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Stormcrow77
09-04-2008, 08:09 PM
I was reading Knights of the dinner table and came across this.

"The simplest way to summarize the newest D&D is to compare how amny goblins you could resonable kill before dying yourself

Mike Hensley of WWW.hackslash.net (http://www.hackslash.net) ran a simulation of this in all the diffrent editiions - 1000 first level fighters in each edition
The ground rules followed for this comparison were: Human fighter with the stats that would be expected from using the standard stat generation method for a given edition. Equipment would be long sword, shield, and the best armor that average starting money would allow. After generating the fighters for each edition, they would then bepaired up aginst an unending stream of goblins (also from THAT edition) one at a time to see how effective they were. These combats were run atlest 1000 times each by a javascript simulator program."

The results

OD&D http://www.hackslash.net/?p=212

BD&D http://www.hackslash.net/?p=213

AD&D1 http://www.hackslash.net/?p=214

AD&D2 http://www.hackslash.net/?p=215

D&D 3e http://www.hackslash.net/?p=216

D&D 4e http://www.hackslash.net/?p=218

Final results http://www.hackslash.net/?p=220

DMMike
09-04-2008, 08:15 PM
Wow. That study could imply that goblins are getting weaker, or near extinction, or hardcore oppressed. Or fighters are getting more and more psychotic?

Or that 4E is roll playing with training wheels.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-04-2008, 08:56 PM
Wow. That study could imply that goblins are getting weaker, or near extinction, or hardcore oppressed. Or fighters are getting more and more psychotic?

Or that 4E is roll playing with training wheels.
Goblins are the rabbits of the green races, always reproducing/replacing/increasing their numbers. So no worries for extinction. They are an infestation.

Thoth-Amon

Farcaster
09-04-2008, 09:22 PM
Minions aren't an appropriate comparison on their own. It is unlikely that an encounter would be built with just goblin minions. The base goblin as actually a lot more impressive. Goblins in fact overall got a lot of cooler stuff (like Goblin Tactics) in 4e.

Grimwell
09-05-2008, 12:03 AM
As someone who enjoys numbers and seeing how they crunch, this is a really cool series of tests. Thanks for sharing it!

It proves nothing though. It's faulty logic to abstract one minor part of the game system across editions and then apply any deductions drawn from the abstraction globally as example of how those systems work. How to other classes fare? Should we look at cleric's and their potential healing powers? Should we look at saving throws and see if they have grown easier too? What about any number of comparisons that would be fun and easy to make?

The comparison, though interesting, is a false analogy that does not stack up as a measure for each full edition. It's just an isolated comparison and as suggested in the comments on the summary graph, it's not necessarily a fair comparison either, as the minions which were used for 4.0 have no relative counterpart in the prior editions.

I can make other logical abstractions from the chart, which are equally invalid on the larger scale but fun to play with in terms of numbers and manipulation. Look at the graph and note the curve (http://www.hackslash.net/?p=220). If you take the rate of growth and crunch it down to an average, each new edition causes inflation in terms of the numbers of goblins a fighter can handle by almost 160% (check my math, I'm sleepy).

Which means Fifth Edition Dungeons & Dragons will allow fighters to kill over 30 goblins at first level and not even care!

That statement is valid based on the data we have to interpret here, but absolute crap in terms f true value. :)

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-05-2008, 09:31 AM
I would agree with grimwell. It is a great article, if not a bit misleading.

Thoth-Amon

DMMike
09-05-2008, 03:36 PM
I think the analysis, though flawed, makes an interesting statement about 4E. The system gives characters more hit points, more healing, and more ways to slaughter (minions).

Which should be much more appealing to the type of player who loves destroying hordes of goblins.

tesral
09-06-2008, 11:43 PM
He should have used a base Goblin, NOT the minion, it destroys the test as a valid comparison. BTW: I still think Forry sucks. ;)

I wouldn't mine seeing the test rerun with a base goblin. I predict that it would follow the curve seen in the previous editions. A slow inflation.

kirksmithicus
09-07-2008, 12:22 AM
The healing surges are my biggest complaint about FO'E.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-07-2008, 02:59 PM
To the clever, all editions are made for powergaming... it could be argued.

Thoth-Amon

Engar
09-08-2008, 06:48 AM
Even better, 4th Ed does the powergaming for you.

***Insert Flame Here***

agoraderek
09-08-2008, 12:46 PM
He should have used a base Goblin, NOT the minion, it destroys the test as a valid comparison.

i respectfully disagree. the comparison is on how many bodies hit the floor (cue music), nothing else. 4e is designed to have a lot of bodies hit the floor, which makes the players feel more "uber". whether they're "minions" or "regulars" is irrelevant, imo.

yes, the power curve flattens out when you use regular, non-minion, goblins, but if you did THAT test, you'd be ignoring a big part of 4e combats...

Kalanth
09-08-2008, 02:02 PM
Here is the problem:

D&D 4e Goblin Minion
AC- 16
HP- 1
Damage- 4

The minute he decided to use this instead of a standard goblin the test should have been tossed in the trash. A wizard could wade through endless mobs of minions, much less the fighter. The minion, regardless of level, is going to have 1 hp and is there to be more of a distraction than a threat. That test is garbage and says nothing about 4E and how the game is designed.

Webhead
09-08-2008, 03:45 PM
Well, if nothing else, at least in 4e you no longer have to worry about 1st level TPKs from 4 goblins with extremely lucky dice... :D

Aidan
09-08-2008, 04:11 PM
Well, actually, a minion counts as 1/4 of an actual monster, so the party would be more like 16 goblin minions to be equivalent. Even though they have 1 hit point, they still have the same armor class bab and damage as a regular goblin.


You're not going to have a one on one fight, you're going to have your fighter flanked three ways to sunday and giving up combat advantage to the goblins.

Webhead
09-08-2008, 04:37 PM
...which sounds like a pretty cool combat if you ask me. A 16-goblin battle sounds much more epic than a 4-goblin battle...but meh...

Kalanth
09-08-2008, 04:59 PM
...which sounds like a pretty cool combat if you ask me. A 16-goblin battle sounds much more epic than a 4-goblin battle...but meh...

Epic it is. The basic premise behind 4e was that a party of 5 characters would encounter a party of 5 monsters and a longer, more interesting and in depth battle would ensue. For the most part this has been accurate to my experience. Then, if you want to change the dynamic of the battle, you do a party of 5 players against a party of 11 monsters (3 Regular, 8 minions) and you have just jumped into a more epic fight that is likely to be remembered. Players usually love being out numbered and living, and players tend to love mowing through waves of bad guys. These things make fights in 4E more interesting to me.

Aidan
09-08-2008, 06:06 PM
I'm not sure how the 3e or the 3.5e monster manual was set up, but in the 4e monster manual, many of the monsters have several variations. Much like PCs, monsters have different roles, Brute, Soldier, Skirmisher, Lurker, Artillery and Controller.

The Monster Manual suggests encounter groups which offer a mix of these roles and give *tactics* to the monsters. It's very rarely a straight, stand-up battle. You'll have a mix of regular monsters and minions, and often artillery or a controller with soldiers or
skirmishers or brutes to keep the party occupied.

tesral
09-08-2008, 10:51 PM
i respectfully disagree. the comparison is on how many bodies hit the floor (cue music), nothing else. 4e is designed to have a lot of bodies hit the floor, which makes the players feel more "uber". whether they're "minions" or "regulars" is irrelevant, imo.
.


Here is the problem:

D&D 4e Goblin Minion
AC- 16
HP- 1
Damage- 4

The minute he decided to use this instead of a standard goblin the test should have been tossed in the trash.

Later example correct. He changed the parameters of the test in using the Goblin minion instead of the Goblin. The data is useful right up to the point he "tested" Forry, and it falls down. I might not like Forry, but I know how to put a statistical example together, and he did it wrong. He is dealing with Statistical Process Control. And he borked the constant.

This trashes his data, simple as that. Fair is only fair and I will not judge the system based on a borked test.

As I said before, a "real" goblin would flatten the curve, it might even eliminate the "advantage" all together. Is short he cleverly spent a great deal of effort to prove nothing. All is not lost however. He has a great future in political polling.

Engar
09-09-2008, 06:40 AM
I agree that minions are a great idea. There are even a couple others. I now look at the 4e books as great resources for ideas in a DnD game.

raven21
09-09-2008, 06:48 AM
Later example correct. He changed the parameters of the test in using the Goblin minion instead of the Goblin. The data is useful right up to the point he "tested" Forry, and it falls down. I might not like Forry, but I know how to put a statistical example together, and he did it wrong. He is dealing with Statistical Process Control. And he borked the constant.

This trashes his data, simple as that. Fair is only fair and I will not judge the system based on a borked test.

As I said before, a "real" goblin would flatten the curve, it might even eliminate the "advantage" all together. Is short he cleverly spent a great deal of effort to prove nothing. All is not lost however. He has a great future in political polling.

I disagree I think that he did exactly what he should have done. He used a base fighter and the weakest goblin from each edition. True the minion goblin that was used in the 4e test was weaker than any other goblin before it, but that was not his doing it is like that in 4e. itís no different than in OD&D test where he had plate mail for armor, you donít see that as starting armor in any other edition. Itís all relative anyway power gaming is just a term and can be perceived differently by everyone. I do find it funny how many people are getting mad over this. You can tell who the 3e and 4e players are.

Kalanth
09-09-2008, 08:30 AM
I disagree I think that he did exactly what he should have done. He used a base fighter and the weakest goblin from each edition. True the minion goblin that was used in the 4e test was weaker than any other goblin before it, but that was not his doing it is like that in 4e. Itís no different than in OD&D test where he had plate mail for armor, you donít see that as starting armor in any other edition. Itís all relative anyway power gaming is just a term and can be perceived differently by everyone. I do find it funny how many people are getting mad over this. You can tell who the 3e and 4e players are.

There are many more factors to 4E that he did not even come close to considering. If he wanted a fair market assessment then he should have done the test against Minions, Brutes, Soldiers, Lurkers, Strikers, Controllers, Leaders, Elite, and Solo monsters. Unlike previous editions there are actual variations of the monsters now and they provide a different challenge. The whole reason the fighter took so long to go down in 4E is because that is what the fighterís role is, mitigate damage and occupy the enemy. One way or the other, his final numbers were inconclusive in terms of 4E because he did not take the time to consider all the possible factors and instead choose the one that would benefit his results the most.

Even if I wasnít a 4E fan I would rather see an accurate assessment then a skewed one that is rigged to show what you want it to show.

Skunkape
09-09-2008, 08:45 AM
...then a skewed one that is rigged to show what you want it to show.

But isn't that what most analyses do?

tesral
09-09-2008, 11:33 AM
Itís all relative anyway power gaming is just a term and can be perceived differently by everyone. I do find it funny how many people are getting mad over this. You can tell who the 3e and 4e players are

Mad? :lol:


Dismissive. He borked his constant. From the statistical PoV it destroys the admittedly limited value his effort had in the first place.

The skinny is I have known what he is "trying to prove" for years. There has been a steady prower inflation in the system from the beginning. Anyone with half a brain and a good eye can spot it. It's never bothered me before and it isn't going to start now.

But his test is worthless and I would be less than honest to say otherwise.

DMMike
09-09-2008, 02:06 PM
There's a valid point to take from the survey, even if the numbers weren't exactly right: 4E explicitly incorporates 1hp creatures. Enemies that are supposed to die after one successful hit. It may not crop up in a single encounter, but the implication is that the power curve continues to rise in 4E. Players are supposed to be chopping down fodder. Hence, the minion.

In hindsight, it's pretty obvious where this idea comes from: every action movie known to man. When did the typical enemy ever put up a fight? They don't. The good guys wade into the filthy pool of bad guys, and slice them down like they were daisies. It's really sad, because any self-respecting combatant wouldn't even think about fighting if he knew that he could die simply by having a sword waved at him.

Webhead
09-09-2008, 02:24 PM
...It's really sad, because any self-respecting combatant wouldn't even think about fighting if he knew that he could die simply by having a sword waved at him.

...But it makes for some really cool fight sequences! :D

As I've espoused before, I fell in love with "mook" or "minion" rules the first time I discovered them (which was in Risus I believe). There's nothing quite like imagining your character wading through a sea of zombies dogpiling him, clawing and biting and grasping. In prior editions, throw more than 3 or 4 zombies at a 1st level party and you begin dipping into the pool of "character death".

DeathByDM
09-09-2008, 02:32 PM
Having played and DMed both editions fairly extensively, I think that 3rd edition, with it's myriad of conflicting rules, prestige classes, and multiclass dipping, is much better for power gaming than 4e.

In fact, I'd say that, properly run, 4e is more challenging and more fun for players. In previous editions, it was impossible to throw epic hordes at players without creating the creatures yourself from scratch. Massive-scaled battles were not only difficult for players to handle, but also for DMs to manage. In 4e, the minion rules make this an easy undertaking and most of the classic races have their versions of minions.

If you don't like minions, don't use them. Minions are not the norm, and only the iconic monsters even have examples of them.

I actually like how Wizards did monsters in 4e. I love how they created versions of almost every iconic monster that can be fought at many different levels of play.

Webhead
09-09-2008, 02:38 PM
...I love how they created versions of almost every iconic monster that can be fought at many different levels of play.

I think I agree in that regard. No more "graduating" from monsters. "We're 3rd level now so we won't be fighting kobolds anymore!" Yes, in 3e you could give the kobolds "class levels" but that almost always required more effort than was generally enjoyable.

Valdar
09-09-2008, 06:25 PM
I think he should have used a Wizard instead of a Fighter, but that might not produce the curve he wanted between the previous editions. To whit:

--There is no limit to the number of monsters that can occupy a square, as long as they are prone.
--Cloud of Daggers automatically does the Wizard's Wisdom modifier in damage, minimum 1, to any creature that crosses or starts their turn in the square, with no to-hit roll.

Ergo, a 1st level Wizard can kill infinite goblins (or any minion, of any level) in one turn, assuming they were all stacked in a single square. He would then get infinite XP at the end of the encounter, and instantly achieve level 30 and retire.

Previous editions don't even have 1st level Wizard spells that do area damage. Or, as Tesral noted, minions.

So yes, 4e is built for power gaming, if you define powergaming as the ability to make more "bodies hit the floor", as stated above. But is that really a bad thing? If that's the only metric, what's the opposite of "power gaming", if you want to define what previous versions are designed for? "Powerless gaming"? "Ineffectual gaming"?

Aidan
09-09-2008, 06:35 PM
I think he should have used a Wizard instead of a Fighter, but that might not produce the curve he wanted between the previous editions. To whit:

--There is no limit to the number of monsters that can occupy a square, as long as they are prone.
--Cloud of Daggers automatically does the Wizard's Wisdom modifier in damage, minimum 1, to any creature that crosses or starts their turn in the square, with no to-hit roll.

Ergo, a 1st level Wizard can kill infinite goblins (or any minion, of any level) in one turn, assuming they were all stacked in a single square. He would then get infinite XP at the end of the encounter, and instantly achieve level 30 and retire.

Previous editions don't even have 1st level Wizard spells that do area damage. Or, as Tesral noted, minions.

So yes, 4e is built for power gaming, if you define powergaming as the ability to make more "bodies hit the floor", as stated above. But is that really a bad thing? If that's the only metric, what's the opposite of "power gaming", if you want to define what previous versions are designed for? "Powerless gaming"? "Ineffectual gaming"?

Aren't minions specifically immune to incidental damage, i.e. to damage from attacks that doesn't actually hit them?

Valdar
09-09-2008, 07:43 PM
Aren't minions specifically immune to incidental damage, i.e. to damage from attacks that doesn't actually hit them?

No- they're immune to damage that occurs on a "miss" result- CS has confirmed several times that they do in fact take incidental damage. I'm sticking with RAW for now, but if it gets silly, my first house rule will be just that- that minions only die when you overcome one of their defenses with a to-hit roll.

Engar
09-10-2008, 06:58 AM
Having played and DMed both editions fairly extensively, I think that 3rd edition, with it's myriad of conflicting rules, prestige classes, and multiclass dipping, is much better for power gaming than 4e.

In fact, I'd say that, properly run, 4e is more challenging and more fun for players. In previous editions, it was impossible to throw epic hordes at players without creating the creatures yourself from scratch. Massive-scaled battles were not only difficult for players to handle, but also for DMs to manage. In 4e, the minion rules make this an easy undertaking and most of the classic races have their versions of minions.

If you don't like minions, don't use them. Minions are not the norm, and only the iconic monsters even have examples of them.

I actually like how Wizards did monsters in 4e. I love how they created versions of almost every iconic monster that can be fought at many different levels of play.

I like the monsters in 4e too. I also agree with your assessment of 3.5 for powergaming since the powergamers I have met like to try to manipulate the rules. It is easier to manipulate the rules of a game designed for adults. (OH NO HE DIDN'T! Yup, did.)

I see many faults in both 3.5 and 4e. I also see many improvements and creative ideas to steal and use.

raven21
09-10-2008, 07:37 AM
4e is not the first edition to have varations of monsters or to suggest that you can give monsters levels to make them harder for players to kill, 4e just does it more readly. Most of the new rules were not just made up for 3e and 4e but rather come from 2.5e or are based off of 2.5e

Valdar
09-10-2008, 12:57 PM
a game designed for adults. (OH NO HE DIDN'T! Yup, did.)


I totally agree with the part about 4e being directed toward children. I, too, was very disappointed in the drastically reduced number of naked boobs in the artwork.

DeathByDM
09-10-2008, 01:05 PM
I totally agree with the part about 4e being directed toward children. I, too, was very disappointed in the drastically reduced number of naked boobs in the artwork.

LOL

Webhead
09-10-2008, 01:06 PM
I totally agree with the part about 4e being directed toward children. I, too, was very disappointed in the drastically reduced number of naked boobs in the artwork.

Mmmm...boobs... :thumb:

I'll take real ones over illustrated ones anyday though...

Kalanth
09-10-2008, 01:52 PM
Mmmm...boobs... :thumb:

I'll take real ones over illustrated ones anyday though...

Mmmmm.... Book of Erotic Fantasy....

Yeah, I don't see 4E being aimed at children so much as I see it adapting to a short attention span and video game addicted generation. For me 3.5 was painful to DM and took tons of time to put together quality adventures.

Since I started running 4E I find it takes half the time to set things up for an adventure. I have also been far more willing to do things I had never done before like making my own monsters. In fact, I have been enjoying the adventure writing process that I had to tell myself to stop so that I would not write the players into a railroaded corner.

But boobs and DM's aside I am curious if the point of his survey was more to show the increase of power in the Fighter (which is actually a decrease when compared to Ranger / Rogue / Warlock) or if it was to show that D&D has become a power gamers paradise by using the weakest monster type available?

Webhead
09-10-2008, 02:20 PM
Mmmmm.... Book of Erotic Fantasy....

Never owned nor read that book but its publication did not surprise me, the "general" gamer demographic being the repressed bunch that they are. ;)

As far as the study, while its data may be dubious, I think it speaks to the generall "up swing" trend that D&D has seemed to exhibit with each edition that PCs are becoming more and more capable. It's not so surprising when you look at it:

Class Hit Dice were increased from Basic D&D to AD&D (Fighters in Basic D&D got d8 Hit Dice instead of d10). In 3e, you start with max hit points at 1st level and you continue rolling for hit points each level (whereas you tended to stop rolling hit points after level 9 in previous editions). In 3e, weapon proficiencies were expanded and all characters (not just Fighters) eventually get multiple attacks. In 4e, you start with even more hit points and you have the recurring ability to "heal" damage that you've taken in small bursts.

I can see what is being hinted at and I agree with it...even if the methodology is a little skewed. Still, making D&D more epic isn't necessarily a bad thing. Depends on play style, I suppose.

Kalanth
09-10-2008, 02:56 PM
Never owned nor read that book but its publication did not surprise me, the "general" gamer demographic being the repressed bunch that they are. ;)

I bought it because it was banned by the OGL and so I HAD to have it. :) Not a shabby book, would never use it though.


As far as the study, while its data may be dubious, I think it speaks to the generall "up swing" trend that D&D has seemed to exhibit with each edition that PCs are becoming more and more capable. It's not so surprising when you look at it:

Class Hit Dice were increased from Basic D&D to AD&D (Fighters in Basic D&D got d8 Hit Dice instead of d10). In 3e, you start with max hit points at 1st level and you continue rolling for hit points each level (whereas you tended to stop rolling hit points after level 9 in previous editions). In 3e, weapon proficiencies were expanded and all characters (not just Fighters) eventually get multiple attacks. In 4e, you start with even more hit points and you have the recurring ability to "heal" damage that you've taken in small bursts.

I can see what is being hinted at and I agree with it...even if the methodology is a little skewed. Still, making D&D more epic isn't necessarily a bad thing. Depends on play style, I suppose.

I agree that each edition has become more and more of a power and light show, that much is true. However I see that this power was actually brought in line while expanded on with 4E, if that makes sense. With the right tricks and modifications you could get one heck of a glass cannon out of a wizard or sorcerer in 3.X. Nothing wrong with that, but it overshadowed all other classes once you got to that point.

That is harder to do in 4E unless you play a striker, which is designed to be powerful from the word go. But monsters are stronger too. Take out the minion and fights can be long, knock down drag out contests that take several rounds. That was the desired result from Wizards as they felt fights were to short in prior editions. I agree with what they were doing and must say that it certainly makes things more interesting. I just need to get used to it and bring down the number of fights because they make a session take so much longer.

Webhead
09-10-2008, 03:12 PM
I agree that each edition has become more and more of a power and light show, that much is true. However I see that this power was actually brought in line while expanded on with 4E, if that makes sense. With the right tricks and modifications you could get one heck of a glass cannon out of a wizard or sorcerer in 3.X. Nothing wrong with that, but it overshadowed all other classes once you got to that point.

That is harder to do in 4E unless you play a striker, which is designed to be powerful from the word go. But monsters are stronger too. Take out the minion and fights can be long, knock down drag out contests that take several rounds. That was the desired result from Wizards as they felt fights were to short in prior editions. I agree with what they were doing and must say that it certainly makes things more interesting. I just need to get used to it and bring down the number of fights because they make a session take so much longer.

I agree with a lot of that. Haven't played 4e yet, but I noticed that even the most epic of battles in 3e did not last much longer than about 6 rounds (I once considered the "Extended Rage" feat for my Barbarian, but realized that not a single encounter in the entire campaign was long enough to get any use out of it. I took "Extra Rage" instead. Much more useful). I think part of this had to do with encounter design theory. You either had one or two really beefy monsters (and thus the PC would focus their firepower and drag them down kicking and screaming) or you had a bunch of "little" monsters who were generally ineffectual and existed primarily as an "xp farm". It's all speculation from my position at the moment, but I like 4e's idea of creating "monster teams" by combining monsters with different roles that compliment each other.