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Good evening, afternoon, or whatever time it happens to be there, ladies and gents! I happen to be Andy, who happens to be a freelance web designer, musician, writer, and whatnot.

Roman Catholic, student of tabletop gaming, and someday soon I'll have my own designs in the field!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Familiar Face

So, anecdote time! (This post will be really short, for a change.) I was going through some of my old stuff, when I spied a playmat for the "MLB Showdown 2003" card game that I used to play with my little brother. I remembered that it was made by Wizards of the Coast, and that it used a d20, so I had a look at it. Well, I found the rules looking slightly familiar. Let me go through them, and see what you think...

The Pitch
In the first step of the turn, the pitcher throws the ball. That player rolls a d20, and adds a bonus equal to his Control number, which might be +3, +4, or even +6. Then, you compare the result to the batter's "On-Base" number. If it's higher, the pitcher has the "advantage"; otherwise, the batter has the "advantage".

The Swing
In the second step of the turn, the batter swings at the ball. That player rolls a d20, and then...you check the appropriate "Swing Chart". The batter has one, and the pitcher has one, and you consult the chart of whomever had the advantage. Lower results are worse, such as a strikeout or a ground-out, Higher results are better, such as a home run (sometimes needing an additional boost to even be possible). So, you check the result against the table, and that's what happens, whether it be a fly ball out, a walk, a double, and so forth.

Strategy Cards
This is the part of the game where each player gets cards to "mix up" play, allowing for freak occurrences and a "CCG" element to enter the game. Sometimes, they can boost the result of the Swing, or perhaps let the defense clamp down on a runner trying to get a double.

I'm guessing that the lightbulb went on for most of you when I mentioned that the Control number was a "+X". It's the familiar old system of "d20 + Modifier vs. DC" that D&D and other RPGs use. Hardly surprising when you consider that Wizards of the Coast was behind this game. I thought it was interesting that, instead of a standard "damage roll", the game implemented a system that is far better suited to baseball: a table of different outcomes.

Anyhow, I thought it was cool to find a familiar face in a strange place. How about you, readers? Has playing in RPGs changed your outlook on an old game that you played beforehand?

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