Thursday, December 23, 2010

3d6 in order, another quick point

I'm not a fan of demi-human level limits.   I've often heard people support them because they desire demi-humans to be rare / have a human centric world.  I'm not that into human centric campaigns either, but if I were the demi-human level limits haven't been in my experience an effective means of making them rare.  Nor does it balance them at all in most campaigns cause those levels aren't reached often.

I was noticing (I believe Labyrinth Lord) had some modest ability requirements for demi-humans.  Which reminded me of the really tough ability requirements of 1st/2nd ed Paladins and Rangers.   It donned on me that ability requirements combined with "3d6 in order" are an effective way to make certain classes/races rarer.   The Paladin and Ranger requirements are way, way too high making them virtually impossible to qualify for unless you use one of the multiple dice stat methods.  But, say requiring elves to have >= INT 9 would make them less common just by virtue of dice rolling statistics.  Also elves would gravitate towards Magic User.

I've often read at Grognardia the author's belief much more thought than we give credit for went into the earliest editions of D&D.  Much of what many (myself included) consider(ed) an arbitrary hodge podge of rules.  Are actually tied together in subtle and elegant ways.   I'm still undecided how much I believe it was intentional vs survival of the fittest (there were tons of RPGs the one(s) that happened to be elegant survived, the others not so much).   But, I'm definitely seeing more and more of what James talks about re: how effective the rules are when taken as is.   Changing one thing ability rolling has a tremendous effect on many other parts of the game.

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