Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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History of Roleplaying

 ... had its ups and downs.

I agree with most of these points.

However, I disagree vehemently on the uneven leveling.  Character classes and races are so homogenized now, the differences are mostly window dressing.  That's a serious problem for player retention over the long haul.  I like to see classes and races with very different strengths and weaknesses. 

The whole point to playing a mage was that it required very different skills over time -- first you had to concentrate on staying alive, but later on, you could pretty much kill everything in sight with a flick of your fingers, which was awesome, but you really had to pay attention to spell use strategy. 

I loved the first introduction of Eberron with its Warforged, who being magical constructs, had a beautiful cost-benefit balance: they couldn't heal naturally, but they also couldn't bleed out if injured.  If your character was disabled, it could lie there all day until someone got around to repairing it.  That had a huge impact on play, making it very different from playing all the biological races.  But it was taken out in later editions as "imbalanced."  I think people just didn't have the imagination to capitalize on its potential, and that hamstrings a lot of the really great stuff that a game could do.

I quibble with the point about miniatures.  Lead may be toxic, but it molds great and then stays where you put it.  Plastic miniatures can be beautiful if well made, but often they suck, and they really don't stay put well.  The industry has not yet made a really good replacement for lead. 

On the other hoof, boardgames often include wooden elements now, and some of those are terrific.  Wood is heavy enough to stay put if the figures are a little bigger than lead miniatures used to be, you can jigsaw very nice designs, it takes paint well, and is renewable.
Tags: entertainment, gaming, history
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