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gdmcbride
02-29-2008, 02:20 AM
Here you can find the pregen 4th ed PCs for the D&D experience.

http://picasaweb.google.com/gertiebarden/4eCharacterSheets

That should give everyone a much clearer vision of the 4th edition changes.

A few comments. First, I was really struck by how little has changed. Six stats, Armor class, hit points, saves still there (though renamed 'defenses'), skills mostly familiar -- clearly this is D&D. People who were worried that 4th ed would in no way resemble the D&D they know and love should stop worrying. Of course, if you didn't like D&D -- same problem.

Clerics don't get spells anymore, they get prayers. Largely a semantic change I know.

Fighters -- dude, fighters. Once per encounter a 1st level dwarven fighter can do 3d10+5 hp of damage. Baby. Fighters have really been ramped up with their 'exploits'.

First level Eladrin can teleport. Not far. Not often. Just themselves. But still -- that power is going to have an effect on plots. We don't get a full power explanation. Can they teleport some where they've never seen?

Wizards -- at will 2d4+5 force damage magic missile. Wow, the days of the 'one spell and I'm done' are gone.

Paladins can no longer detect evil at will at 1st level. Thank whatever gods are listening.

Overall, I would say that first level characters (save for perhaps spell casters) are about the same level of complexity. In fact, fighters look slightly more complicated. So, I would say this definitely not 'dumbed down D&D'. Of course, since we still don't know how many choices had to be made to get these characters created, it still remains to be seen how complicated characters are to create.

So, I like it. It looks promising. Still a little early to form a full opinion but I am now ... modestly optimistic about 4th edition.

Gary

Maelstrom
02-29-2008, 06:11 AM
Just a note- the Dwarf 3d10 is a daily ability, not a per encounter.

InfoStorm
02-29-2008, 01:02 PM
I know Farcaster just said this in the 4e hit public thread, but I totally agree with him. As I'm looking through the character sheets, it reads more like a computer game that a tabletop RPG. I know the characters in the demo were build for combat, but do they have any role play powers anymore.

A BIG example of this is the "4 roles" of the characters. In 4th, these roles are devised around their purpose in combat, while in 3rd (or at leat my gems of 3rd) they were divised arounf their roles in the adventure FIRST, then combat. A Rogue is a "striker" in 4th, but in 3rd, they were the trap/lock/con-artist/utility role.

Call me wrong, but so far it sounds more like 4e is a combat engine with a smidge of role playing added in, much moreso than 3.5 was.

tesral
02-29-2008, 01:28 PM
A BIG example of this is the "4 roles" of the characters.

There are not four roles. There are as many roles as you can make. I don't care what the book says. I have never defined my character by their role in an adventuring party. I define them by their role in life.

Farcaster
02-29-2008, 01:32 PM
I think he is referring to the typical boiled down combat roles. Of course, once again, I believe this concept gained widespread popularity from MMPOGs. Heck, in some of the MMPOGs documentation, they use the terminology themselves.. This class is a nuker, this class is a tank... etc.

tesral
02-29-2008, 01:37 PM
I think he is referring to the typical boiled down combat roles. Of course, once again, I believe this concept gained widespread popularity from MMPOGs. Heck, in some of the MMPOGs documentation, they use the terminology themselves.. This class is a nuker, this class is a tank... etc.

I'm going to dig at this concept every time it comes up. IMHO it is anti role-playing. And needs to be killed burned and buried. Do not define your PC by their combat role.

InfoStorm
02-29-2008, 03:49 PM
I think Farcaster and I are agreeing with you. I dislike the ideas of specified roles too, butin gaming practicality, there were always some roled that were useful to have filled. Exampled we always ran into were: Healer, trap/lock expert, tracker, Front line, spellcaster. Ok the front line person was renamed Tank shortly after MMORPG's game out, but at least these roles were vague, and many of them could be filled by many different types of characters. Yes, a cleric was normally the healer, but not always, while a tracker is limited only to people with the survival skill (and preferrably the track feat).

MysticalForest
03-01-2008, 07:34 PM
I know the characters in the demo were build for combat, but do they have any role play powers anymore.Wait, you admit that the character sheets were just for a combat demo, so you're criticizing them for being incomplete?


do they have any role play powers anymore Roleplay powers? Like what?


(or at leat my gems of 3rd)What's a "gem" as you use it?



Call me wrong.You're wrong--there's nothing in the information released so far that says anything at all about 4e being less roleplay-ey than 3e. We haven't seen the PH, we haven't even seen a complete class or race writeup.


I dislike the ideas of specified roles too, butin gaming practicality, there were always some roled that were useful to have filled.This seems contradictory. You dislike roles but run your games so there have to be roles?

gdmcbride
03-02-2008, 03:29 AM
I'm going to dig at this concept every time it comes up. IMHO it is anti role-playing. And needs to be killed burned and buried. Do not define your PC by their combat role.

I believe you are wrong and here is why. Having a defined combat role has nothing to do with whether your game has more or less roleplaying.

Plenty of RPGs define characters by their combat roles. Champions has Bricks, Speedsters, Energy Projectors and Mentalists for example. I have played in several Champions campaigns and never observed any problem with that game having rich roleplaying possibilities.

Most class based games stick you into a certain combat role by your class choice. If I play a class called an Archer, I assume the role of being a ranged combat specialist.

How does this hamper roleplaying? My archer can still have a well developed background, have a rich motivation for using his bow to fight the forces of darkness, have a complex relationship with his father who forced him to take up the bow at a young age, etc. etc. etc. Knowing which niche you are filling in combat does not hamper roleplay.

Further, not only are you wrong, but I believe your advice to eradicate this concept is bad advice best ignored. If a group is running a game where combat is the focus (say you want to a campaign about the exploits of Colonial Marines ala Aliens), then each character should have a defined combat role. One is the unit commander. One is the heavy weapons guy. One is sniper. Etc. You are soldiers in a unit. Each of you has a job in that unit.

Of course your character should not stop there. You are not just a sniper. You are a sniper who let a comrade die on his last mission and is now trying somehow to find forgiveness ...

Again, knowing your place doesn't mean the game can't be fun and doesn't mean there can't be interesting and complex roleplay.

Gary

InfoStorm
03-03-2008, 09:49 AM
M.Forest, Role playing games, are ROLE playing game first, THEN combat simulations. ALL of the rules, releases, tidbits I have seen so far have been focused around 1 things, a characters effectiveness and role in COMBAT. Adventures are much more than combat.
When I designed a character for a game (not gems as a typo said), the characters are made first based of an idea of what thair ROLE in an adventure would be, a seeker of lore, a spreader of faith, a treasure hunter, a persecuted person trying to hide from some orginization. These background/story roles are what define a character and makes an enjoyable adventure. The Roles I mentioned previously come around at this part of making a group of adventurers with friends based of the ideas like, "If we don't have someone who can pick a lock, we'll never get through doors." From the bits of 4th I've seen, it seems that characters are designed around combat figures first, and THEN having background thrown in.
In summary, in the previews I've seen of the game so far, I've seen little to NO focus on the roleplaying aspect of the game, and almost all on the combat of the game. If I wanted a combat game, I'd be playing mini's and warhammer 40k, not a role playing game.

tesral
03-03-2008, 10:12 AM
Plenty of RPGs define characters by their combat roles. Champions has Bricks, Speedsters, Energy Projectors and Mentalists for example. I have played in several Champions campaigns and never observed any problem with that game having rich roleplaying possibilities.

That is defining them by their powers, not their combat roles. Calling a hero a Brick or a Speedster is no different that saying Fighter or Ranger. There are many ways to use those powers. Villain brick can punch you into next week or "Heroes, I need a getaway car. (picks up and throws car) Get way." How you use the strength can vary greatly.



Most class based games stick you into a certain combat role by your class choice. If I play a class called an Archer, I assume the role of being a ranged combat specialist.

How does this hamper roleplaying?

When the game encourages you to build a character around a combat role, not build a character. When they start to worry about not fitting "one of the four roles". Well there are not four roles. There are as many roles as you can conceive of. Pigeonholes are for bird brains.

When making a character I don't tend to think about what role they will have in combat. I just make the character. Sure the warrior type stocks up on armor and weapons, but he is a warrior, fighting is his stock in trade. However he is going to think more as to what his reason for fighting is. Is he guarding something? Is he attacking something? A guard needs to be able to stand his ground. Gimme more armor. An attacker has other options. Mobility might be my main concern.

Next depending on what you fight you might find your role changing. You need to not think of yourself inside the box. "Oh, I'm a ranged combat specialist, how can I use that here?" Well, guess what? Sometimes your attacks won't work, or you don't get to stand off and shoot. what then Bucky?

The four roles concept is flawed in that is narrows the player's thinking as to what their character can and should do. Open concept. There are not four roles, there are countless roles. Do not narrow your vision to a set of four choices. Build an organic character then decide how they will act based on their abilities and the encounter at hand.

I am not saying you can't have roles. I am saying there are not four of them and only four of them as the book suggests.

Inquisitor Tremayne
03-03-2008, 11:56 AM
At its most basic level D&D has always been based on combat.

Its most basic principle: rescue the princess from the dragon, implies that the party is going to have to fight the dragon in order to get the princess. Granted I never played 1st or 2nd edition but my 1st and 2nd edition books that I have read strongly emphasize dungeon delving.

Now, I don't know about you, but dungeon delving to me suggests combat over roleplaying. There are few opportunities for roleplaying encounters. I'm not talking about traps and such, I'm speaking of strictly ROLEplaying, interacting with NPCs that doesn't involve going to blows with them. 2nd edition seemed to encourage this a bit more with morale checks and what-not, but when you encountered a party of Orcs chances are you are going to fight them.

I have also never heard of anyone who has played or does play D&D with 0% combat. In fact I am sure there are much better game systems to use other than D&D if you do play with 0% combat.

So, since this is a combat focused game it only goes to follow that there are necessary combat-centric roles to be filled by the party members. In fact, I would say that the two are inseparable. This I know from experience, if your players are NOT focused on working as a team/unit in a combat situation things tend to fall apart for them.

In every RPG I have ever played, ROLE playing has been created by conversations between the PCs and the NPCs and often have not relied on a rolling dice. Thus it further stands to reason that you DON"T need a RPG like D&D to play a ROLEplaying-centric game. All you need is an imagination and some friends to talk to.

This is even further enforced by the rules in the PHB, the entirety of the book is based on combat, factors that influence combat, and how your character can maximize their effect in combat.

So I have never understood how D&D is not a combat focused game.

fmitchell
03-03-2008, 04:58 PM
In every RPG I have ever played, ROLE playing has been created by conversations between the PCs and the NPCs and often have not relied on a rolling dice. Thus it further stands to reason that you DON"T need a RPG like D&D to play a ROLEplaying-centric game. All you need is an imagination and some friends to talk to.

Just to nitpick, in some non-combat situations you have to roll dice. If you're picking a lock, you have to roll against Lock-Picking (or whatever the equivalent is in whatever game system).

But the point of rules and die rolls is to resolve situations that aren't simply a matter of argument. For example, many games have a notion of "charisma", based on our world: some people can say the most vapid things and be thought inspirational, and others can offer compelling arguments that nobody believes. Since in our world it's a combination of looks, attitude, and some intangible behavioral clues -- and since it's rare among gamers -- game characters have a statistic measuring their "charisma", and roll against it to see whether their physical presence helps or hurts their argument.

If a game has a large set of rules centered around a particular activity, e.g. combat, then the creators of a game must have thought that activity was important enough to the game that it needed to be "simulated" accurately. From 1e and 2e on D&D classes revolved around dungeon delving roles: the fighter, the thief, the healer, the spellcaster. A large chunk of rules revolve around fighting. A large number of spells revolve around doing damage in a fight, or healing after a fight. A large number of feats in 3.x revolve around combat effectiveness. Even a few skills have combat uses.

By comparison, other systems make combat a special case -- or a not-so-special case -- of "skill" and ability rolls. A few even take the bold step of making every conflict, from a sword-fight to a seduction, follow the exact same conflict resolution rules.

So, from that perspective, D&D revolves around combat. You can do other things within D&D, but they comprise less than half of the D&D rules, perhaps much less.

tesral
03-03-2008, 05:39 PM
At its most basic level D&D has always been based on combat.



I'm going to have to say wrong here. I don't like that word, but I need to use it.

D&D, any RPG, is not combat based. They are based on Conflict. That is a very important difference.

Combat is a solution means. One way to handle things It is decided, there is no solution but violence.

Conflict on the other hand is a situation, it does not come with the solution predetermined and absolute. A conflict can be resolved with soft words, or a ready deal. Blood does not need to be shed. Even the most powerful of foes can be turned with a word, if it is the right word.

So no, saying that D&D is based on combat is wrong. It's the wrong end of the stick. Conflict makes the drama. By making that statement you open yourself to all the forms of drama, not simply the one that demands that you fight.

Farcaster
03-03-2008, 06:01 PM
]So, from that perspective, D&D revolves around combat. You can do other things within D&D, but they comprise less than half of the D&D rules, perhaps much less.


I'm going to have to say wrong here. I don't like that word, but I need to use it.

I'm afraid that I have to agree with Frank on this one. The very origins of the game are rooted in strategic, combat oriented play. And throughout all of the editions, advancement has been firmly based on slaying things and looting their treasure. Up to and including D&D 3.5, the ruleset only gives only a nod to giving out experience as story rewards for non combat related encounters. So, in my humble judgement, Frank is right. D&D at it's core is very combat oriented, and the rules reflect that.

That is not to say that there is a right and wrong way to play the game. Many of my D&D sessions have gone without any combat at all. Certainly D&D can and does support intense roleplaying and strong story driven games. However, the rules and focus of the game clearly shows that the designers are concerned first on supporting dungeon-delving, monster-slaying, treasure-hoarding, and cool combat-abilities; while roleplaying and social encounters are a secondary consideration.

Maelstrom
03-03-2008, 08:22 PM
Agreed. One point here is that when it comes to combat in the D&D sense, with fantastic monsters and heroic characters, magic abundance and divine intervention, you're going to have plenty of rules. Rules enhance combat by allowing the game to feel different when you fight a dragon to when you fight a vampire. Rules enhance combat by expanding your options through feats and class abilities.

Defining rules for role-playing is good in some ways, but when there are rules there are restrictions. Restrictions hamper role play. This is the other side of the coin.

BTW, excellent point on the Conflict vs Combat Tesral.

Inquisitor Tremayne
03-03-2008, 08:33 PM
D&D, any RPG, is not combat based. They are based on Conflict. That is a very important difference.

Combat is a solution means. One way to handle things It is decided, there is no solution but violence.

Conflict on the other hand is a situation, it does not come with the solution predetermined and absolute. A conflict can be resolved with soft words, or a ready deal. Blood does not need to be shed. Even the most powerful of foes can be turned with a word, if it is the right word.

So no, saying that D&D is based on combat is wrong. It's the wrong end of the stick. Conflict makes the drama. By making that statement you open yourself to all the forms of drama, not simply the one that demands that you fight.

True.

But unless you are in a heavy story/character driven game, (I'll be generous) 7 times out of 10 that conflict ends in combat.

Granted there are exceptions to the rule, but those exceptions are only brought on by the kind of game the GM and the players want to play.


So, from that perspective, D&D revolves around combat. You can do other things within D&D, but they comprise less than half of the D&D rules, perhaps much less.

Indeed!

Therefore, to NOT provide players (mostly newer players) of their combat/conflict-centric RPG with strategies or roles for combat situations they are neglecting a major aspect of their game.

tesral
03-04-2008, 09:46 AM
That is not to say that there is a right and wrong way to play the game. Many of my D&D sessions have gone without any combat at all. Certainly D&D can and does support intense roleplaying and strong story driven games. However, the rules and focus of the game clearly shows that the designers are concerned first on supporting dungeon-delving, monster-slaying, treasure-hoarding, and cool combat-abilities; while roleplaying and social encounters are a secondary consideration.

Combat is the most rules intensive activity, it doesn't necessarily make combat the automatic main activity. The rules concentrate on the things that need to be adjudicated the most. That comes down to the things you roll dice for. That is mostly combat.

However combat is a result not a cause. Why is there combat? Because a conflict exists. Without the conflict, there would be no combat. Noun-verb agreement. You don't fight because you are fighting. You fight because there is a conflict.

The game is conflict based. Combat is a frequent solution to the conflict, but is not the sole solution or necessary the best. A conflict can be set up in which fighting is your worst choice. Kill them all and let God sort them out is not how you solve a genteel disagreement or a diplomatic summit. (Although it can be tempting.)

I am not saying that here shouldn't be combat. But it is not the cause. If I say the game is based on combat, how do I arrange a man vs nature conflict? You can't swing a sword at a storm. How about man vs. himself? I have done those as well. Is your PC going to solve that by stabbing themselves?

It is not about story, or role-playing. Even the activity of dungeon delving does not have to involve combat at every turn. It will evolve conflict. A trap or difficult condition can be the conflict. It isn't always something you can solve with combat. Are you going to beat the chasm into submission?

Ergo it is based on conflict. Conflict is why you have combat. Getting that straight means the game is more than simply fighting everything you encounter.



True.

But unless you are in a heavy story/character driven game, (I'll be generous) 7 times out of 10 that conflict ends in combat.

Granted there are exceptions to the rule, but those exceptions are only brought on by the kind of game the GM and the players want to play.
It's a matter of semantics, but an important one. It is not to say that combat is less than important, or even central. Many times my players will arrive with "I've had a difficult week, I want to kill something." However if I just put pop-up targets in front of them with our a cause, it is not satisfying. The conflict must exist before the combat is possible. Without the conflict the PCs are nothing more than murdering sociopaths. While that might satisfy a few, not doesn't please many. Most people wish to have characters that are heroes.

Inquisitor Tremayne
03-04-2008, 11:36 AM
That is not to say that there is a right and wrong way to play the game. Many of my D&D sessions have gone without any combat at all. Certainly D&D can and does support intense roleplaying and strong story driven games. However, the rules and focus of the game clearly shows that the designers are concerned first on supporting dungeon-delving, monster-slaying, treasure-hoarding, and cool combat-abilities; while roleplaying and social encounters are a secondary consideration.


*snip!*

Tesral, you point is from the view of a typical game group and I do not disagree with you. A typical game group is going to have more than just conflict that results in combat, there will be other conflicts that are solved with roleplaying.

Farcaster's point is from a strict reading of the PHB and is also correct.

For most people they want a balanced 50-50 game.

This does NOT however change the fact that characters are created with combat in mind, as the PHB suggests;


However, the rules and focus of the game clearly shows that the designers are concerned first on supporting dungeon-delving, monster-slaying, treasure-hoarding, and cool combat-abilities; while roleplaying and social encounters are a secondary consideration.

Farcaster's observation is spot on. The continuation of that would lead to Tesral's observations/interpretations.

Therefore we are all correct to degrees and inevitably it comes down to individual play styles or group preferences. I have rarely encountered someone who ONLY wants combat or who ONLY wants roleplaying in D&D.

cplmac
03-04-2008, 12:14 PM
Like has been said, it comes down to the style of play of the individuals and the group. I have also seen game sessions that have had no combat and others that have been all combat. Just depends on where the party happens to be at that time.

fmitchell
03-04-2008, 12:33 PM
Combat is the most rules intensive activity, it doesn't necessarily make combat the automatic main activity. The rules concentrate on the things that need to be adjudicated the most. That comes down to the things you roll dice for. That is mostly combat.

Except that a number of rules systems make "conflict" a central mechanic, and consequently have fewer special rules for combat. HeroQuest and PDQ, as well as a number of indie games like Primetime Adventures and Shock: Social Science Fiction have almost no difference between combat, other physical tests, or purely social/intellectual/emotional conflicts. Spirit of the Century treats physical combat specially, but not too specially.

Even among mainstream games, skill-based games like GURPS or Basic Roleplaying, hitting someone with a sword is more or less mechanically equivalent to persuading them with an argument. What happens if you connect is very different, but there are no distinct notions of "Base Attack Bonus", "Armor Class", or (for NPCs and monsters) "Hit Dice".

As you say, just because rules are there doesn't affect how often you use them. But -- and I say this as someone only recently persuaded to this viewpoint -- combat doesn't necessarily require a much larger number of rules to adjudicate than other forms of conflict. Combat gets complex only when game designers (and players) insist on "realism" or detail.

tesral
03-04-2008, 03:45 PM
How do I have to explain this:


All Combat is Conflict.

Not all Conflict is Combat.


It is not play style, it is semantics. I am not saying you don't have combat. What I am saying is combat is a subset of the whole, an important subset, but focusing on it will defeat you, no matter what your play style.

The DM sets up the conflict. How the characters respond to the conflict can vary, one tool and a frequently used one is combat.

The DM does not set up the combat. Combat might be the intended result of the conflict, but it is not what is set up.

Combat is a result, not a cause. Conflict is a cause, combat is a result. Without conflict you do not get combat, or any other resolution because without the conflict you don't need a resolution, there is nothing to resolve. Without a conflict combat is just pop up targets on a Hogan's Alley. Targets that fight back to be sure. However it would be pointless mayhem.

Encounters are conflicts. The characters wants one thing, the situation opposes their goal. The situation might be 100 Orcs, a locked door, a natural obstacle. The conflict is the PCs want something the situation is preventing them from getting. That want could be physical progress, a McGuffin, the stop to a war, any number of things.

If you think of all encounters as combats you limit the range of possible encounters. A rockfall across the pass is pretty impervious to swordplay.

DrAwkward
03-04-2008, 05:00 PM
A rockfall across the pass is pretty impervious to swordplay.

If violence isn't a solution to your problem, then you aren't using enough. :D:D:D

tesral
03-04-2008, 07:45 PM
If violence isn't a solution to your problem, then you aren't using enough. :D:D:D

Ah a gun bunny.

Farcaster
03-04-2008, 07:55 PM
Ah a gun bunny.

Gun bunny? Not familiar with that one. Vorpral Bunny, yes. Gun Bunny, no.

So, I think I understand your perspective, Tesral, and I think we're talking about basically the same thing. What I am trying to say is that the D&D designers focus the majority of their efforts on the combat system, and D&D did have its origins in wargaming. Thus, the rules have a strong combat bent.

tesral
03-04-2008, 08:37 PM
Gun bunny? Not familiar with that one. Vorpral Bunny, yes. Gun Bunny, no.

So, I think I understand your perspective, Tesral, and I think we're talking about basically the same thing. What I am trying to say is that the D&D designers focus the majority of their efforts on the combat system, and D&D did have its origins in wargaming. Thus, the rules have a strong combat bent.


Gun Bunny: n, 1; A person that believes than there is no problem in the universe that cannot be solved by sufficient application of high explosives. 2; A person that looks no further than force in the solution of any encounter. 3; Someone that enjoys gratuitous applications of extreme force as seen in Arnold Swazinager and Bruce Willis movies.
Gun Bunny: v, 1 To exhibit behavior in line with the "Gun Bunny" definition. To go Gunny Bunny. E.G.; Bob has gone completely gun bunny.

Inquisitor Tremayne
03-05-2008, 11:45 AM
How do I have to explain this:


All Combat is Conflict.

Not all Conflict is Combat.


It is not play style, it is semantics. I am not saying you don't have combat. What I am saying is combat is a subset of the whole, an important subset, but focusing on it will defeat you, no matter what your play style.

The DM sets up the conflict. How the characters respond to the conflict can vary, one tool and a frequently used one is combat.

The DM does not set up the combat. Combat might be the intended result of the conflict, but it is not what is set up.

Combat is a result, not a cause. Conflict is a cause, combat is a result. Without conflict you do not get combat, or any other resolution because without the conflict you don't need a resolution, there is nothing to resolve. Without a conflict combat is just pop up targets on a Hogan's Alley. Targets that fight back to be sure. However it would be pointless mayhem.

Encounters are conflicts. The characters wants one thing, the situation opposes their goal. The situation might be 100 Orcs, a locked door, a natural obstacle. The conflict is the PCs want something the situation is preventing them from getting. That want could be physical progress, a McGuffin, the stop to a war, any number of things.

If you think of all encounters as combats you limit the range of possible encounters. A rockfall across the pass is pretty impervious to swordplay.


We all understand your point (at least I do). It is a correct and idealistic point as well. Most GMs I know strive for some semblance of balance in the types of encounters/conflicts they present.


... one tool and a frequently used one is combat.

You said it yourself, conflict in D&D often results in combat.

This does NOT mean that it is or should be ALWAYS the result.

However, what you are neglecting to understand is that there are a lot of us who greatly enjoy combat and the tactical situations that it presents. To that end we want to use the games system that we have to further exploit this.

Just thinking out loud here, but this could also be one reason for the strong emphasis on combat in 4e. Maybe WotC has picked up on a growing number of players focused on combat and wargaming and therefore adjusted D&D accordingly. Just speculating.

Back to my point, I don't think anyone is disagreeing with you. But with the determination in which you are arguing your points you come across as saying that those of us who want more combat are wrong in feeling that way. That's the impression I get anyway. Yes, I really, REALLY enjoy combat in D&D 3.5, and my cleric is geared toward that role and I love manipulating the rules to get the best tactical advantage. However, we would never have any encounters were it not for the story and we have a great story going in our group.

Therefore give me D&D 4e so I can have more tactics!!!:D

fmitchell
03-05-2008, 11:52 AM
However, what you are neglecting to understand is that there are a lot of us who greatly enjoy combat and the tactical situations that it presents. To that end we want to use the games system that we have to further exploit this.

Contrariwise, there are some of us who found the combat focus in previous and current versions of D&D offputting, and prefer other systems.

While I have the 4e PHB on order, I don't know if I'll ever play it. I'm just curious what 4e D&D looks like, seeing it's The Most Popular RPG (tm). It's entirely possible I could find a D&D game with a DM I trust to put in more than just big fights, and hopefully enough of the skill system will remain so I can play someone who doesn't just deal damage.

boulet
03-05-2008, 02:34 PM
According to the GNS theory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNS_Theory) seems like you have yourself a nice gamists vs simulationists + narrativists political struggle :) Well that WotC is betting on the gamist camp is no surprise to me. I have the impression it's always been the biggest faction in the RPG world. Plus it fits their business plan to invade internet :)

My selfish hope is that they might upset a few players and force them to explore the non-D20 side of RPGs. That means more players to share alternative ways of playing ! Yeah !

(I love this GNS stuff, one ca make it say whatever hehe)

fmitchell
03-05-2008, 04:10 PM
According to the GNS theory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNS_Theory) seems like you have yourself a nice gamists vs simulationists + narrativists political struggle :) Well that WotC is betting on the gamist camp is no surprise to me. I have the impression it's always been the biggest faction in the RPG world. Plus it fits their business plan to invade internet :)

My selfish hope is that they might upset a few players and force them to explore the non-D20 side of RPGs. That means more players to share alternative ways of playing ! Yeah !

(I love this GNS stuff, one ca make it say whatever hehe)

GNS has a number of problems, but yeah, the problem is that different people want different things from RPGs, and in some cases mean different things by "role-playing". Depending on the person, a RPG may be one or more of a tactical combat simulation, an immersive imaginary world, an improvised drama, or a competition for power and glory (within the game world).

It's interesting to note that Paradigm Concepts announced that they won't support D&D 4e, and are tapering off 3.5 support as well. Instead, they'll develop their own system for future products set in Arcanis. (Announced on http://www.enworld.org/ ; search for Arcanis in the Mar 4, 2008 entry.)

Just as the OGL tried to encourage a consolidation on d20 rules, licensing for 4th edition might encourage a diversity of systems, new and old.

EDIT: The Gaming Report (http://www.gamingreport.com/article.php?sid=24887&mode=nested&order=0&thold=0) has a copy of the announcement, and it loads in something less than a geological time scale.

tesral
03-06-2008, 10:02 AM
Still not getting the point. I'm not anti combat. Combat is important in the game.

It's an issue of design. Conflict is a cause, combat is a result.

Part of my design philosophy is I don't program in solutions. I present the players with problems, and they provide solutions. XP is awarded for overcoming the conflict, by what ever means. This is one of the best advantages of P&P is that I don't have to predetermine the method for getting past the five headed killer rabbit. The PCs can still succeed if they don't have the holy feather duster of infinite sneezing.

Computer RPGs (sneeringly said) are puzzle games. Figure out the problem, fit the correct solution, proceed to the next encounter. They often take the form of plot coupon stories. The PC has to get all the plot coupons to turn them in for the final victory. But, that all has to be determined at the programmer's keyboard. The player's new and creative solution is not going to work, no matter how cool and creative it is. It wasn't programed in in the first place.

At the table I don't have to pre fit the solutions. I can allow the players to exercise their creative imaginations and tell me a better solution than I might have come up with. I have learned over 32 years of RPG design to do exactly that. Never pre-program the solution. My players are smart and inventive people too. They will come up with something that is so totally cool. that it will likely knock my socks off.

That is why I insist that it is a conflict you set up, not a combat. By thinking "conflict" you leave the encounter open to creative solutions. Not "you must fight the 5 Orcs to get by". They might fight the five Orcs, they might find a creative way around that. They might discover a way to avoid the Orcs entirely. This is stuff you will never see happen if you fix in your head that you have "set up a combat".

Does this hamper the combat oriented player? Not in the least, they can blaze away. Fight fight fight, that works too. I'm open to opening every door with your head, head first. If that is how the players wish to play. Combat gone seriously wrong is some of the funniest stuff in the game. I am recalling the Cat-guy dancing on top of the giant toad while the gal that got swallowed is shoving her blade out through it's back. He is trying to save her and having to avoid her blade while he does it. The toad is just sitting there "man, heartburn!"

So yes, I am attempting to get my fellow GMs to think conflict. Design a conflict. Be open to solutions you might not think of.

Farcaster
03-06-2008, 12:23 PM
So yes, I am attempting to get my fellow GMs to think conflict. Design a conflict. Be open to solutions you might not think of.

Then, we may well be talking about different things. It sounds like you are talking about an approach to running a game, and we are talking about the design philosophy of the game developers who created the rulesets.

DrAwkward
03-06-2008, 12:39 PM
So yes, I am attempting to get my fellow GMs to think conflict. Design a conflict. Be open to solutions you might not think of.

I hear ya. Some of my favorite encounters are the ones where I set them up thinking "Man, I have no idea how they are gonna get past this one."

Just recently I put one of my "roadblock" encounters in. A flesh golem set to guard a vault. The PCs weren't supposed to get in the vault, it was there as window dressing and as a lesson of "You can't win them all" and "You can't go everywhere"

The golem was just the right CR to not insta-kill any of them, but well beyond thier reach. They got past it through clever and inventive ways that did *not* involve slugging it out, and I'm pretty proud of them.

I guess I use "encounter" like you use "conflict". Usually the fighters work on making it mean "combat" while the bard tries to make it mean anything else.

Inquisitor Tremayne
03-06-2008, 01:01 PM
Then, we may well be talking about different things. It sounds like you are talking about an approach to running a game, and we are talking about the design philosophy of the game developers who created the rulesets.

I agree with Farcaster here again. You are thinking in terms of specific cases (your games) while we are examining the broader terms (RPG/D&D design in general).

Tesral, I agree with you. Thats how I construct my games as well. The encounters/conflicts are open-ended and the PCs create the outcome. Sometimes they talk their way out of it, sometimes they have to unlock the door and sometimes those stormtroopers don't want to talk.

But you need to generalize a little bit more. Any individual GM/DM can approach a RPG system with their own game design philosophy in mind, but when you have a book like the PHB that presents almost nothing but combat rules, it should be clear what the designers of that specific RPG had in mind when they created the game. In this case, D&D (specifically 4e), was designed as a minis wargame.

tesral
03-07-2008, 07:25 AM
Could it be a chicken an egg problem? Is combat the most important because of rule count? Or does combat have the highest rule count because it needs it?

From my my reading of 3.x I see a fairly balanced system that does not favor combat above other options. Note that XP is awarded not for killing the monster, but for defeating it, a totally different concept. I can defeat a "monster" by sneaking around it, getting it drunk, becoming its buddy, it all depends on how the DM set up the conflict. And yes, sometimes those Stormtroopers don't want to talk. The designers recognize that combat is the most complex and rule intensive part of the rules system. If you look around you can find equally complex rules for nearly any activity, including sexual encounters. (people can be strange.)

What is the most important part of the game has a great deal more to do with the player perceptions than the rules set as written. Again the rules are not the game. The rules are blueprint for building a game. The DM and players make the game. They will impact the flavor of the game far more than any set of rules. I have seen this in practice. D&D practiced as nothing but a bloody, endless, kill session, or more of a symposium than any kind of open conflict.

What is the right kind of game? What balance of combat vs other stuff is correct? Is everyone having fun? If yes, that game is perfect, Feast of Blood or Symposium.

I'm not commenting on 4e, I have read only rumors and reports. I don't find them encouraging. I fear those that see it as a mini war game may be right, but I'm not commenting.

MysticalForest
03-07-2008, 12:26 PM
In this case, D&D (specifically 4e), was designed as a minis wargame.Which is no different than 3e.

Also: With a simulationist edge to the design philosophy, combat rules by their nature will take up an enormous amount of room because there's so much to cover.

You shouldn't look at something like page count and put too much weight on it.

Certainly it's possible to cover combat in a single page--we've all seen RPGs that do just that--but they're not trying to be any bit simulationist, which D&D is.

Inquisitor Tremayne
03-07-2008, 12:53 PM
Could it be a chicken an egg problem?

Possibly. ;)


Is combat the most important because of rule count?

No.


Or does combat have the highest rule count because it needs it?

Possibly. RPG combat in general doesn't need a lot rules. D&D, by its nature, seems to have to many variables that need to be accounted for.


The DM and players make the game.

I couldn't agree more. I used to have this in my signature. I wonder where it went? hmmm

However, I think we are simply at an impasse on how combat focused D&D is or isn't.

boulet
03-07-2008, 01:00 PM
Certainly it's possible to cover combat in a single page--we've all seen RPGs that do just that--but they're not trying to be any bit simulationist, which D&D is.
I think I understand what you mean by simulationist here. But I think the word is a bad choice, or it needs to be more specific about what one simulates. I think D&D combat rules are about an epic style of fight, about subtle game balance between creatures and PCs, about offering lot of possibilities and fun to players. They're certainly not trying to simulate realistic combat. In real life if someone takes one hit in the head by most popular D&D weapons, she doesn't get up any time soon to tell how it feels... And the notion that a character with a high level can endure lots and lots of physical punishment by opposition to the low level one who faints much sooner in the process isn't simulating real combat either.

I think some "single page" combat system may portray realistic fight much better. So D&D perspective on combat is mostly about a style of game. I can't agree with someone saying that it simulates better, unless they mean simulating a typical Tolkien fight scene that they enjoyed very much for instance.

Inquisitor Tremayne
03-07-2008, 02:22 PM
Which is no different than 3e.

You are partially correct.

While 3.0 and 3.5 encourage the use of minis, I have heard of several gamers who eschew minis altogether and have NEVER used them.

But it is true that, especially 3.5, minis usage is encouraged, given the diagrams and what-not in the PHB.

However, from my readings on 4e, several monster tactics in the new Monster Manual explicitly state how their mini should be maneuvered on a battle mat and across various terrain. That specific point alone points to the stronger emphasis on minis usage for 4e more so than 3.5.

MysticalForest
03-07-2008, 10:41 PM
I have heard of several gamers who eschew minis altogether and have NEVER used them.And there's nothing to suggest the same thing can't be done in 4...

nijineko
03-09-2008, 05:14 AM
i think that everyone has made excellent and valid points. and many opposing view points which all happen to be correct.

it's also starting to sound like the old argument about dwarven women.

let's let the rules come out and then dissect them.

Sergoth
06-03-2008, 05:18 PM
The role of striker/leader/contoller/defender aren't meant to pigeon hole a player into specific tactics or even a certain combat style. There are there as a guide to let a party know what bases are good idea to have covered; as a party for example, made exclusively of strikers is going to have some serious survivability issues. They are meant as base GUIDELINES to let you know what the class tends to do best, and also what roles it is best suited for filling. Does it mean you HAVE to play the character that way? No, not at all. It's there mostly for informative purposes. Also, some of the classes have alternative builds that stray quite far from these roles, such as an avenging paladin weilding a bastard sword two handed using mostly divine damage abilities, as opposed to the defender paladin who uses a shield and uses abilities to gain temp hit points and soak more damage, and takes hit for adjacent members. No one is trying to tell you how to play your class. What they are doing is letting you know what each class tends to be good at. This has been a staple of D&D since FIRST EDITION when the classes WERE the roles. Fighter, Wizard, Cleric, and Rogue. If the introduction of these suggestions in someway impacts the amount of roleplay in your game, feel free to disregard them, and take a look at your playstyle and gm-ing style, and adjust accordingly. This topic has migrated to a combat vs. non-combat oriented playstyle bash, which is a) off-topic and not answering the original post, and b) counterproductive, as the "right" playstyle is whatever your group enjoys best. So, June 7th, buy the books, and go have fun!

Mojobacca
06-04-2008, 01:40 PM
I'm a new poster here, but I have played AD&D through to 3.0 and I'm curious why all the hub-bub surrounding the combat rules for the game.

For starters, I can see how some people may get the impression that all the rules regarding combat lead the players to do only combat... if they were incapable of thinking for themselves. The rules are there to make things that cannot be roleplayed out have some form of resolution.

This is why there are no rules for roleplaying. I don't recall anywhere in the PHB or DMG that says I have to roleplay my character a certain way. Even paladin, while given a certain ethos to follow, weren't relegated to a rules set on how to roleplay a paladin.

So I believe that arguing about the designer's intent of the game based on the rules they provide to solve one (major) type of conflict in the game world they have provided is just nonsense. I put the major in there because the 4e default world is a savage place with "pinpoints of light" in the "sea of darkness".

tesral
06-04-2008, 03:05 PM
For starters, I can see how some people may get the impression that all the rules regarding combat lead the players to do only combat... if they were incapable of thinking for themselves. The rules are there to make things that cannot be roleplayed out have some form of resolution.

I have run into far too many people that if I tell them their PC has a snotty nose they check for a snot wiping skill and the rules to use it. Those that are shocked when the monster doesn't roll for a reaction. Those that stare in shock as their jackanape PC is dragged off stating "but I have a +10 diplomancy!!" "Well" says I, "You should have behaved like you did."

No, they are no rules for role-play. Too many are looking for rules to roll-play.

Webhead
06-04-2008, 03:25 PM
I have run into far too many people that if I tell them their PC has a snotty nose they check for a snot wiping skill and the rules to use it. Those that are shocked when the monster doesn't roll for a reaction. Those that stare in shock as their jackanape PC is dragged off stating "but I have a +10 diplomancy!!" "Well" says I, "You should have behaved like you did."

No, they are no rules for role-play. Too many are looking for rules to roll-play.

I think you have just put into words an idea that I have been wrestling with how to articulate for several years now. In my recent experience, I have been witness to a recurring trend that players (and definately some GM's as well) will often use the rules as a "defense mechanism" against the game.

Player: "You can't do that! The rules say that I get to make [Check X] and compare it against [Stat Y]!"

Obviously, the more precedent the rules give for encouraging this line of thinking , the easier it will be for those playing to cling to this defense. In essence, the rules become the "facts" upon which a player so inclined can point to and say "See, I'm right!". "I can do [X] because the rules say I can." Consequently, if a situation arises where such a player cannot neatly point to a rule for justification, it tends to dismissed as either a) unimportant or trivial, or b) unfair. :rolleyes:

Sorry...*rant off*...

tesral
06-04-2008, 04:32 PM
Obviously, the more precedent the rules give for encouraging this line of thinking , the easier it will be for those playing to cling to this defense. In essence, the rules become the "facts" upon which a player so inclined can point to and say "See, I'm right!". "I can do [X] because the rules say I can." Consequently, if a situation arises where such a player cannot neatly point to a rule for justification, it tends to dismissed as either a) unimportant or trivial, or b) unfair.

One of the reasons I favor a looser construction, a game with fewer rules. I play with people that do not need rules to wipe their nose, or learn they don't need rules to wipe their nose.

One reason I don't like the RPGA (Which has pride of place in the new 4e books.) I have found the average RPGA player cannot wipe their nose without a rule*.

There are two ways of looking at it. Everything that is not permitted is forbidden. or Everything that is not forbidden is permitted. From my experience the RPGA and roll players fall into the former. I play a highly loose version of the latter that requires your brain be present and accounted for.


* Yea that is going to upset non average RPGA players. Why are you still there? I know some good players that have dabbled in the RPGA, and they for the most part share my option of the organization at large. As to those it upsets because they feel it fits? Ask me if I care.

InfoStorm
06-04-2008, 06:19 PM
I still have my RPGA card because I enjoyed GM'ing 10 tables during conventions (playing 2) and getting free stuff for my efforts. I'm still here because I actually haven't been able to volunteer since I met my wife, had a child, etc etc. I also haven't volunteered since you had to take a test and know the rules perfectally in order to GM. Lucky coincidence. I devinately don't know the rules by heart and "wing it" a lot, but at long as we have fun, who cares! I used to start my events with the little speal, "I ain't perfect with the rules, we'll keep going and you can correct me after the fact." No-one EVER complained about that and I always got high ratings from the players.

Mojobacca
06-05-2008, 08:49 AM
Why is everyone so hard on the developers for making more rules? So what if the player says, "I can do that because the rules say that!"? If I rememer right, the game is run by the DM and the DMG even makes a point to say that the DM makes the final call in any situation.

If your players have nothing more to do while playing than be a rules lawyer, then give them malicious compliance until they break or get new players. This isn't the problem of the game developers or <insert game> rules. It falls on the DM to make the final call and if the player persists, then you calibrate him however you can.

I agree that RPing a situation should take priority over rolling for the result, but there are some situations where you may want to forgo the issue in order to keep the pace of the game going.

For instance: A party of 5 adventurers comes upon a wary civilized group, I would prefer the players talk themselves out of the situation than jump in swords and spells a'slingin'. But if, after about 20 minutes of gibbering between one character and the NPC group, the rest of the party is going to start getting restless and bored and might just start slashing away in order to end this particular encounter and continue on with the rest of the adventure/mission. Now's about the time a Diplomacy roll would have been in order after an initial brief parley between the leaders. This is, of course, only a desired result when the majority of the players aren't participating.

As with any system out there, if the rules get in the way of the enjoyment of the game... don't use them. I'm sure this won't work with RPGA games, but I have no experience (or present desire) to participate in RPGA games.

ronpyatt
06-05-2008, 09:38 AM
This might be a funny way of look it at it, but some people enjoy playing the rules and not the roles. (Can't we all just get along?)
Besides, if the rules-players buy more books, then they'll fund our next roleplaying game (5.0), which will be bigger and better than all that came before it.

tesral
06-05-2008, 09:47 AM
This might be a funny way of look it at it, but some people enjoy playing the rules and not the roles. (Can't we all just get along?)
Besides, if the rules-players buy more books, then they'll fund our next roleplaying game (5.0), which will be bigger and better than all that came before it.

That is the theory. Bigger maybe, better, not so much.

Webhead
06-05-2008, 01:17 PM
Why is everyone so hard on the developers for making more rules? So what if the player says, "I can do that because the rules say that!"? If I rememer right, the game is run by the DM and the DMG even makes a point to say that the DM makes the final call in any situation.

I absolutely agree, but there are some brands of of players (not as much in the minority as you might think) who take offense to any perceived "heavy-handedness" by the GM. To them, the "rule" exists for a reason and they will wish to make use of it whenever it applies. It's about the expectation that the game carries. If you're driving and the speed limit is 55, you expect others to be driving 55. Anyone driving faster or slower is not obeying the expectation of the law. Many (maybe even most) players carry the same expectations with them when they play a game. "If the game says that [Rule X] exists, then by God, I should be able to use that rule".


If your players have nothing more to do while playing than be a rules lawyer, then give them malicious compliance until they break or get new players. This isn't the problem of the game developers or <insert game> rules. It falls on the DM to make the final call and if the player persists, then you calibrate him however you can.

Again, I agree with the sentiment, but such situations are not always black and white. I know some gamers who are excellent role players, but they also have a mindset for micro-managing and high levels of rules detail. To them, the less "arbitrary" and more "explicitly consistent" a game's rules are, the more they can accept that game.

I was in a conversation with someone once who said (paraphrasing a bit), "If it doesn't have rules for [falling damage], it's not an RPG...or at least, not an RPG that I would play". This is not because he is some obnoxious rule-lawyer, he just believed that if a game's rules weren't granular enough to explicitly include rules to the level of calculating damage from a fall, it was less a "game" and more a "group story".

I also was once in a conversation with someone who said (paraphrasing again), "If the GM says that [Circumstance X] occurs, but there are no specific rules to govern it, then it is not meaningful within the context of the game".

I'm not saying such lines of thought are right or wrong, but they are present. Some people are more or less comfortable with the level of rules detail that an RPG presents and judge the game based upon that.

Also, often times, players that can have problematic tendancies on occasion can be close friends and the solution isn't as simple as "see it my way or get out". As a group activity, RPGs hinge upon compromise. All parties need to accept a sensible solution or things tend to fall apart.


For instance: A party of 5 adventurers comes upon a wary civilized group, I would prefer the players talk themselves out of the situation than jump in swords and spells a'slingin'. But if, after about 20 minutes of gibbering between one character and the NPC group, the rest of the party is going to start getting restless and bored and might just start slashing away in order to end this particular encounter and continue on with the rest of the adventure/mission. Now's about the time a Diplomacy roll would have been in order after an initial brief parley between the leaders. This is, of course, only a desired result when the majority of the players aren't participating.

Agreed. It's about using the right combination of role playing and dice rolling to keep the game fun, exciting and accessible for all players involved.


As with any system out there, if the rules get in the way of the enjoyment of the game... don't use them. I'm sure this won't work with RPGA games, but I have no experience (or present desire) to participate in RPGA games.

This is my Cardinal Rule of gaming. The difficult part comes with different people's perceptions of when the rules are getting in the way. What might be "too rules-heavy" for some can be seen as "just right" by others.


This might be a funny way of look it at it, but some people enjoy playing the rules and not the roles. (Can't we all just get along?)

Very true. For some people, playing with and manipulating the rules is the best part about an RPG. Take away their ability to have enough rules to fidgit with and they lose interest. The opposite is also true. Throw too many rules upon some players and they get bored.

Different strokes for different folks. D&D has enough rules-heavy editions, that's why my preference is for 4e to be easier and more intuitive on rule implementation. We shall see.

mindflayer4u
06-05-2008, 03:17 PM
You can always look at 4th edition as more like 3.5 sourcebooks, add what you want and negate what you don't. For instance I like the critical roll change. I use that in my 3.5 game.

Webhead
06-05-2008, 07:56 PM
...For instance I like the critical roll change. I use that in my 3.5 game.

How did they change crit rolls? Is it back to being "You crit on a natural 20" doing away with the need for a crit confirmation roll or did they do something else to it entirely? Star Wars Saga got rid of the crit confirmation roll and I'm glad it did.

Dimthar
06-05-2008, 10:36 PM
This might be a funny way of look it at it, but some people enjoy playing the rules and not the roles. (Can't we all just get along?)
Besides, if the rules-players buy more books, then they'll fund our next roleplaying game (5.0), which will be bigger and better than all that came before it.

Better? We shall see ... My 4E shipping date is July 28! Almost 1 month after my birthday! :( ... Rats! Well, then I will be able to give my review.

I decided to buy it because I liked most of what I read in all the threads. Also I plan to attend the "Game Day" this Saturday.

With such great Fantasy literature, Wonderful Movies, History Books, Documentaries and Tons of Imagination, who in his mind would buy a DnD book if it is not for the rules??

4E is just a different way to play the game ... Me and my $57 USD are hoping that it is a better way. :) 3.X (Core Books) in my experience was better than 2.X ....

.

Webhead
06-06-2008, 08:31 AM
4E is just a different way to play the game ... Me and my $57 USD are hoping that it is a better way. :) 3.X in my experience was ....

This is my hope as well. As you say, D&D 3.X almost entirely killed my interest in d20. It was only Mutants & Masterminds and Star Wars Saga that brought me back from the brink of irreparable contempt.

mindflayer4u
06-06-2008, 09:44 AM
The crit roll it a natural 20 with no confirmation roll. You automatically do the maximum damage instead of rolling for damage. This works because I tried it in my 3.5 game and my group is a bit tougher than normal so they no longer do stupid damage to my monsters.

Dimthar
06-06-2008, 10:01 AM
This is my hope as well. As you say, D&D 3.X almost entirely killed my interest in d20. It was only Mutants & Masterminds and Star Wars Saga that brought me back from the brink of irreparable contempt.

I think I failed my English skill roll.

I corrected my post. I said 3.X for me was a better experience than 2.X (ADnD) ... rules wise.

:)

Webhead
06-06-2008, 10:14 AM
I think I failed my English skill roll.

I corrected my post. I said 3.X for me was a better experience than 2.X (ADnD) ... rules wise.

:)

Oh! Well, that's quite different from my original interpretation. :)

From the very beginning, I liked the idea of 3rd edition making D&D a more "open and customizable" game, but in practice I find that I had more outright fun in the days when we played 2nd edition. Not that the 3rd edition campaigns I have been in didn't have their moments (one of them we still chuckle about from time to time), but in terms of sheer level of enjoyment, they definately take a backseat to my experience playing previous editions. I think this is largely because of a much more intense focus on the "rule-by-rule" play that my 3rd edition groups prescribed to as compared to the "make a decision and move on" style of my earlier groups. This especially applies to combat. The most drastic and jarring change for me in D&D from 2nd to 3rd edition was the increase in required time and level of detail for resolving combat. I like combat to be "quick, dirty and exciting". 3rd edition never did this for me.

ronpyatt
06-06-2008, 11:10 PM
The most drastic and jarring change for me in D&D from 2nd to 3rd edition was the increase in required time and level of detail for resolving combat. I like combat to be "quick, dirty and exciting". 3rd edition never did this for me.

That's funny, because I remember AD&D having these long drawn out combat sessions, and the 3.x rules didn't really change that for me. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing, as some combat details were intense moments in time that seemed to hang in the balance. Next thing we knew four hours had passed.

Now that the game is out, are there character sheet downloads available?

Orion
03-04-2009, 03:32 PM
I have taken the time to read the majority of posts in this thread and there is much I would like to say but seeing as it is 6:31am in my small portion of the world I will do my best to keep this brief...

Many good points have been put forth but I don't think that this discussion really has any clear cut right or wrong content aside from the odd spelling error here and there. It's a compilation of peoples views or opinions, whatever people want to call them.

At the end of the day (in my opinion) Dungeons & Dragons is not about combat or role play, it's about having fun. I have never considered any content in any of the published books for any edition of Dungeons & Dragons to be rules. As far as I am concerned the material in those books are guidelines at best.

A D.M is elected to put forth a campaign for the players enjoyment, the D.M handles all of the background mechanics and is in essence the ceaseless laborer who keeps everything as it should be, he or she has the absolute authority (within reason) but ultimately it is the players who really determine whether a campaign is a top notch, memorable experience or a nightmare that is abandoned before it's run it's course.

I believe a major part of Dungeons & Dragons is improvisation. Yes there are clearly defined 'roles' for characters in fourth edition but they're simply recommendations, not shackles designed to anchor your creative license to a concrete block that's been thrown over the side a bridge above a deep river.

There are no excuses and people should not point ominous fingers of blame at the creators of the most recent edition of Dungeons & Dragons. This edition, just as any other can be as combat or role play or a mix there of, intense, as players and D.M's wish it to be. All it takes is a little imagination.

I feel that fourth edition really emphasizes on a 'team effort' style of play. In the three point five edition of Dungeons & Dragons some character builds were more than capable of handling most situations without the efforts of the other players.

I have one friend in particular, a bloke named Raymond. He almost always uses the same build, he begins with a Wizard and gets into Necromancy, he takes x amount of levels in Pale Master and Master Specialist then becomes a Red Wizard. Once he's done with his plot there's virtually no need for anyone else in the party but in the fourth installment exceptionally powerful (potentially overpowered) characters are a lot more difficult to produce in fact I'd go so far as to say it's nigh on impossible.

This is not so grand if you're a Wizard fan but it's a breath of fresh air for former backseat role players such as myself.

Play groups and D.M's alike still have as much freedom with this edition as they've had with any previous one. It's merely more balanced now and with this new edition and it's simplified format it's as good a time as ever to introduce new players.

If everyone involved in the campaign sits down PRIOR to launching it and discusses any alterations they desire and familiarizes themselves with any present house rules etc. Then that's fine, run with that. Those responsible for the final product that is fourth edition are not going to perform a S.W.A.T style tactical entry into your home and pepper you with crowd control rounds of ammunition for making the necessary adjustments to keep the campaign running smoothly and the players happy.

Too many or extreme adjustments can be unbalancing thus it's important to elect a suitably confident/experienced D.M but so long as everyone can find a good balance between enjoying the game personally and compromising enough for the other players to enjoy it too, it should all go smoothly.

Try to avoid getting too hooked up on your characters role or suggested build or any other guideline presented for them. At the end of the day they can be whatever you desire them to be. I have had some really odd characters in the past; I once ran a campaign where golf was a well known and popular sport in the lands where the campaign was initially centered, I had a character in this campaign because there were three people in the party who had never played Dungeons & Dragons or any other similar system before.

The concept I had for my character, who was a Ranger, was they had formally been an avid golfer. However years of having everything from Bulettes to Brain Moles constantly emerging from the ground and disturbing the resting place of his golf ball during important practice games or even tournaments had annoyed her so much that she took up the bow to hunt down those annoying creatures and even made the appropriate selections to have them as favored enemies.

A bit of imagination and an open minded D.M are all you really need, there's a whole world of fun awaiting Dungeons & Dragons players out there and it's yours for the taking. I feel fourth edition is a great place to start looking, thanks to those who took the time to read this.

P.S- Be kind to your D.M... It's not an easy job.

Valdar
03-04-2009, 04:47 PM
Well said.

One thing I would differ on, though, is the idea that the DM is running the game for the players' enjoyment. For me, I'm running a game for my own enjoyment first, and while the players' enjoyment is important, it's also secondary to mine. If the DM isn't having fun, the game should end.

Orion
03-05-2009, 12:03 AM
That's a fair enough point Valdar, it's not really an issue for myself because the most enjoying experience I get as a D.M is seeing others enjoy and appreciate the hard work I have put into planning a campaign for them. Puts a smile on my face.

Seeing as the D.M is generally the source of the campaign (unless they're running a pre-generated one from another source) it is important that they feel appreciated, inspired and have fun otherwise I believe it will detrimentally affect the overall quality of the campaign itself.

I mostly run campaigns for my partner and she loves them so I am happy.

Valdar
03-05-2009, 02:26 PM
It's my rationale for booting problem players. I do whatever I can to foster enjoyment in my game, but when I no longer enjoy providing an environment for a given player to be an ass in, that player is gone. If it's all of them, then I'm gone.

dm1891
03-08-2009, 07:09 PM
Back to the original topic, the gamemakers made there be much less rules for roleplaying BECAUSE they want MORE roleplaying. Rping should not be dictated by rules, but by character choices and DM discretion only. More rules for combat means LESS emphasis on it (sort of).

Aaron Young
04-10-2009, 07:15 AM
There is still alot of roll play ability. When my DM runs his we have one battle than the rest of the time we are using ares syills on traps or tring to out smarting some stupid NPC.
Yes 4E is diff. but still as fun. Maybe I'm lucky, I have a good DM.