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How true to D&D should BG be?

KoreKore Member Posts: 245
This is something that interests me. Personally I view BG not as a D&D game, but rather a game that uses D&D rules out of convenience. Some of you however are rule police and seem ready to point out an erroneous rule in a heartbeat. I'm interested in how many sit on which side of the fence and how you all feel about it.

This isn't directed at any feature request or anything, I'm just curious.

tenaWardZaccaroEudaemoniumMoomintrollRAM021
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Comments

  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,452
    To sum up my thoughts in one line, see @Anton's post ;-)

    bberry
  • ElectricMonkElectricMonk Member Posts: 599
    When I'm actually playing D&D, I'm a pretty strict rules lawyer myself... but Baldur's Gate is, to me, a game that implements D&D rules, not just a D&D campaign. I feel that the developers should always have the freedom to mold the rules system they're using around their game. However, it seems that in this case, the rules system consistently provides balance and fun, every mod that brings the game closer to PnP has improved it in my opinion. So although I would normally vote in favor of freedom to alter the rules in a cRPG, D&D is tried and true enough to sway my vote, it consistently makes the game better imo.

    nulspaceAndreaColombo
  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,452
    @jaysl659

    I agree wholeheartedly about P&P mods being a significant improvement for Baldur's Gate. aTWEAKS, as well as every P&P component from other mods, is mandatory in my every installation.

    @Ward

    Even if the game adhered more strictly to D&D rules, the game engine would still be doing all the rubbish for you. It would just be more consistent (and AI would be a lot smarter, if aTWEAKS is any indication; and it is) ;-)

    ElectricMonkAntonRAM021
  • trinittrinit Member Posts: 688
    edited June 2012
    i think adherence to rules is desireable as far as the game balance goes. i see no problem in borrowing the appropriate stuff from 3E rules, if i might say so.

    the most important thing for me is consistency and balance of the world in roleplaying terms. if THE GAME states that monks are chaotic and reasonably explains it (convince me what kind of character they are), fine by me. but if the game does not explain something but (indirectly) demands that i refer to some external source then i expect it will take those rules into account.
    also, that does not mean i want everything to be uniform and under some kind of pattern of expected behaviour. quite the contrary, i love diversions and "special cases" as long as they are not really out of the blue or completely unexplained.

    edit: and also, for better or worse, it is far easier to make demands for change in reference to existing rules as opposed to changes based on player convenience and logic. but rules are not without flaws, beyond suspicion and are not immune to personal preference of players, otherwise we wouldn't be looking at fourth (and still counting) edition of them.

    Post edited by trinit on
    RAM021
  • maverickmaverick Member Posts: 27
    Totally agree with Anton, P&P. Some mods like aTweaks, BG2tweaks, rogue rebalancing really make the game harder and then closer to the original game. Demons are just horrible in BG2 especially in the planar sphere when you have to get a demon heart. A demon who summon four others is just a nightmare but a unbelievable pleasure when you win. I think it's just better because it's too easy with the original rules.

    Anton
  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,452
    I agree with everything @Aosaw said. Though I happen to like THAC0, thank you very much *indignant emoticon*

    ;-D

    bberryKilivitz
  • The_Shairs_HandbookThe_Shairs_Handbook Member Posts: 219
    edited March 2013
    They way I see it if you use AD&D 2nd edition rules and classes (kits) use only 2nd edtion i don't want to see 3rd or 4th edition classes and races...
    I personally dislike monk, sorcerer and barbarian in baldur's gate games cuz it is based on 3rd edition rules and not on 2nd edition rules verson of those classes... whenever they add something that is 3rd edition class the inveterate rules lawyer in me gets mad. i get little bit more hateful (I dislike the class name shadowdancer but not its abilities cuz shadowdancer is a 3rd edition class name) ...
    They could fix this by changing the Shadowdancers name to SPY ( and thats a true 2nd edition kit name for Thiefs)

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 3,675
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

    The_Shairs_HandbookatcDaveRAM021
  • WanderonWanderon Member Posts: 1,418
    Never played PnP and have no plans to do so thus I have no real investment in D&D rules per say - I care that the rules are well done and prefer them to be correctly well documented (which BG manuals, descriptions, etc have always left something to be desired IMO altho that goes for a lot of other games as well).

    I also want them to be more or less sensible (for a fantasy RPG) - I liked pretty much all the IE games rulesets as well as some other games that used something different (RTK, DA:O, NWN2) altho one standard I do prefer is character levels that fall within the same range/power as D&D levels 1-mid teens - maybe late teens.

    RnRClown
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,200
    The problem is PnP has a DM, the ultimate adaptive engine; something doesn't make sense? Change it! Some weird constellation of events? Deal with it! Situation unclear? Ask!

    BG as a programmed game is by its very nature a static environment. Changes are difficult to make at its core, and take time to implement. To compensate, BG makes certain allowances (e.g. save games) and simplifications.

    Not to mention that BG as a video game tries to appeal also to people who have never actually played PnP. "The best of both worlds" is the ideal, though there are naturally casualties on both sides to allow it to work.

    If you just carbon-copied PnP onto the BG engine, I think the limitations would soon become a problem. Afaik games like NWN2 (in certain incarnations) address this by actually having proper DMs to manage the game world. It's really the only solution, given the high level of complexity and adaptability that is a nature of PnP games.

    Personally, I'm fairly okay with the balance BG has struck so far. Mods offer enough customization to deal with some of the more glaring issues, but at the end of the day it's still a computer game, largely for single players. It's not meant as a PnP substitute.

    By the way, is there an actual platform for online PnP? Sounds like something that would be interesting to do...

  • The_Shairs_HandbookThe_Shairs_Handbook Member Posts: 219

    The problem is PnP has a DM, the ultimate adaptive engine; something doesn't make sense? Change it! Some weird constellation of events? Deal with it! Situation unclear? Ask!

    BG as a programmed game is by its very nature a static environment. Changes are difficult to make at its core, and take time to implement. To compensate, BG makes certain allowances (e.g. save games) and simplifications.

    Not to mention that BG as a video game tries to appeal also to people who have never actually played PnP. "The best of both worlds" is the ideal, though there are naturally casualties on both sides to allow it to work.

    If you just carbon-copied PnP onto the BG engine, I think the limitations would soon become a problem. Afaik games like NWN2 (in certain incarnations) address this by actually having proper DMs to manage the game world. It's really the only solution, given the high level of complexity and adaptability that is a nature of PnP games.

    Personally, I'm fairly okay with the balance BG has struck so far. Mods offer enough customization to deal with some of the more glaring issues, but at the end of the day it's still a computer game, largely for single players. It's not meant as a PnP substitute.

    By the way, is there an actual platform for online PnP? Sounds like something that would be interesting to do...

    hmmm the plan with NWN was to be an actual platform for online PnP ( i think thay failed somehow.. still NVN is good game and made Warlock and Tiefling a standard race and class in 4th edition before NVN there werent many or nothing at all theifling (those who were was planetravelers) in Abir-Toril and Warlock was unheard of)... still they used 3rd edition rules somewhat good... they didn't mix in 2nd edition classes in that

  • TJ_HookerTJ_Hooker Member Posts: 2,438

    hmmm the plan with NWN was to be an actual platform for online PnP ( i think thay failed somehow.. still NVN is good game and made Warlock and Tiefling a standard race and class in 4th edition before NVN there werent many or nothing at all theifling (those who were was planetravelers) in Abir-Toril and Warlock was unheard of)... still they used 3rd edition rules somewhat good... they didn't mix in 2nd edition classes in that

    Warlock? Tiefling? That doesn't sound like the NWN I played (well, I suppose there was one tiefling NPC in HotU...).

  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    I love PNP AD&D 2E. Definitely my rules set of choice. But over the course of 30+ years of playing I have seen so many exceptions, with both good and bad reasons, its not even funny. I have no problem with variations and house rules; in fact, to some extant that's completely in keeping with the spirit of the game. The books spend more time on "optional" rules and variations than they do on absolute core rules. And over time, I've come to regard most of the core rules as even being somewhat optional. And I'd point out, Gary Gygax was fired from TSR before 2E came out in part because of his insistence on only one way to play the game.
    So while I always prefer 2E as a starting point, I have no problem with a pretty broad range of exceptions and house rules AS LONG AS they are fairly and consistently applied. In most cases, that means writing down rulings and changes as fast as they come up. I even prefer when the exact assortment of "official" optional rules in use are listed somewhere I can see. Years ago, changes were kept to a minimum partly because of the difficulty of keeping track of mountains of notes. But more recently (just in the last 20 years or so) that is not even an excuse. I have seen many DMs keep their own rule books, that are available for inspection by players at any time (either printed or e-book is fine). Some of these are hundreds of pages long; but this still works quite well as long as they follow the same format and layout as the published books themselves.
    Actually, I love seeing the effort and creativity that goes into such carefully crafted settings and rules. As long as changes are well thought through and never "secret" it works well.

    Computer games have a unique niche in AD&D. On the one hand, they can crunch numbers faster and easier than human DMs. Which theoretically allows for implementation of a lot of the rules minutia that normally gets over looked in PNP (like weapon bonuses against armor type. I've never known a human DM who used those rules... well at least not in a game that was any fun!). And I would love to see BG modified in ways to take even more advantage of this. Like all the minor modifiers associated the six character attributes, I can see no good reason for not doing this. The computer (at least a modern computer) can do this easily and efficiently, so it should.
    We've seen some improvements over time, like going from the simplest possible weapon proficiency system in the original BG, to a more involved and non-standard version employed in BG2 that we use now.
    But they obviously have a lot of limitations too. Scope and flexibility are issues (anyone want to guess how Aerie lost her wings? I'm betting it started with not wanting to add an actual winged character into the game!).
    Over the course of BG development we've seen increasing liberties taken with those core rules. And I have mixed feelings about that. I think many new classes were added unnecessarily; like Barbarian was a KIT in 2E supplemental books (actually two kits, one for Fighters and a Barbarian Priest for well, Clerics), yet they chose to make it a class. Sorcerer was more of 3E idea that was shoe-horned into 2E, I don't actually see the point, unless you get rid of Mage. And generally speaking, I think all of the more recent kits are too involved and not in keeping with the original spirit of such things.
    But it is all optional material; that is, I don't HAVE to play a Wyvern-kin Unholy Lightning Eyed Trappist Monk if I don't want to. So really, no harm, no foul.
    But I have played many of the original kits, and a barbarian, and a sorcerer. And it can be fun, so I don't really object. As I said up top, as long as rules are fair and consistent I'm not really worried about it.

    I think the ideal starting point is to be as faithful to the core rules as money and technology allow. Then modify as needed for a particular setting and story. And POST ALL CHANGES. Never leave players guessing about what/which rules are in play. There should always be an effort made to keep the manuals up to date.

    FafnirKilivitzThe_Shairs_Handbook
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    Anton said:

    As close to PnP as possible.

    I guess I kind of have to ask who decides what is "Close" and what is "Possible".

    As others have said, it is a CRPG and as such there are a lot of things that simply couldn't be done. I personally used to run a Gnome Illusionist/Thief who had endless fun playing around with the illusions in his spell list, but I acknowledge that this would not be possible in a game like BG. Quite simply the computer couldn't be programmed for all of the variables that an inventive mind might want to play around with in the margins.

    There is also a line wherein if the game is too complex or restrictive, it isn't fun anymore. Quite simply, there has to be a break even point between the endless (and I used to remember lugging around 20 lbs or more of rule books back in the day) rules and simply creating a structure that works.

    I have to say that, for actual turn based gaming, I always found that ToEE did a much better job of doing that type of thing than BG did. I still think that BG is a much more fun game and I have personally spent probably 20X as many hours in BG world than in ToEE, but I really like the turn based combat of ToEE much better. So again, I ask "What is close" and what is "Possible"? and where do the developers draw the line.

    A few weeks back there was a guy who claimed to be a real purist in the rules. He claimed that he had modded the game to be as close to PnP as possible. quite frankly, some of the changes he made, I wouldn't ever use or want. Am I a typical player? Maybe, maybe not. But I will say that if the game wasn't as accessible to the general public as it is, we wouldn't now be seeing a revival. And if it were much MORE accessible to the public, it wouldn't be the game that we all love. Just saying be careful what you ask for and how you define it.

    atcDaveFafnir
  • ryuken87ryuken87 Member Posts: 563
    I really love the D&D spell system which comes into its own more in BG2, but I'm all for changing things for the benefit of the game.

  • DazzuDazzu Member Posts: 946
    edited March 2013
    Yes let's use PnP rules where women have lower strength with no compensation and Mazzy would already be at her max level. The Goldbox games tried this, it'd be GREAT to have here too, after all, wgen the level cap is 40, you really want to have a max level of 5.

    I DARE someone to make that as a mod. I DARE THEM!

  • LordsDarkKnight185LordsDarkKnight185 Member Posts: 615
    TJ_Hooker said:

    hmmm the plan with NWN was to be an actual platform for online PnP ( i think thay failed somehow.. still NVN is good game and made Warlock and Tiefling a standard race and class in 4th edition before NVN there werent many or nothing at all theifling (those who were was planetravelers) in Abir-Toril and Warlock was unheard of)... still they used 3rd edition rules somewhat good... they didn't mix in 2nd edition classes in that

    Warlock? Tiefling? That doesn't sound like the NWN I played (well, I suppose there was one tiefling NPC in HotU...).
    He is talking about NWN2, which used 3.5 rules. it had subraces and allowed for planetouched, including genasi and tieflings, as well as the Warlock class from Complete Arcane.

    TJ_HookerRAM021
  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,452
    Dazzu said:

    Yes let's use PnP rules where women have lower strength with no compensation and Mazzy would already be at her max level.

    I double dare you to quote your source :P

    TheMoatMonsterElectricMonk
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    I don't I know specifically what the limitations are, but.....

    I do know that the originial 'Advanced' did limit classes for non-human races to a certain levels (ex. Halfling fighters were limited to 5th-6th?). These were largely implemented because most characters never got above 10th or so and they wanted to promote a Human-centric world. Later editions embraced a more balanced and equal approach.

    I also know that there were ability 'Shifts' for gender differences (minus to STR/plus to Dex etc...). They didn't make a whole lot of sense, but then this was the 70s.

    You can find them all in the original AD&D players handbook (which I don't have handy or I would be more specific).

    But BG was implemented on 2nd edition, so most of that went away before then.

  • DazzuDazzu Member Posts: 946
    Isn't Ad&d second edition?

  • LordsDarkKnight185LordsDarkKnight185 Member Posts: 615
    Dazzu said:

    Isn't Ad&d second edition?

    Well there is "AD&D" and then there is "AD&D 2nd Edition" Baldur's Gate is based on 2nd edition.

  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    edited March 2013
    Dazzu said:

    Isn't Ad&d second edition?

    AD&D is both 1E and 2E. The systems are largely similar. 2E was pretty much a clean up and re-editing of the original. There's a few pretty big differences, and some players will strongly prefer one over the other; but really they're pretty similar. I'm a big 2E guy, but I spent years with 1E and still have many great memories of it.

    Which leads to the poster above who is clearly confusing 1E and 2E. The early Gold Box games used 1E, the switch to 2E occurred during the run of those games, I don't remember exactly when. BG is 2E. Among the changes in 2E is NO DIFFERENCE from gender at all. Males and females of all the playable races have exactly the same potential for scores. Drow are the only partial exception I can think of, but the females are significantly stronger (apparently THAT is still allowed...), and Drow weren't allowed as a PC race until a later supplement (Menzoberanzen maybe? Its been a long time!)
    Also, as Spyder mentioned, the level limits in 1E were very low. Half-Elves could only go to 5th level in Cleric; Halflings were limited to 6th in Fighter. 2E raised these limits quite a bit. That same Half-Elf could now get 14th level cleric and the Halfling Fighter could reach 9th.
    And in PNP these weren't a huge problem. I played a 1E half-elven fighter-cleric for years before the limit became a problem. We just never expected to shoot up levels fast like CRPG players do. (of course we didn't fight so many battles either!)
    But I would have to admit, even with the raised limits on levels that 2E brought, MOST DMs I knew had some sort of exceptions. Like high scores could raise the limits. Or the level limit just slowing progression (like halving experience or something after the cap was reached). And guess what, the books actually recommend some of these options. 2E is a VERY flexible rule set.

    KilivitzRAM021
  • KilivitzKilivitz Member Posts: 1,459
    Most DMs I know just got rid of racial level limits altogether. Those rules were there in the first place as a way to make humans more appealing for players, considering every other race had advantages over humans right off the bat.

    atcDave
  • LockLock Member Posts: 84
    I'd like to see more of the 2E effects from low / high ability scores implemented, but if we're talking about greater restrictions I'm out.

    RAM021
  • HaHaCharadeHaHaCharade Member Posts: 1,593

    I think you already know where I belong, but I'll state it flat-out straight again: I'm an inveterate rules lawyer.

    If a game is based on D&D rules, I expect it to follow them. Those rules are a play-tested reference to make things work alright with one another. There may still be occasional inconsistencies or potential exploits: no rules system is perfect. However, the potential for something to go wrong and/or be broken increases if you deliberately deviate from reference without balancing everything else to your houserule(s).

    Also, I have an OCD for everything to adhere faithfully to a given standard. It gives me a good feeling.

    You're my hero. I feel exactly the same way.

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