Friday, July 19, 2013

Today's rant:

Okay. Listen to this:

That's "Hail to the Geek" by Deaf Pedestrians. Funny song. Here's the problem: There is one verse that applies to me. And they get it way wrong.

I play Dungeons and Dragons
I got a 13th level halfling fighter-thief
Got seven hit die on the backstab
Sometimes you know it's good to be a geek.
"Fighter-thief" and "backstab" indicate that he's playing 1st or 2nd edition AD&D. But backstab was a damage multiplier. A 13th level thief would have a backstab multiplier of x5. When Wizards of the Coast acquired D&D and released 3rd edition, "Thief" became "Rogue", "backstab" became "sneak attack", and the damage multiplier became extra dice.

But it get's worse.

1st and 2nd edition were kind of vague on multiclassing, but even so, the classes were treated separately and most DM's just made players split xp between classes, which, given the different xp requirements (thieves gained levels much faster than any other class), normally resulted in a staggered advancement. "13th level fighter-thief" is pretty much meaningless. In 3rd edition all classes used the same xp table for level progression, and the concepts of character level and class level were specified. So "13th level fighter/rogue" would indicate a character level of thirteen, but says nothing about the level of each class. The character would be listed as (for example) a "3/10 fighter/rogue" instead. However, given the "Got seven hit die on the backstab" line, the character would need 13 rogue levels to have a sneak attack of +7d6, and would have no fighter levels.

Which brings me to my last point:

"Die" is singular. "Dice" is plural. No D&D geek would say "seven hit die", and many might become violent upon hearing it. "Seven hit dice" is correct.

As Jac said once: "You're going to have to try a lot harder than that if you want to be a geek at this table."


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