Darryl Willis wrote:

> > Say you're a lawyer who has passed the BAR but before you begin your
> career you
> > decide to become a doctor, so you drop your briefs and start studying
> anatomy.
> > (Sorry, couldn't resist the underwear joke.) In an AD&D world after you
> pass your
> > residency and start practicing you could start acting like a lawyer
> again, right?
> > Why couldn't you decide to drop your doctoring, go back to law and start
> gaining
> > experience in that profession again? Why couldn't you be a
> lawyer-doctor? (I
> > actually know one of these guys in real life, so it's not impossible.)
> Ohmigosh....we're not {gasp} discussing the REALISM of the AD&D game here,
> are we? It's not supposed to be realistic! Fantasy...that's the whole
> style of gaming. Making it realistic would make it boring.

Slander! Defamation! Ruthless lies! How dare you imply that I would want to
introduce so vile a concept as REALISM to the dreamy-eyed hobby of fantasy
gaming!?! I shall have my doctor-lawyer friend contact you immedately to begin
imaginary legal proceedings!

Fair enough. You got me. I should make clear my position on this sort of
thing, though, lest everyone simply discount anything I say as coming from the
mouth of a lunatic.... I've opposed "realism" in the game because the way I
see it, people who constantly hammer on about how unrealistic some things in
the game might be are really missing the fundamental point of the game; that
it's supposed to be fun. I want to spend about four seconds discussing the
penetrating power of a steel tipped quarrel vs the penetrating power of an
arrow. It bogs the game down and turns a session into rules lawyering faster
than Johnny Cochran can slime out of a murder trial.

As a wannabe screenwriter, I like to call what passes for realism in a game I
am running "movie realism." If it works as far as the plot is concerned, it's
realistic. Realism takes a backseat (further than a backseat, really, more of
a rumble seat) to role-playing, plot, the flow of the adventure and my own
sanity in any given gaming session. When players react much like an audience,
I'm happy. If they smile at the fun parts, look agape at the shocking stuff,
get angry at the villains and walk out of the theater (well, OK, my living
room) satisfied that they didn't waste an evening, then I'm a happy camper.

I don't actually oppose realism. I just think if someone wants realism, it is
their obligation to present it in such a way as to fit smoothely and easily
into the gaming session without bogging down play. The way I judge the worth
of the current rules is by how well they aid role-playing in a fantasy
environment, not by how much like real-life they make the game.

The aforementioned rules on dual- and multi-classing bog down play. Aside from
the fact that the rules as presented are rather vague when it comes to things
like how many proficiencies a mult- or dual-class player gets, I have seen
players (and I have done it myself) obsessing over exactly what character stats
will allow for what mult-class combination or will eventually allow PCs to
swtich classes and how might that be most adventageous to the PC? And how
might he maximize his hit points? And how might he get the best THAC0? Blah,
blah, blah.

So what I'm saying is that I don't see realism as being the point in a
role-playing game. I think role-playing is. If realism makes role-playing
easier or more fun, then I'm for it. If it doesn't, I'm against it. The
majority of times I've seen people start talking about realism, it turns into
this huge barrier to actually playing the game, so I'm leary whenever people
bring it up.

There is also the fact that what passes for realism in AD&D appears to be
incredibly subjective. Everyone seems to have their own take on it, making me
doubt that there even is such a thing as realism if it could spawn so many
different opinions, and leading people to create more rules than Congress on
amphetimines. But that's another subject....

> Putting that
> aside, though, what's the introduction to the DMG say? If you don't like a
> rule, change it. That's all you need to do. Change it. I personally
> don't wanna screw around with it, under the assumption that in 9 years,
> since '89, the 2nd edition of AD&D should be pretty well playtested. Being
> a revision of, obviously, the 1st edition game, which has been around since
> before God, it's had some time to iron out imbalances. I say, let 'em
> print the game. If I don't like somethin', I'm changin' it.

I'm more than happy to change things if it suits me. In this particular case,
I thought I'd get the opinions of some of the people on this board before
implementing a rule change, which is, well, kinda the point of the message

As for the playtesting of this particular rule, I don't know that it has been
done that well. It doesn't happen very often. I've had a character dual class
three times in eighteen years of gaming and on at least two of those occasions
the other players got real upset about my PC's new abilities, and felt I had
tossed game balance out the window. (For some reason, they thought game
balance, like realism, was more important than I do....) I ended up "retiring"
my PC fairly soon afterwards because it just got to be no fun playing him when
all the other players got snotty. A 33% success rate seems pretty low to me,
so in my experience these particular rules have not been all that successful.

In BR, it works a little differently, because the PC's that have dual classes
in the published materials have already accomplished this by the time the
players get their hands on them. (They also don't always obey the rules as
presented in the books regarding ability scores, which might have something to
do with how well those rules work....) These PC's are already dual-classed. I
don't remember reading any of them that have to abide by the silly rules
regarding what abilities they can use before they get up to whatever experience
level they had before they switched classes.

Anyway, that's more than enough on this subject for now. I'm going to get a