Gameplay Requirements for Game Abilities

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Havard
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Gameplay Requirements for Game Abilities

Post by Havard » Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:53 pm

In many editions of D&D, the characters are required to build a stronghold in order to gain followers.

In BECMI D&D, you are required to find a trainer in order to gain new ranks in Weapon Mastery (that edition's equivalent of combat feats).

In AD&D 1st and 2nd Edition, Druids are required to challenge and defeat (I presume kill?) the Hierophant Druid in order to gain maximum level.

What I find interesting about these examples is that they connect things that happen in the game to gaining new abilities for your character.

As a DM I like this because it instantly provides PCs with motivation to explore the world and interract with NPCs.

Can you think about other rules that specify the players to actively interract with the setting? How do you feel about such rules? Like them? hate them? indifferent?

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Khedrac
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Re: Gameplay Requirements for Game Abilities

Post by Khedrac » Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:46 pm

Havard wrote:In AD&D 1st and 2nd Edition, Druids are required to challenge and defeat (I presume kill?) the Hierophant Druid in order to gain maximum level.
Oddly, this applied to the Great Druid and the GRand Druid, but not the Heirophant druid levels that followed...
The same "defeat a superior" applied to Monks in 1st Ed AD&D.

Gold Box D&D Immortals had much the same system too.

One could consider the AD&D spell research rules as doing this (e.g. "you need the feather of a phoenix, where do you propose to find one?")

RuneQuest (3 if it matters) training rules - if one wanted to train a skill one needed to find a trainer (though you might be able to research it without one).

Tbh, non-magic shop D&D does this if you want to sell your treasure or buy new things, but that is less a rules effect and more a game world effect.
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Re: Gameplay Requirements for Game Abilities

Post by Big Mac » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:42 pm

Havard wrote:In many editions of D&D, the characters are required to build a stronghold in order to gain followers.
That's logical. I can see someone having a cohort (to fight alongside them) and some hirelings (to follow them around and carry equipment) but if you want a large number of people to run a base of operations for you...you need the base of operations. The two go hand-in-hand.

In CGR1 The Complete Spacefarer's Handbook there is an even more powerful variant on this rule. If a PC Priest builds a temple dedicated to a deity not worshipped in a given crystal sphere, sanctifies it and operates it for a year and a day, the deity can be brought into that crystal sphere as a new "native" deity. From a game ability point-of-view, it means that the PC no longer needs to cast the Contact Home Power spell to get higher level spells. But from a storytelling point of view, it's a radical swing in the divine power balance in that crystal sphere.
Havard wrote:In BECMI D&D, you are required to find a trainer in order to gain new ranks in Weapon Mastery (that edition's equivalent of combat feats).
I just wrote a topic, called Training (Classes and Professions) over in the World of Warcraft forum. I really like the training idea that D&D has, but there isn't a great deal of detail. (It's something for the GM to invent.) The World of Warcraft MMO goes in totally the opposite direction to D&D as it has more trainers than you can shake a stick at (along with a bunch of quests that trainers also hand out).

One of the things that attracts me to World of Warcraft, as a setting, it the ability to pick at the large amount of background detail in the MMO and use it as flavour for tabletop gaming.

Even someone who wasn't interested in the Warcraft world could look at the online details of the MMO to get inspiration about the number of trainers they might want to scatter across their favourite campaign setting.
Havard wrote:In AD&D 1st and 2nd Edition, Druids are required to challenge and defeat (I presume kill?) the Hierophant Druid in order to gain maximum level.
That's always felt a little bit bonkers to me.

If druids were servants of a nature deity, I'm not sure why they would want to have less high powered divine servants. But I suppose that if there was a maximum amount of nature energy to spread around, there could be some sort of cap on druids. From that point-of-view, I suppose it might be like challanging the Alpha Male/Female for dominance of the group. :?

I'm not sure that the older druids would need to be killed though. That would seem a bit like an evil act to me.
Havard wrote:What I find interesting about these examples is that they connect things that happen in the game to gaining new abilities for your character.

As a DM I like this because it instantly provides PCs with motivation to explore the world and interract with NPCs.

Can you think about other rules that specify the players to actively interract with the setting? How do you feel about such rules? Like them? hate them? indifferent?
On a small level all versions of D&D force the PCs to do things to win XP, which then goes onto make those PCs gain levels. So this is hard coded into everything. But these other requirement are more specific, while XP is a non-specific behaviour associated with generic advancement.
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