At his blog of general geekery, Greywulf’s Lair, Greywulf himself lays out some of the missteps Wizards has made in the creation and promotion of the D&D brand, comparing them to the things Games Workshop does right in promoting Warhammer 40K.
This is a topic we’ve discussed here at Robot Viking before. Greywulf does a great job of pointing out specific examples and policies used by Games Workshop that he feels should be emulated by Wizards of the Coast. He gives a great side-by-side example that shines a spotlight on D&D’s stultifying writing style, proving that game rules (even for a “technical” game like tabletop minis) don’t have to be rigid and boring.
“Here’s a quick example, about Cover:
When are models in Cover?
When any part of the target model’s body is obscured from the point of view of the firer, the target model is in cover. This is intentionally generous, and it represents the fact that the warrior, unlike the model, will be actively trying to take cover (as well as the smoke, explosions and flying debris that are mercifully absent from our tabletop battlefields).
“If all else fails, duck. As a defensive stratagem it’s unreliable, but incredibly reassuring for a moment or two.” – Lord Corvis of Petrax
In comparison, here’s what 4e D&D has to say about cover:
Determining Cover: To determine if a target has cover, choose a corner of a square you occupy (or a corner of your attack’s origin square) and trace imaginary lines from that corner to every corner of any one square the target occupies. If one or two of those lines are blocked by an obstacle or an enemy, the target has cover. (A line isn’t blocked if it runs along the edge of an obstacle’s or an enemy’s square.) If three or four of those lines are blocked but you have line of effect, the target has superior cover.”
You can read the rest of Greywulf’s post here — it’s some interesting food for thought.