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SamTheCleric
2008-06-11, 01:36 PM
If a good explanation doesn't help that might be problem with your group.

A good explanation for a homebrew is just as good as a good explanation for an ignored item. You are arguing for the same thing.


So if I write "Play the game whatever you like" on a peace of paper, will you give me 2$ for it? Yes, this is exaggeration, but I hope you get my point.

You have a point here?


I find this a bit insulting. Where do you get the idea that I am going on personal crusade (for the record I like 4e so far, but that doesn't mean there aren't things that don't bother me and I try to point them out)?

It was not meant as an insult. You've been very vocal over two threads since I got back from lunch speaking of the skill system. Almost a full page of this thread filled up in an hour.


This is more the case of the following: Every pizza has has mushrooms on it and costs 2$. Then you invent a pizza without mushrooms and sell it for 3$.

False. The transition from 3e to 4e is a new game system. It's like Pizza Hut now selling Tuscani Pasta. OMG THATS NOT PIZZA!!! ... but some people may enjoy the pasta. Sure its not Pizza, but its still good.

THAC0
2008-06-11, 01:39 PM
The transition from 3e to 4e is a new game system. It's like Pizza Hut now selling Tuscani Pasta. OMG THATS NOT PIZZA!!! ... but some people may enjoy the pasta. Sure its not Pizza, but its still good.

That made me lol. :D

Serpentine
2008-06-11, 01:39 PM
False. The transition from 3e to 4e is a new game system. It's like Pizza Hut now selling Tuscani Pasta. OMG THATS NOT PIZZA!!! ... but some people may enjoy the pasta. Sure its not Pizza, but its still good.Yeah, but they're not selling it as "Supreme Pizza: Now with more pasta!"

SamTheCleric
2008-06-11, 01:42 PM
Yeah, but they're not selling it as "Supreme Pizza: Now with more pasta!"

No, but it is Pizza Hut's Tuscana Pasta.

Much Like its Dungeons And Dragons: Fourth Edition.

Jayabalard
2008-06-11, 01:44 PM
Fourth, Why is running like a Computer a bad thing? Computers are efficient and fast.That's not what he said... "designed to be run by a computer."

At a guess, I'd say that he means that it is designed to be run by the rules with no flexibility.

THAC0
2008-06-11, 01:45 PM
That's not what he said... "designed to be run by a computer."

At a guess, I'd say that he means that it is designed to be run by the rules with no flexibility.

I like how some people think there's not enough flexibility, and others think there's way too much! :smallbiggrin:

HeirToPendragon
2008-06-11, 01:47 PM
And totally without imagination or flare.


Well then why are you letting a computer do the DMing?

The rules are streamlined so that everything is simple and easy and the FUN becomes more important than the rules

Serpentine
2008-06-11, 01:48 PM
Sorry to quote myself, but there's something I wanted to expand on.
Anyway, the characters are relative to each other, not the tasks (it's harder for a librarian to get into a heavy-duty safe than a cat burglar).The thing is, it's easier for the cat burglar because he has the necessary skills, not simply because he's a cat burglar. He might have the skills because he's a cat burglar, but not necessarily. He could be good with explosives, instead. A librarian with an interest in gadgets could have a bit of ability with them - from the sound of it, in 4.0 this is where that whole thing of "if they can give a good reason for it, they can have it" or something comes in. I already do that in my 3.5 game, if someone wants a cross-class skill and has a good reason for it. However, it shouldn't be necessary to have backstory in order to have a non-standard skill. It can be useful to explain why you have a skill in backstory, and in my game that's nearly mandatory for any, but it shouldn't be a prerequisite. Houserules such as mine aside, mechanics should support roleplay and fluff, not the other way round.

Stickforged
2008-06-11, 01:52 PM
False. The transition from 3e to 4e is a new game system. It's like Pizza Hut now selling Tuscani Pasta. OMG THATS NOT PIZZA!!! ... but some people may enjoy the pasta. Sure its not Pizza, but its still good.

This is so much true! I like both pizza and pasta, but if i want pizza and not pasta today i'm going to be disappointed...

So 4th edition is not what i want from D&D. I liked the previous edition feel and i think many of the great ideas in the 4ed books should have been implemented in 3.5.

Now, with the 3.5 system not anymore supported, i must do all the homework on my own... and this bothers me. Fortunately my players are not interested in the new edition (one playing a druid, one a psion, one an half orc bard... call them lucky!!!), so i will continue playing 3.5, borrowing material from the fine book other publishers are going to write. Bye bye WotC!

marjan
2008-06-11, 01:53 PM
A good explanation for a homebrew is just as good as a good explanation for an ignored item. You are arguing for the same thing.


I am arguing that I don't see why it is easier to make up your own rules if you don't have any.



You have a point here?


Yes. They are selling something incomplete. Do you buy a car without wheels?



False. The transition from 3e to 4e is a new game system. It's like Pizza Hut now selling Tuscani Pasta. OMG THATS NOT PIZZA!!! ... but some people may enjoy the pasta. Sure its not Pizza, but its still good.

Pizza in my allegory was gaming system and mushrooms were the rules.

Serpentine
2008-06-11, 01:56 PM
I'm bouncing all over the place here <.<
No, but it is Pizza Hut's Tuscana Pasta.

Much Like its Dungeons And Dragons: Fourth Edition.Yeah, but they're not not making pizza anymore.

HeirToPendragon
2008-06-11, 01:58 PM
This is so much true! I like both pizza and pasta, but if i want pizza and not pasta today i'm going to be disappointed...

So 4th edition is not what i want from D&D. I liked the previous edition feel and i think many of the great ideas in the 4ed books should have been implemented in 3.5.

Now, with the 3.5 system not anymore supported, i must do all the homework on my own... and this bothers me. Fortunately my players are not interested in the new edition (one playing a druid, one a psion, one an half orc bard... call them lucky!!!), so i will continue playing 3.5, borrowing material from the fine book other publishers are going to write. Bye bye WotC!

Many of the ideas from 4e are in 3.5. Please see: Warlock and Tome of Battle

The Druid, Psion, and Bard will be coming back in the next suppliment. We're only in Core people!

Serpentine
2008-06-11, 02:14 PM
The Druid, Psion, and Bard will be coming back in the next suppliment. We're only in Core people!This argument is really starting to annoy me. So what? Right now, at least, we're discussing the rules, game mechanic, that stuff. Things that should be the same no matter how many splat books they release, if Wizards are doing their jobs properly. So, what, we shouldn't start examining this system until it's gotten to the same point as 3.5? Maybe we just shouldn't start playing it 'til then.
What I want to know is, if they already know they're going to be putting that stuff in, why isn't it in core? :smallconfused:

I think I should say that when I express frustration at the fact that Wizards aren't making any more 3.5 stuff, I'm talking more about reprints, I think, than new material. I think 3.5 has probably pretty much reached its limit with regards to material. However, if it really is Dungeons and Dragons: Fourth Edition, not D&D4.0 - that is, it's a whole, brand new, completely different game - why won't they even just do reprints of the 3.5 books? Surely two completely distinct products are better than one? Hasbro makes a heap of games, and they're doing fine.
Basically, it's either a whole new product, in which case there's no reason to abandon the old one, or it's an updated version of the old one, in which case there is.

turkishproverb
2008-06-11, 02:17 PM
Many of the ideas from 4e are in 3.5. Please see: Warlock and Tome of Battle

The Druid, Psion, and Bard will be coming back in the next suppliment. We're only in Core people!

Bard without perform.

Fun.

AKA_Bait
2008-06-11, 02:20 PM
Bard without perform.

Fun.

There may be some class feature that takes the place of the skill in 3.5. too soon to know.

THAC0
2008-06-11, 02:21 PM
This argument is really starting to annoy me. So what? Right now, at least, we're discussing the rules, game mechanic, that stuff. Things that should be the same no matter how many splat books they release, if Wizards are doing their jobs properly. So, what, we shouldn't start examining this system until it's gotten to the same point as 3.5? Maybe we just shouldn't start playing it 'til then.
What I want to know is, if they already know they're going to be putting that stuff in, why isn't it in core? :smallconfused:


Some people are discussing classes and races, etc. No problem with those being in splats.

The problem comes when people say things like "You have so many more options in 3.5." Well yes, especially when you are using splat material! I don't doubt that eventually you'll have many more options when 4e splats come out.

And it's not in already because it's not done? Why delay the release of such a big money maker until they've figured out how to fix druids?

SmartAlec
2008-06-11, 02:25 PM
Just to throw my own opinion in here, the only system - the only system - I've ever seen that manages to do this profession nonsense in a satisfactory way is Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, where the classes are professions (and there are 62 of them!), and they represented what a character was before he got into adventuring. Want to be good with boats? You'd better be playing as an adventurer with the Boatman class, then. Want to have a character who knows a lot? Student's for you. Want to be a gambling master? Without the Gambler class, you're up a creek.

And there was no multiclassing, not really. Your starting class dictated what classes you could be, as you were unable to suddenly become competent in something. No, you could only get good in fields connected to your original field. No Wizards who were also bakers, Marines who were also good blacksmiths, no Priests who were good at siege defence. Your class WAS your background. There's no time for being anything else if you're learning to be a Wizard.

By comparison, I always have found 3rd Ed's skill system to be a little absurd, for many reasons posted above. Although it might not seem like it, though, I see 4th Ed's class system as very similar to Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay's - there are just 8 classes instead of 62. And I find it less jarring, somehow, to see a Wizard, instead of a Wizard who once was a stableboy or rat-catcher or who has a peculiar talent for catching fish.

It's as if the system is saying, "You know what? If you want to be a Wizard, and just be a wizard, be the best wizard you can be - it's cool. You want to throw some fisherman background in there? That's cool too." I like that. The pressure's off. A character's background has been divorced from the rules, I like that because a character can be anything he wants to be without being screwed over or having to pore over books looking for a way to make it work so he doesn't look stupid. And I could happily go through an entire campaign without having to roll on Craft: Boat or Profession: Lamplighter or Knowledge: Ratcatching. We're adventurers now; if we had a life like that, we've left it behind us. The degree to which background of a character comes into the game is back in the hands of the player-DM relationship, and that's great - as a player I no longer need to feel a fool if I don't find ways to justify my background with skill points, and as a DM I don't need to find ways to let those players use these miscellaneous background skills so they aren't wasted, mechanically.

And lastly, as a serious indictment of how ridiculous things can be in 3rd Ed, one only need to turn to something like the old D20 version of the Star Wars RPG and look at the entry for Darth Vader - badass, but crippled skillwise because of the need to put in nonsense like Knowledge: Podracing.

Kabump
2008-06-11, 02:34 PM
Yes. You select the DC based on how hard the task is.

You are looking at it with a 3.5 mindset, where you have static skills to use. I see nothing wrong in the framework of 4e to set the DC different for chars with different abilities. Since there is no set skill anymore to use a static DC, why shouldnt you set different DCs instead?

tumble check
2008-06-11, 02:35 PM
However, if it really is Dungeons and Dragons: Fourth Edition, not D&D4.0 - that is, it's a whole, brand new, completely different game - why won't they even just do reprints of the 3.5 books?

Yes, this is where that argument falls apart.

Regardless of what people on this board may say, 4e is indeed the successor to 3.5e. It is the Windows Vista to 3.5's Windows XP(backlash and all! :smallamused:). I think it's pretty safe to assume that WotC will not run reprints of 3.5 alongside 4.0, like Nintendo did with their DS and GameBoy Advance, for example.

That understood, it all really comes back to the fact that 4.0, the next installment of DnD, was hardly based on the previous version. That, along with the marketing that WotC so dishonestly spewed that it was 3.5's spiritual successor, I think we can say that this is one of the biggest grievances (shared by myself) with 4e.

Vortling
2008-06-11, 02:37 PM
Many of the ideas from 4e are in 3.5. Please see: Warlock and Tome of Battle

The Druid, Psion, and Bard will be coming back in the next suppliment. We're only in Core people!

I don't see much of ToB in 4e. Pretty much just encounter based abilities. After that they diverge rapidly. I'd say your second statement is a perfectly good reason for someone to put off buying 4e material until later.

On my own dislikes.
Action points. They feel entirely arbitrary in their mechanics.

The RP and mechanics disjoint makes it more difficult for me to flesh out characters.

4e fanbois who think that 4e is the greatest thing since sliced bread and make no secret that they think 3.5 is total crap. The 4e fans that refuse to admit that 3.5 can do some things better than 4e. The absolute worst part is these fans and fanbois believe they're being totally reasonable in their condescension to the people who just feel that 3.5 is a better system for their gaming needs.

I can see that 4e works well for some people. Overall I think it's a decent system. But sweet jesus on a pogo stick the fans are grating on my nerves!

SamTheCleric
2008-06-11, 02:43 PM
4e fanbois who think that 4e is the greatest thing since sliced bread and make no secret that they think 3.5 is total crap. The 4e fans that refuse to admit that 3.5 can do some things better than 4e. The absolute worst part is these fans and fanbois believe they're being totally reasonable in their condescension to the people who just feel that 3.5 is a better system for their gaming needs.

I can see that 4e works well for some people. Overall I think it's a decent system. But sweet jesus on a pogo stick the fans are grating on my nerves!

Again, this is awfully one sided. Both sides are the antagonizers here and simply calling one out is unfair. Anyone who likes 4e and expresses their opinion is labeled a "fanboi" and anyone who dislikes 4e and expresses their opinion is labeled a "hater". No one is blameless on either side in the constant flamewar thats been going on for 2 weeks now.

Crazy_Uncle_Doug
2008-06-11, 02:45 PM
...
That understood, it all really comes back to the fact that 4.0, the next installment of DnD, was hardly based on the previous version. That, along with the marketing that WotC so dishonestly spewed that it was 3.5's spiritual successor, I think we can say that this is one of the biggest grievances (shared by myself) with 4e.

Ah. There's where I agree. 4e may indeed be an exemplary system for a roleplaying game, and there may very well be plenty to love about it. But it's a drastic removal from previous editions, comparatively speaking.

Deepblue706
2008-06-11, 02:45 PM
I can't tell you much about 4.5th edition - but I can tell you: It's this ball (http://loadingreadyrun.com/videos/view/332/inside_dampd_4th_edition).

tumble check
2008-06-11, 02:48 PM
It's as if the system is saying, "You know what? If you want to be a Wizard, and just be a wizard, be the best wizard you can be - it's cool. You want to throw some fisherman background in there? That's cool too." I like that. The pressure's off. A character's background has been divorced from the rules, I like that because a character can be anything he wants to be without being screwed over or having to pore over books looking for a way to make it work so he doesn't look stupid. And I could happily go through an entire campaign without having to roll on Craft: Boat or Profession: Lamplighter or Knowledge: Ratcatching. We're adventurers now; if we had a life like that, we've left it behind us. The degree to which background of a character comes into the game is back in the hands of the player-DM relationship, and that's great - as a player I no longer need to feel a fool if I don't find ways to justify my background with skill points, and as a DM I don't need to find ways to let those players use these miscellaneous background skills so they aren't wasted, mechanically.


I certainly agree with the fact that you don't need to mechanically support a backstory (i.e.- my orc could have been a master miner before he decided to defend his village as a Fighter).

However, when it comes time for said orc to recall his knowledge of mines with his adventuring group much later, he can't call upon his ranks in Profession(or Knowledge): Mining, because he doesn't have any!

And if the answer to this is the DM saying "OK, I'll give you a +5 circumstance bonus because you were a miner", then that stops nobody from making their next characters experts in EVERYTHING that they can foresee as useful in later adventures (i.e.- "No really! My Ranger used to be a tower watchman! +5 in Spot plz"[or in this case, of course, Perception]). And at that point, how many professions in a character's past can a DM rule out before absurdity is reached?

Kabump
2008-06-11, 02:51 PM
And if the answer to this is the DM saying "OK, I'll give you a +5 circumstance bonus because you were a miner", then that stops nobody from making their next characters experts in EVERYTHING that they can foresee as useful in later adventures (i.e.- "No really! My Ranger used to be a tower watchman! +5 in Spot plz"[or in this case, of course, Perception]). And at that point, how many professions in a character's past can a DM rule out before absurdity is reached?

Ive brought this up somewhere before, but that sounds like a player abusing relaxed guidelines. You might call it a problem with the rules, I call it someone taking advantage of a relaxed system. Again, it all depends on how you view the system. I like how the relaxed system leaves options like this open, and I feel it is the player and DM's responsibility to not abuse it.

SmartAlec
2008-06-11, 02:53 PM
I can see that 4e works well for some people. Overall I think it's a decent system. But sweet jesus on a pogo stick the fans are grating on my nerves!

Well... sorry. Some of us are all excited and fired up, you know? And we want you to give it a good try it as well (say, a few sessions; one session or simply reading the books isn't enough) in the hope you'll be similarly entertained. Ok, sure, there are things to dislike; there's things to dislike in ANY system, be it D20, CODA, WoD. I've been playing all those for a fair amount, though, and had fun with them; I think there are very few systems whose flaws make it a system to avoid, and I don't think DnD 4th Ed is one of them. And I have the nagging feeling that anyone who tries to make a case for avoiding 4th Ed just needs to free their mind, man.

Does this make me a fanboi? Not sure. Does this mean I think you - anyone - could have an awful lot of fun with this sytem, despite the flaws? Yup. Does this make me annoying? ... maybe, I guess. So, again, sorry.


And at that point, how many professions in a character's past can a DM rule out before absurdity is reached?

I love this answer. Here it comes:

As many as he feels is necessary. Oh, lovely lovely DM freedom.

You might have skipped over the sentence "The background is now back in the hands of the player/DM relationship" in my post. Or, at least, if you read it, you missed out the DM part, or possibly the relationship part.

wakazashi.juice
2008-06-11, 02:57 PM
I hate how everything in 4e is based around combat. WoTC tried to make everything equal in combat so much that the game becomes more aboutRoll playing rather than Role playing.

I also dislike how almost everyrace in the PHB has its own fallen empire of some kind. Humans Tieflings and just about every race has a fallen empire.

4e has way to much about the world built into the PHB. the Feywild, the fallen empires, are we not supposed to create or own campain settings?

Another part that bothers me is the lack of skill points. What was wrong with them? Nothing as far as I could tell. My game group and I had no trouble with them, and they brought plenty of custimization to the game.

Finally, why axe races and classes? All of the now removed races, and classes were fine, so why get rid of them?

The only reason I can think of as to why WoTC went and "improved" an already great system was to make money. Fine, but don't go and stop 3.5 while your at it.

RTGoodman
2008-06-11, 03:10 PM
4e fanbois who think that 4e is the greatest thing since sliced bread and make no secret that they think 3.5 is total crap. The 4e fans that refuse to admit that 3.5 can do some things better than 4e.

I don't think that's very fair at all. I know several people who like 4E a lot, and can still admit that they like 3.x, too. I mean, I'm one of them!

I'll admit it - 4E is NOT A GOOD SYSTEM FOR GRITTY, REALISTIC GAMING. 3.5, on the other hand, is better (though probably not the best). The thing is, some people don't play those kinds of games all the time, and for heroic high fantasy, I like 4E, despite a few things.

Personally, I DO believe that a lot of 4E is better for me; however, I'm currently in two 3.5 campaigns and NO 4E campaigns because the new system wouldn't work our for our current games (like, for instance, our realistic Celtic-inspired real-world-esque game).

I almost guarantee that you can't find more than a handful of people who'll say 3.x is "total crap" (and some of them probably don't even play 4E either). In fact, I'm pretty confident that most everyone that's getting in on 4E will still be playing 3.x games for at least a little while. I know I don't think 3.x is "total crap," and I just can't understand the arguing back and forth. Guess that's just the nature of interwebz.

Vortling
2008-06-11, 03:29 PM
Again, this is awfully one sided. Both sides are the antagonizers here and simply calling one out is unfair. Anyone who likes 4e and expresses their opinion is labeled a "fanboi" and anyone who dislikes 4e and expresses their opinion is labeled a "hater". No one is blameless on either side in the constant flamewar thats been going on for 2 weeks now.

Unfair how? He did ask what I thought was wrong with 4e. My hope is things will settle down eventually. I mean you don't see anyone taking the "2e totally sucks" stance here on the forums, do you? The flamewar has been going on for a lot longer, it just didn't hit OotS forums until two weeks ago.



Well... sorry. Some of us are all excited and fired up, you know? And we want you to give it a good try it as well (say, a few sessions; one session or simply reading the books isn't enough) in the hope you'll be similarly entertained.


I'm actually playing in a 4e game now and having fun with it. I'll probably play it a bit more to try out different classes.



I don't think that's very fair at all. I know several people who like 4E a lot, and can still admit that they like 3.x, too. I mean, I'm one of them!


I think all of you missed my qualifiers so I'll restate what I said. I don't mind 4e fans. I don't like the ones who feel a need to bash previous editions to justify their like of the new system or jump on people when they state objections to the new system in a reasonable manner.

THAC0
2008-06-11, 03:39 PM
Unfair how? He did ask what I thought was wrong with 4e. My hope is things will settle down eventually. I mean you don't see anyone taking the "2e totally sucks" stance here on the forums, do you? The flamewar has been going on for a lot longer, it just didn't hit OotS forums until two weeks ago.


I still think 2e totally sucks. ;)

RTGoodman
2008-06-11, 03:50 PM
I think all of you missed my qualifiers so I'll restate what I said. I don't mind 4e fans. I don't like the ones who feel a need to bash previous editions to justify their like of the new system or jump on people when they state objections to the new system in a reasonable manner.

Oh, okay, I see that now. My apologies. Of course, you've got to admit, there are quite a few of the critics out there that DON'T state objection in a reasonable manner. I've spent some of my time in 4E threads (which I usually try to avoid) just trying to point out how a lot these unreasonable people are basing their arguments on false or only half-right information (or on the assumption that different = bad).

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-11, 04:03 PM
Yes. They are selling something incomplete. Do you buy a car without wheels?


I wouldn't buy a car without wheels, but nor would I buy a car with an enormous pile of horse manure on the back seat. Sure, I could always take the horse manure *out* but I'd much rather have a car that wasn't full of manure in the first place.


Pizza in my allegory was gaming system and mushrooms were the rules.

Actually, I think your analogy was a good one, let's look at it more closely.

I don't like mushrooms. Given the choice between a pizza with mushrooms and a pizza without mushrooms, I will pick the one without mushrooms every time. Now if I was given the choice between your $2 Mushroom Pizza and your $3 plain pizza, I would almost *certainly* go for the plain pizza. Yes, it costs more, but if I bought the Mushroom Pizza, I would have to *either* eat it mushrooms and all, which would be a *less pleasant experience* for me, or else I would have to pick off all the mushrooms by hand, and I'd be left with a ragged bit of picked-apart pizza that would still taste faintly of mushrooms. For me, the plain pizza is actually worth more than the mushroom pizza.

Talya
2008-06-11, 04:08 PM
(or on the assumption that different = bad).

I wanna deal with this for a moment.

Let's assume you like using Microsoft Excel. You've stuck through several versions, and every version added new functionality.

Now let's assume microsoft releases Excel 2009, but they've decided to make some major changes. No longer will you have to deal with complicated formulas, but it makes doing simple addition and subtraction easy. They've removed all collumns to the right of Z, and rows below 99, because nobody uses them anyway and they look silly, and use that extra digit to identify themselves. They've made it look really good, and made it extremely easy to use, but took away most of the functionality. But, it includes a great new solitaire game that's really a lot of fun, too!

It's very different from the Excel you are used to using, is it that difference that has you upset?

New versions are supposed to keep all the functionality you used to have, while fixing bugs and adding MORE features! No matter what Apple corporation has ever claimed about minimalist design, having less features is not, in itself, a valuable feature!

THAC0
2008-06-11, 04:11 PM
New versions are supposed to keep all the functionality you used to have, while fixing bugs

The problem is that some things that some people think of as 'bugs being fixed' others think of as 'functionality being lost.'

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-11, 04:17 PM
So I can make a first-level character who can cook as well as a high-end gourmet chef, build as well as an experienced master carpenter and mason, plan a siege as well as a high-ranking siege engineer, identify every plant in the forest and what its medicinal uses are, and play a fiddle well enough to fill Carnegie Hall to listen to me? If none of those things cost skill points, I might as well take all of those abilities. And you know what? If I can do all of those things, I can probably come up with a way to use them to beat any first-level challenge without using any of my "combat-related" abilities.

What's more plausible, a character who is a gourmet chef, a master siege engineer, an expert herbalist and master violinist, or a character who is a gourmet chef, a master siege engineer, an expert herbalist, a master violinist and really good in a fight and capable of falling hundreds of feet without serious physical injury.

Either such a multi-talented character is plausible, in which case they should be equally plausible at first level or twentieth and 4E is the better system because it allows you to play such a character, or else they are implausible, in which case 4E triumphs again, because it does not *explicitly* allow you to play such a character at any level.


All of those things are useful, and I can do any of them in 3rd edition. But if I want to be able to do them, I have to choose not to be able to do other useful things. Or I could choose to focus in them to different degrees: I could be a good enough chef that the eggs don't burn onto the pan, be able to nail some boards together into a crude bench, know enough not to pull the bottom stones out of a wall if I don't want it to collapse, be able to find jewelweed to rub on poison ivy-exposed skin, and plink out Chopsticks on a piano (and still have plenty of skill points to spend on other things).

No, you can't. You can choose to put arbitrary numbers of points into things called "Skills" which your DM will then interpret like so many Tarot cards.

3.X contains no rules for cooking, no rules for siege engineering, and no rules for packing out Carnegie hall. What the GM allows you to do with any given level of the Craft, Profession or Perform skills is completely arbitrary. At least 4E doesn't pretend otherwise.

SmartAlec
2008-06-11, 04:17 PM
Now let's assume microsoft releases Excel 2009, but they've decided to make some major changes. No longer will you have to deal with complicated formulas, but it makes doing simple addition and subtraction easy. They've removed all collumns to the right of Z, and rows below 99, because nobody uses them anyway and they look silly, and use that extra digit to identify themselves. They've made it look really good, and made it extremely easy to use, but took away most of the functionality. But, it includes a great new solitaire game that's really a lot of fun, too!

So what you're saying is, 4th Ed is only 3rd Ed with things taken out and a game of solitaire added.

We all know that's not true. Bit of a misrepresentation there. To use your words, there are such things as bad features and 'functionality' that isn't, in fact, all that functional. And sometimes there is merit in forgetting what has come before and redesigning from the ground up. You seem to be arguing against fresh design perspectives, here.

marjan
2008-06-11, 04:25 PM
I wouldn't buy a car without wheels, but nor would I buy a car with an enormous pile of horse manure on the back seat. Sure, I could always take the horse manure *out* but I'd much rather have a car that wasn't full of manure in the first place.


How about a car with no wheels compared to car with wheels that you don't like much (shape, color, etc.)? Which one would you buy if they both cost the same?



Actually, I think your analogy was a good one, let's look at it more closely.

I don't like mushrooms. Given the choice between a pizza with mushrooms and a pizza without mushrooms, I will pick the one without mushrooms every time. Now if I was given the choice between your $2 Mushroom Pizza and your $3 plain pizza, I would almost *certainly* go for the plain pizza. Yes, it costs more, but if I bought the Mushroom Pizza, I would have to *either* eat it mushrooms and all, which would be a *less pleasant experience* for me, or else I would have to pick off all the mushrooms by hand, and I'd be left with a ragged bit of picked-apart pizza that would still taste faintly of mushrooms. For me, the plain pizza is actually worth more than the mushroom pizza.

So you are saying that pizza with mushrooms should cost 3$ for you and the one with them should cost 2$, because you don't like mushrooms. And if I want to buy pizza it's 3$ for one with mushrooms and 2$ for one without them, just because I like them.
Did I understand you correctly? If so, this doesn't make any sense. If there are people who doesn't like mushrooms, everyone else is supposed to grow them themselves, just so the first group don't feel faint taste of mushrooms.

And now enough of mushrooms - Is it that much harder to ignore the rules than make your own and if so, why?

Vortling
2008-06-11, 04:32 PM
there are quite a few of the critics out there that DON'T state objection in a reasonable manner.

I'm not a fan of those people either, but they don't bother me quite as much.

Aotrs Commander
2008-06-11, 04:45 PM
Well, it's not going to matter much to you; it's really a DM's thing and DMing is all about making stuff up.

I am a DM. There's making stuff up out of thin air, and there's thinking really hard about stuff and working down to the nitty gritty detail and getting it right (for whatever subjective level 'right' entails). If anything, I'm more picky about details and getting things right when I'm DMing.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-11, 04:49 PM
How about a car with no wheels compared to car with wheels that you don't like much (shape, color, etc.)? Which one would you buy if they both cost the same?

It depends. If I didn't like the wheels, but could live with them, I would buy the car with wheels. If I intended to install my own wheels I would buy the car without wheels, because it would save me the effort of taking the damned things off in the first place.


So you are saying that pizza with mushrooms should cost 3$ for you and the one with them should cost 2$, because you don't like mushrooms. And if I want to buy pizza it's 3$ for one with mushrooms and 2$ for one without them, just because I like them.
Did I understand you correctly? If so, this doesn't make any sense. If there are people who doesn't like mushrooms, everyone else is supposed to grow them themselves, just so the first group don't feel faint taste of mushrooms.

That's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that when you buy a pizza, you aren't buying the ingredients, you are buying the pizza.

What I am saying is that both pizzas should be the same price, because they both cost almost the same amount to produce (mushrooms are cheap) and whether a mushroom pizza has greater value than a plain pizza depends *purely* on whether you like mushrooms.


And now enough of mushrooms - Is it that much harder to ignore the rules than make your own and if so, why?

Two reasons.

Firstly, I might not be the DM. Players can't just decide to ignore rules they don't like. If I play in a 3.X game, I know that my "blacksmith's apprentice turned magician" will have to sink skill points into Craft: Blacksmithing (and/or "Profession: Blacksmith") before I'm allowed to actually know anything about my trade. In 4E I don't have that problem.

Secondly, if I *am* the DM, removing rules and ignoring rules takes *just* as much effort as adding new ones, if you do it properly. If I decide to remove the Profession skill from my game, then at the very least I need to tell the players not to put points in it. And of course then I'll have to deal with players who think they're being clever who respond with "well in that case I'll play the world's greatest siege engineer".

Then of course there's the physical, logistical issues. Every page in the book taken up with rules I ignore is a page which makes it harder for me to find the rules I *don't* ignore.

Put simply: I would rather have no rules than rules I don't like.

SmartAlec
2008-06-11, 04:53 PM
I am a DM. There's making stuff up out of thin air, and there's thinking really hard about stuff and working down to the nitty gritty detail and getting it right (for whatever subjective level 'right' entails). If anything, I'm more picky about details and getting things right when I'm DMing.

There is a case for saying that as long as you can manage a level of consistency, the actual details don't matter.

Heck, if you were really into nitty gritty detail as you say, I might even venture an opinion that 3rd isn't the game for you, let alone 4th.

Cainen
2008-06-11, 04:59 PM
What I am saying is that both pizzas should be the same price, because they both cost almost the same amount to produce (mushrooms are cheap) and whether a mushroom pizza has greater value than a plain pizza depends *purely* on whether you like mushrooms.

There's something wrong with this analogy. One - Because mushroom pizza is more likely to get popular and they've stopped supporting AND selling plain pizzas, the person who doesn't like mushroom pizza is getting shafted. Two - once mushroom pizza is the most popular, a stigma is going to be attached to plain pizza, so you're going to be even LESS likely to get plain pizza from them ever again. Due to the sudden lack of popularity of plain pizza, you won't be able to get fresh plain pizzas unless you make it yourself or have one of your friends do it, and it'll be a lot harder to get someone you barely know to share a pizza or make one with you. You most CERTAINLY cannot tell me that this wasn't what happened with 2E, and you can't tell me that that's not what WotC and the 4E fanboys haven't been doing, either.

Frankly, I don't care which edition is more popular in the end because I don't like any edition of D&D's mechanics, 4E's included, and I dislike 3.X the most out of all D&D editions. I'm, at best, a neutral party. That doesn't mean that I somehow lack the insight to recognize marketing and attempting to discredit the other side.

Animefunkmaster
2008-06-11, 05:04 PM
Personally I don't feel anything is innately wrong with the game of 4e (remember this is more game and less simulation). I just don't find it good enough for me to buy the books.

Since then, I have branched to BESM 3.0 (not the d20, the d20 besm is useless) and found that to be a surprisingly good system while still being player centric.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-11, 05:14 PM
By providing monster descriptions rather than having me, as DM, spend my time writing them when I could be doing something more important? As an example.

The lack of monster descriptions did confuse me, but now what you're saying is that 3.5 facilitates storytelling because it gives you more time to design the story, which is somewhat disingenuous. You might as well say that cars facilitate storytelling, because they allow you to get home from work faster, so you can put more time into designing your story.


How about Wish, Quest, and Polymorph? "Just make them yourself!" you say. "Your imagination is limitless!" you say. Yeah, but my time sure ain't. Here we go back to the facilitation portion - when I have to make something from scratch, I'm not being facilitated. When I don't have to make something from scratch, or heaven forfend it's made available to me outright, I can spend more time on constructing a detailed, living world for my players to interact in.

Let's see:

Wish: "I will grant you three wishes"
Quest: "Do this quest, or suffer these consequences"
Polymorph: "Then, he turns into a badger".

The point is you don't need specific game mechanics to include these things as *story elements*. How do the *actual game mechanics* for Wish, Quest and Polymorph facilitate the story? Aren't they, in fact, just as inclined to hinder it?


So, in at least one way, 4'th edition is a waste of my time (and that of many other DMs).

I quite appreciate that your time is finite, so is mine, but not being willing to *describe* things which are not specifically defined as IC powers is not a failure of time, it is a failure of creativity. If you want to include shapeshifters, you can. If you want to include wishes, you can. They're just no longer *default* options.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-11, 05:16 PM
The flexibility to build a character who can do certain things allows you to tell stories you can't otherwise tell. Sometimes those abilities are core to the story you're trying to tell.

I think we define "story" very differently. I honestly can't imagine any story I could ever wish to tell that would require a character to have specific, game mechanically defined abilities.

Indon
2008-06-11, 05:17 PM
You are looking at it with a 3.5 mindset, where you have static skills to use. I see nothing wrong in the framework of 4e to set the DC different for chars with different abilities. Since there is no set skill anymore to use a static DC, why shouldnt you set different DCs instead?

Well, then. Lemme ask some questions about the 4'th edition "mindset".

-A skill modifier for a stat is 1/2 character level rounded down, plus 5 with skill training, plus 3 with skill focus, plus 2 with jack of all trades, plus the ability modifier associated with the skill. When rolling a skill, you add your skill modifier to the result. In 4'th edition, what does this modifier represent?

-A skill Difficulty Class sets a target number to reach with a 1D20 roll when adding your skill modifier. In the "3'rd edition mindset", it represented the difficulty of the action. In 4'th edition, what does this target number represent?

Prophaniti
2008-06-11, 05:24 PM
In 4'th edition, what does this modifier represent?

In 4'th edition, what does this target number represent?

Quite simple. They represent an arbitrary modifier and target number so that things still feel 'challenging' at higher levels. This is because 4E places the priority on how well the rules function within themselves, rather than how they interact with the game world. Immersion takes a backseat here.

marjan
2008-06-11, 05:31 PM
It depends. If I didn't like the wheels, but could live with them, I would buy the car with wheels. If I intended to install my own wheels I would buy the car without wheels, because it would save me the effort of taking the damned things off in the first place.


And transport them to your workshop how?



That's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that when you buy a pizza, you aren't buying the ingredients, you are buying the pizza.

What I am saying is that both pizzas should be the same price, because they both cost almost the same amount to produce (mushrooms are cheap) and whether a mushroom pizza has greater value than a plain pizza depends *purely* on whether you like mushrooms.


No matter how much cheap they are, they are still not free. And since it isn't any harder or more expensive to make a pizza without mushrooms it shouldn't cost more.



Firstly, I might not be the DM. Players can't just decide to ignore rules they don't like. If I play in a 3.X game, I know that my "blacksmith's apprentice turned magician" will have to sink skill points into Craft: Blacksmithing (and/or "Profession: Blacksmith") before I'm allowed to actually know anything about my trade. In 4E I don't have that problem.


On the other hand if you are a player, how exactly do you know that you are going to like the rule he puts in place of the missing one?



Secondly, if I *am* the DM, removing rules and ignoring rules takes *just* as much effort as adding new ones, if you do it properly. If I decide to remove the Profession skill from my game, then at the very least I need to tell the players not to put points in it. And of course then I'll have to deal with players who think they're being clever who respond with "well in that case I'll play the world's greatest siege engineer".


And if you introduce a profession in your game you need to tell your players that you have a new skill in your game and if they want to be "the world's greatest siege engineer" they need to put ranks in that skill, or train the skill in 4e. And so you still spent more effort, since you needed to create that skill.



Then of course there's the physical, logistical issues. Every page in the book taken up with rules I ignore is a page which makes it harder for me to find the rules I *don't* ignore.


I wasn't talking just about ignoring the rules (and even then how hard can it be to skip something considering that you might find that useful in the future), but also about changing them. When you change the rules it's much easier to go with the rules that don't work how you want them and see what causes them, than to start from scratch.

I never used Profession skill in 3.5 so far, but it didn't cause me any troubles.



Put simply: I would rather have no rules than rules I don't like.


And so would I if I plan to ignore them completely. But until you see the rules how do you know that you wouldn't like them?

Crazy_Uncle_Doug
2008-06-11, 05:32 PM
There's something wrong with this analogy. One - Because mushroom pizza is more likely to get popular and they've stopped supporting AND selling plain pizzas, the person who doesn't like mushroom pizza is getting shafted. Two - once mushroom pizza is the most popular, a stigma is going to be attached to plain pizza, so you're going to be even LESS likely to get plain pizza from them ever again. Due to the sudden lack of popularity of plain pizza, you won't be able to get fresh plain pizzas unless you make it yourself or have one of your friends do it, and it'll be a lot harder to get someone you barely know to share a pizza or make one with you. You most CERTAINLY cannot tell me that this wasn't what happened with 2E, and you can't tell me that that's not what WotC and the 4E fanboys haven't been doing, either.

Frankly, I don't care which edition is more popular in the end because I don't like any edition of D&D's mechanics, 4E's included, and I dislike 3.X the most out of all D&D editions. I'm, at best, a neutral party. That doesn't mean that I somehow lack the insight to recognize marketing and attempting to discredit the other side.

The pizza analogy is getting a bit strained, but I'd rather put it this way:

Your favorite pizza joint for years has been making pizza the familiar way -- a round crust with tomato sauce, cheese and one's choice of toppings. It's been doing it for decades. At some point someone else buys the restaurant and though they change some ingredients, it's essentially what you remember and you keep going there. After some time, the new owners believe changes are necessary.

After refurbishing the restaurant, one returns to find that they no longer make what you used to prefer. Pizza is now cooked on French bread, with gormet toppings. The restaurant is appears much more trendy and upscale than before. Some seem to like the new format better, and it seems to attract new customers.

But for some, it's no longer the same place. Granted, it's still pizza and it's still the same restaurant, but it's just not what some have grown to love and appreciate. It's too much of a difference. A little was tolerated and even accepted and perhaps approved after some time. This change is too much. It's not that the changes are bad, it's just it won't please everyone, and those who aren't pleased will be a bit vocal about the fact that what they knew is no longer what's there.

That, to me, is the situation. It's not whether 4e or 3e is better or worse, it's that the changes have made this into a different D&D game that was familiar and enjoyed.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-11, 05:36 PM
-A skill Difficulty Class sets a target number to reach with a 1D20 roll when adding your skill modifier. In the "3'rd edition mindset", it represented the difficulty of the action. In 4'th edition, what does this target number represent?

You say "in the third edition mindset, it represented the difficulty of the action" like that's actually a meaningful description. What's the "difficulty" of the action, exactly? It's "how difficult" it is?

Great.

But the idea that any given "action" has an absolute "difficulty" is completely ludicrous. Things actually do get easier with practice and that isn't the same as your skill modifier increasing.

Perhaps the best way to illustrate this difference is with Knowledge checks.

Suppose the DM rules that knowing the name of the Crown Prince requires a DC20 knowledge check. If you take the stance that the Difficulty of a task is always its difficulty, regardless of how much experience or practice you have, then you should *always* have to make a DC20 Knowledge check to know the name of the Crown Prince even if you have explicitly been told it in character. In fact, by the strictest application of this principle, the Crown Prince should need to make a DC20 Knowledge check to remember his own name.

The idea that DCs are some kind of universal absolute graven into the gameworld by the Gods is totally ludicrous. DC represents how hard it is for a particular character to do a particular thing at a particular time. Your Skill Modifier represents your ability to do *new* things, sight unseen, not your ability to do things you do all the damned time.

SexyOchreJelly
2008-06-11, 05:43 PM
I want to know, what you, the people, think is wrong with 4e.

What is wrong with 4e? Wrong with 4e?
Nothing is wrong with 4e.

It gives powergamers a new system to conquer, MMORPG junkies a new addiction, and rules-lawyers an easier set of rules to dictate to people.

Which leaves me with the leftovers, consisting of 'super geeks' and hardcore players refusing to give up their skill ranks and racial ability penalties.

A dream come true, really.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-11, 05:47 PM
And transport them to your workshop how?

The no-wheels car company delivers. It's part of the service.


No matter how much cheap they are, they are still not free. And since it isn't any harder or more expensive to make a pizza without mushrooms it shouldn't cost more.

Perhaps mushroom pizzas are so popular that they can produce them by the truckload and sell them cheaply, while mushroom-free pizza is unpopular and needs to be custom-baked, thus making them more expensive.

The point is that the *price* of the pizza is determined by a whole host of factors, of which the *least* important is how much physical matter is piled on top of it.


On the other hand if you are a player, how exactly do you know that you are going to like the rule he puts in place of the missing one?

There is no "missing" rule. 4E isn't "missing" rules for professions, the rules are "your character can do what seems reasonable". That is a rule I like. It is the rule that served D&D perfectly well for about twenty years.


And if you introduce a profession in your game you need to tell your players that you have a new skill in your game and if they want to be "the world's greatest siege engineer" they need to put ranks in that skill, or train the skill in 4e. And so you still spent more effort, since you needed to create that skill.

But I don't need to create the skill. I can have siege engineers and blacksmiths and milliners and coopers and wainwrights and ploughwrights and whores and farmers *without* having a rule for it.

Furthermore, if you *actually* wanted to use the Profession or Craft skills in 3.X for anything *other* than making trivial amounts of money, you *also* had to make up rules for it.


I wasn't talking just about ignoring the rules (and even then how hard can it be to skip something considering that you might find that useful in the future), but also about changing them. When you change the rules it's much easier to go with the rules that don't work how you want them and see what causes them, than to start from scratch.

No.

Starting from scratch is *always* easier.

If I buy a car with wheels I don't like, I might replace the wheels, but I won't just glue new wheels over the top of the old ones.


I never used Profession skill in 3.5 so far, but it didn't cause me any troubles.

There's a big difference between not using a rule and ignoring it.


And so would I if I plan to ignore them completely. But until you see the rules how do you know that you wouldn't like them?

Because some things you just don't need rules for. I don't need rules for tradeskills in a game about fantasy adventures.

SmartAlec
2008-06-11, 05:48 PM
It gives powergamers a new system to conquer, MMORPG junkies a new addiction, and rules-lawyers an easier set of rules to dictate to people.

Oh, it's on now. I challenge you to pistols at dawn! And I don't even need to make a Knowledge: Duelling Etiquette check to do so.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-11, 05:49 PM
Oh, it's on now. I challenge you to pistols at dawn! And I don't even need to make a Knowledge: Duelling Etiquette check to do so.

But ... if you don't have to make a Knowledge check, what's to stop you just saying that your character knows everything about duelling etiquette?

SmartAlec
2008-06-11, 05:51 PM
But ... if you don't have to make a Knowledge check, what's to stop you just saying that your character knows everything about duelling etiquette?

I used to be a professional duellist in between baking classes. :smallbiggrin: No, really!

Prophaniti
2008-06-11, 05:51 PM
Suppose the DM rules that knowing the name of the Crown Prince requires a DC20 knowledge check. If you take the stance that the Difficulty of a task is always its difficulty, regardless of how much experience or practice you have, then you should *always* have to make a DC20 Knowledge check to know the name of the Crown Prince even if you have explicitly been told it in character. In fact, by the strictest application of this principle, the Crown Prince should need to make a DC20 Knowledge check to remember his own name.

This is the most ridiculous thing I've read so far (though admittedly I skipped a few pages here). The knowledge skills are specifically laid out to be used in situations where your character may or may not know something, to allow a roll to see if you do. They have no application whatsoever when a character already knows something, such as their own name. Therefore, set DCs, regardless of what they represent, have no place in this example.

EDIT: To clarify my point here, it seems you're grossly (possibly deliberitely) missinterpreting his argument. Your use of such a ludicrous example to make his point seem far less intelligent than it was strikes me as a logical fallacy of some sort, though as I've had little formal training in logic, I do not know the name of it.

Cainen
2008-06-11, 05:54 PM
That, to me, is the situation. It's not whether 4e or 3e is better or worse, it's that the changes have made this into a different D&D game that was familiar and enjoyed.

I don't disagree with you. In fact, that's why I'm unhappy with 4E's marketing.

THAC0
2008-06-11, 05:59 PM
That, to me, is the situation. It's not whether 4e or 3e is better or worse, it's that the changes have made this into a different D&D game that was familiar and enjoyed.

3.5 to 4e is just as much of a change as from AD&D to 3e, IMO.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-11, 06:03 PM
This is the most ridiculous thing I've read so far (though admittedly I skipped a few pages here). The knowledge skills are specifically laid out to be used in situations where your character may or may not know something, to allow a roll to see if you do. They have no application whatsoever when a character already knows something, such as their own name. Therefore, set DCs, regardless of what they represent, have no place in this example.

And other skills are specifically laid out to be used in situations where your character may or may not be able to do something. Which is sort of the point I was making.

A skill check is a way of determining, randomly, whether a character is able to do a particular thing. If a character logically *should* be able to do something, you make the check easy, if they should not, you make the skill check hard.

Prophaniti
2008-06-11, 06:05 PM
And other skills are specifically laid out to be used in situations where your character may or may not be able to do something. Which is sort of the point I was making.

A skill check is a way of determining, randomly, whether a character is able to do a particular thing. If a character logically *should* be able to do something, you make the check easy, if they should not, you make the skill check hard.

Exactly. You don't use skill checks for things that the character is practically guaranteed to be able to do. Your example is like saying that characters should make balance checks to walk on a normal surface to see if they fall down. See my edit on that post for what I was trying to say.

marjan
2008-06-11, 06:11 PM
The no-wheels car company delivers. It's part of the service.


Touche.



Perhaps mushroom pizzas are so popular that they can produce them by the truckload and sell them cheaply, while mushroom-free pizza is unpopular and needs to be custom-baked, thus making them more expensive.


And if you check again you will see that I assumed that they are both equally easy to make.



There is no "missing" rule. 4E isn't "missing" rules for professions, the rules are "your character can do what seems reasonable". That is a rule I like. It is the rule that served D&D perfectly well for about twenty years.


Than why did you complain about "the world's greatest siege engineer"? And it is quite reasonable for you to kill a minion, but you still have rules for it.



Furthermore, if you *actually* wanted to use the Profession or Craft skills in 3.X for anything *other* than making trivial amounts of money, you *also* had to make up rules for it.


And making up rules is according to you easy. So what's the problem?



Starting from scratch is *always* easier.

If I buy a car with wheels I don't like, I might replace the wheels, but I won't just glue new wheels over the top of the old ones.


And if you never saw a wheels attached to car, how exactly do you know how to do it?



There's a big difference between not using a rule and ignoring it.


Care to explain?



Because some things you just don't need rules for. I don't need rules for tradeskills in a game about fantasy adventures.

Not exactly. They are not necessary, but might prove useful.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-11, 06:13 PM
Exactly. You don't use skill checks for things that the character is practically guaranteed to be able to do. Your example is like saying that characters should make balance checks to walk on a normal surface to see if they fall down. See my edit on that post for what I was trying to say.

They should, by a strict reading of the rules. They'd just be low-DC so most people will be able to take ten and pass.

The point is that the "DCs are absolute" argument doesn't take into account the fact that some things are easier for some people than others. Remembering the name of the High Priest of Torm is much easier if you are, in fact, the high priest of Torm.

ZipZipskins
2008-06-11, 06:17 PM
3.5 to 4e is just as much of a change as from AD&D to 3e, IMO.

Well, thanks. It's about time someone said it.

People griped and moaned then too, and there are still hordes of AD&D players. Similarly, people are going to gripe and moan now, and there will still be hordes of 3.5e players.

I find it interesting that this discussion exists about what's "wrong" with 4e. There's nothing wrong. It's a different take on the same basic idea, just as 3e was a different take on the same idea of AD&D.

marjan
2008-06-11, 06:18 PM
Remembering the name of the High Priest of Torm is much easier if you are, in fact, the high priest of Torm.

In that case you get circumstance bonus.

Prophaniti
2008-06-11, 06:42 PM
Perfect. +50 to all knowledge checks involving yourself. Elegant and simple. I don't recall reading anywhere in the rules that stated a check is necessary for any action that could be construed to use a certain skill. As a matter of fact, I recall something opposite, about how mundane actions would usually require no check at all. I'm certainly willing to look again, it'll just have to wait till I get home.

thevorpalbunny
2008-06-11, 06:47 PM
I used to be a professional duellist in between baking classes. :smallbiggrin: No, really!
This would be hilarious if it wasn't how 4e skills seem to work.
As it is, it is merely amusing.


No.

Starting from scratch is *always* easier.

If I buy a car with wheels I don't like, I might replace the wheels, but I won't just glue new wheels over the top of the old ones.

Starting from scratch is not replacing the wheels. Starting from scratch is rebuilding the car. Replacing the wheels is changing a rule. Gluing new wheels on is adding a new set of rules to govern something while leaving the old rules in place (making them contradictory or else constantly stepping around each other to avoid being contradictory).


Because some things you just don't need rules for. I don't need rules for tradeskills in a game about fantasy adventures.

If you have no rules for tradeskills, how will you determine the difficulty to the blacksmith of making the doomsday sword from the plans the fighter found in the ruins?
Yes, you can just say "He's a master blacksmith, of course he can make it." Or "He's only been a blacksmith for a week. Of course he can't make it." You can do that even if you have a tradeskill system.
But I don't want to break versimilitude to myself, even if my players will never know I did. I don't want to pick an arbitrary option unless it's absolutely necessary to the plot.
As The Giant said regarding Diplomacy:

I want tools to use in the game, not a blank check to do what I want. I can already do what I want.

EDIT:

I don't recall reading anywhere in the rules that stated a check is necessary for any action that could be construed to use a certain skill. As a matter of fact, I recall something opposite, about how mundane actions would usually require no check at all.
By RAW, you have to roll for everything. Most mundane tasks just have such a low DC that you succeed even on a 1 and therefore don't have to roll. (examples: DC 0 to hear a person talking right next to you. DC 0 to keep your Balance when walking on a normal flat floor. etc, etc.)

SmartAlec
2008-06-11, 06:57 PM
Perfect. +50 to all knowledge checks involving yourself. Elegant and simple. I don't recall reading anywhere in the rules that stated a check is necessary for any action that could be construed to use a certain skill. As a matter of fact, I recall something opposite, about how mundane actions would usually require no check at all. I'm certainly willing to look again, it'll just have to wait till I get home.

Augh. I fail to see how having to come up with modifiers for familiarity and having to establish dividing lines for when the rules do apply and when they don't is elegant or simple.


This would be hilarious if it wasn't how 4e skills seem to work.
As it is, it is merely amusing.

Only the unnecessary ones.

Talya
2008-06-11, 07:03 PM
I think we define "story" very differently. I honestly can't imagine any story I could ever wish to tell that would require a character to have specific, game mechanically defined abilities.

I have a thread called "My favorite character" somewhere in this forum.

Ignoring that splatbooks have allowed her to be a lot more than she could otherwise, and that her two core classes don't even exist in 4e, how would you manage to make her background in 4th edition?

She needs to be primarily enchantment mind-control based, with plenty of fiery-blastiness and battlefield control spells to go with it. She needs performance skills as part of her combat repetoire. She also needs to be able to fill the roll of the traditional fantasy super-sorceress/enchantress, a mystical figure who most immediately fall in love with upon meeting her (similar to Galadriel), but can just as quickly turn you into a toad if you cross her.

She needs to be decent with a scimitar, arabic in flavor, with some minor healing capabilities as well.

Make it work.

Too much work I guess. Let's try something simpler.

Try to make the Superman story. Only don't give him superstrength, heatvision, flight, indestructability, or vulnerability to kryptonite.

SamTheCleric
2008-06-11, 07:06 PM
Fey Pact Warlock. Weapon Proficiency Scimitar.

Now go roleplay the rest.

Talya
2008-06-11, 07:07 PM
Fey Pact Warlock. Weapon Proficiency Scimitar.

Now go roleplay the rest.

Nice, so I won't find any abilities on my sorceress I can't mimic mechanically with fey pact warlock? How'd they balance that, I wonder... they've got the fiery blastiness, mind control, battlefield control, transmutations, and melee ability, all in one?

FoE
2008-06-11, 07:10 PM
She needs to be primarily enchantment mind-control based, with plenty of fiery-blastiness and battlefield control spells to go with it. She needs performance skills as part of her combat repetoire. She also needs to be able to fill the roll of the traditional fantasy super-sorceress/enchantress, a mystical figure who most immediately fall in love with upon meeting her (similar to Galadriel), but can just as quickly turn you into a toad if you cross her. She needs to be decent with a scimitar, arabic in flavor, with some minor healing capabilities as well.

Wait a minute: your favourite character is a goddamn Mary Sue! The only things that are missing is "last survivor of a forgotten tribe/civilization" and your eyes changing colour! Can she come back from the dead as well? Is her name something like Princess Raven Silverblade Picard? :smalltongue:

You're right, Talya, obviously 4E is not the system for you. But thanks for that laugh anyways. :smallbiggrin:

SamTheCleric
2008-06-11, 07:11 PM
Well, you have your "eldritch blast" for blastyness at all levels.

To pick a few Fey Pact powers out to fit your concept...

Mire in the Mind makes you and all your allies invisible to the target until the end of your next turn.

Curse of the Black Frost. If the target moves at all it takes damage. Sustained as a minor action to deal more cold damage.

Bewitching Whispers. Until the end of your next turn, the target treats EVERYONE as enemies for the purposes of opportunity attacks and must take them. They also get a bonus on the attack rolls if you're Fey pact.

I could go on...

THAC0
2008-06-11, 07:13 PM
Talya, the fact that you cannot replicate a twinked out 3e character in 4e does not mean that the system limits your storytelling ability and creativity. Twinkery and storytelling are two different things.

Talya
2008-06-11, 07:15 PM
Talya, the fact that you cannot replicate a twinked out 3e character in 4e does not mean that the system limits your storytelling ability and creativity. Twinkery and storytelling are two different things.


Every ability my character has was picked for the theme, not for optimization. She's not "Twinked." I was ridiculed for not having dispell magic as a known spell.

SmartAlec
2008-06-11, 07:15 PM
I have a thread called "My favorite character" somewhere in this forum.

Ignoring that splatbooks have allowed her to be a lot more than she could otherwise, and that her two core classes don't even exist in 4e, how would you manage to make her background in 4th edition?

She needs to be primarily enchantment mind-control based, with plenty of fiery-blastiness and battlefield control spells to go with it. She needs performance skills as part of her combat repetoire. She also needs to be able to fill the roll of the traditional fantasy super-sorceress/enchantress, a mystical figure who most immediately fall in love with upon meeting her (similar to Galadriel), but can just as quickly turn you into a toad if you cross her.

She needs to be decent with a scimitar, arabic in flavor, with some minor healing capabilities as well.

She can do all that? No wonder she's a favourite character.

No, I don't think you can pull off all that with just 4th Ed Core. And you know what else? I'm glad!

Is there no way to keep the essence of this character, the personality so to speak, without all these outward abilities?


Too much work I guess. Let's try something simpler.

Try to make the Superman story. Only don't give him superstrength, heatvision, flight, indestructability, or vulnerability to kryptonite.

Child who comes from a distant planet and is raised by farmers, but has no superpowers? This seems easy. What's the catch?

Talya
2008-06-11, 07:17 PM
Well, you have your "eldritch blast" for blastyness at all levels.

To pick a few Fey Pact powers out to fit your concept...

Mire in the Mind makes you and all your allies invisible to the target until the end of your next turn.

Curse of the Black Frost. If the target moves at all it takes damage. Sustained as a minor action to deal more cold damage.

Bewitching Whispers. Until the end of your next turn, the target treats EVERYONE as enemies for the purposes of opportunity attacks and must take them. They also get a bonus on the attack rolls if you're Fey pact.

I could go on...


Oh, don't get me wrong, she sounds the most fun to play of any 4e class, but it's not quite right. Where's my charm person, dominate person, suggestion, etc. spells?

(Bewitching Whispers is a particularly nice ability name, though. I need to name a spell that in 3.5...although I'd give it a different effect.)



Child who comes from a distant planet and is raised by farmers, but has no superpowers? This seems easy. What's the catch?

Not much of a superman story. More "Roswell." Only with still less powers.

As for "being glad," well, see, that's the problem. Some of you actually feel balance matters. Balance is good for a strategy game, but it actually hurts a story. Life ain't balanced. There's no "balance" in a movie or book. Despite this, i don't overshadow my party members in anyway. The dwarf paladin and human ranger/fighter are just as strong.

I don't play D&D to "win." This isn't a game of tactics. I cast more spells out of combat than I cast in combat. (Yes, with rolls and resistances/saves factored in and the like). We don't spend more than 10-20% of our gaming time actually in combat. Some people consider time in towns and such to be "downtime" that the DM just narrates through. For me that is when the game actually starts getting interesting.

Talya
2008-06-11, 07:19 PM
doublepost.

SamTheCleric
2008-06-11, 07:20 PM
Oh, don't get me wrong, she sounds the most fun to play of any 4e class, but it's not quite right. Where's my charm person, dominate person, suggestion, etc. spells?

(Bewitching Whispers is a particularly nice ability name, though. I need to name a spell that in 3.5...although I'd give it a different effect.)

I know its not exactly what you want... but that doesnt mean your concept wont work in 4e... its just scaled back from what you are used to.

THAC0
2008-06-11, 07:22 PM
Every ability my character has was picked for the theme, not for optimization. She's not "Twinked." I was ridiculed for not having dispell magic as a known spell.

I shouldn't have used the word twinkery, it distracted from my point.

The point is that the fact that you cannot import characters from one system to another does not inherently make that system "limiting your storytelling." I can't import my 1e rogue to 3.5 accurately. You're not intended to! These are Different Editions. Not clones. If you want to keep playing that character, keep playing 3.5, but don't accuse 4e of limiting your creativity.

Talya
2008-06-11, 07:38 PM
I shouldn't have used the word twinkery, it distracted from my point.

The point is that the fact that you cannot import characters from one system to another does not inherently make that system "limiting your storytelling." I can't import my 1e rogue to 3.5 accurately. You're not intended to! These are Different Editions. Not clones. If you want to keep playing that character, keep playing 3.5, but don't accuse 4e of limiting your creativity.

Well, let's put it another way.

There are a few concepts that are hard (or even impossible) to build effectively in 3.5, I agree. I've complained about some of them. But they're pretty rare.

With splatbooks available, there is nothing that you can do in 4e that you can't already do with more options available to you in 3.5e. There are thousands of concepts you can make in 3.5 that are utterly impossible in 4e. Part of that is not fair because 4e is core only and has no splatbooks. Of course, I wouldn't ever consider playing 3.5 core-only, so my lack of eagerness to play 4e might be rectified when they have the approximately 120 splatbooks available I can use for 3.5. However, given the nature of the 4e design being intentionally more limiting for the purpose of "balance," (which isn't something I value at all), I don't see 4e splatbooks as likely to be effective in broadening my options. We'll see.

SmartAlec
2008-06-11, 07:42 PM
As for "being glad," well, see, that's the problem. Some of you actually feel balance matters. Balance is good for a strategy game, but it actually hurts a story. Life ain't balanced. There's no "balance" in a movie or book. Despite this, i don't overshadow my party members in anyway. The dwarf paladin and human ranger/fighter are just as strong.

I don't play D&D to "win." This isn't a game of tactics. I cast more spells out of combat than I cast in combat. (Yes, with rolls and resistances/saves factored in and the like). We don't spend more than 10-20% of our gaming time actually in combat. Some people consider time in towns and such to be "downtime" that the DM just narrates through. For me that is when the game actually starts getting interesting.

I don't like this hint that I am an inferior storyteller, or that I am in some way disrespecting stories. Would it be impossible to consider that I have just as much respect as you for such things, but tend towards a more grounded approach, and feel that imbalance - and characters such as yours - are just as capable of hurting a story?

Talya
2008-06-11, 07:45 PM
I don't like this hint that I am an inferior storyteller, or that I am in some way disrespecting stories. Would it be impossible to consider that I have just as much respect as you for such things, but tend towards a more grounded approach, and feel that imbalance - and characters such as yours - are just as capable of hurting a story?


In many cases, imbalance certainly can hurt a story, I agree. Of course, imbalance is easily dealt with by a DM. I don't need the rules to limit what I can do (which is much harder to fix) just to do the job the DM should already be doing.

SmartAlec
2008-06-11, 07:58 PM
In many cases, imbalance certainly can hurt a story, I agree. Of course, imbalance is easily dealt with by a DM. I don't need the rules to limit what I can do (which is much harder to fix) just to do the job the DM should already be doing.

Well, quite; but some do. And pushing the envelope every way you can as a player and excusing it by saying that the DM will correct you if you cross a line - the logical extent of your thinking - is a more... adversarial approach, and not one I like the sound of, especially as a DM. I like that 4th Ed errs on the side of caution. It may sound like a paradox, but I simutaneously like that 4th Ed gives players an awful lot of freedom with their backgrounds, because there are no mechanics that govern them - but that because there are no mechanics to back it up, things are on the side of the DM having veto over anything too extravagant.

Talya
2008-06-11, 08:01 PM
Well, quite; but some do. And pushing the envelope every way you can as a player and excusing it by saying that the DM will correct you if you cross a line - the logical extent of your thinking - is a more... adversarial approach, and not one I like the sound of, especially as a DM. I like that 4th Ed errs on the side of caution. It may sound like a paradox, but I simutaneously like that 4th Ed gives players an awful lot of freedom with their backgrounds, because there are no mechanics that govern them - but that because there are no mechanics to back it up, things are on the side of the DM having veto over anything too extravagant.

The DM has veto over anything in any game. If the DM decides there will be no wizards in the game, there will be no wizards. If he tells you he's removing a spell, he's removing it, etc. Houserules? that's his call. The DM's word is absolute and final. You can persuade, whine, kick, scream, argue. You might even convince him. But that's up to him. As a player, I won't have it any other way.

(And note that a DM doesn't even need houserules to keep 3.5 spellcasters in check.)

As for pushing the envelope, I have an example. It's certainly not overpowering, but I've been trying to get more divine spells and divine magic for my sorcerer mentioned above any way that I can. She's already got a divine prestige class (that's advancing arcane casting), but I've been trying to get more healing spells and such, to further her appearance as High Priestess of Sune (despite being a sorcerer.) I'm not doing this for power purposes (healing isn't all that great in combat.) I'm doing it for flavor.

My DM has decided that i've got enough divine flavor and has limited most ways i've tried to get more healing magic. I'm okay with that, it's his call. i don't always agree in every instance (and in fact have had some very heated disagreements with him), but the fact that he has that level of control makes the game as a whole more enjoyable for me. And in turn, he likes my character concept and provides ample opportunities for me to take her in the direction I want her to go.

SmartAlec
2008-06-11, 08:09 PM
The DM has veto over anything in any game. If the DM decides there will be no wizards in the game, there will be no wizards. If he tells you he's removing a spell, he's removing it, etc. Houserules? that's his call. The DM's word is absolute and final. You can persuade, whine, kick, scream, argue. You might even convince him. But that's up to him. As a player, I won't have it any other way.

(And note that a DM doesn't even need houserules to keep 3.5 spellcasters in check.)

Oh, indeed, but that was the part of the 'job' of DMing I disliked the most; having to remove something that was there, in the book, because I knew in my heart it was wrong for the game (for the story, if you will) but having to construct a watertight case for its' removal so as to keep everything friendly - because it was in the books and in some way central to someone's character. I don't like feeling like the enemy - indeed, as the DM, it's easy to think of me as the enemy, but as far as I'm concerned I'm just a different kind of player. I also don't like kicking over dolls' houses.

Both as a DM and as a player, I could live without that particular scenario. If you've never come across it, then that's awesome, but the pressure for the DM to be Solomon in his or her adjudications or be called a meanie is there.

Talya
2008-06-11, 08:16 PM
the pressure for the DM to be Solomon in his or her adjudications or be called a meanie is there.

Ha! My DM is a meanie! He's also awesome.

SmartAlec
2008-06-11, 08:30 PM
Ha! My DM is a meanie! He's also awesome.

Well, good on him. :smallcool:

Crazy_Uncle_Doug
2008-06-11, 09:03 PM
3.5 to 4e is just as much of a change as from AD&D to 3e, IMO.
Well, thanks. It's about time someone said it.

People griped and moaned then too, and there are still hordes of AD&D players. Similarly, people are going to gripe and moan now, and there will still be hordes of 3.5e players.

I find it interesting that this discussion exists about what's "wrong" with 4e. There's nothing wrong. It's a different take on the same basic idea, just as 3e was a different take on the same idea of AD&D.

I did not state, "4e has changed way too much from 3.5e and that makes it bad." 3e did change quite a bit from 2e, as I recall, and I embraced most of those changes and eagerly played 3e. The degree of change is a matter of perception, too, I'll admit. 2e -> 3e did not seem as much of a change as 3.5e -> 4e seems to be. But then that was eight years ago and nothing looks too bad eight years ago. I merely say that it has changed quite a bit, and for some, it's more than they care to see.

Secondly, yes, there were complaints before. This really doesn't automatically make all complaints this time to be null and void. I complain every time I stub my toe. It doesn't mean my stubbed toe doesn't hurt.

Helgraf
2008-06-11, 09:14 PM
I think that's a good houserule, but it's not actually part of the skill challenge rules. That means we're back to Oberoni again.


Actually, several skill challenges have a skill which can only grant 1 success toward the total or which grants no direct success but a +2 bonus (or -2 penalty if you failed) to the use of a different skill in the skill challenge.

And at least one KotS skill challenge had you use Heal but it could only contribute a maximum of 2 of the neccesary 6 successes needed to complete the challenge. Not a houserule at all.



Note that it's very silly to claim that cooking involves dexterity, carpentry involves athletics or dungeoneering, siege planning is based solely on history and perception, or that performance even remotely resembles diplomacy. Effectively, you're admitting that the 4E skill list is too short, and picking the first thing that comes to mind on a very tenuous excuse.

This kind of fallacy is common on the board these days: "being able to make up a convoluted and highly unlikely hand-waved excuse for some rule in some situation" does not equate to "it is a good rule for that situation". It only means that "good DMs know when to ignore the rules". Like I said, Oberoni.

So the system fails because it requires a good DM to make it work?

Ned the undead
2008-06-11, 09:19 PM
I haven't played yet, but this whole 1 hit minion thing bothers me too. A mage with a dagger shouldn't be able to drop anything in one hit. A Fighter with a Greataxe should be cleaving through them like butter, and an archer doing standard damage (not skirmish or insane composite damage) should be able to one shot *most* of them, but occasionally require a second shot.

Everything about 4e feels like it was designed to be run by a computer. I have yet to play, but it just feels like an entirely different game from what I've read.

Who says the Wizard could even hit them with the dagger?
And what wizard is going to use a dagger when he has at-will powers?

Talya
2008-06-11, 09:26 PM
So the system fails because it requires a good DM to make it work?


Oh, the irony...

marjan
2008-06-11, 09:32 PM
So the system fails because it requires a good DM to make it work?

My opinion on this subject: The system doesn't fail because it requires good DM to work, but because it doesn't allow average DM to use it.

This is especially true for 4e since it is supposed to be "D&D for dummies".

Note: I don't think 4e system fails, just small parts of it.

Talya
2008-06-11, 09:45 PM
My opinion on this subject: The system doesn't fail because it requires good DM to work, but because it doesn't allow average DM to use it.

This is especially true for 4e since it is supposed to be "D&D for dummies".

Note: I don't think 4e system fails, just small parts of it.

I don't really agree with this.

My main issue with the skill system and the like (which I haven't complained about) is I want everything possible about my character to be represented mechanically on the character sheet.

I do like SW Saga's skill system better than 3.5's though...

Helgraf
2008-06-11, 09:47 PM
Just to throw my own opinion in here, the only system - the only system - I've ever seen that manages to do this profession nonsense in a satisfactory way is Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, where the classes are professions (and there are 62 of them!), and they represented what a character was before he got into adventuring. Want to be good with boats? You'd better be playing as an adventurer with the Boatman class, then. Want to have a character who knows a lot? Student's for you. Want to be a gambling master? Without the Gambler class, you're up a creek.

Actually, as of 2nd edition, including all suppliments (except Terror in Talebheim and Karak Azgal, the two I never got), there's 113 Basic Careers, and 117 Advanced Careers.

EvilElitest
2008-06-11, 10:18 PM
Again, this is awfully one sided. Both sides are the antagonizers here and simply calling one out is unfair. Anyone who likes 4e and expresses their opinion is labeled a "fanboi" and anyone who dislikes 4e and expresses their opinion is labeled a "hater". No one is blameless on either side in the constant flamewar thats been going on for 2 weeks now.

I agree, through bias i might be it seems like more pro 4E are starting flame wars, but taht might be because they are more of them
from
EE

EvilElitest
2008-06-11, 10:27 PM
Quite simple. They represent an arbitrary modifier and target number so that things still feel 'challenging' at higher levels. This is because 4E places the priority on how well the rules function within themselves, rather than how they interact with the game world. Immersion takes a backseat here.

actually immersion has been quailty shanked and replaced by a body double more loyal to the party. his two friends, consistency and vermilsatude have been sent to the gulag. I mean, ministry of harmony

from
EE

Jerthanis
2008-06-12, 03:44 AM
My main issue with the skill system and the like (which I haven't complained about) is I want everything possible about my character to be represented mechanically on the character sheet.

You see... I don't like to have every niggling detail of my character's life and experiences listed on two sides of a sheet of paper. When I make a character, I make his or her personality, and choose from the available options in the way that makes the most sense for his or her choices in life. Since we're using examples of our personal characters here, I'll try to explain myself in terms of my first 4th edition character: Gregorio, the Tiefling Fighter, who I cooked up for the Keep on the Shadowfell module.

Mechanically, he's a Fighter with Athletics, Endurance, and Streetwise trained, and with the powers Brute Strike, Cleave, Tide of Iron, and Passing Attack.

He also hates undead with greater fervor than the party's Paladin, and worships the Raven Queen... does this mean he's got divine spellcasting? Or a bonus to damage rolls against undead? Nope!

His mother was an Eladrin, and his father a Tiefling (the infernal taint passes on without dilution), yet he has nothing mechanical about him to reflect this... it's just the case that he happens to be half-eladrin.

He spent a good deal of time with a Circus in his youth, but he didn't learn acrobatics, juggling, any particular musical talent... he just knows a thing or two about carnival games and which end of a lion has claws (answer: all of them).

Meanwhile... his 1st level feat was Improved Initiative. Did anything happen in his life to make him more alert to danger, and quicker to act? No. Did he undergo specific training to learn how to react faster? Maybe, it doesn't really matter. He really has Improved Initiative because it seems incredibly helpful for me to do my job as a Fighter, to be able to run out in front and make it harder for as many monsters to get past me as possible.

I'd describe more, but some of it actually does have mechanical connections to how he works, and which powers and feats he chose. My point is that while your character's mechanics are a result of the big picture of his or her backstory, not everything about your life will have mechanical representation on a character sheet. The DM doesn't have to check my character sheet to make sure I have Knowledge: Nature to say that I smell something that I remember from my time in the circus... Lion dung.

Because if you can represent a person's entire life down to the experience of every moment mechanically on a double sided character sheet... I'd ask, "Is that all?"

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-12, 04:37 AM
I have a thread called "My favorite character" somewhere in this forum.

Ignoring that splatbooks have allowed her to be a lot more than she could otherwise, and that her two core classes don't even exist in 4e, how would you manage to make her background in 4th edition?

Link?


She needs to be primarily enchantment mind-control based, with plenty of fiery-blastiness and battlefield control spells to go with it. She needs performance skills as part of her combat repetoire. She also needs to be able to fill the roll of the traditional fantasy super-sorceress/enchantress, a mystical figure who most immediately fall in love with upon meeting her (similar to Galadriel), but can just as quickly turn you into a toad if you cross her.

She needs to be decent with a scimitar, arabic in flavor, with some minor healing capabilities as well.

Make it work.

At the risk of sounding smug, I'd rather hoped you'd post an answer like that, because it confirms my initial assessment: we're using two definitions of "story". What you have presented above isn't a story, it's a build. No *story* requires you to be "primarily mind control based".

Or to put it another way, what you've given me here is her character bio, but what's her actual *story*.


Too much work I guess. Let's try something simpler.

Try to make the Superman story. Only don't give him superstrength, heatvision, flight, indestructability, or vulnerability to kryptonite.

Easy.

[CHARACTER X] was found by two kindly farmers as an infant, and raised as their son. At a young age he showed signs of [UNUSUAL ABILITY Y]. Persuaded to keep his abilities secret, for fear that people might not understand, he adopts a secret identity and fights for truth, justice and the [NATION IN WHICH HE LIVES] way.

*That* is the Superman story. Hell, you could even drop the Secret Identity bit, it isn't important. "Superman" at his *core* is an incorruptible champion of justice, fighting to protect a society which is not his own.

Original Superman couldn't fly, I'm pretty sure he didn't have heat vision either, and Kryptonite didn't show up for *years*. The "Superman Story" is the story of an utterly Good man fighting to protect the weak even though he gains nothing by it.

To put it another way: a first level D&D Paladin is closer to "superman" and "the Superman story" than a flying, indestructible alien who *doesn't* fight for truth and justice.

nagora
2008-06-12, 05:10 AM
To put it another way: a first level D&D Paladin is closer to "superman" and "the Superman story" than a flying, indestructible alien who *doesn't* fight for truth and justice.
*Round of applause*

Talya's initial "too much work" build was incoherent powergaming devoid of any story at all. It was just a shopping list of abilities.

"She needs to be decent with a scimitar" was a particularly funny line. This is a use of the word "needs" that I was previously unaware of.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-12, 05:13 AM
Starting from scratch is not replacing the wheels. Starting from scratch is rebuilding the car. Replacing the wheels is changing a rule. Gluing new wheels on is adding a new set of rules to govern something while leaving the old rules in place (making them contradictory or else constantly stepping around each other to avoid being contradictory).

No, rebuilding the car is using a homew system. Which I frequently do. As I say, I've been working with "cars" most of my life, they don't cause me trouble.


If you have no rules for tradeskills, how will you determine the difficulty to the blacksmith of making the doomsday sword from the plans the fighter found in the ruins?

How do you do that using the 3.X tradeskill rules? Seriously.

The 3.X rules only tell you how much *money* he can get for this hypothetical doomsday sword.


Yes, you can just say "He's a master blacksmith, of course he can make it." Or "He's only been a blacksmith for a week. Of course he can't make it." You can do that even if you have a tradeskill system.
But I don't want to break versimilitude to myself, even if my players will never know I did. I don't want to pick an arbitrary option unless it's absolutely necessary to the plot.

But with the 3.X rules you *do* have to pick an arbitrary option.

There seems to be a fundamental fallacy at play here: people are making the assumption that because there are "rules" for something, then anything you might want to do with that thing is supported and facilitated by those rules by definition.

The D20 Profession rules do *not* tell you the DC for any specific use of a professional skill, they are in that sense no more helpful than having no rules at all. Except that actually they wind up being *less* useful because they're so fundamentally nonsensical.

All that the current profession rules do is make sure that the only way to reach the top of your chosen trade is to be an adventurer, and that's seven kinds of stupid.

nagora
2008-06-12, 05:22 AM
There seems to be a fundamental fallacy at play here: people are making the assumption that because there are "rules" for something, then anything you might want to do with that thing is supported and facilitated by those rules by definition.

The other side of this coin is that people are assuming that if what they want to do is not supported by those rules then they can't do it; hence we get people seriously trying to say that if there's no rules for tying knots then they, as DM, have no way of saying whether a kobold has successfully been bound by a PC.

It's a classic "learnt helplessness" situation where the rules are so extensive that when they do not cover a situation players are unable to think for themselves because they're so used to everything being mechanically defined, no matter how badly. And this is supposed to be a game all about imagination!

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-12, 05:27 AM
I don't really agree with this.

My main issue with the skill system and the like (which I haven't complained about) is I want everything possible about my character to be represented mechanically on the character sheet.

I do like SW Saga's skill system better than 3.5's though...

If you want everything possible about your character to be represented on your character sheet, play a trait-based game (for example, my current project on www.nre.wikidot.com, or good old Over the Edge).

Otherwise all you're doing is restricting your character's options *to* things which are represented mechanically on the character sheet. You're effectively limiting a character's personal history based on their Class and Int score.

A first level fighter should not have to sink one third of his starting skill points into Knowledge (Local) just to justify knowing about the town he was born in.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-12, 05:34 AM
He spent a good deal of time with a Circus in his youth, but he didn't learn acrobatics, juggling, any particular musical talent... he just knows a thing or two about carnival games and which end of a lion has claws (answer: all of them).


<strawman>But you didn't pay points for any of those things! What's stopping you from saying that your character can sing well enough to charm the Gods themselves, and that he knows so much about lions that he has trained an invincible lion army to fight on his behalf!</strawman>

Talya
2008-06-12, 07:25 AM
Link?



At the risk of sounding smug, I'd rather hoped you'd post an answer like that, because it confirms my initial assessment: we're using two definitions of "story". What you have presented above isn't a story, it's a build. No *story* requires you to be "primarily mind control based".

Or to put it another way, what you've given me here is her character bio, but what's her actual *story*.


The details of the character form her story. Every little element is an essential building block. You cannot separate them and have it remain the same. Her abilities are part of who she is.



Easy.

[CHARACTER X] was found by two kindly farmers as an infant, and raised as their son. At a young age he showed signs of [UNUSUAL ABILITY Y]. Persuaded to keep his abilities secret, for fear that people might not understand, he adopts a secret identity and fights for truth, justice and the [NATION IN WHICH HE LIVES] way.

*That* is the Superman story. Hell, you could even drop the Secret Identity bit, it isn't important. "Superman" at his *core* is an incorruptible champion of justice, fighting to protect a society which is not his own.

Original Superman couldn't fly, I'm pretty sure he didn't have heat vision either, and Kryptonite didn't show up for *years*. The "Superman Story" is the story of an utterly Good man fighting to protect the weak even though he gains nothing by it.

To put it another way: a first level D&D Paladin is closer to "superman" and "the Superman story" than a flying, indestructible alien who *doesn't* fight for truth and justice.

Only that's no longer superman. Superman is about the kryptonian and all his amazing abilities more than just being a boyscout. There's a billion such boyscouts/girlscouts among humankind. All that makes superman unique among them is he's a kryptonian with all these amazing powers. This is a superhero story, not a moral lesson. He must be super. Try to write "The Incredibles" or "X-Men" without superpowers. It ceases to be a story about superpowers if it doesn't have superpowers. I might not want to go watch human interest movies. The Incredibles without their Fantastic-Four copycat powers becomes Atlas Shrugged. I don't want to go watch Ayn Rand. The abilities and superpowers are an essential part of the story being told.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-12, 07:41 AM
The details of the character form her story. Every little element is an essential building block. You cannot separate them and have it remain the same. Her abilities are part of who she is.

So by the same logic, presumably, I can't tell the story of my 4E Halfling Rogue in 3.X, because he won't have the ability to move two spaces before making an attack. Which is an essential part of who he is.

Of *course* you can't tell the same stories in 4E that you can in 3.X if you define "story" as "literally everything that happens, down to the individual dice rolls".

(Edited to add)

It's not the *details* of the character that form her story, it's her choices and decisions. "She fights with a scimitar" is not part of her story "she kills her sister out of jealousy" is.

(End edit)


Only that's no longer superman.

Quite right, it's not superman, it's the story of superman. Which is what you asked for.

Also: most of the powers you listed were powers which superman did not, originally, possess. Does that mean that original superman is not superman?


Superman is about the kryptonian and all his amazing abilities more than just being a boyscout.

Or, conversely, it's about being a boyscout more than just having amazing abilities.

A level 1 Paladin is far, far closer to Superman than Dr Manhattan is.


There's a billion such boyscouts/girlscouts among humankind. All that makes superman unique among them is he's a kryptonian with all these amazing powers.

There's a billion people with amazing powers extant in fiction, what makes Superman unique among them is the fact that he's essentially a boyscout.


This is a superhero story, not a moral lesson. He must be super. Try to write "The Incredibles" or "X-Men" without superpowers. It ceases to be a story about superpowers if it doesn't have superpowers. I might not want to go watch human interest movies. The Incredibles without their Fantastic-Four copycat powers becomes Atlas Shrugged. I don't want to go watch Ayn Rand. The abilities and superpowers are an essential part of the story being told.

I can't say I've read much Ayn Rand, so I can't comment on The Incredibles but you absolutely can do X-Men without superpowers, you get ... well any story about prejudice ever written.

Is it still the X-Men? Of course it isn't. But now you're making a different claim. Your original claim was that you couldn't tell the same *stories* in 4E you can in 3.X, now you're saying you can't recreate the same builds. The fact that you don't make the distinction is no concern of mine.

Talya
2008-06-12, 08:04 AM
I can't say I've read much Ayn Rand, so I can't comment on The Incredibles but you absolutely can do X-Men without superpowers, you get ... well any story about prejudice ever written.

Is it still the X-Men? Of course it isn't. But now you're making a different claim. Your original claim was that you couldn't tell the same *stories* in 4E you can in 3.X, now you're saying you can't recreate the same builds. The fact that you don't make the distinction is no concern of mine.

This is contradictory. It's not the X-Men, but it's the same story? The X-Men are the story. The setting is the most essential part of the story. You can write a hundred individual plots into any setting (hey, look at the comic book industry), but all that makes them unique from the same hundred or so plots humankind has been recycling since we first learned to draw pictures on cave walls is the setting that they are put in. The setting details + the character personalities + the plot = the story. Change one of those, you've completely changed the story.

SamTheCleric
2008-06-12, 08:08 AM
This is contradictory. It's not the X-Men, but it's the same story? The X-Men are the story. The setting is the most essential part of the story. You can write a hundred individual plots into any setting (hey, look at the comic book industry), but all that makes them unique from the same hundred or so plots humankind has been recycling since we first learned to draw pictures on cave walls is the setting that they are put in. The setting details + the character personalities + the plot = the story. Change one of those, you've completely changed the story.

But you don't lose the character personalities by taking the superpowers out of it.

In fact, in the case of xmen, there have been quite a few stories that don't have superpowers come into play.

The superpowers don't make the character. They enhance it.

nagora
2008-06-12, 08:10 AM
The details of the character form her story. Every little element is an essential building block. You cannot separate them and have it remain the same. Her abilities are part of who she is.

Exactly, they are part of who she is. Her story is how she got to be the way she is. For example, you blandly stated that she "needs" to be able to use a scimitar. That's not a story that's just a feature request. "She worships the crescent moon and weilds a scimitar in its honour" is a story that explains the feature and the story isn't tied to the rules system, it's tied to the character and the rules translate that into a mechanical representation of the character's features. The fact that a system does not have a rule that links moon-worship with scimitar use is irrelevant to the story and to the character.

Stickforged
2008-06-12, 08:11 AM
So by the same logic, presumably, I can't tell the story of my 4E Halfling Rogue in 3.X, because he won't have the ability to move two spaces before making an attack. Which is an essential part of who he is.

Obviously you can tell his story in any game system... Basic D100, Rolemaster, Gurps, Talsorian's D10, etc etc...

It's all about preferences, really. So it is absolutely futile to argue, as is obvious that all of you have different preferences in game systems and "de gustibus non est disputandum"...

However, this is the "What's Wrong With 4e?" thread, not the inverse... to stay in topic anyone has the right to say what he perceives as wrong in his point of view, without endless harassment.

Open a new thread "Arguing on 4th edition vs 3.5 edition" and continue there, please, or we will go completely astray.

nagora
2008-06-12, 08:14 AM
Open a new thread "Arguing on 4th edition vs 3.5 edition" and continue there, please, or we will go completely astray.
Actually I think the thread title would have to be "Arguing RPGs Vs MS Excel".

Swordguy
2008-06-12, 08:21 AM
{Scrubbed}

Stickforged
2008-06-12, 08:29 AM
Actually I think the thread title would have to be "Arguing RPGs Vs MS Excel".


Or...maybe...just maybe...it's the customers who insist that everything be done exactly the way THEY want it to be, disregarding and denigrating any other gamers who might want something diametrically opposed to their personal pet peeves with the system, that're the real problem.

Sigh... :smallsigh:

This is not debate, is polemics guys... Just beware of becoming trolls...

Swordguy
2008-06-12, 08:33 AM
No system is perfect. Arguing over specific preferences and insisting that YOUR preference (regardless of what that preference may be - and you'll note I'm being very careful to avoid names here) is the only correct one is the very essence of trolling.

As such, this thread should be locked. Won't change anything though. People just can't understand that other people can play differently than them...and it's OK.

Talya
2008-06-12, 09:00 AM
Exactly, they are part of who she is. Her story is how she got to be the way she is. For example, you blandly stated that she "needs" to be able to use a scimitar. That's not a story that's just a feature request. "She worships the crescent moon and weilds a scimitar in its honour" is a story that explains the feature and the story isn't tied to the rules system, it's tied to the character and the rules translate that into a mechanical representation of the character's features. The fact that a system does not have a rule that links moon-worship with scimitar use is irrelevant to the story and to the character.

You're talking fluff.

Some features of the character need mechanical mechanical support. For instance, if it was impossible for her to weild a scimitar in this game (it isn't, but there are other essential elements of the character that it does not support), then the mechanics wouldn't support that story feature at all. It's not just a matter of them being not covered, it's about them being disallowed.

tumble check
2008-06-12, 09:05 AM
Fey Pact Warlock. Weapon Proficiency Scimitar.

Now go roleplay the rest.



Roleplaying is not the answer to everything, especially 4e's shortcomings.

Indon
2008-06-12, 09:05 AM
But the idea that any given "action" has an absolute "difficulty" is completely ludicrous. Things actually do get easier with practice and that isn't the same as your skill modifier increasing.

Let's apply this statement.

Say I run for a mile every day. Eventually, running a mile becomes easy. But apparently, I haven't gotten any better at running.


Perhaps the best way to illustrate this difference is with Knowledge checks.

Suppose the DM rules that knowing the name of the Crown Prince requires a DC20 knowledge check. If you take the stance that the Difficulty of a task is always its difficulty, regardless of how much experience or practice you have, then you should *always* have to make a DC20 Knowledge check to know the name of the Crown Prince even if you have explicitly been told it in character. In fact, by the strictest application of this principle, the Crown Prince should need to make a DC20 Knowledge check to remember his own name.
-You don't make knowledge checks for things you've been told at some point. If you make a lore check on a monster, and tell the rest of the party, they don't need to make lore checks just to remember what you've said.

So your example doesn't involve a skill check, and as such isn't actually applicable to a discussion of skill checks. I like mine better, partly because I made it, and partly because it might actually involve making a skill check.

Meanwhile, with actual skill rolls, when 4'th edition wishes to illustrate that someone is better at a certain task (perhaps racially), it does so with a bonus to your skill check, not by reducing task difficulty. And if I'm not mistaken, when circumstances give you an advantage at a certain task - perhaps when you've done it a bunch of times - the system gives you a bonus - a circumstance bonus, you could say, to your skill check.

So not only is your example bad, but the system itself does not do it that way.


Quite simple. They represent an arbitrary modifier and target number so that things still feel 'challenging' at higher levels. This is because 4E places the priority on how well the rules function within themselves, rather than how they interact with the game world. Immersion takes a backseat here.

Yeah, this is my thought too. As such, I figured, why not take the lack of relation between skills and difficulty and run with it?

New Skill System:
Step 1:Whenever your character needs to do something out of combat, your DM will assign a number to the task.
Easy: 9
Moderate: 14
Hard: 19

Step 2:If the task is something your class would be expected to do, subtract 5 from the number.
Step 3:If the task is something your character would be expected to be good at, subtract 3 from the number.
Step 4:Roll a D20 and add half the ability modifier for the ability most applicable to the task. If this number is higher than the number you got in step 3, you accomplish the task.

There's a skill system. It has the versimilitude of 4'th edition D&D's skill system, is more dynamic (because there are less rules confining your character!), it takes up less space on your character sheet (unless you might like to write in the entire skill system in note form where the skills would be listed), and because it's so fast and easy, you can spend more time roleplaying if you use it.



Actually I think the thread title would have to be "Arguing RPGs Vs MS Excel".

You could code an awesome RPG with MS Excel - and the lack of preestablished RPG rules just gives you all the more freedom to do what you want with it!

Talya
2008-06-12, 09:17 AM
You could code an awesome RPG with MS Excel - and the lack of preestablished RPG rules just gives you all the more freedom to do what you want with it!

I'd be amazed. Most impressive spreadsheet I've ever seen was a Star Wars Saga character builder.

thevorpalbunny
2008-06-12, 09:18 AM
No, rebuilding the car is using a homew system. Which I frequently do. As I say, I've been working with "cars" most of my life, they don't cause me trouble.
A homebrew system is rebuilding the entire road network.



How do you do that using the 3.X tradeskill rules? Seriously.

The 3.X rules only tell you how much *money* he can get for this hypothetical doomsday sword.

But with the 3.X rules you *do* have to pick an arbitrary option.

There seems to be a fundamental fallacy at play here: people are making the assumption that because there are "rules" for something, then anything you might want to do with that thing is supported and facilitated by those rules by definition.

It's easy to determine. The weapon is an exotic weapon, so the DC to Craft it is 18. However, it's ancient and completely alien to the things the blacksmith has made before, so I'll make it super-exotic and add a +6 to the DC (twice the difference between martial and exotic). Since he has detailed sketches of the weapon he probably gets a +2 insight bonus to the check. This gives a DC of 22. This means that a first-level village blacksmith (with 4 ranks, +1 from Int, and masterwork tools, for +9) would succeed on the check 40% of the time. It would take him at least several tries to create it. A 5th-level master blacksmith (who is a better blacksmith than any man who ever lived in our real world), however (+8 ranks, +2 Int, Skill Focus, two aid another checks from assistants, and masterwork tools, for +21) would succeed almost all of the time (95%). It might take him a couple tries, but he could create the weapon.

I don't have to do the calculations, of course. I can just say to myself "This is too important to the plot, I don't want him to make it." or "What the heck, I'll just go with the flow. He makes the cool weapon." But if I don't want to, I have another option. In 4e, I don't have that mechanical option.


The D20 Profession rules do *not* tell you the DC for any specific use of a professional skill, they are in that sense no more helpful than having no rules at all. Except that actually they wind up being *less* useful because they're so fundamentally nonsensical.

The Profession rules could be better, but the Craft rules are sufficient to cover anything I can think of. As far as specific tasks, they're too varied to expect a game designer to spell out (even in an extremely realistic skill system like 3.5). However, the DCs for Perform provide benchmarks for about where to set DCs. If it were up to me, I would have put those tables in Profession, but I didn't write the book.
Also, I don't think I've mentioned the most important part. Non-adventuring skills fulfill the important role of adding depth to your character. My wizard is not just a wizard, he is a wizard who spent some time fishing between his studying sessions and knows how to bait a hook and cast a line. If I want to show that he spent a little time, I'll give him one or two ranks in Profession(fisherman). If I want him to have spent so much time that it distracted from his studies, I can give him full (cross-class) ranks.

Or not. I can just say "My wizard likes to fish, and he annoyed his tutors by sneaking away to fish while he should have been studying," but 3.5e gives me the option of backing that statement up with mechanics if I want to.


All that the current profession rules do is make sure that the only way to reach the top of your chosen trade is to be an adventurer, and that's seven kinds of stupid.
Yes, the NPC XP rules are broken because the 3.5e designers didn't care much about them. Guess what?
In 4e it doesn't matter: NPCs can't even get XP because they don't have classes! You can't, for example, run an encounter against evil twins of the party because NPCs don't have classes.

SamTheCleric
2008-06-12, 09:29 AM
Roleplaying is not the answer to everything, especially 4e's shortcomings.

If you would've actually read what I posted, including the power suggestions, you would see that roleplaying was the answer to Talya's request for her character.

She wants to be a magnificient enchantress in which men see her and become smitten. Ok. That's roleplaying and a high charisma.

Talya
2008-06-12, 09:32 AM
If you would've actually read what I posted, including the power suggestions, you would see that roleplaying was the answer to Talya's request for her character.

She wants to be a magnificient enchantress in which men see her and become smitten. Ok. That's roleplaying and a high charisma.

But it doesn't do the job. The mechanics need to support what they support now, or it utterly fails.

"Just pretend" is not the answer. Fluff and mechanics should not be divorced. One of the beautiful things about 3.5 (especially FR) is how almost all the fluff is represented in mechanical terms. They make an actual difference to the gameplay, apart from merely "pretending" through roleplay (which is incredibly hollow when you do it. Very Don Qixote...there's nothing to back up what you're pretending other than your own words.)

SamTheCleric
2008-06-12, 09:34 AM
But it doesn't do the job. The mechanics need to support what they support now, or it utterly fails.

"Just pretend" is not the answer.

To be fair, your character is probably pretty high level. All of the things you've requested are within the realm of 4e, just not in the same scope that you have them for 3e.

Having men become smitten is a hefty charisma with a liberal dose of diplomacy... its not an always on power (is that even a power in 3rd? how do you represent that?)


"Just pretend" is not the answer. Fluff and mechanics should not be divorced.

Which is why I gave you examples of enchantment powers, said you need high charisma and to be trained in diplomacy. I wasn't divorcing them... I was saying that the USE of the mechanics needs to be roleplayed to fit your story. I could have the same mechanics and just be a smooth talker that gets along with everyone, less about his presence and more about his dialogue.

Indon
2008-06-12, 09:51 AM
In 4e it doesn't matter: NPCs can't even get XP because they don't have classes! You can't, for example, run an encounter against evil twins of the party because NPCs don't have classes.

While NPC's certainly don't get XP, they all do have classes; Lurker, Brute, Soldier, Controller.

It's just that class doesn't actually mean very much. If you'll note, almost all of the features of a PC class are powers. Since NPC's don't get many powers, their class justifyably seems insignificant, but that's really because of power count.

If a PC only got 1-3 powers, PC classes would seem pretty worthless, too.

tumble check
2008-06-12, 09:53 AM
No, Sam, enchantment is almost entirely withdrawn from 4e.

I understand why they did it, but that doesn't make the loss any less heavy.

For someone like me, a bard-lover, who values enchantment, abjuration, and illusion and hates evocation and blasting, 4e is a mighty slash through most of what I liked about DnD.

I know that they will implement these aspects of the game later, but I fear that, in the continued search for mathematical balance, they will be severely changed.

I foresee the upcoming Charm Person as "[1W] + the opponent attacks the nearest target for one round."

Awesome.

Talya
2008-06-12, 09:59 AM
Which is why I gave you examples of enchantment powers, said you need high charisma and to be trained in diplomacy. I wasn't divorcing them... I was saying that the USE of the mechanics needs to be roleplayed to fit your story. I could have the same mechanics and just be a smooth talker that gets along with everyone, less about his presence and more about his dialogue.


You cannot simulate magical powers by fluffing something else that any other character with a high charisma can do as enchantments. It needs to be over and above that.

I have the same issue with Saga Edition on another point. The writer said "not every jedi has block/deflect. The ability to block and deflect is factored into their reflex defense. The talents represent an exceptional ability in this regard." If that's the case, why isn't the reflex defense of a jedi higher than all the other classes?

SamTheCleric
2008-06-12, 10:01 AM
No, Sam, enchantment is almost entirely withdrawn from 4e.


You cannot simulate magical powers by fluffing something else that any other character with a high charisma can do as enchantments. It needs to be over and above that.

Again.

I gave examples of enchantment magical powers. Fey-pact warlock powers are full of differing dominate uses and such. There are dozens of powers in the Fey Pact that revolve around bewitching people.

The part I was simulating with charisma and diplomacy is the "magnetic" appeal you described. If that IS a magical effect, please explain how you accomplished it in third edition, I would be interested.


For someone like me, a bard-lover, who values enchantment, abjuration, and illusion and hates evocation and blasting, 4e is a mighty slash through most of what I liked about DnD.

Illusions are already implimented in the way of Rituals. There is also a forthcoming article in Dragon Magazine for wizard Illusion powers. Abjurations exist in the way of Shield spells and other wards (Eye of Alarm is one of my favorite rituals). Enchantment exists in Fey-Pact warlock and some other powers.

nagora
2008-06-12, 10:48 AM
You're talking fluff.
No, I'm talking crunch. Fluff is what the mechanics are: a necessary evil that should be changed by the DM whenever they get in the way of the real stuff: the gameworld (or "story" if you like). Dismissing the gameworld as "fluff" is a tiresome munchkin trait derived from the scribblings of people like Robin Laws who think role-playing is just Monopoly with more talking.


Some features of the character need mechanical mechanical support. For instance, if it was impossible for her to weild a scimitar in this game (it isn't, but there are other essential elements of the character that it does not support), then the mechanics wouldn't support that story feature at all. It's not just a matter of them being not covered, it's about them being disallowed.
The DM can add them. Just like any decent DM can write out the stats for a zombie dragon in their world without having to complain about the lack of monster templates.

I'll grant you that the DM contradicting the rules as written is more problematical in play than simply ruling on something that isn't covered, which is why no rule is always better than a bad rule.

Enchantment is another example: the 3ed rules were hoplessly broken and it's far better to discard them completely and say "the DM will decide how you make a flame tongue in his/her campaign, if at all".

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-12, 11:22 AM
A homebrew system is rebuilding the entire road network.

This is getting circular, but:

Rebuilding the entire road network is more like setting up your own gaming *company*. You're no longer just trying to affect the way your particular "vehicle" works, you're trying to change it for everybody else as well.


It's easy to determine. The weapon is an exotic weapon, so the DC to Craft it is 18. However, it's ancient and completely alien to the things the blacksmith has made before, so I'll make it super-exotic and add a +6 to the DC (twice the difference between martial and exotic). Since he has detailed sketches of the weapon he probably gets a +2 insight bonus to the check. This gives a DC of 22. This means that a first-level village blacksmith (with 4 ranks, +1 from Int, and masterwork tools, for +9) would succeed on the check 40% of the time. It would take him at least several tries to create it. A 5th-level master blacksmith (who is a better blacksmith than any man who ever lived in our real world), however (+8 ranks, +2 Int, Skill Focus, two aid another checks from assistants, and masterwork tools, for +21) would succeed almost all of the time (95%). It might take him a couple tries, but he could create the weapon.

Okay, two things here:

Firstly, all you have done there is assign an arbitrary DC. Not only that but it's an arbitrary DC based on how likely you think a particular character should be to be able to do it. It's like Dumbo's magic feather: you set that DC all by yourself, you didn't actually use the rules at all.

Secondly, Alexandrian references aside, your example highlights yet another reason that I think the Craft/Profession rules are stupid. If the Level Five blacksmith is effectively the greatest blacksmith who ever lived, a master in their craft who has honed their skills through decades (or, if they're a Dwarf, centuries) of hard sweat and toil, who has devoted their life to learning the innermost secrets of metal, then how the hell can a regular old PC wind up being *better* than them, just by sticking a few points into the skill and smacking enough monsters to get to level 10?

And that's leaving aside all the totally stupid options, like getting 200 assistants to make "aid another" checks, allowing you to achieve arbitrarily high skill DCs.

You can ignore all this, but then you're back to just making up the rules as you go.


I don't have to do the calculations, of course. I can just say to myself "This is too important to the plot, I don't want him to make it." or "What the heck, I'll just go with the flow. He makes the cool weapon." But if I don't want to, I have another option. In 4e, I don't have that mechanical option.

3.X doesn't give you another mechanical option. All you just did was make up some numbers. You can do that in any game.


The Profession rules could be better, but the Craft rules are sufficient to cover anything I can think of. As far as specific tasks, they're too varied to expect a game designer to spell out (even in an extremely realistic skill system like 3.5). However, the DCs for Perform provide benchmarks for about where to set DCs. If it were up to me, I would have put those tables in Profession, but I didn't write the book.

The basic resolution mechanics also provide a benchmark. You don't need an explicit skill to say "this is hard, make a DC20 check".


Also, I don't think I've mentioned the most important part. Non-adventuring skills fulfill the important role of adding depth to your character. My wizard is not just a wizard, he is a wizard who spent some time fishing between his studying sessions and knows how to bait a hook and cast a line. If I want to show that he spent a little time, I'll give him one or two ranks in Profession(fisherman). If I want him to have spent so much time that it distracted from his studies, I can give him full (cross-class) ranks.

That's *exactly* my problem with them. Non-adventuring skills require you to spend limited resources to add depth to your character.

What if I'm playing a character with a low Int, or I'm in a class with low skillpoints, or I'm not a Human? Is my character supposed to have less *depth* just because I *literally cannot* represent my character's broad and diverse interests with the resources I have available. Or is that "bad roleplaying" or an attempt to "powergame" by not playing a low-int character as "me like to smash"?

It's easy to think of a dozen or so skills which any character could put a couple of points into: most everybody has a bit of local knowledge, most everybody has some kind of job skill. Everybody has hobbies.

Worse, it gets inflationary. If your wizard who casts the odd line while he's preparing his spells has two ranks in Profession: Fisherman, how many ranks does my Fighter who grew up in a fishing village have to spend?

In fact, for that matter, let's work out exactly how many skill points "I grew up in a fishing village" would cost me.

Obviously you need a couple of ranks in Profession: Fisherman, because you have to have picked up something. And you'll want Craft: Net Mending, because that's the sort of thing that people in coastal villages do. And of course you'll want max ranks in Knowledge: Local, because you'll know everything about your village. And of course I'd need some ranks in Swim and a bit of Knowledge: Nature to know about sea life, maybe a point in Perform: Sea Shanties and Knowledge: Folk Tales of the Sea.

The point being: once you start *charging* for flavour you start to *limit* flavour. And if you set the precedent that you have to pay points in order to justify saying "my character should be able to do this because of his background" you start having to spend points on *everything* that your character might conceivably have learned a bit of.


Or not. I can just say "My wizard likes to fish, and he annoyed his tutors by sneaking away to fish while he should have been studying," but 3.5e gives me the option of backing that statement up with mechanics if I want to.

The problem is that the "option" to back it up with mechanics isn't really an "option" at all. If the rules say that fishing comes off Profession: Fisherman, then a character without that skill does not know how to fish, period.

Sure you could say otherwise, you could *say* that your character was proficient with all exotic weapons, it wouldn't be true unless you had mechanical backup.


Yes, the NPC XP rules are broken because the 3.5e designers didn't care much about them. Guess what?
In 4e it doesn't matter: NPCs can't even get XP because they don't have classes! You can't, for example, run an encounter against evil twins of the party because NPCs don't have classes.

No, NPCs are simply not assumed, by default to be built using the class/level model. Or to put it another way, 4E doesn't make the patently ludicrous assumption that "classes" represent some kind of concrete IC phenomenon.

Crazy_Uncle_Doug
2008-06-12, 12:04 PM
The present loss of Enchantment and (on a much less scale of loss) Illusion is disheartening to me, but not "wrong". As someone who liked the subtler uses of magic, those where some of my favorite schools. If your enemy suddenly believes you're their best friend, you needn't blow them up at all. This has the added benefit of not weakening the structural integrity of the caverns you are exploring.

Still, they've taken stuff away in every edition, and added some things as well. I wouldn't complain about that. Other than what I just did. These are not the droids you're looking for. Move along.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-12, 12:10 PM
Let's apply this statement.

Say I run for a mile every day. Eventually, running a mile becomes easy. But apparently, I haven't gotten any better at running.

Actually, you haven't. You've just got better at running a mile. Running, if it was a skill in an RPG, would cover all kinds of running, including sprinting, distance running, cross country running and so on.

And that's pretty much exactly the point. You *have* to accept that there will be stuff about characters that just plain isn't modeled by the system.


-You don't make knowledge checks for things you've been told at some point. If you make a lore check on a monster, and tell the rest of the party, they don't need to make lore checks just to remember what you've said.

That's a very sensible houserule, but it's not actually mentioned anywhere. According to the SRD: "Answering a question within your field of study has a DC of 10 (for really easy questions), 15 (for basic questions), or 20 to 30 (for really tough questions)."

That's it. It doesn't matter how many times you've done it before, every time somebody asks the question you should *technically* have to roll again. Obviously nobody runs it this way, because it would be manifestly stupid, but what you are then *doing* is (in effect) changing the DC of check based on whether it seems sensible. This is *exactly* how people have been suggesting you could adjudicate Profession skill checks in 4E. It is *exactly* how they were adjudicated in earlier editions.

Little_Rudo
2008-06-12, 12:32 PM
Regarding the lack of enchantments, I believe it was stated in Races & Classes or one of the preview articles (unfortunately, I rented it from the library, so I can't cite) that enchantment spells would be pulled back in core so that the eventual Psionic power source classes could specialize in it. This would make it so that psionics have their own niche, as opposed to being differently flavored wizards.

Therefore, if Talya's character were to be represented in 4E, she'd most likely have a Psionic class as a base class or a multi-class feat. Given that the character seems to be pretty high-level as described, she should get the variety of powers up in the Paragon or Epic tiers. Given that Talya mentioned she likes 3E's supplements, this should be understandable.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-12, 12:35 PM
This is contradictory. It's not the X-Men, but it's the same story? The X-Men are the story. The setting is the most essential part of the story. You can write a hundred individual plots into any setting (hey, look at the comic book industry), but all that makes them unique from the same hundred or so plots humankind has been recycling since we first learned to draw pictures on cave walls is the setting that they are put in. The setting details + the character personalities + the plot = the story. Change one of those, you've completely changed the story.

Right, once again we're clearly using very different definitions of "story". Your definition of "story" confuses me, though. By your definition, the film William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet (the one set in modern day California) would be a different "story" to a traditional stage production set in Verona, despite having the same characters doing the same things with the same script.

In fact, if you take this argument at face value, any two different productions of a play will be different "stories" because they will use different props and different costumes.

It's not my place to tell you how to use language, but it strikes me that when you're using the word "story" to essentially mean "every single aspect of a work of fiction" then you have defined it beyond the point where it has any meaning.

marjan
2008-06-12, 01:11 PM
Firstly, all you have done there is assign an arbitrary DC. Not only that but it's an arbitrary DC based on how likely you think a particular character should be to be able to do it. It's like Dumbo's magic feather: you set that DC all by yourself, you didn't actually use the rules at all.


Yes, you are right. But on the other hand rules are used as a guideline, so they do help a bit.



Secondly, Alexandrian references aside, your example highlights yet another reason that I think the Craft/Profession rules are stupid. If the Level Five blacksmith is effectively the greatest blacksmith who ever lived, a master in their craft who has honed their skills through decades (or, if they're a Dwarf, centuries) of hard sweat and toil, who has devoted their life to learning the innermost secrets of metal, then how the hell can a regular old PC wind up being *better* than them, just by sticking a few points into the skill and smacking enough monsters to get to level 10?


That might be the exact case in 4e, but not really in 3e. And even then that's the problem of class-based systems. Also, if you read DMG (3e at least, not sure about 4e), you will notice that in order to put ranks in skill you need to spend some time training. Now isn't that at least a bit logical (and be aware that even the most realistic system won't do every thing completely real).



And that's leaving aside all the totally stupid options, like getting 200 assistants to make "aid another" checks, allowing you to achieve arbitrarily high skill DCs.

You can ignore all this, but then you're back to just making up the rules as you go.


3e rules for Aid Another: There you will see that the DM can set the limit on how many people can help you on certain task. Here you chose to ignore some parts of the rules just to make them look stupid, but you are arguing that ignoring rules is difficult and that it's much easier to make your own.



3.X doesn't give you another mechanical option. All you just did was make up some numbers. You can do that in any game.


The difference is that you have rules for making up numbers. While it's not necessary, they at least don't hurt.



That's *exactly* my problem with them. Non-adventuring skills require you to spend limited resources to add depth to your character.

What if I'm playing a character with a low Int, or I'm in a class with low skillpoints, or I'm not a Human? Is my character supposed to have less *depth* just because I *literally cannot* represent my character's broad and diverse interests with the resources I have available. Or is that "bad roleplaying" or an attempt to "powergame" by not playing a low-int character as "me like to smash"?


Intelligence is defined as you your ability to learn in D&D, so it is quite logical that Big Dumb Fighter has hard time learning things, which is exactly what putting ranks in skill mean.



The problem is that the "option" to back it up with mechanics isn't really an "option" at all. If the rules say that fishing comes off Profession: Fisherman, then a character without that skill does not know how to fish, period.


Than if you don't like it you just ignore the rules for that subject. As you have shown it's easy.

Roland St. Jude
2008-06-12, 01:28 PM
Sherriff of Moddingham: Please remain civil in here. Thanks.

turkishproverb
2008-06-12, 01:38 PM
That's *exactly* my problem with them. Non-adventuring skills require you to spend limited resources to add depth to your character.


The problem is that the "option" to back it up with mechanics isn't really an "option" at all. If the rules say that fishing comes off Profession: Fisherman, then a character without that skill does not know how to fish, period.

Or, you do the uhm....smart thing and rule that FIshing is not a profession, but its own skill, and can be used untrained.

hamishspence
2008-06-12, 02:12 PM
Or, assuming what you are fishing for is dinner, you treat it as Forage (nature skill) since the sea is just another part of the natural world.

Rolling multiple skills together doesn't always make a lot of sense, but it does minimise skill bloat. (knowledge-nature, Survival: some people who know lots about animals/plants etc aren't any good at hunting or scrounging)

Given that making an item costs money always (fuel, metal, etc) I see no problem with allowing crafting an whatnot: IF it has no real bonus. E.g. you must have a forge, they are not portable, you must spend same cash.

You could roleplay out playing making his weapon, spending the time, carving the patterns. In game you have spent same amount of cash, but at least you can say "I made this weapon" and yet not actually break the game. The problem with craft, etc might at least partly be that you could get items, cheaper, in circumstances where no-one else in the party gets items (portable forge in the middle of the Underdark)

As I said, if a background is a concrete advantage, its not entirely fair on those whose background who almost never provide a concrete advantage. If it is flavor, and you don't get any power out of it, I see less of a problem.

Crazy_Uncle_Doug
2008-06-12, 02:30 PM
Regarding the lack of enchantments, I believe it was stated in Races & Classes or one of the preview articles (unfortunately, I rented it from the library, so I can't cite) that enchantment spells would be pulled back in core so that the eventual Psionic power source classes could specialize in it. This would make it so that psionics have their own niche, as opposed to being differently flavored wizards.

...

I react to this news with ambivalence. On one hand, my 3.5 Enchanter would have complaints about Enchantments being gone and labelled psionics. Also, I've always been nonplussed with psionics.

On the other hand, if they are going to be psionics, that means my 4e enchanting days may be in the future. Also, considering most of my complaints of psionics were that since 2e* on they've been magic by other means. Giving them different abilities and flavor may help the psionicists come into their own.

*1e doesn't get a mention. Psionics existed there, but they made less sense than 1e bards.

hamishspence
2008-06-12, 02:49 PM
Talya's character: Healing, mind control, fiery blastiness, performance, polymorph, and good with a sword: OUCH! Exactly how did we get a character like that in 3.5 without running into problems, like, being spead too far, being uncompetitive compared to a straight character, or out and out cheese, etc?

Most wizards, beguilers, etc don't heal. Bards do heal, a little, but don't get blastiness or polymorph. and none of the casters are good fighters.

Now while 4th ed is very low on mind powers wizards do get the abilit y to hold people by mesmerising them, warlock get to boost the social abilities with at least one power, etc.

Slight homebrew may be required: substituting a weapon out makes sense if it is comparable to its counterpart. Try Wizard/Warlord, Of the Spiral tower with scimitar substituted for longsword as a homebrew version of that paragon path (both are heavy blades,same damage, etc) (may need proficiency feat) Pick that mesmerise power, healing from Warlord, lots of charisma and social skills. You will not be a true enchanter, but are inspiring, magical, blasty, charismatic, sword wielding, capable of healing. Not perfect, but close.

Vortling
2008-06-12, 02:58 PM
I've got two character stories here that I think their concepts can't be converted from 3.5 to 4e. At least not yet. I'll let you have a look at their stories and see if people can preserve the essence of these characters (mostly I'm hoping for responses from those arguing with Talya). Use whatever level you feel is appropriate.

Gaston (http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dhj7x8nv_36m68fv)
Rolluc (http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dhj7x8nv_6c2pfx2)

I don't know if I agree completely with Talya or if we're even trying to make the same point. I'd like to see people try to construct characters based completely off their "story" instead of vague mechanical assertions. Thanks

nagora
2008-06-12, 02:59 PM
Slight homebrew may be required: substituting a weapon out makes sense if it is comparable to its counterpart. Try Wizard/Warlord, Of the Spiral tower with scimitar substituted for longsword as a homebrew version of that paragon path (both are heavy blades,same damage, etc) (may need proficiency feat) Pick that mesmerise power, healing from Warlord, lots of charisma and social skills. You will not be a true enchanter, but are inspiring, magical, blasty, charismatic, sword wielding, capable of healing. Not perfect, but close.

We're back to shopping lists instead of stories, however. As a (1ed) DM I would say: start as a 1st level magic user and gain all those abilities through play. Then you'll have your story and your list of superpowers.

Plaping a big soggy pile of wish-fulfilment on a sheet of paper and demanding that the DM just hand you a demigod isn't going to cut it.

Indon
2008-06-12, 03:05 PM
Actually, you haven't. You've just got better at running a mile. Running, if it was a skill in an RPG, would cover all kinds of running, including sprinting, distance running, cross country running and so on.

That's not at all how the human body works. If you run a mile every day, you will become more athletic. That is to say, your athletic ability, or athletic skill will increase.


That's a very sensible houserule, but it's not actually mentioned anywhere. According to the SRD: "Answering a question within your field of study has a DC of 10 (for really easy questions), 15 (for basic questions), or 20 to 30 (for really tough questions)."
So you're saying that, by RAW, if I know the answer to a question and then tell you what the answer is, and then ask you to repeat the answer back, you must make a knowledge check to respond?

And you're arguing that this absurdity makes for a good example of static DC's. I would like clarification here.


but what you are then *doing* is (in effect) changing the DC of check based on whether it seems sensible.

How are you changing the DC of a skill check if you are not making a skill check? Kindly describe how this works.

It seems to me that the DC is not being changed at all - instead, a skill use is being judged as trivial and not contested (I.E. if your D&D character went on a trivia game show, he would have to make knowledge checks even for things he could get on a 1), and thus not being made at all. It seems rather good sense to declare a check not be made if trivial.

However, to take two people who are, by the rules, equally good at something, and then assigning abitrarily different difficulties to the same task, is inconsistent and unfair (or at least, unfair if the individuals involved are both players) - provided that skill check modifiers or DC's actually mean anything.

And I'll certainly not contest should you claim that they don't - I'll just point you to my awesome homebrewed skill system.

marjan
2008-06-12, 03:20 PM
We're back to shopping lists instead of stories, however. As a (1ed) DM I would say: start as a 1st level magic user and gain all those abilities through play. Then you'll have your story and your list of superpowers.

Plaping a big soggy pile of wish-fulfilment on a sheet of paper and demanding that the DM just hand you a demigod isn't going to cut it.

That's one of the reasons, I like rules. It's easy to (dis)allow players to do certain things when it comes to extremes.
For example: Just because your character has "killed dragon with one hit" in his background doesn't mean that the dragon in front him is dying without some dice-rolling.
On the other hand letting a player catch enough fish to feed him and his party because he comes from fishing village should be OK.

The problem comes when they are not extreme - should you allow his character to kill 5 goblins with his sword, without being hit, just because he is good with his sword? Well if he is level 10 fighter and those are goblin warriors lvl1, then obviously you should. On the other hand his character if it is lvl1 Fighter with Weapon Focus(Longsword) and those goblins are CR 5+, then he's more likely to die. And that's what the rules are for.

This might not be the best example, but I hope you get my point.

nagora
2008-06-12, 04:23 PM
That's one of the reasons, I like rules. It's easy to (dis)allow players to do certain things when it comes to extremes.
For example: Just because your character has "killed dragon with one hit" in his background doesn't mean that the dragon in front him is dying without some dice-rolling.
On the other hand letting a player catch enough fish to feed him and his party because he comes from fishing village should be OK.

The problem comes when they are not extreme - should you allow his character to kill 5 goblins with his sword, without being hit, just because he is good with his sword? Well if he is level 10 fighter and those are goblin warriors lvl1, then obviously you should. On the other hand his character if it is lvl1 Fighter with Weapon Focus(Longsword) and those goblins are CR 5+, then he's more likely to die. And that's what the rules are for.

This might not be the best example, but I hope you get my point.
I'm not sure; I think you were agreeing with me about the shopping list but disagreeing with my view that tying the character's whole life down to numbers is futile and limiting? Is that right?

As to the goblins, they're a nice example in 1ed: a 10th level fighter gets 10 attacks to their 1, so they're dead. A first level fighter gets 1 attack to their one and probably doesn't do as much damage as the 10th level guy, so it would be a tough fight which a single 1st level fighter would almost certainly lose. No minion rules, no CR rules: a goblin is a (usually) set thing and a low level character will struggle and a high level character will wade through them. I wonder, reading these boards, how it took so much effort to end up in the same place.

marjan
2008-06-12, 04:44 PM
I'm not sure; I think you were agreeing with me about the shopping list but disagreeing with my view that tying the character's whole life down to numbers is futile and limiting? Is that right?

As to the goblins, they're a nice example in 1ed: a 10th level fighter gets 10 attacks to their 1, so they're dead. A first level fighter gets 1 attack to their one and probably doesn't do as much damage as the 10th level guy, so it would be a tough fight which a single 1st level fighter would almost certainly lose. No minion rules, no CR rules: a goblin is a (usually) set thing and a low level character will struggle and a high level character will wade through them. I wonder, reading these boards, how it took so much effort to end up in the same place.

Well, I agree with you to a degree. Sometimes it is OK to do things just because you say you can, but sometimes it's not. That is why I like to have rules which say what you can or can't do. These rules aren't perfect (we all know that I believe), but at least you have some starting ground for what should and what shouldn't be allowed, which isn't always easy to determine. And if they are written in a manner that doesn't make any sense then you can ignore them or "fix" them.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-12, 05:04 PM
That's not at all how the human body works. If you run a mile every day, you will become more athletic. That is to say, your athletic ability, or athletic skill will increase.

Let me put it this way.

You run a mile every day.

I run a 100m sprint every week.

Since you run every day, and I run every week, your "run" skill should be higher than mine, which means that more often than not, you will beat me in any running contest even a 100m sprint.

This doesn't do much for verisimilitude.


So you're saying that, by RAW, if I know the answer to a question and then tell you what the answer is, and then ask you to repeat the answer back, you must make a knowledge check to respond?

Yes. Everybody ignores this, of course, because to do otherwise is madness.

But the same should apply to other skills. People should not be asked to make skill checks in order to do things which they are expected to do as part of their jobs, even if that job is "prepare gourmet food or play astoundingly beautiful music". You shouldn't have to roll Knowledge to remember something your character should obviously know, you shouldn't have to roll Profession to do your job.


And you're arguing that this absurdity makes for a good example of static DC's. I would like clarification here.

It makes for a good example of why static DCs make no sense.


How are you changing the DC of a skill check if you are not making a skill check? Kindly describe how this works.

Waiving a check is functionally equivalent to setting its DC to 0. You are saying "this is not difficult enough that you have to roll for it".


It seems to me that the DC is not being changed at all - instead, a skill use is being judged as trivial and not contested (I.E. if your D&D character went on a trivia game show, he would have to make knowledge checks even for things he could get on a 1), and thus not being made at all. It seems rather good sense to declare a check not be made if trivial.

It is indeed. And it is trivial for a virtuoso pianist to give a virtuoso piano performance.


However, to take two people who are, by the rules, equally good at something, and then assigning abitrarily different difficulties to the same task, is inconsistent and unfair (or at least, unfair if the individuals involved are both players) - provided that skill check modifiers or DC's actually mean anything.

And I'll certainly not contest should you claim that they don't - I'll just point you to my awesome homebrewed skill system.

Okay, let's take another example. Dave the Dwarf and Eddie the Elf both have equal ranks in the climb skill, Dave because he grew up climbing mountains, Eddie because he grew up climbing trees.

Do you honestly think it is unfair and inconsistent to give Dave a lower DC for climbing mountains and Eddie a lower DC for climbing trees?

Again, I think this comes back to the "rules define world/world defines rules" problem. If you assume that Skills are literal IC phenomena: people really are just generically better at Climbing, and Using Rope, and Diplomacy than other people, then I suppose it's inconsistent to give them different DCs. If, on the other hand, you view skills as an abstraction, then it's patently ludicrous to assume that a mountaineer can climb trees as well as a woodsman, or that a woodsman can climb mountains as well as a mountaineer.

marjan
2008-06-12, 05:15 PM
It is indeed. And it is trivial for a virtuoso pianist to give a virtuoso piano performance.


This is what bothers me the most with your argument. How do you know that someone is virtuoso pianist, if you don't have anything that says he is? Skill ranks do that - they tell you how "virtuoso" someone is.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-12, 05:20 PM
That might be the exact case in 4e, but not really in 3e. And even then that's the problem of class-based systems. Also, if you read DMG (3e at least, not sure about 4e), you will notice that in order to put ranks in skill you need to spend some time training. Now isn't that at least a bit logical (and be aware that even the most realistic system won't do every thing completely real).


It's not the case in 4E. In 4E the best blacksmith in the world is exactly as good as I, the DM, say he is. Same in 2E, same in Basic. It's only in 3.X that you have to give the world's greatest Blacksmith a specific level of skill which forces him to have a specific number of hit dice.

It's a situation in which the current rules most definitely *are* worse than no rules at all.


3e rules for Aid Another: There you will see that the DM can set the limit on how many people can help you on certain task. Here you chose to ignore some parts of the rules just to make them look stupid, but you are arguing that ignoring rules is difficult and that it's much easier to make your own.

Point is: the rules give you no guidance for how many Aid Another checks is reasonable, and *whenever* people are trying to prove that it's reasonable for (Character Level X) to perform (Task Y) they *always* use Aid Anothers to make up the difference.


The difference is that you have rules for making up numbers. While it's not necessary, they at least don't hurt.

But the point is that the rules for making up numbers are contained *entirely* within the core task resolution rules. You don't need another system to tell you that reforging an ancient sword is a "very hard" skill check.


Intelligence is defined as you your ability to learn in D&D, so it is quite logical that Big Dumb Fighter has hard time learning things, which is exactly what putting ranks in skill mean.

It's not logical at all. Why does being slightly less intelligent than average affect my ability to remember information about my home town? Or about the God I worship? Why on earth does it have *anything* to do with how well I can *swim*?

Again, you're starting from the assumption that the 3.X rules define the gameworld: Fighters really do just not remember anything from their pasts. It's nonsensical.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-12, 05:36 PM
This is what bothers me the most with your argument. How do you know that someone is virtuoso pianist, if you don't have anything that says he is? Skill ranks do that - they tell you how "virtuoso" someone is.

That's the thing, they actually don't.

When a character with 4 ranks of Perform and a +3 Charisma modifier picks up their instrument and plays, the results might be actively incompetent (if they roll below 10) or so amazing that they earn national recognition (if they roll above 25).

How do you even *describe* that level of skill. Nobody actually plays like that. It's not competent, competent people know how to play a tune reliably, but nor is it incompetent, because incompetent people don't give performances worthy of a royal court.

marjan
2008-06-12, 05:52 PM
That's the thing, they actually don't.

When a character with 4 ranks of Perform and a +3 Charisma modifier picks up their instrument and plays, the results might be actively incompetent (if they roll below 10) or so amazing that they earn national recognition (if they roll above 25).

How do you even *describe* that level of skill. Nobody actually plays like that. It's not competent, competent people know how to play a tune reliably, but nor is it incompetent, because incompetent people don't give performances worthy of a royal court.

I see that you never had bad day.
You never spend days/hours trying to figure something out and didn't manage it (roll low), and then suddenly after a few days of fruitless thinking everything is crystal clear (natural 20)?

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-12, 05:57 PM
I see that you never had bad day.
You never spend days/hours trying to figure something out and didn't manage it (roll low), and then suddenly after a few days of fruitless thinking everything is crystal clear (natural 20)?

But that's not how it works, it isn't "can't figure it out, try for a few days, work it out" it's "try once, you can't get any of the notes right. Try again, play well enough to make princes weep try a third time, play in a totally mediocre way.

Seriously, things in real life do not work that way. Have you ever played a musical instrument? Did you ever pick up a guitar and literally play like Hendrix??

THAC0
2008-06-12, 06:00 PM
But that's not how it works, it isn't "can't figure it out, try for a few days, work it out" it's "try once, you can't get any of the notes right. Try again, play well enough to make princes weep try a third time, play in a totally mediocre way.

Seriously, things in real life do not work that way. Have you ever played a musical instrument? Did you ever pick up a guitar and literally play like Hendrix??

As a professional musician, I'm going to agree with Dan. Yes, people have bad days, but certainly not as bad as the 3.5 system models!

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-12, 06:05 PM
As a professional musician, I'm going to agree with Dan. Yes, people have bad days, but certainly not as bad as the 3.5 system models!

Not attracted the attention of any extraplanar beings lately then?

THAC0
2008-06-12, 06:09 PM
Not attracted the attention of any extraplanar beings lately then?

Nope, but I can always hope to roll a 20 on this upcoming audition, right? :smallbiggrin:

marjan
2008-06-12, 06:24 PM
But that's not how it works, it isn't "can't figure it out, try for a few days, work it out" it's "try once, you can't get any of the notes right. Try again, play well enough to make princes weep try a third time, play in a totally mediocre way.

Seriously, things in real life do not work that way. Have you ever played a musical instrument? Did you ever pick up a guitar and literally play like Hendrix??

Yes it is how it works, it's just that you usually don't play it that way because it makes a game sort of boring. Let's say that to be virtuoso performance you need to have a check of 20 (randomly picked number, but it will suffice). So if you have someone who has 10 ranks, he just takes 10 and he has done it (note that usually in games you role the dice even if you don't have to). By taking 10 he did whatever it is that he usually do and he did it without any problem. On the other hand if he wanted to achieve a score of 25 ("super virtuoso performance") he would need to have a role on his dice of 15. This means that he needs to do something he hasn't done before and it is very likely that he won't make it or even might screw up completely (which should be realistic). See that 10 in his perform skill tells me that he is virtuoso. For perform it is possible to take 10 and that is what most people will do if they don't want to gamble with their performance.


Even if you don't allow taking 10 for usual staff, it is the problem in being D20 system, not skill system. Try rolling 3d6 (like GURPS), or 6d3 and it will get you results closer to average.


As a professional musician, I'm going to agree with Dan. Yes, people have bad days, but certainly not as bad as the 3.5 system models!

Just take 10, and hope you don't have some circumstance penalty.

THAC0
2008-06-12, 06:28 PM
Just take 10, and hope you don't have some circumstance penalty.

What if I'm rushed or threatened? :smallbiggrin:

marjan
2008-06-12, 06:31 PM
What if I'm rushed or threatened? :smallbiggrin:

What instrument do you play? I hope it is something heavy. :smallamused:

THAC0
2008-06-12, 06:55 PM
What instrument do you play? I hope it is something heavy. :smallamused:

Oh! maybe if I roll a 1 I can deal sonic damage with the horrible noises I make! :smalltongue:

marjan
2008-06-12, 07:03 PM
Oh! maybe if I roll a 1 I can deal sonic damage with the horrible noises I make! :smalltongue:

Put in some deafening effect for the laugh. :smallbiggrin:

Zocelot
2008-06-12, 07:16 PM
I just got my MM, and my response to the title is such:

This thing is a level 27 solo monster: http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/art_preview/20080415_114776_0.jpg

marjan
2008-06-12, 07:27 PM
I just got my MM, and my response to the title is such:

This thing is a level 27 solo monster: *picture of Solo*

I must say Solo looked much better when I saw him earlier this day. :smallconfused:

Seriously now, I have to admit that there are less disgusting monsters in 4e than in 3e. And while there are less splatbooks for 4e, which is one of the reasons, note that newer monster manuals for 3e promoted philosophy disgusting = monster. I'm just glad they didn't totally embraced it.

Starsinger
2008-06-12, 08:04 PM
I just got my MM, and my response to the title is such:

This thing is a level 27 solo monster: http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/art_preview/20080415_114776_0.jpg

What's wrong with the gibbering orb being a level 27 solo?

Zocelot
2008-06-12, 08:17 PM
What's wrong with the gibbering orb being a level 27 solo?

It's a hunk of flesh with a bunch of teeth and eyes, and nothing else. I thought it looked absolutely ridiculous when I first saw it.

Indon
2008-06-12, 08:27 PM
Let me put it this way.

You run a mile every day.

I run a 100m sprint every week.

Since you run every day, and I run every week, your "run" skill should be higher than mine, which means that more often than not, you will beat me in any running contest even a 100m sprint.

This doesn't do much for verisimilitude.
Actually, your example is perfectly accurate. You aren't at all going to improve your shape running one sprint every week.

Now, perhaps if you were running multiple sprints on a regular basis, you would gain skill in Athletics, as well.



But the same should apply to other skills. People should not be asked to make skill checks in order to do things which they are expected to do as part of their jobs, even if that job is "prepare gourmet food or play astoundingly beautiful music". You shouldn't have to roll Knowledge to remember something your character should obviously know, you shouldn't have to roll Profession to do your job.

You roll Knowledge to remember something your character should obviously know - in a dramatic situation, such as combat or a skill encounter.

So yeah, if you need to play astoundingly beautiful music for the King, or you're on Iron Chef, of course you would need to make a Perform or Profession/Craft roll.


All DC's assume acting in situations which are far from mundane; the DM should call for checks only in dramatic situations.


It makes for a good example of why static DCs make no sense.

So if there's a single, massive, obvious discrepancy between RAW and RAI, it's a sign the system is broken?

So I guess because monks didn't get proficiency with unarmed weapons, that unarmed attacks shouldn't exist in D&D, right?

And I guess Wizards' must have taken your advice in regards to crafting systems already because of instantly-craftable quarterstaves.

And I guess the Grapple rules were changed not because they were horribly unintuitive and overcomplicated, but because of the ball of peasants trick.


Waiving a check is functionally equivalent to setting its DC to 0. You are saying "this is not difficult enough that you have to roll for it".

My character being unable to fly at level 1 is functionally equivalent to setting the DC to fly to 21 (assuming no relevant stat bonus). Does that mean when I gain a couple levels I can start hitting that DC? No? Maybe it's because that logic is absolutely ridiculous, then.


Okay, let's take another example. Dave the Dwarf and Eddie the Elf both have equal ranks in the climb skill, Dave because he grew up climbing mountains, Eddie because he grew up climbing trees.

Do you honestly think it is unfair and inconsistent to give Dave a lower DC for climbing mountains and Eddie a lower DC for climbing trees?

You know, you're right here. There's nothing about circumstance bonuses or penalties written in the PHB or DMG that I can read.

I guess if a skill challenge comes up that involves climbing mountains, Eddie just gets more XP, because the XP given by a skill encounter is determined by the DC's involved in the skills used, and Dave had an easier time than Eddie.

Clearly, the system was meant to be used in this way!


Again, I think this comes back to the "rules define world/world defines rules" problem. If you assume that Skills are literal IC phenomena: people really are just generically better at Climbing, and Using Rope, and Diplomacy than other people, then I suppose it's inconsistent to give them different DCs. If, on the other hand, you view skills as an abstraction, then it's patently ludicrous to assume that a mountaineer can climb trees as well as a woodsman, or that a woodsman can climb mountains as well as a mountaineer.

Yes, of course I assume that the skill rules actually reflect something in-character. If they didn't, then there'd be no reason to use a skill system that has any association with in-character events.

You could just, as I noted earlier, use my homebrewed, completely context-independent, better-streamlined, awesome skill system instead of the clunky system 4'th edition gives you, with its' "Difficulty classes" and "skill checks".

Really, I'm surprised nobody's commented on how my homebrewed skill system is the awesomest thing ever yet, or complimented me on how it accomplishes everything 4'th edition does, except better, and has more verisimilitude to boot!

Edit: Going to include the skill system, in its' entirety, in its' most recent revision, version 1.2:

New Totally Awesome Skill System:
Step 1:Whenever your character needs to do something out of combat, your DM will assign a number to the task.
Easy: 15
Moderate: 20
Hard: 25

Step 2:If the task is something your class would be expected to do, subtract 5 from the number.
Step 3:If the task is something your character would be expected to be good at, subtract 3 from the number.
Step 4:Roll a D20 and add the ability modifier for the ability most applicable to the task. If this number is higher than the number you got in step 3, you accomplish the task.

Starsinger
2008-06-12, 08:40 PM
It's a hunk of flesh with a bunch of teeth and eyes, and nothing else. I thought it looked absolutely ridiculous when I first saw it.

It's not exactly new or unique to fourth edition, so it's hardly 4e's fault.

Zocelot
2008-06-12, 08:59 PM
It's not exactly new or unique to fourth edition, so it's hardly 4e's fault.

It's not? Excuse my stupidity, I simply didn't know.

Ned the undead
2008-06-12, 09:05 PM
It's a hunk of flesh with a bunch of teeth and eyes, and nothing else. I thought it looked absolutely ridiculous when I first saw it.

I don't know it's 4e abilities but in 3e it was an epic level monster with some weird "I bone the caster and try to drive everyone else insane abilities."

marjan
2008-06-12, 09:15 PM
It's not exactly new or unique to fourth edition, so it's hardly 4e's fault.

Still, there was no reason to include it in 4e. It's not iconic monster and neither it is something that most of people want to see.

Starsinger
2008-06-12, 09:24 PM
Still, there was no reason to include it in 4e. It's not iconic monster and neither it is something that most of people want to see.

They are creatures from the Far Realm, and with Star Pact warlocks bringing the far realm into core... It'd be a shame not to have more far realm creatures in the MM.

marjan
2008-06-12, 09:30 PM
They are creatures from the Far Realm, and with Star Pact warlocks bringing the far realm into core... It'd be a shame not to have more far realm creatures in the MM.

Always learning new things.:smallsmile:
But is it possible that they didn't find anything less disgusting than that thing.

Matthew
2008-06-12, 09:39 PM
Really, I'm surprised nobody's commented on how my homebrewed skill system is the awesomest thing ever yet, or complimented me on how it accomplishes everything 4'th edition does, except better, and has more verisimilitude to boot!

Edit: Going to include the skill system, in its' entirety, in its' most recent revision, version 1.2:

New Totally Awesome Skill System:
Step 1:Whenever your character needs to do something out of combat, your DM will assign a number to the task.
Easy: 15
Moderate: 20
Hard: 25

Step 2:If the task is something your class would be expected to do, subtract 5 from the number.
Step 3:If the task is something your character would be expected to be good at, subtract 3 from the number.
Step 4:Roll a D20 and add the ability modifier for the ability most applicable to the task. If this number is higher than the number you got in step 3, you accomplish the task.

That's probably because I wasn't here to say it. :smallwink: That's actually a bit more complicated than strictly necessary, but yeah, that is (in my subjective opinion) a better way of handling task resolution than the skill system presented in D20.

Helgraf
2008-06-12, 09:45 PM
Be thankful they didn't find anything _more_ disgusting than that thing...

Fhaolan
2008-06-12, 09:49 PM
Really, I'm surprised nobody's commented on how my homebrewed skill system is the awesomest thing ever yet, or complimented me on how it accomplishes everything 4'th edition does, except better, and has more verisimilitude to boot!

Edit: Going to include the skill system, in its' entirety, in its' most recent revision, version 1.2:

New Totally Awesome Skill System:
Step 1:Whenever your character needs to do something out of combat, your DM will assign a number to the task.
Easy: 15
Moderate: 20
Hard: 25

Step 2:If the task is something your class would be expected to do, subtract 5 from the number.
Step 3:If the task is something your character would be expected to be good at, subtract 3 from the number.
Step 4:Roll a D20 and add the ability modifier for the ability most applicable to the task. If this number is higher than the number you got in step 3, you accomplish the task.

Of course I'm going to like this one. That's pretty much what I do now. As you say, absolutely awesome. :smallbiggrin:

Falrin
2008-06-12, 10:22 PM
On the 'need mechanics to support fluff'

In 3.5, i hace this amazing character idea. It's tcalled the 'blub'. It's a child of a halfelf and a halforc. Bullied a a child he gets facinated with water, apecially the sound it makes when something drowns. he learns to control this sound and uses it to take revenge on his former bullies and spread 'grey' justice in the world.

I want him to have a giant toad as a companion.
I want him to use the magic Blub formula to control water.
I want him to use Armour made of Enhanced Water Lilies.
I want a lot, but i doesn't seem to happen does it.

3.5 did not support all possible 'stories'. Escpecially not when you need to be effective at it too. There is a reason we have this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10826). It's because people have cool concepts and like a class/feat for it.


And as a final note: Can you make me a lone person with a dark heritage that gives him a limited array of useful powers. A powerfull blast he can summon with his will only, but he suffers from at least a small taint of evil.
he should be fairly proficient with weapons, wear some armour and ahve a decent endurance.

Indon
2008-06-12, 10:23 PM
Of course I'm going to like this one. That's pretty much what I do now. As you say, absolutely awesome. :smallbiggrin:

I actually used a system a lot like this back when I DM'ed AD&D, when I think about it.

Matthew
2008-06-12, 10:33 PM
I actually used a system a lot like this back when I DM'ed AD&D, when I think about it.

Indeedy (probably part of why me and Fhaolan like it), and that appears to be what 4e is going for.

Jack Zander
2008-06-12, 10:35 PM
On the 'need mechanics to support fluff'

In 3.5, i hace this amazing character idea. It's tcalled the 'blub'. It's a child of a halfelf and a halforc. Bullied a a child he gets facinated with water, apecially the sound it makes when something drowns. he learns to control this sound and uses it to take revenge on his former bullies and spread 'grey' justice in the world.

I want him to have a giant toad as a companion.
I want him to use the magic Blub formula to control water.
I want him to use Armour made of Enhanced Water Lilies.
I want a lot, but i doesn't seem to happen does it.

3.5 did not support all possible 'stories'. Escpecially not when you need to be effective at it too. There is a reason we have this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10826). It's because people have cool concepts and like a class/feat for it.


And as a final note: Can you make me a lone person with a dark heritage that gives him a limited array of useful powers. A powerfull blast he can summon with his will only, but he suffers from at least a small taint of evil.
he should be fairly proficient with weapons, wear some armour and ahve a decent endurance.

You aren't helping your arguement at all. In fact, you're hurting it unless you can do those things in 4e too. Noone said you can do whatever you want with 3e, in fact, this thread isn't even about 3e. It's about 4e and its problems.

Why do people seem to think that attacking 3e makes 4e better when 4e has the same problems they describe?

Talya
2008-06-12, 10:46 PM
You aren't helping your arguement at all. In fact, you're hurting it unless you can do those things in 4e too. Noone said you can do whatever you want with 3e, in fact, this thread isn't even about 3e. It's about 4e and its problems.

Why do people seem to think that attacking 3e makes 4e better when 4e has the same problems they describe?

Indeed.
My complaint: 4e doesn't have enough versatility.

His logic seems to be:
3.5 only has X options. But that doesn't mean I can't find an option I can't make.

He's right. However, while 3.5 only has a finite number (X) of options, 4e has not even a tiny fraction of those same options. 4e sacrificed versatility for balance. 4e pigeonholed every class into a "role," be it "striker" or "controller" or "tank" or "leader," etc. It doesn't give you the option of doing much outside that "role." If 3.5 has finite number of options - X, then 4e has finite number of options X/100,000. Round down.

Never, ever take away good features, in the process of an "upgrade." That's the problem with 4e...it's not an upgrade. 1e to 2e was an upgrade (perhaps a minor downgrade, but they didn't change much.) 2e to 3.x was an upgrade, although again, no huge changes. With 4e, they decided to rip everything apart, throw out everything, and start from scratch. That's not the same game anymore, at all. It's something new. I don't mind the new, but it's no longer D&D. I liked D&D. They didn't need to tear it all down and start over.

And just as bad, the new design takes a minimalist approach. They're going with some absurd notion of "elegance in simplicity" or something like that. Nothing ever good comes out of that approach...just look at stuff like the macbook air or the ipod shuffle. Being spartan is not a feature. I want versatile, detailed, even if it ends up complex as trigonometry, I don't care. I hate minimalism.

Indon
2008-06-12, 11:40 PM
With 4e, they decided to rip everything apart, throw out everything, and start from scratch.

They didn't start out from scratch.

This is an excellent update to Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.

Lapak
2008-06-12, 11:49 PM
Indeed.
My complaint: 4e doesn't have enough versatility.

His logic seems to be:
3.5 only has X options. But that doesn't mean I can't find an option I can't make.

He's right. However, while 3.5 only has a finite number (X) of options, 4e has not even a tiny fraction of those same options. 4e sacrificed versatility for balance. 4e pigeonholed every class into a "role," be it "striker" or "controller" or "tank" or "leader," etc. It doesn't give you the option of doing much outside that "role." If 3.5 has finite number of options - X, then 4e has finite number of options X/100,000. Round down.Except for viable caster multiclassing, which expands the roles you can cover for the party - in a limited way, to be sure, but more on par with your actual level in a way that was difficult in pre-4e. And the fact that non-casters can pick up ritual casting without having to multiclass, which opens the door to actual versatility for non-spellcasters. Which was the real problem with earlier editions; if you couldn't spellcast none of the much-mentioned rules-based versatility applied to you.


And just as bad, the new design takes a minimalist approach. They're going with some absurd notion of "elegance in simplicity" or something like that. Nothing ever good comes out of that approach...just look at stuff like the macbook air or the ipod shuffle. Being spartan is not a feature. I want versatile, detailed, even if it ends up complex as trigonometry, I don't care. I hate minimalism.Complexity isn't good in and of itself, either. Good design is not directly tied to complexity - the more complex it is, the more possibilities are explicitly covered, but the more opportunity for unexpected results to emergy that 'break' the ruleset.

Jerthanis
2008-06-13, 12:22 AM
He's right. However, while 3.5 only has a finite number (X) of options, 4e has not even a tiny fraction of those same options. 4e sacrificed versatility for balance. 4e pigeonholed every class into a "role," be it "striker" or "controller" or "tank" or "leader," etc. It doesn't give you the option of doing much outside that "role." If 3.5 has finite number of options - X, then 4e has finite number of options X/100,000. Round down.

Well... in 3.5, when you played a straight Fighter, were you overjoyed when the Cleric was better than you at being a meleeist without trying, and without giving up anything notable from his own role? What happens when you want to play a blasty mage, and get laughed at? That's the difference between the mechanical choices between 3.5 and 4th edition to me... the choice between 1001 options, 996 of which are traps, don't work as advertised, or are so overpowered that a non-similarly optimized party will be blown away, and the remaining 5 options which are valid expressions of a good middle ground... and 4th edition is a choice between only 6 things which are all in that middle ground.

From a character and roleplay standpoint, I know we're just butting heads on this, but I'm playing a character in 4th edition just as deeply and intensely, if not moreso than recent 3.5 characters I've played... if 4th edition's relative lack of distinct powers is limiting your ability to play a character, I'd suggest that you're growing a list of powers and developing a personality around them, rather than the other way around. Whatever works for you is fine, but I hate the implication that if my character isn't mechanically unique, and a choice from one of thousands of options, that his personality and character won't be unique.

I'd also suggest that if your gaming group hasn't been using 4th edition to roleplay, and just hurries along to the combat, then it's a sign that your group has always kind of wanted to just do some simplified tabletop wargaming, and may have only roleplayed in 3rd because it was more fun than the combat. Once combat became fun, they didn't need to rely on their second choice.



And just as bad, the new design takes a minimalist approach. They're going with some absurd notion of "elegance in simplicity" or something like that. Nothing ever good comes out of that approach...just look at stuff like the macbook air or the ipod shuffle. Being spartan is not a feature. I want versatile, detailed, even if it ends up complex as trigonometry, I don't care. I hate minimalism.

That's a fair opinion, but my mother loves her ipod shuffle and her macbook air (I am not making this up, she has both and loves them. She is a Macaholic, incidentally). I also feel like DM adjudication with some simple guidelines is a more versatile system than any system limited by being forced to follow its own rules. If I were to try to write rules to accurately govern every potential situation, what happens when something I didn't think of comes up in play? What if I write up complex tables to show how much harder it is to climb for each piece of gear you have on... and then someone needs to climb unencumbered in a heavy gravity environment and I never thought of that when designing the rules? If instead I say, "DM adjudication with these guidelines:" a DM might be given pause for a moment, then decide how to run the encounter. Admittedly, this will happen in a system which includes all those charts, but it will happen in direct contradiction of the intent of the rules.

That's what I think of when I think of versatility.

EDIT:

They didn't start out from scratch.

This is an excellent update to Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.

Actually, this is an impression a friend of mine and I both got when reading over the books. Both of us had a sense that it felt a lot like 2nd edition, but we couldn't put our finger on why that was. Are there any 1st or 2nd ed aficionados who might elucidate why we might have had this impression? It doesn't seem like it's a reaction unique to us.

SmartAlec
2008-06-13, 12:31 AM
I am inescapably reminded of this old classic:

http://www.elfonlyinn.net/d/20060925.html

"We are not men defined by our possessions." Preach it!

FoE
2008-06-13, 01:14 AM
You know, most of the arguments around Fourth Edition seem to focus on the limited range of choices for developing PCs. I'm going to come out and say it: yes, Fourth Edition doesn't have nearly the range of options for designing PCs 3.5 Edition, even if you just compared core books and ignored any potential splatbooks coming out for Fourth. If that's your bag, well ... it's obviously not for you.

But I'll note that none of the staunchest critics bother to make these arguments:
1) DMs had a much easier job running adventures in 3.5 Edition
2) Combats ran so much smoother and quicker in 3.5 Edition

Jerthanis: I can't say much about 2E I dropped out of D&D in those years but I can tell you 4E has a lot of the same flavour of First Edition. Monsters didn't have access to PC levels back then, and the presentation of these creatures was pretty similar. The range of class choices is comparable in size, and multiclassing is somewhat similar. And First Edition clearly encouraged "good PCs" as well.

Obviously a lot has changed, though, much for the better.

Thrud
2008-06-13, 01:47 AM
O.K. I have not had the chance to read through the entire thread (just skimmed it a bit) so I apologize if I duplicate other people's posts.

My dislikes:

1) Spells.

Everyone seems to argue about how wizards were massively over powered in 3.x and everyone else sucked. I can honestly say this has never been the case in my games. M.U.s died far more often than any other class in my games. In fact, many of my players who started out wanting to play Arcane casters stopped wanting to after a short time. I just don't understand why everyone else seems to have such a dislike of them, except to say that it must be DM's not doing their jobs correctly. Far too many spells must have been given out. A wizard can figure out 2 spells each level they increase by themselves. Anything else they have to figure out from other spell books. And most wizards are EXTREMELY jealous of their spellbooks. Very seldom do my players find spellbooks that won't simply explode when they first open them. Problem solved. This was always a very simple problem to deal with and simply required a DM to be a DM.

2) Skills.

This game has turned completely into a combat oriented game. There is virtually no difference between any character classes outside of combat. Since skills are basically dependent only upon the stat, everyone becomes a jack of all trades outside of combat, and hightly specialized in combat. I think this is a terrible idea. I have always used bonus skill points as a reward for good background stories, or good roleplaying. Partly I am annoyed by the fact that if I do ever run 4.0 I will have to come up with some other mechanic for handing out rewards, but since all my players have decided they don't want to switch over, this is not actually much of a problem for now. But mostly since the storyteller system is my favorite game system, I am unlikely to ever like a game system that uses skills in such a throwaway manner, and only really differentiates between characters in a combat situation.

3)Wizards.

This partly goes back to the part on spells, but I thought it deserved a different point, because of the survivability issue. Every one of my critters with any intelligence has always targeted the wizard first. This is because anyone with a brain will always act that way. Kill the guy that does the scary stuff with fire, and the big guys with swords are a problem we are much better equipped to deal with. However, wizards had many spells to help them compensate for this problem, by making them harder to hit, etc. Now that the duration of most powers is 1 melee round, I can't ever see a wizard surviving for any length of time in one of my games. And what do wizards get for this neutering of their versatility? They still have the crappiest hitpoints in the game by far, but now have none of the other abilities that will let them compensate for significantly less hitpoints. And they can't even compensate a little with extra con, because that only makes a difference at first level. And since the only powers they really seem to have been allowed to keep with any real usefulness are combat strike magics, they are still going to be target number 1. But now they have no real way to protect themselves.

4) Warlords.

O.K. these guys are asking for trouble. Anyone that has powers that let you move other players and make attacks with them are just asking for trouble. I forsee endless reams of errata and FAQ's coming out about these guys. (One example that worries me right from the beginning has to do with a single fighter and a party of 10 warlords. Now I am the first to say that right now I do not have a copy of the PHB in front of me, so I can't check the rules out in too much detail, so they might have covered this. But I am sure there could be other problems out there. Still, this is my worry. Fighter is modded out with massive amounts of combat damage with a single type of weapon. Runs up next to dragon (or insert other critter with massive amounts of hitpoints) smacks it with some sort of nasty power. Then warlord uses power to make fighter smack dragon. Then next warlord does same. Etc, etc, etc. ending with last warlord moving fighter out of harm's way. Shudders to think of other scary possibilities. I'm not going to allow this, but that doesn't mean it isn't possible by the rules, and that lets the window open to powergamers again who have too weak a DM to know how to say 'NO')

5) Lack of other classes and races, whilst adding new classes and races. I liked the old races and classes. I liked my players playing bards and monks. Yes, they were not as effective in combat, but they were great for roleplaying. And since I reward roleplaying I think it is significant that in every single game I have ever run in 3.0 and 3.5, I have had a player play a bard, and another play a monk. But due to the almighty game balance in 4th, these guys won't really work very well. And very seldom have I had people play clerics. My players dislike them so much I almost always have to run an NPC. And these have been in 4 or 5 player games.

So, the conclusions I have come to about 4th edition are that it is a dummed down roleplaying game system that has been created to specifically counteract problems that a decent DM could deal with, by instead making a rule for every possible problem that could be created by a powergamer. Rather than simply let the DM look at the player and sternly say 'NO'.

I do not intend for this to be an inflammatory statement, but I truly believe that as time goes on we will discover the breakdown of players who like 4th ed to players who don't, to be one that is split along experience with gaming. I have been gaming for nearly 30 years now, and the youngest of my players (the son of another) has been at it for about 10. All of us dislike 4th ed. Many younger players who don't have a lot of experience will undoubtedly like it, because it simplifies everything, and forces game balance rather than allowing a DM to create it. I believe that 4th ed will make an excellent system for people who are first learning about roleplaying games, or who have relatively little experience. And I believe that many of us who have more experience will feel irritated by it.

Now undoubtedly there will be more experienced players out there who like it. Just as there will be younger players who hate it. I didn't say that everyone will feel this way. I am just making a prediction that over time that is how things will fall out. And I could be totally wrong. But from my experience with my own gaming group, and other gaming friends, that seems to be the trend.

(And I apologize to anyone who posted stuff to my old thread that I didn't answer. I don't often get a chance to post online, so please don't take it personally if I am not here to reply to anyone who replies to me.)

turkishproverb
2008-06-13, 01:54 AM
You know, most of the arguments around Fourth Edition seem to focus on the limited range of choices for developing PCs. I'm going to come out and say it: yes, Fourth Edition doesn't have nearly the range of options for designing PCs 3.5 Edition, even if you just compared core books and ignored any potential splatbooks coming out for Fourth. If that's your bag, well ... it's obviously not for you.

But I'll note that none of the staunchest critics bother to make these arguments:
1) DMs had a much easier job running adventures in 3.5 Edition
2) Combats ran so much smoother and quicker in 3.5 Edition

Jerthanis: I can't say much about 2E I dropped out of D&D in those years but I can tell you 4E has a lot of the same flavour of First Edition. Monsters didn't have access to PC levels back then, and the presentation of these creatures was pretty similar. The range of class choices is comparable in size, and multiclassing is somewhat similar. And First Edition clearly encouraged "good PCs" as well.

Obviously a lot has changed, though, much for the better.

Well, I'm glad you can at least admit the less versatility. As to combat, I'd probably see where your coming from, even If I don't necessarily agree. ON how much easier the DM's job is, that really depends on the type of player you have.

FoE
2008-06-13, 02:13 AM
M.U.s died far more often than any other class in my games. In fact, many of my players who started out wanting to play Arcane casters stopped wanting to after a short time.


Far too many spells must have been given out. A wizard can figure out 2 spells each level they increase by themselves. Anything else they have to figure out from other spell books. And most wizards are EXTREMELY jealous of their spellbooks. Very seldom do my players find spellbooks that won't simply explode when they first open them.


Every one of my critters with any intelligence has always targeted the wizard first. This is because anyone with a brain will always act that way.

Dude ... so WRONG. :smalleek:

A player should be able to play any kind of character allowed by the rules. Conversely, a DM should never punish players for choosing to play a certain character class. (The only exception is if that choice was made solely for the purpose of being disruptive, but that's a whole other ball of wax.)

Of course players don't care for playing wizards in your campaigns; you've basically turned your games into meatgrinders for everyone BUT them.

Thrud
2008-06-13, 02:26 AM
Dude ... so WRONG. :smalleek:

A player should be able to play any kind of character allowed by the rules. Conversely, a DM's job is to never punish players for choosing to play a certain type of character, which you, perhaps unintentially, do.

Of course players don't care for playing wizards in your campaigns; you've basically turned your games into meatgrinders for everyone BUT them.

No, you are missing my point here. I have players that have played wizards successfully. They just have to be smart about it. Save spells for defending yourself, because you are the magical equivalent of a heavy machinegunner. If a DM plays monsters with an ounce of brainpower, Wizards are not the most powerful class, because a significant amount of their power has to go to keeping themselves alive. Only then are they free to start killing large quantities of monsters. That is all I am trying to say. I have never had a single one of my players complain about how overpowerd the M.U. is, because he will draw the largest amount of fire. Just as a heavy machinegunner will draw the most fire in an infantry situation. This is because the guy that can deal the most amount of damage over a large area will always be painting a target on his head. This takes a very low level of intelligence for a monster to figure out. So, who are you going to attack, if the guy in the back pointed his finger and blew up 6 of your friends in a ball of fire/lightning strike/ray of cold, etc. The dude with the sword who hacked down 2 of your buddies, or the guy lobbing fireballs? Thus the player must compensate. Levitate out of range, create mirror images, turn invisible, etc. Every one of those options is another one of your spells NOT being used in combat, thus not being used to kill large amounts of critters.

I said MOST people don't want to play M.U.s in my games. NOt that no one does. And not that it is impossible to keep one alive. I was just tring to point out that i have never found M.U.s to be over powered.

Armads
2008-06-13, 02:40 AM
No, you are missing my point here. I have players that have played wizards successfully. They just have to be smart about it. Save spells for defending yourself, because you are the magical equivalent of a heavy machinegunner. If a DM plays monsters with an ounce of brainpower, Wizards are not the most powerful class, because a significant amount of their power has to go to keeping themselves alive. Only then are they free to start killing large quantities of monsters. That is all I am trying to say. I have never had a single one of my players complain about how overpowerd the M.U. is, because he will draw the largest amount of fire. Just as a heavy machinegunner will draw the most fire in an infantry situation. This is because the guy that can deal the most amount of damage over a large area will always be painting a target on his head. This takes a very low level of intelligence for a monster to figure out. So, who are you going to attack, if the guy in the back pointed his finger and blew up 6 of your friends in a ball of fire/lightning strike/ray of cold, etc. The dude with the sword who hacked down 2 of your buddies, or the guy lobbing fireballs? Thus the player must compensate. Levitate out of range, create mirror images, turn invisible, etc. Every one of those options is another one of your spells NOT being used in combat, thus not being used to kill large amounts of critters.

I said MOST people don't want to play M.U.s in my games. NOt that no one does. And not that it is impossible to keep one alive. I was just tring to point out that i have never found M.U.s to be over powered.

So you are saying you have never found spellcasters to be over powered because everything gangs up on them? Even mindless things like zombies and things that wouldn't know better, like animals? It's quite obvious why most people wouldn't want to play a game where you're fragile and aimed at all the time.

And I'm fairly sure somebody will come along and link you to TLN's famous guide sometime soon.

SmartAlec
2008-06-13, 02:41 AM
1) Spells.

It was never about too many spells. It was always about the right spells. Or, to put it another way, the wrong spells. 2 spells per level was just enough.


2) Skills.

There is an entire chapter in the DMG designed towards designing non-combat challenges, and half of that chapter is about skill-based, non-combat challenges. Really, what more do you want?


3)Wizards. Now they have no real way to protect themselves.

Yes they do. It's called the Fighter. Or possibly the Paladin. In 4th Ed, there are actually ways to protect weaker party members. This will involve teamwork.


4) Warlords.

Not even sure how to respond to this, but if those parties and those DMs exist, no system is safe.


5) Lack of other classes and races, whilst adding new classes and races.

Only core races they 'got rid of' were the Gnome and the Halforc. Gnome still playable using the guidelines in the MM.

The other 'missing' core classes will be coming soon. In the meantime, the game plays fine without them.

FoE
2008-06-13, 02:48 AM
Thrud: I'm not willing to concede my original point, but I will argue a different one: by your own example, you have effectively pointed out that wizards are over-powered.

Why? Because they are always the first ones to draw enemy fire. If the only way a class can be balanced with the rest of the party is to paint a bullseye on its chest, doesn't that mean it's unbalanced? And why does it make sense that the monsters always target the wizards: isn't that effectively metagaming?

And isn't that to the detriment to the rest of your PCs? Have your other players NEVER complained about you always focusing on the casters? Doesn't combat get a little boring for them? Facing down a horde of monsters isn't much fun when most of them aren't bothering to attack you; you're basically just a sniper taking out select targets unless the caster goes down. You're not even desert after the main course; you're leftovers.

Maybe the reason your players don't often play wizards is not just because they're constantly put through a meatgrinder, but because that means the rest of your party can't fully participate in battles.

Turkishproverb: It's a fair point that 4E isn't as versatile as 3.5E. I guess my argument comes down to this: it's all personal preference, man. Me, I'm kind of a Leeroy Jenkins type, the one who's the first to kick down the door and run in screaming and waving a battleaxe. To be honest, 4E looks more conducive to that type of play. And I think it's better for "one-off" adventures as well, which I unfortunately find myself playing more times than not.

The only argument I won't tolerate is that 4E somehow ruins role-playing because it's combat-focused. Most disputes got solved that way in 3.5 as well, if I'm not mistaken.

Thrud
2008-06-13, 03:34 AM
So you are saying you have never found spellcasters to be over powered because everything gangs up on them? Even mindless things like zombies and things that wouldn't know better, like animals? It's quite obvious why most people wouldn't want to play a game where you're fragile and aimed at all the time.

And I'm fairly sure somebody will come along and link you to TLN's famous guide sometime soon.

Please read the original post first. It stated, and I quote


Every one of my critters with any intelligence has always targeted the wizard first.

Onto SmartAlec.

I said those were the things I didn't like. So:



It was never about too many spells. It was always about the right spells. Or, to put it another way, the wrong spells. 2 spells per level was just enough.

It never seemed to be that way in my games. Apparently I have much more mature players than is common.



There is an entire chapter in the DMG designed towards designing non-combat challenges, and half of that chapter is about skill-based, non-combat challenges. Really, what more do you want?


Not actually my point. My point was lack of DIFFERENTIATION outside of combat. Not that there was a new bells and whistles method for generating skill challenges, which I already have in my game having snagged the basic concept from storyteller, i.e. needing multiple successes to succeed at more complex skill checks. My argument is that there is no need for different character classes outside of combat, since everyone can do everything. That is why I call the new skill system a step backwards.


Yes they do. It's called the Fighter. Or possibly the Paladin. In 4th Ed, there are actually ways to protect weaker party members. This will involve teamwork.

So the fighter now has a power that lets him jump in the way of all incoming arrow fire that is directed at him because the wizard just fireballed half the group of 20 orcs? Or that can completely stop the flood of kobolds that run past the fighter to assault the wizard, who still has chronically low hit points? Coz the wizard used to be able to do that with pro vs normal missiles, displacement, mirror image, etc. I don't see why monsters are suddenly getting more stupid just because the rule mechanics no longer allow the wizard to protect himself. After all, he can still take out multiple enemies at one go. That makes him the big threat. Unless the game is now behaving like an MMORPG and the fighters can draw aggro off the wizards. . . But wait, the MMORPG analogy is now verboten on these threads. . .


Not even sure how to respond to this, but if those parties and those DMs exist, no system is safe.

Please, 3rd edition had the 'a fighter can kill anything whose armorclass he can hit' with Great Cleave, whirlwind attack, and a bag of rats. People can come up with stupid rules breaking ideas and post them online. I simply stated that the Warlord seems horrifyingly prone to misuse simply from one read through. But every game has problems like that and the only reasonable response is for the DM to say 'NO, bad player, no biscuit', and follow this up with a swift swat on the nose with a rolled up newspaper. However, I was simply pointing out things I didn't like on my first read through of the rules, so I figured I should mention this one because it seems inherently a bad idea to have a character class whose abilities almost completely revolve around moving other PC's around, and making them attack for him. The first time a Warlord does something dumb and gets another player killed, there will be screams at many a table.


Only core races they 'got rid of' were the Gnome and the Halforc. Gnome still playable using the guidelines in the MM.

The other 'missing' core classes will be coming soon. In the meantime, the game plays fine without them.

Well, that would at least be a step in the right direction. But I have to say, taking out the old core classes and races to throw other things in is something else I didn't like. Once again, I was simply stating things I didn't like. It will be interesting to see if they manage to put the races and classes back in, but once again, it is races and classes that I wanted, in another rule book that I would have to buy if I wanted to play them. Thus my irritation. The operative pronoun there is 'I'. Obviously you didn't mind. I did.

Jerthanis
2008-06-13, 03:37 AM
4) Warlords.

O.K. these guys are asking for trouble. Anyone that has powers that let you move other players and make attacks with them are just asking for trouble. I forsee endless reams of errata and FAQ's coming out about these guys. (One example that worries me right from the beginning has to do with a single fighter and a party of 10 warlords.

Okay, if you have a party of 11 characters, about the least effective combinations of classes is 10 Warlords and a Fighter. Except for the fact that that's enough Inspiring Words to keep the party going until the next ice age. You may as well say, "Warlocks are a bad idea because if you have 10 of them working together they can all do 1d10+1d8 + Charisma damage to whatever they're shooting at! At 1st level! Nothing will be able to survive!"

What would you prefer, if they listed a specific rule to stop something that will never come up in normal play because it's not actually particularly beneficial?



So, the conclusions I have come to about 4th edition are that it is a dummed down roleplaying game system that has been created to specifically counteract problems that a decent DM could deal with, by instead making a rule for every possible problem that could be created by a powergamer. Rather than simply let the DM look at the player and sternly say 'NO'.


Because this would seem to say otherwise. That you think that 4th edition has too many niggling rules dictating every action and situation that a DM should adjudicate himself.

I honestly don't know what to say... one minute it seems like 4th edition is too specific on its rules, other times it seems to general... is it just that different people want different extremes out of their game systems, and 4th edition falls somewhere in the middle, or is it just a failure to really communicate what is wrong with 4th edition?

Thrud
2008-06-13, 03:45 AM
Thrud: I'm not willing to concede my original point, but I will argue a different one: by your own example, you have effectively pointed out that wizards are over-powered.

Why? Because they are always the first ones to draw enemy fire. If the only way a class can be balanced with the rest of the party is to paint a bullseye on its chest, doesn't that mean it's unbalanced? And why does it make sense that the monsters always target the wizards: isn't that effectively metagaming?

And isn't that to the detriment to the rest of your PCs? Have your other players NEVER complained about you always focusing on the casters? Doesn't combat get a little boring for them? Facing down a horde of monsters isn't much fun when most of them aren't bothering to attack you; you're basically just a sniper taking out select targets unless the caster goes down. You're not even desert after the main course; you're leftovers.

Maybe the reason your players don't often play wizards is not just because they're constantly put through a meatgrinder, but because that means the rest of your party can't fully participate in battles.

Turkishproverb: It's a fair point that 4E isn't as versatile as 3.5E. I guess my argument comes down to this: it's all personal preference, man. Me, I'm kind of a Leeroy Jenkins type, the one who's the first to kick down the door and run in screaming and waving a battleaxe. To be honest, 4E looks more conducive to that type of play. And I think it's better for "one-off" adventures as well, which I unfortunately find myself playing more times than not.

The only argument I won't tolerate is that 4E somehow ruins role-playing because it's combat-focused. Most disputes got solved that way in 3.5 as well, if I'm not mistaken.

Err, no. The balancing factor is that they draw the most fire. And then when the wizard has cast his spells so that they can avoid the attack, most monsters will not then keep mindlessly going after the person they can no longer harm. Honestly, I don't see what the problem is here. If you treat intelligent creatures as intelligent, and make rational decisions for them, wizards are not overpowered. And then when the PCs deal with unintelligent creatures, the wizard wants to save some of his power to deal with the next threat, which might well be intelligent. So yes, in 30 some years of gaming, with D&D cropping up off and on throughout those years, yes, I can honestly say I have never had any players complain about how the wizards were getting an unfair amount of attention. But judging from the reactions online, apparently that is dramatically different from everyone else's experience. All I can say is that if you don't allow players to get too many spells, and limit some of the stupider rules expansions, the game has never seemed that unbalanced to me. But then again I have played so many different RPGs that it is hard not to draw on experience from other games. I guess my games are pretty different from most others.

The really funny thing here is that I don't actually even like D&D all that much. I much prefer the Storyteller system, or Champions (heh, you want to talk about broken systems. . .) but my players keep wanting me to run D&D over everything else.

turkishproverb
2008-06-13, 03:51 AM
Turkishproverb: It's a fair point that 4E isn't as versatile as 3.5E. I guess my argument comes down to this: it's all personal preference, man. Me, I'm kind of a Leeroy Jenkins type, the one who's the first to kick down the door and run in screaming and waving a battleaxe. To be honest, 4E looks more conducive to that type of play. And I think it's better for "one-off" adventures as well, which I unfortunately find myself playing more times than not.

The only argument I won't tolerate is that 4E somehow ruins role-playing because it's combat-focused. Most disputes got solved that way in 3.5 as well, if I'm not mistaken.


Oh, I just say i think its less inducive of roleplaying, and I DO dislike the skill system.

I know it doesn't ruin roleplaying. I roleplay while playing magic and tick tack toe.

SmartAlec
2008-06-13, 04:38 AM
It never seemed to be that way in my games. Apparently I have much more mature players than is common.

Wouldn't know about mature. You'd be the judge of that. But there were certainly lots of ways to play a wizard, though, that didn't involve large explosions and drawing attention to yourself. Indeed, there were quite a few things the Wizard could do that were often far better than making things explode. Making enemies helpless, for one; essentially, the 'controller' role the wizard fulfils in 4th Ed.

Possibly they never got a chance to figure this out for themselves, seeing as every time they played one, you hit them with the DM stick until they died!

If you're still rationalising that every single monster in the area will make a beeline for the guy in the dress who doesn't seem to be doing anything despite the bellowing guy with the sword in front of them hacking off limbs, the guy in leather leaping about and stabbing people in the back, the macewielding healer guy who worships a heathen good deity and the archer shooting people in the face with a bow, then fair enough, whatever.


Not actually my point. My point was lack of DIFFERENTIATION outside of combat.

Yes, compared to the 3rd Ed model of 'Rogue does the talking and the lockpicking/trapfinding whenever Wizard doesn't have find trap or knock memorised, Wizard does everything else, and that's it', 4th Ed is awfully limited.

(It's not, really. Seriously, there's a lot of freedom in the 4th Ed system. Yes; it moves the spotlight away from some classes. It does open up some intriguing teamwork options if a whole party can take part in different 'roles' in a single well-thought-out skill challenge. Goodbye James Bond, Hello Ocean's Eleven.)


Unless the game is now behaving like an MMORPG and the fighters can draw aggro off the wizards. . . But wait, the MMORPG analogy is now verboten on these threads. . .

Ohhhh, hohoho, now you're just trolling. But seriously; yeah. A Fighter can be a competent bodyguard now; he can challenge monsters, rush them, knock them back a square or two, lock down their movement though just being big and dangerous, and generally make them think twice about simply running past the spinning web of steel that is his sword like it wasn't there because if they do it's likely to take their head off.

Can't see how anyone could possibly have a problem with this.


The first time a Warlord does something dumb and gets another player killed, there will be screams at many a table.

Well, for you, clearly, there won't be a problem; the Warlord will be visibly yelling orders, so naturally every 'intelligent' monster will attack him to the exclusion of all else.

FoE
2008-06-13, 05:08 AM
Err, no. The balancing factor is that they draw the most fire..

It's over-powered because you had to take special steps to balance the party, Thrud. It's the same as only using only golems as monsters, or houseruling that a cow wil drop on your wizard every fifth spell he casts. If you have to single out a character for an arbitrary restriction such as limiting his spells or making him the first target for monsters *that means said character is obviously over-powered.

:smallsigh: But it doesn't really matter anyway, since your system obviously works for you. Personally, I would find it kind of boring if I always knew what the monster's strategy would be.

"Don't bother raising that shield, sir knight; we all know where that volley of arrows is headed. Guess we're fighting in the shade today!" :smalltongue:

nagora
2008-06-13, 05:15 AM
Actually, this is an impression a friend of mine and I both got when reading over the books. Both of us had a sense that it felt a lot like 2nd edition, but we couldn't put our finger on why that was. Are there any 1st or 2nd ed aficionados who might elucidate why we might have had this impression? It doesn't seem like it's a reaction unique to us.
There is an increased emphasis on the DM winging things, which is very good news. And there are some patches to combat that bring it back towards 1ed. That's about it, although that has been enough to make me feel that there was some attempt at genuine reform rather than continuing down the same slippery slope as 3ed. But the details are very different.

The robotic encounter schedule (ending with a boss level) and the mechanical combat are still boring distractions from the role-playing as well as making combat into a tedious mockery, and now the spell/powers system has gone the same way.

Character builds are still largely about finding some way to gimp the system in order to gain an advantage instead of being a way of expressing the character's history before play. If this is the best character generation system people can come up with in 25 years, then I think it's time to stop trying and go back to "roll 3d6 in order, pick a race, pick a class, start playing", which has the virtue of being quick at least.

Alignment is now broken completely. The economic system is even worse than any previous edition. The standard out-of-the-box assumptions include "Poochy"-style races which exist only to be trademarks and are just lame. Levelling up is still far too easy; the whole reward system is embarrassingly poorly written and over-complex for what little functionality it has and the continuing ability to simply purchase magic items will keep on demonstrating that "when everybody's special, nobody is".

There certainly are glimmers of hope: the (apparently) reduced role of templates is a big one. Someone said that monsters in 1ed couldn't have levels. In fact, they could (there is a section in the DMG about humanoid witch-doctors and shamen, for example); there just wasn't much in the way of restrictions about how the DM went about it. 1ed was very much about giving the DM and players a minimal framework and letting them fill in the details where they were wanted. Which, of course, is another way of saying that it allowed the DM and players to leave blank those parts they didn't need.

Templated monsters seemed to me to have a suffocating effect on creativity in 3ed, allowing the DM to just make up a monster off the cuff is a much more 1ed way, and a much better way too, IMO. I think that if 4ed encourages that sort of creativity then we'll see more DMs create interesting "one-shots" and fewer whining that because there's no rules for zombie dragons s/he can't put one into an encounter!

The other old-edition feature is the break with the notion of everyone in the world is a character with the same rules as the supposedly exceptional player character. Ordinary people are just that, ordinary. Giving them levels with hit dice and feats and all the rest was stupid and a waste of the DM's time; getting rid of that notion, even partly, is a Good Thing.

There seems to be much more of a role for the fighters too, which can only be an improvement.

But I think the skill system still breaks the class system, although other "old schoolers" like Matthew- wouldn't necessarily agree with that. And multi-classing is still "by munchkins, for munchkins(tm)". Again, if this is the best they could come up with then they should just have dropped multiclassing completely.

Was 1ed perfect? No. But if I were to pick a direction to go from it, I would probably pick less rules rather than more, but chiefly I would have liked a simple re-organisation of the rule books.

tumble check
2008-06-13, 08:09 AM
You know, most of the arguments around Fourth Edition seem to focus on the limited range of choices for developing PCs. I'm going to come out and say it: yes, Fourth Edition doesn't have nearly the range of options for designing PCs 3.5 Edition, even if you just compared core books and ignored any potential splatbooks coming out for Fourth. If that's your bag, well ... it's obviously not for you.

But I'll note that none of the staunchest critics bother to make these arguments:
1) DMs had a much easier job running adventures in 3.5 Edition
2) Combats ran so much smoother and quicker in 3.5 Edition


Yes, most of the people complaining about 4e are people who play PCs more and DM less, especially those like me who like to make very unorthodox characters. 4e is definitely the "DM's version" of DnD.


Indeed, there were quite a few things the Wizard could do that were often far better than making things explode. Making enemies helpless, for one; essentially, the 'controller' role the wizard fulfils in 4th Ed.


Do you really think that the wizard fits into a "controller" role? The Wizard has many ranged and area attacks that do damage, but also other things that I suppose could be considered controlling such as dazing, slowing, etc. Is that what you mean by controller? Because if so, almost every class is a controller.



I also feel like DM adjudication with some simple guidelines is a more versatile system than any system limited by being forced to follow its own rules. If I were to try to write rules to accurately govern every potential situation, what happens when something I didn't think of comes up in play? What if I write up complex tables to show how much harder it is to climb for each piece of gear you have on... and then someone needs to climb unencumbered in a heavy gravity environment and I never thought of that when designing the rules? If instead I say, "DM adjudication with these guidelines:" a DM might be given pause for a moment, then decide how to run the encounter.


Rules and DM adjudication are not at odds. To have a list of extended and more complex rules prevents the DM in no way from supplementally ruling or even OVERRULING certain points. The problem with such a skeletal framework of rules is that frequent DM adjudication can lead to inconsistency (unless a DM writes down a certain made-up method so he can use it again later. but once he writes it down, it's basically a house rule, and house rules usually exist to patch holes in the original rule framework)

I think this discussion has more to do with preference of versimilitude. For instance, if I were playing a Rogue involved in some tustle in a ballroom, I might decide that I would want to swing on a chandelier(too lazy to look up the spelling), and land on an opponent. It very much seems that in 4e, with its affinity for the dramatic and cinematic, it is encouraged to roll the minimal amount of checks, and let the player do some "awesome". Whereas what I would personally want, in a situation like that, is to make a jump check to the chandelier after having had a running start(because you need velocity to make the chandelier swing), some sort of dexterity check to make sure that I can keep the swing under control and let go at the right time, calculate the additional falling damage in some way along with an attack from my weapon, and also any pertinent falling damage that my character himself would take. If any of there were to fail, the whole thing would fail, and maybe even take falling damage anyway, save for a reflex save or something.

I believe there is more potential satisfaction to be had in knowing that your character is awesome in the face of complex and multifaceted challenges than to have the DM tell you what awesome crap you just did.



That's a fair opinion, but my mother loves her ipod shuffle and her macbook air


The more I hear these Mac references, the more I realize that:


PC = 3.5e
Mac = 4e


I look forward to the flames from this one.:smallamused:

Gavin Sage
2008-06-13, 08:10 AM
Indeed.
My complaint: 4e doesn't have enough versatility.

His logic seems to be:
3.5 only has X options. But that doesn't mean I can't find an option I can't make.

He's right. However, while 3.5 only has a finite number (X) of options, 4e has not even a tiny fraction of those same options. 4e sacrificed versatility for balance. 4e pigeonholed every class into a "role," be it "striker" or "controller" or "tank" or "leader," etc. It doesn't give you the option of doing much outside that "role." If 3.5 has finite number of options - X, then 4e has finite number of options X/100,000. Round down.

Never, ever take away good features, in the process of an "upgrade." That's the problem with 4e...it's not an upgrade. 1e to 2e was an upgrade (perhaps a minor downgrade, but they didn't change much.) 2e to 3.x was an upgrade, although again, no huge changes. With 4e, they decided to rip everything apart, throw out everything, and start from scratch. That's not the same game anymore, at all. It's something new. I don't mind the new, but it's no longer D&D. I liked D&D. They didn't need to tear it all down and start over.

And just as bad, the new design takes a minimalist approach. They're going with some absurd notion of "elegance in simplicity" or something like that. Nothing ever good comes out of that approach...just look at stuff like the macbook air or the ipod shuffle. Being spartan is not a feature. I want versatile, detailed, even if it ends up complex as trigonometry, I don't care. I hate minimalism.

I'd argue that from a playing perspective 4e is even more complex. Given the Powers and that they come in multiple flavors it strikes me as roughly forcing everyone to play Mage/Cleric/Warlock gestalt. With over twice the spell levels thrown in. Its a ridiculous overload of options that destroys any notions of 'simplicity' to be had.

Simplicity is a Fighter 10 who hits things with his weapon for damage, no super attacks or crazy BS.

I could live with simplicity and I could live with complexity. I don't think I can live with complexity trying to be simplicity and failing to achieve either.

nagora
2008-06-13, 08:12 AM
PC = 3.5e
Mac = 4e


Linux=1ed :smallamused:

Indon
2008-06-13, 08:53 AM
PC = 3.5e
Mac = 4e


Hmm... the Mac OS is based off of a BSD kernel, isn't it? (which is clearly 1'st and 2'nd editions)

PC supports crazy-lots of applications...

Yeah. Just about spot on.

Mjoellnir
2008-06-13, 08:55 AM
I've got two character stories here that I think their concepts can't be converted from 3.5 to 4e. At least not yet. I'll let you have a look at their stories and see if people can preserve the essence of these characters (mostly I'm hoping for responses from those arguing with Talya). Use whatever level you feel is appropriate.

Gaston (http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dhj7x8nv_36m68fv)
Rolluc (http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dhj7x8nv_6c2pfx2)

I don't know if I agree completely with Talya or if we're even trying to make the same point. I'd like to see people try to construct characters based completely off their "story" instead of vague mechanical assertions. Thanks

Well, that's not really much to work with. Gaston would simply be a human fighter who specialises in heavy blades, with good scores in strength, dexterity and intelligence. I think Rolluc is a Wizard or Warlock (pact with his god?) who multiclassed in rogue, since he seems to be mainly a sneaky, magical trickster instead of a dirty daggerfighter.

But back to topic, what's wrong with 4E?

The system is fine, except for some minor problems (too few skills, because the INT-Mod doesn't give any) and the lack of splat books. I really like the powers and that Evasion and Uncanny Dodge are finally feats, that Weapon Focus scales with the tiers etc. (I could go on for hours). I see no problem in reviving old spells as new powers or rituals, or in giving Int-Mod bonus skills which can be freely chosen to all characters as house rules.

The big problem of 4E isn't in the rules but in the background. We have lost our lovely "MygrandfatherwasGraz'zt"-Tieflings, we've got some weird halfassed half-dragons who aren't half-dragons, we got some cool Eladrin which don't really fit in the existing settings, we lost Aasimar and Genasi, humanoid Angels, celestial archons and their replacements are total crap! In the Forgotten Realms we have the situation, that many gods died for 4E, Eilistraee, Mystra and Helm I know for sure, but I guess they're not the only ones of course, Drizzt and Elminster are still alive..... Now I have the problem of converting many old things that I like from 3.5 to 4E, and that's the one big failing of the D&D 4th Edition, that it destroyed so much storywise.

Kizara
2008-06-13, 09:04 AM
Other's have specific nitpicks and issues with the system that they have presented earlier. I read 13 pages of this thread and got sick of reading the arguments.


To answer the question of what I don't like about 4ed I must first answer the question "Why do I play D&D?". People play it for different reasons afterall, from just an excuse to make Monty Python jokes with your friends to arena PvP play.

So, why do I play it? That requires some backstory:
I've always wanted to RP, even before I knew what D&D actually was. I would get together with my friends and pretend to RP with homebrewed freeform systems. The systems sucked, they had no basis, the characters were arbitary and I didn't even have a resolution system.

Now, after that nonsense I found 3.0e D&D and after some initial reservations I fell in love. I read the core books, all 3, cover to cover, at least once. I re-read the spell descriptions 3-4 times, memorizing them. I 'Groked' the system. Why did I love it? Because now my fantasy world made sense! Everything did! Monsters had HD that determined how powerful they were, spells had levels that were related to caster level, DCs that were based on character ability and spell level, etc etc. Everything had a rule! Even things I could barely wrap my head around (ariel combat) had rules, and the majority of them were good.

My world made sense. Commoners with poor stats and 2 skills rubbed noses with adventures that could throw fireballs and fly. Even things like LA and ECL (after a bit of thinking) made an amount of sense. (for the record, I like LA, I just don't care for how they balanced it: there needs to be more Goliaths and less Assimar)

My character was real! All my abilities and stats were well defined. Anything that was a bit more quirky that I wanted could be extrapolated from the extremely robust and deep system that already existed and precedent that it provided me.


In short, I play D&D to have a deep and through system to represent my fantasy in the most accurate way practical. I don't really want a 'gritty' game, but I do want a serious and complex one. I thrive on the complexity, as a DM I go out of my way to use spellcasting monsters or to give existing ones many more abilities. I also enjoy the optimization aspect from my competitive side. It's a fun little bonus to my great RPing system.


I'll also say the following things about 3.5 that 4e 'fixes':

-I, personally, love spells like Teleport, Plane Shift and Create Food and Water. I like high-magic worlds usually, so incorporating these spells into the functionality of those worlds is not an issue for me. Same with campaigns, I find that my players having many abilities and options open to them gives me a great deal of freedom to create fantastic and challanging adventures. In fact, I am frequently annoyed that my players aren't resourceful enough, even though I give out more treasure then WBL and use very high starting stats.

-There are certinally a few 'bad apple' spells. Polymorph, Knock, Rope Trick. These spells are serious problems. The solution, however, is to fix the problems and perhaps tone done the power level, not to throw out the whole (extremely well made) spellcasting system and utterly nerfing what 'spells' you keep.

-I don't care for where 3.5 went to with the later additions of its splat. I honestly feel 3.0 was a more 'true' system in some ways, even if 3.5 made many good changes.

So, what's wrong with 4ed?

-It gives me signifigantly less ability to represent my fantasy, both in world design and character design. Saying "you can just arbitarily decide what you want if you want additional depth" is UTTERLY unacceptable to me. The entire point of the RPG system is to provide the tools to create my world and my characters, if it provides me with inferior tools to do this I don't give a flying neutered rat's ass if they are easier to use.

-Forced equality. 3.5 often implied your level in various ways (BAB, Saves, max Ranks, etc were all related to level). 4e simply uses your level as a hard factor in determining ability, instead of a relative measure. Why are you better at attacking at level 3 then 4? Its not cause you have 1 more BAB (which directly meant more combat skill), its cause you just are, and I despise this. Same goes with 1/2 level to skill vs more skill ranks. This also minimizes optimization, which I felt was a valid and desirable aspect of 3e. Ability should be earned, not granted simply because you are higher level. Everything must be earned.

-Leveling and class system. 3e's class system was fantastic. Mutliclassing and PrCs allowed for so much flexibility in both character design and game design that it impresses me to this day. More then once I've homebrewed a PrC for a specific character concept (Priestess of the Moon, Shield of the Faith), which I was able to do because of the deep and grounded system that already existed. My character concept can almost certinally be accurately protrayed by an appropriate selection of feats and multiclassing.
In 4e, we not only have lame classes, but we have a comparitively restrictive and clunky system for trying to combine them.

-Teamwork forced down my throat and being pigeonholed into a role. I want my character to be powerful, versitile and capable. I don't want to be forced to rely on a party or have many of my abilities be dependant on allies. Sure, having a character (such as a bard) that did that would be a valid option, but it shouldn't be the only 'option'.

-Healing Surges. I hate the entire concept. It reminds me of watching Power Rangers as a kid:
They would get hurt, generally represented by them protraying pain and becoming dirty. Then something would inspire or rally them and they would 'get better' and fight back and win the day. Even when I was 11 and didn't know any better this broke my suspension of disbelief and pulled me out of the show (which I otherwise liked, until all the stupid spinoffs).

-Humogonizing the classes. "Wizards are too powerful and special, it makes others feel less valuable. Solution: now NOBODY IS POWERFUL OR SPECIAL". Thank you, no.
Furthermore, there isn't any spellcasting anymore. Now we have 'spell' encounter powers, which are functionally identical to the fighter's (martial?) encounter powers (I know they have different results, I mean they are performed in the same way). I shouldn't need to explain why this is terrible.

-No penalties anymore. Not only does this remove a very useful tool for simulation (this race is frail, that means its LESS HEARTY then normal, not just that it fails to be tougher then normal), but its lame and pathetic. What, people can't handle aspects were sometimes there's a downside to what you do? REALLY? Bloody sad is what that is. They forgot to multiply all values by 100, because everything's better with arbitarily bigger numbers too.

-Removal of codes and RP-based restrictions. Why, because some people couldn't handle it? Please. Just add another notch of a valuable aspect of system depth that was killed because it 'complicated' things or couldn't be easily handled by immature people.

-'Cinematic rules'. Its just a 'pleasant' way of saying "bullshiet rules" in my opinion. "Let's do something that doesn't make much sense, because wouldn't it be cool and easy if we did?!" is not somehow a valid justifcation. Just like "I want to" doesn't mean you get to play a race with +4 net ability mods with no LA. (hint hint)

-Dragonborn and tieflings in core. More of an distasteful annoyance really, I actually think their background fluff is fairly interesting. My issue is the obvious fanservice nature of their inclusion. Why isn't there Assimar? The good news is you can easily homebrew them, since racial differences are maginal anyways, like everything else.

-Tone of presented material. It's presented with a casual, light and simple flair to it that just offends me in a subtle way that is difficult to describe. I don't do anything 'casually', and a system designed that way holds no water with me.

-Per-Encounter abilities. You can only use an ability once a fight? Why? But if you get into another fight later that hour, you can use it again? Why? Why couldn't you use it again the very next round the first time? An 'encounter' is a subjective and fairly arbitary thing, that should never be used as a basis for a mechanic.

EDIT: More stuff I thought of.
-Skill 'system'. Now, there was a problem in 3e regarding how limited characters were in being able to be skillful. There were two solutions to this: a) give everyone more skill points or b) combine some similar skills so that people's points go further. I chose a version of B. 4e did as well, but also removed the flexibility and depth the skill point system provided and replaced it with a simplistic abstraction that does the job of simulating character skills terribly but it does it with little fuss. I believe my skill set system is in my sig, if not PM me and I'll gladly share it. I will comment that the Skill Challenges concept has potential.

-"Ritual Spells". Now, I have nothing against this in concept, the problem is mainly how they are available and allocated. I don't care for iconic spells to be rituals that aren't automatically granted to the appropriate classes, nor do I accept anyone being able to learn them. Fighter spends a feat (which now is nothing relivant (like most character 'options')) and suddenly can raise the dead... what? Some say "well, he'd have to RP that", which I certinally agree, but don't really care how much RP is involved since he isn't becoming a cleric and progressing in the class for like 10 levels (what should be required to raise the dead). For the record, I also didn't care for the feats in the Carc that granted you a small spellcasting ability or Arcane Disciple for the same reasons (Arcane Disciple was also overpowered).

-Weapon-based ability damage. Many powers multiply weapon damage by an amount, why? And by 'why' I mean "explain it to me in out of game terms, not why its cool". I could see powers dealing a function of strength to your damage or something, or just giving you some D6s, but giving you 3[W]? It doesn't make sense.

-Magic item 'system'. Some people had this huge issue with people having lots of magic items, I thought it was great. Why? For one, your item buys were part of your playing skill and also a way to customize your character; buying armor and defensive items gave a different feel and result then just buying a shinnier greataxe. Not only does the new system minimalize items, it also breaks world versimilatude in its resale values and things like 'threshold'.

-MM is just garbage. Its a nice repository of new art, from what I've seen. And it has the informative value of a brief stat-block of a creature you might find in a sidebar of a 3.5 book. Which was dissapointing, as I was really liking where they were going with the newer MMs, and the MM5 is one of my favorites.

-Neutering of alignments. Stupid, accomplishes nothing (now there's MORE holes in the alignment system? brilliant) and gives you less tools to work with in character and world building. I bet demons and devils are just synonomous now, since LE doesn't exist (which was one of my favorite alignments, as was CG).
As referance, my current cleric through much RPing has shifted from LE to LN (her god is LN). It's nice that under 4e she would be always considered 'unaligned', which is utter garbage and destroys a vital aspect of this character's development.

-Things expressed in squares and elimination of diagonal movement. Now, I can live with this one, as I can convert back and such is hardly a deal-breaker, but it says something about the focus. Relative distance isn't relivant, squares of movement is. Having to keep being pulled out to think of things as squares lowers immersion in my opinion. Elimination of diagonal movement is simply another notch on the belt of valuable aspects removed from 4e for the sake of simplicity. Simple isn't inherently good people, although I'll take clean over convoluted.

Roderick_BR
2008-06-13, 09:19 AM
However, while 3.5 only has a finite number (X) of options, 4e has not even a tiny fraction of those same options. 4e sacrificed versatility for balance. 4e pigeonholed every class into a "role," be it "striker" or "controller" or "tank" or "leader," etc. It doesn't give you the option of doing much outside that "role." If 3.5 has finite number of options - X, then 4e has finite number of options X/100,000. Round down.

I've been reading it, and seems like the "roles" are more a specialization than a restriction. It does say that every character, while being part of a role, it has already bits of others. The book even point that fighter can be a rasonable striker, and paladin can be a reasonable leader. For everything else, you can use the multiclass feats to increase versatility, but without making your character change into something else.
I like that you stick to one role, and can pick traits from othes, instead of trying to be good at everything at once, as if you were a single character in a videogame.

They didn't start out from scratch.
This is an excellent update to Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.
Funny, I thought the same thing. In AD&D, if you started as a fighter, it was almost impossible to be something else (you started as a fighter and now want to cast spells? Double class into wizard. You need Int 17 and Str 15. And don't even think about using your weapons proficiences, or you'll lose XP). In 4E, you still keep your base class for life, but now you can pick the abilities from the others classes as you want (you started as a fighter and now want to cast spells? Ok, take this feat to cast spells as a wizard, and this other feat to use rituals. done).

Thus far, I read the paladin and the fighter. The fighter got many of the tactical feats from 3.5 as powers (he pretty much have Stand Still as a class feature), and the paladin bought the PHB2's knights stuff in a garage sale, along something from the ToB's crusader in the sales bin. It's interesting now that they can actually resist stuff better, being the defense/resistance based characters, while being able to dip into others roles. You can say the fighter is a defender/striker and the paladin is a defender/leader. That not counting multiclassing.
I'm actually thinking about a paladin multiclassing into fighter for the ultimate tank (leaving the leader stuff for someone else). I tought about multiclassing into rogue, but I think he's more about finesse, so I'll go with fighter.

Indon
2008-06-13, 12:16 PM
In short, I play D&D to have a deep and through system to represent my fantasy in the most accurate way practical. I don't really want a 'gritty' game, but I do want a serious and complex one. I thrive on the complexity, as a DM I go out of my way to use spellcasting monsters or to give existing ones many more abilities. I also enjoy the optimization aspect from my competitive side. It's a fun little bonus to my great RPing system.

This thread also got me thinking about why I switched over to 3'rd edition from AD&D, when I realized that at the time 3'rd edition came out, I was largely not playing D&D anymore.

Instead, I was playing White Wolf games, particularly the World of Darkness games. The World of Darkness system came with more flavor and character options, a wealth of mechanical diversity, and relatively intuitive rules for both players and DM's. So when I had an idea, I wasn't looking to AD&D - I was looking to the system underlying the World of Darkness games.

3'rd edition pulled me back to D&D from that - 3'rd edition had wider character options and mechanical diversity, rules were simplified and improved (like standardized spell ranges), and ultimately the D20 system's Open Gaming Licence carried the promise of both convenient access to the core books, and a proliferation of third-party content.

Without support for 3'rd edition, though, the big advantage of prolific third-party content is gone - meanwhile, I haven't looked at the newest edition of World of Darkness very much but I can say the old system is no worse for time passing, and growing increasingly attractive by comparison.

turkishproverb
2008-06-13, 01:39 PM
Other's have specific nitpicks and issues with the system that they have presented earlier. I read 13 pages of this thread and got sick of reading the arguments.


To answer the question of what I don't like about 4ed I must first answer the question "Why do I play D&D?". People play it for different reasons afterall, from just an excuse to make Monty Python jokes with your friends to arena PvP play.

So, why do I play it? That requires some backstory:
I've always wanted to RP, even before I knew what D&D actually was. I would get together with my friends and pretend to RP with homebrewed freeform systems. The systems sucked, they had no basis, the characters were arbitary and I didn't even have a resolution system.

Now, after that nonsense I found 3.0e D&D and after some initial reservations I fell in love. I read the core books, all 3, cover to cover, at least once. I re-read the spell descriptions 3-4 times, memorizing them. I 'Groked' the system. Why did I love it? Because now my fantasy world made sense! Everything did! Monsters had HD that determined how powerful they were, spells had levels that were related to caster level, DCs that were based on character ability and spell level, etc etc. Everything had a rule! Even things I could barely wrap my head around (ariel combat) had rules, and the majority of them were good.

My world made sense. Commoners with poor stats and 2 skills rubbed noses with adventures that could throw fireballs and fly. Even things like LA and ECL (after a bit of thinking) made an amount of sense. (for the record, I like LA, I just don't care for how they balanced it: there needs to be more Goliaths and less Assimar)

My character was real! All my abilities and stats were well defined. Anything that was a bit more quirky that I wanted could be extrapolated from the extremely robust and deep system that already existed and precedent that it provided me.


In short, I play D&D to have a deep and through system to represent my fantasy in the most accurate way practical. I don't really want a 'gritty' game, but I do want a serious and complex one. I thrive on the complexity, as a DM I go out of my way to use spellcasting monsters or to give existing ones many more abilities. I also enjoy the optimization aspect from my competitive side. It's a fun little bonus to my great RPing system.


I'll also say the following things about 3.5 that 4e 'fixes':

-I, personally, love spells like Teleport, Plane Shift and Create Food and Water. I like high-magic worlds usually, so incorporating these spells into the functionality of those worlds is not an issue for me. Same with campaigns, I find that my players having many abilities and options open to them gives me a great deal of freedom to create fantastic and challanging adventures. In fact, I am frequently annoyed that my players aren't resourceful enough, even though I give out more treasure then WBL and use very high starting stats.

-There are certinally a few 'bad apple' spells. Polymorph, Knock, Rope Trick. These spells are serious problems. The solution, however, is to fix the problems and perhaps tone done the power level, not to throw out the whole (extremely well made) spellcasting system and utterly nerfing what 'spells' you keep.

-I don't care for where 3.5 went to with the later additions of its splat. I honestly feel 3.0 was a more 'true' system in some ways, even if 3.5 made many good changes.

So, what's wrong with 4ed?

-It gives me signifigantly less ability to represent my fantasy, both in world design and character design. Saying "you can just arbitarily decide what you want if you want additional depth" is UTTERLY unacceptable to me. The entire point of the RPG system is to provide the tools to create my world and my characters, if it provides me with inferior tools to do this I don't give a flying neutered rat's ass if they are easier to use.

-Forced equality. 3.5 often implied your level in various ways (BAB, Saves, max Ranks, etc were all related to level). 4e simply uses your level as a hard factor in determining ability, instead of a relative measure. Why are you better at attacking at level 3 then 4? Its not cause you have 1 more BAB (which directly meant more combat skill), its cause you just are, and I despise this. Same goes with 1/2 level to skill vs more skill ranks. This also minimizes optimization, which I felt was a valid and desirable aspect of 3e. Ability is earned, not granted simply because you are higher level. Everything must be earned.

-Leveling and class system. 3e's class system was fantastic. Mutliclassing and PrCs allowed for so much flexibility in both character design and game design that it impresses me to this day. More then once I've homebrewed a PrC for a specific character concept (Priestess of the Moon, Shield of the Faith), which I was able to do because of the deep and grounded system that already existed. My character can concept can almost certinally be accurately protrayed by an appropriate selection of feats and multiclassing.
In 4e, we not only have lame classes, but we have a comparitively restrictive and clunky system for trying to combine them.

-Teamwork forced down my throat and being pigeonholed into a role. I want my character to be powerful, versitile and capable. I don't want to be forced to rely on a party or have many of my abilities be dependant on allies. Sure, having a character (such as a bard) that did that would be a valid option, but it shouldn't be the only 'option'.

-Healing Surges. I hate the entire concept. It reminds me of watching Power Rangers as a kid:
They would get hurt, generally represented by them protraying pain and becoming dirty. Then something would inspire or rally them and they would 'get better' and fight back and win the day. Even when I was 11 and didn't know any better this broke my suspension of disbelief and pulled me out of the show (which I otherwise liked, until all the stupid spinoffs).

-Humogonizing the classes. "Wizards are too powerful and special, it makes others feel less valuable. Solution: now NOBODY IS POWERFUL OR SPECIAL". Thank you, no.
Furthermore, there isn't any spellcasting anymore. Now he have 'spell' encounter powers, which are functionally identical to the fighter's (martial?) encounter powers (I know they have different results, I mean they are performed in the same way). I shouldn't need to explain why this is terrible.

-No penalties anymore. Not only does this remove a very useful tool for simulation (this race is frail, that means its LESS HEARTY then normal, not just that it fails to be tougher then normal), but its lame and pathetic. What, people can't handle aspects were sometimes there's a downside to what you do? REALLY? Bloody sad is what that is. They forgot to multiply all values by 100, because everything's better with arbitarily bigger numbers too.

-Removal of codes and RP-based restrictions. Why, because some people couldn't handle it? Please. Just add another notch of a valuable aspect of system depth that was killed because it 'complicated' things or couldn't be easily handled by immature people.

-'Cinimatic rules'. Its just a 'pleasant' way of saying "bullshiet rules" in my opinion. "Let's do something that doesn't make much sense, because wouldn't it be cool and easy if we did?!" is not somehow a valid justifcation. Just like "I want to" doesn't mean you get to play a race with +4 net ability mods with no LA. (hint hint)

-Dragonborn and tieflings in core. More of an distasteful annoyance really, I actually think their background fluff is fairly interesting. My issue is the obvious fanservice nature of their inclusion. Why isn't there Assimar? The good news is you can easily homebrew them, since racial differences are maginal anyways, like everything else.

-Tone of presented material. It's presented with a casual, light and simple flair to it that just offends me in a subtle way that is difficult to describe. I don't do anything 'casually', and a system designed that way holds no water with me.

-Per-Encounter abilities. You can only use an ability once a fight? Why? But if you get into another fight later that hour, you can use it again? Why? Why couldn't you use it again the very next round the first time? An 'encounter' is a subjective and fairly arbitary thing, that should never be used as a basis for a mechanic. l

Agreed. I'm glad someone could put it so elegantly. IT is a real step backward from 3rd

nagora
2008-06-13, 01:49 PM
Funny, I thought the same thing. In AD&D, if you started as a fighter, it was almost impossible to be something else
As a human, certainly. That was a strength, IMO. Races were different, humans had a limitation (not good at multi-classing) and a balancing advantage (great at specialising in one thing), and the other races were good at muti-classing and relatively weak (but still very very capable) at any one thing. Classes and races actually contributed something to the character's identity by giving a basic form upon which a good player could build.

The 3e+ system where everybody can do everything leads to blandness and boring characters who are little more than a paint job over the same old multi-classed tailor's dummy that you can see people discussing over and over again.

It's ironic, but sometimes customisation can rob something of its individuality.

Diamondeye
2008-06-13, 02:00 PM
Actually I thought the AD&D system led to bland, repetetive characters.

Mjoellnir
2008-06-13, 02:23 PM
I have a thread called "My favorite character" somewhere in this forum.

Ignoring that splatbooks have allowed her to be a lot more than she could otherwise, and that her two core classes don't even exist in 4e, how would you manage to make her background in 4th edition?

She needs to be primarily enchantment mind-control based, with plenty of fiery-blastiness and battlefield control spells to go with it. She needs performance skills as part of her combat repetoire. She also needs to be able to fill the roll of the traditional fantasy super-sorceress/enchantress, a mystical figure who most immediately fall in love with upon meeting her (similar to Galadriel), but can just as quickly turn you into a toad if you cross her.

She needs to be decent with a scimitar, arabic in flavor, with some minor healing capabilities as well.

Make it work.

Too much work I guess. Let's try something simpler.

Try to make the Superman story. Only don't give him superstrength, heatvision, flight, indestructability, or vulnerability to kryptonite.

Sorry, I'm not yet able to clone your character completely in 4th Edition, but the proposal with the Fey Pact Warlock is already decent. A bit of healing can be done with ritual casting so you should get that feat, then it's your choice, you can either expend your healing (multiclass cleric) or blasting (multiclass wizard) and improve your skills with the scimitar by using feats or you could multiclass into Warlord to get some healing powers and some decent attacks. Say what you want and give me the ability scores you rolled for her (+ her level) and I will try to make a complete build that can fill her role.

The superman story is at its core (that's my opinion) simply the old story of an alien who grows up with another people and becomes their champion. The exactly same story exists in the Warhammer 40k history with Sanguinius and I think there are more out there.... An aasimar orphan would be perfect for the role, but the idiots killed off aasimar and genasi.... Well I have to work with what I have, a human-like race with special powers... Shadar-kai. Let's make a background for the character.
A small shadar-kai community in the shadowfell gets attacked by cultists of Orcus, they are losing but have something important to protect for the raven queen, so they try to teleport the only child away to another community. The spell gets corrupted, the child is teleported to the material plane and found by a human hunter, who takes the kid as his own son. He grows up like a normal human child, but while in puberty his shadar-kai powers (short-range teleport with subsequent ghost-form) break through, which he uses to help people secretly. He begins training in a class of your choice and begins protecting the humans as a masked hero (I hate the crap with the glasses). That's the story of superman in 4th Edition.

Talya
2008-06-13, 02:35 PM
Without support for 3'rd edition, though, the big advantage of prolific third-party content is gone.


Pathfinder looks good, though.

nagora
2008-06-13, 02:57 PM
Actually I thought the AD&D system led to bland, repetetive characters.
Only if you think "character" means the list of numbers on your sheet.

FoE
2008-06-13, 03:07 PM
Agreed. I'm glad someone could put it so elegantly. It is a real step backward from 3rd

Naaaah. Just different.

Diamondeye
2008-06-13, 03:10 PM
Only if you think "character" means the list of numbers on your sheet.


Character does mean the numbers on your sheet. That's why it's called a character sheet.

You can only attach roleplaying and personality to the same basic character so many times before it gets boring. Ok, you want to be a fighter: You're going to be heavily armored, and 90% of the time use a longsword and shield or a two-handed sword, so basically you can be a mercenary fighter or a knight. There's not that many other basic concepts to fit to.

The numbers on the character sheet should reflect the character you are trying to roleplay. Trying to roleplay abilities your character doesn't have is just like considering your characters nothing but sets of abilities: In either case the two things that should be complimentary are not meshing.

Crazy_Uncle_Doug
2008-06-13, 03:16 PM
As a human, certainly. That was a strength, IMO. Races were different, humans had a limitation (not good at multi-classing) and a balancing advantage (great at specialising in one thing), and the other races were good at muti-classing and relatively weak (but still very very capable) at any one thing. Classes and races actually contributed something to the character's identity by giving a basic form upon which a good player could build.

The 3e+ system where everybody can do everything leads to blandness and boring characters who are little more than a paint job over the same old multi-classed tailor's dummy that you can see people discussing over and over again.

It's ironic, but sometimes customisation can rob something of its individuality.

AD&D had it's flaws, but I did like the limitations and multi-classing limits. Humans could do something called "Dual Class" but even in 2nd Edition it was a bit byzantine in practice and most humans I've played stuck with whatever class they had.

Funny, but there were times I'd look at an aspect of 1st or 2nd Edition AD&D and wonder why things were structured a certain way. It actually took 3e for me to appreciate some of the limits and rules AD&D had back in the day.

thevorpalbunny
2008-06-13, 03:35 PM
But I'll note that none of the staunchest critics bother to make these arguments:
1) DMs had a much easier job running adventures in 3.5 Edition
2) Combats ran so much smoother and quicker in 3.5 Edition


It's true, 4e is better for those two things, but it is to the exclusion of all else.

If you want to maximize those things, play a free-form game where the DM can take control of the PCs whenever he wants to. Combat will go by as fast as the DM wants, and the DM can remove anything that makes it harder for them to run the adventure by seizing control and not doing it.



The more I hear these Mac references, the more I realize that:


PC = 3.5e
Mac = 4e


I look forward to the flames from this one.:smallamused:
Maybe. I disagree, but I'm typing this from a Mac Mini and am convinced that OS X is superior to Vista in every mportant aspect and sure that it is superior to XP is most of them.
I also have absolutely no intention of switching to 4e.

Marty
2008-06-13, 03:40 PM
Here's one of my big beefs...

DM: The creatures are gesturing at you and making noises in what seems like a guttural language.
Clrc: Quickly, mage. Can you understand them?
Wiz: I can cast Comprehend Language!
FTR: Great! We need to find out what they're saying quickly!
Wiz: Can you stall them for 10 minutes?
DM: Roll initiative.

Later...

DM: As you run from the creatures, you encounter a sturdy locked door.
FTR: I can't break down the door. Does anyone have an idea?
Wiz: I have Knock!
Rog: Great! We need to get away from those creatures since we can't talk to them.
Wiz: Can you stall them for 10 minutes?
DM: Roll initiative.

And...

Clrc: Thank Pelor we found the secret mechanism to unlock the door, but the creatures are about to break through. What now?
Wiz: I can cast Arcane Lock!
Clrc: ...!
Rog: ...!
FTR: ...! <sigh> 10 minutes?
Wiz: Yeah... F#%k it. Just roll initiative.

Kizara
2008-06-13, 03:40 PM
Agreed. I'm glad someone could put it so elegantly. IT is a real step backward from 3rd

Thanks. I edited that post to include a few more things that didn't come to me before, you may enjoy revisiting it. :)

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-13, 03:57 PM
Character does mean the numbers on your sheet. That's why it's called a character sheet.

By that logic, it would be impossible for fictional characters to exist in any medium except for roleplaying games. If a character has no meaning beyond his stats, then any characters that have no stats simply cannot exist.


You can only attach roleplaying and personality to the same basic character so many times before it gets boring. Ok, you want to be a fighter: You're going to be heavily armored, and 90% of the time use a longsword and shield or a two-handed sword, so basically you can be a mercenary fighter or a knight. There's not that many other basic concepts to fit to.

About ten minutes ago, I finished watching an episode of the L-Word with my girlfriend.

It's not exactly a work of genius, it's a team-written TV soap about lesbians, but it manages to have several dozen distinct characters, all with their own personalities, all of them eminently distinguishable from each other.

Curiously, none of them have any particular special abilities or superpowers. None of them are unusually strong, or wise, or dexterous. They don't fight with a variety of weapons (indeed they don't fight at all). If you had to stat them up in an RPG, they would all have *nearly identical* stat lines.

Yet somehow they manage to be distinct characters.

If you want a more Fantasy-centric example, every single character in George R R Martin's Song of Ice and Fire is basically a Fighter. They wear armour, they kill people with swords. Again somehow they manage to be distinctive, almost as if their personality is unrelated to the weapons they use.


The numbers on the character sheet should reflect the character you are trying to roleplay. Trying to roleplay abilities your character doesn't have is just like considering your characters nothing but sets of abilities: In either case the two things that should be complimentary are not meshing.

And again we see the circular logic come into play.

If an ability is not mechanically represented on your character sheet, your character does not possess that ability. Therefore it is not possible to model IC abilities through roleplaying, because all you will be doing is "roleplaying abilities your character does not have."

It doesn't matter how convincingly you argue your case in front of the King, if the game doesn't have a Diplomacy skill, you are not allowed to be diplomatic.

That's how roleplaying games work, y'all.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-06-13, 04:07 PM
Here's one of my big beefs...

Conversely, that was always one of my beefs with 3.X:

DM: The creatures are gesturing at you and making noises in what seems like a guttural language.
Fighter: Don't worry, I learned many such languages from my orcish...
Wiz: I can cast Comprehend Language!
Fighter: Oh.

Later...

DM: As you run from the creatures, you encounter a sturdy locked door.
FTR: I can't break down the door. Does anyone have an idea?
Rogue: Why yes! I am extremely adept at exactly this sort of...
Wiz: I have Knock!
Rogue: Oh.

And...

Clrc: Thank Pelor we found the secret mechanism to unlock the door, but the creatures are about to break through. What now?
Fighter: You're right cleric, this is a difficult situation. Quick Rogue, try to hammer those door spikes into place, while I use all the strength I can muster to hold this door in place.
Cleric: I will gather together the furnishings in this room to help us build a barricade!
Ranger: Meanwhile, I shall ready my bow, in case the worst should happen and the enemy overrun our barrier.
Wiz: I cast Arcane Lock!
Fighter, Cleric, Rogue and Ranger: Oh.

Learnedguy
2008-06-13, 04:09 PM
So basically all of you guys are complaining about the fact that your wizard ain't Gary Stu anymore?

Because when I read this thread that seems to be the main issue to be honest.

thevorpalbunny
2008-06-13, 04:34 PM
By that logic, it would be impossible for fictional characters to exist in any medium except for roleplaying games. If a character has no meaning beyond his stats, then any characters that have no stats simply cannot exist.



About ten minutes ago, I finished watching an episode of the L-Word with my girlfriend.

It's not exactly a work of genius, it's a team-written TV soap about lesbians, but it manages to have several dozen distinct characters, all with their own personalities, all of them eminently distinguishable from each other.

Curiously, none of them have any particular special abilities or superpowers. None of them are unusually strong, or wise, or dexterous. They don't fight with a variety of weapons (indeed they don't fight at all). If you had to stat them up in an RPG, they would all have *nearly identical* stat lines.

Yet somehow they manage to be distinct characters.

If you want a more Fantasy-centric example, every single character in George R R Martin's Song of Ice and Fire is basically a Fighter. They wear armour, they kill people with swords. Again somehow they manage to be distinctive, almost as if their personality is unrelated to the weapons they use.

If an ability is not mechanically represented on your character sheet, your character does not possess that ability. Therefore it is not possible to model IC abilities through roleplaying, because all you will be doing is "roleplaying abilities your character does not have."

A soap opera or novel is presented very differently from a game. Do you think the authors have drawn up ideas of what their characters can and can't do? If they haven't, they're probably very poor writers (and the characters will probably suffer from Superman-itis; in the early years of Superman he would occasionally acquired super-extra-awesome flatulence or something stupid as a deus ex machina. This power would then disappear, never to be seen again.) All the character sheet does is force the individual authors of the characters to write these out in more detail (and conform to certain rules).

In the soap opera example: yes, they would have nearly identical stat lines in D&D. If you were to create an RPG focused not on heroic adventures but on personalities, they would be very different. In D&D, there are two parts to a character; stats and personality. Personality (ideally) dictates their decisions on what actions to take, stats (always) dictate how effective those actions will be. If you have no stat for a task, there is no way of knowing how effective it will be, so it comes down to a judgement call for the GM. Needless to say, GM's having to make up a rule on the spot before play can continue is a Bad Thing (TM).

In the novel examples, I would argue that if these fighters all fought with the same weapons in the same way and in all other ways had the precise same stats, there would be precious little room for imagination in the battle scenes. If they all made the exact same choices when they were offered choices, they must have similar motivations and valuations of different abilities, and that severely restricts what personalities make sense for them to have.

Marty
2008-06-13, 04:36 PM
Conversely, that was always one of my beefs with 3.X


Perhaps I should have prefaced my little story. The wizard has no non-combat related spells to use during a melee situation because every ritual takes 10 minutes or more to cast. If you want to play balance the wizard, you don't have to throw out the whole magic system. The bath water may have been dirty, but they threw out the baby too!

How come conjuring up a Ray of Frost or Magic Missile takes only 6 seconds, but unlocking a door take 100x that length of time? There is no internal consistency to the way magic works. They just decided to nerf all the non-damage dealing spells giving a minimum of a 10 minute casting cost so they'd be completely useless in an encounter situation. LAME.

The wizard has turned into a small artillery character with no other depth in combat, and not much more depth outside of combat. You can't even build a non-combat wizard. It's impossible under the new rules.

People are beating the skills issue like a dead horse, so I won't go into it, but suffice it to say, I prefer more diverse skills, not fewer jack-of-all-trades combat and dungeon crawling related skills only. Determining the skill difficulty may be a better mechanic, but the skill list sucks. The 3.5 skill system wasn't perfect, but 4e took a huge backward step.

I recall a number of previews stating that magic items would not be central to a character's success and would play a reduced role in the system... and then there's a huge section on magic items in the PHB and how to get a hold of the k3wL l00tz.

4th edition has gone with the philosophy "If it's not useful in combat, it's not useful." I really dislike the change in direction. As others have stated, 2nd edition fixed some things and improved on 1st edition. 3rd edition even more so than 2nd. Each new edition has added more depth to the game. 4th edition has taken a step backward by removing depth in a number of areas. This is a Bad Thing.

Edea
2008-06-13, 04:46 PM
Conversely, that was always one of my beefs with 3.X:


This would be somewhat more like what I'd have wanted. (It's not ideal by any means, but...I like it, anyway):

#1)
DM: The creatures are gesturing at you and making noises in what seems like a guttural language.
Wiz: Mmph, not a language particularly suited for arcane study.
Ftr: I don't get it either, anyone mastered the CL ritual?
Clr: I did, I needed to so I could profess my faith to those who might not understand me normally. I'll cast it now and see what they're saying (casts it immediately).
Rog: Hopefully they're talking about where they hid all the gold *snicker*.

#2)
DM: As you run from the creatures, you encounter a sturdy locked door.
Rog: So not screwing around with unlocking it right now! Somebody use Knock, please.
Ftr: Hehe, got it. *BOOM*. (door swings open rather violently)
Wiz: That ritual...has been reflavored, I take it?
Clr: Talk later! Let's hurry up and get inside!


#3)
Clrc: The creatures are about to break through the door. What now?
Ftr: Arcane Lock?
Wiz: I bought the Disc and the Make Whole rituals, don't look at me o_O.
Clr: Oh, I know full well who bought Arcane Lock (*turns to the rogue and gets a stern look on her face*)
Rog: ...yeah, yeah, fine. (Uses it, immediately afterwards there is aggravated thumping on the other side of the door).
Clr: Don't trust us with your split of the take, do you?
Wiz: Actually, I am guessing he did not want to spend the gold and components on -us- to begin with.
Ftr: Oh, 'zat so?
Rog: Bah, how do you break even in this place?

marjan
2008-06-13, 04:48 PM
DM: The creatures are gesturing at you and making noises in what seems like a guttural language.
Fighter: Don't worry, I learned many such languages from my orcish...
Wiz: I can cast Comprehend Language!
Fighter: Oh.


Considering that you need to touch them... Oh, yeah great idea.



DM: As you run from the creatures, you encounter a sturdy locked door.
FTR: I can't break down the door. Does anyone have an idea?
Rogue: Why yes! I am extremely adept at exactly this sort of...
Wiz: I have Knock!
Rogue: Oh.


And I waste my precious spell slot even though it could be something more useful.



Clrc: Thank Pelor we found the secret mechanism to unlock the door, but the creatures are about to break through. What now?
Fighter: You're right cleric, this is a difficult situation. Quick Rogue, try to hammer those door spikes into place, while I use all the strength I can muster to hold this door in place.
Cleric: I will gather together the furnishings in this room to help us build a barricade!
Ranger: Meanwhile, I shall ready my bow, in case the worst should happen and the enemy overrun our barrier.
Wiz: I cast Arcane Lock!
Fighter, Cleric, Rogue and Ranger: Oh.

... and after then minutes your wizard finishes casting and realizes he's dead.

Now, don't get me wrong, there are some broken spells out there in 3e. These are just some bad examples. Tongues would be much better for the first situation, but even then that's a few times per day at most and you would need to know when the situation would arise or waste the slots on it every day, or spend money on scrolls, or spend XP on Permanency, but these all cost money.

Knock. Oh, yeah this one is broken only because Open Lock sucks. My lvl5 rogue with Skill Focus and Nimble Fingers cannot reliably open any lock, even the crappiest ones. And even then if you have some who can open locks, why bother casting it.

Well, arcane lock is same as 4e one, so I don't see why is it any better now.

And now here is 4e edition example:

Wiz: Oh no, Orcus is after us, what are going to do? We're doomed...
Rogue: *stab* *stab* What Orcus?

How's this any different?

Matthew
2008-06-13, 04:50 PM
There is some excellent fodder for discussion in another thread here. I could imagine an edition comparison erupting into a flame war, but maybe it is a risk worth taking in this case. A lot of the opinions expressed so far are not so much 'wrong' as they are coming from completely different viewpoints as to what 'D&D' should be (or rather, what it is to them).

Several people are confusing 'upgrade' with 'addition', and plenty of people seem uncomfortable with the increased tendency towards dislocated rules. What is very interesting is that people are seeking to compare 4e to AD&D instead of to D20, from what I can tell, as a way of distancing the one from the other.

Not everyone is going to like changing from D20 to 4e, but the vast majority of people are going to make the move. There is nothing inherently wrong with 4e as far as I can tell, it just has subjective faults. If enough of these subjective faults are relevant to an individual, they won't like the result.

tumble check
2008-06-13, 04:51 PM
You can't even build a non-combat wizard. It's impossible under the new rules.




A week ago, when my group and I were brewing up what classes we wanted to be, they told me I might have to play a wizard because no one else was.

I took at look at the class, and tried to assess building one using mostly non-combat options (I've always hated Evocation, or "blasty mages" for you simpletons). Not only did I find it almost impossible, but the result I came up with was mind-numbingly boring.


Luckily, I later realized that no party really needs a Wizard or Cleric anymore. Thanks god.

Marty
2008-06-13, 05:03 PM
This would be somewhat more like what I'd have wanted. (It's not ideal by any means, but...I like it, anyway):


I'm not sure I'm following your follow-up example. The reason I made my example was to show that the monsters aren't going to stand around for 10 minutes waiting for the characters to complete a ritual. I think the ritual rules totally emasculate the utility of all those spells from 3.x.

Your example shows rituals being performed in a short amount of time... but as far as I can tell that can't be done in 4e, right?

SmartAlec
2008-06-13, 05:05 PM
I took at look at the class, and tried to assess building one using mostly non-combat options (I've always hated Evocation, or "blasty mages" for you simpletons). Not only did I find it almost impossible, but the result I came up with was mind-numbingly boring.

You (or someone) mentioned this earlier in the thread, too, I think. Try looking at it from the other angle; the majority of Wizard spells have an important element of enemy supression or neutralisation in them. Yes, they do damage too, but there's enough selection for you to avoid the 'pure' damage spells, if you so wished.

The feel of the Wizard has moved from insane-variety-of-magical-spells-stored-in-the-head to theorist-tapping-into-primeval-elemental-forces, just like the Cleric has changed. It's a paradigm shift, it'll take some getting used to.

Edea
2008-06-13, 05:21 PM
I'm not sure I'm following your follow-up example. The reason I made my example was to show that the monsters aren't going to stand around for 10 minutes waiting for the characters to complete a ritual. I think the ritual rules totally emasculate the utility of all those spells from 3.x.

Your example shows rituals being performed in a short amount of time... but as far as I can tell that can't be done in 4e, right?

That's what I'm saying, I like the fact that one person isn't stuck being the party toolbox, but I dislike the way they handled ritual casting times in 4e. The limit on components (which cost a good chunk of change) was sufficient IMO.

Marty
2008-06-13, 05:27 PM
Luckily, I later realized that no party really needs a Wizard or Cleric anymore. Thanks god.

See, that's the funny thing about 4e. In some ways, they fixed some annoying issues with 3.x, but in most ways, they went way overboard in the other direction.

Healing surges - A good idea in theory, but there are far too many of them. I understand the want to lessen the reliance on a "healer class" character in a party, but they went too far the other way. Fewer would be better.

Skills - 3.x skills did need some re-thinking. Combining some of skills together in a lump makes sense for some of the 3.x skills... but they threw out everything. They over combined and over simplified. Instead of fixing the skill list issue, they made it worse and limited the option of players who want a more robust set of skills to choose from.

Powers - I understand why a spell-caster might have to have a "recharge" cycle in between using powers, but if I'm a fighter and I know a sword maneuver, why would I be limited to using is once an encounter? or once a day? Does a fencer who uses a feints suddenly forget how to feint again during his match? I know it's the new mechanic for classes, but it makes little sense logically.

Rituals - Well, you already know my feeling here. Why does every spell that is not directly related to combat take 100x longer to cast? Makes no sense. Instead of balancing wizard spells, they just threw the whole thing out and replaced it with a system that limits character choice.

Grappling - A pain in 3.x, but almost non-existent in 4e. Basically, you can only now grab. No take-downs, pins, choke holds or any other nuanced unarmed combat maneuvers. I'm been working on a grappling replacement for 3.x that makes it a little more fun and easy. The primary change is that the opponent only gets an opportunity attack if they fend off your grapple attempt. A successful grab means you can then attempt a take-down or other maneuver (and no AoO). I've been thinking of changing things like Trip to follow the same mechanic. I think 3.x gives too many opportunity attacks to defenders which limits fun tricks players might attempt in combat.

Anyway... There are some things I like about the system, but it abandoned a great deal about what I *loved* in 3.x... so I'm disappointed that it wasn't another generational improvement like the last 2 editions.

Sonar009
2008-06-13, 05:27 PM
<snip>And Why did they move blue dragons to the coasts?<snip>

To protect the spoooooky wizard that lives there! :smalltongue:

KBF
2008-06-13, 05:33 PM
There few things 'wrong' with 4e (skill training) and things that are different in a way I don't like (multi-classing seems like a step backwards), but there is one part of the game that seems missing, one that was very dear to me.

Customized magic weapons. I loved making awesome weapons. To clarify, I mean I can't find weapon special abilities, and I miss them. No more Holy Brilliant Energy Greatsword.

nagora
2008-06-13, 05:48 PM
Character does mean the numbers on your sheet. That's why it's called a character sheet.
It's called a character sheet because it's the sheet that records the character; numbers are optional.


You can only attach roleplaying and personality to the same basic character so many times before it gets boring.
If you attach different roleplaying and personality to it then it isn't the same character .


Ok, you want to be a fighter:
Usually, yes.

You're going to be heavily armored,
Might be. Might go for lightly armoured and fast moving. Might live somewhere where heavy armour is more dangerous than monsters if it's hot.


and 90% of the time use a longsword and shield or a two-handed sword,
Horseman's Picks are very good if I'm fighting heavily armoured opponents. Longsword's good, but the bastard sword is more flexible. Two handers are slow and need a lot of room; I'd rather use a footman's mace, which still gives me +3 to hit compared to a longsword against platemail and shield - not as good as the two hander but faster and more manoeuvrable. Against lightly armoured opponents then it's a toss-up between the longsword and the scimitar. Missile weapons are for cowards, and spoil the fun.


so basically you can be a mercenary fighter or a knight.
I see myself more in the freebooter mould. Either way, not all knights are the same and neither are mercenary fighters so even if they were erally the only two options I don't think you would have proved your point.


There's not that many other basic concepts to fit to.
If you say so. :smallamused:


The numbers on the character sheet should reflect the character you are trying to roleplay. Trying to roleplay abilities your character doesn't have is just like considering your characters nothing but sets of abilities: In either case the two things that should be complimentary are not meshing.

Mostly, when not playing old-school, the character sheets I have only have my character's age as far as numbers go. The rest is made up of a picture of the character, where they went to school, what degree or other qualifications they have, and a list of contacts and equipment. Numbers usually get in the way.

FoE
2008-06-13, 05:52 PM
It's true, 4e is better for those two things, but it is to the exclusion of all else.

The ends justify the means, in my opinion.

marjan
2008-06-13, 06:04 PM
The ends justify the means, in my opinion.

In that case: What happened to LE alignment? Since that's their thing. :smallwink:

KKL
2008-06-13, 07:39 PM
In that case: What happened to LE alignment? Since that's their thing. :smallwink:

LE in 3.5e translates to Evil in 4e.

Thrud
2008-06-13, 08:33 PM
Wouldn't know about mature. Possibly they never got a chance to figure this out for themselves, seeing as every time they played one, you hit them with the DM stick until they died!

As I have said multiple times in the past, no, my players do not automatically die whenever they play a M.U. DUMB players tend to die more often when they play a M.U. That is very different. This is because dumb players spend everything on offense, or spend all their spell slots on trying to be batman (which seems to be everyone else's argument) instead of concentrating on what keeps himself and the party alive.


If you're still rationalising that every single monster in the area will make a beeline for the guy in the dress who doesn't seem to be doing anything despite the bellowing guy with the sword in front of them hacking off limbs, the guy in leather leaping about and stabbing people in the back, the macewielding healer guy who worships a heathen good deity and the archer shooting people in the face with a bow, then fair enough, whatever.

Nope, not saying that at all. However, you are a magic user with a fireball memorized. A group of 20 orcs attacks your party. So, are you going to sit there, wait for all the orcs to intermingle with the party, and then fireball everyone, or will you possibly use the spell BEFORE the orcs have closed with the party, and thus paint a large target on your forehead. If you do nothing at all, of course the monsters are going to ignore you. So how is that wizard now hopelessly overpowered? He just sits there and does nothing all the time. Honestly, these are straw man fallacies you keep setting up here.




Yes, compared to the 3rd Ed model of 'Rogue does the talking and the lockpicking/trapfinding whenever Wizard doesn't have find trap or knock memorised, Wizard does everything else, and that's it', 4th Ed is awfully limited.

(It's not, really. Seriously, there's a lot of freedom in the 4th Ed system. Yes; it moves the spotlight away from some classes. It does open up some intriguing teamwork options if a whole party can take part in different 'roles' in a single well-thought-out skill challenge. Goodbye James Bond, Hello Ocean's Eleven.)

Again, I wonder what kinds of games this refers to. Let me bring up an example from last weeks session. Players need info. Duke has it. Fighter is VERY minor nobility. Has no way to even get into an audience until the Duke holds open court in a weeks time. Decides to organize a fox hunt and invite the Duke's son. Uses his ride skill and a few points of animal handling to fake an inability to be the first to the fox after the dogs have got it, by using those two skills he makes it seem like his horse stumbled at the last second, which gives the nobles son the first place at the kill. He then organizes a party afterwards, where they get drunk together. Uses his intimidate (intentionally badly) to get a fight going with some local thugs, saves the duke's son, gets invited to a personal audience with the Duke, and manages to get the information that they needed. All without using the thief or the wizard. Yes, that sort of thing could have been done in 4e, but the point I am trying to make here is that it is bad players, not the system, that leads to thumb twiddling and letting the wizard and the thief do everything. In fact, it has been 3 game sessions since there has even been a scripted combat in my game (i.e. something I planned out ahead of time, not just a bar brawl). (wait till my summing up at the end for the point of this particular statement, though, as at the moment it is not an argument against 4e, just bad players.)



Ohhhh, hohoho, now you're just trolling. But seriously; yeah. A Fighter can be a competent bodyguard now; he can challenge monsters, rush them, knock them back a square or two, lock down their movement though just being big and dangerous, and generally make them think twice about simply running past the spinning web of steel that is his sword like it wasn't there because if they do it's likely to take their head off.

Can't see how anyone could possibly have a problem with this.

Well, for you, clearly, there won't be a problem; the Warlord will be visibly yelling orders, so naturally every 'intelligent' monster will attack him to the exclusion of all else.

In fact, if I were to play 4e, this is what would happen, as that is what happens in the real world. The Warlord is an officer, and most enemies try to take out officers whenever they can because that will cause the biggest disruption for the least effort. But that was not my point about Warlords. I don't think Warlords are overpowered. I think they are flat out a terrible idea. They are one of the key factors that to me said they spent all their time working on the combat, and not thinking about roleplaying implications. In a perfect world, where everyone is playing a tabletop miniatures game, warlords are fine. In fact, I would go so far as to say in a miniatures game it would be dumb not to have one. In a ROLEPLAYING game they are a terrible idea.

Lets give a couple examples that crop up off the top of my head. Inexperienced player is playing warlord. Fighter is attacking critter. Critter has some form of radiant damage that is taken when you hit it. I am sure there are some examples in the game. Fighter decides to fall back and apply healing before pressing attack. Inexperienced player does not notice this and uses power that makes fighter attack again and gets him killed. Another example. Warlord is unaligned. LG paladin keeps getting in the way of Warlord's desire for power. Paladin is in a combat situation where he is sorely pressed, and needs to retreat immediately to use healing of one form or another. Warlord uses a 1st level power to make the paladin and an enemy switch places, so paladin is now surrounded, and dies. Warlord no longer has to deal with annoying paladin stopping his increasing desire for power.

Now once again these are examples that would crop up when an inexperienced DM is involved and doesn't know about applying the rolled up newspaper to the nose. But those problems occurred to me within moments of reading the basic concept of the warlord. Players should just not have access to that sort of control of other players characters. It is just asking for trouble. And though many of the powers of the warlord say 'may', not all of them do. And even if you say, well, those are misprints and all the powers should be 'may' then suddenly the warlord is no longer a terribly useful character just because in a roleplaying situation characters can get angry at each other and suddenly the warlord may find his main abilities, i.e. the ability to use other characters in combat instead of doing it himself a lot of the time, makes other PC's chose not to attack for him, saying stuff like 'hey, we are up on the front line getting pounded on all the time, you are a big tough guy, why don't you come up here and do some of the work'. After all, it is not like he is hanging back because he is weak, or lobbing big radius damage spells. No, his powers are single target and work through other characters.

So, like I said, fine in concept with a miniatures game, bad idea in RPG.

What all of my complaints boil down to about the system are: They made massive adjustments to the combat system, which was as far as I was concerned the least important aspect of the game, and cut away dramatically at all the other stuff that I DID like.

marjan
2008-06-13, 09:00 PM
As I have said multiple times in the past, no, my players do not automatically die whenever they play a M.U. DUMB players tend to die more often when they play a M.U. That is very different. This is because dumb players spend everything on offense, or spend all their spell slots on trying to be batman (which seems to be everyone else's argument) instead of concentrating on what keeps himself and the party alive.


I'm pretty sure that dumb players would die even if you gave them whole pantheon to play with and send them against kobolds.

Wizards require a bit of logical thinking to be played effectively, there's nothing new there. And I am pretty sure that properly played wizard will survive much longer than any other class there without solely focusing on defense. This is the reason why wizards are considered powerful.



Nope, not saying that at all. However, you are a magic user with a fireball memorized. A group of 20 orcs attacks your party. So, are you going to sit there, wait for all the orcs to intermingle with the party, and then fireball everyone, or will you possibly use the spell BEFORE the orcs have closed with the party, and thus paint a large target on your forehead. If you do nothing at all, of course the monsters are going to ignore you. So how is that wizard now hopelessly overpowered? He just sits there and does nothing all the time. Honestly, these are straw man fallacies you keep setting up here.


Wizard dies, because he spams fireballs? Nothing new here.



Again, I wonder what kinds of games this refers to. Let me bring up an example from last weeks session. Players need info. Duke has it. Fighter is VERY minor nobility. Has no way to even get into an audience until the Duke holds open court in a weeks time. Decides to organize a fox hunt and invite the Duke's son. Uses his ride skill and a few points of animal handling to fake an inability to be the first to the fox after the dogs have got it, by using those two skills he makes it seem like his horse stumbled at the last second, which gives the nobles son the first place at the kill. He then organizes a party afterwards, where they get drunk together. Uses his intimidate (intentionally badly) to get a fight going with some local thugs, saves the duke's son, gets invited to a personal audience with the Duke, and manages to get the information that they needed. All without using the thief or the wizard. Yes, that sort of thing could have been done in 4e, but the point I am trying to make here is that it is bad players, not the system, that leads to thumb twiddling and letting the wizard and the thief do everything. In fact, it has been 3 game sessions since there has even been a scripted combat in my game (i.e. something I planned out ahead of time, not just a bar brawl). (wait till my summing up at the end for the point of this particular statement, though, as at the moment it is not an argument against 4e, just bad players.)


And, aside from punching part, there is nothing here a commoner of the same level wouldn't be able to do. Also note, that all the stuff the fighter pulled of here would require successful bluff check (cross-class), since failing something intentionally isn't always very convincing. I would argue that this would be done much better with someone who doesn't have any ranks in relevant skill, while accumulating as high penalty as possible, since it would be far more convincing.

Roderick_BR
2008-06-13, 09:08 PM
Customized magic weapons. I loved making awesome weapons. To clarify, I mean I can't find weapon special abilities, and I miss them. No more Holy Brilliant Energy Greatsword.
Yeah, that sucks. We can only hope for some future splat book with new rules for custom itens.

Btw, was the greatsword that much nerfed? Only the greataxe has high damage now :smallannoyed: Not that I don't enjoy some good axe action, but greatswords were an icon. Now it's worse than the bastard sword (that is now cheaper to buy as feats are more abundant).

Ah, funny thing. Paladins can't use bows or others militar(old martial) weapons now? Only fighters and rangers start with ranged military weapons proficiency.

Little_Rudo
2008-06-13, 09:19 PM
Btw, was the greatsword that much nerfed? Only the greataxe has high damage now :smallannoyed: Not that I don't enjoy some good axe action, but greatswords were an icon.

I just checked out the weapons chart. (I just got the book itself yesterday, so I'm having fun checking out the layouts... yes, I'm the kind of person who has fun with layouts and spreadsheets.) The greatsword does deal less damage (1d10 to the greataxe's 1d12), but it gets a higher proficiency bonus (+3 to the greataxe's +2). Basically, you're trading some power for some accuracy. I'm not a weapons expert by any measure, but that seems about right, thematically at least.

marjan
2008-06-13, 09:19 PM
One more things that bothers me is the price of the holy symbol. Seeing that the only thing that non-magical holy symbol does is add 1lbs. to the weight you carry it's a bit strange that it costs as much as heavy shield (10gp).

This is especially strange since 4e is supposed to be more concerned about balance than it is about realism (and even if you take realistic approach it's arguable weather it should cost that much, but let's say it is).

marjan
2008-06-13, 09:25 PM
I just checked out the weapons chart. (I just got the book itself yesterday, so I'm having fun checking out the layouts... yes, I'm the kind of person who has fun with layouts and spreadsheets.) The greatsword does deal less damage (1d10 to the greataxe's 1d12), but it gets a higher proficiency bonus (+3 to the greataxe's +2). Basically, you're trading some power for some accuracy. I'm not a weapons expert by any measure, but that seems about right, thematically at least.

The problem is that Greataxe also has high crit property, same price as Greatsword so it still comes up ahead. Heavy Flail does 2d6 dmg without any special properties (just as greatsword) and flails have some of better fighter powers so the greatsword still sucks, even with that +1 to-hit.

Thrud
2008-06-13, 09:29 PM
Yeah, that sucks. We can only hope for some future splat book with new rules for custom itens.

Btw, was the greatsword that much nerfed? Only the greataxe has high damage now :smallannoyed: Not that I don't enjoy some good axe action, but greatswords were an icon. Now it's worse than the bastard sword (that is now cheaper to buy as feats are more abundant).

Ah, funny thing. Paladins can't use bows or others militar(old martial) weapons now? Only fighters and rangers start with ranged military weapons proficiency.

Actually, everyone can use every weapon now. You simply get a bonus for taking the skill, said bonus dependant upon the weapon. Another thing that annoys the crap out of me, being something of a medieval weapon buff, and having taken time to train with a few of them, as well as taking fencing. If they were going to remove the penalties for using a weapon untrained, they should instead have made the bonuses for being trained greater, and increased all the AC's of everything in the game to compensate. In other words, they shouldn't have removed the penalties. I know this is going to bring up another round of moaning about how they simplified it now by making everything into bonuses, but it just doesn't work that way. There is a huge difference between an untrained 1st level trying to use a greatsword and thus having a BaB of -3 vs having a BaB of 1 with a greatsword and 4 if you are trained with it. Bleech.

Antacid
2008-06-13, 09:33 PM
It's called a character sheet because it's the sheet
Horseman's Picks are very good if I'm fighting heavily armoured opponents. Longsword's good, but the bastard sword is more flexible. Two handers are slow and need a lot of room; I'd rather use a footman's mace, which still gives me +3 to hit compared to a longsword against platemail and shield - not as good as the two hander but faster and more manoeuvrable. Against lightly armoured opponents then it's a toss-up between the longsword and the scimitar. Missile weapons are for cowards, and spoil the fun.

I'd like to give a shout-out to polearms, which for the first edition of D&D ever are actually worth using. Each type counts as one extra class of weapon, increasing the range of powers you can extra bonuses from as a fighter. You can mark enemies you're not adjacent to, improving battlefield control. Most importantly, you get reach 2. This is important because of the number of Large opponents with reach in 4e - unless you have a polearm or a spiked chain they all get an AoO on you before you get into an adjacent square. And in the same way, you get a free attack on anything without reach that tries to to charge you! What's not to like?

Rockphed
2008-06-13, 10:27 PM
I'd like to give a shout-out to polearms, which for the first edition of D&D ever are actually worth using. Each type counts as one extra class of weapon, increasing the range of powers you can extra bonuses from as a fighter. You can mark enemies you're not adjacent to, improving battlefield control. Most importantly, you get reach 2. This is important because of the number of Large opponents with reach in 4e - unless you have a polearm or a spiked chain they all get an AoO on you before you get into an adjacent square. And in the same way, you get a free attack on anything without reach that tries to to charge you! What's not to like?

I am not sure about Large opponents, and I haven't read the rules well enough to point you to it, but reach does not work that way in 4th edition. Normally, you don't threaten or make AoOs on people outside your reach.

tumble check
2008-06-13, 10:37 PM
Only fighters and rangers start with ranged military weapons proficiency.


Fighters get no powers that support ranged fighting.

However, every player gets the option to do a simple attack with whatever weapon they're using (Warlocks and Wizards get bolts and magic missles, respectively), but in the context of 4e, there are very few times where you should do this.

Rangers are now the only class where it's worth it to use a bow and arrow. Rogues have some abilities that can use a crossbow and sling.

SpacemanSpif
2008-06-14, 12:04 AM
Lets give a couple examples that crop up off the top of my head. Inexperienced player is playing warlord. Fighter is attacking critter. Critter has some form of radiant damage that is taken when you hit it. I am sure there are some examples in the game. Fighter decides to fall back and apply healing before pressing attack. Inexperienced player does not notice this and uses power that makes fighter attack again and gets him killed. Another example. Warlord is unaligned. LG paladin keeps getting in the way of Warlord's desire for power. Paladin is in a combat situation where he is sorely pressed, and needs to retreat immediately to use healing of one form or another. Warlord uses a 1st level power to make the paladin and an enemy switch places, so paladin is now surrounded, and dies. Warlord no longer has to deal with annoying paladin stopping his increasing desire for power.

Now once again these are examples that would crop up when an inexperienced DM is involved and doesn't know about applying the rolled up newspaper to the nose. But those problems occurred to me within moments of reading the basic concept of the warlord. Players should just not have access to that sort of control of other players characters. It is just asking for trouble. And though many of the powers of the warlord say 'may', not all of them do. And even if you say, well, those are misprints and all the powers should be 'may' then suddenly the warlord is no longer a terribly useful character just because in a roleplaying situation characters can get angry at each other and suddenly the warlord may find his main abilities, i.e. the ability to use other characters in combat instead of doing it himself a lot of the time, makes other PC's chose not to attack for him, saying stuff like 'hey, we are up on the front line getting pounded on all the time, you are a big tough guy, why don't you come up here and do some of the work'. After all, it is not like he is hanging back because he is weak, or lobbing big radius damage spells. No, his powers are single target and work through other characters.

So, like I said, fine in concept with a miniatures game, bad idea in RPG.


You did address it, but I'll go ahead and say it: the warlord clearly shouldn't be able to force party members to do anything against their will, simply inspire them or instruct them to greater than normal capability. The situations for abuse or disaster make no sense except in case of military style unquestioned obedience to the commanding officer, and in that case it could be any class giving the orders. Forgive my ignorance, as I haven't gotten any of the books; what warlord abilities seem to imply gaining control over another character, as opposed to presenting opportunities to other characters?

And is this non-compulsory element really a disadvantage? Aren't the abilities of a warlord entirely positive, as long as they are tactically sound? (Hey, a wizard has always been able to fireball the baddies standing next to the rest of the party, is that bad?) As long as it's not a boneheaded move that's going to get somebody killed (in that case, losing the capability is a proper penalty for failing to keep his troops out of harm's way enough, I'd say) why would another character, supposedly on the same side, refuse the extra chance to get things done for the party? Keep in mind that discussing these tactical maneuvers (speaking) is a free action. Last I checked.

And if the warlord is keeping himself completely out of danger, and just puppeting his teammates instead, without a good reason... then he's the one playing sub-optimally, in a patently un-leader-like fashion, so I'm fine with him suffering the consequences.

It's a class that requires teamwork to succeed, to a greater degree than most. Teamwork is still important for everybody.

turkishproverb
2008-06-14, 12:22 AM
Naaaah. Just different.

I meant a step back from where D&D had been headed in its evolution thusfar.


Thanks. I edited that post to include a few more things that didn't come to me before, you may enjoy revisiting it. :)



Still basically agree

ZipZipskins
2008-06-14, 12:23 AM
You did address it, but I'll go ahead and say it: the warlord clearly shouldn't be able to force party members to do anything against their will, simply inspire them or instruct them to greater than normal capability. The situations for abuse or disaster make no sense except in case of military style unquestioned obedience to the commanding officer, and in that case it could be any class giving the orders. Forgive my ignorance, as I haven't gotten any of the books; what warlord abilities seem to imply gaining control over another character, as opposed to presenting opportunities to other characters?

There is a set of warlord powers that causes another character to make a melee attack against the target. My question is: is this ever a bad thing? If the character is already in the fray, this gives them a second attack. It doesn't move them and then COMPEL them to make a second attack.

Other warlord powers are very specific in saying that they "allow" another ally to do something, not "force" another ally to do something.

One last note: this is a silly argument anyway, as any DM worth their weight would never, ever allow their players to control other's PCs against their will. If you allow this, YOU'VE failed as a DM. The system itself hasn't failed for containing wording that technically allows for something like that to happen.

Mjoellnir
2008-06-14, 01:55 AM
To all who want to recreate their characters: The spooky wizard who lives near the coast has brought out a conversion guide (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/20080613a) (even with temporary rules for the monk).

Skyserpent
2008-06-14, 01:59 AM
I meant a step back from where D&D had been headed in its evolution thusfar.

Everyone keeps saying that... and I'm not sure I agree... I mean, it is definitely very different from the systems of the past and is a significant departure from what we've already seen... it's like if a plane were flying up and up and up, and then suddenly banked a really heavy right. Now we're having trouble gauging how much altitude was gained or lost on it's path... I still think it could very well still be an ascent from the older systems, just a more difficult to see one... after all, despite all it's imperfections (Hell, for some people BECAUSE of them) 3.5 was pretty darn good... I'm giving 4e a shot and currently enjoy it a lot, let's see how long that lasts...

turkishproverb
2008-06-14, 02:23 AM
To all who want to recreate their characters: The spooky wizard who lives near the coast has brought out a conversion guide (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/20080613a) (even with temporary rules for the monk).

Lol. Guess their "NO CONVERSION!" warning didn't get as far as they'd like, just as I'd guess that it royally TICKED PEOPLE OFF!


EDIT: Ugh. THe way that was handled is slightly disgusting.