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Dixon_West
03-03-2010, 09:50 PM
So I am thinking of DMing a 4.0 campaign. Can you guys please state some goods and bads about the system before I throw it at the party?

wizarddog
03-04-2010, 04:06 AM
That will depend on what they have played before and how they liked it. 4e is a different animal from previous editions and as you see we have many heated discussions about its merits.

As for me (a DM), it took getting use to. If you garner inspiration by opening a 3.5 book and start reading on some small aspect on the Plane of Elemental, you will not get that from any 4e book. Instead, it required for me to move beyond the templates and mechanics and think about what story or foe I wanted to really create. From there, I could generate anything I wished and the balance mechanism was already in place. I could level it up and down without recalculating for power creep for certain levels. I still use my 3.5 books, they are a wealth of information, but now if I want use something I can scale it to any level, ignoring the original CR. So now I am a having a good time designing adventure sand stories for 4e.

For players, the biggest change is that everyone now has a set role in the party; Leader, Defender, Striker and Controller. Without a least one of those roles, the players will have a difficult time against encounters. And if someone can't fulfill the roles, they should be playing a different kind of PC. Everything else is quite different from our other editions, for better or for worse.

Whether you call it Dungeons and Dragons or Dragonborns and Dungeon Tiles, the game is just a game.

Dixon_West
03-04-2010, 06:12 AM
That will depend on what they have played before and how they liked it. 4e is a different animal from previous editions and as you see we have many heated discussions about its merits.

As for me (a DM), it took getting use to. If you garner inspiration by opening a 3.5 book and start reading on some small aspect on the Plane of Elemental, you will not get that from any 4e book. Instead, it required for me to move beyond the templates and mechanics and think about what story or foe I wanted to really create. From there, I could generate anything I wished and the balance mechanism was already in place. I could level it up and down without recalculating for power creep for certain levels. I still use my 3.5 books, they are a wealth of information, but now if I want use something I can scale it to any level, ignoring the original CR. So now I am a having a good time designing adventure sand stories for 4e.

For players, the biggest change is that everyone now has a set role in the party; Leader, Defender, Striker and Controller. Without a least one of those roles, the players will have a difficult time against encounters. And if someone can't fulfill the roles, they should be playing a different kind of PC. Everything else is quite different from our other editions, for better or for worse.

Whether you call it Dungeons and Dragons or Dragonborns and Dungeon Tiles, the game is just a game.

The game we are used to is 3.5. When you say it is a different animal, are you saying that you can't compare it FULLY to another system, without having to try it first? Like, well like two cats, one nice and calm, and the other wild, and excited.

Sascha
03-04-2010, 11:52 AM
It's more like the shared terminology between 3E and 4E can hinder communication. The basics are there, but the focus is shifted. 4E's assumptions aren't much like the previous edition's.

For example, NPC creation rules. 3E's assumption is that an NPC is built just as a PC is, with all that comes with it. 4E's assumption is that NPCs and PCs fill different roles in the game, and thus are built using different rules; Minions are excellent specimens of this design.

(I disagree that party role is something new to 4E, but do agree that 4E made it explicit by design.)

wizarddog
03-04-2010, 08:32 PM
It's more like the shared terminology between 3E and 4E can hinder communication. The basics are there, but the focus is shifted. 4E's assumptions aren't much like the previous edition's.

For example, NPC creation rules. 3E's assumption is that an NPC is built just as a PC is, with all that comes with it. 4E's assumption is that NPCs and PCs fill different roles in the game, and thus are built using different rules; Minions are excellent specimens of this design.

(I disagree that party role is something new to 4E, but do agree that 4E made it explicit by design.)

I agree. Rather the system makes quite a few assumptions on how to run the game and how things are put together. Your job is to try and exploit it to make something new. 3.5 was easier to do that on the surface. But I am talking as a DM and not so much as a player....

Dr.Dead
03-04-2010, 08:45 PM
I never really liked 4th ed a lot.
You can't upgrade monsters the stats and CR stays the same.
But it its also cool because in the 1st through 3.5 ed Clerics did not need a book and 4th ed does. People hated it but think about it where do you think the Holy Bible come from if you know what I'm saying. ☻
:-)

Sascha
03-05-2010, 12:02 AM
I agree. Rather the system makes quite a few assumptions on how to run the game and how things are put together. Your job is to try and exploit it to make something new. 3.5 was easier to do that on the surface. But I am talking as a DM and not so much as a player....
Heh.


I never really liked 4th ed a lot.
You can't upgrade monsters the stats and CR stays the same.
But it its also cool because in the 1st through 3.5 ed Clerics did not need a book and 4th ed does. People hated it but think about it where do you think the Holy Bible come from if you know what I'm saying. ☻
:-)
You can upgrade monsters; the Monster Builder is a neat little tool that does just that, plus the advice in the books.

Also, the cleric gets a ritual book, like all ritual casters, but doesn't need anything for their prayers. (Wizards still have their spellbooks as a class feature, though.)

Banshee
03-05-2010, 11:05 AM
Let me start by saying that I hated the idea of 4.0 when it premiered. Now that I've given it a chance and got into the core books, I'm seeing that the rules are easier to administer. With D&DI's Character Builder, it's a breeze making and tracking PCs. I also think that it's easier to customize characters with the feats and powers options. A downside? For me it was having to buy new books. So far, that's about it.

Thrawncid
03-05-2010, 11:14 AM
I will say that I am not a fan of 4th edition.

First character abilities are so combat focused that you can hardly affect gameplay outside of combat without a 10 minute ritual. Fourth really is just a set of miniature combat rules with some role-playing on the side. All the classes sort of get white-washed in to similar power affects with different names. I think fourth was created with the idea that it could be easily adapted to online play which meant limiting the affects of spells and abilities to tight contraints so there would be consisitency of play. However that left the whole system feeling overly mechanical and stale, imho.

Anyway I would say try it out.. we play-tested a couple of sessions at different levels (1 5, 9, 12) to try it out and turned right around and went back to 3.5 and eventually to Pathfinder.

Spazzle
03-09-2010, 12:10 PM
The biggest selling point for me is that it was very difficult to get casual players into 3.5E, but I have had no trouble getting newbies to play 4E. I couldn't tell you exactly why that is, only that its been my experience.

The books are definitely game-mechanics focused, but that's a good thing. When playing the game on the table, I want pretty clear rules for combat actions. Role play has absolutely nothing to do with any book - LARPers can role play without any system, and the most complex rule systems can enjoy role play as an integral part of the experience. Really, if your players like to stay in character and role play during a game, they'll have just as much fun doing that in 4E as in any previous edition. (or other game system, for that matter)

The Magic King
03-09-2010, 01:25 PM
I hate 4th ed with the fury of a trillion dying suns.

That is all.

Grimwell
03-09-2010, 04:06 PM
4th edition is much more of a game and less of a reality simulator than prior editions.

For folks who are detail oriented and love rules for as many possible activities as they can get, 4th edition is a let down. 4th does not try to have a rule for every likely situation and idea that a player is going to bring to a DM. Instead it keeps things down to as few mechanics as possible and encourages the player to ad-lib and the DM to decide on the fly using an appropriate challenge and d20 roll.

So for folks who loved the granularity found in prior editions, 4th is a bad thing and a step toward something too simple. For people who want a game system that gets them in quick and fast, 4th is a great system.

I don't have a favorite D&D, I think each setting is fit for particular editions where it shines best.