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Webhead
06-06-2008, 11:42 PM
Okay, so D&D 4e is officially out now and I spent about an hour this evening at Barnes & Noble thumbing through copies of the 3 core books to gather my initial, knee-jerk reactions to 4e. Here's what's been going through my head:

PCs (and apparently monsters as well) are a bit more capable/powerful than they used to be. Not really wildly overpowered, but definately a cut above what characters were capable of in previous editions.

I know so very little about them and yet I'm really finding the idea of the At Will/Encounter/Daily talents very appealing. They are essentially equivalent to "Talents" from Star Wars Saga with minimum level requirements. I am very much liking the idea that there is a large selection of talents to choose from for each class, but the actual number a character has is kept small enough to be managable. Even at 30th level, a character will only have 2 At Will Powers, 4 Encounter Powers, 4 Daily Powers and 7 Utility Powers. I also like that this limited size of array is balanced by the fact that at certain levels, you can swap out one or more of your powers for new ones, encouraging experimentation and allowing for a change in tactics. So far, this is definately scoring points with me.

I like the condensed skill list. There are now 17 skills, fairly similar to the skill list from Star Wars Saga as I recall. They also use Saga's concept of "Trained or Untrained" skill levels. I like this. No individual skill ranks, you just pick which skills your character is trained in. So far, I think skills have been nicely cleaned up.

The races are surprisingly and refreshingly straightforward and none seem unbalanced. Even Dragonborn, who I was afraid would reek of munchkinism, are actually nicely and simply done. Their special schtick is the ability to take a very modest breath weapon as one of their Encounter powers. Thumbs up to WotC for making me believe that a "dragon-type" PC can actually work without ruining the game.

Defense scores a la Star Wars Saga are also a welcome change in my eyes, if only because my (admittedly limited) experience tells me that they run more smoothly than Saving Throws.

Characters will end up with A LOT of attribute points! Seriously, all races except Humans get +2 to two different attributes and about every 4 levels a character gets to put 1 point in two different attributes. On top of that, at levels 11 and 21, they add 1 to all their attributes! Yikes! Though many (maybe most) powers are modified by attributes now, so that may not be such a bad thing. Also, they will probably need those bumps to survive against nastier monsters.

Didn't get to look too closely at feats, but they seemed to be pretty standard fare. They are broken down into tiers based on the character advancement tiers. You have basic feats, "Paragon Feats" which can only be taken at level 10 (11?), and "Epic Feats" which can be taken at level 20 (21?). Character progression spans levels 1-30 in the PHB which is nice. No need for an "Epic Level Handbook" until you want to player characters beyond 30.

I find myself quite liking the idea of the new crit rules. A natural "20" automatically hits (just as it always did), and if the attack roll is high enough to hit the target's AC, you crit and do max damage for the attack. So if you hit with a 1d8+5 attack, that crit would do 13 damage. Nice, clean, simple and helps avoid those cases of rolling all "1s" on your crit damage.

The art throughout the books is pretty consistently awesome, especially the Monster Manual. Seeing the illustration of the Gnolls virtually cried out to me to run an encounter using them. The MM seemed pretty well packed full of monsters, though I hurried through the book pretty quick and so couldn't comment on what I felt should or shouldn't have been included. Plenty of staples were there though: dragons, orcs, goblins, kobolds, lizardfolk, gnolls, trolls, orges, giants, liches, zombies, vampires, elementals, demons and devils and fiends (seemed to be a lot of those type of creatures). I like the icons for easy stat block navigation. A little sword symbol tells you it's a melee attack. A little bow symbol tells you it's a ranged attack. Very cleverly done and pleasing to the eye.

The overall layout of the books is pretty excellent and a welcome change from the style of the 3.X books. The pages are bright and clean, with no distracting background patterns to muddle reading or strain the eye. Most headings are called out in boldly colored header bars. Tables are nicely done and easy to read. The main text font is just the right size to be legible but not wasteful of space. The overall color scheme of the book and the beautiful style and texture of the covers are very attractive.

Well, there you have it. As I was there flipping through them, I actually had to talk myself out of an impulse by of the PHB for further study. I've not had to talk myself out of purchasing a D&D book (because I've not had the desire to purchase a D&D book) since the release of Tome & Blood. The game has me very curious, and quite interested at looking at it more closely. Given the opportunity to play in a 4e game at this point, I would definately try it in order to see how the game actually behaves at the table...because I'm cautiously optimistic at this point. If current perceived trend continues, 4e may actually make D&D tolerable for me again. I shall report again when I have had a chance to apply further study.

Valdar
06-07-2008, 03:57 PM
I find myself quite liking the idea of the new crit rules. A natural "20" automatically hits (just as it always did), and if the attack roll is high enough to hit the target's AC, you crit and do max damage for the attack. So if you hit with a 1d8+5 attack, that crit would do 13 damage. Nice, clean, simple and helps avoid those cases of rolling all "1s" on your crit damage.


This was a nice compromise between "20 is always a crit" and confirming crits.

Now, if you need a 19 to hit (i.e you're over your head), every other hit will be a crit, so someone who only has a 10 percent chance to hit will crit every other hit. If you need a 2 to hit, you will crit with just over 5 percent of your hits, so the blows that an experienced warrior lands will crit less often than those of a less experienced one. Doesn't make sense, but it makes for a faster, more fun game, which is more important.

I'm waiting to see the game in action at the middle and higher levels to see if the powers system is too complicated. It seems to me that the more abilities you had, the less often you remembered to use them (like the various races' bonuses against particular monster types), but with them all listed out in one place, it should be easier to remember "duh, daily power is the right choice here." Hopefully.

Maelstrom
06-07-2008, 05:02 PM
I'm waiting to see the game in action at the middle and higher levels to see if the powers system is too complicated. It seems to me that the more abilities you had, the less often you remembered to use them (like the various races' bonuses against particular monster types), but with them all listed out in one place, it should be easier to remember "duh, daily power is the right choice here." Hopefully.

There are a limit on how many powers you can pick at each level, meaning if you get a new power, but don't get an additional slot to add it to the list, you have to replace an earlier (and most likely less powerful) power. I think that should keep it much more managable. You will still get to keep more and more as you raise in level, but you'll have the time to learn how to use what you have before you advance, and therefore should be comfortable with some additional complexity

Webhead
06-07-2008, 06:06 PM
There are a limit on how many powers you can pick at each level, meaning if you get a new power, but don't get an additional slot to add it to the list, you have to replace an earlier (and most likely less powerful) power. I think that should keep it much more managable. You will still get to keep more and more as you raise in level, but you'll have the time to learn how to use what you have before you advance, and therefore should be comfortable with some additional complexity

Yes. I like this very much. It allows characters to steadily gain new and more potent powers without leaving high-level PCs with lists upon lists of powers to choose from. As mentioned above, even a 30th level character will only have 2/4/4/7 in terms of how many At Will/Encounter/Daily/Utility powers they can have. In theory, this should help keep the game managable.

Maelstrom
06-07-2008, 08:23 PM
Certainly beats trying to manage a high level spellcaster in 3.5 with gads of magic items, levels in multiple classes and a prestige class or two.

From a DM's perspective, it will be a dream to be able to put together a 15th level bad guy NPC using the 4e system. So much easier.

Webhead
06-07-2008, 11:49 PM
Certainly beats trying to manage a high level spellcaster in 3.5 with gads of magic items, levels in multiple classes and a prestige class or two.

From a DM's perspective, it will be a dream to be able to put together a 15th level bad guy NPC using the 4e system. So much easier.

I agree. I'm also encouraged to see that they are trying to make magic items a lesser part of your character's "equation". I've always found the reliance upon gobs of magic items to be a bit obnoxious. Haven't delved into the magic items too much yet. Need some more time with them to really solidify my opinion.

gdmcbride
06-08-2008, 01:56 AM
I played in my second 4th edition demo, plus we did a kill-the-dragon fight fest. I also got my hands on the books and spent some quality time flipping through them, though I certainly have not read them all.

My initial impressions:

1. This is the most graphically and editorially proficient version of D&D ever published.

The books are beautiful. They are well organized. They are clean and obviously well play-tested. In actual play, complex questions of 'how does x' work were answered easily and quickly by people who had bought the book 15 minutes ago. Impressive.

This is not a game about fluff and background. You only think you own fluff-light, crunch-focused rule books. D&D 4th will show you what a truly rules focused RPG looks like.

2. Here is the love it or hate it question for D&D 4th.

Should every PC have magic powers even at first level?

If your answer is 'Oh yeah! That sounds cool!' D&D 4th is the game for you. If your answer is 'What?! Hell no! Players have to earn those powers! And fighters! Fighters should never get them!' (or something similar) -- you should look elsewhere. This game will frustrate the hell out of you.

D&D 4th edition is damn near a game of fantasy super heroes.

3. There is a lot of brilliant game design here. Emphasis on GAME.

Action points are tactically interesting. Crits are elegant. Saving throws are simple and direct. Defense are simple and versatile. Teamwork is essential (this is definitely a game you can get better at!). Fights are incredibly mobile, fluid and furious. As an example, today I saw a group of heroes gang up and try to force a dragon out of magic healing circle using desperate push maneuvers so they could finally take it down. These were not high level heroes -- this was an example of level one play. All in all, great game play in the sense of playing a tactical miniatures game.

BUT... (and its a big but)

None of the demos I saw had any substantial roleplaying in them. And in my granted very cursory examination of the game, I saw an RPG immensely focused on combat and oh, yeah, I guess some roleplaying is possible. WotC has greatly deemphasized roleplaying. Rules-as-written this is a game about tactical battles. Yes, you can still have lots of roleplaying depth and intrigue if you choose. Just don't expect a lot of help from the system.

So, to sum up -- D&D 4th edition is a lot of fun to play. And I have no doubt it will have a profound impact on game design for many years to come. But this game is perhaps the most perfectly gamist (in the GNS sense of the word) RPG ever written. If you are looking for something at all narrativist, this game is likely a poor fit.

That is my initial impression. We'll see if it holds up to a full reading of all three core rule books.

Gary

Dimthar
06-08-2008, 03:35 PM
None of the demos I saw had any substantial roleplaying in them. And in my granted very cursory examination of the game, I saw an RPG immensely focused on combat and oh, yeah, I guess some roleplaying is possible. WotC has greatly deemphasized roleplaying. Rules-as-written this is a game about tactical battles. Yes, you can still have lots of roleplaying depth and intrigue if you choose. Just don't expect a lot of help from the system.

The above is perhaps the heart of so many discussions in regards to 4E.

What is a “Character Sheet” but a set of “Game System Characteristics” that give a Player a quantifiable description on how easy or hard is for his PC to overcome a “Conflict”.

Let’s use Battletech as an analogy, your sheet and the rules book will definitely tell you, how much firepower you have, mobility, armor, etc. If you put everybody in a Flat-Barren Terrain you can hardly say all Mechs are equally powerful or balanced. But once you add Hills, Lakes, Rivers, Buildings, a team of opponents (Aircrafts, Tanks and Mechs) that is when STRATEGY takes over.

So, in D&D when you present your players with a World with Societies who could be mercantile or militaristic, Peasants with friends and rivals, Nobles with ambitions and piety, Intelligent Villains and Savage Monsters, is in that environment that ROLEPLAYING flourishes.

I don't buy the idea of a Game System encouraging or discouraging "Role-playing". That is not the purpose of the Game Mechanics in the first place. And to think that the "Role-playing" ability of the players can be suppressed by the System is to give them too little credit. So all the whining of D&D or 4E being a cage for the "True Roleplayer" in my opinion is pointless.

Now, an inspired mind may be able to write a book on how to create scenarios, manage different scenes, plot development, when to rush the players and when to move them slowly, how to create tense situations, how to scare or horrify the PCs and the Players. I am pretty sure such book would be 100% useful regardless of the RPG you are playing.

But in the meantime, we have the internet; we have meetups and conventions and our own experience to fully/partially achieve the above.

.

tesral
06-08-2008, 08:03 PM
New people will do as does the system. If the system does not emphasize role-paying you will have a miniature tactical game, and that is exactly what you have, a miniature tactical game.

Calling 4e D&D a role-playing game is nearly the travesty of the concept as calling WoW a role-playing game.

Valdar
06-08-2008, 08:22 PM
Check out the non-combat encounter system in 4e. Compare it to the single roll of a d20 for anything not combat-related from previous editions. Now explain to me why 4e is more of a tactical miniatures game than 3e and earlier systems. I can accept that the demos for 4e didn't have non-combat encounters in them, but a combat demo of 4e doesn't mean that 4e is a combat game. There are better rules for non-combat encounters in 4e than in any other game I've ever seen.

What would make 4e more of a roleplaying game for you, if not this?




Now, an inspired mind may be able to write a book on how to create scenarios, manage different scenes, plot development, when to rush the players and when to move them slowly, how to create tense situations, how to scare or horrify the PCs and the Players. I am pretty sure such book would be 100% useful regardless of the RPG you are playing.
.

Have you read the 4e DMG? The above quote is a very good description of it.

Dimthar
06-08-2008, 09:36 PM
"Dimthar's Quote: Now, an inspired mind may be able to write a book on how to create scenarios, manage different scenes, plot development, when to rush the players and when to move them slowly, how to create tense situations, how to scare or horrify the PCs and the Players.... End of Quote"

Have you read the 4e DMG? The above quote is a very good description of it.

Truth is Yesterday I only quickly browsed through the Players Handbook, for some reason I assumed the DMG would not be so different from the 3.X and the AD&D version.

Valdar, Could you please elaborate what are the major changes for the DMG and why is that it fits “My Quote”?. Certainly such change will be very welcome and it would help New Players (DMs) if that is the case.

Or anyone else who has an opinion / review on the DMG?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=NXrA0IAxpfQ

http://dnd4.blogspot.com/2008/05/dungeon-masters-guide.html

.

Valdar
06-08-2008, 10:58 PM
I can't really speak of the changes between 3e and 4e, since I don't have a 3e DMG handy, but most of the 4e DMG is a guide about how to be a good DM- it seems to me to speak more toward the art of DMing rather than lots of specific rules. Interesting to note that the DMG is much thinner than the PHB, since so many rules have been moved to the PHB. Here's a breakdown of what's in it:

Chapter 1: How to be a DM. Defines eight player types, and how best to engage them in the game and avoid typical problems.

Chapter 2: Running the game. Lots of info on how to be a good dm, including an explicit mention of the "rule of yes".

Chapter 3: Combat Encounters. I'm guessing this one is pretty similar to 3e: Ways to simplify tracking multiple monsters, improvising actions, effects of terrain, aquatic and aerial combat, mounted combat, disease, poison.

Chapter 4: Building Encounters. Encounters are now created on an XP budget rather than a CR; a typical encounter is the same number of monsters as party members, at the party's level, with descriptions on how to change that up. Encounter settings.

Chapter 5: Noncombat Encounters. Skill challenges, puzzles, traps/hazards. Anyone saying that 4e is a combat simulator needs to read the Skill Challenges section. Includes an example skill challenge: one round of convincing a Duke to give the party aid- the encounter engages the entire party, who all use their skills of choice in order to succeed. Other example skill challenges are social or research tasks.

Chapter 6: Adventures. Using modules and fixing the problems thereof, such as keeping the party on course. Notes that you shouldn't try too hard to keep the party on task, since if they're not interested, you should let them do something else. Adventure structure, with examples of good (choices, challenges) and bad (bottlenecking, railroading). Designing quests. Adventure settings (underground, wilderness, civilized, planar; inhabitants, history, environment, atmosphere.) Cast of characters.

Chapter 7: Rewards. XP, Action points, Treasure. A big change here is that the magic items are in the PHB, not the DMG.

Chapter 8: Campaigns. Campaign themes, genres, story, foreshadowing. What to do in each tier. Ending a campaign.

Chapter 9: The World. Assumptions about the Points of Light setting. On the world map, it says that there will be no world map in any core D&D book, and it's up to the DM to create one (page 151: "It's Your World.") Environmental dangers, starvation, thirst, suffocation, the planes, the gods. Artifacts, which are now essentially NPCs with agendas, rather than uber-treasure.

Chapter 10: The DM's Toolbox. Customizing and creating monsters, NPCs, creating house-rules, random dungeons and encounters. Includes templates for things like Vampire Lord and Lich.

Chapter 11: Fallcrest. Example city.

So, in sum, no player needs this book- everything the player needs to know is in the PHB. In fact, a good, experienced DM could probably get by without this book (very little of it is rules), although I think even veteran DMs could glean a thing or two from it.

agoraderek
06-08-2008, 11:19 PM
If your answer is 'Oh yeah! That sounds cool!' D&D 4th is the game for you. If your answer is 'What?! Hell no! Players have to earn those powers! And fighters! Fighters should never get them!' (or something similar) -- you should look elsewhere. This game will frustrate the hell out of you.

D&D 4th edition is damn near a game of fantasy super heroes.

i think that description is enough to let me save $100. thanks for the heads up ;)

fmitchell
06-09-2008, 12:26 AM
i think that description is enough to let me save $100. thanks for the heads up ;)

As I've stated ad nauseam, I've never been enamored with any version of D&D (compared to The Fantasy Trip, GURPS, various versions of BRP, FATE, etc.) ... but I'm spending $25 on the PHB simply out of self-defense. Sooner or later I'll likely end up in a 4e game (as I ended up in a 3.5 game a couple of years ago). Plus, as a compulsive rules-tweaker I'd like to see what I can learn from 4e, even if it's "Don't let this happen to you ..."

Granted, I've yet to get the PHB yet -- I chose Delivery by Hobo to save money -- but it sounds like 4e could use FATE's Aspects, PDQs Qualities, or something similar to give characters a personality outside of the dungeon.

gdmcbride
06-09-2008, 01:39 AM
i think that description is enough to let me save $100. thanks for the heads up ;)

Glad to be of service.

I certainly wasn't trying to discourage anyone from buying 4th edition. Instead, I have been doing my level best to report the game as I experienced it in the tiny little slice of time I have spent playing it.

But I do easily see how D&D 4th edition is not everyone's cup of tea.

Gary

ronpyatt
06-09-2008, 01:52 AM
4ed reminds me of Champions and Fantasy Hero. Player characters start off small and gradually obtain a mythic standing in the world, if they survive. Combat has always been my chief complaint about every version of D&D I've played. Too much, darling.
However, the streamlined combat system that 4ed uses makes it easier to have even more combat, and a lot more staying power for the PC's. If the combat is over quickly, which appears to be the new design, then more role-playing can be addressed. I like it.

The DMG has rules on obtaining XP for traps and hazards. It also, hinted at XP for mazes and puzzles.
The PHB has powers listed with a nice narrative of how a power appears when used, adding role-playing flavor.
The DMG has advise for DM's on adventure hooks, settings, story threads, twisted endings, characters goals, player types, cast of villains, and other such fluff for role-playing.
So, 4ed is not just about hack-n-slash with miniatures? With all this talk, I was starting to doubt what I was reading.

Tamerath
06-09-2008, 04:19 AM
I was impressed as well Webhead! Me and my fiance really found an excellent group of players in the area and played through some encounters in Keep on the Shadowfell...I was really impressed with the balance of the classes and the roles they filled. I played a Ranger and I gotta say..my old favorite has really cemented itself as my new favorite as well. I'm creating a Ranger with some multiclassing into Rogue feats for extra sneak attack damage and Thievery skill training. It's really well run and the encounters were both clever and fun. I'm happy with the new edition on the first run through..and my fiance...that was her first time playing in an actual group and she caught on fast...I think she was even more well liked and accepted over me!?! lol That was her first run ever in any game as a paladin too...The only problem I'm seeing so far (and maybe it's because I haven't really sat down with the books and gave them a good read) is the Npc's....how the hell do you create these guys faster because the statistics block seems more clunky and I'm still taking an hour/npc non-monster I'm fleshing out. AND...Dear God...the online tools were a HUGE flop...they aren't even there yet...not to mention the fact that they will be released later this year it wouldn't surprise me at this time that because I feel so...well..let down by wizards in the past that they will even charge you for a damned disk with the software on it (when they said it'd be included in the books) and on top of that charge you an additional fee of 15 bucks a month. (I'm crossing my fingers I'm wrong but this smells bad to me...considering I championed 4th edition so strongly because their tools would have allowed me to also play with my old gaming friends...I feel bad for all the people that were skeptics and I was like...guys "these are gamers like us..they won't steer us wrong")

Valdar
06-09-2008, 09:28 AM
The only problem I'm seeing so far (and maybe it's because I haven't really sat down with the books and gave them a good read) is the Npc's....how the hell do you create these guys faster because the statistics block seems more clunky and I'm still taking an hour/npc non-monster I'm fleshing out.

I've yet to sit down and come up with custom monsters, but it doesn't look that hard (they're supposed to be usable as-is without having to pick spells and such)- At this point I'm mostly going to be downgrading existing monsters for use with a 1st level party, so I'll be using the rules on page 174 of the DMG, which is basically reduce attacks and defenses by 1 per level difference, reduce damage by 1 every 2 levels, and reduce hit points based on monster role, per level. My plan was to do this in Excel, plug in the numbers for starting monsters, and have it figure out -1, -2, -3, and -4 versions of them, and I'd be set.

What is taking all the time with your monsters?

Webhead
06-09-2008, 09:39 AM
Glad to hear you had a good experience thus far with 4e, Tamerath. And kudos for your fiance enjoying the game as well. If only I could get my wife to try an RPG...;)

Though I agree that most of the material from the PHB is focused on the rules to "fill out your character sheet", I also agree (from my quick perusal) that the DMG is very much designed as a DM "self-help" book. It focuses on suggestions to help you make better encounters, sessions, adventures, campaigns and world building. This is exactly what I want a DMG to do. I also kind of like that magic items were moved to the PHB as it means players won't need to be asking to look at the DMG if they need to remember information about the abilities of an item they have or how much it will cost to craft something.

Anyway, I haven't played the game yet, so I can't speak to how it works at the table, but I'm encouraged to hear that it speeds up and smooths out combat resolution.

Spartan_029
06-09-2008, 12:01 PM
well, so far, in the first couple of wizards pre-made games that I've played, I've really liked it, it'll take some getting used to, but other than that I like it!

Webhead
06-09-2008, 12:56 PM
...I played a Ranger and I gotta say..my old favorite has really cemented itself as my new favorite as well. I'm creating a Ranger with some multiclassing into Rogue feats for extra sneak attack damage and Thievery skill training...

My favorite class in 2nd Ed. was the Ranger but it never really jibed with me in 3rd. Not sure why. So, hearing this makes me want to go take a closer look at the 4e Ranger to see why it's got you so interested. If/when I get to play in a 4e game, my first character will probably have to be a Ranger just to "test drive" and see if it has me falling back in love with the class. Here's hoping...

Tamerath
06-09-2008, 02:09 PM
What is taking all the time with your monsters?

I'm trying to flesh out NPC's for my town...major players that will be there throughout the campaign. Most of them have PC classes and I still take a long time to create them because it's like making a character level x from scratch. Do I give them all their at-wills/encounter/utility/and daily powers?

Valdar
06-09-2008, 02:33 PM
I'm trying to flesh out NPC's for my town...major players that will be there throughout the campaign. Most of them have PC classes and I still take a long time to create them because it's like making a character level x from scratch. Do I give them all their at-wills/encounter/utility/and daily powers?

Typically you don't even give them classes- they really just need enough powers to spice up the combat a little if it comes to that. There is no difference between a daily and an encounter power for someone who appears once, so why bother? And social encounters are designed as skill challenges for the party, rather than dicing off with the NPC's skills one-on-one, so they don't really need skills like Diplomacy- they'll do fine with passive skills like Intuition and Perception. For that matter, powers that affect attributes are gone from 4e, so you don't even need to know their scores. Basically, even the named NPCs don't need much more detail (from a mechanical perspective) than appears in a typical MM entry.

gdmcbride
06-09-2008, 05:08 PM
Having now spent a few hours more reading the books, particularly side by side with some of the 3.5 books, I have revised my opinion of D&D 4.

There is nothing particularly RP-unfriendly about this game. The section on roleplaying dwarfs for example is actually longer and better developed than a similar passage in the 3.5 PHB. Having gotten rid of the unwieldy diplomacy system of 3.x they have actually broadened skills support of RP. Skill challenges could be a powerful tool if used properly.

What D&D 4 has is terrible marketing. I played in two demos run by two different DMs in two different states. These were not fan demos, these were official WotC material. In those two demos I made not one substantive RP decision. I faced no moral quandraries, no villians who may not as been as evil as they first seemed, no NPCs who needed persuading, no sobbing mother who still had useful information if only we could comfort her. Nothing. I was offered only one RP choice in either -- 'Will you help me?' Spoiler alert: the correct answer is always yes. What I faced was monsters, monsters, a handful of traps, a few dead-simple puzzles and more monsters.

WotC needs better demos. I understand simplicity. I do. But come on -- one RP based encounter per demo at least wouldn't kill anyone. Seriously.

Gary

Valdar
06-09-2008, 05:38 PM
WotC needs better demos. I understand simplicity. I do. But come on -- one RP based encounter per demo at least wouldn't kill anyone. Seriously.

Gary

My guess is that they could reasonably expect a group of strangers to have the skillset to push around minis and roll dice, but having them RP in front of an audience could go spectacularly wrong with the wrong people. I have a friend that doesn't play RPGs at cons for this reason- RPGs are better suited for campaigns, where you have time to flesh out your character and build a rapport with your chums, and boardgames (which they were playing D&D as) are better for one-offs.

agoraderek
06-09-2008, 07:05 PM
Glad to be of service.

I certainly wasn't trying to discourage anyone from buying 4th edition. Instead, I have been doing my level best to report the game as I experienced it in the tiny little slice of time I have spent playing it.

But I do easily see how D&D 4th edition is not everyone's cup of tea.

Gary

im just into a low fantasy game, dirt on the boots, underpowered characters in a big bad world, "sheesh, we're half dead, half drowned, out of food, out of spells, how are we ever going to get home...", reluctant heroes type stuff. anthropomorphic lizards and outsiders as core races, magic for everyone and nearly instant healing doesnt fit my gaming "worldview", so to speak.

like i said in an earlier post in a different thread, at some point, i'll wind up buying a PHB just so i can be up to speed for conventions and whatnot, but for the home game, it doesnt sound like 4e fits my needs.

starfalconkd
06-09-2008, 07:06 PM
I was at my local gaming store for a 4e event this weekend on game day. I ran Into the Shadowhaunt and Against the White Dragon, the game day modules. The general reception seemed to lack enthusiasm. I spoke to all the people I ran for afterwards and several people who played in other games. Responses were tepid to downright dislike. I did not much care for it myself.
I seem to recall having a lot of fun with 3(.5) when it came out. This less so. My game group (some who played in my 4.0 game and some who didn't) found a couple of items of interest (notably: con to hp at first level, skill challenges, and "bloodied") but they decided as a whole they would rather stick to 3.5.

Webhead
06-09-2008, 10:55 PM
I was at my local gaming store for a 4e event this weekend on game day. I ran Into the Shadowhaunt and Against the White Dragon, the game day modules. The general reception seemed to lack enthusiasm. I spoke to all the people I ran for afterwards and several people who played in other games. Responses were tepid to downright dislike. I did not much care for it myself.
I seem to recall having a lot of fun with 3(.5) when it came out. This less so. My game group (some who played in my 4.0 game and some who didn't) found a couple of items of interest (notably: con to hp at first level, skill challenges, and "bloodied") but they decided as a whole they would rather stick to 3.5.

I think this is an excellent example of how truly subjective the whole debate between editions is. There are those who have fondness for and attachment to 3.X and thus all the mucking around that 4e does is off-putting to those players. Then there are those who are not fond of or were put-off by 3.X, and the attitude of 4e to change up some of the game's conventions is refreshing or encouraging.

I'll say this to lend some support to gdmcbride's comment above: with my (admitted limited) experience reading through the books, there is nothing about 4e that de-emphasizes "role playing" any more than 3e did. Reading the 4e books has gotten my excited about D&D again...something that has not happened for about 6 years.

The thing that bugged me about 3.X wasn't the role playing (because we did do a good bit of that, and it was fun), but rather the way the game handled things like combat, character creation/advancement and balance. I didn't enjoy the part of the game that involved combat...and combat is a very major theme to D&D. So what does that mean? It means that I feel that that's the part of the game that needed to be fixed to be quicker and smoother to integrate into the session.

Whether or not 4e accomplished this for me, I cannot say. But as I was unsatisfied with 3.X and will not be going back to it regardless of how 4e turns out, I feel that I may as well give 4e a shot. The worst that could happen is that it sends me crawling back to Basic D&D and the best is that I find a cool, worthwhile new game.

Engar
06-10-2008, 02:52 AM
Did they mundanely rename a bunch of stuff just to make the indexes useless to their entire retained market like in 3.x?

Valdar
06-10-2008, 01:03 PM
Did they mundanely rename a bunch of stuff just to make the indexes useless to their entire retained market like in 3.x?

Things that were severely changed were renamed. "Saving throws" are now called "Defenses" because you're not rolling them. "Climbing", "Swimming", etc. are all now called "Athletics". "Spot", "Listen", and "Search" are all now called "Perception". Things that used to trigger "Losing DEX bonus to AC" now trigger "Combat Advantage"- that's the biggest change in wording for the smallest change in gameplay that I can think of. ("Grapple" is now "Grab", but that shouldn't trip up too many people.)

I don't believe they changed the names of identical things. "Hit Points", all the attributes, most of the character classes (though the other arcane type is "Warlock" not "Sorcerer" now), armor class, the three defenses that used to be saving throws, etc. all have the same names. The game is very different, though, so knowing the word for something won't get you very far.

ithil
06-10-2008, 03:26 PM
I don't believe they changed the names of identical things. "Hit Points", all the attributes, most of the character classes (though the other arcane type is "Warlock" not "Sorcerer" now)

The Warlock is adapted from the Warlock in the Complete Arcane, so that's understandable.

Webhead
06-10-2008, 04:55 PM
The Warlock is adapted from the Warlock in the Complete Arcane, so that's understandable.

From what I've heard of the 3e version of the Warlock class, apparently a lot of folks really liked it (one of the players at our game table has said that it is his favorite class). I'm guessing that this is what prompted them to include Warlock in 4e. There's also the fact that Sorcerer was a bit redundant with the Wizard and it looks like they wanted to avoid two spellcasting classes being so similar.

Kilrex
06-10-2008, 05:35 PM
From what I've heard of the 3e version of the Warlock class, apparently a lot of folks really liked it (one of the players at our game table has said that it is his favorite class). I'm guessing that this is what prompted them to include Warlock in 4e. There's also the fact that Sorcerer was a bit redundant with the Wizard and it looks like they wanted to avoid two spellcasting classes being so similar.

I like 3e alot but I hated that class, I thought it had too much combat power. Every player I have seen playing a Warlock was either a munchkin or didn't like to RP.

ronpyatt
06-10-2008, 06:03 PM
I like 3e alot but I hated that class, I thought it had too much combat power. Every player I have seen playing a Warlock was either a munchkin or didn't like to RP.
I have had just the opposite experience. The warlock in 3.5 seemed underpowered but a steadfast combatant. The warlock PC's I gamed with had no more limelight than the rest. Keeping up with the fighters was always a monumental task for other spellcasters (and psions). The warlock was balanced overall but lacked any real punch. However, I had heard about the GM challenges when a player brought his Nightmare/Munchkin/Pixie-Warlock to the game. I decided they would cook well in a stew.

4ed appears to have fixed that, removing the clunky leveling and odd mix of alignment restrictions, minimizing munchkin elements, and encouraging other munchkin traits.

Gran'fawder say, "like a controlled berserker, the munchkin must be guided."

tesral
06-10-2008, 06:36 PM
I have a friend that doesn't play RPGs at cons for this reason- RPGs are better suited for campaigns, where you have time to flesh out your character and build a rapport with your chums, and boardgames (which they were playing D&D as) are better for one-offs.

I don't tend to becasue that is what I get the most of at home. I play wargames at cons. I get too little wargaming.

However you can and I do have heavy role-playing scenarios at cons. My own scenarios require a good deal ot thought and RP consideration to get through. Might be why I'm known as a tough GM.

Hmm might update those old beasts to at least 3.5 and start using them again.



I like 3e alot but I hated that class, I thought it had too much combat power. Every player I have seen playing a Warlock was either a munchkin or didn't like to RP.

And another assumption bites the dust. I have a warlock character right now. The first thing I did was write a background that explained the why of the character and gave the DM a bag of plot hooks in the process.

Yes, for a while I had the embarrassing situation of having the most hit points and the highest armor class. Hey, good rolls and a high con and I stripped gear off dead guys. I started with 8 gold. I get stuff where I can. I am happy to say that the Fighter types now surpass me in both categories. It wasn't that I was so good, but the rest of the group was rather pitiable.

agoraderek
06-10-2008, 11:32 PM
Gran'fawder say, "like a controlled berserker, the munchkin must be guided."

yeah, out the front door, never to return....

tesral
06-11-2008, 07:41 AM
yeah, out the front door, never to return....

They can be entertaining if you know their ways Grasshopper. At least a session or two.

agoraderek
06-11-2008, 07:01 PM
They can be entertaining if you know their ways Grasshopper. At least a session or two.

oh, i WAS one in my early playing days. im intimately familiar with the species, had one in my second "hatheg" campaign and it was fun, but being focused more on "low fantasy" these days, the munchkins just dont fit the format well, im afraid ;)

ronpyatt
06-13-2008, 01:36 AM
Had my first taste of playing 4ed, and it was very nice. Our DM asked us to focus on combat to get a feel for the combat system. We had a lot of bad rolling. I didn't keep track of the number of 1's. Even so, every one of us got to dish out at least a little damage.
Our party consisted of a Wizard, Warlord, Warlock, Paladin, and a Cleric. It was clumsy at first, but even for it being our first time we were able to find answers to our questions very quickly. (Yes, Warlords are like beefed-up Bards, only way cooler.)

The encounters went smooth, and everyone had something to contribute to each encounter. (This is a first for me, as in any previous D&D game, someone was always left in the cold after the first encounter.)
Diseases are interestingly done and done well.

The various types of class powers that Mark a target are very interesting. Paladins have Divine Challenge. Warlocks have Curse. Clerics and Warlords have special attacks that mark targets and grant allies bonuses based on those attacks. Warlords can command allies to make attacks on their behalf. I'm not sure what the other classes have, yet.

If you were thinking 4ed was anything like Dad's D&D, well, this is not 3.x in any way shape or form. It's D&D done right.

wizarddog
06-13-2008, 06:31 AM
Considering that there is not a single feat or spell/power than enhances roleplaying other than skill modifiers one can make the asumption that the game lacks any real roleplaying aesthetics. What it really feels like is I would be putting Rolplaying aspects into a game that dosen't need any. It would be like putting roleplaying aspects into a game of Clue. Yes, I am Col. Mustard, and I can acted like Col. Musard if I want but the mechaincs of the game does not require that I do so and has no effect on what I can and cannot do.

All this game needs is a board and some pieces and it can go right on the shelves next to Chutes and Ladders. Oh wait...


Having now spent a few hours more reading the books, particularly side by side with some of the 3.5 books, I have revised my opinion of D&D 4.

There is nothing particularly RP-unfriendly about this game. The section on roleplaying dwarfs for example is actually longer and better developed than a similar passage in the 3.5 PHB. Having gotten rid of the unwieldy diplomacy system of 3.x they have actually broadened skills support of RP. Skill challenges could be a powerful tool if used properly.

What D&D 4 has is terrible marketing. I played in two demos run by two different DMs in two different states. These were not fan demos, these were official WotC material. In those two demos I made not one substantive RP decision. I faced no moral quandraries, no villians who may not as been as evil as they first seemed, no NPCs who needed persuading, no sobbing mother who still had useful information if only we could comfort her. Nothing. I was offered only one RP choice in either -- 'Will you help me?' Spoiler alert: the correct answer is always yes. What I faced was monsters, monsters, a handful of traps, a few dead-simple puzzles and more monsters.

WotC needs better demos. I understand simplicity. I do. But come on -- one RP based encounter per demo at least wouldn't kill anyone. Seriously.

Gary

ronpyatt
06-13-2008, 10:41 AM
Considering that there is not a single feat or spell/power than enhances roleplaying other than skill modifiers one can make the asumption that the game lacks any real roleplaying aesthetics.
I'm not sure I follow you. I can think of a few roleplaying enhancing powers right of the top of my head: ghost sound, mage hand, prestidigitation, rituals, Master of Deceit, Quick Fingers, Chameleon, Crucial Advice, Astral Speech, Sacred Circle, Angel of the Eleven Wind, and Shadow Veil. And that's without even trying.

Valdar
06-13-2008, 11:31 AM
Considering that there is not a single feat or spell/power than enhances roleplaying other than skill modifiers one can make the asumption that the game lacks any real roleplaying aesthetics.

Well, the rules mechanics of the game are limited to feats, spells/powers, and skills, so there's nothing else for an RP enhancement to affect. Cutting to the chase here, what would qualify as a "feat or spell/power that enhances roleplaying" that's not in the book, that is in 3e, and that doesn't lead to grandstanding, min-maxing, or otherwise breaking the game?

Dimthar
06-13-2008, 11:40 AM
All this game needs is a board and some pieces and it can go right on the shelves next to Chutes and Ladders. Oh wait...

Where you being sarcastic?

starfalconkd
06-15-2008, 09:32 AM
They can be entertaining if you know their ways Grasshopper. At least a session or two.

And don't forget, they go well with white wine when served in a light butter sauce.

agoraderek
06-15-2008, 05:53 PM
And don't forget, they go well with white wine when served in a light butter sauce.

i ate the munchkin's liver with fava beans and a nice chianti???

tesral
06-15-2008, 07:41 PM
And don't forget, they go well with white wine when served in a light butter sauce.

They need a lot of garlic, if fit for sonsumption. It takes to much effort to clean the average one as well. Girl Scouts are much taster for my money. That and they self deliver with a side of tasty cookies.

Webhead
06-16-2008, 02:38 PM
They need a lot of garlic, if fit for sonsumption. It takes to much effort to clean the average one as well. Girl Scouts are much taster for my money. That and they self deliver with a side of tasty cookies.

Rogue PC: *sniff sniff* "Hmmm...this is a strange trap. It sprayed me with butter, herbs and spices..." [large, drooling monster lurks hungrily in the shadows behind him].

tesral
06-16-2008, 02:51 PM
Rogue PC: *sniff sniff* "Hmmm...this is a strange trap. It sprayed me with butter, herbs and spices..." [large, drooling monster lurks hungrily in the shadows behind him].

That would be cute. I'll have to do it some time.

starfalconkd
06-16-2008, 05:38 PM
Rogue PC: *sniff sniff* "Hmmm...this is a strange trap. It sprayed me with butter, herbs and spices..." [large, drooling monster lurks hungrily in the shadows behind him].

Now that would be a fun way to freak out a pc.

Engar
06-16-2008, 06:46 PM
I suggest doing it slowly over several traps as the temperature creeps up.

"Hey what is that? butter spray?"
***travel on***
"Now what the? This one sprayed some spice or something. Is it getting hot in here?"
***travel on***
"Whoa, why are veggies floating in this waterlogged passage? Man, are you sweating?"

Tamerath
06-16-2008, 07:18 PM
Had my first taste of playing 4ed, and it was very nice. Our DM asked us to focus on combat to get a feel for the combat system. We had a lot of bad rolling. I didn't keep track of the number of 1's. Even so, every one of us got to dish out at least a little damage.
Our party consisted of a Wizard, Warlord, Warlock, Paladin, and a Cleric. It was clumsy at first, but even for it being our first time we were able to find answers to our questions very quickly. (Yes, Warlords are like beefed-up Bards, only way cooler.)

The encounters went smooth, and everyone had something to contribute to each encounter. (This is a first for me, as in any previous D&D game, someone was always left in the cold after the first encounter.)
Diseases are interestingly done and done well.

The various types of class powers that Mark a target are very interesting. Paladins have Divine Challenge. Warlocks have Curse. Clerics and Warlords have special attacks that mark targets and grant allies bonuses based on those attacks. Warlords can command allies to make attacks on their behalf. I'm not sure what the other classes have, yet.

If you were thinking 4ed was anything like Dad's D&D, well, this is not 3.x in any way shape or form. It's D&D done right.

I have played two games with my group since the release and I gotta agree with you. I KNOW there are PLENTY of people feeling unease with this new system but we're all roleplayers here and enjoy D&D in all it's forms. I got in around the end of 2nd edition..and loved every moment of 2nd edition...my best adventure I dmed for was The Apocalypse Stone right before 3rd edition came out. 3rd Edition was an improvement over 2nd edition in play...and I feel the same about 4th. I think you just have to sit down with the system a couple of times and then it really does begin to shine.

This is just my opinion but it's really the same familiar D&D game that you all have grown up but with a lot more ease and enjoyment.

There's one thing I'll argue...is that there isn't any room for roleplaying in this new system...that people have said it's just a board game or miniature game....you are really wrong on this guys. In our last session we fought against another group of adventurers...the other party took 2 of our guys captive with a sleep spell and we did the same thing to them...our Warlord did a long diplomacy encounter talking with the other parties leader and we were both easing the tensions down.....well....tell our dwarf attacked...BUT there was lots of roleplay and after that I was saved from a coup de grace by my girlfriend's character then on my move I marked the wizard that slept me with hunters quarry, leaped to my feet, and twin striked him (hit him with both, critted on one with a scimitar) did somewhere near 4d8 points of damage with all the attacks and whatnot...and had my revenge....very cinematic...very rpish...and I had a blast.

Valdar
06-16-2008, 08:11 PM
In our last session we fought against another group of adventurers...

Consider that plot yoinked ;) The anti-party will be showing up shortly after the PCs get used to mowing down minions by the score.

Webhead
06-16-2008, 08:30 PM
Consider that plot yoinked ;) The anti-party will be showing up shortly after the PCs get used to mowing down minions by the score.

I actually had an idea (never used) for part of an adventure where the PCs end up undergoing bizarre changes to their appearance and wind up transported a short period back in time to be confronted by their past selves. The thing was, I was going to have the PCs control both versions of themselves (my players are good about keeping metagame knowledge out of their heads). This way, I would not only be using the party's own twinkery against them, but I would actually make them use it against themselves. The idea still tickles me. :D

agoraderek
06-16-2008, 08:50 PM
I have played two games with my group since the release and I gotta agree with you. I KNOW there are PLENTY of people feeling unease with this new system but we're all roleplayers here and enjoy D&D in all it's forms. I got in around the end of 2nd edition..and loved every moment of 2nd edition...my best adventure I dmed for was The Apocalypse Stone right before 3rd edition came out. 3rd Edition was an improvement over 2nd edition in play...and I feel the same about 4th. I think you just have to sit down with the system a couple of times and then it really does begin to shine.

This is just my opinion but it's really the same familiar D&D game that you all have grown up but with a lot more ease and enjoyment.

There's one thing I'll argue...is that there isn't any room for roleplaying in this new system...that people have said it's just a board game or miniature game....you are really wrong on this guys. In our last session we fought against another group of adventurers...the other party took 2 of our guys captive with a sleep spell and we did the same thing to them...our Warlord did a long diplomacy encounter talking with the other parties leader and we were both easing the tensions down.....well....tell our dwarf attacked...BUT there was lots of roleplay and after that I was saved from a coup de grace by my girlfriend's character then on my move I marked the wizard that slept me with hunters quarry, leaped to my feet, and twin striked him (hit him with both, critted on one with a scimitar) did somewhere near 4d8 points of damage with all the attacks and whatnot...and had my revenge....very cinematic...very rpish...and I had a blast.

i think part of the problem for the old school players is that this system is such a departure from the previous editions, and so much of the core has changed (lizards, no gnomes, where are the good dragons, the way classes work) that it would be a SERIOUS pita to try and convert our homebrew worlds (and some of these, like Tesral's and mine, have been around a LONG time) that, in a small way, we may feel slighted by the new game. they changed it so much, that it isnt a tweak to "upgrade", its a project.

i dont feel like starting over again and relearning a game ive known how to play for going on 30 years...

Dimthar
06-16-2008, 09:23 PM
... that, in a small way, we may feel slighted by the new game. they changed it so much, that it isnt a tweak to "upgrade", its a project. .

Personally, the New D&D RPG (for the sake of the discussion) is overall a better game than its predecessors. The excitement in my case for this 4E comes mostly from what it looks (again, need to test more) a very good combat and character leveling systems.

Presenting the opportunities for good role-playing to the party is mainly the DM’s job, and the DMG does a very good job in helping the GM in this task.

Also I agree the product is very well presented. Yes, it is more appealing to MMO and Miniatures gamers and that is in my opinion one of its best qualities. As the Flag Game of the RPG industry I really wish it a lot of economic success.

agoraderek
06-16-2008, 09:29 PM
Personally, the New D&D RPG (for the sake of the discussion) is overall a better game than its predecessors. The excitement in my case for this 4E comes mostly from what it looks (again, need to test more) a very good combat and character leveling systems.

Presenting the opportunities for good role-playing to the party is mainly the DM’s job, and the DMG does a very good job in helping the GM in this task.

Also I agree the product is very well presented. Yes, it is more appealing to MMO and Miniatures gamers and that is in my opinion one of its best qualities. As the Flag Game of the RPG industry I really wish it a lot of economic success.

i understand that, and, i begrudgingly agree its a pretty ok looking game, it just isnt d&d to me if i have to change EVERYTHING in my campaign world to switch to the new edition. it isnt a cosmetic change or a tweak, its a whole new system. every edition prior to 4e built on the last, changed a few conventions, but was fundamentally the same game. this, other than using d20 and 3-18 base ability scores (or, should i say, 8-18...) is a whole new animal.

i have gnome pcs and barbarians in my current game. there is no place for them in 4e...

Wiegraf
06-16-2008, 09:48 PM
Hi, new member here and I thought I'd add in my own opinions and experiences about 4th edition as well.

Things have changed a lot from 3rd edition (and hell it did from 2nd) but like the 2 to 3 transition, it seems they've balanced things out.

For example, as some other people mentionned, "Saves" are now defenses and in such, more reactive than active. This also means that in comparison to 3rd edition and lower where you had your party's tank covered in heavy sheets of steel (magical or not) and an AC that went through the roof, well this reality is still present... however, you can always have a character use an attack or power that will target something else than AC. Instead of striking bluntly on armor, why not strike against Reflex or Will? In some way, the 'Defenses' works like 4 separate sets of ACs by themselves.

Most status effects and conditions, as well as durations for negative effects, now last as long as a saving throw isn't successful. And considering that it is now simply a d20 roll with 11-20 being a success, it's highly simplified. Some abilities or traits (like Dwarves' own poison resistance) helps with those as does some abilities granted by the Paladin, Cleric and Warlord.

At-Will, Encounter, Daily and Utilities powers both provide a refreshing set of options for 'non-magical' classes like the Fighter, Rogue, Ranger, etc. by having them use 'Exploits' as a kind of specialized technique. For casters, their At-Will and Encounter powers means they always have a sizeable amount of magic at their disposal and no longer 'run dry' other than when their Daily powers are exhausted. These powers, in the majority of cases, also scales with levels which means that even if you do have some powers that have not yet been swapped for newer, more potent ones, they will gain in strength (yet not to a comparable level of the newer ones, but better nonetheless to not become utterly useless).

Skills have been simplifed into having Trained skills along with your attribute modifiers; no more skill point allocating... but in a way, it makes more sense if your Rogue improves his Thievery, Acrobatics and Stealth with levels and some "Skill Focus" feats along the way naturally; that takes out the somewhat weird phenomenon of a Fighter 'suddently' gaining a full 4 points in Lore when he didn't touch a book between levels.

The three Tiers (Heroic, Paragon and Epic Destiny) also helps to settle in the kind of game you want to play : want a more mundane, earth to earth approach of the game? Use Heroic Tier characters, where their power are above commoners and slightly reknown yet not earth-shaking. Want something more global and impacting? Have your character begin with a Paragon path or a multiclass in the 11-20 range and see how they now are heroes amongst heroes. Want your setting to be completely epic and your characters reach a level of power near that of gods? Epic Destinies will have your players battle for the fates of the planes.

As a side note, I'd like to mention that with Epic Destinies, it does give the players an option of finality with their characters. Each 'Destiny' leads to a form of immortality, either as a legendary figure to live through tales in history or actually moving on to 'something else'. And while it's not mandatory, Epic Destinies allows, in a way, to give a reason for you to say "Alright, my Warlord Ragnar has done his deeds for his mortal life; it's time for him to retire in a grand way so I, as a player, can move to something else". It gives the impression that not only you are doing something 'in' the world for the inhabitants and such, but it also gives you the fuzzy feeling of a job well done once you take your character sheet and hand it in knowing you 'succeeded' at last.

Progression of characters is a bit more hastened than before; going from Heroic to Paragon and Epic Destiny makes you step into another realm of power each time. Feats are singled out in three tables, for each tier, as does powers. Feats now are more numerous it seems and complements your base abilities in a more balanced way. Retraining helps to make adjustments, knowing that your character might notice something just doesn't work for him and focus on something else entirely.

As for Roleplay, as mentionned, the rules have been made to make combat more streamlined; it doesn't last as long (unless you have very shitty rolls) and leaves more playtime for everything else. Skills are used in contests against NPCs in means of dialog, if possible. "Non-combat encounters" englobes everything that doesn't involve drawing a weapon and smacking something with it and gives a good hint that way that there's more than just battles. You could verily spend an entire session in RP and using these skill contests, turn out to gain as much in term of experience as you would have gained spending your time fighting. It feels quite nicely hinted in the DMG that RP isn't lost and rather just handled more easily.

Also, as surprising as it may sound, it took me quite much less time to take in the learning curve of the 4th edition than when I went from 2nd to 3rd. Already, the transition of the former felt more 'newcomer-friendly', this one does even more but doesn't dumb it down to the point that more hardcore players will feel like they have nothing to work with.

All in all, it comes down to personnal preferences... the best way to truly test D&D 4th edition is not with the 'test quests' included in the PHB/DMG : those are good to get used to the new combat mechanics and the use of skills, defenses and powers. The best way is to do as every DM do : create your own fantastic quest and help the PCs evolve through it. THEN you'll see RP isn't gone at all, that the changes are refreshing and that, indeed, it takes from the old and new and creates something different yet similar to what we know.

Engar
06-16-2008, 10:24 PM
Hi, new member here and I thought I'd add in my own opinions and experiences about 4th edition as well.

Welcome to the boards! Now the critique...


...once you take your character sheet and hand it in...

Hey! Hands off! I might lose it in a move, have a whole box of old stuff destroyed by water damage, shoot I might even leave it somewhere accidentally after taking it out to brag... but "hand in" a sheet for a character played into epic levels like some of sort of completed homework? My cold dead hands buddy, my cold dead hands...

Seriously though, welcome aboard.

Aidan
06-16-2008, 10:30 PM
A little background here. I started playing the game with OD&D when I was in High School in 1977, then moved to AD&D in college. I played in a campaign that lasted through 2 school years then DM'd another campaign with some later college chums. I abandoned D&D before 2nd edition came out, because by that time, the inflexibility of the class system was beginning to wear thin. I haven't done much more than thumb through 2nd, 3rd and 3.5 edition D&D. I went from 1st edition to skill based systems, a bit of Traveller but mostly GURPS (Unfortunately, my gaming group wasn't interested in fantasy settings which is my favorite. Instead we played Space, Steampunk and superheroes.)

So, recently I managed to get hold of a copy of the PHB for 4th edition and what I read made me want to give it a shot. It seemed more flexible, allowing for different paths within a class, and more flexibility for everyone. So I found a game and played.

I have a fondness for playing wizards. In OD&D and AD&D a first level wizard was mostly a liability. You wait for what you *hope* is the right moment and shoot off your single spell (Which 99% of the time was sleep) and then you're useless for the rest of the day.

The group I joined had no wizard, so I made one. I was hurling magic missiles and rays of frost right and left, and one time lit off a burning hands (a 5x5 area effect, baby, hells yeah!) I even found a use for a couple of cantrips. I still didn't deal as much damage as the fighter or the rogue, or the ranger, but it was fun. Combat was fast moving and flowing, and everyone had something to contribute.

4th edition is very much removed from what OD&D and AD&D was, yes, but to me that's a lot of its appeal. I think it more faithfully reflects its heroic fantasy roots, Moorcock and Howard and Leibner.

Grimwell
06-17-2008, 01:12 AM
My Amazon order came in last Friday, so I finally have some initial impressions! (Oh, I know you were really waiting on lil old me - NOT)

The System
I like it. A lot. It's fast and flexible. Less time will be spent sorting how things happen, which means more time for why...

The DMG
Best DMG ever. Honestly. Especially for first time DM's. It's not about rules as much as prior editions, it's about running a good game. Understanding your players, understanding how to handle problems, all of that. I'm not finished with it, but I really think it's a great book.

The PHB
Rules intensive. Lots of changes. Everything you need in one book to make a character and understand what it can do. It is a large departure from tradition, but I think it really works.

The MM
Monsters, monsters, monsters! Not every single one of them, but plenty. Good tips on how to match them up for encounters. I like it.

Roleplay
I'm going to really go against people who say 4E is not RP friendly. As noted above, the system tells you how things happen, and makes it fast and easy. This leaves more time for the why of things... which is where roleplay is king. As a DM I can see how I will spend less time worrying over building good encounters and traps that are right for the party. Now I can focus more on why those things are there, and the motivations of NPC's on a higher level. Because the system is time friendly, there is bonus time for things that a system can't cover.

The Bad
I do think that 4E at launch is bad for existing campaigns. No gnomes hurts. No druids/bards as well. You can ignore things like Dragonborn as a DM ruling for a campaign; but to use some discarded classes you have to rebuild them. Honestly, if you are running an old game, wait for the extra books to come out that will cover those missing bases, then consider converting. Doing so before you can view the missing classes and races is just extra work.

The Good
This is a very cohesive system. A very strong set of books. I approve and salute. I was pensive before reading, but optimistic. Now I'm ready to rock. This is a great time to start a campaign.

jkfoote
06-17-2008, 01:48 AM
but cutting away all the rules is taking away what dnd is all about, you want to do something, that isn't in the book, or isn't spelled out in s scenario in 4e, you have to ask someone, in 3.5 there was a rule for that, yea you had to look for it, but isn't that just part of DND, searching for that clinch rule that makes or breaks your crazy plan of survival. and why would a book to run the game, that dosn't have all the rules the best DM ever, they wrote the books so you had to buy all the book. I would venture to say, worst dmg ever.

Grimwell
06-17-2008, 03:53 AM
but cutting away all the rules is taking away what dnd is all about, you want to do something, that isn't in the book, or isn't spelled out in s scenario in 4e, you have to ask someone, in 3.5 there was a rule for that, yea you had to look for it, but isn't that just part of DND, searching for that clinch rule that makes or breaks your crazy plan of survival. and why would a book to run the game, that dosn't have all the rules the best DM ever, they wrote the books so you had to buy all the book. I would venture to say, worst dmg ever.

I think you have run into a matter of opinion. The core question you are attempting to answer is "What is D&D?" and for you the answer is "Not 4th Edition." For you, searching for the rules made the game everything you wanted it to be. I respect that, and understand it.

For me, the question "What is D&D?" is answered with "The experience I have with friends, new and old, at the gaming table." The system is a means to an end. I'd play FUDGE if the majority ruled that way, or (and God help me if it ever came down to this) Rolemaster (too many rules for me) if that was the common game. I'm about the experience with freinds, and the shared adventure.

So 4th Edition with streamlined rules that make it just as possible for a player to have their character attempt anyting -- and getting a fast answer in response instead of ten minutes in the rule books... that's good. For me.

This matter of opinion (the proper answer to the question "What is D&D?") is actually answered in the new DMG. There is a section near the front that talks about player types, and makes the point that a good DM works to discover what makes the game fun for each of the players at the table, and then works to ensure that this sort of fun is possible as a part of the game.

What is D&D? Fun. We all define that by different means and needs -- so I'm very comfortable in enjoying what 4th looks to be for me; faster gaming and quick action so I can enjoy the action and then the roleplay (passing on exhaustive rules searches).

The comment about the DMG being the best ever, is independent of the system to be honest. The same advice could have been written for old AD&D and it would have been just as relevant even in the 1980's. It's a great primer for running any game, in any system. Which is why I'm crowning it, for my purposes, as the best DMG ever. You could literally rip out most of the pages, stuff them in a GURPS manual, and it would still make sense and be of worth.

Farcaster
06-17-2008, 04:06 AM
The Bad
I do think that 4E at launch is bad for existing campaigns. No gnomes hurts. No druids/bards as well. You can ignore things like Dragonborn as a DM ruling for a campaign; but to use some discarded classes you have to rebuild them.

If you haven't already, you might want to take a look at this article (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/20080613a) that gives some advice about converting your 3.5 characters, including advice on converting classes that don't currently exist.

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/20080613a

Webhead
06-17-2008, 09:02 AM
What is D&D? Fun. We all define that by different means and needs -- so I'm very comfortable in enjoying what 4th looks to be for me; faster gaming and quick action so I can enjoy the action and then the roleplay (passing on exhaustive rules searches).

I think that was very well said, grimwell. This is what has me interested in 4e as this is the experience that I've been trying to get from D&D since the "golden days" of our early games. I'm very encouraged to hear that you find similar promise from the game. Please keep us up on your continually evolving opinions of how 4e comes together for you.


The comment about the DMG being the best ever, is independent of the system to be honest. The same advice could have been written for old AD&D and it would have been just as relevant even in the 1980's. It's a great primer for running any game, in any system. Which is why I'm crowning it, for my purposes, as the best DMG ever. You could literally rip out most of the pages, stuff them in a GURPS manual, and it would still make sense and be of worth.

I agree with this as I wanted a DMG that was more about "how to tailor your game to be more fun, exciting and challenging" than a tome of DM-only rules systems. Certainly there are some in the new DMG, but as you say, it's focus has shifted such that it's advice can be valuable to any GM, regardless of play style, campaign or game system. I like that.

Inquisitor Tremayne
06-17-2008, 09:46 AM
First impression of 4e after reading all the books but not playing yet...

Combat is treated very much like a tactical miniature wargame.

Thats my only impression of 4e, otherwise it can (and will be) played just like all the other versions of D&D that I have come across. Except now it will have a mini wargame aspect. and given the fact that I like tactical wargames, well I am a happy camper!:D

The role playing applications has and always will be a manifestation of the DM and the players interactions. Skill Challenges, as I see them, are an optional rule and can be used as a guideline for NEW DMs to create interesting interactions with NPCs. I see them at most as an optional rule. Any experienced DM should be able to take skill challenges and do away with the rolling and simply make it a purely acted ROLE playing scene (if they so choose). I tend to blend the both together, say some lines and roll some dice.

But combat IS wargame-esq!

Webhead
06-17-2008, 10:19 AM
Combat is treated very much like a tactical miniature wargame.

But combat IS wargame-esq!

I think this is probably fair to say. But, importantly, it seems to make combat a faster and more streamlined tactical miniature wargame than 3.X, which is a good thing in my mind. If anything, at least the tactical wargame part of a 4e D&D adventure will run smoother and take up less time leaving more time for all the other non-combat stuff. I was pleased with Star Wars Saga for doing this, and I think I will be pleased with 4e for it as well. I really need a chance to playtest it.

Valdar
06-17-2008, 10:35 AM
Combat is treated very much like a tactical miniature wargame.


That's been true since Chainmail. Not disagreeing with you, but how is this different from every other edition, particularly 3rd?

Inquisitor Tremayne
06-17-2008, 12:29 PM
That's been true since Chainmail. Not disagreeing with you, but how is this different from every other edition, particularly 3rd?

2 points I think.

Point 1: Like Webhead said, its smoother, possibly easier, and faster than combat in 3.x. Which has always been the detractor for me with 3.x. When you have a rules system like 3.x that has a rule or a measurement for every single possible thing your character can do, at some point combat is going to get bogged down with rules. Granted I haven't actually played 4e combat yet, but it is similar enough to SW Saga Edition (which I do play) that I can honestly say that I can tell it is already faster.

As a side note: I have run 15+ consecutive rounds of combat in SW Saga in about 15 minutes. Now that is fast!

Point 2: From reading over the classes and powers it is CLEAR that those things are geared toward miniature combat, more so than 3.x. While the 3.x PHB is mostly what your character can do in combat, I would argue that it isn't clearly emphasized. In 4e you are encouraged to pick your "combat role" and abilities to enhance your adventuring team. THe creation of your character is centered around what they can do in combat. Not always true in 3.x.

Yes Chainmail was a minis wargame and in some regards 4e has gone back to that focus.

There is also greater emphasis on tactics and working as a team. Something that is slightly touched upon in 3.x.

Granted, an individual gaming group can and some probably do play 3.x as a minis wargame but 4e feels better suited to the role now.

Engar
06-17-2008, 12:48 PM
I find that insightful. It is also probably the biggest problem I have with 4e and the less clearly defined problem I had with 3.x. They are more wargame and combat rules. Having never played one (does Risk count? I played Axis and Allies once.) I may have been slower to see it.

We never had a grid for combat in Adv or 2e. We didn't even sit around a table, we all flopped down in a bedroom (we were in high school) on the floor, the bed, a chair if there was one. We had no combat mats and no one grabbed a miniature or ran to a map when initiative was called. The DM said what was out there, kept a rough map of it in his head and when our actions might conflict with his mental picture (because we had a different mental picture) he said no and told us why, we adjusted our mental picture and moved on. The worst time wasters were the casters trying to decide what spell to toss out (our first games we thought casters could only memorize a spell once each, so it made for some creative uses).

Webhead
06-17-2008, 01:20 PM
We never had a grid for combat in Adv or 2e. We didn't even sit around a table, we all flopped down in a bedroom (we were in high school) on the floor, the bed, a chair if there was one. We had no combat mats and no one grabbed a miniature or ran to a map when initiative was called. The DM said what was out there, kept a rough map of it in his head and when our actions might conflict with his mental picture (because we had a different mental picture) he said no and told us why, we adjusted our mental picture and moved on.

This is how all of my earlier (pre-3.X) games were done. The DM might sketch out a rough map on scratch paper if we wanted to know how a dungeon was layed out or some such, but all of the action took place in our heads. The GM established the scene, the players explained their actions and we rolled dice as appropriate. As you say, when mental pictures became muddled, the GM would clarify and explain why something would or wouldn't work and we moved on.

3e seemed to take a different approach (at least with the players I played it with). The game now intrinsically involved elements that were dependent upon very minute and precise measurements (5-foot adjusts, anyone?). Yes, you could casually discard this grid-dependence if you wanted to, but the problem was there there were many abilities that relied upon tracking such detail and players could feel cheated if they ended up spending their character resources (feats, skills, whatever) taking abilities that lost most of their significance without tracking 5-foot squares.

The trickiest part about the whole thing is that some players love it and some hate it. I, for instance, prefer running combats without a battle grid if I can get away with it. I have a couple of players however, who need to have that tactical, concrete sense of where everything is and what they can do to interact with it.

4e doesn't "fix" this reliance upon the battle grid per se, but I think it does the next best thing. It makes the use of the battle grid less of a long-winded, painful process. Less time resolving things on the battle grid means more time off the battle grid (or room for more battles if you group is just interested in that kind of thing) and I appreciate that.

Yeah, I wish I could get my group to embrace the pre-map style whole-heartedly again. To their credit they are all good sports and will take most things in stride. But I know the tactical element holds appeal for at least some of them and I want to make sure I keep their interest. So, if I'm gonna play a game with reliance upon a grid, I would prefer the experience to be as quick and smooth as possible and I think 4e seems to at least be heading in the right direction.

tesral
06-17-2008, 01:45 PM
i think part of the problem for the old school players is that this system is such a departure from the previous editions, and so much of the core has changed (lizards, no gnomes, where are the good dragons, the way classes work) that it would be a SERIOUS pita to try and convert our homebrew worlds (and some of these, like Tesral's and mine, have been around a LONG time) that, in a small way, we may feel slighted by the new game. they changed it so much, that it isnt a tweak to "upgrade", its a project.

i dont feel like starting over again and relearning a game ive known how to play for going on 30 years...

Exactly this is not the D&D I know and love. It's a totally different animal and if I was just starting I might get to like it. However, I'm not just starting. Lizards has said "we don't want you anymore". Fine, i'll take my money elsewhere.

I am not going to rewrite my whole world to fit a new system. And make no mistake, this is not an improvment, it is a new system. Even a switch from 1e to 3e isn't as drastic as converting to 4e.

It is simply not worth the work and the total change in feel.

Valdar
06-17-2008, 01:52 PM
2
Yes Chainmail was a minis wargame and in some regards 4e has gone back to that focus.


Hm... I agree with all your points, but they don't make 4e more of a miniatures game than 3e for me. A better miniatures game, to be sure, for all the reasons you've described, but I don't think it's _more_ of one. If you were using AoOs in 3e (and so many combat moves would have been thrown out of balance if you got rid of them), playing without miniatures wasn't really an option.

Engar
06-17-2008, 01:54 PM
We also had epic (I mean EPIC) battles for which a grid could never suffice. Granted it was not an everyday thing, but we had battles with movement over huge distances (miles), creatures numbering in the thousands where we played a part on one side or the other, or even just starting a simple low level battle with ranged weapons before moving into melee.

These are all nightmares on a grid and take forever to set up and adjust with movement. It is not like I haven't played with one for a long time now, I just better understand my own irritation with it. Also, how I am never the one to bring a grid, sigh when it comes out, set up my crap over it when its on the table before I arrive (I mean books I am not using, dice, maps, notes, anything but a miniature) and retreat behind my screen leaving the players to sort of the pieces. I have also never owned a miniature. No one has ever even thought to buy me one, yet I probably got another rpg book every year for a birthday or Christmas.

I remember a grid suggested for SW too after WotC took over from West End Games. Some sort of 2D excuse for 3D battles.

Inquisitor Tremayne
06-17-2008, 02:01 PM
Hm... I agree with all your points, but they don't make 4e more of a miniatures game than 3e for me. A better miniatures game, to be sure, for all the reasons you've described, but I don't think it's _more_ of one. If you were using AoOs in 3e (and so many combat moves would have been thrown out of balance if you got rid of them), playing without miniatures wasn't really an option.

I think in this case "better" would equal "more" for me. Anyway, I see your point.

However, 3e CAN be run without minis and rather successfully. I don't see that happening with 4e.

Webhead
06-17-2008, 03:02 PM
Exactly this is not the D&D I know and love.

True and this is probably where the debate stems. For me, I have known D&D for 13 years but (other than it being the "gateway" for my RPG habit) I've never really come to love the game. I liked it at times, I disliked it at times, I even outright hated it at times. It's because I've not found that intense attachement to any previous iteration of the game that I'm open to drastic changes to it in the name of hoping it appeals to more of my gaming sensibilities. My "golden days" of playing D&D had nothing to do with what system was being used, so altering some of the games' rules conventions and constructions doesn't offend me.

I'm no RPG noobie, but I'm no old-schooler either. I've played dozens of different RPG systems over the years and I've discerned what I like and dislike in a role playing game. Simply put, if a game appeals to my preferred play styles, I'll play it. If it doesn't, I won't. Lately, D&D 3e was falling into the "won't" category, so if I wanted to continue playing D&D, something was going to have to change...and by the look of 3e, it was going to have to change a lot.


I am not going to rewrite my whole world to fit a new system. And make no mistake, this is not an improvment, it is a new system. Even a switch from 1e to 3e isn't as drastic as converting to 4e. It is simply not worth the work and the total change in feel.

Of course, and this is really nothing new or specific to D&D in any way. There have been many RPGs in the past that have gone through edition changes where some folks just felt like it wasn't worth the hassle to revise everything they've already built. Look at the World of Darkness. Or Gamma World...how many times have the rules for Gamma World changed almost unrecognizably? The Star Wars RPG change from West End Games to WotC was a huge debacle (I was even in on that one and still kept all my old Star Wars stuff because of my fondness for it).

Inquisitor Tremayne
06-17-2008, 03:16 PM
True and this is probably where the debate stems. For me, I have known D&D for 13 years but (other than it being the "gateway" for my RPG habit) I've never really come to love the game. I liked it at times, I disliked it at times, I even outright hated it at times. It's because I've not found that intense attachement to any previous iteration of the game that I'm open to drastic changes to it in the name of hoping it appeals to more of my gaming sensibilities. My "golden days" of playing D&D had nothing to do with what system was being used, so altering some of the games' rules conventions and constructions doesn't offend me.

I'm no RPG noobie, but I'm no old-schooler either. I've played dozens of different RPG systems over the years and I've discerned what I like and dislike in a role playing game. Simply put, if a game appeals to my preferred play styles, I'll play it. If it doesn't, I won't. Lately, D&D 3e was falling into the "won't" category, so if I wanted to continue playing D&D, something was going to have to change...and by the look of 3e, it was going to have to change a lot.

Well said! :clap2:

Maelstrom
06-17-2008, 08:36 PM
True and this is probably where the debate stems. ... I've never really come to love the game. I liked it at times, I disliked it at times, I even outright hated it at times.

I think this assessment is pretty close on target, but let's take it one step further. For many those that don't want to shift to 4e, 3.5 has become D&D to them, and any change from it would be tantamount to blasphemy. They have fallen in love with the system itself, to the point that the identity of D&D has become the system. Others have redefined the system for their own needs, creating a whole new ruleset for their personal interpretation of D&D, but still, that system they have created is now D&D in their minds because they have made it their own.

For others, D&D is less the system of rules itself than it is the story and flavor. +5 holy avenger? That's a holy weapon for a paladin, whether you roll a 1d12 vs a large creatures' thac0 or a 1d8 with a +10 attack roll. The underlying rules have changed, but the flavor remains the same. Facing a dragon? You can bet they're going to make you scared, fly over your head, and blast you with lightning or acid breath, whether its in Basic D&D or D&D Online. Different systems, but the flavor remains the same.

So there you have it, what makes D&D D&D? System or Flavor? If you say Flavor, the next question is, does 4e have that flavor?

agoraderek
06-17-2008, 09:58 PM
well, for me it's about 50/50. the system ,like i've said in other posts, has been, underneath it all, the same since the original three little booklets, and they've gone and changed that. so, its either "start all over, new everything" or "skip it". i'll wind up getting a PHB just to be current for cons and whatnot, but as far as the home game goes, i have too much invested in my campaign to upend everything.

i guess, flavor wise, this is old coke vs new coke. same name, but different products.

Webhead
06-17-2008, 10:08 PM
For others, D&D is less the system of rules itself than it is the story and flavor. +5 holy avenger? That's a holy weapon for a paladin, whether you roll a 1d12 vs a large creatures' thac0 or a 1d8 with a +10 attack roll. The underlying rules have changed, but the flavor remains the same. Facing a dragon? You can bet they're going to make you scared, fly over your head, and blast you with lightning or acid breath, whether its in Basic D&D or D&D Online. Different systems, but the flavor remains the same.

Exactly. Very well put. I still see the same "story" going on in 4e as in every previous edition. I still see the same (fundamentally Tolkien-inspired) fantasy game about powerful spell-slinging wizards, crafty thieves, grizzled warriors, ancient evil dragons, hordes of ravening orcs, trap-filled catacombs, and high adventure. My interest in 4e is whether or not it makes the rules more effortless and unobtrusive yet still rewarding when incorporating them into that story than previous editions. The edition that succeeds the most at this is the edition that I will want to use.

agoraderek
06-17-2008, 10:13 PM
Exactly. Very well put. I still see the same "story" going on in 4e as in every previous edition. I still see the same (fundamentally Tolkien-inspired) fantasy game about powerful spell-slinging wizards, crafty thieves, grizzled warriors, ancient evil dragons, hordes of ravening orcs, trap-filled catacombs, and high adventure. My interest in 4e is whether or not it makes the rules more effortless and unobtrusive yet still rewarding when incorporating them into that story than previous editions. The edition that succeeds the most at this is the edition that I will want to use.

that is all well and good, the story is the same, but this is supposed to be "D&D: fourth version since AD&D", not "Star Wars: Saga" with orcs...

Engar
06-17-2008, 11:27 PM
My interest in 4e is whether or not it makes the rules more effortless and unobtrusive yet still rewarding when incorporating them into that story than previous editions. The edition that succeeds the most at this is the edition that I will want to use.

I am really starting to think that is 2e (with house rules) for me. And it has been all this discussion that leads me to that conclusion.

2e was imperfect and could benefit from some real revamping (v2.5?), but had all I loved most about DnD: variety of characters to rival 3.5, individuality for characters to rival adv, hardly any need for a combat mat, strong independent racial history and personality, a TSR logo, easy rules management to allow individualized campaigns and quick decisions, plenty of materials to draw from in a bind without a glut of 3rd party filler and I doubt anyone questions its "DnD spirit".

There you have it. 2e is the ultimate DnD edition.

Webhead
06-17-2008, 11:53 PM
that is all well and good, the story is the same, but this is supposed to be "D&D: fourth version since AD&D", not "Star Wars: Saga" with orcs...

Nor do I think it is. Certainly there are elements of Star Wars Saga that bleed over into 4e (probably because they lend to a leaner, faster moving game system), but it is a very different beast than Saga. Saga is actually more similar to 3e than it is to 4e. Look at Star Wars Saga's classes and you will see they are much more recognizably 3e than 4e.

Star Wars Saga is definately not "D&D in space" and D&D 4e is definately not "Star Wars Saga with spells".

Webhead
06-17-2008, 11:57 PM
I am really starting to think that is 2e (with house rules) for me. And it has been all this discussion that leads me to that conclusion.

2e was imperfect and could benefit from some real revamping (v2.5?), but had all I loved most about DnD: variety of characters to rival 3.5, individuality for characters to rival adv, hardly any need for a combat mat, strong independent racial history and personality, a TSR logo, easy rules management to allow individualized campaigns and quick decisions, plenty of materials to draw from in a bind without a glut of 3rd party filler and I doubt anyone questions its "DnD spirit".

There you have it. 2e is the ultimate DnD edition.

Yeah, I feel you. I had a D&D "progression and regression" flow of interest. I started with 2e, "upgraded" to 3e, got burned out on 3e and compared BD&D, 1e and 2e to find my "ultimate D&D" again. For the most part, I felt "simpiler and more iconic will give me a better D&D experience"...so it was BD&D all the way. Only one major snag: there's no way in the 9 devilish hells that I'm going to be able to convince any player I know to play BD&D. :Cry:

Engar
06-18-2008, 12:01 AM
At the risk of being a jerk, one zinger... it can't be Saga w/ spells because DnD no longer has spells.

And I would play TSR DnD. I know what you mean about players, but what do they know anyway? Maybe we can gang up on them or I can be a plant ("Hey, Everyone up north where I come from plays old DnD. How backwards are you guys?")

agoraderek
06-18-2008, 12:03 AM
Yeah, I feel you. I had a D&D "progression and regression" flow of interest. I started with 2e, "upgraded" to 3e, got burned out on 3e and compared BD&D, 1e and 2e to find my "ultimate D&D" again. For the most part, I felt "simpiler and more iconic will give me a better D&D experience"...so it was BD&D all the way. Only one major snag: there's no way in the 9 devilish hells that I'm going to be able to convince any player I know to play BD&D. :Cry:

shoot, bust out the basic set, expert set and "isle of dread". im down. and, yes, i used BD&D material in 3x without much of a hitch, too. ;)

agoraderek
06-18-2008, 12:04 AM
At the risk of being a jerk, one zinger... it can't be Saga w/ spells because DnD no longer has spells.

:lol:

Webhead
06-18-2008, 12:48 AM
At the risk of being a jerk, one zinger... it can't be Saga w/ spells because DnD no longer has spells.

Ouch! [Best Rodney Dangerfield Impression] "No respect! I get no respect!" :)

Okay *jab* they're still there, they just work on an egg timer...*bada bing!*

:D:D:D:D:D


shoot, bust out the basic set, expert set and "isle of dread". im down. and, yes, i used BD&D material in 3x without much of a hitch, too. ;)

Hey, I'd be down...except for the whole...distance thing...:)

agoraderek
06-18-2008, 01:07 AM
Ouch! [Best Rodney Dangerfield Impression] "No respect! I get no respect!" :)

Okay *jab* they're still there, they just work on an egg timer...*bada bing!*

:D:D:D:D:D



Hey, I'd be down...except for the whole...distance thing...:)

um, this IS texas, you know, you're just down the street ;)

Webhead
06-18-2008, 08:49 AM
um, this IS texas, you know, you're just down the street ;)

Yep, one very long street..."everything is bigger in Texas" as they say. :rolleyes: :)

Inquisitor Tremayne
06-18-2008, 12:52 PM
D&D Star Wars was the Revised Core Rules (RCR for those of you who don't know already) version of SW.

Saga came along and changed all that for the betterment of everyone. In fact, several folks have taken things from Saga and added it to their 3.5 D&D game for the betterment of their game.

Saga Edition is BY FAR THE BEST WotC d20 game I have ever played. It is easy, simple, fast and fun to GM and it is the choice for me.

In fact, I am slightly disappointed that more elements of Saga did NOT port over to 4e. Condition Track anyone?

But it is close enough to Saga that I am sure, without having actually played it yet, that I will enjoy 4e as much as I do Saga.

And as far as the argument, "This is D&D NOT Star Wars with Orcs." I think we all here are intelligent enough to come up with a better argument then that.

Farcaster
06-18-2008, 01:11 PM
Okay. It's time to throw the gauntlet down. :p I've added a poll to this thread. If you have actually read through 4th edition, what do you think of it? Did you like it, hate it, or what?

With all the nay-saying on every thread, I'm curious if it is a vocal minority that are so adamantly against this edition. Or is it most people who have read it that don't care for it?

Vote away.

Inquisitor Tremayne
06-18-2008, 01:15 PM
I like it!

Don't love it, yet.

Webhead
06-18-2008, 01:26 PM
From what I've seen on paper, I like it. Don't love it yet, but I like it. I don't think I will truly identify my feelings for it until I have had a chance to play it.

The important thing to keep in mind is that, what a game looks like on the printed page and how it plays at the table can be drastically different.

I've experienced this in extremes before. I've read the rule book, loved it, tried to run it...and it all comes crashing down. It's the difference between "theory" and "practice". I'm hoping 4e isn't one of those games.

Valdar
06-18-2008, 01:42 PM
Love it.

Or I should say, I love it back. I know it loves me because it's done such nice things for the amount of time I used to spend preparing adventures, and arguing in favor of difficult rules with sullen players.

I'm sure problems will crop up. At least they're different ones this time.

tesral
06-18-2008, 01:56 PM
Saga Edition is BY FAR THE BEST WotC d20 game I have ever played. It is easy, simple, fast and fun to GM and it is the choice for me.


Can't say you are agreed with. My son actually read the book (bought on preorder) and sent it back as a "travesty". Listed "Failed to meet customers expectations". He wasn't the only one to return the book.

I would say your opinion is not universal.

Inquisitor Tremayne
06-18-2008, 02:12 PM
Can't say you are agreed with. My son actually read the book (bought on preorder) and sent it back as a "travesty". Listed "Failed to meet customers expectations". He wasn't the only one to return the book.

I would say your opinion is not universal.

Hence the "best... I have ever played...".

No game system is for everyone.

Engar
06-18-2008, 02:18 PM
I do not go as far as Tesral in my dislike and I might overcome it eventually. At the moment the honest answer is I do not like it. I like some of its parts (rituals, woot!)and really dislike others. I really wanted to like it, but I just think it kept too much of the system manipulations from 3.x that I hoped it would shed and it shed too much of the story focus of the older editions that I hoped it would expand upon. By story focuse I mean even the little "stories" in the book itself that suggest all these rules you are reading...this is where you want them to take you.

I really wanted simplified skills, a way to allow diverse and interesting spell usage, simplified combat involving more visualizations and less gameboard chess and an efficient and simple revamping of the armor/defense system. I also really would have prefered something more modular. This version seems really hard to customize.

Perhaps options you could take or leave like they used to do depending on how complex or simplified you want your game (like they did with weapon speed..here is one fairly complex way to do it that takes all kinds of things into account if you want, otherwise d8 dmg). Give me choices. This is like people who say keep an open mind, just as long as it is my open mind.

Webhead
06-18-2008, 02:25 PM
Can't say you are agreed with. My son actually read the book (bought on preorder) and sent it back as a "travesty". Listed "Failed to meet customers expectations". He wasn't the only one to return the book.

I would say your opinion is not universal.

Certainly, nor is the opposite opinion.

To make a very interesting point about how severely different people's perspectives can be regarding the same exact thing:

I love Star Wars. I have since childhood when I played with the action figures, watched the movies repeatedly, read novels, etc. I'm actually not a deep the fanboy as many (I've only read about a half dozen of the Star Wars novels, for instance and have never dressed up in a Star Wars costume or made a fan-film :)), but do not challenge my love of Star Wars at its core.

When I discovered RPGs, I loved Star Wars D6. It was, and still is, my favorite RPG of all time, ever. If forced to choose, I would sooner throw out all my other RPGs before I would be rid of Star Wars D6. I played Decipher's Star Wars CCG when I discovered it (loved it, very sad when it went away).

I didn't like the prequel films. I have since gotten past the level of "poisonous-hatred" and accepted them for their (however few) merits, but by and large, the prequels were not what I wanted to see happen to the franchise. Disappointed, but I've coped.

I was wounded when Star Wars D6 gave way to new-fangled d20.

I loathe WotC as a company.

I loathe what d20 has become.

I loathed Star Wars d20 OCR.

I loathed Star Wars d20 RCR.

I originally disliked Star Wars Saga. In fact, my initial reaction was "this would make a better revision of D&D than a Star Wars game".

It wasn't until I was basically given an ultimatum that I reread Star Wars Saga and found a gold nugget.

Basically, the game that I had (and still have) every reason to hate, that should have no appeal at all to mehas someway, somehow convinced me that it is good. It can only have succeeded if there was some actual value to it. Not because it is "new and shiny" or any such nonsense as that (I'm picky, frugal and crotchety as they come) but because it really is a good (but different) Star Wars game.

A huge and very picky Star Wars fan like myself would not have given it the time of day if it were such a complete "travesty". It may not be the right "flavor" for everyone, but that's exactly why different flavors exist. Tell me I'm wrong here...

Engar
06-18-2008, 03:15 PM
Tesral!!! You voted "I don't like it"? I was sure you loathed it. Hanging chads! Hanging chads! I demand a recount!

Inquisitor Tremayne
06-18-2008, 04:17 PM
*snip*

I'm right there with you on everything except the prequels.

If it is Star Wars I love it no matter how horrid it may be. After Episode I was released and I realized it was a let down, then the DVDs came out and I watched EP I over and over and over and it started to grow on me, what I realized then was that if it is Star Wars I will enjoy it. This was further emphasized by the Clone Wars cartoons, the many novels, comics, video games, and roleplaying games.

We all have that one (or two or more) movie that is really bad but we love it anyway.

Sorry to derail the topic but its the same for RPGs also.

Webhead
06-18-2008, 04:35 PM
I'm right there with you on everything except the prequels.

If it is Star Wars I love it no matter how horrid it may be. After Episode I was released and I realized it was a let down, then the DVDs came out and I watched EP I over and over and over and it started to grow on me, what I realized then was that if it is Star Wars I will enjoy it. This was further emphasized by the Clone Wars cartoons, the many novels, comics, video games, and roleplaying games.

We all have that one (or two or more) movie that is really bad but we love it anyway.

Sorry to derail the topic but its the same for RPGs also.

I agree and sometimes I am not as careful about properly describing my opinion of the Star Wars prequels. Like you said, I love them anyway, flaws and all. Heck, I own all 3 on DVD and saw them several times each in the theater. They are still Star Wars and so I still let myself enjoy them for what they are. They do grow on me the more I watch them. I don't agree with everything about them, but I let my own pride go and just let myself have fun. As Obi-Wan once said, I've opened my eyes and "taken a first step into a larger world". ;)

Okay...we now return to your regularly scheduled discussion...

Maelstrom
06-18-2008, 05:09 PM
Excellent perspectives, Inquistor and Webhead. You speak my language :)

About the poll... Love it. The more I read 4e, the more I realize how much blood, sweat, and tears must have gone into getting this thing together, and the more I appreciate the apparent intelligence behind it. Why is there so much vitriol?

Partly because of who you're dealing with... gamers like myself tend to geek out on systems, and fall in love with them if they fill a niche. It's hard to turn back and keep an open mind for something as drastically changing as 4e.

Perhaps partly because of all the marketing done that just gets in the way of describing the underlying reasons why decisions were made. It seems like the marketing was designed to attract either WoTC hardcore fans or new customers, rather than convincing the general audience of DMs and players of the world that the new system could make their game better.

Finally, at least a part of it comes from the utter willingness to change every last element of the game to fit the new style. I'm sure every D&D player has some reason to be offended by the content changes made, be it favorite class, race, monster, or option. This seemed to make people hostile and less willing to give it a fair shake.

Underneath all the layers, my thought is that D&D 4e has reached new levels of impressive game design. It seems to have taken every negative feeling I had about my many years of playing 3.5 and somehow killed them all in one swoop. The designers obviously drew from the advancement of the game design market, which has become a thriving business in board games, card games, miniature wargames, and video games alike. For all this, I think that WoTC could have been served to have a few old diehards on staff so that the brilliant game designers were tempered by the need to keep their current customers. Of course all this is easy to say in hindsight...

Valdar
06-18-2008, 07:18 PM
Hadn't seen this (http://blog.wired.com/underwire/2008/06/dungeons-dragon.html) before, but the Wired reviewer was quite fond of it.

tesral
06-18-2008, 08:20 PM
Tesral!!! You voted "I don't like it"? I was sure you loathed it. Hanging chads! Hanging chads! I demand a recount!

I said a use the word "hate" very reservedly. It's a game. It has yet to form a religion and start killing people. When the Church of 4E has its first pongom, I'll slide into hate.

I have earlier editions and Pathfinder. I have plenty of people that share my point of view.

jkfoote
06-18-2008, 10:40 PM
i'm not for it in any way. The whole things scream World of War craft cheap RP rip off, and everything ive read and experinced and dealt with also says that WOTC is despratly seking as many people as they can and doing the cheapest way possible, I heard a rumor that the paper and ink they used for the books was horrable cheap and it smeard with just a light handling. dI went to my local book store to check out this rumor. Sure enough i ran my fingers over the ink a couple of times and smeared all over. to me that just screams they don't care about the quality, and to show that kind of disrespect to a fan base that has been loyal to a game, NOT WOTC but to DND for over 30 years, just shows that they don't care about people who , just further enforces the idea, that they are just out for as much money as possible. Not I'm not saying that they shouldn't sacrifice all the profits, but charging $40.00 for a book that they used the cheapest ingredients they could find is ridicules. No respect, no respect.

Igbutton
06-19-2008, 12:09 AM
Given that class balance and user friendliness are 2 very major concerns for any MMO and, in my opinion, 2 things 3X could have done better, it's a welcome change. PnP RPGs will always be about the RP to me with the combat coming in second.

And about the smearing.
http://forums.gleemax.com/showpost.php?p=16020187&postcount=13

agoraderek
06-19-2008, 12:15 AM
Okay. It's time to throw the gauntlet down. :p I've added a poll to this thread. If you have actually read through 4th edition, what do you think of it? Did you like it, hate it, or what?

With all the nay-saying on every thread, I'm curious if it is a vocal minority that are so adamantly against this edition. Or is it most people who have read it that don't care for it?

Vote away.

i've read all three books. still feel like WotC told me to take my 30 years of brand loyalty and bump it on down the road...

fmitchell
06-19-2008, 03:38 AM
Semi-off-topic, but SJ Games has a Munchkin Happy 4e Greeting Card (http://www.warehouse23.com/item.html?id=SJG9653). Its benefit in Munchkin depends how you feel about 4e.

tesral
06-19-2008, 08:12 AM
Sure enough i ran my fingers over the ink a couple of times and smeared all over.

:jaw:
I'm stunned. All content aside, that is in excusable. I produce better quality than that off my printer. I have never seen a commercially produced book that smeared. Just ... like ... never.

We shall sit in sack cloth and ashes for the quality that TSR started with AD&D is totally gone.

Skunkape
06-19-2008, 08:23 AM
I heard a rumor that the paper and ink they used for the books was horrable cheap and it smeard with just a light handling. dI went to my local book store to check out this rumor. Sure enough i ran my fingers over the ink a couple of times and smeared all over. to me that just screams they don't care about the quality, and to show that kind of disrespect to a fan base that has been loyal to a game, NOT WOTC but to DND for over 30 years, just shows that they don't care about people who , just further enforces the idea, that they are just out for as much money as possible. Not I'm not saying that they shouldn't sacrifice all the profits, but charging $40.00 for a book that they used the cheapest ingredients they could find is ridicules. No respect, no respect.

I hadn't heard that. I'll need to question the employees of MLFGS and find out if they've had anyone complain about the same thing! If all of the books are like that, then that’s just wrong!

Engar
06-19-2008, 08:40 AM
I pulled out my PHB and can confirm that the ink smeared on each of several tested pages when rubbed with some, yet minimal effort. I then pulled out the 3.5 PHB and did duplicate the result after applying a bit more effort. I then pulled out the 2e PHB and could not duplicate the effect with any amount of reasonable effort. The Adv PHB also had no results. In addition, the paper in the Adv PHB is a heavier weight matte finish. That is the extent of my PHBs.

Note I did not dampen my fingers or rub hard enough to damage the paper. At the time of testing my hands were clean and dry with no known deformities.

The 2e PHB did contain numerous pages loose or coming loose from the binding. This may have been the result of extended usage not present with the other handbooks or another type of poor craftsmanship.

For additional information see consumerreports.com LOL.

Skunkape
06-19-2008, 11:42 AM
Well, I've just returned from a lunch trip to my FLGS and can report that we looked at several 4e books and could not smear the ink. Also, I just tested my 3.5 PH and also could not smear the ink. I happened to have my PH at work with me today.

Anyway, while at the FLGS I looked over the 4e core books and did not like what I saw. Further confirming that about the only way I'll be buying any 4e books is because I'm playing in someone else's campaign and unless my current group self-destructs, well, I won't be buying any of those books at all.

I'm curious as to how you're getting the ink to smear Engar. Is it possible you've gotten some poor quality books? Bad print run or something similar?

clint
06-19-2008, 11:42 AM
After reading, I sort of liked 4E.

Played it two days ago...ABSOLUTELY LOVE how it plays. Did a lot to downgrade many of my doubts about it. Slide someone 2 squares didn't seem all that cool until that target gets slid and OMG! that's not something I've done before because mechanically the game just didn't have a good way to describe a more fluid combat where people move around to avoid being totally creamed which is what moving an opponent represents.

What makes it even better is how much more interactive combat is with the other players. 4E definitely rewards teamwork and paying attention to the other PCs in order to take down the opposition more effectively.

Granted this was just at first level, so don't know how the other levels of play feel, but in 20 years of gaming I've only ever played one character into double digit levels...so I probably don't care how the paragon and epic tiers will play.

The main problem I see is if a player has to miss a session, it has a bigger impact on the game than any edition of D&D ever did.

Edit: It just occurred to me that it was almost the most enjoyable first level combats I've ever had. The most enjoyable would be the first time I ever rolled a d20.

Engar
06-19-2008, 03:13 PM
Not sure how to elaborate more. I used the pad of one finger and moved it up the page maybe an inch or two like if you were pushing a quarter laying flat on a table and then back to the original position. I started very lightly on with the 4e book and got smudges almost immediately on the three pages I sampled. I did the same with the 3.5 book and it took a little harder rub, but likewise smudged each time. I rubbed even harder on the 2e and Adv books with zero smudging.

That's it. I did it more as an experiment. I have no idea if it really matters. I never noticed my 3.5 book having any ink running or causing any "newspaper" effect (for those teenagers and early 20's here... back when people read newspapers it would always transfer ink onto their hands as they held the pages tight or flipped them and could mess up clothes if not cautious). Is is of poorer quality paper or ink? Probably, but 2e bindings sucked too and those monster binders were downright ignorant and I never gave it a second thought (except the monster binders, those ticked me off).

tesral
06-19-2008, 03:36 PM
Well, I've just returned from a lunch trip to my FLGS and can report that we looked at several 4e books and could not smear the ink. Also, I just tested my 3.5 PH and also could not smear the ink. I happened to have my PH at work with me today.


Hummm: Curiouser and curiouser.

I'm willing to bet it has a good deal to do with the oil and acidity level of one's sweat. It can vary a lot from person to person. If you are a ph balanced kind of guy with a low oil factor, you don't affect it as much.

The fact anyone can do it is disturbing. I have smeared ink on glossy magazines before, never in a book. I don't like that fact that the books are made no better than a weekly news mag.

Well nothing I have to worry about.

Inquisitor Tremayne
06-19-2008, 03:46 PM
Mine have not smeared.

Yet, I have not TRIED to smear them either.

Valdar
06-19-2008, 04:12 PM
You had me curious, so I tried it.

The ink eventually smears, a little bit, in places- not to the point that the text comes off completely, but just so it discolors the background a little. Nothing like a newspaper.

Comparing it to earlier editions is pointless, though- the entire book is full color plates. How much color was in the 2e or 1e books? How vivid or deep were the colors? If you took a color photo or made a color photocopy, would you expect it to stand up to the same treatment that you're giving the book?

Aidan
06-19-2008, 04:50 PM
I tried smearing the ink on my book. Even licked my finger and didn't get noticible smearing on a text page. From the reports I've read it seems to vary, possibly by print run (mine appears to be the 9th (!) print run).

I'm not really up on the publishing industry, but I don't believe WotC actually prints the books, they publish them and subcontract the printing.

ryan973
06-19-2008, 05:18 PM
I work as a printer and can tell you in all honesty that yes they used the cheapest ink and paper around.
Nothing to do with the system, i am not saying this out of hate they simply used really cheap stock. I am not sure why unless mabie they think if the book does not last then people will buy another one.
Also even though the same ink was used on all the books at my local game store i was only able to smudge about four of the ten.Of course that means nothing as over time poor qoulity ink like that is goin to fade and seep anyway.
I did not wet my finger or push to hard or any thing and the paper can rip easily. My own copys are preatty bad. I would have thought that after having heard that one of the main complaint about keep on the shadowfell was printing quality and such that they would have thought better but i am sure everything was sent to print by then.
Also in all honesty if you dotn work in printing and you wan tot save soem money it could be that they did not relize when they decided on the stock that it would not hold up. I would say wait and see if the rest of there products for fourth are bad quality. If not then it was a mistake and if so then they suck.

tesral
06-19-2008, 05:27 PM
You had me curious, so I tried it.

The ink eventually smears, a little bit, in places- not to the point that the text comes off completely, but just so it discolors the background a little. Nothing like a newspaper.

Comparing it to earlier editions is pointless, though- the entire book is full color plates. How much color was in the 2e or 1e books? How vivid or deep were the colors? If you took a color photo or made a color photocopy, would you expect it to stand up to the same treatment that you're giving the book?

A color photocopy, provided it is a real photo copy, not an inkjet is near indestructible. That is why I said I print higher quality than that. I have a color laser printer.

Actually the 3.x core books have color on every page. The lines I so detest are printed on not part of the paper. So every page in the thing went through a color process system, whether it has color art or not.

2ed has black and blue ink with occasional color plates. 1st ed has no color inside and is not printed on glossy paper. However it has the best binding of any of the D&D editions, bar none. If you need to beat down a BAD DM , keep an 1ed AD&D DMG in your book bag. You won't hurt it.

I've heard more than a few comment on the thickness of the paper used in 4e. That could be both to keep costs down and to keep thickness down. 288 pages is larger than the 3.x PHB.

The smearing thing, that bothers me.

Going cheap on the paper is nothing new. Hero 5th Ed Revised is printed on a low grade paper slightly better than newsprint. A 50 dollar book mind you. A 582 page 50 dollar book. At least the paper is reasonably thick if not glossy or well bleached. All B&W too. It's that page count that kills you. Do not drop on toes.

The smearing ink, that really does bother me.

Anaesthesia
06-19-2008, 07:02 PM
I feel the need to somewhat explain the way I voted in the poll the way I did.

To be completely honest, I hated it. For one, I don't like change (change is BAD; although one DM I knew would say I'm stubborn). Aside from the 2 things I did like in the book, I felt like I needed one of those easy buttons. There were a half dozen or so times that I read the book over the last week and a half that I owned the PHB where I said "HUH??" and got completely confused and had the overwhelming feeling I needed a translator and thus put the book down. The first two days I had it I was completely disappointed and was somewhat depressed (I missed Gimble, Gnomes (I know, in the Monster Manual) and the Bard class. I can't be sad about that?) Then I was a little angry. Now I'm at a happy medium where I wished I hadn't wasted my money on the PHB. I'm still tempted to find the receipt and demand my money back from Borders. I highly doubt I'll ever buy the DMG and the Monster Manual.

Maybe the only way to change my opinion (or not) is to play a game of 4.0. (Although, in my case, trying to be open-minded about a game that's mostly disappointed me and trying to play it has always backfired on me. I think I'm cursed.)

(I am completely expecting people being mad at me about what I said above. *shrug* I can't help it!!)

Igbutton
06-19-2008, 07:42 PM
(I am completely expecting people being mad at me about what I said above. *shrug* I can't help it!!)

What are we? Gamefaqs? WotC forums? You have every right to have a opinion.

This is one of the last places I would expect to see someone jump down another person's throat for being wrong on the internet.

Webhead
06-19-2008, 08:32 PM
What are we? Gamefaqs? WotC forums? You have every right to have a opinion...

Absolutely. That's virtually the entire purpose of a forum like this...to share opinions.

It's okay. It's just a game. Some will like it for their own reasons and others will dislike it for different, or even the very same, reasons.

That's what brings this forum to life. How active has this site been since the release of 4e? That means peoples' brains are churning and that is always good. :D

Anaesthesia
06-19-2008, 09:00 PM
Now I don't feel so bad!! Thanks. ;)

Valdar
06-20-2008, 02:45 AM
I (I am completely expecting people being mad at me about what I said above. *shrug* I can't help it!!)

Yeah, people freak out about the littlest things. This board in particular seems to be unusually free of those sorts of things, though.

My reaction to your post is that I want to find out what you find confusing about the books- not because I'm interested in converting you personally to 4e, but mostly because I'd like to anticipate the problems my players will be having, and it's easier to explain things to them when I've had some time to think beforehand.

Also, the missing stuff is not gone for good- it's under construction. There have been some good things in previous editions of D&D that the designers need some extra time and input to determine what their place is in 4e, which is why things like bards, druids, half-orcs, barbarians, etc. will have to wait for future core books. And, they want more money.

tesral
06-20-2008, 10:17 AM
My reaction to your post is that I want to find out what you find confusing about the books- not because I'm interested in converting you personally to 4e, but mostly because I'd like to anticipate the problems my players will be having, and it's easier to explain things to them when I've had some time to think beforehand.


Compared to past edition the character creation section is terse. It's almost as if they expect you to understand the mechanics intuitively.

Now as usual I skiped the "How to play the game" chapter. Mayby I shouldn't have.

Webhead
06-20-2008, 12:42 PM
Compared to past edition the character creation section is terse. It's almost as if they expect you to understand the mechanics intuitively.

Now as usual I skiped the "How to play the game" chapter. Mayby I shouldn't have.

Yes, "How to play the game" and the "Making Characters" chapters cover the info a player will need to understand their character within the rules (including attack rolls, skill and ability checks, attributes, hit points, etc). Pages 30-31 are especially convenient as they tell you how to fill in or calculate each of the values on the character sheet.

The general writing style of most system elments in 4e is overall sort of terse and direct, but I'm finding that it makes for an easy and efficient read of the book and am growing to like. I find that I can move through reading of the book much more quickly than past versions of the PHB. The language feels a little easier to wade through and does not clutter the mind so much as to require a lot of re-reading.

agoraderek
06-20-2008, 07:56 PM
Yes, "How to play the game" and the "Making Characters" chapters cover the info a player will need to understand their character within the rules (including attack rolls, skill and ability checks, attributes, hit points, etc). Pages 30-31 are especially convenient as they tell you how to fill in or calculate each of the values on the character sheet.

The general writing style of most system elments in 4e is overall sort of terse and direct, but I'm finding that it makes for an easy and efficient read of the book and am growing to like. I find that I can move through reading of the book much more quickly than past versions of the PHB. The language feels a little easier to wade through and does not clutter the mind so much as to require a lot of re-reading.

i think thats the crux of my problem with 4.0. the previous rewrites (2nd ed, 3x) assumed you were already a d&d guy. hence, it was "ok, this is different, but not radically so, i know how to do this". the new edition is a complete rewrite of the paradigm, and is not in any way backward compatable. 3.x, for instance, didnt radically change anything but some combat conventions, really, and was an easy upgrade, compatable without much work with previous editions.

4.0 almost required either a) you completely retool your 30 year old campaign, or b) you scrap eveything and start fresh.

tesral
06-20-2008, 09:52 PM
i4.0 almost required either a) you completely retool your 30 year old campaign, or b) you scrap eveything and start fresh.

c) Do neither and don't make the sidegrade.

agoraderek
06-20-2008, 11:20 PM
c) Do neither and don't make the sidegrade.

that's the plan...

its funny you didnt delete the intial "i" of my quote, so it came out "i4.0". hmmm, a little apple seepage, i like it...

tesral
06-21-2008, 12:22 AM
that's the plan...

its funny you didnt delete the intial "i" of my quote, so it came out "i4.0". hmmm, a little apple seepage, i like it...

Something else not worth the coin they ask.

ronpyatt
06-21-2008, 09:13 AM
Compared to past edition the character creation section is terse. It's almost as if they expect you to understand the mechanics intuitively.
My boyfriend found 4e much easier to understand and create a character than in 3.5, which was very frustrating for him, consequently leaving the character creation up to me.

frank634
06-21-2008, 07:49 PM
Well, I will put in my two cents on 4th edition.

First, I will say, I really like the new rules set. It makes the hero's truely heros of the game. Adventurers should be "grand people" and not just a better then average person.

I do like how the whole game is based around powers. In fact, it became very easy to come up with a system to track power usage. (I create index cards that track this). Even magic items have powers that can also be tracked easily.

I love the Rituals in that you don't have to be a special class to have them, just a feat. This was a fantastic turn for the better in the game.

The idea that Fortitude, Reflex, and Willpower are like AC was also a big step forward. It really expaned the whole combat system. Likewise the idea of Saving Throws being changed around was also brilliant.

The healing surge is brillent. When I first read it, I was a bit concerned about it, but after play testing it, I found it to be perfect for the game.

The combat system became a lot simpler to understand. In fact, in my playtesting, I had a friend who never played D&D or any RPG for that matter help me. He picked up on the combat rules faster then I did. It took me a bit to get the 3.5 rules out of my head.

All in all, a great system. I am sure there will be changes (and at the time i wrote this, there is already a posted erreta for the game). But all in all, a great system. I look forward to playing the game in a real group.

Genzodus Thoth
06-23-2008, 12:30 PM
I have never played D&D. This is simply because I haven't found a group to play with. Regardless, I have been reading the 3.5 rules for nearly a year and even posting a little in the Wizards forums. After having read the 4th ed. rules, I had this to say:

I really don't like it. While I do believe that the melee classes seriously needed a boost to keep up with the casters (and martial adepts definitely aren't a solution), the casters shouldn't be limited as a result. Essentially, all Wizards did was combine the sorcerer and warlock classes to get the new "wizard". What happened to the amazing spell versatility? Sure, letting casters wear armor and have weapons that actually improve their ability to cast is great, but not if it costs them their soul.

Also, while I do agree that getting away from stockpiles of magic items is a good thing, the characters' stats are now way too high, and with action points and healing surges, it's become more like anime than fantasy. Of course, that is because Wizards is a company and wants to make a profit. Even the people that "hate" anime tend to gravitate towards it if it has a western shell, i.e. most of the recent MMOs. I like anime, and I like fantasy, but I've only read one manga that successfully merges the two, and it's not by WotC. If I'm playing a fantasy roleplaying game, I'd like to play with sickly mage-types like Raistlin and Elric, not Naruto or Ichigo.

Webhead
06-23-2008, 01:18 PM
Wizard was always one of my favorite (yet strangely least-played) classes but I always tended to try to get away from the "scrawny book-worm with a big, white beard" stereotype. Gandalf is my favorite literary wizard by far, but I don't want to feel like I'm playing "Gandalf's alternate-dimension identical twin".

I like an element of surprise about a character (ex: if everyone looks at a Halfling and assumes it's a Rogue, how surprised will they be when he turns out to be a tough-as-nails fighter) and so I tend to play against the type.

Though my experience regarding Wizards in 4e is only "what's on paper" and haven't played it, I'm finding the appeal of the changes to how a Wizard's spells work. I've never liked "fire and forget" spell systems, but I've never found a happy alternative in previous editions either.

Since D&D hasn't gone (and likely never will) with a more "conceptual, effect-based" magic system akin to Mage: The Ascension (and in some ways, maybe that's for the best), the At Will/Encounter/Daily/Utility/Ritual system seems to open up some alternate possibilities.

As much love as I have for the Ranger class from pre-3e editions of D&D, when/if I ever play in a 4e game, I think I'll have to make my first character a Wizard to see if they've really changed them for the better.

Tamerath
06-23-2008, 01:34 PM
Webhead I think you'll find out that BOTH Ranger and Wizard play wonderfully in 4th edition. I've played a Ranger in 2 games so far and I've played along side a Wizard and they are powerful as well.

ithil
06-23-2008, 02:17 PM
Wizard was always one of my favorite (yet strangely least-played) classes but I always tended to try to get away from the "scrawny book-worm with a big, white beard" stereotype. Gandalf is my favorite literary wizard by far, but I don't want to feel like I'm playing "Gandalf's alternate-dimension identical twin".

Gandalf: 1. Balrog: 0. Stereotype: 0.

SpiffyBananaFoot
06-24-2008, 02:59 PM
I like it. I only started playing again a few months ago and that was my first D&D experience since 2nd ed. Our group just created chars last weekend and we haven't started playing yet, but I have a feeling that I am going to be likeing 4ed better than 3.5. It just took me a bit to wrap my head around needing to basically learn an entirely new system from 3.5 to 4ed.

trechriron
06-25-2008, 01:18 AM
Didn't read the whole thread. Here's my take;

I bought the core rules and the preview adventure. I read most of them. It's certainly got some neat improvements and ideas. In the end I find Savage Worlds to be much easier to run and more to my tastes. So I am going to drop out of the D&D race again this round.

There is nothing "wrong" with this edition, just too many powers and fiddly bits to memorize and grok and then configure and then guess how they work while I GM. Now, contrary to my feelings, the DMG is an excellent resource for a new GM and I think it could be a universal tool truth be told.

The PHB put me to sleep upon several attempts to read it. It doesn't inspire me. I like the new "planes" and the way creatures are displayed (even if it makes my generic RPG genes twinge a bit...). mixed feelings really, and my game of choice makes me happy so I have no need to jump in right now.

I imagine D&D fans will love it and play it and for that, I am happy! :D

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-25-2008, 05:59 PM
I liked it. Of course, i liked all the editions.

Thoth-Amon

agoraderek
06-25-2008, 06:32 PM
I imagine D&D fans will love it and play it and for that, I am happy! :D

i think its running 50/50 right now, depending on what the person's perspective on what constitutes "d&d" is. its a decent system, just doesn't have the "flava" from my point of view...

Farcaster
06-29-2008, 03:34 PM
So, at the end of the day, it looks like about 58% of us had a positive reaction to 4th edition, 28% had a negative reaction, and 13% were neutral. That suggests that the uproar about 4th edition, at least here on our forums, is by a vocal minority. I wonder how these numbers will change over the course of the next year as people settle into the next edition. Will the approval ratings slip, or perhaps will some of the naysayers come over to the dark side after giving the game a try? It would be interesting to do another poll like this on the eve of 4th editions first birthday.

Webhead
06-30-2008, 09:57 AM
...It would be interesting to do another poll like this on the eve of 4th editions first birthday.

You have me curious about this as well.

Moritz
06-30-2008, 04:12 PM
Since we have like 30 D&D4e threads going, I can't filter through every one of them and see if my question has been answered.

My question is:

Where did all the spells go?

Valdar
06-30-2008, 04:19 PM
Since we have like 30 D&D4e threads going, I can't filter through every one of them and see if my question has been answered.

My question is:

Where did all the spells go?

Depends on what you mean- are you talking about the spells that got a lot of use that are now at-will, encounter and daily Arcane and Divine powers? Or utility spells that are now Rituals? Some have become class abilities or aspects of skills (like Detect Magic is now part of Arcana).

A lot of them weren't that different from other spells, and have been woven together into a single thematic spell. Others were unbalanced one way or the other (too wimpy to waste a spell slot on, so powerful it's mandatory, or so useful it made Rogues redundant).

Anyway, I think there will be many, many more rituals in supplements to come, such as this one:

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=products/dndacc/9780786949571

Webhead
06-30-2008, 04:19 PM
My question is:

Where did all the spells go?

Spells are in the section for each respective spell-casting class (i.e. Cleric spells are in the "Cleric class" section).

Spells are the class powers of the spell-casting classes. The At Will/Encounter/Daily/Utility powers that Clerics, Wizards, Warlocks, etc. get are their spells.

Also, near the end of the book is a chapter on "Rituals" which are spells that can be cast by any class that spends the effort (feats, skills, etc.) to learn them.

Sethannon
07-01-2008, 09:51 AM
So, at the end of the day, it looks like about 58% of us had a positive reaction to 4th edition, 28% had a negative reaction, and 13% were neutral. That suggests that the uproar about 4th edition, at least here on our forums, is by a vocal minority. I wonder how these numbers will change over the course of the next year as people settle into the next edition. Will the approval ratings slip, or perhaps will some of the naysayers come over to the dark side after giving the game a try? It would be interesting to do another poll like this on the eve of 4th editions first birthday.

New here, but I thought I'd comment on this.

Yes, people will change considerably. I remember when I first started playing back in the first ed. of D&D people had their problems with some things and changed what they needed. As each version came out, you had hard liners that refused to update. Back when 3rd ed. came out, I'd had about enough and was the exact same thing as now, a very vocal minority of dissent.

Comically, a LOT of people that are now pro 3.x and trashing 4th ed. are the same people that ripped us older players because we wouldn't update and change. Really, for me, it just became a factor of "I've already got a crazy amount of books I've collected, it's just not worth it to me to update." But I did raise hell about 3rd ed. and WotC buying T$R.

I must say it's funny to see things come full circle, in many ways, but having been through this a few times I will agree, people will die down and you'll have people like me that just stick with our old system and hoard our old books.

Webhead
07-01-2008, 10:16 AM
...I must say it's funny to see things come full circle, in many ways, but having been through this a few times I will agree, people will die down and you'll have people like me that just stick with our old system and hoard our old books.

I tend to see 5 different "camps" of thought on the "conversion issue" regardless of what RPG we're talking about. None of them are more "right" or "wrong" than the other, just different:

1) Those who will cling to a previous version

2) Those who will cling to a new version

3) Those who will play neither

4) Those who will play both

5) Those who don't care

Just something that drifted into my mind when I read Sethannon's post.

Farcaster
07-01-2008, 10:19 AM
Sethannon, when 3rd edition came out, I too was very resistant to converting to it from 2nd edition even though I had friends who were insisting that it was so much better. I railed against some of the 3rd edition changes as unbalanced without having a full understanding of the system -- i.e. "Rogues can backstab even if I'm facing them? And for fireball damage? WTH? No way." That is the very reason that I resolved to keep an open mind with 4th edition. And, honestly, I am glad I did, because it looks to be a pretty good game.

Sethannon
07-01-2008, 10:49 AM
Ha! I said some of the exact same things.

I must admit, the things I've HEARD from 4 ed I don't particularly care for, but I have to say I haven't fully read everything on it yet either. I'll hold my final opinion until then.

Being a stick-in-the-mud, I guess it won't be my thing, but then again, I said the same thing about 3.0, and ultimately I changed my mind to being somewhat indifferent with the 3.x series.

agoraderek
07-01-2008, 12:47 PM
4e isn't a bad gaming system at all. and i was one of the early adapters of 3.x, it did things i was houseruling anyway. but, between the snarky attitude WotC had early on, and the change of some of the core races and classes, and the way characters can use their abilities (at will, encounter et al), the GSL and stuff like that, this game breaks with the past, making D&D wholey WotC's game now. and, yeah, some of the old guard are up in arms, some just shaking their heads, but they'll either a) get over it and adapt, b) take advantage fo the fact that 3x isn't dead, as a few 3pps are still releasing stuff under OGL, c) continue playng 1st or 2nd ed, like they did when 3x came out, or d) take up bridge.

[edit: im example "b", btw]

Webhead
07-01-2008, 04:59 PM
4e isn't a bad gaming system at all. and i was one of the early adapters of 3.x, it did things i was houseruling anyway. but, between the snarky attitude WotC had early on, and the change of some of the core races and classes, and the way characters can use their abilities (at will, encounter et al), the GSL and stuff like that, this game breaks with the past, making D&D wholey WotC's game now. and, yeah, some of the old guard are up in arms, some just shaking their heads, but they'll either a) get over it and adapt, b) take advantage fo the fact that 3x isn't dead, as a few 3pps are still releasing stuff under OGL, c) continue playng 1st or 2nd ed, like they did when 3x came out, or d) take up bridge.

[edit: im example "b", btw]

I was an early adapter of 3.0 in its infancy. I was running games with what little info was trickling out of EnWorld before the books were released. I thought, "here's a game that gives us a new way to play D&D". I'll admit to liking it in the early days, before it got bloated. It was a novel idea and it added many new-fangled bells and whistles to D&D that I thought were cool (feats, distinct, unified skill rules, new saving throws, completely redone multi-class system). But maybe that's indicative of me. I like the ideas behind the D&D genre and I'm always looking for a "better way to play". 4e may or may not be "it", but I suppose I'll only know that when I try it.

agoraderek
07-01-2008, 05:25 PM
I was an early adapter of 3.0 in its infancy. I was running games with what little info was trickling out of EnWorld before the books were released. I thought, "here's a game that gives us a new way to play D&D". I'll admit to liking it in the early days, before it got bloated. It was a novel idea and it added many new-fangled bells and whistles to D&D that I thought were cool (feats, distinct, unified skill rules, new saving throws, completely redone multi-class system). But maybe that's indicative of me. I like the ideas behind the D&D genre and I'm always looking for a "better way to play". 4e may or may not be "it", but I suppose I'll only know that when I try it.

i played a bit at the FLGS on free game day. not a bad system, but it didn't "feel" right to me. maybe it was the people i was playing with, maybe it was my gf (who just started playing last year) asking me what all the new stuff meant and i couldn't just rattle off the answers, or maybe im just a stubborn old coot, who knows.

as far as bloat, i've always run a "rules light" game anyway, so saying "no" to stuff out of splat books was always easy for me. i play by the "if the book is at the table, from MY library, its in the game, if not..." rule.

im sure, after WotC has had time to release a bunch of new books, 4e will bloat nicely as well.

Webhead
07-01-2008, 08:59 PM
...im sure, after WotC has had time to release a bunch of new books, 4e will bloat nicely as well.

Undoubtedly. That's how it goes, I guess.

tesral
07-01-2008, 11:10 PM
im sure, after WotC has had time to release a bunch of new books, 4e will bloat nicely as well.

Like a dead whale in the sunshine. History indicate that will be the trend.

I never was a buy every book made for it type. Looking at the shelf I can span every book from any edition with one hand. I have ten 1e books, and that is the most from any single editon.

I look at Forry as a chance to save money.

agoraderek
07-03-2008, 01:58 AM
I have ten 1e books, and that is the most from any single editon.

im going to guess: phb, dmg, mmI, mmII, fiend folio, unearthed arcana, dungeoneer's survival guide, wilderness survival guide, manual of the planes, and i have no idea what the tenth would be...

tesral
07-03-2008, 02:16 AM
im going to guess: phb, dmg, mmI, mmII, fiend folio, unearthed arcana, dungeoneer's survival guide, wilderness survival guide, manual of the planes, and i have no idea what the tenth would be...

Deities & Demigods, the first edition of same.

agoraderek
07-03-2008, 02:24 AM
Deities & Demigods, the first edition of same.

doh! *headslap*

they have one in very good condition at the FLGS for $80. im thinking about it...

tesral
07-03-2008, 02:27 AM
doh! *headslap*

they have one in very good condition at the FLGS for $80. im thinking about it...

Personal opinion? It's not worth it.

agoraderek
07-03-2008, 02:37 AM
yeah, but im trying to piece together my collection i lost in a fire. sentimental value and all.

the only books i have right now are 3.5 core and some 3.x forgotten realms stuff, a few issues of the paizo dungeon and dragon mags, and some stuff i picked up at free game day last week...

they also have all of the 1e core books (alas, no PHBs before the 6th printing...), the mm2, ff, dsg, wsg, et al, along with a good chunk of the old 1e modules available. only the 1st printing of the dieties and demigods is expensive, they're selling the rest for about $10 each.

and, yes, all of the unearthed arcanas they have are a bit loose in the middle ;)

tesral
07-03-2008, 11:55 AM
yeah, but im trying to piece together my collection i lost in a fire. sentimental value and all.

I hear you. Do you need the 1st edition or will having one do? I have a spare, contact me private if a later printing will suffice. If not, snap that sucker up. It's not getting cheaper.

drewshi
08-15-2008, 06:50 AM
So far, this and the last poll I saw about the 4th edition rules, does not take the player/DM who only plays another edition into effect. I have always and will always only play 1st edition. I'm sure part of the reason for doing this is so you can avoid the slaggers and I appreciate that, but there should be a way for the non-users to voice their opinion. I choose not to use any other version of the rules as Gary Gygax himself always said that the 1st edition rules were maliable. If a rule didn't work for you, make it work your way. Putting out these future editions is simply a way to line the pockets of then TSR and now Wizards. It's a waste of time, especially when they had great supplimental material for those who wanted more rules like Dragon and Dungeon Magazine.

Webhead
08-15-2008, 10:37 AM
So far, this and the last poll I saw about the 4th edition rules, does not take the player/DM who only plays another edition into effect. I have always and will always only play 1st edition. I'm sure part of the reason for doing this is so you can avoid the slaggers and I appreciate that, but there should be a way for the non-users to voice their opinion...*snip*...Putting out these future editions is simply a way to line the pockets of then TSR and now Wizards. It's a waste of time, especially when they had great supplimental material for those who wanted more rules like Dragon and Dungeon Magazine.

And there lies the rub of "edition wars". Some people are satisfied with using a game "as is" or tweaking what already exists for personal use, and some want to see "official" evolution of a game as the result of their voiced opinions on what they feel does or doesn't work. Those players don't want "more" rules so much as they want easily-accessible "revised or retooled" rules that are easy to justify within their games.


I choose not to use any other version of the rules as Gary Gygax himself always said that the 1st edition rules were maliable. If a rule didn't work for you, make it work your way.

This is an excellent example of player divergence. I completely agree with the idea of "malleable rules". I got my feet wet with the Star Wars D6 RPG with one of its cardinal rules being: "If a rule gets in the way of a good time, ditch it". However, I've met some players who are very vigorously opposed to this idea. To them, the rules are the capital "T" truth and must be adhered to at all times...they exist for a reason and that reason is to be used. I'm not saying one or the other approach is right or wrong, but it is different, and that's why we tend to see so many revisions, erratas, rewrites, retcons and new editions of RPGs (and, in fact, why there are a billion different rules systems). Everybody's idea of what an RPG "should be" and how to best emulate that is just slightly different.

Me, I'd have no problem playing/running a 1e AD&D game. I do know some folks, however, who would refuse to.

Farcaster
08-15-2008, 11:36 AM
Putting out these future editions is simply a way to line the pockets of then TSR and now Wizards.

Drewshi,

I'm not sure which other poll you were looking at, but this particular one is an opinion poll on 4th edition. I'm not sure what relevance having poll selections on other editions would have in this particular context.

I take issue with your statement that the only benefit new editions has brought is to the pocketbook of WotC/TSR. I played 1st edition, and frankly, if all they did in 2nd edition was reorganize the tables and charts so that things were easier to find, it would have been worth putting out a new version of the books. But, they went further than that. Every edition has expanded on the ideas of its predecessor, and I personally have seen things get better with every version.

So, while I respect that you may prefer 1st edition, there are lots of people out there who have enjoyed and preferred the newer versions. It is disingenuous to say that there have been no improvements or reasons to put out new editions beyond monetary reasons.

Thriondel Half-Elven
08-15-2008, 12:01 PM
My initial thoughts were. . . "Cool! this should be a nice way to restart roleplaying. we can all start on the same page."

got the books. read through them. tried to make some characters with my group. we abandoned it and went back to 3.5

Simon2010200
08-15-2008, 01:18 PM
Love the rules/mechanics, Hate the core setting. If somebody would write a great setting for it, it would be an awesome set of rules. Take away all the fluff and descriptions its actually quite 1st edition.

tesral
08-16-2008, 12:25 AM
Love the rules/mechanics, Hate the core setting. If somebody would write a great setting for it, it would be an awesome set of rules. Take away all the fluff and descriptions its actually quite 1st edition.

One is always free to create there own world. Many of us do in fact.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
08-16-2008, 12:46 AM
Homebrew your own world, as tesral suggests. I like to use an alternate Earth in history.

As for me, i like 4E. Simpler rules and all, and yes, it does have a 1E feel.

Thoth-Amon

rabkala
08-16-2008, 02:53 AM
The whole release of 4e depressed and aggravated me from the beginning. So much so, that even talking about it sent me into fits for many months (how long have I been gone? In fact, even reading this thread brings up bad feelings... )

Since I have been around since nearly the inception of D&D , and changed with every eddition, I figured I would grow to love it. I still might. I was a 2e holdout who grew to love 3x. I tried to get excited and supportive of it's release...

I have looked briefly at the books at the game store. Some things seemed 'cool' while others, not so much. I guess at this point I will leave it.

This weekend I start a third game as a 3.5 edition player. I DM two groups now of 3x, mostly old-timers like myself. Of the 12-15 guys in my gamer circle, only one has bought any 4e (and I banned it's very presence, even as a curiosity). I had bought nearly every book of every edition at least once until now.

I just do not need it at this point...

Too negative? Too close minded? The insane rambling of a senile hippie? Why am I posting in this thread?
Whatever, Just do what makes you happy.

Simon2010200
08-16-2008, 07:59 AM
One is always free to create there own world. Many of us do in fact.

That is what I have done for my current campaign.
But i'm a middle aged DM with a bunch of middle aged players, and life gets in the way alot of the time. So my group needs a more plug and play approach. I've ended up just changing phb races, and deities.
But what I'd really would of liked is a great setting book for 4E.

Dimthar
08-16-2008, 10:12 AM
Too negative? Too close minded? The insane rambling of a senile hippie? Why am I posting in this thread?
Whatever, Just do what makes you happy.

You are not senile, just experienced. I know you guys miss Favre ... but the good days will come back, you will see.

I heard the snow is already in Colorado, must likely you will be getting some soon. :smow:

InfoStorm
08-16-2008, 03:50 PM
I take issue with your statement that the only benefit new editions has brought is to the pocketbook of WotC/TSR. I played 1st edition, and frankly, if all they did in 2nd edition was reorganize the tables and charts so that things were easier to find, it would have been worth putting out a new version of the books. But, they went further than that. Every edition has expanded on the ideas of its predecessor, and I personally have seen things get better with every version.

Though things appear to have been improved, in your opnion, in every version, those editions are not created for ANY altruistic reason. The exist solely as a means for the creating and publishing company to EARN MORE MONEY. Wizard's (former) liscense agreement for other companies was specifically done to restrict other companies in designing what they thought would be products that might hinder their core product. The 3.e OGL is a douple edged sword, helping boost core book sales, while himdering setting sales. (no proof, just some logic)

Summary: No new edition is make just to improve the product, it is made to attempt to increase markey base and sales, and this increase income. ALL other reasons are secondary or even less important.

P.S. I work for a custom accounting/inventory software, and the theory above applies to us. Yes, our new versions improve product, their their sole reason to exist is to increase sales. If we just wanted to improve product, we would have released patched 1.01... 1.02... 1.03 etc, not 2.0

drewshi
08-16-2008, 06:25 PM
Drewshi,

I'm not sure which other poll you were looking at, but this particular one is an opinion poll on 4th edition. I'm not sure what relevance having poll selections on other editions would have in this particular context.

I take issue with your statement that the only benefit new editions has brought is to the pocketbook of WotC/TSR. I played 1st edition, and frankly, if all they did in 2nd edition was reorganize the tables and charts so that things were easier to find, it would have been worth putting out a new version of the books. But, they went further than that. Every edition has expanded on the ideas of its predecessor, and I personally have seen things get better with every version.

So, while I respect that you may prefer 1st edition, there are lots of people out there who have enjoyed and preferred the newer versions. It is disingenuous to say that there have been no improvements or reasons to put out new editions beyond monetary reasons.

Sorry, maybe I wasn't being clear. You didn't leave a choice for players of other editions to state that they weren't going to purchase the new edition. The previous poll left out those who weren't interested in the fourth edition. That was all I was trying to say.

I never said that there weren't improvements in the rules. I can't make that claim as I've never read any of the other edition books. I liken the new editions to the recent announcement of a new version of Clue with new rooms and new characters and weapons. Why would you change something that worked so well? I just feel that it takes a strong DM to work with any of the flaws of the original game and make it work rather than constantly (we are up to a fourth edition afterall) reinvent the wheel.

Just to give an example of something I noticed recently. There is an ability to later editions called diplomacy. Players role to see if their diplomatic efforts were successful. What was wrong with the DM making a judgment on how sound the player's words are?

I think Webhead puts it best when he speaks of how some people are happy with the rules as they are while others follow the rules to the "T" and want that guidance. TSR and Wizards are probably just meeting that need. I just wish it wasn't at the cost of ignoring the first edition. And that's where the rub is, they can't make money if they continue to focus on the first edition. Although I will give Wizards credit for offering some of the old materials to download on their website.

tesral
08-16-2008, 10:22 PM
I never said that there weren't improvements in the rules.

I have. There are differences, not improvements. Forry is so different from earlier editions as to be a totally new game. I can't call that an improvement because it isn't an apples to apples comparison.

It's like saying that NT is an improvement on Win 3.1 It's not, it is a different system designed to serve the same needs. Indeed NT had as many problems as the old Win 3.1.