Wednesday, February 01, 2006

San Juan with the Wife

I wasn't bored of Puerto Rico, but I was bored of setting it up, so I convinced Rachel to play San Juan for a change.

She had both City Hall and Guild Hall, but her buildings didn't have any of the synergy that mine had. I had no opening production, so I started with Carpenter, then Silver, Quarry, monuments, City Hall, and Chapel. I didn't realize you could win like that with less big buildings (I knew you could win with less big buildings, but not by ten points).

Game night tonight. My group wanted to play RPG, so I prepared a system based on Children of Fire and a simple d6 skill/combat system, but they weren't ready for such wierdness. They want to play straight D&D; I refuse to play 3e, so it will be 1e AD&D. But I'm not ready for that, yet, so in a few weeks.

In the meantime, we may play Magic and some other games.



Jeff Coon said...

What's your beef with 3e?

Yehuda Berlinger said...

1e was a game about ROLEplaying, at least allegedly. The rules were non-intrusive, and a lot was left up to the DM. Also, things progressed very slowly, and players had to make sensible career paths.

3e is ridiculous. It is about ROLLplaying and RULEplaying, not ROLEplaying. Barely 4 pages in the Player Handbook even talks about roleplaying.

The more rules it tries to add to cover situations, the more bound the DM is in trying to make it all work.

Games are played by counting 5 foot increments on paper. "See, the fireball covers this square and this square, so th Halfling is just in, and the orc is just out." You could try to DM away from that, but the style of rules directs you into doing it. It tries to give too much power to the players.

On top of that, the game is a mixmaxing nightmare, with a gazillion plusses for fist level characters.

On top of that, the rules don't make sense; of course they don't. The more they try to cover, the more nonsense wil slip through their fingers.

In 3e, with an orc five feet away from me, I can take out a teapot and hand it to Joe, who heats the tea and hands it to Sam, who pours the tea and hands it Alex, who drinks the tea and hands it to Jill, who drops the tea and kills tha orc.

In 3e, I can cast an infinite amount of spells without any interference by taking a 5 foot step away from someone who can't follow. Or I can move five feet and close a door when someone is chasing after me.

But I can't shout when I see something happening when it's not my turn, because you can only do free actions on your turn. It is all ridiculous.

That's just a start; the list goes on and on.

All I want to do is ask everyone what they are doing each round, and then let them do it. If something happens, I'll ask them if they want to change what they are doing. If they cast spells or thrown bottles, they can't count off squares on the board. It's a freakin' battle.


Jeff Coon said...

Ahhhhh, I understand now. You're more interested in a free-from RPG with less rules, rather than an RPG with a combat engine included. I can see where if you're more interested in describing combat through roleplaying rather than using mechanics to simulate it, 3E wouldn't be for you. I won't begrudge you that, as 3E really wasn't designed for that style of roleplaying.

But don't you think the rules were improved by leaps and bounds in other areas? Such as: multiclassing was vastly improved. The skill system involving rolling a d20 + modifier trying to achieve a difficulty number is much more elegant and accessible. (much more than THAC0) The skill system is much improved, in that it's no longer an add-on, but integrated right into character creation.

I suppose to play the sort of free-form game you're interested in would take some heavy modifications to the rules. (for example, the feats are all too centered on using miniatures to simulate combat) I probably wouldn't be interested in applying so many house rules, either.

Have you ever tried Earthdawn? It was always my fantasy system of choice. The combat isn't nearly as strict as D&D. I'm actually thinking of getting a campaign together sometime soon.

Yehuda Berlinger said...

There was something nifty about 3e, I'll grant you that, with feats and skills. However it becomes a minmaxing nightmare.

Maybe my biggest problem is with the d20 altogether. Someone of 14 strength should always beat someone of 12 strength in an arm-wrestle. Maybe 1 out of 20 times he wouldn't, certainly not 45% of the time.

And, as I mentioned, the game became a poor excuse for a board game, rather than a roleplaying game.

I will look at Earthdawn, but I'm not going to be buying anything soon, so I don't think it will help me.