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kpenguin
2008-01-24, 01:51 AM
The Article (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drdd/20080123)

For those who can't bother:
One of our goals in 4th Edition was to reduce characters’ reliance on magic items. The most important portion of this goal involved removing a lot of the magic items that were essential just so your character could feel effective, like stat-boosting items, amulets of natural armor, and the like. We also felt like these items weren't as exciting as magic items should be, yet characters depended on them heavily to feel adequate in proportion to their level. We felt that the cool stuff a character can do should come from that character’s abilities, not his gear.

Items are divided by item slot, much like they were in D&D 3.5 (though it took until Magic Item Compendium for the system to be quantified clearly). As before, you can only wear one item in each slot. The number of slots has been reduced (by combining slots that were similar), to keep the number of items manageable and easy to remem-ber. You still have a ton of choices for items in the game, and when we were still using more slots, our playtesters reported that it caused information overload.
Primary Slots

We've preserved a number of items that have traditional “plusses.” These are the items we expect everybody to care about, and the ones that are factored into the math behind the game. If you’re 9th level, we expect you to have a set of +2 armor, and the challenges in the game at that level are balanced accordingly. Here are the primary item slots:

Weapon/Implement: Whether you’re swinging a mace or blasting with a magic wand, you have an item that adds to your attack and damage. These weapons also set your critical hit dice (the extra dice you roll when you score a critical hit, see the Design & Development article, "Critical Hits"). Even though this is called an item slot, that doesn’t mean you can’t wield more than one weapon, because that would make the ranger cry. 3.5 Equivalents: Weapons, holy symbols, rods, staffs, wands.

Armor: This category now includes cloth armor, so the wizard in robes has magic armor just like the rest of the group. Magic armor adds an enhancement bonus to your Armor Class. 3.5 Equivalents: Body, torso.

Neck: An item in the neck slot increases your Fortitude, Reflex, and Will defenses, as well as usually doing something else snappy. The most common items are amulets and cloaks. 3.5 Equivalents: Shoulders, throat.
Secondary Slots

These items don’t have enhancement bonuses. That makes them essentially optional. You could adventure with no items in your secondary item slots and not see a huge decrease in your overall power. Take what looks cool, but don’t worry about having empty slots.

Arms: These are bulky items that fit over your arms, such as bracers, vambraces, and shields. You’ll notice that shields no longer have an enhancement bonus. Instead, shields have special defensive effects and items you wear instead of shields, like bracers, are more offensive. 3.5 Equivalents: Arms, shields.

Feet: Focused on mobility and special movement modes, you can be pretty sure what you’re getting when you look at magic boots, greaves, or sandals. 3.5 Equivalent: Feet.

Hands: Thinner items that fit on your hands fall into this category. This includes gauntlets and gloves. They usu-ally help out your attacks or help your manual dexterity. 3.5 Equivalent: Hands.

Head: These items increase your mental skills or enhance your senses. Helmets, circlets, and goggles all fall in this category. Another major subcategory here includes orbitals, such as ioun stones. If you see someone with an orbital, it’s a good bet you’re dealing with an epic character. 3.5 Equivalents: Face, head.

Rings: This slot has changed quite a bit. A starting character isn’t powerful enough to unleash the power of a ring. You can use one ring when you reach paragon tier (11th level) and two when you’re epic (21st level). And before you get started about how Frodo sure as hell wasn’t epic, let's be clear: the One Ring was an artifact, not a magic item any old spellcaster could make. Artifacts follow their own rules. 3.5 Equivalent: Rings.

Waist: Items you wear around your waist are usually about protection, healing, or increasing your Strength tem-porarily. 3.5 Equivalent: Waist.
Other Items

Some items don’t use item slots. Some of them aren’t useful in combat. Others can be useful in a fight, but only once in a while.

Potions: Potions are consumable items, and they're mostly focused on healing effects.

Wondrous Items: This category no longer includes wearable items. These are utility items that don’t take up space on your body or act as weapons.

Example

Here’s what my 11th-level gnome warlock, Dessin, is wearing right now:

Implement: +3 rod of dark reward
Armor: +3 leather armor
Neck: +2 cloak of survival
Arms: Bracers of the perfect shot
Feet: Wavestrider boots
Hands: Shadowfell gloves
Head: Diadem of acuity
Rings: None right now, sadly
Waist: Belt of battle
Wondrous Items: Bag of holding

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-01-24, 01:59 AM
They kept the belt of battle.:smallmad: Did they not see how broken it was? Other than that, all it told us was they simplified it, and I like that. I'll still have to see how it plays, though.

Reel On, Love
2008-01-24, 02:06 AM
They kept the belt of battle.:smallmad: Did they not see how broken it was? Other than that, all it told us was they simplified it, and I like that. I'll still have to see how it plays, though.

...gosh, maybe the Belt of Battle isn't the same thing in 4E as it was in 3E?

Jack Zander
2008-01-24, 02:10 AM
Ah-ha! He's playing a Gnome, yet they expect us not to play them? Cheaters!

Rutee
2008-01-24, 02:13 AM
Not sure that I like what they did with the rings, but seems pretty sensical. I do like that they seem to be reducing the stat bonus reliance.. I wonder if they should be options instead? They won't look so tasty when they're opposed by more exciting items, I bet.

Gralamin
2008-01-24, 02:14 AM
Ah-ha! He's playing a Gnome, yet they expect us not to play them? Cheaters!

Its pretty much guaranteed that Eberron will reintroduce Gnomes as playable characters.

Eldmor
2008-01-24, 02:23 AM
Less reliance on gear is always a good thing. Less slots is a good way to help emphasize this. Looking good, 4th Edition!
I'm also glad that casters don't need to lug weapons around with them and can now use more caster-esque things such as rods, staffs, etc. Intrigued by the "of dark reward" property of the rod. I'm thinking some kind of gain for dealing damage to enemy and/or self.

Rutee
2008-01-24, 02:28 AM
Less reliance on gear is always a good thing. Less slots is a good way to help emphasize this. Looking good, 4th Edition!

Very true. I defy someone to tell me that this is a video game-like move; Video Games (Particularly MMORPGs, since WoW is a famous thing to slam, re: 4e 'inadequacies') tend to have significant gear reliance.

kpenguin
2008-01-24, 02:30 AM
Very true. I defy someone to tell me that this is a video game-like move; Video Games (Particularly MMORPGs, since WoW is a famous thing to slam, re: 4e 'inadequacies') tend to have significant gear reliance.

Well, um... its becoming like... Pokemon! I mean, what if this lack of item dependency spirals out of control and leads us to being only to equip one item per character?:smalltongue:

TheOOB
2008-01-24, 02:44 AM
Lets see, I like that each equipment slot has a pre-defined purpose instead of being some kind of item creation free for all, and I like that they are trying to reduce dependence on gear. A certain amount of magic is assumed to enhance your attacks, AC, and defenses, but other then that the other slots are all for cool abilities you don't need, e.g. stat boosts.

Frankly, I got annoyed by magic items in 3e, tons of items, but I always end up wearing the ring of protection, headband of intellect, amulet of natural armor, gloves of dex, ect.

Also it seems that while the enhancement bonus on the weapon, armor, and neck slots are assumed, they still will usually have some other ability to keep them interesting.

All in all things are looking up for 4e.

Also, gnomes will be in the MM, and I'd be willing to bet there will be rules for playing them as characters, they just didn't have room for them in the PHB.

Rutee
2008-01-24, 02:46 AM
Well, um... its becoming like... Pokemon! I mean, what if this lack of item dependency spirals out of control and leads us to being only to equip one item per character?:smalltongue:

"Paragon Celestial Badger, I choose you!"
* Summon Monster I in a Ball

I'd play it.

Sebastian
2008-01-24, 02:55 AM
Very true. I defy someone to tell me that this is a video game-like move; Video Games (Particularly MMORPGs, since WoW is a famous thing to slam, re: 4e 'inadequacies') tend to have significant gear reliance.

They praticallly said that weapon/armor bonuses are integrated in combat balance (i.e you are expected to (MUST) have a +x weapon/armor at Y level. how this is not gear reliance?

Personally I love the "you can have bracers OR a shield" sound very logical and not forced at all (sarcasm). (I wonder what bracelets would count as.) And you can either wear a amulet OR a magic cloak. fantastic. And the rings... well, I don't even want to comment that.

Yaii!!! more magic item standardization. I'm really *YAWN* excited about this.

I give them two supplements, top, before they start breaking/ignoring their own rules/guidelines.

Cybren
2008-01-24, 02:55 AM
It seems to me like they're saying one thing and doing another. It's not less reliance on magic items, it's just magic items aren't that powerful
Look at it
"Implement: +3 rod of dark reward
Armor: +3 leather armor
Neck: +2 cloak of survival
Arms: Bracers of the perfect shot
Feet: Wavestrider boots
Hands: Shadowfell gloves
Head: Diadem of acuity
Rings: None right now, sadly
Waist: Belt of battle
Wondrous Items: Bag of holding"

That's all but one slot full. When I hear "Magic items are less important" i think one or two magical items, and maybe one powerful item. Hopefully it wouldn't change much to award fewer items but make them slightly more powerful

Rutee
2008-01-24, 03:01 AM
It seems to me like they're saying one thing and doing another. It's not less reliance on magic items, it's just magic items aren't that powerful
Hm, how to explain this.

The more your capabilities are derived by your gear, the more reliant you are on it. If they reduce the capabilities that come out of your gear, and account for this in designing encounters, they have reduced gear reliance. At least, that's the intention here.


They praticallly said that weapon/armor bonuses are integrated in combat balance (i.e you are expected to (MUST) have a +x weapon/armor at Y level. how this is not gear reliance?
The keywords in what I quoted were "less gear reliance", and in my own post, were "Less-Then-MMO-Gear-Reliance". The latter is actually pretty easy, but the former? It certainly seems to be the case.

Wordmiser
2008-01-24, 03:02 AM
If you’re 9th level, we expect you to have a set of +2 armor, and the challenges in the game at that level are balanced accordingly.

...

You could adventure with no items in your secondary item slots and not see a huge decrease in your overall power.Gah--I thought we entirely rid of Magic Item dependence.

I suppose it won't be too bad if characters can still enhance their own equipment with Magic Vestment/Greater Magic Weapon-style abilities, but this is still a bit of a downer.

And I don't dig the ring limit all that much either. Beside those it looks okay, but I was just hoping for something else.

Voyager_I
2008-01-24, 03:10 AM
It may sound harsh, but it is a fairly reasonable assumption. Are you going to choose the "Armor of Nifty but Limited and Situational Special Ability" or the +2 bonus that works whenever something tries to hit you? It's an improvement in the sense that they're limiting your options to get these bonuses, and seem to instead be giving you more magic items that do small, interesting things at a scale of power where the difference in effectiveness probably won't matter as much as which one you simply like better. Also, if they're weak they're probably also cheap, so your characters will probably have lots of diverse little magical trinkets that may or may not save their bacon that one specific time.

Starsinger
2008-01-24, 03:11 AM
When I hear "Magic items are less important" i think one or two magical items, and maybe one powerful item. Hopefully it wouldn't change much to award fewer items but make them slightly more powerful

He is 11th level, and thus a paragon character. You'll notice that his item list isn't Staff of Power, Headband of Intellect +6, Cloak of Resistance +5, Bracers of Armor +8, Ring of Protection +5, Ring of Elemental Command (Fire), Metamagic Rod (Extend), Metamagic Rod (Empower), 40 scrolls, several potions, Amulet of Health +6, Monk's Belt, Blessed Book, Boots of Teleportation, Gloves of Dexterity +6, Orange Ioun Stone (x4), Robe of the Archmagi... etc.

Besides that, we don't know how good a +3 is, although, given that his armor is also +3, and that warlocks are not typically the kind of class that really cares about armor beyond a certain point, +3 on his rod may not be that good at all.

horseboy
2008-01-24, 03:15 AM
Very true. I defy someone to tell me that this is a video game-like move; Video Games (Particularly MMORPGs, since WoW is a famous thing to slam, re: 4e 'inadequacies') tend to have significant gear reliance.
True, though if I were going to draw a comparison between 4e and Video games using this article it would be in the concept of the "item slot" itself.

Personally, I'm just glad they finally recognized the One Ring as a real artifact, and not "a Ring of Invisibility with an interesting back story."

The_Alec
2008-01-24, 03:16 AM
Magic item dependence has been part of D&D since first addition so I guess they decided to tone it down rather then remove it entirely lest people start saying “its not D&D any more”.

I like the idea of primary slots being the only ones that give permanent combat bonuses. In theory this means that a character with only three magic items will be only slightly weaker in combat then a character with ten magical items. That's a big difference from 3rd edition!

Wordmiser
2008-01-24, 03:20 AM
It may sound harsh, but it is a fairly reasonable assumption. Are you going to choose the "Armor of Nifty but Limited and Situational Special Ability" or the +2 bonus that works whenever something tries to hit you? I would rather have neither the need nor the option of taking a +2 Armor bonus. I would rather all magic items give unique non-numeric benefits (so the shiny new suit of Magic Armor that I give a party member at level six still matters to the player at level twelve).

Rutee
2008-01-24, 03:21 AM
True, though if I were going to draw a comparison between 4e and Video games using this article it would be in the concept of the "item slot" itself.

A valid comparison, but item slots have always been there. Just less-defined.


I would rather have neither the need nor the option of taking a +2 Armor bonus. I would rather all magic items give special non-numeric benefits (so the special suit of Magic Armor that I give a party member at sixth level still matters to them at twelfth level).
Well, if you're speaking as a GM, you could do that anyway, but I'm not sure if that'd happen in a DnD RAW edition, ever.

Voyager_I
2008-01-24, 03:21 AM
...actually, while we're all saying "Thank god he's not wearing a Headband of Intellect", it occurs to me what "Diadem of Acuity" probably means. Nice try, Wizards, but I passed my SAT's...


...maybe it's different in 4E?

Reinboom
2008-01-24, 03:22 AM
Depowering the gear works.
The gear makes up an important part of your character, sure, but it hurts less when robbed, or in a lower magic setting. It's pretty difficult to throw out gear in 3.5, since everything is designed to realize how powerful it really is.
Really, though, this still leaves the biggest question unanswered for me about gear reliance...
"Damage Reduction/Magic"
It's the loss of a similar mechanic that matters here.
Similar as in...
Can a mundane character hit a ghost..?
A demon..?
etc.

It tends to be the specific encounters that determine gear reliance.

Rutee
2008-01-24, 03:23 AM
Good catch, Voyager. I've quietly been assuming that to be a +Ranged Attack Roll item, personally, but we really do have no idea.

Wordmiser
2008-01-24, 03:28 AM
Well, if you're speaking as a GM, you could do that anyway, but I'm not sure if that'd happen in a DnD RAW edition, ever.Yeah, I just hate the concept of "Wealth by Level," though. Player reliance on magic items perpetuates the mindset that a certain level character deserves a certain amount of magic equipment, even if providing that equipment would destroy the verisimilitude of my campaign setting.

I would rather just let a player get a new suit of armor which grants 15 lb. telekinesis or a constant feather-fall effect or something along those lines.

Rutee
2008-01-24, 03:33 AM
Yeah, I just hate the concept of "Wealth by Level," though. Player reliance on magic items perpetuates the mindset that a certain level character deserves a certain amount of magic equipment, even if providing that equipment would destroy the verisimilitude of my campaign setting.


It does, really; You're absolutely right. I just end up chalking it up to one of the downsides of DnD, really, but the expectation /is/ created.

Talic
2008-01-24, 03:40 AM
Yeah, I just hate the concept of "Wealth by Level," though. Player reliance on magic items perpetuates the mindset that a certain level character deserves a certain amount of magic equipment, even if providing that equipment would destroy the verisimilitude of my campaign setting.

I would rather just let a player get a new suit of armor which grants 15 lb. telekinesis or a constant feather-fall effect or something along those lines.

Do you also hate the concept of the CR system? I mean, when players are Level 1, it's goblins harassing a village... When they're level 5? It's ghouls. Level 10? Vampires, or an overconfident young dragon.

The WBL system is a guideline to show DM's what amount of items generally provides for fair and balanced encounters, when combined with the CR system. It's not saying what a character "deserves". It's saying that if you have too much over or under this amount, the encounters will likely be that much easier or harder.

Wordmiser
2008-01-24, 03:56 AM
The WBL system is a guideline to show DM's what amount of items generally provides for fair and balanced encounters, when combined with the CR system. It's not saying what a character "deserves". It's saying that if you have too much over or under this amount, the encounters will likely be that much easier or harder.I would rather have monsters whose CRs are more or less balanced against a party without magic items.

I know it's a matter of preferance though, I prefer my players to become attached to a few small magic items, some groups probably like Magic Item supermarkets where they can buy and sell any piece of magic equipment that they find,

Swordguy
2008-01-24, 03:58 AM
Do you also hate the concept of the CR system? I mean, when players are Level 1, it's goblins harassing a village... When they're level 5? It's ghouls. Level 10? Vampires, or an overconfident young dragon.

The WBL system is a guideline to show DM's what amount of items generally provides for fair and balanced encounters, when combined with the CR system. It's not saying what a character "deserves". It's saying that if you have too much over or under this amount, the encounters will likely be that much easier or harder.

That may be the intent, but that doesn't seem to be how it's read.

"You HAVE to give us more stuff! The encounters at our level are too hard! Look, WoTC says so!" -jackhole who no longer plays in my group

That quote, while anecdotal, seems to sum up how the WBL table is generally read.

Reinboom
2008-01-24, 03:59 AM
Do you also hate the concept of the CR system? I mean, when players are Level 1, it's goblins harassing a village... When they're level 5? It's ghouls. Level 10? Vampires, or an overconfident young dragon.

The WBL system is a guideline to show DM's what amount of items generally provides for fair and balanced encounters, when combined with the CR system. It's not saying what a character "deserves". It's saying that if you have too much over or under this amount, the encounters will likely be that much easier or harder.

The CR system... unless you are one of the couple classes that have mechanics built around it... is an unreliable system as well. It's good for quick reference, but far too many times have I seen it fail me, or someone else.
Pain devils, advancing many magical beasts... I was even part of the party that fax ran the advanced monstrous crab against...

So, it's a failed guideline. And unfortunately, the game is built around assuming it works.

Comparing WBL to it is just insulting WBL. Good job. :smalltongue:

Though, you do have a point in there that the game places it down for scaling purposes. However, the game treats it too strictly, and builds around it with too much assumption to play style.

Ah, there's something I wish to see. 'Guidelines' that either change dynamically for the type of game, or multiple types of guidelines.

Talic
2008-01-24, 04:39 AM
The CR system... unless you are one of the couple classes that have mechanics built around it... is an unreliable system as well. It's good for quick reference, but far too many times have I seen it fail me, or someone else.
Pain devils, advancing many magical beasts... I was even part of the party that fax ran the advanced monstrous crab against...

So, it's a failed guideline. And unfortunately, the game is built around assuming it works.

Comparing WBL to it is just insulting WBL. Good job. :smalltongue:

Though, you do have a point in there that the game places it down for scaling purposes. However, the game treats it too strictly, and builds around it with too much assumption to play style.

Ah, there's something I wish to see. 'Guidelines' that either change dynamically for the type of game, or multiple types of guidelines.

Bottom line, no system will ever account for an experienced DM. Guidelines on encounter difficulty DO vary within CR's. A shadow is no problem for a party with a cleric or wizard of appropriate ECL. Now, if the party is all non-casters, and there's no magic weapon? That's pretty much a TPK.

It's important to use CR based encounters tailored to the PC group, and modify CR's based on player resources (since a CR = to party level is supposed to use 25% of party resources, if a party runs it well, and still uses 50-75%, then likely there were mitigating factors adding +1 or 2 to the CR).

As for tailoring a CR to a no-magic setting, the problem with that is that few people run such a setting, comparatively. Most people want low-mid magic. I personally want the CR system tailored around a low magic setting, and I'm a good enough DM to modify CR's and WBL accordingly.

Ideally, there'd be options to place CR differently based on the level of magic, with more than 1 WBL table, to account for different magic levels. Perhaps it's as simple as increasing the gold cost of magic items, to make them harder to obtain at a level, and adding to the CR of monsters, to reflect less party resources available to use.

Perhaps there's another option. I'd like to see other takes on it though.

Starbuck_II
2008-01-24, 09:08 AM
Bottom line, no system will ever account for an experienced DM. Guidelines on encounter difficulty DO vary within CR's. A shadow is no problem for a party with a cleric or wizard of appropriate ECL. Now, if the party is all non-casters, and there's no magic weapon? That's pretty much a TPK.
.

True, my level 5 party a long while back (now we are 12) fought like 3 shadows with 3 npc guards. We got more enemies because the shadows attacked the guards while we were on guard duty.

No one had magic weapons. We didn't have any magic missiles. It was a close to a TPK; if some random cleric didn't appear to turn them.

Starsinger
2008-01-24, 09:11 AM
...actually, while we're all saying "Thank god he's not wearing a Headband of Intellect", it occurs to me what "Diadem of Acuity" probably means. Nice try, Wizards, but I passed my SAT's...


...maybe it's different in 4E?

I'm thinking his Diadem of Acuity isn't a headband of intellect (or similar item for another stat) because it has no number signifying the size of the bonus.

Morty
2008-01-24, 09:23 AM
Well, less reliance on magic items is definetly great. But it's a bit of a downside that now certain item slot will provide certain bonuses. What if someone wants a cloak that improves charisma? Or a helmet that improves Will defense? But those are details and it's easy to homebrew. What's important is that fighter won't be screwed over if someone takes away his boots of flying and cloak of teleportation.
Also, it's said that shileds will no longer have enhancement bonuses, but "special defense effects". I wonder what that means.

Dizlag
2008-01-24, 10:19 AM
Something to note, check out D&D Podcast #18 (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4pod/20080111e18). Specifically, towards the end when it talks of the Magic Item Compendium. You can even read about it on the page I linked as well. They are avoiding magical items that directly enhance ability scores because it's a "base stat" that effects many things and when they "fluctuating" during combat, it makes the game less fun.

I like this philosophy because the game does come to a screeching halt when someone gets sapped of Strength or what not. It's a good move in my opinion.

I also like how they're doing rings ... it makes them even more "epic" feeling than ever now.

Take care,

Dizlag

KIDS
2008-01-24, 10:27 AM
A change for the better, if they keep to this standard as well as printing no candles of invocation, I'll be happy!

But gnome warlock level 11 = ?!?!? What am I supposed to make of this...?

Crazy_Uncle_Doug
2008-01-24, 10:29 AM
I must say, I like the ideas of reducing the need for specific items, and the glut of magic items a player feels obligated to have. By upper levels, if you didn't have "Stat-Appropriate-By-Class Bonus Item", you were hurting your ability to be effective in 3.xE, which has been one of the flaws in the system. It meant making choices like, "This Necklace of Obscure But Nifty Magic Effect is cool, but if I wear it, I lose the Periapt of Wisdom +4, dagnabit." Magic items have always been part of the game, but 3.Xe seemed to have developed a dependency on them.

There's still a part of me insides that screams, "they're throwing away the cool stuff along with the bad stuff!" Getting rid of all the wearable wondrous items gets rid of the stat-bonus items, sure, but it seems to me I'll miss things like my Necklace of Fireballs, or Robe of Eyes (which was more creepy than useful, but that's not the point!) Still, I'm more at a wait-and-see point, now. I wanna see what they come up with in the end, and if it works well.

Person_Man
2008-01-24, 10:32 AM
I had a BBEG that was a serial killer who always Sundered the all of objects of his victims (destroying their weapons, armor, shredding their cloths, etc), leaving them at the crime scene. The PCs were hired to catch him. Eventually they find a pattern to his crimes, and lay a trap for him. When he tried to kill again they ambush him. It's a really tough fight, during which the BBEG killed one PC and Sundered the potent magic weapons of two others.

After the battle, the PC who was dead was mildly annoyed that she had rolled poorly and made a bad tactical decision by charging the BBEG. But they had group pool of money set aside for resurrection, so she wasn't too worried.

The PC's who had their magic weapons destroyed were utterly pissed at me. "Why couldn't you have just killed me? Why did you have to destroy my +1 Cold Iron Brilliant Energy Longsword! Do you know how long it took me to save up for that thing! Now my build is entirely ruined!!! How am I supposed to keep up with the casters without my Brilliant Energy Longsword?"

The lesson I learned that day was that PC's are more attached to their items then their lives. If you screw with their items they will hate you as a DM for weeks afterwards. And screwing with items often means screwing party balance.

It's nice to see that 4th ed is moving away from item dependence somewhat. But its clear that they'll still be a very big part of D&D (as they always have been).

On a side note, why even have magic item bonuses to AC, Saves, To-Hit, attributes, etc? You're not giving the PC a new gameplay option. You're just screwing with the math, and requiring that PCs have certain slots filled with a certain type of item by a certain level, or risk being slaughtered during combat. Why not just balance everything off of class abilities and feats? Sigh.

Counterspin
2008-01-24, 10:44 AM
Still too many slots, and still body slots. Uggh. I was hoping for an offense (weapon/implement), defense (shield, armor, bracers), and 3 miscellaneous slots. Still dealing with like eight magic items. You may not need them, but just as before there's a tactical advantage to filling them all. At a low number I'd be fine with that, but I'm not with this.

Artanis
2008-01-24, 10:53 AM
Ah-ha! He's playing a Gnome, yet they expect us not to play them? Cheaters!


Its pretty much guaranteed that Eberron will reintroduce Gnomes as playable characters.


Also, gnomes will be in the MM, and I'd be willing to bet there will be rules for playing them as characters, they just didn't have room for them in the PHB.
Wizards has stated that even though they won't be in the PHB, the MM writeups for Gnomes - among many, many other races - will have full details on how to make a character out of them. There's no cheating, there's no waiting for Eberron, there's no "willing to bet". It's flat-out confirmed fact that Gnomes will be playable the exact second you open the 4e MM.

Dausuul
2008-01-24, 10:55 AM
Not being able to wear an amulet and a cloak at the same time bugs me. Otherwise, looking good.

Starbuck_II
2008-01-24, 10:58 AM
I'm thinking his Diadem of Acuity isn't a headband of intellect (or similar item for another stat) because it has no number signifying the size of the bonus.

The Ring of Acuity in Buldar's Gate 2 for PC gives bonus spell slots. So maybe it does something similar: doubles the number of per day slots? Or maybe doubles per encounter (giving you 2 ues till refreshing).

Indon
2008-01-24, 11:11 AM
I reserve judgement on the change until I see what magic items actually do.

Starsinger
2008-01-24, 12:01 PM
The Ring of Acuity in Buldar's Gate 2 for PC gives bonus spell slots. So maybe it does something similar: doubles the number of per day slots? Or maybe doubles per encounter (giving you 2 ues till refreshing).

Possibly, although going from 1/encounter to 2/encounter is pretty big. It might double /day abilities though..

Yakk
2008-01-24, 12:23 PM
The lesson I learned that day was that PC's are more attached to their items then their lives. If you screw with their items they will hate you as a DM for weeks afterwards. And screwing with items often means screwing party balance.

*nod* -- lives can be replaced far cheaper than magic items.

Ever played Munchkin? Death is a very minor setback! (Except in Munchkin, your groupmates loot your corpse...)


On a side note, why even have magic item bonuses to AC, Saves, To-Hit, attributes, etc? You're not giving the PC a new gameplay option. You're just screwing with the math, and requiring that PCs have certain slots filled with a certain type of item by a certain level, or risk being slaughtered during combat. Why not just balance everything off of class abilities and feats? Sigh.

They do provide easy to generate and balance (now that they know how important they are) candies for players to acquire as they adventure.

Now, suppose that the max bonus you can gain is:
[email protected] 1
[email protected] 6
[email protected] 11
[email protected] 16
[email protected] 21
[email protected] 26

And you have a non-stacking innate bonus of:
[email protected] 10
[email protected] 20
[email protected] 25
[email protected] 30
(You are so cool, even a crappy sword kicks ass in your hand...)

All of a sudden, the impact of these magical items is kept rather under control. Losing your cool armor or your cool weapon costs you +1 to +3 off of a d20 roll -- something worth bothering about, but it won't make you useless.

Hmm. I might use that mechanic in 3.5e. It cleans up a bunch of crud!

SpikeFightwicky
2008-01-24, 12:35 PM
*snip*

Reminds me of one game I was running. The party was ambushed by a black pudding (fell from a compartment in the ceiling after they triggered a trap), and the fighter swung his mighty warhammer at it (I think it was a +2 shocking warhammer or something similar). He hit the ooze, failed his save, and lost his item. This stunned him (the player) so much that he just didn't do anything the rest of the fight (not out of spite or anything, just because losing his hammer never occured to him). I still get flak for this to this day (happened 2 years ago).

Another scenario: the paladin managed to roll a 1 on his versus a rather deadly acid breath weapon, and we proceded to make saves for his items (as per the 'Crit failing area spells/effects entry in the rulebook). After some crappy rolls, he lost his cloak of resistance, gauntlets of ogre power and gloves of dex. He ended up retiring the character as he could not longer enjoy playing him.

Long stories short, anything that makes items less important is a good thing, IMO.

Roderick_BR
2008-01-24, 12:38 PM
They praticallly said that weapon/armor bonuses are integrated in combat balance (i.e you are expected to (MUST) have a +x weapon/armor at Y level. how this is not gear reliance?

Personally I love the "you can have bracers OR a shield" sound very logical and not forced at all (sarcasm). (I wonder what bracelets would count as.) And you can either wear a amulet OR a magic cloak. fantastic. And the rings... well, I don't even want to comment that.

Yaii!!! more magic item standardization. I'm really *YAWN* excited about this.

I give them two supplements, top, before they start breaking/ignoring their own rules/guidelines.

They said less, not completely getting rid of it.
The "you must be this tall to ride/you must have this minimum magic itens to battle" takes in account WBL, meaning that an encounter won't be destroyed because someone found a wand.

I like the simplification. Now you can wear an amulet OR a cloack, and a vest OR an armor, not pile magic item upon magic item and call it a build. We can expect that all classes will get better abilities now.

As for suplements breaking it's own rules... yeah, I really hope to see something new, like in the MIC, with it's many new magic itens, not only a "this item is like the bracers, only it's a vest" kind of magic itens...

bosssmiley
2008-01-24, 02:33 PM
It seems to me like they're saying one thing and doing another. It's not less reliance on magic items, it's just magic items aren't that powerful

<trim>

That's all but one slot full. When I hear "Magic items are less important" i think one or two magical items, and maybe one powerful item. Hopefully it wouldn't change much to award fewer items but make them slightly more powerful

I got exactly the same impression.

Article headline: "We're getting rid of the chandelier-o'-gear!"
Article content + conclusion: "No, we're not."

Reducing characters to, say, 3 or 4 item slots would have been an interesting and impressive change of focus. It would also have forced 4th Ed. to put its money where its mouth formerly was on "it's character power that's awesome, not gear". No fictional character that I can thing of (other than parody ones) has more than four pieces of name-worthy kit.

A wasted opportunity. :smallannoyed:

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-01-24, 02:53 PM
What you should have, IMHO:
-Armor/clothes(enchanted)
-Gauntlets(unenchantable, spiked, locked, etc.)
-Helm/crown/mask(enchanted, helm enchantments weaker but helm protects)
-Boots(enchanted)
-Shield(unenchanted)
-Weapon(enchanted)
-Untyped(enchanted, max 2, these are rings, amulets, cloaks, and whatever else you want to wear)
-other(items you own with no effect on you or the enemy,bags of holding et all)
6 slots, with room for flavor, and things that are listed as unenchanted can be, but it takes up an untyped slot. This would at least reduce power creep. The other thing I want is more items with estoric abilities and fewer with +x. Trueseeing, featherfall, and the like are more fun than a tome of intellect. The best artifact in core is the Deck of Many Things, IMHO, and I wish WotC would realize that.

Dizlag
2008-01-24, 02:55 PM
I noticed one thing about the three Primary Slots they mentioned:


These are the items we expect everybody to care about, and the ones that are factored into the math behind the game.

Note my highlight ... the "math behind the game" is what they're counting towards the power of the character when balancing an encounter. This is encouraging to me.

Couple that with what they say about the six Secondary Slots:


You could adventure with no items in your secondary item slots and not see a huge decrease in your overall power.

Note again, my highlight ... what is meant by "huge decrease"? Guess we'll just have to wait for the description of those types of items to make our own assessment of a "huge decrease". And of course, everyone's assessment will be different. :smallbiggrin:

Dizlag

hamlet
2008-01-24, 02:59 PM
I see no change here, except that WOTC is more explicetly lying.

The character is still festooned with magic items.

Those items are still required to make the character even remotely effective at any level past 3rd. (No, it was not a requirement to have magic items and weapons in AD&D or Basic D&D. You're 15th level fighter was just as effective without magic as with.)

This is another update with no actual update or useful information.

Plus, I'll bet 5$ to everyone here that "magic item shops" aka "The Magical Walmart Effect" will still exist in 4th edition, and probably be worse than ever before.

Counterspin
2008-01-24, 03:03 PM
Umm, did hamlet, you read the article, but missed all the content? They gave
1) The number of slots
2) The number of systemically important slots
3) The fact they're explicitily using gamist ideas like levels in the system

Treasure trove of information.

And since the magic walmart thing is carte blanche anyway, how could it possibly get worse?

Sebastian
2008-01-24, 03:27 PM
I got exactly the same impression.

Article headline: "We're getting rid of the chandelier-o'-gear!"
Article content + conclusion: "No, we're not."

Reducing characters to, say, 3 or 4 item slots would have been an interesting and impressive change of focus. It would also have forced 4th Ed. to put its money where its mouth formerly was on "it's character power that's awesome, not gear". No fictional character that I can thing of (other than parody ones) has more than four pieces of name-worthy kit.

A wasted opportunity. :smallannoyed:

My impression, judging from the example character, is that they removed the Christmas tree (maybe) but introduced the wardrobe, if a 11 level character have so many magic items what will happen with a 20+ level character? I picture him with a 3-4 magical footwear, an half dozen magical cloak/amulets and some heagdgear (all with different effects) thinking "mmmh, what could I put on for this adventure?":smallbiggrin: (this assuming that most items have simply different nifty effects and are not just improved version of lower level magic items as seems to be the case.)

Crazy_Uncle_Doug
2008-01-24, 03:35 PM
Having so many magic items was, in my observation, not an aspect of having many available "slots" for magic items in 3e, but rather it was an aspect of surviving encounters.

As noted earlier, in previous editions, a Fighter could get by just fine without a magic sword. A 15th-level Fighter's ability to hit something at his approximate level was a factor of his abilities and experience, rather than of his tools. Although some magic armor made surviving combat easier for the Fighter, his Hit Points and excellent saves were a much larger factor.

Also in previous editions, the concept of increasing abilities was not so prevalent as it is in 3e. A fighter with a Strength of 16 at level 1 would most likely have a Strength of 16 at level 20. Of course, a Fighter with a Strength of 16 was no slouch. He wasn't as immensely powerful as a Fighter with 18/00, but he wasn't losing too many arm wrestling competitions ("Over the top, Dad! Over the top!")

In 3e, encounters are apparently set up with the idea that the players will be festooned with all the magic items they need, and that they've been raising their important stats when the need arises. Thus, if players do not have these items, they are going to struggle to defeat their adversaries.

In a sense, it makes me wonder if they haven't picked the wrong solution to the right problem. Time will tell.

North
2008-01-24, 03:35 PM
I do like getting rid of item reliance. It s a huge pain to figure out which items to go with. More fun abilities sounds better then flat stat bonuses as well.

Thinker
2008-01-24, 03:46 PM
I see no change here, except that WOTC is more explicetly lying.

The character is still festooned with magic items.

Those items are still required to make the character even remotely effective at any level past 3rd. (No, it was not a requirement to have magic items and weapons in AD&D or Basic D&D. You're 15th level fighter was just as effective without magic as with.)

This is another update with no actual update or useful information.

Plus, I'll bet 5$ to everyone here that "magic item shops" aka "The Magical Walmart Effect" will still exist in 4th edition, and probably be worse than ever before.

WotC never said 4e was going to get rid of magic items. That is exactly what you are asking for. If there are magic items in the game that make you better than without them at all it will mean that level-appropriate encounters are now too easy. If it they are not taken into account when designing challenge ratings they are effectively out of the system. From the article I gathered that the focus is on the character and not on the gear. A character with the gear will be better, but one without will still be able to hold his own, albeit with more difficulty.

Kioran
2008-01-24, 03:52 PM
I think the key to limiting the dependency on magic items can be done in several ways. They didn´t do it here, they just reduced it a bit, unfortunately also throwing away other interesting stuff......

- An idea I´ve been toying with for my homebrew system:
Every character has an "Aura" or "Magic" Stat - besides making stupid but magically powerful dragons possible (which I like), this stat is the primary stat for all magic users, which use another secondary Stat dependent on Profession for DCs, as it determines their MP/Mana/what-have-you, in short, their reserve of spells, it also limits your number of active magic gear.

Let´s say, for simplicities sake, your "Magic Reserve" is 10 + HD + 2* Caster lvl+ 3*Aura Stat, or whatever. Whenever you want to use magic, you use your Magic Reserve - let´s say one point is worth one Spell lvl (if you use it with Vancian casting). However, each magical item you wear which has a permanent effect also costs you Magic reserve - say that belt of Giatn Strength +2 is actually worth 4 Points of magical reserve - suddenly, the amount of magical gear available depends on yyour inherent power and is an extension thereof. Doesn´t actually solve the dependency problems, but attaches a price-tag to stat-boosters. It´s not a solution, but part thereof

- Second:
Make many stat-increases, especially for physical stats, or things like Wings, available to normal Characters through base classes Talent-trees or PrC Features. Anybody think the Dragon Disciple is broken? I don´t think so. It should be more common.
Make magical weapon effects through class more commonly available. Anybody think Kensai is broken? Nope, at least no one that I know of. Have a PrC that can emulate many effects of common magic items, so you can "implant" your basic gizmos.
There really shouldn´t be many things Items can do that a character at their lvl shouldn´t be able to get otherwise. A few minor, situational stuff is perfectly fine, but nobody should depend on items for every need except swinging a sword at rocks. A lvl 10 Fighter should have at least had the chance to acquire the means for fighting a Shadow with a mundane sword and his inherent abilities. Or at least flee. Or whatever. Without items.

- Third:
Balance for a lot less items, make them rarer, tie the creation to a Craft Check (DC 15 + CL) so crafting them is difficult. Make some basic items available through Magic Wal-mart (if you use it at all), but have all the rare, unusual or cool stuff take the form of rewards or let the characters forge them. Items should be rare, but also meaningful. That +2 to Armor does mean a lot more if it´s the "Ghost Samurais fortified Sarashi", a one-off gained from a tough fight, or maybe the Wizards first creation.
Make the Fights on a normal level balanced for a lot less WBL, so even poorly equipped people can come through them somehow.

As far as I read into this, they´re not doing any of these except maybe the second. But that remains to be seen........

Telonius
2008-01-24, 03:57 PM
My impression: Mixed messages from WOTC.

It's possible that a bunch of those secondary slots will have effects that are the 4th edition equivalent of "+2 to (random skill)." Nifty, nice, but nothing like "+2 STR." This is pure speculation, but that "diadem of acuity" might actually be something like +2 to listen/spot; the name would fit in with that. Anyway, if the secondary slot items are indeed mostly skill-based, I think that would be an extremely good thing. It would be great for customizing characters without breaking the game. It would probably lead to less identically-equipped characters, which is also a very good thing IMO.

AKA_Bait
2008-01-24, 04:24 PM
On a side note, why even have magic item bonuses to AC, Saves, To-Hit, attributes, etc? You're not giving the PC a new gameplay option. You're just screwing with the math, and requiring that PCs have certain slots filled with a certain type of item by a certain level, or risk being slaughtered during combat. Why not just balance everything off of class abilities and feats? Sigh.

I often wonder about this as well. It seems like the game would be much easier to balance mechanically if the benifits of magical items were all additional powers and such rather than stat bonuses.


Reducing characters to, say, 3 or 4 item slots would have been an interesting and impressive change of focus. It would also have forced 4th Ed. to put its money where its mouth formerly was on "it's character power that's awesome, not gear". No fictional character that I can thing of (other than parody ones) has more than four pieces of name-worthy kit.

Must agree. I would have liked to see it scaled back to 4 miscelaneous slots and leave it to DM discretion how many on a particular body part you could wear. It never made any sense to me that I could wear a ring and gloves but not a headband and a hood. Also, fewer slots would mean each item is that much more meaningful. A good thing in my book.


since the magic walmart thing is carte blanche anyway, how could it possibly get worse?

Sad but true.


If there are magic items in the game that make you better than without them at all it will mean that level-appropriate encounters are now too easy. If it they are not taken into account when designing challenge ratings they are effectively out of the system.

I don't think that this has to be true. Magic items can grant powers that have little combat effect but grant other powers. I'm thinking in terms of a Hat of Disguise, Robe of Useful Items or Cloak of Elvenkind here. Even a Ring of Telekenisis really (without taking into account the telekenisis cheese of course).

Zeful
2008-01-24, 04:54 PM
Well I'm disapointed with this, they're not really removing the prevelence of magic items in D&D or reducing their power. They're making them look a little different and adding classes of magic weapons. I'm starting to wonder why they're even bothering to print a DMG, because it doesn't seem to be for the DM really. It's just the book with the magic items in it, and some rules about campaigning (but not enough because they need to make money off of the world builder's quide, the equipment guide, the new revised tome of battle ad nausium).

I'll hold out to see if the big picture is better and not worry about some silly pixels.

Thinker
2008-01-24, 05:04 PM
I don't think that this has to be true. Magic items can grant powers that have little combat effect but grant other powers. I'm thinking in terms of a Hat of Disguise, Robe of Useful Items or Cloak of Elvenkind here. Even a Ring of Telekenisis really (without taking into account the telekenisis cheese of course).

The bulk of DnD's mechanics has always and probably will always be devoted to combat. It was built on a war-game and tactics have continued to be a major part of the game. With those magic items there is little mechanical value to them (except maybe the ring, which could enhance a character's effectiveness considerably). What difference would it make with those items if as the GM you said "This hat makes you look like someone else" and it actually making the wearer look like someone else in game versus giving some sort of bonus to a disguise check? It doesn't matter that much either way. Besides, this sort of thing looked like it was covered under the "Wondrous Items".

With all the magical equipment giving static bonuses and them telling you at what levels they would expect each character to have these bonuses it would be easy to eliminate all of the "slotted" magical gear and apply it as a bonus to the characters, leaving only the Wondrous Items. This has the benefit of simulating high-fantasy, while making it easy to homebrew low-fantasy.

Draz74
2008-01-24, 05:19 PM
I don't think that this has to be true. Magic items can grant powers that have little combat effect but grant other powers. I'm thinking in terms of a Hat of Disguise, Robe of Useful Items or Cloak of Elvenkind here. Even a Ring of Telekenisis really (without taking into account the telekenisis cheese of course).

Even items that give you an advantage in combat can be good for this, as long as they're very situational. For example, Bane weapons are a great design. A 16th-Level character who loses his magic sword and has to fight with an ordinary sword for a while won't be in too much trouble, if the only magical property of his sword was Magical Beast-Bane and he's not particularly swarmed by that type of opponent. Yet he will treasure and care about that sword, because in a few specific fights it will be very powerful.

Situational combat bonuses = good unique flavor for characters.

AKA_Bait
2008-01-24, 05:26 PM
With all the magical equipment giving static bonuses and them telling you at what levels they would expect each character to have these bonuses it would be easy to eliminate all of the "slotted" magical gear and apply it as a bonus to the characters, leaving only the Wondrous Items. This has the benefit of simulating high-fantasy, while making it easy to homebrew low-fantasy.

To me that seems like a backwards way of doing it. It makes much more sense to me to build it out of the system and then just include a CR adjustment table for having x number of pluses to things.


Even items that give you an advantage in combat can be good for this, as long as they're very situational.

Good point. That's exactly the sort of thing I mean and it adds flavor. I'm sorry, but a +3 longsword will always be boring to me. A sword that glows brightly in the presence of Orcs and does much more damage to them (cough cough cough) would be much more appealing.

Thinker
2008-01-24, 05:31 PM
To me that seems like a backwards way of doing it. It makes much more sense to me to build it out of the system and then just include a CR adjustment table for having x number of pluses to things.


And then how many people would be complaining that they ruined DnD by removing the magic items? They will also have more material to put into books if they can assume magic items will be the norm.

Rutee
2008-01-24, 05:32 PM
To me that seems like a backwards way of doing it. It makes much more sense to me to build it out of the system and then just include a CR adjustment table for having x number of pluses to things.
That would be better, yeah, and it'd be good of them to add it, definitely. I think though, you'll have to make do with the above suggestion, unfortunately.


And then how many people would be complaining that they ruined DnD by removing the magic items? They will also have more material to put into books if they can assume magic items will be the norm.
Not many, I should think; He's proposing that a table be included to account for CR Adjustments based on having more or less +s then you're supposed to have. In other words, enabling a lack of focus on gear, not forcing it.

..Of course, as these threads have shown, people will scream about everything, logic be damned.

hamlet
2008-01-24, 05:32 PM
Umm, did hamlet, you read the article, but missed all the content? They gave
1) The number of slots
2) The number of systemically important slots
3) The fact they're explicitily using gamist ideas like levels in the system

Treasure trove of information.

And since the magic walmart thing is carte blanche anyway, how could it possibly get worse?

Yes, I read the article and fully understood it. But I still see no substantive change.

Yes, they made some face changes, but in the end, there's no real difference between what came before and what will happen in 4th edition except for a few added rules and a slight realignment of "slots" which, before third edition, amounted to common sense. "No, you can't wear two suits of armor at once, nor can you wear four sets of boots. I don't care if one set is sized for an ogre, the answer is no."

As for the magic walmart thing getting worse: they could actually explicitly state in the core books how a magical shop functions and do something as absolutly dreadful as the "Multiversal Magic Shop" (or whatever it was called, I've since forgotten) of Arduin infamy. That idea just makes me ill.

Wordmiser
2008-01-24, 05:36 PM
With all the magical equipment giving static bonuses and them telling you at what levels they would expect each character to have these bonuses it would be easy to eliminate all of the "slotted" magical gear and apply it as a bonus to the characters, leaving only the Wondrous Items. This has the benefit of simulating high-fantasy, while making it easy to homebrew low-fantasy. This is what I do now, but I don't understand why WotC doesn't just do it on their own. WotC's current approach is just poor game design.

Overlard
2008-01-24, 05:48 PM
Of course, as these threads have shown, people will scream about everything, logic be damned.
Exactly what I was thinking. Each time a new piece of information is revealed, there'll be the same whine about how they're removing the part of the game that is vital to D&D, how it doesn't make any sense, how, they should be doing the opposite, how they're not addressing the real problems which are (insert pet peeve here), and that WOTC would do so much better if they listened to me!

I'm waiting to see the product as a whole before I choose to use it or not, and if I chose to use it, what I want to change to suit my style of play. Same as with every other edition of every other RPG out there.

Crazy_Uncle_Doug
2008-01-24, 05:55 PM
Exactly what I was thinking. Each time a new piece of information is revealed, there'll be the same whine about how they're removing the part of the game that is vital to D&D, how it doesn't make any sense, how, they should be doing the opposite, how they're not addressing the real problems which are (insert pet peeve here), and that WOTC would do so much better if they listened to me!

...

But they are removing a part of the game that is vital to D&D! It doesn't make any sense! They should be doing the exact opposite, as it'd address the real problems like lack of sno-cone machines and no prices for wiener dogs. WOTC would do so much better if they listened to me.

Orzel
2008-01-24, 06:29 PM
All I'm reading is "Most items don't do jack in combat and the ones that do something you are limiting to 3 and they do next to nothing 90% of the time. But oh boy that 10%!"

Draz74
2008-01-24, 06:46 PM
All I'm reading is "Most items don't do jack in combat and the ones that do something you are limiting to 3 and they do next to nothing 90% of the time. But oh boy that 10%!"

Guh? Where do you get that last part, about magic weapons/armor/neck items not doing anything 90% of the time?

... not that I think what you are saying would be bad, if it were true. Like I said in my post on this thread, situational items are the way to go, so that items can be powerful without being a necessity for high-level characters.

Beleriphon
2008-01-24, 06:55 PM
Guh? Where do you get that last part, about magic weapons/armor/neck items not doing anything 90% of the time?

... not that I think what you are saying would be bad, if it were true. Like I said in my post on this thread, situational items are the way to go, so that items can be powerful without being a necessity for high-level characters.

I get the distinct impression the weapon, armour and "other" item are the most important magic items a character wields. That isn't to say having them is of utmost importance (very useful maybe), only that if you have them they are the ones that are going to be the most directly useful in combat. Everything else is fun powers and abilities but aren't strictly required to be an effective combatant.

Orzel
2008-01-24, 07:09 PM
Guh? Where do you get that last part, about magic weapons/armor/neck items not doing anything 90% of the time?

... not that I think what you are saying would be bad, if it were true. Like I said in my post on this thread, situational items are the way to go, so that items can be powerful without being a necessity for high-level characters.

I'm saying that only the weapon, armor, and neck items will have any real combat power. And by the way the Crit Hit article mentions them, it looks like most combat bonuses will be weak (+1 = +1 to damage) or situational (flame = +2d6 fire on crits).

Every other item will be utility items or very situational items. They won't help in combat that much unless 1 of the 1000 things that can happen in an adventure happens. Anti poison items, telepathy helms and winter gear aren't powerful 'less you need 'em.

Draz74
2008-01-24, 07:13 PM
OK, right. It sounded in your previous post like even the "big three" items weren't supposed to work 90% of the time.

I agree; other items will be pretty situational. Again, I ask: am I misunderstanding, or are you portraying this as a bad thing? Because it seems like a good thing to me. In fact, I'm with the people who don't want the "big three" to have bland constant bonuses either.

Kioran
2008-01-24, 07:53 PM
..Of course, as these threads have shown, people will scream about everything, logic be damned.

Someone is always going to, since no one ever wants exactly the same thing as anybody else. Bitching about people bitching sounds a lot less profound if one thinks about it for a minute, but whatever......

What´d reassure me was if they, instead of presenting small glimpses of the results and a few lines about playtests, would actually provide a "mechanical" reasoning, i.e. something like "We thought having only three major slots and x minor slots was going to have effect x (insert: shorten the list of items to keep track of/making adjusting WBL easier/whatever) because y (there are less options of decking out the character/ in conjunction with item lvl it´s more obvious now, since secondary items do not figure in that much/ whathaveyou)."

In short, have them explain why they changed the system from 3rd Ed in that regard, and not only in terms of their initial three goals (streamlining, exception based design, coolness/sexyness), but in terms of what that´d roughly do to the mechanics in that area. I mean it´s obvious sometimes, but other changes remain inexplicable, and looking at previous editions, it´s likely no one thought about some of them in any depth at all - which is not reassuring.
Okay, it would leak information, and maybe enable some "reverse-engineering of 4th Ed. But what would that exactly do? Anyone having the ressouces to reverse-engineer 4th ed. could create his own revamp of 3rd Ed. anyway, and they still have several months lead. So what have they got to lose in the first place?

Overlard
2008-01-24, 09:00 PM
But they are removing a part of the game that is vital to D&D! It doesn't make any sense! They should be doing the exact opposite, as it'd address the real problems like lack of sno-cone machines and no prices for wiener dogs. WOTC would do so much better if they listened to me.
You may just be right...

TheThan
2008-01-24, 09:17 PM
Personally I think they got it all wrong. A party should not be dependent on any magical gear. They should be able to fight a monster (or monsters) of appropriate CR while relying on just mundane gear to get them through, it might not be easy, but doable. Magic items should make encounters easier, not make encounters beatable.

It all falls back to one of the inherent flaws in the system design. That the PC classes don’t grow in power as they level (excepting spell casters). They gain an increase in bab, and saves, that’s really all they get. Skills don’t usually help in combat (save a few particular ones), and feats and stat boosts are rare enough to be a small factor in the scope of things. Some classes such as the rogue do have abilities that that increase as they level, but others such as the paladin’s and barbarian’s are per day abilities, so its not something they can use all the time, only x per day. At 20th level a paladin can smite evil 5 times per day. That’s roughly once per encounter (assuming you’re following a four encounter per day guideline) any more than that and he’s screwed. The barbarian gets six uses of his rage at 20th level, not as bad but still not very good. Now the rogue, he can sneak attack all day long and not run out and have to recharge, as long as he has someone to help him flank.

The classes get no boost to defense (save the monk, but that’s not much anyway), no boost in damage (save the rogue and the monk’s unarmed strike) and no increase in overall ability as they level. Magic items and equipment just puts a Band-Aid on the problem without actually solving it.

The article they gave has not fixed this problem its just silver coating it. They say their reducing the dependence on magic items but they still expect you to have gear to be able to fight.
Instead of rewarding the players with magic items and equipment you have to give it to them so they don’t get slaughtered by the next big nasty they come by. That just seems wrong to me.

Some variants such as the class defense bonus from Unearthed Arcana solves some of the problems, but not all of them. it seems to me that instead of fixing their system and making it better, they’re just making some changes to it’s appearance and silver coating the rest.

Reel On, Love
2008-01-24, 09:39 PM
Personally I think they got it all wrong. A party should not be dependent on any magical gear. They should be able to fight a monster (or monsters) of appropriate CR while relying on just mundane gear to get them through, it might not be easy, but doable. Magic items should make encounters easier, not make encounters beatable.
That IS what's happening. If you're "supposed" to have +2 Stuff when you're fighting a Boojum, then fighting one without +2 Stuff will be somewhat more difficult (10% more difficult?), but doable.


It all falls back to one of the inherent flaws in the system design. That the PC classes don’t grow in power as they level (excepting spell casters). They gain an increase in bab, and saves, that’s really all they get. Skills don’t usually help in combat (save a few particular ones), and feats and stat boosts are rare enough to be a small factor in the scope of things. Some classes such as the rogue do have abilities that that increase as they level, but others such as the paladin’s and barbarian’s are per day abilities, so its not something they can use all the time, only x per day. At 20th level a paladin can smite evil 5 times per day. That’s roughly once per encounter (assuming you’re following a four encounter per day guideline) any more than that and he’s screwed. The barbarian gets six uses of his rage at 20th level, not as bad but still not very good. Now the rogue, he can sneak attack all day long and not run out and have to recharge, as long as he has someone to help him flank.

The classes get no boost to defense (save the monk, but that’s not much anyway), no boost in damage (save the rogue and the monk’s unarmed strike) and no increase in overall ability as they level. Magic items and equipment just puts a Band-Aid on the problem without actually solving it.

The article they gave has not fixed this problem its just silver coating it. They say their reducing the dependence on magic items but they still expect you to have gear to be able to fight.
Instead of rewarding the players with magic items and equipment you have to give it to them so they don’t get slaughtered by the next big nasty they come by. That just seems wrong to me.

Some variants such as the class defense bonus from Unearthed Arcana solves some of the problems, but not all of them. it seems to me that instead of fixing their system and making it better, they’re just making some changes to it’s appearance and silver coating the rest.

You're talking about THIRD edition here, not fourth. Take a look at SW Saga, where characters get a bonus to pretty much everything equal to half their level--that's exactly the scaling you're talking about. Also, everybody is going to have per-encounter powers, and gain new (and more powerful) at-will/per-encounter/per-days when as they gain levels.

It seems to you that instead of fixing their system, they're just making some changes to its appearance because you're assuming 4E is going to work like 3.5. You think it's the same because you've assumed that. "Barbarians rage 6/day" and "you need gear to be remotely useful after the first few levels" are 3.5 things.

TheThan
2008-01-24, 10:04 PM
Since 3rd edition is the current edition of DnD my comments are perfectly valid. All we have to go on is the vague proclamations made by the developers. That’s what we know as fact, everything else is speculation. We have no idea how many times the barbarian can rage, or if he will even have a rage like ability. They say their changing things, but without any information other than “we’re fixing things”, we have no way of knowing what they’re up to.

Yes SW saga edition does look at fixing those problems but we have no real indication that these changes will transfer from saga to 4th edition. Some people are speculating that they will. But we won’t know for sure until we get our grubby hands on it. Once again it comes down to not having the information we want.

You are assuming that they are going to make 4th edition work like star wars saga. Maybe you’re right, maybe your not, it’s simply a matter of no one having enough information. I have based my previous rant on knowledge that I know to be true.

I’m waiting on the release before I make any solid decision to buy it or not.

Reel On, Love
2008-01-24, 10:08 PM
Didn't they confirm that characters are getting level-dependent bonuses to everything, like in saga?

Basing rants about 4E in 3.5 rules is totally pointless.

Rutee
2008-01-24, 10:08 PM
Since 3rd edition is the current edition of DnD my comments are perfectly valid. All we have to go on is the vague proclamations made by the developers. That’s what we know as fact, everything else is speculation. We have no idea how many times the barbarian can rage, or if he will even have a rage like ability. They say their changing things, but without any information other than “we’re fixing things”, we have no way of knowing what they’re up to.

Your comments are valid AS REGARDS 3rd Ed. You can not say "Third ed is a valid baseline to judge 4th ed from". It's silly.

Incidentally, are you aware that all abilities have been changed to the following? 1/day, 1/encounter, At Will? And that all classes are gaining abilities that work this way?

Kyeudo
2008-01-24, 10:26 PM
Since 3rd edition is the current edition of DnD my comments are perfectly valid. All we have to go on is the vague proclamations made by the developers. That’s what we know as fact, everything else is speculation. We have no idea how many times the barbarian can rage, or if he will even have a rage like ability. They say their changing things, but without any information other than “we’re fixing things”, we have no way of knowing what they’re up to.

Yes SW saga edition does look at fixing those problems but we have no real indication that these changes will transfer from saga to 4th edition. Some people are speculating that they will. But we won’t know for sure until we get our grubby hands on it. Once again it comes down to not having the information we want.

You are assuming that they are going to make 4th edition work like star wars saga. Maybe you’re right, maybe your not, it’s simply a matter of no one having enough information. I have based my previous rant on knowledge that I know to be true.

I’m waiting on the release before I make any solid decision to buy it or not.

1. 3rd edition mechanics have no bearing on 4th edition. Conversely, Star Wars Saga edition has no bearing as well, as WotC is doing a very extensive overhaul of the system. It's a good estimation point, but no more than that.

2. We know for certain that the per-day/per-encounter/at-will mechanics will be incorporated into 4th, we just don't know what these abilities will be for the most part. Part of the Elf preview they listed was a racial per encounter power that all Elves get. Tome of Battle has been confirmed to be an early test of this system.

3. All glimpses of potential class features I have seen so far have indicated the type of scaling that casters currently have.

TheThan
2008-01-25, 02:21 AM
You seem to have miss-understood. You seem to think that I think 4E will be just like 3rd, you’re wrong. I know its going to be much different. The thing is, the article does not explain what they are doing to fix the system.
They just keep saying they are fixing it with no evidence to support their claims. All they talk about in the article is how they are going to slightly rework the item slot system.

Anyway I typed up a much longer rebuttal but decided not to post it mainly because I’ve come to the conclusion that arguing over it is pointless, so with that I’m out.

MammonAzrael
2008-01-25, 02:43 AM
I haven't read the whole thread, but one thing I didn't like in the article was the implied "certain slots boost certain stats" mindset. It's one thing that's irked me about 3rd. Why can't you have a Belt of Intellect? Or Boots of Wisdom? Does the magic really care what shape the item it's placed on it? Does it care which part of your body you hang it on? I find that hard to believe, and will probably houserule over it.

Sebastian
2008-01-25, 03:05 AM
As noted earlier, in previous editions, a Fighter could get by just fine without a magic sword. A 15th-level Fighter's ability to hit something at his approximate level was a factor of his abilities and experience, rather than of his tools. Although some magic armor made surviving combat easier for the Fighter, his Hit Points and excellent saves were a much larger factor.

Also in previous editions, the concept of increasing abilities was not so prevalent as it is in 3e. A fighter with a Strength of 16 at level 1 would most likely have a Strength of 16 at level 20. Of course, a Fighter with a Strength of 16 was no slouch. He wasn't as immensely powerful as a Fighter with 18/00, but he wasn't losing too many arm wrestling competitions ("Over the top, Dad! Over the top!")


Another factor was that magic item were more frail in previous editions, a failed save on a fireball or similiar spell could potentially destroy all the magic (and not magic) items of a character, while in 3e is near to impossible. Now that magic item, are not so indispensable I hope they bring this thing back, at least partially , I really dislike the "better dead than sundered" attitude that 3e create in players.

Dizlag
2008-01-25, 07:08 AM
Mammon,

They are getting rid of magical items that boost ability scores. Earlier in the thread I mentioned this and linked the D&D Podcast #18 (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4pod/20080111e18) page. If you listen to the end of if when they're talking about the Magic Item Compendium, they talk about this issue. It's also near the bottom of the page and I'll quote it here for you ...


What items were avoided? Those that outright modify ability scores; calculations handled in the middle of gameplay just don’t represent the fun aspects of the game.

Hope this helps a bit!

To me, it would seem they have cut back the number of magical items that truly make a difference in combat to three. That's down from 10+ in 3rd edition. The "Primary Slots" will be the ones that will make a difference in combat and overall power of the characters. The "Secondary Slots" aren't must have items, just nice to have. I don't even get a sense that the "Primary Slots" are must haves either. I like this a lot.

With that said, I agree with what's been mentioned before. I would like to have the MM balanced against characters with mundane items and guidelines for increasing encounter strength if the characters have magical items of the appropriate level. It seems they're balancing things assuming characters have magical items of the appropriate level in their "Primary Slots", so I would like guidelines in the DMG (or MM) to reducing the strength of encounters for characters with only mundane items.

Take care,

Dizlag

Starbuck_II
2008-01-25, 07:17 AM
I haven't read the whole thread, but one thing I didn't like in the article was the implied "certain slots boost certain stats" mindset. It's one thing that's irked me about 3rd. Why can't you have a Belt of Intellect? Or Boots of Wisdom? Does the magic really care what shape the item it's placed on it? Does it care which part of your body you hang it on? I find that hard to believe, and will probably houserule over it.

3rd editrion only comments on this:
They find the concept nonsenical/too much of a joke. You can in 3rd but costs 50% more for a Belt of Intellect.

AKA_Bait
2008-01-25, 08:59 AM
What´d reassure me was if they, instead of presenting small glimpses of the results and a few lines about playtests, would actually provide a "mechanical" reasoning, i.e. something like "We thought having only three major slots and x minor slots was going to have effect x (insert: shorten the list of items to keep track of/making adjusting WBL easier/whatever) because y (there are less options of decking out the character/ in conjunction with item lvl it´s more obvious now, since secondary items do not figure in that much/ whathaveyou)."
*snip*
Okay, it would leak information, and maybe enable some "reverse-engineering of 4th Ed. But what would that exactly do? Anyone having the ressouces to reverse-engineer 4th ed. could create his own revamp of 3rd Ed. anyway, and they still have several months lead. So what have they got to lose in the first place?

Also, it would probably send the marketing people at WotC into fits. "Wait, you want our advertising updates to be all crunch and mechanical logic? I'm so going to get fired for this..."


Of course, as these threads have shown, people will scream about everything, logic be damned.

Come now, if someone wasn't screaming about something then what would we have to talk about? :smallwink:

Kioran
2008-01-25, 09:34 AM
Also, it would probably send the marketing people at WotC into fits. "Wait, you want our advertising updates to be all crunch and mechanical logic? I'm so going to get fired for this..."

Who but already active gamers follows these updates? Of course you can enhance the flavor a little bit, but most of us are actually looking at the mechanical changes and not the obfuscated description of fights/whathaveyou. Of course i like my games more than pure hack&slash, but a sneak preview which supposedly "lets us look into the design process" should actually do that.

D&D Core books never sold because of their background. Capaign settings did, Warhammer 40k does, but the PHB is bought for the gaming system, and not much else. I want to know whether their items or skills can actually work, not whether their character fought the Priest of Azlinnar in the temple of the yellow Dragon. Most of you probably feel similiar.

And the fight for the uninformed public begins in April or so, since you could never hold their attention span for more than 2 months. These articles? They are for gamers, not the "layfolk"

Darrin
2008-01-25, 10:25 AM
This doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

Reducing slots: seems to me this will have exactly the opposite effect they intended. With fewer number of slots, players will obsess about overloading them with multiple abilities. It won't be enough to have just Gloves of Inappropriate Touching, you'll want to get Gloves of Inappropriate Touching Plus Effortless Six-Four-Three Double-Play. Not only will you want Armor +2, but Armor +2 With Peppermint Schnapps Invulnerability. From a design perspective, I don't think this solves the problem at all, and it may make it even worse.

No stat increase items: Again, I appreciate the sentiment, but I'm not sure a viable solution has been presented here. Unless there are explicit rules written in the DMG to prevent it, I don't see how you can really take these out of the game. Either the 4E DMG will provide rules for stat increase items as part of the magic item creation rules, or people will homebrew them. The real problem with the rules mechanics is not that every character of level X has to have spent a big chunk of their WBL on Y stat increase items, it's that the stat bonuses are so important to the mechanics of the game that in order to be more effective, you have to pump them up any way you can. Removing the easiest way to do that doesn't solve the underlying problem, if the rules continue to reward PCs that maximize their stat bonuses at the expense of all other concerns.

Rings: WTF?!?!? The creator level 12 was complete B.S. to begin with, now you can't even wear the %&^*ing things until you're 11th level? "Hey, there, Bob, were you able to put on that ring we found in the mummy's tomb?" "Heck no, Bill, turns out my fingers keep getting sucked back into my body whenever I try to put it on. Odd, huh?" How the heck does that make any sense? Low-powered rings, like Ring of Sustenance... can't use it until 11th? Or will there not be any low-powered rings? And the crack about "The One Ring" being an artifact is no help at all. Why not just create a circular piece of metal as a wondrous item that you wear on the hands and/or finger? The whole "its a ring/wand/potion/elixir" thing is just silly... call it a wondrous amorphous blob or whatever, not this arbitrary "you must be THIS high to use this item" crap.

Charity
2008-01-25, 10:37 AM
Well ^ though I don't wholeheartedly disagree with your view over the number of slots making no difference to how dependent upon them the players feel, it may make a difference to how dependant on them they really are (though it depends more on mechanical issues within the game design IMHO)
As to your second point, Wizards can hardly be accountable for what folk choose to homebrew, if your homebrew wrecks the game balance the culpret is closer to home.

The rings i imagine simply wont apply any benifit until you reach the appropriate level, though they could do the one ring thing, and slip off while you are otherwise occupied... or just snip your finger off if you are not deemed worthy.. Anyhow, I guess they just want to make rings 'special' I don't really see it as a big deal, if you can't use em till such 'n' such a level I guess that you'd be unlikely to be able to aquire them easily before that level.

Telonius
2008-01-25, 10:41 AM
, it's that the stat bonuses are so important to the mechanics of the game that in order to be more effective, you have to pump them up any way you can. Removing the easiest way to do that doesn't solve the underlying problem, if the rules continue to reward PCs that maximize their stat bonuses at the expense of all other concerns.

... unless stat bonuses will either no longer be as important to the mechanics of the game, or no longer be obtainable at all. Obviously it will be possible for an individual DM to homebrew something that gives a stat bonus, just like it's possible for a DM in 3.5 to homebrew an item that lets them shoot laser beams from their eyes at will. But that's the DM's problem, not the system's problem. If it needs homebrewing to screw it up, I'd call that pretty balanced.

I suspect that there won't be any low-powered rings.

Tren
2008-01-25, 10:53 AM
it's that the stat bonuses are so important to the mechanics of the game that in order to be more effective, you have to pump them up any way you can. Removing the easiest way to do that doesn't solve the underlying problem, if the rules continue to reward PCs that maximize their stat bonuses at the expense of all other concerns.

In 3E. Stat bonuses were important to mechanics in 3E. And judging based off their intentional design philosophy of removing stat increases in order to reduce the amount of items affecting the math, I'd say it's a very good bet that the overall dependency on stat boosts is reduced. Now they may fubar the attempt but without the final mechanics to look at it's all speculative. And making judgements about 4E mechanics in relation to 3E balance is absolulely non-sensical.

Draz74
2008-01-25, 11:13 AM
Rings: WTF?!?!? The creator level 12 was complete B.S. to begin with, now you can't even wear the %&^*ing things until you're 11th level? "Hey, there, Bob, were you able to put on that ring we found in the mummy's tomb?" "Heck no, Bill, turns out my fingers keep getting sucked back into my body whenever I try to put it on. Odd, huh?" How the heck does that make any sense? Low-powered rings, like Ring of Sustenance... can't use it until 11th? Or will there not be any low-powered rings? And the crack about "The One Ring" being an artifact is no help at all. Why not just create a circular piece of metal as a wondrous item that you wear on the hands and/or finger? The whole "its a ring/wand/potion/elixir" thing is just silly... call it a wondrous amorphous blob or whatever, not this arbitrary "you must be THIS high to use this item" crap.

Um ... I don't like the rule, but it's not that bad. Obviously you can put on rings even if you're not high enough level to use them. (Well, I guess some more dangerous ones might zap you with damage or a negative level if you put them on "unworthily," like Dyrnwyn the sword in Prydain if you draw it unworthily ... but that's still a lot less dumb than "fingers retracting" kind of thing.)

Obviously there won't be low-powered rings.

And I don't see a problem with crafting a Wondrous Item that happens to be a circular piece of metal that can fit around your finger. It would just not be a "Ring" according to magical scholars. It wouldn't take up your Ring slot, or require a high level to use. The fact that it's a ring is pure fluff. It's just like if you took a Stone of Good Luck and hung it around your wrist in 3e (which doesn't use up your Bracelet slot).

AKA_Bait
2008-01-25, 11:41 AM
Who but already active gamers follows these updates? Of course you can enhance the flavor a little bit, but most of us are actually looking at the mechanical changes and not the obfuscated description of fights/whathaveyou.

I dunno. Two of the players in my group are really excited about there being a feat called 'feather me yon oaf' and could care less about the mechanics, so I'm not so sure.


D&D Core books never sold because of their background. Capaign settings did, Warhammer 40k does, but the PHB is bought for the gaming system, and not much else. I want to know whether their items or skills can actually work, not whether their character fought the Priest of Azlinnar in the temple of the yellow Dragon. Most of you probably feel similiar.

And the fight for the uninformed public begins in April or so, since you could never hold their attention span for more than 2 months. These articles? They are for gamers, not the "layfolk "

There are different kinds of gamers though. Again, most of my group would buy theP PBH DMG etc but only 2 of us (out of a rotating 9 or so) have ever bothered to read the core books cover to cover. However, they have read every word of the BovD, the FRCS and the BoEF. I'm the only one who is reading the rules compendium. If my group is at all representitive of their target market (which other than age we probably are) then marketing the fluff to existing gamers of that type, the playing 'layfolk' might be just the thing they want.

But, my original point wasn't really about how they ought to be advertising but how advertising people think, and frequently are trained to think. Advertising people usually want to focus on the most 'fun' aspect of a product to highlight, not the particularly the part that actually works best.



I suspect that there won't be any low-powered rings.

That's what it sounds like to me. In the same way I don't think there will be any low powered 'orbitals'. I'll miss the gray ioun stone though...


And I don't see a problem with crafting a Wondrous Item that happens to be a circular piece of metal that can fit around your finger. It would just not be a "Ring" according to magical scholars. It wouldn't take up your Ring slot, or require a high level to use. The fact that it's a ring is pure fluff. It's just like if you took a Stone of Good Luck and hung it around your wrist in 3e (which doesn't use up your Bracelet slot).

I think this would very much depend upon the effect of the item. A stone of good luck equivalent thing, a Lucky Ring, wouldn't be a problem because the item provides its bonus just for being on your person. However, there are potentially other wonderous items where not having to actually hold them in your hand (because you are wearing it instead) could potentially be problematic. It would need to be a judgment call from item to item on the part of the DM but not a particularly tough one. Basically, if it would provide the bonus sitting in your pack, fluff it up, if you are getting around a drawback of using it, like not having a free hand, then it stays the way it is.

Sebastian
2008-01-25, 11:45 AM
Thinking about it; what could be the reason behind the ring level limit? Because they are powerful items? but it make no sense, a vorpal blade (or the 4e equivalent), is a powerful item, too, but if a 1st level player find one he can use it, and it would be redicolous say that he cannot. The point is that for a 1st level char would be really difficult to find a vorpal blade unless the GM allow it. So, why it should be different for rings? Why just not put in the DMG something like "rings are very powerful items and should not be given to Heroic tier characters without a very good reason" or something of that tome?

I'm not saying it don't make sense (it doesn't, but is not the point), I'm saying that I can't see the reason behind it.

Douglas
2008-01-25, 11:54 AM
However, they have read every word of the BovD, the FRCS and the BoEF.
Is that a typo or do you run decidedly adult games a lot?

That comment about ability score increasing items and why 4E won't have them leads me to another conclusion: ability damage is gone too, along with Bull's Strength and the like. If they think recalculating everything dependent on ability scores too often is bad enough to make banning permanent increases worth it, then their own logic dictates that all temporary changes must also be removed because a temporary change is a far worse offender on the "too much recalculating" issue than an item you pick up and calculate for once and then forget about.

AKA_Bait
2008-01-25, 12:15 PM
Is that a typo or do you run decidedly adult games a lot?

I only wish it was a typo... I don't run or play in the games they use that book for... I'm not even sure it's really seen much actual use in play but then I don't want to know about it.


That comment about ability score increasing items and why 4E won't have them leads me to another conclusion: ability damage is gone too, along with Bull's Strength and the like. If they think recalculating everything dependent on ability scores too often is bad enough to make banning permanent increases worth it, then their own logic dictates that all temporary changes must also be removed because a temporary change is a far worse offender on the "too much recalculating" issue than an item you pick up and calculate for once and then forget about.

Well, logically you are spot on. That their own logic dictates it doesn't mean it will be the case though. Personally, I'd prefer if it was. Those spells see little use in my games because most of my fellow players don't want to deal with the math. The boosting items are omnipresent of course, as they pretty much have to be.

Dizlag
2008-01-25, 12:33 PM
Yes, in the D&D Podcast #18 (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4pod/20080111e18) they say they're getting rid of spells that temporally increase ability scores and ability damage ... those are the situations that make the recalculating time consuming.

The days of a Bull Strength spell, +2 gauntlets of ogre power, and 3 points of Str damage from poison is gone! w00t!

I'm guessing the Gauntlets of Ogre Power will come in a different flavor like plus to attack and/or damage ... or something like that. Again, just a guess though.

I like it ... it'll make game play a bit faster and more accurate. I can't tell you how many times I've forgotten to apply a temporary Str penalty to my Jump or Climb checks. For my player characters and when I DM. :smallbiggrin:

Later,

Dizlag

Roderick_BR
2008-01-25, 01:38 PM
Thinking about it; what could be the reason behind the ring level limit? Because they are powerful items? but it make no sense, a vorpal blade (or the 4e equivalent), is a powerful item, too, but if a 1st level player find one he can use it, and it would be redicolous say that he cannot. The point is that for a 1st level char would be really difficult to find a vorpal blade unless the GM allow it. So, why it should be different for rings? Why just not put in the DMG something like "rings are very powerful items and should not be given to Heroic tier characters without a very good reason" or something of that tome?

I'm not saying it don't make sense (it doesn't, but is not the point), I'm saying that I can't see the reason behind it.
I just had a chilly thought... I hope they don't add level limits to use itens like in most MMOs....:smallfrown:

"Here's your sword, sir Bob."
"Thank you, smith Rufus... But I don't seem able to grasple it's handle."
"What, it's to heavy for ye, Bob?"
"No, I can carry it fine, holding it in the hilt, the blade, or just holding it in the handle a bit. But if I do try to take a firm grasp, as if to slash something... I don't know, my hand just fails to hold firm to it, as if my hand had turned lazy, or something"
"Lemme see... oh, I know what's wrong, sir Bob. You are not high enough level to use it"
"..."

Or, a different take:
"We managed to kill the evil general, and disband his army. Now I'll collect his overly sharpened flaming sword of destruction as my war spoil."
"Amazing, sir Bob. Show us how to do that fanzy fire effect that almost killed us."
"Sure, Sir Ted, just let me... weird... it's not working... But I know how these weapons works... this one just acts as an ordinary weapon."
"Maybe it has a few too many enchantments, sir Bob?"
"What do you mean, Sir Ted?"
"It's above your level, Sir Bob. You can't make it work. Lemme try... see? It works in my hands."
"... crap"

Telonius
2008-01-25, 01:47 PM
They could work it, depending on the fluff ...

"The spirit of magic within the sword is a prideful one. It will not allow you to unleash its full power until you prove yourself."

Draz74
2008-01-25, 02:18 PM
Yeah. Of course Roderick's first example is ridiculous. But the second one, I actually like.

Though it could be improved. Even the high-level guy should need a few days and/or a special ritual to unlock the sword's power once he starts wielding it. And perhaps the lower-level guy could use some of the sword's powers, but not all?

AKA_Bait
2008-01-25, 02:22 PM
They could work it, depending on the fluff ...

"The spirit of magic within the sword is a prideful one. It will not allow you to unleash its full power until you prove yourself."

I think that would be fine if it was not in a all or nothing scenario. Some magical items set up the way that Relics are, with level dependent benifits, would be fine with me so long as they did something to start. Other than attract the attention of thieves that is.

Duke of URL
2008-01-25, 02:45 PM
Yeah, I just hate the concept of "Wealth by Level," though. Player reliance on magic items perpetuates the mindset that a certain level character deserves a certain amount of magic equipment, even if providing that equipment would destroy the verisimilitude of my campaign setting.

I would rather just let a player get a new suit of armor which grants 15 lb. telekinesis or a constant feather-fall effect or something along those lines.

You, as the DM, can do whatever you want. The default, out-of-the-box, game is designed to be balanced with those wealth-by-level assumptions, however. If you provide less or more than those guidelines, you may need to alter encounter levels accordingly to maintain a balance.

Now, whether or not the default game actually is balanced is another story entirely...

Sebastian
2008-01-25, 02:55 PM
They could work it, depending on the fluff ...

"The spirit of magic within the sword is a prideful one. It will not allow you to unleash its full power until you prove yourself."

There are, or at least were, some magic item that already works like that, 2nd edition ego items, for example, they were really cool but I don't think they made it into 3rd edition, but for rings I'm not talking about fluff, I'm talking about the design reason behind it, why a 1st level pc can't use a powerful ring, when he have no problem using any other powerful items the GM let him find? What is the point. I understand the point behind other design decision, even if often I don't agree with them, but this totally escape me.

RukiTanuki
2008-01-25, 05:01 PM
Just to pose an alternate idea (not that I think it's any better than the above): What if the host of the magic item is a channel for its power? In this example, the powers commonly forged into rings require an equally powerful person to use. Failure to meet these magical demands could (depending on your preference) result in failure to work (just like an electronic toy with dead batteries), or for the ring to use power you don't have to spare, possibly resulting in death.

Also, we know rings specifically have level limits, but it hasn't been proven that other items don't. There's a good chance a +5 Vorpal blade won't be used by a level 1 character, and until we see the fluff reason, we won't know if it's because of the same causes.

Yes, hopefully, there is a rhyme to the reason.

Yakk
2008-01-25, 05:03 PM
Thinking about it; what could be the reason behind the ring level limit? Because they are powerful items?

First, there is "keep it simple, stupid". The game should get more complex as you gain character levels. An extra slot opens up new options.

Second, from Tokein, there is the idea that "a magic ring is never anything to trifle with". They demand something of the user in a way that other item's do not...

Third, it produces an additional power curve in the game.

Quite possibly magic rings will have powers that scale with character level. Giving them level 1 powers would require balancing those level 1 powers to be acceptable at level 1, which defeats the "these items are too powerful to be used at level 1" point.

Wordmiser
2008-01-25, 05:37 PM
You, as the DM, can do whatever you want. The default, out-of-the-box, game is designed to be balanced with those wealth-by-level assumptions, however. If you provide less or more than those guidelines, you may need to alter encounter levels accordingly to maintain a balance.Right, but it's still very likely that the rules will say "A level 8 Character ought to have a suit of +2 Armor." This will mean that players will expect that sort of wealth; by not giving them the items, I would suddenly be stiffing them the lewts to which they're rightfully entitled.

If the rules don't present the idea that all level 8 characters must have that suit of armor, a DM who gives the players a set of +2 Chainmail will be seen as genuinely benevolent. If the rules do give the impresion that that +2 armor is necessary, there wouldn't be a positive player response for a DM giving magic items (after all, the rules say he has to do that). There would, however, be a negative response if the DM doesn't (because suddenly he's cheating against the players).

In 3.5, I've given players bonuses similar to Vow of Poverty for free. I would have prefered to bypass this step (the designers even acknowledge that the "+X" enhancements were bad ideas, yet they're keeping them around).


Of course Roderick's first example is ridiculous. But the second one, I actually like. Seconded. I've made most magic items in my games scale with character level (usually requiring a week of use before giving the full level benefit). I don't like the "worthless +1 Longsword" idea or the imbalanced results of giving a player an item which will stay useful until higher levels.

horseboy
2008-01-25, 05:41 PM
Yeah. Of course Roderick's first example is ridiculous. But the second one, I actually like.

Though it could be improved. Even the high-level guy should need a few days and/or a special ritual to unlock the sword's power once he starts wielding it. And perhaps the lower-level guy could use some of the sword's powers, but not all?

It depends on what rank thread he's woven to it. :smallwink:

Draz74
2008-01-25, 06:21 PM
It depends on what rank thread he's woven to it. :smallwink:

Thread? I don't get it.

Merlin the Tuna
2008-01-25, 11:11 PM
If the rules don't present the idea that all level 8 characters must have that suit of armor, a DM who gives the players a set of +2 Chainmail will be seen as genuinely benevolent. If a DM ever expects me to view him as "genuinely benevolent" because of what imaginary items he gives to my imaginary alter-ego when we get together to throw some dice and have some laughs, I will more likely conclude he's an arrogant jerk than that I should be showering him with praise.

Rutee
2008-01-25, 11:14 PM
If a DM ever expects me to view him as "genuinely benevolent" because of what imaginary items he gives to my imaginary alter-ego when we get together to throw some dice and have some laughs, I will more likely conclude he's an arrogant jerk than that I should be showering him with praise.
I concur with this. However, more importantly, note what he said about "It doesn't create an expectation", which is still true and relevant.
Edit: Also, I don't think Rings are going to be quite the awesome everyone expects. Probably buffed from their Trinket status, but not.. awesome.

Wordmiser
2008-01-25, 11:30 PM
If a DM ever expects me to view him as "genuinely benevolent" because of what imaginary items he gives to my imaginary alter-ego when we get together to throw some dice and have some laughs, I will more likely conclude he's an arrogant jerk than that I should be showering him with praise.I'd be surprised if anyone would conclude otherwise. I think the section you quoted was me stumbling through an exaggeration, hoping to better support my claim that the "required items" idea is less rewarding for players than a different system where magic items are fun but unecessary features.

SMDVogrin
2008-01-25, 11:37 PM
Thread? I don't get it.

Earthdawn reference, I believe.

In Earthdawn, in order to access more and more powers of a magical item, you wove a "thread" of magic into the pattern of the item. Since the points you used to weave this thread came from the same pool you were using to increase your skills and levels, it meant you couldn't access the really cool stuff before you could afford to.

Sleet
2008-01-26, 01:49 PM
Implement: +3 rod of dark reward
Armor: +3 leather armor
Neck: +2 cloak of survival
Arms: Bracers of the perfect shot
Feet: Wavestrider boots
Hands: Shadowfell gloves
Head: Diadem of acuity
Rings: None right now, sadly
Waist: Belt of battle
Wondrous Items: Bag of holding

This is less reliance on magic items?

Starbuck_II
2008-01-26, 02:14 PM
This is less reliance on magic items?

Compared to my current character, yeah:
I have:
1. +1 precise Longbow
2. +1 Twilight Mithral Chain Shirt
3. +3 Mithral Resist ACid/Cold 10 Buckler
4. Vest of Negative Protection (kinda a Deathward Vest), got that fighting a Lich... or a Simulcrum of a lich...I hope not though. We never found a Phyarchy though...
5. Gloves of Dex +4
6. Cloak Resist +4
7. Healing Belt
8. Headband Int +4
9. Mug Refill/Everlasting Rations
10. Metamagic Rod Chain Normal
11. Pearl Power 4
12. Hot pink Tunic Steady Casting: +5 Concentrate
13. Heward's Handy Haversack.
14. Gigantor (I named after the show) adds +4 Con/+3 NA
15. Ring of Bling (+2 Deflect, +2 reroll anything ability).
16. Least Fire Crystal Augment crystal for shield
17. Everburning Torch
18. Some random metals from Book of War: Giving 1/day, featherfall, Expeditious Retreat, Spiderclimb, Santuary, and Darkvision. When wounded to negatives autostablizes (1/encounter).
19. Some Scrolls.

Yeah, I definately use alot of magic items. So I would lose 9 slots...

Theli
2008-01-26, 02:55 PM
I don't see any items that give straight bonuses to any abilities scores... Anybody know anything about that?

If they removed all the periapt of wisdom and gloves of dex nonsense, it might open it up a lot.

Kurald Galain
2008-01-26, 03:20 PM
I think the "rings won't work unless you're level eleven" thing is silly. It reminds me of those old MUD games that associated a "minimum level required to use" value with every item.

The article as a whole is just like the one about critical hits - WOTC points out something undesirable about 3E, then creates a lot of hype about how they're going to change it, then they end up with something similar.

In particular - first they say that the extra dice rolled for crits (to confirm them, and double damage dice) waste time, then they come up with a number of abilities that add damage dice to your 4E crit. And here, they ramble about how 3E has too many item slots, and then they end up with about a dozen slots for 4E, which is only a marginal decrease.

In other words, meh. All hype, no substance.

Sleet
2008-01-26, 04:02 PM
Compared to my current character, yeah:
...

Seems to me the only slot lost is neck/shoulders (could be I missed one or two...). The rest are items that can be picked up/drawn forth and used. I don't see a huge reduction in reliance on magical bling here. Maybe that's OK, but it doesn't seem like the major change to me that WoTC has been promising.

Morty
2008-01-26, 04:09 PM
Seems to me the only slot lost is neck/shoulders (could be I missed one or two...). The rest are items that can be picked up/drawn forth and used. I don't see a huge reduction in reliance on magical bling here. Maybe that's OK, but it doesn't seem like the major change to me that WoTC has been promising.

To be fair, now items allegedly only add to attack bonus, defense, etc. So characters are still geared up, but at least hepefully now fighters aren't reliant on items because they need to do things wizards do normally.

Diamondeye
2008-01-26, 05:16 PM
:smallfurious:

Well, just more proof that I'll have to find a DM somewhere willing to play 3.5E. This is just another change that is totally unacceptable for me. At least this one I could houserule away very easily as a DM; just insert whatever items you want.

As a player though, this doesn't work. I like having lots of magic items, and I like static stat bonuses. I actually like them as a DM too, because they're predictable. I don't see this as the fix to the problem.

IMO, they shouldn't have touched the magic items tables, except maybe to just add more, nor taken away any slots. What they SHOULD have done was taken away the WBL table, or at the very least made it clear it was NOT a rule, just a planning guide for creating characters at higher levels. I'd have ditched it entirely.

The need for magic items to be able to balance the party, the wal-mart effect, and the WBL are easy to fix.

1. Ignore the WBL. The DM's eyeball is the WBL determiner, nothing else. Make it clear to the players that table is irrelevant.
2. Don't have magical items available for sale. Just because an item has a given price doesn't mean you can go buy one; maybe no one is selling. This doesn't work as well for potions and scrolls, but those aren't the big issue anyhow. Simply have the price also reflect the scarcity; for example a ring of protection +1 at 2,000 gp should be about 20 times easier to locate than a 40,000 gp ring of freedom of movement. It doesn't matter if you have the cash if the item isn't around to be bought. Buying items can be as rare or common as the DM needs; in my games it's damn rare.
3. As for item creation feats, attach some pain to these too. Wand of pretection from arrows for Batman Wizard? No problem - if you can get the players to the Mine of Snorzak and find the dust you need. You might even ease up the gold piece cost if you're making the players go on an expedition. It's like Roy and his Starmetal. If you really want the component to be available on the market, have it in limited supply. The players need to find a vendor of rare and precious supplies.

I'm already at the point where I'll have to houserule so many things to enjoy playing that I'm better off sticking with 3.5. This is just another straw on the camel.

Rutee
2008-01-26, 05:17 PM
Seems to me the only slot lost is neck/shoulders (could be I missed one or two...). The rest are items that can be picked up/drawn forth and used. I don't see a huge reduction in reliance on magical bling here. Maybe that's OK, but it doesn't seem like the major change to me that WoTC has been promising.

If you looked at the post above you, you would have counted about 8-10 slots missing. Almost half of the available slots, in other words.

I'm sorry, but if 50% doesn't qualify as noticeable to you..

Sleet
2008-01-26, 06:16 PM
If you looked at the post above you, you would have counted about 8-10 slots missing. Almost half of the available slots, in other words.

Half the available items were missing. Not slots. Big difference.

UNless I'm misunderstanding something fundamental here. Which happens a lot, actually.

Yakk
2008-01-27, 09:41 AM
The +6 to dex effects where:
A> Too effective,
B> too boring.

<A> is a problem for a few reasons. First, losing it or not having it causes serious damage to your character.

Second, it makes other items that go in "that slot" have reduced value.

<B> is a problem because instead of "gloves of pick pocketing", "gloves of hidden weapons" or "gloves of other cool effect", in which every character has a bunch of neat tricks ... you get a bunch of characters who have a bonus to their AC, reflex saves and ranged attacks.

So what did the spooks on the beach do?

They kept some slots that generate "too good" bonuses, but they restricted them to certain slots.

The remaining slots don't generate static, broad modifiers to d20 rolls.

Next, rebalance the game assuming that people don't have these bonuses!

This, strangely, increases player options. Instead of having 3 slots dedicated to boosting certain key stats, those slots are now free to have interesting effects in them that are "always on".

Triggered items are, for the most part, unslotted in 4e. This also increases options.

DeathQuaker
2008-01-27, 10:08 AM
Half the available items were missing. Not slots. Big difference.

UNless I'm misunderstanding something fundamental here. Which happens a lot, actually.


Don't think you're missing anything.

Shoulders and Neck (Cloaks, Amulets) were combined into one slot.
Wrists and Shields were combined into one slot.
Heads, Eyes, and Ioun Stones were combined into one slot. (As an aside, I always made Ioun Stones take up an Eye slot)
Armor and "Torso" (magic shirts) were combined into one slot
The rest were the same (Waist, Hands, Feet, Rings, Weapon/wielded items).

So that's 4 slots gone--really not that much (though you could count Rings as "gone" for low-level characters). I don't think I ever played a game where all the slots were full anyway.

And as it was, the character listed still seemed to be carrying a buttload of gear to me. 'Course, since I don't know what a bunch of that stuff does it's hard to tell whether it's a significant amount of gear or not.

Overall, I agree with the philosophy that reliance on magic items is not a good thing, and some D&D games can be ridiculous about it--but, others cannot. But I can houserule that into 3.5 as much as use it for 4E.

Trog
2008-01-27, 10:52 AM
*Applauds WotC for making a system that work both in low magic and high magic campaign settings*

I like that all the other possible slots are effectively optional and don't give you plusses. Also I really like the fact that rings are reserved for higher level characters. I mean you have to be like what was it... 12th level? to even take the feat? Why the hell would a 12th level mage make a +1 ring I ask you. Maybe if he was a slacker underachiever, maybe. Either way... don't expect your 2nd level dude to have one. Nice.

Though I could have done without the Ioun stones altogether. Damn those things look dorky. :smalltongue:

Diamondeye
2008-01-27, 11:46 AM
I should also point out that I think the Ring thing is the height of idiotic.

Talya
2008-01-27, 11:58 AM
I like. I generally like magic item reliance to go down. I'd go so far as to say they need to be much more rare, as well.

So, if I were keeping score:

Things I like about 4e: II
Things I hate about 4e: IIII I
Things I don't care about 4e: I