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agoraderek
06-15-2008, 05:24 PM
i'm starting this thread for maelstrom. he posted in another thread that he wished the people who did like the new system could have a discussion that didnt degenerate into "WotC bashing", etc.

So, here we go. use this place to vent, voice negative opinions and generally rant about the current state of our long time favorite game...

Maelstrom
06-15-2008, 05:30 PM
Thank you! Bash away ;)

Engar
06-15-2008, 07:22 PM
***crickets***

agoraderek
06-15-2008, 07:49 PM
ok, i guess i'll start this:

flipping through the MM, am i mistaken, or are gnolls "more" evil, somehow, than DEVILS???

and, where are the good dragons?

and what's up with "mistakenly called 'ogre magi'?" (i guess gygax was mistaken...)

Engar
06-15-2008, 07:52 PM
"well, g'night! dont let the flesh eating demon bed babies bite!!"

No problem, they are lawful good and hang around to protect me from gnolls ever since the metallic dragons all died.

agoraderek
06-15-2008, 08:09 PM
"well, g'night! dont let the flesh eating demon bed babies bite!!"

No problem, they are lawful good and hang around to protect me from gnolls ever since the metallic dragons all died.

yep. need that "balance" everyone's going on about.

the quote is from johnny the homicidal maniac, btw ;)

Engar
06-15-2008, 08:10 PM
OMG! I just figured it out! I am supposed to cut the "powers" for my class out of the book and use them like Magic cards. "I see your [Reaping Strike: Fighter Attack One] and counter with [Wrathful Thunder: Cleric Attack One] *tosses cut out on table*. Hmmm, I need to go buy some counters if I want to play with a green deck...

agoraderek
06-15-2008, 08:17 PM
well, they ARE the people that brought us magic: the affliction...

Farcaster
06-15-2008, 11:54 PM
flipping through the MM, am i mistaken, or are gnolls "more" evil, somehow, than DEVILS???

Oooh. I got this one. This makes perfect sense given the alignment definitions. Devils are lawfully bent. They are not set on wanton destruction and chaos. They actually have a rigid system of laws. So, they are indeed just "evil." Whereas demon worshiping Gnolls are "marauders that kill, pillage, and destroy."

Engar
06-16-2008, 12:07 AM
Hey! This is a board for trashing 4e. There is no place for rationalizations or explanations about bad 4e behavior. Unless of course you are simply luring out the 4e lovers that might post here with a clever psychological trap! Aha! Brilliant!

agoraderek
06-16-2008, 12:10 AM
Oooh. I got this one. This makes perfect sense given the alignment definitions. Devils are lawfully bent. They are not set on wanton destruction and chaos. They actually have a rigid system of laws. So, they are indeed just "evil." Whereas demon worshiping Gnolls are "marauders that kill, pillage, and destroy."

yeah, but still...:confused:


Hey! This is a board for trashing 4e. There is no place for rationalizations or explanations about bad 4e behavior. Unless of course you are simply luring out the 4e lovers that might post here with a clever psychological trap! Aha! Brilliant!

i know! they ask us trashers to start a new thread and they're in here trying to lure us to the dark side!!!:p

but, hey, at least its more than just you and i posting in here now ;)

Farcaster
06-16-2008, 12:11 AM
Oh? Okay, my bad. Thrash away ;)

agoraderek
06-16-2008, 12:12 AM
Oh? Okay, my bad. Thrash away ;)

hey, i just started this for maelstrom's benefit. i dont mind a spirited debate on the relative merits of any of the editions ;)

jkfoote
06-16-2008, 12:13 AM
Hey! This is a board for trashing 4e. There is no place for rationalizations or explanations about bad 4e behavior. Unless of course you are simply luring out the 4e lovers that might post here with a clever psychological trap! Aha! Brilliant!


Yea clear off, If we wanted someone to defend newsprint we would bash the Wall street Journal

jkfoote
06-16-2008, 12:15 AM
Everyone, Fighter, rouge, WIZARD, has the same BAB, and dmg categories, they are all carbon copies, no different except in how you play them

agoraderek
06-16-2008, 12:18 AM
Everyone, Fighter, rouge, WIZARD, has the same BAB!!!

i just got a hold of a copy of the core books today, borrowed from a friend, and, wow. um. ok, guys (im looking at you, mr. wyatt) what are you doing to the game i've loved since before some of you WotC guys were even out of diapers (or born, for that matter)???

Engar
06-16-2008, 12:20 AM
Is chaotic evil more evil than just plain evil? You know they just need something that would explain it being "also" evil yet different... I suggest lawful evil. Maybe if someone is just a plain selfish opportunist they could be called like... neutral evil or something. That way you kind of classify the behavior. I mean they already have lawful good right? So makes sense to have lawful evil too. Hey! You know what? They could say that someone concerned with individual welfare, but indifferent about the law could be called chaotic good like they have chaotic evil! No wait, never mind, what would you do a pc/npc who didn't really buck the law or embrace it, someone who just wanted to do what was right. Nope can't think of anything, just forget I mentioned it.

jkfoote
06-16-2008, 12:26 AM
wait do they not give descriptions of their alignment's or did they screw that all up to, in 3 they at least had that spelled out

Engar
06-16-2008, 12:27 AM
I would say you can stack all the mark you want, but you can't stack a limiting mark. Two defenders can't mark the same target and expect said target to take minuses or damage whoever they attack, if they have two marks against them. The latest limiting mark overrides the previous ones. Things like Ranger and Warlock marks that define who you get bonuses towards, should stack. If Soveliss throws down a Hunter's Quarry, you can Curse the same target for more effect, but if the Fighter and Paladin are throwing down challenges, only the last one should be in effect.

I stole this from another thread so I could bash it here... (I can do that right?)

LOL, all I want to point out is this is "simplified".

jkfoote
06-16-2008, 12:29 AM
hhmm I think I've seen that somewhere before, oh thats right, WOW,

agoraderek
06-16-2008, 12:29 AM
Is chaotic evil more evil than just plain evil? You know they just need something that would explain it being "also" evil yet different... I suggest lawful evil. Maybe if someone is just a plain selfish opportunist they could be called like... neutral evil or something. That way you kind of classify the behavior. I mean they already have lawful good right? So makes sense to have lawful evil too. Hey! You know what? They could say that someone concerned with individual welfare, but indifferent about the law could be called chaotic good like they have chaotic evil! No wait, never mind, what would you do a pc/npc who didn't really buck the law or embrace it, someone who just wanted to do what was right. Nope can't think of anything, just forget I mentioned it.

actually, i discarded "alignments" as a definition on the character sheet a long time ago (like, oh, 1985...). i would track character behavior on a chart (standard alignment chart, mind you) but based on their cultural backround, choice of diety and whatnot, not on the abstract alignments used by the d&d rules. the players set their base moral and cultural outlooks in their backrounds, and set their "alignments" based on how they played.

but, yeah, if they were going to go in the direction they went, they should have had "good, neutral (or unaligned), and evil" as the only alignments, makes NO sense to only put two on the "law/chaos" axis at all...

Engar
06-16-2008, 12:29 AM
4e alignments:
LG
G
Unalligned
E
CE

Engar
06-16-2008, 12:34 AM
Sure it does, law is extra good, chaos is extra evil. Haven't you seen Judge Dredd?

Quote from other thread (by me)...

I look at alignment in the DnD system as a reasonable description for a series of consistent behavior. For those classes where it matters most I apply that portion (Axis) or portions as a rule for behavior. For everyone else it is a rule for intent (except for forced alignments, I just make sure the player is familiar with the new alignment and acts accordingly or becomes an NPC).

I care not why the paladin killed an unarmed man when he swore to be chivalrous. He violated his own law and that of his faith, he must choose to attone or reject his oath and powers. He may argue the action (wasn't me?), not the intent. There are cases where players may convince me they acted appropriate to their code (not this example), but it still gets a warning since the actions are obviously questionable (by me). If it ever becomes such a huge issue (time to alter alignment and still arguing) I might ask other players to express opinions.

For the LG mage who killed an unarmed man I want to know why (intent). If the intent is viable and not a running pattern I find it sufficient. Perhaps it was an accident, perhaps they misunderstood the situation, etc. This way the player governs their alignment as much as I do. If the player has a reasonable explanation beyond "yeah, that was really not in character", I let it go. If it is way off other players are going to back me, and with agreement we can skip to the resolution. Either the player is not roleplaying their character as they set for themselves or the character changed over time and needs to consider a new alignment.

jkfoote
06-16-2008, 12:34 AM
no i think it makes sense to have LG and CE, you need those majors, to define the borders, just because your selfish dosnt mean you should be int he same boat as someone who eats babies, as a snack while your raping and pillaging a convent for your morning calisthenics.

agoraderek
06-16-2008, 12:41 AM
no i think it makes sense to have LG and CE, you need those majors, to define the borders, just because your selfish dosnt mean you should be int he same boat as someone who eats babies, as a snack while your raping and pillaging a convent for your morning calisthenics.

the point is, there are times when a "lawful evil" person (think lawyer ;) ) can do more damage to a society than a hannibal lecter type...

jkfoote
06-16-2008, 12:47 AM
wily lawers

Engar
06-16-2008, 12:50 AM
eh? What boat then? Or just swimming (unalligned)? I guess I fall into the opinion of "not broken, don't fix it". Alignment was not an issue for me like other people. It was more of a sort of loose net around a character that they could get out of if they wanted, as opposed to a rigid box (again, unless the class demanded it, which took more work). I guess some items might be affected by a change, but it otherwise doesn't matter much to most. And besides... WAIT A MINUTE HEY! 4e stinks of elder berries and its mother was a hamster! Nuf said.

Engar
06-16-2008, 12:55 AM
Speaking of hamsters... anyone remember giant space hamsters? Not kidding, they were a real "monster" in the Spelljammer expansion of those 2e binders. Now if I wanted to bash something pre-dating WotC...

BUT I DON'T! 4e, I bite my thumb! Do I bite my thumb at thee? Well...I do bite my thumb!

jkfoote
06-16-2008, 01:02 AM
and spit my last breath at thee!!!

Engar
06-16-2008, 01:03 AM
One last one before I go...

4e was like, "awww, but I wanted to go to toshi station and pick up some power converters..."

And I was like, *raspy loud breathing*, "you, young man", *raspy loud breathing*, "should have thought about that", *raspy loud breathing*, "before you started hanging out with that Obi Wan".

I gotta go to bed...

boulet
06-16-2008, 08:25 AM
I attended a short 4e demo a few weeks ago. Mind you nobody had a PHB to have a clear view of the game at that point. So my feelings are mostly about the combat part, since the demo was focused on that. I wasn't excited at all. One of the thing I found ugly was this marking an opponent concept. Yikes, waste of time IMO. I'm not a D&D fan but I had better memory of combat with 2e than this Diablo wanabee type of fight. It felt like one could have dropped powerup sprites on the map and it wouldn't look out of place. The part of the demo about the skill challenge or whatever they call it was ugly too. "I use my cooking skills to seduce the duke and make him help our cause" kind of lame. What's wrong with normal mix of role playing/skill checks ? The guy who ran the demo offered a figurine and a set of dice to all who attended the demo. I wanted to hand them back since I was really not going to buy 4e stuff, but he didn't want them back. I'm glad I did this though : you won't see me wasting money on 4e :)

So if 4e is going to attract fresh players to the hobby, great. But I'm afraid there's going to be a lot of reeducation involved in the process. Just so they know rpgs aren't only a branch of mini games.

tesral
06-16-2008, 09:35 AM
So if 4e is going to attract fresh players to the hobby, great. But I'm afraid there's going to be a lot of reeducation involved in the process. Just so they know rpgs aren't only a branch of mini games.

We already have to fight the idea that they are computer games. Now the flagship is a minis game for MMO players.

ryan973
06-16-2008, 12:10 PM
I am not determed to hate it. I want to love it, in fact i think its was a great idea to go for another edition. I am not trying to say you are wrong for liking it i have been in groups in the past that would probably enjoy 4th more than 3.5. In my opinion they were the worst players I ever gamed with but its just that,An opinion. Tell you what i wont get all nasty with every wizo wanabee who defends his newest choice of game, and you dont get mad at me for voicing my veiws. The very fact that anyone would even ask hey can we have some rules for init during a social encounter should tell any gamer that there is a problem.

ryan973
06-16-2008, 12:12 PM
Also i got all three 4th edition books, and have played it with the best group i have ever had.

Engar
06-16-2008, 01:22 PM
Hey! Quit bashing 4e! Oh, heh, *nevermind*.

Valdar
06-16-2008, 02:03 PM
We already have to fight the idea that they are computer games. Now the flagship is a minis game for MMO players.

Back in 2000, most of my table saw 3e as the RPG version of Pokemon or M:tG. Plus ca change.

Engar
06-16-2008, 02:31 PM
"Plus ca change." Huh?

Yeah, strangely I never resisted 3.x. Much of it I do like, its just the other fifty books I take issue with, if not for them distracting me I could fix the rest.

I know kits were the start of the crazy in 2e like prestige classes in 3.x, but they were at least not a class. They were just a "suggestion" with some minor adjustments and recommended skills (nwp's). Almost all of being a kit was to do with roleplaying and almost none of it had to do with rules. Want to be a lion-tamer kit? Most would take several levels in animal handling/training before they went in search of a lion; however, nothing says you must.

Many even had interesting antecdotes about like-minded sorts (Gorf the Maimed, formerly Gorf the Lion-taimer was renowned for his...), origins of the concept (A little known circus freak known Gorf dreamed of being rich and famous...), etc.

You know stuff that inspired you to want your own story. Oh, wait, 4e has no inpiration. Guess you don't know. So why are there going to be all these new TT gamers again? Or are they just going to be here until they remember WoW does the rolling for them?

The return of that roleplaying spirit was my greatest hope for 4e and my greatest disappointment. (Okay, being a little melodramatic. Also I have not actually played yet and could have to eat crow (unlikely), but read the Thread).

tesral
06-16-2008, 02:54 PM
"Plus ca change." Huh?

Yeah, strangely I never resisted 3.x. Much of it I do like, its just the other fifty books I take issue with, if not for them distracting me I could fix the rest.


It's not the same game. Like it or hate it you can trace the liniage of 3.x right back to the three little books.

4E&E is something different.

Valdar
06-16-2008, 04:53 PM
"Plus ca change." Huh?


http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/plus_%C3%A7a_change%2C_plus_c%27est_la_m%C3%AAme_c hose

Engar
06-16-2008, 04:58 PM
French. Yuck. Not only do I not understand it written, but even with the written pronounciation I cannot decipher if I would or would not recognize the expression when spoken. I catapault a cow at them.

agoraderek
06-16-2008, 08:43 PM
French. Yuck. Not only do I not understand it written, but even with the written pronounciation I cannot decipher if I would or would not recognize the expression when spoken. I catapault a cow at them.

true, swo true. move to houston, i have a comfy chair with your name on it..

Valdar, yeah, the more things change...but, in this case (and i've actually read the books now) this is a whole new game. i converted to 3x from 1e with relative ease, the paradigm was the same, just more laid on top. took me about a week (had vacation time, decided to go to my homebrew world of hatheg instead of cancun, cheaper air fare, for one...) to get my, at that point, 15 year old campaign retooled to 3x. it would take me MONTHS to totally retool my world for 4e, and im not getting any younger...

Engar
06-16-2008, 09:00 PM
Thanks for the invite. I am a little antsy since I have too much free time for the moment and no local friends *sigh* (that and been drinking Cokes all day today so wow! My knee bouncing could shake the paint from the wall.). So Houston you say? jk.

I definitely see the conversion challenge. Most in that spot will probably ignore 4e or start fresh whenever possible. Of course starting at first level in a long historied world does nothing to aid the DM with existing material (NPC's, unique monsters, etc). That was a huge issue of mine with 3.x. THAC0 alone changed all the NPC's stats, gear (armor), etc. All handwritten amongst stacks of notes (also mostly handwritten, I did have a commodore 64 back then when it worked!).

agoraderek
06-16-2008, 09:03 PM
Thanks for the invite. I am a little antsy since I have too much free time for the moment and no local friends *sigh* (that and been drinking Cokes all day today so wow! My knee bouncing could shake the paint from the wall.). So Houston you say? jk.

I definitely see the conversion challenge. Most in that spot will probably ignore 4e or start fresh whenever possible. Of course starting at first level in a long historied world does nothing to aid the DM with existing material (NPC's, unique monsters, etc). That was a huge issue of mine with 3.x. THAC0 alone changed all the NPC's stats, gear (armor), etc. All handwritten amongst stacks of notes (also mostly handwritten, I did have a commodore 64 back then when it worked!).

you know whats funny about THAC0? 3x didnt change it, they just presented it a tad differently, 0 just became 20, and it became a target number, not a plot on a chart ;)

Engar
06-16-2008, 09:16 PM
True, but still a major slow down to have written the old "THAC0" and AC way on the sheet. You have to process, okay, he has an AC of -1 so it would be 21 now. Then the THAC0 is 12 with main weapon hand which is a bonus of +8 now. Now if he uses his secondary weapon it is THAC0 of 14 so +6. Of course that is if the modifiers are still the same since ambidexterity and two-weapon fighting might be different now...

You quickly find the weeds trying to convert on the fly.

agoraderek
06-16-2008, 09:22 PM
True, but still a major slow down to have written the old "THAC0" and AC way on the sheet. You have to process, okay, he has an AC of -1 so it would be 21 now. Then the THAC0 is 12 with main weapon hand which is a bonus of +8 now. Now if he uses his secondary weapon it is THAC0 of 14 so +6. Of course that is if the modifiers are still the same since ambidexterity and two-weapon fighting might be different now...

You quickly find the weeds trying to convert on the fly.

eh, it wasnt that hard ;)

Farcaster
06-17-2008, 12:13 AM
Okay, on a more serious note. Anyone care to summarize what the specific objections people have raised regarding 4th edition are?

jkfoote
06-17-2008, 12:52 AM
all characters have the same BAB

Engar
06-17-2008, 01:05 AM
Atmosphere: A sense that it departs from tradition, has too much combat/statistical/powergamer focus, a lack of storytelling emphasis, and relates more closely to an MMO or card game (cold and detached).

Backward Compatibility: 4e deviates so far from 3.x that it is unrealistic to convert an existing character/world.

Alignment System: Basically 4e seems half-axised with LG and CE at the poles (but no two people agree on anything related to alignment).

Missing or "Replaced" Features & Creatures: removed: spells, gnome characters, half-ogres, barbarians, druids, chromatic dragons, (bards - no complaint) (loss of tradition); added: dragonborn & tiefling (powergaming), eladrin (unnecessary), warlord (see bard)

Class "equality" Problems: made fighters too mage-like, mages too fighter-like, and everything too similar (an unhealthy need for balance and immediate gratification over individuality, longevity of interest and personal creativity).

Combat: Marking (not "simplified", MMO transition)

Greed: important "overlooked" traditional races/classes/creatures leave much room for future releases

What else? Doing okay here?

jkfoote
06-17-2008, 01:55 AM
all i hear is world of warcraft rules, and it makes me mad

Farcaster
06-17-2008, 03:36 AM
What else? Doing okay here?

Some of that is specific, but a lot of what you are saying is very general. You're stating your perception and feelings, but I am looking for something a bit more tangible. Let's say you were talking to the creators of 4th edition, what would you express as your complaints about the new version? If you say, it's too much like an MMPOG, then I think the immediate question would be -- how so?

Let's take the fighter example that you gave. I read the same write up on fighters, and I didn't have the impression at all that they were 'mage-like'. Their "exploits" didn't seem anything like spells to me, if that is what you mean -- they read as maneuvers that the fighter learned to give him a one up in combat. Being a novice of martial arts myself, this is something that I can relate to. Often martial artists learn a few core "maneuvers" that work and work well. Those are the manuevers that when executed perfectly end fights.

How are all the classes similar? How are mages 'fighter-like'? Did anyone in 3.5 actually agree as to the definitions of what alignments meant, or is this just an old, old arguement rehashed? How many LG debates have their been? Alignment has been muchly debated since its inception which was long before even 3rd edition.

How are dragonborn and tieflings unbalanced and thus attractive to powergamers?

I'm not trying to say you have no valid points, but blanket statements don't really tell me what's wrong with the edition. You did have some good specifics in there though: missing classes that were available in core 3e, missing playable races, a drastically altered spell system, and the inability to easily convert 3rd edition characters. Those are good.

wizard_in_motley
06-17-2008, 06:48 AM
Atmosphere: A sense that it departs from tradition, has too much combat/statistical/powergamer focus, a lack of storytelling emphasis, and relates more closely to an MMO or card game (cold and detached).

I think that folks who are concerned about 4e not having enough story to it should read the adventure they have released in dungeon called 'heathen':

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dufe/20080605a

I think it's a great example of how the skill challenges can help enhance the roleplay aspect. Sure, some folks could just role dice for it but they were probably not going to be roleplaying in the first place.

There's a pretty good story there and probably one of the first adventures in a long time I'd think about running almost exactly as it's written.

Valdar
06-17-2008, 08:07 AM
Appeals to tradition hold no water for me. I don't ride a horse to work, however traditional it may be. And, you've listed some things as traditional that were never part of core D&D (half-ogres).

Core D&D is also not done. You're acting like they got rid of half the classes, never to be seen again, when everyone knows that many of them will be released next year in PHb2. All previous editions have had a decade or so to churn out books- 4e has had a single release of the basic three. I guess you could compare it to having only the first three books of any edition, and see how it stands up (No Assassin? Blasphemy!).

Webhead
06-17-2008, 08:47 AM
all i hear is world of warcraft rules, and it makes me mad

It's really not WoW. On a surface reading, it might casually resemble WoW by the simple fact that they imply "class role" within the party by using terms like "defender", "striker" and "controller", but that's really a superficial comparison at best. It's really not so dissimilar from 3e as people view at first glance, but definately (IMHO) an improvement.

That's kind of like comparing Star Wars to the game No More Heroes (awesome game that it is). You've got a guy running around with a "laser sword"...and that's where the resemblence ends.

warlock
06-17-2008, 09:41 AM
It seems to me (having not played the game yet, and only flipped through the PHB causally), that the goal here is to make the game appeal to the MMO crowd, while making enough changes to obsolete as many old books as possible; thus forcing you to purchase things over again.

My opinion may change if/when I actually bother to play, but it seems that the game at hand is, to 4e your wallet of as much money as possible.

ryan973
06-17-2008, 01:20 PM
I would say its an ok mini game but definetly not D&D. I also thingk that saying it does not fit in with our veiw is a fare argument for instance how do you think it would hold up if used in say a novel. For a long time forgotten realms for example has used its novels as cannon for the new manuals and such being produced. Can you really see Edd Greenwood or RA Salvatore pumping out books with 4th edition themes and feels. I am sure they will give it a shot but personnally i would think Edd Greenwood must be disapointed by wizards plans for his setting. Something he has spent a third of his life creating and now they are destroyign it in an attempt to make it fit into there little box. I can tell you in all honesty that i wil be playing fourth edition all the tiem when its online. I think its really meant for something like that and will work out nicely but around a table its a mini game. But hey to each his own. I think they really bad thing here is not the system. Its that it has really split the once close nit D&D fan base. This is a hobby that no matter what kind of gamer you were you all agreed to have fun and it brought alot of people together. Now it has forced those who want to cling to there favorite hobby to face off against those who are ready to try something new. Wizards will just have to deal with the fact that at one point they had almost every gamer as a loyal consumer and now they have cut that in half.

tesral
06-17-2008, 02:08 PM
Okay, on a more serious note. Anyone care to summarize what the specific objections people have raised regarding 4th edition are?

It's a differnet game. It might have the same name, but it is not the same game.

Anyone with a history in the game is flatly being told to start over or get off the bus.

I think this is my stop.

Shadow Dweller
06-17-2008, 02:16 PM
It's a differnet game. It might have the same name, but it is not the same game.

Anyone with a history in the game is flatly being told to start over or get off the bus.

I think this is my stop.
Well, I don't have a "history" in the game, only been playing for the last couple years and have no experience with the older additions. But to make a compairison, this is like the change over for Star Wars: Galaxies(The MMO) from the origonal & Combat Upgrade versions of the game where you had a "Sandbox" to create a character in to the NGE(New Game Enhancement) where you were told to shut up and color on one of the 9, pre-selected carrer paths the devs were nice enough to give us. We went from having a nigh limiteless combination of classes to the cookiee cutter there is now.

tesral
06-17-2008, 02:26 PM
It's really not WoW. On a surface reading, it might casually resemble WoW by the simple fact that they imply "class role" within the party by using terms like "defender", "striker" and "controller", but that's really a superficial comparison at best. It's really not so dissimilar from 3e as people view at first glance, but definately (IMHO) an improvement.

They are not implying a class role, they make it explicit to the character. Race, class, role. That is the heading of the section on character creation. One follows the other. What I said earlier about the game being built around conflict no longer applies. It is now built around combat.

It use to be a role-playing game with combat. Now I am seeing a combat game with role-playing. The shift and the emphasis on combat is plain as the words on the paper. Consider your combat role when creating your character. Disappointing really.

Valdar
06-17-2008, 02:33 PM
It use to be a role-playing game with combat. Now I am seeing a combat game with role-playing. The shift and the emphasis on combat is plain as the words on the paper. Consider your combat role when creating your character. Disappointing really.

One of the many fixes, and one that needed to happen. Having your role be "Any" (which was all too common in 3e, a la CoDzilla) needed to go.

tesral
06-17-2008, 02:38 PM
One of the many fixes, and one that needed to happen. Having your role be "Any" (which was all too common in 3e, a la CoDzilla) needed to go.

Being a fan of Heinlein, I must disagree. "Specialization is for insects." --R. A. Heinlein. I much prefer a character than can switch up and do what is needed when it is needed. I don't specialize, never have.

Roles is a solution for a problem that doesn't exist.

tesral
06-17-2008, 02:40 PM
Well, I don't have a "history" in the game, only been playing for the last couple years and have no experience with the older additions. But to make a compairison, this is like the change over for Star Wars: Galaxies(The MMO) from the origonal & Combat Upgrade versions of the game where you had a "Sandbox" to create a character in to the NGE(New Game Enhancement) where you were told to shut up and color on one of the 9, pre-selected carrer paths the devs were nice enough to give us. We went from having a nigh limiteless combination of classes to the cookiee cutter there is now.

I have a 32 year old game world. It is not going to covert and I am not going to throw it out. Sounds like get of the bus to me.

Farcaster
06-17-2008, 02:58 PM
It's a differnet game. It might have the same name, but it is not the same game.

So, I think that object boils down to: The over all rules have changed too much. Basically.

By the by, how different would you say 1st edition versus 3.5e was? Is there more change between 3.5 and 4e than there was between 1st and 3rd?

Shadow Dweller
06-17-2008, 03:03 PM
I have a 32 year old game world. It is not going to covert and I am not going to throw it out. Sounds like get of the bus to me.
Just continue with 3.5 or what ever variant you are using. Not like wizards has time coded invisible ink in the books or anything.:cool:

tesral
06-17-2008, 03:42 PM
So, I think that object boils down to: The over all rules have changed too much. Basically.

By the by, how different would you say 1st edition versus 3.5e was? Is there more change between 3.5 and 4e than there was between 1st and 3rd?

I can alter a 1-2e character to play in 3e quickly, recalculate the AC and hit points, (usually to the better) If a caster find the equivalent spells. Adjust the XP total to level, pick a few feats and start play. I have done this several times. The play style and rules which yes there are changes, they are minor enough that the character moves on.

You can clearly see the progress in the game mechanics, and for the most part it is progress. I still don't like feats, likely never will, and I loath turning XP in to a commodity. I don't use AoO mainly because I don't use miniatures. That makes figuring out AoO rather difficult.

4e breaks the pattern. While the mechanic is still d20, it rakes the entire concept over. The magic system which is a huge part of the classic D&D system is tossed out and replaced. While it might be possible to convert a fighter to 4e rules, forget any spell caster if you like the flavor of your spell caster. The look and feel of magic is gone, replaced by something unrecognizable.

The totally different approach to multiclass breaks any 3e character that is a multiclass. I'm not a fan of it, but many people are. Half the PCs in the game I currently play in are trash.

The emphasis on combat and miniatures. I don't see how a 4e game can be played without them. It is difficult enough in 3e, but nigh impossible in 4e. Pushing the concept of combat roles to the front and the idea that you build a character around the combat. BTW it is MMO players that are comparing 4e to MMOs. Mainly the WoW players. I also find it telling the Monster Manual consists of mostly opponents. There used to be a balance of creatures, some friend, some foe. Now is seems you are expected to fight the world.

It is not the same game. It is no upgrade. It is an incompatible system that from my cynical point of view is designed to make you start buying books all over again, again. I have four sets of core AD&D and D&D books on my shelf and they if not at least playing well with each other will play. I will not be adding a fifth set.

In short if you have an existing world, toss it in the bin, or get off the bus. That world is 3/5 of my life. I'm not tossing it for the shiny new toy.



Just continue with 3.5 or what ever variant you are using. Not like wizards has time coded invisible ink in the books or anything.:cool:

I've said that repeatedly Howver, I am sure Lizards R&D is working on it. To some extent that is exactly what D&D Insider is. A book you buy every month and the content can be made to go away at the will of Lizards.

Engar
06-17-2008, 04:30 PM
Atmosphere: A sense that it departs from tradition, has too much combat/statistical/powergamer focus, a lack of storytelling emphasis, and relates more closely to an MMO or card game (cold and detached).

Backward Compatibility: 4e deviates so far from 3.x that it is unrealistic to convert an existing character/world.

Alignment System: Basically 4e seems half-axised with LG and CE at the poles (but no two people agree on anything related to alignment).

Missing or "Replaced" Features & Creatures: removed: spells, gnome characters, half-ogres, barbarians, druids, chromatic dragons, (bards - no complaint) (loss of tradition); added: dragonborn & tiefling (powergaming), eladrin (unnecessary), warlord (see bard)

Class "equality" Problems: made fighters too mage-like, mages too fighter-like, and everything too similar (an unhealthy need for balance and immediate gratification over individuality, longevity of interest and personal creativity).

Combat: Marking (not "simplified", MMO transition)

Greed: important "overlooked" traditional races/classes/creatures leave much room for future releases

What else? Doing okay here?


Some of that is specific, but a lot of what you are saying is very general. You're stating your perception and feelings, but I am looking for something a bit more tangible. Let's say you were talking to the creators of 4th edition, what would you express as your complaints about the new version? If you say, it's too much like an MMPOG, then I think the immediate question would be -- how so?

I may have misunderstood the request. I focused more on summarizing (with some personal interjection) what people were saying. Now to explain and justify it... First let us set the premise that I will be comparing only the core books (keep it apples to apples)...


Let's take the fighter example that you gave. I read the same write up on fighters, and I didn't have the impression at all that they were 'mage-like'. Their "exploits" didn't seem anything like spells to me, if that is what you mean -- they read as maneuvers that the fighter learned to give him a one up in combat. Being a novice of martial arts myself, this is something that I can relate to. Often martial artists learn a few core "maneuvers" that work and work well. Those are the manuevers that when executed perfectly end fights.

In traditional DnD and even in 3.x, fighters were complicated only in regard to combat options and even then only if you sought it out. A straight fighter had few other skills aside from maybe an old trade. Who cared? They were about kicking butt and taking names.

Sure 3.5 gave them loads of feats (starting a marketing frenzy later), but most rarely departed from a small handful that built upon itself (many pre-reqs for the next one). They were simple compared to the new "simplified" version with all the choices for powers plus feats. Add with weapon groups now conforming to different abilities and feats playing on these you foster an emphasis on system manipulation over story (like an MMO or Magic where the story is fixed and inflexible and how you manipulate the system for advantage is the real "game" for many). To me this has its place, but for roleplaying and especially DnD it misses the point entirely.


How are all the classes similar? How are mages 'fighter-like'?

All the classes now operate off the same basic mechanics. While the powers themselves are different, the foundation is universal.

Mages in the past did "blow their wad" and then struggle to be useful in early levels. But they could still hold a blade or swing a sling. The addition of zero level spells in 3.x added a little function, but was little if at all better than just joining the fray in spite of themselves.

They still did not need to be nanny-systemed into a stronger early combat role. They simply needed to demonstrate the patience necessary to grow into an imporant role at the same moment other players will have to be accepting a decline. This probably coincides with the cookie-cutter aspect above. Characters used to be unique unto themselves and the path of their development was one interesting aspect to their play. Now they are the same vest with different flare. I view it as a net loss.

4e seems to want to ferrit out weeknesses of characters (which are useful and story driving) rather than address weeknesses in the players they seek to entice (like a failure to properly explain and set expectations that this is a story-based game, not a system based game). I origninally commented on storyteller here also, but I think they actually deal with them in the DMG.

Lets see If I can say this without seeming whiny... 4e seems to set up DM's. They instruct and guide storytellers to lead an exciting and fast paced game with an engaging story and demphasizing the rules, then they emphasize the system with its rules and manipulatations to players. They even use the false pretenses of superficial similarities with MMO's to entice players whose preset actually twists the game away form what might otherwise be most enjoyable. The quickly waining excitement then fuels an ongoing anticipation of finding that holy grail of self-renewing exhileration which a lack of long term devotion to a personally hand-crafted character prohibits from ever coming to fuition in any real or meaningful way. Whew, hows that for mud in your eye!


Did anyone in 3.5 actually agree as to the definitions of what alignments meant, or is this just an old, old arguement rehashed? How many LG debates have their been? Alignment has been muchly debated since its inception which was long before even 3rd edition.

Both. My group had a consensus and while it was never a huge deal we debated on occasion. My only argument for why they should have left it: why bother? Makes no one really happy and ticks off someone else.


How are dragonborn and tieflings unbalanced and thus attractive to powergamers?

My argument is in the long winded bit above. I actually have no problem with dragonborn or tieflings. I would let the creative folk who balanced them play one in my game anytime, anywhere (I doubt that is the person who invented them). The problem is not the balance, but the "cool" factor as a substitute for development. It is a superficial interest, a player without the understanding or the depth to create an interesting background so they substitute.

***
He perks up only when called to roll a die as if the actual act of rolling on command is the interest. I do not understand why he stays and seemingly suffers, but he came back again to stare into space, distract other players and toy with his shoestring. His character died an hour ago and he just found out. Now he wants to play a half-dragon skynight he saw online who rides a speeder he saw in the Saga books. I said no, but there he is rolling away on another new character sheet while the rest of the party does something in game.
***


I'm not trying to say you have no valid points, but blanket statements don't really tell me what's wrong with the edition. You did have some good specifics in there though: missing classes that were available in core 3e, missing playable races, a drastically altered spell system, and the inability to easily convert 3rd edition characters. Those are good.

Thanks on behalf of the 4ebellion!

edit: I wanted to add that ignoring the positive aspects of 4e is not a denial of their existence, just not the focus of this particular discussion.

Valdar
06-17-2008, 05:39 PM
While it might be possible to convert a fighter to 4e rules, forget any spell caster if you like the flavor of your spell caster. The look and feel of magic is gone, replaced by something unrecognizable.

The totally different approach to multiclass breaks any 3e character that is a multiclass. I'm not a fan of it, but many people are. Half the PCs in the game I currently play in are trash.


But you've said yourself that a character shouldn't be defined by what he can do in combat... What components of 3e are so essential that you can't find a good enough stand-in in the meantime?

I did have a player that I was sure was going to have a problem with not being able to play a half-orc barbarian. To my surprise, she'll be playing a Tiefling Warlock.

tesral
06-17-2008, 05:53 PM
But you've said yourself that a character shouldn't be defined by what he can do in combat... What components of 3e are so essential that you can't find a good enough stand-in in the meantime?

System does shape concept. I have seen character concepts raped by a system they where not developed around. It is not so much the new character that suffers here, but the Old World seeped in its history and lore. The new system blows all that off.

Handing an old game world over to 4e is like handing a 5 year old a box of crayons, and a Rembrandt.

4e demands that I huck all my work, all my history and conform to the new. It is mud in the eye of every well developed game world. It is not welcoming.

agoraderek
06-17-2008, 06:04 PM
So, I think that object boils down to: The over all rules have changed too much. Basically.

By the by, how different would you say 1st edition versus 3.5e was? Is there more change between 3.5 and 4e than there was between 1st and 3rd?

actually, i did convert my 1e campaign to 3.5 without too much trouble (didnt get too much into 2e, just kinda cherry picked what i liked). all i had to do for that conversion was change a couple things on the character sheets (most notably, change exceptional strength, change the ability mods, and roll a few extra hit dice for the multiclassed demihumans....), and pick some feats for npcs and fit the skill system i was already using into the 3.5 version. flipping AC upside down was no problem, gee, start with 10 and add instead of subtract. not hard.

spells werent much of a problem either, just lay 3x style casting times over the spells that didnt make the cut...

after reading the new books, converting from 3x to 4e would be MUCH more difficult than converting from 1e to 3.5.

Engar
06-17-2008, 07:11 PM
I just went to WotC for the first time in awhile. I thought it was funny after all the back and forth here that the movie banner for 4e is, "Get ready for the fight of your life!"

Webhead
06-17-2008, 09:53 PM
If it's not in your best interest or not time-efficient or rewarding enough to convert between editions...don't. Be it converting between OD&D, 1e, 2e, 3.X, 4e, GURPS, HERO, Paladium, BRP, Rolemaster, etc.

agoraderek
06-17-2008, 10:08 PM
If it's not in your best interest or not time-efficient or rewarding enough to convert between editions...don't. Be it converting between OD&D, 1e, 2e, 3.X, 4e, GURPS, HERO, Paladium, BRP, Rolemaster, etc.

the point is, to us who have been in from the start (give or take a couple years, i started playing a year after the 1st dmg and phb were released), that every edition up to 3.5 was campaign convertable with a few minor tweaks. now its an overhaul. its almost like they went out of their way to alienate anyone who started playing when gygax was still in charge of his game. almost like WotC is saying "thanks, greybeards, for laying the foundation for the most popular RPG ever, but, hey, we dont need you anymore, gramps"

its not a bad system, it looks like it could be fun, but it isnt D&D in anything but name. not the same dna, not in any way compatable with any of its predecessors.

i ran a 3.5 party through tomb of horrors, as written for 1e, and there were no problems. the system was fundamentally the same. looking at the new books, i dont think i could do that now...

Webhead
06-17-2008, 11:33 PM
the point is, to us who have been in from the start (give or take a couple years, i started playing a year after the 1st dmg and phb were released), that every edition up to 3.5 was campaign convertable with a few minor tweaks. now its an overhaul. its almost like they went out of their way to alienate anyone who started playing when gygax was still in charge of his game. almost like WotC is saying "thanks, greybeards, for laying the foundation for the most popular RPG ever, but, hey, we dont need you anymore, gramps"

its not a bad system, it looks like it could be fun, but it isnt D&D in anything but name. not the same dna, not in any way compatable with any of its predecessors.

i ran a 3.5 party through tomb of horrors, as written for 1e, and there were no problems. the system was fundamentally the same. looking at the new books, i dont think i could do that now...

Sure, and don't misread me, I understand the feeling of being slighted by facing what is, in some specific respects, a "total retconning". I've faced it before myself. After getting over the initial shock and revulsion of it all, I started to realize that new, drastic changes don't invalidate anything I had done previously, but they were useful as a new avenue for ideas in ways that the "old system" didn't, couldn't or wouldn't approach. Yes, you get the necessary retooling of previously established materials, but you also get a new outlook, new ideas and possible new directions. Game stats might be a pain for those with an eye for exacting detail in conversion, but the ideas are good no matter what set of rules you use (I'm talking ideas in general here, not D&D 4e ideas).

The Star Wars RPG is a fine example. Loved Star Wars D6...loved it. Played it for years and collected about 50 published books. Then West End Games drops the ball and WotC picks it up. I was furious. The last thing I wanted was "D&D in Space", which was certainly the only thing that would come out of WotC's fumblings with the Star Wars license. I was sure of it. But, hey, it's Star Wars, so I'll at least put my money where my mouth is. I bought the book. Overall, it sucked (IMHO). "Yep, D&D in space" is what I thought. I was right. I knew it. But there were some good ideas going on. Things I hadn't really thought about in quite that way. As long as the ideas didn't touch the game mechanics, it was alright.

A couple years later WotC says, "Okay, that wasn't great, but let's rework this old cow and see if we can improve it". They release Star Wars d20 Revised. It was better, but it was still clunky and unwieldy. However, there were some really cool ideas that were played around with in it, both from a "campaign fluff" point of view and from a "here's some new ideas about what to do with the d20 system" point of view. Even some published materials that changed the way I identified certain workings within the Star Wars Universe...because they were much cooler than what Lucas was implying about how such things worked. Still, I fiddled around with it, found the taste displeasing and went my seperate way.

A couple years later, WotC says, "Something at the heart of d20 is causing some grief with our designing of this game. We can't seem to make Star Wars fit d20, so let try to make d20 fit Star Wars". Star Wars Saga Edition is released. It is still recognizably d20 in many of its conventions, but rather than make the source material a slave to the rules, they decide that when the rules don't fit...replace them with something that fits better. I was initially hesitant about it (grouchy, even). I'd seen 2 previous attempts at Star Wars d20 fail and my d20 enthusiasm in general had violently evaporated since about the release of D&D 3.5. I borrowed the book from a friend and read it over. I was faintly intrigued. "At least they cleaned up d20 a bit", I thought. "But, bah, it's still d20 and d20 Star Wars will never capture the same spirit that D6 did".

It took about a year before I turned back around. I wanted to play Star Wars again, but a comment by one of my players got me thinking. He had said, "Sure, I don't mind playing Star Wars, but I don't want to play D6 at the moment". I was stuck. If I was going to run Star Wars and it couldn't be D6, what was I going to do? I was sure as hell not going to use either the Original or Revised versions of d20 Star Wars...just wasn't willing to put up with them. I could convert a handful of other systems to emulate Star Wars, but the more rules-lite systems would be rejected by my players and more rules-intesive systems would mean weeks if not months of work doing conversions. I wasn't up for that. What did that leave me? Star Wars Saga. Ah, crap! What the heck was I going to do now...

It just so happened (funny how the world works) the next week, I was tuning in to Kurt Wiegel's weekly "Game Geeks" RPG review on YouTube and, strangely enough, this week he was reviewing Star Wars Saga. "Okay, I'll hear this guy out." In short, he was a fan of the old Star Wars D6 game, like me, but after giving Saga a chance, he was very impressed and even essentially said that Saga Edition edged out ahead of D6 in its own ways. Alright...fine. I'll give it a try. Hey, anything that will get my group playing Star Wars again would be cool...and if Kurt, an old D6 guru, can praise this game, then maybe...just maybe, it has potential.

I picked up the book and read it for a second time. Somehow, my eyes were more open to it now. I had set my hatred of d20 *mostly* aside and just let myself take it in. Wow. Some of this stuff was really good. Much of it was really different from D6 both mechanically and thematically, but it was still very much Star Wars and beyond that, it was actually pretty dang cool. Not only did it fix or replace a lot of broken, annoying, or way-too-detailed elements of d20, but it actually tackled something things that Star Wars D6 didn't, and did them well.

Now, not everything was perfect about the game. I was going to have to develop some house rules for the Dark Side and I was uncertain about the game's take on Force Points, but these were minor (and easily treatable, with a little imagination) blemishes on an otherwise very finely crafted product.

So, Webs, what's the point? The point is that though Star Wars Saga is a very different game with a very different approach on how to play Star Wars, even an old "D6 curmudgeon" like myself saw the value in having it as "another flavor" of Star Wars and that just being different didn't inherently make it bad. Why? Because variety is the spice of life and because we need it to keep things lively, interesting and evolving.

Did I abandon all my D6 books and embrace Saga with unchecked enthusiasm? No. Does having and playing Saga mean that all the previous ideas I've had for my D6 games are "wasted"? No. Do I feel like WotC was just "yanking my chain and trying to make a quick buck"? No. Does it mean that I will never go back to playing D6 or even that I will prefer playing Saga over D6? No. Absolutely not. Star Wars Saga hasn't closed any role playing doors to me. It has only opened new ones. It's not inferior or superior to D6 in any intrinsic way. It's just different, and sometimes different is refreshing.

Some things are not clear until we have viewed them from the outside. Sometimes change is all we need to realize that having something different is valuable in its own way. Sometimes, when something is deeply ingrained in our thinking, we forget that it's even really there, coloring our perceptions, until someone stirs things up a bit. Essentially, we get comfortable and satisfied with where the fruits of our labor have brought us, and we feel slighted when a different view comes tromping through our strawberry patch. But not everything is so "us against them". Sometimes it's just the need for a new voice and a new angle of thinking to add another layer of thought atop what has come before. 4e doesn't replace anything that came before it, it just adds another layer to think about (and to use or discard at your discretion).

My long-winded and hefty 2 cents...

tesral
06-17-2008, 11:45 PM
My long-winded and hefty 2 cents...

Having seen the various editions of Star Wars I have to say that Saga is a lot closer to SW d20 1e than 4e D&D is to 3e D&D.

Frankly what has been done to spells does invalidate thirty five years of the game. It is a whole new game and no I'm not retooling for it.

The name of the thread is "What's wrong about 4e", and we're telling you. Trying to justify the changes is not going to make them better. they are still fundimental changes i nthe very core of the game. They still slap the people that have played the game the longest right in the face.

Yes we are put off. We made D&D what it is. This is the thanks.

Is 4e a playable game? I have no doubt. But given the very real choice of dump my world or play their game, Lizards can walk.

And yea, what the Hell were they thinking with the alignment thing? More like what were they smoking?

Engar
06-17-2008, 11:49 PM
I have the original d20 SW book. I never got past it because in d6 it was bing bam boom and d20 was ow, my hip, slow down you. Maybe I will look at Saga, but how could anyone not want to play d6???

The only problem with not switching to 4e is that it might divide players and storytellers. Some will hate it, others undoubtedly want to try it, some will like it better, and some will give it more traction than it deserves only because it is new. Like I posted elsewhere, I want to see a movement back to 2e. It had it all and if it didn't you could fix it.

agoraderek
06-17-2008, 11:59 PM
My long-winded and hefty 2 cents...

you make good points, and, sure, at some point, i will wind up playing 4e at a con or if someone else is DMing, but, again, the problem is, WotC just told me everything i've been doing for going on THIRTY YEARS is now completely obsolete. why, for gygax's sake, would i want to RELEARN a game i dont even need a book in the room to run? if they had done a true upgrade, instead of a complete retool, i would have thoght "ok, this is different, this is tweaked, but, hey, it's still D&D". but, now its like "huh?":confused:

i wish i could step back, take a breath, and take it all in stride, but, when i could use JUDGE'S GUILD material in 3x without much effort, and i couldn't do so now without a complete rewrite of the original material, i tend to wonder why they just decided everyone who hummed "valley elf" to themselves doesnt matter anymore.

yes, i feel slighted, much more than that, actually, i feel dismissed all together.


I have the original d20 SW book. I never got past it because in d6 it was bing bam boom and d20 was ow, my hip, slow down you. Maybe I will look at Saga, but how could anyone not want to play d6???

i still play 2ed shadowrun, nothing wrong with d6 :)

tesral
06-18-2008, 12:11 AM
yes, i feel slighted, much more than that, actually, i feel dismissed all together.

Exactly. I'm not ready for the rocking chair by any means. I have lots of disposable income and I think I'll dispose of it elsewhere.

Webhead
06-18-2008, 12:28 AM
The name of the thread is "What's wrong about 4e", and we're telling you. Trying to justify the changes is not going to make them better. they are still fundimental changes i nthe very core of the game. They still slap the people that have played the game the longest right in the face.

Of course, and I'm not trying to scold anyone for criticism of 4e. I've just seen a lot of bashing that boils down to "I think WotC is gay and anything different sucks" and I just want to make sure people realize that we need change (sometimes drastic change) in order to make things grow beyond their own limitations. 4e will certainly appeal to a very different sort of gamer (namely those disatisfied with previous editions for one reason or another), but is that a bad thing? Why shouldn't we acknowledge their input? Is their voice any less valuable because they go against tradition? It all goes back to an old addage that always has been and always will be a favorite of mine:

"If you always do what you alway did, you'll always get what you always got."

This is a doubled-edged sword. For some, especially those who have long-standing, deep-seated investments in previous editions of D&D, they've always done it *this way* and they've always found happiness. For others (some like myself), we've always done it *this way* and we were not liking what we were getting. To get something different, you have to do something different, and (for me), I'm still trying to make my peace with D&D. Time will tell if (for me) 4e can do that.


Is 4e a playable game? I have no doubt. But given the very real choice of dump my world or play their game, Lizards can walk.

Sure. And there are other folks who are either looking for a fresh start, getting into the game for the first time, or take a less concerned approach to adapting and converting ideas to their games. WotC has to tread a very narrow path. By making something too different, they will alienate their established audience, but making it too similar does nothing to recapture lost players or attract new ones. Sorry...tangent...ignore...


I have the original d20 SW book. I never got past it because in d6 it was bing bam boom and d20 was ow, my hip, slow down you. Maybe I will look at Saga, but how could anyone not want to play d6???

I couldn't conceive of this myself and yet there it was. Yes, the first two cracks at Star Wars d20 sucked, but much to my own reluctant surprise, Saga gets a lot of things right. If D&D 3e were trimmed down to what Saga makes it into, I'd probably abandon D&D 4e entirely and go that direction. I don't see this happening with 3.75 though.


yes, i feel slighted, much more than that, actually, i feel dismissed all together.

Sure. I can see that. I've faced it before...even recently. It's all about experience and expectation. Had 4e more resembled a "D&D 3.75" for instance, I think I would have avoided it, but that's because I've felt "dismissed" by how far 3e has gone against my grain. Interestingly enough, if 4e were more a "step back" to something more like 2e, I might have considered looking into. Not sure why. Maybe it's the "anything but freakin' 3e" impulse taking over. :)

agoraderek
06-18-2008, 12:31 AM
I couldn't conceive of this myself and yet there it was. Yes, the first two cracks at Star Wars d20 sucked, but much to my own reluctant surprise, Saga gets a lot of things right. If D&D 3e were trimmed down to what Saga makes it into, I'd probably abandon D&D 4e entirely and go that direction. I don't see this happening with 3.75 though.

well, i, for one, thank paizo for deciding to put out material i can use. they will be getting the gaming dollars WotC just told me they didnt want...

Webhead
06-18-2008, 12:38 AM
well, i, for one, thank paizo for deciding to put out material i can use. they will be getting the gaming dollars WotC just told me they didnt want...

And I think this was a very wise move on Paizo's part. There will be plenty of spill-over from the whole 4e fiasco that Paizo's share of the pie (if marketed and advertised right) will be substantial.

I like Paizo. I won't be buying any 3.75 stuff from them just because it's not my bag, but I like them as a company and wish them well in this venture.

jkfoote
06-18-2008, 03:59 AM
The open Gaming license.

InfoStorm
06-18-2008, 08:29 AM
I've Read this thread since inception and have been holding off commenting until now, as I've gotten to spend some time reading the PBH. (I admit only about 1.5 hours so far)

So far, I agree with those who say "It is an entirely new system", because it IS. The only thing the SAME between the two are:
The use a d20 for most rolls.
Ability scores names and purposes.
Ability Scores start in the 3(8) to 18 range
The names of all but 1 of the 4e classes appear in 3e.
HP's regulate when a character dies
Levels are used to represent the character's progression.
There are mundane and magical items, who's names are similar
Many of the names and flavor of powers are SIMILAR to those from 3e.

NOTE: I specifically said "names" because most if not all of the underlaying values of everything are as similar an Apples is to a Sea Cucumber.

Like Tesral, I've been reusing and upgrading my game world since BASIC edition, and it has taken me a matter of minutes to do the basic conversion, more care when wanted for more detail. The game systems, from basic to 3e were similar enough that learning the new rules enough to play took 1, maybe 2 game sessions. This new system is way too different to learn that quickly, and IMHO it will take large amounts of time to relearn 30 years of gaming to make it fun. My entire gaming group (fortunately) agrees with me on this and will al be sticking to 3e.

In summary, I agree that 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons is as similar to 3rd Edition and their names, and that's about it.

Webhead
06-18-2008, 08:54 AM
My entire gaming group (fortunately) agrees with me on this and will al be sticking to 3e.

At least you have group cohesion and have found your collective voice on this. That is always good. Stick with what makes your group happiest. That's the way to go.

tesral
06-18-2008, 10:05 AM
This is a doubled-edged sword. For some, especially those who have long-standing, deep-seated investments in previous editions of D&D, they've always done it *this way* and they've always found happiness. For others (some like myself), we've always done it *this way* and we were not liking what we were getting. To get something different, you have to do something different, and (for me), I'm still trying to make my peace with D&D. Time will tell if (for me) 4e can do that.

Old business andtage, "never alienate your customer base". Oops. Appealing to new people is all well and good. Browning off your established customers, very bad.



well, i, for one, thank paizo for deciding to put out material i can use. they will be getting the gaming dollars WotC just told me they didnt want...

Ayup, thank you Pazio. My wallet has a new address.

Webhead
06-18-2008, 10:26 AM
Old business andtage, "never alienate your customer base". Oops. Appealing to new people is all well and good. Browning off your established customers, very bad.

True, and perhaps WotC has made the mistake of leaning business model of 4e too far in favor of attracting new customers over keeping old ones. Time (and sales numbers) will tell whether or not this was a good decision on their part from a business perspective.


Ayup, thank you Pazio. My wallet has a new address.

As I said, I tend to like Paizo as a company. I've bought a couple of (non-D&D) products from them. I think they were very smart for doing what they did. As a D&D player however, I won't participate in the 3.75 stuff...not because of anything inherent about Paizo or their vision, but because continuing in the 3.X direction for D&D no longer appeals to my gaming sensibilities. This is not Paizo's fault, just my own for wanting to explore different horizons to find something that makes me feel "better and more confident" about gaming than 3.X did.

Valdar
06-18-2008, 12:28 PM
True, and perhaps WotC has made the mistake of leaning business model of 4e too far in favor of attracting new customers over keeping old ones. Time (and sales numbers) will tell whether or not this was a good decision on their part from a business perspective.


Indeed time will tell. This business strategy killed Car Wars last I checked, but it's Microsoft's bread and butter.

4e has worked for me so far. My first combats had interesting tactics from new players at first level. I admit that one of the things that I like most about it is that it isn't bloated yet. I liked 3e better when you could say "Bards can't be lawful" without someone saying "Unless you take the Devoted Performer feat".

Webhead
06-18-2008, 12:54 PM
I admit that one of the things that I like most about it is that it isn't bloated yet. I liked 3e better when you could say "Bards can't be lawful" without someone saying "Unless you take the Devoted Performer feat".

Amen! While, truthfully, there is nothing to keep a DM from restricting the source material used in his/her game, there was a definite undercurrent to 3e that hinted at "more is better and do whatever you want...as long as you meet the prerequisites". :rolleyes:

Engar
06-18-2008, 01:12 PM
Microsoft has a near (some would definitely argue complete) monopoly. Even with the popularity of DnD it is a very different situation. I could be wrong since I didn't properly research, but I imagine Apple would be thrilled to have the same share of their market as White Wolf has of rpg's. And Unix/Linux, whoever does wordperfect (I forget) would love a share similar to other rpg systems.

I do agree that WotC borrowed almost exactly Microsoft's tactic (or Apple's perverted take) of open licensing. The proliferation of d20, no matter who is selling it, is a means of squeezing other systems out. WotC did a decent job of it, Microsoft owned it. WotC now is deviating from the Microsoft plan in yanking all the licensing back (effectively) to reap the benefit of the open licensees labor. The dynamic is different today, but it would be like Microsoft in the 80's turning around and saying the latest windows is now ONLY available on machines we produce.

Apple actually did this in the late 90's (exact methodology). They opened up their OS to several 3rd party hardware manufacturers. Those guys went out gangbusters trying to widen the market, undercutting each other, spending millions to advertise, anything imaginable. It may have been too little too late, but they still had a big impact. Then a couple years later when they all lined up for the new OS Apple said you know what, I think we got it from here.

fmitchell
06-18-2008, 01:29 PM
Indeed time will tell. This business strategy killed Car Wars last I checked, but it's Microsoft's bread and butter.

Unlike D&D, most people *have* to use Windows because it's part of their job, or it's one of the few OSes that runs some nigh-indispensible program (Word, Photoshop, Tomb Raider ...). Macs are expensive (and I say that as a recent switcher), and sometimes you can only find an analogue to a familiar program. Linux is cheap, but it has the same problems *plus* having to muck with drivers and other fiddly bits.

So I can (and have) dropped D&D for other games fairly easily ... although I admit it's harder to find players. Maybe the Great Edition Schism of 2008 will allow non-D&D games a little more time in the sun. (And maybe 2d6 monkeys will fly out of my butt as an Encounter Power.)

Webhead
06-18-2008, 01:48 PM
So I can (and have) dropped D&D for other games fairly easily ... although I admit it's harder to find players. Maybe the Great Edition Schism of 2008 will allow non-D&D games a little more time in the sun. (And maybe 2d6 monkeys will fly out of my butt as an Encounter Power.)

Agreed. For better or worse, D&D is the most prevalent and widely accepted role playing game in the industry. I will get much more substantial reaction if I announce or advertise that I'm running D&D than if I were to try to promote any other RPG. I've felt it first-hand.

I think that's why I still bother paying attention to D&D. If I really want to role play and am desperate enough, D&D is a more reliable net for catching players than anything "non-D&D". It's not my first choice of game, but it's a usable "emergency chute" just in case.

tesral
06-18-2008, 01:51 PM
I admit that one of the things that I like most about it is that it isn't bloated yet.

Yet ... Keep that yet in mind a couple of years from now. Based on the number of "classic" elements left out (Like metallic dragons) and going on the past business model of Lizards I will bet they are about unleash a flood of reworked old 2e and 3e material onto the gaming world in a series of 30 dollar books and or on line scraps to keep you paying the 15 bucks a month for your fix.

When 3e came out is was core books only too. Remember how long that lasted? What the MM is up to MM5 or something like that? PHB 2, DMG 2, this and that splat book, etc, ad nausum, and so forth....

Give them time, and I predict very little time. Just long enough to rework the old stuff to look new and format the books.

Valdar
06-18-2008, 02:20 PM
Yet ... Keep that yet in mind a couple of years from now.

Yeah, I could see it happening in as little as one year- version two of the books, plus DDI and 3rd party content. Hopefully by then my new game will be established, and players will be having fun with their "rogue" or "paladin" and not drawn to play a "Psionic Pathfinder" or whatever PHb2 comes up with.

I know as a DM I have the right to say no to splat books, but there's always the player with the big eyes and the "Character Options" 3rd party book he's gone and spent thirty bucks on, and is already going on about the kingdom he's "rolled" himself king of... Much like "Devoted Performer" quoter, there's no line in his head between "core" and "only with DM approval"...

Valdar
06-18-2008, 02:29 PM
Unlike D&D, most people *have* to use Windows because it's part of their job,

... although I admit it's harder to find players.


The comparison is apt. I used to like GURPS Fantasy but it was hard to find players and material. I used to support SCO UNIX but it was hard to find employers and customers. So now I play D&D and use Microsoft, and have a game table with a waitlist and a career I can brag about. Sellout? Yeah, probably.

jkfoote
06-18-2008, 10:52 PM
aw man don't get me started on GURPS, when your a tricked out fighter type and an old man with a sharpened cup can take you down, its just depressing.

agoraderek
06-19-2008, 12:06 AM
The comparison is apt. I used to like GURPS Fantasy but it was hard to find players and material. I used to support SCO UNIX but it was hard to find employers and customers. So now I play D&D and use Microsoft, and have a game table with a waitlist and a career I can brag about. Sellout? Yeah, probably.

don't be so hard on yourself. can't eat principles or put them in the gas tank, and gaming with yourself, your best friend who would play chutes and ladders if you wanted, and your cat cant be that fun...

Valdar
06-19-2008, 12:42 AM
aw man don't get me started on GURPS, when your a tricked out fighter type and an old man with a sharpened cup can take you down, its just depressing.

Actually, that's pretty accurate for certain genres...

Never act incautiously when confronting a small, bald, wrinkly, smiling old man! (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/OldMaster)

jkfoote
06-19-2008, 01:01 AM
Actually, that's pretty accurate for certain genres...

Yea, I've only ever played BESM, GURPS, Marvel, LOTR and DND, and Gurps was the only one where a old man with a sharpened cup and no skills could give me a fight. But like i said, I haven't "been around"

ryan973
06-19-2008, 10:04 AM
Yea, I've only ever played BESM, GURPS, Marvel, LOTR and DND, and Gurps was the only one where a old man with a sharpened cup and no skills could give me a fight. But like i said, I haven't "been around"




LOL, I actually almost died in full armer with sabre in hand against a fourteen year old with a rusy broken kitchen knife. There were 6 of them 15 of us and we were all armed and armored. Man that was a hard fight. lol. But in the past i have played good gurps games. The growth in that one was so slow that i just was not prepared to spend the next six months of gaming to graduate to fighting gaurds with short swords.

ryan973
06-19-2008, 10:23 AM
Oh, and Conan won't be challenging anyone. Barbarian will probably not be a Defender.



Thats the movie version the original comic he was a fighter. Also Pathfinder did a fix on fighter that in my opinion completly balanced them out. Sure if a wizard and a fighter fought at full health and full reast and the wizard is prepared then the fighter can and will lose. However the draw back of the wizard was alwase that even though he had all that amazing power it did not last, he needed to rest and prepare his spells often times after a hard fight the wizard would look around and say ok guys thats it for the night and everone would say nope pull out a wand pal we aint done yet. Thats what D&D was all about. Not everyone could play a wizard becous enot everyone could handle having to know when to hold back or go all out and have to rest.

Valdar
06-20-2008, 02:55 AM
LOL, I actually almost died in full armer with sabre in hand against a fourteen year old with a rusy broken kitchen knife. There were 6 of them 15 of us and we were all armed and armored. Man that was a hard fight. lol. But in the past i have played good gurps games. The growth in that one was so slow that i just was not prepared to spend the next six months of gaming to graduate to fighting gaurds with short swords.

Not my experience with GURPS at all, but if I wanted to discuss that, I should bring it up on the GURPS board, which I'm not inclined to do at this point...

Engar
06-22-2008, 10:21 PM
I want to add 50gp for plate armor as another thing "wrong with 4e". I think it also fits nicely with a getting everything now philosophy that I believe is greatly harming roleplaying and even the combat aspects of DnD. This is why interest in a character degrades following creation rather than grows.

tesral
06-22-2008, 11:09 PM
I want to add 50gp for plate armor as another thing "wrong with 4e". I think it also fits nicely with a getting everything now philosophy that I believe is greatly harming roleplaying and even the combat aspects of DnD. This is why interest in a character degrades following creation rather than grows.

I'm not going to disagree there. Starting with a couple of coins in my pocket and a shirt on my back, little better than the people that are farming, that is how my character grows. It is good to get things. Good to grow into a hero.

So far everything that has been crowed as an "improvment" in 4e makes me cringe. I dislike it for the very things that others think are great.

agoraderek
06-22-2008, 11:12 PM
I'm not going ot disagree there. Starting with a couple of coins in my pocket and a shirt on my back, little better than the people that are farming, that is how my character grows. It is good to get things. Good to grow into a hero.

yep, conan, for example, wasnt "born" fully formed. someone had to sack his village to put him in the position to resorty to thievery to survive, which led to his career as a pirate, then warlord, and finally emperor...

and he sure as heck couldnt afford the most advanced personal armor available when he started his career...

Farcaster
06-23-2008, 10:08 AM
I want to add 50gp for plate armor as another thing "wrong with 4e".


conan...sure as heck couldnt afford the most advanced personal armor available when he started his career...

So, it never bothered either either of you at all that in reality chainmail is far more costly to make than plate armor and yet was a fraction of the cost in D&D?

ryan973
06-23-2008, 11:06 AM
Umm actually I dotn think thats true. being an amature blacksmith and all i can tell you that not only is chainmail mush easier to make but also cheaper. expecially being that the links are simple to make and the most time consuming part is actually putting the shirt together wich can be done by anyone with pliers. unless your talking about socketed links in wich case thats a lot harder.

fmitchell
06-23-2008, 11:19 AM
So, it never bothered either either of you at all that in reality chainmail is far more costly to make than plate armor and yet was a fraction of the cost in D&D?

Do you have some hard numbers for that, especially in a medieval society? Chainmail has a higher labor cost, but labor was cheap in a feudal society. Presumably the skill to forge an entire suit of iron that didn't impede a warrior would be far more rare, especially without modern power tools and forges.

Also, D&D never pretended to mirror real economics. In fantasy tales, only knights had plate armor.

In any case, though, nobody's going to take anything extravagantly expensive into a melee, whether plate, chain, scale, or leather. So having players "work up" to Plate Armor, when even the poorest landless knight had a suit almost by definition, is a bit silly. It's like a modern game in which characters have to save up for a car, or a spy game where if the characters do well on their missions, one day they'll get a gun and bugging devices.

Going back to Conan: except for the tale of how Conan got his sword and possibly one or two others, Conan appeared as an already experienced and accomplished warrior, albeit growing even more awesome as the stories progressed. The sacking of his village, and his period of slavery, were merely backstory.

While "ordinary but plucky young people saving the world" is one way to tell a story, it's not the only way. I liked a former Midnight campaign when we were refugees terrified of goblins, but I'm also anticipating an upcoming 4e game where I start as the prodigal who comes back an experienced warrior and strategist.

tesral
06-23-2008, 11:22 AM
Umm actually I dotn think thats true. being an amature blacksmith and all i can tell you that not only is chainmail mush easier to make but also cheaper. expecially being that the links are simple to make and the most time consuming part is actually putting the shirt together wich can be done by anyone with pliers. unless your talking about socketed links in wich case thats a lot harder.

It is time consuming, but does not require the same level of skill, even for riveted mail, which was the good stuff. Time people had in plenty.

Truth of the matter the two types of armor where not seen much on the same battlefield. Prices relative to each other would likely be similar as each was the height of technology at the time it was most popular.

But since when as D&D been about reality. Armor types and weapons are mixed willy nilly across time and cultures. You can have an adventurer dressed in armor and carrying weapions that would never have seen each other on the real world.

That said, 50gp for a suit of armor is way too cheap when we know that a suit of armor could cost the price of several farms. Obviously in the 4e world you can buy a farm for 20 to 25gp

It looks like the world is now divided into three types. Victims, to be disregarded as unimportant. Heroes, which are all that matters, and targets for the heroes to be heroic on.

No my world, never will be.

Engar
06-23-2008, 11:29 AM
I never gave that much thought. Of course very few throughout history ever had armor at all, let alone metal armor. By todays standards it might be all the people who drive tanks (for metal anyway). I am also not sure that your argument over price is based solely on materials (not labor) or might be period specific (I concede finding no specific historical costs searching online and not being an expert).

The first plate armors (of the middle ages as I believe they first appeared in limited form in the roman army) were chainmail suits with solid metal plates attached (what I imagine as "platemail" in DnD). Since the foundation is standard chainmail I cannot see it being less expensive. Later, full plate armors were created to replace very uncomfortable mail. If they were cheaper as well, I cannot really confirm or deny with the information I have readily available. I do know it required a very skilled craftsmen to form fit the plates and that most of it ended up being ceremonial or for tournament use since those that could afford it commonly paid a "shield tax" which amounted to buying out of the army.

Okay, that said, I would also argue that the historical element must be taken rather lightly in most games to facilitate the fantastic. The system has established that plate armors and full plate armors in particular are both the most effective and the most costly. To dramatically alter those costs (other than by adjusting the value of a gold piece) is to alter the entire economy. Even in the hack'n'slash game the economy might matter. In a heavy roleplaying game it definitely does. Do you think if Lexus suddenly decided to sell their high end sedans for $400 that it would not impact the economy?

One other matter too, platinum began as 1:5 gold. Went to 1:10 gold and is now 1:100 gold. I think this corellates well to the appreciating value of rollplaying over roleplaying in the various editions. Sure, you can roleplay in any game, I hear ya. So I also take it when you choose the train in monopoly that being a convincing choo-choo and telling the story of your adventure past go is the focus of your game?

tesral
06-23-2008, 11:39 AM
So I also take it when you choose the train in monopoly that being a convincing choo-choo and telling the story of your adventure past go is the focus of your game?

I'm the Race Car!

One has to be careful not to inject too much reality, such as the question of armors. OK, armor has a hierarchy of effectiveness and cost. I've been playing the game for 32 years and buying into that idea. Now is not the time to suddenly decide I want historically accurate armor.

Webhead
06-23-2008, 11:48 AM
It looks like the world is now divided into three types. Victims, to be disregarded as unimportant. Heroes, which are all that matters, and targets for the heroes to be heroic on.

I don't see this as a change from previous editions though. By my experience, this is kind of how D&D games were always regarded (not saying that's a good thing, just that it seems to have been the case).

Regardless of edition, you either had the "level 0" common folk that worked farms, taverns and shops who would quickly perish at the raising of a sword or attack by frenzied house cat, or the DM gave "significant" NPCs class levels (Fighter for the castle guards, Thief for the swindlers, etc.), and then you had monsters.

The introduction of "NPC classes" in 3e was a novel idea and one that I adopted from time to time (I even considered running a game where all PCs had to make their characters using the NPC classes), but it was generally more trouble than I cared to keep up with. But then, I have a generally loose implementation of my NPCs stat-wise. If Jim-Bob the NPC is supposed to be a smooth-talker, I'll write down that he has [X] points in the appropriate skill. If I anticipate that he will attack/be attacked, I'll pick a reasonable-sounding number of hit points, attack and save bonuses. If it's someone who is supposed to specifically oppose the PCs as in fight or otherwise directly challenge them, I will obviously go into more detail, but I don't write up stats for "the town guard".

fmitchell
06-23-2008, 11:59 AM
That said, 50gp for a suit of armor is way too cheap when we know that a suit of armor could cost the price of several farms. Obviously in the 4e world you can buy a farm for 20 to 25gp

It looks like the world is now divided into three types. Victims, to be disregarded as unimportant. Heroes, which are all that matters, and targets for the heroes to be heroic on.

No my world, never will be.

OK, if you want a suit of plate armor to be more expensive, such that one needs a rich sponsor or considerable wealth, multiply the price by 10 or 100. WotC lawyers will not descend on your house to sue you for altering a rule.

While the "powerful heroes in a benighted land" concept is a strong one in 4e, nothing forces such a drastic schism between "heroes" and "victims". Here's how I interpret (rationalize?) the differences:


First-level characters are no longer weak newbies as in previous editions; they've endured at least an apprenticeship, probably a trial-by-fire.

PCs may be individually powerful, but there are leaders who can command large bodies of men/elves/goblins/etc. Never underestimate a mob with torches and pitchforks.

Much like Tokugawa Japan, the fighting classes depend on farmers, artisans, and merchants for the food they eat, the arms and tools they use, and the gold they get for recovered treasure. They also can face guardsmen and bodyguards who can fight if they break the peace, or just annoy the wrong people. (See above.)

While I only have the PHB, and I don't know if NPC classes still exist apart from "monster classes", if there's nothing suitable I'd probably house-rule something for relevant non-combat abilities of some NPCs: proficiencies in existing skills, new skills (like Shiphandling, Armory, and other craft skills), perhaps even limited powers (like "Calm the Savage" for a noblewoman's uber-Diplomacy even on an enemy, "Conning the Con" for a merchant who can swindle even a Rogue, or "Scottish Engineer" for master craftsmen who can do amazing work in half the time).


EDIT: From a previous post I gather NPC classes got tossed out, and I can see the reason why. For extraordinary non-combat NPCs, I'd probably just assign them skills, probably the six basic stats, and the occasional power that they might use for or against a PC. After all, skill-based systems are by far the most flexible, right?

fmitchell
06-23-2008, 12:57 PM
Someone in my current game accused me of being a pod person, because I'm cautiously optimistic about 4e, and excited about an opportunity to play it. It has some of the parts I liked about Iron Heroes without the latter's fiddly mechanics. It also harks back somewhat to the simplicity of Basic D&D.

However, in this thread's tradition of whining and wringing hands, I'll tell you what I'm less enthusiastic about:


The combat focus of D&D has only increased. While I liked the Iron Heroes idea of fighters who didn't simply whale on things until they fell over, I'd rather the characters do more than fight. Now everybody, even the Rogues and the Wizards, seem to be Fighty MacFightenburg.

The list of skills has been drastically cut down. Skills provided an antidote to defining characters as BAB and Damage. The new list might cover "adventuring" scenarios adequately, but I miss characters with crafts or specialized knowledge, or whose mastery of court etiquette or shiphandling allowed the PCs to avoid a fight.

The addition of class powers make devising a new class even harder, and even more of a black art to plot out powers up to 30th level that don't unbalance the campaign.

Every race has unique powers, and a few "racial feats" to their name. If you'd prefer to have a "human only" campaign, your players will lose access to some useful abilities without house-ruling and some creative explanations. If you don't like the current non-humans and want to create your own (e.g. animal folk, Gloranthan Elves, Gloranthan Trolls, Discworld Trolls, Earthdawn Obsidimen, even different slants on dwarfs, goblins, and the MIA gnomes), you've got more work cut out for you.

My first Runequest character, back in college, grew up as a beekeeper in troll lands. Can a 4e character have a life outside of combat, thieving, and dungeon-crawling?

My current character is primarily an investigator (albeit in the 1920s). Is there room in 4e for a William of Ockam or Lord D'arcy?

Real power comes not from slaying men but leading them. Can a 4e character rule a kingdom? Or does he just slaughter the king and take his stuff?

tesral
06-23-2008, 01:38 PM
I've never had a three cast world. Ordnary people might not be ordnary. Not all adventurers go on to be demigods. Some decide that they have had enough, settle down and take a trade.

Life itself is rough enough that 1st level is not that common a state. Find any gaming Mother and ask her if she is "1st level". Expect a dirty look. Being a Mother is worth 2nd level just for the effort of becomeing a mother. Never mind rasing the results.

Heroes are heroes for why they do, not for what they do. After all the villians are often doing the same things, but to people not for them.

I don't like the PCs starting as heroes. That leaves little to strive for. I have strived for years to make the point clear that no one has a bar over their head that says "PC" you are not speical to the world for being a PC. Everyone lives under the same rules.

Now 4e kicks all of that aside. I'll keep my world, thank you.

Engar
06-23-2008, 02:05 PM
I think my problem is I like d20. Changing THAC0 to d20 I mean. That's it. Feats were a bad idea that made system manipulation more important than character development (even if many make no distinction). Skills became corrupted for use in "encounters" which is now the term for every significant event.

2e: I brew her a drink in the pot I made with the herbs I picked and with my great ettiquette I herald her coming to sit in the chair I wove to discuss ancient history and astrology. Perhaps later we shall play a game or have a dance and a song. By the end of the eve I shall know if her kingdom truly is an ally.

Alright a little over the top, but try that in 4e. Just kidding, kill the gal. They made it simple(-minded).

Webhead
06-23-2008, 02:07 PM
However, in this thread's tradition of whining and wringing hands, I'll tell you what I'm less enthusiastic about...

I think you make some good points and I certainly think that 4e has its share of "quirks" if not outright "flaws". I don't think it's inherently moreso than previous editions either, but that's the primary source of much debate.

Regardless, as you mentioned, I think in some subtle ways there is a little harkening back to Basic D&D in game play philosophy. In the Skill List example, I see a lot of return to non-encounter skills being adjudicated by "character background and ability checks". I'm not saying that this is the "best" way to handle them (if such a concept as "best" has any value at all), but that's how we always dealt with those kinds of things in Basic, 1e and 2e, and I actually think I kind of miss it (one reason I actually want to go back to Basic D&D). If your background described your character as a good singer, then you were and you didn't have to spend ranks in the "Singing" skill. I think it allowed a lot of creativity and not "I don't have enough points to both be good at singing and at tailoring, so I have to just pick one". Raw ability checks became much less important post-3e.

I think most of it has to do with play style and how much or how little your group encourages deviation or extrapolation from the "written rules". That said, the rules do have their own kind of effect on how players approach the game, so I think it's kind of a give-and-take.

Webhead
06-23-2008, 02:28 PM
I've never had a three cast world. Ordnary people might not be ordnary. Not all adventurers go on to be demigods. Some decide that they have had enough, settle down and take a trade.

Sure. I created a remote traveller's inn for one of my D&D campaigns that was operated by a former party of adventurers who had decided to settle down. They all had a PC classes and were around levels 4 to 6. They had histories, personalities and even left over trinkets and bits of magical gear from their adventuring days. I don't see how any edition of D&D makes this approach any different though.


I don't like the PCs starting as heroes. That leaves little to strive for. I have strived for years to make the point clear that no one has a bar over their head that says "PC" you are not speical to the world for being a PC. Everyone lives under the same rules.

I think it depends on the purpose and style of the game. I am a big fan of superheroes for example. When I run a superhero game, I tend to like to avoid "one-up" syndrome where the PCs feel like they're only the "second-stringers" and only get to do the "clean up jobs" that the big-time heroes are too busy to handle. For one thing, this tends to be detrimental to the suspension of disbelief as the players either want to call upon these "bigger, badder heroes" to come solve their problems for them, or they constantly question (and eventually resent) the heroes for being "conveniently absent" when the PCs are in trouble. They are the heroes of the story, so they should feel like it, but they should also be reminded that they still have a lot to learn. Just because you're a "hero" doesn't mean you can't be challenged or that there is nothing left to discover about yourself or the world around you.

But there absolutely be characters more experienced or more powerful than the PCs within the game world, they just shouldn't be stealing the party's thunder with their existence (at least with rare, plot-moving exceptions).

The PCs shouldn't necessarily be the most important beings in the World (unless that is the focus of the campaign), but they should be the most important characters in the Story.

One D&D campaign that I played in, we made our first level characters and in my backstory, I wanted my Fighter character to be the former captain of the guard for his kingdom. He came from a long line of well-respected members of that kingdom and he had a degree of notoriety and nobility. The kingdom was assaulted and fell in a great war and he was one of few survivors. Thus, I wanted my character to have had heroic and epic origins, even though he was only a 1st level fighter.

fmitchell
06-23-2008, 02:50 PM
Life itself is rough enough that 1st level is not that common a state. Find any gaming Mother and ask her if she is "1st level". Expect a dirty look. Being a Mother is worth 2nd level just for the effort of becomeing a mother. Never mind rasing the results.

Classes and levels themselves are poor approximations to reality, which is why I prefer skill-based systems ... a less-poor approximation, at least.

Unfortunately in a game, especially one primarily of physical conflict, you need some sort of rules to define a fictional "reality"; in D&D, that's "levels" for the martial and magical abilities of PCs, their opponents, and their allies.

One's ability as a mother, while important even in fiction, has no measurement on the axes of physical and magical conflict. (I can't imagine a game where you could even measure it adequately, although I'm sure wiser heads than mind can devise Mother: The Upbringing.)

4th edition has redefined "first level" to be the point where a character becomes a significant "player" in the realm of physical conflicts. Farmers, blacksmiths, noblemen, and the like can factor into such conflicts in other ways, but as combatants they lack the physical training, or magical expertise, to compete significantly on the battlefield. (I don't know what the DMG does, but a sensible approach is to give them no PC class, no level bonuses and perhaps a penalty to combat, HP = Con, and specialized "skills" to reflect the areas of their expertise.)

In a conflict-oriented game, though, some fairly objective statement of a character's abilities outside of exploits, spells, feats, and the rest allows for "soft power" and creative but peaceful resolutions to hardships. Whether that's skill numbers, flat statements of abilities, or a written biography that documents expertise in such matters, I'd rather have some resolution technique defined up-front than to have the GM make an arbitrary decision. (GMs can of course veto anything, but players prefer to have at least the illusion of control ... otherwise, it's just one guy telling a story to a bunch of kibitzers.)

Sorry if this is rambling a bit ... I'm taking a short break from work.

EDIT:


I don't like the PCs starting as heroes.

Actually, they don't in 4e. They start as trained combatants, spellcasters, or leaders (of small groups). The world has plenty of people who can swing a sword or throw an eldritch blast as well as they, and many even better. Levels only denote their abilities in battle, not their worth as people -- despite what brigands and unchivalrous knights might think. PCs only become heroes by their actions ... just as in earlier editions, and just as in real life.

(Actually, an interesting if short game would be to play "zeroth-level" characters who save their little corner of the world from tougher foes. There's an old AD&D module like that ... but imagine these farmers, blacksmiths, and wise women trying to outwit Fighters who can cleave three at a time, and Warlocks who can unleash the furies of hell.)

Farcaster
06-23-2008, 03:36 PM
The combat focus of D&D has only increased...Now everybody, even the Rogues and the Wizards, seem to be Fighty MacFightenburg.

Conversely, now everyone can make a roll on any skill check basically, which makes it much more likely that they can be active participants in social situations if they want to be.

Webhead
06-23-2008, 04:06 PM
Conversely, now everyone can make a roll on any skill check basically, which makes it much more likely that they can be active participants in social situations if they want to be.

Yes. I think the general idea behind the design philosophy of 4e is that everyone in the party, regardless of class, should at least be able to contribute something to any given encounter or scene. You may have the "talky" PC who excels at negotiating, but even the less socially-apt characters should have something to do or contribute, even if it isn't their specialty. Likewise, the Wizard shouldn't have to curl up in a ball in the corner when he has no more spells for the day. Everyone should be involved in a scene, be it physically, mentally or socially driven.

This is something that I admired about FATE/Spirit of the Century. The way your abilities were defined and the unified resolution mechanic meant that social and mental scenes could be as involved and exciting as physical combats and everyone could potentially share in the action.

agoraderek
06-23-2008, 05:49 PM
Going back to Conan: except for the tale of how Conan got his sword and possibly one or two others, Conan appeared as an already experienced and accomplished warrior, albeit growing even more awesome as the stories progressed. The sacking of his village, and his period of slavery, were merely backstory.

this is true; however, conan stories wouldn't have sold if you had to read about every crust of bread he stole between his village being sacked and him robbing the gem eyes of some toad god.

the point is, you have to start somewhere. and, as i prefer low fantasy, not heroic fantasy, i like to start my players scrapping for everything until they can build a stake, not coming out of the gate loaded for bear. i find that the players i've dmed through the years don't take anything for granted when they had to sweat and bleed for it, so when the magical sword or rare scroll is finally won, they cherish it like real treasure, not like an annotation on their character sheet...

fmitchell
06-23-2008, 06:31 PM
This is something that I admired about FATE/Spirit of the Century. The way your abilities were defined and the unified resolution mechanic meant that social and mental scenes could be as involved and exciting as physical combats and everyone could potentially share in the action.

Yep, I prefer SotC or similar games with a unified resolution mechanic for every form of conflict. I guess I'm not yet convinced that the 4e skill list covers every form of non-combat conflict ... and I'm certainly not convinced that combat requires powers and feats and rules and levels, whereas non-combat requires only (stat) + (level/2) + (5 if trained).

BTW, SotC only has a few skills relevant to physical combat: Guns, Weapons, Fists, Endurance, Alertness (for initiative), and possibly Mysteries, Athletics or Might depending on stunts and the GM's ruling. The other 20 involve non-combat actions: Investigation, Resolve, Contacting, Rapport, Empathy, Academics ...

On the other hand, again based on experience with SotC, I can see the argument that separate skills for Riding, Archaeology, Plant Lore, etc really just increase the chance that someone's chosen skill would be useless in a particular adventure (or campaign!). And, given the pseudo-medieval basis of D&D, there's no need for a plethora of knowledge skills since educated people of those times tend to be polymaths with the limited knowledge available. (E.g. "Aha! This plant relieves pain", not "Aha! An excellent specimen of Salix babylonica!".)

Webhead
06-23-2008, 07:03 PM
On the other hand, again based on experience with SotC, I can see the argument that separate skills for Riding, Archaeology, Plant Lore, etc really just increase the chance that someone's chosen skill would be useless in a particular adventure (or campaign!). And, given the pseudo-medieval basis of D&D, there's no need for a plethora of knowledge skills since educated people of those times tend to be polymaths with the limited knowledge available. (E.g. "Aha! This plant relieves pain", not "Aha! An excellent specimen of Salix babylonica!".)

True.

I wasn't intending to attempt to compare D&D 4e to SotC as they are very different games that do very different things. But I noticed the conceptual parallel between the way SotC handles "scene interaction" and they way we used to use "ability checks" in pre-3e D&D...that is, with much broader brush strokes. As you said, there are really only a handful of skills in SotC that are directly combat-oriented, but there are dozens of skills that can be used in combat in SotC to contribute to the scene, even if the character is not a "combat character". Same goes for non-combat scenes. I like this a lot.

The final verdict is still out for me on D&D 4e and will be until I've actually played it. I like that they seem to have painted the game in broader strokes and boiled a lot of things down from (in my mind) unnecessary detail. Basically, the less time I have to spend thinking about the rules and the more encouraged I feel to use my own judgement instead of letting the game do it for me, the more time I will have to explore the "imagination" of the game, which is when I am happiest.

Engar
06-23-2008, 09:21 PM
Everyone should be able to participate. Heck, I believe everyone should be encouraged to participate. Even able and encouraged very often. That does not mean everyone must be able and encouraged to participate in everything at all times. There is also something to be said for effort in spite of ability as well letting one character shine for a minute.

Besides, this might work with "encounters", but a system is a sad replacement for human beings creatively interacting (vs. strategically). Reducing and compartmentalizing all interactions to "encounters" with a choice from a list of appropriate activities may ease social awkwardness, but it may also be an attempt to broaden appeal by lowering creative expectations or demands.

EDIT: reworded

Engar
06-23-2008, 10:07 PM
Surprisingly the more critical I am of 4e the more I talk myself into playing it just so I can prove or disprove all my theories. Oops, did i mention i have yet to play it? LOL.

Webhead
06-23-2008, 10:30 PM
Surprisingly the more critical I am of 4e the more I talk myself into playing it just so I can prove or disprove all my theories. Oops, did i mention i have yet to play it? LOL.

I'm getting the same way. The more I talk about 4e, the more I feel like I need to just shut up and play it to see all of these "theories" in practice. Only then a Jedi will you be...uh, I mean...will I know if it is worthy of my game table. :D

tesral
06-23-2008, 10:42 PM
I'm getting the same way. The more I talk about 4e, the more I feel like I need to just shut up and play it to see all of these "theories" in practice. Only then a Jedi will you be...uh, I mean...will I know if it is worthy of my game table. :D

I'm not going that far. I'm not saying I would refuse to play 4e someday, I would right now however. The outright rejection is too much. I will not buy their books, that is an older promise.

agoraderek
06-24-2008, 01:19 AM
I'm getting the same way. The more I talk about 4e, the more I feel like I need to just shut up and play it to see all of these "theories" in practice. Only then a Jedi will you be...uh, I mean...will I know if it is worthy of my game table. :D

my objections are due to my long standing homebrew game that has managed to survive every edition since AD&D, and now would be a chore (for no apparent gain) to undertake since the rules set is such a departure from anything previous...


I'm not going that far. I'm not saying I would refuse to play 4e someday, I would right now however. The outright rejection is too much. I will not buy their books, that is an older promise.

i'll probably never dm a 4e game, but like ive said in other posts, i'll probably pick up a PHB at some point (im sure one will pop up in half priced books or e-bay soon enough, someone who bought one should be sick of it eventually...). i have no objections to playing it, heck, its just another rpg, but, having read the books now, it isnt my brand of d&d..

Engar
06-24-2008, 01:49 AM
Oh yeah, trust me, if I had not recently moved and was running the old game I would probably have returned the PHB. Conversion might take longer than original creation.

That said, I am now starting fresh and everyone is hollering for 4e. So, I agreed to run at least a little while on Saturdays if that is what the players want. I get to sample 4e, they get the new game they want, and if I cannot do it justice someone else will take over or we will play something else or both. Either way I intend to give it my best, stay solid on the roleplaying, and hope playtesting 4e wows any complaints right out of me. If not, I get to complain with renewed authority.

Of course I have no idea who any of the potential players are so that will prove itself a challenge, lol!

Webhead
06-24-2008, 10:02 AM
my objections are due to my long standing homebrew game that has managed to survive every edition since AD&D, and now would be a chore (for no apparent gain) to undertake since the rules set is such a departure from anything previous...

Sure. I think part of what makes "edition swapping" easier for me with regard to 4e is that all of my unused (and there are many) D&D campaigns and adventures require almost no conversion. The ideas are independent of system concerns and would work just as well if I plugged them into a different rule set. In fact, when I think about it, most of my write-ups don't even mention stats. Thus, the only real hassle for me is learning the new system and how it differs from previous ones.

Of course, this is just me and is not the case for many (most?) others, so I can understand the positions of those who don't have it quite so simple and would not ask of them that they change editions.


i'll probably never dm a 4e game, but like ive said in other posts, i'll probably pick up a PHB at some point (im sure one will pop up in half priced books or e-bay soon enough, someone who bought one should be sick of it eventually...). i have no objections to playing it, heck, its just another rpg, but, having read the books now, it isnt my brand of d&d..

Half Price Books is a modern marvel. One man's trash is another man's less-smelly trash...;)

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-24-2008, 10:03 AM
I cant say if there is really anything wrong with 4.0. It doesnt quite have that DnD feel to me, unlike all the other editions, but i play it anyway. If anything comes to mind, i would say that i am still getting use to all the healing that can be done during gameplay. Seems like a video game, in a way.

Thoth-Amon

Farcaster
06-24-2008, 10:27 AM
I'm not saying I would refuse to play 4e someday...I will not buy their books, that is an older promise.
Perhaps not. But you are perfectly willing to steal their work in the form of an illegal PDF copy.


I cant say if there is really anything wrong with 4.0. It doesnt quite have that DnD feel to me

This I can agree with. It is in many ways a drastic departure from what D&D was. So much so, that I think of 4th edition as a different game. It uses the same concepts of D&D, in that it is d20 and it has (most) of the same classes, monsters, magic items, etc. But the system is changed enough that it seems to me to be almost a new fantasy game altogether. In my group, we've taken to calling it "4th edition" and omitting the "D&D" part.

Is that a bad thing? Personally, I don't think so. Because in a lot of other ways, it is closer to what you find in fantasy literature. For instance, Fire-and-Forget spells, you don't see that unless you're reading a D&D based book.

Bottom line, my group and I are definitely going to try it out. If we don't like it, so be it. There are YEARS of supplements available for our 3.5 game. So, I say, WotC isn't publishing 3.5 material any more? So what? I have more than enough materials to run a 3.5 game ad infinitum, and the framework is already there to create whatever I want.

tesral
06-24-2008, 10:48 AM
Half Price Books is a modern marvel. One man's trash is another man's less-smelly trash...;)

That and Amazon market place, wonderful things.




Perhaps not. But you are perfectly willing to steal their work in the form of an illegal PDF copy.

I was offered it. I have zero, no, nada, nyet, plans to ever buy this edition, so I am hardly snatching food from the "starving" Hasbro children. I prefer to argue from a point of knowledge.

As to the PDF itself, I have to wonder. Most gaming PRFs are clearly scanned copies. This isn't. It looks like it came directly from Lizards, the layout for the printing process.

I think it was leaked. to engender interest.

When I need a book, I hit the Internet and find it used.



In my group, we've taken to calling it "4th edition" and omitting the "D&D" part.
Is that a bad thing?

Ayup. Taint the same animal. I personally think it a bad thing. The thread is called ":What is wrong about 4e", not "being apologetic about 4e".

The deal is everything people have complained about in D&D I fixed. Fire & forget, skills, feats, I fixed it. Lizards could have fixed it too.

Lizards didn't, they made a game totally incopmpatable with the previous game. Screw'm. They can have their over priced smeary books.

Speaking of PDFs, I have a Bureau 13 d20 PDF to get back to printing.

Webhead
06-24-2008, 10:56 AM
Bottom line, my group and I are definitely going to try it out. If we don't like it, so be it. There are YEARS of supplements available for our 3.5 game. So, I say, WotC isn't publishing 3.5 material any more? So what? I have more than enough materials to run a 3.5 game ad infinitum, and the framework is already there to create whatever I want.

True. I could sit down with my Rules Cyclopedia (which is the only non-4e edition that I would try running at this point) and run a D&D campaign that could last as long as the players still carried interest. The only problem would be finding players willing to concede to "downgrading" (:rolleyes:) from their current pet-edition. For most players I personally know, that's 3.5.

agoraderek
06-24-2008, 04:58 PM
True. I could sit down with my Rules Cyclopedia (which is the only non-4e edition that I would try running at this point) and run a D&D campaign that could last as long as the players still carried interest. The only problem would be finding players willing to concede to "downgrading" (:rolleyes:) from their current pet-edition. For most players I personally know, that's 3.5.

like i said, i'd play basic any day.

again, the whole argument (for me, anyway) comes down to this: d&d survived basically 6 editions being the same game, fundamentally. there are many options out there for people who dont like d&d. why did WotC choose to make the "4th edition" of D&D!!! the alternative for people who dont like d&d???

still a big "kiss off" from wotc to the people who kept it going all these years...

Edit: i base this on a common theme from quite a few of the "pro-4th ed" people that they drifted away from d&d (whether after 2nd ed started, 3x, whatever).

Webhead
06-24-2008, 09:09 PM
Edit: i base this on a common theme from quite a few of the "pro-4th ed" people that they drifted away from d&d (whether after 2nd ed started, 3x, whatever).

In my case, I didn't drift away from D&D (as I'd been in 2 lengthy 3.X campaigns over the last 6 years or so) so much as grow weary of the way it was evolving rules-wise, but I understand your point.

I wasn't getting turned off of "D&D-the game setting" per se...but rather, I was getting frustrated with "D&D-the rules set". Thus, I was looking for alternative rules to run my D&D-ish fantasy campaign ideas since the (then) established "official" rules weren't doing it for me.

I always wanted to run an action-fantasy campaign inspired by the Battlechasers comic with a system like Risus or Wushu (any edition of D&D...even 4e...would not really handle it well).

agoraderek
06-25-2008, 01:33 AM
I wasn't getting turned off of "D&D-the game setting" per se...but rather, I was getting frustrated with "D&D-the rules set". Thus, I was looking for alternative rules to run my D&D-ish fantasy campaign ideas since the (then) established "official" rules weren't doing it for me.

i wouldn't have had so much of a problem if they had just changed the rules a bit, streamlines them and made them a bit more intuitive, that would have been cool. but they changed the whole paradigm. for better or worse, things like "fire and forget". huge spell lists, "you're screwed when the cleric runs out of healing", somewhat imbalanced characters except at middle levels, and the class/race core in existence since 1st ed, were part of what was d&d. it was the "flavor", if you will.

like i said, there have always been other game systems that weren't d&d that addressed those issues if they were a big enough deal to you (runequest, the fantasy trip, rolemaster, ars magica...), or, you could do what everyone since od&d did, and just house rule it yourself.

but they decided to completely make over the game, with little thought to any backward compatability. i wish them the best, i'll buy my phb used so they only see that coin once...

ryan973
06-25-2008, 09:16 AM
You know the more i read fourth the less i am worrying about it. Like soemone said before there a tons of alternatives out there for people who did not like D&D, now one of those is 4th. Wether so many liek it or not they have split there consumer base by at least a third and no company can afford that. They will fix things or they wont and still people will play what they like. I do think this gives role playing games themselves a big hit. But we will bounce back.

Webhead
06-25-2008, 09:42 AM
like i said, there have always been other game systems that weren't d&d that addressed those issues if they were a big enough deal to you (runequest, the fantasy trip, rolemaster, ars magica...), or, you could do what everyone since od&d did, and just house rule it yourself.

True, but then too, D&D has always been rather "iconic" within the realm of fantasy RPGs and thus made it easier for players to throw themselves into as opposed to the (many) alternative fantasy games. Armor Class, Hit Points, Fighters, Thieves, Clerics, goblins, dragons, etc. That, and I never really found an alternative fantasy RPG that really rubs me the right way either and most tended to be rather rules-heavy which is a turn off for me. Kind of a "rock and a hard place" situation.

We did do some "house ruling" for our early D&D games in the sense that if we didn't like or didn't know how something worked, we made it up and kept going...but we rarely kept a "written record" of these changes, because it wasn't important to us at the time. In later years, I disliked making a lot of house rules to game systems because I dislike having a lot of exceptions to rules that need to be remembered and prefer to keep things as simple as possible.

I guess where I'm going with this (hopefully) is that I was left with either trying to run a D&D-ish fantasy game with one of my "generic systems of choice" (FATE, Risus, Wushu, Unisystem) which most players I know would dismiss out of hand, or hope that D&D could be made appealing to me as a game system somehow.

I honestly couldn't tell you yet if 4e does this or if it will just turn out to be another disappointment, but until I've given it a try, I won't know for sure...hence the reason I'm giving it a read and am willing to put it to the test.

agoraderek
06-26-2008, 02:26 PM
I think that is the point. All along they have been saying to wrap up your existing 3.5 games and start fresh with 4e. They don't expect people to convert, they expect people to start anew.

Which is brash if you ask me.

i agree. my homebrew world survived without much trouble through three and a half editions, the upfit wasn't much of a chore, but with 4.0, it would take too much time away from actually coming up with scenarios to be time effective.

im too old, have too much real life stuff to do, i guess i'll leave 4.0 to the kids and the people who didnt like the way old d&d played in the first place.

like i sad, they made a nice FRPG game. it just isnt d&d to me anymore.

Inquisitor Tremayne
06-26-2008, 03:07 PM
i agree. my homebrew world survived without much trouble through three and a half editions, the upfit wasn't much of a chore, but with 4.0, it would take too much time away from actually coming up with scenarios to be time effective.

im too old, have too much real life stuff to do, i guess i'll leave 4.0 to the kids and the people who didnt like the way old d&d played in the first place.

like i sad, they made a nice FRPG game. it just isnt d&d to me anymore.

I have been considering meshing the two, 4e and 3.5.

I like the flavor of 3.5 but I like the ease of play in 4e.

Too much on my plate now to do it and I am certain someone will eventually do it.

tesral
06-26-2008, 03:23 PM
I think that is the point. All along they have been saying to wrap up your existing 3.5 games and start fresh with 4e. They don't expect people to convert, they expect people to start anew.

Which is brash if you ask me.

I have no plans to wrap up on their command. My Game is older than their company. Seniority wise Thindacarulle wins. It's more than brash, it's presumptuous. I have a few choice suggestions about unlit places they can shove and rotate that idea.

agoraderek
06-26-2008, 11:40 PM
True, but then too, D&D has always been rather "iconic" within the realm of fantasy RPGs...

and i have been a loyal fan and customer since 1979. d&d has always been my favorite game, and they lost me. so be it ;)

Webhead
06-27-2008, 10:22 AM
and i have been a loyal fan and customer since 1979. d&d has always been my favorite game, and they lost me. so be it ;)

D&D wasn't my "favorite" game (the Star Wars RPG, for example, won out every time someone asked me to choose) but we played it quite frequently and it was always fun (more so in the early days). The more I think about the "good times" of our earlier D&D campaigns, the more I feel like just retreating back to my Rules Cyclopedia. Unfortunately, I realize that my players seem like they would rather not play D&D at all than to play anything pre-3e...so it's all pretty much a wash. Crappy. I like D&D-fantasy, I do. What is a guy like me supposed to do? I don't like the versions they want to play and they don't like the versions that I'm willing to play...:(

tesral
06-27-2008, 10:24 AM
Crappy. I like D&D-fantasy, I do. What is a guy like me supposed to do? :(

Find like minds and soldier on, that is about all we can do.

Frankly if a player is more concerned about the edition I am using that how fun my game is, I don't need them.

Webhead
06-27-2008, 10:48 AM
Find like minds and soldier on, that is about all we can do.

Frankly if a player is more concerned about the edition I am using that how fun my game is, I don't need them.

Sure, I can see the value in that. Hence why I've played in several long-standing D&D 3.5 campaigns despite my dislike for the rules system. It doesn't make the game "not fun", it just means the "rules" parts of the game hold less appeal for me than it does others, so I focus my energy on the role playing part.

But these are also long-time friends of mine who I am on terms with that far exceed the "game". We agree on enough outside of D&D that it's still all good. That's why I don't worry about it overly much. I'm not gonna tell my friends "I don't wanna game with you anymore" just because we have differences in which edition of D&D we like. It just means that I will let them know that I'm not wild about D&D 3.X and that I would prefer to play something else if at all possible. Likewise, they will approach me the same way with their opinions. In the end, we either find something else to play, or somebody sucks it up and goes along with the game for what it is and enjoys the game for the social interaction and hilarious role playing moments.

It just kinda sucks that D&D has become such vigorously contested territory for most players I know.

Valdar
06-27-2008, 01:01 PM
I ran my second session of 4e last night, and my impression is that the differences between 3x and 4e are really being exaggerated on these boards. Players roll initiative just like before. Melee attacks target AC just like before. Spells hit different defenses, but that was done with spell resistance and saving throws before. HPs go down with hits and up with healing, just like before. There are dragonborn now, but there were half-dragons before. There are tieflings now, just like before. Nobody's playing an aasimar, just like before. Still D&D to me? Yes sir.

Missing things from previous editions will be included later. Bard and Barbarian weren't starting classes 1e, but came later. Monk wasn't in 2e, but came later.

So, for those of you who say that 4e doesn't "feel" like D&D, what specifically is missing, and can you really say that D&D isn't better off without that thing?

Dimthar
06-27-2008, 05:24 PM
What's wrong with 4E? ... ask the Kobolds


Dimtharusk: I am tired of those adventurers pushing on us! Now they have this fire spitting dude who killed my brother Carlusk before he could even finish his charge.

Koboldusk: Yeah! We need someone who can lead us to victory!

Dimtharusk: Hey! How about Ramirusk?

Koboldusk: You mean the paraplejic shaman from the North Tribe? He won’t leave his cave, and every time he sends orders in my dreams I happen to be wearing only underwear.

Dimtharusk: Perhaps Brujosk the ogre magi?

K Koboldusk: You would think he is very powerful with all those spell books, but he merely collects them, he doesn’t even know how to read magic. We need someone with a library!

Dimtharusk: There is Superusk? Legend says that his powers were "specially" blessed by Godusk (Kobold God) the moment he was born.

Koboldusk: He was so "special" that joined the adventurers and is pursuing his great destiny in some forsaken parallel universe.

Dimtharusk: Imaginusk? Rumor says he can know exactly where the enemy is even if they are all Invisible.

Koboldusk: He is too “high nose” to run with us. He thinks he is above those of us who actually need to see the enemy to be able to effectively strike.

Dimtharusk: So we are doomed.

Koboldusk: There is still one hope … there is this guy Fenixusk, he came through a portal, in his world the Kobolds make "Tacos" of the adventurers and put "Pico de Gallo" on them,

And that is how the Great Kobold Migration started.

.

Webhead
06-27-2008, 07:26 PM
...And that is how the Great Kobold Migration started...

"You forget...I was present at an unexplained mass kobold migration!"

"Ray, the kobolds migrated a foot and a half..."

:D

Engar
07-03-2008, 02:44 PM
http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6751

Tamerath
07-05-2008, 12:18 PM
, I realize that my players seem like they would rather not play D&D at all than to play anything pre-3e...so it's all pretty much a wash. Crappy. I like D&D-fantasy, I do. What is a guy like me supposed to do? I don't like the versions they want to play and they don't like the versions that I'm willing to play...:(

I had friends that I asked to play 3rd edition when it came out but were so "Pro 2nd Edition" you couldn't get them to sit down and try it. Good thing I had a larger pool of friends willing to try 3rd edition. IF wizards does follow through with what they are promising for the "Online Tools" you could easily find a group of people online so you can "test drive" a couple of games of 4th Edition. I'm looking forward to this tool to meet up with some old buddies of mine in different states, but I'm also anxious to play with people from around the country.

So far, even though I'm almost an advacate of 4th Edition, I will say honestly that Wizards did really let me down with the online stuff in 3rd edition....and when it came to launch 4th I was under the impression that the online tools would be ready...and they were not...and not by days or a couple of weeks...but it looks like it'll be closer to 5 or 6 months or more...that's a little much if you ask me.

Engar
07-05-2008, 12:55 PM
WotC has a bad track record with creating and implementing computerized or web-based technology. They also have a bad track record choosing developers and communicating for outsourced projects. I hope this recent concept proves more than an employee's pipe dream or premature release of boardroom brainstorming.

Strange WotC/Hasbro's willingness to spend money promoting such intangibles seemingly without a product or even a fleshed out plan for reaching a final product. They either have dullard management or extremely persuasive designers (or both).

Engar
07-05-2008, 01:29 PM
Am I reading it wrong or did I miss a discussion about death and dying in 4e? Or rather the virtual impossibility of unintentional character death in 4e?

I actually kind of like it for my game where dumb monsters will try to pull away their "food" or at least tear a big piece to run off with which the new system might allow a character to survive through. Devious monsters will often use slitting the throat of an unconcious party member as a ploy to force surrender, change the dynamic of the battle or negotiate escape. Truly vicious nasties will first seek the parties attention before snuffing the helpless bastard in one last act of defiance.

Don't get the wrong idea I am not the DM that pits himself against the players and tries to kill characters for some secret sadistic glee. Characters are heroes, they all have a four leaf clover in their pocket and a horseshoe overhead. I fudge when nothing but a run of dumb luck makes it necessary (my rule is to fudge rarely and to characters' advantage only) and try to allow an exciting but survivable environment with a healthy fear of character death but not a constant reality of character death. I just do not track all the hitpoints all the time so if I roll 20 dmg and fudge to 10 only to find out the character dies with 8, well... you have to break a few eggs... This way I just have a bigger margin for error.

Aidan
07-05-2008, 03:12 PM
It's quite possible to die in combat in 4e. If you drop below negative half your hit points you die immediately. Anytime you drop below zero hit points, you have to make a death saving throw every round. Three failed saves means you're dead.

It does say that for the most part, the monsters ignore fallen combatants, and I think this is realistic. It's tactically sound to focus on the able bodied attackers than the ones who are motionless on the ground. Now, if the party is all knocked off or flees, leaving fallen members behind, I can see them finishing them off.

Engar
07-05-2008, 08:29 PM
I have yet to play 4e, but it looks much harder to die than previous editions. I admit I did not check by all angles, but just the dramatic increase in hitpoints and the threshold between dying and dead are significant. Like I said, I am not out to kill the poor players' characters. I do like scaring them and keeping some supense going which a dire wolf about to tear a limb from an unconcious ally or a goblin threatening to off same if terms go unmet can accomplish.

Speaking of dire wolves, I guess rangers are now more like specialist fighters. Gone are the wilderness survivalists, now they just fill a combat role. I am again leaning toward refusing to run 4e. I keep telling myself the system is just the rules and not the flavor of the game. Everyone who reports trying it likes it. All the roleplay elements are just as viable and present only the various suggestions or encouragements how a character might play are gone.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
07-05-2008, 11:02 PM
I had friends that I asked to play 3rd edition when it came out but were so "Pro 2nd Edition" you couldn't get them to sit down and try it. Good thing I had a larger pool of friends willing to try 3rd edition. IF wizards does follow through with what they are promising for the "Online Tools" you could easily find a group of people online so you can "test drive" a couple of games of 4th Edition. I'm looking forward to this tool to meet up with some old buddies of mine in different states, but I'm also anxious to play with people from around the country.

So far, even though I'm almost an advacate of 4th Edition, I will say honestly that Wizards did really let me down with the online stuff in 3rd edition....and when it came to launch 4th I was under the impression that the online tools would be ready...and they were not...and not by days or a couple of weeks...but it looks like it'll be closer to 5 or 6 months or more...that's a little much if you ask me.
Yep. In alot of ways, WOTC has let us down. There are many things that should have been accomplished(my opinion) with the release of 4.0. I dont know what they were thinking.

Thoth-Amon

agoraderek
07-06-2008, 03:04 AM
re: the topic...

http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=1055570

this actually made my head hurt...

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
07-06-2008, 03:10 AM
re: the topic...

http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=1055570

this actually made my head hurt...
Interesting. Thanks for posting.

Thoth-Amon

tesral
07-06-2008, 08:29 AM
My head didn't hurt. It's an interesting deconstruction of the whole power inflation problem. If you don't have X power Y challenge is going to eat your lunch, or eat you for lunch. And by X level you better have X power in addition to your level abilities.

I have run into this power scale in every d20 game I have played. One reason I never got 100% into the d20 economy.

The break down of the Forry economy pretty much assures I'll never touch it.

Engar
07-06-2008, 10:12 AM
Yipes. I only see this mattering with the removal of Z, a human DM. I am ceratin the argument has great merit for the challenges presented in future 4e MMO's or eRPGs which wish to follow a more non-linear format. I will leave this level of analysis to the programmers and computers which will remain a sorry substitute for flesh and blood.

EDIT: I think I misposted, sorry about that. ***delete***

tesral
07-06-2008, 12:08 PM
I rarely mind going off topic (and equally guilty of it). As a reminder to those unsure what this thread is about...

How were you introduced to DnD or how did you become a gamer?

The thread is about what is wrong with Forry. Mainly he is a moose in a horse suit. and Lizards wants everyone cool with antlers.

There is a thread for how one got started. Now I need to clean the lichen off my old D&D slabs.

Stormhound
07-06-2008, 12:30 PM
I just never bought into the whole "they're level X, so they have to have Y goodies" thing. No, they don't. If I as GM can't tailor encounters to make them feasible to the party, I should be sitting in another chair. And if I don't want to give out gallons of goodies like WoW loot-drops, I shouldn't be forced to.

RPG rules rarely have reasonable economies. It's more a case of getting a nice plus when you find one, than of punting a system because it doesn't happen to have one. Baby, bathwater, etc..

(In short, to keep with the thread topic, yeah, 4e economy as written stinks. I should care about that because?)

tesral
07-06-2008, 12:39 PM
I just never bought into the whole "they're level X, so they have to have Y goodies" thing. No, they don't. If I as GM can't tailor encounters to make them feasible to the party, I should be sitting in another chair. And if I don't want to give out gallons of goodies like WoW loot-drops, I shouldn't be forced to.

RPG rules rarely have reasonable economies. It's more a case of getting a nice plus when you find one, than of punting a system because it doesn't happen to have one. Baby, bathwater, etc..

But this "economy" is exactly what Forry is recommending and teaching new DMs to do. Player wish lists for the monsters to conveniently spit up when dead, x treasure by Y level and so forth. That is the game now.

Concepts like the combat roles come straight out of WoW without even a name change. The comparisons to MMO games and Forry are not sour grapes, they are coming from MMO players. One of my son's player put it. "I don't want WoW in my D&D. If I want WoW, I'll play WoW." Incidentally, he does.

I agree with you. I never have had a formula or a scale and never will. If I have a level 10 party with no magic I can find a challange they can handle.

Stormhound
07-06-2008, 12:47 PM
Oh, I understand that it's what's written, and so it is written, so mote it be, et cetera, ad nauseam. And that's the game rules now, sure. They write a set of rules to teach this stuff because teaching anything more takes time and effort that they don't personally have.

But it ain't the game. We olde phartes have to stick around long enough to show the newbies that there's a whole big experience waiting out there beyond the land of Bashenloot, if only adventurers are brave enough to explore it.

But now I really am getting well off-topic, so I'll save such blasphemies for other threads. ;)

agoraderek
07-06-2008, 03:19 PM
My head didn't hurt. It's an interesting deconstruction of the whole power inflation problem. If you don't have X power Y challenge is going to eat your lunch, or eat you for lunch. And by X level you better have X power in addition to your level abilities.

I have run into this power scale in every d20 game I have played. One reason I never got 100% into the d20 economy.

The break down of the Forry economy pretty much assures I'll never touch it.

it didn't make my head hurt from the math point of view, it made my head hurt that the new game is so "balanced" that the difference between a +5 and +6 (and, seriously, who the heck ever had a +6 sword back in the day if they weren't playing arduin?) can royally screw a party.

i dislike that much of the free form, improvisational nature of d&d has been "RAW"ed out of 4e. and, as far as "balance" goes, i LIKE that a 20th level wizard has a good chance of eating everyone's lunch, he's SUPPOSED to be a bada**, frankly.

the more i go over the 4e rules, the more i think im reading a menu from a chinese restaurant "one from column A, one from column B, and with three, you get eggroll".

the warts, the unbalanced power at high and low levels, the vancian magic (and i really wonder how many people who throw that term around only use it because it's used to describe the magic system from ODD to 3x, and how many have ever READ a jack vance novel and understand why the system is sublime...)(Tesral, i know you're not fond of the vancian system - and i dont doubt for a second you've actually read vance - but we have to respectfully disagree on this one ;) ), the crazy, unwieldly rules everyone ignores (grappling, im looking your way), ad nausem, ARE D&D imho. part of the charm of the game has always been that it isnt perfect, it isnt beautiful, but it was always compelling and FUN.

and for everyone who ever felt compelled to dig through the books to see how something works, grinding the game to a halt, well, your dm was missing the gene that is required for all old school d&d dms: every once in a while, you just have to say "to heck with the books" and drive on...

(i mean, seriously, even gygax said he never used weapon speed factors, and that his home campaign used radically different grappling rules than the ones in AD&D...)

wizarddog
07-06-2008, 04:58 PM
All the roleplay elements are just as viable and present only the various suggestions or encouragements how a character might play are gone.

In Truth, I got more usefull information off the boards on that. By skimming the 4.0 book you get all those impressions we are talking about (Boardgame/chinese menu/WOW).

But like you all said, until you played it, you don't know what you got. I put my group to the vote--do you want to try 4.0 (with the condition that I start a new campaign--didn't want to screw with the 3.5 we were playing). They agreed and we start in August.

Now I'm pulling up the resources I have that I didn't use in the campaign and converting them to 4.0. It took me a while to wrap my head around the monster creation process/XP values. The skill challenges were easily as I was already doing that in 3.5. Now I can grab 1e modules and do easily converts and I don't need a page and half to do monster stats.

The problem I had with 1e was no rules for non-thieves for hiding. I don't want the DM always to have the ruling. I want the mechanics that are the rules. But I don't need the mechanics on how my character defecates. And that is in some way how 3.5 felt at times.

So who knows. ;)

tesral
07-06-2008, 05:51 PM
the warts, the unbalanced power at high and low levels, the vancian magic (and i really wonder how many people who throw that term around only use it because it's used to describe the magic system from ODD to 3x, and how many have ever READ a jack vance novel and understand why the system is sublime...)(Tesral, i know you're not fond of the vancian system - and i dont doubt for a second you've actually read vance - but we have to respectfully disagree on this one ;) )

The problerm I see with the Vancian system is the origin. "The Dying Earth" The world is run down, ending. My world is not run down and ending. Vibrant, stong, and in it's prime. Magic suitable for a parable of the end times doesn't fit.

I just take the "forget" out of fire and forget.

agoraderek
07-06-2008, 06:26 PM
The problerm I see with the Vancian system is the origin. "The Dying Earth" The world is run down, ending. My world is not run down and ending. Vibrant, stong, and in it's prime. Magic suitable for a parable of the end times doesn't fit.

I just take the "forget" out of fire and forget.

i agree the system wouldn't be appropriate for your world, then. hatheg is a very low magic world, wizards are rare, magic items precious, and when magic is wielded at a high level, it can be devastating. Vance's system works perfectly for my setting.

tesral
07-06-2008, 07:59 PM
i agree the system wouldn't be appropriate for your world, then. hatheg is a very low magic world, wizards are rare, magic items precious, and when magic is wielded at a high level, it can be devastating. Vance's system works perfectly for my setting.

Then I would agree, good for your world. One size does not fit all.

Engar
07-06-2008, 09:14 PM
The core of my problem with 4e is that it fails to inspire me. 4e and I seem to think differently. I know, I know, not well explained or substantiated. 4e feels sterile to me. It feels "generic". DnD has never even been a universal system, let alone generic. Perhaps the worst insult for an rpg... I find 4e lacking in imagination.

tesral
07-06-2008, 09:52 PM
I find 4e lacking in imagination.

Dude ... That's like ... cold....

Put me in the same camp thank you very much.

Law Dog
07-06-2008, 10:05 PM
Dude ... That's like ... cold....

Put me in the same camp thank you very much.


Sign me up.

agoraderek
07-06-2008, 10:26 PM
Then I would agree, good for your world. One size does not fit all.

i couldn't find the answer on your site, so i'll ask here (as OP of this thread, i guess i can go off topic for a sec, right? ;) )

do you have the same number of slots, but the caster can use whatever from his book, or have you adopted a spell point system? and, if it is a spell point system, could you post it on the campaign thread like you have the races of thindacarule? i run a side game in fr, and as it is considerably higher magic than my homebrew, i wouldn't mind looking at your system...

Engar
07-06-2008, 10:58 PM
I never playtested it, but I toyed with the idea of allowing bonus spells to be spontaneous choices for both wizards and clerics. I also used the UA constitution based spell point system (forget their name for it) where casting leads to fatigue/exhaustion (even death with a personal tweek to it). Sort of Raistlinesque. I used the UA system for a specific NPC group, players never used it so I cannot attest to its balance within the party.

Tomcat1066
07-07-2008, 05:01 AM
I'm new here (Hi :D), and have been playing DnD for about 15 years now off and on, and 4th edition is the first time I don't want to play the "official" version of DnD. After reading the PHB, DMG, and MM, here's what I've found as my primary problems with it.

1. 4th edition is about the party. Everything is designed to make each party be able to do X things. It assumes that every party should be able to have one person to snipe, one person to heal, one person to be a tank, and one person to throw spells. While parties often take that form, the most fun I've had with parties was when there was a hole somewhere that we had to adapt, like the guy with the most hit points walks through the traps so we could proceed. A group of individuals is much more fun to play IMHO.

2. It's combat oriented. As a guy who loves playing fighters, this may seem like it's right up my alley, but it's not. The skill rules are actually vague to me, and allow very little customization. It's now very difficult for a player to tailor a character to fit some unusual role like a warrior-scholar (I'm actually playing one of those right now...it's a blast.).

3. Spellcasters suck. While a 1st level wizard will never run out of spells, they will never get as powerful as they could in previous editions. Some argue on the 'net that this is an advantage, since wizards become mega-powerful at high levels as opposed to other classes. My thing is, why not beef up the other classes rather than depower the quintessential fantasy class?

4. Eliminating creativity. Apparently, there are plenty of gamers out there who are about as creative as a salad bar. They need "powers" to explain to them how to do stuff in combat. A fighter doesn't need a list of "exploits" to hit with. A creative player can come up with stuff all on his own that will do the job nicely and the DM can reward or punish accordingly. Now, the creative player is stuck with his "exploits", most of which are limited in how often he can use them.

5. Eladrin? Is that a funny word for "elf"?

6. It's bland as hell. Only one class is the least bit exciting for me out of 4th edition, and that was the Warlock...and probably only because I never really looked at the Warlock stuff in 3.5e. They've successfully made my favorite classes boring. I had no idea that was even possible.

7. Dragonborn and Tieflings? WTF? In my homebrew worlds, I've typically gone with core races. This is NOT an easy retrofit, as other have pointed out. And I'm sorry, but a breath weapon at first level?

8. Where are gnomes again?

9. Warlords. I was stoked about this class until I realized it just took some of the bard's powers, mixed in some of the clerics (just a bit), and given a name that makes them sound cool. Unfortunately, the name is so misleading!

10. Followers. Characters should have followers eventually since it opens up tons of opportunities, yet I haven't found a single place where followers are actually listed for PCs. Apparently, WOTC have decided that followers are unbalancing or some such junk.

11. The labels they slap on classes. Strikers, controllers, leaders, and defenders? The role a character plays within the party should be up to how they are played, not what class they have. I've known too many people who would take a "leader" class just to "lead" the party who don't have any business leading anything. Wizards, who are listed as controllers, could easily blast the living crap out of anything they see...but they're supposed to "control". How you play the character should define the role, not what class you play.

12. Archery fighters? You can play those still. But now it's spelled R-A-N-G-E-R and no other options really. In every other edition of D&D, you could play an archery-specializing fighter. With a high strength and a composite bow, you were still a bad, bad boy or girl. Now, all the fighter exploits are based on melee weapon usage. After all, you're now a "defender" and that apparently means "meat shield" exclusively. Some have asked "why would you want to play an archery fighter". My answer is because I do. A player shouldn't have to justify a valid concept (archery warriors are historical after all) to anyone except the DM.

13. Multiclass. Some people LIKE playing multiclass characters. 4th Edition has eliminated that really. You can dabble in another class at lower levels, but actually pursue it? Not a chance until 10th level.

Now, this isn't to say that 4th edition is completely useless. It looks like it'll be easier for new players to grasp, and that can be a good thing. Some things do look more balanced. But balance at the expense of an enjoyable game is never a good alternative. In short, there is very little of value in 4th edition for me.

FWIW, I'm glad to be playing 3.5e instead. I only wish I hadn't bought all the 4e stuff already :(

Webhead
07-07-2008, 12:11 PM
4e feels sterile to me. It feels "generic".

Oddly enough, my tendancy to want to retreat back to my Rules Cyclopedia (or more likely Labyrinth Lord instead) I think stems from a desire to go back to a simpler, more iconic, more "generic" system for D&D (by generic, I mean that the rules are independant of the "world" part of the game which should be decided by me, not by the book).


Perhaps the worst insult for an rpg... I find 4e lacking in imagination.

I think for the same reason as above (my sense of DM ownership of the development of the game), I don't get any more or less inspiration from 4e than I do from any other edition...but then, I never turned to the books for for creative spark. It's a bunch of rules. That's all it is. The artwork is evocative (to me), so in that respect I think 4e can be a little inspirational (especially the MM), but as DM, I think it's my job to bring as much or as little imagination to the game as I want to see in it.

A Fighter is a Fighter is a Fighter. I don't care whether I'm playing one using BD&D, 1e, 3.X or whatever. The rules for "Fighter" are a shell that I need to put my own imagination behind if I want to get excited about it.

This post is not an arguement for or against 4e. Just some mindless ramblings about "imagination" and how unrelated to a game system it is for me. I'm thinking about ditching the D&D systems entirely and just running a Sword-and-Sorcery Wushu game. Much more freedom that way, but maybe that's just me smelling the rotting remains of the beaten horse...;)

tesral
07-07-2008, 12:28 PM
i couldn't find the answer on your site, so i'll ask here (as OP of this thread, i guess i can go off topic for a sec, right? ;) )

do you have the same number of slots, but the caster can use whatever from his book, or have you adopted a spell point system? and, if it is a spell point system, could you post it on the campaign thread like you have the races of thindacarule? i run a side game in fr, and as it is considerably higher magic than my homebrew, i wouldn't mind looking at your system...

Same slots, the caster can know twice the number of spells they can cast, they still have to pick which spells they will have available, one for each slot.

System (http://phoenixinn.iwarp.com/fantasy/gs_fant.htm#System) is the section with PDFs of the player manual. the complete 2.5 manual and the partial 2.8 manual.




Now, this isn't to say that 4th edition is completely useless. It looks like it'll be easier for new players to grasp, and that can be a good thing. Some things do look more balanced. But balance at the expense of an enjoyable game is never a good alternative. In short, there is very little of value in 4th edition for me.

FWIW, I'm glad to be playing 3.5e instead.


succinctly put. This echoes my feelings well. It's a game, but it's not my game and ever will be.

Icthius
07-07-2008, 03:26 PM
1. 4th edition is about the party. Everything is designed to make each party be able to do X things. It assumes that every party should be able to have one person to snipe, one person to heal, one person to be a tank, and one person to throw spells. While parties often take that form, the most fun I've had with parties was when there was a hole somewhere that we had to adapt, like the guy with the most hit points walks through the traps so we could proceed. A group of individuals is much more fun to play IMHO.

Replacing a class that makes you well rounded with a class who's roll is already covered is not only possible in 4e, it's a whole lot of fun. 4 fighters is now a viable party (and just as unique as 4 separate classes).



2. It's combat oriented. As a guy who loves playing fighters, this may seem like it's right up my alley, but it's not. The skill rules are actually vague to me, and allow very little customization. It's now very difficult for a player to tailor a character to fit some unusual role like a warrior-scholar (I'm actually playing one of those right now...it's a blast.).
The rules are combat oriented, yes, but the ruleset for non-combat encounters has always been god-awful in 3.5. By level 12 I can convince everyone, even my most dire enemies, that I'm their best friend so long as I don't roll a one? Pshaw, good sir! I'm glad they're taking the rules away from my RP- I prefer it freeform.



3. Spellcasters suck. While a 1st level wizard will never run out of spells, they will never get as powerful as they could in previous editions. Some argue on the 'net that this is an advantage, since wizards become mega-powerful at high levels as opposed to other classes. My thing is, why not beef up the other classes rather than depower the quintessential fantasy class?
Well, the only way you could think they haven't beefed up the other classes was if you were playing a Wizard that could take most demigods by level 10. Fun for the wizard, but everyone else is bored to tears. In 4, everyone gets beefed up, and yeah, the lack of "save or die forever in eternal torment on the moon" spells stinks for the wizard, but is pretty great for the other players and the GM.



4. Eliminating creativity. Apparently, there are plenty of gamers out there who are about as creative as a salad bar. They need "powers" to explain to them how to do stuff in combat. A fighter doesn't need a list of "exploits" to hit with. A creative player can come up with stuff all on his own that will do the job nicely and the DM can reward or punish accordingly. Now, the creative player is stuck with his "exploits", most of which are limited in how often he can use them.
I'll grant you that with a great DM the more freeform the ruleset, the better. Most people, though, don't have a DM with that much skill, experience or knowledge. I think they did a good job of letting the characters stay creative with thier "at will" powers, though. What could you be creative about in 3.5 that you can't in 4?




5. Eladrin? Is that a funny word for "elf"?
Admittedly, it's silly that they didn't change anything about them other than wearing robes instead of leaves, but I'm glad they at least seperated the "woodsy outdoorsmen" race from the "high arcanists in the ivory tower" race.



6. It's bland as hell. Only one class is the least bit exciting for me out of 4th edition, and that was the Warlock...and probably only because I never really looked at the Warlock stuff in 3.5e. They've successfully made my favorite classes boring. I had no idea that was even possible.
How are they significantly different than classes in 3.5?




7. Dragonborn and Tieflings? WTF? In my homebrew worlds, I've typically gone with core races. This is NOT an easy retrofit, as other have pointed out. And I'm sorry, but a breath weapon at first level?
I can't really comment on the retrofitting (except to give my honest condolences offer any advice you might want on ideas how to fit them in), but the breath weapon at 1st isn't at all overpowered. It makes perfect sense and is well-balanced.



8. Where are gnomes again?
P. 131 of the monster manual ;) Seriously, though, I am playing a Gnome Warlock right now and that race is perfect for Warlocks, you should give them a try



9. Warlords. I was stoked about this class until I realized it just took some of the bard's powers, mixed in some of the clerics (just a bit), and given a name that makes them sound cool. Unfortunately, the name is so misleading!
No way, man, they rock the house! They basically give thier allies free actions, extra attacks, and bonuses out the wazoo. It's like you're playing a General who treats fights like a chess game.


10. Followers. Characters should have followers eventually since it opens up tons of opportunities, yet I haven't found a single place where followers are actually listed for PCs. Apparently, WOTC have decided that followers are unbalancing or some such junk.
I think they're leaving it open to the DMs to decide what's balanced in terms of followers.


11. The labels they slap on classes. Strikers, controllers, leaders, and defenders? The role a character plays within the party should be up to how they are played, not what class they have. I've known too many people who would take a "leader" class just to "lead" the party who don't have any business leading anything. Wizards, who are listed as controllers, could easily blast the living crap out of anything they see...but they're supposed to "control". How you play the character should define the role, not what class you play.

The powerset on classes have always determined what they're able to do. I don't see how giving them specific titles so that the newbies understand the game better hurts at all.



12. Archery fighters? You can play those still. But now it's spelled R-A-N-G-E-R and no other options really. In every other edition of D&D, you could play an archery-specializing fighter. With a high strength and a composite bow, you were still a bad, bad boy or girl. Now, all the fighter exploits are based on melee weapon usage. After all, you're now a "defender" and that apparently means "meat shield" exclusively. Some have asked "why would you want to play an archery fighter". My answer is because I do. A player shouldn't have to justify a valid concept (archery warriors are historical after all) to anyone except the DM.
Well, why not just rename Ranger "Archery Fighter"? In point 11, you seem mad because WoTC puts labels on classes that determines what they do, but here you are, getting up in arms about an arbitrary label. That doesn't make much sense.


13. Multiclass. Some people LIKE playing multiclass characters. 4th Edition has eliminated that really. You can dabble in another class at lower levels, but actually pursue it? Not a chance until 10th level.
Sure you can--at every level you get a feat. I see what you're saying though, people who really want to fully multiclass are kinda out on a limb in this edition.



FWIW, I'm glad to be playing 3.5e instead. I only wish I hadn't bought all the 4e stuff already :(

Give 3.75 (the Pathfinder stuff) over at Paizo a try, then. They took everything it looks like you love about 3.5 and made it better :)

Tomcat1066
07-07-2008, 03:59 PM
Replacing a class that makes you well rounded with a class who's roll is already covered is not only possible in 4e, it's a whole lot of fun. 4 fighters is now a viable party (and just as unique as 4 separate classes).

While it may be doable, it's clear that everything is geared toward a certain way (the party consisting of a defender, controller, leader and striker). The difficulty in getting cross class skills is part of where they push people into X role. I much prefer that I be able to play my fighter as a striker, or the rogue as the leader.



The rules are combat oriented, yes, but the ruleset for non-combat encounters has always been god-awful in 3.5. By level 12 I can convince everyone, even my most dire enemies, that I'm their best friend so long as I don't roll a one? Pshaw, good sir! I'm glad they're taking the rules away from my RP- I prefer it freeform.

And a good DM adjusts the DC so that it's still a challenge. After all, your most dire enemy is less likely to believe you anyways. Free-form RP is fine for some, but not for me. Sure, a productive argument from your character should have something to do with how well you pull it off, but it shouldn't be the only factor IMHO.



Well, the only way you could think they haven't beefed up the other classes was if you were playing a Wizard that could take most demigods by level 10. Fun for the wizard, but everyone else is bored to tears. In 4, everyone gets beefed up, and yeah, the lack of "save or die forever in eternal torment on the moon" spells stinks for the wizard, but is pretty great for the other players and the GM.

I don't play wizards. I've played them in the past, but I just don't enjoy them in general. As for 4th Edition, I don't have a problem with "fire and forget" or "Save or Die". Instead, it's just the lack of real ability at the higher levels that I feel wizards should have. Perhaps I'm just not explaining it right.



I'll grant you that with a great DM the more freeform the ruleset, the better. Most people, though, don't have a DM with that much skill, experience or knowledge. I think they did a good job of letting the characters stay creative with thier "at will" powers, though. What could you be creative about in 3.5 that you can't in 4?

The powers are the problem. A fighter can only do X once per day, and Y once per encounter instead of doing his "thing" as often as needed, despite the fact that it seems unrealistic. A Wizard can only use X spell once per day, even if he knows that tomorrow is goblin army is attacking the city. The powers, IMHO, seem to limit what a character can do, where as previously we could pull off whatever we could come up with so long as we made the rolls.


Admittedly, it's silly that they didn't change anything about them other than wearing robes instead of leaves, but I'm glad they at least seperated the "woodsy outdoorsmen" race from the "high arcanists in the ivory tower" race.

And if they had called Eladrin "High Elves" and Elves "Wood Elves", this complaint wouldn't even be on the radar. While it might seem like a minor quibble, and it is, it's still a personal problem with the edition.



How are they significantly different than classes in 3.5?

3.5 classes leave plenty of options for all the classes to customize them in a whole lot of ways, making them exciting for me at least. 4th Edition limits that tremendously.


I can't really comment on the retrofitting (except to give my honest condolences offer any advice you might want on ideas how to fit them in), but the breath weapon at 1st isn't at all overpowered. It makes perfect sense and is well-balanced.

While it makes sense for that race, the race doesn't necessarily. While I may play a dragonborn in someone else's campaign, they just won't fit into my world. Dragons are freaking RARE, and trying to introduce a new race just to fit with what WOTC put out? Nope...not going to happen.



P. 131 of the monster manual ;) Seriously, though, I am playing a Gnome Warlock right now and that race is perfect for Warlocks, you should give them a try

I see them there, but races from the MM seem to lack the special features of the "core" classes, like the dragonborn's breath weapon or the human's extra feat and skill. I'm sure they make great warlocks, and if I ever play 4th edition, I may play one of them as well.


No way, man, they rock the house! They basically give thier allies free actions, extra attacks, and bonuses out the wazoo. It's like you're playing a General who treats fights like a chess game.

Sure, they do all that, but they flavor it like a general rather than as a performer. After all, a bard did a lot of the same stuff ;)



I think they're leaving it open to the DMs to decide what's balanced in terms of followers.

But there's no guidance at all in the DMG in regards to this. It's always been well understood that the DM decides what happens and why, so if followers are unbalancing to the game in some way, then they quash the idea.


The powerset on classes have always determined what they're able to do. I don't see how giving them specific titles so that the newbies understand the game better hurts at all.

I only say this because newbies will automatically think that since they are the Warlord or Cleric (leaders) that others should follow them, or that since the fighter is the defender, he should just stay put so the strikers can deal the damage. Trust me, I've already overheard these discussions around here. Not all newbies will do this, but some will. So...why have the labels when they're unnecessary?


Well, why not just rename Ranger "Archery Fighter"? In point 11, you seem mad because WoTC puts labels on classes that determines what they do, but here you are, getting up in arms about an arbitrary label. That doesn't make much sense.

The issue is that the skill set for fighter is different than that of a ranger, and it should be. While I don't have an issue with the way rangers are set up (I actually prefer it in 4th edition over previous editions), I don't see why fighters are suddenly only able to focus on melee weapons. The archer from history was a warrior, NOT a ranger after all.


Sure you can--at every level you get a feat. I see what you're saying though, people who really want to fully multiclass are kinda out on a limb in this edition.

The multiclass feats are actually interesting, but at least you see where I'm coming from. Using a feat to gain the ability to "dabble" in another class in a nice idea, one that I may implement in my games, but I still like the idea of having the option of truly multiclassing.


Give 3.75 (the Pathfinder stuff) over at Paizo a try, then. They took everything it looks like you love about 3.5 and made it better :)

So far, they definitely have. I'm very impressed with what I've seen so far, that's for sure. I'm looking forward to more content down the road!

The great thing about this is that we don't HAVE to agree. It's all preference anyways. What's wrong with 4th Edition for me is what's right with it for some folks. To each, their own ;)

Engar
07-07-2008, 05:54 PM
Replacing a class that makes you well rounded with a class who's roll is already covered is not only possible in 4e, it's a whole lot of fun. 4 fighters is now a viable party (and just as unique as 4 separate classes).

...in combat. Which is where all the rules now apply. Rules for non-combat scenarios do not matter because non-combat does not matter.


I think they did a good job of letting the characters stay creative with thier "at will" powers, though. What could you be creative about in 3.5 that you can't in 4?

Yes, A, B or C is very creative. All characters now comform to a matrix. It is merly a matter of how many layers of As, Bs and Cs you have chosen. 3.5 was incredibly modular, but I still prefer 2e. While most today would scoff at a kit (which grants nearly no statistical bonus but likely offers a couple pages of descriptions, group affiliations and relationships) that is exactly what I enjoy.


Admittedly, it's silly that they didn't change anything about them other than wearing robes instead of leaves, but I'm glad they at least seperated the "woodsy outdoorsmen" race from the "high arcanists in the ivory tower" race.

Seperated like with subraces?


How are they significantly different than classes in 3.5?

They are part of a different system than DnD.


P. 131 of the monster manual ;) Seriously, though, I am playing a Gnome Warlock right now and that race is perfect for Warlocks, you should give them a try

I agree with you there. It is a little inconvenient at worst.


No way, man, they rock the house! They basically give thier allies free actions, extra attacks, and bonuses out the wazoo. It's like you're playing a General who treats fights like a chess game.

If I am ever to run 4e I have to come to grips with the chess mini-game. I agree that Warlocks are more 4e significant than bards are previously. This need for tangibles on a board vs. visualization must be a generational learning style gap or something.


I think they're leaving it open to the DMs to decide what's balanced in terms of followers.

Uh huh. So they made rules for combat which they now call "encounters". They lumped all situations into "encounters" and made a few rules for NPC interaction which involve die rolls very similar to combat actions. There are no longer rules for non-"encounter" situations. That is up to the DM who is open to "freeform" it.

So they are doing me a favor by focusing on combat rules to the exclusion of roleplay. They do not want me to feel restrained by their system. They want to empower me to create my own system for the roleplay aspect of the game. It is not that roleplay is less important because they completely ignored it, it was just too important to address.


The powerset on classes have always determined what they're able to do. I don't see how giving them specific titles so that the newbies understand the game better hurts at all.

Depends on if you want to teach the newbies WoW or DnD. I think they should have made the roles of classes more important by ignoring them.


Well, why not just rename Ranger "Archery Fighter"? In point 11, you seem mad because WoTC puts labels on classes that determines what they do, but here you are, getting up in arms about an arbitrary label. That doesn't make much sense.

I think the point was redundancy. A ranger now has no unique quality to seperate them from a ranged fighter (except that it is now more difficult to specialize in ranged as a fighter) so give the fighter a ranged path, off ranger entirely and you save some space. Or would that make rangers too important?


I think I missed a Dragonborn comment somewhere (probably accidently deleted it). Since it not being here means it must be really important, let me say that sadly Dragonborn are the redeeming quality for 4e. Since they are new they at least gave them a storied background, or maybe they just did not think they were important enough to ignore.

Icthius I want to mention that this is a thread for 4e bashing not 4e supporter bashing. I hope I did not cross the line and that none of my comments are seen as personal flames.

Valdar
07-07-2008, 06:19 PM
So they are doing me a favor by focusing on combat rules to the exclusion of roleplay. They do not want me to feel restrained by their system. They want to empower me to create my own system for the roleplay aspect of the game. It is not that roleplay is less important because they completely ignored it, it was just too important to address.


There's a system for resolving conflict in combat, and a system for resolving conflict out of combat. If you're not resolving conflict, what sort of rules do you need? There's plenty of flavor text describing how to roleplay your race, or how to roleplay in general- there's even structure for defining your character's personality traits, which has been gone since 1e (and then it was only for NPCs). Beyond this, what sort of rules do you need for RP? Should there be a point system for acting in/out of character? A GURPS-like system where character flaws give you more bennies?

The combat rules are squeezed into 20 pages in the PHb. This makes it the least combat-focused version of D&D ever. The DmG is full of good info about how to get the most story out of your players, NPCs, and plots.

Saying that 4e "completely ignored" roleplaying tells me that you haven't read any 4e material.

Webhead
07-07-2008, 06:34 PM
...While most today would scoff at a kit (which grants nearly no statistical bonus but likely offers a couple pages of descriptions, group affiliations and relationships) that is exactly what I enjoy.

I loved Kits and they are one of the only things I miss about 2e. I was hoping Prestige Classes in 3e would turn out to be the equivalent of Kits, but they never quite "did it" for me in that regard.

I want my Kits back...:(

agoraderek
07-07-2008, 06:40 PM
Valdar, i created this thread so us 4e haters had someplace to complain without threadjacking y'alls 4e discussions. please stop coming in here and trying to sell us on 4e. thank you :)

Engar
07-07-2008, 07:11 PM
Saying that 4e "completely ignored" roleplaying tells me that you haven't read any 4e material.

:mad: I cannot let that go unchallenged. I read through the PHB and skimmed the DMG and MM. I have yet to play it which is my dilemma since I am trying to find a reason to do so. In retort to your statement, perhaps we need a benchmark to establish your credibility. Is WoW roleplaying? :mad:


There's a system for resolving conflict in combat, and a system for resolving conflict out of combat. If you're not resolving conflict, what sort of rules do you need?

Some players like crafting, identifying crests, establishing guilds or having followers.


There's plenty of flavor text describing how to roleplay your race, or how to roleplay in general- there's even structure for defining your character's personality traits, which has been gone since 1e (and then it was only for NPCs). Beyond this, what sort of rules do you need for RP?.

At the risk of plagerism, Allow me to demonstrate...

4e: "Clerics are battle leaders who are invested with divine power. They blast foes with magical prayers, bolster and heal companions, and lead the way to victory with a mace in one hand and a holy symbol in the other."

3.5: "The handiwork of the gods is everywhere - in places of natural beauty, in mighty crusades, in soaring temples, and in the hearts of worshipers. Like people, gods run the gamut from benevolent to malicious, reserved to intrusive, simple to inscruible. The gods, however, work mostly through intermediaries - thier clerics." This is just a snipit of the description in 3.5, 4e has but one more paragraph.

I make a distinction.


Should there be a point system for acting in/out of character? A GURPS-like system where character flaws give you more bennies?.

You do not get it. No, it is not about bennies. It is not about min/maxing, Munchkining or whatever. Or rather to say 4e is about all that. Characters in 4e have flesh as deep as a WoW avatar.


The combat rules are squeezed into 20 pages in the PHb. This makes it the least combat-focused version of D&D ever. The DmG is full of good info about how to get the most story out of your players, NPCs, and plots..

Seriously? Have you read it? Combat is squeezed into 318 pages of the PHB. The DMG has loads of good things for any game, fine I agree there. But look at page 71 where they show a massive picture for "noncombat encounters". If you do not have the book, it is a page and a half of two characters running through a series of traps. Hmmm. Later they discuss how to roll through a negotiation.

Valdar
07-07-2008, 11:57 PM
Valdar, i created this thread so us 4e haters had someplace to complain without threadjacking y'alls 4e discussions. please stop coming in here and trying to sell us on 4e. thank you :)

You're free to play any game that you want- I'm not here as WotC's spokesperson. I'm just baffled by what I'm reading here, and am wondering if we're talking about the same game, and asking for clarification of your statements that seem to be at odds with what I'm reading in the 4e books.

And yeah, thanks for the attempt to confine the 4e hate to this thread, but obviously it didn't work.

Valdar
07-08-2008, 12:16 AM
Is WoW roleplaying? :mad:


Well, while we're being rhetorical...



Some players like crafting, identifying crests, establishing guilds or having followers.


Crafting and guilds are in WoW. If they were in 4e, you'd just point at them and say it's like WoW. So, are crafting and guilds roleplaying elements, or are they WoW-like elements?



You do not get it. No, it is not about bennies. It is not about min/maxing, Munchkining or whatever. Or rather to say 4e is about all that. Characters in 4e have flesh as deep as a WoW avatar.

Check page 23 of the PhB where it instructs you to come up with a personality for your character by defining how he or she will react to certain decision points. In 3e and before, characters were complete without personalities, by the book. 4e characters are not. So, what elements is 4e missing that makes it not a role-playing game, that were present in 3e?

Tomcat1066
07-08-2008, 04:49 AM
Skills are a big part of it for one. In 3e, you're rouge could be a con man, with skill ranks in intimidate, bluff, forgery, and disguise, but few in hide or pick locks. Now, all those skills are lumped into thievery, which implies that the character is equally good at all of the necessary skills.

Now, let's take a fighter (Yes...my favorite class). He's learned how to pick locks to escape from enemy dungeons. At least in 3e, it was possible for him to learn this one aspect to his character. Now, he has to take a feat to either multiclass, or just to get the skill, both of which decreases his effectiveness as a fighter.

4th Edition, to me, kills the role play aspect because it pigeonholes all the characters into a few categories and makes it unnecessarily difficult to give your character real depth. Sure, the 4th Edition handbook directs people to give their character personality. Personally though, I've never seen even a power gamer character without some level of personality (unless that was the RP shtick or something). Maybe you have?

Maybe I'm weird, but I liked the fact that feats in 3e were open to almost anyone. You had to meet the requirements, but once you did you could take it. Now, there are significantly fewer feats that are open to any and all. While this speeds up character creation, it doesn't do a thing to add any depth to the character.

A good background and personality are very important to role play, and no book can really teach that. But we are all more than a collection of our job and personality. I work in inventory control, but I've also worked in medical records, construction, and in direct patient care while in the Navy. As such, I've got skills that have nothing to do with my job. I also have hobbies besides gaming that add to my skill set. We all do generally. These add depth to a character in D&D, and now the difficulty in creating that depth seems prohibitive to me.

Engar
07-08-2008, 08:23 AM
Crafting and guilds are in WoW. If they were in 4e, you'd just point at them and say it's like WoW. So, are crafting and guilds roleplaying elements, or are they WoW-like elements?

LOL, is that an answer of WoW is roleplaying? WoW is to roleplaying what drinking your own pee is to hydration (it is a form of hydration). And do not assume too much about what I might do, you know what happens when you assume. Crafting and guilds are a roleplaying element WoW embraces and alters to their need. I liked WoW and can find things to use from WoW, but a computer and program of any quality are sad replacements for human reactions and interactions. Cold calculation is not what I would choose to emulate from WoW.

I will chat more later, have to go to work...

Webhead
07-08-2008, 10:29 AM
WoW can be role played or not role played in the same regard as D&D (any edition) can be or not be (not to nearly the same level, but still). On WoW, there are "role playing" servers for those who want some role playing out of their MMO. Those who don't want to role play the game play on "non-role playing" servers. Likewise, I've known players who in no way role play D&D. They are playing chess pieces that try to kill other chess pieces as efficiently as possible.

The Player (and GM) are the ones responsible for bringing the "role playing" to a role playing game. Otherwise, it's just a game...and some people want to get something specific out of the experience.

I play WoW occasionally. I don't "role play" in WoW because that is not my interest in the game. If I want to role play, I will play a pen-and-paper RPG. I play WoW because of the exploration, the strategy and because it's a game that can be played with other people. I've made a few friends on WoW. Not lifetime pals or anything like that, but cool folks who are good to talk to and who share many of my interests.

I play table-top RPGs often. I don't play them for repetative combat, rules-tweakery or loot-collecting. If I want to do that, WoW can be more than happy to oblige. If I'm playing pen-and-paper, I want to role play which means I need to bring that desire to the table if I want to see it happen. Yes, some rules sets foster role play more smoothly than others, but there is no substitute for your own imagination. Use it...

Inquisitor Tremayne
07-08-2008, 11:37 AM
The Player (and GM) are the ones responsible for bringing the "role playing" to a role playing game. Otherwise, it's just a game...and some people want to get something specific out of the experience.


I second that emotion!!!!

tesral
07-08-2008, 11:37 AM
A good background and personality are very important to role play, and no book can really teach that. But we are all more than a collection of our job and personality. I work in inventory control, but I've also worked in medical records, construction, and in direct patient care while in the Navy. As such, I've got skills that have nothing to do with my job. I also have hobbies besides gaming that add to my skill set. We all do generally. These add depth to a character in D&D, and now the difficulty in creating that depth seems prohibitive to me.

The reason I expand the skills system not contract it. I also give PCs more points into their skills. I'll post the .pdf document in the Campagin resources section.

Inquisitor Tremayne
07-08-2008, 11:41 AM
The reason I expand the skills system not contract it. I also give PCs more points into their skills. I'll post the .pdf document in the Campagin resources section.

Yes, yes! I am a big fan of Tesral's skill revisions! If I didn't love the trained and untrained skill system so much I would be using his!

Valdar
07-08-2008, 12:03 PM
LOL, is that an answer of WoW is roleplaying? WoW is to roleplaying what drinking your own pee is to hydration (it is a form of hydration). And do not assume too much about what I might do, you know what happens when you assume. Crafting and guilds are a roleplaying element WoW embraces and alters to their need. I liked WoW and can find things to use from WoW, but a computer and program of any quality are sad replacements for human reactions and interactions. Cold calculation is not what I would choose to emulate from WoW.

I will chat more later, have to go to work...

Mostly what I want to know is, what is in 3e (core three books), not in 4e, and contributes to roleplaying? Dead horses and references to drinking urine aside.

If you're saying that 4e on its own merits is not conducive to roleplaying, compared to, say, GURPS or White Wolf, I'd say you have a pretty bulletproof case. Though if you're not comparing it to 3e, then anything you say about 4e can also apply to 3e.

Complaining that D&D in general is a poor outlet for roleplaying is like saying that the new Chevy Suburban gets poor gas mileage. We know that part already- tell me something different about the two versions.

In answer to your previous post, flavor text and art are not part of the game. Do you really need flavor text or art to tell you what a cleric does, or what a dwarf looks like, at this point in your career? I have a player in my game that has never played an RPG of any stripe before, has never seen a D&D book before 4e, is playing a Cleric, and her roleplaying is epic. (http://worldsedge-kate.blogspot.com) Do you have any experience of how a new player found 4e not conducive to roleplaying?

Also, try running a skill challenge before you knock it- if you just chuck dice, and use no tactics, teamwork, creativity, or roleplaying, you will fail it, which is as it should be. In 3e, your Diplomancer can tear the roof off any social encounter as long as they don't roll a 1, no RP required.

Tomcat1066
07-08-2008, 12:45 PM
The reason I expand the skills system not contract it. I also give PCs more points into their skills. I'll post the .pdf document in the Campagin resources section.
I'm looking forward to reading it. Character depth is one thing that D&D has done little to encourage, and 4th Edition makes it even harder. It sounds like you have a lot of the same thoughts on role playing as I do ;)

I think of it like this: Character depth is what makes characters interesting for the player, but also for the rest of the party. A wizard who apprenticed to another wizard as a child is bland. But, if you tack on that he rarely left the tower so he's niave about the world, then you've got a little depth. However, if he earned his daily bread by picking the pockets of people on the streets of Northreach before showing a keen mind to the Master of the Tower of Magic who took him on as an apprentice, then you've got something much, much more.

Inquisitor Tremayne
07-08-2008, 01:28 PM
Character depth is what YOU make it not what the game system makes it.

3.5 is not good for it and 4e isn't either. (SW Saga edition is however.)

3.5 isn't good for it if you expect to be good at whatever character flavor you want to add. Lets stick with the wizard/rogue example. Sure you can take your first level in wizard (with an 18 Int you are going to have 24 skill points to spend) that means you have 2 ranks (max) for rouge type skills. This means you are sacrificing being very good at those thieving skills and if you aren't planning on taking any rouge levels at all then you have just wasted skill points that would be better spent somewhere else. What about the opposite? Take your first level of rogue. Then your entire first level you are no where near being an effective wizard BUT you have very good rogue skills! And when you gain second level and take your first level in wizard you have lost a level of spellcasting and for spellcasters that is usually never good.

In 4e the same is true except, you can attempt most skills untrained and get a nice bonus to do so.

In SW Saga edition, multiclassing is ENCOURAGED! So it is very easy (by second level) to have a strong character that comes pretty close to matching your concept. Usually what you are sacrificing in Saga is Bab. and I am okay with that unless I am making a combat focused character of course!

Now, you can argue that all this is from a power gamer's perspective or its too focused on min/maxing and that brings me back to my point, you don't need a game system to ROLE play your character. I can have my first level wizard and SAY that he used to be a thief without having any thieving skills on my character sheet, there is nothing stopping anyone from doing that. You get the flavor you want without sacrificing your characters usefulness to the rest of the group.

(All of the above is assuming you are sticking to RAW, otherwise house rules can change the examples above.)

Webhead
07-08-2008, 02:08 PM
I'm looking forward to reading it. Character depth is one thing that D&D has done little to encourage, and 4th Edition makes it even harder. It sounds like you have a lot of the same thoughts on role playing as I do ;)

I'll have to take a peek as well, just to see what it is all about and what I might take away from reading it.


I think of it like this: Character depth is what makes characters interesting for the player, but also for the rest of the party. A wizard who apprenticed to another wizard as a child is bland. But, if you tack on that he rarely left the tower so he's niave about the world, then you've got a little depth. However, if he earned his daily bread by picking the pockets of people on the streets of Northreach before showing a keen mind to the Master of the Tower of Magic who took him on as an apprentice, then you've got something much, much more.

I've had a similar discussion at one time with someone on a different message board, but I'm of the school of thought that you don't need "concrete skill points" to build these kinds of depths to your character. Back in 2nd ed, before there was a "core" system for skill use (non-weapon proficiencies...yuck), we did this all the time. If my background described my wizard as a former street urchin who picked pockets to keep food in his belly, then it was implied that that's what he was and it was a tool for the players and DM to add interesting twists to the game. My character might be allowed to make a Dexterity check or two when it called for him to filch...he obviously was no match for the skills of a Thief, but that's because that's what a Thief is supposed to be the master of. But he was allowed do a few "thief-ly" things because that how the character was described and it made sense that it color his place in the game world.

In contrast, I liked the idea of a solid "skill system" in 3e. Now you could represent in game mechanics the difference between a Fighter who is a woodsman and a Fighter who is a gladiator by having them take different skills. The problem became that skill points tended to come in limited supply and thus characters were more tangibly rewarded for dumping all their points into just a few "useful" skills rather than spread them out among "character development" skills. Why spend points in Embroidery which surely you would rarely ever use when you could add more points to Tumble and be more capable in every battle? Not all players behave this way, mind you, but many do and you can't entirely fault them for it.

There are many ways one might address this (more skill points, broader skills, etc), but players (and GMs) tend to get caught up in what they can quantify within the terms of the game. If they can't quantify it, it must not be valuable. If your character doesn't have "skill points" in Tailoring, then he probably has never worked with a needle and thread. But how many characters would spend points on Tailoring in a D&D game given the choice? However, if a character is given a pat on the back and an opportunity to put an cool "twist" on a scene thanks to his character background that describes him growing up as the son of a Tailor, then the player might feel like character is more than just numbers on a page and that who his character is is as important as what he can do.

My 2 muddled, rambling cents...:)

Webhead
07-08-2008, 02:10 PM
Character depth is what YOU make it not what the game system makes it...*snip*

Very well said, Tremayne and pretty much an echo of what I was trying to say! Not sure how I missed your post... :)

tesral
07-08-2008, 02:45 PM
In answer to your previous post, flavor text and art are not part of the game. Do you really need flavor text or art to tell you what a cleric does, or what a dwarf looks like, at this point in your career?

At this point in my career I know what I want, and Forry isn't it. However to the new player flavor text is important. and Forry doesn't supply a very good one.

Players with older mentors can get around the limitations. Those without, are stuck.

It is possible to not know what a dwarf looks like or what a Cleric does. Going only on the Forry description a cleric is a combat beast with a mace.

I have yet to see a good version of any game when it comes to teaching how to role-play. One either knows, or is taught. Role-playing is not found in a book. However the book does set forth the bare bones of the matter. Forry does a poor job of forth setting with descriptive text that considers only combat.


PS: Once again we see the double standard. Forry bashing in the "Forry Yea!" threads is verboten. However rationalizing Forry in the anti Forry thread is fine. If this forum is going to become a bastion of Forry Orthodoxy, please let me know. I would prefer it respect all opinions. That however doesn't look to be the case.

Tomcat1066
07-08-2008, 02:47 PM
Character depth is what YOU make it not what the game system makes it.

3.5 is not good for it and 4e isn't either. (SW Saga edition is however.)

Agreed. However, 3.5 it's at least possible with minor prohibitions.


3.5 isn't good for it if you expect to be good at whatever character flavor you want to add. Lets stick with the wizard/rogue example. Sure you can take your first level in wizard (with an 18 Int you are going to have 24 skill points to spend) that means you have 2 ranks (max) for rouge type skills. This means you are sacrificing being very good at those thieving skills and if you aren't planning on taking any rouge levels at all then you have just wasted skill points that would be better spent somewhere else. What about the opposite? Take your first level of rogue. Then your entire first level you are no where near being an effective wizard BUT you have very good rogue skills! And when you gain second level and take your first level in wizard you have lost a level of spellcasting and for spellcasters that is usually never good.

He doesn't have to be good necessarily. After all, that may be why he went the direction of being a wizard.


In 4e the same is true except, you can attempt most skills untrained and get a nice bonus to do so.

I don't really think this actually solves the problem though. After all, someone who tries to do only what his character would do in game may still be encouraged to try skills that his character shouldn't be able to do because they're "untrained" now. I see where you're going with this, but I have to disagree that this eliminates the problem.


In SW Saga edition, multiclassing is ENCOURAGED! So it is very easy (by second level) to have a strong character that comes pretty close to matching your concept. Usually what you are sacrificing in Saga is Bab. and I am okay with that unless I am making a combat focused character of course!

Having never really looked at SW Saga, I'll have to take your word for that. However, I'm going to have to find a copy and check it out. Something like this may actually fix the problems in whatever edition of D&D you want.


Now, you can argue that all this is from a power gamer's perspective or its too focused on min/maxing and that brings me back to my point, you don't need a game system to ROLE play your character. I can have my first level wizard and SAY that he used to be a thief without having any thieving skills on my character sheet, there is nothing stopping anyone from doing that. You get the flavor you want without sacrificing your characters usefulness to the rest of the group.

Sure, you can definitely say it. However, being able to actually USE the skill the different, and that's the type of depth I was referring to.


(All of the above is assuming you are sticking to RAW, otherwise house rules can change the examples above.)

House rules obviously negate this. Personally, a well developed backstory should grant some nifty stuff. Like the wizard example I used above, skills dealing with picking pockets could be class skills so the wizard can pick pockets as well as many street urchins out there, and can work to improve it as it may be beneficial to the party at times.


I've had a similar discussion at one time with someone on a different message board, but I'm of the school of thought that you don't need "concrete skill points" to build these kinds of depths to your character. Back in 2nd ed, before there was a "core" system for skill use (non-weapon proficiencies...yuck), we did this all the time. If my background described my wizard as a former street urchin who picked pockets to keep food in his belly, then it was implied that that's what he was and it was a tool for the players and DM to add interesting twists to the game. My character might be allowed to make a Dexterity check or two when it called for him to filch...he obviously was no match for the skills of a Thief, but that's because that's what a Thief is supposed to be the master of. But he was allowed do a few "thief-ly" things because that how the character was described and it made sense that it color his place in the game world.

In contrast, I liked the idea of a solid "skill system" in 3e. Now you could represent in game mechanics the difference between a Fighter who is a woodsman and a Fighter who is a gladiator by having them take different skills. The problem became that skill points tended to come in limited supply and thus characters were more tangibly rewarded for dumping all their points into just a few "useful" skills rather than spread them out among "character development" skills. Why spend points in Embroidery which surely you would rarely ever use when you could add more points to Tumble and be more capable in every battle? Not all players behave this way, mind you, but many do and you can't entirely fault them for it.

Unfortunately, you're right. Personally, I'll take unusual skills to add depth (like my current fighter with ranks in Knowledge(Arcana) because of something in his background).


There are many ways one might address this (more skill points, broader skills, etc), but players (and GMs) tend to get caught up in what they can quantify within the terms of the game. If they can't quantify it, it must not be valuable. If your character doesn't have "skill points" in Tailoring, then he probably has never worked with a needle and thread. But how many characters would spend points on Tailoring in a D&D game given the choice? However, if a character is given a pat on the back and an opportunity to put an cool "twist" on a scene thanks to his character background that describes him growing up as the son of a Tailor, then the player might feel like character is more than just numbers on a page and that who his character is is as important as what he can do.

My 2 muddled, rambling cents...:)

I agree completely. Unfortunately, that depends on the DM to allow it (and plenty do from my experience). The game mechanics not only gives the DM a way to deal with it, but gives the player something to defend trying something in their background. Just my opinion though.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that while I agree that it's on ME to add character depth, I also think it vital that the rules support such a thing. With some DMs, it's really not going to ever be an issue, but with others it will be.

Perhaps I'm just paranoid or something ;)

Inquisitor Tremayne
07-08-2008, 02:58 PM
PS: Once again we see the double standard. Forry bashing in the "Forry Yea!" threads is verboten. However rationalizing Forry in the anti Forry thread is fine. If this forum is going to become a bastion of Forry Orthodoxy, please let me know. I would prefer it respect all opinions. That however doesn't look to be the case.


Its part of the reason I was trying to refrain from posting. Is this thread simply to rant or to discuss?

Other 4e threads were discussing particulars of the actual gameplay and got derailed.

If this thread is merely for ranting then I shall take my leave.

tesral
07-08-2008, 03:05 PM
Its part of the reason I was trying to refrain from posting. Is this thread simply to rant or to discuss?

Other 4e threads were discussing particulars of the actual gameplay and got derailed.

If this thread is merely for ranting then I shall take my leave.

Discussion, but the pro Forry tone is very ... defensive. Like how dare we not like Forry. Likewise any negative discussion in the other threads was frowned on. You can't say what you think is wrong with Forry. Might hurt its feelings. Only positive comments allowed. It is a double standard.

I am watching the tone of the moderation and administration. I don't like the direction it's heading. I am uneagerly anticipating the day when D&D is Forry only and anything else banished to the far ends of the forum. Say it ain't so Joe.

Inquisitor Tremayne
07-08-2008, 03:08 PM
With some DMs, it's really not going to ever be an issue, but with others it will be.

With my current DM it is. He doesn't like Saga and I am guessing its because the PCs can pretty much TRY to do whatever they want. At least in 3.5 if you do not have skill ranks in a skill there is no way you can even attempt to try it or if you do you fail horribly. So in his game if you want a wizard with a rouge-ish background you had better have ranks in some thieves skills!

Webhead
07-08-2008, 03:09 PM
Perhaps I'm just paranoid or something ;)

:)


I agree completely. Unfortunately, that depends on the DM to allow it (and plenty do from my experience). The game mechanics not only gives the DM a way to deal with it, but gives the player something to defend trying something in their background. Just my opinion though.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that while I agree that it's on ME to add character depth, I also think it vital that the rules support such a thing. With some DMs, it's really not going to ever be an issue, but with others it will be.

I understand your point and you certainly wouldn't be the first to express the idea. As I've said, I've had similar discussions before elsewhere.

I rest somewhere inbetween on the issue. I'm a fan of "skill-based" RPGs and so I have a fondness for characters being represented by those skills. But I also keep in mind that RPGs are half "role play" and half "game". The rules tell me how the "game" part works...but they can't do the "role play" part for me. I have to create that and I should feel free to get wildly imaginative. That imagination is half of the game, so it should have an impact on the game, even if it isn't represented in hard and fast numbers. It's about understanding and respecting everyone's contribution to the "shared imaginary space".

That's me in a nutshell, I guess. ;)

Webhead
07-08-2008, 03:20 PM
Discussion, but the pro Forry tone is very ... defensive. Like how dare we not like Forry. Likewise any negative discussion in the other threads was frowned on. You can't say what you think is wrong with Forry. Might hurt its feelings. Only positive comments allowed. It is a double standard.

I'm hoping that my comments on this thread do not fall under this category. If so, it certainly wasn't my intention. I am personally neutral on the subject of 4e which is why I think I continue to post in the manner that I do. Mainly that people say "4e can't do this or that" and I ask why or why not and then try to explain where I'm coming from when my opinions differ...for the sake of demonstrating that legitimate points of view can disagree and yet still hold validity. I'm not trying to change people's opinions, just trying to get people to think deeper about why they have them...which is always a good thing.

Anyway, continue on. This thread is a most interesting one...:)

tesral
07-08-2008, 03:21 PM
With my current DM it is. He doesn't like Saga and I am guessing its because the PCs can pretty much TRY to do whatever they want. At least in 3.5 if you do not have skill ranks in a skill there is no way you can even attempt to try it or if you do you fail horribly. So in his game if you want a wizard with a rouge-ish background you had better have ranks in some thieves skills!

Depends on the skill. Perform violin? You might kill people with the sonic attack. You can try many things without ranks and if the DM is using the tables you have a decent chance of getting it right. Sway a crowd with out ranks in Diplomacy and Oratory? Yes, you have a chance. Surgery? Not so likely and that how it should be.

It's getting back into the "lumper"- "splitter" argument. I consider myself a moderate splitter, but I bump skill points to compensate for that.

I don't agree with the level = skill ranks. It makes being a dabbler impossible. Like my Warlock that dabbles in slight of hand. Pick M'Lord's pocket is highly unlikely and isn't his personality. Juggle for the kids, that he does do and does moderately well.

It comes down ti is the DM using the skill system to facilitate character action or as a club to prevent it. In the hands of a "No" DM, skills are a club, a stumbling block. In the hands of a "Yes" DM they are a facilitator.

Tomcat1066
07-08-2008, 03:21 PM
With my current DM it is. He doesn't like Saga and I am guessing its because the PCs can pretty much TRY to do whatever they want. At least in 3.5 if you do not have skill ranks in a skill there is no way you can even attempt to try it or if you do you fail horribly. So in his game if you want a wizard with a rouge-ish background you had better have ranks in some thieves skills!

I've dealt with those DMs as well, so I feel your pain. Of course, I don't think that being able to do EVERYTHING is the answer (most skills are essentially untrained), but there has to be a balance somewhere in all of this. So far, from my perspective, 3.5 has come closer than any incarnation of D&D I've played to date, and I feel 4th Edition has gone a LONG ways away from that balance.

Mayhaps they'll fix all this in 4.5 ;)

Tomcat1066
07-08-2008, 03:23 PM
Depends on the skill. Perform violin? You might kill people with the sonic attack. You can try many things without ranks and if the DM is using the tables you have a decent chance of getting it right. Sway a crowd with out ranks in Diplomacy and Oratory? Yes, you have a chance. Surgery? Not so likely and that how it should be.

It's getting back into the "lumper"- "splitter" argument. I consider myself a moderate splitter, but I bump skill points to compensate for that.

I don't agree with the level = skill ranks. It makes being a dabbler impossible. Like my Warlock that dabbles in slight of hand. Pick M'Lord's pocket is highly unlikely and isn't his personality. Juggle for the kids, that he does do and does moderately well.

It comes down ti is the DM using the skill system to facilitate character action or as a club to prevent it. In the hands of a "No" DM, skills are a club, a stumbling block. In the hands of a "Yes" DM they are a facilitator.

Uh yeah...what he said ;)

Thanks Tesral, you summed up my position perfectly. ;)

fmitchell
07-08-2008, 03:36 PM
Discussion, but the pro Forry tone is very ... defensive. Like how dare we not like Forry. Likewise any negative discussion in the other threads was frowned on. You can't say what you think is wrong with Forry. Might hurt its feelings. Only positive comments allowed. It is a double standard.

I am watching the tone of the moderation and administration. I don't like the direction it's heading. I am uneagerly anticipating the day when D&D is Forry only and anything else banished to the far ends of the forum. Say it ain't so Joe.

Unfortunately, there are few neutrals (or Unaligned) in the discussion; what sounds like "Forry-coddling" to one group is a reasoned explanation of its good points to another, and what's a reasoned explanation of its bad points is "bashing" to another.

This thread, I assume, is for discussing all the places where Fourth Edition falls down. It's separated from other threads because discussion of this edition's negatives seems to degenerate into "I don't like it, I won't play it, it's not D&D, blah blah blah". Such assertions don't help those sitting on the fence, or willing to give it a go but who'd like to know what to watch out for.

And, like it or not, Fourth Edition is the officially supported "Dungeons & Dragons" product from Wizards of the Coast, who hold the trademark to the name. Pathfinder or other 3.x OGL-based games might take off -- I actually hope they do -- and "retro-clones" or lovingly preserved older editions might further split the fanbase. As far as newcomers and the world at large are concerned, though, D&D is fourth edition only. Even if it sucks.

P.S. To summarize, "The PHB is a snooze-fest of endless rules without any context or explanation of what classes and races mean in a game world" is a good argument against Fourth Edition. "I won't play it, and neither should you" is not.

tesral
07-08-2008, 03:42 PM
And, like it or not, Fourth Edition is the officially supported "Dungeons & Dragons" product from Wizards of the Coast, who hold the trademark to the name. Pathfinder or other 3.x OGL-based games might take off -- I actually hope they do -- but as far as newcomers and the world at large is concerned, D&D is fourth edition only. Even if it sucks.

I have never been swayed by the opinion of the majorty. That is why I don't use windows.

fmitchell
07-08-2008, 03:56 PM
I have never been swayed by the opinion of the majorty. That is why I don't use windows.

And I never liked D&D that much in any edition, including my brief encounter with Fourth, so there.

Really, to my knowledge the moderators are segregating D&D threads simply to improve the signal-to-noise ratio. Nobody's trying to "convert" anyone, as far as I can tell ... some people like 4e, others don't, and still others are simply curious and would like to hear the best from both sides.

Valdar
07-08-2008, 05:19 PM
Discussion, but the pro Forry tone is very ... defensive. Like how dare we not like Forry. Likewise any negative discussion in the other threads was frowned on. You can't say what you think is wrong with Forry. Might hurt its feelings. Only positive comments allowed. It is a double standard.

I am watching the tone of the moderation and administration. I don't like the direction it's heading. I am uneagerly anticipating the day when D&D is Forry only and anything else banished to the far ends of the forum. Say it ain't so Joe.

The other threads were about discussing aspects of 4e, not its strengths and weaknesses compared to other versions. There are 3e threads here too- chiming in with "3e sucks" in them would be just as off-topic.

There's a lot of stuff in this thread that's demonstrably false, and when I point that out, I'm getting the old "people who disagree with me are posting off topic" bs. If that's the best argument you can come up with, then yeah, your point has no merit.

Engar
07-08-2008, 06:08 PM
Mostly what I want to know is, what is in 3e (core three books), not in 4e, and contributes to roleplaying? Dead horses and references to drinking urine aside.

As I have said before you can roleplay in monopoly, but it does not mean it was made for it. I looked up all this stuff before and sited references in older posts. I hate letting something lay, but I am actually getting worn out of arguing. Here is an old argument...

http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showpost.php?p=34099&postcount=63


If you're saying that 4e on its own merits is not conducive to roleplaying, compared to, say, GURPS or White Wolf, I'd say you have a pretty bulletproof case. Though if you're not comparing it to 3e, then anything you say about 4e can also apply to 3e..

2e is my favorite. I even equated the ratio of roleplay to rollplay to the platinum to gold model across editions. I am not about to get up in arms defending 3e (especially the combat system). I will say Saga seems dramatically better than 4e or 3.x.


Complaining that D&D in general is a poor outlet for roleplaying is like saying that the new Chevy Suburban gets poor gas mileage. We know that part already- tell me something different about the two versions.

Again the assumptions. I do not know that. DnD is still an amazing outlet for roleplaying to me. If you understand no other part of my argument know that this is the entire spirit of my opposition. Had they moved toward roleplay instead of chess we might still be arguing, but it would be from reversed positions.


In answer to your previous post, flavor text and art are not part of the game. Do you really need flavor text or art to tell you what a cleric does, or what a dwarf looks like, at this point in your career?

Apparently I do. I am glad the 4e system has brought in all these new players. I hope some DM is teaching them to play DnD with 4e. I also hope some of them try DnD if 4e disappoints.


I have a player in my game that has never played an RPG of any stripe before, has never seen a D&D book before 4e, is playing a Cleric, and her roleplaying is epic. (http://worldsedge-kate.blogspot.com/) Do you have any experience of how a new player found 4e not conducive to roleplaying?

Nope, hope I do not either. I am probably running it soon. I will just prepare the surroundings (incorporating dragonborn and all), plan the adventure hooks and hope the system plays well. The last thing I will do is make some NPC's.


Also, try running a skill challenge before you knock it- if you just chuck dice, and use no tactics, teamwork, creativity, or roleplaying, you will fail it, which is as it should be. In 3e, your Diplomancer can tear the roof off any social encounter as long as they don't roll a 1, no RP required.

No. First, please tell me diplomancer is made up. Second, I almost never roll dice for social encounters. I just treat badly stated comments more favorably when appropriate. The player might say, "Your an asshole", but with a high diplomacy it might be treated as a veiled insult and not a direct attack.

That is not really an argument since the house rule could probably apply either way. My way flows better for me.

PHB: "Sometimes a player tells you, 'I want to make a diplomacy check to convince the duke that helping us is in his best interest." That's great-the player has told you what she's doing and what skill she's using to do it."

WHAT? They go on to say that just mentioning use of the skill and not the intended outcome is the "not great" option. It is now encouraged to resolve social encounters with dice. Wow, er, I mean WoW. I suggest we take it that last step and just give players three dialogue options for each party response (a fourth option is revealed depending upon a high enough diplomacy roll).

agoraderek
07-08-2008, 06:12 PM
With my current DM it is. He doesn't like Saga and I am guessing its because the PCs can pretty much TRY to do whatever they want. At least in 3.5 if you do not have skill ranks in a skill there is no way you can even attempt to try it or if you do you fail horribly. So in his game if you want a wizard with a rouge-ish background you had better have ranks in some thieves skills!

come to houston, young jedi...

my house rule in 3x is this: if you have it in your backround, its a "class skill" in regards to point cost (but, i also give a few extra spending points at first level to accomodate backround stuff).

i will bend over backwards to let a player have what he needs to realize the concept he has selected for his character, as long as it isnt some meta-game/munchkin power trip type stuff. i find it is a LOT more fun if players get to play the character they want to play, and they play that character with much more brio, frankly.

it helps that i dont play with rules, though, they're all just "guidelines"...

agoraderek
07-08-2008, 06:19 PM
This thread, I assume, is for discussing all the places where Fourth Edition falls down. It's separated from other threads because discussion of this edition's negatives seems to degenerate into "I don't like it, I won't play it, it's not D&D, blah blah blah". Such assertions don't help those sitting on the fence, or willing to give it a go but who'd like to know what to watch out for.

that's pretty much what i had in mind.

and Valdar, do what you do, dude, just understand that some people have a different perception of what they see, and, in a lot of ways, perception IS reality. you see things one way, someone else sees it a different way, doesn't mean they didn't read the books, neccesarily, just that they got a different impression from what they read. there is no "right and wrong" here, just opinion.

and, for the record, im glad you DO enjoy 4e, and im especially glad you were able to bring some new blood into the fold of us RPG geeks. but, for me, switching to 4e (which is a nice rules set, btw) is too much labor, as they didnt make it very backward compatable.

considering where they went with the GSL, im sure this, at least in part, had to do with regaining control of their IP that they did, to a degree, lose control of with OGL, but the result was still a system changed a bit too much to be useful to me right now. c'est la vie. i have pathfinder to fall back on, and i can use my $$$ to support diversity in our favorite hobby :)

fmitchell
07-08-2008, 06:37 PM
First off, I'm not speaking ex cathedra; I'm a moderator out of his jurisdiction offering one person's opinion on the D&D threads.

Second, I know of no policy of exterminating all Fourth Edition critics, or turn this or any other thread into a cheering section for Wizards of the Coast. What I see myself and other moderators doing is trying to prevent flame wars. We're here to discuss games -- Remember, the things we do for fun? Remember fun? -- not start flame wars, insult each other, or accuse each other of suppressing free speech.

If I or any other moderator has overreacted, I apologize.

Having said that ... as another member of this board I would hope that a thread titled "What's wrong about 4e..." would eventually get around to discussing what's wrong about 4e, and not simply rage against 4e's very existence. Also, as I recall, the right to free speech as it's usually defined includes the right to question others' statements respectfully.

But enough from me.

Engar
07-08-2008, 06:58 PM
This is not my thread, but I do not mind some opposing views to fire the argument. I just think proponents of 4e need to remember whose house they are in here at the "What's wrong with 4e..." boards. Just like opponents of 4e need to keep that in mind in the "how to develop a good 4e game" boards or whatever.

I do think there is a slight backlash against 4e opponents on some threads whose titles are intrinsically neutral and allowing for either position, but I understand the overreaction even if I do not condone it. The desire to remain overtly positive and encouraging is important and separates this board from more common ones. Like my mother used to say if I used vulgar language, "Those words are common. Is common what you aspire to be?" Sometimes she would toss in a "You are better than that." To this day I cannot use foul language without feeling self-degrading!

Engar
07-08-2008, 07:13 PM
At the risk of being a hijacker, if there is a board for venting at 4e I think this should be it. I think we have covered a great deal of what is wrong with 4e in the couple hundred posts. 4e will steal away a ton of gamers from earlier editions and make it much more difficult for those "left behind" to find or run games. At minimum they will have to explain themselves. That has to merit a little venom from those whose style of play fit tollerably well with 3.x, but for which 4e has no place. I would hate to think venting already dissallowed elsewhere must seek yet another place beyond a thread entitled: "What is wrong with 4e..."

I can see an argumentative, blatantly negative 4e comment being instigating on some boards, but suggesting any level of non-vulgar opposition however unfounded or emotion based is inappropriate on this thread does beg the question of just who is intollerant?

tesral
07-08-2008, 07:26 PM
Having said that ... as another member of this board I would hope that a thread titled "What's wrong about 4e..." would eventually get around to discussing what's wrong about 4e, and not simply rage against 4e's very existence. Also, as I recall, the right to free speech as it's usually defined includes the right to question others' statements respectfully.

But enough from me.

It is a matter of opinion, what is wrong or what is right. It's a game, not a thesis claiming scientific fact. Something the pro Forry faction seems to forget as well. Your liking does not make it the one true way to play. I am sure the GURPS players and White Wolf players would have a few words along that line.

Forry is a direction I will not go. I am not a dinosaur, I am not an old fuddy, I am not allergic to change by reflex. Some things those that refuse to sidegrade have been called. And yea, as easy going as I am I resent it and feel a bit sour on that regard. I must be a big man and accept Forry, but I do not need to be accepted for my opinion in turn. That is the message I am getting.

On the other hand I have not called anyone sidegrading to Forry any names I can recall.

Yes I know why you like the game. I dislike the game for exactly the same reasons. Placing your perceived Forry virtues out there is not changing my mind, but confirming it.

I already said it has a nice layout. Oh, and who ever put the horn on the nose of the Green Dragon needs to be slapped. It looks stupid.

Again, change for change's sake.

agoraderek
07-08-2008, 07:31 PM
Having said that ... as another member of this board I would hope that a thread titled "What's wrong about 4e..." would eventually get around to discussing what's wrong about 4e, and not simply rage against 4e's very existence. Also, as I recall, the right to free speech as it's usually defined includes the right to question others' statements respectfully.

i agree, in part, but, the part i disagree with is that we HAVEN'T been discussing what's wrong with 4e. the problem, as i see it, is when we do express an opinion, we are told we are "wrong", or that our perception is "demostrably false", et al. we are expressing opinions. if the people who like 4e want us to show where the system is BROKEN, they may not get that from us, since it IS a well balanced system. but, when we have opinions that the game is a departure from the last thirty years, sorry, but it is.

the problem some of us have, is that we've LOVED this game for going on 30+ years, and people that have stated they didn't even LIKE d&d until 4e are trying to invalidate our opinion that the game has left us behind. that is a tad irksome, to put it frankly.

this thread is in part about game mechanics, sure, but it is also, in part, about the feelings of hurt and resentment that some of us who have been in from the beginning feel. and feelings are personal, so its hard to take beng told "you're wrong" about feelings.

[edit]: as the OP, i would like to state that i tried. i tried to make a thread to keep the anti-4e stuff out of the gaming discussion type threads, and i appologize if it didnt work out that way.

Dimthar
07-08-2008, 07:36 PM
PS: Once again we see the double standard. Forry bashing in the "Forry Yea!" threads is verboten. However rationalizing Forry in the anti Forry thread is fine. If this forum is going to become a bastion of Forry Orthodoxy, please let me know. I would prefer it respect all opinions. That however doesn't look to be the case.

Excuse my ignorance, but what or who is "Forry"? I tried to "google it" but nothing made any sense.

.

tesral
07-08-2008, 07:38 PM
Excuse my ignorance, but what or who is "Forry"? I tried to "google it" but nothing made any sense.

.

Forry is that new game put out by Lizards. The one replacing D&D.

Dimthar
07-08-2008, 07:46 PM
Forry is that new game put out by Lizards. The one replacing D&D.

Ooohh!!! is a degeneration of "Fourth" ....

- Tatanka
- Buffalo

Thank you ...

.

Valdar
07-08-2008, 07:54 PM
Ok, too many posts to quote, but when I said there were things "demonstrably false" being said here, I meant things like "4e completely ignores roleplaying" and "the PHb is 316 pages of combat rules", not things like "4e does not suit my playing style". If it doesn't suit your play style, I'm curious to hear why. Incompatibility with 3e for an existing campaign sounds like a pretty good reason. "4e is WoW made paper" doesn't.

agoraderek
07-08-2008, 08:03 PM
Ok, too many posts to quote, but when I said there were things "demonstrably false" being said here, I meant things like "4e completely ignores roleplaying" and "the PHb is 316 pages of combat rules", not things like "4e does not suit my playing style". If it doesn't suit your play style, I'm curious to hear why. Incompatibility with 3e for an existing campaign sounds like a pretty good reason. "4e is WoW made paper" doesn't.

im in the "compatability" camp, so, no worries here. as far as the other posts, sure, there's some hyperbole, but that is a tried and true rhetorical device, so a litle leeway might be in order ;)

Farcaster
07-08-2008, 08:19 PM
PS: Once again we see the double standard. Forry bashing in the "Forry Yea!" threads is verboten. However rationalizing Forry in the anti Forry thread is fine.

That was not what I was talking about or asked for, Tesral. What I was talking about was not derailing every thread by going off topic with a 4e hate fest. It wasn't about suppressing opinions. This thread and a few others that other people have created are for people's impressions of 4e or for the "great debate," as I have come to think of it in the past many months. So, it is to these impression/debate threads that I ask people to confine this sort of discussion. What you seem to be asking for is a place where you can express your opinions unopposed. That isn't, however, what my goal was.

Tomcat1066
07-08-2008, 08:36 PM
Having said that ... as another member of this board I would hope that a thread titled "What's wrong about 4e..." would eventually get around to discussing what's wrong about 4e, and not simply rage against 4e's very existence.

I'm sorry, but that's pretty much all I, for one, have been trying to do. I see a lot of things that are, in my mind, horribly wrong. There are a few things that I like and will try to adapt them to 3.5, and yes...it IS a balanced system. However, in the course of trying to balance the system, they took away a lot of the things I and a lot of other long time D&D players liked about the system.

Sure, there's been a fair amount of railing against 4th Edition, and definitely some hyperbole by many of us (me included ;)), but I feel many of the posts HAVE discussed what's wrong with it.

Maelstrom
07-08-2008, 09:20 PM
Just a general point here: There seems to be some impression that there is some opinion restriction (as pointed out by some in this thread). Personally, I like the new direction the forum has taken, allowing those that want to talk about 4th edition concepts to do so, while also allowing those that want to talk about 4e drawbacks to do so elsewhere.

There's nothing stopping anyone from creating new threads about the subject though... while right now this is The "What's wrong about 4e" thread, it might be interesting to see other threads that focus on particular negative aspects as well. These kinds of discussions are very valuable in my opinion, even if they do get a bit fiery at times (and therefore interesting).

Engar
07-08-2008, 09:47 PM
If it doesn't suit your play style, I'm curious to hear why.

Oy. I refuse to post all 318 pages with notations only to have you point to the pages with pictures and ask how they could possibly be combat rules. If what you want is for me to add "...to me." or "...in my opinion." to the end of every statement then please feel free to imagine it there. It might be the closest 4e gets to encouraging roleplay (are you imagining?).

Valdar
07-08-2008, 10:01 PM
Oy. I refuse to post all 318 pages with notations only to have you point to the pages with pictures and ask how they could possibly be combat rules. If what you want is for me to add "...to me." or "...in my opinion." to the end of every statement then please feel free to imagine it there. It might be the closest 4e gets to encouraging roleplay (are you imagining?).

Can I direct your attention to page 18?



"The Dungeons & Dragons game is, first and foremost, a roleplaying game, which means that it's all about taking on the role of a character in the game."

fmitchell
07-08-2008, 10:26 PM
Sure, there's been a fair amount of railing against 4th Edition, and definitely some hyperbole by many of us (me included ;)), but I feel many of the posts HAVE discussed what's wrong with it.

Fair enough, but like any literary device hyperbole should be used judiciously.

And yes, in the discussion a number of points have come to light. Less noise, more signal please.

Engar
07-08-2008, 10:45 PM
You had me typing again, but I caught myself and deleted. It is a rare event, but I really am tired of debating. I agree to disagree.

At our feet is the hamburger where once a dead horse lay.

fmitchell
07-08-2008, 10:49 PM
"The Dungeons & Dragons game is, first and foremost, a roleplaying game, which means that it's all about taking on the role of a character in the game." (PHB, p. 18)

OK, I'll have to call shenanigans on this argument ... just because the book says it's all about roleplaying doesn't mean it's especially good at it, or that its definition automatically fits everyone's definition of it. I mean, Synnibarr claims to be the ultimate RPG, and it fails pretty hard.

Let's face it, Fourth Edition classes center around "Powers" that grant combat advantage; most only make sense when using a tactical map. Discussion of "characteristics" and "races" centers around how the numbers allow the character to do damage, endure damage, or escape consequences of battle effects. Nearly all feats matter only in combat. Perhaps the (over?)simplified skills system, and some of the Rituals (I skipped that bit) allow characters to do neat stuff outside of combat, but that's still a hefty chunk of the rules.

Granted, D&D has always spent far too much ink on combat and dungeon delving* for my taste, but the Fourth Edition Player's Handbook -- the largest of the three books -- describes how to create combatants with a few supplementary abilities, not well-rounded characters. I haven't seen the DMG ... maybe it supplements that lack, but then again maybe not.


* This includes exploring the wilderness, which is like a dungeon with trees, and the occasional jaunt into a city that isn't lost, which is like a dungeon with more people.

Webhead
07-08-2008, 10:53 PM
You had me typing again, but I caught myself and deleted. It is a rare event, but I really am tired of debating. I agree to disagree.

At our feet is the hamburger where once a dead horse lay.

Aye. There comes a time when only deeds...not words will prevail. I'm not interested in "converting" anyone to 4e. I am a bit interested in playing it though, just to see if it is a "good" fantasy RPG worth owning that takes me to a fun place of high adventure like the "old days". The pickings are slim for me right now. I'm done talking about liking or disliking it...it's time to take a drive (when/if that ever happens).

Valdar
07-08-2008, 11:45 PM
You had me typing again, but I caught myself and deleted. It is a rare event, but I really am tired of debating. I agree to disagree.

At our feet is the hamburger where once a dead horse lay.

Agreed- this is an argument conducted at right angles to each other, as I've heard it said. 3e players, enjoy your 3e- the words won't fall off the page, as it's been said (unlike in the 4e books if you rub really hard :D ), and we'll do the same.

agoraderek
07-08-2008, 11:52 PM
Agreed- this is an argument conducted at right angles to each other, as I've heard it said. 3e players, enjoy your 3e- the words won't fall off the page, as it's been said (unlike in the 4e books if you rub really hard :D ), and we'll do the same.

fair enough :D

ryan973
07-09-2008, 03:55 PM
I love you guys, GROUP HUG :Cry:

Now lets go to the wizards forrum and get them to play nice. I am with you until next month when the Forgotten realms 4th ed comes out at wich tiem i plan to renew my angry banter.

Valdar
07-09-2008, 04:11 PM
INow lets go to the wizards forrum and get them to play nice.

heh- good luck with that. Last I looked at those boards, there was a thread about "Do you need the prerequisites for the Plate Armor feat to wear plate, if you get the proficiency as a class feature?". It was a flamewar before the end of the first page.

agoraderek
07-09-2008, 05:37 PM
I love you guys, GROUP HUG :Cry:

Now lets go to the wizards forrum and get them to play nice. I am with you until next month when the Forgotten realms 4th ed comes out at wich tiem i plan to renew my angry banter.

don't worry, im starting a "what's wrong with forgotten realms 4e" thread two seconds after it hits the shelf... :D

Lev Lafayette
07-10-2008, 04:32 AM
French. Yuck. Not only do I not understand it written, but even with the written pronounciation I cannot decipher if I would or would not recognize the expression when spoken. I catapault a cow at them.

Excuse me, it is the French who catapult cows!

FRENCH GUARD: "Fetchez la vache."
OTHER FRENCH GUARD: "Quoi?"
FRENCH GUARD: "Fetchez la vache!"
FLYING COW: "mooo!"


On topic however I don't like what has been done with the alignment. Not only is the mashing of the Law-Chaos and Good-Evil continuum questionable (heck, no, it's wrong), alignment - the only systematic personality feature in the (A)D&D game now has no mechanical influence whatsoever. It's entirely a matter of colour.

Further, I don't like what has happened to the skills system. Sure development characters in 3.x was a pain, but at least there was some distinction apart from being "trained" or "untrained". Also the removal of professional and craft skills was irksome.

I'm not much of a combat-wombat either, so the requirement to use minis and a combat map left me cold as well.


There are some aspects I like however. The way that everyone has something to do in combat situations is an improvement and the "simple rule, many exceptions" is a good design principle (picked up, I may add, from CCGs)

Despite having played it several times and read the rulebooks through, I'm not at the stage of exalting or damning the product yet.

Webhead
07-10-2008, 10:07 AM
On topic however I don't like what has been done with the alignment. Not only is the mashing of the Law-Chaos and Good-Evil continuum questionable (heck, no, it's wrong), alignment - the only systematic personality feature in the (A)D&D game now has no mechanical influence whatsoever. It's entirely a matter of colour.

I'm of the opinion that Alignment should pretty much be only color, but I agree that I'm not really fond of what they did with Alignment in 4e.


Further, I don't like what has happened to the skills system. Sure development characters in 3.x was a pain, but at least there was some distinction apart from being "trained" or "untrained". Also the removal of professional and craft skills was irksome.

I like the change in "skill ranks", but many don't. It's one of those things that people tend to love or hate for the exact same reasons. I also like that characters apply half their level to all skill checks. To take a point from Star Wars, when the scene involves riding speeder bikes...Leia can drive one. Not as well as someone who is trained in speeders, but she can still be involved in the scene. When Obi-Wan needs to fly a starship...he can fly a starship. When Han needs to hotwire a security door...he can hotwire it. Or at least, he can attempt to with a somewhat reasonable chance of success.

The "trained/untrained" system breaks it down into 3 tiers: 1) Casual skill users who just do enough to get by, 2) Trained skill users who are specialized in the area of a skill, and 3) Focused skill users who devote themselves to mastery of a skill.

Like I said, people can love and hate that concept for the same reasons.


I'm not much of a combat-wombat either, so the requirement to use minis and a combat map left me cold as well.

Shang Tsung: "It has begun!" MORTAL WOMBAT!!!

Sorry...having been waiting for an opportunity to use that for years! :D

I tended to get the impression that minis-and-map combat was a requirement for 3.X as well which was one of my biggest beefs with the game and why I drifted away from it. I get the impression that 4e is "more of the same" and it may have even tied the two closer together. If 4e is to have a "saving grace" then regarding combat, it needs to make combat flow faster and with less rules-consulting needed. Haven't played it yet, so I couldn't say if it does or not.


There are some aspects I like however. The way that everyone has something to do in combat situations is an improvement and the "simple rule, many exceptions" is a good design principle (picked up, I may add, from CCGs)

Yeah, I like these concepts as well. Have yet to see how the theory translates to practice.


I'm not at the stage of exalting or damning the product yet.

Aye.

Tomcat1066
07-11-2008, 09:08 PM
Maybe it's just me, but why does WOTC feel the need to try to force everyone to be in everything all the time? In my groups, we've never had an issue with everyone taking part in everything. If they don't want to speak, they don't, and frankly, it's always worked out pretty well. Hell, I play fighters and have been involved in plenty of social encounters in game.

Perhaps part of my issue with 4th Edition is they changed stuff for what seems to me like no good reason, but maybe to others it was necessary. Who knows.

Maelstrom
07-11-2008, 10:13 PM
Maybe it's just me, but why does WOTC feel the need to try to force everyone to be in everything all the time?

Flow.

That one word sums it up. If your PC is thouroughly engaged every minute of a D&D session, the experience is much more intense, and therefore enjoyable. It's like the difference of watching a movie at home with a number of distractions and watching the same movie at a theatre with the sound blaring in your ears.

On another subject discussed earlier in this thread, I think one thing that is missed about this is that while everyone can participate in skill challenges, they aren't carbon copies of each other. You still have the CHA16 Paladin doing the heavy diplomacy lifting. Just this time your CHA6 rouge might notice the duke favoring his right leg (perception), which might lead the INT17 wizard to remember a noble recently broke his leg (history). It leads to very dynamic and memorable encounters.


Perhaps part of my issue with 4th Edition is they changed stuff for what seems to me like no good reason, but maybe to others it was necessary. Who knows.

Yeah, they don't do a good job describing why they changed the things they did. I guess they hoped people would try it with an open mind and find out for themselves why it works (which is what I had to do).

tesral
07-12-2008, 02:22 AM
Yeah, they don't do a good job describing why they changed the things they did. I guess they hoped people would try it with an open mind and find out for themselves why it works (which is what I had to do).

An open mind does not mean "I like it" automatically. An open mind means you are looking at it openly, it is still possible to say it sucks.

"Ahem: It sucks."

Tomcat1066
07-12-2008, 05:01 AM
Flow.

That one word sums it up. If your PC is thouroughly engaged every minute of a D&D session, the experience is much more intense, and therefore enjoyable. It's like the difference of watching a movie at home with a number of distractions and watching the same movie at a theatre with the sound blaring in your ears.

But, as I said, we did this ourselves without having to roll initiative. Everyone was involved on some level and there was no need to "make" people be involved. This was with several groups of people as well, hence my questioning the necessity of it.


On another subject discussed earlier in this thread, I think one thing that is missed about this is that while everyone can participate in skill challenges, they aren't carbon copies of each other. You still have the CHA16 Paladin doing the heavy diplomacy lifting. Just this time your CHA6 rouge might notice the duke favoring his right leg (perception), which might lead the INT17 wizard to remember a noble recently broke his leg (history). It leads to very dynamic and memorable encounters.

Which I saw happen constantly in 3.5. We always dealt with encouraging role play through role play XP. You don't role play, you don't get XP for anything but what you smash. A "I just want to kill stuff" guy will lag behind the group in short order, and therefore be "encouraged" to Role play rather than roll play.

Like I said, I see it as a problem that didn't exist. Perhaps those were just the groups I was in, but since it was several groups in this neck of the woods, I can't help BUT doubt it.


Yeah, they don't do a good job describing why they changed the things they did. I guess they hoped people would try it with an open mind and find out for themselves why it works (which is what I had to do).

Unfortunately, they made the rules uninteresting for a lot of us. Honestly, a lot of the people who had to play it to like it wouldn't have bothered even playing it if it didn't say "Dungeons and Dragons" on it. Of course, others love it like it's the best thing since sliced bread. Oh well. No skin of my butt either way ;)

Maelstrom
07-12-2008, 06:24 AM
Everyone was involved on some level and there was no need to "make" people be involved.

It sounds like your group discovered something other groups never did. A synergy of action between different personality types. Believe it or not, not everyone has discovered that synergy. I think what the 4e folks were trying to do was open the eyes of the players that they don't have to be useless in any situation. The hack and slash player that can't wait to swing his sword may determine that he does have strengths outside of combat that can aid his fellow party members, and thus is more engaged.

As far as "make" goes, "encourage" is probably the better term. I threw out the "roll for initiative" concept right away and instead just went around the table. Just like in combat each person could delay their action or pass if they so chose.



We always dealt with encouraging role play through role play XP... Perhaps those were just the groups I was in, but since it was several groups in this neck of the woods, I can't help BUT doubt it.


A great way to deal with it. Sounds like you have had some good groups.

I wish I always had groups like that... in groups I was a player the DMs didn't encourage role-play, and in ones where I was a DM, some of the groups would probably have asked "What's roleplaying?" if I tried to enforce it through experience gains. Because my group couldn't meet as frequently, and many key players could not make every session, I kept everyone the same level anyways, keeping a common pool of experience. Otherwise we would have quickly had a level 2 druid trying to keep up with level 5 PCs (since the player had to go out of country frequently).



Like I said, I see it as a problem that didn't exist.

Why did they made the change by using the skill challenge concept? My personal opinion is that it fit with the rest of their flow... in all cases, each player was meant to be fully engaged throughout the entire adventure. This is why (I think) spell preparation is out, rest and healing is revamped, spell durations are simplified, the classes were balanced against each other for combat, and skill challenges involved everyone.

4e definately was not a "look at each concept individually" and improve it change. It was a system revamp, where engagement and enjoyment seemed to be the critical goals.



Unfortunately, they made the rules uninteresting for a lot of us.

They certainly did. I don't know if they in their ivory towers realized the audience they were dealing with, or if they did they underestimated the effect.

When it comes to skill challenges though, this is possibly the one concept that is system agnostic. You can do this in 3.5 edition, 2nd edition, or Star Wars with minor tweaks. Thus, this is one concept you could try out to see if it works. Maybe your DM will realize that the system actually improves his ability to improvise (as it did for me). Maybe players that normally aren't engaged as much will become more so(as it did for my players). Maybe you'll determine after trying it its silly.

Disclaimer: If it seems I am trying to convert folks or look down on other opinions, I apologize. I'm just trying to answer questions that have been put forth using my experiences :)

Engar
07-12-2008, 10:21 AM
I'm of the opinion that Alignment should pretty much be only color....

That sounds like a phylosophy I can grab onto 90% of the time. The other 10% is when it matters for mechanics as it applies to roleplay: a particular class (Paladin, etc) or particular situation (magic item, etc). 3.5 introduced a bunch of alignment-based spells (which irked me horribly) and prefered ignoring alignment most other places. 4e took that a step further.

The old system had everything I needed and wanted for my 10%. I bet I would hate alignment if it was used all the time (100%) or even more of the time (> 10%). I see much consensus here about alignment's overusage or overimportance. I do not see a correlation between the new system and less fervent application. Seems equivalent to replacing an SUV with a compact car to reduce the drive time to work. "A" might have some merits of its own, but it does not lead to "B".


The "trained/untrained" system breaks it down into 3 tiers: 1) Casual skill users who just do enough to get by, 2) Trained skill users who are specialized in the area of a skill, and 3) Focused skill users who devote themselves to mastery of a skill..

I was very leary of this, but after seeing it in Saga I like it. I wish they had simply used the Saga system (untrained=1/2 level, trained=+5, focused=+5, some only usable trained). This is good stuff. I would even suggest an optional system of "specialized=+5" to apply to subcategories for those looking for precise flavor. You can also easily try something outside the normal skills and just call it untrained or add additional skills for those wanting to be good at something more unusual.

Since feats are acquired by level, independent of class (they wrote them up funny in Saga, but this still holds) and still contain all the old combat favorites as well as the skill focus, with proper tweeking (which I think is in the core of Saga) you can simplify character creation while still allowing great diversity and balance. The wizard can be proficient with a long sword, but at the cost of increased knowledge skills. The fighter can understand religion, but has to wait another level to get cleave.

Since feats govern skills (trained & focused are feats) and feats are independent of class, you can tweek your character as they grow to be anything you want. Since starting feats and skills are limited by class at character creation there is still a firm division of classes at the start.

4e does not seem quite as well done here as Saga.


I tended to get the impression that minis-and-map combat was a requirement for 3.X as well which was one of my biggest beefs with the game and why I drifted away from it. I get the impression that 4e is "more of the same" and it may have even tied the two closer together. If 4e is to have a "saving grace" then regarding combat, it needs to make combat flow faster and with less rules-consulting needed. Haven't played it yet, so I couldn't say if it does or not..

I was giving this some serious thought. Players might balk or even cry, but I may be able to run a combat away from the table. What if I just tell players if they can acquire flanking like I used to for backstab? What if I just tell them running headlong at the giant will give him the chance to baseball swing them into oblivion before they get close enough to attack (AO for moving through a threatened square)? I get too caught up in having to have it laid out on a table just like they do.

Even with the new Warlock and sliding, phasing, beaming up, teleprompting, whatever, who says I cannot just give the warlock a chance to change things up a little without having to toss it on a square grid? It may not work and we might want the mat sometimes, but I get to like my game too.

This comes down to my trying to wrap my head around 4e so I can have fun with it and not feel like I just agreed to sharecrop for the man at WotC.

Tomcat1066
07-12-2008, 04:07 PM
It sounds like your group discovered something other groups never did. A synergy of action between different personality types. Believe it or not, not everyone has discovered that synergy. I think what the 4e folks were trying to do was open the eyes of the players that they don't have to be useless in any situation. The hack and slash player that can't wait to swing his sword may determine that he does have strengths outside of combat that can aid his fellow party members, and thus is more engaged.

That's what's odd though. This has been with several groups through the years, and it's never been an issue. Perhaps it's regional, or perhaps I've just been damn luck, or maybe I bring out the best in other role players, who knows. I can only go with what my experience has been. Now, I have encountered players who fell into that model, but not in whole groups (with one exception...I only played one session and figured out real quick I wouldn't be happy with them).


As far as "make" goes, "encourage" is probably the better term. I threw out the "roll for initiative" concept right away and instead just went around the table. Just like in combat each person could delay their action or pass if they so chose.

That's pretty much how we deal with it and have for the last 10 years or so.


A great way to deal with it. Sounds like you have had some good groups.

I wish I always had groups like that... in groups I was a player the DMs didn't encourage role-play, and in ones where I was a DM, some of the groups would probably have asked "What's roleplaying?" if I tried to enforce it through experience gains. Because my group couldn't meet as frequently, and many key players could not make every session, I kept everyone the same level anyways, keeping a common pool of experience. Otherwise we would have quickly had a level 2 druid trying to keep up with level 5 PCs (since the player had to go out of country frequently).

That blows! Seriously! I just wish you could sit in on one of my group's sessions then, just to see how it just happens.

It sounds like with your groups, this is the way to deal with it. All I can say, and I don't mean this negatively at all, is my apologies. I really wish everyone could find groups where role play was the norm and rules to "make" or "encourage" it were unnecessary, only rules to help resolve it.


Why did they made the change by using the skill challenge concept? My personal opinion is that it fit with the rest of their flow... in all cases, each player was meant to be fully engaged throughout the entire adventure. This is why (I think) spell preparation is out, rest and healing is revamped, spell durations are simplified, the classes were balanced against each other for combat, and skill challenges involved everyone.

4e definately was not a "look at each concept individually" and improve it change. It was a system revamp, where engagement and enjoyment seemed to be the critical goals.

It being a system revamp is obvious ;), the only discussion is whether we needed a revamp or just some modifications to fix the problems in 3.5. I don't think it was necessary. When 3.0 came out, we switched to it almost immediately (only waiting for the DMG and MM to come out). Why? Because it had most of our house rules already in it so it was just what we'd been playing in most ways. It was just modifications of what we were already doing. 4th Edition isn't that unfortunately, it's an entirely new system, and one that looks uninteresting to say the least.


They certainly did. I don't know if they in their ivory towers realized the audience they were dealing with, or if they did they underestimated the effect.

Well, an email sent to WOTC a few days ago let them know the effect with my group at least. Of course, the response still suggested we play it anyways. Unfortunately, if a system is uninteresting, I'm not going to play it. I still maintain that the only reason some folks have or will try it is because it's Dungeons and Dragons, and no other reason. If this were called Wizard's Quest or something else, they'd not even bother buying the book. Not everyone, but some.


When it comes to skill challenges though, this is possibly the one concept that is system agnostic. You can do this in 3.5 edition, 2nd edition, or Star Wars with minor tweaks. Thus, this is one concept you could try out to see if it works. Maybe your DM will realize that the system actually improves his ability to improvise (as it did for me). Maybe players that normally aren't engaged as much will become more so(as it did for my players). Maybe you'll determine after trying it its silly.

You're right about it being system agnostic, and it may be a good way for a DM who has an uninvolved group to try and get people involved. Of course, seeing if it works with my group may not be indicative of anything, since we've already established this isn't an issue in my group. All it would do is establish who goes when, which would kill the freeform nature of it. However, I would be interested to hear about results from 3.5 groups who try this.


Disclaimer: If it seems I am trying to convert folks or look down on other opinions, I apologize. I'm just trying to answer questions that have been put forth using my experiences :)

Actually, you're far from trying to convert ;). Solid discussion of a mechanic (skill challenges) is far more productive than random shouting anyways ;)

cplmac
07-12-2008, 06:19 PM
It seems to me that it comes down to what that particular group wants to do. If they want every PC to be involved with every discussion or negotiation, then so be it. On the other hand, a couple of the PCs could actually do all the talking while the rest of the party takes care of other tasks at the same time. Such as: ordering food &ale, or maybe they are gathering up the party's gear, or they could be keeping a watchful eye to make sure they don't get caught with their guard down.

Just my two cents worth.

Maelstrom
07-12-2008, 08:04 PM
That's pretty much how we deal with it and have for the last 10 years or so.

So what's your beef? The encouragement to participate (you've already had that)? Just the initiative rolling itself (which people will use or not based on their preference)?

What you've had wasn't found in the rule books, it was determined by sensible players who know what they want out of the game.

The new skill challenge rules just gives to everyone the chance to have what you've had going for years.



That blows! Seriously! I just wish you could sit in on one of my group's sessions then, just to see how it just happens.


I'd love to! Make sure to take notes next time and post a play by play so we all those interested can benefit. I can make it required reading by my group and then maybe they'd wake up :D



It sounds like with your groups, this is the way to deal with it. All I can say, and I don't mean this negatively at all, is my apologies. I really wish everyone could find groups where role play was the norm and rules to "make" or "encourage" it were unnecessary, only rules to help resolve it.


It ain't all bad... some people just don't like freeform roleplaying, or don't know how to have fun with it... especially the crowd I generally deal with, which are the fringe players. I teach people how to play the game that always wondered but never had a chance to try it before. I generally don't run with the hard core gamers that have lived and breathed it since age 7. Not that I don't like them, just the family oriented group I have available don't have too many of those types.



It being a system revamp is obvious ;), the only discussion is whether we needed a revamp or just some modifications to fix the problems in 3.5...
I still maintain that the only reason some folks have or will try it is because it's Dungeons and Dragons, and no other reason.


This comes back to the more general discussion.

Many felt that some elements of 3.5 were a pain to shore up and fix, and starting fresh invigorates them. True, others are fans of the D&D IP and will try anything D&D, but thats just a part of the segment. Others are brand new to the whole concept, and may find 4e the thing they need to get into the market.

Still others like 3.5 as is even with its flaws, or are too invested to consider laying down more cash. A Lich I know has a whole amazing world he's created of his own, and dislikes the direction the corporation is taking the hobby :p.

Regardless, some may put their foot in 4e and find it meets their initial perceptions, for good or for ill, or others that thought they liked the idea found they didn't like the implementation. Some may even be surprised and like it *gasp*



Of course, seeing if it works with my group may not be indicative of anything, since we've already established this isn't an issue in my group. All it would do is establish who goes when, which would kill the freeform nature of it.

Freeform sounds like it can be fun.

The skill challenge rules actually led to better improvisation in my group, partially because the random rolls affect the ebb and flow of the conversation, well randomly, and there is a definite chance of failure, which adds a new level of urgency. That's just my group though...


Solid discussion of a mechanic (skill challenges) is far more productive than random shouting anyways ;)

My thoughts exactly! Glad there is at least some of that going on now!


It seems to me that it comes down to what that particular group wants to do.

As always is the case! It still is invigorating to have a real discussion on a message board on occasion, as opposed to a flamewar :)

Tomcat1066
07-13-2008, 07:36 AM
So what's your beef? The encouragement to participate (you've already had that)? Just the initiative rolling itself (which people will use or not based on their preference)?

What you've had wasn't found in the rule books, it was determined by sensible players who know what they want out of the game.

The new skill challenge rules just gives to everyone the chance to have what you've had going for years.

I guess the best way to state my beef is that instead of letting the group decide, they put rules in which kill the free form nature we've been following for a while now. When you couple that with the changes they made in the skills (a whole other topic into itself), they've set up a "requirement" that people be involved with few tools to help those who aren't naturally predisposed. (requirement is in quotes because you and I know it's not actually required, but others may interpret it differently because of how it's laid out in the DMG).

As for it giving everyone the chance to do what we've done, everyone has had the chance from the get-go. The rules certainly allowed it, and the Diplomacy skill in 3x gave everyone the chance moreso than now, since anyone could take the skill and get bonuses to their rolls. Unfortunately, in some circles, that wasn't happening for whatever reason.


I'd love to! Make sure to take notes next time and post a play by play so we all those interested can benefit. I can make it required reading by my group and then maybe they'd wake up :D

We played last night, but I didn't get this post until now unfortunately. I'll see what I can do for ya ;)


It ain't all bad... some people just don't like freeform roleplaying, or don't know how to have fun with it... especially the crowd I generally deal with, which are the fringe players. I teach people how to play the game that always wondered but never had a chance to try it before. I generally don't run with the hard core gamers that have lived and breathed it since age 7. Not that I don't like them, just the family oriented group I have available don't have too many of those types.

It's true some people don't like freeform role playing. As a rule, I generally don't like role playing with them though. One or two isn't such a big thing, but when the whole group lets one person do the talking because they've got Diplomacy, well...

It's a preference thing, that's all ;)


This comes back to the more general discussion.

Many felt that some elements of 3.5 were a pain to shore up and fix, and starting fresh invigorates them. True, others are fans of the D&D IP and will try anything D&D, but thats just a part of the segment. Others are brand new to the whole concept, and may find 4e the thing they need to get into the market.

Still others like 3.5 as is even with its flaws, or are too invested to consider laying down more cash. A Lich I know has a whole amazing world he's created of his own, and dislikes the direction the corporation is taking the hobby :p.

Yeah. I'm definitely in the second camp. The thing is, I really wanted to be excited to play 4th Edition. Oh well...ain't the first time I've been disappointed after all ;)


Freeform sounds like it can be fun.

The skill challenge rules actually led to better improvisation in my group, partially because the random rolls affect the ebb and flow of the conversation, well randomly, and there is a definite chance of failure, which adds a new level of urgency. That's just my group though...

What I'm now curious to know is how many of those who love 4th Edition had an issue with this in 3.5 and the fact that it's fixed it has had something to do with it. Whereas I don't feel 4th Edition fixed any of the 3.5 problems, but instead fixed things that weren't broken, I understand that others don't share that thought at all. It could be interesting ;)

I just hope I'm making some sense here.

Vulture
07-13-2008, 09:34 AM
No Half-Orc Barbarians

Vulture
07-13-2008, 09:40 AM
I tended to get the impression that minis-and-map combat was a requirement for 3.X as well which was one of my biggest beefs with the game and why I drifted away from it. I get the impression that 4e is "more of the same" and it may have even tied the two closer together. If 4e is to have a "saving grace" then regarding combat, it needs to make combat flow faster and with less rules-consulting needed. Haven't played it yet, so I couldn't say if it does or not.

I've run several games of D&D 3.5 with out maps and minis, they do make it easier to play, but they aren't/weren't required for play.