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October 12th, 2010, 11:00
Oh, and rolling dice to create a character? Letting chance dictate that your character may be underpowered? Extra bad with bad sauce!
This - dice rolling vs. nin-rolling - is a regular source of heated debates among TDE fans.

Because TDE 3rd edition and earlier *had* dice-rolling. TDE 4th edition (and 4.1 and the Myranor spin-off, don't know about the "Dark Times" setting box yet - it's simply too expensive for me right now) have something that i know as "purchase system". Yiou get a fixed amount of so-called "generation points", and with them you can build your character. You can get a few more (points) with chosing "negative traits" (like for example the negatives *every* hero had in TDE3), or less if you chose a "positive trait" for the hero/character. "Positives" lways cost something, for "negatives" you get your money back, so to say.

People are just used to it, and in all discussions I witness the overwhlming majority says that dice rolling is just rubbish. "Purchasing" is much btter, they say.

Me, I'm an alien in that I'm still for TDE3 - and my reasoning behind that is that I come from board games. In board games, dice rolling is the norm, not the exception. And I had always regarded TDE 2 and 3 primarily as a kind of "expanded board game", so to say. Like with the classic of Talisman, which I unfortunately never played so far. And Talisman is primarily kind of a board game.

With TDE 4, the "simulationist" concept came into the game. According to role-playing theory, there are different kinds of players and therefore different approaches in terms of playing style.

There are (as far as I know) :

- simulationists
- story-tellers
- err … I forgot what the thiord was. Sorry.
- and probably even a few more

The simulationist approach tries to handle an role-playing game as kindof a world simulation. Including combat, which lead to very compleyx combat rules in TDE4.

The "story-teller" isn't much interested in rules at all (that's me ! ). He or she is much more interested in the story of the adventure, and is therefore much more intrested in the adventure becoming a thrilling story or so. There is not much combat simulation, for instance, because the combat is just … one step among many. Therefore, I rather guess that "storytellers" prefer to use dice for combat, and simple rules. Whereas simulationists calculate a lot.

Some say that TDE 3 and prior to that tended to rather be "storyteller-systems", and with TDE 4 , TDE has become rather kind of a "simulationist system", especially if you look at how much there is to be calculated in the background.

Now, what my really personal impression is that even rule systems have kind of fashions. The current fashion in role-playing rules systems is the simulation. And the "purchase" element in character creation instead of dice.

Hence the current fashion kind of "dictates" that using dice is "un-cool". Like every fashion just kind of "dictates" that only the current fashion is "cool" and everything else is "un-cool".


Role-playing theory at Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Role-playing_game_theory

Forge Theory (I don't know it under no other name, bit Wikipedia calls it "The Big Model", yes, everything HAS to be BIG … *sigh* )
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Model

Now, the uestion is : How much do designers of RPGs actually know of these theories ? And are they interested in them at all ? (Me, for example, I don't want to meddle with it too much, because I fear too much "theorizing" could hurt my "natural approach" kind of thing.)

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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