Some solutions and insights
Posted by docryder
So, late last week I finally figured out the issue with 4e skills that had me perplexed. As I entered the ranger and bard who had achieved such crazy results into my Excel sheet, as well as the fighter that didn’t, I started seeing the issue. 4e has a strange synergy created by three or four factors: Class skill options, racial and class bonuses, attack power attribute requirements and attribute/skill relations. Essentially, some classes are more geared to create crazy-high results than others, and the right race will only serve to exacerbate the issue.
In the case of the ranger, almost all of their powers, especially for archery-based builds, require either Dexterity or Wisdom. So do their critical skills. So, assuming the player trains his character in those Dex- and Wis- based skills and pumps those attributes at every possible option, getting crazy bonuses is easy. Same with social skills and a bard. I’m betting rogues are the same, but I have yet to input one into my spreadsheet, but I have no doubt the result will be similar. The fighters, paladins and warlord? Nope, nowhere near the same, with the exception of my LFR warlord, who will have a phenomenal Arcane skill.
So, I have begun to see the logic of the bounded accuracy and background systems in 5e. I still don’t like the game as it stands, though.
I also began to see the “simple rules” side of the Old School Renaissance movement. There was a brief disagreement between myself and one of my players this weekend. It was over Opportunity Attacks. I begin to see how someone could see them as too complex.
I also got my copy of Bare Bones Fantasy and tried to figure out how much I’ll have to do to use it as the core for the StarSea. Not a crazy amount, but it would need to be significantly altered to do what I want. I think I need to make similar lists for other systems I’m interested in.
Won’t be tonight, though. I can barely keep my eyes open while reading this. So, to bed I go. TTYL