Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The First Dorky Post

I went to the D&D eXperience convention and got to play 4th Edition, and at some point I'll blog about that. Short version: I had a good time, and liked the changes in 4.

This post, however, is about something about 3.5 which has bugged the everloving crap out of me since I rolled up my first character, a barbarian, 5 years ago.


Ok, let's talk about what your character does when, say, they're grappled or entangled. If they're a sneaksy one, they can use the Escape Artist check, related to Dexterity, and wiggle their way out. If they're a strong one, they can use a straight-up Strength check to force their way out. From a intuitive what-really-happens perspective, as well as from a game balance perspective, this makes perfect sense.

Now, then, say there's an NPC your party wants to get information out of. There are two ways to do this, Diplomacy and Intimidate. In an intuitive understanding of character actions, you'd expect the glib-talking high-charisma sorcerer to be good at Diplomacy, and the big-axed high-strength-and-constitution barbarian who doesn't need to say much to be good at Intimidate. You'd also expect that, from a game mechanics standpoint, one action would be easier for the sorcerer (ie, tied to Charisma) and the other would be easier for the Barbarian (ie, tied to Strength or Constitution).

You'd be wrong, of course. They're both tied to Charisma. So an exceptionally soft and squishy sorcerer is, in a mechanical sense, SCARIER than the huge looming barbarian who cleaves through goblin armies like a hot knife through butter and could CERTAINLY do lots of bad, bad things to the NPC in question with their giant battleaxe.

Obviously, I do not accept this.

1 comment:

Chet Scoville said...

4th edition already? Argh, I've got to buy the DMG again!