game aspects
remember people, we walk a lonely road (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZoYyN0exRw)
and don't you forget it

from
EE

Rachel Lorelei
2008-01-26, 11:41 PM
This is the problem with 4e. A good portion of the mechanics are done nicely IMO, but the fluff is just absurd. I remember someone (I think it was EE) saying that Races and Classes book said that the world would center around the PCs, and that interactions between NPCs that don't involve PCs shouldn't be important.
The world doesn't center around the PCs, the game does. Because they're playing. Interactions between NPCs obviously don't need to be resolved via mechanics that are as detailed as those involving PCs. You can just decide who wins the offscreen battle, you don't need to roll it out.


And it appears that WotC has fallen in love with angsty emo people who are rejected by society. Just look at the absurd amount of social rejects there are. Half elves, half orcs, tieflings, warforged, sorcerers, etc. It's starting to annoy me.
What? Half-orcs are gone from the 4E PHB. Warforged aren't "angst social rejects", and neither are sorcerers. Tieflings are less angsty than they used to be.

Crow
2008-01-26, 11:42 PM
You are quite obviously mistaken. Those are Aasimar because, as everyone knows, God Gave Rock N' Roll to You.

Well played.

You are of course, correct. It turns out that Tieflings are the Devil's Hellion children.



Websense is preventing me from seeing EE's link...I hope it's not what I think it is...

EvilElitest
2008-01-26, 11:48 PM
The world doesn't center around the PCs, the game does. Because they're playing. Interactions between NPCs obviously don't need to be resolved via mechanics that are as detailed as those involving PCs. You can just decide who wins the offscreen battle, you don't need to roll it out.

The story should revolve around the PCs, but the PCs shouldn't be innately better than the NPCs, that runs like a video game.


What? Half-orcs are gone from the 4E PHB. Warforged aren't "angst social rejects", and neither are sorcerers. Tieflings are less angsty than they used to be.

1. Yeah half orcs are gone it seems, but i'm not quite sure
2. Warforge? Are you kidding me?
"I am I machanical constroction, misunderstood and neglected by my masters. now without a purpose, i must walk this lonely road hoping to find accept and my place in life" Granted better handled than some but still
3. Ummmm, you kidding me on the tieflings right? "They are a forsaken people"? Direct quote concerning them? Yeah. they are even discribed as
"Bad boys of D&D" and wear leather for god's sake


Websense is preventing me from seeing EE's link...I hope it's not what I think it is...
It most likely is, what do you fear?
from
EE

Mark Hall
2008-01-26, 11:53 PM
Recheck your link, EE. It sends me to the Wikipedia definition of HTTP... that's after I fix it.

horseboy
2008-01-27, 12:02 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZoYyN0exRw
Think I got it to work.

Edit:
Though I think I would have gone with:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKTiwCez6Zs

EvilElitest
2008-01-27, 12:07 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZoYyN0exRw
Think I got it to work.

Edit:
Though I think I would have gone with:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKTiwCez6Zs

Us teens walk a lonely road, the only road that we will ever know if we keep this up
from
EE

de-trick
2008-01-27, 12:16 AM
sorry for the above post it was a friend on(the risk of staying logged in)

But I always liked the Idea of gnome inventors, and mad at them being cut from the players handbook

Collin152
2008-01-27, 12:18 AM
Yes, but you're no Half-Orc.
One parent was a victim of rape, the other a horrible monster. Your existance would serve as a constant reminder of the remaining parents rape, and as such they'd despise you. Living on the streets, detested by all...

And what do you get in return? Darkvision and +2 strength. Even Tieflings get cool things for being horrible freaks against nature.

mikeejimbo
2008-01-27, 12:19 AM
Actually, I like the idea of gnomes as being crazy inventors. The odd thing, I think, is that their favored race is bard. It doesn't make sense that a bard would be a crazy inventor...unless he was inventing crazy musical instruments.

Anyway, I'm playing a Chaotic Neutral gnome bard in a campaign right now. He's the party's face most of the time, and also seems to hold all the knowledge for the group. He also likes money.

EvilElitest
2008-01-27, 12:21 AM
Recheck your link, EE. It sends me to the Wikipedia definition of HTTP... that's after I fix it.

Fixed now, sorry
from
EE

VeisuItaTyhjyys
2008-01-27, 12:28 AM
And it appears that WotC has fallen in love with angsty emo people who are rejected by society. Just look at the absurd amount of social rejects there are. Half elves, half orcs, tieflings, warforged, sorcerers, etc. It's starting to annoy me.

Social rejects like adventurers?

EvilElitest
2008-01-27, 12:28 AM
Social rejects like adventurers?

No, just no
from
EE

horseboy
2008-01-27, 12:31 AM
Social rejects like adventurers?
Yes, it's the easy stereotype but at the same time it's perfectly acceptable to have, happy, well adjusted adventurers.

Rachel Lorelei
2008-01-27, 12:37 AM
The story should revolve around the PCs, but the PCs shouldn't be innately better than the NPCs, that runs like a video game.
The premise of D&D has been that PCs are innately better than NPCs for a long time. For example, in 3.5, PCs receive higher ability scores (28- or 32-point-buy, or 4d6-drop-lowest, instead of 10s or 11s or even the Elite Array), get maximum HP for their first full hit die, and so on. They also gain levels far more quickly than NPCs. And happen to, you know, save the world, or whatever your campaign involves.

I'm also not sure how you're getting "PCs should be innately better than NPCs" from my point about how the game's mechanics don't need to be concerned with NPC-on-NPC offscreen interaction. If you're having someone be assassinated offscreen for plot purposes, do you really roll it out, or do you just have it happen?


1. Yeah half orcs are gone it seems, but i'm not quite sure
They are.


2. Warforge? Are you kidding me?
"I am I machanical constroction, misunderstood and neglected by my masters. now without a purpose, i must walk this lonely road hoping to find accept and my place in life" Granted better handled than some but still
What? No, that's you creating an angsty point of view *for* a Warforged. By the same note, I could create an angsty point of view for an elf (I watch all my shorter-lived friends die, woe is me) or any other race.


3. Ummmm, you kidding me on the tieflings right? "They are a forsaken people"? Direct quote concerning them? Yeah. they are even discribed as
"Bad boys of D&D" and wear leather for god's sake
Sure, they're "the bad boys of D&D". That doesn't automatically translate to angst. What I meant was that they're not actually descended from demons anymore, and non-Warlock Tieflings don't really access the pacts their ancestors made. You can have a Tiefling cleric (say) who doesn't care at all about all that; you couldn't have a 3.5 tiefling that wasn't full of demon blood.

averagejoe
2008-01-27, 01:08 AM
I'm not so mad about the no half orc thing, though they were my favoritest race to play. I am, however, chafing a bit that no greenskins at all seem to be player races. Full orc would have been cool; so would goblin. Of course, Wizards has long held an anti-greenskin stance, and have long been spreading lies and slander about them.

Lord Tataraus
2008-01-27, 01:14 AM
I'm not so mad about the no half orc thing, though they were my favoritest race to play. I am, however, chafing a bit that no greenskins at all seem to be player races. Full orc would have been cool; so would goblin. Of course, Wizards has long held an anti-greenskin stance, and have long been spreading lies and slander about them.

So true, goblins should be in the PHB.

Mark Hall
2008-01-27, 01:24 AM
So true, goblins should be in the PHB.

Really, everything of the traditional "humanoid enemy" type has been ignored by wizards except kobolds.

Woot Spitum
2008-01-27, 01:30 AM
I'm not so mad about the no half orc thing, though they were my favoritest race to play. I am, however, chafing a bit that no greenskins at all seem to be player races. Full orc would have been cool; so would goblin. Of course, Wizards has long held an anti-greenskin stance, and have long been spreading lies and slander about them. The lack of greenskins could be seen as proof positive that 4th edition is not trying to become more like World of Warcraft and those orc-lovin' so-and-sos at Blizzard.:smallbiggrin:

But seriously, I see that 4th edition is taking out gnomes and the closest thing 3rd edition has to orcs and yet people are saying that 4th edition is becoming more like WoW because they put Tieflings in the PHB.:smallconfused: Am I the only one that finds this line of reasoning odd?

horseboy
2008-01-27, 01:33 AM
The lack of greenskins could be seen as proof positive that 4th edition is not trying to become more like World of Warcraft and those orc-lovin' so-and-sos at Blizzard.:smallbiggrin:

But seriously, I see that 4th edition is taking out gnomes and the closest thing 3rd edition has to orcs and yet people are saying that 4th edition is becoming more like WoW because they put Tieflings in the PHB.:smallconfused: Am I the only one that finds this line of reasoning odd?
That would depend on if you rolled alliance or horde I suppose.

Jack Zander
2008-01-27, 01:38 AM
But seriously, I see that 4th edition is taking out gnomes and the closest thing 3rd edition has to orcs and yet people are saying that 4th edition is becoming more like WoW because they put Tieflings in the PHB.:smallconfused: Am I the only one that finds this line of reasoning odd?

That's not the only reason, that's one out of one-hundred reasons.

averagejoe
2008-01-27, 01:39 AM
The lack of greenskins could be seen as proof positive that 4th edition is not trying to become more like World of Warcraft and those orc-lovin' so-and-sos at Blizzard.:smallbiggrin:

But seriously, I see that 4th edition is taking out gnomes and the closest thing 3rd edition has to orcs and yet people are saying that 4th edition is becoming more like WoW because they put Tieflings in the PHB.:smallconfused: Am I the only one that finds this line of reasoning odd?

I dunno if it's becoming more WoW, I'm just tired of all the orc hate. They don't need to be noble savages, but that always evil line seriously has to be gotten rid of.

Rachel Lorelei
2008-01-27, 01:44 AM
That's not the only reason, that's one out of one-hundred reasons.

And, if I may be frank, all those reasons are rot. "Zoh Em Gee, D&D is becoming a morepig" arguments have no basis in fact, and generally aren't even tested for "hey, does this apply to 3E, too?" before they're made.

Swordguy
2008-01-27, 01:45 AM
Bah. Gnomes have always been comic relief anyway. I'm glad to see them gone. It's one of the few selling points thus far in 4.0.

Jack Zander
2008-01-27, 01:45 AM
And, if I may be frank, all those reasons are rot. "Zoh Em Gee, D&D is becoming a morepig" arguments have no basis in fact, and generally aren't even tested for "hey, does this apply to 3E, too?" before they're made.

Well seeing how so far all we have is fluff, and the fluff follows WoW more than it does 3E, I think that's still a valid assumption.

horseboy
2008-01-27, 01:46 AM
And, if I may be frank, all those reasons are rot. "Zoh Em Gee, D&D is becoming a morepig" arguments have no basis in fact, and generally aren't even tested for "hey, does this apply to 3E, too?" before they're made.Especially since 3rd had it's own MMO and the prior MMO's were based on prior editions of D&D. It has become an art that reflects itself.

Rutee
2008-01-27, 01:48 AM
That's not the only reason, that's one out of one-hundred reasons.

If they're all as well-founded as the "No more half orcs! = WoW!", then your argument as a whole is almost as well founded as the fear that cabbages are secretly evil alien overlords, and that when we eat them, we're merely perpetuating their victory.


Well seeing how so far all we have is fluff, and the fluff follows WoW more than it does 3E, I think that's still a valid assumption.
Boy Howdy, these people are both drawing from the same really old archetypes! One MUST be copying the other!

Rachel Lorelei
2008-01-27, 01:50 AM
Well seeing how so far all we have is fluff, and the fluff follows WoW more than it does 3E, I think that's still a valid assumption.

What? No, the fluff doesn't resemble WoW at all. What are you talking about?

Leon
2008-01-27, 02:09 AM
Well seeing how so far all we have is fluff, and the fluff follows WoW more than it does 3E, I think that's still a valid assumption.

Really?
Do tell us more.

horseboy
2008-01-27, 02:09 AM
If they're all as well-founded as the "No more half orcs! = WoW!", then your argument as a whole is almost as well founded as the fear that cabbages are secretly evil alien overlords, and that when we eat them, we're merely perpetuating their victory.

I thought that was broccoli.
But no, the ONLY time I see it is the tieflings addition to core. Mainly because when they started the timer during Gencon my first question I asked was "Why is there a draeni there?" Then someone said it was a tiefling. Then I said "Oh, what the Hell is a tiefling?"

Of course I also consider dragon born to be shout outs to t'skrang. But given that I've played Earthdawn and WoW more than I have 3.x that's not that surprising as I'm more familiar with those patterns than I am 3.x's. Given that we always see patterns we are familiar with before we see new patterns (why you thought that stranger was your friend from high school) this really isn't surprising.

Rutee
2008-01-27, 02:13 AM
..But Tieflings predate the Draenei!

horseboy
2008-01-27, 02:16 AM
..But Tieflings predate the Draenei!

Possibly, but given that I didn't know about tieflings until the announcement of 4th edition, it's up to WotC to explain to me how they're different from an already established pattern. Especially given that they're altering the pattern of the tiefling.

Rachel Lorelei
2008-01-27, 02:17 AM
Possibly, but given that I didn't know about tieflings until the announcement of 4th edition, it's up to WotC to explain to me how they're different from an already established pattern. Especially given that they're altering the pattern of the tiefling.

...
So, because you'd never heard of tieflings (which have been around since 2E at least), it's WotC's job to explain how they totally didn't rip them off of WoW.

Bloody brill.

Rutee
2008-01-27, 02:18 AM
Possibly, but given that I didn't know about tieflings until the announcement of 4th edition, it's up to WotC to explain to me how they're different from an already established pattern. Especially given that they're altering the pattern of the tiefling.

But your pattern is predicated on a false assumption! You get to cling to these psychological reasons to think this until they're logically disproven!

Mark Hall
2008-01-27, 02:19 AM
Of course I also consider dragon born to be shout outs to t'skrang. But given that I've played Earthdawn and WoW more than I have 3.x that's not that surprising as I'm more familiar with those patterns than I am 3.x's. Given that we always see patterns we are familiar with before we see new patterns (why you thought that stranger was your friend from high school) this really isn't surprising.

Hey, you've played Earthdawn. You know the importance of Patterns. ;-) Why else would I change my use-name except to build my Legend?

horseboy
2008-01-27, 02:22 AM
...
So, because you'd never heard of tieflings (which have been around since 2E at least), it's WotC's job to explain how they totally didn't rip them off of WoW.

Bloody brill.
Not quite, it's up to WotC to write them in a manner in which I don't associate them with draenei. After all, this isn't to be written to people who've been playing since 2nd, but to be written for new people who have yet to play the game.


But your pattern is predicated on a false assumption! You get to cling to these psychological reasons to think this until they're logically disproven!
Such is the workings of the human mind. We'll not be able to know until the PHB comes out.

Mark Hall
2008-01-27, 02:23 AM
...
So, because you'd never heard of tieflings (which have been around since 2E at least), it's WotC's job to explain how they totally didn't rip them off of WoW.

Bloody brill.

They're from Planescape, originally, meaning they are 2nd edition. 1st edition's closest was the Cambion, which was more on par with the half-fiend.

horseboy
2008-01-27, 02:25 AM
Hey, you've played Earthdawn. You know the importance of Patterns. ;-) Why else would I change my use-name except to build my Legend?
Lol! Yeah after you answered that that's what I realized, I wasn't sure if you'd had some weird technical problem that froze your old account or something. :smallwink:

But yeah, ED is the holy shizzile. Step 14 (:smallyuk:)and all.

Mark Hall
2008-01-27, 02:37 AM
Lol! Yeah after you answered that that's what I realized, I wasn't sure if you'd had some weird technical problem that froze your old account or something. :smallwink:

Nope. A deliberate attempt to build my Legend and strengthen my own Pattern with it.

I think you did have a good point about Wizard's audience... they're not needing to write for me (partially because I fully intend to buy the books at Half-Price or something, unless I get involved in a game), who has, by this time, literal decades of RPG experience to draw upon. They're writing for the people they can draw in, while, hopefully, not alienating their old audience. They want to avoid the "These guys are just ripping off World of Warcraft" accusations that will come from FNGs who don't know that tieflings have been around for about 13 years, or that the drow have been scaring the bejeezus out of people in the Underdark for about 29 years.

SoD
2008-01-27, 02:47 AM
Bah. Gnomes have always been comic relief anyway. I'm glad to see them gone. It's one of the few selling points thus far in 4.0.

Glad to see them go? Always the comic releif? Bah, anyone can be comic releif, and the getting rid of the gnomes is one of the things I think is one of WotCs worst decisions regarding 4e! True, gnomes are officialy tricksters who enjoy practical jokes, but that doesn't mean that all of them do! Are all orcs evil murdering bastards? No. Are all rogues theives? No. One of my comic releifiest characters was a warforged with litterally no sense of humour!

Farmer42
2008-01-27, 02:58 AM
People keep saying that gnomes are gone. They aren't, hey just aren't a PHB race. There are a lot of non-PHB races out there now, in 3.5. Does that mean you can't play as them? Mo. And we have proof that Gnomes are, in fact, still playable: http://wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drdd/20080123

"Here’s what my 11th-level gnome warlock, Dessin, is wearing right now:" - Logan Bonner (emphasis mine)

Rutee
2008-01-27, 02:58 AM
..Erm... NFG?

Counterspin
2008-01-27, 02:59 AM
Gnomes got bumped to the MM based on numbers. I still can't understand why anyone cares that they've moved a book over on the bookshelf.

horseboy
2008-01-27, 03:12 AM
Gnomes got bumped to the MM based on numbers. I still can't understand why anyone cares that they've moved a book over on the bookshelf.

The problem I see with it is that it encourages meta gaming. After all it's pretty much done to get more players to buy more books (as opposed to just the DM needing a copy, everybody now does) And of course, while the player's grubby little noses are in the book, they're of course going to read more/most of it, thereby pretty much kiboshing any "grace period" a DM might have in surprising players with monsters he didn't have to build from scratch.

Farmer42
2008-01-27, 03:17 AM
But player's will need the MM if they have any kind of summoning anyway. The reason I bought the MM, and subsequently MMII, was because I was interested in conjurers. And gods forbid a player wants to know about mounts. The MM is a perfectly valid player resource.

SoD
2008-01-27, 03:29 AM
But player's will need the MM if they have any kind of summoning anyway. The reason I bought the MM, and subsequently MMII, was because I was interested in conjurers. And gods forbid a player wants to know about mounts. The MM is a perfectly valid player resource.

Correction, some parts of the MM are a perfectly valid player resource. Other parts, are not. When will the player need to know the weaknesses of the Derro? When will the player need to know the damage reduction of the Rakshasha? When will the player need to know how many, on average, hit points a basic wyrmling red dragon has? Answer: quite often they will need to know these. However...the need to find out for themselves. Some parts of the MM are off limits. And they don't really need to know the stats for the things they summon, they'll need to know the basics about them, but most of the stuff is going to be for the DM. When summoning a large sized shark, you're going to need to know: a: what it is, b: what it does, c: what it's good at, and d: what it's not.

Large shark.

A: what is it? It's a large shark, roughly the size of a horse.
B: What does it do? It swims, eats, and bites.
C: What is it good at? Swimming, eating, biting.
D: What is it not good at? Surviving on land, flying, poetry.

None of which is numbers, the player doesn't need to know it's HD, its BAB, or anything like that. That's for the DM.

Farmer42
2008-01-27, 03:38 AM
So what does a group with a rotating DM do? Is one poor schmuck stuck as DM the whole time? The problem in your logic is the assumption that the players aren't responsible enough to not metagame. And if they aren't, why then aren't you busting out the +5 vorpal chair of bad player smiting that every DM comes equipped with?

Mark Hall
2008-01-27, 04:00 AM
..Erm... NFG?

FNG... Frickin' New Guy.

Deepblue706
2008-01-27, 04:11 AM
Yeah, I'm a little disappointed about Gnomes getting booted out of the front-row...I always enjoyed having loads of pint-sized superscientists hiding in mountains, secluded from the world. That's how I usually had them go in homebrew campaigns, anyway.

Eccentric tinker gnomes gave me excuses to throw my favorite steampunk and retrofuture concepts into my quasi-late-medieval period games, which would serve as an effective tool for both humor and "jazzin' it up". There's nothing like having what essentially amounts to Merlin, Conan, Musashi and Odysseus wander into a Detroit filled with little-people, whose advanced culture could have easily dominated the planet, if the nation's leaders were not preoccupied with countless domestic challenges, like determining their people's "Most Favorite Color", or wiping out the Rampant Owl Infestations. Then there's the gnomish mob, and plenty of unorganized crime on the side - I probably shouldn't say more than that.

And, when they finally get back to discussing war, it's usually no more than "What kind of flame decales should we put on our armored death machines?"

And even if this isn't true with the world canon, I can still have my gnomes say it is, because they like screwing with people.

But I guess, that was the pinnacle of gnomes - and WotC can't support what is supposed to be a "cool" game with stupid gnomes. This is precisely why the Tiefling - a "cool" race - is getting bumped into center-stage. You see, WotC has never been out to be novel, creative or any other word that I would choose to denote something different in a positive light. They've never been out to make their games internally consistent, or mentally stimulating in any sense. They're out to be "cool", and that is damn well what they're going to keep on doing. The sooner we can accept that WotC is nothing short of pure evil (and "coolness"), the happier we can all be.

KIDS
2008-01-27, 04:34 AM
Hmmmm... I do agree with the fact that a certain amount of hypocrisy exists in their reasoning, but really, from what I know:

a) gnomes were always the least played race or very close to it
and
b) the technological aspect and humor relief aspect both existed long long long long long long long before WoW, do I dare say since gnomes were introduced (when was it, 1st or 2nd edition).

Now the point is: I am glad to see the gnomes gone from main spotlight (not from game) even if it kills a few ok character concepts, but in my mind gnomes were always a race with a big FAIL scribbled on them. Instead of quirky, wandering nature spirits with unusual connections with the world, they turned into something with no niche, no purpose, no role and no flavor besides wise-cracking sidekicks. So yeah, I'm not mad at Wizards even if they bring Warforged into a standard game...

Athaniar
2008-01-27, 04:40 AM
How can someone mistake a tiefling for a draenei? Ever seen a blue tiefling? How can someone even mistake a tiefling for an eredar? Ever seen a tiefling with a tentacle beard and a klingon forehead?

Plus, they don't even have a similiar backstory.

What? This thread was about gnomes?

My solution: make the gnomes more unique compared to WoW, not remove them. I sure hope that they are more unique when they appear in the MM.

Mark Hall
2008-01-27, 05:10 AM
b) the technological aspect and humor relief aspect both existed long long long long long long long before WoW, do I dare say since gnomes were introduced (when was it, 1st or 2nd edition).


Neither is true. The gnomes of Greyhawk were fairly stout fighters, noted, IIRC, for their friendship with the rangers and werebears (who were often the same people) of Gnarley Forest (and wherever else they may be). Similarly, the gnomes of the Forgotten Realms were known for their relative stealth... they simply didn't interact with others, except on their own terms.

They didn't have a particular technological bent until the release of Dragonlance, and the advent of the Tinker gnome. That's when they moved from "people who enjoyed a good joke" to "comic relief", as well. As much as I've enjoyed the Dragonlance saga, you can really trace most of the decline of the gnomish species to that series.

Kurald Galain
2008-01-27, 05:42 AM
This is the problem with 4e. A good portion of the mechanics are done nicely IMO, but the fluff is just absurd.

QFT.

They're essentially making the assumption that every fantasy world would be better off with intelligent iron golems, and noble savage lizardmen.

Of course, compatibility with existing settings and worlds isn't exactly high on their list of priorities. Because it doesn't sell as much.

Gorbash
2008-01-27, 07:08 AM
Yes, but you're no Half-Orc.
One parent was a victim of rape, the other a horrible monster. Your existance would serve as a constant reminder of the remaining parents rape, and as such they'd despise you. Living on the streets, detested by all...

Well, the same description could be applied to Tieflings, too... At least, the old tieflings, not this mumbo jumbo... Sure, some devils/demons could just lure the human into mating, or maybe some zealots willingly did it, but it doesn't mean the rapes weren't involved... The only difference is, as I see it, that people usually hate orcs/half orcs and fear Tieflings (who would want to mess with an offspring of a devil?), and for the same reason hate them too, but this is just more cooler :D

Jimp
2008-01-27, 10:29 AM
Large shark.
*snip*
D: What is it not good at? Surviving on land, flying, poetry.


Damn, now I want to play an awakened Shark poet wizard. He will fly around and use illusions to illustrate his poems and stories. He will craft his own wonderous item to allow him to breathe the air.

Rutee
2008-01-27, 10:35 AM
Correction, some parts of the MM are a perfectly valid player resource. Other parts, are not. When will the player need to know the weaknesses of the Derro? When will the player need to know the damage reduction of the Rakshasha? When will the player need to know how many, on average, hit points a basic wyrmling red dragon has? Answer: quite often they will need to know these. However...the need to find out for themselves. Some parts of the MM are off limits. And they don't really need to know the stats for the things they summon, they'll need to know the basics about them, but most of the stuff is going to be for the DM. When summoning a large sized shark, you're going to need to know: a: what it is, b: what it does, c: what it's good at, and d: what it's not.

Large shark.

A: what is it? It's a large shark, roughly the size of a horse.
B: What does it do? It swims, eats, and bites.
C: What is it good at? Swimming, eating, biting.
D: What is it not good at? Surviving on land, flying, poetry.

None of which is numbers, the player doesn't need to know it's HD, its BAB, or anything like that. That's for the DM.

Correction: The DM may not NEED it, but it'll help the DM for the player to handle the legwork.

SoD
2008-01-27, 10:46 AM
That is true, but there's a large difference in a player looking through a book to help the DM and that book being part of the players resources for the session.

SimperingToad
2008-01-27, 11:14 AM
It does make me wonder if someone at Wizards read a little bit of mythology where Gnomes were treated as representations of the element of Earth, just as Salamanders were of the element of Fire, and Sylphs were of the element of Air. If so, then the move to MM makes more sense.

The reason that orcs and other 'greenskins' were not originally playable races was that EGG designed the game to be centered around humans. Some might recall that in 1E, there were Humans, Demi-Humans (i.e. elves, gnomes, dwarves, halflings, plus 1/2 elves and 1/2 orcs), and all other approximately man-sized bipeds were called humanoids (and thus, were tossed as a collective unit into the MM). 3.xE has blurred those distinctions, and 4E seems to be fanning the flames.

I would have to say go back to the 1E for the basics, but do a 3E and put rules in the DMG to make other races available as PCs as an option.

On the 'angsty races taking over the game because of all the angsty teenagers we want to attract to the game' issue: most at some point in their lives registers on the angst-o-meter (ever hear of a mid-life-crisis?). Does everyone else fail to understand you, or do you fail to understand them? :smallamused:

Grey Paladin
2008-01-27, 11:22 AM
Yes, it's the easy stereotype but at the same time it's perfectly acceptable to have, happy, well adjusted adventurers.

What mentally stable, happy, person would sign up for a job with a mortality rate of 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999% ?

SimperingToad
2008-01-27, 11:38 AM
The same person that buys a powerball ticket expecting to win the whole enchilada. :smallbiggrin:

Lycar
2008-01-27, 11:43 AM
What mentally stable, happy, person would sign up for a job with a mortality rate of 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999% ?

Meh, if you sign up fpr life you already have a 100% mortality rate.
Might as well make it exciting while it lasts. :smallwink:

Lycar

Grey Paladin
2008-01-27, 11:43 AM
The same person that buys a powerball ticket expecting to win the whole enchilada. :smallbiggrin:

:smalleek:

I admit defeat, you are Supreme.

SimperingToad
2008-01-27, 11:55 AM
Meh, if you sign up fpr life you already have a 100% mortality rate.
Might as well make it exciting while it lasts. :smallwink:

Lycar

In agreement, but I don't recall signing anything. Does this mean I'll live forever? Or, am I really undead? :smallconfused:

Does anyone know where one can find that mythological 'new lease on life'? And does it come with a money-back guarantee?

Regards,
theToad

Yahzi
2008-01-27, 12:03 PM
The story should revolve around the PCs, but the PCs shouldn't be innately better than the NPCs, that runs like a video game.
QFT.

I guess some people want to play in a game world where there are two sets of rules - one for them, and one for everybody else. Me, I find the very idea disturbing and creepy.

How could my victory over the NPCs ever mean anything if I start cheating from the get-go?

D&D has always presented the NPCs as scenery - it has always treated "commoners" as no different than descriptions of wall-hangings. D&D has always enforced a moral system that defines the "players" as the object of morality, and robs every other entity in the game of moral significance.

I thought they were getting better. From the sounds of it, they seem to be getting worse.

:smallmad:

Sebastian
2008-01-27, 12:19 PM
Didn't they dump support for Half Elves/Orcs? And, hm. I need to reread Eberron, sure, but weren't Warforged.. not outcasts?

In eberron? In Eberron warforgeds are costructs built to fight in a war, their only purpose of life, their only reason to be, was to fight and follow their superior's orders, but now the war is over,the law consider them "free citizen", but people don't like them because they see them like weapons and many of them (warforged) have no idea what to do with this newfound (and in many case never searched, or wanted) "freedom". To make things worse in warforged relations with others there is a warforged, called "the lord of blades" that preach the superiority of warforged over "fleshies" and the birth of a warforged nation (in the Mournland) and the destruction and/or enslavement of fleshies everywhere. Oh, yes and they don't need food or water or sleep, many persons are afraid they would take away their jobs because they can work for almost nothing. Generaly speaking people don't love them.

Is it outcast enough for you? :)

In stardard D&D, I'm not sure, but if a magicla construct build from some crazy wizard (becuase all wizard are crazy) is not exactly something a average human peasant want to become buddy-buddy with, expecially in a pool of light setting where magic should be rare, and weird, and scary to common people (unless it came from PCs of course. Magic from PC is perfectly fine and acceptable, even in the more supertitious and isolated village)

And who says gnomes are cool have never seen Zilargo.

SimperingToad
2008-01-27, 12:20 PM
QFT.

I guess some people want to play in a game world where there are two sets of rules - one for them, and one for everybody else. Me, I find the very idea disturbing and creepy.

How could my victory over the NPCs ever mean anything if I start cheating from the get-go?

Agreed.


D&D has always presented the NPCs as scenery - it has always treated "commoners" as no different than descriptions of wall-hangings. D&D has always enforced a moral system that defines the "players" as the object of morality, and robs every other entity in the game of moral significance.

I've considered NPCs more along the lines of a walk-on movie role. Appear. Say a few lines. Disappear. They're a plot device, but by no means static.

Maybe I'm just misunderstanding the intent, but morality being defined by the players? Not to turn this into an alignment thread, but I'm just not getting that one at all.

Regards,
theToad

Mark Hall
2008-01-27, 12:26 PM
What mentally stable, happy, person would sign up for a job with a mortality rate of 99.999[...]% ?

I've got a wonderful poster... can't find a convenient on-line source of it now, that shows the cartoon of the two guys from the 1st edition DMG dressed up in Mouskateer ears and fake noses, with the caption "Audacity: Because prudent men wouldn't be here in the first place."

VanBuren
2008-01-27, 12:33 PM
QFT.

I guess some people want to play in a game world where there are two sets of rules - one for them, and one for everybody else. Me, I find the very idea disturbing and creepy.

How could my victory over the NPCs ever mean anything if I start cheating from the get-go?

D&D has always presented the NPCs as scenery - it has always treated "commoners" as no different than descriptions of wall-hangings. D&D has always enforced a moral system that defines the "players" as the object of morality, and robs every other entity in the game of moral significance.

I thought they were getting better. From the sounds of it, they seem to be getting worse.

:smallmad:

I think you're misunderstanding it, though. They're not trying to reduce the importance of NPCs. That has been, and shall remain the domain of the DM. What they are trying to do however, is to liberate the restraints of the system from the DM. And it makes no sense not to.

The rules that govern the PCs has one significant purpose: to give them a balance of power versus the environment (to varying degrees of success). If left to their own devices, many players would end up twinking out an uber-character that could kill Ao, maybe not through a conscious attempt but game-breaking nonetheless.

Yet you have the same rules governing NPCs... why? They aren't being balanced against the world, but against the PCs. This way, the DM doesn't have to bother with classes and leveling procedures, but can simply give the NPC what he needs to fulfill his role in the story as far as HP, skills, feats and spellcasting.

So the NPC doesn't have Wizard levels? Does that mean he's not a Wizard? Only if it means that Miko wasn't a Samurai because she didn't have Samurai levels.

Jack Zander
2008-01-27, 12:41 PM
That that makes no logical sense. If all the NPCs in the world can have sweet spell casting templates, why can't the PCs? Surely there must be a mentor somewhere who can teach them how they got their powers. It just takes believability out of the game, and makes it feel much more like a video game where things are "balanced" against each other too well. DnD isn't supposed to model a video game. It's supposed to model real life, and in real life people can be far superior or far worse at fighting based on how they are trained, not based on how many templates they have.

VanBuren
2008-01-27, 12:43 PM
That that makes no logical sense. If all the NPCs in the world can have sweet spell casting templates, why can't the PCs? Surely there must be a mentor somewhere who can teach them how they got their powers. It just takes believability out of the game, and makes it feel much more like a video game where things are "balanced" against each other too well. DnD isn't supposed to model a video game. It's supposed to model real life, and in real life people can be far superior or far worse at fighting based on how they are trained, not based on how many templates they have.

Mechanics =/= RP. Incidentally, which part of DnD mirrors real life? Is it the spells, the goblins, the Monks, or the enchanted swords?

Moral Wiz
2008-01-27, 12:54 PM
Incidentally, which part of DnD mirrors real life? Is it the spells, the goblins, the Monks, or the enchanted swords?

You know that that was not the intended meaning. Internal consistency is vital. That is the assumption that whilst the laws of physics can be mugged, striped of all meaning, and made to work the gutter for any passing mage,(Yeah, Pratchett ref. So sue me:smalltongue: ) anyone can do that (in theory). There's nothing that really makes two wizards different; except for training, wealth, and minor variants based on career choice. They still use the same system.

At least, they did.

Mark Hall
2008-01-27, 12:54 PM
Mechanics =/= RP. Incidentally, which part of DnD mirrors real life? Is it the spells, the goblins, the Monks, or the enchanted swords?

I believe what he is referring to is more a sense of verisimilitude, not necessarily "real life" as in how we live today.

Fhaolan
2008-01-27, 01:00 PM
...
So, because you'd never heard of tieflings (which have been around since 2E at least), it's WotC's job to explain how they totally didn't rip them off of WoW.

Bloody brill.

Oh, this reminds me.

"Before there was Wizards. Before there was Hobbits. There was WILLOW!"

Yes, while one of the LotR movies was in theatres, a commercial was made to advertise the movie Willow being broadcast on some cable station, which that made the bizzare claim that Willow predated LotR. It was only seen a couple of times, and then it was pulled because someone with half a brain managed to stop it.

There's also the story of kids leaving the LotR theatre compaining about how it was all just a bunch of cliches.

WotC does not need to justify themselves to the ignorant.

Neon Knight
2008-01-27, 01:06 PM
You know that that was not the intended meaning. Internal consistency is vital. That is the assumption that whilst the laws of physics can be mugged, striped of all meaning, and made to work the gutter for any passing mage,(Yeah, Pratchett ref. So sue me:smalltongue: ) anyone can do that (in theory). There's nothing that really makes two wizards different; except for training, wealth, and minor variants based on career choice. They still use the same system.

At least, they did.

If you are playing a game of DnD 3.5, and the DM says Bob the Commoner can cast Fireball as an SLA, then it happens. Internal consistency is a myth in the face of Rule Zero.

Same thing with verisimilitude.

This is nothing new. You could always do this. The difference is that they pointed it out to you and you got all offended.

Mark Hall
2008-01-27, 01:07 PM
There's also the story of kids leaving the LotR theatre compaining about how it was all just a bunch of cliches.


I actually had to mentally check myself while reading LotR, to remember that these were archetypes from which the cliches sprung.

And then I just got back to dealing with the fact that it was so dry that you can use the book on CD in lieu of a towel.

EvilElitest
2008-01-27, 01:14 PM
QFT.

I guess some people want to play in a game world where there are two sets of rules - one for them, and one for everybody else. Me, I find the very idea disturbing and creepy.

How could my victory over the NPCs ever mean anything if I start cheating from the get-go?

D&D has always presented the NPCs as scenery - it has always treated "commoners" as no different than descriptions of wall-hangings. D&D has always enforced a moral system that defines the "players" as the object of morality, and robs every other entity in the game of moral significance.

I thought they were getting better. From the sounds of it, they seem to be getting worse.

:smallmad:
thank you, your going along with what i've been saying all along, even with the world Get Go, you sir are a good person



But seriously, I see that 4th edition is taking out gnomes and the closest thing 3rd edition has to orcs and yet people are saying that 4th edition is becoming more like WoW because they put Tieflings in the PHB. Am I the only one that finds this line of reasoning odd
I'm referring to the way the game i played




The premise of D&D has been that PCs are innately better than NPCs for a long time. For example, in 3.5, PCs receive higher ability scores (28- or 32-point-buy, or 4d6-drop-lowest, instead of 10s or 11s or even the Elite Array), get maximum HP for their first full hit die, and so on. They also gain levels far more quickly than NPCs. And happen to, you know, save the world, or whatever your campaign involves.


No PC were just expected to be better than your adverage run of the mill commoner, but not all protégées, now the system is taking a new stance
"the Parameters and basic game mechanics for 4th Edition player characters are not identical to the the rules and powers used by the world's monsters and non player characters. The PCs deserve all the power options and customization features that the system can bear. Monsters and most NPCs are lucky to appear more than onces, particularly if they are encountered in combat situations."



I'm also not sure how you're getting "PCs should be innately better than NPCs" from my point about how the game's mechanics don't need to be concerned with NPC-on-NPC offscreen interaction. If you're having someone be assassinated offscreen for plot purposes, do you really roll it out, or do you just have it happen
Off screen? Varies, if it could vitally effect the PCs yeah i'd just roll a D-precent.


What? No, that's you creating an angsty point of view *for* a Warforged. By the same note, I could create an angsty point of view for an elf (I watch all my shorter-lived friends die, woe is me) or any other race.

Except that kinda is their description/history in Ebberon, just that pretty much just better written



Sure, they're "the bad boys of D&D". That doesn't automatically translate to angst. What I meant was that they're not actually descended from demons anymore, and non-Warlock Tieflings don't really access the pacts their ancestors made.

Brings us back to the whole "I must repent my ancestors sins" "We are a forsaken people" and "They are misunderstood and hated by the ignorant" sort of thing

.But Tieflings predate the Draenei!
Yeah but those guys just had horns and evil eyes or other minor details (I liked that, more subtle evil), these guys have Illidian horns and freaking huge tails

also people are claiming gnomes are the least played race, any evidence on that?



I think you're misunderstanding it, though. They're not trying to reduce the importance of NPCs.

hahahahahaha

" Monster and most NPCs are lucky if they appear more than once"
your so funny

EE

Mark Hall
2008-01-27, 01:16 PM
If you are playing a game of DnD 3.5, and the DM says Bob the Commoner can cast Fireball as an SLA, then it happens. Internal consistency is a myth in the face of Rule Zero.

Same thing with verisimilitude.

This is nothing new. You could always do this. The difference is that they pointed it out to you and you got all offended.

Verisimilitude is not a myth... that's what keeps suspension of disbelief intact. It doesn't have, necessarily, to do with rules, but rather with how the player interacts with the game world.

If, in your example, the commoner has Fireball as an SLA, I'm going to want to know why... if I know that the character in question is otherwise a standard commoner, I'm going to have questions as to why he has a 3rd level SLA. There's a lot of reasons he might have it... he took a feat tree that the DM didn't tell us about because he intended it for NPCs, he struck a deal with a demon for that SLA, he's not really a commoner, but something else, etc. All are reasons that fit within the reality of the game for there being a commoner with an SLA; the first two are Rule Zero'd, the last may not be.

If the DM's reason is "Eh, I felt like it" then that's DM Fiat... which still falls under the purview of Rule Zero, but also doesn't fit within the game world. It kills verisimilitude, and the game goes from "role-playing experience" to "tactical simulation of combat and human interaction"... I'm taken out of the game and my character by there not being a reason.

Moral Wiz
2008-01-27, 01:17 PM
If you are playing a game of DnD 3.5, and the DM says Bob the Commoner can cast Fireball as an SLA, then it happens. Internal consistency is a myth in the face of Rule Zero.

Same thing with verisimilitude.

This is nothing new. You could always do this. The difference is that they pointed it out to you and you got all offended.

Yeah, rule zero pumps all. But this isn't about that. If the plot dictates, then yeah, messing with the rules is fine; infact I'd encourage it, it shows just how serious a problem could be. I mean, if "the rules" don't apply all of a sudden, and people at random can throw fireballs, the PC's reactions ... well, let's leave it with priceless.:smallamused:

But this has, as I say, no relation to rule zero. That is to edit stats when needed by the plot. WotC's new NPC approach seems more along the lines of making all NPCs work fundamentally differently than PCs; make them use a whole different system. That's what I'm not liking the look of.

EDIT;Ninja'd. But slightly different points; so it stands.

Neon Knight
2008-01-27, 01:19 PM
It kills verisimilitude, and the game goes from "role-playing experience" to "tactical simulation of combat and human interaction"... I'm taken out of the game and my character by there not being a reason.

That's funny, because my definition of "roleplaying experince" is "tactical simulation of combat and human interaction."

Le EDIT:


Yeah, rule zero pumps all. But this isn't about that. If the plot dictates, then yeah, messing with the rules is fine; infact I'd encourage it, it shows just how serious a problem could be. I mean, if "the rules" don't apply all of a sudden, and people at random can throw fireballs, the PC's reactions ... well, let's leave it with priceless.:smallamused:

But this has, as I say, no relation to rule zero. That is to edit stats when needed by the plot. WotC's new NPC approach seems more along the lines of making all NPCs work fundamentally differently than PCs; make them use a whole different system. That's what I'm not liking the look of.

EDIT;Ninja'd. But slightly different points; so it stands.

But NPCs do work off of a different system. The PC's system is the rules as written (with changes by the DM.) The NPC's system in 3.5 is DM Fiat. You can have thousands of NPCs and not a single letter of mechanics for any of them in 3.5. That's my standard operating procedure, and its worked out pretty well for me so far.

Woot Spitum
2008-01-27, 01:21 PM
QFT.

I guess some people want to play in a game world where there are two sets of rules - one for them, and one for everybody else. Me, I find the very idea disturbing and creepy.

How could my victory over the NPCs ever mean anything if I start cheating from the get-go?

D&D has always presented the NPCs as scenery - it has always treated "commoners" as no different than descriptions of wall-hangings. D&D has always enforced a moral system that defines the "players" as the object of morality, and robs every other entity in the game of moral significance.

I thought they were getting better. From the sounds of it, they seem to be getting worse.

:smallmad: What more can be expected of a game that focuses a good 75% or more of its rules on combat and the resolution thereof? Not to mention that these video games that people say 4th edition is becoming like are either based on D&D or other games that are based on D&D.

Moral Wiz
2008-01-27, 01:29 PM
Let me ask something, for all of you who go on saying "the rules revolve arround combat, what do you expect?"

What is the actual need for rules in an RPG?

Almost the entirety of the Social Skills (With the debatable exception of bluff and sense motive) Could be cut easily in a group that is fine with RP. Infact, the only difference between D&D, and improvisational acting between several people and a narrator? The absence of a script, and absence of a concrete story line. That means that if combat ever comes up there needs to be some way of resolving it. If there wasn't, D&D could never use any sort of test of skill, it'd all be arguments about "My guy's better than your guy; he wins".

The reason that the rules revolve around combat is that combat is (more or less) the only thing we need rules for. That gives WotC no excuse for changing the system to be PC focused to this degree. No excuse at all.

Neon Knight
2008-01-27, 01:34 PM
That gives WotC no excuse for changing the system to be PC focused to this degree. No excuse at all.

They haven't changed a thing. When NPCs are not in direct contact with PCs, they effectively don't exist, just like when a character walks offstage in a play.

Moral Wiz
2008-01-27, 01:37 PM
They haven't changed a thing. When NPCs are not in direct contact with PCs, they effectively don't exist, just like when a character walks offstage in a play.
Your basis for that?

EDIT; actually, I'm going with what EE said (just below). It's cooler. :smallamused:

EvilElitest
2008-01-27, 01:37 PM
They haven't changed a thing. When NPCs are not in direct contact with PCs, they effectively don't exist, just like when a character walks offstage in a play.

which ruins the idea of a living game world more than anything else you realize
from
EE

Mark Hall
2008-01-27, 01:48 PM
That's funny, because my definition of "roleplaying experince" is "tactical simulation of combat and human interaction."[quote]

Therein, I think, lies an essential difference between the two. I'll get lost in my characters from time to time... until something snaps me out of it.

[quote]But NPCs do work off of a different system. The PC's system is the rules as written (with changes by the DM.) The NPC's system in 3.5 is DM Fiat. You can have thousands of NPCs and not a single letter of mechanics for any of them in 3.5. That's my standard operating procedure, and its worked out pretty well for me so far.

That may be your SOP, but that's not the RAW. NPCs have substantial RAW, very little of which boils down to "Do whatever you want, you're the DM." NPC classes for humanoids, rules about associated and non-associated class levels that apply to both PC and NPC monsters, etc. Sure, you can have plenty of NPCs without mechanics, but if you are playing RAW, those that the characters interact with are going to need certain stats... which have rule-based methods for determining them remarkably similar to those used by PCs.

Fax Celestis
2008-01-27, 01:54 PM
They haven't changed a thing. When NPCs are not in direct contact with PCs, they effectively don't exist, just like when a character walks offstage in a play.

Maybe if you have a bad DM, that's the case.

EvilElitest
2008-01-27, 02:04 PM
Maybe if you have a bad DM, that's the case.

QFT that is


I'm personally mad as wizard for destroying elven subraces without even providing a reason? I mean getting rid of them fine, but absorbing them into to races? Recone?
from
EE

Neon Knight
2008-01-27, 02:09 PM
Your basis for that?

It is a simple observation in metaphysics. When in not in direct contact with, say, Bob the farmer, Bob's actions are not observed by the PCs. Therefore, they exist only in the DM's mind.

In the real world, objects have permanency whether we perceive them or not. Fictional constructs, however, exist only as long as we perceive and know them, and even then they exist only in our abstract thoughts. Bob the farmer did not exist until the DM thought of him, and even then he existed only in the DM's head. As a fictional construct, he was not real to the player's until they perceived him through the DM's description of him.

And something that will exist only in the DM's head, never to be perceived by the players, is a waste of thought that might as well not exist.


which ruins the idea of a living game world more than anything else you realize
from
EE

What precisely do you mean by that?



That may be your SOP, but that's not the RAW. NPCs have substantial RAW, very little of which boils down to "Do whatever you want, you're the DM." NPC classes for humanoids, rules about associated and non-associated class levels that apply to both PC and NPC monsters, etc. Sure, you can have plenty of NPCs without mechanics, but if you are playing RAW, those that the characters interact with are going to need certain stats... which have rule-based methods for determining them remarkably similar to those used by PCs.

Touche. My earlier statement is flawed; NPCs can work off of a system different that the PCs, such as DM fiat. The RAW provides rules that allow the DM to change the rules to support this (Rule Zero), but do not support the statement in of itself.

I don't think WotC said that if you stat out NPCs using PCs rules in 4th ed a hunter-killer search and destroy team will be dispatched in black helicopters to silence you entire neighborhood. I'm willing to bet it won't be impossible to run NPCs on PC rules. WotC is just providing a different method for people who want NPCs to run on a (hopefully) quicker and more efficient system than the PC's use.

Daimbert
2008-01-27, 02:11 PM
They haven't changed a thing. When NPCs are not in direct contact with PCs, they effectively don't exist, just like when a character walks offstage in a play.

Except that in any good play or story, the NPCs DO have histories and backstories, all of which drive what the character does, why the character is there, what they can do, and so on and so forth. The only NPCs that DON'T are one-off minor characters that are just there to make the world seem like a world. But those aren't the NPCs that matter; those would be the extras in a movie, not the tangential yet important characters.

Any character that is in any way important to the plot has a backstory, and the author knows what they do when they walk off-stage if either they could come back on stage or what they do off-stage could matter. In an RPG, this is more important because it may not be totally under the control of the DM whether or not the characters appear again in the story.

And, on a different note, the people citing "Rule 0" as an equivalent case or how things will work under the new system seem to be missing one thing (although this may be opinion): Rule 0 is not supposed to (pardon the pun) be the rule. It's supposed to be invoked in exceptional cases where plot or fun demand that things not work the way the other rules say it should. If you have to invoke it for every encounter, there's a problem in the campaign. Or the system.

Moral Wiz
2008-01-27, 02:21 PM
It is a simple observation in metaphysics. When in not in direct contact with, say, Bob the farmer, Bob's actions are not observed by the PCs. Therefore, they exist only in the DM's mind.

In the real world, objects have permanency whether we perceive them or not. Fictional constructs, however, exist only as long as we perceive and know them, and even then they exist only in our abstract thoughts. Bob the farmer did not exist until the DM thought of him, and even then he existed only in the DM's head. As a fictional construct, he was not real to the player's until they perceived him through the DM's description of him.

And something that will exist only in the DM's head, never to be perceived by the players, is a waste of thought that might as well not exist.

But the point is not psychological description of how RPG characters exist. The point is the trivialization of NPCs, through rules and approach in game design, in comparison to PCs.


I don't think WotC said that if you stat out NPCs using PCs rules in 4th ed a hunter-killer search and destroy team will be dispatched in black helicopters to silence you entire neighborhood. I'm willing to bet it won't be impossible to run NPCs on PC rules. WotC is just providing a different method for people who want NPCs to run on a (hopefully) quicker and more efficient system than the PC's use.


Quicker and more efficient? I'm not so sure. Probably, it'll be hard. I can't speak about how different the NPC system is, but as we know CR has gone down the snout... Well...

Unless WotC designs this deliberately as a feature, conversions may well be hard. And I'd bet they'll just make an "Elite template" to directly challenge the PCs and leave it at that.

Neon Knight
2008-01-27, 02:21 PM
Except that in any good play or story, the NPCs DO have histories and backstories, all of which drive what the character does, why the character is there, what they can do, and so on and so forth. The only NPCs that DON'T are one-off minor characters that are just there to make the world seem like a world. But those aren't the NPCs that matter; those would be the extras in a movie, not the tangential yet important characters.

Any character that is in any way important to the plot has a backstory, and the author knows what they do when they walk off-stage if either they could come back on stage or what they do off-stage could matter. In an RPG, this is more important because it may not be totally under the control of the DM whether or not the characters appear again in the story.


And all that backstory and history, unless related to the audience/players, does not matter one iota.

Whether a character has a backstory or doesn't, an author knows precisely what he will do in any given situation, because the author dictates his every action and his very existence.

Fax Celestis
2008-01-27, 02:24 PM
Unless WotC designs this deliberately as a feature, conversions may well be hard. And I'd bet they'll just make an "Eliete template" to directly challenge the PCs and leave it at that.
WotC has directly stated that converting from 3e to 4e will be hard-to-impossible, so I don't know what you're surprised about.

Neon Knight
2008-01-27, 02:27 PM
But the point is not psychological description of how RPG characters exist. The point is the trivialization of NPCs, through rules and approach in game design, in comparison to PCs.



They were always trivial. Precisely because they are fictional constructs who are less important than the designated primary fictional constructs to the audience, in this case the players, the one audience that matters in the scenario of an RPG. Otherwise, you would be writing a book.

Mark Hall
2008-01-27, 02:37 PM
That may be your SOP, but that's not the RAW. NPCs have substantial RAW, very little of which boils down to "Do whatever you want, you're the DM." NPC classes for humanoids, rules about associated and non-associated class levels that apply to both PC and NPC monsters, etc. Sure, you can have plenty of NPCs without mechanics, but if you are playing RAW, those that the characters interact with are going to need certain stats... which have rule-based methods for determining them remarkably similar to those used by PCs.

I just reread this. Holy monkey feces, but that's a lot of acronyms.

Sebastian
2008-01-27, 02:38 PM
They haven't changed a thing. When NPCs are not in direct contact with PCs, they effectively don't exist, just like when a character walks offstage in a play.

"In front of you there is an army of demons, what do you do?"

"we teleport away.Now they don't exist anymore. How many xps they were worth?" :smallbiggrin:

Moral Wiz
2008-01-27, 02:40 PM
WotC has directly stated that converting from 3e to 4e will be hard-to-impossible, so I don't know what you're surprised about.

I meant converting 4th ed PCs to 4th ed NPCs. I already know about PCs.

Neon Knight
2008-01-27, 02:44 PM
"In front of you there is an army of demons, what do you do?"

"we teleport away.Now they don't exist anymore. How many xps they were worth?" :smallbiggrin:

http://www.geocities.com/krinklyman2/toyberkeley.jpg

I wish Dungeons and Discourse was a real game.

Moral Wiz
2008-01-27, 02:44 PM
They were always trivial. Precisely because they are fictional constructs who are less important than the designated primary fictional constructs to the audience, in this case the players, the one audience that matters in the scenario of an RPG. Otherwise, you would be writing a book.

Do all your PCs only interact with each other when it comes to RP? Because it is NPCs who generate the plot. It is PCs who the plot happen to. NPCs are far more important as a group to the plot than PCs.

And this is assuming a pre-plotted world. A living world, where interacting with the world is the main point of the game... well, NPCs are the whole of the point. PCs are important, but not as important as 4th ed seems to suggest.

Fax Celestis
2008-01-27, 02:49 PM
Do all your PCs only interact with each other when it comes to RP? Because it is NPCs who generate the plot. It is PCs who the plot happen to. NPCs are far more important as a group to the plot than PCs.

And this is assuming a pre-plotted world. A living world, where interacting with the world is the main point of the game... well, NPCs are the whole of the point. PCs are important, but not as important as 4th ed seems to suggest.

And why do those NPCs need mechanical representation, especially mechanical representation akin to that of adventurers?

horseboy
2008-01-27, 02:51 PM
And all that backstory and history, unless related to the audience/players, does not matter one iota.

Whether a character has a backstory or doesn't, an author knows precisely what he will do in any given situation, because the author dictates his every action and his very existence.No, the character controls the character's action. That's one of the things that makes the character an interesting character.

Moral Wiz
2008-01-27, 02:57 PM
And why do those NPCs need mechanical representation, especially mechanical representation akin to that of adventurers?

Are you arguing both sides? ;)

Anyway, I went into this earlier. It makes the world work on one system, reality. In theory, there is (almost) nothing that makes the PCs special, or different from anyone else. That makes it easier to empathize with them as opposed to a stats block.

Class levels make it easier to customize NPCs too. Besides, WotC don't even like the idea that an NPC could survive one encounter with the PCs. Unless you want a world focused around the PCs in every way, I'd not recommend 4th edition. (And the next reply I make will reference M&M)

Neon Knight
2008-01-27, 02:58 PM
Do all your PCs only interact with each other when it comes to RP? Because it is NPCs who generate the plot. It is PCs who the plot happen to. NPCs are far more important as a group to the plot than PCs.

And this is assuming a pre-plotted world. A living world, where interacting with the world is the main point of the game... well, NPCs are the whole of the point. PCs are important, but not as important as 4th ed seems to suggest.

PCs can generate plot. So can events. Some NPCs cause these events, and other events merely occur. A volcanic eruption can cause a plot without an NPC so much as lifting a finger towards its generation. And none of that matters unless the PCs perceive it.

PCs are more important than NPCs because without PCs, NPCs have no reason whatsoever to exist. Every little bit of description and detail a DM comes up with exists to be perceived by the players. The living world exists to be interacted with and perceived by the PCs. It has no other function.


No, the character controls the character's action. That's one of the things that makes the character an interesting character.

No. The character does not exist. It is a fictional construct. An abstract. It has no concrete reality and no sentient intelligence with a free will behind it. It is a puppet. If the creator dictates that it undergoes a personality change, it does.

EDIT:




Anyway, I went into this earlier. It makes the world work on one system, reality. In theory, there is (almost) nothing that makes the PCs special, or different from anyone else. That makes it easier to empathize with them as opposed to a stats block.



The PCs are special. They are the reason this whole world exists. Without them there would be no player's to perceive the game world. And empathy is a function of closeness, involvement, and likability, not power level.

And DnD 3.5 makes the PCs flat out better than NPCs, considering that most NPCs use inferior NPC classes, and inferior ability arrays.

VeisuItaTyhjyys
2008-01-27, 02:58 PM
or that the drow have been scaring the bejeezus out of people in the Underdark for about 29 years.

Are the Drow for real that old? I thought they were more along the lines of 17-20.

Matthew
2008-01-27, 03:00 PM
Wow, another 'I like 4e/ I don't like 4e' Thread spiralling out of control. Same protagonists and the same arguments going round in an endless cycle. I expect to see a lot of these over the next few months and God help us when 4e is actually released...

Anywho, yeah, I'm still of the same opinion. 4e looks like it's going to be a mixed bag.

Likes:

1) Saving Throw Progression
2) Dropping Iterative Attacks
3) Skill Progression
4) Simplified Critical Hits
5) 0 Level (hopefully) Classless NPCs
6) 'Defence' idea

Dislikes:

1) 'Bloodied' concept
2) Rebooting the Forgotten Realms
3) Per Encounter Abilities [i.e. as a move from Strategic to Tactical considerations]
4) Hit Point Inflation
5) Changing the Standard Races
6) Increasing emphasis on Miniatures
7) New Attribute Modifiers (from what I can tell)
8) Quite a lot of the art, but especially Dwarf weaponry
9) Power Sources
10) Online Initiative

Moral Wiz
2008-01-27, 03:06 PM
PCs can generate plot. So can events. Some NPCs cause these events, and other events merely occur. A volcanic eruption can cause a plot without an NPC so much as lifting a finger towards its generation. And none of that matters unless the PCs perceive it.

PCs are more important than NPCs because without PCs, NPCs have no reason whatsoever to exist. Every little bit of description and detail a DM comes up with exists to be perceived by the players. The living world exists to be interacted with and perceived by the PCs. It has no other function.


But the point here is the system. And two systems, one for PCs, one for NPCs, wrecks empathy, and ends up leaving the PCs regarding NPCs as nothing more than literary constructs, as opposed to characters, with whom they interact. As opposed to a system where the NPCs could, in theory, be dead ringers for PCs. And the ability to customize NPCs through system is yet another way to boost empathy that is being thrown out.

M&M, a game about SUPER HEROES, about as far off normal as you can get from the very premise, where normals basically have no way to gain the powers of the heroes, has one system for everyone. I can see no reason 4th ed shouldn't do the same if they had half an interest in RP.

Mark Hall
2008-01-27, 03:09 PM
Are the Drow for real that old? I thought they were more along the lines of 17-20.

Dude, 20 years ago is when I started playing... and, for that matter, when "The Crystal Shard", the first Drizzt book, was published. Salvatore was building on established D&D mythology.

Heck, I'll put them at 31; they're mentioned as a legend in the Monster Manual 1, released back in 1977. They figured prominently in some late-70s, early 80s modules like the Giants series (G1, G2, and G3), and the Drow series.

Gah. Get off my lawn, with your hula hoops and rock music.

Neon Knight
2008-01-27, 03:10 PM
But the point here is the system. And two systems, one for PCs, one for NPCs, wrecks empathy, and ends up leaving the PCs regarding NPCs as nothing more than literary constructs, as opposed to characters, with whom they interact. As opposed to a system where the NPCs could, in theory, be dead ringers for PCs. And the ability to customize NPCs through system is yet another way to boost empathy that is being thrown out.

M&M, a game about SUPER HEROES, about as far off normal as you can get from the very premise, where normals basically have no way to gain the powers of the heroes, has one system for everyone. I can see no reason 4th ed shouldn't do the same if they had half an interest in RP.

The system affects RP in no way, shape, or form. A PC will regard an NPC as a fictional construct based on his whim, regardless of the mechanical difference between them.

The player's attitude towards the game world is not determined by the mechanics of the game world. It is determined by the player. I could play M&M and not care one bit about the story or NPCs if I decided to. And I could play a system where the PCs and NPCs work vastly different, and care a great deal if I choose to get involved.

Moral Wiz
2008-01-27, 03:29 PM
Well, now we're finally down to opinion. You say that the system doesn't effect RP. But can't prove that. I say that it does, on some level, unconscious or no. But can't prove it.

But knowing that NPCs are working on the same system as the PCs creates empathy. A predisposition for the PCs to relate more to NPCs (though that's not a certainty, as you say, it makes such relativity more likely. Perticularly if that customization makes the NPC distinct.

Empathy for the NPCs equates to deep, emotional involvement in the plot. That is what RP should be about. And basically treating all NPCs as monsters won't help that. But I can't prove what I say.

Diamondeye
2008-01-27, 03:30 PM
Going with the same format (and my apologies if any of these are inaccurate, I'm playing catchup ball on the whole 4E scene)

Likes
1) Removal of metamagic feats
2) Removal of item creation feats
3) Efforts to make clerics more than combat medics
4) Balancing of druid
5) self-healing.. I did dislike this until I realized it boded well for the cleric
6) getting rid of the level 20 barrier
7) improving multiclassability

Dislikes
1) Change to arcane spell use method (no more memorization/preparation. This right here is enough to make the entire edition unplayable to me.
2) Change to casting method of same (refresh timer method)
3) Nerfing of wizard schools
4) Removal of magic schools/specialist wizards
5) Move of magical capabilities to psionics
6) orb/wand/staff thing (whatever this is)
7) removal of gnomes/half elves/half orcs. Half elves were my favorite race
8) addition of dragonborn and Eldarin
9) Addition of tieflings; only because they removed other, better core races. If they'd left those alone I wouldn't mind
10) Apparent removal of monks, bards, barbarians and druids as core classes
11) Addition of warlords and warlocks in any form
12) Giving of martial-adept style abilities to other classes, especially fighters
13) addition of rituals as magic
14) apparent shift to more mobile combat
15) rogues moving towards the everquest "damage dealer" as opposed to underpowered combatant/skill master (this was already a problem in 3/3.5 but apparently it's worsened with them doing flips around enemies and such)
16) shift of druid emphasis to shapeshifting; this should have been nerfed if anything
17) Sorcerers and this "barely controlled/hold onto energy" nonsense
18) Inability to recreate a swordsage. My favorite class from any edition
19) Failure to move the 3 martial adepts to 4E as distinct classes, preferably non-core. The ToB was my favorite non-core book of any edition, and has been basically tossed aside in order to give special abilities to core classes, that should be very basic
19) de-emphasis of static bonus items
20) removal of some item slots
21) the magic ring (level-item) system
22) general reduction in magic item quantity. This could have been done simply by not planning on high level characters having so much wealth in designing encounters
23) pargon and epic paths. PrCs were the way to go
24) idea of epic-level PCs taking on dieties/being associated with them directly
25) all classes with same BAB/save progression.
26) magic and melee using the same mechanic
27) Pretty much any change to FR setting
28) changes to alignment system
29) the fact that they did not wait about 3 more years for 3.5 to be fully mature before doing this.

VanBuren
2008-01-27, 03:39 PM
Well, now we're finally down to opinion. You say that the system doesn't effect RP. But can't prove that. I say that it does, on some level, unconscious or no. But can't prove it.

Burden of proof, If I'm recalling this correctly. He can't prove that it doesn't because he can't go through every instance that ever has or will happen to see if it does effect it. That's why the burden falls on you to prove that it does.


But knowing that NPCs are working on the same system as the PCs creates empathy. A predisposition for the PCs to relate more to NPCs (though that's not a certainty, as you say, it makes such relativity more likely. Perticularly if that customization makes the NPC distinct.

That tastes a bit metagamey.

Moral Wiz
2008-01-27, 03:48 PM
Burden of proof, If I'm recalling this correctly. He can't prove that it doesn't because he can't go through every instance that ever has or will happen to see if it does effect it. That's why the burden falls on you to prove that it does.

But we're talking about psychology. Nothing can be proven, even actual research does not prove, only suggest. Burden of proof does not apply. Thus, it's an infinite argument.:smallamused:

And yes; it's metagamey. But unconsciously so; and doesn't affect the game. What I'm saying is that it's what we all do on some level., with or without intent? Who do you relate to? The best friend, who has progressed in the arcane arts alongside you, and occasionally gives you some new tricks? Or the lvl 10 NPC, under a different system? If anything, using a whole different system makes the PCs meta-game in their own importance, far worse, no?

horseboy
2008-01-27, 03:52 PM
PCs can generate plot. So can events. Some NPCs cause these events, and other events merely occur. A volcanic eruption can cause a plot without an NPC so much as lifting a finger towards its generation. And none of that matters unless the PCs perceive it.

PCs are more important than NPCs because without PCs, NPCs have no reason whatsoever to exist. Every little bit of description and detail a DM comes up with exists to be perceived by the players. The living world exists to be interacted with and perceived by the PCs. It has no other function.For some reason it's reminding me of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aq0gQOJK31E


No. The character does not exist. It is a fictional construct. An abstract. It has no concrete reality and no sentient intelligence with a free will behind it. It is a puppet. If the creator dictates that it undergoes a personality change, it does.No, then it is no longer that character, it's a different character. Kinda like the two Darrins from Bewitched.

EvilElitest
2008-01-27, 03:54 PM
That tastes a bit metagamey.

No, that makes you feel like these guys are just like you (the PC), people who have chosen to focus upon a certain profesion, that you are adventuring in a breathing consistent world, not a game created simple for your entertainment
from
EE

Fax Celestis
2008-01-27, 03:57 PM
No, that makes you feel like these guys are just like you (the PC), people who have chosen to focus upon a certain profesion, that you are adventuring in a breathing consistent world, not a game created simple for your entertainment
from
EE

The system shouldn't matter.

EvilElitest
2008-01-27, 04:00 PM
The system shouldn't matter.

If the NPCs and the PC function under different rules, then there should be a reason, why is one wizard better than all the other ones
from
EE

Rutee
2008-01-27, 04:02 PM
http://www.geocities.com/krinklyman2/toyberkeley.jpg

I wish Dungeons and Discourse was a real game.

+10 Respect Points. Also I want a level 8 Positivist, on a sidenote. *Used DnDi Kimiko as a basis for a Mage in nWoD*

I gotta say, it's rather interesting to watch someone else use this style of debate instead of me. Thanks for making my day, Kasrkin. Also, need to remember that most people don't think in these terms in general, when phrasing my arguments.

Additional food for thought: Every single NPC and monster in the MM books uses the /commoner/ array (EG all 10s/11s). By definition, every single PC in a game of Dungeons and Dragons is a supremely better specimen then every single NPC, even if they are individually weaker.

Woot Spitum
2008-01-27, 04:05 PM
But the point here is the system. And two systems, one for PCs, one for NPCs, wrecks empathy, and ends up leaving the PCs regarding NPCs as nothing more than literary constructs, as opposed to characters, with whom they interact. As opposed to a system where the NPCs could, in theory, be dead ringers for PCs. And the ability to customize NPCs through system is yet another way to boost empathy that is being thrown out.

M&M, a game about SUPER HEROES, about as far off normal as you can get from the very premise, where normals basically have no way to gain the powers of the heroes, has one system for everyone. I can see no reason 4th ed shouldn't do the same if they had half an interest in RP.But if your players are simply seeing your npc's as random people with class levels as opposed to people with names and lives of their own, that battle is already lost. In fact, it could be argued that statting every single person the pcs come across is actually a cynical way of playing the game. After all, what does giving npcs stats allow them to do they couldn't do without stats besides allowing them to be killed or diplomacied into submission by the pcs.

This is not a RAW problem, it's a player problem. You can lead pc's to lovingly crafted characters and settings, but you can't make them care. They have to decide to care on their own.

Ascension
2008-01-27, 04:07 PM
Yes, but you're no Half-Orc.
One parent was a victim of rape, the other a horrible monster. Your existance would serve as a constant reminder of the remaining parents rape, and as such they'd despise you. Living on the streets, detested by all...

And what do you get in return? Darkvision and +2 strength. Even Tieflings get cool things for being horrible freaks against nature.

I know I'm pulling a quote from the first page, but I just want to ask this question...

Have you ever considered that a Half-Orc MIGHT be the product of a loving relationship? I think classifying the whole lot of them as victims of rape is pushing it. Just because Orcs are fairly stupid and ugly (by normal human standards, that is) doesn't mean that they can't love or be loved.

EvilElitest
2008-01-27, 04:08 PM
I know I'm pulling a quote from the first page, but I just want to ask this question...

Have you ever considered that a Half-Orc MIGHT be the product of a loving relationship? I think classifying the whole lot of them as victims of rape is pushing it. Just because Orcs are fairly stupid and ugly (by normal human standards, that is) doesn't mean that they can't love or be loved.

Impossible, don't be silly
from
EE

Moral Wiz
2008-01-27, 04:11 PM
Rutee, if any are sentient, and chose to follow a class, they play by the same rules. Yes, PCs are slightly better, but they're playing the same game fundamentally.

And Faux? It shouldn't matter. That doesn't mean it won't. On some level, you'll not be able to relate to NPCs as well if they function nothing like PCs.

Wood? I'm not saying that PCs should see NPCs as class levels. I'm saying that creating NPCs that the players can relate to is a lot easier when they are all singing of the same song sheet, when NPCs basically work the same as them. It doesn't make NPC's better in itself. But it gives them more potential that 4th seems to be implying.

Deepblue706
2008-01-27, 04:12 PM
If anyone has decided they really hate Wizards, there's always other games (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/).

Yami
2008-01-27, 04:16 PM
Also quoteing from the first page.

while i realize their are already many other threads on the topic, i must agree. My theory is that in WOW gnomes are a comedy relief and as WOW players are one of 4E target audiences, its focus upon everything being "cool" needs to cut gnomes out.

You apearantly don't play WoW then. As there, gnomes are about the only good thing the Alliance has.

Rutee
2008-01-27, 04:16 PM
Rutee, if any are sentient, and chose to follow a class, they play by the same rules. Yes, PCs are slightly better, but they're playing the same game fundamentally.
Actually, the rules to advance monsters by HD rather then class already exist; They're simply neglected because class makes for more threatening enemies.


Wood? I'm not saying that PCs should see NPCs as class levels. I'm saying that creating NPCs that the players can relate to is a lot easier when they are all singing of the same song sheet, when NPCs basically work the same as them. It doesn't make NPC's better in itself. But it gives them more potential that 4th seems to be implying.

No, it gives them less potential, if they MUST function off the exact same growth guidelines as PCs, whom generally have to be less outright powerful then the enemies they face. Seriously, in no sense can you have higher potential with fewer options, given the exact same input. Further, you seem to imply that the lion's share of NPCs generated by different methods play under genuinely different rules. THey don't. They use the same mechanics to interact with the world (When they use mechanics) as the PCs. You're saying that because their songsheet is printed off carbon paper rather then computer paper, they're totally and completely different, and that's just not the case.

Counterspin
2008-01-27, 04:23 PM
So wizards changing the rules (looser NPC rules) -> Players become worse (become unable to empathize with NPCs)

Seriously? Man, I'm glad I have my group, where we all laugh about how ridiculous of an idea that is and get on with gaming.

As for versimilitude, creatures with random powers have always been part of the system, it's just that the designers came up with the powers. Seriously, no amount of studying would give you a krenshar's howl, for instance. Changing who comes up with the powers has no effect on versimilitude, as long as the power can be explained in a way which maintains versimlitude, and the bar for that in a fantasy setting is hilariously low. Take the magic missiling goblin. He and his buddies can do that because their clan has a magic item which grants the power to goblins who worship it. Bam, easy.

Moral Wiz
2008-01-27, 04:31 PM
Actually, the rules to advance monsters by HD rather then class already exist; They're simply neglected because class makes for more threatening enemies.

Personally, I have never followed that for either reason. None the less, with sentient races


No, it gives them less potential, if they MUST function off the exact same growth guidelines as PCs, whom generally have to be less outright powerful then the enemies they face. Seriously, in no sense can you have higher potential with fewer options, given the exact same input.

I'm... not entirly sure what you're saying here.


Further, you seem to imply that the lion's share of NPCs generated by different methods play under genuinely different rules. THey don't. They use the same mechanics to interact with the world (When they use mechanics) as the PCs. You're saying that because their songsheet is printed off carbon paper rather then computer paper, they're totally and completely different, and that's just not the case.

AFAIK, 4th ed uses a totally different system for NPCs.

If it's the same as ever; then I rescind all above statements, not on grounds of being incorrect, but on grounds of "utterly irrelevant":smallamused:



As for versimilitude, creatures with random powers have always been part of the system, it's just that the designers came up with the powers. Seriously, no amount of studying would give you a krenshar's howl, for instance. Changing who comes up with the powers has no effect on versimilitude, as long as the power can be explained in a way which maintains versimlitude, and the bar for that in a fantasy setting is hilariously low. Take the magic missiling goblin. He and his buddies can do that because their clan has a magic item which grants the power to goblins who worship it. Bam, easy.But that applying to everyone in the world but the party? You are telling me that wouldn't be alienating?

Daimbert
2008-01-27, 04:31 PM
It is a simple observation in metaphysics. When in not in direct contact with, say, Bob the farmer, Bob's actions are not observed by the PCs. Therefore, they exist only in the DM's mind.

In the real world, objects have permanency whether we perceive them or not. Fictional constructs, however, exist only as long as we perceive and know them, and even then they exist only in our abstract thoughts. Bob the farmer did not exist until the DM thought of him, and even then he existed only in the DM's head. As a fictional construct, he was not real to the player's until they perceived him through the DM's description of him.

And something that will exist only in the DM's head, never to be perceived by the players, is a waste of thought that might as well not exist.

This only works for NPCs that the party will never see again, or for NPCs that, after they leave, will never have an impact on any part of the world that the PCs might encounter. If that isn't the case, then it isn't a waste of thought, since knowing what they would do and how they would do it allows the DM to build up consistency in the story. Inconsistencies break suspension of disbelief, to varying degrees for different people. For example, I could never really get into the movie "Memento". Why? Because I didn't believe that someone with the obvious problems of the main character would be allowed to walk around alone in society. I had the same problem with "Star Trek: Enterprise"; I couldn't see how they could get from there to the Original Series.

I'm probably an extreme case, but it does matter to most people that the world be consistent.


And all that backstory and history, unless related to the audience/players, does not matter one iota.

Whether a character has a backstory or doesn't, an author knows precisely what he will do in any given situation, because the author dictates his every action and his very existence.

And the author does that by, in fact, generating back story, and a personality, and running the character forward through events if they think it might matter to the plot. In a book, it's easy for them to do since they control if it matters to the plot or not. In an RPG, it isn't so easy, since the DM has to answer questions from the players as to why it would be the case that someone who was sent to go off and warn the main fortress about an attack -- for example -- never did, or why the fortress doesn't act alarmed, or why the person is there but the fortress isn't on a war footing, etc, etc. The DM ALSO has to deal with players ASSUMING that the NPC would act a certain way, and acting accordingly. If the DM doesn't have a logical and detectable explanation for why that character would do something else, the players will grumble.


And why do those NPCs need mechanical representation, especially mechanical representation akin to that of adventurers?

So that the players can figure out how to deal with them without having to have the DM explain PRECISELY how their characters work outside of the game world.

Think about it this way. You could have this conversation in-game:

Player: "How did you do that?"
Villain: "I'm a cleric of [fill in god here]."

At that point, the players pretty much know what they're dealing with. On the other hand:

Player: "How did you do that?"
Villain: "I'm a, uh, uh ..."
DM: "He's a goblin that I gave the ability to cast Cure spells to and turn undead and wildshape, but that's all I gave him. I think. Well, until I decide that he needs something else."


PCs are more important than NPCs because without PCs, NPCs have no reason whatsoever to exist. Every little bit of description and detail a DM comes up with exists to be perceived by the players. The living world exists to be interacted with and perceived by the PCs. It has no other function.

This is all true, but it doesn't impact your argument the way you think it does. They exist to be perceived by players, but players demand consistency in their world. And players can control what they perceive and what they ask about. So creating a living world MEANS keeping the world living and going even when the players aren't directly watching it, or else the players will notice that the world is flat, dull and unchanging ... like the worlds players COMPLAIN about in CRPGs.


No. The character does not exist. It is a fictional construct. An abstract. It has no concrete reality and no sentient intelligence with a free will behind it. It is a puppet. If the creator dictates that it undergoes a personality change, it does.

But the DM had better have a VERY good reason for that personality change, because the players are going to ask and try to find out why ... and if the answer is "Just because" they are going to get very upset. When these sorts of inconsistencies happen in novels we get mad, toss the book against the wall, and stop reading it. Players in RPGs aren't likely to be as happy.


And DnD 3.5 makes the PCs flat out better than NPCs, considering that most NPCs use inferior NPC classes, and inferior ability arrays.

Yes, but that makes sense; they chose a different profession that better suited their needs, which happens in the real world as well. A far cry from "make up the rules as you go along" and "they should always start and be less powerful than the PC, even if they're supposed to be stronger" types of things.

Fax Celestis
2008-01-27, 04:38 PM
If the NPCs and the PC function under different rules, then there should be a reason, why is one wizard better than all the other ones
from
EE

Because that one wizard is a hero, and heroes don't follow the same rules that everyone else does. Achilles, for instance. Classical hero (well, antihero, depending on who you talk to). Did not follow the same rules that everyone else did, as he was nigh-invincible but for his fateful heel. See also: Jason, Odysseus, Paris, Hector, Gilgamesh, Conan, Loki...

Daimbert
2008-01-27, 04:38 PM
The system affects RP in no way, shape, or form. A PC will regard an NPC as a fictional construct based on his whim, regardless of the mechanical difference between them.

The player's attitude towards the game world is not determined by the mechanics of the game world. It is determined by the player. I could play M&M and not care one bit about the story or NPCs if I decided to. And I could play a system where the PCs and NPCs work vastly different, and care a great deal if I choose to get involved.

I have to disagree that the system does not affect RP. The only way you can say that is to say that the system does not impact the world at all. Sure, you're right in the sense that the underlying base level mechanics -- how damage is determined, what dice and how many you roll, etc, etc -- don't really impact the world. But how things generally work DOES. If you have a supervillain attacking you -- using M&M as an example -- that is considered to be at a certain power level (or should be, based on back story) and they have higher levels of skills or powers than should be allowed at that level, players will generally cry foul; the enemy is stronger than they are or would be and is better at doing things that they'd do at that level. But the converse is WORSE, and really heavily affects RP: if the character does NOT have abilities that they should have at that power level, the players will think that they're stupid, even if you are trying to portray them as cold, calculating and ruthless. A DM or GM can fix that by giving them a back story where the difference makes sense and works.

Basically, how the world works has to be consistent so that players won't lose their suspension of disbelief, and role playing only occurs where players suspend disbelief, at least for a moment, and act as their CHARACTERS would act. To any extent where the system impacts the world, it adds or subtracts from consistency, and adds or subtracts from immersion, and thus impacts role playing.

(BTW, does this count as proving that RP is affected [grin]?)

Woot Spitum
2008-01-27, 04:39 PM
If the NPCs and the PC function under different rules, then there should be a reason, why is one wizard better than all the other ones
from
EEBecause he works harder? Because he's more dedicated? Because he was born with more natural talent? Because he had better teachers? Because his motivations were pure?

See, all these explanations work regardless of what system you play. They even work in a systemless game or even a novel.

Whereas if we go for a D&D exclusive explanation it becomes: because he was built using LogicNinja's guide to wizards. So in my view, justifying power levels based exclusively on the rules actually hurts empathy and immersion.

Daimbert
2008-01-27, 04:42 PM
http://www.geocities.com/krinklyman2/toyberkeley.jpg

I wish Dungeons and Discourse was a real game.

It's really a shame that Berkeley didn't actually argue for that, but instead argued against it since it was ridiculous.

Berkeley argued that all that we can know exists has to be perceived. This means that for something to exist, SOME perceiver has to perceive it. So what happens when you leave a room and no one is perceiving the things in it anymore? Well, there are two options. The first is that it ceases to exist, and then gets recreated in the precise form it had when we stopped perceiving it the instant we walk back in the room. The second is that something else is perceiving it and maintaining its existence. Berkeley rejects the first option, and then says that this proves that God exists ... because HE is always perceiving everything and so is maintaining the existence of things when we aren't perceiving them.

Mark Hall
2008-01-27, 04:46 PM
Berkeley argued that all that we can know exists has to be perceived. This means that for something to exist, SOME perceiver has to perceive it. So what happens when you leave a room and no one is perceiving the things in it anymore? Well, there are two options. The first is that it ceases to exist, and then gets recreated in the precise form it had when we stopped perceiving it the instant we walk back in the room. The second is that something else is perceiving it and maintaining its existence. Berkeley rejects the first option, and then says that this proves that God exists ... because HE is always perceiving everything and so is maintaining the existence of things when we aren't perceiving them.

Wow... talk about putting your conclusions in front of your data...

Sebastian
2008-01-27, 04:50 PM
If anyone has decided they really hate Wizards, there's always other games (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/).

seconded, and with a little research you don't even need to spend money

jags (http://www.jagsrpg.org/)

witchcraft (http://www.edenstudios.net/witchcraft/WitchcraftCorebook.zip)

fate (http://www.faterpg.com/)

some other hundreds or so (http://www.darkshire.net/jhkim/rpg/freerpgs/), some are good, some are not, but they are all free (for what I know.)

Moral Wiz
2008-01-27, 04:50 PM
Because that one wizard is a hero, and heroes don't follow the same rules that everyone else does. Achilles, for instance. Classical hero (well, antihero, depending on who you talk to). Did not follow the same rules that everyone else did, as he was nigh-invincible but for his fateful heel. See also: Jason, Odysseus, Paris, Hector, Gilgamesh, Conan, Loki...

But that was explained as a god's favor, magical item or something, right? Not him inherently greater being above others. You're examples seem mostly to me to be 3.5 PCs; the best of the best, but working on the same system.


Because he works harder? Because he's more dedicated? Because he was born with more natural talent? Because he had better teachers? Because his motivations were pure?

See, all these explanations work regardless of what system you play. They even work in a systemless game or even a novel.

Whereas if we go for a D&D exclusive explanation it becomes: because he was built using LogicNinja's guide to wizards. So in my view, justifying power levels based exclusively on the rules actually hurts empathy and immersion.

That seems to me to be saying "They are the best of the best; one day you may become like them" Not "They are beyond us puny mortals" They sound like they are better, but still use the same system.

Rutee
2008-01-27, 04:53 PM
Personally, I have never followed that for either reason. None the less, with sentient races
By all means, finish your thought. I know what that's like.




I'm... not entirly sure what you're saying here.
You were saying that giving monsters class levels gives them more potential. That's flatly untrue though, compared to 4ed. The simple fact is, if Monsters in 3.5e have sets A and B to choose from, of book advancement, and 4e monsters have A and B, and on top oft hat, C, 4e monsters have more potential, because /they have lost nothing/ compared to their previous counter parts.



AFAIK, 4th ed uses a totally different system for NPCs.
That would be pretty stupid, really, but I'm pretty sure that they still use d20s for their skill checks, still follow, as a whole, the same basic rules the PCs follow, etc. Srsly, pics or it didn't happen, on this count. Different stat generation, yes, but what those stats mean 'should' be the same for PCs and NPCs.


But that applying to everyone in the world but the party? You are telling me that wouldn't be alienating?
That everyone has taken different routes to attain power? I can't speak for everyone, but that doesn't really alienate me one iota.


But that was explained as a god's favor, magical item or something, right? Not him inherently greater being above others. You're examples seem mostly to me to be 3.5 PCs; the best of the best, but working on the same system.
Well, Scion may have ruined my memory on this, but I'm pretty sure Achilles was a demigod to start with, and STARTED OFF Better then everyone, with being dipped in the river styx just adding to this. You're actually missing the point. Mechanically, this person is better then everyone. It is not difficult to come up with reasons for why this would be.

Fax Celestis
2008-01-27, 04:54 PM
But that was explained as a god's favor, magical item or something, right? Not him inherently greater being above others. You're examples seem mostly to me to be 3.5 PCs; the best of the best, but working on the same system.

Not in all cases. It runs the whole spectrum: one one hand, Achilles got dipped in the river Styx and thereby gained invincibility; on the other, Odysseus was just remarkably clever, as was Loki (originally).

And in any case, tell me how a system like this makes NPCs any less interesting, dynamic, or valid.

Moral Wiz
2008-01-27, 04:57 PM
Not in all cases. It runs the whole spectrum: one one hand, Achilles got dipped in the river Styx and thereby gained invincibility; on the other, Odysseus was just remarkably clever, as was Loki (originally).

Loki was a god, no?

Odysseus... well, the gods involved themselves there; and I don't reacll anything outright impossible for anyone else to do.

Achilles... well, that basicly gave him a very powerful artifact IMO.

Fax Celestis
2008-01-27, 04:58 PM
Loki was a god, no?

Odysseus... well, the gods involved themselves there; and I don't reacll anything outright impossible for anyone else to do.

Achilles... well, that basicly gave him a very powerful artifact IMO.

Loki did not start out as a god, no. Loki became a god because he tricked a god into making him divine. Odysseus never actually had direct divine involvement. Achilles had no artifact: he got dipped in the River of Death. Also, you missed the other half of my statement.

Daimbert
2008-01-27, 05:01 PM
Wow... talk about putting your conclusions in front of your data...

Actually, it's surprisingly strongly the other way around, or at least can be: what would be the prime candidate for something that could either perceive everything at once or start perceiving something the instant everyone else stops perceiving it? And would want to? Well, something with omniscience that created the world would be a good start. Hmmmm. What fit that criteria at the time? [grin].

The argument doesn't WORK, of course ... but it's a surprisingly good one that a lot of people miss when reading him.

Moral Wiz
2008-01-27, 05:04 PM
By all means, finish your thought. I know what that's like.

Certainly. Sentient races have almost always advanced in class levels as that creates more interesting characters, both from mechanics, and a background perspective.



You were saying that giving monsters class levels gives them more potential. That's flatly untrue though, compared to 4ed. The simple fact is, if Monsters in 3.5e have sets A and B to choose from, of book advancement, and 4e monsters have A and B, and on top oft hat, C, 4e monsters have more potential, because /they have lost nothing/ compared to their previous counter parts.

We're not arguing this point (I think. Don't quote me. When this makes a conclusion that wrecks my argument, I'll come back to you.:smallamused: ).


That would be pretty stupid, really, but I'm pretty sure that they still use d20s for their skill checks, still follow, as a whole, the same basic rules the PCs follow, etc. Srsly, pics or it didn't happen, on this count. Different stat generation, yes, but what those stats mean 'should' be the same for PCs and NPCs.

And different modes of advancment. They have as much similarity to the PCs as the monsters do AFAIK.


That everyone has taken different routes to attain power? I can't speak for everyone, but that doesn't really alienate me one iota.

Alienation is more subtle. There is such a thing as the subconcious.

Besides we haven't seen the structure of 4th edition NPCs. We can't make definitive statments (Yes, I'm guilty of it too. So sue me. ;D) We're working on passing comments.


Well, Scion may have ruined my memory on this, but I'm pretty sure Achilles was a demigod to start with, and STARTED OFF Better then everyone, with being dipped in the river styx just adding to this. You're actually missing the point. Mechanically, this person is better then everyone. It is not difficult to come up with reasons for why this would be.

Err...

I think you're memory is messed up. Then again, my classics are rusty. Help?

And are you saying all PCs should be at Achilles' level?

Mark Hall
2008-01-27, 05:10 PM
Actually, it's surprisingly strongly the other way around, or at least can be: what would be the prime candidate for something that could either perceive everything at once or start perceiving something the instant everyone else stops perceiving it? And would want to? Well, something with omniscience that created the world would be a good start. Hmmmm. What fit that criteria at the time? [grin].

The problem with the argument is that it proceeds from an unsupported conclusion: that objects must be continually perceived in order to exist. It's so deeply rooted in that unsupported premise that if you remove it, you have nothing to support the idea, and your entire framework collapses.

Fax Celestis
2008-01-27, 05:10 PM
And are you saying all PCs should be at Achilles' level?

I'm saying that the PCs are heroes/antiheroes. Maybe not to the level of Achilles, but, fundamentally as heroes, they're better than the rest of the populace. 3.5 did the same thing with NPCs: DMs were supposed to use the 11, 11, 11, 10, 10, 10 (the Commoner) array for any and all NPCs except for extremely significant characters. It provided NPC classes that were basically trash when they came to mechanics because they had nothing that a PC class didn't also have. It even denigrated the income of an NPC to a die roll/fixed rate over a course of time instead of actually working out the math.

Despite their being more NPCs than PCs in any given world, the PCs have and need more attention on them. If the DM were to sit down and perform the day-to-day routine for an NPC, and if there were a metric ton of special PrCs for commoners-only that 99 times out of 100 would never see the light of actual play by a player, and if there were spells and feats and other options available to only NPCs, DMs wouldn't do it because it'd take too much time. The NPC system is a standby and a placeholder for what could be, so that a DM can get to doing something more important, like developing a plot.

Moral Wiz
2008-01-27, 05:12 PM
Loki did not start out as a god, no. Loki became a god because he tricked a god into making him divine. Odysseus never actually had direct divine involvement. Achilles had no artifact: he got dipped in the River of Death. Also, you missed the other half of my statement.

Is there anything there that could not have been done by anyone, if possessing similar skills?

And commenting on the system that you designed is not something that I care to enter into. Besides, it is basically the same system. Many alternate rules, but the same system.

Rutee
2008-01-27, 05:13 PM
Certainly. Sentient races have almost always advanced in class levels as that creates more interesting characters, both from mechanics, and a background perspective.
It only creates more interesting characters from a background perspective if you genuinely believe you need a class to have a character. Is the important part that the Wizard has the number on his character sheet denoting "Wizard levels" increase by one, or that the Wizard's study of the arcane has lead him to become even more competent with it? The former means yes, you NEED the class advancement. The latter means you just need, if anything, more potent arcane abilities.



We're not arguing this point (I think. Don't quote me. When this makes a conclusion that wrecks my argument, I'll come back to you.:smallamused: ).
I accept your apology :smallbiggrin:



And different modes of advancment. They have as much similarity to the PCs as the monsters do AFAIK.
Yes. Yes they do. That is in fact my entire point. You're claiming, or behaving in such a way as to indicate, that different advancement mechanics = COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SYSTEM. No, it doesn't. It means your stats increase in a different method. THat's /all/ it means.




Alienation is more subtle. There is such a thing as the subconcious.
Different roads to power is almost a FEATURE of most of the fiction I /like/. I'm pretty sure this doesn't bother me, seriously.


Besides we haven't seen the structure of 4th edition NPCs. We can't make definitive statments (Yes, I'm guilty of it too. So sue me. ;D) We're working on passing comments.

Err...

[quote]I think you're memory is messed up. Then again, my classics are rusty. Help?

And are you saying all PCs should be at Achilles' level?
Why do people keep putting those words in my mouth? God almighty, some people's children. While I wouldn't mind that one bit, what I'm saying is that the end mechanical result (Person X is a better specimen of his species then 95% of all NPCs, at least) can be arrived at through multiple fluff routes.

Also, half wrong. He was the son of a mortal and a Nymph, not a God, and very mighty.

He was /better/ then a Demigod though (Hector)

Daimbert
2008-01-27, 05:17 PM
The problem with the argument is that it proceeds from an unsupported conclusion: that objects must be continually perceived in order to exist. It's so deeply rooted in that unsupported premise that if you remove it, you have nothing to support the idea, and your entire framework collapses.

Well, I can't explain it all here (you'd have to read his work) but it was based on Berkeley accepting empiricism -- that all we know exists we know through the senses -- and the rejection of materialism because OF empiricism; we have no reason to think that matter exists because we can't perceive it. What we perceive we know and it needs nothing underneath it for us to have that knowledge, and he argued that "matter" was not perceivable. Add to that the rejection that ANY properties of an object are perceived the same regardless of perspective -- ie small things see size, for example, differently than big things do -- and you're pretty much there.

Again, it's WRONG, because that strong of an empiricism is wrong ... but it certainly wasn't an unsupported premise, at least at the time.

Moral Wiz
2008-01-27, 05:17 PM
I'm saying that the PCs are heroes/antiheroes. Maybe not to the level of Achilles, but, fundamentally as heroes, they're better than the rest of the populace. 3.5 did the same thing with NPCs: DMs were supposed to use the 11, 11, 11, 10, 10, 10 (the Commoner) array for any and all NPCs except for extremely significant characters. It provided NPC classes that were basically trash when they came to mechanics because they had nothing that a PC class didn't also have. It even denigrated the income of an NPC to a die roll/fixed rate over a course of time instead of actually working out the math.

Despite their being more NPCs than PCs in any given world, the PCs have and need more attention on them. If the DM were to sit down and perform the day-to-day routine for an NPC, and if there were a metric ton of special PrCs for commoners-only that 99 times out of 100 would never see the light of actual play by a player, and if there were spells and feats and other options available to only NPCs, DMs wouldn't do it because it'd take too much time. The NPC system is a standby and a placeholder for what could be, so that a DM can get to doing something more important, like developing a plot.

I agree with the basic point, in the fact that PCs are better than most NPCs. But are they different? Do they use an entirely alternate system? No.

I'm not arguing about the superiority of PC's (though I would argue it, but it's off topic) I'm arguing that they should work in fundamentally the same way, prehaps with less power, but also with potential for advancement, and the capacity to be the same as PCs.

AFAIK; NPCs now work on an entirly different system. Their power is not what concerns me, more the fact that they work entirely differently (apparently)

Fax Celestis
2008-01-27, 05:18 PM
Is there anything there that could not have been done by anyone, if possessing similar skills?

And commenting on the system that you designed is not something that I care to enter into. Besides, it is basically the same system. Many alternate rules, but the same system.

And what makes you think that WotC will not be doing something similar for NPCs? Show me proof and I'll eat my words, but dollars to doughnuts says that they're doing something similar for NPCs in 4e to what they did in 3e.

Moral Wiz
2008-01-27, 05:27 PM
And what makes you think that WotC will not be doing something similar for NPCs? Show me proof and I'll eat my words, but dollars to doughnuts says that they're doing something similar for NPCs in 4e to what they did in 3e.

I agree. If they do, I have no problem, and it is a possibility. But them not doing such a thing is also a possibly, from what we've been told. It's the second possibility I've been arguing against. If it is, basically, the NPC class system with a lick of paint, I'll be happy. But the system as it might be is enough of a concern that I am arguing at length.

Fax Celestis
2008-01-27, 05:28 PM
I agree. If they do, I have no problem, and it is a possibility. But them not doing such a thing is also a possibly, from what we've been told. It's the second possibility I've been arguing against. If it is, basically, the NPC class system with a lick of paint, I'll be happy. But the system as it might be is enough of a concern that I am arguing at length.

Mind showing me where you got this idea from? I might be better able to quell your fears if so.

thevorpalbunny
2008-01-27, 05:59 PM
The part that really annoys me is that your best friend who studied along with you under your master/fought alongside you with the mercenary company/ grew up on the streets with you
and who learned all the same lessons and is supposed to do the same thing is fundamentally different because you are a PC and he isn't. No mater how much characterization he gets, he doesn't have the same powers as you at the same level. He can be at the same level (probably) or have the same powers (possibly) but not both (almost certainly). He can be a myrmidon, but only you can be Ajax, Odysseus, or Hector.

Also, Odysseus never did anything special other than be on Athena's good side and violently piss off Poseidon. His great deeds were all done with divine help. (This includes the horse, which only worked with Poseidon's help.)

Fax Celestis
2008-01-27, 06:01 PM
Also, Odysseus never did anything special other than be on Athena's good side and violently piss off Poseidon. His great deeds were all done with divine help. (This includes the horse, which only worked with Poseidon's help.)

I'll be forced to disagree, but that's really an argument for another thread.

Neon Knight
2008-01-27, 06:22 PM
Going back a page or two to respond to Mr. Daimbert.


This only works for NPCs that the party will never see again, or for NPCs that, after they leave, will never have an impact on any part of the world that the PCs might encounter. If that isn't the case, then it isn't a waste of thought, since knowing what they would do and how they would do it allows the DM to build up consistency in the story. Inconsistencies break suspension of disbelief, to varying degrees for different people. For example, I could never really get into the movie "Memento". Why? Because I didn't believe that someone with the obvious problems of the main character would be allowed to walk around alone in society. I had the same problem with "Star Trek: Enterprise"; I couldn't see how they could get from there to the Original Series.

I'm probably an extreme case, but it does matter to most people that the world be consistent.


Consistency is a subjective perception. The nature of reality itself, let alone how it functions, is massively debated, and not just in a metaphysical sense. Pop culture has so colored what people think is real and what isn't that consciously attempting to create perfect or even high level consistency or verisimilitude is a forlorn hope at best, in my experience. You can hope for, at best, a moderate level, with many abstractions.

Also, I agree that most people enjoy some verisimilitude or consistency. Just not total. They make allowances.




And the author does that by, in fact, generating back story, and a personality, and running the character forward through events if they think it might matter to the plot. In a book, it's easy for them to do since they control if it matters to the plot or not. In an RPG, it isn't so easy, since the DM has to answer questions from the players as to why it would be the case that someone who was sent to go off and warn the main fortress about an attack -- for example -- never did, or why the fortress doesn't act alarmed, or why the person is there but the fortress isn't on a war footing, etc, etc. The DM ALSO has to deal with players ASSUMING that the NPC would act a certain way, and acting accordingly. If the DM doesn't have a logical and detectable explanation for why that character would do something else, the players will grumble.

If the players want a game where they psychoanalyze the motives of all the major PCs, then by all means oblige them. There are plenty of ways to explain it, however.

And if my players got upset at me because they assumed, then I'd tell them the old adage assume makes an Ass out of u and me. Never assume, for too often do your assumptions prove false, constructed from your limited perspective and biases.



So that the players can figure out how to deal with them without having to have the DM explain PRECISELY how their characters work outside of the game world.

Think about it this way. You could have this conversation in-game:

Player: "How did you do that?"
Villain: "I'm a cleric of [fill in god here]."

At that point, the players pretty much know what they're dealing with. On the other hand:

Player: "How did you do that?"
Villain: "I'm a, uh, uh ..."
DM: "He's a goblin that I gave the ability to cast Cure spells to and turn undead and wildshape, but that's all I gave him. I think. Well, until I decide that he needs something else."


Why didn't the DM just have the villain say "Die, human!" and keep attacking? Why would the villain give information to his enemies?

Besides, the player's don't have to know what they're dealing with. A bit of mystery adds suspense and a bit of tension. You fear must what you don't know or understand.

You seem to act like the PCs have access to a bunch of information or the right to know information that is really more the purview of the DM, like the build of the villian. The PCs deserve to know two things: The information I provide in game, and their character. Everything else is mine, to keep as solid or flexible as I, the DM, desire.



This is all true, but it doesn't impact your argument the way you think it does. They exist to be perceived by players, but players demand consistency in their world. And players can control what they perceive and what they ask about. So creating a living world MEANS keeping the world living and going even when the players aren't directly watching it, or else the players will notice that the world is flat, dull and unchanging ... like the worlds players COMPLAIN about in CRPGs.


Firstly, not all players demand consistency in their world. I have run a psychedelic type game that the players seemed to find very enjoyable.

Secondly, as a DM, I control what they perceive. I tell them what they see, what they find, where they are. And I can construct whatever barriers I see fit to restrain them, and I can do it in a way that can protect your precious consistency/verisimilitude.

Thirdly, I find this obsession with verisimilitude/consistency to be odd. You have no guarantee that the real world will remain consistent. Tomorrow the sun could be purple and I could be a woman. Odds are extremely low, but there is no guarantee.




But the DM had better have a VERY good reason for that personality change, because the players are going to ask and try to find out why ... and if the answer is "Just because" they are going to get very upset. When these sorts of inconsistencies happen in novels we get mad, toss the book against the wall, and stop reading it. Players in RPGs aren't likely to be as happy.


You don't answer "Just because." You answer, "Why did he do it? Why did Tend Bundy and Charles Manson kill their victims? Can anyone really say? Ultimately, a man's mind is his greatest secret." Some things are unknowable. Many mysteries and motives remain unsolved in real life; why not in fantasy? Your characters aren't here to therapeutically counsel the villain, they're here to stop him. Unless all they want to do is psychoanalyze. Then they can play a free form game as psychiatrists.



Yes, but that makes sense; they chose a different profession that better suited their needs, which happens in the real world as well. A far cry from "make up the rules as you go along" and "they should always start and be less powerful than the PC, even if they're supposed to be stronger" types of things.

No it doesn't. Why is a Fighter better than a Warrior? There isn't anything better in the Fighter's training; The background indicates that Fighters come from the same places Warriors do. They're just better because they are PCs.

It only makes sense to you because you have accepted it.


I have to disagree that the system does not affect RP. The only way you can say that is to say that the system does not impact the world at all. Sure, you're right in the sense that the underlying base level mechanics -- how damage is determined, what dice and how many you roll, etc, etc -- don't really impact the world. But how things generally work DOES. If you have a supervillain attacking you -- using M&M as an example -- that is considered to be at a certain power level (or should be, based on back story) and they have higher levels of skills or powers than should be allowed at that level, players will generally cry foul; the enemy is stronger than they are or would be and is better at doing things that they'd do at that level. But the converse is WORSE, and really heavily affects RP: if the character does NOT have abilities that they should have at that power level, the players will think that they're stupid, even if you are trying to portray them as cold, calculating and ruthless. A DM or GM can fix that by giving them a back story where the difference makes sense and works.

Basically, how the world works has to be consistent so that players won't lose their suspension of disbelief, and role playing only occurs where players suspend disbelief, at least for a moment, and act as their CHARACTERS would act. To any extent where the system impacts the world, it adds or subtracts from consistency, and adds or subtracts from immersion, and thus impacts role playing.

(BTW, does this count as proving that RP is affected [grin]?)

So your verisimilitude/consistency is assured by metagaming knowledge? I'm afraid we'll have to agree to disagree, for I find that line of thinking paradoxical in the extreme.

Personally, I believe that the player's attitude towards the game is more important than the game itself. The effort they put into believing or not believing your world is more important than the world itself.


It's really a shame that Berkeley didn't actually argue for that, but instead argued against it since it was ridiculous.



It was a joke, man. I know what George Berkley believed. It's funnier this way, trust me. Even you have to admit humor is allowed to break consistency. Heck, breaking the fourth wall is one of the oldest gags in the book.

Mr. Daimbert, I respect your opinion, and for the most part understand where you come from. Not long ago, I was not so dissimilar from you. I no longer feel the way you do, however.

I am not against verisimilitude when it supports the goal of the game and pleases the players, and I will not sacrifice the player's enjoyment and the goal of the game for the sake of verisimilitude.

Consider it fudging reality instead of a dice roll, if you have to justify it metagamingly.

How should I sum up my feelings? With a song, perhaps!

If you're wondering how he eats and breathes
And other science facts,
(La La La!)
Just repeat to yourself "It's just a show,
I should really just relax

Yup. That'll do.

Mewtarthio
2008-01-27, 06:24 PM
The part that really annoys me is that your best friend who studied along with you under your master/fought alongside you with the mercenary company/ grew up on the streets with you
and who learned all the same lessons and is supposed to do the same thing is fundamentally different because you are a PC and he isn't. No mater how much characterization he gets, he doesn't have the same powers as you at the same level. He can be at the same level (probably) or have the same powers (possibly) but not both (almost certainly). He can be a myrmidon, but only you can be Ajax, Odysseus, or Hector.

Alright, then stat him up as a PC. Is there anything inherently wrong with using whatever streamlined Kwik-NPC system that comes with 4e to quickly generate miscellaneous NPCs, saving the trouble of statting out ten class levels for characters who'll actually use those skills? Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you're making the Bandit King so that the PCs can fight him for a few rounds before killing him, never to see him again, then there's not much of a point in giving his character sheet the same amount of attention you'd give a new PC. Conversely, if someone's intended to be a major recurring character, you might want to prepare all his powers in advance.

Farmer42
2008-01-27, 06:33 PM
Edit: See above post for a better example that beat me to the punch.

Collin152
2008-01-27, 06:59 PM
Well, the same description could be applied to Tieflings, too... At least, the old tieflings, not this mumbo jumbo... Sure, some devils/demons could just lure the human into mating, or maybe some zealots willingly did it, but it doesn't mean the rapes weren't involved... The only difference is, as I see it, that people usually hate orcs/half orcs and fear Tieflings (who would want to mess with an offspring of a devil?), and for the same reason hate them too, but this is just more cooler :D

Tieflings at least get cool powres from being bastards. Half Orcs get nada, bupkis.

VeisuItaTyhjyys
2008-01-27, 07:07 PM
Look at the illustration for Bloodhound from the Complete Adventurer and try and play anything, anything, but a Half Orc for weeks. You can't do it without feeling lame. If you say you can, I will simply believe you are lying.

Collin152
2008-01-27, 07:15 PM
That's how I always try to picture my Half-Orcs. All the other pictures make them look unintelligent and uncharismatic, but really strong, and nothing else.

Waiiiiiiiiit a second...

Cybren
2008-01-27, 07:18 PM
There are multiple stories about how Achilles became invincible, but it's important to remember that in his most famous appearance, the Illiad, he was not invincible at all. A good portion of the poem concerns itself with the fact that Achilles did not have his armor so he could not fight.

Also: was Loki not a giant? Anyway, Norse gods are decidedly less 'divine' than those of other cultures. They were not only capable of dying, but quite aware of the fact.

Regardless, having some level of stats for NPCs I think is important because I don't like to foster the "we're better than everyone else" mentality that most players get, and most people call shenanigans if they run into a shop keeper who happens to be a sorcerer.

Siberys
2008-01-27, 07:18 PM
And who says gnomes areN'T cool have never seen Zilargo.

Fixed it for ya. :smallcool:

Fax Celestis
2008-01-27, 07:21 PM
There are multiple stories about how Achilles became invincible, but it's important to remember that in his most famous appearance, the Illiad, he was not invincible at all. A good portion of the poem concerns itself with the fact that Achilles did not have his armor so he could not fight.

Also: was Loki not a giant? Anyway, Norse gods are decidedly less 'divine' than those of other cultures. They were not only capable of dying, but quite aware of the fact.
I do believe you missed my point.


Regardless, having some level of stats for NPCs I think is important because I don't like to foster the "we're better than everyone else" mentality that most players get, and most people call shenanigans if they run into a shop keeper who happens to be a sorcerer.
If your players call shenanigans on that, hit them with a book. There's no reason one can't be a merchant and a spellcaster.

Cybren
2008-01-27, 07:27 PM
I do believe you missed my point.


If your players call shenanigans on that, hit them with a book. There's no reason one can't be a merchant and a spellcaster.

It somewhat disputed your point that Achilles didn't follow the same rules as everyone else when the most well known and one of the only surviving works about him, he did. (Besides, being a badass didn't require super powers or divine lineages in Greek myth, look at Diomedes. now HE was jawsome)

Fax Celestis
2008-01-27, 07:28 PM
It somewhat disputed your point that Achilles didn't follow the same rules as everyone else when the most well known and one of the only surviving works about him, he did. (Besides, being a badass didn't require super powers or divine lineages in Greek myth, look at Diomedes. now HE was jawsome)

No, no, my point was not about Achilles or any other mythical legend in particular, but more that despite being people like those around them they still didn't play by the same rules--even if it's something so simple as Ajax's size, he's still different in some manner.

Farmer42
2008-01-27, 07:30 PM
They call shenanigans when they enter shop, in theory to buy some weird, mystical, arcane doodad, and when the person selling it to them is an arcanist? Where do they think these things come from? A ring of wishes? Oh, wait... Even your average weapons shop could have a sorcerer there, if for no other reason to call shenanigans on customers who feel the need to buy their goods with a Charm Monster spell, instead of paying.

Cybren
2008-01-27, 07:32 PM
No, no, my point was not about Achilles or any other mythical legend in particular, but more that despite being people like those around them they still didn't play by the same rules--even if it's something so simple as Ajax's size, he's still different in some manner.

One could argue that Jason, Pericles, and the aforementioned Diomedes are examples of Everymen. The everyman is a fairly compelling archetype, especially in recent history. Though I will concede it lends itself better to more modern genres of intrigue and deception rather than D&Ds interpretation of fantasy

Fax Celestis
2008-01-27, 07:35 PM
One could argue that Jason, Pericles, and the aforementioned Diomedes are examples of Everymen. The everyman is a fairly compelling archetype, especially in recent history. Though I will concede it lends itself better to more modern genres of intrigue and deception rather than D&Ds interpretation of fantasy

That is true, though an Everyman archetype character could be displayed within a D&D ruleset by sticking with NPC classes.

The indication I was trying to make was that having separate class/leveling systems for PCs and NPCs isn't a bad thing, since the heroic/average divide segregates the two apart pretty well on its own.

Woot Spitum
2008-01-27, 08:55 PM
The part that really annoys me is that your best friend who studied along with you under your master/fought alongside you with the mercenary company/ grew up on the streets with you
and who learned all the same lessons and is supposed to do the same thing is fundamentally different because you are a PC and he isn't. No mater how much characterization he gets, he doesn't have the same powers as you at the same level. He can be at the same level (probably) or have the same powers (possibly) but not both (almost certainly). He can be a myrmidon, but only you can be Ajax, Odysseus, or Hector.Why should he need stats at all? Stats are only necessary for combat and skill rolls. If he is truly an npc (not simply a second pc under your control, or the pc of someone else in your group), he isn't going to following you everywhere. That means he won't get into combat unless either you attack him, or he attacks you (which, regardless of the rules he's operating under simply reduces him to an encounter to be defeated). He can still do things in the world without the stats. If the DM has him do something(including engage in combat), he succeeds or fails based on whatever serves the DM's plot. Now you might say, "That's not fair, if I get to roll, why shouldn't he?" But the fact of the matter is, if he's not your character, he's under the DM's control, and the DM is the only one who can decide what he does.

Leon
2008-01-27, 08:57 PM
Also quoteing from the first page.


You apearantly don't play WoW then. As there, gnomes Dwarves are about the only good thing the Alliance has.

Fixed it for you

Daimbert
2008-01-27, 08:58 PM
Going back a page or two to respond to Mr. Daimbert.

Consistency is a subjective perception. The nature of reality itself, let alone how it functions, is massively debated, and not just in a metaphysical sense. Pop culture has so colored what people think is real and what isn't that consciously attempting to create perfect or even high level consistency or verisimilitude is a forlorn hope at best, in my experience. You can hope for, at best, a moderate level, with many abstractions.

Also, I agree that most people enjoy some verisimilitude or consistency. Just not total. They make allowances.

I'm afraid I don't see the point. We want at least some form of consistency, and you basically seem, to me, to be claiming that consistency can regularly and even as a default position be tossed aside. Returning to the argument given, that NPCs don't need to follow the same rules as PCs in, at least, having defined professions and back stories that show how they got the abilities they got. The fact that sometimes we don't know what reality is seems rather tangential to that point; you seem to be wanting that to do far more work for you than it's able to.



If the players want a game where they psychoanalyze the motives of all the major PCs, then by all means oblige them. There are plenty of ways to explain it, however.

And if my players got upset at me because they assumed, then I'd tell them the old adage assume makes an Ass out of u and me. Never assume, for too often do your assumptions prove false, constructed from your limited perspective and biases.

Well, first, that was meant more that the DM will have to deal with PCs derailing their plot because they made assumptions that the NPCs acted consistently in the world and act on that. It's more of a problem for you than for them.

Second, it isn't necessarily wanting to psychoanalyze the motives of all the NPCs, but simply wanting them to act like somewhat rational beings (unless that's their schtick, at which point they want them to NOT act that way). Take the fortress example I gave, for instance; if the guy who's supposed to go off and warn the fortress doesn't do it, that raises all sorts of questions if, based on the character and personality that the DM gave him, he very well should have. This can lead players UNINTENTIONALLY down the garden path, to the frustration of all. Unless you can explain it and rework the plot around it, of course. But if that wasn't what you wanted, is that really something that you should want to do regularly, or would it be better to aim to deal with as many of these inconsistencies as you can?



Why didn't the DM just have the villain say "Die, human!" and keep attacking? Why would the villain give information to his enemies?

He wants to gloat?

Note that we shouldn't get too hung up on the villain example, since it could apply to ANY NPC, allied or not.




There's a difference between mystery and confusion. Inconsistency leads to the latter.

Also note that exactly what I said comes into play if you WANT to reveal that information; it is much easier to do if you can map it into the existing class structure.

[QUOTE]You seem to act like the PCs have access to a bunch of information or the right to know information that is really more the purview of the DM, like the build of the villian. The PCs deserve to know two things: The information I provide in game, and their character. Everything else is mine, to keep as solid or flexible as I, the DM, desire.[QUOTE]

The build of the villain isn't required, but surely the PROFESSION is. Note that class has, for the longest time, been kind of an indication of profession.

[QUOTE]Firstly, not all players demand consistency in their world. I have run a psychedelic type game that the players seemed to find very enjoyable.

I won't disagree, but I think that you have to go into the story and game knowing that ... and wanting to sacrifice story to have it. Because plot can't survive too many inconsistencies and still be a plot. You need to have a plot that relies on inconsistencies to make it work.


Secondly, as a DM, I control what they perceive. I tell them what they see, what they find, where they are. And I can construct whatever barriers I see fit to restrain them, and I can do it in a way that can protect your precious consistency/verisimilitude.

Your players are human, and they will in fact go beyond what you want them to do or know. And the more barriers you put in place, the more likely that they will be artificial, and your players will notice them as such. And then the cries of "railroading" come in. And suspension of disbelief is lost.

And that's what happens when you shove features into something that has no background explanation for them; no one can believe that such a thing is possible, or why THEY can't do the same thing.


Thirdly, I find this obsession with verisimilitude/consistency to be odd. You have no guarantee that the real world will remain consistent. Tomorrow the sun could be purple and I could be a woman. Odds are extremely low, but there is no guarantee.

This is a rather odd defense, since most of the people examining that issue end up arguing that we view and should continue to view the world as being that consistent because we couldn't function if we didn't (Kant being the biggest example). Arguing that, then, seems to be arguing that it's okay if a world acts in a manner that humans simply couldn't cope with in general, or at least not for very long.


You don't answer "Just because." You answer, "Why did he do it? Why did Tend Bundy and Charles Manson kill their victims? Can anyone really say? Ultimately, a man's mind is his greatest secret." Some things are unknowable. Many mysteries and motives remain unsolved in real life; why not in fantasy? Your characters aren't here to therapeutically counsel the villain, they're here to stop him. Unless all they want to do is psychoanalyze. Then they can play a free form game as psychiatrists.

The example that you used to say this was NOT limited to villains. And if you do that with every villain, your campaigns will be boring since the villains will generally be too similar. And in addition, you may want to reveal things about the villain (or any other NPC) and if you contradict it later it may not go over well. It can be done effectively, but it's hard to do. Better to build consistency in and a CHARACTER in and then deviate only when required.


No it doesn't. Why is a Fighter better than a Warrior? There isn't anything better in the Fighter's training; The background indicates that Fighters come from the same places Warriors do. They're just better because they are PCs.

It only makes sense to you because you have accepted it.

So NPC Fighters wouldn't be better than Warriors?

There is a difference in how things are chosen that can be easily spun into the story. Warriors are not Fighters, and so there is something in either their training, dedication to it, or what happens in their daily lives AS that class that justifies the difference in ability. And this happens in the real world. A data entry clerk and a computer programmer may have VERY similar training, but the programmer is far better with a computer than the entry clerk, due to dedication to the job and what they do in real life every day.

In short, it makes sense because it happens. There wouldn't be a different name for the class if it wasn't different.


So your verisimilitude/consistency is assured by metagaming knowledge? I'm afraid we'll have to agree to disagree, for I find that line of thinking paradoxical in the extreme.

No. The things that we are talking about are not strictly metagaming, but impact the world (as I said). Class/profession is one. Powers in M&M are another. How they work out and are selected matter and have impacts in the world. Breaking the consistency rules about them leaves the player trying to figure out when which rule OF THE WORLD applies. That breaks suspension of disbelief, since we generally don't have to do that.


Personally, I believe that the player's attitude towards the game is more important than the game itself. The effort they put into believing or not believing your world is more important than the world itself.

The less effort they have to put into believing your world, the better the world and the role playing is. If they don't WANT to believe the world, that's fine, but then they don't want to role play either. For anyone else, the less effort they have to spend believing the world is effort they can put into ENJOYING it. And that's a good thing.


It was a joke, man. I know what George Berkley believed. It's funnier this way, trust me. Even you have to admit humor is allowed to break consistency. Heck, breaking the fourth wall is one of the oldest gags in the book.

I agree about how the humour works out better that way, but only mentioned it because it is a common misconception about his views.


Mr. Daimbert, I respect your opinion, and for the most part understand where you come from. Not long ago, I was not so dissimilar from you. I no longer feel the way you do, however.

I am not against verisimilitude when it supports the goal of the game and pleases the players, and I will not sacrifice the player's enjoyment and the goal of the game for the sake of verisimilitude.

I agree, but this isn't the issue that we are disagreeing on. I want to start from consistency and bring in inconsistencies and differences when required; you seem to want to start from "I'll do whatever I want" and add it and back stories later as required. And mostly what I'll say about that is that some DMs may be able to pull your way off, but almost all will be able to put something decent together using my method.

Neon Knight
2008-01-27, 10:34 PM
I'm afraid I don't see the point. We want at least some form of consistency, and you basically seem, to me, to be claiming that consistency can regularly and even as a default position be tossed aside. Returning to the argument given, that NPCs don't need to follow the same rules as PCs in, at least, having defined professions and back stories that show how they got the abilities they got. The fact that sometimes we don't know what reality is seems rather tangential to that point; you seem to be wanting that to do far more work for you than it's able to.


I'm saying that if you try for 100% true, perfect consistency, you won't be able to find a consistency that is 100% perfect for everybody, since consistency is a somewhat subjective quality. It had nothing to do with the debate and was a comment on the fondness/requirement for consistency that you were displaying.

You can look at a fictional world and say, "That's consistent," and someone else will come along and find what are to them a dozen inconsistencies. I'm saying universal consistency that everyone can agree on does not exist for the most part.



Well, first, that was meant more that the DM will have to deal with PCs derailing their plot because they made assumptions that the NPCs acted consistently in the world and act on that. It's more of a problem for you than for them.


Well, that's if you designed your plot in such a way that derailment is possible; I tend to try to make mine extremely open ended and not have any conclusion or path in mind. I try to set the scene up, but then leave a point where the scene cannot continue until the PCs take some action, any action; and then proceed from there.

And I've never found derailment that difficult at all to handle. It's not the black plague.



Second, it isn't necessarily wanting to psychoanalyze the motives of all the NPCs, but simply wanting them to act like somewhat rational beings (unless that's their schtick, at which point they want them to NOT act that way). Take the fortress example I gave, for instance; if the guy who's supposed to go off and warn the fortress doesn't do it, that raises all sorts of questions if, based on the character and personality that the DM gave him, he very well should have. This can lead players UNINTENTIONALLY down the garden path, to the frustration of all. Unless you can explain it and rework the plot around it, of course. But if that wasn't what you wanted, is that really something that you should want to do regularly, or would it be better to aim to deal with as many of these inconsistencies as you can?


You can always say he was a double agent putting on an act, or he was one of three dozen shape shifters that DnD has.

But I think this part of the discussion has sort of gotten off the point. The original statement I made was that a character needs no background unless said background is to be revealed to the players. This example isn't about that statement.

And besides, I've never had problems with players going off the beaten path. Like I said before, derailment isn't a real big deal to me.



He wants to gloat?

Note that we shouldn't get too hung up on the villain example, since it could apply to ANY NPC, allied or not.

There's a difference between mystery and confusion. Inconsistency leads to the latter.

Also note that exactly what I said comes into play if you WANT to reveal that information; it is much easier to do if you can map it into the existing class structure.

The build of the villain isn't required, but surely the PROFESSION is. Note that class has, for the longest time, been kind of an indication of profession.


The difference between mystery and confusion is that mystery has joy in it and confusion doesn't. Inconsistency leads only to confusion if you are madly in love with consistency. Or if you get upset easy. Or if you don't like knowing things.

Why do the PCs need to know his profession? And why would I want to reveal information about his build? Besides, just because I go outside the existing class structure doesn't make the abilities I give him super difficult to remember. Some people find the class structure pretty dang clumsy when you get right down to it.

Reminds me of Mass Effect. You ask the great deliverer of exposition why the big bad does what he does, and he replies your god isn't to understand the enemy, its to blow him to hell and back.

The last point is... true. Core DnD seems to assume class is a profession. I don't run it that way, and I believe I know some people who also ignore the class = profession. Because some people are not beholden to professions. And because Adventurer is a profession that can utilize a wide set of skills. And because some characters call for a diverse skill set not represented by any of the standard classes (and I don't believe in home brewing a class for every single stinking profession out there.)



I won't disagree, but I think that you have to go into the story and game knowing that ... and wanting to sacrifice story to have it. Because plot can't survive too many inconsistencies and still be a plot. You need to have a plot that relies on inconsistencies to make it work.


Plot is. I don't think it relies on either consistencies or inconsistencies.




Your players are human, and they will in fact go beyond what you want them to do or know. And the more barriers you put in place, the more likely that they will be artificial, and your players will notice them as such. And then the cries of "railroading" come in. And suspension of disbelief is lost.

And that's what happens when you shove features into something that has no background explanation for them; no one can believe that such a thing is possible, or why THEY can't do the same thing.


Throwing barriers into the PCs path is an art form. I haven't mastered it, but I think have picked up a few tricks. Giving the PCs a red herring, looping the side track back into the main plot, allowing the side path to run for a bit, then seemingly completing it, leaving the PCs to return to the main quest...

All could be considered a form or barrier, because in the end I am blocking them. I'm just being a bit more subtle. Just outright saying "You can't do that," isn't subtle or needlessly complicated enough for my tastes.

They can't do the same thing because I say so. And I am God, Nature, and Chance.

"Why can't I play the guitar?" I ask to the world in real life. And the answer? Because it is not your nature.

The PCs nature is to be bound to the rules as written. That's their lot in life, and if they accept that, no problems with consistency or verisimilitude. If you accept that not everyone is created equal, that some people are stronger, or faster, or out right better than you, then you can accept me giving a level 1 NPC Fighter the Combat Brute Tactical Feat to represent both his relative mortality and his fighting style. Or just keeping his stats a nebulous abstract.

Like I said, believe a fictional universe is all about one's willingness to swallow the pill, and nothing to do with the pill itself. If people can believe CSI, they can believe anything.



This is a rather odd defense, since most of the people examining that issue end up arguing that we view and should continue to view the world as being that consistent because we couldn't function if we didn't (Kant being the biggest example). Arguing that, then, seems to be arguing that it's okay if a world acts in a manner that humans simply couldn't cope with in general, or at least not for very long.


It wasn't a defense. It was questioning, "Why do you like consistency so much, when consistency itself may not be so consistent? Why are you so enamored with consistency?"

When I was all on fire for verisimilitude and consistency, it was because I was a snobbish jerk and thought it made my tastes superior to all those people who loved "The Matrix." I don't think that is the case with you, so I was honestly musing aloud, and giving the reason that I don't find verisimilitude/ consistency to be that beneficial or enthralling; because I find that quality to be inconsistent and a bit subjective.



The example that you used to say this was NOT limited to villains. And if you do that with every villain, your campaigns will be boring since the villains will generally be too similar. And in addition, you may want to reveal things about the villain (or any other NPC) and if you contradict it later it may not go over well. It can be done effectively, but it's hard to do. Better to build consistency in and a CHARACTER in and then deviate only when required.


That presumes that the villains are what make the campaign interesting. I've played campaigns with somewhat meh villains or non-existent abstract villains that were fantastic.



So NPC Fighters wouldn't be better than Warriors?

There is a difference in how things are chosen that can be easily spun into the story. Warriors are not Fighters, and so there is something in either their training, dedication to it, or what happens in their daily lives AS that class that justifies the difference in ability. And this happens in the real world. A data entry clerk and a computer programmer may have VERY similar training, but the programmer is far better with a computer than the entry clerk, due to dedication to the job and what they do in real life every day.

In short, it makes sense because it happens. There wouldn't be a different name for the class if it wasn't different.


There are a heck of a lot more Warriors than Fighters. Given Medieval Europe's tendency to favor small professional armies dedicated to fighting, and DnDs tendency to emulate that, you'd think there would be a lot more professional fighters.

Fighters and Warriors go through the same training. The difference is that Fighters come out awesome and warriors come out meh.

One of the options for the Fighter's background suggested in the PHB is, if I recall correctly, army experience or a war academy. In other words, what warriors do. But a level 1 Fighter is much better than a level 1 Warrior.

And what about the Adept? They have this whole religion thing going on. Why aren't they Clerics? Because Clerics are reserved for awesome people- PCs, important NPCs, and Villains. And Monsters.

You can say effort, but the ratio of PC classed people to NPC classed People in the DMG doesn't back you up unless you think the majority of the populace is lazy and can't be bothered to do their job professionally.



No. The things that we are talking about are not strictly metagaming, but impact the world (as I said). Class/profession is one. Powers in M&M are another. How they work out and are selected matter and have impacts in the world. Breaking the consistency rules about them leaves the player trying to figure out when which rule OF THE WORLD applies. That breaks suspension of disbelief, since we generally don't have to do that.


Why are they thinking about metagame at all? The only time I want my players thinking about rules is combat and skill checks, and then only the ones that relate to themselves. Otherwise, forget the mechanics.

If a player gets hit and starts mentally calculating what level and what strength the enemy had to hit him, I think that is a problem with the player's attitude.



The less effort they have to put into believing your world, the better the world and the role playing is. If they don't WANT to believe the world, that's fine, but then they don't want to role play either. For anyone else, the less effort they have to spend believing the world is effort they can put into ENJOYING it. And that's a good thing.


I do not believe you can significantly affect the level of effort someone has to exert to believe something.



I agree, but this isn't the issue that we are disagreeing on. I want to start from consistency and bring in inconsistencies and differences when required; you seem to want to start from "I'll do whatever I want" and add it and back stories later as required. And mostly what I'll say about that is that some DMs may be able to pull your way off, but almost all will be able to put something decent together using my method.

You can't make that statement with any sort of certainty. Some people absolutely despise planning. Can't decide anything till they are right there in the moment. You method wouldn't work for them.

Yahzi
2008-01-27, 11:43 PM
Maybe I'm just misunderstanding the intent, but morality being defined by the players? Not to turn this into an alignment thread, but I'm just not getting that one at all.
I meant that the only moral agents are the players: NPCs are to be helped or harmed based on their position in the plot, not based on their identity as individuals. The classic example is the party Rogue/Assassin, who is expected to steal from and murder NPCs, but would be "crossing the line" if he/she did the same to the PC Paladin.

If the players never, ever take the side of an NPC against another player, then that's an example of what I mean.

Zeful
2008-01-28, 12:02 AM
I'm not particularly mad at wizard. But I can't be certain until the game (or the adventure game) shows up on the shelves. However I can say that I have opinions on some things they've done...

...for good
1. Sorcerers are their own class! not some silly off shoot of wizards.
2. They got rid of gnomes (I never did like them with the quick changing fluff)
3. Humans aren't perfect anymore.
4. Combined many similar concepts from different books and folded them together (binder, Warlock, Turenamer become Warlock)
5. Cut down the strength of CoDzilla, and the Batman Wizard.
6. Loss of most Save-or-Dies.
7. Easier multiclassing
8. Making paladins fit more within their niche.

...for not so good
1. Adding Dragonborn as a core playable race. I'm good with elves so this isn't an issue.
2. Adding Warlock as a core class, but I'll probably never play one so *shruggs*
3. Dwarves losing Darkvision.

...for bad
1. Removing Sorcerer from core. They were the only cool class besides the Rogue.
2. Wizard implements, I may not like the book worms but I don't think anyone deserves to be related in image or mechanics to Harry Potter
3. Adding the Tiefling. It's hard enough to convince new players to join without the 'demonic influence' in the game (though that may be a boon where I go to school.)
4. Removing the Half-races. Half elves were a great race and Half-orcs were cool.

Crow
2008-01-28, 12:10 AM
3. Humans aren't perfect anymore.

Can you explain this a little more, or point me in the right direction? How are humans perfect?

Theli
2008-01-28, 12:47 AM
Can you explain this a little more, or point me in the right direction? How are humans perfect?

They are supposedly now given the flaw of "corruptible", or easily led toward evil.

Source is the Races and Classes preview book.

Yahzi
2008-01-28, 01:02 AM
Well, that's if you designed your plot in such a way that derailment is possible; I tend to try to make mine extremely open ended and not have any conclusion or path in mind.
Ok...


your god isn't to understand the enemy, its to blow him to hell and back.
Well, open-ended as long as they stick to just blowing things up.


They can't do the same thing because I say so. And I am God, Nature, and Chance.
That is, blowing up things you want them to blow up.


"Why can't I play the guitar?" I ask to the world in real life. And the answer? Because it is not your nature.
Really? I thought the answer was because you didn't bother to exert yourself and learn.

I guess Carlos Santana is great because it's in his nature. Years of practice, study, and effort, aren't important; and if someone else were to devote the same energy to it, they still wouldn't be able to play guitar.


The PCs nature is to be bound to the rules as written.
Except you've just said they're bound to the rules you make up.


If you accept that not everyone is created equal, that some people are stronger, or faster, or out right better than you,
I thought the point of the rules was to represent someone who is better than you by giving them more levels.

What you are saying is that, in your world, if a level 1 NPC can kick a level 10 player's ass, your players have no right to complain. And if the next level 1 NPC turns out to be a complete push-over, your players still can't complain.


Like I said, believe a fictional universe is all about one's willingness to swallow the pill,
Not quite. Suspension of disbelief requires some effort on the part of the narrator, too. You can't make up just any stupid crap and then blame your audience when they don't buy it.


When I was all on fire for verisimilitude and consistency, it was because I was a snobbish jerk and thought it made my tastes superior to all those people who loved "The Matrix."
Hmm. I may have liked that version of you better. "The Matrix" made me gag. :smallbiggrin:


And what about the Adept?
The only excuse I can think of for this class is, "Let's give the PCs a really easy encounter. One that makes legless rabbits seem challenging."


They have this whole religion thing going on. Why aren't they Clerics? Because Clerics are reserved for awesome people- PCs, important NPCs, and Villains. And Monsters.
Yes, I definitely like the consistency-rant version of Kasrkin better. :smallbiggrin:


The only time I want my players thinking about rules is combat and skill checks, and then only the ones that relate to themselves.
Then you're pushing your players right onto the rails. Iron-hard rails. "Shut up and hit what you're told to hit!"

I want my players to understand how the universe works, so they can forge their own place in it. If that involves hitting things, ok. If it involves casting Plant Growth so the peasants don't starve, ok.


I do not believe you can significantly affect the level of effort someone has to exert to believe something.
You know what that sounds like? That sounds like consistency-Kasrkin has totally given up, and gone off on a sulk about how incredibly simple-minded and stupid people are. Which, of course, is basically true; but it's no reason to lower yourself to their standards. Bring back consistency-Kasrkin! :smallsmile:

Reinboom
2008-01-28, 01:42 AM
I normally avoid when these topics delve into the realms of gigantic rants.. but.. I need to comment on this..


If a player gets hit and starts mentally calculating what level and what strength the enemy had to hit him, I think that is a problem with the player's attitude.


If a player starts mentally calculating it, and applies that knowledge in a metagame fashion that their character would not otherwise be able to assume, you mean, against the DM's wishes. Right?

Because, I calculate game mechanics in my head a lot on the spot. I do so for fun. It is fun. Is it an attitude issue if I'm having my own version of fun that isn't hurting anyone? No.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a player recognizing something as a player. It's applying that recognition. And even against certain DMs, it's not wrong.
Because everybody plays differently.

Aside... for the real topic.

I actually like a lot of wizards is doing currently. It's different. I want to see how this new system develops, might produce more interesting ideas.

Ominous
2008-01-28, 02:53 AM
I see that other people here are Dresden Kodak fans.

Khanderas
2008-01-28, 08:48 AM
If the NPCs and the PC function under different rules, then there should be a reason, why is one wizard better than all the other ones
from
EEBecause he works harder? Because he's more dedicated? Because he was born with more natural talent? Because he had better teachers? Because his motivations were pure?

See, all these explanations work regardless of what system you play. They even work in a systemless game or even a novel.

Whereas if we go for a D&D exclusive explanation it becomes: because he was built using LogicNinja's guide to wizards. So in my view, justifying power levels based exclusively on the rules actually hurts empathy and immersion.
I wouldn't say the PC wizard works harder, but rather he kills more goblins then the NPC wizard who actually studies.

Starbuck_II
2008-01-28, 09:23 AM
The build of the villain isn't required, but surely the PROFESSION is. Note that class has, for the longest time, been kind of an indication of profession.

Only to Metagamers:
A Warrior type could be a Ranger, a Fighter, a Barbarian, etc.
I've never believed Warrior type =Fighter since 2.d edition.
Heck, in Buldar's Gate 2 the PC my favorite warrior is a Ranger named Minsc (plus Boo's cool).

I've never understood why people must stick square pegs in round holes.


So NPC Fighters wouldn't be better than Warriors?

Yes, that is why PC classed NPC CR is higher than NPC classed NPC CR.



There is a difference in how things are chosen that can be easily spun into the story. Warriors are not Fighters, and so there is something in either their training, dedication to it, or what happens in their daily lives AS that class that justifies the difference in ability. And this happens in the real world. A data entry clerk and a computer programmer may have VERY similar training, but the programmer is far better with a computer than the entry clerk, due to dedication to the job and what they do in real life every day.

In short, it makes sense because it happens. There wouldn't be a different name for the class if it wasn't different.

But a warrior you fight might be a Fighter and you'd never know. All the Players know is the guy has good fighting ability. Not like they see enemy feats.



No. The things that we are talking about are not strictly metagaming, but impact the world (as I said). Class/profession is one. Powers in M&M are another. How they work out and are selected matter and have impacts in the world. Breaking the consistency rules about them leaves the player trying to figure out when which rule OF THE WORLD applies. That breaks suspension of disbelief, since we generally don't have to do that.

No, Fighters and all other warrior types have same ;profession: they can't all be square pegs for round holes.

Lord_Drayakir
2008-01-28, 11:25 AM
Well, Wizards is a company, so they're trying to make money. If it means re=packaging things we like, turning them bad, and selling them to us- well, we can't really blame them. Otherwise they'd go out of business, like TSR did.

horseboy
2008-01-28, 12:36 PM
But a warrior you fight might be a Fighter and you'd never know. All the Players know is the guy has good fighting ability. Not like they see enemy feats.
But they do know the repercussions of feats. If the barbarian's charge is interrupted by the half-orc with the spiked chain. The players will know the half-orc has EWP: Spiked Chain, Hold the line, Improved Trip, Combat Expertise and probably Combat Reflexes.

Woot Spitum
2008-01-28, 01:24 PM
But they do know the repercussions of feats. If the barbarian's charge is interrupted by the half-orc with the spiked chain. The players will know the half-orc has EWP: Spiked Chain, Hold the line, Improved Trip, Combat Expertise and probably Combat Reflexes.Of course, if the player acts on this information, he's metagaming. And it is the DM's constitutional right to smite metagamers.:smallamused:

Theli
2008-01-28, 01:40 PM
That is an interesting question.

One person moving near an opponent was obviously stopped against their will by the reactive actions of that opponent. Must all the players then pretend that their characters wouldn't realize that any more movements around this opponent will likely be stopped as well?

I think it's debatable...

Greenfaun
2008-01-28, 01:43 PM
What mentally stable, happy, person would sign up for a job with a mortality rate of 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999% ?

So you're saying that only 1 in 10^255 adventurers ascends to godhood and never dies? I think that's an egregiously low estimate. surely it's more on the order of 1 in 10^10, although that's just a guess too. To actually estimate it you'd need to decide which fantasy world you're operating in (at least 3 instances of mortals ascending to godlike status in Greyhawk, at least 3 instances in Forgotten Realms, at least 1 in Eberron, but probably more in each) and what percentage of the normal population can be called adventurers, and then compare those numbers to the total number of people who've ever lived in that world (another estimate, surely) and I'd be very surprised if it takes more than a billion adventurers to produce one apotheosis.

And besides, even with crappy odds like that, every other profession has a 100% mortality rate. Ya never hear of street-sweepers ascending to godhood, do ya?

(FWIW, this isn't intended as a threadcrap, although I can see how it might possibly be taken that way. I made this post for the following reasons:
1. I honestly think it's funny, I was giggling to myself writing it, and hopefully there are other forumgoers as nerdy as me, and
2. Significant digits matter. )

Newtkeeper
2008-01-28, 01:46 PM
Well, Wizards is a company, so they're trying to make money. If it means re=packaging things we like, turning them bad, and selling them to us- well, we can't really blame them. Otherwise they'd go out of business, like TSR did.

Ahh, if there was no such thing as a successful, moral, pro-customer RPG company, that would be a valid argument. Better bad RPG than no RPG after all. On the other hand, there are some RPG companies that care about continuity and customers.

As for my personal feelings:

I have never played a gnome. Still, I will miss them. They survived for too long to be cast away- they are part of DnD.


Yes, I know they will be in the MM. Problem: that may quite possibly deny them the spiffy racial class abilities we're told about. If not, well and good, but I worry.

Yes, I know they plan on releasing further PHBs. Problem: quite apart from having to wait for my techno-midgets, they may or may not release the later PHBs as OGL. If they do, well and good, but I worry.

I would worry less if I thought I could trust WotC. I just feel I can't. "There are no plans for a fourths edition at this time", anyone?


It's not for the gnomes I mourn. It's for the traditions, that lasted so long. Gnomes are just a part of it. RIP: Blood War, Great Wheel, Faerun as We Know It, Gnomes. We'll miss your officialness, old chaps. Still, they will live on for as long as a DM decides he'll keep them. They can take my gnome stats, but they can't take my fluff! (for that matter, they can't even make me convert...)

VanBuren
2008-01-28, 02:55 PM
I would worry less if I thought I could trust WotC. I just feel I can't. "There are no plans for a fourths edition at this time", anyone?

Not that I know the context, but this quote doesn't mean that a 4th edition wasn't coming, just that it wasn't being thought of at the time.


It's not for the gnomes I mourn. It's for the traditions, that lasted so long. Gnomes are just a part of it. RIP: Blood War, Great Wheel, Faerun as We Know It, Gnomes. We'll miss your officialness, old chaps. Still, they will live on for as long as a DM decides he'll keep them. They can take my gnome stats, but they can't take my fluff! (for that matter, they can't even make me convert...)

As much as I like to believe in 4E, the lack of Great Wheel and Blood War does bother me.

SimperingToad
2008-01-28, 07:19 PM
I meant that the only moral agents are the players: NPCs are to be helped or harmed based on their position in the plot, not based on their identity as individuals. The classic example is the party Rogue/Assassin, who is expected to steal from and murder NPCs, but would be "crossing the line" if he/she did the same to the PC Paladin.

If the players never, ever take the side of an NPC against another player, then that's an example of what I mean.

I'm sure every DM would hope that the PCs would react properly for the sake of plot, but players are a fickle lot.

I can see where you are coming from, but I think you may have some role reversal going on. PCs don't know if the NPCs are part of the plot. The DM does. They are his PCs to a small degree (usually for one, possibly several encounters). The actual PCs have no choice but to deal with NPCs on an individual basis, as they may be just random passersby (a thief does not always pick the pocket of a plot-leading NPC). DM usage may vary wildly on this, however.

While intra-party exchanges are quite often bad form, I can see where an enterprising DM might utilize a player to be enemy from within. Everyone suspects the NPC as being a possible plant, but not a PC. The assassin you mentioned would be a great plant for a DM trying to 'disgrace' the paladin (ah, the doppleganger scenario). It does have the unfortunate side-effect of passed notes or talk sessions out of game at the table, though. Acceptance of this method varies from group to group.

Regards,
theToad