Good Guys Get Gooder
the Bad Guys Get Gooder Too
By Mat Smith
its been a month since I wrote the introduction to the first
installment of the Realmswatch. Ive sent the url to most of
my friends and have just pulled the page up to re-read the whole article
myself a few times. I remember, back when I wrote that, I was really amazed
just to be here. And I have to say that feeling hasnt changed at
all. I probably spent far too much space last month rambling on about
that, so Ill try to keep it to a minimum this time. (But WOW --
I get to work on Dungeons & Dragons stuff!)
Anyway, Im going to track down my old DM from college later to tell
him that our campaign world is getting even more cool. Heres why:
Heroes and Villains
not the clothes that make the man. Its the rules system. And when
you take a peek at the heroes and villains of the new Forgotten Realms,
youll know what I mean. Multiclassing, feats, prestige classes,
and more have made a huge impact on the game, and its one that resounds
in the Realms. On both sides of the good guy/bad guy fence, the new rules
system has really helped to shape the signature characters into the forms
theyve always taken in the novels and in the minds of their creators.
interesting to see the famous and the infamous reincarnated to become
even more themselves -- and stay within the core rules system.
In the past, stats for heroes and villains of novels were cobbled together
as well as possible, but invariably designers had to move outside the
rules system to make them really come off in game terms the way they did
in books. Now there are no special exceptions for NPCs -- novelists can
build their many-faceted characters directly from game stats, using the
core D&D rules.
thing that makes the new Forgotten Realms so appealing is the role
that these new and improved good guys and bad guys will play in the campaign
world. The villains are still up to no good (or very, very little good).
Theyll be scheming and providing ample opportunity for someone to
gather a group together to put a stop to their evil ways. The well-known
heroes will also be out doing their thing, but theyre not the ones
wholl be coming to the rescue throughout the land. Thats what
the PCs are for.
what the new Realms is all about -- making sure the player characters
are the real heroes.
Drizzt is still running around, scimitars in hand, being stoic and all
that. But, when it comes down to it, when the bad guys rear their ugly
little heads (or whatever sort of heads they might have to rear), its
up to the player characters to save the day.
you get a look at the villains the design team has crafted, youll
know that the PCs have their work cut out for them.
Smith is a copywriter who just got here, but has been playing and waiting
to get a job with the company that makes Dungeons & Dragons
for well over 18 years. Now, he gets to spend most of his days thinking
about new ways to tell everyone in the world to play D&D.
22nd-level, 1st-edition bard started kicking around the Forgotten Realms
back in 1989 and is currently vacationing in the Murloch Vale of the Moonshae
newest favorite hobby is emailing his friend Josh to make him jealous
about this whole job at Wizards of the Coast thing.