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Ormagoden
2010-07-14, 08:34 AM
So I've been putting it off forever.

Playing 4th edition that is. I own a good number of 4e books but had yet to find a group or party interested in playing (or switching from 3.x).

I wasn't very excited and I wasn't expecting much; I did however find myself pleasantly surprised.

Although I was informed that I was jumping into Living forgotten realms "as it dies" Much like I joined living Greyhawk as it was "dying" a few years prior. (death = loosing support from wotc)

A good friend of mine runs game nights out of his house and I hadn't seen him in quite some time so I headed on over for a special LFR event Race across the desert. I generated a wizard in about 14 seconds flat sat down at the table and although the module wasn't very well written the combat was as smooth as a vanilla shake.

There were some 30 ish people stuffed into every corner of his house and I found myself cramped at the end of a plastic folding table.
My master of the arts arcane slung spells and melted faces at-will. I see now that I Might actually start incorporating 4e into my games if only because combat is utter bliss to run.

Then I got to thinking, how many other people out there were reluctant to play 4e, but once they sat down and played it changed their tune?

What makes you like 4e just as much as 3.x (or more than 3.x)?
Did you theif anything from it for your 3.x campaigns?
Tell me about it!

(PS. Don't start any dumb "Version ____ is better than Version _____"
arguments, I just want to hear about your first time playing it. )

Dogmantra
2010-07-14, 08:57 AM
It sounds silly, but I really like that I don't know it as well. I can go ahead and play any class I want, whereas in 3.5, my train of thought goes around every class, chooses not to play the powerful ones, wants to play the least powerful just because, then realises that I've only played weak ones to be different. Thus I end up spending ages picking a class. Then I wonder whether or not to multiclass...

Ormagoden
2010-07-14, 10:41 AM
I think I understand that. It seems much easier to hop in, choose powers, and get started. There is less pressure to optimize because there are less options.

oxybe
2010-07-14, 10:53 AM
me? it's not 3.5.

that's my reason. it's not that i have a burning hatred of everything 3rd ed, i'll play it as long as i have a decent group, but it's that WotC didn't just pull a "we'll add a few houserules, tweak it a bit and call it 4th ed".

they reworked the game pretty much from the ground up based on feedback and playtests from 3rd ed. they learned what kind of mechanics worked and what didn't. it fixed a lot of issues i had with 3rd ed (fighters being useless out (and in) of combat. 2 +int skill points in a 35-ish skill game. god/batman wizards with answers for everything. the druid class. among others) in the way i knew it had to be done. with a knife. all while keeping to the conventions, genres and tropes D&D is played in by the gist of the players.

the other main reason is that WotC seems ready to fess up that they're not perfect and they can't take every and all supplements into consideration when releasing things. they didn't stop paying attention once 4th ed was released. they keep updating the errata's rules and clarifications based on the playerbase's reports. it might have taken a bit of time to fix some issues with the balance, but at least they fixed it.

yes they messed up a bit since 4th's release, but at least they're more honest about it and are willing to try to take steps to correct some things.

Dusk Eclipse
2010-07-14, 11:10 AM
I prefer 3e I won't deny it (the seer quantity of options is what draws me to it) but I somewhat like 4e.

At first due some bad experiencies with my firs sessions playing 4e I was like "4e sucks" but after playing a bit more It helped me find it's niche as a likeable RPG.

Master_Rahl22
2010-07-14, 12:09 PM
I liked the speed of creating a character, no more planning out where every level is going since you only get 3 of those choices (Class, PP, ED). I also liked that the optimization floor is lower, meaning you have to try pretty hard to get a completely useless character. Finally, my first character was a level 24 Dragonborn Fighter (we all made epic characters just because) and I loved that he could actually do something to protect his friends and punish enemies for attacking them.

GenPol
2010-07-14, 12:42 PM
When I first sat down and started reading through the rules, my first reaction wasn't "Wow, this is much better!," or "Wow, this sucks!" It was more along the lines of "Wow, this is cool, but a completely different game."

Eorran
2010-07-14, 12:52 PM
My first experience was "wow, generating monsters for an encounter is so easy! Also, I can run them without forgetting half of their abilities!"

I also like the concept of skill challenges, even if the execution needs work, and the concept of traps that the whole party can work to solve.

Basically, I love DMing 4th, since it has streamlined my job and reduced my bookkeeping (though I still find status effects a bit annoying to track).

I quickly found though that trying to update any character from earlier editions to 4e was a failure. The game mechanics were too different to properly carry over the character. I can create new characters who have similar goals or personalities, but wholesale conversion didn't work for me.

Theodoxus
2010-07-14, 01:22 PM
I didn't see it as easier - I found the character sheet for 4E very confusing and the book guidance lacking. I don't know how anyone could make a character in 14 seconds unless you skipped all the math; adding up the various defense bonuses, how the weapon attack bonus meshed with class and skill bonuses - picking a freakin' weapon - what's teh best optimized weapon!!!

Creating characters was a nightmare, to say the least.

I was also appointed GM. Yay me. I'm not sure where all the love for the monsters is coming from either - I had to keep the monster manual open at all times just to make sure I had all their little abilities down. We ran the scenario at the back of the DMG. It was less than ideal.

Needless to say, the entire group was turned off of 4th Ed. I'd be willing to play it, if I could find a group - but it wouldn't be my first choice in games.

Blazen
2010-07-14, 01:26 PM
Eorran, an easy thing to do to keep track of status effects is to place colored rings on the minis. For instance a red ring means bloodied, yellow is dazed, etc. To add to this, any character that has their own special ability can use rings for it. We use black for shrouds, light blue for the fighter's mark, green for hunter's quarry. It makes things pretty easy.
As for my first impression, I was pleased to learn that the only way to make a bad character was to pretty much do it on purpose. As long as your fighter has good Str, your good to go.

Mark Hall
2010-07-14, 01:31 PM
Then I got to thinking, how many other people out there were reluctant to play 4e, but once they sat down and played it changed their tune?

What makes you like 4e just as much as 3.x (or more than 3.x)?
Did you theif anything from it for your 3.x campaigns?
Tell me about it!


Put me in that camp. Once I realized that it wasn't really D&D, and was still a fun game, I found it to be a lot more enjoyable. I enjoy it more than 3.5, in part because the on-line tools like the Character Creator makes juggling the information a lot simpler; it's a bit of a pain without such tools, because of the amount of reference needed.

One thing we've taken to using is the adjective "bloodied" to mean "less than half his hit points." It doesn't have any game effect, but it is useful for describing people... at more than half their hit points, they're a bit bruised or tired, but not really bloodied.

Vulkarius
2010-07-14, 01:37 PM
I'm actually working my way backwards. I'm relatively new to roleplaying in general (bout a years experience) and started off with 4e and my group is now playing 3.5. I find that 4e is great for getting people into the game and learning the basics and that 3.5 offers a more complex environment. I like them both but consider then two completely different games.

Although in 3.5 I'm having trouble making a character because I feel if I make the slightest mistake my character is ruined. With fourth I feel like my choices are easier to make and I can work with my party better.

valadil
2010-07-14, 02:01 PM
Creating characters was a nightmare, to say the least.

I think the 14 second characters come from WotC's character builder. Doing it by hand the first time is probably not ideal.


Eorran, an easy thing to do to keep track of status effects is to place colored rings on the minis.

Same idea but we use colored paperclips. They usually hang off a minis weapon. I bring this up only because colored paperclips were easier for me to find than a colored ring.



What makes you like 4e just as much as 3.x (or more than 3.x)?
Did you theif anything from it for your 3.x campaigns?
Tell me about it!


I like the standardization. Rules are described in consistent language. Terms are well thought out ahead of time. Push/pull/slide all make sense to me. Burst and blast are unambiguous too. Once you've looked these rules up once, they just make sense.

Very few parts of the game feel like they were included ad hoc. It all just meshes together in a consistent fashion. The best example for this is skill powers. They just plain make sense. I always found skill tricks a little too awkward to use because they were thrown in after the other mechanics were fleshed out.

I love the depth first nature of character building. What I mean by that is that when I'm reading a new class I can ignore everything else. I can look at that class's powers. And I can find all the feats that class qualifies for in 2-3 books. Compare this with 3rd ed. The first time you looked at the feats list you had to read almost all of them because you could take anything. Yes, this gave you more options but most of those options weren't worth taking.

Kurald Galain
2010-07-14, 02:03 PM
Eorran, an easy thing to do to keep track of status effects is to place colored rings on the minis.
We do that too, but I find it cumbersome because we run out of rings. What do you do with a monster that is marked, quarried, cursed, bloodied, dazed, immobilized, blinded, has a -2 to his next attack, -2 to his will defense, and vulnerable 5 radiant?

This is a pretty common situation against a group of five or six characters of level 8 to 10. Even funnier, some of those conditions are save-ends, and some last until the end of somebody's next turn, and sometimes both. How do you keep track of a creature that's dazed until the rogue's next turn, and also dazed until the wizard's next turn, while also being dazed (save ends)?

valadil
2010-07-14, 02:17 PM
Kurald Galain, with that many status effects the enemy is usually pretty damn dead. I'd likely call off the fight at that point.

But if I really wanted to play it out...

I don't use rings/clips for everything. Marks usually. Temporary effects get noted on my enemy page. (I print out copies of each fight because I like writing on the enemy and I don't like flipping pages in my MM. (I also have a very streamlined process for doing this part. I'll elaborate if anyone is interested.)) Usually it'll be something like "daze/save 5 on/save". I cross out effects as they pass.

I also put responsibility on my players here. If the bard dropped a condition that causes an enemy to grant CA for the round, I expect that bard to speak up when the enemy gets attacked. As far as I'm concerned, that's the bard's effect. If he forgets it's up, he's no longer distracting the enemy. This really helps keep the players attentive. They don't want their effects to be forgotten. It also shows that I trust them to help keep the game running. On top of that, it gives buffing players credit when they'd otherwise be forgotten. Everybody loves the bard when he asks if the fighter remembered his extra +2 to hit, and that ends up being the difference that scores the hit.

Master_Rahl22
2010-07-14, 03:00 PM
I also put responsibility on my players here. If the bard dropped a condition that causes an enemy to grant CA for the round, I expect that bard to speak up when the enemy gets attacked. As far as I'm concerned, that's the bard's effect. If he forgets it's up, he's no longer distracting the enemy. This really helps keep the players attentive. They don't want their effects to be forgotten. It also shows that I trust them to help keep the game running. On top of that, it gives buffing players credit when they'd otherwise be forgotten. Everybody loves the bard when he asks if the fighter remembered his extra +2 to hit, and that ends up being the difference that scores the hit.

I really like this idea. I'll propose this to my DMs. None of them have complained about keeping track of this stuff, but it may just be because they didn't know there was another/better way.

Blazen
2010-07-14, 03:10 PM
Like Valadil said some effects should just be the player's responsibility.


How do you keep track of a creature that's dazed until the rogue's next turn, and also dazed until the wizard's next turn, while also being dazed (save ends)?

This should be covered in the rules but I'm AFB at the moment. However it is likely either the new daze supercedes the old one, or the daze with the longest duration remains.

BlckDv
2010-07-14, 03:23 PM
Like Valadil said some effects should just be the player's responsibility.



This should be covered in the rules but I'm AFB at the moment. However it is likely either the new daze supercedes the old one, or the daze with the longest duration remains.

In our group we use the simple rule of thumb that whoever's end of turn something "sticks" to, tracks the duration. So a "Save Ends" is tracked by the affected player, or the DM for monsters, as under normal events it will end at the end of their turn. A "Creature X suffers/benefits until the end of Creature Y's next turn" is tracked by the controller of creature Y (player or DM).

If a monster has more than one effect causing a condition on it, I as the DM write them down separately and cross them out as the appropriate player (or my own dice roll) says they end. Players are issued with a blank index card every game (and can request extra) and are expected and trusted to come up with their own shorthand for tracking effects they wish to (usually effects on them and effects they cause).

Kurald Galain
2010-07-14, 03:25 PM
the daze with the longest duration remains.

This is correct; however, you don't know in advance whether "save ends" will last longer or shorter than "until the end of your next turn", so you have to keep track of both separately.

My point isn't that the rules are confusing on this point, but that mid-to-high-level combat involves a lot of bookkeeping.

cdrcjsn
2010-07-14, 03:53 PM
Bookkeeping?

In 3.5. a single targeted greater dispel magic can halt a game for 10 minutes while you figure out the effects and recalculate everything.

I agree that the status effects in 4e can get ridiculous, but there are several ways to handle it (like the ones mentioned above), and once you do, it pretty much stays at the same difficulty level all the way to epic levels.

For keeping track of status effects, I like using colored rings that come off the twist caps of various plastic soda bottles. The next time you drink one (or see a friend drinking one), keep the plastic ring, and pretty soon you'll have a pretty large collection.

Of course, not everyone uses status effects. I've run some tables (yes, even at paragon level) without needing to use tokens to keep track of conditions. It just depends on the party.

Lord Vampyre
2010-07-14, 04:39 PM
I have to admit the combat for 4e went better than I expected. It still wasn't as fluid as 2nd edition, but that's due to the necessity of the game board that came about with 3e and the AoO rules.

I enjoy playing 4e, but it will never be system of choice. I have to admit that I love the character builder, it removes the need for me to have to buy all of the supplements.

I suppose my only problem with the books has to do with the fluff. Fortunately, the fluff is an easy fix.

Blazen
2010-07-14, 04:44 PM
Wait, I'm confused. There are people who give a **** about fluff?

Kylarra
2010-07-14, 04:46 PM
Wait, I'm confused. There are people who give a **** about fluff?Yes.

obligatory text

hamishspence
2010-07-14, 04:50 PM
The later 4E books have quite a bit- Manual of the Planes, Open Grave, The Plane Below, The Plane Above, Draconomicon 1, Draconomicon 2.

Kurald Galain
2010-07-14, 05:28 PM
Wait, I'm confused. There are people who give a **** about fluff?

If there wasn't fluff, it wouldn't be roleplaying.

Thajocoth
2010-07-14, 05:46 PM
Wait, I'm confused. There are people who give a **** about fluff?

Of course!

Blazen
2010-07-14, 06:08 PM
But, but the only reason for fluff is because they ran out of combat info and still had pages to fill! Why use it?

KenderWizard
2010-07-14, 06:14 PM
Wait, I'm confused. There are people who give a **** about fluff?

I love fluff! It's so important to get the background and the flavour of a campaign, especially for a longterm one, unless you just want to do an infinite dungeon crawl going from combat to combat, I guess, but that doesn't sound like fun to me at all!

I'm having a lot of trouble with 4e. I've been playing mostly Pathfinder, mixed with 3.5 at the start of the campaign (Pathfinder was still in beta at the time). I found it really difficult to make a 4e character I liked and I found it so frustrating that everything was all about combat, and all about those cards, and I couldn't just go "I hit him with my sword" when I didn't know what to do.

I had some trouble getting used to the Pathfinder combat as well, and combat is never going to be my favourite part of the game, but I found 4e so much more confusing and annoying.

cupkeyk
2010-07-14, 08:03 PM
@ kender wizard, there is the basic attack that if you just want to shoot someone with a bow or hit them with a sword, but any of your at-wills is usually better(with the exception of paragon tier where BA get hit riders of their own).

If you'd ever played oWoD or nWoD, you will love 4e, in my opinion. There isn't a lot of roleplaying in the books because its more freeform in 4e. There is less fluff to liberate the DM to re-fluff. The skill challenges, although cronky at best, allows for more varied thinking than the dungeon crawling grave robbers of old.

Mando Knight
2010-07-14, 10:34 PM
There is less pressure to optimize because there are less options.

Fewer options in the same sense that the Indian Ocean is smaller than the Pacific. With the splats, 4e is now quite a large enough puddle to splash in on its own, being ridiculously open compared to the character customization of, say, Final Fantasy IV, but still looks like a kiddie pool compared to 3.5's entire repertoire (though that could change by the time 5e rolls around).

Swordgleam
2010-07-14, 11:13 PM
I thought 4e was stupid on the first readthrough of the books, and now I love it. It really is one of those games that you just have to play. Combat is easy to prep and run, rolling up a character is simple enough a newbie can do it in less than an hour, and you can DM an entire group of newbs and still have play move at a reasonable rate.

Balain
2010-07-15, 02:31 AM
. . . I also put responsibility on my players here. . .

I also do this too. I do try to keep track of a lot of the effects on the monsters, but I also told the players you need to also keep track and remind me of effects you have used. The same goes for me though. If I don't remind a player of an effect from a monster they get away with not having the 10 fire damage that round(s).



. . . However it is likely either the new daze supercedes the old one, or the daze with the longest duration remains.

I do remember seeing this some where, but off the top of my head I can't think what section, I believe any new daze effect cancels a previous daze effect. Doesn't matter the length of time of the effect.

It's kind of like all the effects, can only have one mark, can only have one ongoing fire damage, can only have one ongoing thunder damage, etc.

Kurald Galain
2010-07-15, 03:32 AM
@ kender wizard, there is the basic attack that if you just want to shoot someone with a bow or hit them with a sword, but any of your at-wills is usually better
Sure. Nevertheless, I've found Kender's issue to be common among new 4E players that do not have extensive experience with other rules-heavy games: 4E can easily give the impression that every round, you have to make a good choice out of your dozen-or-so power cards, where the differences and advantages of each can be baffling.



If you'd ever played oWoD or nWoD, you will love 4e, in my opinion. There isn't a lot of roleplaying in the books because its more freeform in 4e.
This comment I find really baffling. I find 4E is completely and utterly different from oWOD and nWOD. The philosophies couldn't be more different: WoD has rulebooks filled primarily with fluff, and the design that whenever a rule doesn't match your fluff, you use a different rule; whereas 4E has rulebooks consisting mostly of rules text, and the design that whenever rules and fluff don't match, you either the fluff to something else, or you handwave it.

Oracle_Hunter
2010-07-15, 10:18 AM
This comment I find really baffling. I find 4E is completely and utterly different from oWOD and nWOD. The philosophies couldn't be more different: WoD has rulebooks filled primarily with fluff, and the design that whenever a rule doesn't match your fluff, you use a different rule; whereas 4E has rulebooks consisting mostly of rules text, and the design that whenever rules and fluff don't match, you either the fluff to something else, or you handwave it.
While true for oWoD, not so much for nWoD.

Yes, the "game" books (e.g. Mage, Werewolf) are mostly fluff, but that's because all of the rules are now in the Core Rulebook - and it reads more like SR4 than oWoD. The "game" nWoD books are more like the X-Power and Campaign Setting Books - they have rules for a specific subset of the game, but are largely filled with fluff.

Re: Caring About Fluff
Important distinction: there is "care about WotC's fluff" and "care about game fluff." Most people when they talk about RPing are talking about game fluff - the details that make a game more than a block of rules. If you're playing a RPG, you probably care about this kind of fluff.

However, when people talk about "not caring about fluff" they are usually talking aout WotC's fluff and, indeed, 4e allows you to access and understand the rules without worrying about WotC's default setting.

Loren
2010-07-15, 11:09 AM
I found it dificult to go back to 3.5 after playing 4E. My fighter was sooo boring. I tried using ToB and Skill tricks to get some interesting options, but my group revolted. And it took my sorce too long to cast spells. I really apreciated the paradox of simplicity and complexity of combat in 4E. I always had interesting options, but they were easy to impliment.

The Character generator is also great.