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Tabletop Randomness

All discussions regarding Board, Card, and RPG Gaming, including industry discussion, that don't belong in one of the other gaming forums.

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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by hepcat » Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:46 pm

Speaking of which, I just got the Ferengi and Cardassian expansions. We need an epic Star Trek night.
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by hepcat » Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:07 pm

Great article on Richard Berg's notoriously tough Campaign for North Africa.

It's pretty funny to read Berg reacting to news that people tried to play his game to completion.
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:14 pm

:shock: :lol:

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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by $iljanus » Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:15 pm

hepcat wrote:Great article on Richard Berg's notoriously tough Campaign for North Africa.

It's pretty funny to read Berg reacting to news that people tried to play his game to completion.
Even though it wasn't quite true in real life I loved the "pasta" modifier.
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by Moat_Man » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:26 pm

Great read. Thanks for the link.
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by MonkeyFinger » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:52 pm

hepcat wrote:Great article on Richard Berg's notoriously tough Campaign for North Africa.

It's pretty funny to read Berg reacting to news that people tried to play his game to completion.
I never did... and still have my copy. 8-)
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by Jaymann » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:46 pm

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Re: Gaming randomness

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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by Paingod » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:37 pm

Shortly before Christmas I was talking old games with my 9 year old. We got to discussing Magic: The Gathering and I dusted off my cards to show him what the game is about. I've been playing since Arabian Knights, but took a couple decades off in between then and now. I don't have any of the cards I did then (I foolishly sold them) but have collected the odd themed deck here and there over the years.

He loved it and asks to play daily now. I'm feeling the black-hole pull of this game tugging at my core. It wants to devour my bank account and I'm having trouble resisting pouring money into buying up a few sets I find interesting just based on theme, like Eldritch Moon. I don't even have anyone to play with aside from the kid. I have two more decks arriving today and a booster box for the Egyptian-themed set to try and get my Egypt-loving wife ensnared.

May the Gods help me... what have I unleashed. :doh:
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by YellowKing » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:51 pm

One of my resolutions for the New Year is to do a better job of not buying games before I'm finished with the ones I have. I did a MUCH better job of this in 2017 than I did in 2016, but I was far from perfect.

It's unrealistic to expect I'll finish every game in my backlog before something new and shiny comes along, and I don't like setting unrealistic goals since you just set yourself up for failure.

So my goal is to approach this much as one would approach cleaning out the garage:

- Categorize each game into "Keep," "Try, "or "Throw Out (Archive)"
- Those in the "Throw Out" pile go out of sight out of mind and I no longer consider part of the backlog.
- Those in the "Try" category I'll give an honest shot. If it grabs me, I'll move it to "Keep." Otherwise it goes into "Throw Out."
- Those in the "Keep" pile will be the ones I play daily.
- I pledge not to buy a new game until I've finished 3 Keepers. At first I was considering a 1:2 ratio, but I don't think that's aggressive enough to winnow even the "Keepers" backlog down.

We'll see how it goes. I'm pretty optimistic. I did fairly well last year even without a system, so this should really help keep me disciplined.

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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by coopasonic » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:13 pm

Since I throw out most everything, it's easy to keep up with my backlog. The Yogscast Humble Bundle added about 50 games to my "Not Interested" category on steam. My backlog did grow due to Wishlistmas, but I am making good progress on two of those. I have already gotten my benefactor's money's worth on Slayaway Camp (hey that was you, YK, thanks) and I am really enjoying Valkyria Chronicles as well.
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by Blackhawk » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:26 pm

And Asmodee continues to play life-sized Monopoly by buying Mayfair and Lookout Games.

Hope you have a B&M store nearby.
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by hentzau » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:30 pm

Huge soft spot in my heart for Mayfair. Did some work for them in the late 90's, and Empire Builder is one of my top 10 games.
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by AWS260 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:37 am

An interesting article on the financial difficulties at Failbetter, the developer of Sunless Sea and Sunless Skies.
Eurogamer was alerted to the upcoming layoffs and complaints of poor management at the studio several weeks ago, and over the past month I have spoken with around a dozen Failbetter staff, past and present, both before and after the company made its public announcement. These claims have found voice in Failbetter's former boss Alexis Kennedy, who left the company in 2016 but has remained close to the team he founded, and a number of others who have chosen to speak out but wished to remain anonymous for the sake of their careers. These complaints have also, it is equally worth noting, been broadly denied by the studio's board and the majority of other Failbetter staff continuing at the studio.

The claims paint a complex picture of a studio where a number of staff felt unhappy with the overall progress of Sunless Skies and with Failbetter's board for acting too slowly or too cautiously to avoid the current layoffs. But the picture is not black and white, it's hard to pinpoint where and when mistakes could have been corrected, and there are plenty of voices still keen to speak up and defend their team as it navigates a period of significant internal change.

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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by AWS260 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:07 pm

RockPaperShotgun is now owned by Comic Con. Basically.
Press release wrote:ReedPOP Acquires Gamer Network to Create the World's Leading Events and Media Group for the Gaming Community

Home of EGX, Eurogamer, RockPaperShotgun, and GamesIndustry.biz Teams Up with producer of PAX and New York Comic Con to Become Games Industry's Coolest Events and Digital Specialist

26 February, 2018 - Norwalk, CT and Brighton, UK -- ReedPOP, the world's largest producer of games and pop culture live events, is adding Gamer Network and its portfolio of leading events, websites, and video channels to its portfolio. The addition of Gamer Network marks ReedPOP's first expansion beyond the event production business.

Gamer Network is home to leading editorial and community websites and YouTube channels, including internationally renowned flagship brands Eurogamer, RockPaperShotgun, GamesIndustry.biz, VG247, Outside Xbox, Digital Foundry and USgamer. The company also organises the UK's biggest games event, EGX and the world class indie games event, EGX Rezzed.

The acquisition of Gamer Network by ReedPOP, a boutique group within Reed Exhibitions, part of RELX Group, will take effect immediately.

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Re: Gaming randomness

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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by Daehawk » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:27 pm

No one has ever beat the living shit out of that guy?
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by TheMix » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:28 pm

Daehawk wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:27 pm
No one has ever beat the living shit out of that guy?
Psst. Look at the other articles on that site. It's comedy. (Not to say that people like that don't exist, though.)
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by Daehawk » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:31 pm

TheMix wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:28 pm
Daehawk wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:27 pm
No one has ever beat the living shit out of that guy?
Psst. Look at the other articles on that site. It's comedy. (Not to say that people like that don't exist, though.)
Ah I see. Actually knew people like that. Not THAT bad but in that camp of constantly bitching during games. So figured a 5 hours game of it would be easy for some jerk lol.
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by Smoove_B » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:17 pm

Not a new article (July, 2017), but it's the first I'm seeing it - How Inmates Play Tabletop RPGs in Prison. Not something I'd ever thought about, but impressive. Also, if I'm ever incarcerated, I suppose now I have something to bargain - my skillz as a DM.
There are endless materials around the prison that can be carved into dice, like soap, aspirin, and deodorant. "Trying to remember which numbers go on which side is the hard part," reflects Gabriel R., a former inmate from Pennsylvania.
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by Smoove_B » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:24 pm

Not sure if anyone is following it, but I guess Pathfinder is launching a second edition system this summer - the original is now 10 years old. More information here, including how to get involved with a play test to provide feedback before the August launch.
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:45 pm

So, D&D 3.875?
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by LordMortis » Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:48 pm

Is that how numbering works or is that D&D 3.752?

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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:30 pm

I went with 3 7/8.

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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by Smoove_B » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:07 pm

Monsterpoclypse coming back this Fall! I have so much stuff - I hope it's all compatible!

EDIT: Of course it's not. Just seeing now the new models will be build your own and paint them and they're slightly bigger. That is...unfortunate. But I guess if you want to build and paint your own Kaiju figures, it will be awesome
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by hepcat » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:22 pm

Well crap. I still have a core box. Ah well, at least I didn’t go crazy with it at the time. I’ll have to check out the reboot when it arrives.
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by Smoove_B » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:49 pm

I did go a but nutty and have a ton of stuff. Too much, probably. My buddy and I were just talking about busting it all out and trying to play it again. Its a damn fun game. I hope someone figures out how to apply the new rules to the old stuff because I just can't re-purchase all the stuff I already have.
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by Smoove_B » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:44 am

LordMortis wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:48 pm
Is that how numbering works or is that D&D 3.752?
Just as a follow up, the Bell of Lost Souls posted an article trying to potentially compare the two - D&D 5th edition and what will with Pathfinder 2.0. Haven't played either one (or at least even a base game of Pathfinder), it's hard for me to understand or appreciate many of the references, but I did find this interesting:
But Pathfinder 2.0 is coming out at a time when RPGs are in a 2nd (or 3rd, maybe even 4th) golden age. More people now are playing them than ever before. And 5th Edition is king. It was, as recently as the 9th of March, the #3 selling book on Amazon. It is the most popular edition of D&D ever, and it’s easy to see how its design has influenced PF2.0. This isnt a bad thing–games like both of these borrow from all over.
Again, I will fully admit that I don't run in those circles anymore, but I am finding it hard to believe that more people are playing RPGs than ever before. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to read it, just surprised.
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by LordMortis » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:07 am

I'm both surprised and not surprised. Gaming is a culture now, whereas when we were young is was a tiny niche.

But what surprises me is that video gaming style RPGs and our propensity to isolate ourselves with out electronics hasn't taken a serious bite out of the RPGing.

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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by Zarathud » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:25 am

My youngest sister's husband gets together with people every 2 weeks for D&D at the FLGS, in addition to our monthly session. Magic night is bigger but the Epic events come close.
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by Blackhawk » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:28 am

LordMortis wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:07 am
But what surprises me is that video gaming style RPGs and our propensity to isolate ourselves with out electronics hasn't taken a serious bite out of the RPGing.
They did, especially MMOs. It's why D&D 4th edition was such a bust - they rewrote the rules to appeal to the MMO crowd in an era when the industry was crashing hard. Now, though, we live in the era of livestreaming, and Critical Role is a huge one. It's second campaign premier had 135 thousand live viewers. And its success has resulted in a number of other livestreamed RPG channels, all of which have brought tabletop RPGs into the mainstream in a way that they never were. Even during their original 'golden ages', they were a niche hobby that most people only knew from the bad press.

It's also noteworthy that a huge swathe of the population actually plays pen-and-paper games online with utilities like Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds.
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by hentzau » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:29 am

I didn't read the posted article, and I'm sure they touched on this, but the streamed D&D sessions really seems to be the driving factor of it's new popularity. People see a bunch of people sitting around a table having fun, and want to try it.

(Or, what Blackhawk said.)
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by Blackhawk » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:53 am

Smoove_B wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:44 am

Just as a follow up, the Bell of Lost Souls posted an article trying to potentially compare the two - D&D 5th edition and what will with Pathfinder 2.0. Haven't played either one (or at least even a base game of Pathfinder), it's hard for me to understand or appreciate many of the references, but I did find this interesting:
tl;dr - the article didn't say much. It mostly made assumption based on other products Paizo (Pathfinder's publisher) has released. A brief overview of what's going on.

D&D 3.5 was a complex game from a time when games were intentionally complex.

D&D 4.0 came out and was awful for lots of reasons.

Pathfinder was a polishing of the 3.5 rules (thus the 'D&D 3.75' in-joke), and became popular because most 3.5 players went there instead of to 4.0.

The industry changed. Rules-light became the new, popular thing. Games like FATE and Apocalypse World where the players had a hand in the narrative (literally telling the GM what's in the world rather than the other way around), and the actual mechanics were minimized became popular. Games began to use roleplaying itself (acting in-character) as a mechanic rather than stats.

D&D 5.0 came out. It is an excellent blending of the old-school D&D mechanics with some rules-light ideas to create a game that is easy to teach, easy to run, and has the feel of the classic days of D&D.

Pathfinder got left behind. It plays like a wargame/simulation with crazy amounts of min-maxing and elaborate, complex mechanics that require math and frequent checks on rules, and rules interacting with other rules. It is a simulation when light is what is popular.

Last year at GenCon, Paizo released Starfinder, which was a sci-fi version of Pathfinder and was somewhat slimmed down.

Pathfinder 2.0 is now on the way, and the article is suggesting that people should look at Starfinder as an example of what Paizo may have in mind.

---------------------

Personally, I liked Pathfinder's 'feel', but the rules were way too elaborate. Many a game night ended up being a six hour session with two combats and not much else. The rules neither encourage nor reward roleplay or storytelling, elements that are considered the make-or-break of an RPG for many people these days. There was also the powergaming issue. Even if you aren't a powergamer, you'd end up in a group with one. And if one person super-optimized their character, everybody else suddenly became weak and irrelevant, a spectator to the powergamer's experience. Think about how MMO theorycraft their characters, then bump that up to a game with extremely complex mechanics and overlapping rules that are fully transparent to the players. Those who chose to abuse all of that could easily ruin a campaign unless everyone was willing to play that way.

In addition, all that complexity means that the game was very difficult to teach to new players, and preparing and running a campaign was a full-time job.

Now, not everyone who plays Pathfinder is a powergamer, but after D&D 5th became popular, a lot of the people who weren't moved on to it. It seriously skewed the roleplayer/theorycrafter ratio even more. A lot, lot of the people who chose to remain behind for Pathfinder are the people who did so because of its extreme complexity. It's what they want, but they're a small fraction of the market.

The big concern I'm hearing from Pathfinder players is that in order to remain relevant to the new market, Pathfinder is going to have to get rid of some of that complexity. In other words, powergamers are going to lose their edge, and those who want the extreme simulation style game are going to be out of luck. But not much has actually been released about Pathfinder 2.0 yet, so a lot of what we're seeing is just speculation.
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by Smoove_B » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:50 am

I've skimmed through the Pathfinder material - I think I picked up digital copies from a Humble Bundle at one point - and it always struck me as complicated. For references, I cut my teeth on the original Basic D&D Red Box, and then moved squarely into AD&D. We dabbled with the 2nd Edition AD&D stuff, but at that point, my time with pen and paper RPGs was sun-setting. Even though I have a *ton* of 2nd edition materials, I have so many more hours of time with the D&D and AD&D systems. Anyway, my experiences with later editions came by way of video games (like Neverwinter Nights) or picking up the rule books years later and just reading them, because I'm a nerd. I did read through the 4th Edition D&D stuff and as stated, it absolutely felt like they were trying to "retrofit" an MMO mentality into a pen and paper rule set. I have the 5th edition rules as well, but I didn't do anything other than read them.

I'd imagine a system created ~10 years ago probably does feel clunky and designed for a different time at this point. While my opinion is based in nothing other than conjecture, it's probably due for a revision / update. 10 years doesn't seem like an unreasonable period of time to re-visit the system and give it another go.
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by hentzau » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:59 am

I'm going to be one of those people that restates his love for 4th Edition. I was just looking through a bunch of it as I was getting it back out on my shelves. I will freely admit that combat took much longer with that game, but (as both a DM and a very rare player) I just had a ball with the system. I think it was my boardgamer sensibilities that it tickled.

That said, though, I do think 5E is an improvement.
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by Blackhawk » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:00 pm

Smoove_B wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:50 am
I've skimmed through the Pathfinder material - I think I picked up digital copies from a Humble Bundle at one point - and it always struck me as complicated. For references, I cut my teeth on the original Basic D&D Red Box, and then moved squarely into AD&D. We dabbled with the 2nd Edition AD&D stuff.
One of the big changes in the 3.5/Pathfinder rules was the formalized implementation of maps and miniatures. In OD&D/AD&D, miniatures were for marching order or to show relative positions. With 3.0 etc, they were assumed by the rules and elaborate mechanics were added to control them. Movement rules, flanking rules, rules for how to get out of combat, rules for how to move around an opponent, rules for what you could do while in combat (like trying to cast a spell or drink a potion while in weapon reach of another creature - Pathfinder has a whole list of things that will give your opponent a free attack), rules for line of sight, shooting into melee, difficult ground, diagonal movement, moving over difficult ground diagonally while prone and what effect that has on attackers at different ranges. You get the idea.
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by Smoove_B » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:46 pm

Yeah in my day (adjusting the onion on my belt) we didn't use miniatures. It honestly never occurred to me. Maps were used to provide visual aids. Sometimes (I think) we might have set up dice or coins on a large-square map sheet to provide general positioning, but as far as I can recall, everyone just told me a general marching or movement order and I handled it all from there. I guess combat was "loose" in that die roll results dictated outcomes. I do remember combat bogging down a bit more with the 2nd edition materials once you had all these specialized maneuvers and checks to factor in. I guess I lean more towards the story-telling and puzzle elements of pen and paper RPGs, not the combat.
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by Blackhawk » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:16 pm

Smoove_B wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:46 pm
I do remember combat bogging down a bit more with the 2nd edition materials once you had all these specialized maneuvers and checks to factor in.
Are you sure you aren't thinking of 3rd/3.5? That's when the specialized maneuvers were really introduced. 2nd was really just a clean up and polish of 1st. 2nd's combat was just die rolls and guesswork.
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by Smoove_B » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:23 pm

Blackhawk wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:16 pm
Are you sure you aren't thinking of 3rd/3.5? That's when the specialized maneuvers were really introduced. 2nd was really just a clean up and polish of 1st. 2nd's combat was just die rolls and guesswork.
No, I've never played 3/3.5 - just video game versions. For the 2nd edition stuff, there were all these extra skills you could pick to round out your character, themed to your class or racial background. And then they released all the race and profession handbooks (brown, faux leather soft covers) that expanded the availability of skills even more. I distinctly remember DMing 2nd edition games where combat would start and I'd get into whatever I was used to doing in AD&D, and one of the players would say, "Actually I have [random skill] that allows me to get a first shot in combat and then retreat to an out-of range position because I'm a cloud elf" (totally making that up, for reference). But there were definitely many more things for characters to remember (specific skills) that I would then need to roll checks against - both in and out of combat. Where in AD&D they'd say, "I'd like to do [something]" and I'd assign a random check against an attribute. Whereas in the 2nd edition, they'd need a very specific skill to do that same thing.

Granted, it's been 25+ years since I've played AD&D, but that's how I remember it.
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Re: Gaming randomness

Post by Blackhawk » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:43 pm

Smoove_B wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:23 pm

For the 2nd edition stuff, there were all these extra skills you could pick to round out your character, themed to your class or racial background.
You may be talking about Non-weapon Proficiencies. They gave you simple skills, like survival (roll a die to find food) or rope handling (roll a die to make tie a prisoner right.) I can't recall that any of them had any value in combat at all. In 3rd they introduced Feats, which are special skills that gave you combat bonuses in certain circumstances or special maneuvers, like a charge bonus, or a bonus to shoot if you didn't move, or improved chances at a critical hit.
Smoove_B wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:23 pm
And then they released all the race and profession handbooks (brown, faux leather soft covers) that expanded the availability of skills even more.
The Complete [blank] Handbooks. At first they basically let you swap one class trait for another, plus gave you some extra gear options. A thief might swap his backstab and some thief skills for extra armor class and attack bonuses to become a swashbuckler, for instance. They were great at first, but later on they became emblematic of the problem that caused the downfall of TSR. They took a good idea (extra options for rogues/fighters/mages/priests) and come up with a hundred variants of them in order to put a bunch of new books on the shelf every month. They were poorly thought out, poorly written, and barely playtested (if they were tested at all.) Between those and the sourcebooks, they ended up with so much garbage on the shelves that people stopped buying it, as they couldn't tell the wheat from the chaff anymore.

But those books were all optional, and a lot of DMs simply didn't allow them in their games. "You want to play a half-drow/half-cloud elf unobtanium sorcerer? Where'd you get that? Sorry, core races and the four class books only." It wasn't so much a flaw in the rules as released as it was a flawed marketing strategy.

Third edition cleaned that up by letting players pick their skills manually, mix classes relatively painlessly, and with prestige classes (classes you could 'upgrade' to at higher level.)
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