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Old 02-28-2020, 05:42 PM
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Baldur's Gate 3!


I can't believe this is really happening, but here's the announcement. I can't wait! Woo-hoo!
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Old 02-28-2020, 06:52 PM
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I like the original BG but didn't really like the 2nd Edition. Hopefully this will be better. I plan to buy.
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Old 02-28-2020, 07:11 PM
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Here is about an hour of the gameplay from yesterday's demo at PAX East. Looks great.
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Old 02-28-2020, 07:14 PM
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For those that don't know, this is from Larian, makers of the Divinity games. I haven't played the earlier titles yet, but Original Sin 1/2 were excellent.

Last edited by goldmund; 02-28-2020 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 02-28-2020, 07:32 PM
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I'm incredibly pumped for this. I've been waiting nearly three decades for a Baldurs Fate game that did away with real time combat.
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Old 02-28-2020, 07:50 PM
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Larian is basically the dream studio for something like that. I wasn't in love with DOS, but they really stepped it up for DOS2. If they can keep raising the bar, BG3 is going to be an easy GOTY contender.
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Old 02-28-2020, 08:11 PM
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5e D&D is a really solid system that should translate very well to the computer. I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up.
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Old 02-28-2020, 08:41 PM
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5e D&D is a really solid system that should translate very well to the computer. I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up.
It seems the one bone of contention people are arguing about is Baldur's Gate 3 being turned based combat only. Previously it was real time with pause. I am good with both but it seems there are strong opinions on both sides.

To be fair I don't get the sense this is a huge deal but a point of contention.
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Old 02-28-2020, 10:25 PM
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I don't know if I'll get the game just on the turn-based lock. I know there are people to love it, but to me that mode is slow, unwieldy, prone to weird results based on turn order, and just not as fun. A shame, because I'm a massive BG nerd.
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Old 02-29-2020, 06:17 AM
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I for one welcome our new turn-based overlords.

I want to play BG when I'm in the mood for D&D but no group is meeting. Like today, because one of our players had to bail I'm not looking for "real time" because that's just taking me further away from D&D.
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Old 02-29-2020, 12:40 PM
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I have mixed feelings about this. I played the hell out of Baldur's Gate 1 back in the day. Baldur's Gate 2 was okay, but I disliked how many enemies had total immunity to various attacks, especially wizard enemies where you were forced to strip off multiple defensive spells.

I thought Divinity: Original Sin 1 was moderately entertaining, but I found the shtick wore kind of thin by the time I played Divinity: Original Sin 2; the fights started getting kind of repetitive.

My favourite retro-clone has been Pillars of Eternity, which I really enjoyed. I haven't played Pillars of Eternity: Deadfire yet.
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Old 02-29-2020, 02:26 PM
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I have mixed feelings about this. I played the hell out of Baldur's Gate 1 back in the day. Baldur's Gate 2 was okay, but I disliked how many enemies had total immunity to various attacks, especially wizard enemies where you were forced to strip off multiple defensive spells.
That mechanic never bothered me, but then I was a former paper player of AD&D 2.0-2.5 so I was comfortable with it. What was most enjoyable for me about the BG series is the massive size and epic scope. It really did play like an escalating series of old school AD&D modules.

I really enjoy many of the newer Pillars of Eternity/Divinity-style retro party rpgs. But I find most of them mostly disappointingly short. Tyranny for example - not perfect, but a nice game with a nice setup. But quite short, with an annoyingly abrupt ending. There was a great deal of satisfaction( for me )in completing the BG series, with a properly grand ending. I rather miss that. No doubt it is tied to different economics of PC games today, but I do rather miss that feeling of first-level to god-level epic progress over a long period of time.

But then I prefer long, interminable games generally. Give me Medieval Total War with its hour-plus length battles over its busy-people friendlier, quicker-playing successors any day .

Very excited about a BG3, but I'll temper my expectations. I also much prefer paused real-time, but I a can certainly live with turns.

Last edited by Tamerlane; 02-29-2020 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 02-29-2020, 02:45 PM
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That mechanic never bothered me, but then I was a former paper player of AD&D 2.0-2.5 so I was comfortable with it.
I have played plenty of old school D&D games, and wizards starting battle with (say) immediate immunity to non-magical and magical weapons was not a thing I ever encountered. YMMV, of course.
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Old 02-29-2020, 03:22 PM
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BG3 is looking really good in previews.
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Old 02-29-2020, 03:23 PM
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I have played plenty of old school D&D games, and wizards starting battle with (say) immediate immunity to non-magical and magical weapons was not a thing I ever encountered. YMMV, of course.
Stoneskin has always been a classic, and in earlier editions was even nastier than in 3E, protecting completely from the first several attacks the wizard faced. Did you play to high levels in those old school games, and did you fight wizards?
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Old 02-29-2020, 03:41 PM
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I'm incredibly pumped for this. I've been waiting nearly three decades for a Baldurs Fate game that did away with real time combat.
What did you think of Siege of Dragonspear? I remember that I liked it. Granted, the feel was a bit more like fanfic than the writing in 1 and 2, but it was pretty good. Or i was just fiending for another Bhaalspawn adventure in 2E.

This can't be about Gorion's Ward, can it? What is left to tell?
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Old 02-29-2020, 03:41 PM
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Stoneskin has always been a classic, and in earlier editions was even nastier than in 3E, protecting completely from the first several attacks the wizard faced. Did you play to high levels in those old school games, and did you fight wizards?
Also worth remembering that early edition AD&D wizards were very unbalanced. Weak and fragile as kittens early on, impregnable powerhouses late. I rather enjoyed that - but I've always been heavily biased towards spell-casting classes.
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Old 02-29-2020, 05:57 PM
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Ok, that looks great!

I loved the first one, no telling how many playthroughs or hours I have in it.

I like the tactical aspect of the turn based combat. Really looking forward to this.
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Old 02-29-2020, 06:28 PM
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What did you think of Siege of Dragonspear? I remember that I liked it. Granted, the feel was a bit more like fanfic than the writing in 1 and 2, but it was pretty good. Or i was just fiending for another Bhaalspawn adventure in 2E.
I never played it. It was turn-based? I thought it was just using the standard BG2 engine.

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This can't be about Gorion's Ward, can it? What is left to tell?
It's not. This one is set 100 years after BGII, and is an entirely new story.
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Old 02-29-2020, 07:49 PM
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I enjoy turn-based and real-time combat, but to me you've got to have turn-based combat to really feel like you're playing a tabletop RPG. I'm happy with the direction they're taking.
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Old 03-01-2020, 04:40 PM
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Turn-based combat is a necessary abstraction in a tabletop game, but you can do without it in a computer game. Real-time is more immersive, but it's tough to think quickly enough, especially when you're controlling a half-dozen different characters. I always thought that BG's real-time-but-with-orders-while-paused (which also shows up in a few other games of various genres) was the best of both worlds. That said, the lack of it isn't a dealbreaker for me.

High-level play in Baldur's Gate is annoying, but that's not Baldur's Gate's fault. As others have said, it's an artifact of the rules in pencil-and-paper D&D... where it's also annoying.

And my biggest complaint with Siege of Dragonspear is that it's way too railroaded: There's nothing of the open world about it. You can't even go back to areas you've already visited. And it's annoying that you have to give up your old party, though I understand why they did that: Otherwise nobody would ever play any of the new characters they created. Other than that, I thought it was pretty good.
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Old 03-02-2020, 06:56 AM
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I always thought that BG's real-time-but-with-orders-while-paused (which also shows up in a few other games of various genres) was the best of both worlds.
I agree broadly with this statement, but...

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Turn-based combat is a necessary abstraction in a tabletop game, but you can do without it in a computer game.
Because it's a necessary abstraction in a tabletop game, that means it's also an integral part of what makes it a tabletop game. So in the case of a long, long, long-awaited return to a D&D ruleset, I want a game that feels like playing Dungeons and Dragons.
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Old 03-02-2020, 07:09 AM
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I prefer turn-based, but only if there is an intelligent quick battle system for the thousand fights with worthless scrubs, I don't wanna have to assign orders to kill 2 Kobalds a hundred times, but I also don't want the computer blowing a fireball in my stead, to kill them.
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Old 03-02-2020, 07:26 AM
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I loved BG and BG2. To be honest, I'm not sure that I'll still have the time, patience, and passion to dive in to BG3, but I'm glad that games like this are still being made.
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Old 03-02-2020, 09:15 AM
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I judge these games by how good they are as games, not by how closely they mimic a different game. They're already by nature missing out on the most important aspects of D&D; why should I care that they're also missing a trivial detail like turns?
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Old 03-02-2020, 01:34 PM
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why should I care that they're also missing a trivial detail like turns?
Who says you should? Taste is subjective - what I'm looking for in a game may not be what you are.
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Old 03-02-2020, 07:36 PM
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I judge these games by how good they are as games, not by how closely they mimic a different game. They're already by nature missing out on the most important aspects of D&D; why should I care that they're also missing a trivial detail like turns?
I want a game that captures as much of the feeling of D&D as possible - and that's not just the roleplaying, but also the system. I enjoy D&D's combat system on its own terms, and have long wanted a game that allowed me to play with that system without having to co-ordinate with four or five other people first.

Also, just generally, I find turn-based combat systems to almost always be superior to real-time, and I find both to be superior over BG's real-time-with-pause system, which lacks both the tactical depth of turn based, and the arcadey fun of real time.

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Old 03-02-2020, 07:40 PM
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Because it's a necessary abstraction in a tabletop game, that means it's also an integral part of what makes it a tabletop game. So in the case of a long, long, long-awaited return to a D&D ruleset, I want a game that feels like playing Dungeons and Dragons.
I'm going to clarify why I think this feeling, while valid, isn't necessarily correct. The reason is the Dungeon master (Game Master) or lack thereof.

On a tabletop, you don't have to spell out every last detail and you can in fact dispense with turns entirely and toss in a different system if you like - I've created a dozen different initiative systems for D20 alone. The key to tabletop game, in combat or out, is that the DM is there to adjudicate and get creative. For example, in a tabletop game, the DM may or may not allow everyone to rush willy-nilly in combat without getting clocked in the head (depending on your DnD game, this could be handled by Attacks of Opportunity). Similarly, in early DnD spellcasters didn't just get "a turn" and instantly unleashed their most powerful spells - it had to be planned and used based on timing.

Now, there are good reasons to use turns still, and turn-based games are not necessarily bad. But they have issues and there is a reason that video games, too, pushed away from turn-based battles early: You could do more complicated but also much cooler things.

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Old 03-03-2020, 07:36 AM
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I haven't played any from this series, but it seems like the sort of game I would like. How do the earlier games hold up?
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Old 03-03-2020, 08:02 AM
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They were ported to IOS. I played Baldur's Gate a few months ago and had a blast, although the ending was enough of a slog that I never finished it--but that's true for most long games for me these days.

Sure, there have been plenty of innovations in game design in the last twenty years, and in this respect it shows its age. But the core gameplay is excellent.
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Old 03-03-2020, 08:19 AM
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At the time, the Baldur's Gate games were, by far, the best port ever of D&D to a computer game. Now, I haven't played a lot of D&D computer games since then, so that might no longer be true... but I've never heard anyone claiming that title for any other game since then, either. At most, I've heard "Such-and-such is about as good as Baldur's Gate".
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Old 03-03-2020, 08:38 AM
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At the time, the Baldur's Gate games were, by far, the best port ever of D&D to a computer game. Now, I haven't played a lot of D&D computer games since then, so that might no longer be true... but I've never heard anyone claiming that title for any other game since then, either. At most, I've heard "Such-and-such is about as good as Baldur's Gate".
I'm having trouble thinking of anything using the D&D license since BG that wasn't one of the Neverwinter's Nights or a remake/port of the BG/Torment/Icewind games. I think after Wizards took over, most RPG makers just didn't bother with trying to license it anymore.

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Old 03-03-2020, 09:11 AM
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Temple of Elemental Evil was, IIRC, the first game to use the 3rd Edition rules. It was pretty faithful to them, and sometimes clunky, and sometimes annoying, and pretty dang fun for old-schoolers like me who'd run friends through the original adventure back in the late eighties.

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Old 03-03-2020, 12:23 PM
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I'm having trouble thinking of anything using the D&D license since BG that wasn't one of the Neverwinter's Nights or a remake/port of the BG/Torment/Icewind games. I think after Wizards took over, most RPG makers just didn't bother with trying to license it anymore.
There were a few, but they were mostly terrible. Temple of Elemental Evil was eventually a decent game, but it took years of fan made patches to get it into a reasonable shape - out of the box, it was literally unplayable, it was so buggy. Ruins of Myth Drannor was similarly broken, including a bug where the uninstaller could sometimes delete your system files, bricking your whole PC. (It was also the first attempt at adapting 3rd edition rules, about two years before ToEE came out.) There were few others, mostly console exclusives that amped up the arcade factor and featured minimal role-play aspects - most notably the Dark Alliance games, which, despite having the Baldur's Gate brand on them, played more like light-weight Diablo clones.

Wikipedia has a pretty good list.
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Old 03-03-2020, 01:30 PM
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I've played Divine Divinity and Beyond Divinity.

I'll never forget the quote that the player character says when he can't open a door:

"This door is locked tighter than a dwarf's ale purse."

The imp village in Beyond Divinity is well done and is the most memorable part of the game.

I haven't played Original Sin or the Baldur's Gate games, I don't like the idea of having to control a party although Beyond Divinity was two characters.
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Old 03-03-2020, 03:56 PM
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I haven't played any from this series, but it seems like the sort of game I would like. How do the earlier games hold up?
Does the word "THAC0" mean anything to you?

Seriously, though, I think the problems are less the video game portions of it and more the 2nd Edition D&D parts that may be a stumbling block.
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Old 03-03-2020, 04:57 PM
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Does the word "THAC0" mean anything to you?

Seriously, though, I think the problems are less the video game portions of it and more the 2nd Edition D&D parts that may be a stumbling block.
I think I looked it up when I played Planescape. I even remember what it stands for, but not actually what that means or whether you want high or low. I was more in a "role not roll PG" mindset back then, and only gave up on Planescape because my computer was garbage.

I heard that someone used to more modern game interfaces might find the original BG a bit frustrating, but I didn't receive details.
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Old 03-03-2020, 05:20 PM
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THAC0 was awful. You remember that it means "to hit AC zero."

Armor class back then went from 10 (unarmored) to -10 (extremely well armored). Your character's THAC0 was the number you had to roll to hit a character with an armor class of zero.

Of course, hardly anybody has an AC of 0. So if my THAC0 is 17 and your AC is 4, and I have a +2 strength bonus and a +1 sword, I have to roll, uh... hold. on. I had a chart back in the day...
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Old 03-03-2020, 06:19 PM
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But the game did it all for me so I didn't really care much at the time.
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Old 03-03-2020, 06:51 PM
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THAC0 was awful. You remember that it means "to hit AC zero."

Armor class back then went from 10 (unarmored) to -10 (extremely well armored). Your character's THAC0 was the number you had to roll to hit a character with an armor class of zero.

Of course, hardly anybody has an AC of 0. So if my THAC0 is 17 and your AC is 4, and I have a +2 strength bonus and a +1 sword, I have to roll, uh... hold. on. I had a chart back in the day...
13 right?

I know I've asked this a few years ago, but how's that whole thing handled now? I don't know any different, but THAC0 made sense at the time.

ETA Nm... 10? ...I haven't thought about that for a while.

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Old 03-03-2020, 06:56 PM
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13 right?

I know I've asked this a few years ago, but how's that whole thing handled now? I don't know any different, but THAC0 made sense at the time.
As of 3rd edition, you roll a d20, add all of your hit bonuses, and if your total is equal to or higher than your target's AC, you hit them.

I have no idea why they ever did it any different than that. Old school game design was fucking weird.
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Old 03-03-2020, 07:28 PM
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Yeah, even if the only thing 3rd edition did was to turn all the numbers right-side-up, it would have been worth it.

But while you can turn on the option to display all the numbers in Baldur's Gate, you don't need to. Just let it do the math for you, and sometimes you hit and sometimes you don't.
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Old 03-04-2020, 12:39 AM
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As of 3rd edition, you roll a d20, add all of your hit bonuses, and if your total is equal to or higher than your target's AC, you hit them.

I have no idea why they ever did it any different than that. Old school game design was fucking weird.
And saving throws were great because you had to figure out which one to use (since they didn’t mean what they seemed to mean), and then you had thief skills which were percentile based, and then the grappling rules and punching rules were a whole different combat system...

2E seemed like a bunch of different people wrote parts of the book, making up completely different and unrelated mechanical systems, without collaborating with or even talking to each other, then after each person was done they stuck them all together and sent that scrapbook mess off to be published.

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Old 03-04-2020, 02:03 AM
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And saving throws were great because you had to figure out which one to use (since they didnít mean what they seemed to mean), and then you had thief skills which were percentile based, and then the grappling rules and punching rules were a whole different combat system...

2E seemed like a bunch of different people wrote parts of the book, making up completely different and unrelated mechanical systems, without collaborating with or even talking to each other, then after each person was done they stuck them all together and sent that scrapbook mess off to be published.
And yet, it was still better than 1st edition. Remember Fighter 18 Strength percentiles?

I remember when THAC0 was first introduced (IIRC, it appeared in a 1st Edition expansion before it was made part of 2nd Edition). It was considered an improvement on looking at a goddamn table every time you rolled an attack.
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Old 03-04-2020, 06:27 AM
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I prefer turn-based, but only if there is an intelligent quick battle system for the thousand fights with worthless scrubs, I don't wanna have to assign orders to kill 2 Kobalds a hundred times, but I also don't want the computer blowing a fireball in my stead, to kill them.
I agree that it's nice to have AI scripts when it comes to the mopping-up phase of the battle. I also agree that there are some pretty dumb AI scripts out there!
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Old 03-04-2020, 09:50 AM
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And yet, it was still better than 1st edition. Remember Fighter 18 Strength percentiles?

I remember when THAC0 was first introduced (IIRC, it appeared in a 1st Edition expansion before it was made part of 2nd Edition). It was considered an improvement on looking at a goddamn table every time you rolled an attack.
I remember not liking it when Neverwinter Nights moved to the normal AC system from the THAC0 system the Baldur's Gate games used. Somehow having an AC of -4 was much cooler than having an AC of 23. It's of course just what I was used to, and the new system makes a lot more sense.

The old DnD editions had some other strange things. I remember playing an early edition where Elf and Dwarf were character classes instead of races.
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Old 03-04-2020, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessan View Post
And yet, it was still better than 1st edition. Remember Fighter 18 Strength percentiles?
Percentile strength was still a thing in 2nd ed. IIRC, it was more of a thing than it was in AD&D, where it was originally introduced as a special class feature just for cavaliers. 2nd ed. made it a standard rule for all the "warrior" classes.
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Old 03-04-2020, 12:00 PM
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IIRC, in the First Edition Player's Handbook, the to-hit table wasn't even in the Player's Handbook: a single page in the Dungeonmaster's Guide had tables for every class. The tables had an underlying logic, but it was pretty opaque.

THAC0 struck me as a brilliant innovation when I finally saw it: you could write a single number on your character sheet and use it to perform a subtraction calculation with any enemy's armor class!

I think 2Ed also got rid of the weapon-speed table and the modifier vs. specific forms of armor table. Given that these tables never ever saw use, though, that didn't matter as much.
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Old 03-04-2020, 01:36 PM
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Weapon speed was also a 2nd ed. thing.

Effectiveness versus armor type died with the 1st edition, though.
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Old 03-04-2020, 02:18 PM
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One of the early Cecil columns that got me hooked back way back when, had this gem of a phrase:

The rule book is laden with such mystifying pronouncements as the following: ďAn ancient spell-using red dragon of huge size with 88 hits points has a BXPV of 1300, XP/HP total of 1408, SAXPB of 2800 (armor class plus special defense plus high intelligence plus saving throw bonus due to h.p./die), and an EAXPA of 2550 (major breath weapon plus spell use plus attack damage of 3-30/bite) ó totalling 7758 h.p.Ē Here we have a game that combines the charm of a Pentagon briefing with the excitement of double-entry bookkeeping.

I had to laugh. Partly at myself, for understanding that ridiculous excerpt perfectly .
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