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Maelstrom
02-29-2008, 06:09 AM
For the first time yesterday, D&D 4th edition was unleashed to the public with authority at D&D Experience. I was there when the Wizards of the Coast movers and shakers had a discussion about the design philosophy they followed and what products are coming this year and beyond. I also played in a full fledged 4th edition adventure and in a 30 minute dungeon romp (part of the D&D Delve).

The Bad

D&D 4e proved that a new system doesn't make poorly written and poorly run adventures go away. We had a set of 6 pre-fabricated characters thrown into a situation none of us had any background about, and we were supposed to follow the linear adventure without any strong motivation to do so. The first two combats required us to automatically assume that a group of NPCs were up to no good and we needed to exterminate them. Ugh number 1.

The DM was supposedly a D&D playtester, but having read the DDM2 rules (which turn out to follow the RPG rules quite well) and following 4e news, some of the players seemed to know more about the game than he did. Ugh number 2.

One of the things I guess that come with 4e is what is called a skill challenge. You need to accumulate a series of skill successes to accomplish a goal (for us escaping from an angry army). We had to come up with a cinematic reason how we were using a skill to help us escape such as climbing to a roof or blocking their way with overturned carts. Players were using their highest skills for this, such as Nature (which replaces Knowledge(Nature)). It was rediculous and unnatural. Ugh number 3.

Finally, adventure balance was way off, even with pre-fabricated characters. 4 out of 6 of us died in the 2nd to last encounter, which was supposed to be just a precursor to the last encounter, which would have been even more difficult. I don't know if the adventure was designed this way or just not enough care was put into it. The mechanic for death once you go below 0 is also ugly. Each turn you make a saving throw. A 20 gets you back up and running, but of course that is rare. 10-19 you remain stable. But if you roll 1-9 three times total before someone can aid you, you are dead. Nasty. Ugh number 4.

In short, most of these problems were due to poor DMing and poor adventure material. I'll give them that. Most of the rest can be house-ruled out.

The Good

1st level PCs are sturdy and functional right from the start. We had a good mix of pre-fabricated characters to choose from, and each was quite good. My dwarf fighter had 33 hp, as you can see from the link gdmcbride posted. Each character fit into its role very well (Controller, striker, Defender, Leader). My dwarf fighter was very definitely a Defender, quite sticky. He locked down opponents, forcing them to deal with him or get punished for their insolence. Support units (such as the cleric) learned that they needed to keep the Defender active, or they were in trouble. The striker (the ranger) was very good at laying down the hurt, often dealing 10-15 damage per shot.

Combat is fluid and active. Tactics and strategy are in as PCs and monsters vie for field control. The encounter abilities are nice, as you are encouraged to use them even early in the dungeon. No more kid gloves for goblins because you know something nastier might be down the next hall.

Healing has gotten a complete overhaul. As you can see from the character sheets, each character has a number of surges they can use per day, and each surge healed a specified amount of HP. One can be used in each encounter as a 2nd wind, but others can be used between combat and are tied to abilities such as cleric/paladin healing.

I really liked the encounter flow, a 5 minute rest between encounters was enough to refresh your per-encounter powers and allow you to use healing surges as necessary. A 6 hour rest refreshes your healing surges and daily abilities, and heals all characters. No more cleric spending 30 minutes rolling healing spells before a nights rest trying to bring everyone's health back up. No more time spent for spellcasters to try to get their spells ready for the next day. Very fast flow of action to action to action.

Welp, I've gotta prepare for DMing three 5 hour 3.5 sessions at DDXP today, so I'll leave it at that for now. More impressions to come later.

DrAwkward
02-29-2008, 11:10 AM
The mechanic for death once you go below 0 is also ugly. Each turn you make a saving throw. A 20 gets you back up and running, but of course that is rare. 10-19 you remain stable. But if you roll 1-9 three times total before someone can aid you, you are dead. Nasty.

Is this a save, or just an un-modified die roll? Does the amount you are below 0 enter the equation?

I've introduced Fort saves to avoid dying in my game (it's designed to soften death) and it's gone over rather well.

InfoStorm
02-29-2008, 12:33 PM
One of the things I guess that come with 4e is what is called a skill challenge. You need to accumulate a series of skill successes to accomplish a goal (for us escaping from an angry army). We had to come up with a cinematic reason how we were using a skill to help us escape such as climbing to a roof or blocking their way with overturned carts. Players were using their highest skills for this, such as Nature (which replaces Knowledge(Nature)). It was rediculous and unnatural. Ugh number 3.

Actually, Complex skill checks had been in other game systems, like Alternity for example, and are quite useful. I sounds like you just had a GM is wasn't use to using them. On the other games, complex checks were for things that were SUPPOSED to take time, and you had to rack up so many successes to get finished. For example, in Alternity, you might need 5 successes in Computer-hacking in order to break through a firewall, but if you fail too many times (or very badly) and you get caught.

I can see LOTS of uses for this in D&D and have already house ruled it in on occation, when I need it. I actually LIKE it being added in, not that I'll play 4th. From some of the rest of the descriptions you gave, it SCREAMS of powergaming worse than a 3.5 min-maxer.

Farcaster
02-29-2008, 12:48 PM
I'm telling you, the more I hear about 4th edition, the more it sounds like they are building a ruleset for a MMPOG, not a roleplayin game. Don't have a cleric? No problem, just rest for a few minutes between fights and you'll be good to go. I'm not sure where these character sheets are they you referenced, and I haven't seen this new self-healing in action, but it sounds like it defies all credulity even for a fantasy RPG.


A 6 hour rest refreshes your healing surges and daily abilities, and heals all characters. No more cleric spending 30 minutes rolling healing spells before a nights rest trying to bring everyone's health back up.

So, I go to bed with a sucking-chest wound and wake up in perfect health without any divine intervention of any kind? Did the character's just "rub some dirt" on it and get back in the game? How did the game seem to justify this?

EDIT: Never mind, I found the character sheets. They were next in my list of threads to read ;)

Drohem
02-29-2008, 01:11 PM
Actually, Complex skill checks had been in other game systems, like Alternity for example, and are quite useful. I sounds like you just had a GM is wasn't use to using them. On the other games, complex checks were for things that were SUPPOSED to take time, and you had to rack up so many successes to get finished. For example, in Alternity, you might need 5 successes in Computer-hacking in order to break through a firewall, but if you fail too many times (or very badly) and you get caught.

I can see LOTS of uses for this in D&D and have already house ruled it in on occation, when I need it. I actually LIKE it being added in, not that I'll play 4th. From some of the rest of the descriptions you gave, it SCREAMS of powergaming worse than a 3.5 min-maxer.


Complex skill checks is an alternate skill system for 3.5 Dungeons & Dragons in Unearthed Arcana (p. 82). So, your not alone in making this a House Rule for your game, LOL! :D


I'm telling you, the more I hear about 4th edition, the more it sounds like they are building a ruleset for a MMPOG, not a roleplayin game.

I am getting the same feeling as well; so your not alone. My gaming group is dividing down the middle on the 4e rules. So, we are going to test them out when they arrive, but some of the ideas just don't mesh well with my mindset. Namely, what you stated in your post. Although there are other premises for magic than Vancian, Vancian magic has been the underlying premise for D&D magic since the beginning. Specifically in regards to D&D, I like the concept of memorizing spells and the fire-and-forget method. It does make your spell selection and casting very important and strategic. That is just the way it works, and you have to chose wisely. Sometimes, you just have to make the strategic decision to wait a couple of hours to re-memorize spells that were cast or to change your spell selection for an up coming event/fight.

fmitchell
02-29-2008, 04:21 PM
So, I go to bed with a sucking-chest wound and wake up in perfect health without any divine intervention of any kind? Did the character's just "rub some dirt" on it and get back in the game? How did the game seem to justify this?

The D&D notion of "hit points" always encompassed more than just physical health. Is a fighter with 120 hp really as tough as an elephant? (Actually, I'm not sure what an elephant's HP average is, but work with me.) Or can he shrug off some blows because he's skilled at rolling with punches (or bladestrokes)? So I presume these hit points are equivalent to "exhaustion" and "flesh wounds".

Then again, D&D doesn't make a distinction between "core health" and whatever mundane or mystical explanation one uses for the remainder of HP. To use someone else's example, if a slave girl puts a dagger to Conan's throat, he doesn't say "Go ahead, girl; a dagger only does 1d4 and I'll still have 196 HP left!" No, he could still die from a slit throat, if he did something foolish ... but he's Conan, so he'll probably distract her attention, twist the dagger out of her hand, and possibly do something ungentlemanly to her (because he's a barbarian).

I guess if you want more realism, you could create a house rule that if your character goes below half his starting HP (or whatever), he'll need more than a nights rest to recover his full hit points. Or add a notion of "health HP": characters could lose "health" HP to some ratio of total HP (based on level?), or start losing 1:1 when their total HP equals their "health" HP, or some combination thereof. "Health" HP could heal at a much slower rate, and influence how much total HP the character gets back.

Then again, if you want realism, standard D&D isn't the best game. There's various "grim and gritty" hit point schemes for 3.5 available, so maybe you could graft one of those onto 4e.


Healing has gotten a complete overhaul. As you can see from the character sheets, each character has a number of surges they can use per day, and each surge healed a specified amount of HP. One can be used in each encounter as a 2nd wind, but others can be used between combat and are tied to abilities such as cleric/paladin healing.

This change most likely comes from Mike Mearls, whose Iron Heroes in turn borrowed "reserve HP" from (I believe) Unearthed Arcana.

Actually, I kind of like this. If I were to run D&D/d20 at all, I'd like to run one where magic is relatively unknown and mysterious, and consequently no PC uses magic (arcane or divine). The biggest problem with that sort of campaign is healing, and Iron Heroes solved that problem (but unfortunately added more complications of its own).

Farcaster
02-29-2008, 05:20 PM
I guess if you want more realism, you could create a house rule that if your character goes below half his starting HP (or whatever), he'll need more than a nights rest to recover his full hit points. Or add a notion of "health HP"

Not a bad idea, Frank, and I'm sure that if I end up using 4th edition, I will likely adapt just such a rule. 4e has a concept of "bloodied," which I would probably use as the basis for such a rule. The problem is that I'm also not hip on all the other spontaneous healing. There are probably going to be quite a few things that don't sit well with me if they've made it more like an online game.

And actually, I do use the abstracted HPs idea in my current 3.5ed game. In my game, I keep track of all hitpoints. The players don't even know what their character's hitpoints are. I then describe the action and how wounded they are instead of just spouting off how many points of damage is done. I base the description of the attack and effects on how much damage was done in comparison with their total hitpoints.

Maelstrom
03-01-2008, 06:47 AM
Is this a save, or just an un-modified die roll? Does the amount you are below 0 enter the equation?


Saving throws are always the same. They can be modified, but bonuses are few and far between. I would imagine that if you found a +1 ST item, it would be your most coveted possession. Even the Pit Fiend (as we've seen previously) only has a +2 to his save.


Actually, Complex skill checks had been in other game systems, like Alternity for example, and are quite useful. I sounds like you just had a GM is wasn't use to using them.

I'll give you that. The GM was acting as if this was just another mechanic, but if you use it as such its just silly. Skill challenges with roleplaying however can be interesting and fun. I actually did one yesterday (in 3.5) as part of one of the modules I ran, and the players quite enjoyed it and I enjoyed DMing it.


I'm telling you, the more I hear about 4th edition, the more it sounds like they are building a ruleset for a MMPOG, not a roleplayin game.

Can't dispute that. The game does bring to mind WoW and some of the other games. In fact, looking through the character sheets you'll find even more evidence then resting and powers, for example the target abilities that sound oddly like WoW marking, which just about every PC has.

I had some of the same feelings, hoping D&D didn't get dumbed down into a paper version of the games kids play just for broader appeal. I have changed my mind though. For whatever reason, 4th edition was just plain fun.

Was it mindless? Heck no, in fact I think it encouraged more thought and planning in combat. No matter how far down you are in health and spells, etc, you still have choices to make, and you still have synergies to combine between players. I also liked the communication between players, it was necessary for survival. For example, I played the Paladin and someone else played the Fighter, and it was incredible the synergy we discovered. We were both in the front line, but between me laying hands on the fighter to keep him healthy and the combination of our combat abilities, forcing bad dudes into undesirable positions, it was just plain fun. I didn't know the guy at all prior to this, but by the end we were reading each others' minds. I know it sounds corny, but the teamwork was pretty cool.



So, I go to bed with a sucking-chest wound and wake up in perfect health without any divine intervention of any kind? Did the character's just "rub some dirt" on it and get back in the game? How did the game seem to justify this?

Yeah, realism is pushed further away in the interest in fun and speeding up play. You can tell they had a design goal when putting something in 4e... Is it D&D still? Does it add to the fun? If it didn't match these, any other concerns seemed like moot points to them. Of course their definition of fun may be different then yours.

And honestly, does any fighter go to bed with sucking chest wounds? If so, you're party is in strong need of a cleric.



Although there are other premises for magic than Vancian, Vancian magic has been the underlying premise for D&D magic since the beginning.


This is probably one of those things where the "Is it fun?" outweighed the "Is it D&D?". Spell selection had the possibility of making a wizard/cleric useless if they weren't prepared for a situation. They didn't like anyone having useless/down time, so they gave players choices.

Choice is not gone of course. Looking through the wizard/cleric/warlock classes you can see they have plenty of spellcasting options at 1st level, and it can only grow from there.

In all of these things, what I think it comes down to is what you and your players consider fun. Do you enjoy having a game focused more on reality than not? Is it important for you that D&D future editions keep some of the same elements for it to feel D&D to you? These are questions we all can ask ourselves.

Of course now we have PCs. With a little creativity someone inventive could come up with monsters piecing together what they find in the PCs sheet. Then everyone can try 4e for themselves in a rudimentary form and see if it works for them.

nijineko
03-01-2008, 11:24 AM
the "healing surges" idea is actually rather cinematic. i must admit that if my only exposure to this concept was mmo's then i'd be pitching a fit that d&d is going this way. however, i have been a kung-fu and samurai flick junkie for a long time now. even longer than i've played d&d. ^^ (and that's been a while!) this is standard stuff. it's even in the manga and anime. there was this one i was reading where the guy used muscular action and martial-arts-trained-bio-feedback to seal his wounds, and then lay down some serious smack. nice intimidation sequence with the "healing" too, i might add.

since it's such a part of 'cinematic action', i find that i can let this one slide. but i'll play just about any other roleplaying game before i'll play an mmo. just NOT the same. =D so if d&d turns into a pen-and-paper mmo, then i'll look elsewhere for gaming enjoyment.

Drohem
03-01-2008, 06:44 PM
Just to be clear about Maelstrom's post:

The quotes by Drohem and Farcaster are switched. I didn't post about the sucking chest wound. I did post about Vancian magic.

MysticalForest
03-01-2008, 07:45 PM
The players don't even know what their character's hitpoints are.That sounds ... incredible. How do players know how to make decisions on when to expend resources, or how much they should expend? Or when to fight, or when to retreat, or when to come to someone's aid, or when to rest?

What happens when healing spells are cast, wands are used, and potions are drunk, is that information kept from the players as well?

Maelstrom
03-01-2008, 07:46 PM
The quotes by Drohem and Farcaster are switched

Edited accordingly. I had both assigned to Farcaster somehow, and I knew your name was in there somewhere but I got it wrong.

Multi-quotes can be confusing :). Excellent feature though.

MysticalForest
03-01-2008, 07:49 PM
So, I go to bed with a sucking-chest wound and wake up in perfect health without any divine intervention of any kindHit points have not been a strict tally of purely physical damage since ever. There's no reason at all to assume that anyone ever goes to bed with a sucking chest wound and wakes up like it never happened without any treatment...

Farcaster
03-01-2008, 08:39 PM
Hit points have not been a strict tally of purely physical damage since ever.

"Sucking-chest wound" is just flare. Obviously though, if the character was at the loosing end of sword-fight and went into negative hitpoints, he must have had some kind of substantial wounds. It doesn't make sense for those wounds to simply heal up in a single night without some kind of magical or technological intervention.

gdmcbride
03-02-2008, 03:06 AM
"Sucking-chest wound" is just flare. Obviously though, if the character was at the loosing end of sword-fight and went into negative hitpoints, he must have had some kind of substantial wounds. It doesn't make sense for those wounds to simply heal up in a single night without some kind of magical or technological intervention.

With hit points, you can play it one of three ways:

1. The Official Way
If he went negative, he was merely knocked cold. PCs are Heroes and incredibly difficult to permanently damage. PCs lose hit points like Bruce Willis lost hit points in Die Hard. Yes, you are bloody and cut up. That won't stop you from fighting at full efficiency and it won't stop you from recovering enough by the end of the adventure to get off a few snappy lines and kiss the girl. Whether you like this way or not is an aethestic choice but it is internally consistent with the big hero noise of D&D.

2. The Mutant Power Way
Heroes actually do heal ludicrously fast. This is because they have magical powers that make them more resilient. Normal people are represented with monster stats or noncombatant stats (ala Star Wars saga edition). They die at zero hit points. They recover hit points very slowly (1 per day perhaps? even slower?) without magic. They have to make Con rolls not to suffer permanent effects and disfigurement.

3. The House Rule Way
Change the rules. Implement as grim and gritty a system as you like. Whether you just slow done hit point recovering or add gruesome (but realistic) systems for infection, this is up to you. I would note, realistic healing is no fun.

This link will take you to a journal of a mountain bike rider who broke his leg. With modern medicine he was in varying degrees of treatment from July 2007 to February 2008. I warn you some of the pictures are gruesome.
http://www.mattandjosey.com/cycling/Broken_Leg/

I asked my wife, a medical doctor, about this case and her response is -- "wow that's fast -- he must in great shape and have excellent treatment to recover that quickly." So, with modern medicine a single injury caused eight months of debilitation. And that was from a mere biking accident. How about being hit by a club swung by a hill giant or being engulfed in a fireball which is hot enough to melt soft metals?

I can dig an RPG with realistic damage rules. That is an RPG that is actively discouraging conflict and encouraging you to talk it out and be diplomatic. I can imagine a good game from that premise. But it certainly wouldn't be D&D.

Gary

Maelstrom
03-02-2008, 06:28 AM
Too be fair, D&D is not real life in the sense that the only healing comes through time and rest. Potions, spells, and abilities abound that allow you to heal instantly or at least faster. Even if a hero did get what is interpereted as a broken leg (40' fall or troll grapple), some cleric may cast cure serious wounds or heal, which replaces a couple years of recovery instantly.

The only difference with 4e on this and a well equipped 3.5e party is that the heroes are a bit more heroic. They tend to shrug off injuries the receive with their firm determination to continue on (hence the healing surges), rather than relying on the spellcasters to burn spells after an encounter or before a night's rest. A well equipped 3.5e party should be pretty close to being full health after a nights rest anyways (due to cleric/paladin/other healing), and if they aren't due to some exceptionally difficult encounters, they may try to take another nights rest before moving on.

So far, the official rules that we have received about D&D 4e combat and healing are on a double sided page that we received at D&D Experience (Edit - We can see them here: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4news/20080228a). That means they have only told us the mechanic so far. The 4e PHB will add reasoning and information on to exactly why it works like that in role playing terms. Perhaps the dieties have decided that heroes are too boring to watch when they sit around at a camp site trying to figure out how to get themselves back to full health for the next day, so they've changed the laws of medical recovery for heroes. Or maybe the magical atmosphere of the worlds have altered along with the other alterations that have occurred, allowing PCs to draw energy to heal themselves throughout the day, and a full rest to let them recover completely.

So regardless of the game concepts and the interperetation, how does the flow of play sound that the healing surges/nightly heals allow? You really have very little down time with the new rules.

MysticalForest
03-02-2008, 02:01 PM
"Sucking-chest wound" is just flare. Obviously though, if the character was at the loosing end of sword-fight and went into negative hitpoints, he must have had some kind of substantial wounds. It doesn't make sense for those wounds to simply heal up in a single night without some kind of magical or technological intervention.Yet that's how it's covered in the current rules. You get your level back in hit points after a night's rest, so you could be half dead at -5 and the next morning you're not only walking and talking but fighting at 100% power.

Farcaster
03-02-2008, 03:37 PM
It is true that the current rules don't cover being debilitated by your wounds. So, even at a fraction of my total hitpoints, I'd still be fighting like I never took any damage at all. Still, it isn't quite the same as being at 100%.

Let's say that I am a 3rd level fighter with an average amount of hitpoints and a +2 con. So, we'll say I have 22 total hitpoints, and I'm in a sword fight that ends in my defeat at -1 hitpoints (but in stable condition). I am debilitated at this point, so it would be safe to assume that I suffered some kind of significant injury.

By 3.5 rules, the fighter recovers 3 hitpoints during a 8-hour period of rest. So, the next day, I'm at 2 hitpoints. Being at 10% hitpoints is a precarious place for me to be, even though I may be fighting as though I never took any damage. One hit and I'll probably be out again. It seems that the scenario would be very different in 4e though. I'd just pop up like nothing ever happened at all. That's just a bit tougher to swallow.

MysticalForest
03-02-2008, 05:05 PM
I'd just pop up like nothing ever happened at all.I can see that perspective, but at the same time, isn't this how it almost always happens anyway--except with more expenditure of resources and delay in gameplay? It seems to me that in most games the divine caster (if there is one) heals everyone up to max (or very near it) before proceeding regardless.

I guess the difference is the rules reflect a realism of play at the sacrifice of the believability popping back up after a bad wound. It's a sacrifice I'm certainly willing to make if it means more play time.

Igbutton
03-02-2008, 09:34 PM
Ain't it cool reviews 4E.

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/35776

The way the reviewer tells it, 4E is the bee's knees. I'm personally looking forward to it but remain cautious until I've heard more in-depth descriptions.

gdmcbride
03-03-2008, 03:51 AM
It is true that the current rules don't cover being debilitated by your wounds. So, even at a fraction of my total hitpoints, I'd still be fighting like I never took any damage at all. Still, it isn't quite the same as being at 100%.

Let's say that I am a 3rd level fighter with an average amount of hitpoints and a +2 con. So, we'll say I have 22 total hitpoints, and I'm in a sword fight that ends in my defeat at -1 hitpoints (but in stable condition). I am debilitated at this point, so it would be safe to assume that I suffered some kind of significant injury.

By 3.5 rules, the fighter recovers 3 hitpoints during a 8-hour period of rest. So, the next day, I'm at 2 hitpoints. Being at 10% hitpoints is a precarious place for me to be, even though I may be fighting as though I never took any damage. One hit and I'll probably be out again. It seems that the scenario would be very different in 4e though. I'd just pop up like nothing ever happened at all. That's just a bit tougher to swallow.

It's a matter of relative levels of unrealism.

That same fighter reduced to -9 hit points which is as bad as he can be hurt without being dead, is only five days of full rest away (without any medical attention) from being completely healed. That is also pretty tough to swallow.

Five days. One day. They're both ludicrous in real world terms. One gets the action started up quicker.

Gary

fmitchell
03-03-2008, 04:50 AM
Five days. One day. They're both ludicrous in real world terms. One gets the action started up quicker.

I suspect that's why 4e introduced "Martial Power" on a par with "Arcane Power" and "Divine Power" to explain quick healing without a healer.

I wonder if NPCs heal at the same ludicrous rate, or if your average peasant farmer takes a "realistic" time to heal. Imagine if true Fighters bounce back in a day or two, while a mere NPC "warrior" is out for weeks after a single fight. (Even worse, imagine if a 1st Level Fighter starts with 20 or 30 hit points, while a mere "warrior" has, say, 5. The castle guards break in half if the capital-f Fighter just glares at them.)

On the other hand, imagine an entire land where, as long as even the lowliest peasant is "not dead yet", he'll soon be "getting better". Then imagine a castle built on a swamp ... and another occupied by eight score young blondes and brunettes, all between sixteen and nineteen-and-a-half ...

Skunkape
03-03-2008, 07:45 AM
It's a matter of relative levels of unrealism.

That same fighter reduced to -9 hit points which is as bad as he can be hurt without being dead, is only five days of full rest away (without any medical attention) from being completely healed. That is also pretty tough to swallow.

Five days. One day. They're both ludicrous in real world terms. One gets the action started up quicker.

Gary

I get where you're coming from but I personally don't want to RP the months or years worth of recovery that it would take to come back from something like that. I'm pretty sure that most other players aren't really interested in that either!

gdmcbride
03-03-2008, 12:47 PM
I get where you're coming from but I personally don't want to RP the months or years worth of recovery that it would take to come back from something like that. I'm pretty sure that most other players aren't really interested in that either!

I believe that is exactly my point. As I mention in an early post, realistic damage rules are no fun.

My point was -- five day for complete healing, one day for complete healing -- they are both unrealistic. One day gets the game going quicker.

Frank is correct that in 4th edition, they introduce power sources to explain just this sort of unrealistic healing rate. In one sense, D&D 4th characters sound more like adepts out of Earthdawn. They aren't just a farm boy who took up a sword. They are farm boys who took up a sword and quickly discovered that the force was strong with them.

Gary

Farcaster
03-03-2008, 01:10 PM
I personally don't want to RP the months or years worth of recovery that it would take to come back from something like that.

I'm not saying that the 3.5 rules need to be changed to be more realistic. Rather, I am saying that they should not be changed to be less realistic. There should be some recovery beyond just sleeping it off like a bad hangover.


My point was -- five day for complete healing, one day for complete healing -- they are both unrealistic. One day gets the game going quicker.

This is the reason you keep healing magic and clerics around. The game already has a mechanism for getting things back to the action. By the same logic, travel takes days, weeks, or even months of game time. Perhaps we should have magical portals littering the lands, nigh unseen since Sigil, or give every PC the ability to fly so we can have less down time in game? It starts to defy credulity. However, I will buy that there are wizards who can teleport PCs around. That works within current framework of D&D fantasy.

I know that my analogy isn't 100% congruous, but I think it still illustrates my point. If the concern is that the cleric runs out of spells healing the party in the morning and has nothing left for the day, then fix the spell problem. You don't need to give every PC complete self reliance to resolve the problem. I could just as easily resolve the problem by saying that clerics can use their 0th-level 1-point heal once per minute without ever running out. Thus, given a couple hours, the cleric could get everyone topped off without wasting a bunch of spells. I could swallow that a lot easier.

gdmcbride
03-03-2008, 03:48 PM
I'm not saying that the 3.5 rules need to be changed to be more realistic. Rather, I am saying that they should not be changed to be less realistic. There should be some recovery beyond just sleeping it off like a bad hangover.

This is the reason you keep healing magic and clerics around. The game already has a mechanism for getting things back to the action. By the same logic, travel takes days, weeks, or even months of game time. Perhaps we should have magical portals littering the lands, nigh unseen since Sigil, or give every PC the ability to fly so we can have less down time in game? It starts to defy credulity. However, I will buy that there are wizards who can teleport PCs around. That works within current framework of D&D fantasy.

I know that my analogy isn't 100% congruous, but I think it still illustrates my point. If the concern is that the cleric runs out of spells healing the party in the morning and has nothing left for the day, then fix the spell problem. You don't need to give every PC complete self reliance to resolve the problem. I could just as easily resolve the problem by saying that clerics can use their 0th-level 1-point heal once per minute without ever running out. Thus, given a couple hours, the cleric could get everyone topped off without wasting a bunch of spells. I could swallow that a lot easier.

Ultimately you are arguing an aesthetic issue, as I said some time ago. Healing in D&D 3.x is completely stylized and has nothing to do with reality. People in the world we live in recover nothing like people in either version of the game. You prefer stylization A. WOTC has implemented stylization B for 4th edition. WOTC's stylization has the advantage that characters without clerics don't have to wait around five days resting before they miraculously recover from their wounds and get back to the dungeon. Instead they wait only one before they miraculously recover. I don't really see this as much of a difference honestly.

And the travel analogy is both incongruous and a complete straw man. I have never argued that all travel should be eliminated. I am not in favor of that. Travel can be fun and an integral part of good story telling. What this has to do with healing rates completely escapes me.

By the way, giving clerics a 0th level spell they could use over and over again would mean that a party of six of the hypothetical 3rd level fighters could go from all as close to death as they can be to completely revitalized in approximately 3 hours. They wouldn't even have to rest the night. That's better? In 3.x that spell could be made into a low cost magic item that would completely eradicate the concept of persistent damage from the game. That's better? That seems even LESS realistic than 4th edition. At least in fourth edition, you have to nap to recover from your beating.

Gary

fmitchell
03-03-2008, 05:12 PM
Healing in D&D 3.x is completely stylized and has nothing to do with reality. People in the world we live in recover nothing like people in either version of the game.

Since I've been playing Portal recently, a better analogy might be the player character of that game. Early playtesters wondered how she could fall from enormous heights, and automatically land on her feet, without breaking both legs. The game designers put a spring-heel contraption on her legs, apparently bolted onto her skeleton, as an explanation. It's kind of ludicrous, but it helps players suspend disbelief.

So far, we've yet to see the spring-heels on 4e's "insta-healing" system.

tesral
03-03-2008, 05:30 PM
I feel a rising total lack of enthusiasm for this yet another edition I saw no reason for in the first place.

Farcaster
03-03-2008, 07:17 PM
I don't see it as aesthetic that this move seems to mitigate the need for a healer in the party. I will admit that I don't have the full picture, but that is how it seems. And my opinion is also rooted in my deep love for playing cleric / healing types--on those occasions when I do get to play instead of GM ;)

As to the travel analogy, I think it is still fair. My point is healing is one of the functions of clerics in 3.5. Travel oriented spells is also a feature of wizards. Both healing and travel at lower levels are constrained by the spell pool of the cleric and wizard. At higher levels, neither of these things are really an issue. My last 3.5 edition game went well into the high 20s, and there were two things that never happened at this point in the player's careers: a) They never traveled by land anywhere, and b) they never had to camp for more than a night to get everyone back to full.

My point was that making travel abilities or portals more readily available would negate some of the appeal of the wizard's spells like Mount and Teleport; so too does making healing the purview of all characters negate some of the desirability of the cleric (as we know it).




By the way, giving clerics a 0th level spell they could use over and over again would mean that a party of six of the hypothetical 3rd level fighters could go from all as close to death as they can be to completely revitalized in approximately 3 hours. They wouldn't even have to rest the night. That's better?

It would have the same result really as what is being suggested of using "healing surges" between combat, except it would take slightly longer and still require a divine healer. Yes, that would be palpable to me.



In 3.x that spell could be made into a low cost magic item that would completely eradicate the concept of persistent damage from the game.

The rules already allow for the creation of such a magic item, really. My suggestion would have no bearing on the cost of making such an item. Right now, a player could create the Wonderous Item of Infinite Cure Minor Wounds, activated by command word and usable any number of times per day for as little as 450gp + 36xp if the DM allows it. (Unless my math is off, let me know if it is)

Maelstrom
03-03-2008, 08:54 PM
Clerics still have their healing abilities. Heck, the Cleric in 4.0 can cast a healing spell twice per encounter (rather than 2 times per day as a stock 1st level cleric w/ reasonable Wis in D&D would get).

Each character has access to healing, true, but that serves more to allow the cleric to do other things besides healing every round. Each character can only use one healing surge during an encounter - past that and they better be best friends with the cleric.

One nice thing in 4e is that the healing spell is a minor action, so you can still zap someone and heal, making the cleric a highly useful support all around.

Another thing is that combat in 4e is Viscious. Every lowly enemy can deal pretty good damage, and take more than a couple hits to take down. You need the healing rules to just survive, and personally I liked the challenge.

Skunkape
03-04-2008, 09:02 AM
I believe that is exactly my point. As I mention in an early post, realistic damage rules are no fun.

Donít worry, I got what you were saying.:D


I'm not saying that the 3.5 rules need to be changed to be more realistic. Rather, I am saying that they should not be changed to be less realistic. There should be some recovery beyond just sleeping it off like a bad hangover.

I got your point too!:D

What I'm seeing so far from the new system, I see the great correlation between it and video games. As such, I don't really like what I'm seeing so far.

Iím not finding fault with people who like it, or will like it, but 4th edition just pushes me further away from DnD. Iíve always had a problem with the systemís method for improvement, i.e. the leveling to get better.

Systems like Basic RPG ala RuneQuest and GURPS are more what I like as far as character development is concerned. Heck, even Hero System with itís tendancy to be heavily math oriented appeals more to me that the DnD system.

I can see that Iíll be checking out 4th, but the more I look at it the more that I think Iím not moving beyond 3.5 as far as running the game is concerned. I was hoping for some more innovative rules changes from Wizards, but so far, Iím not too impressed.

Oh by the way, I currently play 3 online RPGs and while I like how quickly I can get back up to full strength, I don't care for it when I'm running a PnP game, well unless it's a superhero game!

tesral
03-04-2008, 09:13 AM
Another thing is that combat in 4e is Viscious. Every lowly enemy can deal pretty good damage, and take more than a couple hits to take down. You need the healing rules to just survive, and personally I liked the challenge.

I haven't noticed the opponents lacking challange in the 3.5 game I am playing now. Nearly every combat we have had was a close fought thing.

Balance is not an issue.

nijineko
03-04-2008, 10:17 AM
.... I can dig an RPG with realistic damage rules. That is an RPG that is actively discouraging conflict and encouraging you to talk it out and be diplomatic. I can imagine a good game from that premise. But it certainly wouldn't be D&D.

Gary

rolemaster. ^^



if i want to play a more thoughtful/realistic game, i use a collection of house rules. armor does dr instead of ac, healing takes longer, except for magical, and even that will leave a pain penalty to various things that gradually fades over the course of a few combats to a few days, depending. near death experiences allow minor retro-tweaking of characters due to insights from beyond the veil, and various other oddball stuff that i toss in for fun and difference. while the various changes to d&d towards being a pnp mmo will push people away, i think that it can be retro-tweaked to fit whatever you want. just like any game. however, i must admit that d&d would require a lot more work than my lazy self would be willing to but forth, were i in the camp of not liking it. ^^ i'd surely go with another game that's closer to what i want in the first place in such a case. =D

cplmac
03-04-2008, 11:41 AM
Interesting reading so far. I still will wait until I have the core books to read before forming an oppinion or giving any other response.

Inquisitor Tremayne
03-04-2008, 01:57 PM
I just read the full review that was posted on page 2 and I must say, WOW!

I started off on the fence.

Then as I read more articles from WotC it all seemed great and I became excited for 4e.

Then I saw the character write ups and the sneak peak at the Rogue and I became skeptical again.

Now after reading that review, I am excited again for it.

It seems like it IS going to be a drastic change. Whether that change is good or bad will be determined by your play style.


The most drastic change that I can see is the focus on tactics, encounter design (focusing on monster tactics), and the reliance on minis and maps. However, these are all or most of the reasons why I play RPGs, tactics. So I am looking forward to D&D chess.

I strongly suggest reading the review, as overly optimistic as it is I feel the reviewer is giving a good honest assessment and has the xp from playing 1st and 2nd editions.

Maelstrom
03-04-2008, 10:02 PM
I love the tactics aspects of the new edition. 3.5 is really good at allowing people flexibility in designing their characters, but it could easily devolve into a bunch of maveriks each trying to make a name for themselves.

4e defines characters more in synergy with other classes... the fighters are good at locking enemies down to protect the others, the clerics and paladins directly buff and support the others, etc.

tesral
03-05-2008, 09:56 AM
I love the tactics aspects of the new edition. 3.5 is really good at allowing people flexibility in designing their characters, but it could easily devolve into a bunch of maveriks each trying to make a name for themselves.

4e defines characters more in synergy with other classes... the fighters are good at locking enemies down to protect the others, the clerics and paladins directly buff and support the others, etc.

Could have been covered in a tactics supliment. We don't need a new edition for that. Heck it could have been covered in a Dragon article.

Maelstrom
03-05-2008, 09:40 PM
Doesn't change the fact that 3.5 encourages mavericks. Each character can be totally unique in purpose and form. To work together as a team takes a concious effort in 3.5, while 4.0 brings it inately by the way the game is designed. The more classes and options are added to 3.5, the more it will go in that direction at the current rate... balance creep is unavoidable in a longstanding game system.

In 4.0, you cannot survive without teamwork, and that itself is a very positive thing.

Grimwell
03-06-2008, 01:03 AM
In defense of my 'dumbed down' MMOs... they are actually more complex than paper games because we don't have to do the math. At least as complex as Rollmaster...

EQII has attack avoidance, damage soak, damage resistance, multiple forms of attack, and individual resistance to each (weapon types, and elemental/energy types) etc. The sort of stuff that happens instantly due to the computer, but would take hours in real life if you played it.

So if they evolve the game to be like MMO's, you will loathe it. :)