Friday, August 10, 2012

D&D Post Op: Design Philosophies (Or: Can Someone Come Up With A Better Name For These?)

So in my last post (which no one who values their free time has any business reading) I examined these editions of D&D from a purely mechanical standpoint. I made that obnoxiously long post so I could make this one and have something to cite. This is largely hypothetical, as I didn’t really follow the development cycle of either edition of the game and am not particularly inclined to research them too thoroughly. I don’t want to talk about what the designers SAID they were aiming for, I want to talk about what they actually DID aim for.

Once again:

DISCLAIMER 2.0: I’m not unbiased in this; I prefer 4th edition to 3.5 for reasons I SWEAR I’ll elucidate by the end of this piece, but I’m not going to let my opinions color my commentary at all if I can help it.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

D&D Post-Op: 3.5 and 4th

Finally. Almost a full year since this blog was first established, and I’m just now getting to the subject I was going to tackle day 1. I need to step it up around here. Anywho, in this post I’m going to do an autopsy on two editions of D&D that have officially ended their runs. (Yes, 4th edition is soon to be a thing of the past, since since 5th Edition is now in development.) The transition from the former to the latter was one of the most acrimonious in RPG history, to the point where it adversely affected the sales of 4th. The 4th Ed Essentials line was, in part, an attempt to recapture some lost players by rolling back several of the changes made in 4th. Not popular stuff.
SUPER-MEGA-DISCLAIMER: I am personally a fan of 4th edition over 3.5. I’ll end this piece with my explanation for why, but I’ll do my best to avoid letting that bias interfere with the examination itself.
This first part will examine the two systems from a mechanical standpoint, comparing the rules of the two systems to see the kind of games they build. To prevent ruining the nice formatting, I've implemented a handy dandy jump-off below: