Thursday, September 13, 2007

Static boredom vs Dynamic excitement

Crwth just pointed out to me that there is a rumor of 4e having "static saves".

In theory these "static saves" would replace the 3.5 method of saving throws as a modifier. You'd no longer roll 1d20 and add your Will save, but you'd simply compare the DC of the attack/effect against your static Will.

Has there been some epidemic of gamers with strained wrists? Are the hospital wards and emergency rooms filling up with dnd players with their wrists and hands bound in slings and casts after excessive die rolling?

Or, is this part of WotC's goal of speeding up game play while dumbing down the rules?

I can respect that but... a saving throw is probably the simplest roll in the game. It's rolling 1d20 and adding one number. One number plus one number. An average third grader can do it. Hell, I can do it.

Sure there are modifiers and special effects that can modify the saving throw modifier. Sometimes these modifiers on modifiers can be tricky. But it's no different than rolling an attack. Or a skill check. Why aren't they dumbing those rolls down as well?

Hey! Let's have everything static!

We can boil down an entire combat down to a quick excercise in mathematics that can be worked out in less than a minute. Fighter A with a static attack will hit Goblin A with a static AC enough times to do enough static damage against the goblin's static hit points to drop him in 5 rounds. Goblin A to do the same to Fighter A will take 7 rounds. Fighter A wins. Pass the Doritos.

I'm sure that's an extreme example but I'm just trying to make a point. And that point is, that the rolling of dice is one of the three pillars that DnD is based on. It's that randomness that makes the game exciting. From the elation of that natural 20 to the horror of that dreaded 1, it's all about the tension, the hope, the optimism dashed to pieces.

If anything I want more die rolls. I'd like to see the spell DCs determined by a d20+caster level (or hit die or stat modifier) vs the 1d20+Reflex save (or whatever). For sure it's a bit more math, but let's streamline the math that makes up the modifiers. Going static ain't the answer.

1 comment:

Smart Person said...

This is such a good point. I really like your logic here.