's (failed) bid against Wizards of the Coast
had some interesting proposed items for advancing the Dungeons and Dragons
property. In an effort to promote ease of use
and institute standards
, a number of new rules were proposed. Character names were shortened to eight letters, with up to a three letter suffix (title), such as 'sir', 'ms', or 'god'.
The old system of writing down equipment was replaced with a plain, generic paper doll of your character. You draped cutouts of the characters aquired equipment over these paper dolls, and they were required by the rule book. There were two full color paper dolls for each class, one of each gender. The different races were removed from the game, to make playing any character type more intuitive once you were familiar with any other character. Equipment packs were to be sold separately, requiring each player to purchase an equipment pack ($14.99 MFSRP) to gain the cutouts of the equipment to outfit their character with. Piracy seems like a strong problem with this system, but there was a proposed license agreement that was accepted when the player opened the package which permitted them to use the purchased equipment pack on one character and only one character. This had the added benefit of preventing players from using the same equipment pack for two different characters in two different games.
Also proposed were "theme packs" ($9.99 MFSRP each) that could allow you to change the appearance of your character, such as by draping a different skin color over your paper doll. The variety of dice used in D&D were replaced with a square 6 sided die, identical to those used in Las Vegas with one exception. The face of the die formerly containing one pip was replaced with a solitary, featureless, blue face. The more dice you rolled, the better you were at an action. However, any "blue dice" were terrible failures. One noted pitfall of this system by TSR, was that the higher level a character and the more "souped up" they got, the more likely a "crash" became. Despite the features, ease of use, and marketability of this system, Microsoft lost the bid against Wizards and had to settle for aquiring FASA. What could have been! ::sigh::