Friday, February 18, 2011

D&D the CCG: Quest for Balance

I'm only focusing on the heroic tier here. Paragon and Epic level games are beyond the scope of what I aim to do with this series, mostly because I have very little experience running or playing in that type of game, and also because it only really makes sense to start at the heroic tier. 

At first level, most characters start with the following: a racial encounter power, a few class features, a feat or two, 3 or 4 trained skills, 2 at-will powers, 1 encounter power, and 1 daily power. 

Whenever they gain a level, they get either a new power or feat. At levels 4 and 8 they get +1 to two ability scores.    

The ultimate question I'm faced with is one of balance.  How many points to start a level one character? How do the different class features balance against each other and how should that effect their cost? What's to stop a character from focusing purely on combat feats and powers and forego class features? Can something like that be balanced at all? Is that okay? 

How does the ability to Mark an opponent compare to, say, Sneak Attack potential? Certain classes have more armor and weapon proficiencies built in than others. 

One thing I'm definitely going to do is open up my old AD&D 2E books and see compare those classes to the 4th Edition. I know the concept of D&D as a card-based game is anathema to a lot of the grognards out there, but I think this system could have a very old-school feel to it in play. And honestly, character sheets bug the hell out of me. I can never find the information I need when I need it. 4th Edition especially, with combat powers, the character sheets are annoying as hell. I doubt cards are the answer for everyone, but my players love the cards I've introduced to the game, and they've definitely been a good addition. 

This is going to require extensive playtesting. But it should be fun! Tomorrow I will post up some example cards. 

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