WOTC’s 3 Pillars

Not sure I buy into this, but a mention on twitter of WOTC’s 3 pillers of RPG (Exploration, Roleplaying and Combat) popped it into my mind. (EDIT: Dave rightly points out that Wizards views these as the three pillars of D&D, a subtle but important distinction)

9 thoughts on “WOTC’s 3 Pillars

  1. Cam_Banks

    What I find interesting about this is that I tend to think in terms of the three overlapping areas when I consider gaming styles: Sandbox, Tactics, and Cinematic. I could happily play a game that focused 40/40/20 of Sandbox/Cinematic/Tactics.

  2. Reverance Pavane

    Not sure if it quite works as a Venn diagram (because I think I’m hearing two distinct versions of “Combat” when I do), but it definitely works as a list:

    Sandbox => Roleplay & Explore
    Cinematics => Roleplay & Combat
    Tactics => Combat & Explore

    Although I’d probably change Tactics to “Problem-Solving” myself.

  3. Bryant

    If we’re talking the OSR sandbox definitions, I don’t see roleplaying as being a key element. The idea that players decide where they go, yeah, that’s absolutely exploration, but you can privilege either combat or roleplaying within that. Non-D&D sandboxes might be another issue.

    Likewise I’m wondering what’s actually tactical about exploration. Tactics seems to live firmly inside combat, no?

    Which leaves me thinking that in the D&D context Combat is very well supported, Exploration is reasonably well supported, but Roleplay is not well supported at all. That matches the degree of mechanical support available for sure.

  4. Rob Donoghue

    I consider tactics to require an element of exploration because good tactical play involves setting engagement on a micro rather than macro scale. Without that, it ends up abstract.


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