Obsidian Entertainment - J.E. Sawyer Answers
NMA noticed Josh Sawyer on some web 2.0 site called formspring.me that I'm not up on. It seems you can submit questions and Sawyer has already answered a bunch. Here's an example from the dozen or so:
You mentioned part of your job is number crunching on spreadsheets. I'm curious what kind of math and methodology is involved. Is there any relative bibliography you'd recommend?
The math is usually pretty simple. I use Excel and Excel formulae to see how RPG statistics scale over a given spectrum of levels, difficulty, etc. For example, if I'm creating an armor system, I might input different damage values against different armor values to see how high level damage vs. low level armor fares. I use the Excel formulae so I can change one number (variable) in one cell and see every other cell update based off of the variable.
In general, I don't believe that RPG mathematics should be overly "fiddly" or complex. I believe that the mathematics should be exposed or, if not exposed, the user should be able to deconstruct their basic operation through observation.
Source: No Mutants Allowed