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Witcher Dev Note #12: Balance

Hello everyone! We’re back in the states and I wanted to share a bit of what we got out of our meeting with the Experts at CDPR! Lisa and I got to sit down with two of CDPR’s best sources on The Witcher and talk over some of our lore questions and some concepts on how we could make the PNP RPG as true to the heart of Witcher as we could.

In the end after a long meeting we decided on a few things that will definitely make the game feel just right. The primary concept we decided was to split the focus of the PNP RPG much more between CDPR’s video games and Sapkowski’s original books. From the beginning we had been taking information from all facets of the Witcher franchise, (except the movie, TV show and prior PNP RPG), but the focus had understandably been CDPR’s video games, especially The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. In our meeting we worked out that this could be not only limiting to the PNP RPG but also might make for a less unique RPG. It’s true that in trying to simulate the video games there was not only more of a “video game” feeling to the game but also an overwhelming sea of items, some with little variation other than statistics. It’s also true that, while absolutely mind blowing, the Witcher video games had to change some things in the world of The Witcher to make it play well as a video game. Things like the prevalence of monsters and the easy accessibility of items that were rare in the books, such as bombs, magical traps and silver weapons. In a video game the dark and unrelenting world of The Witcher novels is hard to transfer across verbatim but in a table top RPG it is much easier. Monsters can be rarer but much more dangerous and unique to the situation, certain gear can be harder to find but much more useful in a pinch and the world can be a bit more relentless, giving you more of the dark fantasy aesthetic that we all love from The Witcher.

But don’t worry fans of the video games, we are opting to take both the video games and the books in equal parts! The time line will remain the same and you’ll still have access to cool gear from the games. In the end it’s all a matter of balance. Trying to simulate the games we all love while also trying to stay true to the books that made those games possible.

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