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The Saving Throw
Review Scoring Last Updated: July 25, 2008
Scores and scores of scores.

The Scale | Tabletop RPGs | Sourcebooks | Adventures | Collectible Card Games


The Scale

Current Score Method

Saving throw reviews now use the same scoring method as the rest of RPGamer reviews. You can find the current score definitions here. Older reviews will use the d20 review scoring. The definition of this scoring system is below.

Old Scoring (Prior to July 25th, 2008)

Saving throw reviews are scored on a scale of 1 to 20, just like the possible results of a d20 roll. All reviews have an overall score, and then scores in specific categories based on exactly what is being reviewed. The meaning of different scores is explained below.

  • 1: The Critical Miss. This score is given out sparingly to those games, sourcebooks, or sets which either are truly horrible failures, or where one specific category is such a failure. This score is reserved only for the most truly awful characteristics or works.

  • 2 to 5: Clean Miss. These scores are given to those games, sourcebooks, or sets which are very poor overall, or for specific categories which were very poorly implemented.

  • 6 to 9: Miss. These scores are given to those games, sourcebooks, or sets which are between poor and mediocre, or for those categories which fall in the same range.

  • 10 to 11: Near Miss. These scores are given for extreme mediocrity. The game, sourcebook, or set, or one of its characteristics can't really be described to be particularly good or bad.

  • 12 to 15: Hit. These scores are given to those games, sourcebooks, or sets which are generally good, but not outstanding or extraordinary, and for the same for specific categories for the item in question.

  • 16 to 19: Solid Hit. These scores are given to those games, sourcebooks, or sets which are generally outstanding.

  • 20: The Critical Hit. This score is given out sparingly to those games, sourcebooks, or sets which are true masterpieces, or which excel beyond compare in any one category. This score represents near perfection.



Tabletop RPGs

When an entire tabletop RPG is reviewed rather than a single sourcebook, boxed set, adventure, or other related item, it gets an overall score as well as scores in the following categories.

  • Game Setting: The score in this category indicates how interesting, creative, and deep the game setting is. This doesn't apply to all tabletop RPGs, as not all of them include pre-created settings.

  • Core Handbooks: The score in this category reflects the usefulness and quality of the game's core handbooks. This typically includes the player's handbook and the gamemaster's handbook.

  • Sourcebooks and Expansions: The score in this category reflects the quality, usefulness, variety, and number of sourcebooks, expansions, boxed sets, and adventures available for the game.

  • Character Generation: The score in this category reflects the flexibility, enjoyability, and simplicity of the character creation system of the game.

  • Game Rules: The score in this category reflects the flexibility, enjoyability and overall usability of the in-game rules. This score should reflect whether the rules allow for a smooth game flow, or if they tend to get in the way more often than not.

  • Intelligibility: The score in this category reflects how easy it to comprehend the rules and understand the setting, including the items, technology, and unique features of that setting. Higher points are given to those games which use examples with clear and detailed explanations. In other words, games with a high score in this category are easy to learn, and it's easy to use the books as a reference.



Sourcebooks

When a sourcebook or boxed set of some type, other than an adventure or campaign, is reviewed, it gets an overall score as well as scores in the following categories.

  • Content: The score in this category reflects the usefulness, quality, variety, and depth of the material in the sourcebook. It's also a reflection of whether it covers its topic thoroughly enough.

  • Organization: The score in this category reflects whether the sourcebook is well organized and allows for information to be easily found as needed.

  • Consistency: The score in this category reflects whether the material in the sourcebook is consistent with the rules, setting, and balance of the game, or if it includes or introduces any inconsistencies or balance issues.

  • Intelligibility: The score in this category reflects whether the material in the sourcebook is easy to understand and thoroughly explained.



Campaigns and Adventures

When a campaign or adventure for a tabletop RPG is reviewed, it gets an overall score as well as scores in the following categories.

  • Story: The score in this category reflects how interesting, creative, and deep the story of the campaign or adventure is, and whether it is well-suited for an adventure.

  • Enjoyability: The score in this category simply reflects how fun the adventure is to play through.

  • Adaptability: The score in this category reflects how adaptable the adventure is. High scores indicate that it is well suited for many types of parties and that it is also set up to handle creative or unusual player actions rather than leaving the gamemaster to improvise without assistance.

  • Intelligibility: The score in this category reflects whether the material in the campaign or adventure is easy to understand and thoroughly explained.



Collectible Card Games

When a collectible card game is reviewed, it gets an overall score as well as scores in the following categories.

  • Game Play: The score in this category reflects whether or not the game play is smooth and enjoyable. This also reflects whether or not the game rules are too simple or complex.

  • Balance: The score in this category reflects whether the cards available for the game are well-balanced and distributed in power. Higher scores indicate this is true.

  • Variety: The score in this category reflects whether there is an interesting and diverse variety of cards available for the game.

  • Intelligibility: The score in this category reflects whether the rules of the game are easy enough to comprehend. Also, any games where there are an unacceptable level of errors printed will have lower scores in this category.



The Scale | Tabletop RPGs | Sourcebooks | Adventures | Collectible Card Games
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