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Little_Rudo
2008-02-22, 10:29 PM
Link Here (Printer Friendly version) (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dramp/20080222a&pf=true)

Sneak Attack!

by Bill Slavicsek

This month, we’re granting everyone a surprise round before the actual launch of the 4th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons. During this surprise round, a bunch of my staff is heading to the D&D Experience in Virginia to play 4E with people, show off the latest art, unveil the rest of the year’s slate of products, and provide a new look at the elements of D&D Insider. It’s an exciting time!

Not only are we in the midst of seeing finished galleys of the core books here in the office, but we’re about to enter the final stage before the launch of 4E. To me, this last sprint kicks off with D&D Experience. At the show, fans and players get to mingle with Chris Perkins, Andy Collins, Rob Heinsoo, James Wyatt, Mike Mearls, and Chris Youngs from my R&D team, as well as with The Rouse and Sarah Girard from the Brand Team, Didier Monin, and the great folks in Organized Play. It should be a wonderful event.

At the event, everyone will get to see the new game system in action. Games will be played, secrets will be revealed, and amazing D&D Insider features will take center stage. I’m sure the various tidbits that get revealed will be reported here and elsewhere as they happen, but I want to kick off the festivities with my own surprise round.

What better way to get everyone excited and talking than to show off one of the class write-ups from the new Player’s Handbook? And what class more typifies the surprise round than the rogue? What follows is the opening spread for the rogue class, as well as a few of the powers available to rogue characters.

You’re going to see something called “builds” in the information that follows. Builds present themes that you can use to guide you as you select powers and other abilities. You can follow the advice of a build, or you can ignore it. It’s not a constraint, but instead provides information to help you make informed choices as you create your character. Using a class build isn’t required; builds exist to help guide your decisions through the process of character creation and each time you level up.

If you’re going to attend D&D Experience, say hello to the gang for me. In the meantime, enjoy this surprise peek at the rogue. Hurry, though. You know how sneaky the rogue can be.
Rogue

"You look surprised to see me. If you’d been paying attention, you might still be alive."

CLASS TRAITS

Role: Striker. You dart in to attack, do massive damage, and then retreat to safety. You do best when teamed with a defender to flank enemies.
Power Source: Martial. Your talents depend on extensive training and constant practice, innate skill, and natural coordination.
Key Abilities: Dexterity, Strength, Charisma

Armor Training: Leather
Weapon Proficiencies: Dagger, hand crossbow, shuriken, sling, short sword
Bonus to Defense: +2 Reflex

Hit Points at 1st Level: 12 + Constitution score
Hit Points per Level Gained: 5
Healing Surges: 6 + Constitution modifier

Trained Skills: Stealth and Thievery plus four others. From the class skills list below, choose four more trained skills at 1st level.
Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dexterity), Athletics (Str), Bluff (Cha), Dungeoneering (Wis), Insight (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Perception (Wis), Stealth (Dexterity), Streetwise (Cha), Thievery (Dexterity)

Build Options: Brawny rogue, trickster rogue
Class Features: First Strike, Rogue Tactics, Rogue Weapon Talent, Sneak Attack

Rogues are cunning and elusive adversaries. Rogues slip into and out of shadows on a whim, pass anywhere across the field of battle without fear of reprisal, and appear suddenly only to drive home a lethal blade.

As a rogue, you might face others’ preconceptions regarding your motivations, but your nature is your own to mold. You could be an agent fresh from the deposed king’s shattered intelligence network, an accused criminal on the lam seeking to clear your name, a wiry performer whose goals transcend the theatrical stage, a kid trying to turn around your hard-luck story, or a daredevil thrill-seeker who can’t get enough of the adrenaline rush of conflict. Or perhaps you are merely in it for the gold, after all.

With a blade up your sleeve and a concealing cloak across your shoulders, you stride forth, eyes alight with anticipation. What worldly wonders and rewards are yours for the taking?

ROGUE OVERVIEW

Characteristics: Combat advantage provides the full benefit of your powers, and a combination of skills and powers helps you gain and keep that advantage over your foes. You are a master of skills, from Stealth and Thievery to Bluff and Acrobatics.

Religion: Rogues prefer deities of the night, luck, freedom, and adventure, such as Sehanine and Avandra. Evil and chaotic evil rogues often favor Lolth or Zehir.

Races: Those with a love for secrets exchanged in shadows and change for its own sake make ideal rogues, including elves, tieflings, and halflings.
Creating a Rogue

The trickster rogue and the brawny rogue are the two rogue builds, one relying on bluffs and feints, the other on brute strength. Dexterity, Charisma, and Strength are the rogue’s most important ability scores.

Brawny Rogue
You like powers that deal plenty of damage, aided by your Strength, and also stun, immobilize, knock down, or push your foes. Your attacks use Dexterity, so keep that your highest ability score. Strength should be a close second—it increases your damage directly, and it can determine other effects of your attacks. Charisma is a good third ability score, particularly if you want to dabble in powers from the other rogue build. Select the brutal scoundrel rogue tactic, and look for powers that pack a lot of damage into every punch.

Suggested Feat: Weapon Focus (Human feat: Toughness)
Suggested Skills: Athletics, Dungeoneering, Intimidate, Stealth, Streetwise, Thievery
Suggested At-Will Powers: Piercing Strike, Riposte Strike
Suggested Encounter Power: Torturous Strike
Suggested Daily Power: Easy Target

Trickster Rogue
You like powers that deceive and misdirect your foes. You dart in and out of the fray in combat, dodging your enemies’ attacks or redirecting them to other foes. Most of your attack powers rely on Dexterity, so that should be your best ability score. Charisma is important for a few attacks, for Charisma-based skills you sometimes use in place of attacks, and for other effects that depend on successful attacks, so make Charisma your second-best score. Strength is useful if you want to choose powers intended for the other rogue build. Select the artful dodger rogue tactic. Look for powers that take advantage of your high Charisma score, as well as those that add to your trickster nature.

Suggested Feat: Backstabber (Human feat: Human Perseverance)
Suggested Skills: Acrobatics, Bluff, Insight, Perception, Stealth, Thievery
Suggested At-Will Powers: Deft Strike, Sly Flourish
Suggested Encounter Power: Positioning Strike
Suggested Daily Power: Trick Strike

Rogue Class Features

All rogues share these class features.

First Strike
At the start of an encounter, you have combat advantage against any creatures that have not yet acted in that encounter.

Rogue Tactics
Rogues operate in a variety of ways. Some rogues use their natural charm and cunning trickery to deceive foes. Others rely on brute strength to overcome their enemies.

Choose one of the following options.

Artful Dodger: You gain a bonus to AC equal to your Charisma modifier against opportunity attacks.
Brutal Scoundrel: You gain a bonus to Sneak Attack damage equal to your Strength modifier.

The choice you make also provides bonuses to certain rogue powers. Individual powers detail the effects (if any) your Rogue Tactics selection has on them.

Rogue Weapon Talent
When you wield a shuriken, your weapon damage die increases by one size. When you wield a dagger, you gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls.

Sneak Attack
Once per round, when you have combat advantage against an enemy and are using a light blade, a crossbow, or a sling, your attacks against that enemy deal extra damage. As you advance in level, your extra damage increases.
Level Sneak Attack Damage
1st–10th +2d6
11th–20th +3d6
21st–30th +5d6
Rogue Powers

Your powers are daring exploits that draw on your personal cunning, agility, and expertise. Some powers reward a high Charisma and are well suited for the trickster rogue, and others reward a high Strength and appeal to the brawny rogue, but you are free to choose any power you like.
Deft Strike
Rogue Attack 1
A final lunge brings you into an advantageous position.

At-Will ✦ Martial, Weapon
Standard Action
Melee or Ranged weapon
Requirement: You must be wielding a crossbow, a light blade, or a sling.
Target: One creature
Special: You can move 2 squares before the attack.
Attack: Dexterity vs. AC

Hit: 1[W] + Dexterity modifier damage.
Increase damage to 2[W] + Dexterity modifier at 21st level.


Piercing Strike
Rogue Attack 1
A needle-sharp point slips past armor and into tender flesh.

At-Will ✦ Martial, Weapon
Standard Action
Melee weapon
Requirement: You must be wielding a light blade.
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity vs. Reflex

Hit: 1[W] + Dexterity modifier damage.
Increase damage to 2[W] + Dexterity modifier at 21st level.


Positioning Strike
Rogue Attack 1
A false stumble and a shove place the enemy exactly where you want him.

Encounter ✦ Martial, Weapon
Standard Action
Melee weapon
Requirement: You must be wielding a light blade.
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity vs. Will

Hit: 1[W] + Dexterity modifier damage, and you slide the target 1 square.
Artful Dodger: You slide the target a number of squares equal to your Charisma modifier.


Torturous Strike
Rogue Attack 1
If you twist the blade in the wound just so, you can make your enemy howl in pain.

Encounter ✦ Martial, Weapon
Standard Action
Melee weapon
Requirement: You must be wielding a light blade.
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity vs. AC

Hit: 2[W] + Dexterity modifier damage.
Brutal Scoundrel: You gain a bonus to the damage roll equal to your Strength modifier.


Tumble
Rogue Utility 2
You tumble out of harm’s way, dodging the opportunistic attacks of your enemies.

Encounter ✦ Martial
Move Action
Personal
Prerequisite: You must be trained in Acrobatics.

Effect: You can shift a number of squares equal to one-half your speed.


Crimson Edge
Rogue Attack 9
You deal your enemy a vicious wound that continues to bleed, and like a shark, you circle in for the kill.

Daily ✦ Martial, Weapon
Standard Action
Melee weapon
Requirement: You must be wielding a light blade.
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity vs. Fortitude

Hit: 2[W] + Dexterity modifier damage, and the target takes ongoing damage equal to 5 + your Strength modifier and grants combat advantage to you (save ends both).
Miss: Half damage, and no ongoing damage.

I didn't see a topic on this, so even though I'm more of a lurker than a poster, here it is. Enjoy!

Kyeudo
2008-02-22, 10:58 PM
Very interesting. A final confirmation on a few things. Humans obviously still get a bonus feat at first level, Rogues get powers, Dexterity is their defining characteristic, etc. All in all, looks like they tapped alot of Unearthed Arcana in making 4th Ed.

I don't like how the Skills look, mostly because of the possible difficulties with multiclassing, but that may just be me.

I do like the fact that Trapfinding is apparently gone.

AslanCross
2008-02-22, 11:02 PM
I noticed they no longer have Intelligence as a priority ability score.

Admiral Squish
2008-02-22, 11:10 PM
I can hardly understand a word of that. Which confirms the suspicion that I'll have to re-learn EVERYTHING from the ground up.

Artanis
2008-02-22, 11:18 PM
BUILD ADVICE! YES!

I think this is an amazing decision. The bane of newbies everywhere has always been not really knowing what to do with a character, often causing them to f*** it up royally, in turn screwing themselves out of having any fun just because of inexperience. Now WotC devotes a few lines to giving newbies a couple of pointers to help them avoid gimping themselves too thoroughly.

Up until now, I had mostly taken a "wait and see" approach regarding 4e, but this gives me reason to allow myself a little bit of optimism :smallbiggrin:


Also, the powers look neat, and I'm interested in seeing the write-ups for other classes (namely the Wizard) to see how and if they differ in "feel".


I can hardly understand a word of that. Which confirms the suspicion that I'll have to re-learn EVERYTHING from the ground up.
Some of it was hard to understand because it referenced mechanics that we don't have access to, but plenty of it made sense to me, despite us still knowing so very little about the game.

Sanzh
2008-02-22, 11:27 PM
This looks okay. Most of 4E I've seen I don't like, but this shows some promise. My only complaints are how rogues are no longer Int-focused and how few skills they seem to get.

Little_Rudo
2008-02-22, 11:31 PM
This looks okay. Most of 4E I've seen I don't like, but this shows some promise. My only complaints are how rogues are no longer Int-focused and how few skills they seem to get.

To be fair, with how much skills are folded into one another, they do end up being quite capable with their six skills. It's hard to tell without having another, generally less-skilled class to compare them to.

Reinboom
2008-02-22, 11:34 PM
Armor Training: Leather
Weapon Proficiencies: Dagger, hand crossbow, shuriken, sling, short sword
So, Weapon Proficiencies are no longer categorized, and Armor is changed with their categories... or is also no longer categorized.
Hm..


Hit Points at 1st Level: 12 + Constitution score
Hit Points per Level Gained: 5

Woo, rolling by default is out!


Trained Skills: Stealth and Thievery plus four others. From the class skills list below, choose four more trained skills at 1st level.
Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dexterity), Athletics (Str), Bluff (Cha), Dungeoneering (Wis), Insight (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Perception (Wis), Stealth (Dexterity), Streetwise (Cha), Thievery (Dexterity)
No diplomacy.
Good.

I wonder why they wrote out "dexterity" on a few, but shortened on the others...

And I wonder what 'Insight' is...


combat advantage
I'm unsure about this. An all inclusive term of "when flanking or would be flat-footed" perhaps? And.. with other things that give you it?

Ascension
2008-02-22, 11:37 PM
Two random notes/complaints/puzzlements...

By RAW you can't sneak attack with a bow anymore! Aww man, no Haley homage characters in 4th ed. without a house rule.

It mentions that evil rogues often revere Lolth... is she no longer race specific? Seems a little odd...

Reinboom
2008-02-22, 11:46 PM
Two random notes/complaints/puzzlements...

By RAW you can't sneak attack with a bow anymore! Aww man, no Haley homage characters in 4th ed. without a house rule.

It mentions that evil rogues often revere Lolth... is she no longer race specific? Seems a little odd...

They mentioned they were making gods less race specific.

and "darn..." about the bow thing. I rarely see it used though.

SurlySeraph
2008-02-22, 11:47 PM
Hm. I see very little to complain about. The skill system makes sense.

They seem to be making shurikens rather important, what with them being one of the rogues 5 class weapons and there being a feat devoted to shurikens and daggers. I will leave analysis of that detail to those who think DnD is turning into anime.

I don't think I like whatever's going on with the health system. Constitution apparently only gives you bonus hit points at 1st level now. But at first level, it gives you a lot of hit points. It seems like giving so many hits points at 1st level is an attempt to make sure that high-level characters can't slaughter an abitrarily large number of low-level characters any more, which I do approve of. I have mixed feelings about giving a specific number of hit points per level. On one hand, it's more fair than rolling. On the other, it seems less realistic (because there's no possible variation), less traditional, leaves less room for a DM's personal style (whether he wants players to roll, take full HP per level, take average HP, etc.). As for "Healing Surges," I want healbot clerics back. They kept things balanced.

BAB doesn't appear to exist anymore.

Sneak attack looks a lot weaker now. And you know what? If they release something like this on Wizards, and Wizards aren't proportionately nerfed, I'm going to be very, very angry.

tyckspoon
2008-02-22, 11:47 PM
BUILD ADVICE! YES!

I think this is an amazing decision. The bane of newbies everywhere has always been not really knowing what to do with a character, often causing them to f*** it up royally, in turn screwing themselves out of having any fun just because of inexperience. Now WotC devotes a few lines to giving newbies a couple of pointers to help them avoid gimping themselves too thoroughly

I wouldn't be too optimistic about that just yet. There have been books where Wizards offered build advice. Which was nice, but it tended to be wrong. Like the suggestions to take Weapon Focus and Toughness- in 3.5, that's terrible advice. Hopefully they don't suck so bad this time around. Fortunately, it looks like the really important parts, which I assume are going to be the powers and talents chosen, are going to be a lot harder to screw up. It's interesting that Weapon Finesse (and Dex as the damage mod. Took long enough.) is basically automatic for Rogues; possibly this indicates the general death of a 'default' combat stat? We already saw the Paladin smite preview that indicates that Paladins will be able to strike with Charisma at least part of the time.

Artanis
2008-02-22, 11:52 PM
I don't think I like whatever's going on with the health system. Constitution apparently only gives you bonus hit points at 1st level now.
Hrm...depends on how (and if, for that matter) the healing surges scale. Since the number of healing surges is dependent on CON mod, 4e could wind up with CON being just as big a factor in survivability as it was in 3e. Or not. *shrug*


Sneak attack looks a lot weaker now. And you know what? If they release something like this on Wizards, and Wizards aren't proportionately nerfed, I'm going to be very, very angry.
Yeah, I definitely want to see the equivalent Wizard stuff as well :smallsmile:

tyckspoon
2008-02-23, 12:07 AM
Hrm...depends on how (and if, for that matter) the healing surges scale. Since the number of healing surges is dependent on CON mod, 4e could wind up with CON being just as big a factor in survivability as it was in 3e. Or not. *shrug*

Hmm. I read that as a Healing Surge providing 6 + Con Mod HP back, but that would run a risk of dwindling into insignificance at higher levels. I'm guessing the goal for a Healing Surge is something like the Dragon Shaman's fast healing aura or the Touch of Healing Reserve feat currently; they can get you to about half health, but to get back to full you need the intervention of a more powerful healing ability. Or possibly in 4E, to have a Leader-class use one of his powers to let your Healing Surge be more effective.



Yeah, I definitely want to see the equivalent Wizard stuff as well :smallsmile:

I'm not sure what the /Encounter and /Day powers will look like, but I'm almost certain the at will powers will be nearly identical to the ones we see here for the Rogue. They'll just use Int for the attack modifier and do [Focus tool] + Int damage instead of Dex.

Rutee
2008-02-23, 01:05 AM
They seem to be making shurikens rather important, what with them being one of the rogues 5 class weapons and there being a feat devoted to shurikens and daggers. I will leave analysis of that detail to those who think DnD is turning into anime.

ToB made it seem pretty clear to me that the devs want to add Eastern influences, without letting them dominate. I, for one, don't see adding wuxia and the like to the mix as "Turning DnD into anime".

I'd be worried about the 'lack of powers', seemingly, but I suspect they just showed us Crimson Edge to give us an idea of a Rogue Daily power, not to show us what paths progression might take from 2 to 9. I like this though, with the Rogue striking multiple defenses!

However, the lack of innate rapier proficiency makes me a sad panda.

TheOOB
2008-02-23, 01:34 AM
I see some good, some bad.

I really don't like the trained skill thing, it worked ok for Star Wars, but unless it works differentially here then in that system I will have to houserule it out. As long as you still gain new skills when multiclassing, and there is another cost efficient way to get skills, it could work. That said I don't like class skills in general, I believe every class should just get skill points per level, and anything that shouldn't be avaible to every class should be a class ability.

I also don't like how specific the weapon set is, why can my rogue use a hand crossbow but not a two-handed one, anyone can use a two-handed crossbow, and why don't they have weapons like a sap or a club, the list is needlessly specific without room for customization. I could imagine say, having a list of available weapons and choosing a number(with of course some simple weapons, dagger, crossbow, club, staff automatically avaible), but just saying a rogue can only use a couple weapons is bogus.

On the other hand, I'm liking how the abilities are looking. I'm not entirely sure exactally what they do, the notation is quite different from 3.5, but they look good. I just hope some of them end up being more fancy then just ways of doing more damage. ToB didn't just make fighter types viable, it also made them cool, which is a trait I hope they encorperate into 4.0

Fhaolan
2008-02-23, 01:38 AM
I think they have rolled darts, throwing spikes, and shuriken together into one 'category' of weapon, and used the more popular Japanophile name. D&D has been moving in that direction for several editions, which I find amusing as I envisioned the 'dart' in D&D not as a bar-dart that everyone else seems to see it, but more of the size of lawn-darts. Half-sized javelins, and so on.

tyckspoon
2008-02-23, 01:48 AM
On the other hand, I'm liking how the abilities are looking. I'm not entirely sure exactally what they do, the notation is quite different from 3.5, but they look good. I just hope some of them end up being more fancy then just ways of doing more damage. ToB didn't just make fighter types viable, it also made them cool, which is a trait I hope they encorperate into 4.0

I don't know how much of the versatility of all the 9 Ways they'll include in any single class, but from just the preview we already have powers that:
Let you move the enemy
Let you move yourself before/while striking
Let you maneuver better with a 'shift' move (five-foot step equivalent, I think?)
Do damage over time and give you 'combat advantage' (combo-able to other powers that require combat advantage, probably)
Combine Strength and Dex mods for damage

And that's only out of a few powers from levels 1, 2, and 9. There's at least 7 other levels worth of powers that we don't know anything about yet. It seems likely to me that few of the Rogue's powers will be *only* damage dealing, if the group here are any kind of representative sample.

Blackadder
2008-02-23, 02:24 AM
As far as this goes, Crunch raises to many questions to comment directly, Fluff yes we can tear apart because the've given us the before the back and the story of some areas so we can take that apart and dissect it.

But what are shuriken? Just 3.5 shuriken? Or are darts and throwing knives in that area to? If so then could short-swords have half a dozen weapons in it's grouping? What about light/heavy crossbows?

We don't know yet crunch wise, but I can comment on one area.

It does look like the Reaper has been at the skills list.
Acrobatics (Dexterity), Athletics (Str), Bluff (Cha), Dungeoneering (Wis), Insight (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Perception (Wis), Stealth (Dexterity), Streetwise (Cha), Thievery (Dexterity)

So right now a 4.0 rogue has 10 skills

Compared to 3.5 Rogue 30 skills
The rogue’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (local) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex).


Now here's the question, are Rogue no longer skill-monkeys? Or did the skills list get a massive overhaul?

Based on what we've seen I call over-haul, Massive overhaul. And it could be a very good thing.

Maerok
2008-02-23, 02:28 AM
WotC: "Hey look, it's a Rogue. He kills you quietly... Also... umm... hmm... sneaking and skills, sure why not I guess."

What to expect:
WotC: "Hey look, it's a Fighter. He kills you violently."
WotC: "Hey look, it's a spellcaster. He kills you with magic. What? Roleplaying? You can find that in the next supplement."

Blackadder
2008-02-23, 02:30 AM
One quick follow-up, if Rogue's are still skill-monkey's that leaves the max possible 4.0 skils at 12-14. Meaning at the very least that of the 35 skills that 3.5 features, that every single skill got at least one merger.

Some we've seen, Bluff/Diplomacy to Persuasion. Hide/Move silently and so on. But are we going to see super Balance/Jump/Climb type physical skills or what is Wizard's aiming at with the new possibly much reduced skill set?

Rutee
2008-02-23, 02:36 AM
Some we've seen, Bluff/Diplomacy to Persuasion. Hide/Move silently and so on. But are we going to see super Balance/Jump/Climb type physical skills or what is Wizard's aiming at with the new possibly much reduced skill set?

I can easily see a reduced skill set. Do you know how much glut is there, primarily to nickel and dime you out of Skill Points? DnD is literally one of two systems I know that even has Climb as its own skill at all, and the other system openly admits that it's mostly useless.

Rachel Lorelei
2008-02-23, 02:38 AM
WotC: "Hey look, it's a Rogue. He kills you quietly... Also... umm... hmm... sneaking and skills, sure why not I guess."

What to expect:
WotC: "Hey look, it's a Fighter. He kills you violently."
WotC: "Hey look, it's a spellcaster. He kills you with magic. What? Roleplaying? You can find that in the next supplement."

You're right, they should've included roleplaying mechanics.

(????)


To elaborate--roleplaying your rogue isn't going to work any differently in 4E than it does in 3.5. Why would they spend preview space on rehashing that?

tyckspoon
2008-02-23, 02:38 AM
are Rogue no longer skill-monkeys? Or did the skills list get a massive overhaul?[/b]

Based on what we've seen I call over-haul, Massive overhaul. And it could be a very good thing.

Definite overhaul. As you mentioned, we already know certain skills have been condensed; Hide/Move Silent are just Stealth now, Spot/Listen/Look collapse to Perception. Climb/Jump/Tumble/Balance have presumably been distributed between Athletics and Acrobatics. Open Lock/Disable Device and the pickpocketing function of Sleight of Hand are probably in Thievery. If I'm remembering some developer blog stuff correctly, Gather Information and Know (Local) are gathered under Streetwise. There are few enough skills that Rogues no longer need to get 10 or 12 skill points each level just to have a satisfactorily broad selection. Presumably other less skill-centric classes will have fewer free trained picks from an even more condensed list (they probably won't have Thievery, for one.)

FinalJustice
2008-02-23, 02:54 AM
Am I the only one who misses a recovery method for all those 'per encounter/per day' stuff? Doesn't need to be as safe as ToB classes and definetely some of those will always exist, but I don't like the idea of 'per encounter' abilities with no method to recover during the encounter.

Crow
2008-02-23, 03:07 AM
I was expecting something a little different when I read "Trickster Rogue". I guess I imagined a spymaster sort, rather than a...rodeo clown.

skywalker
2008-02-23, 03:33 AM
I was feeling very positive about 4.0 until I read this.

Through web previews and the races & classes preview, Wizards had sweet talked me into thinking 4.0 would be more fun.

I am now back to being skeptical.

This seems very limited. I wasn't around when 3.0/3.5 came out, but I'm fearing right now that the only things I'll be capable of playing are "brawny rogue" or "trickster rogue."

It's all so much about the combat.

Evidence already that the build advice is wrong: They list STR, DEX, and CHA as key abilities, but trapfinding and disabling is apparently based on WIS? WTH?

I don't like the way HPs appear to work.

Very meh-ly pissed off. The pessimistic side of my brain feels vindicated.

Belial_the_Leveler
2008-02-23, 03:35 AM
I don't think I like whatever's going on with the health system. Constitution apparently only gives you bonus hit points at 1st level now. But at first level, it gives you a lot of hit points. It seems like giving so many hits points at 1st level is an attempt to make sure that high-level characters can't slaughter an abitrarily large number of low-level characters any more, which I do approve of. I have mixed feelings about giving a specific number of hit points per level. On one hand, it's more fair than rolling. On the other, it seems less realistic (because there's no possible variation), less traditional, leaves less room for a DM's personal style (whether he wants players to roll, take full HP per level, take average HP, etc.). As for "Healing Surges," I want healbot clerics back. They kept things balanced.
The removal of HP bonus per level is, balance-wise, a good thing (if that is what they did). It makes wizards remain weak compared to fighters no matter how many bonuses they get to constitution. Also, it cuts down on total HP-no more will we have 20th level characters with 400+ HP. But healing surges are a bad thing flavor-wise.



Sneak attack looks a lot weaker now. And you know what? If they release something like this on Wizards, and Wizards aren't proportionately nerfed, I'm going to be very, very angry.
You're missing that:
a) HP has been substantially reduced-a 20th level rogue with 16 constitution would now have 123 HP instead of the equivalent of average 210 a rogue with 16 constitution, a +6 constitution item and average rolls would have in 3.5
b) The rogue does sneak attack whenever he has a combat advantage. Guess what? Half his powers give him combat advantage now.
c) Much fewer creatures will be immune to sneak attacks-if any. E.g. zombies are no longer immune to criticals and, by extension, sneak attacks.

Torturous Strike
Rogue Attack 1
If you twist the blade in the wound just so, you can make your enemy howl in pain.

Encounter, Martial, Weapon
Standard Action
Melee weapon
Requirement: You must be wielding a light blade.
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity vs. AC
Hit: 2[W] + Dexterity modifier damage.
Brutal Scoundrel: You gain a bonus to the damage roll equal to your Strength modifier.
The above is a 1st level ability for rogues. Assume the rogue has combat advantage (is flanking or has gained advantage from a previous maneuer) and is wielding a rapier (1d8 light blade in 3.5). He deals (if he hits ofcourse) 2d8 (weapon 2x) +3 (dex) +3 (str) +2d6 (sneak) for an average of 22 points of damage Compare to a 3.5 fireball that deals 35 points of damage by 10th level. Remember that HP has been nearly halved.

Guess what? Relatively speaking, a 1st level 4.0 rogue power, using a nonmagical weapon, does the same damage to a single target as a 3.5 fireball cast by a 10th level caster. Ofcourse, the fireball does damage to more than one enemy. But we should take into account that the equivalent power level would be a 10th level power, not a 1st and that also the rogue should be using a +2 weapon by 10th level so increase the damage by an average of 9.


Am I the only one who misses a recovery method for all those 'per encounter/per day' stuff? Doesn't need to be as safe as ToB classes and definetely some of those will always exist, but I don't like the idea of 'per encounter' abilities with no method to recover during the encounter.
Per encounter powers are just that: you only use them ONCE per encounter. Powers usable more than once are at will. Per day powers are only usable once per day.

RTGoodman
2008-02-23, 03:39 AM
Anyone have any ideas of what the [W]s mean in the power descriptions? At first it seems to me that it might me Wound points (like, the Torturous Strike power deals two points of direct Wound damage), but then I wasn't sure whether or not they've said anything about a HP/Wound/Vitality system. Anybody know anything about it?

I have to respectfully disagree with Admiral Squish - I don't think the mechanics here are complete unintelligible. The problem is just that a lot of the mechanics are just not specifically stated here (power recovery, that sort of thing); besides a few things like that, it's not really that hard for me to understand most of what they're talking about (based on what I've heard about 4E already).

Regarding concerns and comments about being limited to weapons, I think they mentioned that there are gonna be feats to sort of "mini multiclass" into other classes. I'd assume there's a "Fighter Training" feat that gives you access to some better weapons and whatnot, and having a Rogue take a feat to represent martial training in order to wield a longsword or whatever seems pretty fair to me. Multiclassing is supposed to not completely suck from what designers have said, so those kinds of problems are hopefully gone.

tyckspoon
2008-02-23, 03:45 AM
Anyone have any ideas of what the [W]s mean in the power descriptions? At first it seems to me that it might me Wound points (like, the Torturous Strike power deals two points of direct Wound damage), but then I wasn't sure whether or not they've said anything about a HP/Wound/Vitality system. Anybody know anything about it?


I think it's a stand-in for [weapon damage]. Tortuous Strike does double base damage. I wanna say the Paladin smites preview article explained it?

Rachel Lorelei
2008-02-23, 03:47 AM
This seems very limited. I wasn't around when 3.0/3.5 came out, but I'm fearing right now that the only things I'll be capable of playing are "brawny rogue" or "trickster rogue."
Compare that to the options a Rogue has in 3.5 core. If you expect the 4E PHB to give you the same options as the dozens of splatbooks availible for 3.5, well, that's a pretty big expectation!


It's all so much about the combat.
What should Rogue powers be focused on, exactly? Sneak Attack, Evasion... 3.5 rogues are no less combat-focused. Sure, they get Trapfinding/Trap Sense, but the 3.5 trap mechanics are worthless. They had skills and they have skills. I'm sure they'll have some utility powers, to help stealth and such, too, but not so many that it cuts into combat effectiveness.
I just don't see where you're coming from.

...also, D&D is a pretty dang combat-focused game. Always has been.


Evidence already that the build advice is wrong: They list STR, DEX, and CHA as key abilities, but trapfinding and disabling is apparently based on WIS? WTH?
Trapfinding is much less of a big deal. You're also assuming, probably wrongly, that finding/disabling traps is going to be based on the Dungeoneering skill.
DEX is a key ability for attack/damage, and Trickster Rogue abilities key off of CHA while brawny rogue abilities key off of STR. The advice is perfectly sound.

Zincorium
2008-02-23, 03:53 AM
I was feeling very positive about 4.0 until I read this.

Through web previews and the races & classes preview, Wizards had sweet talked me into thinking 4.0 would be more fun.

I am now back to being skeptical.

This seems very limited. I wasn't around when 3.0/3.5 came out, but I'm fearing right now that the only things I'll be capable of playing are "brawny rogue" or "trickster rogue."

Which is one more choice, crunchwise, than all other editions. Those offered you one sort of rogue, and if you didn't like it, tough. It seems pretty cool that you can at least be a certain specific archetype now.


It's all so much about the combat.

As opposed to what? WotC can't roleplay characters for you, and I'd rather they didn't try. Besides, the preview doesn't seem like it has everything or even most of the stuff that'll be in the actual book.


I don't like the way HPs appear to work.

Honestly, I'm not jazzed about it either, unlike some things. They appear to have made some sort of 2nd edition-SW Saga hybrid.

Infinity_Biscuit
2008-02-23, 04:21 AM
WotC: "Hey look, it's a Rogue. He kills you quietly... Also... umm... hmm... sneaking and skills, sure why not I guess."

What to expect:
WotC: "Hey look, it's a Fighter. He kills you violently."
WotC: "Hey look, it's a spellcaster. He kills you with magic. What? Roleplaying? You can find that in the next supplement."

In 2nd Edition, all Fighters were basically mechanically identical. According to some, this encourages roleplaying more than the options available in 3rd Edition.

In 4th Edition, the classes are perceived to be basically mechanically identical. According to some, this encourages roleplaying less than the options available in 3rd Edition.

Madness.
:smalltongue:

Rutee
2008-02-23, 04:58 AM
In 4th Edition, the classes are perceived to be basically mechanically identical. According to some, this encourages roleplaying less than the options available in 3rd Edition.
To be fair, things seem to show that they'll be less mechanically identical then in 2e.


Madness.
:smalltongue:

MADNESS!? THIS! IS! CAKETOWN!


What should Rogue powers be focused on, exactly? Sneak Attack, Evasion... 3.5 rogues are no less combat-focused. Sure, they get Trapfinding/Trap Sense, but the 3.5 trap mechanics are worthless. They had skills and they have skills. I'm sure they'll have some utility powers, to help stealth and such, too, but not so many that it cuts into combat effectiveness.
I just don't see where you're coming from.

...also, D&D is a pretty dang combat-focused game. Always has been.

A-are you implying that the Spymaster and other similar PrCs that weren't combat focussed aren't the end all of classes? ;.;

lord_khaine
2008-02-23, 05:01 AM
i must say i dislike the change to sneak attack, where it is now limited to a few weapons.

ShadowSiege
2008-02-23, 05:21 AM
This seems very limited. I wasn't around when 3.0/3.5 came out, but I'm fearing right now that the only things I'll be capable of playing are "brawny rogue" or "trickster rogue."

It's all so much about the combat.

Rogues are con men, safe crackers, assassins, thieves, and opportunists. They don't smooth things over and make new friends. Rather they take advantage of people and then take off into the shadows.


Evidence already that the build advice is wrong: They list STR, DEX, and CHA as key abilities, but trapfinding and disabling is apparently based on WIS? WTH?

Trap finding would fall under Perception (Wis), but rogues may get a bonus. As for disabling, I didn't see anything about it, I'd guess it'll be Dex based. Or just out and out damage since the traps in 4e are more akin to encounter traps in 3e.


I don't like the way HPs appear to work.
I saw a fighter roll 1s for 3 levels in a row. I'd say static HP gains is a blessing for those cursed to roll low with unsympathetic DMs. It does reduce the variety among different rogues, but, in my opinion, that diversity was neither particularly important nor at times fun.

As for my opinion on the rogue, it looks neat but I was rather hoping for a more complete progression. Dex bonus to damage is long overdue, and the powers look like a rogue could fulfill more than just a striker role with a specific build (Positioning Strike + Artful Dodger for battlefield control. Hit the monster on the wizard and suddenly it's lots of squares away).

Somebloke
2008-02-23, 05:32 AM
Soooo....much.....crunchhhhhhh.......

Seriously, though, I am a little worried about how the skill system might lessen the rogue's 'skill monkey' status. Or perhaps not- after all, if Wizards get out-of-combat spells, then perhaps rogues get some similar mechanism- or perhaps Wiz have focussed exclusively on combat abilities.

I find it a little odd, though, that rogues do not get proficiency in certain weapons (shortbow? rapier? sap? or training in cloth armor (I mean, seriously) or that there is no intelligence bonus for skills at first level.

Also, does anyone else think that perhaps healing surges will be per-level rather than per-day? 6 + Con per day seems a little high for me.

Caracol
2008-02-23, 05:52 AM
Ok, I have some doubts about passing to the 4th Edition, and now my doubts are completely faded.

THIS SUCKS.

What the Hell? Everything about this rogue is so messed up that the only explication is that they have specifically made a fake preview just to scare.
What the hell happened to the skills? Fusing more skills together is stupid. Lowered sneak attack? Fixed hit points? Encounter Powers? NO INT INFLUENCE ?!!!??? What the hell were they thinking?

I am a big fan of the rogue. They are my favourite class for sure. But this really is lame, and I'm so NOT gonna update for the 4th after this preview.

Xefas
2008-02-23, 06:03 AM
I like it.

It looks like it will be loads easier to homebrew new flavors of hero with the way powers work. Instead of racial substitution levels, class variants, or elaborate prestige classes, it appears we'll be able to make a couple Powers and/or a Tactic and slap them onto the appropriate category.

I just hope the cleric and warlock come out similarly. New God? New Power-source? New Tactic!

appending_doom
2008-02-23, 06:44 AM
Tumble
Rogue Utility 2
You tumble out of harm’s way, dodging the opportunistic attacks of your enemies.

Encounter ✦ Martial
Move Action
Personal
Prerequisite: You must be trained in Acrobatics.

Effect: You can shift a number of squares equal to one-half your speed.

Is it just me, or does this sound like only Rogues will be allowed the effect of the Tumble skill? It seems very much like the effects of Tumble...

If so, that would be nearly as bad as exclusive skills - removing a skill, and giving only one class its effects.

Leon
2008-02-23, 06:46 AM
To me this is another clear example of why i think it is becoming a MMOesqe game. Limited selections of skills, weapons, powers, Hit points, talents etc.
The great thing about a 3.5 Rogue is that it can be used for a raft of ideas - those 8+int Skill points allow you to construct your own ideal skilled PC out of the frame work from a "DPS" class

Dan_Hemmens
2008-02-23, 06:59 AM
To me this is another clear example of why i think it is becoming a MMOesqe game. Limited selections of skills, weapons, powers, Hit points, talents etc.
The great thing about a 3.5 Rogue is that it can be used for a raft of ideas - those 8+int Skill points allow you to construct your own ideal skilled PC out of the frame work from a "DPS" class

Presumably the reason that there are fewer skill choices for the Rogue now is that some of the skills have been folded into each other.

I sincerely doubt that there are any skills that are still on the skill list that have been removed from the Rogue list. What are you particularly missing?

Dan_Hemmens
2008-02-23, 07:01 AM
Is it just me, or does this sound like only Rogues will be allowed the effect of the Tumble skill? It seems very much like the effects of Tumble...

If so, that would be nearly as bad as exclusive skills - removing a skill, and giving only one class its effects.

There's no reason to assume that other classes won't get the same or similar abilities.

Rutee
2008-02-23, 07:13 AM
To me this is another clear example of why i think it is becoming a MMOesqe game. Limited selections of skills, weapons, powers, Hit points, talents etc.
The great thing about a 3.5 Rogue is that it can be used for a raft of ideas - those 8+int Skill points allow you to construct your own ideal skilled PC out of the frame work from a "DPS" class

Dan pointed out the skill folding, but I'll also point out that in terms of Base "Skill Points", the Rogue comes out only 2 points behind, right? 2 fewer points after a huge number of skills have been collapsed down into fewer skills. Sounds like a win/win for the Skill Monkey fans out there.



What the hell happened to the skills? Fusing more skills together is stupid. Lowered sneak attack? Fixed hit points? Encounter Powers? NO INT INFLUENCE ?!!!??? What the hell were they thinking?
Encounter Powers are old news; If that bothers you, I don't know what to tell you. Fusing skills together? Vereh wise. Seriously, like half the skills on the 3.5 list are very, very close to another skill, and they're only seperate so as to drain more SP. Wanna sneak? Well sneaking is 2/SP a level, not 1, sucker. Ditto for Disable Device/Search, and several others. Lowering Sneak Attack damage? Well,t hat /would/ be stupid.. if they weren't lowerring damage across the board. Honestly, you'd think a Rogue fan would have the good sense to see the benefits, like Dex to Damage, and a big one, *targetting the Reflex Defense*..

Dan_Hemmens
2008-02-23, 07:21 AM
Dan pointed out the skill folding, but I'll also point out that in terms of Base "Skill Points", the Rogue comes out only 2 points behind, right? 2 fewer points after a huge number of skills have been collapsed down into fewer skills. Sounds like a win/win for the Skill Monkey fans out there.

To be fair, the fact that Rogues *have* to have skills in Sneak and Thievery does cut down on customizability.

Rutee
2008-02-23, 07:24 AM
True, and there are certainly valid rogue concepts that won't include either. Still, with the changes to skills, I'm pretty sure Rogues still come out ahead, usually.

Well, until one factors in Int/Humanity to SP, at which point it's anybody's guess..

Kurald Galain
2008-02-23, 07:30 AM
By RAW you can't sneak attack with a bow anymore! Aww man, no Haley homage characters in 4th ed. without a house rule.
I believe rangers may be getting that ability instead.

Build advice is hardly novel, third edition already does that. It's a good idea as long as the advice is decent (which, notably, in 3E it tends not to be).

I had the impression earlier that most "numbers" were going up (e.g. monsters having more hit points, and so forth). Indeed, the rogue has a lot more health now, even at first level (24 hp + 10 healing surges, with an average con score). On the other hand, his weapon damage overall is lower (except at first level with the 2d6 sneak attack). I suspect he'll be getting more damaging maneuvers later on, then.

The skills are an improvement - you can make a character swiftly with these rules, instead of deciding where to spend your 30+ skill points (arduous and confusing for novice players, who might not realize that putting one point in every skill really isn't helping you).

However, I'm surprised how few skills there actually are. Apart from the "folding", which is a good thing, it seems like they dropped all skills that have no bearing on combat (like perform and forgery).

Overall, it looks pretty good, except that it is almost completely focused on combat, combat and more combat, and that some of those extra-rules-for-mostly-irrelevant-bonuses keep popping up (e.g. shuriken do a different damage die if wielded by a rogue).

I wonder if it would be possible for e.g. a fighter to pick up positioning strike as a maneuver?

Dan_Hemmens
2008-02-23, 07:35 AM
However, I'm surprised how few skills there actually are. Apart from the "folding", which is a good thing, it seems like they dropped all skills that have no bearing on combat (like perform and forgery).


Forgery was probably folded into Thievery - it's so specific as to be largely useless otherwise.

As for Perform, maybe they're limiting it to Bards, maybe they've just decided that whether your character can dance or not is up to you.

D&D 3.X stripped out 90% of non-combat skills *anyway*.

Kurald Galain
2008-02-23, 07:36 AM
Which is one more choice, crunchwise, than all other editions.
That's not really true - third edition at least had various "starting packages" for the various classes, which is essentially the same as this "build advice".

Rogue is one of the broadest classes in terms of associated archetypes, and it would be nice if more than two of those could be modeled with the class. Of course, it is quite possible that they can be, using powers or maneuvers available at (slightly) higher levels.

However, several of those archetypes (e.g. swashbuckler, pirate, con man) do not really involve stealth.

Zincorium
2008-02-23, 07:44 AM
Rogue is one of the broadest classes in terms of associated archetypes, and it would be nice if more than two of those could be modeled with the class. Of course, it is quite possible that they can be, using powers or maneuvers available at (slightly) higher levels.

However, several of those archetypes (e.g. swashbuckler, pirate, con man) do not really involve stealth.

Honestly, I don't see there being a problem with having skills which you decide not to use for character reasons. I would have problem if there were skills necessary to the character that were unavailable, but as it looks now it's just a matter of deciding which four of the ten are vital to how you're going to play.

If your concept of your character is so far out of line that the previewed class seems unworkable, it might just mean you should use one of the other classes we haven't seen yet.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-02-23, 08:01 AM
That's not really true - third edition at least had various "starting packages" for the various classes, which is essentially the same as this "build advice".

Rogue is one of the broadest classes in terms of associated archetypes, and it would be nice if more than two of those could be modeled with the class. Of course, it is quite possible that they can be, using powers or maneuvers available at (slightly) higher levels.

However, several of those archetypes (e.g. swashbuckler, pirate, con man) do not really involve stealth.

Neither do those archetypes involve Sneak Attacking or Trapfinding, yet somehow people managed to get by with those Class Features being hardwired into the character class.

People need to let go of the idea that 4E has to allow you to create exactly the same characters as 3E in exactly the same way.

A 3E "Pirate" rogue has very, very little to distinguish them from a "swashbuckling" rogue or a "spy" rogue. They'll have a couple of different skills, and maybe some different feat choices.

A 4E "Pirate" rogue will have more skills in common with a "swashbuckler" or a "thief" but will have different abilities and class features.

And if you really, really hate the way a "pirate" looks modelled as a 4th Edition Rogue, run it as something else. It isn't a flaw for a character concept viable under one class in 3E to be viable under a different class in 4E.

YPU
2008-02-23, 08:11 AM
you know I would like to say that perhaps other sorts of crossbows saps and clubs and all are simple and now everybody is proficient with all the simple weapons, however the fact that dagger is mentioned in the weapon proficiency brings doubt on this. Tough if you look at races and classes there are a few weapon sketches, if those are anything to go by there now are smaller then dagger weapons, perhaps dagger is a real martial weapon now and knife is a simple weapon, kinda far fetched I suppose.

On another note, does it concern anybody else that of the six powers 4 require you to use a light blade, so rouges now will probably always be wielding a dagger or shorts word, then again most of those powers seem stabbing like fluff wise. So the clubbing rouge is out I suppose.

Any idea’s what the backstabber feat will do?

KIDS
2008-02-23, 08:24 AM
Some very interesting things here, and I like a vast majority of them.

Not knowing the number scale at first level, I'm a bit worried about number inflation. For example, he has at 1st level 12+CON SCORE hit points? Isn't that like 25? And when he does his 1/day attack, it will be something like DEX mod+STR mod +2x WPN dmg +2d6 SA damage, that looks nice for oneshotting things.
edit: but in comparison, with the new hp scaling (kill rolls! yes!), that means a 30th level rogue has about 170, which is a huge improvement over five-digit numbers we would usually see in epic. Yay!

Regardless.... very interesting, and I'm immensely glad that they embraced the multiple abilities for everyone philosophy.

Kurald Galain
2008-02-23, 08:24 AM
People need to let go of the idea that 4E has to allow you to create exactly the same characters as 3E in exactly the same way.
Whoa, no need to get so fiercely defensive; I'm essentially agreeing with you already.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-02-23, 08:31 AM
Whoa, no need to get so fiercely defensive; I'm essentially agreeing with you already.

Sorry, that wasn't actually directed at you, your comment just brought it to mind. People keep making ludicrous complaints like "I can't create [Character concept A] using [Class X] because the game insists that A-Type characters have to be [Class Y]".

People seem genuinely unable to cope with the idea that the same character, expressed differently in mechanical terms, is still the same character.

Little_Rudo
2008-02-23, 08:49 AM
For those who are concerned about the weapon choices (rightly so, I might add!), someone on the Wizards board made a good point. They may very well be folding weapons together into smaller categories: Shuriken might include darts and other small throwing items, short sword might include rapier, etc.

Also, I don't mean to make excuses, but it might be good to keep in mind that this is just a preview. This most likely isn't the entry as it appears in the PHB, and it's almost certainly not the complete powers list! I do expect the PHB version to contain more mechanics.

Falkus
2008-02-23, 09:32 AM
Well, I like what I see.

Leon
2008-02-23, 10:23 AM
Ive not a problem with Skill folding (i do it in my games) but i'd like to know what is folded into what and if anything has been excluded etc

Matthew
2008-02-23, 10:24 AM
Looks to be pretty much what I was expecting. Some of it is interesting, some of it is predictable, none of it particularly excites me in either a positive or negative way. The basic mechanics are still not visible, but we should be hearing about them soon enough.

NoDot
2008-02-23, 11:06 AM
It seems like giving so many hits points at 1st level is an attempt to make sure that high-level characters can't slaughter an abitrarily large number of low-level characters any more, which I do approve of.Why? I thought one of the benefits of being high level was supposed to be the ability to slaughter an arbitrarily large number of low level characters.

Attilargh
2008-02-23, 11:10 AM
The reason that was given when Star Wars Saga came out was that it gives 1st-level characters better chances of survival. Housecats, for example, will not be such a major threat to apprentice wizards.

I must say I rather like what I see. 4e seems like a fresh new game instead of just a fine-tune and a polish.

Vlad
2008-02-23, 11:17 AM
I don't like the two hardwired skills, but too easy to change that to "pick any six off the rogue skill list" rather than "stealth and thievery plus any four". That would help out people who think that their pet character concepts aren't being supported.

Rapiers and shortbows, being more difficult weapons to master, will probably require some sort of martial training feat or talent, or a dip into fighter. I don't have a problem with that, and I get the feeling that taking little dips into other class pools is going to be common in 4e.
I posted on the WOTC forums that I think the simple weapons like club, crossbow, spear and staff may well be automatic proficiencies for everybody. Ditto for cloth armour.
As for daggers, well, one could make an argument that a dagger requires some trained skill to use effectively in close combat, due to how close you have to get (and past your opponent's guard) to strike. Just a thought, and maybe not a good one.

Condensed skill list - good. Too many useless or very limited skills in 3e that can be folded in to other skills. And don't forget that you won't be useless at untrained skills like you are iin 3e - didn't they say somewhere that skills will default to a level-based check, with trained skills being somethign you are better than average at?
Six skills vice eight, with a condensed skill list, seems fine to me.

Matthew, on the contrary, I think we are seeing whole rafts of information about the mechanics, between this and the pit fiend and paladin previews, we have a pretty good idea of how the mechanics work.

I would like to know if there is an Int bonus to number of trained skills. Ah, well, if they let us know everything now, we would lose the fun of all this speculation.

Matthew
2008-02-23, 11:29 AM
Matthew, on the contrary, I think we are seeing whole rafts of information about the mechanics, between this and the pit fiend and paladin previews, we have a pretty good idea of how the mechanics work.

Nah, I'm talking basic mechanics. Attribute generation/tables, task resolution, equipment costs, starting gold, saving throws, attack rolls, initiative, surprise rounds, combat round length, experience awards, NPC Classes and how they relate to the PCs/World - the really basic stuff. So far, we've had glimpses as to how they are calculated (and plenty of theories), but nothing concrete.

Vortling
2008-02-23, 11:38 AM
This has put me firmly in the 'wait and see' crowd, leaning towards 'This may not be the game for me'.

On the good side of things they've done away with the need for Weapon Finesse and other assorted feats that let rogues deal damage with Dex. Combat advantage appears easier to obtain than flanking. The skill folding should allow for a broader skill base for rogues. The powers' names tell you what they do. If the rogue powers are any indication, no one will be stuck attacking a single point of defense. The utility power mentioned gives me hope that rogues will still be masters of skills and that skills won't be useless at high levels

Many of my concerns still stand though. 6 trained skills selected from 10 doesn't tell us much until we see what's all rolled into each skill. I'll be disappointed if other classes get more than 3 trained skills, simply because it lowers the rogue's ability to really be a master of skills. The build options seem odd to me. Until I see how much effect they have on the long term game I can't say they really excite me at all. They're good for new player's, I guess.

I'm sad that they dropped the refresh mechanics, but they mentioned that they were going away earlier.

Hopefully the unified progression won't make the classes feel too similar. On one hand I can see why people like the simplification. On the other hand I'm not really a fan of it.

My biggest concern (speaking from a DM perspective) is the damage over time power that ends on a save. Having to roll for that every round will slow things down. It will only get worse if a class or monster has a power like that that hits more than one target.

Artanis
2008-02-23, 12:15 PM
Also, I don't mean to make excuses, but it might be good to keep in mind that this is just a preview. This most likely isn't the entry as it appears in the PHB, and it's almost certainly not the complete powers list! I do expect the PHB version to contain more mechanics.
I wholeheartedly agree.

And on top of that, we don't know what anybody else looks like. The Rogue could quite easily still be the "official skill monkey" if everybody else gets like, two skills they can choose as trained. Sneak Attack might be a hell of a light weaker, or it might be brokenly powerful. We just don't really know all that much yet.


Ive not a problem with Skill folding (i do it in my games) but i'd like to know what is folded into what and if anything has been excluded etc
I'm pretty sure they explained it somewhere, I'll see if I can find a link and, if I can, edit it in in a minute or two here.


Edit: ENWorld (http://www.enworld.org/index.php?page=4e#skills) has a few of them:
Listen + Spot
Hide+Move Silently
Open Lock+Sleight of Hand
Spellcraft+Read Magic+Know (Arcana)

They mention that the number of skills is "approximately...cut in half"

Swooper
2008-02-23, 12:25 PM
Hmm, I see some good and some bad. The powers thing is good, but we knew about those. Nothing really interesting there. I disapprove of fixed HP, it takes some of the game difficulty control from the DM (I tend to give everyone (including NPCs and monsters) max hp, but other DMs might prefer average or letting players roll). I disapprove of the skill changes - I've tried playing with some skill roll-together's, and all it does is make everyone capable at everything. Some kind of middle-option would have been better - putting the underused skills like Forgery along with some more useful ones, but not reducing the skill list by half, that's way too much.

One pet peeve though - How the hell do you explain 1/day martial powers? Consider this: "Hey, Joe, can you stab that guy over there and make him bleed all over the place like you did with the orc chieftain an hour ago?" -"Nope. Can only stab that way once per day." :smallconfused:

kamikasei
2008-02-23, 12:25 PM
I'm pretty sure they explained it somewhere, I'll see if I can find a link and, if I can, edit it in in a minute or two here.


Edit: ENWorld (http://www.enworld.org/index.php?page=4e#skills) has a few of them:
Listen + Spot
Hide+Move Silently
Open Lock+Sleight of Hand
Spellcraft+Read Magic+Know (Arcana)

They mention that the number of skills is "approximately...cut in half"

We know some of them, and some are obvious, but many are not. For example, what is Insight? All the wis-based social skills? That's not a long list. Dungeoneering? And what about, say, Use Rope? What might that be folded in to?

A complete list of the revised skills and what they subsume would be fantastic, but none exists that I've heard of.

Blackadder
2008-02-23, 12:27 PM
This brings up another question, if 4E does away with NPC's having either weaker version of PC classes or PC classes themselves, does this mean Housecats can still kill a Level 1 Commoner?

For example assuming hit-point rules work the same a Level 1 rogue could have 26 HP, if the NPC's don't run off the same system we could end up in a situation were Level 1 Commoner's are still having that 4HP(Beware ten foot falls, cold and cats!) while our Level 1 Rogue has enough HP to let a Commoner wail on him for quite a few rounds before being in danger.

In other words I'm wondering if that Max HP+Con thing will apply to NPC's, all the statements so far seem to say that NPC's won't equal PC's and run under a different system, but how different?

Yargh, can't even get angry about it yet because we don't know the crunch, which is why crunch commenting is such an issue, we don't have all the pieces yet.

Neon Knight
2008-02-23, 12:40 PM
One pet peeve though - How the hell do you explain 1/day martial powers? Consider this: "Hey, Joe, can you stab that guy over there and make him bleed all over the place like you did with the orc chieftain an hour ago?" -"Nope. Can only stab that way once per day." :smallconfused:

Perhaps like this:

"Yo, Joe!"
"Yeah?"
"Make with the bloody-gross stabbing thingy like you did with that big orc with the funny headdress earlier."
"Mkay. Damn, he won't stand still. Can't pull it off properly."

With abilities like this, my explanation is that no matter how many times a character attempts a certain technique, the cosmos has declared he shall have a certain number of successes. Don't think of 1 a day meaning he can use this technique only once per day. Think of it as he can use this technique successfully once per day. Maybe when he lands a normal attack, he is trying to perform Crimson Edge, but just can't land it right and has to settle for a lesser wound.

huttj509
2008-02-23, 12:41 PM
My view on the hitpoint change:

They seem to be moving towards things that allow them to better predict what monster(s) would be an appropriate challenge. For example, magic items have fewer slots that give straight +roll, and more on other effects, while having their intended appropriate level stated. There will be charts with what sort of items the players would be expected to have by various levels, to make it easier for low magic campaign DMs to have an idea how much they may want to tone down the monsters, since their players may be less powerful than intended for fighting a monster of that level (unless you make up the bonuses by mundane means, a character will be less powerful than expected, and it helps for the DM to have an idea how much).

In 3E, a 10th level fighter has between 10 and 100 hitpoints (ok, say a +3 con bonus so 40 and 130, average 85). Now that probability drops off rapidly much outside the average of 55, but that's still a huge possible variation in survivability. If you just had the one character, it wouldn't be that bad to adjust the monsters fought to compensate (like with the low magic campaign), but say your fighter is low, but your wizard is high hp (for a wizard), and your cleric is really high, but the ranger rolled all 1s. It becomes much more difficult to balance the encounters, just because of how the dice fell for each level. Yes, the dice may hate the party one fight, but that doesn't stick with them level after level after level. The change to static hp per level removes one of the annoying variables DMs need to keep in mind when choosing encounters, again making it easier to know that when they say a monster is appropriate for 9th level players, it actually is.




Secondly, doesn't it say at the start of the article that the Brawny Rogue and Trickster Rogue are just suggestions for people in a hurry sort of thing? I doubt it will force you to choose one of their starting powersets.

Regarding the one/day ability to oneshot things: killing one monster, out of 4/encounter (approx.), once per day doesn't seem that bad. I mean, the rogue is designed to be a striker, dealing large damage to single mobs at the cost of needing to maneuver a bit to pull it off (and getting powers to help that maneuvering).

I wonder what other benefits combat advantage might give. I can see where just labeling it combat advantage might make it easier to say "This power has you kick the monster in the junk, giving all its enemies combat advantage against it for one round," at which point the rogue can sneak attack, the fighter can use the distraction to trip it (or something, I would not be surprised if fighters had some less damaging things they could do to an opponent when they have a combat advantage, less damaging because putting the hurt on guys in that situation is the territory of a striker, not a defender), as opposed to flat footed (doesn't that also deny dex modifiers or something? Been way too long since I've played.).

Morty
2008-02-23, 01:07 PM
It's definetly nice to see some mechanics -a lot of it, in fact- instead of not really meaningful ramblings about how 3ed sucked big time and how they decided to change it.
Looks like they're getting rid of rolling for HPs. This is good, there's been enough barbarians being barely more durable than bards.
Looks like rogue won't completely throw off the "skill monkey" label, which is good; I was worried that differences between classes will be reduced to the "powers" they're using. I'm not sure I like the focus on throwing weapons, though. Good thing they're still leaving crossbows to use.
But I'm still sick when I'm reading about "powers". Yeah, I know it's just a word, but couldn't they devise a different name? This one leaves a bad taste.

Artanis
2008-02-23, 01:18 PM
But I'm still sick when I'm reading about "powers". Yeah, I know it's just a word, but couldn't they devise a different name? This one leaves a bad taste.
Doubtful, because it applies to so many different things.

To use 3e terms, a caster gets "Spells", a stabby guy gets "Maneuvers", a Rogue gets "Skill Tricks", a Paladin gets both "Spells" and "Smites" (well, a Smite in 3e, but that's beside the point), a Bard gets "Music", a Druid gets "Spells" and "Shapeshifts", and so forth.

So you could say "Spells/Maneuvers/Skill Tricks/Smites/Music/Shapeshifts/whatever else there is", or you could use a generic term. And if you're using a generic term, "power" is as good as any. The only alternative I can come up with off the top of my head is "ability", which is already used in an official context to refer to the 6 stats.

Moff Chumley
2008-02-23, 01:21 PM
As to the Rouge's skill list size, I have no problem with it. From a fluff perspective, a commoner would have very, very few skills he has ranks in, and even fewer he's proficient in. For instance, the only skills I'd have ranks in would be Preform (Keyboards), Knowledge (Musical Theory), and Profession (Chef). I'd be trained in the first two, with maybe two ranks in each. I've devoted a significant amount of time to each, and it strikes me impressive that an individual could be so proficient in more than two or three skills. A rouge with six skills is dramatically more than I could imagine mastering.

Matthew
2008-02-23, 01:27 PM
But I'm still sick when I'm reading about "powers". Yeah, I know it's just a word, but couldn't they devise a different name? This one leaves a bad taste.
It's the Ability/Attribute problem. If they'd dumped 'Ability' and adopted 'Attribute' for describing Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma, then they would have been free to use 'Abilities', but apparently that would have been too great a break from D&D's past... that, or they noticed Castles & Crusades had already done exactly that and didn't want any potential complications.

Tura
2008-02-23, 01:33 PM
I like it. I have virtually nothing to complain about.

The only thing that strikes me as odd is the Charisma to damage option (unless it's a homage to the Dashing Swordsman). It doesn't make sense. I can understand it for Paladins, because it's a divine gift basically, where deity X rewards the Pally for his wonderful lawful personality. But for Rogues? How?

Now , you'll all start saying "it doesn't have to make sense, it's a game, it has to be playable and worth/fun playing." True. I would never complain for the hit points system, which makes no sense at all. A warrior of 100hp may fall to 1hp and still fight like the badass he is as if nothing happened, and then collapse if someone sneezes to his general direction. But it's practical and makes everything easy. So it's cool.

But Charisma to damage isn't especially practical (no more and no less than any other ability), and makes no sense whatsoever. Strength is obviously justifiable, Dexterity can be justified (you strike with a flick of the wrist that makes all the difference), Intelligence can be justified (you know where the kidney is), even Wisdom can be justified (ki...). But Charisma? For a rogue?

That was nitpicking of course, I repeat that I was quite satisfied with the new Rogue.

Morty
2008-02-23, 01:36 PM
Doubtful, because it applies to so many different things.

To use 3e terms, a caster gets "Spells", a stabby guy gets "Maneuvers", a Rogue gets "Skill Tricks", a Paladin gets both "Spells" and "Smites" (well, a Smite in 3e, but that's beside the point), a Bard gets "Music", a Druid gets "Spells" and "Shapeshifts", and so forth.

So you could say "Spells/Maneuvers/Skill Tricks/Smites/Music/Shapeshifts/whatever else there is", or you could use a generic term. And if you're using a generic term, "power" is as good as any. The only alternative I can come up with off the top of my head is "ability", which is already used in an official context to refer to the 6 stats.

As Matthew pointed out, they could've used "attribute" for 6 stats and "ability" instead of "power". "Talent" would work nicely as well. And they don't have to use generic term anyway. As long as they made clear that many classes use different terms for their special abilities, they could use "manuever" for warriors, "spell" for casters and so on and there wouldn't be any problem. Using "power" isn't too much of a problem, of course, but it does leave a bad taste.


It's the Ability/Attribute problem. If they'd dumped 'Ability' and adopted 'Attribute' for describing Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma, then they would have been free to use 'Abilities', but apparently that would have been too great a break from D&D's past...

They're already breaking from a lot of things from the past. So it wouldn't be a problem then.

huttj509
2008-02-23, 01:37 PM
I like it. I have virtually nothing to complain about.

The only thing that strikes me as odd is the Charisma to damage option (unless it's a homage to the Dashing Swordsman). It doesn't make sense. I can understand it for Paladins, because it's a divine gift basically, where deity X rewards the Pally for his wonderful lawful personality. But for Rogues? How?

Now , you'll all start saying "it doesn't have to make sense, it's a game, it has to be playable and worth/fun playing." True. I would never complain for the hit points system, which makes no sense at all. A warrior of 100hp may fall to 1hp and still fight like the badass he is as if nothing happened, and then collapse if someone sneezes to his general direction. But it's practical and makes everything easy. So it's cool.

But Charisma to damage isn't especially practical (no more and no less than any other ability), and makes no sense whatsoever. Strength is obviously justifiable, Dexterity can be justified (you strike with a flick of the wrist that makes all the difference), Intelligence can be justified (you know where the kidney is), even Wisdom can be justified (ki...). But Charisma? For a rogue?

That was nitpicking of course, I repeat that I was quite satisfied with the new Rogue.

Ah, but you only get the cha bonus to damage when you make a pun or witty comment.

kamikasei
2008-02-23, 01:49 PM
But I'm still sick when I'm reading about "powers". Yeah, I know it's just a word, but couldn't they devise a different name? This one leaves a bad taste.

What about it leaves a bad taste? And not to be a jerk, but is it something that WotC should really care about? Is it something that you think many people will have an issue with?

Scintillatus
2008-02-23, 01:52 PM
Wounds aren't just bleeding or burning or etc; they're also system shock. Making someone freak out at the wound in his chest can hurry his death along too.

Will edit in some thoughts when I'm all gathered. So far, so ambivalent.

Rutee
2008-02-23, 02:20 PM
They're already breaking from a lot of things from the past. So it wouldn't be a problem then.

Breaking traditions is hard. Hence why we haven't had Blade Magic until Late 3rd (I'm told Late 2nd had a little bit too, for Epic Fighters). Semantics seems like a really strange thing to hold in irritation, but eh.

nepphi
2008-02-23, 02:28 PM
Wounds aren't just bleeding or burning or etc; they're also system shock. Making someone freak out at the wound in his chest can hurry his death along too.

Will edit in some thoughts when I'm all gathered. So far, so ambivalent.

System Shock? Where's SHODAN?

:smallwink:

Anyway. I am betting that weapons proficiencies won't require a class dip, because the 4e design team has said they're going to try to lean away from making multiclassing so necessary. Granted, these claims could be full of lies, but I'm willing to wait and see.

Powers does sound a little silly, but it's about the tiniest thing ever to get upset over. I'm more in agreement that it seems odd about being arbitrarily forced into only one life-ending (exaggerating here) strike per day.

Spiryt
2008-02-23, 02:38 PM
What about it leaves a bad taste? And not to be a jerk, but is it something that WotC should really care about? Is it something that you think many people will have an issue with?

Well, I suppose that theoritically it's not problem at all, but you know, it's a RPG game. So it would be nice if some rogue doesn't have "power".

"Abilities " or something would sound much more naturally and, more importantly, not so stupid.

Anima
2008-02-23, 02:41 PM
Where do I find the ability to add charisma to damage? It seems, it sneaked past me.

I wonder if the default method of Ability-score generation will be point buy. Methinks that would be a great step forward.
I also predict the "cunning scoundrel" rogue tactic as one of the first homebrews.

Morty
2008-02-23, 03:02 PM
What about it leaves a bad taste?

Well, it just seems silly when a rogue has "powers". "Power" sort of implies supernatural or really extraordinary ability, while what we see here are just stunts and special ways of stabbing people a lot of people can use.


And not to be a jerk, but is it something that WotC should really care about? Is it something that you think many people will have an issue with?

I don't know how many people would have an issue with it. I don't have real issue with it, it's just a bad name. I don't recall calling it any real problem.


Breaking traditions is hard.

Yet they're doing it consistently in 4ed.


Semantics seems like a really strange thing to hold in irritation, but eh.

Geez. I don't "hold it in irritation". It's just a bad name. I wouldn't care one whit, but since it's a name for one of the most prominent things in game, it's a bit uncomfortable.

Attilargh
2008-02-23, 03:04 PM
Well, I suppose that theoritically it's not problem at all, but you know, it's a RPG game. So it would be nice if some rogue doesn't have "power".
You'd rather Rogues remain powerless? :smallwink: Seriously speaking, what's the big deal? At least the pointy-hatted folk by the seashore own a thesaurus nowadays, and it's not like this is the first time they've used a somewhat improper word for a catch-all term for certain mechanics. For example, feats are not something one gains and possesses, but accomplishes.

And please don't say "RPG game". It's like entering your PIN number into an ATM machine and getting the HIV virus.


Ædit: Er, with hindsight, this may be one of the most self-defeating posts I have ever posted. Dang.

Xefas
2008-02-23, 03:07 PM
I'm more in agreement that it seems odd about being arbitrarily forced into only one life-ending (exaggerating here) strike per day.

Killing people is an art. Removing someone's kidneys in a single stroke is a masterpiece.

When a painter finishes his greatest work to date, do you turn to him and say "Good, now do me another one"? After Eli Manning bounds down the field, simultaneously sodomizing all the hopes and dreams of Patriots fans around the world, do you say "Why didn't you just do that every time?"

Per Day abilities are special, and should be treated as such.

Attilargh
2008-02-23, 03:18 PM
I like to think of the arbitrary "per whatever" abilities as falling under the Law of Conservation of Awesome. See, you can't have a hero going around spamming their Coolest Ability Ever before it becomes, well, less than cool. Then you'd have to come up with something even more awesome for the next boss fight to emphasize that it is indeed a boss fight instead of just some giant mook, and that's work and can often end up with your hand in somewhere warm and smelly.

Is it realistic? Nah. Does it make sense? Again, nah. But hey, Rule of Cool (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuleOfCool), right?

Rutee
2008-02-23, 03:32 PM
Yet they're doing it consistently in 4ed.
That doesn't make any particular tradition any easier to break, really.




Geez. I don't "hold it in irritation". It's just a bad name. I wouldn't care one whit, but since it's a name for one of the most prominent things in game, it's a bit uncomfortable.

...It's.. really not a bad name. It's a generic catch-all that /actually fits/.. Technique would also suffice, granted, but. The way I see it, Power was perfectly fine for M+M and CoH; It'll serve me very well here too.

Also, as to claims of hoping the Rogue remains the "Skill Monkey", I seem to recall hearing /somewhere/ (Damned if I recall where) that WotC was going to try to balance non-combat utility for everyone too. Which I'm almost certain is doomed to failure, but watching the puppets dance will be interesting.

Morty
2008-02-23, 03:39 PM
That doesn't make any particular tradition any easier to break, really.

The way I see it, if they're breaking one tradition, they might as well do this with another. And they've changed far more important things than wheter strenght is an "attribute" or an "ability".


...It's.. really not a bad name. It's a generic catch-all that /actually fits/.. Technique would also suffice, granted, but. The way I see it, Power was perfectly fine for M+M and CoH; It'll serve me very well here too.

See above. I don't like "power" because it implies something either supernatural or really extraordinary, while here we have things every more experienced scoundrel can pull of. Also, I don't think "it worked there" fits here given that M+M(I assume it's Mutants and Masterminds) is completely different setting than D&D. I don't know what CoH is.
And anyway, a names doesn't seem like an important enough thing to argue about. I'm surprised as to how many people commented on that minor compliant.


Also, as to claims of hoping the Rogue remains the "Skill Monkey", I seem to recall hearing /somewhere/ (Damned if I recall where) that WotC was going to try to balance non-combat utility for everyone too. Which I'm almost certain is doomed to failure, but watching the puppets dance will be interesting.

I honestly don't see how they're going to balance non-combat capability of fighter, rogue and wizard in a way that makes sense.

Jayngfet
2008-02-23, 03:48 PM
why is wotc making it so hard to hate 4.0, come on, show us more generic tiefling, I WANT TO LOATHE YOU

Saph
2008-02-23, 03:55 PM
Mmm . . .

I just don't know. Without a context I can't tell whether the mechanics here are good or bad. One thing, though:


BUILD ADVICE! YES!

I think this is an amazing decision. The bane of newbies everywhere has always been not really knowing what to do with a character, often causing them to f*** it up royally, in turn screwing themselves out of having any fun just because of inexperience. Now WotC devotes a few lines to giving newbies a couple of pointers to help them avoid gimping themselves too thoroughly.

Up until now, I had mostly taken a "wait and see" approach regarding 4e, but this gives me reason to allow myself a little bit of optimism :smallbiggrin:

At the risk of sounding pessimistic, I'm really dubious about any build advice that comes from WotC designers. In 3.5, the guys who write the books often come across as embarrassingly clueless compared to the ones who use them.

If you don't believe me, go and read Chapter 1 of Complete Mage, and look at the sections titled "Spell Schools" and "Arcane Archetypes". It's advice on what schools a specialist wizard should ban, and what spells and feats an arcanist should go for, and almost every bit of it is awful. They recommend some good things, but it seems more by sheer weight of numbers than anything else, since many of the bits of advice seem flat-out random.

- Saph

Orzel
2008-02-23, 03:56 PM
I loves it

HP change: Love. Can't one shot half the thieves guild but their leader wont one shot me.

Skill: Love the skill rolling but need more crunch. What will be Int's base benefit if it doesn't increase skills.

Build options: Love I am glad they are enforcing some MAD in them single stat classes now.

Rogue Class Features: Love but SA is so weak. I loved how SA killed at low level but you can kill people with just a 7 average damage bonus.

Rogue Powers: I need to lay down.

Rutee
2008-02-23, 03:57 PM
I honestly don't see how they're going to balance non-combat capability of fighter, rogue and wizard in a way that makes sense.

It's genuinely not that hard on a conceptual level. The real trouble is the mechanical, in a classed based system.

Reinboom
2008-02-23, 03:57 PM
didn't they say somewhere that skills will default to a level-based check, with trained skills being somethign you are better than average at?

Based on the monsters, everybody gets half their levels in to (all) skills.

Morty
2008-02-23, 04:01 PM
It's genuinely not that hard on a conceptual level. The real trouble is the mechanical, in a classed based system.

What can a fighter do out of combat a rogue can't do better? Bash doors and other things and intimidate people, but that's it. Unless they decide to make fighter class something else than a typical warrior, that is.

Xefas
2008-02-23, 04:03 PM
why is wotc making it so hard to hate 4.0, come on, show us more generic tiefling, I WANT TO LOATHE YOU

This confuses me. Wasn't the 3.x tiefling generic? It was a humanoid creature that was less than 1/2 *any denizen of the lower plane*.

I'd say when a 1/8th Pit Fiend, 1/3rd Dretch, 1/27th Ultraloth, and 1/447th Fiendish Dire Badger humanoid are all the same Tiefling with the same racials, that's pretty generic.

The new tiefling has fluff and purpose, as well as a mildly annoying accent.

kamikasei
2008-02-23, 04:04 PM
Well, it just seems silly when a rogue has "powers". "Power" sort of implies supernatural or really extraordinary ability, while what we see here are just stunts and special ways of stabbing people a lot of people can use.

Hmmm, okay. I was wondering if it was psionics-hate on your part, of reminded you of WoW, or something. If it's just the word itself, not any baggage or associations, then I agree it is perhaps a little skewed towards the "extraordinary powers" end of things for the range of abilities it's supposed to cover, but I don't see that as much of an issue.

As to your surprise at the reaction, you pretty much said the use of the word made you sick and left a bad taste; that sort of implies you don't just think it's not the best choice but an actively bad and off-putting one.

Orzel
2008-02-23, 04:07 PM
10 cookies says the rangers build options are archer and two weapon face stabber.

I'm praying that trained skilled don't get a flat bonus. NURTURE OVER NATURE for skills!

Zeful
2008-02-23, 04:08 PM
<SNIP>
One pet peeve though - How the hell do you explain 1/day martial powers? Consider this: "Hey, Joe, can you stab that guy over there and make him bleed all over the place like you did with the orc chieftain an hour ago?" -"Nope. Can only stab that way once per day." :smallconfused:

I believe that the 1/day martial powers are ones that are more magical than others due to the increased amount of magic in the other core classes.

Titanium Dragon
2008-02-23, 04:11 PM
So...

A) Looks like they took some of the stuff from Tome of Battle and folded it into core classes; that's certainly a good thing.
B) I see what they did to increase low-level survivability and decrease the number of hit points people gain as they level; should be an interesting change. It also seems likely to segregate characters' hit points more, making it harder for non-melee classes to double as melee ones.
C) Skills being folded into each other is fine, but a lot less customizable - rather than being a jack of all trades, it seems I'm confined to being good at a few things (though on the upside, I suspect it will be a lot easier to make skill checks). I also suspect that there is a feat which "trains" you in an additional skill (perhaps class, perhaps otherwise). Someone asked what Insight is, and it is most likely Spot/Listen/Sense Motive and/or Search (though it seems likely that Search is in Dungeoneering, at least insofar as searching for secret doors/traps).
D) It seems like different classes may have their damage increased by different stats; a lot of the rogue abilities seem to deal damage based on dexterity. That said, 1[W] and 2[W] implies 1x and 2x weapon damage; should be interesting for the fightery classes.
E) Combat advantage seems to be a catch-all category for being flanked, flat-footed, ect. I suspect more conditions will grant it.
F) They really cut down the number of weapons they can use; I wonder if that will be the case for every class. I'm not sure I like that.


As for "Healing Surges," I want healbot clerics back. They kept things balanced.

The problem with healbot clerics is that you end up with a dichotomy between a party with a cleric and one without one. Obviously being able to heal others is a good thing, but it seems to be that they're trying to encourage balance. When were clerics balanced, exactly? Not in third...


But are we going to see super Balance/Jump/Climb type physical skills or what is Wizard's aiming at with the new possibly much reduced skill set?

Climb/Swim is almost certainly in Athletics; Tumble/Balance in Acrobatics.


Trapfinding is much less of a big deal. You're also assuming, probably wrongly, that finding/disabling traps is going to be based on the Dungeoneering skill.

He's assuming right there. Disarming traps is certainly dungeoneering because, quite simply put, it isn't any of the other abilities they have. It also is rather logical, and I wouldn't be too surprised if Dwarves get dungeoneering as a racial bonus or something.


As opposed to what? WotC can't roleplay characters for you, and I'd rather they didn't try. Besides, the preview doesn't seem like it has everything or even most of the stuff that'll be in the actual book.

Have you ever played another RPG system? GURPS? Vampire the Masquerade? Alternity? They all have a lot more focus on out of combat stuff.


What the hell happened to the skills? Fusing more skills together is stupid. Lowered sneak attack? Fixed hit points? Encounter Powers? NO INT INFLUENCE ?!!!??? What the hell were they thinking?

[Scrubbed]
All in all, I find this a good thing. It is obviously not all that realistic, but it looks balanced and fun.

Jayngfet
2008-02-23, 04:17 PM
This confuses me. Wasn't the 3.x tiefling generic? It was a humanoid creature that was less than 1/2 *any denizen of the lower plane*.

I'd say when a 1/8th Pit Fiend, 1/3rd Dretch, 1/27th Ultraloth, and 1/447th Fiendish Dire Badger humanoid are all the same Tiefling with the same racials, that's pretty generic.

The new tiefling has fluff and purpose, as well as a mildly annoying accent.
physically, tieflings in 3.X varied greatly, they even said that no two tieflings were the same, right in the first paragraph, some had horns, some had fangs, some had hoof's

and now we have a bunch of generic red-skinned annoying guys with a whole territory, the one real reason I liked tieflings was their diversity, now they changed that and brandished that change all over the core rulebooks, at least saying the occasional tiefling was born with a forked tongue, or spikes rinning down the back of the head or such wouldn't have taken much effort, and would have been a less drastic a change...

Morty
2008-02-23, 04:25 PM
Hmmm, okay. I was wondering if it was psionics-hate on your part, of reminded you of WoW, or something.

I honestly don't see how it could remind any rational person of WoW. As far as I know, WoW characters don't use "powers".


If it's just the word itself, not any baggage or associations, then I agree it is perhaps a little skewed towards the "extraordinary powers" end of things for the range of abilities it's supposed to cover, but I don't see that as much of an issue.

It's not, but it's a bit uncomfortable, seeing as it's going to be used all the time during the game.


As to your surprise at the reaction, you pretty much said the use of the word made you sick and left a bad taste; that sort of implies you don't just think it's not the best choice but an actively bad and off-putting one.

Well, it does leave a bad taste and it is a bad choice. It's just not important enough to get worked up about it. Maybe I shouldn't have used the "makes me sick", though.
Sweet Jesus, I can't belive I'm hanig a long discussion about a single word.

Xefas
2008-02-23, 04:25 PM
physically, tieflings in 3.X varied greatly, they even said that no two tieflings were the same, right in the first paragraph, some had horns, some had fangs, some had hoof's

and now we have a bunch of generic red-skinned annoying guys with a whole territory, the one real reason I liked tieflings was their diversity, now they changed that and brandished that change all over the core rulebooks, at least saying the occasional tiefling was born with a forked tongue, or spikes rinning down the back of the head or such wouldn't have taken much effort, and would have been a less drastic a change...

Can't you just change them back, then? Purely cosmetic alterations are unlikely to effect the way the game plays. I know that all of my tieflings are going to be rainbow colored with tie-die afros, live in a 6 dimensional pocket adjacent to the Prime Material, and gain all their powers from a pact they made days ago with a Half-Minotaur Ferret.

Reinboom
2008-02-23, 04:53 PM
Can't you just change them back, then? Purely cosmetic alterations are unlikely to effect the way the game plays. I know that all of my tieflings are going to be rainbow colored with tie-die afros, live in a 6 dimensional pocket adjacent to the Prime Material, and gain all their powers from a pact they made days ago with a Half-Minotaur Ferret.

Xefas has just flooded me with a torrent of queer inspiration.
Soon shall be the beguilement of my players.
Thank you.

Xefas
2008-02-23, 05:01 PM
Xefas has just flooded me with a torrent of queer inspiration.
Soon shall be the beguilement of my players.
Thank you.

Welcome. :smallsmile:

Kurald Galain
2008-02-23, 05:33 PM
I believe that the 1/day martial powers are ones that are more magical than others due to the increased amount of magic in the other core classes.

I don't think that's true - the "martial" classes were supposed to be essentially non-magical.


It just struck me that there could be a rule under "intelligence" that if, say, your int is 14+, you get to pick one additional skill at first level. Voila, int-synergy skill monkeyness.


(edit) I'm curious how many "powers" a 12th-level character would have, and whether this would give bookkeeping troubles to novice players.

Kurald Galain
2008-02-23, 05:47 PM
From a fluff perspective, a commoner would have very, very few skills he has ranks in, and even fewer he's proficient in. For instance, the only skills I'd have ranks in would be Preform (Keyboards), Knowledge (Musical Theory), and Profession (Chef).

I disagree.

Perhaps I don't qualify as a commoner per se, but I once did an enumeration of what skills I could be considered to have, and ended up with quite a long list (e.g. swimming, driving a car, speaking four languages, computer programming, performance, diplomacy, strategic insight and lots 'n lots of knowledge skills). Of course this needs folding, but I can easily see a non-adventurer skilled in a large number of things.

KIDS
2008-02-23, 05:58 PM
At the risk of sounding pessimistic, I'm really dubious about any build advice that comes from WotC designers. In 3.5, the guys who write the books often come across as embarrassingly clueless compared to the ones who use them.

If you don't believe me, go and read Chapter 1 of Complete Mage, and look at the sections titled "Spell Schools" and "Arcane Archetypes". It's advice on what schools a specialist wizard should ban, and what spells and feats an arcanist should go for, and almost every bit of it is awful. They recommend some good things, but it seems more by sheer weight of numbers than anything else, since many of the bits of advice seem flat-out random.

As much as cheerful I am, I totally agree with you. Complete Mage's first chapter made my eyes pop out. I still remember the line that went something like this:

As a conjurer, make sure you always take Freedom so that you can get out of tough spots.

/wrists

Azerian Kelimon
2008-02-23, 06:10 PM
Niiiiiiiiice. Thism makes me very hopeful of 4th, with only two problems:

A) Small weapon group. Even when folding, that's a bit small, plus it's pretty nonsensical to give a dagger such importance instead of just calling it light blade (Though I see that's a mechanical term too). Guess I'll have to do some editing to make my swallow using, prima ballerinna pirouette Implacable Man plausible by rules. Though I had to do that with 3.5E too.

B) Bigger beef:


Religion: Rogues prefer deities of the night, luck, freedom, and adventure, such as Sehanine and Avandra. Evil and chaotic evil rogues often favor Lolth or Zehir.


AAAAAAH! FR Invasion! Not that I dislike incorporating some gods form FR, but c'mon, someone as minor as Sehanine Moonbow, for example? Please! Plus, most FR gods are so...so...so petty. So minor.

kamikasei
2008-02-23, 06:11 PM
Perhaps I don't qualify as a commoner per se,

I'm inclined to say anyone with a full high school equivalent modern education ought to be statted as an Expert rather than a Commoner. Commoners are designed to suck at everything, and the modern world is pretty suffused in information.

TheOOB
2008-02-23, 08:02 PM
Keep in mind modern people wouldn't follow D&D classes, a midieval commoner would likely only have one or two things they are good at, most likely farming or hunting or something like that.

In modern day society people are expected to have a lot more skills and be more diverse.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-02-23, 08:17 PM
And specialists probably have a double Skill focus on a single skill. I'd even go as far to say there is a high number of people with at least 16 in INT (Though they have little success).

Blackadder
2008-02-23, 08:24 PM
Keep in mind modern people wouldn't follow D&D classes, a midieval commoner would likely only have one or two things they are good at, most likely farming or hunting or something like that.

In modern day society people are expected to have a lot more skills and be more diverse.
Can you trap a rabbit and skin it and cook it yourself?

Ye-old mideval commors had a variety of directly useful to survival skills. However it is true that any modern American HS education would be equivalent to a Dark-Age's Masters degree, assuming you can still remember the basics of calculus, geometry, material sciences and had any shop class in HS.

However if all you can remember is your English classes then your just a well read-commoner and not an Expert.


This gets off into a whole other issue of the failure of modern high schools and the issue in American education of "Teaching the Test" rather than "Teaching the ability to learn and the actual skills you need to survive in our modern worlds"

Artanis
2008-02-23, 09:55 PM
At the risk of sounding pessimistic, I'm really dubious about any build advice that comes from WotC designers. In 3.5, the guys who write the books often come across as embarrassingly clueless compared to the ones who use them.

And other similar responses
Huh, that's something that should've occurred to me, but didn't for some reason.

I'll downgrade it from "somewhat optimistic overall" to "optimistic about their effort, but noncomittal regarding potential success or lack thereof".



If you don't believe me, go and read Chapter 1 of Complete Mage, and look at the sections titled "Spell Schools" and "Arcane Archetypes". It's advice on what schools a specialist wizard should ban, and what spells and feats an arcanist should go for, and almost every bit of it is awful. They recommend some good things, but it seems more by sheer weight of numbers than anything else, since many of the bits of advice seem flat-out random.

- Saph
I don't have Complete Mage :smallfrown:

But I do see your point. I've played several games where the creator gave well-meaning advice that wound up being...let's be polite and say "hit or miss".

Rutee
2008-02-23, 09:56 PM
What can a fighter do out of combat a rogue can't do better? Bash doors and other things and intimidate people, but that's it. Unless they decide to make fighter class something else than a typical warrior, that is.

Ding. That's how you do it, conceptually. DnD is literally the only Tabletop RPG I have where the fighter must be focused purely on combat things and, effectively, be stupid, compared to the other classes and what they learn in addition to fighting.


At the risk of sounding pessimistic, I'm really dubious about any build advice that comes from WotC designers. In 3.5, the guys who write the books often come across as embarrassingly clueless compared to the ones who use them.

This is a truly curious phenomena, true, but remember that players spend much more time playing a system then its designers. Not necessarily individually, but there's a lot of players. You've done your job badly if you're making a game for public use and the players have fewer man hours of playtime then the creators.

Jayngfet
2008-02-23, 10:16 PM
Can't you just change them back, then? Purely cosmetic alterations are unlikely to effect the way the game plays. I know that all of my tieflings are going to be rainbow colored with tie-die afros, live in a 6 dimensional pocket adjacent to the Prime Material, and gain all their powers from a pact they made days ago with a Half-Minotaur Ferret.

woa woa woa, no need to mock me

and tieflings, to the best of my knowledge are going to have different racials too, from the animation they're gonna have a firethrowing ability or something.

Arbitrarity
2008-02-23, 10:28 PM
I see no particular issues. I still have no clue how this fits into the entire system, but things seem fairly functional. Prehaps PC's can take more of a hit than they should, but they can take less at higher levels, so I'm betting they stay near the whole "reasonable" level. Skill folding is good, powers are nice (though I can see why someone might have problems with the term). I wanna see how this "healing surges" bit works. It might just be "second wind" mechanic, but prehaps not. Weapons seem folded together as well. Interesting.

As a conjurer, make sure you always take Freedom so that you can get out of tough spots.

/wristsQFT.:smallfrown:

Grug
2008-02-23, 11:30 PM
Didn't feel like reading the last 2 pages, so here's my opinion.

Since Wizards has introcuded Race Levels into the game, it may be that not all creatures have to have a class. That way your big hero can still fight lots and lots of Goblins, but Goblin Fighters will be significantly more poweful, and that would make them more unique.

Skill folding is good. Very Good.

And also: People, this is a preview. Just like they haven't showed us all the combat powers, that probably means they haven't shown us all of the class concepts.

horseboy
2008-02-24, 01:38 AM
It looks well designed for what it's designed to do. Too bad D&D still doesn't realize that there's more to RPG's than dungeon hacks. :smallfrown:

Morty
2008-02-24, 09:08 AM
Ding. That's how you do it, conceptually. DnD is literally the only Tabletop RPG I have where the fighter must be focused purely on combat things and, effectively, be stupid, compared to the other classes and what they learn in addition to fighting.


Well, I guess moving fighter towards professional soldier instead of dumb door-opener is a good way to make fither useful out of combat.

Since Wizards has introcuded Race Levels into the game, it may be that not all creatures have to have a class. That way your big hero can still fight lots and lots of Goblins, but Goblin Fighters will be significantly more poweful, and that would make them more unique.

It's confirmed that humanoid monsters will be statted out as NPCs. One of the designers mentions it in a podcast. In fact, first PC I'll play in 4ed is going to be a goblin rogue. It doesn't seem wizards will be as fun as in 3ed anyway.

Xefas
2008-02-24, 09:42 AM
woa woa woa, no need to mock me

and tieflings, to the best of my knowledge are going to have different racials too, from the animation they're gonna have a firethrowing ability or something.

I wasn't intending to mock you. I apologize if it came across that way.

It was intended more to illustrate that whatever fluff you don't like is easily changed with little consequence in how the mechanics play out. Also, I'm pretty sure that was an Eldritch Blast.

JBento
2008-02-25, 07:43 AM
Hmmm... I don't really ahev tiem to read all the posts, so here goes my point-by-point analysis of the preview, along with my personal opinions (for all that you care):

Role: Striker - I'm still unsure about all the role stuff, at least until i can get my eyes over the 4E PHB and see if they have any in-game impact per se, but using roles I don't think the rogue could really be anything else...

Power Source: Martial - Power Sources are good. They allow the Martial characaters to have nifty, powerful and balanced abilities without removing the casters magical feel. It also justifies the /encounter /day mechanic

Key Abilities: Charisma? No Intelligence? Hmmm... But then again, we don't know WHAT the mental scores affect yet, so it might make sense...

Armour/Weapons: Seem good to me, IF everyone can use normal crossbows and Armour Training includes all lower armour classes. Also, kudos for the reduction of armour types to only four - takes unnecessary stuff out of the game (especially because everyone just used 3 or 4 armours anyway...)

Bonus to Defence: Standard Rogue saves, nothing to see here

Hit Points: More hit points at first level, reduced hit points overall since you don't add Con modifier. Con still affects healing surges, so it should even out in the end, only with smaller numbers towards the end. Me likey.

Trained Skills: Less skills for the Rogue, but less skills overall anyway, so it should even out. It's possible that class progression will add more skills to the charcaters "trained" list. Also, anyone else thinks that Humans will get "choose one extra trained skill" thingy?

Build options: I never looked at the starting packages in 3.X either... most of them didn't really make sense (or were any good).

Combat Advantage: What is it? How do you get it? What does it do? Not enough information to have an opinion yet...

Class Features: AH-HA!!! We get to the good stuff now... or do we? Let's take a look:
First Strike: Nice, and it seems to fit the class role. Then again, the not enough information on combat advantage still stands - though it would appear Rogues are the masters of the all-important First Round (as they were)
Artful Dodger: sniff, sniff... I smell a swashbuckler. Nice
Brutal Scoundrel: Slightly baffled... I need an option to add my Str bonus to my sneak attack? Isn't Strength standard for +dmg anymore? Must wait for more information, but it seems somewhat odd...
Rogue W Talent: Daggers and shurikens. It would appear that rogues in combat are ninja-flavoured... or maybe daggers and shurikens are weapon groups?
Sneak Attack: Only once per round? Doesn't seem to make sense... Restricted weapons for sneak attack, OTOH, DO make sense - I never quite understood how you could make anything "sneaky" using, say, a great axe. A throwback to 2E, and a good one, I'd say, except for the "yes with Xbow and sling, no with bow" part... Also Sneak is less damaging - but then again, hit points are lower at higher levels, so it should balance out.
Deft Strike: Standard attack, BUT it allows you to move two squares before the attack. Makes sense for the Striker. Also, Dex to dmg instead of Strength? That explains the Brutal Scoundrel ability above - and gives the Rogue both Weapon Finesse and what WF should always have added (Dex to dmg).
Piercing Strike: Strike at the heavy, lumbering fella, finding the chink in his armour - but it doesn't give you a free move as Deft. Powerful, but the Rogue will be vulnerbale either before or after the attack. Who said that the new 4E stuff was taking tactical choices away?
Positioning Strike: I think the ability fits more with a Defender role, but otherwise seems well placed and easily justifiable. Though, against Will? Since you appear to move him with a shove, perhaps something else would be appropriate... Especially because it seems it leaves Fighters more vulnerable to it than Wizards... But /encounter means that folks won't fall for it again, which makes sense :smallsmile:
Torturous Strike: Vicious. Cruel. I LIKE IT!!!! :smallwink: Like Piercing Strike, it leaves the Rogue vulnerable either before or after the attack.
Tumble: Good ole tumble, making its way back. Notice that this isn't standard cartwheeling and stuff (Which would have NO effect on an opponent's ability to hit - except perhaps making it easier), and thus it makes sense if it's a class ability as opposed to a skill. On a side note, it would appear that we may define shifting as "movement that does not provoke attacks of opportunity"
Crimson Edge: The end-all Rogue manouevre. Let's take a look at it. High damage, plus a painful bleeding that stops the opponent from focusing (though oddly enough, only on you - guess its subjected pain...). A Save reduces the bleeding to something meaningless and allows the other guy to block out the pain. Also, if you miss, you still do damage, so you DID hit them, just not as deadily as you intended. Nifty. :smallbiggrin:

Final Observations: Loads and loads of crunch - at last!!!! Though I can't say I agree with it all (well, I could, but I'd be lying), it seems the folks at WotC got it pretty close to the mark - though I'll reserve the final judgement till I see the rest of the classes - especially the Fighter (so I can recallibarte my 3.5E character), and the Warlord and Warlock (which stand a VERY big chance of being my first 4E characters). On the overall, I give WotC two thumbs up so far for 4E - keep it up (but why, oh WHY didn't you get rid of Elminster, his hat, and his pipe?)

Mr. Friendly
2008-02-25, 09:07 AM
Lots of people seem confused about topics that they have already discussed.

Like Combat Advantage, Rogue Skill Use and whether the Rogue is still a skill monkey.

Combat advantage was brought up in other articles. It effectively replaces "Flat-Footed" and "Flanked"; conjecture: It may also include "having the high ground".

Races and Classes discussed Rogue Skill Use and the Rogue's status as a skill monkey.

He still is THE premiere skill monkey and gets more SP than any other class.

Each class also gets "special" uses of skills. So, Rogues get to use Tumble to dodge attacks - The fighter in Full Plate? Not so much. I assume there are going to be other uses of this as well, we will see....

drudo
2008-02-25, 09:07 AM
I dont think it has been brought to speech yet but I like how rogues now get weapon finesse for free and get Dexterity on damage
Look at the first two abilites. In addition to that they can attack either the targets AC or its Reflex
I always hated how you were somewhat use impaired as a rogue because you could hit nothing besides weaker monsters with your attacks. Now when you face a monster with high AC you just target the reflex and vice versa

JBento
2008-02-25, 09:18 AM
Combat advantage was brought up in other articles. It effectively replaces "Flat-Footed" and "Flanked"; conjecture: It may also include "having the high ground".

(The above by Mr. Friendly. How do I make the quote and spoilery things, btw?)

Huh. I wasn't aware of that, must've been an article I've missed. Please, no more high ground - I think we all have had enough of that in those Star Wars movies I keep trying to forget...

Agreed on the Tumble (as you can see in my previous post) :smallsmile: Though a minor nitpicking: The Fighter in Full Plate (and all other characters) might not get to use Tumble at all, as it is a class feature - they may, however, have other uses for Acrobatics...

Charity
2008-02-25, 09:34 AM
(The above by Mr. Friendly. How do I make the quote and spoilery things, btw?).

hit the qoute button at the bottom of his post
also

(The above by Mr. Friendly. How do I make the quote and spoilery things, btw?).

the stuff you wish to spoiler including
quotes

Rutee
2008-02-25, 09:44 AM
I dont think it has been brought to speech yet but I like how rogues now get weapon finesse for free and get Dexterity on damage
Look at the first two abilites. In addition to that they can attack either the targets AC or its Reflex
I always hated how you were somewhat use impaired as a rogue because you could hit nothing besides weaker monsters with your attacks. Now when you face a monster with high AC you just target the reflex and vice versa
A note, expect the defenses to be better rounded in the future. The reflex defense may in fact be higher then AC, for a particular monster, for instance.

JBento
2008-02-25, 09:45 AM
hit the qoute button at the bottom of his post
also


the stuff you wish to spoiler including

OOOh, shiny new tricks. Thanks

Edited for further Spoilering attempts

Mr. Friendly
2008-02-25, 10:53 AM
One pet peeve though - How the hell do you explain 1/day martial powers? Consider this: "Hey, Joe, can you stab that guy over there and make him bleed all over the place like you did with the orc chieftain an hour ago?" -"Nope. Can only stab that way once per day." :smallconfused:

Well, I think we are going to find that 1/Day and 1/Encounter are actually just the default suggestion. I think you will be able to burn Action Points to get additional uses; though I imagine it will cost you.

Human Paragon 3
2008-02-25, 12:16 PM
Speculation:

Remember the miraculous "20: You get better! You're up with 1/4 of your hit points" varient from the death and dying article? Healing Surge is probably that. And/or activatable by spending one Action Point, which I believe is going to be a standard mechanic in 4e.


A note, expect the defenses to be better rounded in the future. The reflex defense may in fact be higher then AC, for a particular monster, for instance.

True, but with the rogue's abillity to attack Reflex, Fortitude, AC and even Will, you'll be able to cherry pick off the enemy's worst defense and attack it mercilessly.

Rutee
2008-02-25, 12:23 PM
True, but with the rogue's abillity to attack Reflex, Fortitude, AC and even Will, you'll be able to cherry pick off the enemy's worst defense and attack it mercilessly.

Conjecture: This will be SOP for PCs, with classes /focussing/ on a given defense, but possessing the ability to strike multiples if need be, so it's easier to produce something strong against a PC, but difficult to produce one that marginalizes them (Which is good).

Kurald Galain
2008-02-25, 12:37 PM
Speculation:

Remember the miraculous "20: You get better! You're up with 1/4 of your hit points" varient from the death and dying article? Healing Surge is probably that.

Hm, interesting. That woud mean that our first-level rogue essentially has three to four times as many hit points, since he can quite easily get 8-12 surges based on his con score.

Artanis
2008-02-25, 12:55 PM
Hm, interesting. That woud mean that our first-level rogue essentially has three to four times as many hit points, since he can quite easily get 8-12 surges based on his con score.
Maybe. It depends on how much a Surge heals and how much more dangerous being "bloodied" (below half health) is. A Healing Surge also won't help much if the would-be user gets smacked into unconsciousness before being able to use it (which in turn partially goes back to what dangers might be associated with being "bloodied").

Human Paragon 3
2008-02-25, 01:02 PM
I dont think the surge is Con +6 TIMES PER DAY, I think it's Con +6 Hit Points per surge. It will probably be activated by using an action point. I speculate this only because free heals usable that often would be rather silly IMO.

Example:

Orlando the artful-dodging rogue is fighting a pack of orcs. It's been a long, hard fight and Orlando has used all but 1 of his action points. One of them drops Orlando to -1 HP. On his next initiative, as per the new death and dying rules, Orlando rolls a d20 and gets a 20, activating his healing surge. His Con is 12, so he is up and ready to fight at 7 HP (1 CON + 6 healing surge).

The orcs attack again, but all miss thanks to his great Charisma bonus to AC. Still, Orlando is afraid he could die again at any minute with so few HP. Instead of attacking, he spends his last remaining action point to healing surge again, bringing him to 14 HP.

Note, that it's possible that the natural 20 healing surge is not free. If that's the case, the above scenario would only work if he had 2 action points left, otherwise ignore the second paragraph.

Artanis
2008-02-25, 01:09 PM
I dont think the surge is Con +6 TIMES PER DAY, I think it's Con +6 Hit Points per surge. It will probably be activated by using an action point. I speculate this only because free heals usable that often would be rather silly IMO.
The only problem with that is that it wouldn't scale, even in 3e. And given that 4e is not just reducing the importance and prevalence of magic items, but making "+X to (stat)" items the first against the wall, it would scale even worse in 4e. Healing 6-8 points out of 25ish may be great at level 1, but healing 7-9 points out of 100ish at level 20 would just plain suck.

Human Paragon 3
2008-02-25, 01:13 PM
The only problem with that is that it wouldn't scale, even in 3e. And given that 4e is not just reducing the importance and prevalence of magic items, but making "+X to (stat)" items the first against the wall, it would scale even worse in 4e. Healing 6-8 points out of 25ish may be great at level 1, but healing 7-9 points out of 100ish at level 20 would just plain suck.

Maybe it's also + Level? Who knows.

Kurald Galain
2008-02-25, 01:26 PM
Maybe it's also + Level? Who knows.

I suspect that it's not, based on (1) the fact that the rogue preview essentially states something different, and (2) that we've been told that different classes get different amounts of healing surges, the fighter getting the most of them.

I do believe the rogue is intended to get 8-12 surges per day, which means 2-3 per encounter (or allows for in-between healing). I also believe the surges would be less than 25% of total hit points, because that feels like overdoing it.

Human Paragon 3
2008-02-25, 01:41 PM
That seems less good to me, but I'll reserve judgement until I actually play it.

By the way, one other thing that annoys me is the weapon requirements put on the rogue, i.e. can only sneak attack and use many of their strike abilities with short blades.

One of the things I liked most about the 3e rogue was his abillity to take advantage of 'combat advantage' no matter what weapon he wields. It allows for some interesting situations and builds. In one game, an imprisoned rogue used a discarded nail to deliver a sneak attack to his jailor, killing him outright in a splash of blood. I guess you could always rule that a nail is a "light blade," of course.

I appreciate what they're doing, making the dagger a useful weapon choice instead of just a stylistic one, but being able to sneak attack with anything was a boon to the rogue. Contrarywise, I was always annoyed by the restrictions placead on Backstab back in 2e, about how they had to have their back to you, had to be unaware of you, had to be humanoid, and you had to be armed with either a dagger, knife, or short sword. Oh well.

fendrin
2008-02-25, 01:58 PM
Positioning Strike: I think the ability fits more with a Defender role, but otherwise seems well placed and easily justifiable. Though, against Will? Since you appear to move him with a shove, perhaps something else would be appropriate... Especially because it seems it leaves Fighters more vulnerable to it than Wizards... But /encounter means that folks won't fall for it again, which makes sense :smallsmile:
I don't think of it as a shove... I think about it as acting aggressively in such a way that the opponent moves to avoid you, but in the process moves to a position that you desire.

Think about how in a fight two people will often circle each other. If somebody moves to your flank, the instinct is to keep them in front of you.

It also then makes perfect sense for a trickster rogue, and for a WILL to defend against it (they see through your manipulation).

I just think it should be charisma vs. will instead of dex vs. will...

But that's the small sort of thing that could change between now and the final version.

Farmer42
2008-02-25, 02:02 PM
I don't know, I house rule feint in 3.5 to use slight of hand instead of bluff. It makes more sense as you're using your body.

Draz74
2008-02-25, 02:21 PM
So, on my first read-through of the class, I thought, "Wow! That's horrible class design! I don't like just about everything in it!"

But then I thought about it and I realized, "... actually, as far as class design goes, they only got one thing wrong. The name."

You see, when 3e came out, they made a big deal about how the class was the "Rogue" rather than the "Thief." Yes, it could still be a thief-archetype character, but it could also be a con man or diplomat or swashbuckler or pirate or many other things. And they did a reasonably good job with that (my current character is a Rogue whose archetype is mainly "engineer"). Sneak Attack and Trap Sense were still a little bit specific, and pushed the class towards the "thief" archetype, but they weren't too bad.

4e? They're still calling it the Rogue for some reason. But it's just our old friend the Thief, really.

And as long as I accept that, I'm OK with most of the things about the class. I no longer have to complain (much) about the limited weapon selection. I don't have to complain that you don't get to choose whether Stealth and Thievery are trained, nor about how Diplomacy is missing from the class skills list. And it's no longer a problem, as it was in 3e, that Sneak Attack is a built-in class feature instead of a selectable one.

Now, I'm a big fan of more moldable, generic classes, like the 3e Rogue. I feel they make it easier to make up the character concept first, then make the mechanics fit the character. But specific classes are OK, too; the most important thing for 4e is that the generic/specific spectrum of the classes should be consistent between different classes. I had hoped that 4e was moving towards more generic classes, with the Powers selection system, the lack of Paladin alignment restrictions, the various Pacts for Warlocks to choose, and so on. But this Thief (I mean, "Rogue") preview, plus the recent comment that pretty much all Fighters will wear heavy armor, plus a few other little things, make me think that 4e classes will generally be pretty specific. OK, I'll accept that, as long as it's consistent.

Makes for good speculation about what other classes will be coming out in future splatbooks, to fill out the "generic rogue" role. Some kind of swashbuckler is a must at the very least. Hmmm, now I'm getting tempted to homebrew my first 4e class. :smallconfused:

Class design aside, this article inspires a lot of other comments from me, more about the game rules than the class.

I still think they could leave out the "Role," "Power Source," and "Key Abilities" sections without hurting anything, if these (as I hope) are just fluff. Even if a new player is making a character, these are the kind of pointers his DM should be able to give him easily. Oh well.

Ah, the limited weapon proficiencies. Quarterstaff, shortbow, spear, and rapier are good weapons for a generic "rogue" class, but I'm OK with the "thief" archetype not being proficient in them. On the other hand, I'm disturbed by the lack of club, crossbow, and hand axe. I can only hope the club and non-"hand" crossbow are automatic proficiencies for everyone, and that hand axe will be a dwarven racial proficiency. (It still bothers me if non-dwarf thieves aren't proficient with the hand axe, but only a little.)

Makes me wonder if there's some better method to pick up extra weapon proficiencies than spending feats on them, though. Maybe a single feat that makes you proficient with everything (except exotics)? Or maybe a number of proficiencies will be included in the multiclass-like Fighter Training feat.

I mostly like the way the HP system is looking. No CON dependence of HP at every level is great; it means CON will no longer be "2nd-most important stat for everyone." Full CON score of HP at first level is good, though; I'm a big fan of VP/WP systems, and this comes close (ish) to that. (12 non-CON HP at 1st level seems a bit much, but it's not a big deal.) Then ... the rest of your CON dependence for HP comes through how often Healing Surges are available? Cool. The jury's still out on the execution of the Healing Surges system; it's got great potential, but it all depends on Surges being neither too easy nor too difficult to trigger. 6+CON surges ... per day? Per day unless triggered by a Cure spell? Or what?

The apparent skill system is my biggest concern from this article. I thought they promised us that the skill system would be significantly different from Saga's? I don't see any difference ... except apparently there's no INT dependence. Huh, the continued INT dependence was one of the few things I liked about Saga's skill system. So, what, now INT is a dump stat for everyone except Wizards? And "every 20th-level adventurer is good at pretty much everything (+10 bonuses to all skills)? This "Renaissance man syndrome" is good for Star Wars, I guess; but in D&D, only Factotum-type characters (with appropriate Powers) should be so versatile. I admit I'm jumping to conclusions about what "Trained skills" are, but I haven't seen the slightest hint of any alternative options from Wizards. So it seems the main "difference" between Saga skills and D&D skills is just the selection of available skills (e.g. Initiative still isn't a skill). Which, in my book, isn't even a change in the "system." :smallmad:

I know Disable Device isn't as important as it used to be, with Trapfinding not being the big exclusive thing anymore and with encounter-style traps, but where does DD fit into the new skill system at all? Part of Thievery? Dungeoneering? Probably dungeoneering, because otherwise that seems like it would be a pretty limited-use skill.

It does seem odd that some of the Rogue's key skills are still WIS-based. That made more sense in 3e, where they weren't trying to make such a clear set of guidelines, like "the Rogue needs these 3 key abilities the most." Insight is pretty clearly the new Sense Motive, maybe with some other minor intuitive uses thrown in.

Other than that, I like the "packaging" job of the skills.

Suggested Rogue Builds. Not a really efficient use of space in the PHB, but I guess they have to throw some bones to new players who aren't good at figuring out how to build characters. The suggested skill lists seem pretty artificial, like "we just want to make sure that we recommend every skill at least once." The most interesting part here is the plethora of recommended powers. Do you really get an at-will power, an encounter power, and a daily power, all at Level 1? :smallconfused:

Rogue Tactics section. This, to me, looks like the new way they're going to do "variant classes," "substitution levels," etc. I can totally see splatbooks introducing new Rogue alternatives to the Artful Dodger (not sure how I feel about the literary easter egg here) and Brutal Scoundrel. Race-specific alternatives, even. That's cool, although it seems to me they could have just made the whole "powers" system more flexible and all-encompassing instead. (But that's my love for Generic Classes showing through again.)

Brutal Scoundrel makes me wonder ... when you execute a basic, non-Power melee attack, does it add DEX to damage instead of STR? Without any feat investment or anything? (Do non-Power melee attacks exist anymore? :smalltongue:)

Shuriken talent. Hmmm ... so there are still "damage dice sizes." I would have hoped they'd come up with something simpler, but I don't know what. I guess I don't mind.

Sneak Attack. The main thing that I notice here is that it scales based on the Tier of the game. Hey, so do the Powers. Hmmm. I thought a designer promised that Level 11 characters wouldn't be dramatically, noticeably more powerful than Level 10s, and same with 20 & 21. I don't believe him anymore.

The Powers, in general, do seem kind of video-gamish. Especially Positioning Strike. And some are just boring. And I'm afraid there will be too many of them. But we'll see.

I don't mind Tumble being a power. Avoiding AoOs with Tumble always was too strong of an effect for a mundane skill. I think the way they have it works nicely, and other posters have done a good job showing how Acrobatics can still be plenty useful without this particular use.

ShadowSiege
2008-02-25, 02:25 PM
I suspect that it's not, based on (1) the fact that the rogue preview essentially states something different, and (2) that we've been told that different classes get different amounts of healing surges, the fighter getting the most of them.

I do believe the rogue is intended to get 8-12 surges per day, which means 2-3 per encounter (or allows for in-between healing). I also believe the surges would be less than 25% of total hit points, because that feels like overdoing it.

If we see lots of surges per day for the martial characters and the surge heals for 25% of total HP, my best guess would be that monsters are going to be doing a lot more damage.

Draz74
2008-02-25, 02:29 PM
I don't think of it as a shove... I think about it as acting aggressively in such a way that the opponent moves to avoid you, but in the process moves to a position that you desire.

Think about how in a fight two people will often circle each other. If somebody moves to your flank, the instinct is to keep them in front of you.

It also then makes perfect sense for a trickster rogue, and for a WILL to defend against it (they see through your manipulation).

I just think it should be charisma vs. will instead of dex vs. will...

See, that all makes sense, except ... if the ability works as you describe, it shouldn't also deal [W]+DEX damage! It should just be a move-your-opponent-based-on-CHA-vs.-Will ability.

Of course, in that case it should also require a Minor Action rather than a Standard Action, so that it doesn't completely suck.

fendrin
2008-02-25, 03:24 PM
See, that all makes sense, except ... if the ability works as you describe, it shouldn't also deal [W]+DEX damage! It should just be a move-your-opponent-based-on-CHA-vs.-Will ability.

Of course, in that case it should also require a Minor Action rather than a Standard Action, so that it doesn't completely suck.

hmm, I missed the damage component. Now the dex bit makes more sense.

Ah, and if you have Artful Dodger, charisma DOES factor into it.
So any rogue with a little training can hit somebody and make them move a little (trip them a little, make them stumble, but not fall). A rogue with more specific training and strong presence can make someone move a lot farther.

I like it.

horseboy
2008-02-25, 04:01 PM
I still think they could leave out the "Role," "Power Source," and "Key Abilities" sections without hurting anything, if these (as I hope) are just fluff. Even if a new player is making a character, these are the kind of pointers his DM should be able to give him easily. Oh well.
Nah, that's their CYA area. That way a week after launch and the new Batman/CoDzilla shows up they can go "HEY STOP THAT! It's not designed to work that way! See?"

Draz74
2008-02-25, 04:18 PM
hmm, I missed the damage component. Now the dex bit makes more sense.

Ah, and if you have Artful Dodger, charisma DOES factor into it.
So any rogue with a little training can hit somebody and make them move a little (trip them a little, make them stumble, but not fall). A rogue with more specific training and strong presence can make someone move a lot farther.

That interpretation makes sense, too, except for targeting Will. So ... no matter how much armor they're wearing, it doesn't make it any harder for you to stab them, as long as you're also tripping them into a favorable battlefield position? But their canny willpower will keep you from stabbing them? Sorry, I'm not buying it.

But I think the AC/Fort Def/Ref Def/Will Def system is all supposed to be a bit more abstract than in 3e. I don't like that, but I understand it.

fendrin
2008-02-25, 04:30 PM
That interpretation makes sense, too, except for targeting Will. So ... no matter how much armor they're wearing, it doesn't make it any harder for you to stab them, as long as you're also tripping them into a favorable battlefield position? But their canny willpower will keep you from stabbing them? Sorry, I'm not buying it.

yah, i think that's probably a case of two many ideas put into one ability.

Or rather, a good idea that got modified to be more balanced, but in a way that doesn't jive with the original idea.

Deepblue706
2008-02-25, 08:58 PM
Eh...I'm not very impressed with this article. I don't exactly hate it, but, I was expecting more.

Still, it's looking better than a 3.x Rogue, so I guess it's acceptable. I can only hope they end up doing a better job with my precious, precious Fighter.

JBento
2008-02-26, 05:49 AM
I don't think of it as a shove... I think about it as acting aggressively in such a way that the opponent moves to avoid you, but in the process moves to a position that you desire.

Think about how in a fight two people will often circle each other. If somebody moves to your flank, the instinct is to keep them in front of you.

It also then makes perfect sense for a trickster rogue, and for a WILL to defend against it (they see through your manipulation).

I just think it should be charisma vs. will instead of dex vs. will...

But that's the small sort of thing that could change between now and the final version.


That'd be all nice and dandy IF the ability didn't specifically describe it as a shove (go on ahead, read it. I can wait :smallwink: ) Also, even if you were right, we'd have the same problem. Assuming the save progression of +1/2 levels, a 4th level Fighter is just as vulnerable as a 1st level Wizard. Doesn't it strike you as odd that it takes 4 levels of a class that is supposed to be a master of melee combat to have the same degree of insight into combat feints as 1 level of a class that stays in-doors and reads a lot of books on magical theory? :smallsmile:

Skjaldbakka
2008-02-26, 06:31 AM
Killing people is an art. Removing someone's kidneys in a single stroke is a masterpiece.

When a painter finishes his greatest work to date, do you turn to him and say "Good, now do me another one"? After Eli Manning bounds down the field, simultaneously sodomizing all the hopes and dreams of Patriots fans around the world, do you say "Why didn't you just do that every time?"

Per Day abilities are special, and should be treated as such.

Yeah, those abilities are special. I mean, you just don't see a stunt like that every day.

:smallwink:

Azerian Kelimon
2008-02-26, 06:33 AM
Touché is the only word that fits that post.

Skjaldbakka
2008-02-26, 06:48 AM
Thank you. I would be remiss to pass up an opening like that. All sly barbs aside though, I don't really have a problem with per day martial abilities. I would prefer abilities with recovery methods. Not along the lines of ToB, but more along the lines of "must rest for X time", or "must meet special condition X before use again"

For a spell, it might require a hour long ritual be performed in order to gain access to the ability again (for a potent spell).

For an awesome martial power, it might require that you spend an hour performing combat drills, or perhaps perform a specific sequence of successful actions in combat before use (perhaps you have to bull rush, then trip or disarm, and then they are open to 'teh awesome' attack)

Kioran
2008-02-26, 07:40 AM
The one thing that really irks me are the at-will abilities: It seems like there will be allmost no circumstances under which "normal attacks" are used unless fights are much linger, since there are always some situational advantages to be had with the right special attack - unless I am tragically mistaken.

All in all, it looks decidedly less like classical DnD or even WoW - no, this tidbit reminds of some japanese TBS/RP Hybrids (for example "Kartia: Word of Fate/Legend of Kartia") in which you have highly customizable Units, and the "art" lies in finding combinations of their special attacks and applying the right strengths to the enemiesī weakness (Dynasty Tactics anyone?), and finding a balance of expendable and rare ressources.
With things like tranposing strike, it will introduce an element of combos into combat, unrefutably (moving enemy brute into position to be mauled by your second striker, shoving enemy striker out of the way, XY - I think you get the point).

I donīt know if thatīs for the good or the bad - Itīs a boon for minitureīs play, thatīs sure. But is it good for play? I doubt it.
It probably strongly clashes with my playstyle, which is more ad-hoc and freestyle. It does allow more flashy and spectacular combat by RAW, which is good for my groups primary DM (which isnīt me), whose style is more by the book. But for me, everything that is explicitly ruled and stated makes it more difficult to improvise.

Same situation: A fighter fights several mooks from the top of a spiraling staircase, the group fleeing for itīs life, when suddenly the groupīs ranger, thought dead, shouts from the bottom of the staircase. The Fighter decides to turn around and plow through the guardsmen coming up the stairs. He wants to jump back down the stairs, kicking one guard in the face in passing and lunge at the second one behind him.

Letīs resolve this with 3.5, a 4th Ed with many special attacks, a rigid DM and a improvising DM

3.5, rigid DM: Since thereīs no rules for this kind of activity, it doesnīt fly, or at worst, the player gets screwed int he ad-hoc ruling so he buries the plan.
3.5, impro DM: The DM assigns a jump Check DM, a Balance check to land properly, and penalties and boni to the attack. It might be difficult, but not impossible. Roll and resolve

4, rigid DM: There are maneuvers, presumably, that allow passing through enemies and striking multiple targets, probably per day or per encounter sicne theyīre powerful. Letīs say we have one "A Tiger in their midst", which allows you to charge through an enemy at another one, striking both. If you have that power, good. Otherwise, youīre screwed.
4, impro DM: Same as above, since an ad-hoc ruling enabling this would probably screw those who have that power by essentially giving away itīs usefulness for free without one having to choose that power.

And thatīs the point, essentially: 4th Ed grants more free room, but clearly defines it. Same as Whirlwind attack in 3rd - as soon as there are rules for it, you canīt improvise it any longer without screwing those who actually took the feats/selected the powers. Thatīs what worries me, allthough itīs a boon for people with rigid, unflexible DMs.......

Mr. Friendly
2008-02-26, 08:03 AM
The one thing that really irks me are the at-will abilities: It seems like there will be allmost no circumstances under which "normal attacks" are used unless fights are much linger, since there are always some situational advantages to be had with the right special attack - unless I am tragically mistaken.

All in all, it looks decidedly less like classical DnD or even WoW - no, this tidbit reminds of some japanese TBS/RP Hybrids (for example "Kartia: Word of Fate/Legend of Kartia") in which you have highly customizable Units, and the "art" lies in finding combinations of their special attacks and applying the right strengths to the enemiesī weakness (Dynasty Tactics anyone?), and finding a balance of expendable and rare ressources.
With things like tranposing strike, it will introduce an element of combos into combat, unrefutably (moving enemy brute into position to be mauled by your second striker, shoving enemy striker out of the way, XY - I think you get the point).

I donīt know if thatīs for the good or the bad - Itīs a boon for minitureīs play, thatīs sure. But is it good for play? I doubt it.
It probably strongly clashes with my playstyle, which is more ad-hoc and freestyle. It does allow more flashy and spectacular combat by RAW, which is good for my groups primary DM (which isnīt me), whose style is more by the book. But for me, everything that is explicitly ruled and stated makes it more difficult to improvise.

Same situation: A fighter fights several mooks from the top of a spiraling staircase, the group fleeing for itīs life, when suddenly the groupīs ranger, thought dead, shouts from the bottom of the staircase. The Fighter decides to turn around and plow through the guardsmen coming up the stairs. He wants to jump back down the stairs, kicking one guard in the face in passing and lunge at the second one behind him.

Letīs resolve this with 3.5, a 4th Ed with many special attacks, a rigid DM and a improvising DM

3.5, rigid DM: Since thereīs no rules for this kind of activity, it doesnīt fly, or at worst, the player gets screwed int he ad-hoc ruling so he buries the plan.
3.5, impro DM: The DM assigns a jump Check DM, a Balance check to land properly, and penalties and boni to the attack. It might be difficult, but not impossible. Roll and resolve

4, rigid DM: There are maneuvers, presumably, that allow passing through enemies and striking multiple targets, probably per day or per encounter sicne theyīre powerful. Letīs say we have one "A Tiger in their midst", which allows you to charge through an enemy at another one, striking both. If you have that power, good. Otherwise, youīre screwed.
4, impro DM: Same as above, since an ad-hoc ruling enabling this would probably screw those who have that power by essentially giving away itīs usefulness for free without one having to choose that power.

And thatīs the point, essentially: 4th Ed grants more free room, but clearly defines it. Same as Whirlwind attack in 3rd - as soon as there are rules for it, you canīt improvise it any longer without screwing those who actually took the feats/selected the powers. Thatīs what worries me, allthough itīs a boon for people with rigid, unflexible DMs.......

Whoa whoa whoa... let's put the straw back in the stables and not use it for golem construction.

Let's go back and look at that example - one more time -

Jumping Fighter, Hidden Ranger:

3.X Strict: He can attempt an Overrun against one of them, simulating his "kick" and accomplishing his goal; if he has Robilar's Gambit, he could potentially get AoOs against the others. Make a Jump Check.

3.5 Improv: Gods only know what sort of half-assed thing could come up. The worst part is, with some ad-hoc rule, it is never going to be applied consistantly and if it is, someone will exploit it.

4 Rigid: (Technically we have no idea, unless you own a copy of 4e; I personally don't) There are presumably maneuvers just as you say. However; I believe you will also be able to do essentially the same thing I outlined above for 3.5.

4 Improv: As I say above for 3.5 it will be inconsistant and most likely be unnecessary.

Edit: I do think it is interesting of how much of a double standard you feel must be applied to 4e.

hamlet
2008-02-26, 08:08 AM
Huh . . .

Well, I'm not sure why, but I feel sad. I don't see this class as the sneak thief that it could have been in previous editions, but rather a combative rodeo clown.

Suppose it's a different perspective anymore and the guy who's usefullness really shines outside of combat isn't as fun as the guy who jumps off of walls and does massive damage while flanking.

Course, this is only a small snippet of the class, but it just seems that they've changed the focus of the class over the course of the last couple editions.

Mr. Friendly
2008-02-26, 08:12 AM
Huh . . .

Well, I'm not sure why, but I feel sad. I don't see this class as the sneak thief that it could have been in previous editions, but rather a combative rodeo clown.

Suppose it's a different perspective anymore and the guy who's usefullness really shines outside of combat isn't as fun as the guy who jumps off of walls and does massive damage while flanking.

Course, this is only a small snippet of the class, but it just seems that they've changed the focus of the class over the course of the last couple editions.

Yes, you are quite right. It's pretty obvious when looking at the skills. I think we all know that Stealth is 4e code for Rodeo and Thievery is code for Clowning.

I guess in 4e you'll be forced to actually *gasp* roleplay your character...

Aotrs Commander
2008-02-26, 08:29 AM
I posted on the WOTC forums that I think the simple weapons like club, crossbow, spear and staff may well be automatic proficiencies for everybody. Ditto for cloth armour.

That thought did somewhat allay my initial reaction, but I'm steadily becoming more and more convinced I'm not going to like 4E the more I read about it.

The skills look like Saga's and I took an immediate and pathological dislike to that skill system. I've played a lot of RPGs (well, a played few and read a lot more) and aside from HeroQuest, most of the were completely skill-based; before 3.x, our system ot choice was Rolemaster. I immensely dislike not having more organically grown skills and I dislike the news that the noncombat, flavour skills have gone (even I, optimiser that I am, sometimes add a few points here and there for colour). Not even going to get started about the fact Intelligence dosn't appear to factor into skills anymore (given the format, you'd explect it to be mentioned if it was; they went out of there way to do so in 3.x.)

Not bothered by the folding of skills together, only the lack of granularity in getting them.

I'm also not liking the character-class-specific weapons vibe...Even if Rogues do get quarterstaff or mace proficiency, nobody's going to use them if their class abilities don't match up. Wizards and their magical implements, fighters and their weapons...call me crazy, but I was preferring the idea that getting characters away from specific gear-choices was a good thing (also, doesn't kind of go against the grain of the 'it's you, not your gear' that WotC have supposedly been working on?)

Hitdice/hit points/healing surges: Meh. Don't like it, don't dislike it. It just is. Don't care if they change it or not (ditto how stats are arrived, be it roll or point buy...guessing the latter).

Powers: Ambivilent. In theory, adding powers would seem to be A Good Thing to me (I'll probably do something like retrofit them to 3.5)...I'll wait to see more of them before I make a judgement.

Interestingly, despite WotC's apparent effort to simplify (sic), the power entries are less-spelled out than in 3.5...more of a wargames-style terminology. Contrary to the aim of making D&D accessable?

(It's also beginning to smack of simplification for the sake of simplification, not for the sake of being more elegant, but I can only make that final judgement upon reading the actual rules.)



Overall, I do think that the designers have taken the broken CR system, realised it didn't work (except when ridgedly following it) and decided to make one that worked by changing the entire game to be less random overall (and therefore more controllable). The more I read, the more I seem to see the randomness slowly slipping away to be a more predicatable bell-curve. All the elements (no more buckets of D6 Fireballs, less random crits etc etc) seem to be moving more and more towards minimally variable. I'm not sure I like that move.



I am still going to get 4E when it comes out (I've preordered it in fact), but more and more I'm getting the opinion it might be only reading material and a few choices ideas I'm going to steal for 3.5.

Starbuck_II
2008-02-26, 08:31 AM
That'd be all nice and dandy IF the ability didn't specifically describe it as a shove (go on ahead, read it. I can wait :smallwink: ) Also, even if you were right, we'd have the same problem. Assuming the save progression of +1/2 levels, a 4th level Fighter is just as vulnerable as a 1st level Wizard. Doesn't it strike you as odd that it takes 4 levels of a class that is supposed to be a master of melee combat to have the same degree of insight into combat feints as 1 level of a class that stays in-doors and reads a lot of books on magical theory? :smallsmile:
In 3.5:
Same issue with Feinting. The Fighter got tricked more often than the Wizard at level 1. And the Fighter is the "master of melee combat" (good one).

Rutee
2008-02-26, 08:33 AM
The one thing that really irks me are the at-will abilities: It seems like there will be allmost no circumstances under which "normal attacks" are used unless fights are much linger, since there are always some situational advantages to be had with the right special attack - unless I am tragically mistaken.

All in all, it looks decidedly less like classical DnD or even WoW - no, this tidbit reminds of some japanese TBS/RP Hybrids (for example "Kartia: Word of Fate/Legend of Kartia") in which you have highly customizable Units, and the "art" lies in finding combinations of their special attacks and applying the right strengths to the enemiesī weakness (Dynasty Tactics anyone?), and finding a balance of expendable and rare ressources.
With things like tranposing strike, it will introduce an element of combos into combat, unrefutably (moving enemy brute into position to be mauled by your second striker, shoving enemy striker out of the way, XY - I think you get the point).

I donīt know if thatīs for the good or the bad - Itīs a boon for minitureīs play, thatīs sure. But is it good for play? I doubt it.
It probably strongly clashes with my playstyle, which is more ad-hoc and freestyle. It does allow more flashy and spectacular combat by RAW, which is good for my groups primary DM (which isnīt me), whose style is more by the book. But for me, everything that is explicitly ruled and stated makes it more difficult to improvise.

Same situation: A fighter fights several mooks from the top of a spiraling staircase, the group fleeing for itīs life, when suddenly the groupīs ranger, thought dead, shouts from the bottom of the staircase. The Fighter decides to turn around and plow through the guardsmen coming up the stairs. He wants to jump back down the stairs, kicking one guard in the face in passing and lunge at the second one behind him.

Letīs resolve this with 3.5, a 4th Ed with many special attacks, a rigid DM and a improvising DM

3.5, rigid DM: Since thereīs no rules for this kind of activity, it doesnīt fly, or at worst, the player gets screwed int he ad-hoc ruling so he buries the plan.
3.5, impro DM: The DM assigns a jump Check DM, a Balance check to land properly, and penalties and boni to the attack. It might be difficult, but not impossible. Roll and resolve

4, rigid DM: There are maneuvers, presumably, that allow passing through enemies and striking multiple targets, probably per day or per encounter sicne theyīre powerful. Letīs say we have one "A Tiger in their midst", which allows you to charge through an enemy at another one, striking both. If you have that power, good. Otherwise, youīre screwed.
4, impro DM: Same as above, since an ad-hoc ruling enabling this would probably screw those who have that power by essentially giving away itīs usefulness for free without one having to choose that power.

And thatīs the point, essentially: 4th Ed grants more free room, but clearly defines it. Same as Whirlwind attack in 3rd - as soon as there are rules for it, you canīt improvise it any longer without screwing those who actually took the feats/selected the powers. Thatīs what worries me, allthough itīs a boon for people with rigid, unflexible DMs.......

You're completely aware that pretty much anything you may want to do in 3.X is coverred mechanically, right? And that if you don't have the Feat or Class levels, you can't do that, yes?

'cause, it sounds like you're irritated about the status quo, except saying it's news, when it's not.

Matthew
2008-02-26, 08:42 AM
You're completely aware that pretty much anything you may want to do in 3.X is coverred mechanically, right? And that if you don't have the Feat or Class levels, you can't do that, yes?

'cause, it sounds like you're irritated about the status quo, except saying it's news, when it's not.

Well... there is some room for Kioren's point, I think. Before all the supplemental books came out, fewer actions were prescribed and there was always the Attribute Check for covering anything not explicitly covered by another mechanic. So... it would be fair to say that the things later Feats covered could have been done via an Attribute Check prior to that.

Of course, that's to create a divide between 'specific mechanics' and 'general mechanics', which is not quite the same thing as saying "3e doesn't cover everything mechanically," but hopefully you see what I mean.

Rutee
2008-02-26, 08:48 AM
Well... there is some room for Kioren's point, I think. Before all the supplemental books came out, fewer actions were prescribed and there was always the Attribute Check for covering anything not explicitly covered by another mechanic. So... it would be fair to say that the things later Feats covered could have been done via an Attribute Check prior to that.

Of course, that's to create a divide between 'specific mechanics' and 'general mechanics', which is not quite the same thing as saying "3e doesn't cover everything mechanically," but hopefully you see what I mean.
Yeah. Before all those supplements came out, that's totally accurate.

Those supplements /are/ out though. If the same complaint is levelled at them, then bully for Kioran; At least there's consistency.

hamlet
2008-02-26, 08:52 AM
Yes, you are quite right. It's pretty obvious when looking at the skills. I think we all know that Stealth is 4e code for Rodeo and Thievery is code for Clowning.

I guess in 4e you'll be forced to actually *gasp* roleplay your character...

No need for hostility.:smallmad:

My point still stands. They've made "stealth" and "Thievery" into commonly available skills it seems, just like they did in 3.x. This, IMO, robs the class of it's previous identity. Third edition attempted to remedy this by making the rogue a "skill monkey" fram on which you could build a sneak thief, but could also build just about anything else within limits.

This article, however, seems to explicitly state that rogues conform to a certain framework, that of the striker and acrobat.

fendrin
2008-02-26, 08:53 AM
That'd be all nice and dandy IF the ability didn't specifically describe it as a shove (go on ahead, read it. I can wait :smallwink: ) Also, even if you were right, we'd have the same problem. Assuming the save progression of +1/2 levels, a 4th level Fighter is just as vulnerable as a 1st level Wizard. Doesn't it strike you as odd that it takes 4 levels of a class that is supposed to be a master of melee combat to have the same degree of insight into combat feints as 1 level of a class that stays in-doors and reads a lot of books on magical theory? :smallsmile:

1) I routinely throw away the fluff of an ability. It's usually crap. So much better to take the crunch and add character-specific fluff.

2) It says "A false stumble and a shove". To me, the emphasis is the false stumble. Further emphasis: false. That means you are tricking someone. Hence the advantage to charisma. (if you have the other ability), and the will defense. Since when is seeing through a bluff/feint a matter of combat prowess?

3) you are making an assumption. Be careful with those. As far as we know, a fighter might get a significant bonus to will saves against martial powers. I think that makes a world of sense, actually.

Matthew
2008-02-26, 09:04 AM
Yeah. Before all those supplements came out, that's totally accurate.

Those supplements /are/ out though. If the same complaint is levelled at them, then bully for Kioran; At least there's consistency.

Indeed, but he may only use the D20 Core Rules. If it's the case that the 4e Core Rules contain more prescribed actions, then I think I can see the grounds for complaint.

As you say, though, this is the direction D&D has been going in for nearly a decade, so it's hardly surprising. If I were Wizards and I wanted to make money off D&D, the first thing I would do is narrow every archetype down and then sell the variants to the fan base over the next few years. No more 'Fighter' (except in name), instead I would sell you the Mercenary, Legionary, Tribesman, Knight, Serjeant, Long Bow Man, etc... "What? It's a class based game, don't you love all the choices I'm giving you?"

Rutee
2008-02-26, 09:07 AM
As you say, though, this is the direction D&D has been going in for nearly a decade, so it's hardly surprising. If I were Wizards and I wanted to make money off D&D, the first thing I would do is narrow every archetype down and then sell the variants to the fan base over the next few years. No more 'Fighter' (except in name), instead I would sell you the Mercenary, Legionary, Tribesman, Knight, Serjeant, Long Bow Man, etc... "What? It's a class based game, don't you love all the choices I'm giving you?"

And this is why one can never forget that a company's primary motivation is "BOY HOWDY we sure like money."

My retaliation against those policies is generally piracy though, so it's all good.

Mr. Friendly
2008-02-26, 09:10 AM
No need for hostility.:smallmad:

My point still stands. They've made "stealth" and "Thievery" into commonly available skills it seems, just like they did in 3.x. This, IMO, robs the class of it's previous identity. Third edition attempted to remedy this by making the rogue a "skill monkey" fram on which you could build a sneak thief, but could also build just about anything else within limits.

This article, however, seems to explicitly state that rogues conform to a certain framework, that of the striker and acrobat.

That is interesting. I am anxious to look over the other classes and see their skill lists. Can you post a link please? I can't wait to look it over, since then I will have to wonder why WotC chose to give every other class Stealth and Thievery.

You do realise that if the article explicitly states that rogues conform to a certain framework, of striker and acrobat, it would need to say that somewhere, right? All I saw was "Here are some build ideas, use them or don't - it's up to you"

hewhosaysfish
2008-02-26, 09:28 AM
That is interesting. I am anxious to look over the other classes and see their skill lists. Can you post a link please? I can't wait to look it over, since then I will have to wonder why WotC chose to give every other class Stealth and Thievery.

You do realise that if the article explicitly states that rogues conform to a certain framework, of striker and acrobat, it would need to say that somewhere, right? All I saw was "Here are some build ideas, use them or don't - it's up to you"

Actually, Striker is explicitly in there. (But since Striker is "guy that runs in, stabs people and then runs away again" I don't mind that so much)
You're right about Acrobatics being optional, though.

hamlet
2008-02-26, 09:51 AM
That is interesting. I am anxious to look over the other classes and see their skill lists. Can you post a link please? I can't wait to look it over, since then I will have to wonder why WotC chose to give every other class Stealth and Thievery.

You do realise that if the article explicitly states that rogues conform to a certain framework, of striker and acrobat, it would need to say that somewhere, right? All I saw was "Here are some build ideas, use them or don't - it's up to you"

Holy heck, dude, back off. If I wanted that kind of hostility, I'd go and talk to my family.

As for Stealth and Theivery being general skills, all you have to do is take a look and see that they are listed as skills instead of class features. That means that they are on the skills list just like things like climb, perception, and whatnot (unless they've changed the way skills work so dramatically that they in no way resemble one of the admitted testing grounds for 4e mechanics in Saga).

Look again at those items listed as class features. You'll notice that they revolve around causing damage and acquiring tacticaly superior positioning in order to prepare for a damaging strike. Then, of course, you can read the first sentence in the darn article:
CLASS TRAITS

Role: Striker. You dart in to attack, do massive damage, and then retreat to safety. You do best when teamed with a defender to flank enemies.


If that isn't explicit enough for you, then I have wonder what would be clear enough.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-02-26, 09:57 AM
Holy heck, dude, back off. If I wanted that kind of hostility, I'd go and talk to my family.

As for Stealth and Theivery being general skills, all you have to do is take a look and see that they are listed as skills instead of class features. That means that they are on the skills list just like things like climb, perception, and whatnot (unless they've changed the way skills work so dramatically that they in no way resemble one of the admitted testing grounds for 4e mechanics in Saga).

Look again at those items listed as class features. You'll notice that they revolve around causing damage and acquiring tacticaly superior positioning in order to prepare for a damaging strike. Then, of course, you can read the first sentence in the darn article:

If that isn't explicit enough for you, then I have wonder what would be clear enough.

Yeah. And sleight of hand and hide/move silently are class features in 3.5.

JBento
2008-02-26, 09:58 AM
In 3.5:
Same issue with Feinting. The Fighter got tricked more often than the Wizard at level 1. And the Fighter is the "master of melee combat" (good one).

Er... No it didn't. Feint is opposed by a Sense Motive check (which is not class skill for either and is based off Wisdom, which is not a main ability for either), to which you may add your BAB. All other factors being equal, the Fighter was actually better at resisting Feint attempts (at least is was better on ONE thing, eh? :smallbiggrin: )

To Fendrin:
1)Yes, I can throw out the fluff of an ability. The point is, I shouldn't HAVE TO. Though I'll grant you, if THAT's the biggest problem with 4E I'll be deliriously happy:smallwink:

2)It is when its a combat feint. If you can be tricked by false combat maneouvres easily in melee combat, you're obviously NOT a master of melee combat :smallsmile:

3) I AM making an assumption, and you're right on all accounts on this point. Since you being right would probably make a better game overall, not only I concede on point 3), but I also do so gladly :smallsmile:

Rutee
2008-02-26, 10:09 AM
To Fendrin:
1)Yes, I can throw out the fluff of an ability. The point is, I shouldn't HAVE TO. Though I'll grant you, if THAT's the biggest problem with 4E I'll be deliriously happy:smallwink:
Well, generally speaking, if you're making a character and actually describing their moves (And, presumably, you want a semi-unique combat style for them), you're already going to throw out the fluff. You can really only keep it when it's crazy general, which simply isn't going to be every ability.

hamlet
2008-02-26, 10:24 AM
Yeah. And sleight of hand and hide/move silently are class features in 3.5.

I actually adressed this in a previous post saying that 3.x took away a lot of the class's previous identity.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-02-26, 10:26 AM
Like "Backstab is the only way to victory"? Doesn't get more shoehorned than that.

fendrin
2008-02-26, 10:38 AM
I actually adressed this in a previous post saying that 3.x took away a lot of the class's previous identity.

Why, because bards, rangers, and monks can sneak?

Because bards can pick pockets? (oh wait, the 2e bard was classified as a rogue alongside the thief...)

Because, if they try real hard, other classes can be mediocre at these skills at the expense of being good at anything else? (seriously, a massive expenditure of skill points and a few feats... and you still aren't as good as an average rogue)

Sorry, I'm not buying into it. 3.X added flexibility to the thief class to make the rogue class. Nothing, as far as I can tell, was taken away (other than obsolete mechanics).

And you know what? I see nothing in this article that says a 4e rogue can't be played just like I played my 2e thief.

Kioran
2008-02-26, 10:46 AM
You're completely aware that pretty much anything you may want to do in 3.X is coverred mechanically, right? And that if you don't have the Feat or Class levels, you can't do that, yes?

'cause, it sounds like you're irritated about the status quo, except saying it's news, when it's not.

I do use neither Complete Scoundrel nor the ToB . I use Core + Complete 1.0 (Warrior, Divine, Arcane and Adventurer) + the Unearthed Arcana. PHB 2 on some days.

I am aware that this is a direction the have been going with 3.5, progressively more with the later supplements. I thought it was mainly for completenessī sake, and for the record, I always disapproved of the ToB or the Skill Tricks in Complete scoundrel.
Iīm not as old school as Matthew, but I do think the DM makes the game, and taking too much out of the DMs hand does make for more restrictions on a story. Every move that gets defined is one less surprise or improvisation available to players and DMs. Every bit more definition makes it easier for beginners, but cramps the veterans style if it becomes to overt.

For me, that is the difference between Monte Cook and Jonathn Tweet (whose work I, despite being responsible for some of the maladies of current spellcasting, I can respect. Mr. Tweet, for example, created MtGs Portal Editions - some of the best balanced and most nicely done editions of tehir time. Even if you dislike MtG nowadays, Portal on itīs own is a decent game) and their successors, Mike Mearls (a fierce proponent of a much higher powered game) and Bruce Cordell (a hack - see The Sunless Citadel (http://www.goblindefensefund.org/history5.html). The Goblin defense funds bashing of this guy meets my approval).
The former did game design based on the paradigm of classical P&P RPG, and very much encouraged a more freeform approach. The 3.5 DMG is, to me, one of the best books of the entire Edition run, and openly ncourages resolving situations not covered by the rules with circumstance modifiers, Ability Checks and ad-hoc ruling, or the creation of new items via guidelines.
The latter take much of that into their own hands, creating a more defined system, and most of all, Mike Mearls is the firmest proponent of all PCs working with Powers and special attacks. Heīs responsible for the MIC, and I want to punch him everytime someone mentions Healing Belts or the Belt of battle - or Eternal wands, but no, that does not make me want to punch him - I want to kick him for that.

Iīm sorry, that just doesnīt fly with me. 4th Edition does not learn from or refine upon 3rd Edition, but instead creates a different game with a feel much different from all previous Editions. I think the gap in feel and appearance will be bigger than any edition gap before. To me, itīs not a new edition of D&D, but a D&D based new creation. Thatīs not necessarily bad, but maybe not what I am looking for, and I have little faith in those responsible.

Mr. Friendly
2008-02-26, 10:46 AM
Holy heck, dude, back off. If I wanted that kind of hostility, I'd go and talk to my family.

As for Stealth and Theivery being general skills, all you have to do is take a look and see that they are listed as skills instead of class features. That means that they are on the skills list just like things like climb, perception, and whatnot (unless they've changed the way skills work so dramatically that they in no way resemble one of the admitted testing grounds for 4e mechanics in Saga).

Look again at those items listed as class features. You'll notice that they revolve around causing damage and acquiring tacticaly superior positioning in order to prepare for a damaging strike. Then, of course, you can read the first sentence in the darn article:

If that isn't explicit enough for you, then I have wonder what would be clear enough.

Yes, their *suggested* role is a striker; however your implication was that they had to be acrobats flipping off the walls - rodeo clowns was your description?

I seem to have missed the line where WotC was going to show up at your house and take away your books for doing something outside of that role.

Thus your statement that the article's EXPLICIT statement that Rogues MUST be Acrobat Strikers is, in a word, incorrect.

As for Stealth and Thievery being skills and not class features... I suppose they could be doing this so that *other* classes might, just might use them. You know, like I think Rangers might deserve to get Stealth too. Bards will no doubt want Thievery. However, if they make them a skill but limit who can get it as a class skill, then it creates more options, like feats to have skills as class skills and what not.

They are, however, giving skills certain specialized uses based on the class using the skill, so who knows. Maybe Rogues will get to move at full speed while stealthed or something.

Honestly, aside from being sarcastic, I have been fairly civil with you. If you want to *actually* see hostility though, let me know.

Citizen Joe
2008-02-26, 11:02 AM
I seem to have missed the line where WotC was going to show up at your house and take away your books for doing something outside of that role.

It's in the fine print near the back. WOTC has an army of robotic Gygax clones that go to your house and break kneecaps if you don't play as they suggest. If you split open your books, you can pull the tracking device out of the spine of the book so that the RGC's can't find you. It looks like a thin 3-4 mm metallic strip, maybe 15 cm long.

hamlet
2008-02-26, 11:14 AM
Boy, was I wrong when I thought I could voice my opinion without having half the community jump down my throat about it.

Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Mr. Friendly
2008-02-26, 11:23 AM
Boy, was I wrong when I thought I could voice my opinion without having half the community jump down my throat about it.

Boy I guess I shouldn't have jumped in the thread and started lamenting about the elimination of the Rogue class, despite the fact that it really isn't all that much different from it's 2e and 3e progenitors. Further, I probably shouldn't have entered with a provocative post using loaded language.

I suppose what I meant to say was that I personally dislike the direction they are taking with the Rogue in this edition and 4e may not be my cup of tea; however I don't know and will reserve my final verdict until I have tried it.

Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Fixed that for you. :smallbiggrin:

hamlet
2008-02-26, 11:26 AM
Fixed that for you. :smallbiggrin:

:smallannoyed: Yeah, sure.

Frosty
2008-02-26, 11:44 AM
You're completely aware that pretty much anything you may want to do in 3.X is coverred mechanically, right? And that if you don't have the Feat or Class levels, you can't do that, yes?

'cause, it sounds like you're irritated about the status quo, except saying it's news, when it's not.

Agreed. A flexible DM is good no matter what edition one plays.

Rutee, can I use your signature? S.O.S-dan forever!

Mr. Friendly
2008-02-26, 11:46 AM
:smallannoyed: Yeah, sure.

Look man, you were the one who jumped in here, saying how: Well, I'm not sure why, but I feel sad. I don't see this class as the sneak thief that it could have been in previous editions, but rather a combative rodeo clown.

Then as things go on... well you were there. Now to *me* combative rodeo clown is all I really need to see to set the "tone" of your post. It "sounds" really derogatory and strikes me as intellectually dishonest.

I'm not saying this to attack you, just to give you a perspective of where I am coming from, ok?

Matthew
2008-02-26, 12:19 PM
Look man, you were the one who jumped in here, saying how: Well, I'm not sure why, but I feel sad. I don't see this class as the sneak thief that it could have been in previous editions, but rather a combative rodeo clown.

Then as things go on... well you were there. Now to *me* combative rodeo clown is all I really need to see to set the "tone" of your post. It "sounds" really derogatory and strikes me as intellectually dishonest.

I'm not saying this to attack you, just to give you a perspective of where I am coming from, ok?

Maybe, but it seems to me that your tone has been most unfriendly, and it's not like this is the first time either. I would certainly appreciate less sarcasm and more friendly debate.

hamlet
2008-02-26, 12:21 PM
Look man, you were the one who jumped in here, saying how: Well, I'm not sure why, but I feel sad. I don't see this class as the sneak thief that it could have been in previous editions, but rather a combative rodeo clown.

Then as things go on... well you were there. Now to *me* combative rodeo clown is all I really need to see to set the "tone" of your post. It "sounds" really derogatory and strikes me as intellectually dishonest.

I'm not saying this to attack you, just to give you a perspective of where I am coming from, ok?

And to give you a perspective, your response instead of being a positive "hey, I'm not sure what you mean, I think you're incorrect, why don't you explain it in more detail" was to jump down my throat in a post full of snark and outright hostility.

My "redeo clown" remark was based on comments from the 4e designers about what they saw rogues doing. It wasn't in this article, but in one late last year in which they envisioned them doing flips off of walls and acrobatic stunts similar to what we see in movies post Matrix.

EDIT: Dude, look, my only point is that, judging from the article and previous comments by the designers, it appears to me that they are transforming the rogue/thief from an actual stealthy, 2nd string fighter that relies more on his wits and skills than causing physical damage (or, in its original incarnation, an actual thief) into a fast moving, hard hitting . . . I'm not even sure what sometimes.

Number 6
2008-02-26, 12:28 PM
BUILD ADVICE! YES!

I think this is an amazing decision. The bane of newbies everywhere has always been not really knowing what to do with a character, often causing them to f*** it up royally, in turn screwing themselves out of having any fun just because of inexperience.

I agree that it's good to give us previews, but the object of an RPG is to role play and have fun, not to make up an Uber character. If you need build advice, your group is focusing on combat too much.

Kurald Galain
2008-02-26, 12:34 PM
4, impro DM: Same as above, since an ad-hoc ruling enabling this would probably screw those who have that power
No, that's not what "impro" means, and your argument is only valid if the existing "powers" cover every single conceivable situation. Which, by definition, they can't.



And thatīs the point, essentially: 4th Ed grants more free room, but clearly defines it.
That's a paradox. If it "clearly defines" it, it's not "free room".

Artanis
2008-02-26, 12:34 PM
I agree that it's good to give us previews, but the object of an RPG is to role play and have fun, not to make up an Uber character. If you need build advice, your group is focusing on combat too much.
Not necessarily. It's completely possible to utterly screw yourself to the point of being useless simply due to inexperience, regardless of how much combat there is. I know, because I've done it.

SmartAlec
2008-02-26, 12:38 PM
That's a paradox. If it "clearly defines" it, it's not "free room".

Think of it as more like sticking signposts up, rather than building fences. That kind of clear definition.

Number 6
2008-02-26, 12:43 PM
I think this part is GREAT: "You dart in ... and then retreat to safety." Rogue has always been my least favorite class even with the role playing and skill benefits because, during combat, that back stab had better kill the critter or you are TOAST. Rogues only have 1d6 hit points per level, and only leather armor. They usually don't last more than two rounds against a same level CR monster. And monsters tend to turn around and swat the one who's doing that backstab damage.

I've seen something like this happen way to often: Fifth level thief backstabs Minotaur. Minataur turns around on his intiative, hits the rogue three times because of rogue's sucky AC and its multible attack, does 24 hit points of damage, rogue falls unconscious, fighter laughs at rogue.

Backstabbing with a ranged weapon works better, but it's usually hard to get into position and have a clear shot.

So, it will be much easier to fight with a rogue if you can move after and attack. Make that monster take some AOO chasing you down.

Number 6
2008-02-26, 12:45 PM
Not necessarily. It's completely possible to utterly screw yourself to the point of being useless simply due to inexperience, regardless of how much combat there is. I know, because I've done it.

I concede that you have me there. I'm just too sensitive because of the over abundance of power gamers I've met.

Rachel Lorelei
2008-02-26, 12:47 PM
I agree that it's good to give us previews, but the object of an RPG is to role play and have fun, not to make up an Uber character. If you need build advice, your group is focusing on combat too much.

D&D is, at its basic level, about a group of adventurers who kill things. Characters are expected to have combat just about every session.

If you need build advice, your group is focusing on combat as much as it's expected to. If you want a combat-light RPG, D&D is not your best choice.

Try not to tell people who play differently from you that they're doing it wrong, especially when you're the one not following the game's expectations.

Number 6
2008-02-26, 12:48 PM
i must say i dislike the change to sneak attack, where it is now limited to a few weapons.

Reminds me of a line I heard: You're going to backstab him with a $^# SIEGE WEAPON?

Zincorium
2008-02-26, 01:07 PM
Correct me if I'm off base here, but didn't Backstab from the days of yore have a restricted weapons list?


Also, this 'cloth armor' thing I keep hearing about (specifically rogues not being able to wear it)... can anyone provide any sort of reference to there even being cloth armor in the game?

Because with a few exceptions, like the linen armor of the Landschnekt, cloth is not armor. Any reference to clothes without defensive properties being a sort of armor drives me nuts.

Draz74
2008-02-26, 01:12 PM
Also, this 'cloth armor' thing I keep hearing about (specifically rogues not being able to wear it)... can anyone provide any sort of reference to there even being cloth armor in the game?

It was in the Dragon article on item slots. It basically just means wizards and monks can enchant their clothing to have the same enchantments (including AC bonuses) as armor. Other than magic, it still doesn't mean the clothing itself grants an AC bonus.

Mr. Friendly
2008-02-26, 01:25 PM
Per 3e/3.5:


Magic Vestment
Transmutation
Level: Clr 3, Strength 3, War 3
Components: V, S, DF
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Target: Armor or shield touched
Duration: 1 hour/level
Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless, object)
Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless, object)

You imbue a suit of armor or a shield with an enhancement bonus of +1 per four caster levels (maximum +5 at 20th level).

An outfit of regular clothing counts as armor that grants no AC bonus for the purpose of this spell.

So, there was precedence in 3e.... then there were the various wizard spidersilk armors and what not out of various sourcebooks...

hamlet
2008-02-26, 01:28 PM
Correct me if I'm off base here, but didn't Backstab from the days of yore have a restricted weapons list?


Also, this 'cloth armor' thing I keep hearing about (specifically rogues not being able to wear it)... can anyone provide any sort of reference to there even being cloth armor in the game?

Because with a few exceptions, like the linen armor of the Landschnekt, cloth is not armor. Any reference to clothes without defensive properties being a sort of armor drives me nuts.

IIRC (it's been a bit since I've played a thief) there wasn't really a restriction on what weapon was used in a backstab. Instead, the restrictions were placed on what creatures could be affected (i.e., it had to have an identifiable anatomy and have organs which would be vulnerable to such attacks (i.e., golems were not vulnerable to it because they were, essentially, big bits of rock)). It was also noted that you only got the backstab once in an encounter realistically since after the first shot, the oponent was most likely to take special note of the little blighter that caused him so much pain and he wouldn't get the opportunity to do it again.

And there is, in fact, "cloth armor" both in D&D and historically. In system, it's called padded armor and was, essentially, really thick clothing. Historically, the equivalent was used by skirmishers and archers who valued mobility and manual dexterity over wearing heavy armor.

LoopyZebra
2008-02-26, 01:28 PM
It was in the Dragon article on item slots. It basically just means wizards and monks can enchant their clothing to have the same enchantments (including AC bonuses) as armor. Other than magic, it still doesn't mean the clothing itself grants an AC bonus.

Presumably, if "cloth armor" is just clothing (as opposed to say, padded armor), then rogues can wear it. Otherwise rogues would be arrested far more often for random streaking. :)

However, I do not believe its been confirmed whether or not cloth armor is just a light armor (padded in previous editions) that wizards and monks can wear, or clothing. Either way, it wouldn't be an unreasonable house rule, or interpretation of the rules (which are admittedly unpublished), to say that a character can wear something lighter. I personally think that they logically allow characters to wear armors lighter than what's listed (i.e., a fighter in full plate would also know how to wear a gambeson/padded armor), but that's pure speculation.

fendrin
2008-02-26, 01:54 PM
Reminds me of a line I heard: You're going to backstab him with a $^# SIEGE WEAPON?

The Gamers by Dead Gentlemen Productions.
Freaking awesome movie. For those not familiar with it, see it. Hilarious. Ending was a bit lame, but the rest was great.


Because with a few exceptions, like the linen armor of the Landschnekt, cloth is not armor. Any reference to clothes without defensive properties being a sort of armor drives me nuts.

If I remember back to my college days correctly, there are documents from the conquistadors that their soldier's cloth armor was sufficient to deflect the crude weapons of the South American natives that they were fighting.

Draz74
2008-02-26, 03:01 PM
However, I do not believe its been confirmed whether or not cloth armor is just a light armor (padded in previous editions) that wizards and monks can wear, or clothing.

From the article I mentioned earlier:


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.

Starbuck_II
2008-02-26, 03:22 PM
The Gamers by Dead Gentlemen Productions.
Freaking awesome movie. For those not familiar with it, see it. Hilarious. Ending was a bit lame, but the rest was great.


Yeah, ending was ironic and a little let down at same time, but funny in retrospect (as was most the movie funny).

fendrin
2008-02-26, 03:27 PM
Yeah, ending was ironic and a little let down at same time, but funny in retrospect (as was most the movie funny).

Meh. I jus tthink the ending sucked. Kind of like Monty Python and the Holy Grail: awesome movie, terrible ending (usually comes from the scriptwriters being unsure how to wrap it all up).

It happens in a lot of gaming campaigns, too.

Kioran
2008-02-26, 04:56 PM
No, that's not what "impro" means, and your argument is only valid if the existing "powers" cover every single conceivable situation. Which, by definition, they can't.

But they cover quite a lot, almost all common and many uncommon ones, and, additionally, create an atmosphere in which players expect a RAW ruling on almost any situation. Itīs an environmant that is somewhat hostile to DM improvisation, because a Player that can "prove" having been "screwed over" in an ad-hoc decision will more likely start extreme bitching, and, letīs face it, any improvisation carries the potential for misjudgement


That's a paradox. If it "clearly defines" it, it's not "free room".

Magic is, in a way, a free room, because it can break the game worldīs conventions or physics without hurting verisimilitude. Powers, since they are built more like spells/maneuvers, work similiarly - they are controlled exceptions to the basic rules. Any spells or maneuver defines one of the possibilities within that free room. Additional powers define other points within that space, and on a whole, create expectations and conventions of their own.
Of course one can improvise new maneuvers or spells, but the former free room (magic/powers) no isnīt that free anymore. It could still be, but some new powers might conflict with invalidate older ones, which leads to problems.

The problem lies in relying on and placing much of the conflict resolution into a system of controlled exceptions. Exceptions become closely monitored, because they are crucial to balance. This disencourages an unseasoned DM from making his won exceptions.

Kurald Galain
2008-02-26, 05:01 PM
You know, it suddenly struck me that they said that the rogue is good at suddenly attacking and then disappearing back into the shadows, but the mechanics explained here provide no means for it to actually do that?

Weird, no?

tyckspoon
2008-02-26, 05:14 PM
You know, it suddenly struck me that they said that the rogue is good at suddenly attacking and then disappearing back into the shadows, but the mechanics explained here provide no means for it to actually do that?

Weird, no?

hmm. That seems like the kind of thing the Tumble utility power should be good for (Move up to target, Standard to shank him with power of choice, Minor/Swift/whatever to Shift back out of the way), but it's written as a Move action to use too. The Deft Strike power given would work if you're starting off *really close* to your enemy; free move as part of the attack and then take a normal move action to get out of the way. Hopefully serial ambush/sniping actions like that won't be as hard to achieve, or it'll be kind of pointless to attempt anyway.

Little_Rudo
2008-02-26, 05:20 PM
You know, it suddenly struck me that they said that the rogue is good at suddenly attacking and then disappearing back into the shadows, but the mechanics explained here provide no means for it to actually do that?

Weird, no?

Most of the preview covers level 1 maneuvers, with a 2 and 9 thrown in. I imagine the "disappearing back into the shadows" is something a touch more advanced, and will be covered by maneuvers later on in the build. Or something.

Rutee
2008-02-26, 07:51 PM
I do use neither Complete Scoundrel nor the ToB . I use Core + Complete 1.0 (Warrior, Divine, Arcane and Adventurer) + the Unearthed Arcana. PHB 2 on some days.

I am aware that this is a direction the have been going with 3.5, progressively more with the later supplements. I thought it was mainly for completenessī sake, and for the record, I always disapproved of the ToB or the Skill Tricks in Complete scoundrel.
Iīm not as old school as Matthew, but I do think the DM makes the game, and taking too much out of the DMs hand does make for more restrictions on a story. Every move that gets defined is one less surprise or improvisation available to players and DMs. Every bit more definition makes it easier for beginners, but cramps the veterans style if it becomes to overt.

For me, that is the difference between Monte Cook and Jonathn Tweet (whose work I, despite being responsible for some of the maladies of current spellcasting, I can respect. Mr. Tweet, for example, created MtGs Portal Editions - some of the best balanced and most nicely done editions of tehir time. Even if you dislike MtG nowadays, Portal on itīs own is a decent game) and their successors, Mike Mearls (a fierce proponent of a much higher powered game) and Bruce Cordell (a hack - see The Sunless Citadel (http://www.goblindefensefund.org/history5.html). The Goblin defense funds bashing of this guy meets my approval).
The former did game design based on the paradigm of classical P&P RPG, and very much encouraged a more freeform approach. The 3.5 DMG is, to me, one of the best books of the entire Edition run, and openly ncourages resolving situations not covered by the rules with circumstance modifiers, Ability Checks and ad-hoc ruling, or the creation of new items via guidelines.
The latter take much of that into their own hands, creating a more defined system, and most of all, Mike Mearls is the firmest proponent of all PCs working with Powers and special attacks. Heīs responsible for the MIC, and I want to punch him everytime someone mentions Healing Belts or the Belt of battle - or Eternal wands, but no, that does not make me want to punch him - I want to kick him for that.

Iīm sorry, that just doesnīt fly with me. 4th Edition does not learn from or refine upon 3rd Edition, but instead creates a different game with a feel much different from all previous Editions. I think the gap in feel and appearance will be bigger than any edition gap before. To me, itīs not a new edition of D&D, but a D&D based new creation. Thatīs not necessarily bad, but maybe not what I am looking for, and I have little faith in those responsible.

Stop using the damn shotgun offense! Masses of near unrelated points to disguise wronghoods like "4th ed doesn't learn from previous editions" is annoying to cover. Honestly, your points strike me as irrelevant; Frosty coverred it already; If you have a DM inclined to let you do whatever you want without mechanically backing it up, they will not change their minds just because of the rules being a bit different. They are already seperating themselves from those rules, so there's no change in the status quo. You stated you prefer rules-light and coming up with stuff on the fly (Why do you play 3rd ed if you like rules light?); Do you change your mind just because there's supplements that cover everything now?


But they cover quite a lot, almost all common and many uncommon ones, and, additionally, create an atmosphere in which players expect a RAW ruling on almost any situation. Itīs an environmant that is somewhat hostile to DM improvisation, because a Player that can "prove" having been "screwed over" in an ad-hoc decision will more likely start extreme bitching, and, letīs face it, any improvisation carries the potential for misjudgement

You mean like what can happen now? Also, emphasis mine, isn't that a point /against/ improvisation, which listing more situations can help make less necessary?


Magic is, in a way, a free room, because it can break the game worldīs conventions or physics without hurting verisimilitude. Powers, since they are built more like spells/maneuvers, work similiarly - they are controlled exceptions to the basic rules. Any spells or maneuver defines one of the possibilities within that free room. Additional powers define other points within that space, and on a whole, create expectations and conventions of their own.
Of course one can improvise new maneuvers or spells, but the former free room (magic/powers) no isnīt that free anymore. It could still be, but some new powers might conflict with invalidate older ones, which leads to problems.

The problem lies in relying on and placing much of the conflict resolution into a system of controlled exceptions. Exceptions become closely monitored, because they are crucial to balance. This disencourages an unseasoned DM from making his won exceptions.
...Magic was never as free as you're making it sound, dear.

HarmlessPenguin
2008-02-26, 09:32 PM
Hm, I'm actually really glad about this HP change. Both the increase at lower levels and getting rid of rolling as the default option (those of you who wish to can still house rule rolling if you want to) I hope they make point buy the standard as well. Mechanically having one roll have such a disproportionate impact on your character for the rest of the character's existence sucks =P. Rolling works so well for attacks and saving throws because of the large sample size; you literally make those rolls hundreds maybe even thousands of times while each roll can still be very important (getting that final blow in on the lich, etc.). I do hope that rapiers are included under 'short swords' for the rogue though =P. I'm also reserving judgement on the new skills but I don't think the idea's that bad....I'm also really curious what out of combat utility they're giving the other classes. Fighter I can even see, but what about Barbarian? What exactly can a Barbarian do that a Ranger or Druid not do better?

Draz74
2008-02-26, 09:55 PM
Rumor has it (on the WotC boards) that rapiers are a Superior Weapon (i.e. the 4e equivalent of an Exotic Weapon). So it sounds like maybe everyone needs a feat to use them, and rogues can use them just as easily as anyone else. If this is all true, I'm guessing they still count as "light blades."

Kioran
2008-02-27, 04:35 AM
Stop using the damn shotgun offense! Masses of near unrelated points to disguise wronghoods like "4th ed doesn't learn from previous editions" is annoying to cover. Honestly, your points strike me as irrelevant; Frosty coverred it already; If you have a DM inclined to let you do whatever you want without mechanically backing it up, they will not change their minds just because of the rules being a bit different. They are already seperating themselves from those rules, so there's no change in the status quo. You stated you prefer rules-light and coming up with stuff on the fly (Why do you play 3rd ed if you like rules light?); Do you change your mind just because there's supplements that cover everything now?

Short answer: No, I donīt change my mind.
Long answer: However, some people, even from my gaming circle, expect or demand it from me. Itīs different if the DM enters uncharted territory and does an ad-hoc ruling, or whether he goes against existing ruling.
Iīve had less trouble with my Yidrath (TN god of violence) Avatar conjuring brilliant energy swords out of pure air than with banning the IotsV, even though the former brutally ripped up one of the PCs.
Why? Because the latter is a house rule. Thatīs the problem with "Crunchists" btw - They are very much adverse to improvisation and rather bend the world around their rules than the other way round. Thatīs the same with 4th Ed. They bend Faerun around their rules rather than the other way round. 3rd.Edition desingers built a new system around the worlds

Now Factor in that I like neither the rules nor the new background and flavor they necessitate.


You mean like what can happen now? Also, emphasis mine, isn't that a point /against/ improvisation, which listing more situations can help make less necessary?

Thatīs just it - making improvisation less necessary in the eyes of players creates a an expectation that your improv must be flawless, if at all. Itīs stiffling and annoying, and it doesnīt get much better. I love houseruling, even tame stuff like new Items or Monsters, but the more supplements we use, the more I have to justify all my steps. Itīs going to get worse in 4th Edition if itīs, as indicated, even better defined.
But okay, we could play by the book, sure, and weīd have less mistakes or "injustices"......but Iīve experienced people remember the extraordinary and homebrewed much better. Itīs what one loses in the tradeoff.


...Magic was never as free as you're making it sound, dear.

Oh yes, it is. It is. Every spell, in and of itself, has itīs spell description, which is an exemption from the rules. There are rules about lava and being exposed to it, but there are no rules about stone turning to lava, the cooling of Lava or the energies involved. All this, as far as itīs defined, comes from the spell description of "transmute rock to lava".
There are no rules about absorbing magic missiles, the only ones are in the description of "shield".

Magic is a controlled exemption from the rules, and always has been. It has itīs own conventions, but theyīre much less rigid, than, say, those for stat-boosting items or weapons or what-have-you. The worst cheese does, in fact, come from poorly worded or carelessly designed spells, which work outside the rules framework (Gate, Polymorph, magnificent mansion). They greater and less defined the exception, the worse potential for cheese there is.

Now Magic in GURPS or Shadowrun, for example, or WoW, is a lot less free - and better balanced. But itīs neither D&D, nor to conducive to high fantasy.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-02-27, 05:31 AM
http://images.encyclopediadramatica.com/images/6/6c/Epic_fail_guy.gif

Need I say moar?

Rutee
2008-02-27, 06:38 AM
Short answer: No, I donīt change my mind.
Long answer: However, some people, even from my gaming circle, expect or demand it from me. Itīs different if the DM enters uncharted territory and does an ad-hoc ruling, or whether he goes against existing ruling.
Iīve had less trouble with my Yidrath (TN god of violence) Avatar conjuring brilliant energy swords out of pure air than with banning the IotsV, even though the former brutally ripped up one of the PCs.
Why? Because the latter is a house rule. Thatīs the problem with "Crunchists" btw - They are very much adverse to improvisation and rather bend the world around their rules than the other way round. Thatīs the same with 4th Ed. They bend Faerun around their rules rather than the other way round. 3rd.Edition desingers built a new system around the worlds
They've always bent Faerun around the new rules, apparently; Further, I'm sorry, but you're wrong; 3rd ed is too setting-neutral to have been built around a world. Good lord, did we not read the same core books?

I have no idea what IotsV is, but I'll assume it's a book. Aren't you reinforcing my point that the status quo is being maintained? If you'd like to argue that the status quo is bad, have at it, of course.



Thatīs just it - making improvisation less necessary in the eyes of players creates a an expectation that your improv must be flawless, if at all. Itīs stiffling and annoying, and it doesnīt get much better. I love houseruling, even tame stuff like new Items or Monsters, but the more supplements we use, the more I have to justify all my steps. Itīs going to get worse in 4th Edition if itīs, as indicated, even better defined.
But okay, we could play by the book, sure, and weīd have less mistakes or "injustices"......but Iīve experienced people remember the extraordinary and homebrewed much better. Itīs what one loses in the tradeoff.
Mm. On the one hand, there's system expectations, but if you have to justify making new /monsters/, I'm inclined to say that your group has some issues in the first place, and anything with defined antagonists is going to give you trouble.

..Honestly, this thing with flawless improv strikes me as a player issue. Given that Wizards' stuff isn't really that great to begin with, I can't see a reason why it /existing/ would create the feeling that your homebrew has to be better.



Oh yes, it is. It is. Every spell, in and of itself, has itīs spell description, which is an exemption from the rules. There are rules about lava and being exposed to it, but there are no rules about stone turning to lava, the cooling of Lava or the energies involved. All this, as far as itīs defined, comes from the spell description of "transmute rock to lava".
There are no rules about absorbing magic missiles, the only ones are in the description of "shield".

Magic is a controlled exemption from the rules, and always has been. It has itīs own conventions, but theyīre much less rigid, than, say, those for stat-boosting items or weapons or what-have-you. The worst cheese does, in fact, come from poorly worded or carelessly designed spells, which work outside the rules framework (Gate, Polymorph, magnificent mansion). They greater and less defined the exception, the worse potential for cheese there is.

Now Magic in GURPS or Shadowrun, for example, or WoW, is a lot less free - and better balanced. But itīs neither D&D, nor to conducive to high fantasy.

...No, no, it really isn't. For the very reasons you described above with improv. The system does not explicitly and constantly encourage players to invent their own spells. The same can be said of ToB maneuvers; A system that doesn't encourage the players to make custom abilities for its characters is hard pressed to say it's really all that free, regarding those abilities.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-02-27, 06:54 AM
To clarify, IotSV stands for Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil, a 7 level PrC that advances casting fully and lets you use the effect of one of the prismatic colours of a prismatic wall or sphere at will, as well as inflict major asskicking to any fool who uses magical potections with it's capstone. It is widely considered to be the second or third most powerful PrC, right after/before Incantatrix and after a Dal Quor'ed planar shepherd.

Kioran
2008-02-27, 07:20 AM
They've always bent Faerun around the new rules, apparently; Further, I'm sorry, but you're wrong; 3rd ed is too setting-neutral to have been built around a world. Good lord, did we not read the same core books?

Nope, 3rd Ed was built around a setting - Greyhawk. Or, to be precise, it was built based on a setting that was built around Greyhawk, and engineered to not be in conflict with that world. Also, changes to Faerun from 2nd. to third were minor compared to what happpens now.
D&D didnīt pop into existence. Somewhere down the road youīll see Gary Gigaxī smiling face, and his headspace and gameworld defined many rules youīll see even today, in the SRD.


I have no idea what IotsV is, but I'll assume it's a book. Aren't you reinforcing my point that the status quo is being maintained? If you'd like to argue that the status quo is bad, have at it, of course.

I donīt consider anything but Core status quo, since supplements are optional. Many things from the latter supplements are things I definitely donīt want to have. $th Ed is making some of these Core, and thus, necessarily status quo.


Mm. On the one hand, there's system expectations, but if you have to justify making new /monsters/, I'm inclined to say that your group has some issues in the first place, and anything with defined antagonists is going to give you trouble.

..Honestly, this thing with flawless improv strikes me as a player issue. Given that Wizards' stuff isn't really that great to begin with, I can't see a reason why it /existing/ would create the feeling that your homebrew has to be better.

It is a player problem, but encouraged with more rigid rules. In a system like 1st. Edition, which required DM improvisation to run at all, in any but the most rudimentary fashion, one was very careful about DM selection, but by definition accepting of Homebrew and houseruling in general. A system that has the ambiton to be complete and balanced makes homebrew, in the eyes of those who believe that claim, a dicey proposal.....



...No, no, it really isn't. For the very reasons you described above with improv. The system does not explicitly and constantly encourage players to invent their own spells. The same can be said of ToB maneuvers; A system that doesn't encourage the players to make custom abilities for its characters is hard pressed to say it's really all that free, regarding those abilities.

Ooh yes, it is. Epic Magic does encourage building your own spells and "gaming" the system, but even pre-epic, things like Polymorph or Gate put abilities and ressources at your disposal that were not originally designed to be in Players hands. Spells are the main way to "game" the system, and thus, your free room even in a by-the-book game - like a backstage pass.

ToB maneuvers and 4th Ed. Powers are either short-term boosts, or, in rare cases, short-time leases on capabilites normally kept out of a players hand, like, for example, Bonus actions, Pounce, multiple Full attacks etc.
These are your free spaces. They deviate from the standard mechanic. In the Case of Polymorph or gate, anything available to a Monster is also available to players. In case of Wish or Miracle, a spell actually invokes DM Fiat.
They are narrowing that free room by defining it, and Iīm not denying it, but many of the 2nd Edition holdovers, some off the worst troublemakers btw. , use magic as that "free space".
In second Ed, magic was "free".

JBento
2008-02-27, 07:28 AM
Ooh yes, it is. Epic Magic does encourage building your own spells and "gaming" the system, but even pre-epic, things like Polymorph or Gate put abilities and ressources at your disposal that were not originally designed to be in Players hands. Spells are the main way to "game" the system, and thus, your free room even in a by-the-book game - like a backstage pass.

ToB maneuvers and 4th Ed. Powers are either short-term boosts, or, in rare cases, short-time leases on capabilites normally kept out of a players hand, like, for example, Bonus actions, Pounce, multiple Full attacks etc.
These are your free spaces. They deviate from the standard mechanic. In the Case of Polymorph or gate, anything available to a Monster is also available to players. In case of Wish or Miracle, a spell actually invokes DM Fiat.
They are narrowing that free room by defining it, and Iīm not denying it, but many of the 2nd Edition holdovers, some off the worst troublemakers btw. , use magic as that "free space".
In second Ed, magic was "free".

So, what you're saying is that the "Free" stuff is the best/easiest way to break the system, right? Epic Spellcasting, Gate, and Polymorph (oh gods, polymorph) are taken as the stuff a DM should ban or heavily restrict anyway, lest any semblance of illusion of balance should be shattered and leaving the folks who still believe that a full spellcaster is perfectly balanced with the rest of the classes a mewling wreck in the floor.
What you're basically saying , if i understand correctly - and I might not) is that there IS free stuff, but for the game to be fun no matter the options, said free stuff has to be removed by the DM anyway. Isn't it better for the free stuff to not exist anyway and be replaced by the short bursts of power the likes of those found in ToB and (hopefully) 4E?

Matthew
2008-02-27, 07:37 AM
What you're basically saying , if i understand correctly - and I might not) is that there IS free stuff, but for the game to be fun no matter the options, said free stuff has to be removed by the DM anyway. Isn't it better for the free stuff to not exist anyway and be replaced by the short bursts of power the likes of those found in ToB and (hopefully) 4E?

I think the point is that where before it was up to the DM whether or not to reduce the 'free space' available, Kioren's expectation of 4e is that the default will be reduced 'free space'.

The reason this matters has to do with how 'default' things influence the expectations of players and the way a published Campaign World is constructed and sold. If 4e determines that the average strength of Humans is 12 and the average strength of an Orc is 18, then that becomes the default for play. All official campaigns and modules will bear this default in mind, as will (in my opinion) the majority of DMs. If an individual DM changes the average expectation, then a Player has grounds to 'call foul'. That is a problem with the Player, but it is one the system has encouraged by establishing a default and giving it a direct impact on the game.

It's the narrowing of expectations, I think, that he finds unattractive.

Mr. Friendly
2008-02-27, 07:40 AM
Nope, 3rd Ed was built around a setting - Greyhawk. Or, to be precise, it was built based on a setting that was built around Greyhawk, and engineered to not be in conflict with that world. Also, changes to Faerun from 2nd. to third were minor compared to what happpens now.

Time of Troubles ring any bells?


D&D didnīt pop into existence. Somewhere down the road youīll see Gary Gigaxī smiling face, and his headspace and gameworld defined many rules youīll see even today, in the SRD.

And I appreciate Gary's additions to the game and its creation; however, we the players have evolved and moved on. While we still like the fundamentals of D&D, I hate the Gygaxian methodology. Why would you ever play in a Gygax game?

Hey look, we just made our characters and have spent several hours poring over tomes and etting our characters just so... What's the adventure? Well you are in a pub... I buy an ale. Ok. Your ale arrives. I drink it. Ok, save vs. poison. I fail. Ok, you are dead! HAHAHAHAAH! You didn't realize that the bartender was Pazuzu!!!! You are so stupid!!! BWAHAHAHAHAAHAHA! Make new characters. Yay.


I donīt consider anything but Core status quo, since supplements are optional. Many things from the latter supplements are things I definitely donīt want to have. $th Ed is making some of these Core, and thus, necessarily status quo.

Good call there. No need to look at things the designers say. You know, like changes to polymorph, spell clarifications, things like that.


It is a player problem, but encouraged with more rigid rules. In a system like 1st. Edition, which required DM improvisation to run at all, in any but the most rudimentary fashion, one was very careful about DM selection, but by definition accepting of Homebrew and houseruling in general. A system that has the ambiton to be complete and balanced makes homebrew, in the eyes of those who believe that claim, a dicey proposal.....

Um.. ok, so by making the basic ruleset balanced, homebrew is invalidated. Gotcha. I think I will take the more balanced system vs. the 1e/2e fun of "Hey look, an advert for players wanted.. Yay another killer DM who finds killing his PCs hilarious" Obviously I want the game to have lethality, but not the "Oh look a normal NPC that is actually Demogorgon in disguise; at 1st level" kind of crap you get in older editions. D&D is supposed to be fun for everyone - not just the DM.


Ooh yes, it is. Epic Magic does encourage building your own spells and "gaming" the system, but even pre-epic, things like Polymorph or Gate put abilities and ressources at your disposal that were not originally designed to be in Players hands. Spells are the main way to "game" the system, and thus, your free room even in a by-the-book game - like a backstage pass.

I thought Polymorph and Gate were in the PHB since 1e....


ToB maneuvers and 4th Ed. Powers are either short-term boosts, or, in rare cases, short-time leases on capabilites normally kept out of a players hand, like, for example, Bonus actions, Pounce, multiple Full attacks etc.
These are your free spaces. They deviate from the standard mechanic. In the Case of Polymorph or gate, anything available to a Monster is also available to players. In case of Wish or Miracle, a spell actually invokes DM Fiat.
They are narrowing that free room by defining it, and Iīm not denying it, but many of the 2nd Edition holdovers, some off the worst troublemakers btw. , use magic as that "free space".
In second Ed, magic was "free".

In Second Edition magic was free - so long as you were a good boy and obeyed the whims of your DM. Or if you had a weak DM you could easily create broken and unbalanced spells. Magic does need shorter leashes with less DM ham-handedness involved.

JBento
2008-02-27, 07:53 AM
I think the point is that where before it was up to the DM whether or not to reduce the 'free space' available, Kioren's expectation of 4e is that the default will be reduced 'free space'.

The reason this matters has to do with how 'default' things influence the expectations of players and the way a published Campaign World is constructed and sold. If 4e determines that the average strength of Humans is 12 and the average strength of an Orc is 18, then that becomes the default for play. All official campaigns and modules will bear this default in mind, as will (in my opinion) the majority of DMs. If an individual DM changes the average expectation, then a Player has grounds to 'call foul'. That is a problem with the Player, but it is one the system has encouraged by establishing a default and giving it a direct impact on the game.

It's the narrowing of expectations, I think, that he finds unattractive.

But... but that makes no sense.:smalleek:

If you play Epic Magic, Polymorph, Gate and Divine Metamagic as written - which is the only way the players won't have grounds to call foul - then the DM has absolutely no control over the game. Or rather, he does, but that control is reserved to "Full Spellcasters own every encounter till the end days" Vs. "The whole party is annihilated without being able to react" (on the account of, you know, the enemy spellcasters using the same tricks).

It's like saying that Pun-punity is an allowed tactic. ('fess up, you were finding it odd no-one had mentioned that kobold yet, weren't you?):smallwink:

Edited to shatter the big block of text

Rutee
2008-02-27, 08:00 AM
Nope, 3rd Ed was built around a setting - Greyhawk. Or, to be precise, it was built based on a setting that was built around Greyhawk, and engineered to not be in conflict with that world. Also, changes to Faerun from 2nd. to third were minor compared to what happpens now.
D&D didnīt pop into existence. Somewhere down the road youīll see Gary Gigaxī smiling face, and his headspace and gameworld defined many rules youīll see even today, in the SRD.
No, seriously; It was built on its own. You're vastly overestimating the effect Grayhawk had on rules construction.

And yeah, Time of Troubles much?



I donīt consider anything but Core status quo, since supplements are optional. Many things from the latter supplements are things I definitely donīt want to have. $th Ed is making some of these Core, and thus, necessarily status quo.
Sorry; You are wrong. You can use whatever you please as /your/ standard, of course. That's your prerogative. *Your standard does not dictate the status quo.*

Also FYI, by including more concepts in core, the "$th ed" crap is undercut. Seriously, what the hell; Everything they do is with the implicit intent to make money. Why is it that a new edition specifically brings this to mind only, as opposed to you know, the 40-50 books, at least, that they sell for 3rd ed?



It is a player problem, but encouraged with more rigid rules. In a system like 1st. Edition, which required DM improvisation to run at all, in any but the most rudimentary fashion, one was very careful about DM selection, but by definition accepting of Homebrew and houseruling in general. A system that has the ambiton to be complete and balanced makes homebrew, in the eyes of those who believe that claim, a dicey proposal.....
Ngh. On the one hand, there /is/ the Players' expectations of getting to use RAW, which is perfectly natural.. but the extent it gives you problems seems to imply a player problem more then anything.




Ooh yes, it is. Epic Magic does encourage building your own spells and "gaming" the system, but even pre-epic, things like Polymorph or Gate put abilities and ressources at your disposal that were not originally designed to be in Players hands. Spells are the main way to "game" the system, and thus, your free room even in a by-the-book game - like a backstage pass.

ToB maneuvers and 4th Ed. Powers are either short-term boosts, or, in rare cases, short-time leases on capabilites normally kept out of a players hand, like, for example, Bonus actions, Pounce, multiple Full attacks etc.
These are your free spaces. They deviate from the standard mechanic. In the Case of Polymorph or gate, anything available to a Monster is also available to players. In case of Wish or Miracle, a spell actually invokes DM Fiat.
They are narrowing that free room by defining it, and Iīm not denying it, but many of the 2nd Edition holdovers, some off the worst troublemakers btw. , use magic as that "free space".
In second Ed, magic was "free".
...Epic Magic is the Magic system in DnD to you? No, sorry. For someone who says "Core only", you seem quick to jump into something that is not only utterly fragged up ('Epic' DnD in general) that.. isn't well expanded on in core (If one can claim it ever is.) It's not the magic system for the overwhelming majority of the game.

Here's my question: If you encourage the creation of new magic for your magi.. why not adopt ToB and encourage the creation of new maneuvers by your players? And just not sweat it when they ask to do something a maneuver handles that they don't have, just as you do with Feats, and not give them a bigger mechanical bonus then you already had?

Matthew
2008-02-27, 08:14 AM
*stuff*

AD&D didn't encourage killer DMs any more than D20. You appear to be confusing a playstyle with a system and particular Gygax adventures designed to create high mortality rates with Gygax adventures generally.



But... but that makes no sense.:smalleek:

If you play Epic Magic, Polymorph, Gate and Divine Metamagic as written - which is the only way the players won't have grounds to call foul - then the DM has absolutely no control over the game. Or rather, he does, but that control is reserved to "Full Spellcasters own every encounter till the end days" Vs. "The whole party is annihilated without being able to react" (on the account of, you know, the enemy spellcasters using the same tricks).

It's like saying that Pun-punity is an allowed tactic. ('fess up, you were finding it odd no-one had mentioned that kobold yet, weren't you?):smallwink:

Edited to shatter the big block of text

I think it's the difference between encouraging the DM to decide what is balanced and encouraging him to allow the system to decide. D20 certainly facilitates more system control and it looks like 4e will continue that trend. Mind, I'm not saying that DMs of D20 cannot overturn the rules, I'm just saying that when you establish a default your create a procedural norm. Whether this is good or bad is entirely subjective.

Possibly the most overt example of this kind of thinking is the passage in the 2e DMG about 'game breaking spells'. Basically, it says that if you allow a game breaking spell in your game you have nobody to blame but yourself for allowing it. That seems like a crazy statement until you recognise that the spell lists aren't 'spells available', but 'some suggestions'. D20 takes the other extreme, accepting all blame for unbalanced spells by claiming them as the 'default' for the game (see p. 35 of the 3.5 DMG for their recognition of the impacxt of unbalanced spells), if you see what I mean.

Kioran
2008-02-27, 08:29 AM
No, seriously; It was built on its own. You're vastly overestimating the effect Grayhawk had on rules construction.

And yeah, Time of Troubles much?

It was, if anything built either around Monte Cookīs and Jonathan Tweetīs Houserules, or 2nd Edition.....These were based on background, "fluff", or worlds, or however you may want to call it.
And the time of troubles was a change, a massive one at that, but status quo, more or less, restored itself quite quickly. I do not foresee that now....



Sorry; You are wrong. You can use whatever you please as /your/ standard, of course. That's your prerogative. *Your standard does not dictate the status quo.*

Also FYI, by including more concepts in core, the "$th ed" crap is undercut. Seriously, what the hell; Everything they do is with the implicit intent to make money. Why is it that a new edition specifically brings this to mind only, as opposed to you know, the 40-50 books, at least, that they sell for 3rd ed?

Why then, pray tell me, is there a distinction between Core and Supplements?

P.S.: $th Ed was a typo - I do not bash commercial interest, I bash crappy game design and inept designers. But you wouldnīt be as pissed of if you could discard that comment as ridiculous. If it moves you that much, it must have some significance.....



Ngh. On the one hand, there /is/ the Players' expectations of getting to use RAW, which is perfectly natural.. but the extent it gives you problems seems to imply a player problem more then anything.

That player problem is encouraged and becomes more common. Ask one of the real ord grognards.



...Epic Magic is the Magic system in DnD to you? No, sorry. For someone who says "Core only", you seem quick to jump into something that is not only utterly fragged up ('Epic' DnD in general) that.. isn't well expanded on in core (If one can claim it ever is.) It's not the magic system for the overwhelming majority of the game.

Here's my question: If you encourage the creation of new magic for your magi.. why not adopt ToB and encourage the creation of new maneuvers by your players? And just not sweat it when they ask to do something a maneuver handles that they don't have, just as you do with Feats, and not give them a bigger mechanical bonus then you already had?

You are avoiding my point: There are spells, pre-Epic, which invoke DM-Fiat (Wish + Miracle) and others that Create effects without precedent in the other rules (Rope Trick, Magnificient Mansion, Imprisonment) and, last but not least Spells that hand you the abilites of Monsters and thus, the free spaces of Monster design.

Pun-Pun is only possible because of spells and the freedom of magic. That is no coincidence.

And no, I do not want to be converted to the ToB, Iīll just note the similiarity of maneuvers to spells in mechanics.

Goddammit.

Charity
2008-02-27, 08:57 AM
P.S.: $th Ed was a typo - I do not bash commercial interest, I bash crappy game design and inept designers. But you wouldnīt be as pissed of if you could discard that comment as ridiculous. If it moves you that much, it must have some significance.....

The American keyboard is different to that used in civilization Europe :smallbiggrin: They don't have the $ sign above the 4, (I'm fairly sure) that’s why Rutee didn't automatically see that as a typo.

Matthew, I can see where you are coming from (do you prefer Matthew or Matt?..) and I can sort of agree, but increasingly gaming is done over the net and with folk whom don't know each other all that well, so lots of wriggle room in the rules might cause dissent and it does prevent the grief of remembering who's house rules we're playing today. I remember plenty of that malarkey from those halcyon days of yore. Oh and in fairness even in AD&D a wizard would pretty much expect to be able to have a stab at learning any spell out of the PHB...
I used to like the whole chance to learn a spell thing, it created a bit of diversity in a wizard’s spellbook, and I doubt they’ll bring it back in 4th ed, as they seem to have removed even rolling for HP...

Whoa we are really off topic here btw guys.

Rutee
2008-02-27, 09:02 AM
It was, if anything built either around Monte Cookīs and Jonathan Tweetīs Houserules, or 2nd Edition.....These were based on background, "fluff", or worlds, or however you may want to call it.
And the time of troubles was a change, a massive one at that, but status quo, more or less, restored itself quite quickly. I do not foresee that now....
I highly doubt the status quo will be terribly different. 'Everyone will use magic', but I doubt it'll restrict the narrative liberties authors take, compared to what they formerly allowed themselves, for instance.



Why then, pray tell me, is there a distinction between Core and Supplements?

P.S.: $th Ed was a typo - I do not bash commercial interest, I bash crappy game design and inept designers. But you wouldnīt be as pissed of if you could discard that comment as ridiculous. If it moves you that much, it must have some significance.....
Because Core is more required then supplements, and is in the SRD.

PS: It's a commonly made insinuation, treated as some sort of massive problem. Because as we all know, 4ed completely and totally changed Wizards' Vision Statement to "BOY HOWDY we like money", from "We love making the players' lives rainbows and sunshine, so we give them our books for free!"


[qipte]That player problem is encouraged and becomes more common. Ask one of the real ord grognards.[/quote]
Considerring that RAW also says "The DM can accept or throw out what they please", I'm quite inclined to say that if it's gotten to the point you make it sound like it's at, it's a player problem.



You are avoiding my point: There are spells, pre-Epic, which invoke DM-Fiat (Wish + Miracle) and others that Create effects without precedent in the other rules (Rope Trick, Magnificient Mansion, Imprisonment) and, last but not least Spells that hand you the abilites of Monsters and thus, the free spaces of Monster design.
You're using Wish and Miracle to say DM Fiat figures into the magic system at large. 2 spells out of what, 130? More? And endgame ones at that? Yeah that's logical. There's also Divinations though, granted.

Here's what I'm not seeing in your point, I suppose; why do you think 4e's ability system will allow for fewer blank spots then 3.X, when it provides everyone a framework to work with? What makes it so different from inventing a brand new effect with magic as it stands?



And no, I do not want to be converted to the ToB, Iīll just note the similiarity of maneuvers to spells in mechanics.

Goddammit.
See, this is what makes no sense. If Magic's providing a basic framework for custom spells is good for the goose, why isn't it good for the gander?

Starbuck_II
2008-02-27, 09:05 AM
Why then, pray tell me, is there a distinction between Core and Supplements?


Because Core came first and supplements are largely better balanced. (compare Wizard in Core to Psions in XPH). Almost every caster after Core was better balanced (Truenamer went too far in weakening).

Mr. Friendly
2008-02-27, 09:10 AM
Because Core came first and supplements are largely better balanced. (compare Wizard in Core to Psions in XPH). Almost every caster after Core was better balanced (Truenamer went too far in weakening).

Yeah, pretty much.

Core = Wizards and CoDzilla autowin
non-Core = all other casters balanced, but Wizard and CoDzilla autowin more

JBento
2008-02-27, 09:12 AM
Because Core came first and supplements are largely better balanced. (compare Wizard in Core to Psions in XPH). Almost every caster after Core was better balanced (Truenamer went too far in weakening).


I do believe that the distinction is that Core is the minimum indispensable to play the game, whereas the Splatbooks bring increased options, but are not required to play the game per se (unless, of course, you wish to make the meleers not feel so useless, in which case ToB (or massive houseruling) IS required).

But you are right. What came afterwards was better balanced (if you exclude IotSV and stuff published in the FR splats) which allows me to have hope in a balanced 4E (though I still fully expect at least 5 ways to break the game in first two months:smallsmile: )

Rutee
2008-02-27, 09:15 AM
I do believe that the distinction is that Core is the minimum indispensable to play the game, whereas the Splatbooks bring increased options, but are not required to play the game per se (unless, of course, you wish to make the meleers not feel so useless, in which case ToB (or massive houseruling) IS required).

But you are right. What came afterwards was better balanced (if you exclude IotSV and stuff published in the FR splats) which allows me to have hope in a balanced 4E (though I still fully expect at least 5 ways to break the game in first two months:smallsmile: )

You're giving them 2 months? Optimist.

:smallbiggrin:

JBento
2008-02-27, 09:20 AM
You're giving them 2 months? Optimist.

:smallbiggrin:

No, I'm giving meself 2 months before I can no longer resist the temptation to take a peek at the COBs :smallbiggrin:

fendrin
2008-02-27, 09:50 AM
It is a player problem, but encouraged with more rigid rules. In a system like 1st. Edition, which required DM improvisation to run at all, in any but the most rudimentary fashion, one was very careful about DM selection, but by definition accepting of Homebrew and houseruling in general. A system that has the ambiton to be complete and balanced makes homebrew, in the eyes of those who believe that claim, a dicey proposal.....

No matter the system I play in, I am picky about the DM. No matter how complex or simple the rules, a good DM is better than a bad DM. A system like 3e (and presumably 4e) removes some (but far from all) the pain of a bad DM, while still allowing a good DM to work wonders.

My players knew and respected my DMery, so when I ran a halfling only campaign, I had few complaints. One person insisted I was breaking the rules of D&D, because he could play his favorite race of Dwarf. I told him he didn't need to play my game, and he didn't. Or at least, not until after a few sessions when everyone was telling him how fun the game was. Then he practically begged to join.

I miss that gaming group...

Kioran
2008-02-27, 10:20 AM
I do believe that the distinction is that Core is the minimum indispensable to play the game, whereas the Splatbooks bring increased options, but are not required to play the game per se.

Which is exactly the point I am trying to make. Some of the supplemental Material was a lot better than some Core material(the Shugenja, for example, is a better caster who doesnīt mercilessly mash toes like CoDzilla, the PHB 2 makes using a shield viable etc.), but Core is the basis, and, as far as most people I know are concerned, the one basis for any game of D&d in that Edition.
Not everyone uses Completes 1.0, fewer use Psionics, other use ToB, but everyone uses core. Status quo does, for all parties, involve Core, but not necessarily some splatbook. If 4th Ed makes sucky things core, it changes my Status quo for the worse.


You're using Wish and Miracle to say DM Fiat figures into the magic system at large. 2 spells out of what, 130? More? And endgame ones at that? Yeah that's logical. There's also Divinations though, granted.

Iīve also included the ultra-rare endgame spell "rope trick", amongst others. Give up and admit it, spells are controlled exemptions from the core mechanic. Sometimes not even drastic ones, but they are.



Here's what I'm not seeing in your point, I suppose; why do you think 4e's ability system will allow for fewer blank spots then 3.X, when it provides everyone a framework to work with? What makes it so different from inventing a brand new effect with magic as it stands?

Inventing anything new is, by definition, homebrewing. In a system where the effect of a common thing (Example: a Fighter jumping someone and kicking him in the face, stabbing the guy behind that opponent at the same time) is not defined, homebrew is called for to resolve the situation at all, or something which, by all rights, should be remotely possible based on conventions and verisimilitude, isnīt, and suspension of disbelief suffers.

If something similiar is already codified or codification of unusual movement is common, people will be less likely to accept any type of resolution differing from the rest of the game (Example: Rolling for Charisma while buying the rest with Point buy).
That means - if there a spades of movement-based powers, people are likely to balk at a resolution with a combination of several checks instead of a new maneuver. On the other hand, I certainly have no nerve to invent a new maneuver for every situation WotC hasnīt thought of.

endoperez
2008-02-27, 11:01 AM
I just found this (http://www.enworld.org/index.php?page=4e) very helpful page that sums up lots of things revealed about 4th edition.

I didn't check all the source links myself, but you can find all of these quotes from the above page. Search for part of the text to get to the relevant part. Some of this information might be false or might have become outdated, because I saw mentions of -10 hp being instant death and that's been confirmed to work differently.


"A skilled halberdier can hack a foe with his weapon’s blade and spin around to smash a second foe with the haft. A fighter with a longsword disarms her foe with a flick of her wrist, while a battle hungry axeman cleaves through shields, armor, and bone." "Rogues have a similar relationship with skills. A nimble rogue dives through the air to tumble past an ogre, while a charismatic one tricks an enemy into looking away just before she delivers a killing blow with her dagger. Just as fighters do more with weapons than any other character, rogues push skills beyond the limits that constrain other PCs."
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drdd/20070820a

Being able to do more with skills seems to be part of being a rogue. Acrobatics is for rodeoing and charisma for clowning, as someone said before, but that's just two skills. I'd expect stealth and thievery to be AT LEAST as well-defined, and just as clear-cut for their respective stereotypes. I can imagine Rogue doing all kinds of Batman stuff with their most iconic skills. Routinely disappering into shadows, Hide in Plain Sight once/night (saved for the discussion with our good Commissioner, of course), etc. Actually, all of the sample skill powerups (http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=214511) seem to fit nicely into such a character, although I have no idea if these are actually available for Rogues or based on stealthy skills.


I'm Batman: a ranged attack gets your opponent's attention and lures it towards you. You then jump up and deliver a follow-up attack.
The Rabble Yammer In Terror: A stinging blow to an enemy causes his allies to shirink back unwilling to get too close to you.
Go Ahead And Hit Me: A glare gives you an edge over foes.



Also, regarding the weapon selection:
Design & Development: Class (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drdd/20070816b)

"Fighters care about which weapons they use much more than other characters. Other character classes have specific weapons and weapon types that they tend to rely on while still maintaining access to a larger chunk of the weapon chart. The fighter is the only current 4th Edition class with capabilities that depend on the weapon they have chosen to train the most with. "

I don't know what to think of this, because the rogue entry seems to limit rogues' access to the "larger chunk of the weapon chart". I think the "weapons they tend to rely on" means that e.g. Rogues have powers that require you to use a spesific weapon, like dagger, shuriken or whatever. It might be related to this tidbit regarding wizards:

Source (http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=213884)

"In addition, since characters can buy any kind of feats they want, it is mentioned that you could turn a Wizard into a 3E-style Warmage or Duskblade by buying weapon, armor and melee attack feats, as 4E Wizards no longer suffer from arcane spell failure in armor."

The section about Rogue class isn't noticeably longer than other classes, probably because other classes have been described more (in regards to how they work in the game), and while we now more rules about the rogues we don't know they interact with the game, i.e. what makes them better and what makes them worse than the non-rogues. So while we now more crunch of the rogues, we don't know enough of the others to make good comparisons.

JBento
2008-02-27, 11:25 AM
Not everyone uses Completes 1.0, fewer use Psionics, other use ToB, but everyone uses core. Status quo does, for all parties, involve Core, but not necessarily some splatbook. If 4th Ed makes sucky things core, it changes my Status quo for the worse.


I'm still not seeing what these "sucky things" in Core you're mentioning are, at least, sucky things that aren't already a 3.5 Core staple...



Iīve also included the ultra-rare endgame spell "rope trick", amongst others. Give up and admit it, spells are controlled exemptions from the core mechanic. Sometimes not even drastic ones, but they are.




Not all spells. Rope Trick, for instance, ISN'T an exemption from the Core mechanic, controlled or otherwise. It's a spell from the PHB and thus, a PART of Core - granted, a poorly-thought and easily abuseable part of Core, but still...

Rutee
2008-02-27, 11:31 AM
Which is exactly the point I am trying to make. Some of the supplemental Material was a lot better than some Core material(the Shugenja, for example, is a better caster who doesnīt mercilessly mash toes like CoDzilla, the PHB 2 makes using a shield viable etc.), but Core is the basis, and, as far as most people I know are concerned, the one basis for any game of D&d in that Edition.
Look, do you want to discuss the system, or how you handle the system? 'cause, if we wanna discuss how you or I handle the system, we can happily discard everything but either ToB or the Complete whatevers.


Iīve also included the ultra-rare endgame spell "rope trick", amongst others. Give up and admit it, spells are controlled exemptions from the core mechanic. Sometimes not even drastic ones, but they are.
Because Rope trick totally involves DM Fiat.

Your argument is the RAW in the rulebook isn't part of the rules. Give up what? I won't contest that the brokenness of spells lies in that they defy the default assumptions the game operates on, but /they are not exceptions to the rules/. They are a part of the rules.


Inventing anything new is, by definition, homebrewing. In a system where the effect of a common thing (Example: a Fighter jumping someone and kicking him in the face, stabbing the guy behind that opponent at the same time) is not defined, homebrew is called for to resolve the situation at all, or something which, by all rights, should be remotely possible based on conventions and verisimilitude, isnīt, and suspension of disbelief suffers.

If something similiar is already codified or codification of unusual movement is common, people will be less likely to accept any type of resolution differing from the rest of the game (Example: Rolling for Charisma while buying the rest with Point buy).
That means - if there a spades of movement-based powers, people are likely to balk at a resolution with a combination of several checks instead of a new maneuver. On the other hand, I certainly have no nerve to invent a new maneuver for every situation WotC hasnīt thought of.
...You could try not giving significant explicit mechanical bonuses, which most abilities will grant on whatever they do; Your players are far less likely to balk at that. Or you could try you know, making what the character does mechanically similar to the codified material (Which your analogy is not).

You're correct on your face, but the lengths you seem to take this argument to in how much they hamper your game indicate to me a player problem.

Starbuck_II
2008-02-27, 11:44 AM
I'm still not seeing what these "sucky things" in Core you're mentioning are, at least, sucky things that aren't already a 3.5 Core staple...


I'm reading his statement as broken casters= non-sucky, thus balanced caster=sucky things in Core (since 4E says the casters will be better balanced).

Matthew
2008-02-27, 12:00 PM
(do you prefer Matthew or Matt?..)

Makes no difference to me. I get called, and am comfortable with, both. :smallwink:


Matthew, I can see where you are coming from and I can sort of agree, but increasingly gaming is done over the net and with folk whom don't know each other all that well, so lots of wriggle room in the rules might cause dissent and it does prevent the grief of remembering who's house rules we're playing today.

Absolutely. To be clear, I don't think D20 is 'bad'. I think it's very suitable for certain types of play or game mediums. It's just not for me, is all.


I remember plenty of that malarkey from those halcyon days of yore. Oh and in fairness even in AD&D a wizard would pretty much expect to be able to have a stab at learning any spell out of the PHB...
I used to like the whole chance to learn a spell thing, it created a bit of diversity in a wizard’s spellbook, and I doubt they’ll bring it back in 4th ed, as they seem to have removed even rolling for HP...

Indeed; I think the focus changed to meet the perceived requirements of the majority of the audience and I think that's what is going on now with 4e. Of course, what is good for one isn't necessarily good for another, but that's subjectivity for you!

Charity
2008-02-27, 01:09 PM
You have of course now consigned yourself to eternal abreviation from Mr lazypants here.

The funny thing is, unless a system is utterly convoluted/broken I think most groups manage to achieve some sort of happy medium which allows everyone to have a good time playing regardless of the mechanics of the game.
I run bog standerd 3.0 as it's what everyone has down this way and even Ikkie (whom is more than capable of breaking core 3.0 in his sleep) has a balanced rounded character and everyone gets to do their thing.

I agree with you in principle that greater flexibility is a boon when running a game. Having a more rigid rule set does (in my oh so humble opinion)level the playing field somewhat, some players are just more able to come up with the goods than others. I feel I can advise a player how to create a capable and interesting character, I feel more leary of suggesting in game actions. If those actions are set out in front of them then although it may hold back the more imaginative players, it does help inspire those less fortunate and lets face it, those live wires will still find a way.

Sorry I got a bit on the rambly side there but it vaguely makes sense

Runa
2008-02-27, 01:27 PM
This brings up another question, if 4E does away with NPC's having either weaker version of PC classes or PC classes themselves, does this mean Housecats can still kill a Level 1 Commoner?

You know, people who complain about a "housecat being able to kill a commoner" clearly have never seen an inexperienced person try to handle an incensed, crazed feline of the domestic persuasion. Particularly oriental breeds, which let's just say get about + 10 to Dex, and + 18 to Jump, Climb, and Tumble and leave it at that.

Much scarier than a dog, when you think about it - they can weigh less than 10 lbs but still jump straight to your neck and start clawing your face/neck off. Keeping in mind that in real life, even human teeth could technically chew through flesh something nasty... yeah, not as weird as you might think.

Whereas adventurers of course, in contrast, are used to things randomly and viciously attacking them. :smalltongue:

-Runa

Oslecamo
2008-02-27, 01:48 PM
Splatbooks...are not...more balanced...than core...

Let's provide a few examples shall we?

Cleric wasn't strong enough. Bang archivist, the cleric with all domain spells.

Druid wasn't strong enough. Bang druid save or die spells, bang planar sheperd.

Wizard wasn't strong enough. Bang artificer and his bloody infusions.

Pun Pun wasn't strong enough at level 5. Bang ardent and we have pun-pun at lv1.

In my opinion, wotc design development for 4e took a 180š turn.

In 3ed they allowed for all kind of crazy stuff and combos.

In 4e their philosphy is"NO MORE COMBOS MUAHAHA! ONE SNEACK ATTACK PER TURN YOU SONS OF A *****! NO WAY YOU CAN ABUSE IT NOW! YOU CAN'T EVEN OPTIMIZE IT! NO DUAL WIELDING NO GETING EXTRA ATTACKS YOU STILL GET ONLY A SINGLE SNEACK ATTACK! I WANNA SEE YOU BREACK THIS NOW! MUAHAHAHAHAHA"

Ok, maybe this is a little exagerated, but you got the point. They're taking no risks in 4e, and this means a lot less space for creativity in character creation. I enjoyed searching for cool crazy zombos in 3e, but I strongly believe, after seeing this rogue, that it won't be possible anymore in 4e.

Mr. Friendly
2008-02-27, 01:55 PM
In 4e their philosphy is"NO MORE COMBOS MUAHAHA! ONE SNEACK ATTACK PER TURN YOU SONS OF A *****! NO WAY YOU CAN ABUSE IT NOW! YOU CAN'T EVEN OPTIMIZE IT! NO DUAL WIELDING NO GETING EXTRA ATTACKS YOU STILL GET ONLY A SINGLE SNEACK ATTACK! I WANNA SEE YOU BREACK THIS NOW! MUAHAHAHAHAHA"

Ok, maybe this is a little exagerated, but you got the point. They're taking no risks in 4e, and this means a lot less space for creativity in character creation. I enjoyed searching for cool crazy zombos in 3e, but I strongly believe, after seeing this rogue, that it won't be possible anymore in 4e.

Just the kind of rational, well thought out anti-4e screed I have come to expect. Stay classy Playground, stay classy!

2xSlick
2008-02-27, 01:57 PM
The removal of HP bonus per level is, balance-wise, a good thing (if that is what they did). It makes wizards remain weak compared to fighters no matter how many bonuses they get to constitution. Also, it cuts down on total HP-no more will we have 20th level characters with 400+ HP. But healing surges are a bad thing flavor-wise.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

You're missing that:
a) HP has been substantially reduced-a 20th level rogue with 16 constitution would now have 123 HP instead of the equivalent of average 210 a rogue with 16 constitution, a +6 constitution item and average rolls would have in 3.5
b) The rogue does sneak attack whenever he has a combat advantage. Guess what? Half his powers give him combat advantage now.
c) Much fewer creatures will be immune to sneak attacks-if any. E.g. zombies are no longer immune to criticals and, by extension, sneak attacks.

.

Don't forget that lvl 30 is the new 20. If leveling is indeed faster in 4.0. In 4.0, a lvl 30 rogue with 3 Con is going to have 120 hp. Hitpoints on the whole are going to be higher compared to 3.5 as long as total Con modifier is less than +6. This coupled with terrible SA progression has me worried. The huge hp boost/lowered damage across the board sounds bad. I guess no more whirlwinding mooks.

Kioran
2008-02-27, 02:02 PM
I'm reading his statement as broken casters= non-sucky, thus balanced caster=sucky things in Core (since 4E says the casters will be better balanced).

This is almost insulting and infuriating, but.......I will keep calm. The 3.5 casting system is one of the few really and truly broken things(mainly some spells, but I digress), and having it fixed by anything but player restraint is certainly good, very good indeed.

What I firmly dislike about 4th Edition and never want in my games are at-will abilities (like piercing and deft strike, see spoilered WotC preview) all but totally replacing normal attacks, quite possibly making the Powers the core aspect of all classes and making combat even more like a combo-based TBS.

Thatīs it. That is my major problem with the preview. It is also not contradicted by any 4th Edition preview material.

I donīt know about casters in 4th Ed, because aside from their implements, we still know very little about them, but I remain......skeptical.


Not all spells. Rope Trick, for instance, ISN'T an exemption from the Core mechanic, controlled or otherwise. It's a spell from the PHB and thus, a PART of Core - granted, a poorly-thought and easily abuseable part of Core, but still...

Okay, for all of you who possess a PHB, open page 4. One of the last sentences above the sidebar describes "the Core Mechanic" (note the singular). In a nutshell:

1: roll a D20
2: add the relevant modifiers
3: Compare to a target number
4: Resolve effects.

Thus, "Deft strike" does adhere to the Core mechanic, just changes the tager number. Fireball adheres to it (making the target role, but still.....). Ottoīs irresistible dance usually doesnīt (unless one has SR), as does rope trick. Hope that was enlightening

In summary: It works outside the core mechanic despite being core.

Oslecamo
2008-02-27, 02:10 PM
Just the kind of rational, well thought out anti-4e screed I have come to expect. Stay classy Playground, stay classy!

I'm not exactly anti 4e. I'm more 4e neutral. Notice how I also rambled at 3e.

Killing cool crazy combos may be a necessary evil. Players have been complaining for years that it's too easy to abuse the rules in 3e, and they're right.

So, in 4e, the designers are trying to make sure they don't leave any hole in the rules wich can be exploited.

For example, creature summoning powers for PCs is completely gone for what it looks. This is bad because summoning was cool. But it's also good because it stops players from abusing any monster wich has powers the PCs shouldn't have.

However, this will mean a lot of possible cool stuff will never see the day of light.

Use magic device for example was a very cool skill, allowing you to use magic items normally only reserved for casters. But it also meant you could totally ignore your class features and go out there shooting scrolls and wands.

Rutee
2008-02-27, 02:11 PM
This is almost insulting and infuriating, but.......I will keep calm. The 3.5 casting system is one of the few really and truly broken things(mainly some spells, but I digress), and having it fixed by anything but player restraint is certainly good, very good indeed.

What I firmly dislike about 4th Edition and never want in my games are at-will abilities (like piercing and deft strike, see spoilered WotC preview) all but totally replacing normal attacks, quite possibly making the Powers the core aspect of all classes and making combat even more like a combo-based TBS.

Thatīs it. That is my major problem with the preview. It is also not contradicted by any 4th Edition preview material.
Why do you care about the normal attacks? Seriously, they're bland-as-hell.


Okay, for all of you who possess a PHB, open page 4. One of the last sentences above the sidebar describes "the Core Mechanic" (note the singular). In a nutshell:

1: roll a D20
2: add the relevant modifiers
3: Compare to a target number
4: Resolve effects.

Thus, "Deft strike" does adhere to the Core mechanic, just changes the tager number. Fireball adheres to it (making the target role, but still.....). Ottoīs irresistible dance usually doesnīt (unless one has SR), as does rope trick. Hope that was enlightening

In summary: It works outside the core mechanic despite being core.

So opening a door is outside the core mechanic. Alright, with this definition of core mechanic (Since you know, I didn't spend 35 dollars on "Roll a d20, add some numbers, compare to target, resolve effects," but for the /rest/ of it..) sure, spells are outside the core mechanic by definition since you don't generally roll dice to cast at all.

Morty
2008-02-27, 02:21 PM
Why do you care about the normal attacks? Seriously, they're bland-as-hell.


Sometimes, small amount of blandness is expectable. Low-level game is one of those cases.
Then again, if "Deft Strike" is something every scoundrel can pull off, why is it called "power"? It's by all means except the name and classification a normal attack, because a rogue will be probably using this all the time. Either something is a "power" or a normal attack, but in this case it's somehow both.

Rutee
2008-02-27, 02:24 PM
Sometimes, small amount of blandness is expectable. Low-level game is one of those cases. If "Deft Strike" is something every scounder can pull off, why is it called "power"? It's by all means except the name and classification a normal attack, because a rogue will be probably using this all the time. Either something is a "power" or normal attack, but in this case it's somehow both.

Oh God, getting hung up on semantic fluff. It's almost as if you're out to sabotage your own fun.

Matthew
2008-02-27, 02:26 PM
You have of course now consigned yourself to eternal abreviation from Mr lazypants here.

No problem, just so long as you steer clear of 'Mat'... :smallwink:



The funny thing is, unless a system is utterly convoluted/broken I think most groups manage to achieve some sort of happy medium which allows everyone to have a good time playing regardless of the mechanics of the game.
I run bog standerd 3.0 as it's what everyone has down this way and even Ikkie (whom is more than capable of breaking core 3.0 in his sleep) has a balanced rounded character and everyone gets to do their thing.

Yep, good players are infinitely more important than a balanced system.



I agree with you in principle that greater flexibility is a boon when running a game. Having a more rigid rule set does (in my oh so humble opinion)level the playing field somewhat, some players are just more able to come up with the goods than others. I feel I can advise a player how to create a capable and interesting character, I feel more leary of suggesting in game actions. If those actions are set out in front of them then although it may hold back the more imaginative players, it does help inspire those less fortunate and lets face it, those live wires will still find a way.

More than likely. Of course, there are tons of caveats built into that point of view, such as the desirability of the 'skilful player', the value that is placed on 'knowing the rules' and the importance of 'character build decisions'. That is not to say that I think it's wrong, far from it, I just think it's conditional.

Morty
2008-02-27, 02:28 PM
Oh God, getting hung up on semantic fluff. It's almost as if you're out to sabotage your own fun.

I'm not getting "hung up" on anything, merely point out a slight but interesting dichtomy in design. Seriously, who do people take every non-positive comment as whining?

Oslecamo
2008-02-27, 02:29 PM
Oh God, getting hung up on semantic fluff. It's almost as if you're out to sabotage your own fun.

You're leting the life of your character be decided by random dice. Isn't this also "sabotaging" your own fun?

Oh, and very nice Disgaea avatar there I must say.

Rutee
2008-02-27, 02:35 PM
You're leting the life of your character be decided by random dice. Isn't this also "sabotaging" your own fun?

Oh, and very nice Disgaea avatar there I must say.

Only if I play RAW. I don't play in games where death is something that can happen incidentally. And thanks; It's hard to find good images of Flonne that aren't Rule no. 34


I'm not getting "hung up" on anything, merely point out a slight dichtomy in design. Seriously, who do people take every non-positive comment as whining?
I would contest that you're not getting hung up on it, as you have indeed whined on this repeatedly in the past. Not getting hung up on it would have been pointing it out once, and mostly dropping it.

Regardless, I just don't see alterring the standard of the fighter from "Utterly mechanically bland attack" to "Attack that has some level of flair and different-ness" as a negative, and I genuinely do not see how such a conclusion could be arrived at.

Morty
2008-02-27, 02:40 PM
I would contest that you're not getting hung up on it, as you have indeed whined on this repeatedly in the past.

I remember commenting on classes getting "powers" once. Back then it could be said I'm whining, now I'm just pointing out what I find strange and unnecesary.



Regardless, I just don't see alterring the standard of the fighter from "Utterly mechanically bland attack" to "Attack that has some level of flair and different-ness" as a negative, and I genuinely do not see how such a conclusion could be arrived at.

It's not negative, just strange. They're presenting as special ability something a character is going to be using all day long and is in fact a normal attack. And again, it's not a complaint, just a note on something I find a bit odd.

fendrin
2008-02-27, 02:47 PM
I'm not getting "hung up" on anything, merely point out a slight dichtomy in design. Seriously, who do people take every non-positive comment as whining?

Because you are hung up on a semantic issue. Mentally re-read what you wrote except substitute 'skilled attack' instead of 'power'.

Here, let me help:

[modified quote = M0rt]
Then again, if "Deft Strike" is something every scoundrel can pull off, why is it called "skilled attack"? It's by all means except the name and classification a normal attack, because a rogue will be probably using this all the time. Either something is a "skilled attack" or a normal attack, but in this case it's somehow both.
[/modified quote]

See how it no longer makes sense? That kind of substitution is an easy test for semantic issues.

Now, you might say:
"Well, why bother having a difference between a 'skilled attack' and a 'normal attack'?"
Which I think is what you were trying to get at in the first place.

Here's the difference: Deft Strike is an OPTION. Not ALL rogues will be able to do it*. Also, it requires a specific type of weapon, which the rogue may not have (if their gear was taken away from them, for instance).

*Rogue powers are like Wizard spells, right? One of the articles (a playtest report, maybe?) talked about the player choosing their 1st level wizard's spells. Considering that the "power" mechanic is universal across classes, this means rogues will choose as well.