wallace

Crossing Back Over.

In Tabletop on July 14, 2009 at 4:02 pm

d20

Dungeons and Dragons: Fourth Edition- Tabletop.

Somewhere in my head there’s a roughly assembled semi-rant on D&D influencing video games, and how we’ve learnt all we can from it (or, to be slightly more inflammatory “Cheers for being the foundation of the modern RPG, but could you piss off now?”). Minimal tabletop experience has probably skewed my perception a bit- with most of my understanding of D&D coming from versions of the rules shoehorned into games like Neverwinter Nights and Baldur’s Gate, but last Sunday I found myself in up in Watford, playing some fourth edition. Which has me convinced that the rise of the video game genre it helped create has lead to something crossing back over to the tabletop.

The core mechanics are still there, with a D20 roll plus ability score versus armour class/reflex/whatever being the meat of the system. What is new, and reminiscent of games like Diablo (and most MMOs), are the powers that you get with every odd numbered level. These are generally special versions of your basic attacks, and can be used just as often (with the exception of the daily and per encounter powers), to the point that they quickly become your default actions, as they usually grant bonuses or effects without requiring some kind of penalty. There are obvious similarities with, let’s say, World of Warcraft, in that every character has a basic weapon attack, but your spells and abilities take up the bulk of your actions in a fight. Think of powers as spells for all classes.

So, characters now get even more abilities to choose from as they level up, and, even at level two my rogue had a small repertoire of powers, rather than just a simple stabbing action, that meant I could do something a bit special, every turn.

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