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ChaunceyK
10-19-2008, 10:24 PM
Having not gamed in around 20 years, and only now diving head-first into 4e (with no gentle transition from playing consistently over the years as I suspect most have), I see the rules of D&D have become far more complicated. At first I was overwhelmed, but I've had some time to muddle around the rulebook & become more comfortable about the changes. I haven't actually played 4e yet, I'll be starting in a couple weeks, so I can't say for certain yet whether I feel the changes of the past 20 years are too much.

I'm curious how others who have played multiple editions of D&D feel. I'd suspect most like the complicated rules better, simply because I see most of the posts here geared towards 3.5 & 4e (and when I say "complicated," I don't mean "too difficult to understand," just "greater detail with a steeper learner curve"). Although I don't mean to restrict anyone from replying, my greater interest is in seeing who does prefer the earlier, simpler game system.

I guess what it boils down to is this...some folks like detail, some like easy play. What's your opinion?

raven21
10-19-2008, 10:48 PM
I have never made it past 2e. 3e was a mistake they rushed it when TSR found out it was being bought out by Wizards of the Coast, which I also think was a mistake. I find 3e and 3.5e better suited for video game purposes. I have to this day not played 4e so I have no opinion about it, but I assume it is based on 3.5e so I have no interest in it.

nijineko
10-19-2008, 11:23 PM
it is not based so much on 3.x, it is more based on d20 modern and star wars saga edition.

3e was improved, but had rough spots, but 3.5 was a great improvement on that. many issues were addressed and it plays acceptable well, though it still needs work here and there. it is not good for mimicking video games, however. the computer games that have been based on 3.x need a fair amount of work to be able to close the gap of duplicating the tabletop experience of 3.x.

4e is more easily interchangeable with an mmo, on the other hand.

Grimwell
10-19-2008, 11:49 PM
4e is more easily interchangeable with an mmo, on the other hand.
I've seen that comparison made more than once and would like to state clearly that it's just not true. MMO's are painfully complex behind the curtain and have more in common with Rolemaster than D&D in any form. It may feel like a MMO to some folks, but it's far from it when you get down to the mechanics.

4th Edition is based on a simple mechanic that applies in multiple situations. MMO's tend to have a new mechanic created for each situation and set of abilities that a character can bring to it. The simplicity of 4th Edition is something MMO's should model, as MMO's are complex and probably overly so. (I work in the MMO industry so I'm not just saying things either, 4E is delightfully simple in comparison).

To the original question, I would have to say "Yes" in response. Compared to the first "advanced" edition, D&D has grown more complex. Second edition added in proficiencies and kits; third edition streamlined the mechanic but added in prestige classes and a wealth of options; fourth edition has slimmed down much of the bulk that came in with third, but is more complex than first edition (you have more choices as a character each round).

The logical follow up question to this is: "Is that a bad thing?"

Which is much more of a YMMV point to answer. Second, Third, and Fourth editions each have their adherents, as does First, and everyone is right to enjoy their favorite flavor of D&D for their own personal reasons. That's not as sexy as pointless debate over which edition is "better" but it's the truth. ;)

nijineko
10-19-2008, 11:55 PM
granted. i look at the ruleset for 4e and the "impression" i get is more of an mmo. however, you make a good point in that all mmo's are based on the math, which lends to rolemaster more than anything else. which i happened to enjoy very much. oddly, i can't stand mmo's or computer rpgs. ^^

Grimwell
10-20-2008, 01:14 AM
lol

I love math, but Rolemaster gives me the hives.

Sample MMO combat:
Situation, character is attacking enemy target

Check: Character attack skill. Does character's attack work? Y/N (assume Y)
Check: Targets defense skill. Does target avoid attack? Modify by rate of success from Character attack skill. Y/N (assume N)
Check: Character attack type rating. What form of successful attack was made? How strong is it? (assume variable)
Check: Target attack type resistance. How much of the attack strength is mitigated by defenses?
Check: Target armor. How much of successful attack strength is absorbed by armor? Predicate - Target attack type resistance modification to successful attack type rating. (assume constant)
Check: Target armor condition. Is target armor fully functional? Modify target armor rating by variable not to exceed 1.0 (assume variable).
Sum: Remaining damage from target attack type rating.
Apply: Remaining damage to target.
Check: Target current health rating. Reduce by damage rating.
Check: Target maximum health. Is health reduced to 0 or lower?
Display: successful attack animation
Display: unsuccessful attack avoid
Display: Target reaction to blow.
Display: Target death.
Include: Nifty bloodspray particle effect.


I'm being funny on purpose, and that's not really how the code would look if you changed all the text for actual code, but that's the pile of entertainment most MMO's run through just to go "Whack! It's dead!"
:D

Greylond
10-20-2008, 01:30 AM
I like complicated rulesets and they lost me after 2nd Edition. I hated 3.x and the d20 stuff. I much prefer HackMaster since it retains that old skewl feel...

nijineko
10-20-2008, 02:12 AM
heh. liked the changes. in some ways made more sense. in other ways, introduced more problems. *shrugs* that's what houserules are for.

MortonStromgal
10-20-2008, 11:46 AM
To me 4e feels a lot more like AD&D 1st so its less complicated than AD&D 2nd or 3.X. So no I would not say its too complicated (yet). AD&D 2nd with all the extra books (skills and powers, combat and tactics, etc) became way to complicated. 3.X streamlined the mechanics to all work the same way (rather than say having thieves skills and non-weapon proficiencies) but still had all the extra complicated stuff. 4e has taken that one step farther by removing a lot of the extra stuff (like skill pts). However since combat and tactics came out for 2e more and more focus has been put on minis with each edition. To me this just makes it less fun. So 4e is less complicated but also less fun YMMV.


3e was a mistake they rushed it when TSR found out it was being bought out by Wizards of the Coast
I'm curious where you get this idea from. WOTC bought TSR in 1997 and 3.0 was released in 2000 after the biggest rpg playtest prior to pathfinder. My 3rd or 4th printing AD&D 2nd edition PHB clearly says WOTC on it as well as TSR.

tesral
10-20-2008, 03:17 PM
More complex, yes. It does not have to be too complex. That is up to the DM and what of the zillion rules in a billion books he elects to allow (Don't scuff that shoe and feel bad Forry, they are publishing as fast as they can)

In an effort to pile books on the market D&D has become a monster of Epic proportions. One has to pick and choose or you get buried in the options. Focus, decide what you will and will not use. Everything must audition to be in your game. The D&D logo is not an automatic opening to the latest splat book.

Farcaster
10-20-2008, 04:02 PM
I would agree that it has gotten more complicated through the years. I personally started with the D&D Red Box edition, which was altogether too simplistic. Some races were classes, such as the Elf, for instance. First and second edition had their complexities, but what I found most complex about them was the wide array of spells and magic items with a multitude of differing mechanics for handling their effects.

Whereas third edition gave a more consistent mechanic throughout, it became even more complex in the sheer amount of character choices you could make between feats, skills, and prestige classes. It too had a dizzying array of spells, which could be painful to both a player who had to try to figure out what his character would "memorize," and to a DM who had to plan appropriate challenges.

Fourth edition, on the other hand, I think is by far the most complex. What fourth edition simplified in the way of skills and a even more unified mechanic for races, classes, and powers, it made up for in a mind boggling number of combat options. From a DM perspective, it has been a harder transition with a steeper learning curve than second to third was -- for me anyway.

wbrandel
10-20-2008, 04:44 PM
I have to agree with Farcaster. it does have a steeper learning curve than any prior editions, and with the array of powers at a players disposal it can make creating a challenging encounter difficult, because with the right power the PCs can clean the field so to speak.

Webhead
10-20-2008, 05:06 PM
Having not gamed in around 20 years, and only now diving head-first into 4e (with no gentle transition from playing consistently over the years as I suspect most have), I see the rules of D&D have become far more complicated...What's your opinion?

In short, yes, I believe D&D has increased in complexity as it has evolved. The longer story is that it has continually increased the quantity of options (rules options and character customization options) while also streamlining the games driving mechanisms. Ultimately though, I think each player's experience with any given edition of D&D will differ. AD&D 2e taken at face value is actually a rather complex game, especially if one incorporates the various "player's option" books and supplements. But, when my group and I played it, we ignored a lot of stuff that we didn't feel was necessary and as a result, the game felt "less complex". Now, was that because the game itself was simpler or because the players made it simple?

I tend to like rules-lite to rules-medium games, especially those with unified, universal mechanics. While D&D has become more streamlined in some ways, it has also become encyclopedic in scope. It also has increasingly (since 3e) become a game of "circumstantial exceptionism". Which is to say, it is built upon a concept of "Rule X works this way except under any circumstances which specifically state otherwise". Thus, each rules is good only up to the point that another rule contradicts it. I believe that to be the source of the increasing complexity: the need to understand which rules trump which and under what circumstances.

I tend to prefer games built of a foundation of "Rule X works this way and may be applied in Methods A, B and C. If Methods A, B or C don't address what you need, use precedent and your best judgement to create Method D."

My 2 coppers...

1958Fury
10-20-2008, 05:22 PM
Speaking as a relative newbie - someone who's read a lot of the rulebooks, but hasn't had much actual playing time - there's a lot that I find daunting in all versions. Granted, some of it sounds complicated in the rulebooks, and makes more sense during actual play. But overall, I find a lot of it needlessly complicated.

My big hope for 4e was that it would make things simpler for the newcomers. But having read both PHBs, I actually find 3.5 less confusing. However, that may just be because I spent so much time playing NeverWinter Nights, a lot of the 3.x rules just sunk in by osmosis. Still, I was already having enough problems grasping concepts like "full-round/standard/move action", and now we have "at-will/encounter/daily powers".

So some of my bias is just because of the unlearning involved. Like, the new way of doing critical hits is a little simpler, but since I already knew the old way, now I have to remember which way works for the game we're playing. So really, any new rule is more of a hassle than the old rule, simply because it fills your head up with too much junk. No wonder there's such a row over 4e - I've only got 3.5 to forget, but most of you are jamming 4e up in your craniums alongside 3.5, 3e, AD&D, original D&D, and Lolth knows how many other RPG systems.

MortonStromgal
10-20-2008, 05:38 PM
...No wonder there's such a row over 4e...

This is true of most 4e games (cept maybe Cthuhlu). Even GURPS waved the 4e banner of "most changes to the game since it was called Man to Man". 4e has become the RPG industries reset button, and all the grognard cry as their system is obliterated into something they don't recognize (myself included) :rolleyes: but the game must go on and we have to loose the 1970s-1990s gaming an embrace the younger generation. Shadowrun, World of Darkness, D&D and alike may not be the games I grew up with but that doesn't mean I can't have fun with them. But I must unlearn what I have learned and thats not so easy. For me 2e seams to be my favorite but I can respect 3e fixing things usually dumping old rules in favor of "more fun for everyone" balance but 4e is always some big crazy change I am not ready for.

Valdar
10-20-2008, 05:42 PM
I prefer simpler systems. I think that 3e appeared to increase complexity dramatically because it introduced the idea that you could play it exactly as written- the rules for 2e and before were vague and unsupported enough that rule interpretations would be wildly different between two DMs. 3e changed this- for the most part, two groups playing "as written" would be interpreting the rules almost in the same way. I think if you wrote out interpretations and clarifications of all the rules used in 2e and before, then the resulting game would be more complicated than 3e.

4e then took the notion of consistent rule interpretations from 3e and streamlined it- after eight years of seeing the game in action, the designers culled the parts that didn't work, were too complex, or never got used. They also incorporated ideas from other game systems and genres (such as MMOs and CCGs), and made extensibility enhancements that allowed for future material that didn't unbalance things unduly.

So in a sense, I'd say that D&D has actually been getting simpler over the editions, in terms of ease of learning and playing. I've got a player who started with 4.0 and found it intuitive and fun. She'd been invited into a 3.5 game, and found it obtuse, needlessly complicated, and frustratingly unbalanced.

As an aside, one of the initial persistent complaints about 4e was that it was simplistic, dumbed down, made for kids, or made for new players only, and didn't have enough character options. In this thread, I'm reading the exact opposite...

And as for the "4e is a MMO" issue, there was a thread about that a while back, and nobody was really able to defend that position beyond "it's my impression". Well, if you play so many MMOs that it becomes your frame of reference, everything is going to look like one. I was recently talking to someone who held this position who said, "Well, warriors get taunt now, right?" My response was, "Marking is not taunting, and there has never been a PC class in D&D called 'warrior'"...

Ulfendar
10-20-2008, 05:49 PM
I actually liked the way White Wolf did this best: relaunching the game under a new (but similar) title. It really drove home the fact that this was a complete reboot, and set my expectations accordingly. Shadowrun 4th edition had a similar level of reboot in it, but I had a much more negative initial reaction to it (though I've come to like it quite a bit). I believe this was because the degree of reboot in 4th edition Shadowrun was not properly telegraphed, the way it was in new WOD.

Engar
10-20-2008, 06:26 PM
I am on my way back to 2e with house rules. I loved it. 3.5 I liked. 4e disgusts me.

1958Fury
10-20-2008, 06:33 PM
I wonder if it would be easier to compute the relative complexity of the systems, if we could find a big list of just the changes between 3.5 and 4e. Something like:

Instead of 9 alignments, now there's 5. (simpler)
Instead of just hitting people with your sword, you'll now mostly be using "powers". (more complicated)
Instead of "listen" and "spot", you now have Perception. (simpler)
Instead of putting points into skills, you now are either trained or not. (simpler)
Instead of gnomes and Half-Orcs in PHB1, now you have Eladrin and Dragonborn. (about the same)
Instead of Bards, Barbarians, and Druids in PHB1, we now have yadda yadda yadda. (about the same)
Instead of doing x for a crit, now you do y. (simpler, I think?)
Instead of doing x to save while bleeding to death, now you do y. (simpler, maybe?)
Instead of having fun, you'll now be complaining about the changes. (just kidding)

...and so on. I'm not quite versed enough to compile such a thing; has anybody already made a post like this?

Greylond
10-20-2008, 06:39 PM
I am on my way back to 2e with house rules. I loved it. 3.5 I liked. 4e disgusts me.

I suggest giving HackMaster a try. Look for a demo at a Convention...

1958Fury
10-20-2008, 06:48 PM
There's also something to be said for not having to use miniatures.

Probably 20 years ago, back in junior high, we were having some sort of freeplay/studyhall in the gym. I got to talking to a classmate, who turned out to be a DM, and so he talked me through a quick game. We didn't have any dice, but we did have an 8-sided wooden pencil, so we made little marks on each side and I rolled it to make my checks. And the great thing was, that's ALL we needed.

Okay, so the actual D&D rules have never been that simple, but I do think it's lost a bit of the "game any time, anywhere" versatility. I do like miniatures, though.

Greylond
10-20-2008, 06:57 PM
Back in the bad old days(BADD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patricia_Pulling)) of the hobby our parents bought into the stupid argument about D&D being satanic and forbid us to have any gaming material in the house. We hid our books and sometimes we didn't have any dice but d6's. We worked out the odds of all the dice and made up charts using d6's to simulate any of the dice...

1958Fury
10-20-2008, 07:05 PM
I suggest giving HackMaster a try. Look for a demo at a Convention...

Question, then - I've heard Hackmaster is based on AD&D... How close is it? Because I've read the Hackmaster PHB, but not AD&D's. Hackmaster does strike me as more complicated than the later versions of D&D. Like swapping building points for character flaws - sure, the possibilities are endless, but I can't imagine how long it takes to roll up a character.

If it's really similar to AD&D, then yes, I'd have to say that D&D has become less complicated with each new version. At least starting with AD&D, anyway.

Greylond
10-20-2008, 07:15 PM
HackMaster is more complicated, granted. But IMO you endup with a well defined character. The skill system is the best I've seen for and AD&D/D&D system.

The creators of HM say that it is, 1/3 1st Edition, 1/3 2nd Edition and 1/3 stuff that they created/house rules that they found and liked. For the GM yes, HM can be a challenge for a Player it's not so bad. The first time you create a character it can take a while to make a character, 1.5 to 2 hours. But after you're used to the process it doesn't take that long, unless you are seriously min/maxing and taking awhile to decide what you want. For example, there's a Con Event that gets run pretty often by the HackMaster Association called a "Roll-n-Run" where you have 30 minutes to make up a 1st level character and then the resulting party runs through a 1st level adventure. I've played in one and can usually get everything done but I sometimes get stuck deciding on equipment. Again, best advice, find a Gameday or Con nearby that has HM and give it a try if you liked the old skewl style.

frank634
10-20-2008, 07:27 PM
Well I have to disagree with anybody who thinks 4e is difficult. At first I thought it was difficult since it is fairly different then 2e and 3e. However, after playing it, we all found it was EXTREEMLY simple. In fact there was a complaint amoung our group that it maybe was too simple.

I love this edition because now, i can get a group of players together who are amatures at the game and nobody will be afraid to play a spellcaster as it was with the previous editions. It was always a pain for me as an experienced player to always join a group who needed a cleric or wizard because nobody wanted to figure out the ins and outs of stacking the right spells and right defenses all the time. In 4e all the characters play the exact same way, each with powers unique to there class. The powers work the same way regardless of the class and use a simple rule system.

I feal there are several problems that we all dance around:

1-We all hate buying books. I have heard so many times that WOTC is gouging the players again by bringing out a new edition. They are a company that needs profits to survive. Live with it.

2-We all got used to 3e and the rules for 4e are radically different.--Well, I for one am glad of that. How many times have you heard D&D was too difficult so i rather play (name favorate system here). I am glad it is not a simple rewrite of the rules like 2e was and 3.5e was.

3-We all heard the same complaints when new editions came out. I for one expected it.

I am sure we can all add to this list and I am even more sure many will complain about the things I have listed. Let us remember one thing, without the publishers of these games and the rewriting of the rule systems, our games would be dead or dieing. It is already hard enough to find players to play, thanks to MMORPG's and the like, lets not make it even harder by complaining about them. Lets teach these games to others and get more people envolved.

Wow, that was a long rant.

tesral
10-20-2008, 07:37 PM
We didn't have any dice, but we did have an 8-sided wooden pencil, so we made little marks on each side and I rolled it to make my checks. And the great thing was, that's ALL we needed. .

I've used the hundreds of a second on my watch for percentile dice many a time. A watch with a stop watch function is a gamer must.

ChaunceyK
10-20-2008, 08:22 PM
I have heard so many times that WOTC is gouging the players again by bringing out a new edition.

That brings up the obvious (although its not always a first thought)...its not exactly mandatory to buy new editions every time they come out. If a group is happy with whatever version they're playing, well then they can just as easily stick with it. The WOTC Police aren't going to come & arrest anyone for not buying the new stuff.

frank634
10-20-2008, 08:28 PM
That brings up the obvious (although its not always a first thought)...its not exactly mandatory to buy new editions every time they come out. If a group is happy with whatever version they're playing, well then they can just as easily stick with it. The WOTC Police aren't going to come & arrest anyone for not buying the new stuff.

I agree with you. I know people who still play the 1e rules because of this.

I am simply saying that people should examine there motives of why they are complaining about the rules.

We can all assume one thing, assuming D & D survives the next 5 years (or even our hobby), 4e will have many books before 5e comes out, then when that happens, the argument starts all over again. :)

raven21
10-20-2008, 08:53 PM
I agree with you. I know people who still play the 1e rules because of this.

I am simply saying that people should examine there motives of why they are complaining about the rules.

We can all assume one thing, assuming D & D survives the next 5 years (or even our hobby), 4e will have many books before 5e comes out, then when that happens, the argument starts all over again. :)

I thought I stated it very clearly why I didn't like 3e and 3.5e. True that I do not want to by all the books over again since I have almost all of the 2e books already, but that is not the main reason I don't like 3e or 3.4e.

And I hate the new WOD. The writers for white wolf were out of there mind when they made it. Everything from the new games should be set on fire. They where pushing there luck with 3e. The only thing that held that together was the rules where better, but they for no reason at all they decided to change everyones history and backgrounds which made no senses.

Mirina
10-20-2008, 10:19 PM
...I'm curious how others who have played multiple editions of D&D feel. I'd suspect most like the complicated rules better, simply because I see most of the posts here geared towards 3.5 & 4e (and when I say "complicated," I don't mean "too difficult to understand," just "greater detail with a steeper learner curve"). Although I don't mean to restrict anyone from replying, my greater interest is in seeing who does prefer the earlier, simpler game system.

I guess what it boils down to is this...some folks like detail, some like easy play. What's your opinion?

4th ed. to me seems more complicated, probably because the big red boom button was pushed and recreated something that had become very familiar to me. :boom:

Valdar
10-21-2008, 12:18 AM
Wow, that was a long rant.

But a well-constructed one, and you made a lot of good points. It sounds like a lot of people who hate 4e also hated (or at least heavily houseruled) 3.5 and 3e, and in fact haven't been happy with a new version of D&D in almost two decades (2e released in, what, 1989? Half of my players were about four years old when that game came out...) And they wonder why they're not WotC's target market anymore? :confused:

nijineko
10-21-2008, 12:38 AM
My response was, "Marking is not taunting, and there has never been a PC class in D&D called 'warrior'"...

there is an npc class named such however....

Grimwell
10-21-2008, 10:13 AM
Warriors were NPC classes in 3E.

ChaunceyK
10-21-2008, 11:07 AM
Warriors were NPC classes in 3E.

What exactly was the difference between a Fighter & a Warrior? Was it just the name, for the sake of differentiating a PC from an NPC?

Webhead
10-21-2008, 12:34 PM
What exactly was the difference between a Fighter & a Warrior? Was it just the name, for the sake of differentiating a PC from an NPC?

No, the "Warrior" was a weaker version of a "Fighter". To compare, a Warrior only got d8 hit dice, had a cleric's attack progression and did not get bonus feats.

Its intention as I understood it (as with all the NPC classes) was to be able to stat NPCs like "the city guard" without having to use full-blown PC classes every time.

Because the NPC classes were "weaker" than PC classes, their respective Challenge Ratings were lower (half I believe). So a 10th level Warrior would only be a CR 5 or equivalent to 5th level Fighter.

Greylond
10-21-2008, 12:39 PM
Yea, that's a whole lot "less complicated" than just using 0-level men-at-arms with a couple of 2nd or 3rd level leader types...

Somebody please explain to me the need for every single NPC in a game world to have a Character Class with levels? I never understood that about 3.x...

Valdar
10-21-2008, 12:56 PM
there is an npc class named such however....

I know. That's why I specified "PC class". And there's certainly no "Warrior" in 4th Ed.

The point of that being, in that instance, the person who made the claim that 4e was WoW had played so much WoW that he'd forgotten that they're called "Fighters", not "Warriors".

Webhead
10-21-2008, 01:27 PM
Yea, that's a whole lot "less complicated" than just using 0-level men-at-arms with a couple of 2nd or 3rd level leader types...

Somebody please explain to me the need for every single NPC in a game world to have a Character Class with levels? I never understood that about 3.x...

I feel your pain. I can see the desire for the concept by those craving more structure, but it's not something I concerned myself with overly much. But that's just me.

1958Fury
10-21-2008, 02:56 PM
I was just wondering... Well, one of the complaints/praises of 4e is that the powers make a lot of classes feel similar. After all, a fighter using a daily attack power doesn't play much different than a Wizard using a daily touch attack spell.

This makes 4e a lot simpler for people who play a lot of different classes. It makes playing a Fighter as complicated as playing a Wizard... on the other hand, it makes playing a Wizard as simple as playing a Fighter.

So anyway, I wonder if the people saying 4e is too complicated are used to playing Fighter types, and the people saying 4e is simple are used to playing magic users. For those who were used to just running up and hitting the orc with their sword, and who never even thought about learning to play a magic user, the game now forces them to learn some of the more complicated aspects of the game.

Mindbomb
10-21-2008, 03:23 PM
I'd like to suggest that I and probably most others that don't like 4E don't believe that character building should be something you plan out through all 20-30 levels of play at first level. You should actually role-play your character to the situations they're put in and develop their skills accordingly. I like picking the options for levels as I advance and having some mystery about what I'll be able to do in the future. And while I've played 2e & 3(.5)e enough to know what to expect there are always things I didn't consider when starting out and different options available depending on who my character has become by the time I get there. When I started playing you didn't plan on making multiple characters or making another any time soon unless some very bad luck occured early on. That's why I think most old schoolers didn't mind the complexity of some classes; if you just wanted to jump into a game and play whenever you had some free time you could play a fighter type while if you wanted to be really immersed in the game you could play something a bit more difficult. If you don't try to plan your whole life right from the start then the old systems work very smoothly, however if you want all your points and stats planned out just perfectly then the newest version will accomodate you better. I suppose it's as complicated as you want to make it, it's just easier to complicate things with more options. I'd like to rant more but I think I'll hold off...for now.

Grimwell
10-21-2008, 04:25 PM
Somebody please explain to me the need for every single NPC in a game world to have a Character Class with levels? I never understood that about 3.x...

Oh it's not just 3.x that did that. I have some classic 1E modules where every stinking villager has a class and level and could be downright deadly if angered. I never understood the need either, but some folks like everything down for the record's sake.

nijineko
10-21-2008, 07:45 PM
Somebody please explain to me the need for every single NPC in a game world to have a Character Class with levels? I never understood that about 3.x...

because the whole world isn't filled with people who never learn a single thing from their experiences, perhaps.

Greylond
10-21-2008, 10:30 PM
An NPC doesn't need a class to have skills. Combat Skill-wise the NPC would have to have some kind of reason to have more skill than 0-level-man-at-arms if anything. The rest of the NPCs skills can easily be explained with common sense decisions on Non-Weapon Profs or Secondary Skills. You don't need a "Farmer Class" to have a NPC who is an expert at Farming...

tesral
10-21-2008, 10:38 PM
because the whole world isn't filled with people who never learn a single thing from their experiences, perhaps.

Exactly. I have most "Commoners" at 2nd even 3rd level. If my Warlock can make 2nd level killing Orcs in one night. A woman can make 2nd level going thorough childbirth.

Commoner Class or General class: d6, wizard progression (1/2) Fighter saves. I don't use feats so that isn't an issue. Anyone not a player class will be General class. I can write Joe Average in my sleep. they are usually stats of 10 with one 12. Sometimes better depending on the NPC and their role in the scenario.

The game is as complex as you make it. It can be moderately simple, it can be highly complex. Options can be a narrow range of the core books or if you are truly crazy everything ever published.

rabkala
10-21-2008, 11:34 PM
ummmm.... yes!

kirksmithicus
10-22-2008, 01:53 AM
I've read through the 4E players handbook 3 times now and I'm pretty sure I could DM a game. Combat and such is not that complicated, character creation is a little intensive but mostly because I'm obsessive. However, I've had nearly 30 years experience with numerous RPG's. I think it would be more difficult for new and / or younger players, which is what I think the new quick start rules are geared for, just like the old basic d&d set.

nijineko
10-22-2008, 03:40 AM
The game is as complex as you make it. It can be moderately simple, it can be highly complex. Options can be a narrow range of the core books or if you are truly crazy everything ever published.

i guess i am almost truly crazy then. ^^ i allow everything that is "official wotc material" with only two exceptions in most of my games.

tesral
10-22-2008, 10:21 AM
i guess i am almost truly crazy then. ^^ i allow everything that is "official wotc material" with only two exceptions in most of my games.

I didn't pin the label on you. Let me guess, The Book of Vile Darkness and The Book of Exalted Deeds. The two most broken books in the whole system.

My Friday DM is the same way. Hauls twenty some books to each session.

Webhead
10-22-2008, 01:12 PM
i guess i am almost truly crazy then. ^^ i allow everything that is "official wotc material" with only two exceptions in most of my games.

Out of curiousity, is Tesral right in thinking your exceptions to be BoVD and BoED?

I had a blast flipping through BoED looking for ideas to spice up the last 3e character that I played. Broken? Oh, heck yeah! But my DM wasn't disallowing it and there were plenty of options in it that made sense for my character. ...Risen Martyr... It made perfect sense for who he was and what he'd been through.

nijineko
10-22-2008, 01:59 PM
yes, he is correct.

don't worry about pinning labels there, tesral. most of my acquaintances think i'm crazy in one way or another. ^^

my objections to those two books however do not stem from mechanics or ease of abuse, however. my objections are actually philosophical in nature. put in perhaps overly simplistic terms, they don't seem to know about the nature of good or evil, especially good.

i actually flipped through the exalted deeds book, and found myself horrified. i refused to even touch the vile deeds book after seeing what a hash they made of exalted deeds. i read plenty about them both on various forums, and through references made to them in later supplements and adventures. nothing i have read has shown that there is any reason to reconsider my opinion.

Webhead
10-22-2008, 02:42 PM
yes, he is correct.

don't worry about pinning labels there, tesral. most of my acquaintances think i'm crazy in one way or another. ^^

my objections to those two books however do not stem from mechanics or ease of abuse, however. my objections are actually philosophical in nature. put in perhaps overly simplistic terms, they don't seem to know about the nature of good or evil, especially good.

i actually flipped through the exalted deeds book, and found myself horrified. i refused to even touch the vile deeds book after seeing what a hash they made of exalted deeds. i read plenty about them both on various forums, and through references made to them in later supplements and adventures. nothing i have read has shown that there is any reason to reconsider my opinion.

Yes, if one were to follow the BoVD path to evil, it might read like this:

1) If you are female, you must be nude or partially nude

2) If you are not nude you must always wear garments that are either black, grey or crimson and they should include at least one of spikes, chains or concealing hoods and masks

3) You must sell your soul to dark, maligned powers who will bestow empowering deformities upon you in exchange for eternal servitude

4) You must sacrifice a lot of babies/puppies/kender in order to secure your power

5) You must cackle madly and have some irrational scheme of self-empowerment through mass genocide

Yeah, the BoVD should have been named: "Black Hats: How to twirl your mustache in a sinister fashion and other tips for the up-and-coming rat-fink".

MortonStromgal
10-22-2008, 03:35 PM
I enjoyed BoVD section on poisons... granted that is one page out of an entire book

tesral
10-22-2008, 04:26 PM
Yeah, the BoVD should have been named: "Black Hats: How to twirl your mustache in a sinister fashion and other tips for the up-and-coming rat-fink".

From what little I've read in it that about say it. Melodramatic cartoon evil for the beginner.

Webhead
10-22-2008, 04:29 PM
From what little I've read in it that about say it. Melodramatic cartoon evil for the beginner.

It also obnoxiously associates "evil" females with nudity shock-factor. As in, "If I don't wear clothes, then you'll know I'm really evil! Muahahaha!" :rolleyes:

Farcaster
10-22-2008, 04:43 PM
You must sacrifice a lot of [kender] in order to secure your power

That just makes good practical sense anyway -- does it not?

fmitchell
10-22-2008, 04:51 PM
It also obnoxiously associates "evil" females with nudity shock-factor. As in, "If I don't wear clothes, then you'll know I'm really evil! Muahahaha!" :rolleyes:

And how do they explain the plethora of female warriors whose armor prominently displays their cleavage, midriff, and thighs? Are they evil too? Or is there some exposed flesh percentage good and neutral characters have to stay above or risk re-alignment?

And doesn't evil get chilly?

Webhead
10-22-2008, 05:10 PM
And how do they explain the plethora of female warriors whose armor prominently displays their cleavage, midriff, and thighs? Are they evil too? Or is there some exposed flesh percentage good and neutral characters have to stay above or risk re-alignment?

Just like the lines that divide the D&D alignments, the wardrobe rules are explicit. Exposed nips or bush = evil. Everything else is fair game...so says the BoVD.


And doesn't evil get chilly?

My guess is that the sheer intensity of "evil's" sense of self-worth is sufficient to increase one's body temperature...

Webhead
10-22-2008, 05:16 PM
That just makes good practical sense anyway -- does it not?

Well, yeah. Something so annoying was not meant to survive (un)natural selection.

tesral
10-22-2008, 06:15 PM
And how do they explain the plethora of female warriors whose armor prominently displays their cleavage, midriff, and thighs? Are they evil too? Or is there some exposed flesh percentage good and neutral characters have to stay above or risk re-alignment?

And doesn't evil get chilly?

It's a competition. (http://phoenixinn.iwarp.com/SS_Modeler/good_girl_vs_evil_girl.jpg) (Warning, bare cartoon tit.)

RealmsDM
10-24-2008, 01:15 PM
Up front, in is more complex than older editions. Some see this as good, others as bad.
A few years back I sat my 10yr old nephew down with 3e & he took to it (for the most part) in a week or two- he made a PC on his own, and grasped the rules well enough for me to run a solo adventure for him.

So for his recent birthday he wanted 4e. Well, its been two weeks, he's 14 now, and he wants to return it & asked me if I'd buy him Paizo's new Pathfinder RPG.

That says a lot to me.....

The current edition to me seems aimed at pulling in the video game crowd, and selling miniatures. The rules just scream PC game, and combat is SOOOOO mini focused its disgusting!

Ofic
10-28-2008, 05:34 PM
Some people like it, some people dislike it. Our group has only played 2 sessions.

It has a steep learning curve. Our first session was making characters and trying to figure out the rules. Then there's a plethora of obscure rules like there's a difference between concealed and hidden, etc...

Overall, I think as long as our group follows rule number #1 - As the DM I overrule the book and what I say goes.... then we'll be OK.

I think with this version they playtested it too much really. They had groups of testers play it to the point where they got used to it and wanted to refine it to the point of overcomplicating it, instead of thinking of how fresh eyes would see it.

Poetry1953
10-30-2008, 09:09 PM
After you unlearn 3.5, the game mechanics seem easier to understand. The various classes are balanced, yet very different. The emphasis is on teamwork rather than who can kill the most monsters.

I enjoy playing the wizard in 3.5, where preparation and anticipation were crucial. With 4E, I use the same set of powers over and over again. If something doesn't seem to work, I can change it out when I level with no penalty. I'm never stuck with a feat that looked good on paper, but was rarely used in the game.

To me, being able to change your mind about earlier career choices has made this game a lot more fun. You're never stuck with a character that you don't like.

nijineko
10-30-2008, 09:46 PM
i use the retraining rules in 3.x for anyone who wants to swap out anything. and depending on the situation, i may give them a break, or set them a bit of a challenge to make it happen. so it's already easy for anyone to swap anything they want in 3.x. ^^

Grimwell
10-31-2008, 08:29 PM
i use the retraining rules in 3.x for anyone who wants to swap out anything. and depending on the situation, i may give them a break, or set them a bit of a challenge to make it happen. so it's already easy for anyone to swap anything they want in 3.x. ^^

I must have missed those rules. Which book were they in?

Mindbomb
10-31-2008, 08:36 PM
Because you can just forget how to do something IRL and replace it with something you'd rather know... This is not role-playing people, it's roll-playing...

Grimwell
10-31-2008, 09:07 PM
Actually, there is something to that. I used to be one Hell of a bass player. These days... not so much. I am, however, quite good at writing. My first job was to make custom cabinets. I became very good at it. Now... it would be like starting all over.

1958Fury
10-31-2008, 09:54 PM
Actually, there is something to that. I used to be one Hell of a bass player. These days... not so much. I am, however, quite good at writing. My first job was to make custom cabinets. I became very good at it. Now... it would be like starting all over.

Agreed. And likewise, if it's a feat or ability the character hardly ever uses, then it only makes sense that they get rusty at it. I actually think that's rather good role playing.

Heh, a few years ago my wife and I bought a couple of bicycles. I hadn't ridden one since I was a kid... and well, I discovered that the old saying is false. You darn sure can forget how to ride one. :lol:

Webhead
10-31-2008, 11:04 PM
Agreed. And likewise, if it's a feat or ability the character hardly ever uses, then it only makes sense that they get rusty at it. I actually think that's rather good role playing.

Heh, a few years ago my wife and I bought a couple of bicycles. I hadn't ridden one since I was a kid... and well, I discovered that the old saying is false. You darn sure can forget how to ride one. :lol:

Yes, people change and with them, their skills. If you don't use something often enough, eventually it drifts away in favor of other things...like my 2 years of Spanish language study, or the 2 years of Hawaiian language study before that...

Man, I wish I still knew how to speak Hawaiian. I used to be pretty good at it. Now...I could only tell you about a dozen words. :(

tesral
10-31-2008, 11:06 PM
Actually, there is something to that. I used to be one Hell of a bass player. These days... not so much. I am, however, quite good at writing. My first job was to make custom cabinets. I became very good at it. Now... it would be like starting all over.

There is something to be said for retraining. Some skills are perishable. However your ability to learn skills is not. So my windows skills become less and less relevant while my Linux skills get better and better. Not only is my last version of Windows ancient by this point, but even my skill with that has degraded. I used to be one first rate DOS driver. Not so much now. It's been 10+ years since I sat at a DOS machine. C-64 is even worse. Too long since I practiced either skill. However my over all skill levels have not decreased. They have just changed.

boulet
11-01-2008, 12:00 PM
However your ability to learn skills is not.
Maybe not but I'm still hitting this 640Kb memory limit :(

Valdar
11-01-2008, 12:27 PM
Because you can just forget how to do something IRL and replace it with something you'd rather know... This is not role-playing people, it's roll-playing...

Are you talking about 4e or earlier editions? 4e has retraining at each level, but 3e and before had re-memorizing your entire spell allotment every morning. I can see how 4e is a little unrealistic, but earlier editions having you re-learn everything when you wake up, like you were some head trauma victim? That was just silly, and blatantly gamist.

nijineko
11-01-2008, 04:15 PM
Because you can just forget how to do something IRL and replace it with something you'd rather know... This is not role-playing people, it's roll-playing...

invalid assumption. as has been abundantely mentioned, even in real life it is possible to forget previously known things in favor of new things. allowing this in game, is perfectly good role-playing, better in fact than assuming that everyone has perfect memory and never forgets a single thing. ^^ you are not set in stone, neither should your character. it seems that you are making the assumption that anyone who would use such rules would automatically misuse them. i might be guessing wrong, however. ^^

any dm and/or player who values roleplaying will use those rules in a fashion that maximizes the rp value. those that don't have other issues that have nothing to do with the rules themselves. i trust my players beyond reason, thus i get results beyond expectation. fantastic roleplaying results.


Are you talking about 4e or earlier editions? 4e has retraining at each level, but 3e and before had re-memorizing your entire spell allotment every morning. I can see how 4e is a little unrealistic, but earlier editions having you re-learn everything when you wake up, like you were some head trauma victim? That was just silly, and blatantly gamist.

no, i'm talking about 3rd edition, and i'm not talking about rememorization. they took the retraining and reconfiguration rules that were introduced in 3rd ed, and made a version of them standard for 4th ed.

as a side note, the rememorization system is not "gamist". the explanation for why that happens is given in the context of the material. the fluff text, or rp-centric text, if you will. i suggest that you go read or re-read it, but i will also cover the basics here. here is one example taken from different fluff texts in 3.x... and combined with some minor editing by me:



the study of magic is the study of how to harness the energies latent in the world all around, and binding it into a specific shape such that it will accomplish a specific desired effect. this shape is an extremely complex and intricate formula describing not only the energies bound, but the bindings themselves-the multi-dimensional curves that the energies are compressed into. the end result is like much like a spring, latched from expending itself by only a word, a gesture, and in some cases-some material that bends spacetime in a fashion that aids the release of energy into the specific result desired.

the formula is complex enough that it cannot be easily grasped by the user. working through a formula can and will bind the energy into the desired shape, but actually memorizing and internalizing the full formula for even one spell is the work of years. thus the students time and studies are mostly concerned with the bindings and triggers, whereas the formula are carefully worked out over the course of many careful steps by the more reclusive sort who love research for its own sake. scholars argue whether it is the mage using the spell, or the energy using the mage.




and finally, the books to look in for those rules are the player's handbook 2 and the dmg 2... i'm not sure which it was in off the top of my head. =D

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-01-2008, 07:18 PM
Retraining is in the PHB II and I use it in my SW Saga game as well.

On the topic of D&D becoming too complicated; I say not really. I think it has maintained a fair level of complexity throughout editions, including 4e. I am not so sure about 1st because I never played it. But I remember reading through my 2nd edition books and being absolutely confused and overwhelmed. Same thing with 3rd and 3.5 coupled with the fact they have a Rules Compendium to help alleviate some of the complexity is testament to that. And the same with 4e. If I had not already been playing SW Saga for a year re-learning the 4e rules would be incredibly difficult. As it is they are already significantly different from Saga that book flipping does still occur, just not as often as it does in 3.5.

On the topic of retraining; I am all for it. Too many times have there been where I as a player have felt "stuck" with a prior decision made for my character. Retraining allows the opportunity to change that and thus make for happy players. There is nothing worse than playing a crappy character you don't like, well I guess bad GMs but thats another thread!;)

Mindbomb
11-01-2008, 08:13 PM
Actually, there is something to that. I used to be one Hell of a bass player. These days... not so much. I am, however, quite good at writing. My first job was to make custom cabinets. I became very good at it. Now... it would be like starting all over.

"Heh, a few years ago my wife and I bought a couple of bicycles. I hadn't ridden one since I was a kid... and well, I discovered that the old saying is false. You darn sure can forget how to ride one."

" If you don't use something often enough, eventually it drifts away in favor of other things..."





In the time concept of D&D 14 encounters(or whatever the math is they've tried to fix in) should be nothing like YEARS, generally it may be a few weeks perhaps even a couple of months but nothing in the scale of what any of you have suggested. I would say that retraining/learning may be acceptable as a compromise every 10 levels but definitely not every level, especially the lower ones that generally get blown through anyway. I used to be a mechanic about 5 years ago, able to rip a transmission out in 20 minutes(not exaggerating) it's been a while now but I know for a fact I could still get that thing out pretty fast but definitely not in under an hour. in another 5 years I may not be able to do it in 2 but I'll still have the knowledge to figure it out given enough time. What I'm saying is that I could take a vacation for a couple months and come back to honing my skill in less time than it would take someone who never learned that skill in the first place. You don't actually forget how to do these things it just takes longer to remember than if you were doing them constantly but you haven't replaced it with other skills for sure.

Pocciani
11-01-2008, 09:13 PM
I personally have had too little experience with D&D to comment on whether it has "become" too complicated. My uncles however have been playing over thirty years and they have both mentioned numerous times that the game has become overly complex. They currently use 3.5e and feel the constant need to refer to the books to prevent over stepping "the rules" is tedious. For this reason they have chosen to instead use the books primarily for character creation and for creating encounters. The rest of the time they pretty much use house rules so as to be able to "role-play". :)

nijineko
11-01-2008, 09:21 PM
i can buy that. but i still say that there is nothing wrong with the rule. players make decisions that seem best, but turn out not to so be, as they get to know the characaters better.

i typically have breaks of several months to several years between adventures, unless the campaign in question is different. and even then i'll stretch the timescale a bit.

while it would make sense to have such magics available in a high-magic society, i don't think i've ever really seen the concept addressed in any novels i've read yet. the concept is really more "native" to cyberpunk than fantasy.

i guess i look at it more as a way to make the players happy. i know i've been in a situation where i had a character that was growing away from the original concept, and really needed an overhall of the character sheet to bring it in line with how the character was growing and changing. these rules provide one way.

i've also gone to the dm and laid it out, and worked with said dm to effect a change of the character. which has also worked fine. other creative ways we've come up with is when the character has died for some reason, and subsequently ressurected, that they come back altered from their afterdeath experience. that works great, and makes for an interesting story too.

in the end, use the rules or not, there will come a time when the player realizes that the character they want to play is not the character they are playing, but with only a small change.... and many times this is not a hidden uber-munchkin waiting to spring upon a hapless dm. ^^ i've been repeatedly chided (in a very gentle fashion) for selecting so many things that don't work well together. but on the other hand, that same dm has praised me for so consistently choosing what my character wants over what would be the "ideal combo".

many of my characters could not take on a same-leveled character in a straight-up smack down. they are not "powerful" enough. but just let me get you into an rp situation.... =D

1958Fury
11-01-2008, 11:29 PM
In the time concept of D&D 14 encounters(or whatever the math is they've tried to fix in) should be nothing like YEARS, generally it may be a few weeks perhaps even a couple of months but nothing in the scale of what any of you have suggested.

Yeah, I could go along with you there, too. I'd say it should be a case-by-case basis, but yeah, if a player says, "I want to remove Whirlwind Attack so I can take a different feat," the DM could answer, "Dude, you used it three times yesterday, there's no way you suddenly forgot it." :lol:

Otoh, if it's a skill/feat/power the player picked up a few levels ago, and has yet to even use once (which is also why the player might be dropping the ability in the first place), then it makes sense to forget it... it's almost like they never learned it in the first place.

Of course, it can be just as unrealistic that when you level, you suddenly have these new abilities. I know that's why many DMs have you wait until between adventures to level up - so you can roleplay some training time - but it's still sometimes a bit silly. Like you take the feat "Knockdown"... okay, yesterday you weren't skilled in the fine art of pushing people over, but now you are. It might be better if, say, the first 20 times you tried to use a new ability, there was a success penalty that gradually got smaller each time you used it. So instead of just taking a feat, you learn it.

nijineko
11-02-2008, 01:05 AM
point buy! ^^

Grandore The Giant Killer
11-10-2008, 08:30 PM
The game itself seems simple enough to me. Even with the new 4E book. I and my players love the new spells. Warlocks, Rangers, and Paladins are crazy. I recently made a character who is a Fay Touch/ Storm Wanderer. I read the description of the 2 classes and to make it simple the Fay has drove the character insane. So to put it bluntly you are playing as a complete nut job. Which may I add is FUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNN. Nothing like walking into a dungeon and start rambling on about a bunch of random stuff that makes people scratch there heads. And then there is this royal scenario.

*Player is getting frustrated.*

Player: Do you want me to kill you?!

Me: No I'm more of a tea person. Thanks anyway! So what do you say we head to the chocolate islands!?

However with all due respect as a DM i'm not the most conventional type. I don't 100% play by the book. I mean I add custom weapons, monsters, and allow players to play other races aside from what is in the book like Cat, Lizard, Goblin, Ogre, Centaur, Snake, and soon to come.... DUN DUN DUN... MINOTAUR!!!

It's funny I bring up the Minotaur race because in order for the players to be allowed to play as Minotaur people they have to kill this Giant stone Minotaur that the humans built that is terrorizing this Gnome city. As a DM I'm getting pretty frustrated seeing as how 3 out of the 4 players are in a city going on an all out shopping spree trying to buy up as many homes as possible. All they have to do is kill the Minotaur and the Minotaur people will be available.

Grimwell
11-11-2008, 03:04 PM
Have the ruler(s) of the city charge each land owner a per-parcel tax to handle the repairs after it's all sorted out. They are going for $$ instead of heroism, take the $$ away as a reward. :P

/evilGM

Talmek
11-16-2008, 02:55 AM
I just happened to be putting my 1st Edition (1977-1979) Advanced D&D rulebooks on eBay when I stumbled upon this post, and numerous replies.

I got my start in D&D in 3e. Period. I remembered seeing my brother's stack of 2e books but in terms of reading and understanding the game mechanics, running a campaign, and bringing new players into the fold...I was a 3e kid.

I purchased the 1e (Black PHB and DMG, Light Blue MM) books on eBay years ago thinking to myself that if I could learn 3e, then 3.5e I could easily learn 1e and expand the games available to my players. WRONG Nothing could have prepared me for the dizzying amount of spreadsheets and data tables in the PHB or DMG. Perhaps it was the presentation, or maybe just a bigger font...but 1e to me was like reading Greek heiroglyphics (YES, I know...)

In a sentence... I found 3e and 3.5e to be easier to understand/plan adventures for/play than 1e.

ChaunceyK
11-16-2008, 06:44 PM
Interesting perspective, Talmek. I played with D&D 3rd Revision (not 3rd Edition), so I've never even seen 1e.

imo, 4e is definitely more complicated than what I played. But I can believe 1e was just as (if not more) complicated. It was the first attempt, and I'm sure quite unpolished.

I've got to be honest...I've also got a homebrew thread thread on here http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7809 and I was kinda putting out some feelers with it. I believe I can come up with something that's easier to learn, but still realistic enough to make it fun. While I admit I haven't played every game available (homebrew and/or commercial), I do feel my ideas are unique but fair.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
11-18-2008, 04:24 PM
Hmm, i came to another conclusion. I found 1E and 4E pretty easy to understand and run. 3.5 on the other hand, seemed to be weighed down with way to many rules. My first thought when coming across this thread was: 1E complicated? Not to me. Was 1E unpolished? You bet it was. In fact, i still use some great homebrew rules to this day that originated from 1E.

I would even argue that with a couple of well-placed homebrew rules, 1E is still the best.

>>>Thoth wiggles fingers in a frenzy to activate his teleportation spell before getting killed by the readers>>>

My two coppers.

Webhead
11-18-2008, 05:26 PM
I think that the shift in D&D's level of "complexity" isn't so much intrinsically rules-related (in their own way, earlier editions may end up being as complex, if not more so, than later editions), but rather, it occurs to me that it may be more due to an increasing attitude of "if you want to play right, play by the rules".

Earlier editions (1e especially) are notable for encouraging the DM to take ownership of the game and not get caught up in adhering rigidly to the RAW. As Gygax said, the rules are presented as guidelines to spark your imagination. It comes across to me that later editions increasingly begin giving the impression of themselves as holy writ and "thou shalt honor and observe the rules at all times" and many players follow suit, thus paying more strict attention to the rules and making their games more "complex" by eschewing common sense and judgement in favor of "coloring within the lines". That results in more page-flipping, cross-referencing, balance speculation and conflict of interpretation than a game more inclined to "make a call and move on".

I'm not talking about story/campaign development here, I'm talking about people's utilization of "rules structures" within the game space.


...Was 1E unpolished? You bet it was. In fact, i still use some great homebrew rules to this day that originated from 1E...

Which follows along with my notion. Was 1e unpolished? Sure, and the developers admit to as much and say, "Hey, this isn't going to be perfect for anyone and everyone, so feel free to trample all over this game until it resembles something that you want to play".

To compare to 3e/4e, I get the impression that it is saying something more to the effect of, "Be wary of changing the rules because you could ruin the balance of the game and will upset the expectations of your players who have a very specific notion of how the game is supposed to be played".

tesral
11-18-2008, 10:04 PM
Complicated? Hard to beat the early game for complicated. Roll high for hits, low for checks, d20s for combat, % to open locks, count up to count down and so forth, a different mechanic for every single thing.

While 3e might have a huge weight of books and that complication that brings, sticking to the core rules it is much simpler than earlier editions.

The complication comes in the ton of latter books with variant rules, special conditions, this rule that rule the next rule. THAT is the added complication, all optional. The core mechanic of 3x D&D is much simpler than anything in front of it.

ChaunceyK
11-19-2008, 01:44 PM
I think one of the single biggest pains-in-the-tookus (no idea if I spelled that right, but that's how it sounds!) was quite simply...

THAC0!!

...far too many "That's a hit...no wait, its a miss!" moments. :mad:

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
11-19-2008, 01:46 PM
Ahh, they came out with a circular cardboard wheel for the mathematically challenged. I forgot what it was called. Anyone out there remember? Perhaps post a pic.

Webhead
11-19-2008, 03:10 PM
Ahh, they came out with a circular cardboard wheel for the mathematically challenged. I forgot what it was called. Anyone out there remember? Perhaps post a pic.

Oh, yeah...the Fighting Wheel. I never had one, but I've seen them.

http://home.flash.net/~brenfrow/rp/wheel.gif

Personally, I always liked Basic D&D character sheet where you had a convenient place to note what you needed to roll to hit a given Armor Class. Made it super quick and easy to know a hit from a miss...even in a Thac0 system.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
11-19-2008, 03:29 PM
My brother has one and still uses it to this day when pulling out an old module to play. Ah, it's fun playing with the old rules once in a while. Wonderful memories.

Wish i had one but it seems you need a minor wish spell to obtain one, now-a-days. :(

Thanks for posting pic, Webhead.

tesral
11-19-2008, 03:33 PM
Oh, yeah...the Fighting Wheel. I never had one, but I've seen them.

http://home.flash.net/%7Ebrenfrow/rp/wheel.gif



Any system that requires a freaking slide rule to figure out "to hit" is too complicated. On that level alone 3e is a simplification.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
11-19-2008, 03:37 PM
I would argued that the 'freakin' slide rule' was designed for the younger players, namely around 10 years of age. We did just fine figuring things out without it, the slide rule just made it faster.

Webhead
11-19-2008, 04:12 PM
Any system that requires a freaking slide rule to figure out "to hit" is too complicated. On that level alone 3e is a simplification.

I agree that Thac0, for reasons that escape my ability to conceive, was like going out your front door to get to the back yard...we just didn't know any better at the time. The simplicity of the more linear "higher is better" Armor Class system just makes more sense.

That said, we didn't have much trouble figuring out Thac0 and didn't need any special slide rule or other tool to do so. It's just that, when 3e came out and showed us how it could be made easier, we all smacked our foreheads and said, "Of course! That makes sense. Why didn't we think about that years ago?". One of the few changes I universally agree with in 3e.

Still, I have no problem using Thac0 were I to go back to an older edition to play.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
11-19-2008, 05:32 PM
Neither would I. On a side note, i love confronting folks that claim that thac0 was difficult, for once i pinned them to a corner, wouldnt you know most never even played with thac0 rules, many didnt even know what the letters mean. In fact, i find that most that make these hilarious claims are just parroting others claims. This is why i usually say nothing, for us players that really played with thac0, we know they are full of shi-ot. thac0 was simple, if not simplistic. Webhead is right, thac0 is easy to understand, the later editions just made us smack our foreheads realizing there was a better way.

Zig
11-22-2008, 08:27 AM
ok, I have not read 3e, 3.5e, or 4e. but personally I dont think rules matter all that much. If my old DM was still alive and willing to run, and my old group were still interested in playing, I would agree to flipping coins for skill checks, those guys were just that awesome. Likewise I have played a lot of systems, most of them better than 2e but I've never had a better game than my worst game with my old group.

Now in regards to 2e, there were so many things wrong with it that we created house rules on just about everything including using rolemaster crit charts, and a champions esque expirence system (one point if you played, 2 if you did awesome and roleplayed a lot, 3 if you did awesome against impossible odds, and +.01 to .09 for any especially grand action or achievement you did individually. 10-15 exp pts per level depending on class and race of character... better xp system than any I have seen yet) we invented our own character classes, used stuff from at least 10 other games (some of you remember Arduin) and on and on and on,

eventually we had a system that was nothing like 2e in its base form but one that worked for us better than any published game ever would have. The worry I have about 3e and 4e is (from what you all say here) it seems to be uber complex for little reason, also I dont want to have to wait months for new races or classes to come out or new spells to be written, and I'm pissed off that they chucked out the baby with the bath water (I like half-orks and demons god damnit!) and if my theif can slash somebody's achiles tendon, why cant he attempt to do it everytime? why is there a cool down period?

D&D in the golden age was about getting together with friends and having fun. Would a module like "expidition to barrier peaks" ever be written today with robots, mutants, and lazer guns? where is the fun of 4e? D&D now seems so damn serious I'm worried that if you asked a GM to adopt a favrote house rule at a convention you might get burned at the stake for being a gaming heritic.

as far as D&D is concerned regardless of what eddition you use, more fun more freedom to do as you please=better. less fun, less freedom (aka more restrictive rules)= worse

1958Fury
11-23-2008, 12:07 AM
Well, I played 4e for the first time today. In an RPGA game, no less. I'd have to say it's pretty darn complicated. I cheated myself out of so many opportunities just because I simply can't remember all my options. Heck, I never even used my encounter power. And don't get me started on action points, I never remember that those are available.

The battles did seem to take forever, and sometimes I found myself bored. But overall, it was very fun. If you take the time to put together the right cheatsheets (power cards, etc) ahead of time, so you don't have figure out your moves each time your turn is up, it helps speed things up. If you prepare it right, you should never have to consult the PHB during play unless an obscure situation pops up (or there's a dispute). But today, a couple of the other players were constantly flipping to the powers section to figure out how to do their next moves.

Addis Hellfire
11-24-2008, 10:01 AM
Just tossing in my perspective, for what its worth, lol. D&D is actually now on the verge of oversimplified, just mashing descriptions that could take a sentence and be clearly understood and putting them in paragraph form, or giving vague sentence descriptions that make no sense what so ever. Although I strive to be a Role-player, I am more of a Roll-player and love the stat crunching, rules raping that 4E allows you to do. But, when compared to other roll-playing games, this gets really boring really quickly. And, character generation is even slower than third ed!

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-24-2008, 10:54 AM
I have to say, now that I have been playing 4e for about 2 months now and I am getting over some rule problems (see Passive Perception checks) I think 4e is very cinematic and the action flows very smoothly, similar to Star Wars Saga.

I feel the problems some have with understanding 4e is really a matter of changing your mindset from 3e to 4e. 4e is so fundamentally different from 3e that it takes some significant effort to "unlearn what you have learned" and be open and able to understand the ins and outs of 4e.

For me, since I have been playing Star Wars Saga for awhile now, I simply relate 4e to Saga mechanics, and it has helped me understand and get more into how the games should flow.

However, I would say that it is still just as complex as other editions, no more or no less.

Zig
11-25-2008, 03:46 AM
I think the real problem was the divergance of 2e to 3e and now 4e. in 2e you has specific roles to fill, the clerics healed, the fighters faught and the mages cast spells, though I never played 3e I heard the clerics were better at casting than the mages were, and class ballence/distinction was drastically altered. The roles of the character types began to blur, the rules became more restrictive, and what we all knew and loved had changed to something alien and strange. In the move from 3e to 4e the strangeness just increased and now whats called D&D is nothing like what D&D was. Really I agree with the previous observation about Vampire the RPG. D&D should have done the same thing... published 3e but called it something completely diffrent, course if they did that you might not buy it and they would have earned less money and maybe gone under.

We have to face the fact that our hobby is dieing. The golden age of table top gaming passed long ago. Game stores completely dedicated to RPG's and stragitic wargames that I have gone to since I was a kid have been closing up or shifting product lines to sell to a diffrent market. (where are the fantasy minatures and why do these military models, pokemon cards, remote control trucks, paint ball guns, and toy trains cover the entire store now?)

WOTC is doing all it can to keep the game alive even if that means comming out with new complicated rules that more closely mirror the MMO expirence in order to attract younger gamers. Weither I like it or not this is where were at, and if I want to keep gaming, (IE keep finding other people who I want to game with and who want me in their games,) I have to change with the times and simply accept that a lot of what I loved and what was comforting and familliar about the grand old days is gone and aint never commin back, and whats left over may not be what I want but at least its there... its better than nothing.

Grandore The Giant Killer
11-25-2008, 07:44 AM
Truthfully the problem with D&D in my eyes is keeping a game fresh. After a while the players get bored of the same old stuff. I mean am I the only person who encountered the problem of.

"This monster appears in front of you."

"Oh I remember that thing. This is it's weakness. Ok guys go kill it!"

After a while you will run into that problem. That is why I make my own custom monsters and items. I literally have seperate folders. 1 marked weapons, 1 marked spells, and 2 Full of my own sinister creatures. Every time I pull out one of my monster folders I always hear. "Uh oh... What does he have up his sleeve now?!" I confess I copy ideas from books and video games and even movies. Hell I will even go out and say that I plan on having "Dragon Boats" Come in like the boat in that toon version of Legend Of Zelda. I copied monsters from Phantasy Star Online and brought them in. However I have also created some clever unique creatures. Like these down below.

Barking Spiders: These are giant spiders that have the head of a dog. They spew out webbing laced with acid. They are immune to fire, poison, acid, and dark type attacks.

Sand Sharks: These are very violent creatures that walk on 2 legs. They have a row of shark teeth that they can detach into the victim's body after biting. The teeth regenerate in seconds. They burrow underground and swim through land like that of a real shark.

Chi
11-25-2008, 02:46 PM
Having not gamed in around 20 years, and only now diving head-first into 4e (with no gentle transition from playing consistently over the years as I suspect most have), I see the rules of D&D have become far more complicated. At first I was overwhelmed, but I've had some time to muddle around the rulebook & become more comfortable about the changes. I haven't actually played 4e yet, I'll be starting in a couple weeks, so I can't say for certain yet whether I feel the changes of the past 20 years are too much.

I'm curious how others who have played multiple editions of D&D feel. I'd suspect most like the complicated rules better, simply because I see most of the posts here geared towards 3.5 & 4e (and when I say "complicated," I don't mean "too difficult to understand," just "greater detail with a steeper learner curve"). Although I don't mean to restrict anyone from replying, my greater interest is in seeing who does prefer the earlier, simpler game system.

I guess what it boils down to is this...some folks like detail, some like easy play. What's your opinion?
I honestly think that each edition has only got easier!!

Etarnon
12-04-2008, 11:29 PM
I think D&D has gotten overly complicated, and has moved away from a DM centered game to a rules encyclopedia centered game.

But even after gaming for 31 years, orcs and goblins are not boring, because one mistake leave your PC open, your pc is dead.

ChaunceyK
12-05-2008, 08:23 AM
Truthfully the problem with D&D in my eyes is keeping a game fresh. After a while the players get bored of the same old stuff. I mean am I the only person who encountered the problem of.

"This monster appears in front of you."

"Oh I remember that thing. This is it's weakness. Ok guys go kill it!"

After reading everyone's opinions, honestly, I think you may have summed it up best.

D&D is a very fun game, and we want to keep playing it. But there's only so far we can go with it, before we run into the dilemma of which you speak. After playing a session of 4e after so many years (and missing 3.x entirely), I'll say this...changes galore, some made it better & others just made it more complicated than it should be. That's my opinion.

Zig
12-07-2008, 03:29 AM
I played 4e for the first time last week... the players were great but I felt the system sucked, it didnt allow for much independance or creativity and was extremely restrictive (what do you mean you cant be multiclassed till 4th level?) I much prefered the 2e days when you had all the class/race/world books and massive ammounts of skills available, it let you create much more unique characters and didnt make you feel like if you didnt want to be the carbon copy human cleric (etc) you had to con the DM into it. also with thin little Hasbro books costing 30 bucks, and expected classes like "druid" comming out in a player's handbook II, I will never buy these rip off books... <cough cough download cough print cough photocopy cough absolutely refuse to be gouged like this cough cough...>

SpiffyBananaFoot
12-07-2008, 04:25 PM
I don't think D&D has become too complicated, but then again, I have never been bogged down by details like learning all of the rules. Before last year, I hadn't played D&D since it was better to have a lower AC. When I started playing last year, we were playing 3.5 of course and it seemed overwhelming at first, but that was mostly because I didn't take the time to read most of the rules or even buy the books. I played RoleMaster for a couple years a while back and that did strike me as a complicated game. I remember the game master's instructions for the first game when he told me that the most important thing I brought was a calculator.

Our group is currently playing a 4e game and I like it better than 3.5. Maybe it is because I bought the books and have taken more time to read about the rules or maybe because there aren't 100 books already out that I will never have the chance to buy. There are some rules in 4e that I am not very fond of, but for the most part, I like the system better than the 3.5 system we were playing before.

Malruhn
12-07-2008, 04:56 PM
Okay, I have to ask...

I grew up on basic D&D, made the leap to AD&D, then to 2nd Edition. I ended up with three, 3" binders of house-rules that were needed to address all the problems with 2nd Edition...

I ignored 3E and was finally suckered in to 3.5 - and sold my soul back to WOTC (missing TSR the whole while).

My three 3" binders are gone - and I am left with three pieces of paper to address all my house rules...

Should I go for broke and buy the 4E books and take the plunge? If it's that bad and complicated, is it worth it?

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
12-07-2008, 05:11 PM
Okay, I have to ask...

I grew up on basic D&D, made the leap to AD&D, then to 2nd Edition. I ended up with three, 3" binders of house-rules that were needed to address all the problems with 2nd Edition...

I ignored 3E and was finally suckered in to 3.5 - and sold my soul back to WOTC (missing TSR the whole while).

My three 3" binders are gone - and I am left with three pieces of paper to address all my house rules...

Should I go for broke and buy the 4E books and take the plunge? If it's that bad and complicated, is it worth it?
It's not that bad and complicated. It's just another system. If youre not sure, borrow a friends and look it over or peruse it in a book store before purchasing. Let me just add, it is worth it to a great many gamers, to others, it is not. It really depends on personal taste.

I, myself, will play it with friends, but, of course, i will play any edition if i like the group well enough. Personally, i loved 1st edition the best, with my houserules added, which fixed any perceived problems and/or just to enhance the fun in gameplay. Actually, i add houserules to fix any edition problems, but i am sure i am in the majority here.

In conclusion: Go for broke and buy the 4E books! Why exclude yourself from playing some great 4E games just because you chose not to buy the books. :D

Zig
12-08-2008, 08:53 AM
you know you dont really need to buy the books to read them, you can go to borders and check them out some afternoon, hell bring dice and try playing a game at their caffe or theres tons of those document sites where you can... well... you know.

but honestly there are lots of better systems out there, hell of a lot better, I'd look around for the one that fits you best and then use that assuming your players are willing to try something new. me, I cant get people to play anything but 4e so no choice really.

boulet
12-08-2008, 09:23 AM
Personally, i loved 1st edition the best, with my houserules added, which fixed any perceived problems and/or just to enhance the fun in gameplay. Actually, i add houserules to fix any edition problems, but i am sure i am in the majority here.

There's quite a bunch of gamers who try to resuscitate the old D&D they liked. And the newest editions of D&D don't seem to satisfy them. A few RPGs (sometimes called retro-clones) try to cater to this hungry crowd : Castle and Crusade, Labyrinth Lord, OSRIC and other Red Box Hack...

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
12-08-2008, 11:20 AM
There's quite a bunch of gamers who try to resuscitate the old D&D they liked. And the newest editions of D&D don't seem to satisfy them. A few RPGs (sometimes called retro-clones) try to cater to this hungry crowd : Castle and Crusade, Labyrinth Lord, OSRIC and other Red Box Hack...
Yeah, i guess i'm one of those players. Give me 1st edition and/Hack Master(both with homebrew rules), and i'll be happy. There's another thread around here that goes into more detail about this, but to sum it up, true DND to an individual would either be the edition they started with or the edition they liked the best... ususally.

This doesnt mean that i dont play, and enjoy the other editions. I do. The older edition gives the right feel for me.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
12-08-2008, 11:23 AM
you know you dont really need to buy the books to read them, you can go to borders and check them out some afternoon, hell bring dice and try playing a game at their caffe or theres tons of those document sites where you can... well... you know.

but honestly there are lots of better systems out there, hell of a lot better, I'd look around for the one that fits you best and then use that assuming your players are willing to try something new. me, I cant get people to play anything but 4e so no choice really.
It really does depend on what feel you're looking for in gaming. For me, 1st edition(with houserules) seems the most gritty. No doubt the reason i became a huge WFRP(both editions) fan. So i agree with Zig, everyones tastes are different so find what fits you, Malruhn.

Caradrayan
12-16-2008, 12:59 PM
I just wanted to say that one of the draws of 4e for me is the rules simplicity. Sure, it might be more complicated than 1st ed. (I've seen the rules from the Red Box, though I never played with a group.)

but compared to 3e? tons simpler.

just look at the types of actions possible in a round.

4e has the standard, move and minor, as well as the immediate, and the free actions. That's a decent number of options to keep track of. and that's before you get into the difference between an immediate reaction and and immediate interrupt, but look at 3e.

you have the standard, the move, the move equivilant, the full round action, the one round action, the swift action, (except that's not core) the immediate action, the free action, not an action, and if you aren't playing 3.5, the partial action. And who remembered that an immediate action took up your swift action for the next turn? Or who can tell me they definitely know what a partial action is? Hell, the 5-foot-step, which is a free action, takes up your move action, but still allows you to perform a move-equivilant......wait what? And that's a concept that everyone needs to understand for basic battlefield mobility.

4e simplified and unified action rules, among a host of other mechanics, that makes for better gameplay IMO.

Zig
12-18-2008, 07:41 AM
I agree with a lot of what you were saying Caradrayan, I agree that 4e is a hell of a lot less complicated than anything TSR and WOTC has come out with, at least since the box sets.

My problem is not that D&D has become too complicated, exactly the opposite. D&D has become so much less complicated that it lost all the stuff that made D&D so cool to begin with.

Take the spell command for example. in 3e it was save vs spell or follow the one word command for one round, in 3.5 e it gave you like 4-5 things you could command and gave long and exact descriptions of what would happen, in 4e its a dazed result, and move 3+ wis mod in inches...thats it. They completely eliminated any non-combat use of the power, and everything in 4e is like that, all the fluff for magic items... gone (boots of springing and striding give you +2 to athletics and +2 movement.. no springing or striding.) All the fluff for spells... gone. the skill system of like 150 skills... compressed into about 20...

And what did we get in exchange? better art that covers half of the pages in every book, simple rules, more class ballance (which I cant stand... how can mages and fighters have almost the same HP at 1st level?) and non-magic classes get spell-like abilities so almost any class can mimic any other. vanilla for everyone.

They've taken a creative and interesting RPG and turned it into a dumbed down minatures game, or a table top MMO. woot.

AD&D had huge gaps that had to get fixed, most people did it with house rules. 3e was an attempt to fix those gaps but created more problems and a lot of rapes. 3.5 was an attempt to fix those problems and rapes by somehow becomming way more complex and simple at the same time (didnt work). 4e... is a completely diffrent game, made for kids and WoW players, and one that personally I think sucks as an RPG because it limits the creativity of the players and the DM.

It might work to bring those new people into table top gaming, at least in the short term, hopefully from there they will branch out into real RPG's but It doesn't matter much to me... most likely I wont be gaming with those people anyway, or at least I hope not. <shudder> (ever read the open chat messages on WoW?) <shudder>

nijineko
12-24-2008, 01:56 PM
i think that d&d is not too complicated. it is simply one method of modeling characterization of fantasy rp. it has pluses and minuses. so does every other system i've seen. it's about who you game with, not what system you are gaming.

tesral
12-24-2008, 02:05 PM
i think that d&d is not too complicated. it is simply one method of modeling characterization of fantasy rp. it has pluses and minuses. so does every other system i've seen. it's about who you game with, not what system you are gaming.

It is also about a system you are comfortable with. Something you know is always better, to you, than something you don't. The universal systems, like Hero and GURPS are mondo complicated if you are looking at the books. Because there are so many options character creation takes time and knowledge of the system.

However, people that know the systems can rattle off a character in nothing flat and consider them not that complex. And in play they are not.

D&D is no different. I don't see it as complex, but I think in D&D. 33 years using the system in its various incarnations has worn a rut in my brain that makes the system a reflex. So while Joe Newbie is intimidated, I can rattle things off and create a character barely looking at the books. Long time players of any system can do the same. And all will tell you there system isn't that complex.

Much depends on the point from which you view the system.

nijineko
12-24-2008, 02:27 PM
absolutely agreed. =D

Zig
12-26-2008, 05:09 AM
I disagree with a lot of that, I know the hero system backwards and forwards but that is a damn complex system. just try teaching a noob how to create a character, especially if they are looking for something really unique, writing up one power and explaining how it works can take an hour... (1d6,hka, 2d6w.str, penetrating, +1stun mod, uncontrolled continueous, 14-, explosion, reduced penetration, IIF needs wood, 90pt active/40pt actual, etc etc...)

I was looking over the hero games forums reciently and noticed that the 6e version is comming out in august... they are making a lot of changes, getting rid of figured stats, changing the nature of powers, they want to make the whole thing even more granular in your ability to break down and customize in regards to skills and powers.

I think that making the change from an existing system you know and enjoy to a new edition thats completely diffrent is way harder than trying to learn a new game. Unlearning is not easy, especially when you can rattle off all the clerics 1st level spells and then have to find out cure light wounds isnt there anymore, or the mechanics, fluff, or function of the spell has completely changed. that whole "think in D&D" means your first assumptions are now wrong.

Also... in my old group I was the guy always bringing new systems to the table and trying to get people to play them, when most were just happy with D&D. I would much rather try a new system that seems to work better and is better written than fall back on an old familiar system with a lot of problems. one big barrier to that is flavor. every game has its own flavor, sometimes its because of the art, or just a familiar history, to me its even harder to get seasoned players over the flavor of a new system than the rules.

For example... I've been reading Savage Worlds, and ran a Necessary Evil game last week. theres just something about that system... dont know how to describe it... kind of a trailer park-dollar store type vibe. Its a good system, works very well, but just dosent feel polished. and there are plenty of complete 3.5 conversions out there so you could convert your whole D&D world over to it, but that same... unpolished feeling would be there and you would just know its not 3.5 even if the system ran 10000 times better... maybe I'm not making sense... do you get what I'm saying?

Krevon
12-26-2008, 09:42 AM
The group I dm for heard all the negative stuff before I began my pitch to swap editions. One of the players favorite things to do is try bad guys in a building and set it on fire. Naturally I needed to be familiar with the rules associated with it.

Well, that particular player was using an example of 4E doesn't have rules to cover this to convince me not to switch. So I asked him a simple question,
What happens when you can't get out of a burning building? His answer was the die. My response to that is why do we need anything more than that?

A light builb went off over his head as he got the concept. Now that we've switched, I've got smiles all around the table. It's gritty where it needs to be gritty.........social encounters are fluid. The random crap the insane player brings to the table is solved without so much as cracking a book.

The quality of play at my table has improved dramatically, even the people that dont get into the RP side of it are friggin role playing! To my view of the game, combat and social encounters have more options than ever before, across the board. The role playing side of it seems to be in the hands of the players again.

So to sum it up......4E HUZZAH!!

Mindbomb
12-26-2008, 03:11 PM
For anyone who's new and hasn't seen it before here's what I believe is the best take on 4E. http://www.somethingawful.com/d/news/dungons-dragons-4th.php