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List of things no longer in D&D as of 4e
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Thread: List of things no longer in D&D as of 4e

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    List of things no longer in D&D as of 4e

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    As I'm reading through the new books, I keep noticing stuff that's just gone. It occurs to me that having a distinct list to hand to players of previous games would be helpful. Not talking about things like Monk or Half-Orcs, which may appear later, but distinct things that are gone for good, like:

    Spell levels as distinct from character levels
    The "Neutral" alignment
    Alignment restrictions on classes
    Saving throws (now static defenses)
    Lots of reasons to take AoOs (now grant combat advantage)
    Vancian magic system all but gone (except for Wizard's daily power)
    Losing Dex bonus to AC
    Encumbrance
    Rolling hit points
    Race-specific deities
    Multiclass levels
    Arcane spell failure
    Separate weapons for small characters
    Magic ammunition
    Separate game mechanics for turning undead, bull rush, grappling, etc.
    Dying at -10 HP
    Needing to identify magic items
    Ability score damage such as poison
    Ability score buffs like Bull's Strength
    Save-or-die spells

    Any others? I'll edit this post to include extra suggestions-

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valdar View Post
    As I'm reading through the new books, I keep noticing stuff that's just gone. It occurs to me that having a distinct list to hand to players of previous games would be helpful. Not talking about things like Monk or Half-Orcs, which may appear later, but distinct things that are gone for good, like:
    Spell levels as distinct from character levels -- I don't like this. I like my spell levels I do.
    The "Neutral" alignment -- They all need to go. Half measure.
    Alignment restrictions on classes -- Along with the rest of alignment. However ethos restrictions are another matter.
    Saving throws (now static defenses) -- I prefer saving throws. I see a definite difference between "I hit you" and "I need to get out of the way/resist/overcome"
    Lots of reasons to take AoOs (now grant combat advantage) -- AoO is something I do without period.
    Vancian magic system all but gone (except for Wizard's daily power) -- I am keeping my highly modified version. It's one of those things.
    Losing Dex bonus to AC -- Eh? No more flat footed? I rather thought that a good idea.
    Encumbrance -- Who kept track of that anyway? I can see it getting house ruled the first time someone tries to carry several tons of gear.
    Rolling hit points -- Prefer to roll, said why elsewhere.
    Race-specific deities -- I like those, consider them kept. The races without the numbers need their patrons.
    Multiclass levels -- Never did that to start with.
    Arcane spell failure -- Again, never did it to start with.
    Separate weapons for small characters -- That is something I see the point for. Smaller races will have their weapons sized accordingly. Likewise larger races.
    Magic ammunition -- No more +1 arrows? I'm stricken.
    Separate game mechanics for turning undead, bull rush, grappling, etc. -- ! like turning undead. I simplified the hell out of it.
    Dying at -10 HP -- Dead at 0 hit points in my game. But I give you half your Con in extra hit points.
    Needing to identify magic items -- They all have labels now? That was part of the fun.
    Ability score damage such as poison. -- I was liking that too.
    Ability score buffs like Bull's Strength -- And this.
    Save-or-die spells -- Those can be lived without in general.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    Spell levels as distinct from character levels - I like this change. Why over-complicate things? The level you need to be to take a spell/power is the same as the spell's level.
    The "Neutral" alignment - Not entirely certain on my take on the new alignments, but "Unaligned" pretty well fits the "Neutral" alignment niche.
    Alignment restrictions on classes - Thank you.
    Saving throws (now static defenses) - Logistically the same as Saving throws, but it reduces needed dice rolling and unifies the flow of combat by keeping the dice rolls in the hands of the attacker. Of course, I liked this ever since I discovered it in Star Wars Saga.
    Lots of reasons to take AoOs (now grant combat advantage) - I don't know a lot about AoO's in 4e yet, so my verdict is still out on it. I didn't like them in 3e, but we'll see if they can change my mind.
    Vancian magic system all but gone (except for Wizard's daily power) - I like it.
    Losing Dex bonus to AC - Instead of losing your Dex Bonus to AC, the attacker gets a +2 to hit. Not entirely sure how I feel about this yet, but it does unify and speed up that aspect of combat, which has me in favor of it at the moment.
    Encumbrance - Haven't gotten to Encumbrance yet, but simpler is better as far as I'm concerned.
    Rolling hit points - I tend to be in favor of a set number of hit points at each level. With adding your Con score to hit points at first level and your Healing Surges being based on your class and Con modifier, there is enough random element to a character's ability to take punishment that I don't feel a "need" to roll hit points.
    Race-specific deities - Racial deities are there, but they are not explicitly expressed as such. For example, the PHB makes clear that the Dwarves regard Moradin as their creator, but he is not explicitly known as the "god of dwarves". I like what I'm feeling with the subtle changes in their approach to the gods.
    Multiclass levels - Haven't read up on the Multi-class Feats yet, but I would favor a "this is your primary class, but you can dabble in other things if you wish" over the open-season cherry picking of classes that 3e allowed.
    Arcane spell failure - Just as well. I probably won't miss it.
    Separate weapons for small characters - I did not like the "weapon-sizing" rules for 3.5 and am glad to be rid of them.
    Magic ammunition - I'm not sure how I feel about this myself. On the one hand, individual magic ammo was a pain to keep track of, but I like the idea of "utility" arrows crafted with different effects.
    Separate game mechanics for turning undead, bull rush, grappling, etc. - I like Turn Undead now. It is simple, yet still powerful. Haven't gotten to the combat maneuvers yet.
    Dying at -10 HP - Thank you.
    Needing to identify magic items - Haven't gotten to that yet. This may be something I will develop a house rule for. I always liked the mystery that surrounded a magic item's abilities.
    Ability score damage such as poison - I liked the idea but hated the bookkeeping. I think the game is better off in the long run by removing this.
    Ability score buffs like Bull's Strength - I think part of me will miss these, but like Ability Damage, the bookkeeping was not so much fun. I'll side in favor of this being removed.
    Save-or-die spells - I very much like the direction they went with these kinds of powers. You now get several chances to resist being taken out by such effects and they are applied gradually.
    Last edited by Webhead; 06-11-2008 at 10:25 AM.
    HARRY DRESDEN — WIZARD
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    --Spell levels are gone because there's not a common ability between classes. Well, there are, but they're treated as distinct powers. Call it de-normalizing the database- decreases storage efficiency to improve access speed.

    --"Unaligned" is distinct from "Neutral" in that it's not an alignment. This matters when you say "A Paladin or Cleric cannot take a different alignment from their god"- this means that if your god is unaligned, you can have any alignment, and if you are unaligned, you can have any god.

    --Encumbrance: Hard to say what they're saying here. As far as I can tell, the book says "here are the rules, ignore them unless someone's being silly".

    --Identifying magic items: You can now figure out what they do by taking a rest period- this assumes you're dinking around with the thing to find out what it does. This was done to keep the DM from hearing "I hit a 31, plus whatever this sword does". For interesting magic items, look to Artifacts-these are intelligent magic items that have agendas that they try to convince you to follow, and get weaker or stronger depending on what you do. This is a lot more interesting to me than "guess the power".

    --Bull's strength was often referred to as "complicate character" in my experience. Altering primary stats with cascading results over a whole character was clunky. Same goes for poisons reducing primary stats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valdar View Post
    --Encumbrance: Hard to say what they're saying here. As far as I can tell, the book says "here are the rules, ignore them unless someone's being silly".
    That's pretty much how I tend to handle encumbrance anyway. Casual weight carrying is not worth the effort, it's just when a character tries to explain that he's lugging around 10,000 gold pieces in an iron chest on top of platemail armor and a closet full of weapons that I whip out the encumbrance-bazooka and shoot them down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Valdar View Post
    --Identifying magic items: You can now figure out what they do by taking a rest period- this assumes you're dinking around with the thing to find out what it does. This was done to keep the DM from hearing "I hit a 31, plus whatever this sword does". For interesting magic items, look to Artifacts-these are intelligent magic items that have agendas that they try to convince you to follow, and get weaker or stronger depending on what you do. This is a lot more interesting to me than "guess the power".
    This actually doesn't sound too bad. I'll have to look over the magic item rules more closely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Valdar View Post
    --Bull's strength was often referred to as "complicate character" in my experience. Altering primary stats with cascading results over a whole character was clunky. Same goes for poisons reducing primary stats.
    Agreed. I would much rather have buffs and de-buffs affect the "end result" rather than affecting one of the "links in the chain". It's so much easier to say "Apply a penalty or bonus to certain rolls" than "Apply a penalty or bonus to a stat and adjust all related abilities accordingly".
    HARRY DRESDEN — WIZARD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webhead View Post
    Agreed. I would much rather have buffs and de-buffs affect the "end result" rather than affecting one of the "links in the chain". It's so much easier to say "Apply a penalty or bonus to certain rolls" than "Apply a penalty or bonus to a stat and adjust all related abilities accordingly".
    Bulls Str, is basically a +2 bonus to most melee attacks and damage, damage to thrown weapons and skills/checks requiring Str. Not too complicated. I mean I used to ride the short bus and I figured it out!
    ... AND ON THE EIGHTH DAY, GOD SAID, "I NEED A DRINK."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilrex View Post
    Bulls Str, is basically a +2 bonus to most melee attacks and damage, damage to thrown weapons and skills/checks requiring Str. Not too complicated. I mean I used to ride the short bus and I figured it out!
    Sure. And I agree that we're not talking about advanced calculus or anything. Admittedly, I had almost forgotten that 3.5 changed the "random buffs" from things like Bull's Strength into a flat number which makes it easier to use. But rather than Bull Strength being "Gain +X to Strength", why not cut out the middle-man and just have the spell say "Gain +X to attack rolls, Strength skills and check, and to weapon damage"? That way, you get to the result without having to do all the work in the middle.

    It's Occam's Razor: The simplest solution is usually the best.
    Last edited by Webhead; 06-11-2008 at 03:49 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webhead View Post
    Sure. And I agree that we're not talking about advanced calculus or anything. Admittedly, I had almost forgotten that 3.5 changed the "random buffs" from things like Bull's Strength into a flat number which makes it easier to use. But rather than Bull Strength being "Gain +X to Strength", why not cut out the middle-man and just have the spell say "Gain +X to attack rolls, Strength skills and check, and to weapon damage"? That way, you get to the result without having to do all the work in the middle.

    It's Occam's Razor: The simplest solution is usually the best.
    Actually I had a player that was a Dwarf berserker cleric for a low fantasty game. The artifact weapon of his god required Str 15 to wield and his score was 12, so first round was Bull Str for the boost to be able to use the weapon. If he just had a +2 bonus to Str stuff and not the score itself he wouldn't be able to use the hammer.
    ... AND ON THE EIGHTH DAY, GOD SAID, "I NEED A DRINK."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valdar View Post
    --"Unaligned" is distinct from "Neutral" in that it's not an alignment. This matters when you say "A Paladin or Cleric cannot take a different alignment from their god"- this means that if your god is unaligned, you can have any alignment, and if you are unaligned, you can have any god.
    That's true for clerics (PHB p62), but paladins have to match on "unaligned" as well (p90). Curious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ithil View Post
    That's true for clerics (PHB p62), but paladins have to match on "unaligned" as well (p90). Curious.
    Curious indeed- I guess the "morally ambiguous Paladin" is still harder to achieve-

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    Anyway, more big omissions:

    --BaB. All characters get +1 to hit every other level. Fixes the problem at the upper end of 3.5 and before where only fighters or other 1 BaB/level could hit anything.

    --Skill points. Now you're trained or you're not. Same problem as above with 3.5 and before- you either max a skill or will fail at it every time at the higher levels. Skills are more versatile anyway, so having the right one isn't as crucial now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilrex View Post
    Actually I had a player that was a Dwarf berserker cleric for a low fantasty game. The artifact weapon of his god required Str 15 to wield and his score was 12, so first round was Bull Str for the boost to be able to use the weapon. If he just had a +2 bonus to Str stuff and not the score itself he wouldn't be able to use the hammer.
    In 4e, he'd be able to increase his strength every few levels with the free stat boosts. I didn't see anything that required Str that high anyway.

    And, that tactic would have worked in 3.5, but sucked in 3.0- In 3.0, he could have rolled a 1 or 2 on the d4 for Bull's Strength and still not have been able to wield it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valdar View Post
    In 4e, he'd be able to increase his strength every few levels with the free stat boosts. I didn't see anything that required Str that high anyway.
    I believe taking the plate proficiency requires 15 Str/Con (yet another reason you won't see wizards running around in plate).

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    Saving Throws are still in 4ed. They're just not used as often.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronpyatt View Post
    Saving Throws are still in 4ed. They're just not used as often.
    They're almost a different thing now- you're talking about the roll to end a persistent effect? I could almost have expected them to call it something else, since it's not made at the time of the attack anymore.

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