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Thoughts from an ol D&D player

ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 2,513
Maybe it is because I was brought up playing 1stEd AD&D when it first came out, but after that the new owners started making it too complicated. 2nd edition had some good ideas in it I agree. But after WoC took it over everything went south IMO. Everyone could do anything, everyone could add upteen classes or prestige kits, so many options and abilities, etc. Some of the ideas for prestige class look nice but are almost a class unto themselves.
I mean how does a character focus on 5-10 kits at one time and still have time to eat supper?
The whole point of a specialized kit is the character focues on something to the exclusion of all else to BE specialized. IMO a multi class kit is already specialized (having divided there focused to work on 2 kits at once) so shouldn't have the option of a kit (or 1 kit at MOST in rare instances).

Back in the day if it was not covered in the books we made up a house rule or dice roll to cover the situation. If we wanted a new class or kit we just made it up (ol Dragon Magazine had alot of ideas on this)
Just seems like the newest editions of D&D have become powerhouse oriented in a sense.
Balance can be broken pretty easily not only with characters but with items as well. I know this is something most modders keep an eye out for, which is good.
So, BG being based on 2nd edition rules has worked pretty well, but I do and have like some of the changes and new stuff modders are working with as well to make the game even more interesting (thanks to all the modders out there).



  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 5,580
    3E is way to powergamy and munchkiny for my taste. I hear that 4E ruined everything, and the 5E fixed almost everything. Note that I have never played actual pnp. My introduction to DnD was literally Baldur's Gate.

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 2,513
    ThacoBell said:

    3E is way to powergamy and munchkiny for my taste. I hear that 4E ruined everything, and the 5E fixed almost everything. Note that I have never played actual pnp. My introduction to DnD was literally Baldur's Gate.

    Powergamy yes. What we used to call Monty Haul campaigns back in 1st edition when ppl when over the top with stuff. BG is not really a bad intro to the game in general, probably why I have kept at it for so long after being used to 1st and 2nd editions.

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 2,513
    tbone1 said:

    A lot of 2nd edition was based on Gary Gygax' ideas expressed in Unearthed Arcana, IIRC, though I'm sure someone will correct me on that. But you see this a lot in companies where the founder is forced out by the pompous stuffed suits. Read about Apple between Steve Jobs' tenures for a classic example.

    I still prefer versions 1 & 2. Any good jazz musician or improv comic will tell you that greatness comes when you explore within a set of rules and trade ideas back and forth. And you need that framework; even Thelonius Monk and John Coltrane could play the blues. And while I like listening to Ornette Coleman, I can't do it as a steady diet. I get bored with anything, I need a limit to push against.

    Yeah, Gary did get the shaft, then moved on to some other things like legendary adventures but nothing that ever caught on like 1st edition. 2nd edition did pull some of the ideas from all the 1st ed books, esp. skills.
    Seems like WoC just keeps pushing stuff out to make a buck with D&D.

    On a side note a once heard a report that study brain wave activity with an MRI on different musicians. Jazz and rap artists came up with similar reads, probably due to that improv you mentioned

  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,285
    3.5e/Pathfinder was my favorite until 5e came along. What appeals to me is the idea of "If you can think of a character, you can make it."

    5e accomplishes this with way less needless complexity that was present in 3.X.

    If 5e didn't exist though I'd still be playing Pathfinder as my primary game. 2e is too restrictive for my taste. I like it a lot but when I play it I use a lot of home rules. But really I think all D&D editions are better with home rules.

    I feel like though 5e is the best version of D&D since they have a core set of rules and all they release currently are pre-made adventures so it's not super bloated. They also seem to only add new subclasses, never main classes, except for I guess the Mystic which is still in playtesting.

  • KaliestoKaliesto Member Posts: 248
    I'm glad someone on this forum knows what he is talking about, my father was also one of the old school players, and you two think similarly on the matter. He felt things went south after 1st edition, and jokes around how a character must roll the die to use the bathroom (use your imagination hahaha), and he didn't care for certain creature creations. He didn't mind planar creatures, but he did mind a over saturated Prime Material World that was basically getting crowded with nonsensical creatures, and somehow humans manage to survive in this.

    Besides all that, I like the Original Baldur's Gate when it was simple classic classes that didn't need all this MMO-like nonsense but no let's break the rule for powey wowey purposes because I said so!!! It just translates to me that a player can't accept certain consequences a class will have, and also don't realize that in reality that time, experience, and intelligence need to be taken in account.

    Something I've hated when NWN introduced it because players ended turning a interesting idea into a absurd one with all these creations.

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 2,513
    Vallmyr said:

    If 5e didn't exist though I'd still be playing Pathfinder as my primary game. 2e is too restrictive for my taste. I like it a lot but when I play it I use a lot of home rules. But really I think all D&D editions are better with home rules.

    That was the beauty of 1st. It had a core set of rules for balance and playability. Then house rules for each group to adjust things to. In a way that is how I see BG and the mods being made for it. Take each bit we like and add it a little at a time to see if it fits our play style. We can evaluate it for being overpowered or unbalancing as we see fit.

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 2,513
    Kaliesto said:

    he did mind a over saturated Prime Material World that was basically getting crowded with nonsensical creatures, and somehow humans manage to survive in this.

    It just translates to me that a player can't accept certain consequences a class will have, and also don't realize that in reality that time, experience, and intelligence need to be taken in account.

    I always liked the human centered world, mainly because as a human myself, it made every other creature and race so much more special to encounter and interact with, or with some, even to adventure as a player character. That's me though, and everyone is different, some dont mind a Monty Haul approach. One reason not to include EVERYTHING in the base vanilla games. We can choose our mods to our preferences.

    And yep, any class can do well and finish the game with experience, intelligence, and common sense. "Man's (or elf) got to know his limitations".

    Would be great to see one of the all time best modules ever modded to add as an area in BG. "The Caves of Chaos"(IMO Gygax's top intro adventure to the PnP game)

  • KaliestoKaliesto Member Posts: 248
    I like to see more wilderness traveling in BG, those were the most fun parts sometimes.

    Now if only we can get some kind of wilderness art pack to freshen things up..

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,521
    for me, my introduction to dnd was Baldur's gate, before I played BG back in '99 I had no idea what dnd was, I was only 12 at the time, and then one faithful day I went over to my neighbour's house and was introduced into the world of Baldur's gate, and I was instantly mesmerized by the experience

    but even at that time I didn't really know what dnd was, I didn't know much about the rules and mechanics about BG until about a year/year and a half later I finally started to get the hang of what was going on

    ever since then, I've been a fan of dnd, although I've never played 4th edition, and the only 2nd edition I have every played was the bg/iwd series, and out of all the editions I like BG's style of 2nd edition most

    the bg series isn't 100% 2nd edition, and for me that's great, in my opinion bg is just based off of 2nd edition and it was done so wonderfully, I've read up on some 2nd edition stuff and I find there to be a lot of head scratching involved, but bg makes it so easy

    3rd edtion is only good if your DM isn't insane allowing you do use a million different books and being a million different classes so you can deal 7 digit numbers worth of damage, 3rd edition in my opinion is good if you play it more tradition style like 2nd edition

    and I think that is what 2nd edition was all about, keeping the game more traditional style, characters had their roles and they stuck to those roles, but 3rd edition came out and said; yeah basically anyone can do anything, which really made it bland as hell

    can't comment on 1st or 4th because I've never played them

    and 5th is still pretty new, only played it about 5 or so times, being a wild mage is pretty fun, but I think out of all the dnd games out there, the BG series does it best

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 2,513
    sarevok57 said:

    I think out of all the dnd games out there, the BG series does it best

    @sarevok57 . I really do think BG is a pretty good intro to the Game. IWDII has some good ides but started offering alot of choices to get bogged down with. Being used to PnP a long time ago, a video game has alot of limitations on what we can do, having to stick to a pathway. Although BG gives really alot of leeway with that in a fashion as we don't have to stick to the main goal the entire time.

    I cut my teeth on the old Adventure game and Zork along time ago. Then we had Commodore 64's good Pool of Radiance and Curse of the Azure bonds in FR. BG still is my measure of excellence with straight DnD though, computer wise.
    A good set of ol fashioned PnP 1st edition (or first with some 2nd thrown in as well) player can really be great to try. You dont want a power hungry group to be your first exp. though for anyone trying PnP. We always used magic items sparingly so finding some was a real treat. BG does a great job of not putting in to many things.

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,521
    one of the things I like about the bg series is you can definitely tell the original devs were very meticulous on magic item placement, they were very careful not to add too many of a good thing in the game ( although now a days with 1000s and 1000s of play throughs and from learned exploits it can seem that some items just seem to powerful at times) but originally I think it was spot on, and even SoA for example, +5 weapons are super super rare ( I can only think of 2) and there is only one suit of full plate +3, stuff like that, helps keep the power of groups under control

    one problem I have with 3rd edition is item creation ( although it may have been in earlier editions but I would have no idea) anyway, item creation is one of those things the horribly break the game so hard, excellent evidence of this is neverwinter nights 2, item creation does grant some freedom yes, but it is SO EASY to farm money that you can just make some killer items that make all the items you find along the way completely obsolete, although I do enjoy storm of zehir every once in a while the item creation thing really over powers your team

    but pnp is much better because especially if you dm a game, you can meticulously add certain items to make sure the balance of power doesn't topple in on itself, which is one thing that makes pnp great, im thinking about making a 5th edition adventure soon, and one thing I always think about is item placement, magic items are so vital to the game's core, too many of them and PC's power grows out of control, too little though, and then the adventure seems lack luster, you need just the right amount

    and IWD 2, what a shame that game was, after that I heard it was going to be done using 3rd edition rules, I thought; ugh, gross ( because at the time I wasn't really a fan of 3rd edition, I was enjoying bg's 2nd edition) anyway it came out, and it looked promising at the beginning, I actually like the idea of lots of race options and class options, it gives a game a lot of flavor, and if I remember correctly you still could only be the one class? so there was none of this being 10 different classes sort of garbage, but the problem is; IWD 2 in my opinion is unfortunately a terrible game, I find it boring as ballz, I hate the puzzles, they are so tedious, and I hate the parts in the game where you are forced to "hurry up" and complete this mission and if you don't you fail, you lose, game over ( no joke, you actually get a game over) I can understand the idea behind it, but it's just implemented so poorly, I hate being rushed to do things, dnd is about finding secrets and goodies, not being dragged by the nose but iwd has never really been about story though, it was always more of a combat simulation type game, the original iwd was pretty decent about it ( and even better with the mod I made for it) but iwd 2, just cant do it, if I want to play 3rd edition rules, I play storm of zehir

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 2,513
    @sarevok57 After playing BG for so long, IWDII just felt weird, some interesting races but like you said not the same feel.

    Yep, no substitute for a good DM, where you are free to go wayy of on a tangent on an adventure. I would equate that in BG to something like helping out or joining the various 'bad dudes'.

    As an example, I always figured my gray druid wanted to set up shop in one of the mines. Go around handing out tracts or some such thing asking for myconids, oozes, jellies( ok, the larger intelligent ones) to come on down and set up shop, grow some funky mushrooms n mosses.

    Hard to do that with out a DM and PnP (or modders with BG, and we have some good ones-just takes a long time)
    The druid in SoD had an awesome looking underground setting.

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 2,513
    edited March 2017
    Now I am waiting for the BG D&D type game (computer) that has the ability to go with whatever ideas we as players want to follow( I would assume by some sort of typed input), just like a real PnP DM can. At the same time keeping a core set of rules (so it does not go all Monty Haul), keeps the base story line in the background, but lets us go way out on a tangent.Now THAT would be something else.
    It really is hard to emulate PnP on the computer, but regardless, BG as it is is fantastic.

  • Woolie_WoolWoolie_Wool Member Posts: 156
    If you want to know why typed input isn't used for that sort of thing, try playing the original version of King's Quest 1 or Leisure Suit Larry. It was tried in the '80s and it wasn't fun. A computer cannot replace a DM, and the experience of a video game can never approach the reactivity of a tabletop session with a good DM and players, not unless we invent strong AI (and good luck convincing an AI that it would be a worthwhile use of its time and effort to oversee a D&D game!).

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 2,513
    edited March 2017
    @Woolie_Wool This would be for more advanced future gaming. Yep, I remember the ol stuff, Zork and Adventure. Way beyond that is what we would need for it. Put IBM Watson (or HAL 9000) to some REAL use or something, Hehheh.

  • GallengerGallenger Member Posts: 361
    edited March 2017
    The best bet is something like NWN where you've got a relatively easy to use tool set for world-building and scripting events/behaviors and live DM support (I imagine something much better could be made now - the original NWN came out with some pretty severe memory limitations, and high speed internet wasn't the norm so excessively large hak-paks were sometimes multi-day affairs lol). I spent entirely too much time on the ALFA servers back in the day before being ripped away by other concerns. It wasn't exactly 3rd edition D&D around the table, but it was just about as close as one could get.

    There will always be engine and scripting limitations "I want to climb this house and look in the window" can always end up being far more complicated than one would imagine both in simply getting the action to occur, and in having anything to see on the other side of the window at all lol.

    Just an example of a pitfall, in the very earliest days of ALFA there was a push to have "checks" set to doors - so you could do more than lock-pick them, and so you could use an *actual* strength/bash check instead of the game's own built in bash mechanic. It started out a little rudimentary, but eventually it got so doors could be handled just as they were in a standard D&D game (minus being able to listen behind them, or look through a key hole without live DM support - unless there was a scripted text blurb). However, in setting up the doors as entities, they had to be given placeholder saving throws (Fort/Ref/Will in 3rd ed.) which unfortunately could be acted upon by the players (at first lol) so there were lots of hilarious situations of people casting poison and save or die spells on doors to get them to fail their saving throws and explode until the bug could be fixed - which took quite some time (fixed by giving every door impossibly high saving throws lol). It took forever to implement, but it worked.

    There was also the problem of people buying inn rooms and then logging out, only to find that some insidious fellow had locked them in. Since they had an eating mechanic, if one logged in and was unable to get out, they would have to make the live-DM aware that they'd been locked in their room and get the inn keeper or similar-type NPC to come by and unlock the door. But if say the DM was on vacation and didn't have a substitute you may very well starve to death or be held for ransom lol.

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 2,513
    @Gallenger It looks like we just dont have the technology (or not dedicated to it yet) to get to what is on my wish list. LIke I said, we are quite a ways off from approaching a true PnP style scenario with computers, having the instant answers and quick ad lib development some DM's have. It may end up looking something like "Larger then Life" from Red Dwarf.

  • GallengerGallenger Member Posts: 361
    I dunno when we'll see the like of NWN again - since the real money is in MMO-RPGs that require a subscription or micro-transactions that keep the money coming in after release, whereas with NWN you just paid the price of admission a few times and that was that.

    As far as authentic D&D feel, it couldn't be achieved 24/7, but they tried their hardest, and when a DM was around, it was *really* close. It would even cause quite a stir. Here is an example:

    Everybody is familiar with the very most standard D&D trope: how did the party form? Why, of course a bunch of ruffians and magical-types were hanging about an inn when so&so comes in with a pretty proposal or a rumor far too good to pass up, and fast-friends are made and an adventure is begun. This would happen fairly regularly when a GM (DM) would spawn in an NPC and have a whole series of events to run the players through - it would usually get fairly interesting as they could design the adventure for x number of players, so sometimes you would have to run around town desperately trying to convince some folks to become your erstwhile allies and sometimes they'd end up being life-long friends (especially if one's life ended up being cut short).

    Just those few times that happened made it worthwhile, because that whole experience is typically completely hand-waived around the table due to the physical limitations of being unable to scour the area for additional players - and it being a wasted trip if somebody refuses and simply goes home - if you've got an adventure that requires more than however many are in your group already.

    Another thing that was always super fun was hitting hot-spots (like Inns) to hear players telling their tall tales about the strange and wonderful things they'd seen elsewhere - especially in the early days before the player-base had seen much if anything outside of the relatively small areas they'd picked over. Or recounting the events that had transpired during a GM/DM run adventure and how some important local NPCs had been affected. Not to mention that players tended to claim space for themselves so xyz group would always hang out at this inn or at their house they bought and so on - all things that *do* offer play in a persistent on-line world (or dialogue trees for NPCs, that are usually just brushed over around the table.

    It wasn't perfect, but it was remarkably fun.

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 2,513
    @Gallenger sounds like the NWN you mention could benefit from a technology boost if it ever came round again. Never did like having to pay a sub. service anymore than contracts and 'sign up" fees at a gym. Pay as you go at most.
    I do miss a good PnP group, but if not on hand this works.

  • BigfishBigfish Member Posts: 368
    We have the voice recognition and image processing software available for a computer to listen to what you're saying and read dice on a table. The issue ends up being one of how vibrant the computer would act as a DM in regards to standard player shenanigans, and how hard it's set to railroad you.

    I'd say you'd lose a big part of the tabletop experience, which is that you're basically doing structured improv, working off each other to craft a better experience for all.

    What I'd like to see is something like Roll 20, but with a lot of actual effort put in to creating the playing space with 3D models and the like and with the rules built in so that you don't have to track every bonus or penalty yourself.

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 2,513
    @Bigfish Yeah, structured improv, what I am thinking is that although while improved we still don't have a computer woth the learning capability and capability to read our desires as to the way a DM can do. It is slowly getting there but the human brain is hard to reproduce. MAybe a HAL9000 or Skynet could but I am not sure that would be the safest, hehheh. Time will tell.

  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,910
    When a computer can write better sketches than Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, we can talk about this. Until then, ...

  • Woolie_WoolWoolie_Wool Member Posts: 156
    edited March 2017
    The NWN talk reminds me of times when I wonder what would have happened if the Infinity Engine used tile-based map designs (but not grid-based movement) and Baldur's Gate came with a map and script editor. Sure, they wouldn't have looked as nice, but a tile-based map format would have allowed anyone with the vision and the inclination to design their own areas and dungeons, and thus new modules and campaigns.

    There is Classic Adventures, but it's incomplete, most of the maps appear to be reused maps from other IE games, and it's got Monty Haul syndrome where my level 5 party is fully decked out in +2 equipment, they've all got Amulets of Protection and I've got around ten more in my gem bag waiting to be sold, and my party leader dual-wields a +2 short sword and a flaming longsword that does +1 damage but hits for +4.

    Actually they're both flaming...and somehow people don't notice the halfling lady creeping up on them with two swords spewing red and yellow flames.

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 2,513
    @tbone1 Both of those guys were great in Blackadder

    @Woolie_Wool The first ever graphic adventure game editor I can remember was Adventure Construction Set, on the C64. Very basic but was something for the time. Yep, a MHaul campaign seems to take some of the fun and 'fun-worry' out of the game, as in 'Are we gonna die in this encounter).

  • HaHaCharadeHaHaCharade Member Posts: 1,504
    1st Edition is where it's at (Unearthed Arcana) -- 2nd Edition Base Book is pretty great.

    Here's where you get into issues. Roleplaying has gone the way of the dodo these days (and I'm going to generalize here - I realize not every gaming group is this way). People are more interested in having characters with special abilities and doing massive amounts of damage. In 1st Edition (to me anyway) you could play a Dwarf Fighter, with maybe some non-weapon proficiencies out of Dungeoneer or Wilderness Survival Guides, and that's it. You made the character great through background and roleplaying.

    Now people think playing a single classed dwarf is boring. Why do that, when I can play half-giant dual-wielding two-handed swords? etc.

    I dunno, I guess what I'm trying to say is - "Get offa my lawn!" Lol :)

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 2,513
    @HaHaCharade Yep, the special edition unearthed arcana that came out in tribute to Gygax recently had some more 'rules erata' that was added to clarify some things and expand on multi class options.
    It looked like Gygax had some more things in the hopper but never got to go through due to his 'outage'.
    I like 1sted first and foremost, with some of the 2nd edition stuff that was fleshed out for kits n such. Complete Handbooks are enjoyable as well.
    Background and roleplaying, yep, thats what makes the better PnP groups.
    Choice between a good PnP group n a bad one, if the bad one was the only one, Id play BG.

    I have to make a good background and personality behind BG characters these days to make it more enjoyable after so many playthroughs. That can make a run different from the previous one easily.

    Some of the newer editions were getting close to Rolemaster complicated (which I played some as well) We started that system by meshing some of it with Ad&D but AD&D is my first choice.

  • Woolie_WoolWoolie_Wool Member Posts: 156
    Zaghoul said:

    @tbone1 Both of those guys were great in Blackadder

    @Woolie_Wool The first ever graphic adventure game editor I can remember was Adventure Construction Set, on the C64. Very basic but was something for the time. Yep, a MHaul campaign seems to take some of the fun and 'fun-worry' out of the game, as in 'Are we gonna die in this encounter).

    Well they are based on official TSR modules from the late '80s and early '90s so I would have expected better loot balance. And some of the encounters seem like they'd be way too hard if you didn't have Monty Haul equipment, like the lizardmen guards who get 2+ APR and insanely good thac0 with crossbows.

  • bleusteelbleusteel Member Posts: 369
    Tales from the Yawning Portal is being released in a couple weeks:

    It updates some classic (and not-so-classic) D&D modules for 5e and provides details needed to drop them into the mainstream D&D settings (FR, Greyhawk, Dragonlance, etc).

    I loved the G1-3, D1-3 and Q1 sequence as a younger fellow. Sadly only G1-3 is included in this batch.

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 2,513
    @bleusteel 5E notwithstanding, I'm glad to see some of those old adventures springing to life again in D&D' neswest incarnation. Seems like everything had a... 'fresher' feel to it back then.

    WHite Plume mountain was a favorite- Always remember that when seeing Blackrazor and Wave in BG2 as they were in that module.

    Now if they would only do Secret of the Slavers Stockade Series.

    Silver Anniversery remake/updates were made to some of the Classics several years ago for 2nd Ed I think. They were about what happened years AFTER adventurers went through the originals.
    Caves of Chaos (the best IMO), Giants series, and a couple others I think.

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