July 8, 2008

The Core Mechanic: The 'New' Mainstay of 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons

No, not this blog (but that would be cool). Since the blog is titled "The Core Mechanic", i figured our first post should be about this very topic. What is it? How does it work? And how could it be misused or misunderstood?

The Player's Handbook says basically the following:
The Core Mechanic
  1. Role a d20.
  2. Add all relevant modifiers.
  3. Compare the total to the target number.
Yes, simple right? And usually it is. The questions start when players start figuring out what the 'relevant modifiers' are. A wide array of things can be relevant, including the standard '1/2 your character level' bonus and any other bonuses or penalties from feats, class abilities, class powers, racial abilities, situational modifiers, environmental modifiers, etc. etc. Luckily, the 'new' mainstay is really an old-standby for anyone who has played the previous editions of D&D. What i find somewhat interesting is that game designers are trying to use the The Core Mechanic for nearly everything in the game; even when it is not really necessary. Are there any situtations where The Core Mechanic is not working for your 4E game? Or are their any improvements you have made in your home-brewed campaign that is not seen in the standard rules? If so, let us know! Leave and comment and tell us about it.

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