|
Your donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Gamasutra - Adventurer's Guide to Thievery

Default Gamasutra - Adventurer's Guide to Thievery

June 13th, 2008, 11:17
Gamasutra has a feature article up on what game devs can learn from D&D, in particular the new 4th edition ruleset, called The Adventurer's Guide to Thievery by Tom Smith(THQ):
So what is the 4th Edition? Basically, it takes the D&D ruleset further down the road of standardization and simplification that began with 3rd edition. D&D's first two editions were teeming with different rules and charts and systems, so that no one part of the game integrated easily with any other. The 3rd tried to turn these micro-systems and exceptions into a true systems design, with coherent themes and structures. The 4th continues this trend…
… The D&D designers did a good job of taking ideas from video games that help their game work better without overly diluting the unique feel of their game. Hopefully we can prove as competent at returning those influences as they were.
The article goes in-depth to recommend some ideas of 4th edition that could be implemented well in games, including but not limited to:
Flexible Systems

One of the bigger mechanical changes in 4E is Saving Throws. Rather than treat it as a unique mechanic onto itself as previous editions did, it's been combined into the standard defense mechanism. So Reflex, Fortitude and Will are just different flavors of Armor Class, providing four different defense stats that all work the same way.

Whenever a character does anything attack-like, whether swinging a sword, breathing fire, or subverting someone's mind, the player rolls an attack against one of these defense stats. And these numbers scale up like everything else.

This is a good example of a standardized system that allows easy adaptability. If the DM wants to invent a new monster attack, or a new trap, or even improvise a new action in the middle of a game, it's fairly easy to determine how to resolve it. Generally, roll an attack or ability and compare it to one of these defenses.

Having four defense stats means it's easy to generate attacks that feel unique and different but operate on the same basis mechanically. And by exposing the underlying math, a good DM knows how to generate unique content for each encounter and to adjudicate when something strange comes up, which it usually does.

This doesn't all translate directly to video games, since we lack a DM at the table to interpret these rules real-time, but it does give some good guidelines for feature and content design. Create systems with enough flexibility to cover a wide range of real situations…Make sure the mechanics emphasize the differences between situations rather than flattening them all out to be the same…
More information.
magerette is offline

magerette

magerette's Avatar
Hedgewitch

#1

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,929

Default 

June 13th, 2008, 11:17
That has to be one of the most positive takes on 4e I've seen yet
kalniel is offline

kalniel

SasqWatch

#2

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,877

Default 

June 14th, 2008, 14:05
The other day I talked to an employee of a board games and role playing games shop. He said that the 4th edition streamlined everything much more - more into the direction of video gaming, that was his personal impression.

From this point of view, this quote is just a … well, not a lie, but rather a "I close my eyes before the truth" :

This doesn't all translate directly to video games
Of course only, if this impression is right. Otherwise it isn't, of course.

By the way, I bought a book of the second edition last weekend on a flea market.

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)
Alrik Fassbauer is offline

Alrik Fassbauer

Alrik Fassbauer's Avatar
TL;DR

#3

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Old Europe
Posts: 16,037
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Gamasutra - Adventurer's Guide to Thievery
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 01:38.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch