13 December 2008

Systemization

I had a draft post about this in relation to spells, but then I saw this ENWorld thread on magic items.

I was looking through my AD&D books tonight and noticed how versatile and multi-functional so many of the magic items were.

They were powerful, and they were odd, and fascinating, and most important of all a lot of them could do all kinds of things.

By comparison so many of the magic items of more recent editions are bland, plain, uninspired, and uninspiring. It’s like using a piece of technology from the eighties or something. The items are overly specialized, technical, usually limited to one specific function, top-heavy in design and capabilities.

Where Has All the Magic Gone?

With each edition of D&D, everything tends to become a little more systemized. Spells. Magic items. Classes. et cetera ad naseum The game is edging closer and closer to the Hero System.

Now, the Hero System is great. Mechanics and flavor nicely divorced. It is not, however, the one true system that all role-playing games should evolve towards.

2 comments:

Jeff Rients said...

I totally agree. In earlier editions spells and magic items seemed full of limitless potential, but as game mechanics more and more dominate design the wonder of magic seems more and more circumscribed.

Word Verification: purist

Ha!

Robert Fisher said...

(^_^)

With D&D it’s been kind of insidious because the designers of each edition want to make it more systemized than the previous edition but they don’t want to carry it too far. Yet, those little steps add up with each edition.