Since the Brilliant Gameologist boards moved to “Min Max Boards,” I haven’t really visited either much. But then, I checked the thread discussing the “fate of the old boards” and I remembered all the work I did on an older d20 rebuild project. I don’t know what really happened to the project after I left.
I did some good work on that project — or rather, I asked some really tough questions. Asking tough questions is good work in my book, so that’s what I’m sticking with — and I thought it might be a good idea to cart over some questions I asked, and some of my thoughts on how to answer them. I made a list at the start of the project.
First off, there was the subject of dice. I really liked the idea Fourth Edition put forward of [W] or “Weapon” dice. When you had a multiple of [W], it meant you had multiple weapon damage. It also made it easier to calculate how many times your ability modifiers got added into the mix. (Usually just the one time, but sometimes more.)
Though it didn’t come up in my initial post, I later brought up “character level,” and whether people thought it was a good idea to keep them around. Experience points and levels can cause a lot of grief for players and game masters alike, so I wasn’t totally above the idea of cutting them from the game to make things easier.
Following dice though, was the subject of modifiers. Third Edition had lots, and I made a partial list: ability, alchemical, armor, circumstance, competence, deflection, dodge, enhancement, insight, luck, morale, natural, profane, racial, resistance, sacred, shield, size, exalted, vile… some add to skills, others to defense. Some had different rules.
At the time, I was thinking about the ease of Guild Wars bonuses: nearly everything stacked if it came from a character power, and there were two types of static bonuses from equipment, conveniently labeled “Stacking” and “Non-Stacking.” No really, those are pretty much the only two types of bonuses you could get.
Next, there was the question of what to do with ability scores. Keep the original six? What should they modify? We all agreed the ability scores needed serious repairs, at least from the perspective of “X Stat to Y Bonus.” I remember we got a pretty good discussion going, but not where that discussion ended up exactly.
I also brought in character races, creature types, and alignments of course. There were lots of questions about all of those, and considering the question came from me, you can pretty much be sure that I asked a lot of tough questions. “Why are they important? What do they accomplish? What do players want from them?” Et cetera.