Re: Re: The merits of relative and absolute resistances (HQ1 and HQ2)

From: Todd Gardiner <todd.gardiner_at_...>
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 2009 13:26:21 -0700

Not incredibly relevant to the discussion, but D&D 4E has gone to a system where the stats of foes are based on the levels of the characters. The math in the system is built so that at any level, the abilities of the characters to succeed at skills or attack roles is within one or two of a "base resistance". From that number, monsters are either easy, normal or hard for a given level, but easily scalable to the characters' current level. NPCs, in this case, would have a broad range where they are relevant (e.g. levels 11-20), and only have to be spec'ed-out with a few keynote abilities, not full stats.
Thus, when making dungeon crawls, or skill-based story-telling sessions in your setting-of-choice, you are in many ways using the relative-based narrative that has been discussed here ad nausium. True, there are still numbers; but those numbers have now been built around a Pass/Fail cycle, with guidelines in the DMG on how to cycle your encounters (both combat and non-combat) so that the story has a dramatic flow.

So while D&D may be focused on tactical combat, even their designers have realized the benefit of tailoring the story to dramatic flow. In this case, it was just pre-built into the system so that the process of DMing is easier for the general public. This is lightly touched on if you read design notes or the guidelines in the DMG, but not widely know about the system, since it's not relevant to most players. (Whether they succeed at this narrative scheme, I could not say. I've not played more a few combats and skill-based encounters, just to see what the new system was like.)


On Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 9:35 PM, L C <lightcastle_at_...> wrote:

> I remember ages ago, in Dragon magazine, an article on Beowulf that
> described the character from what we know from the epic, and then
> presented 3 versions at different levels. That was back in Edition 1.
> Since edition 3 I have been told that often characters/NPCs are
> presented at 3 or 4 levels of difficulty, which requires re-calculating
> stats and feats and things. All because of exactly this problem.

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