PC empowerment vs. immersion

System-neutral discussion of campaign setting and game world design. Discussion of existing rules systems belongs in The Crunchy Bits and its sub-forums.
Dalillama
Gnoll
Posts: 88
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:52 am
Gender: female

Re: PC empowerment vs. immersion

Post by Dalillama » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:22 am

This kinda issue is why I moved away from D&D in the late 90s. Basically, as the OP notes, D&D is optimised for basically one play style; each edition is optimised f9r a slightly different style, but they all have a default plat style that the rules assume, and concurrently limited customisation/background options. I find that GURPS allows me to calibrate power levels and advancement much more finely, and offers enough traits, skills, etc. that even three sword and board melee specialists can look and feel very different to one another.

User avatar
shesheyan
Cardboard Hero
Posts: 1851
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:58 pm
Gender: male
Location: Montreal

Re: PC empowerment vs. immersion

Post by shesheyan » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:28 pm

Dalillama wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:22 am
This kinda issue is why I moved away from D&D in the late 90s. Basically, as the OP notes, D&D is optimised for basically one play style; each edition is optimised f9r a slightly different style, but they all have a default plat style that the rules assume, and concurrently limited customisation/background options. I find that GURPS allows me to calibrate power levels and advancement much more finely, and offers enough traits, skills, etc. that even three sword and board melee specialists can look and feel very different to one another.
D&D doesn't claim to be anything other than what it is. A system to recreate the pulp action heroe style in a fantasy environnement. The D&D rule system is very coherent with its original design goals. The problem comes from people wanting it to do things its not built to do. Its best to change systems, like you did, if you want to experience something else.

I am glad for you that you found a system that suits your needs. I personally find GURPS very unwieldy during character creation. Its quality is also its flaw. The plethora of choices is very intimidating. I bought the three 4th edition books when they came out and wanted to start an urban arcana campaign with four players. It took us two hours if flipping through pages and pages of skill descriptions to create just one character... in the end the character was exactly want the player wanted - a detective with psychic powers and half-human origine - but we couldn't see yourselves taking 8 hours to create 4 characters, so we never played GURPS. We used d20 Modern instead. His character was up and running in 20 minutes.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23605
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: PC empowerment vs. immersion

Post by Big Mac » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:11 pm

Digitalelf wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:52 am
A concept I wanted to try out back when I was running 3rd edition, was to have the players roll up characters using the NPC classes and start the campaign out in Ravenloft. Unfortunately that idea never materialized, but I am thinking about trying it with my next campaign and have the players roll up characters using some of the various commoner styled classes of 2nd edition, such as those from the blue covered "Sages & Specialists" sourcebook for example (I have a player that has always wanted to play an archaeologist styled character, and that book's "Historian" class would suit that concept well).
Back when the WotC COMmunity Boards were still going, Ashtagon posted a link to a Commoner Campaign. The one-GM/one-player game was so good that it built up a massive fan base and there was fan art and other stuff. (Sadly the WotC discussion is gone now, but the two people playing the game had an amazing time and I think you should revisit the idea of using the NPC classes with Ravenloft.

I would also recommend you checking out the Hero Builder's Guidebook. It's the book that gets poor reviews by min-maxers and good reviews from people more interested in roleplay over ruleplay.

There are a lot of tables there to help people generate families, contacts and other aspects of their PCs. If you got the entire group to roll on that (or pick options from it) you would be able to tie their characters in with a bunch of Ravenloft NPCs designed to fit in with their PCs.

If you do give this a go, please write a topic about it in the Ravenloft forum and give me a ping, so I can take a look to see how things go.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
Digitalelf
Hobgoblin
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:09 pm
Gender: male
Location: United States

Re: PC empowerment vs. immersion

Post by Digitalelf » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:53 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:11 pm
If you do give this a go, please write a topic about it in the Ravenloft forum and give me a ping, so I can take a look to see how things go.
My current (2e) campaign is still going strong (set in Greyhawk), so it may be a while until I start a new one. However, I've been looking through various 2nd edition sources, and I might have the players use the classes and any appropriate period/genre kits from the Masque of the Red Death boxed set that would fit in a "standard" Ravenloft campaign.
-That One Digitalelf Fellow-

Post Reply

Return to “The Squishy Bits”