Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Gone Gamblin'

In a few hours I'll be leaving for a day trip to Atlantic City. I'm taking a fair bit of cash because like they say, "You've got to play big to win big." OK, maybe I just say that but hopefully it proves true. I'm feeling very lucky today. Oddly enough, one of my favorite casino games has the very worst odds, yet I've had some pretty good luck with it--Big Six, aka the Wheel of Fortune. You have 6 demoninations on a table in front of a large wheel with the same denominations ($1, 2, 5, 10, 20, Joker, and house). The payoff is exactly what the numbers say: $1 gets you 1-to-1 payback, a dollar on the $2 spot gets you 2 bucks and so on, with the Joker and house logo spot granting, I believe, 45-to-1 payback. Naturally, the $1 and $2 come up the most, but there seems to be more of a fairness in someone spinning a wheel than in dealing with the one-armed bandits, where a microchip or two determines whether you win or lose before the scrolling items/numbers even start to spin. The bottom line is the fun you have trying to win and I embrace it wholeheartedly. Wish me luck!

As for my RPG thoughts for the day, I was reading through the intro to Green Ronin's Advanced Bestiary last night and came to the section about time needed to apply the templates therein. They've got three levels of difficulty that a template falls into. The worst of which is stated to take up to 30 minutes to apply to a creature. I'm thinking, "That's ridiculous." Why should I spend half and hour doing math on a creature who will be slain by my PCs in less than a third of that time? It really irks me that this edition has become so math-heavy that I can't make my own creatures or NPCs for a game unless I devote hours to do so during my busy week.

Understand, I suffer for my game as much as the next DM, but in no previous edition of D&D did I need to devote so much time to pre-game mechanics or balance concerns. If I didn't own so many sources of NPCs, monsters, and maps, I don't think I'd DM half as often as I do. (OK, I would but I wouldn't like it.) Back to the templates, there's gotta be an easier way to apply the ideas than with cascading calculus. I'm going to find a way, mark my words.


Blogger Axel said...

Good Luck! And as for the templates, i'd say, dont use templates, use monsters, and what is a template really, just another way to make a.. monster. I dont think i have ever used a template in a game. Reason: Takes too long and with very little payoff. (And I am not telling anyone that I have a monster template in my next book.. that would be stupid:)

10:50 AM  
Blogger Bret said...

Well, I'm certainly all for the idea of templates, just not their exhaustive execution. And how's things with you, Axel? Thanks for being a faithful blog watcher. I'm starting to check yours out as well.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Axel said...

Well, since we can't all work for wizards and be a part of the Monte crew, I like to keep myself informed of what is happening in the lower regions of the game industry, much more intersting than checking out wizards.com if you ask me. Well I am waiting for a few projects to get finished, among them Dread Codex II for Adamant and a few for Dark Quest Codex, currently working on Lost Prehistorica: Magic, some great guys over at DQG. So I'd say things are looking very good at the moment, thanks for asking.

7:05 PM  
Blogger Bret said...

You and I seem to be travel in the same circles then as I'm also an Adamant and DQG alum. I'm pleased there seems to be a sequel to my very own Dread Codex too! As WotC's site, I agree. Never really check it myself. And not sure I'd want to get too involved with the big boys since that sounds like a lot of responsibility I can live without. ;) Keep on truckin'.

11:32 PM  

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