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View Full Version : What I Would Wish For: Fourth Edition Wishes Revealed



Mulsiphix
01-30-2008, 11:10 PM
If you could wish for a one to a few things that you would definitely like to see in fourth edition, regardless of whether it has been confirmed they are included or not, what would they be? These could be changes to the game system, a heavier emphasis on role playing, or even replacing the recommended mini's with tokens. I for one would love to see more budget friendly tokens put out and promoted by WOTC.

Count Arioch
01-31-2008, 08:54 AM
I would like to see fewer elves. There are currently announced that there are 2.5 elves in the PHB alone. That is too many elves.

Mulsiphix
01-31-2008, 09:08 AM
I would like to see fewer elves. There are currently announced that there are 2.5 elves in the PHB alone. That is too many elves.2.5? Elves, Half-Elves, and what else? Thats 1.5. So what is left? Dark Elves?

If I could wish for one thing it would be an online learning center. There are actually a few people around here that I could probably get to pick up D&D if I could offer them more than just picking up the PHB, sitting down and watching a game played, or learn as they play. For those, like myself, who are rule lawyers by trade, the PHB can be quite daunting for those considering picking up the hobby (really a life style :cool:).

Riftwalker
01-31-2008, 09:17 AM
Like this?

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/playdnd

Mulsiphix
01-31-2008, 10:18 AM
Are you kidding me? That demo is horrible. I actually came across it before I even looked at the PHB. I knew the book itself was extensive and had a good idea of what a game like this would require as far as learning is concerned. But to the unknowing pnp newbie, this demo is downright deception as far as the learning curve is considered. Not to mention the voice acting is so horrible that I couldn't imagine anybody getting excited over that demo lol :)

Shadow Dweller
01-31-2008, 11:06 AM
I think after watching part of that my eyes are bleeding...

DrAwkward
01-31-2008, 11:12 AM
I know hardly anything about 4.0, as I haven't been following the breadcrumbs at all.

If I had a choice...

Simplify Turning Undead (and make it not suck)

Better integrate psionics, rather than having it an add-on patch.

Revamp multiclassing to make it less likely to hobble a character. (I'm thinking of multiclassing spellcasters, which is a Bad Idea in 3.5)

revisit Damage Reduction. Its a little hard to explain to newbies, and is hard to balance encounters - if the party has magic weapons, thing with DR magic are weenie for thier CR.

get rid of the % rolls for arcane spell failure, stabilization, and concealment.

Find some way to balance the high end play; I don't like the "gotta roll a 20 / only fail on a 1" syndrome we get when the saves and base attacks of the different classes diverge at the top end.

Shadow Dweller
01-31-2008, 11:22 AM
As to what is the 3rd elven race it's the "Eladrin":

Eladrin (Have a short teleport ability called “fey step”)
• Eladrin are described as magical high elves. Eladrins (and elves) were elves, but the Eladrin preferred magic and stone instead of nature and the woods. Gray elves, sun elves and moon elves will be considered Eladrin.
• One of their racial feats allows them to briefly enter Feywild and reemerge at another place, making a short teleport. This ability is called “Fey Step”.
• Favoured class: Wizard

Count Arioch
01-31-2008, 11:34 AM
Also, another thing I'd like to see in 4E is more powerful organic characters. Because in 3E, a character that starts at level 1 and works his way to 20 is usually much weaker than someone who just starts at level 20 and builds from there. I don't like that, organic characters should be able to hold their own.

Drohem
01-31-2008, 11:44 AM
I know hardly anything about 4.0, as I haven't been following the breadcrumbs at all.

If I had a choice...

Simplify Turning Undead (and make it not suck)

Better integrate psionics, rather than having it an add-on patch.

Revamp multiclassing to make it less likely to hobble a character. (I'm thinking of multiclassing spellcasters, which is a Bad Idea in 3.5)

revisit Damage Reduction. Its a little hard to explain to newbies, and is hard to balance encounters - if the party has magic weapons, thing with DR magic are weenie for thier CR.

get rid of the % rolls for arcane spell failure, stabilization, and concealment.

Find some way to balance the high end play; I don't like the "gotta roll a 20 / only fail on a 1" syndrome we get when the saves and base attacks of the different classes diverge at the top end.


I have to agree with you on Turning Undead ability. I have yet to see a Cleric turn an undead BBEG. At low levels (1-3) turning any undead is tough, and at mid-levels (4-7) turning undead fodder is still 50/50. Maybe the Turning Undead ability should be based off WIS rather than CHA. Hmm...maybe I'll experiment with that idea in my next campaign.

I also agree with psionics. I really do like it and the psionic races. However, many D&D gamers have some kind of irrational hatred of psionics in general. I guess it's one of those love it or hate it issues. ;)

I actually have no issue with the multiclassing rules as written. Some of the GMs in my circle have abolished any penalties for multiclassing; which, consequently, removes the Favored Class rules from play as well. If I were to concede on this at all, I would reduce the EXP penalty to a flat -10%.

The Damage Reduction rules in 3.5 make a lot of sense. However, if you wanted to simplify it for ease of play, then I would just return to 3.0 Damage Reduction rules where DR is rated by the plus of magic items; i.e. DR/+2 so if you have +2 item you can defeat the DR.

Well, you could just covert the % chance into a multiple of 5 and roll a d20. One of the GMs in my group has a highly House Ruled version of 3.X and has a rule for spellcasters regarding arcane failure: if the spellcaster has the armor proficiency for the armor he is wearing, then he eliminates the spell failure chance. The rational is that if you spent a precious feat on this, then you have practiced extensively while wearing this type of armor. This House Rule has merit; but I still use arcane failure in my games.

yes, the progression for Saves needs to be adjusted somehow. A high level Fighter has an enormous Fortitude save at high levels and is likely to make those saves with no problem. However, that same high level Fighter is going to fail every Will save thrown at him by the BBEG.

Count Arioch
01-31-2008, 12:22 PM
About the saving throws:

It seems that all classes get a flat bonus equal to half their level to all saving throws, skill checks, and attack rolls, modified by ability scores.

Although saving throw isn't the right word, it works more like AC than a saving throw, in the fact that the attacker has to beat your save number for the spell to affect you.

I don't know how that will work in practice, but it seems there will be less disparity between various classes than before.

tesral
01-31-2008, 12:42 PM
Ditch Alignment, it's long past time to go.

Integrate psionics or drop it. The add on is also old.

Simply grapple. It's too powerful or utterly useless, and it is complicated.

Turning undead. I have my method, it differs it works, it's simple. The 3.5 method is not, that is why I have my method.

Balance feats or drop them. Feats are the most unbalanced part of the game.

Skills: equal skill points for all classes. Put the rogue abilities back as class features. Make them special again. Don't do what SAGA does. That sucks like a Hoover.

Minis? You can use tokens now. That is not an issue. Ditch the bloody square grid and use organic movement. People can measure distance.

Keep the current core races. It's a good selection, it's traditional. We all change it anyway.

Keep the current core classes, again a good broad selection.

Farcaster
01-31-2008, 12:45 PM
If I could wish for one thing it would be an online learning center. There are actually a few people around here that I could probably get to pick up D&D if I could offer them more than just picking up the PHB, sitting down and watching a game played, or learn as they play.

Have you considered trying out Neverwinter Nights II? It uses the 3.5 edition rules, with a few modifications and simplifications for skills. The first included campaign is also very, very good. It would give you a dose of the system before you played the table-top version.

Drohem
01-31-2008, 01:26 PM
Ditching alignment althogether would significantly alter the nature of the D&D game due to its integration with magic, items, planes, gods, and races.

Maelstrom
01-31-2008, 04:29 PM
My only hope is that it will be fun to play, and still keep the flexibility of the 3.5 system.

The biggest changes touted by WoTC are the simplifications. If it ends up dumbing the game down, I'd have a hard time stomaching it.

If however, the simplifications are elegant, fun, and still allow customization and flexibility, they'll have me hooked.

Riftwalker
01-31-2008, 05:00 PM
Have you considered trying out Neverwinter Nights II? It uses the 3.5 edition rules, with a few modifications and simplifications for skills. The first included campaign is also very, very good. It would give you a dose of the system before you played the table-top version.

The expansion is also very good.

tesral
01-31-2008, 10:35 PM
Ditching alignment althogether would significantly alter the nature of the D&D game due to its integration with magic, items, planes, gods, and races.

And your point? Can be done, has been done. I cleaned alignment out of 2e. Rewrote the whole thing pretty much. Modified spells magic items, what ever I thought needed fixing. I added tons of my own races and items, a few classes, the works.

It is possible to play D&D without alignment. Some people will tell you it is a better game for that. Removing alignment takes ethics out of the game system and places them in the hands of the characters, frankly where it belongs.

Drohem
01-31-2008, 11:10 PM
And your point?

Originally Posted by Drohem http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/Greys/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showthread.php?p=20903#post20903)
Ditching alignment althogether would significantly alter the nature of the D&D game due to its integration with magic, items, planes, gods, and races.

That was my point. I don't know how to clarify it any further.

Drohem
01-31-2008, 11:16 PM
It is possible to play D&D without alignment. Some people will tell you it is a better game for that. Removing alignment takes ethics out of the game system and places them in the hands of the characters, frankly where it belongs.

In your opinion.

In my opinion, the alignment system works for D&D, and I see no reason to remove it.

Shadow Dweller
01-31-2008, 11:22 PM
tesral, here's the thing. with the exception of a few cases alignment IS in the hand of the of the players.

The only class with a "cripiling" alignment restriceion is the Pally(which I think is stupid as a Pally of a CG or CN god is LG?) but aside from that, the other "restricted" alignment classes(Monk, Barbarian, Bard, Druid, Rogue) have enough room to play around with that it's not really a hinderance. I've played a lot of Monks...have an odd love for the little guy I guess. I've been known to make more than a few "Quirky" decisions as to what is lawfull and what isn't. Convincing the DM that my lieing and stealing from a currupt government to return gold and what not to the hands of the people would be conisdered a truely lawfull act in the mind of this character since he was just returning what was un justly taken...

No, this isn't forcing them to jump through hoops as i've heard from a lot of my friends, it's making them RP their character which is what the entire experience of the game is supposed to be about at the core.

Personally I think the Pally's alignment restriction should match that of the diety they follow a lot like the favored soul since they're basicaly an emmisary of their diety on the Prime Material, in a lot of cases more so than even the clerics of that diety are. If anything it needs a tweek, not to be yanked.

Mulsiphix
02-01-2008, 02:26 AM
Have you considered trying out Neverwinter Nights II? It uses the 3.5 edition rules, with a few modifications and simplifications for skills. The first included campaign is also very, very good. It would give you a dose of the system before you played the table-top version.I don't know if trying to lead people away from video games long enough to try pen and paper gaming would be successful by drawing them in with more video games. Besides NW2 does everything for you. All calculations are done in the background. Not a whole lot of "this is what you can expect" examples are available from playing the game. Learning the mechanics that are being done behind the GUI of NW2 is what players find so daunting when considering learning the game.

fmitchell
02-01-2008, 02:50 AM
Maybe we should adjourn the alignment discussion to the alignment thread: http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3481

Riftwalker
02-01-2008, 08:19 AM
I don't know if trying to lead people away from video games long enough to try pen and paper gaming would be successful by drawing them in with more video games. Besides NW2 does everything for you. All calculations are done in the background. Not a whole lot of "this is what you can expect" examples are available from playing the game. Learning the mechanics that are being done behind the GUI of NW2 is what players find so daunting when considering learning the game.

I've migrated from games like Baldur's Gate and NWN to actual pen and paper RPGs. Even though I've had to learn some of the calculations and rules for combat, I was already miles ahead of a total beginner in terms of what skills, feats, character classes, races, alignments, different types of creatures, spells, domains, metamagics, common items, etc. do.

While I would consider the combat rules complicated I wouldn't consider them daunting. It's only one or two chapters in the PHB.

Mulsiphix
02-01-2008, 11:16 AM
I think the PHB size and page count are daunting. Once you actually start sifting through them you don't feel so overwhelmed. I'm with you on Bauldurs Gate and Neverwinter Nights. Most of the reason I have any idea at all what you D&D'ers are talking about is from the video games that used D&D rules and concepts :)

DrAwkward
02-01-2008, 12:35 PM
Something I think would be awesome would be if the various books were all released specifically in PDF/online content, and were updated dynamically:

You get a free account at WoTC.

You log in, and are able to peruse the OGL core rules in a happy, indexed, searchable, and hyperlinked format.

You may pay a flat fee to "buy the vPHB" and now it displays the artwork and non-open content when you go there. If you buy a hardcopy, you get a key to enter to unlock this content as well.

You pay a flat fee to "Buy the Monk book" and now the Monk class description section in the vPHB has a bunch of cool junk, the weapon section has a bunch of new monk weapons, the feats section has new content, etc. anything that is from "The monk book" is discreetly labeled as such, so if you also own the hardcopies you know where to find it. All the "player info" in the Monk book is inserted into your vPHB and all the DM info is inserted into the vDMG right in a logical spot as if it were originally included in the core book.

Advantage: You don't have to pour through all the books to "find that one thing" You log in and go to the appropriate section of the core book, or search, or whatever.

Advantage: They can just edit the content directly as errata comes out.

Advantage: they can automatically expand the vDMG treasure tables whenever you buy more content. They can also offer a random loot generator.

Disadvantage: The greedy bums will probably think they can get away with a monthly fee for this.

Drohem
02-01-2008, 12:48 PM
I am not down for monthly fees; I am already nickle-and-dimed to death by everyone else under the sun :(.

However, I am down for WotC providing their products as PDFs; either individually or combined with hardcopy purchases. :cool:

Farcaster
02-01-2008, 01:00 PM
Not a whole lot of "this is what you can expect" examples are available from playing the game.

Oh, contraire, mon ami. NWN2 gives you a players perspective of the classes, leveling system, skills, feats, spells, magic items, and exposure to one of the most popular campaign settings ever created. You may not be rolling the dice yourself or figuring out the numbers, but the game exposes almost everything to you that goes into defining your character's abilities (BAB, etc).

So, I think the NWN series is an excellent way to get some exposure to the game before playing. It'll also whet your appetite for the real thing.

Mulsiphix
02-01-2008, 11:40 PM
Entire PostI think it would be extremely cool if that were to happen. I don't think WOTC would ever do that though as they can make more money down the line by releasing another version of the PHB with updated content and errata. I wish their "monthly fee" stuff was free but I understand and condone their charging for more exclusive content.

Farcaster I have played Neverwinter Nights, the original, and all of its expansions. I was part of the mod community and played in several private servers. I designed levels and small campaigns for almost a solid year. Much of what I know about D&D was learned from Neverwinter Nights and Baldur's Gate. However, while I'm familiar with the D&D setting and general races and classes, I still don't know jack squat about the D&D game system. How is this an excellent way to teach newbies how to play the game? No matter what they're still going to have to pick up a PHB and read it. That right there is what they find intimidating.

Riftwalker
02-02-2008, 12:03 AM
Much of what I know about D&D was learned from Neverwinter Nights and Baldur's Gate. However, while I'm familiar with the D&D setting and general races and classes, I still don't know jack squat about the D&D game system. How is this an excellent way to teach newbies how to play the game? No matter what they're still going to have to pick up a PHB and read it. That right there is what they find intimidating.

You probably underestimate the amount of the D&D game system you know.

NWN is an excellent way to teach newbies how to design characters, learn what items help them, learn what weapons are better for what situations, learn the "lingo", etc.

Imagine two people: one plays NWN and the second plays Final Fantasy. Which do you think will be able to pick up pen and paper gaming more easily?

Why would reading the PHB be such a barrier to entry? What's so intimidating about it?

Maelstrom
02-02-2008, 05:39 AM
Disclaimer: I've never played NVN, so I may spout some innacuracies.

From NVN you know what the ability scores mean (ch1), what the classes and races are (ch 2,3), what the feats do (ch 5), what you can use skills for (ch 4). You have a descent understanding of what equipment is available (ch 7). You probably know how a great number of the spells work (ch 11).

That leaves you ch6, with role-playing elements and descriptions, and ch 8 about combat, which you know mostly how it works from movement rules to attack options. Read ch 10 to learn how the mechanics of casting spells and their different types and you're ready to play a caster. Look through ch 9 (adventuring) and you'll know where to find the charts there when a question comes up about breaking a door down or how fast you travel overland. I would think that would be all you'd need to read to get in as a player. Add to that you're already extensive experience in creating dungeons and situations for players, and you're ready to be a DM. While more subtle adventures are possible with PnP, you don't need to start with that.

I wish they had a NVN 3 come out about the same time as 4e so that we could see the mechanics from the big picture level and make a better assessment for whether to transition to the new system.

MysticalForest
02-02-2008, 05:40 PM
1. Eliminate the Vancian spells system.
It should go away for a variety of reasons. It hurts more than it helps.

2. Spell/character level syncronization
If you want to cast a 4th-level spell, you have to be a 7th-level caster. But you start out by casting 1st-level spells at 1st level. When do you cast 2nd-level spells? 3rd level, obviously.

Silly. What it should be is caster level X casts spell level X.

3. Fix shapeshifting/polymorphing/wild shaping/&c.
This is horribly over complicated. It needs a major overhaul.

4. Address save-or-die.
Eliminate it. Nothing says "hero" like looking around a corner and having a bodak kill you instantly because you failed a saving throw.

Farcaster
02-02-2008, 11:32 PM
Posts debating the merits of a new edition or WotC as a company belong here: 5059

The purpose of this thread is to discuss improvements you would like to see in 4th edition system. It is not to discuss whether there should be a 4e system at all or what WotC's motivations are for releasing a new version. Off topic posts have been moved.

Drohem
02-02-2008, 11:34 PM
I wish that spell chains will have prerequisites: i.e. you have to first know Summon Monster I before you can cast Summon Monster II, and you need to know Summon Monster II before you can cast Summon Monster III, and so on.

Farcaster
02-02-2008, 11:36 PM
Spell chains with prerequisites... that's a really good idea. I hadn't thought about that before.

Mulsiphix
02-03-2008, 02:30 AM
I'd like to see the combat sped up. Seriously sped up :o

nijineko
02-03-2008, 04:49 AM
this is just off the cuff: my vote would likely be for mainline support for psionics, especially in electronic games including mmo's, as well as making the games follow the rules out of the books.

more or less, i want my games to be more like the books, not the other way around! ^^ that's a big part of the reason why i almost never play video/pc game rpgs, just not the same feel at all. very unfulfilling. i play video games when i want some mindless twitch fun, or simplistic puzzle solving. i play tabletop rpg's when i want role playing. =D

Mulsiphix
02-03-2008, 11:57 PM
Tabletop RPG's are mind crack for the imaginative :p

rabkala
02-04-2008, 12:18 AM
Logical magic item creation where everything follows the same formula, even the old classic reoccurring magic items. Magic item creation without the use of experience points as a medium.

tesral
02-04-2008, 01:09 AM
I'd like to see the combat sped up. Seriously sped up :o

I don't know if you can do that without seriously impacting the variables. The reason combat takes so long is the flexibility of it. I consider the flexibility good. Add more complication, like terrain, and it gets worse.

Friday we have a 3 hour combat, on shipboard. Complex terrain, many PCs and NPCs. That all equals complexity which equals time.

Shorter combat is good, but what do you give up to get it?

Oh and if you have been watching on line games; good luck with that happening. What takes five minutes at the table top can take weeks in play by post. It's the nature of the medium.

Mulsiphix
02-04-2008, 02:44 AM
Your perspective on combat is that of a true wargamer I suppose. I guess I've just never played a wargame that felt like the game mechanics were too slow. Usually the "long" comes from waiting for players to decide on what they're going to do.

nijineko
02-04-2008, 10:12 AM
that's definitely the case for me. i crunch numbers and try different strategies on paper and on when i'm playing wargames. takes a while to get my turn over with. i try to do most of the work on everyone else's turn, but some don't like me hovering over the play surface making notes and random noises.

Count Arioch
02-04-2008, 12:43 PM
I wish they would take back what they said about Magic Items,
and not have stat boosting items work only once per encounter. That only encourages dress-up play where you are constantly changing belts and shoes to be more powerful.

As a wise man once said,


I personally feel insulted by the idea of having D&D being reduced to Barbie Horse Adventures of Warcraft. Where we all run around in weird outfits and then change our belts, bracelets, and shoes after every major encounter to get a different set of static bonuses next encounter (because our prettiest clothes only function for one battle per day). But just because it's stupid and insulting doesn't mean I won't do it.

nijineko
02-04-2008, 01:24 PM
i think i would have to go for a special outfit that has the ability to absorb multiple magically enchanted items into it, in that case. and then swap out whichever ones you want as a move action or somesuch. so you could literally be wearing four or five sets of gear in one. sort of a combination of glamoured clothing and heward's backpack.

hmmm, that's not a bad idea in any case. if not for the copyright limitation, i would suggest calling it heward's handy clothier.

Mulsiphix
02-04-2008, 01:26 PM
i try to do most of the work on everyone else's turn, but some don't like me hovering over the play surface making notes and random noises.I drive people nuts doing the same thing. Whether my behavior is genuine or not depends on the situation. I believe wargames benefit a great deal from bluffing. I do try to keep quiet though. I go ape *** when somebody makes a bunch of noise when I'm trying hard to "do the math" :eek:

tesral
02-04-2008, 01:40 PM
Your perspective on combat is that of a true wargamer I suppose. I guess I've just never played a wargame that felt like the game mechanics were too slow. Usually the "long" comes from waiting for players to decide on what they're going to do.

We have Five PCs. There were six NPC on the PC side and 10 opponent NPCs. Five players and the DM. Each round came down to a lot of deciding and dice rolling even if everyone missed. The terrain was very complex. There were plenty of traps and obstacles It all comes down to long combat.

What would you simplify to shorten D&D combat?

Mulsiphix
02-04-2008, 02:38 PM
What would you simplify to shorten D&D combat?I can honestly say that I do not know D&D combat well enough to make any suggestions. Frankly I rarely stray from the printed rules so even after years of experience my answer will still most likely be "Nothing" ;)

tesral
02-04-2008, 02:47 PM
I can honestly say that I do not know D&D combat well enough to make any suggestions. Frankly I rarely stray from the printed rules so even after years of experience my answer will still most likely be "Nothing" ;)

"The squeaky wheel gets the Job." -- Me.

3.x did about the best job I have seen in simplifying the game mechanic. They made everything a d20 roll. I don't agree with all the changes (and so change them) but they did a decent job of streamlining a game that was admittedly on the chunky and awkward side.

Unless you eliminate options and variables, you are not going to get a simpler game. I personally like options and variables.