Kurgan at FASTMAIL.FM
Mon Jan 26 21:01:35 CET 2004
Sd> Appreciate the kind words. Don't know if I agree that the magic system sucks
Sd> but I do admit it needs streamlining, expansion and some major revisions.
Sd> Will definitely concentrate a lot of effort in that area when the time comes
Sd> to seriously tackle the project. Any suggestions would be considered
I was looking back over some of the older posts, and spotted one I
wanted to comment on. Better late than never. :)
I don't think the magic system sucks at all. I've always said the
one drawback to P&P was the original editing job, which was
practically non-existent. The running joke for the last 20 years
has been, "Two weeks and a bottle of extra-strength Tylenol, and
you'll fall in love with P&P." Quality, sadly enough, has never
been a good selling point for entertainment properties, be they tv
shows, games, whatever. P&P will *never* be massively popular to
the masses because, by its very nature of quality and not pandering,
it will only appeal to those that appreciate such depth. Any
attempts to "dumb down" the game will ruin it, and you might as
well, at that point, just slap a disgusting d20 banner on it.
Remember, you don't find caviar sitting on the corner market's
shelves or on most people's dinner tables. Nevertheless, it always
makes people think of quality.
The skill max formulas are the biggest thing that needs
streamlining. I love the idea of having maximums that are based on
the individual character. That's great, and I wouldn't want to see
skill maxs removed from the game. However, having three different
formal types, and each based on a different mathematical equation,
tends to really confuse things. When AH asked me to do the
rewrite, that was the first thing I'd planned on tackling and
streamlining, and I still think it's where someone should start if
the game ever sees the light of day under a second edition.
I'd like to comment on some of the unique high points of the game,
that make it great. These things should never be removed:
No "classes" or "levels." My main character, when asked what he
is, always replies, "art dealer." :)
Skills that each have their own experience. Seeing someone kill a
monster and suddenly become a better lockpick was always a
ludicrous idea, and P&P treats skills logically and avoids such
Spells. Individual colleges, individual expertise, spell branches.
These were fantastic ideas. A little bit of universal expertise
from general mana manipulation, but each spell still relies
primarily on skill with that spell, or spell grouping (eg. fire
related spells), was a masterstroke. How many times have we seen
someone go up a level in other games, and instantly they can toss
around spells they've never seen before? It's great to see a
system where, if all someone does is toss fireballs all day, then
they *only* become a fireball king. :)
Exponentially higher skill/spell costs. The tougher things become,
the harder they are to learn. Great.
The combat system. I really love the way degrees of success are
determined, and subsequent degrees of damage. Higher skill plus a
good swing, and you have a greater chance of scoring more damage.
Very nice. I wouldn't cry if this system got revamped, but I'd
hate to lose the essence of it, that keeps the skill involved with
the results (although personally I could live with things the way
they are). Might be nice to expand on it with a more detailed hit
location and damage description set of tables, similar to
Rolemaster. I'd love to incorporate specific medical conditions,
such as cumulative blood loss, etc. :)
Anyway, I could go on for hours, but I'll close with one last
item, and that is money and magic items. I like that prices are
more realistic, and that everything isn't based on piles of gold.
I also like that magic items aren't monstrously powerful, and the
system lends itself more easily to having a low-powered game where
magic items aren't falling out of everyone's pockets. (I prefer
games where magic items are extremely rare.)
Oh yeah, on a side note, I'll mention a couple of things I've
avoided using for 20 years, because I thought they detracted from
the game or weren't too whoopy.
Upper and lower planes of existence. Way too vague. In my world
everything happens in one reality, on one world, and everybody has
their own patch of earth somewhere to call home.
Perilous Lands. I know, to my surprise everyone here seems to love
it, but I didn't really like it very much. Regardless of that, my
point is that a game shouldn't (in my opinion) be tied too closely
with a specific game world. It makes it difficult sometimes to then
adapt it for use with one's own.
Ah well, I've rambled enough. That's all for now!
Kurgan mailto:Kurgan at Fastmail.fm
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