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Dausuul
2008-07-03, 01:30 PM
Sure, Narsil is still broken, but he carried around another sword that he used in addition to the sword that was broken.

No, he didn't. Or if he did, it was never mentioned in the book.

The New Bruceski
2008-07-03, 01:36 PM
*blinks*
Drizzt first appeared in books in 1988 as far as I'm aware. The scene at weathertop that I'm referring to is in the animated Lord of the Rings (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077869/), which was released in 1978, 10 years earlier. I first saw it in the early 80s. No time machine was needed.


Oh man, that movie was so bad. Horribly inconsistent rotoscoping, and every actor (especially Gandalf) used the Milking the Giant Cow school of acting, which first-year drama students are told never to do.

The Hobbit and Return of the King were done by another group, and weren't bad. My only complaint is the Greek chorus in RotK. *Frodo is going to throw in the ring, pauses, obviously conflicted* "It's doooooom, he has fallen to the ring of dooooooooooom! Frodo, of the nine fingers, and the ring of doooooooooooooom!"

EDIT: Weathertop is glossed over in the book much more than in any of the movies. Strider is a tracker and woodsman. The Riders were not fought off, but left after stabbing Frodo.

AKA_Bait
2008-07-03, 01:41 PM
Oh man, that movie was so bad. Horribly inconsistent rotoscoping, and every actor (especially Gandalf) used the Milking the Giant Cow school of acting, which first-year drama students are told never to do.

The Hobbit and Return of the King were done by another group, and weren't bad. My only complaint is the Greek chorus in RotK. *Frodo is going to throw in the ring, pauses, obviously conflicted* "It's doooooom, he has fallen to the ring of dooooooooooom! Frodo, of the nine fingers, and the ring of doooooooooooooom!"

Don't take this the wrong way... but you have no taste. :smallwink: The rotoscoping was not ideal, and Bakshi himself said he should have used it as a guide rather than tracing it directly, but it was far far better than the 'sequel' he was not allowed to make. Come on, Mordor Orc's singing 'Where there's a whip/ there's a way!" Please...

Dausuul
2008-07-03, 01:46 PM
Come on, Mordor Orc's singing 'Where there's a whip/ there's a way!" Please...

That was the only worthwhile bit in the whole movie.

Jayabalard
2008-07-03, 01:48 PM
The Hobbit and Return of the King were done by another group, and weren't bad. My only complaint is the Greek chorus in RotK. *Frodo is going to throw in the ring, pauses, obviously conflicted* "It's doooooom, he has fallen to the ring of dooooooooooom! Frodo, of the nine fingers, and the ring of doooooooooooooom!"hmm, we'll just have to disagree there; the animated LOTR was awsome. I liked it much better than the rankin/bass ones; the return of the king thing in particular was horrid.

nagora
2008-07-03, 04:06 PM
Oh man, that movie was so bad.
Yet it was still better at covering Fellowship in 1hr than Jackson was in 3hrs.

After that, of course, it falls apart due to budget, but Bakshi wanted to do LotR, whereas Jackson just wanted to do some generic fantasy crud and didn't give a toss about the source material. I doubt Jackson has ever read the book right through.

Cog05
2008-07-03, 05:10 PM
That's a false dilemma; you can also design your monsters so that they aren't balanced and deal with the imbalance in some other way, either by counterbalancing things that are overpowered in some other way (eg: LA from 3.5), or not worrying about having things tightly balanced (eg: Rifts).

LA had a lot of problems and usually wasn't worth the effort, and isn't the Rifts the game where you can play a cyborg space dragon? Because if so I think that just reinforces the need for balance.

The bottom line is, having separate rules for PC and monster generation is a great idea that makes the DM's life a lot easier, and makes a lot more sense than writing a bunch of extra rules so power-gamers can play as dragons and pit-fiends.

MartinHarper
2008-07-03, 05:40 PM
Players should be able to play as orcs...

They can, with DM's permission. Rules in the Monster Manual.

MartinHarper
2008-07-03, 05:57 PM
I cannot come up with any justification for why marks do not 'stack'.

How did you rationalise bonuses and penalties not stacking in 3rd edition?

OneFamiliarFace
2008-07-03, 09:37 PM
Are you actually going to try to claim 4e is anywhere near as 'simulationist' as 3e? Never seen anyone try that before, I'd love to see the reasoning. Yes, immersion or suspension fo disbelief can happen in any setting, in any game. It's a matter of how much we have to ignore, or how much suspension is required, to hold that immersion.

I want to say first that, though a little angry sometimes :smalltongue:, your posts are pretty well though out. But this claim doesn't make sense to me. I will refrain from using the 'simulationism' is a problem in any game where a wizard throws a fireball (though you might note I just stated it). I would encourage you to try to view this as positively as possible, as I am not a 3e hater, and do miss some of the options lost.

But I will ask this (and yes, I've read your former posts): What, in 4e, is less simulationist?

Casters
-Wizards, Clerics, Warlocks, Paladins: Still use magic to no greater an extent than before. In fact, they can't master the hardest of magics until they have reached skill of epic proportions. If you want to say wizards in your world have to study for years, fine then, they are all old.

For specific builds, I will look at the cleric (arguably the least variable class among them). I can make a cleric who is at least one of four things with minor variations. I can make a bolstering warrior cleric who encourages his allies from the frontlines, a good ol' fashion walking wand of cure light cleric, a cleric who fills the minds of his enemies with fear and punishment from his god, and a straight up enemy destroyer.

Is there a single archetype from 3.5 that you can't come up with there? And I'm not talking random feat semantics. I'm saying that you can reword or change the flavor of any power to better fit your character.

Finally, I am pretty sure you, and I know other people, have said that casters should be able to do things other people cannot. This is represented quite well in Ritual Casting. Keep in mind that it requires two feats if you do not start out as a casting class, meaning that the large majority of people in the world will never have access to it. Much better than the hordes of people who could very easily have taken wizard as their first class level. Second, the components are very costly, prohibiting even most adventurer's from traveling down this path. Third, the rituals take time to complete, representing hard work, toil, sweat, and careful planning on the part of the caster.

Warriors
Fighters, Rogues, Rangers, Warlords: I know in other threads, you have stated you play warrior classes, and you don't want them to be as powerful as wizards. But I don't think for a second that a proper warrior cannot be simulated here.

First, the classes. Looking over the abilities, none of them really get the ability to do anything truly supernatural until past 20th level, when they are supposed to be on a path to veritable godhood. So how about massive damage dealing abilities (rivaling those of the wizards). I would say, from a simulationist point of view that being hit with a longsword is equally as deadly as being hit with a fireball (if not more so). The difference is that the fireball is more likely to hit, and probably harder to aim (as represented by its damage on a miss and lowered damage dice to begin with).

Second, the powers. If you really want to play a basic warrior with no abilities, then I can't help you too much. But the PHB includes enough options for the fighter that are merely swinging your sword, that it does not seem too difficult to say you are nothing but a blade for hire who happens to protect this guy who casts fireballs. You will note that he needs to hire you now, because he is less able to protect himself (just one of the many things one must sacrifice for all of that secret power).

I guess I need to tie all this in. What I mean is imagination. You don't have to be doing a "Lightning Tiger Strike" or a "Mountain's Furious Wind" or something. You are just swinging your sword better than normal. I fail to see what isn't simulated in the warrior experience here. Or, more importantly, what is simulated worse than in 3.5.

Playing the Character You Want
I know multiclassing has gotten a lot of flak as a way that you can't combine things to make them the way you want. As someone who recreated a guy that took me four books to make using two (PHB and MM), I'm pretty impressed. I acknowledge there are currently characters I cannot create with the core: Necromancer, Bard, Druid, etc. But I also acknowledge that there were classes I could not create using 3.5 core: Warlock, Warlord, Rogue with more than trapfinding, Fighter who could do more than the same attack each round.

But look at it this way. If you take the three multiclassing feats, and choose to take a particular class' powers for your paragon tree, then by twentieth level, you have 2 at-wills, 4 encounter powers, 4 daily powers, and some 5 utility powers, for 15 powers total. Of those, 6 will be from your chosen multiclass (or 2/5ths). In addition, you still have 9 feats with which to help customize your character. The bonus is that none of these abilities will detract from your overall usefulness to the party.

So again, you can create a vast number of combinations with this: Fighter with some sneaky tactics, Spellswords of a sort, or my own character, a half-orc fighter who inspired his friends to do better in battle. And he is actually better suited to the role, and more unique and valuable now.

Realism
I don't see a whole lot of point in going too much into realism in a fantasy game, but I see where you are coming from, because it is important to me as well. For this one, though, I'm afraid I will just have to compare the two games instead of proving that 4e is realistic.

They are the same. That's pretty much it. 3e and 4e both allow characters to do fantastic things (even something as simple as striking 4 effective blows within 6 seconds for the warrior classes). Both, with their skill checks and ability systems, bend the rules of reality. In 3.5, a non-epic Ranger can hide while people are looking at him (without any cover in natural surroundings). A rogue can dodge a 20ft radius fireball inside of an empty 10sq ft room. And I hope it is clear that these are just one example of many.

Options
3.5 had more player options when you include the splatbooks. I imagine that even with 4e splat, you will see less total choices for random character abilities. That being said, I wonder as to the efficacy of having so many abilities? I would argue that at the end of the day, I ended up seeing the same archetypes played out in the PHB being made into much more complicated versions that amounted to the same thing gamewise (in and out of combat). There were exceptions of course. But I've already seen a guy who made a 4e wizard who flavored all of his powers to be coming from a giant flower he had growing out of his back. Weird yes, but certainly different.

And on the flipside, the DM options have been highly increased with new and succinct rules for monster creation as laid out in the core. I would argue that encounter simulation has gone up, even if it is the case that character simulation has gone down.

But I remain unconvinced that a gaggle full of options are required for simulation in a roleplaying game. Take the wizard for example. As he is stated, I will have 2 at-will powers, 4 encounter powers, and a spellbook with 8+ daily powers and 10+ utility powers(none of which are attacks) by 20th level. A twentieth level wizard would actually have better and more powers by this level. But if you are looking for wizards who have a rough time learning their spells, then doesn't it make sense that they have less and not more? And is your necromancer really going to need to know knock or enlarge person to fit his flavor correctly?

In addition, with those powers, you can do most things a wizard could, excluding two things: 1. What other classes do best, and 2. SoS spells. There is nothing in the real world that SoS spells simulate, and they interrupt game balance, so I don't see why their loss is missed.

Haha, wow, I must be bored today. I just hit my word limit... Umm, well, hooray for spoilers. And perhaps I will post more on the simulationist aspects of HP and the tactical nature of combat if and when these things are discussed further.

Coplantor
2008-07-03, 11:15 PM
OK, ussually i dont do stuff like this. I ussually read the entire thread before posting but this one has OVER A 1000 POSTS! So i read the OP post and two or three random posts.

Since 4th ed was announced i keep hearing (or reading) things like "It's not DnD, this is like tabletop WoW! I dont want WoW, I want DnD!" Let me tell you a story, untill january of this very year, I played ADnD 2nd edition, and the first impression i had from 3rd ed (3.5 actually) was that it resembled a computer RPG (the first one to came to my mind was WoW and then Diablo), yeah, the game had verosimilitude and me and my friends decided to start playing 3.5 because of the flexibility it had when compared to 2nd ed but still things didnt felt quite right (at least for me), the first sessions didnt felt like DnD for me, it was something else, but, like one month and a very good character later we made 3.5 our official rpg.

Now, back in the old days multiclassing was almost impossible, once you chose your class then you were probably going to stick with it for the rest of your career. Humans were the only ones with the ability to start taking levels in a new class although they could never ever ever again take levels in their old class. Demi humans coulded "multiclass" wich was like a gestalt character, the problem was that they needed double XP (or triple if you were an elf multiclasses as a wizard/fighter/thief ) to advance a level and that multiclassing was more like taking the disadvantages of both and the adantages of none of the classes.

That is one way in wich 2nd ed was waaaaaaaay different from 3rd ed. The most curious thing i've heard was someone who told me "the difference between 4th and 3rd is bigger than the difference between 3rd and 2nd", and you want to know what? I believe is the other way round! Come on! third edition and 4th are like cousin editions while 2nd edition is such a distant relative that you could mate with it without risking the health off your offsprings!

Other curious thing, a comment a friend of mine said "You have a lot of hp, and you have better chances to survive with negative hp than in other editions! it is immpossible to die!" Yet, that time I as a DM killed his character he was so upset that we had to invent a way to bring him back from the dead! (although we never continued that campaign). No one wants a dead character, not even the DM (wich most of us can be quite sadistic). Does people really want the end of their adventurin career be "rockslide! everyone dies!"? The way I see it, if there's negative hit points, you have the fear factor, it gives emotion to the adventures "Oh, for pelor's sake, ricky the fighter is dying, we must rush to his help". Yet, if all the players die in an adventure then there are two possible explanation: 1) They are stupid and they deserved what they got "I wonder, what happens if i wake the dragon god?" and 2) You (and I) did a terrible job as a DM (it happens oftenly in my camapaigns that only one PC is concious at the end of the adventure), I dont remember if the 3rd ed books said something about this, but the 2nd ed DMG said that it is actually a good thing to lie about the rolls you got if it helps the adventure! Monsters, villians and stupidity is what should threat (and sometimes kill) heroes! Not dices! And by the way, if you want your character to die in a heroic way then let him do it! You are not forced to check to get stable! You can say "My character is dead" and not even the dungeon master can force you to let him live, again, if dices should'nt kill people then they should'nt save them when they dont want to be saved!

Coplantor's final thoughts:
Each edition is a tool for those who believe it best suits the way they play the game, the most important thing behind each edition and each RPG are the players and the masters, they are the ones behind every good adventure! Not the rules! I had fun with 2nd ed, i had fun with 3rd ed, and will probably have fun with 4th ed some day (probably six months before fift edition release wich according to my calculations it would be somewhere near christmas 2017:smallwink:).

Remeber the power is yours!

*turns to light and returns to the planetarians rings*

Kaiyanwang
2008-07-04, 02:24 AM
What’s wrong whit 4th edition? A lot of things, IMO. I’m very disappointed
of the stuff I’ve seen because I think that 3.5 was a system that needed several fixes and, overall, an organization of the material spread in that overabundant amount of splatbooks, but the direction designers headed leads to a way of gaming c-o-m-p-l-e-t-e-l-y different from MY way of enjoy of this awesome game.

Generally speaking, the things that render me bewildered are those which most players claim, in several forum visited, “fixes” that 4th edition finally brings. I want to make it clear first that I played classic D&D (Italian version), Advanced D&D, 3.0 and 3.5 D&D. Whit 3.0-3.5 I ran a 7-years epic campaign whit 11 players reached 40th level (batman, druidzilla, incantatrix, and SO more, most powergame campaign ever) now I run a gestalt campaign focused on trade and craft ( never enjoyed the game so much). I PLAYED this game, for more than 13 years (I know, for someone is not so much :smallsmile:)
Since the first previews, designers claimed so proudly that they extended the “sweet spot” of the game. SORRY? So there was only amusing part of the game, in the middle of the characters’ levels? Never noticed it. In all the three versions of the game I’ve seen, players started the game whit characters frail, that died whit a shot. So they played them carefully. They learned patience. Learned even some roleplay: the wizard and the cleric persuade the unwise fighter (cliché, cliché.. sigh) to “not charge the orc chieftain is a trap” etc.. In these levels the characters are different one from the another, but not so much. The wizard, for example, at first level must rely on his crossbow more than on his cantrips, because he is a NOOB, is mind is still weak and his arcane power must be developed further. He uses the crossbow because it was one of the few weapon he have seen during the hard training in his teacher’s tower. Maybe he considers the crossbow more “refined” and adapt to a wizard because is based on a mechanism and not on pure strength, etc.

The wizard will LEARN to be a good wizard. And each time he will learn something new, he will FEEL the difference (and he will not be the only one :smallsmile:). And a similar thing can be said for any other character. They start whit something different from commoners, and BECOME heroes. They EARN it. In my 3.5 experience, I’ve seen that the approaches toward obstacles changed dramatically between the levels. Another caster example (forgive me, melee heroes): the spell selection of my arcane characters in the epic level campaign can be summarized (and trivialized) in this way:

Low levels: “we have to survive. And learn. I hope spell I selected are good”
Mid levels: ” I can do a lot of damage!”
High levels: “No.. wait.. save or suck is the answer!”
Epic levels 21-30: “I can manipulate reality. Oh, I’m godlike”
Epic levels 31-40: “no way, too high saves. More metamagic in that freaking Orb”

Many times, during their career, the players had to “re-invent” character and party strategy, because the old ones didn’t work more.
In 4th edition, I see characters approaching to the problems in the same way from 1st to 30th level. And this is admittedly intended by the designers. They do the same things, named in a more and more badass way. And this way is, generally, damage a monster that seems to exist only to be killed, and not to be a part of a consistent world that exist to amuse the player. Ok, is a game – but the world of the story must be handled, IMO, in a way that seems that the world existed and will exist even without the players’ characters (world-saving campaigns excluded. MAYBE). And 4th doesn’t help the DM in this way. Au contraire. Minions, first level uberPC and similar things kill immersion. No comment on the marking: a rule that screams meta-game.

Once I’ve seen the Phane preview, I showed it to my players. They started to laugh. How criticize them? Is not a Phane. Is a 26 level kobold that can remove some debuff from himself. Temporal abomination? God war-machine? No, seriously. If I play a game whit levels of power, I want a change of power between the levels. I don’t see nothing similar. The 3.5 ELH phane created temporal duplicates of himself, drained the time from his prisoners aging them permanentely. 4th edition phane ages enemies for few rounds. What is the problem? An aged characters does not appear so good in the WOW-like character portrait of D&D insider?

Is like they think their customers are idiots. “now the succubus is a devil. Erynes is gone, their small brain start to hurt if they have to remember the stats of TWO fiendish chicks. Two is a lot!” No comment about succubus combat powers. No, seriously, it would be pure flaming.

Character roles. Ok, roles existed. But in 3.5 there are way to make fighter and rogue strikers/controllers (both), wizard leader (buff, not healings) bard healer (divine bard, UA, + use magic devices). Defenders? Fighter, sometimes, and summoned creatures. For the other things, SWAT gamestyle. And this is ONE variant. X campaigns, X different parties. In 4th edition, I have 4 characters re-fluffed for the power source. Each party is the same party. WOW? Warcraft characters are more flexible. All this.. I can call it BALANCE FRENZY.. is weird. Balance is very important for a videogame or a MINIATURE GAME (ahem.. maybe I found the root of all evils). What is better for a RPG? All classes equally flavorless, or some “imbalance” (that became evident only by DM fault) that keep the mistery of the magic, a campaign setting more interesting and stimulating?

Many people said that the same mechanics for all the classes is a good thing, because avoid imbalance, again. For me, this is an evidence of the system inferiority compared to 3.5. In 3.5, I could create a setting whit maximum level 6th, and rogue and fighter the only PC class. No magical healing, no magic (of course, it would be a more realistic setting compared to an high fantasy one, no pit fiends or illithids). A party of 3 rogues and 3 fighters, 6 completely different characters. A completely different style of adventure and party managing. In 4th edition, a campaign whit a rogue, ranger, fighter and marshal classes is the same of a campaign whit warlock, cleric, paladin and wizard. Ok the wizard is a controller (for me is not a wizard but a mockery of a wizard, but probably it’s me) but the differences are minimal. And they try to sell me a system that do LESS things like a better system. No way. NO WAY.

3.5 can lead to abuse, is right. But again, this is a risk, a price for the freedom of creating unique monsters and character concepts. Sure, freedom means auto-discipline, even auto-limitation sometimes. But I prefer them to a pidgeon hole.

Many people like 4th edition. I hope they have the maximum enjoyment from the game, since I don’t think my way of play D&D is the right way. Simply, I will do another “playtest” or two, and then I will return to my beloved, fantastic but not perfect 3.5. Sorry for the long post, I would say even more ;)
(forgive me for the bad English, is not my language)

nagora
2008-07-04, 04:00 AM
Demi humans coulded "multiclass" wich was like a gestalt character, the problem was that they needed double XP (or triple if you were an elf multiclasses as a wizard/fighter/thief ) to advance a level
Why is that a problem? If you're advancing in three classes, why shouldn't it cost three times that of one?


and that multiclassing was more like taking the disadvantages of both and the adantages of none of the classes.
Unless this changed between 1st and 2nd edition (which it may have), this seems wrong to me. The only example I can think of is that thieving skills are handicapped by bulk armour even if you are a fighter/thief.


That is one way in which 2nd ed was waaaaaaaay different from 3rd ed.
Yeah, 3e broke multiclassing and in the process broke all the other classes too.


I dont remember if the 3rd ed books said something about this, but the 2nd ed DMG said that it is actually a good thing to lie about the rolls you got if it helps the adventure! Monsters, villians and stupidity is what should threat (and sometimes kill) heroes! Not dice!
This is something else that 2e got wrong. If you don't want the dice to decide, then don't use them in that situation. This was part of that political correctness thread that ran through 2e: imagine telling kids that sometimes the good guys lose through bad luck - the horror of it all!

OneFamiliarFace
2008-07-04, 04:30 AM
In 4th edition, I see characters approaching to the problems in the same way from 1st to 30th level. And this is admittedly intended by the designers. They do the same things, named in a more and more badass way. And this way is, generally, damage a monster that seems to exist only to be killed, and not to be a part of a consistent world that exist to amuse the player. Ok, is a game – but the world of the story must be handled, IMO, in a way that seems that the world existed and will exist even without the players’ characters (world-saving campaigns excluded. MAYBE). And 4th doesn’t help the DM in this way. Au contraire. Minions, first level uberPC and similar things kill immersion. No comment on the marking: a rule that screams meta-game.

At the risk of weighing in too much on this discussion, I am bored and will continue to do so for now:

I definitely agree that this is the way the game reads, but it simply isn't the way it works out. And the designers actually did a good job of increasing that sweet spot you mentioned earlier (which they and many groups did find to exist). Though if the designers actually called it a sweet spot, then I have lost a small amount of respect for them! :smalltongue:

Now, even though it is the case that most (not all) powers are attacks, they only read similarly, but they play very differently. I also question how many non-combat/non-attack abilities the non-caster classes in 3e got anyway (outside of skills and feats, which are still in the game). Each class does not function the same at 1st or higher levels. And your in combat strategy can change quite a bit at each level, based on encounter design among other things. Now, for example, a class has to sometimes leave old abilities behind to pick up new ones. I would say that even batman wizards in 3e dealt with most situations similarly, once they got invisibility and fly. After that, it is a lot of picking the highest damage dealing spell.

Now see, that is an over-generalization of the wizard, but the views on the new wizard are as well. The designers cut out the fat of the wizard spellbook, taking away SoS and spells which overshadowed other party members. If someone doesn't like that, then it is a personal problem, and that is fine, but it is not a problem in design theory.

And that's what most of the ability losses are: cutting away the fat. Was anyone excited when they picked up that +1 to dodge traps as a rogue? Or were you more excited when your sneak attack damage went up or you gained evasion. Those are both still available options.

Bah, I'm getting longwinded here, and this is my most important point: Even if PC options have been reduced (of which I am not yet convinced as far as core is concerned), it is simply not true that the DM's have. There are now better and more succinct rules governing both encounter and creature creation (along with near omnipresent notices that you don't have to follow those rules and can whip up whatever your imagination conspires). A humanoid's stat-block not giving it a jump check doesn't prevent it from making one: add half-level + Str bonus. I know that I usually just mentally do the important NPC checks. It really isn't fun for most people when the BBEG tries to make a 5 foot jump onto a ledge to say his last line, but fumbles his check and just lands prone in the square (though non-serious players will love it).

The way that a DM makes a world exist outside of the PCs (and creates immersion) is not by having a monster who has knowledge (architecture) or by excluding abstract concepts like minions. The way that a DM does it is by having rich and vibrant city-states, innovative crypts or dungeons that have a semi-logical place in the world, and NPCs who are fun and amiable to be around (and who interact with each other outside of the PC world). Mystor the Wizard doesn't need to make an Arcana check to know something, he can either tell the players or he can't. Demonic legionnaires ransack a town of commoners (and even moderately leveled guards, see When Abstract Concepts Collide), but the PCs are no commoners at 25th level. They are approaching godhood. A legionnaire is a short wall in their way, something blocking their sight to the Pit Fiend or evil wizard.

If a duke accepts the audience of someone other than the PCs, do you roll their diplomacy checks? No, and likewise, if a group of goblin cutters slaughters a passing caravan, it's said and done. More arrogant characters might even chide the survivors for not having the training to deal with such a minor threat.

That, and a new focus on combat rules and more limited resources greatly increases a DM's time for coming up with anything from innovative encounters (which force the player's to use old abilities in new ways) to working on that world which exists outside of the PCs. Also, from a personal standpoint, I don't have to worry about Teleport, Flight, and various divinations every time I build a level 10+ adventure :-p. There are wizard options I miss, and then there are wizard options I'm glad to see go (though you can make any of them into rituals).

All in all, DMing is a lot less time consuming in 4e, and, despite appearances, it feels a lot less like number crunching than 3.5 did.

horseboy
2008-07-04, 10:24 AM
One thing that has been bugging me about the people who dislike 4E.

4E emphasizes battle, this is true, but so did all other versions of D&D.

You see, D&D is not an RPG, and never has been. It's a tactical wargame that encourages roleplaying (and it hasn't even always done that)

The entire reason I disliked 3.x so much is that it tried to be both a tactical wargame (Which it still was), and an RPG (which it wasn't, not even close, though it tried really hard to be)

To make D&D into an RPG would make it not D&D, as D&D has always been, and always should be, a tactical wargame that encourages roleplaying.Wow, I feel compelled to buy you pizza for just how spot on this was.
I... don't think you understand. Square grids are abstract. Why is it that it's impossible to travel precisely five feet southwest under it? There's no reason to haphazardly apply 'realism' to something that's very, very abstract in the first place. People don't move diagonally, and only do it in particularly cardinal directions some of the time.Yes! Why would it take 12 seconds to run down a 40' hall if it's SW, SE, NE, or NW, but only 6 seconds if it's N, S, E or W? 40' is 40'.

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).*Raises hand*

(who is a better blacksmith than any man who ever lived in our real world),There's your first problem. The Alexandrian is a bigger tool than Gutter.

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). You owe me a new monitor for that spit take.

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 really sad thing, a fighter would need 13 skill points just to have a 1 in each one of those skills. That must be why elves, dwarfs and halflings never have sea side towns. They don't have enough skill points to function there. :smallamused:
Other than that? Well, the pictures of dragon born. They're eyes are too tiny, and that one on the cover *shudder*. something is seriously wrong with his arm, and his sword's blade appears to be bent at like a 40 degree angle. Non-mammalian mammaries, I'm not too keen on the stat creation either. Oh, and they didn't get rid of alignments completely.

As to this whole limiting RP business: Rules and Roleplaying can interact one of three ways:
1) It can stay out of the way. In this style rules are there solely for conflict resolution and nothing more. Anything else is handled by player/DM fiat.
DM: "Off in the distance you see a great banner at the head of the army."
Fighter: "I was a solder for Lord Longname, would I know this emblem?"
DM: "Yes, it's the insignia for Baron Igottanonamie. The Baron and Lord Longname had been friendly rivals. You don't know why the two now appear to be at arms."
Fighter: "I share that with the party."
The problem with this style is that it requires a lot more handwavium than is what currently fashionable.
2) It's skill based. In this every aspect of the character is identified and quantified to create a great deal of data on the character.
DM: "Off in the distance you see a great banner at the head of the army."
Fighter: "I got a oooone seventee-no one twenty-seven on my heraldry. Do I know this emblem from when I was a solder for Lord Longname?"
DM: "One medium. Yes, it's the insignia for Baron Igottanonamie. The Baron and Lord Longname had been friendly rivals. You don't know why the two now appear to be at arms."
Fighter: "I share that with the party."
While it's my prefered style, I will acknowledge that it does have the potential to get rather convoluted and somewhat asanine. The culmination of this, I believe, comes in Rolemaster Standard System where it states that "Every situation has it's own Situation Awareness skill that must be developed individually." Since they don't give a finite list then, by RAW, one has to take all to truly mean all and if one doesn't have Situation Awareness: Bowel Evacuation, then one can't claim their character is potty trained. (I don't think anyone has caught that one, as that's an excessive use of a skill even by SS terms. Go Classic!)
3) Then there's what ever the Hell you want to call the 3.x method where it tries to kinda do skills. Unfortunately the same thing happens here as what happens to people who kinda know Kung-fu. Walk down the middle of the road, squish like grape.
DM: "Off in the distance you see a great banner at the head of the army."
Fighter: "I was a solder for Lord Longname, would I know this emblem?"
DM: "That depends, did you sink all of your character resources for your dead level into a cross-classed, trained only skill?"
Fighter: "Yeah, but it was not for Knowledge: Nobility."
DM: "Then no, no you don't get to roll."

Personally I find option 3 WAY more restrictive to roleplaying than I do option 1. So, yeah I prefer 4th to 3rd, but I'd still rather be GMing Earthdawn.

quillbreaker
2008-07-04, 10:44 AM
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 4th edition monster manual is filled with useful, varied, playable monsters, instead of pages of simple brutes, complex monstrosities which have a page of special abilities of which you will have time to use two, first level representatives of various races, and flavor text you didn't need. The time I gained by being able to build 4 interesting encounters in 30 minutes (with at least 3 types of monsters in each fight, varied terrain, and the occasional trap) more than balanced out the lack of descriptions and ecology. I can look at the picture and describe the monster myself. If you want descriptions, go read some mythology, fantasy, or horror.

I find the fourth edition MM to be a much more useful tool for running a game than the 3.5 MM.

quillbreaker
2008-07-04, 10:57 AM
2. Movement. Running is +2 to Speed, and at most a PC can take is a double move. So a standard human running unencumbered moves 16 Squares (80') per 6 Seconds. That means that the average human runs a 9 Second 40-yard. That means the average human runs a 6:30 Mile. I guess in the 4th Edition D&D World everyone can be outrun by a 14-year-old equivalent from the 20th Century. Also - getting rid of Sprinting Speeds (x4, x5) for short durations will greatly hinder archers and mages who've used the hit and run tactic against heavily encumbered foes.


This really felt like a plus to me. In third edition, a character, especially a high level character, who decides that they want to move really fast can cover 24 hexes at a minimum, before you start adding modifiers and bonuses... so the movement rate trivialized the map surface, which is generally something between 20x20 and 40x40. One full move and you were off the map and in no-man's land, undefined, unrepresented, and uninteresting and probably off your playing surface to boot.

Slowing down characters lets you represent an entire combat on the map. Like chess pieces, they move on the board instead of being able to depart it as an act of will. This sacrifices some things for the sake of interesting tactical situations, but I like interesting tactical situations enough that I'll take it.

Prophaniti
2008-07-04, 12:05 PM
But I will ask this (and yes, I've read your former posts): What, in 4e, is less simulationist?
Good post.

First point: My immersion isn't terribly bothered by the lack of character options, though that does bother it a little. I find that the closer I can get the character sheet to match the character in my head, the easier it is for me to play the character. I can, however, deal with the differences necessarily present because of limits with the system, like I said that part doesn't bother me that much.

What bothers my immersion, and makes it difficult to get into the game, are the little things. Rules that are good for game balance but have little to no justification if I were really standing there hitting something with a sword, or flinging spells.

On the simulationism of Magic: I've seen the statement that realism and simulation are pointless in a game where wizards hurl fire and fly. I couldn't disagree more. Magic is an intrisinct part of fantasy, and thus part of the game I play. It should follow set rules no less so than the rules of the physical world. Magic is the justification for the otherwise impossible in this imaginary world. Survived a 500ft fall? Must've been saved by magic, because surviving a 500ft fall breaks the rules of the physical, which can only be bypassed by magic. Well, except for monks, but their power is 'supernatural', which to me is another word for magic. If a character survives with no magical 'excuse' for it, my immersion is broken. Magic can still break my immersion, in exactly the same way as the physical world, by breaking the rules that govern it.
A few examples of the rules I'm speaking of in 4e are Minions/Elite/Solo monsters, abilities that shouldn't (like Confusion) doing hp damage, the proliferation of 'knockback' effects, Healing Surges, and 'marking' targets.
There are others, and if you'd like to know why I find any specific rule unrealistic I'd be happy to discuss it, but since some of those explanations can get a little long, I'll not do it in this post.

Yes, 3.5 has rules that bother me the same way, but I've found so far that in 3.5 they were less abundant and less egregious. Bottom line, the problem I have is with rules that make no sense from an inside-the-game-world perspective, not with the lack of character options. I mean, I do have a problem with that, but not a simulationist problem.

quillbreaker
2008-07-04, 12:47 PM
This reminds me of the minion rules: fixing a problem in 3ed not by removing it but by piling more complexity on top of it. Patching instead of repairing.


I love minions. I can have 30 mooks running around and resolve all of the attacks they generate in about twice as many seconds, which is a situation that often happens in source material but makes 3.5 combat drag hideously. Mooks are fun, minions are a good implementation of them.

MartinHarper
2008-07-04, 03:06 PM
If a character survives {a 500ft fall} with no magical 'excuse' for it, my immersion is broken.

I don't see why magic should be the only 'excuse'. It could equally be that the laws of physics are different (terminal velocity is much lower) or the laws of biology are different (fantasy humans are more resilient) or characters can benefit from the favour of the gods or the power of narrative causality.

The Wizard power Confusion causes damage because the wizard is tearing out part of your mind (specifically the bit we call 'free will') with his magic. That hurts.

Indon
2008-07-04, 03:14 PM
The time I gained by being able to build 4 interesting encounters in 30 minutes (with at least 3 types of monsters in each fight, varied terrain, and the occasional trap) more than balanced out the lack of descriptions and ecology.
This has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they cut down monster details. It has to do with unrelated aspects of the system, and you could easily have easy-to-use monsters (a system provided by the DMG's well-designed encounter system) and well-described monsters.


I find the fourth edition MM to be a much more useful tool for running a game than the 3.5 MM.

But the one benefit you note isn't in the Monster Manual - it's in the Dungeon Master's Guide.

Oslecamo
2008-07-04, 03:29 PM
The 4th edition monster manual is filled with useful, varied, playable monsters, instead of pages of simple brutes, complex monstrosities which have a page of special abilities of which you will have time to use two, first level representatives of various races, and flavor text you didn't need. The time I gained by being able to build 4 interesting encounters in 30 minutes (with at least 3 types of monsters in each fight, varied terrain, and the occasional trap) more than balanced out the lack of descriptions and ecology. I can look at the picture and describe the monster myself. If you want descriptions, go read some mythology, fantasy, or horror.

I find the fourth edition MM to be a much more useful tool for running a game than the 3.5 MM.

Congratulations, you're a slow reader.

The other week I made an ecounter with 20 monsters on the fly for an high lv party of 6 members. With around 15 minutes of tought while I was returning home from university.

And then when the battle ended(lasted 4 rounds) someone on the party said it had been really chalenging.

I really can't understand why people complain that 3.X ecounters take time to prepare. Yes, you can build a super complex ecounter. But you can also grab a cool template(about 3 minutes), quickly add it to a brute monster whitout complex abilities(more 3 minutes), add in some low level weakilings to spice it up(two minutes), one more minute to see how many of them you need to threaten the party but not kill it outright, and bang, instant challenging ecounter.

quillbreaker
2008-07-04, 04:04 PM
Ah, now that one's easy to explain: the WotC designers don't "do" long-term.

They don't do wilderness adventures where eeking out resources, spells and hit points is a key part of the game and the challenge (what's the fun in a challenge where you don't hit things or get to use your uber powers and feats?).


3.5 mechanics encourage you to cause a certain number of encounters to happen between the party between rest periods. Which is nearly impossible to actually make happen. Your party faces as many encounters as they want to before they rest, unless they are always trapped in dangerous territory (they walked in but they can't walk out?) / trapped in a locked area (disintegrate makes this one funny long term) / don't teleport back to the stronghold / don't use one of the many, many ways players have to hide in the long run (rope trick is the basics, but once they can squelch the need to breathe the sky is the limit) / are always subjected to time constraint cheese (the universe will end in 3 days... again... unless tab A goes in slot B).

3.5 doesn't do long term. 4.0 may well do it better, with less encounter-skipping powers / travel home abilities available to the players at any level. Healing surges are great, but they run out, and eventually you have to choose between losing time to a rest and keeping up with the enemy. That's a choice with more teeth when teleport doesn't become available at 9th level.

quillbreaker
2008-07-04, 04:10 PM
Congratulations, you're a slow reader.


Why, I do believe I've been insulted. What a brilliant way to make your point. I'll believe you can design an encounter when you can spell it.



I really can't understand why people complain that 3.X ecounters take time to prepare. Yes, you can build a super complex ecounter. But you can also grab a cool template(about 3 minutes), quickly add it to a brute monster whitout complex abilities(more 3 minutes), add in some low level weakilings to spice it up(two minutes), one more minute to see how many of them you need to threaten the party but not kill it outright, and bang, instant challenging ecounter.

A brute with a template and some stray low level monsters? Oh, if only I was there! It sounds like I missed something truly epic.

Indon
2008-07-04, 04:16 PM
3.5 doesn't do long term.

I think you aren't quite understanding what Nagora is saying. 3.5 clearly has a stronger logistics element than 4.0 does (while 4.0 has a stronger tactical element).

This is evident in a variety of the game's facets - higher build diversity, more long-term ability options for more classes (though, not for all classes), more emphasis on magical items and effects, more persistent HP damage. If anything, a 3'rd edition game's logistics element could trivialize its' weaker tactical aspect ('going nova', for instance, is potentially more devastating with a stronger logistics element because a game that focuses on resources is also going to give you more tools to burn those resources).

quillbreaker
2008-07-04, 04:19 PM
I think you aren't quite understanding what Nagora is saying. 3.5 clearly has a stronger logistics element than 4.0 does (while 4.0 has a stronger tactical element).

This is evident in a variety of the game's facets - higher build diversity, more long-term ability options for more classes (though, not for all classes), more emphasis on magical items and effects, more persistent HP damage. If anything, a 3'rd edition game's logistics element could trivialize its' weaker tactical aspect ('going nova', for instance, is potentially more devastating with a stronger logistics element because a game that focuses on resources is also going to give you more tools to burn those resources).

Oh, I see. Makes sense. I see what he is getting at but I wonder why he picked 3.5 to try to run those types of games in the first place. There are a number of systems better suited.

Indon
2008-07-04, 04:25 PM
Oh, I see. Makes sense. I see what he is getting at but I wonder why he picked 3.5 to try to run those types of games in the first place. There are a number of systems better suited.

I've found that D20 functions well as a generalist RPG system - it can handle many different features, but there's always a specialized system that can do better. Some of this is because of the game system itself, while some of it is a result of the OGL expanding the system so widely.

So I'd use 3.5 for a game that requires a lot of varied aspects that you might look to multiple, otherwise incompatible game systems for.

(And no, I'm not saying D20 is generalist in the universal-RPG sense. Universal RPG's have their own featureset which D20 isn't as good at, but still does some other things better)

quillbreaker
2008-07-04, 04:45 PM
Teleport. Ohh, devastating. And completely blockable with a 5th level spell called Hallow, with a dimensional anchor tied into it. Teleport in, then get hit by the anchor, and you woun't be getting out again because although spell resistance applies, saving throws do not And Hallow lasts for a whole year. That makes it pretty damn risky to teleport back into some place you left precipitously. Then there is Forbiddence, only one level higher, that stops you getting in at all. And it is PERMANENT. Those are both spells most wealthy types (whom you might want to steal from) or evil types (whom you might want to kill) will have the resources to use. Yeah, teleport away once. Come back, and find things are not so easy the next time. Unless the game is set up like a computer game and no NPC can ever learn from their mistakes. And as for the teleport itself, I hope you had time to really memorize the location, otherwise who knows where you might end up. And unless you are going alone, until you get to be REALLY high level you are probably going to have to cast it three times, once in, once back out, and in again with the rest of the party. After all, the average guy, with adventuring equipment, etc, probably has a weight of over 250 pounds. Telport through a wall? Not unless you have seen what is on the other side. Yeah, there are other spells, passwall, etc, high level spells, but there is always something that can be done. Hell, since those are both clerical spells, after a while I simply created a spell called 'telport ward' that is an arcanne spell and that can cover an area for a set amount of time and prevent teleports in or out, like forbiddence only without the alignment blocker. One level less. Making it the same level as teleport.


And it doesn't bother you that every foe, to be significant, has to have a laundry list of permanent spells in any place they do operation, to not be trivially slaughtered by the exploit of the month? Or do they just happen to have those spells up just because the players used those tactics against the last enemy?

So much for the vaunted "ease" of building encounters in 3.5, when the spell / response spell / response to the response spell / response to the response to the response spell starts becoming a fact of life, and woe to the DM who doesn't know all of the magic spells inside and out.

Antacid
2008-07-04, 04:53 PM
The other week I made an ecounter with 20 monsters on the fly for an high lv party of 6 members. With around 15 minutes of tought while I was returning home from university.

And then when the battle ended(lasted 4 rounds) someone on the party said it had been really chalenging.
Wow, your players must be really starved of difficult encounters if a fight that lasted four rounds registers as challenging. Is it possible to have an epic battle that lasts only four rounds?

Indon
2008-07-04, 07:27 PM
Wow, your players must be really starved of difficult encounters if a fight that lasted four rounds registers as challenging. Is it possible to have an epic battle that lasts only four rounds?

Yes, it is.

Jack Zander
2008-07-04, 07:36 PM
Wow, your players must be really starved of difficult encounters if a fight that lasted four rounds registers as challenging. Is it possible to have an epic battle that lasts only four rounds?

With 20 monsters and 4-5 PCs those 4 rounds could have lasted well over 1 hour, probably 2. And the PCs probably socked up a ton of damage/save-or-suck spells in the process, making the battle challenging. The fact that they we able to overcome the challenge in 24 seconds story time doesn't mean a thing. Most battles only take that long anyway. A "challenging" encounter means that the PCs felt they were truly in danger, and some of them probably came pretty close to death.

Coplantor
2008-07-04, 11:36 PM
Why is that a problem? If you're advancing in three classes, why shouldn't it cost three times that of one?


Unless this changed between 1st and 2nd edition (which it may have), this seems wrong to me. The only example I can think of is that thieving skills are handicapped by bulk armour even if you are a fighter/thief.


Yeah, 3e broke multiclassing and in the process broke all the other classes too.


This is something else that 2e got wrong. If you don't want the dice to decide, then don't use them in that situation. This was part of that political correctness thread that ran through 2e: imagine telling kids that sometimes the good guys lose through bad luck - the horror of it all!

Im sorry if I was not clear. As a response to your first statement, no, it's not a problem and it makes perfect sense to me (I once played a fighter/wizard/cleric, I sucked at everything i could do, but i could do everything!). The thing about classes, and my opinion of 3rd ed, is that they resemble compute game classes, in second edition there was no such thing as a spellthief, but the abilities that a spell thief has did existed, it was a magical item called mage hand. So, a thief with that item can actually be a spellthief, and a wizard/thief with that item was more likely to be a "spellthief". 3rd ed is sometimes to flexible, There's a class for everything, folowing the spellthief example, in 2nd ed, if you wished to be a character with such an unique ability you could'nt start with such ability, you had to fight for it. I dont know wich of the two options is better, on one hand you have the 2nd ed spell thief: "So, when did ou become a spell thief?" "Oh, i started my career as a regular thief, till one day i found information of a powerful item that granted it's wearer the ability to steal the spells from its enemies. I began my wizard studies and then proceeded to look for the resting place of such a wonderful item!". 3rd ed spellthief: "Um, I went to a special academy that teached me to do that" because there is no way that a first level character could have a magical item of such proportions, yet, we can give that ability for a class centered around that concept.

I forgot what I was trying to say, I like 2nd ed, i like 3rd ed, i dont know if i like 4th ed and i definetly like beer...

quillbreaker
2008-07-05, 01:50 AM
4e does something very well, and that something is explaining how the points of light manage to exist in a world filled with all kind of mighty monsters.

First,let's say you're the overlord of some evil legion. You've got thousands of minions at your comand, ready to crush the puny humans.

You prepare to march on the enemy, when you realize none in your ranks has rituals to quickly travel. Damn. Gotta go on foot.

As you advance, hail starts to rain. 5% of your minions are slaughtered mercilessly by the slightly damaging ice.

You step on a nest of rats, bees, hundreds more of your minions get slaughtered.

Someone among your rnaks sneezes, more a dozen minions bites the dust.

When you finnally reach the village, almost all of your minions have been mercilessly slaughtered to the simply hazards of nature, leaving you only around a hundred warriors and a couple dozen elites and solos

You charge at the farmers, and the farmers pull out their halberds/magic books/axes and smile evily. They unleash a volley of powers upon your force. Since there is no such thing as farmer stats, everybody in the puny human village is himself a monster ready for combat wich automatically becomes the level of your demonic army.

You try to retreat in terror as the scythe weaving mothers rip apart your personal bodyguards, but you realize you also don't have any powers to escape.

The evil foolish overlord is defeated. It's goods are plundered. The merchants will sell the magic items to whoever is willing to buy them and the farmers will use the gold to reward passing adventurers.

No, the whole minion and ecounter mechanincs explain everything perfectly. Minions may be countless, but they'll die with a sneeze. The farmers will become archmages and holy knights as soon as you try to attack them. You gotta be very well prepared to take down something as simple as a human village.

Cute. Vapid, but cute.

First of all, the "1 hp minions" mean they die relatively quickly in combat, not that they are made of hollow glass. I'd go into details, but many have already done so - if you haven't gotten it by now you aren't going to.

Second of all, see "human rabble", 4th ED Monster Manual. Level 2 minions. Perfect for your hapless human needs. Thanks.

horseboy
2008-07-05, 05:01 AM
Do you REALLY think that having less description about... well, everything is an improvement? Did you sit reading the 3.5 books saying to yourself, "This is ok, but I wish these class and spell descriptions had less details so I could make my own!"? Do you really feel that rich description is a hindrance to roleplay?

It is hard to recognize this position as anything more than a reactionary rationalization to what 4e became.Actually, I heard it all the time here before 4th was announced. All kinds of "Why must my sorcerer have a dragon ancestor. That's stupid!" Not to mention: "Why can't WotC just drop all that fluff? I don't use it anyways, just give me crunch!" was a common cry. Not that I ever said/thought that, but there are quite a few that do.

The internet is no longer only for that one... other thing, now it is also for pissing and moaning as well.... you all have durty mindsWhat? I was there in the macro lab in '92 hanging out with Sloth MUD and down loading porn and bitching about ST:TNG. The net's always been about porn, RPG's and geeks bitching.

As for village militia guidelines: depending on the setting, a sensible village militia could be "ten guys with pitchforks" or "an eighty foot steel golem". The only answer you're going to get out of a codified system is "some guys with some weapons" and that's just not helpful.LOL!
Of course, in Tippyland those are 80 shadowsteel golems.

Twin strike, "if the first attack doesn't kill it the second one might." I think this one takes the cake. It utterly fails to fit the flavor of the ranger. "Dur, i hope i hit." It's also an utter waste of text.

Crucial advice "you are wise in all things, the sooner your friends realize this, the safer and better off they'll be." When did rangers become lore masters. and more importantly, when did they become stuck up jerks?
"I tell you, Indy, you listen me, you live longer!" Okay, that's really funny, too.
Then why should I have to extensively work on the game to bring it up to par?I've asked the exact same thing about 3.x many a time.


It's very difficult indeed for a game to discourage roleplaying. But not facilitating it is easy - it just requires removal of features that might facilitate it.Oh, I found 3.x to quite often discourage roleplaying. As it's clumsy and awkward mechanics would frequently get in the way of even basic character concepts. A system that gets in my way of roleplaying less makes it easier for me to roleplay.
Ok, why I cannot play a decent Archer Paladin?Because bows are the weapon of a coward, durh. :smallwink:
Yeah, Heavy Metal is an inherantly high-energy form of music. You can't mope around while listening to Metallica, it doesn't work. (It's also a bad idea to operate heavy machinery... or so I'm told). Yes, you just can't be sad and listen to Justice. However, $elloutica, like Black and everything thereafter. :smallmad:

Well no, a wizard could have trained in swimming in 4e or 3.5. In 3.5 it would have been cost prohibitive but do able if you wanted to spend the effort on training to be a swimmer(skill points per level). But can you argue that a man who spends his entire life studying books, is just as likely to have trained in swimming, as any ranger? Or that a mage who has trained in swimming is as good as any pirate of the same level? Is it really sensible for Fighters to have as easy a time in gaining knowledge of the arcane as the aforementioned wizard?Yeah, yeah you can. What his esoteric university didn't have a PE credit requirement? Maybe the tall, gangly youth got to go on a B-ball scholarship. Maybe he stays so small and thin by doing 30 laps every day in an Olympic pool. That's the power you have over your character when there's not a system getting in your way of expressing what you want your character to be. Of course, my favorite character is a spell casting river lizard that swims before it can walk. Why wouldn't he be able to swim just as well as any other t'skrang?
I've realized the main reason I don't like 4E is pretty simple. I don't want to play heroic fantasy. I want to play simulation fantasy. I want the world to feel logical, consistent, and above all real. I want the possibility of my character biting it hard to be tangible and present, because I'm out there doing things that are bloody dangerous. I don't want to lose 'fighting spirit' when some monster slams me through a wall or smashes me with a big axe, I want to take real damage, and have to worry about how I'm gonna survive the next one, not just go 'Ok, caught my breath.' and be fine. I want a detailed skill system. Because someone has to say it: "You shouldn't be playing D&D, you should be playing Rolemaster."

But I know a few games in which chopping wood very much contributes to an additional gameplay dimension - in this case, a logistic gameplay, and in doing so can introduce high-stress situations.Other than Ulitma Online?

But if you're building siege engines because you need to break the defenses of the Lich's castle within two weeks, it suddenly becomes all kinds of potentially high-stress and additional gameplay to know how much wood your soldiers can gather for the work. Can you just write it off as unnecessary? Yeah. But you can do the same with a combat.How much wood could a wood elf chuck if a wood elf could chuck wood? As much as the story demands.
Is anyone else disappointed that Warlords are basically reflavored Bards? Maybe it's the Bard-lover in me. I've looked into it, and it's almost completely possible to reflavor the Warlord with Bardy stuff, and it still makes perfect sense. This disappoints me because they did away with the silly and whimsical Bard and basically made it into a more badass warrior. I guess it fits more with the heroics and cinematics of 4e.Actually they're reflavoured Marshals. Bards are forthcoming, they claim they had them done, just need a little more playtesting. WotC playtesting! I made a funny!
The problem here is that the anti-hero is just as much a part of the fantasy genre as the hero himself. Take the Elric cycle for example. Elric was very much the anti-hero from the word go. The same can be said of Raistlin, and several other characters from fantasy novels. That 4e ignores this completely is shunting out character concept for predefined character roles, and there in lies the problem I've mentioned repeatedly.Have you been to a book store lately? Finding Elric books are painfully difficult.
Necromancers were an option from the beginning if you played a specialist wizard. It's always been an option, not a particularly happy and shiney option mind you, but an option none the less. Once again it seems to come down to WoTC telling the players that they weren't playing the game right.For what it's worth, WotC appears to be going more for quality over quantity. The fact that it's not a "happy shiney option", in fact it's a craptastic option of mediocre playability. I'm all for waiting for a good edition of a necromancer rather than get a mediocre version now, and three more version of increasingly less crappiness later.
That was the only worthwhile bit in the whole movie.Oh, the number of times I've sang that at work.
To keep the just short of EE length :smallwink:
Minions: Yes, they bother me. They bother me for the same reason that shoving 4' of steel into someone's chest in D&D doesn't kill them. This is just their attempt at trying to circumvent the problem, rather than making weapons dangerous. Hence, why I play Rolemaster.

OneFamiliarFace
2008-07-05, 06:52 AM
What bothers my immersion, and makes it difficult to get into the game, are the little things. Rules that are good for game balance but have little to no justification if I were really standing there hitting something with a sword, or flinging spells.

A few examples of the rules I'm speaking of in 4e are Minions/Elite/Solo monsters, abilities that shouldn't (like Confusion) doing hp damage, the proliferation of 'knockback' effects, Healing Surges, and 'marking' targets.
There are others, and if you'd like to know why I find any specific rule unrealistic I'd be happy to discuss it, but since some of those explanations can get a little long, I'll not do it in this post.

Ah. And this is why I like your posts. You talk about it from your point of view and personal preferences, rather than making broad, sweeping statements. So now I'll try to address some of these for simulation (most likely ineffectively, but I like the mental exercise these days). So from the inside-the-game world, the most common things I have seen are magic vs non-magic, hp abstraction, marking, and all spells dealing damage. Hopefully, I can cover that here.

Magic vs Non-magic
You have a good point here. One does not always want to play a magically enhanced character. I realize DnD doesn't do this the best, but we are comparing 3e to 4e, so I'll do that again. For falling damage, it has actually been increased in 4e to 1d10 per 10ft fallen. While it is true that a person can die from a bad fall at 10ft, it is also true that a person can survive a bad fall at 40ft. In most cases, a player won't just be dropped flat into a hole, so their survival could be due to grabbing at walls and ledges which slow their fall. Other than that, most things are just so basic to both games that you can't really differentiate them too much. Swinging swords are deadly, but a character in either game can survive at least a straight blow or two.

And, more importantly, character classes in 4e can actually do less outright magical things. For the most part, martial classes receive no abilities that would be considered supernatural until at least 22nd level, where the rogue can gain the ability to jump ridiculous distances (very possible within the realm of 3.5, and at earlier levels too).

HP Abstraction
This is probably one of my favorite aspects of 4e. Though I can see how it disrupts some people's suspension of disbelief. For me, it increases it, especially in a level based game. I am first and foremost, a horror fan, but horror is really hard to simulate with a game system where you either have to have levels (less scary as you get higher) or static hit points (impossible to survive at higher levels unless bad guys always miss).

This has been said a lot, so hopefully I can put a new spin on it. HP abstraction benefits the game immensely, because now it does account for all those near misses and what-not. A 'hit' now means a much broader range of things. But in 3.5, a hit was mostly just a blow your character survived. "His blade cuts into your arm." And you kept swinging, heroic fantasy style.

Now, the combination of healing surges and bloodied helps to represent the combat process as something that is taxing to a person, and there is a point at which you have been wounded enough to provide many enemies an advantage against you. When a 10th level duelist fights a rash, young, upstart prince, he deals with him swiftly, not even breaking a sweat.

But when the same duelist squares off against a the captain of the king's royal guard, he is in for a fight. The fight includes dodging and smart moves (as represented by the swordsman's dexterity or intelligence), and blades missing their targets due to large shield or heavy armor. Blows are exchanged, and a few nicks and cuts are granted as gifts for ill-placed moves. But the Captain's superior strength is winning out. Just as the Guard Captain assumes the battle is his, the duelist leaps forward in a moment of renewed vigor and beats the captain back. Seeing their leader in trouble, some piddly guards run to defend him, only to be dispatched in a series of quick blows from the duelist's rapier and shortblade. The captain charges, but the duelist parries and summons up what is left of his energy to launch a final assault, finally getting past the Captain's exhausted shield arm for a slash across his face.

Now, most of the things in this encounter are fairly realistic and outside the realm of magic. And most of them could be represented in 3e. Two things clearly spring to mind however: The second wind, and the guards falling so quickly. These are things that may very well not have been in the realm of a duelist's abilities in 3e. If you were steadily losing to a guard captain, then you were (law of averages would indicate) going to lose eventually. The guards would have broken suspension of disbelief by bogging down combat as they took too many hits to bring down. And, in real life, even completely unskilled enemies pose some threat to heroes. A lucky blow from a random upstart could kill the heartiest of soldiers. Thus, these minions have a chance of wounding the duelist (or, even dealing the killing blow if he is too tired and bloodied from his fight with the Captain).

But in 3e, we see that lower level enemies, even if they can be dispatched easily by players, provide no emotional or game reward for doing so, as their +1 to hit and 1d4 damage could never have amounted to anything against a 10th level character. So here, the duelist was in actual danger, perhaps immersing him even more in the story (and making him thankful the guards were not any tougher). In this new view, Hit Points are merely just a different skill, similar to attack bonuses or armor class. And that actually helps me to visualize the combat as much as rolling an attack roll does (rather than the DM just telling you whether or not you have hit).

Marking
Yeah, this one was clearly a game mechanic given fluff. But that doesn't make it totally whacko or unbelievable. I imagine my angry orc fighter whacking a creature across the snout with his shield, harrying it with his hammer whenever it tries to look at someone else, and yelling at it a lot.

It actually surprises me that this one draws so much attention over things like Hunter's Quarry or Prime Shot. What makes a Ranger deal more damage against someone just because he has picked him out? What makes a ranger or warlock hit better just because they are closer to an enemy than their friends? (In 3e, what allows a ranger to hide with no cover in natural surroundings? What allows a rogue who has -2 to spot and listen due to a tanked wisdom dodge blades he had no idea were coming? What allows a fighter to land 4 effective blows with a very heavy weapon in 6 seconds?)

I think it's mostly just that these features fit the old roles that people are used to. Whereas Marking emulates certain video games that include tanking, so people want to say it is only for balance purposes and pulls away from realism by not making sense, but consider a very important difference between Mark and Tanking:

A creature you have marked does not have to attack you.

You have not compelled him (though the arcane defender may have something like that) or forced his actions. All you have done is hamper his ability to do things properly. This could be done through superior martial skill, intimidation (not the class skill), or holy judgment. Again, this only increases my immersion in the combat, imagining it as an ongoing process. My actions continue to have an effect after I say, "Okay, I'm done. Ryan? Your turn." And if the creature really loves the taste of elves or is in a blind fury against the rogue who just killed his hatchling, then he can pretend I'm so much lunchmeat, and attack the guy. But now I'm clever, and use his anger and rage to find an opening to attack him once.

This is just a good, solid class feature which makes playing a sword and board tin-man more viable. It certainly beats the 3.5 PHB 2 equivalent feat which required Charisma (not a stat highly favored by tanks) and actually did dictate the enemy's actions.

Everything Deals Damage
I will grant that if one does not accept my case for hp abstraction above, then the following argument has little merit. But within the guidelines of the above argument, it is very easy to see why most (not all) spells and abilities deal damage:

They all contribute to that final moment when the skilled PC/enemy will succumb to their death blow. Being confused throws people off, seeing the holy light of an enemy god strikes fear in their hearts, and a harrying blow from a sword throws them off balance. Or, against a basilisk, it really does just chop into him. Now, this does, of course, conflict with minions. But I would argue that since minions work a bit differently anyway, and 'flavoring your powers' does not seem to be too problematic here, a minion dropping in one hit can be accounted for in a number of ways. They drop their weapon and flee in the face of such an enemy. They are actually damaged and killed. They are reduced to a catatonic state from mental manipulation. The list is endless, and I'm sure the PCs will only increase their suspension of disbelief as they realize they are producing results other than "You lop off his head, he falls to the ground. You lop of his arm, and he falls to the ground." Or even worse, "You deal 10 damage. He dies."

Or, this could simply represent those lucky blows that people sometimes get which kill the enemy outright. If there are 6 goblins and, 4 of them drop in one hit, it isn't because they were weaker, but because they were more clumsy, less experienced, or just more unfortunate.

Whew. Well, that was actually kind of fun. Typing all of this is helping me visualize my encounters. Rock on.

Hallavast
2008-07-05, 07:40 AM
/ are always subjected to time constraint cheese (the universe will end in 3 days... again... unless tab A goes in slot B).


Eh? "time constraint cheese"? :smallannoyed: Really? I suppose you get irked by gravity constraint cheese, too? I hate to bring this up, but as per reality, people tend to be ruled by the flow of time unconditionally. There is nothing cheap or contrived about it.

Why should the world stop and wait for a bunch of squatters in some tomb? Battles are fought, weddings happen, funerals take place, tournaments are held, festivals are celebrated, kings are made and unmade, and the ways of the world are decided all by the mandates of a few days' time. There are a myriad of reasons for Dungeon Masters to use the clock to motivate a party, and none of them are cheese*.

*Unless the reasons for the PCs to hurry along is so that they don't miss the bi-annual cheese festival or something similar. :smallbiggrin:

Indon
2008-07-05, 10:20 AM
I've asked the exact same thing about 3.x many a time.
Really? What precisely was the 'par' that you had to work 3.x to meet? AD&D? I take it then that you never bothered to play 3'rd edition D&D, because you could have just used that baseline system instead.


Oh, I found 3.x to quite often discourage roleplaying. As it's clumsy and awkward mechanics would frequently get in the way of even basic character concepts.
Really? How so?

(Aside from "My Whip-specialized Fighter isn't as powerful as my Batman Wizard is", that is)


How much wood could a wood elf chuck if a wood elf could chuck wood? As much as the story demands.
DM: "You come across a group of orcs!"
Player: "We charge into battle, screaming homage to the gods in our war cries!"
DM: "Awesome. After a hard-fought battle in which you each take a few scrapes - yeah, even the Wizard, one of the orcs got a lucky shot - you triumph, the orcs lying dying at your feet."

As demonstrated, I can handwave combat. I guess combat rules are extraneous, then?


Have you been to a book store lately? Finding Elric books are painfully difficult.
Humorous side point: You know who the publisher is for the latest reprints of the Eternal Champion novels?

White Wolf. Yeah, that White Wolf.

old guy
2008-07-05, 10:33 AM
Figured I would chime in on this, only reason I finally registered to post actually. 4E is not really a bad system provided that you can afford to pay for the minis to go with it. The way I see it is the whole system is designed around being able to go out and buy minis for the PCs and monsters, est est est and if your into that kind of thing its great. The 3E and 3.5E systems had their ups and downs as well as did old school D&D and Ad&d, and I have played every one of them well with the exception of 4E. Not because it is a bad system if you like that sort of thing but because I don't, which is what it boils down to in the end, personal choice. The debate over 4E is the same one that raged over 3E when it first hit the shelf. Is it better or worse what are the ups and downs, it is a money making ploy and whatnot. In the end it doesn't matter, had WoTC not bought out TSR and made 3E there would be no d&d at all now as TSR despite my personal love for the game was going the way of a single kobold against a six member party, out in a big and terrible way. Personally I will never play the new 4E or its inevitable replacement for the simple fact I am knocking on forties door and don't feel like starting over with a new system, and I can't afford to replace the dozens of books nor buy a butt load of miniatures, but that isn't to say it isn't a good game. Sure it seems like Wizards of the Coast is going any way they can to make more and more money off the fans and in truth of course they are, if they didn't there would be no game to debate. In the end that is all it is a game, sure we are all very attached to the many different versions that we love but so someone else will be to versions that haven't even been created yet some day. Best thing I can say in closing is if you don't want to play the thing don't, I don't plan to, I have the versions that interest me and will continue to play and DM them regardless of new systems attempting to usurp their position. Sorry for the long and probably somewhat off topic post, hopefully it was worth reading.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-07-05, 10:59 AM
Figured I would chime in on this, only reason I finally registered to post actually. 4E is not really a bad system provided that you can afford to pay for the minis to go with it.

Dude, buy a bucket of green army men and go from there.

WotC would like for you to buy their overpriced minis, but 4e does not require you to use them (I'd have to be a HeroClix-style game for that to work... maybe 16e (http://www.schlockmercenary.com/d/20071111.html) :smallbiggrin:). You can similarly mock up a battle grid (or laminate a paper one).

If the expense of buying minis is the only thing stopping you from trying 4e, then you should give it a shot. If it's the price of the books, well, that's always a reason to not buy something, if you get what I mean :smallwink:

jkdjr25
2008-07-05, 11:21 AM
From what I'm seeing what's the most troubling about 4e is the rampant fanboyism it's causing.

I'll cop to the fact that I like 3.5, I've never had a problem coming up with character concepts and by working with my DM I've usually been able to make them work, and in point of fact my characters are usually the weakest in our group. It doesn't matter to me how good a feat, spell, or item is if it's not what the character would use then I don't take it.

Those of us who like 3.5 like it for it's versatility and the breadth of characters you can make. If I want to play a wizard who focuses on being a diviner then I can do so because the system is set up to allow me to do so.

4e has no such versatility. If I want to play a two weapon fighter then I have to make a ranger if I want to attack with both weapons, because only rangers can do so. I don't have the option of making a necromancy specialist wizard because, according to WotC, a wizard is supposed to stand in the back and blow stuff up. It's those kinds of changes that many of us disagree with.

Keep in mind that we're not saying that you shouldn't enjoy the game but a lot us are getting tired of being told that we're thick headed if we don't like 4th edition. So let's just all take a step back, and relax.

DMfromTheAbyss
2008-07-05, 11:48 AM
Actually just from someone who's in a D&D game with no minis whatsoever...

3.x is just as bad as 4rth ed for needing minis... if you can make do without them is 3.x you don't need them in 4.0.

I play in a 4.0 game that was a 3.5/3.0 game. It just fit the DM's play style better, even without minis being an option (children/pets in the home make minis a bad idea). I was initially quite nervous about all the "shift 2 squares" style powers... but it turns out that with good description combat still works out fine.

So if you are one of those unwilling to buy tons of minis, don't let that stop you from trying 4rth edition D&D. IT CAN BE DONE WITHOUT THEM. (In point of fact it's been easier to go "gridless" than before).

Just my personal experience...

Your milage may vary but it's really a playstyle choice for the DM... For reference "My" game that I run (for about 15 years in the same campaign)is still a homebrew 2.0, becouse 3.0/3.5/4.0 haven't really appealed to me for running my game...

The New Bruceski
2008-07-05, 12:30 PM
From what I'm seeing what's the most troubling about 4e is the rampant fanboyism it's causing.

I'll cop to the fact that I like 3.5, I've never had a problem coming up with character concepts and by working with my DM I've usually been able to make them work, and in point of fact my characters are usually the weakest in our group. It doesn't matter to me how good a feat, spell, or item is if it's not what the character would use then I don't take it.

Those of us who like 3.5 like it for it's versatility and the breadth of characters you can make. If I want to play a wizard who focuses on being a diviner then I can do so because the system is set up to allow me to do so.

4e has no such versatility. If I want to play a two weapon fighter then I have to make a ranger if I want to attack with both weapons, because only rangers can do so. I don't have the option of making a necromancy specialist wizard because, according to WotC, a wizard is supposed to stand in the back and blow stuff up. It's those kinds of changes that many of us disagree with.

Keep in mind that we're not saying that you shouldn't enjoy the game but a lot us are getting tired of being told that we're thick headed if we don't like 4th edition. So let's just all take a step back, and relax.
From what I'm seeing what's the most troubling about 3e is the rampant fanboyism it's causing.

I'll cop to the fact that I like 4th edition, I've never had a problem finding variety between the classes and by working with my party we've usually been able to make us work, and in point of fact our characters usually all get chances to shine, with nobody needing to be the weakest. It doesn't matter to me how detailed and complex a system is, if the people I'm gaming with can't sit down and start playing, I don't like it.

Those of us who like 4e like it for it's balance and quickness of play. If I want to sit down with a person brand new to gaming and in 30 minutes have a character that will pull its weight in the party, I can do so. Mistakes can be corrected, and more variety decisions are made at 11th and 21st level instead of every level.

Your thoughts of versatility are wedded to the system. In 3e if I want to play a support/healing character I need to use magic, because warlords aren't around. I don't have the option of making a skillmonkey fighter because, according to WotC, a fighter is supposed to be a dumb brute who barely gets enough skills to tie his shoes. It's those kinds of changes that many of us appreciate.

Keep in mind that we're not saying you shouldn't enjoy the game but a lot of us are tired of being told that we're simple and immature if we don't like 3rd edition. So let's all take a step back and relax.

The New Bruceski
2008-07-05, 12:32 PM
Previous post was trying to make a point at how easily things are flipped. I agree we all need to take a step back, but I wanted to emphasize that the blame does not lie on any one side of the discussion.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-07-05, 04:27 PM
Those of us who like 3.5 like it for it's versatility and the breadth of characters you can make. If I want to play a wizard who focuses on being a diviner then I can do so because the system is set up to allow me to do so.


That's great. I always disliked 3.X because of its lack of versatility and the horrifically limited number of characters you could make. Sure I can make a Wizard who specializes in divination, but at the end of the day he's still just a D&D Wizard.

The point is, the reason that 3.X seems versatile to you is because your expectations are filtered through the lenses of 3.X. Saying "3.X is more versatile than 4E because I can create a Wizard who specializes in divination" is as nonsensical as saying "Vampire is more versatile than D&D because it has stats for more than one type of vampire". You're arguing that Game X is more versatile than Game Y because Game Y does not mechanically reproduce the effects of Game X.


4e has no such versatility. If I want to play a two weapon fighter then I have to make a ranger if I want to attack with both weapons, because only rangers can do so. I don't have the option of making a necromancy specialist wizard because, according to WotC, a wizard is supposed to stand in the back and blow stuff up. It's those kinds of changes that many of us disagree with.

And in 3.X if I want to play a wizard who works primarily through extended rituals, I can't, because in 3.X a wizard is a person who casts spells from slots which they memorize from a spellbook. If I want to play a sorcerer who acquired his powers through hard study of arcane tomes, or pacts with demonic forces, I can't, because those things are defined as Wizards and Warlocks respectively.


Keep in mind that we're not saying that you shouldn't enjoy the game but a lot us are getting tired of being told that we're thick headed if we don't like 4th edition. So let's just all take a step back, and relax.

And I'm not saying you shouldn't enjoy 3.X, but you should at least recognize that it's every bit as limited as 4E, you're just used to working within those limits.

quillbreaker
2008-07-05, 05:02 PM
Eh? "time constraint cheese"? :smallannoyed: Really? I suppose you get irked by gravity constraint cheese, too? I hate to bring this up, but as per reality, people tend to be ruled by the flow of time unconditionally. There is nothing cheap or contrived about it.

Why should the world stop and wait for a bunch of squatters in some tomb? Battles are fought, weddings happen, funerals take place, tournaments are held, festivals are celebrated, kings are made and unmade, and the ways of the world are decided all by the mandates of a few days' time. There are a myriad of reasons for Dungeon Masters to use the clock to motivate a party, and none of them are cheese*.

*Unless the reasons for the PCs to hurry along is so that they don't miss the bi-annual cheese festival or something similar. :smallbiggrin:

I'm not saying that constraints are bad. I'm trying to say that the players always being under constraints is bad, that it places the pcs in a perpetual railroad, but the system tells you to require it. Otherwise, gods forbid, they might have only one encounter per rest cycle.

claddath
2008-07-05, 05:41 PM
And in 3.X if I want to play a wizard who works primarily through extended rituals, I can't, because in 3.X a wizard is a person who casts spells from slots which they memorize from a spellbook. If I want to play a sorcerer who acquired his powers through hard study of arcane tomes, or pacts with demonic forces, I can't, because those things are defined as Wizards and Warlocks respectively.

You're arguing apples and oranges here. There's nothing actually in the 3e game mechanics that stop you from playing a sorcerer with an alternate power source. You're just altering the fluff text. And there are spells with longer casting times that would allow you to be a "rituals" wizard. But the game mechanics for 4e do stop you from being a necromancer, diviner, or any other non-combat specialist wizard because the mechanics for those things aren't there anymore. You can't even be a ritual "Specialist" wizard in 4e because you're still forced to take the "Blaster" wizard or another class first.



In 3e if I want to play a support/healing character I need to use magic, because warlords aren't around. I don't have the option of making a skillmonkey fighter because, according to WotC, a fighter is supposed to be a dumb brute who barely gets enough skills to tie his shoes.

Well, for the first part Bard comes to mind (Yes I know, they do have some magic but hardly enough to speak of) . As for the second. Well that`s just common sense if you think abou it. The guy who spent all his life learning how to be really effective at weapons probably didn`t send much time learning to pick a lock or studying old history texts. He DID however learn to use weapons so it makes sense that he might just learn to use two at once, perhaps even more so than the guy who spent half his time in the woods learning to track animals.

4e made a lot of changes in the name of balance, and that's fine if your group needs that kind of structure, but it sacrificed alot of the real world checks and balances that make suspention of disbelief easier. Why can't the fighter use two weapons at a time, other than that's a ranger abilty? Why does this attack that does damage on a miss not work on minions, other than because it'd be too easy to kill them otherwise? Why if three of us use a distracting "mark" ability, does only the last one work, other than because it'd be too powerful if they stacked? Yes, 3e had its flaws and stumbling blocks, and it could be a little overly complex in some of it's rules, but at least it didn't make me ask questions like these that make the whole game world feel meta-gamed.

horseboy
2008-07-05, 06:01 PM
Really? What precisely was the 'par' that you had to work 3.x to meet? AD&D? I take it then that you never bothered to play 3'rd edition D&D, because you could have just used that baseline system instead.


Really? How so?

(Aside from "My Whip-specialized Fighter isn't as powerful as my Batman Wizard is", that is)When I look at a system generally I go by three things:
1) Does the setting inspire me? Generally I don't like "generic" systems because thy don't have a setting. It feels too much like creating something in a vacuum. It takes a lot longer to express the idea and I eaither take power away from the DM in that I have to create entire cities/nations of NPC's, instead of just a family. Sure, if a DM had a 200 page or so binder that I read before I got started, and it wasn't just fan-wank material, it can work as well. Rolemaster generally gets a pass because I started playing back when they had the Middle Earth license.
2) How dangerous is the combat? If I pump 1.21 gigawatts of electricity into someone, are they going to die? Are they even going to notice it? What about 4' of hard steel? D&D has always had a long history of Nerf based weaponry. That was the reason why, even way back in the day, every magic weapon in a game I ran had the "extra damage" power from the expert box set so we wouldn't have to sit there and hack and slash and grind through combat. 3.5 the Nerf weapons replace your regular ones around 4th is. Wanna stay useful? You HAVE TO take power attack. No, it's not an option. You have to take it. Wanna stay effective after that? Gotta go charge monkey. Now you're only killing on a first hit, and you've sacrificed your character to be mechanically effective.
3) How hard is it to express a character? I can expect to have to work the system when I'm doing one of my goofier concepts, like making a paladin in a Science fiction game (What? I like paladins.) But basic concepts, are they hard to express? This is really the point 4 has over 3.x. I know people are clamoring about no necromancers, but player charactersnecromancers (outside of Barsaive) are an advanced concept, not a common, everyday concept in a fantasy game.
When I went to make my first 3.x character I decided that I'd go with "my fighter was a soldier." You just don't get more basic than "my fighter was a soldier." So, I start with fighter, human and a 13 Int, cause I'm a trip monkey, as it's one of the three options open for fighters in 3.x, even after all the splat books. Well, Let's see, that's 16 skill points. So, I'm going to need to be able to get over a while, because I'm not looking to play Pyle here. And I'm going to be in heavy armour, so I'll dump 3 there, Need to be able to swim so 1 there. I need 1 in jump to complete the obstacle course. I'm using a guisarme so need some balance, woops, cross classed, 2 points. I've got a Cha penalty and diplomacy is cross classed, so I can either spend 2 points in it to learn to keep my mouth shut at the right time, or put 1 in animal handling (poop scooping) and 1 in craft cook (KP). Either way it's going to take 2 points. I need to be able to stabilize my buddy so I can get him back to the corpsman, cross-classed again. So 2 more points. Knowledge: Nobility, would I like to know who I'm dying to protect here? Let alone his enemies, and what they have militarily and their coat of arms, Cross classed again 2 more points. And, of course, my personal favorite. Profession: Soldier. To cover all those things like semaphore, parade drills, what "about face" means. All those things they do on a daily basis. Cross classed. 2 more points. That leaves me with 1 point. So, even though undoubtedly I've stood there for hours keeping guard spot/search/listen is still cross classed and three skills. So, one skill at three, everything else is a "1". I am the world's worst soldier. No wonder I got drummed out.
4th? I take Athletics, Endurance and Healing as trained. Grab Trained perception for a feat and suddenly I'm actually a competent soldier. Heck, I could swap endurance for intimidate and use my other feat to grab student of battle and I get to be the DI. No, I no longer have the things like "Heraldry" because it's not a conflict skill. It's a flavor skill. 4th doesn't do flavor skills therefore I don't have to worry about it.
4) Then there's niggling problems. I don't really go looking for them, they find me. These are mechanical and/or verisimilitude problems. 3.x is rife with them. Everything from the equipment page (ladder/2 poles) the broken spells that create the esoteric cold war every DM has to constantly keep in mind every time he sits down to do something, to nerf weapons and well I've carried on long enough, I'm sure you get the picture. Personally I play Rolemaster when I want to do "sim heavy", Earthdawn for gaming fun that doesn't constantly ping my "sim senses", Shadowrun when I want to play with guns, and usually a hybrid of Spacemaster/Traveler when I want to play with spaceships.


DM: "You come across a group of orcs!"
Player: "We charge into battle, screaming homage to the gods in our war cries!"
DM: "Awesome. After a hard-fought battle in which you each take a few scrapes - yeah, even the Wizard, one of the orcs got a lucky shot - you triumph, the orcs lying dying at your feet."

As demonstrated, I can handwave combat. I guess combat rules are extraneous, then?It can be, if that's the play style you're using.



Humorous side point: You know who the publisher is for the latest reprints of the Eternal Champion novels?

White Wolf. Yeah, that White Wolf.Then tell them to get off their pale, emo backsides and start printing.

The New Bruceski
2008-07-05, 06:27 PM
Well, for the first part Bard comes to mind (Yes I know, they do have some magic but hardly enough to speak of) . As for the second. Well that`s just common sense if you think abou it. The guy who spent all his life learning how to be really effective at weapons probably didn`t send much time learning to pick a lock or studying old history texts. He DID however learn to use weapons so it makes sense that he might just learn to use two at once, perhaps even more so than the guy who spent half his time in the woods learning to track animals.

Balance, Climb, Intimidate, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Ride, Search, Sense Motive (especially if training as a guard), Spot, Survival, Swim, Tumble. How is it "common sense" for an average fighter to be unable to be skilled in even a fraction of those?

And as has been said before, you can fight with two weapons in 4e, in the same way as people really fight with two weapons. If you want to pull the dedicated stuff, you pick a class who has dedicated themselves to learning those techniques. Why not complain about not being able to play a fighter who casts spells? Don't like the woodsy nature of the Ranger? It's light fluff; ignore it.


4e made a lot of changes in the name of balance, and that's fine if your group needs that kind of structure, but it sacrificed alot of the real world checks and balances that make suspention of disbelief easier. (1)Why can't the fighter use two weapons at a time, other than that's a ranger abilty? (2)Why does this attack that does damage on a miss not work on minions, other than because it'd be too easy to kill them otherwise? (3)Why if three of us use a distracting "mark" ability, does only the last one work, other than because it'd be too powerful if they stacked? Yes, 3e had its flaws and stumbling blocks, and it could be a little overly complex in some of it's rules, but at least it didn't make me ask questions like these that make the whole game world feel meta-gamed.

1: because you're putting too much focus on the name and not the class. Fighters focus on more of a defensive movable-wall role, learning how to protect themselves and others, either menacing the enemy with heavy two-handed weapons or using a shield and blade as extensions of themselves. Rangers are a mobile strike force, choosing to learn the devastating damage of multiple attacks instead of learning how to take a hit particularly well. If you want the latter, to learn how to turn both hands into deadly serpents instead of the classical sense of using one as a distraction, you learn from a Ranger. Complaining otherwise seems like complaining that by majoring in Chemistry you don't get a full degree in Physics.

2,3: I have a hunch that were these the opposite way people would be bashing 4e because "minions are pointless, they always fall over" and "the game's broken, you can debuff a guy into oblivion every turn with a stacked party, for free!" I can see arguments that the other way would be different, but I haven't seen any that it would be better.

Thurbane
2008-07-05, 06:30 PM
In regards to minis:

Back when I used to play AD&D 1E and 2E, we started off for several years not using minis at all - all the combats were abstracts in our head. Then one day, we decided "heck, we've got as few minis lying around, why don't we try using them in the game?". And so we did. We found that using minis was a lot of fun, and helped us visualise combats more explicitly, and cut down on disputes about whether characters were close enough to attack etc. In short, minis suited the style of play we enjoyed.

After a hiatus, my group (significantly diminished, unfortunately) reformed, and switched over to 3.5. My first thought was "wow, this version really demands that you use minis to run it" - this didn't sit so well with some of the newly reformed group, so we ran games without minis. And it ran fine. Eventually, we started getting into D&D minis anyway, and ended up incorporating them in our games - again, after a while everyone thought this was a good move, for the same reasons as previously. Not to mention that I'm addicted to the damn things (plasti-crack indeed!). :smallbiggrin:

Now, I've only played one session of 4E, and skimmed the rulebooks, but even at a glance I can see that the rules are more mini/grid intensive than 3.5 (with movement in squares rather than feet, a lot of powers that involve pushing and pulling creatures X amount of squares etc.). Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on your style of play. I personally believe that part of this decision is the software that will accompany 4E (virtual dungeons etc.). Some of my group even suspect that the last DDM set (Dungeons of Dread) was deliberately of lower quality than recent sets to encourage a push towards using the software. This may just be rampant anti-corporate paranoia, however. :smallamused:

In short, I don't particularly like 4E (for many of the reasons that others like Indon, tumble check and Prophaniti have already summarised quite well), and both of my groups plan to stick with 3.5 - but the mini/grid aspect isn't part of that decision.

Kurald Galain
2008-07-05, 06:32 PM
4th? I take Athletics, Endurance and Healing as trained. Grab Trained perception for a feat and suddenly I'm actually a competent soldier. Heck, I could swap endurance for intimidate and use my other feat to grab student of battle and I get to be the DI. No, I no longer have the things like "Heraldry" because it's not a conflict skill. It's a flavor skill. 4th doesn't do flavor skills therefore I don't have to worry about it.
So you're saying that 3.5 had flavor skills but not enough points for them, and you find it a feasible solution to simply not take any flavor skills... but you could have done that all along in any earlier edition. That's not an argument for or against 4E.

horseboy
2008-07-05, 06:53 PM
So you're saying that 3.5 had flavor skills but not enough points for them, and you find it a feasible solution to simply not take any flavor skills... but you could have done that all along in any earlier edition. That's not an argument for or against 4E.That's one of my big problems
with 3.x. I wouldn't have that problem if I played 4th. That's an advantage 4th has over 3.x.
Yeah, I'd rather they have the ability to "fully" express a character, but in the absence of a good system, I'd rather have no system than a bad system.

The New Bruceski
2008-07-05, 07:51 PM
So you're saying that 3.5 had flavor skills but not enough points for them, and you find it a feasible solution to simply not take any flavor skills... but you could have done that all along in any earlier edition. That's not an argument for or against 4E.
If a skill is there and you do not have it, you don't have the skill. If a skill is not there you can be good or bad at it, however you like. Not saying whether one is better (opinions differ) but explaining the difference.

claddath
2008-07-05, 08:05 PM
Balance, Climb, Intimidate, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Ride, Search, Sense Motive (especially if training as a guard), Spot, Survival, Swim, Tumble. How is it "common sense" for an average fighter to be unable to be skilled in even a fraction of those?

The average fighter should only be trained in a fraction of those. The average fighter is just grunt infantry. Yes a fighter could be trained in any of those, and one with a high INT might very well be. but there's no particular reason (s)he should be trained in any.


If you want to pull the dedicated stuff, you pick a class who has dedicated themselves to learning those techniques. Why not complain about not being able to play a fighter who casts spells? Don't like the woodsy nature of the Ranger? It's light fluff; ignore it.



Fighters focus on more of a defensive movable-wall role, learning how to protect themselves and others, either menacing the enemy with heavy two-handed weapons or using a shield and blade as extensions of themselves. Rangers are a mobile strike force, choosing to learn the devastating damage of multiple attacks instead of learning how to take a hit particularly well.

You see, this to me reeks of classes being pidgeon-holed into particular combat roles. If rangers' woodsy stuff is all just fluff, then haven't they just given you two of the many possible fighter types from 3.x and essentially removed the ranger? (I'm not sure if this is the case I am not yet intimately familiar with the new rules having only read through them briefly twice and DM'd them only once, but that's how it sounds.)

And in 3.x I could play a Fighter that cast spells I'd just pick up a couple levels of Wizard. For that town guardsman you mentioned earlier I'd probably pick up a level or two of rogue ("you can't catch criminals unless you can think like they do"). I can't do either of these in 4e.




Complaining otherwise seems like complaining that by majoring in Chemistry you don't get a full degree in Physics.

No, I'm complaining that by majoring in Chemistry I'm prohibited from learning Physics. I know more than one scientist that would be very irrate at having their hands tied were that the case.



2,3: I have a hunch that were these the opposite way people would be bashing 4e because "minions are pointless, they always fall over" and "the game's broken, you can debuff a guy into oblivion every turn with a stacked party, for free!" I can see arguments that the other way would be different, but I haven't seen any that it would be better.

Wasn't saying it would be better if it was the other way around. Just saying it make no logical sense outside of meta-game style thinking the way it does. And that ruins my sense of immersion faster than a boom mike in the shot.

Although I do have fixes for both of those.

2.Give minions have 4HP each. One hit will usually kill them but sometimes it takes two. menaing if you get close enough to use the 3DMG on a miss ability it'll still take two swings to down him. Of course one may argue that this makes them too tough to be "minions"

3.Multiple marks, if marked by multiple opponents you suffer the highest negative modifier from the opponent you are NOT attacking. ie: A Paladin has marked you at -4 a fighter and a rogue have each marked you at -2. If you attack the paladin you take the -2 penalty for not attacking the fighter/rogue (as their modifier is the same) , if you attack anyone else you take the -4 for not attacking the paladin

Now #2 I'm not entirely convinced that would work, I'd have to playtest it. #3 however, is IMHO how they should of written the rule in the first place.



And as has been said before, you can fight with two weapons in 4e, in the same way as people really fight with two weapons.



If you want the latter, to learn how to turn both hands into deadly serpents instead of the classical sense of using one as a distraction, you learn from a Ranger.

OK, I have issues with these statements as they only apply to one school of combat. Yes if you are using rapier/dagger classically this is the case, but there are many styles of fighting with two weapons where both weapons are used to full effect. And in fact the style you describe lends itself much more to the mobile strike force of the ranger than to the immoveable wall of the fighter.

Jerthanis
2008-07-05, 08:28 PM
Now, I've only played one session of 4E, and skimmed the rulebooks, but even at a glance I can see that the rules are more mini/grid intensive than 3.5 (with movement in squares rather than feet, a lot of powers that involve pushing and pulling creatures X amount of squares etc.). Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on your style of play. I personally believe that part of this decision is the software that will accompany 4E (virtual dungeons etc.). Some of my group even suspect that the last DDM set (Dungeons of Dread) was deliberately of lower quality than recent sets to encourage a push towards using the software. This may just be rampant anti-corporate paranoia, however. :smallamused:

In short, I don't particularly like 4E (for many of the reasons that others like Indon, tumble check and Prophaniti have already summarised quite well), and both of my groups plan to stick with 3.5 - but the mini/grid aspect isn't part of that decision.

Here's a very simple solution to the whole Squares malarkey. Multiply every value given in squares by "One meter" or "Two Meters" (if you prefer that scale) or, "5 feet" or "Seventeen miles", however you personally measure the space and reach of a person and their weapon. Always think on that scale and you're fine.

I'd also argue that pushing pulling and sliding are just fancy ways of saying, "Someone moves", and if you have ever been able to run a gridless game where every type of -tagonist can move during combat, you can probably visualize them being forced to move as well.

To me, the only thing a fight using minis on a grid does that absolutely cannot be done with nongrid fights is let the players make complicated plans without having to ask the DM a million questions. If I can see the battlefield laid out, I can count how many squares I am from the teleportation crystal, and see if I can make it there in one round if I boogie, or if the demons are in the way. Meanwhile if it's gridless, it can come to my turn and I'll just ask "Hey, can I make it to the teleportation crystal this round?" If the DM says "No" I'll just ask more questions about positioning until I decide what to do.

claddath
2008-07-05, 08:29 PM
That's one of my big problems
with 3.x. I wouldn't have that problem if I played 4th. That's an advantage 4th has over 3.x.
Yeah, I'd rather they have the ability to "fully" express a character, but in the absence of a good system, I'd rather have no system than a bad system.

But 4e Doesn't have an absence of a skill system. It has one even less able to "fully" express a character. What you want is 1st ed.

The New Bruceski
2008-07-05, 08:34 PM
OK, I have issues with these statements as they only apply to one school of combat. Yes if you are using rapier/dagger classically this is the case, but there are many styles of fighting with two weapons where both weapons are used to full effect. And in fact the style you describe lends itself much more to the mobile strike force of the ranger than to the immoveable wall of the fighter.

There are? Which ones outside of movies? I'd like to learn more about them.

As for number 3, marks only ever give -2. It's a status effect. Some feats may give penalties >on top< of that, but that's not a bigger mark.

OneFamiliarFace
2008-07-05, 09:00 PM
But 4e Doesn't have an absence of a skill system. It has one even less able to "fully" express a character. What you want is 1st ed.

This is actually a trouble with both systems, as has been stated. In 3e, you had the ability to specifically define your character with skills and feats. But this did not automatically mean you suddenly have more options for character creation. The fighter is a good example in that being trained in fighting should NOT limit you from having once been a baker, fisher, or whatever (cross-class profession). But a wizard, who has spent an equal amount of time or more studying magic could very easily have been a baker (class skill?). The problem is that there was not really any use for being a baker, so most people did not take these skills at all, or took a measly few ranks they could throw at it while learning to jump incredible distances, etc.

In 4e, if I want a fighter who can bake. Blam. It's mine. I don't have to make rolls, etc. If a DM really wants me to make a roll for something, then in 4e, all rolls are 1/2class level + ability mod. In this case, probably intelligence for following or remembering recipes. What 4e cannot do is simulate a character who is great at forgery, but does not have the manual dexterity for lockpicking or disabling devices. It cannot differentiate between someone who knows how to ride animals and someone who knows how to train animals.

Except through roleplaying. That's right. You can take the thievery skill, and just say you're no good at disabling traps. You can take the nature skill and decide you can't track. Why deliberately disable yourself? Well, in the former example, you had to in 3e anyway. If you wanted to have a profession or some random knowledge skills as anyone but a rogue or wizard respectively, you were probably giving up points that would have been very useful in spellcraft, know(arcana) or the like. In the case of a fighter, you were giving up one of your two skills to become half as good as anyone else at it.

I'm not advocating that "roleplay it" thing. I'm just glad that the groups of skills an individual might want are better grouped together. Neither 3e nor 4e is a skill based game, and, in my opinion, neither is particularly better at handling that situation (though I prefer 4e).

shaddy_24
2008-07-05, 09:29 PM
Let me make this simple. I havn't got the 4.0 books yet. I'm not planning on getting them for a while. I'm a new DM, since I've only been playing a little more than a year. I don't want to have to replace and relearn the game. My player are currently all level 4. Secondly, I'm basing this off what I have seen other people write. If I am wrong, please correct me, but don't get rude.

My players had the most fun battle they've had in a long time. They'd already been through a few encounters, and were low on spells. They got ambushed, by an enemy they couldn't see (a splinterwaif for those with MM3), who could animate spiked branches, and one had the ability to use entangle entange in the bramble bush filled room. The ranger and barbarian (the strong melee group members) were knocked out by a combination of brambles and branches, then when the creatures joined the fray. The rest of the group (bard, cleric/wizard/soon to be true necro, wizard/rogue, rogue and druid) had to work together, with almost no spells, to try to rescue their friends from the dangerous room. The cleric was down to a crossbow and heavy mace, the wizard/rogue was using a longspear and a wand of burning hands, and the bard was using a wand of cure light to ensure that the barbarian and ranger wouldn't get killed by the magically entagling bramble bushes. Meanwhile, the rogue and druid were both trying to hold their own against enemies, hoping that the others would be able to support them soon.

In 4.0, it sounds like the ranger and barbarian would simply use a healing surge to be fine, while the wizard and cleric would simply stand at the entrance of the room while their allies stopped the enemies from getting out and bomb the enemies with at will abilities until the enemy died. They are not drained of their abilities ever. My group found that getting themselves into an encounter and having to improvise through it with such heavily limited resources more fun than if they had been able to blast away forever with at will attacks.

OneFamiliarFace
2008-07-05, 09:45 PM
They are not drained of their abilities ever. My group found that getting themselves into an encounter and having to improvise through it with such heavily limited resources more fun than if they had been able to blast away forever with at will attacks.

This is a good point, and logistics are a greatly decreased aspect of the game in 4e. I would encourage you to think of healing surges as the very resources you are talking about though. A party low on those will be equally afraid. And the at-will abilities for pretty much anyone other than wizards are just simple strikes which usually do the same amount of damage as another attack with a small added effect. So you can run out of abilities. For a wizard, you actually run out faster than you did before (until you are left with things like ray of frost or magic missle, each of which does comparable damage to a crossbow).

claddath
2008-07-05, 09:53 PM
There are? Which ones outside of movies? I'd like to learn more about them.

Most notably daisho, the art of using a katana and wakazishi together. There are others (a lot of them are of Asian origin and it is more common to two smaller weapons to ease the stress on the less favored arm) but I don't recall specific names or origins at the moment. If I come across them in my research for the game world I'm working on (I'm spending a lot of time on my Asian area) I'll be sure to pass them on.



As for number 3, marks only ever give -2. It's a status effect. Some feats may give penalties >on top< of that, but that's not a bigger mark.

Ah, didn't know that. Well then, simple fix. If more than one mark is on a character (s)he takes a -2 no matter who (s)he attacks.

JaxGaret
2008-07-05, 10:03 PM
Most notably daisho, the art of using a katana and wakazishi together.

You are talking about this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gosho-ha_Hyoho_Niten_Ichi_ryu)?

Its practitioners are very, very few and far between.


There are others (a lot of them are of Asian origin and it is more common to two smaller weapons to ease the stress on the less favored arm) but I don't recall specific names or origins at the moment. If I come across them in my research for the game world I'm working on (I'm spending a lot of time on my Asian area) I'll be sure to pass them on.

Please do. Two weapon fighting styles in which one strikes with both weapons at the same time are incredibly rare.


Ah, didn't know that. Well then, simple fix. If more than one mark is on a character (s)he takes a -2 no matter who (s)he attacks.


A creature can be subject to only one mark at a time. A new mark supersedes a mark that was already in place.

shadow_archmagi
2008-07-05, 10:13 PM
Oh, sure, they are incredibly rare, but they do exist. And this "outside of movies" restraint is silly; D&D is the movies.

If we're going to insert real world logic, then why-

[insert unrealistic part of D&D here]

The New Bruceski
2008-07-05, 10:19 PM
Most notably daisho, the art of using a katana and wakazishi together. There are others (a lot of them are of Asian origin and it is more common to two smaller weapons to ease the stress on the less favored arm) but I don't recall specific names or origins at the moment. If I come across them in my research for the game world I'm working on (I'm spending a lot of time on my Asian area) I'll be sure to pass them on.



Ah, didn't know that. Well then, simple fix. If more than one mark is on a character (s)he takes a -2 no matter who (s)he attacks.
For the first part, thanks, and that explains why I was unfamiliar with it; my best friend in college was a sword nut but mostly focused on Western styles.

For the second part, I'm inclined to agree except for one issue: Bad Things usually happen if YOUR mark is ignored. I guess this would come back to what you mentioned before, I just missed it because I was specifically thinking about debuffs, so my apologies there. If bad things kick in for anyone not attacked, then a group of 5 paladins (assume +4 charisma) would do 28 damage to a target every time it attacked. For comparison, most damage I've seen so far from one attack was a rogue getting a crit sneak attack for 26. That's rather powerful, and it can be recast every turn. Is that appropriate?

EDIT: JaxGaret -- that's the issue being discussed. He feels that restriction is unreasonable.

shadow_archmagi -- Since people complaining about it are also asking for "realism" for other factors, it's valid to ask for examples from real life.

Bob the Urgh
2008-07-05, 10:23 PM
post #1064

JaxGaret
2008-07-05, 10:27 PM
Oh, sure, they are incredibly rare, but they do exist. And this "outside of movies" restraint is silly; D&D is the movies.

Yes, they do exist, and are represented by the TWF Ranger in 4e.

I find the fact that true TWF style is represented by an entire class rather than a paltry handful of feats to be more realistic than vice versa; it represents the fact that that particular style of fighting is both very rare and quite training intensive to even approach usefulness.

Kompera
2008-07-05, 11:24 PM
And although I enjoy watching action movies, I'm not interested in playing in or running a game based on that genre. Just like I'm not interested in playing in a high technology/space game, even though I love space opera, science fiction, Star Trek, etc.

4e creates a game reality I don't want to run or play in. 3e was bad enough. I think I'll go back to 2nd or maybe try out GURPS or HackMaster. They seem more in line with the kind of gaming experience I want.

Please do not misquote me, or attribute my quotes to another individual, or attribute another's quotes to me. It is especially offensive to see my words attributed to someone on the other side of the discussion. Prophaniti did not say "As for healing surges, they are plentiful in movies of all genres. ... I'm sure if you think about it for a minute you can come up with similar examples from any action movie", I did. It takes very little time to correctly quote, please take that time.

Furthermore, I said "movies of all genres", and then gave an example from an action movie. I don't care if you don't like action movies, but don't take the specific example and try to make that the scope of my statement. That is creating a straw man. I did not say that 4e was based on the action movie genre, so there was no need for you to state that you didn't care to play a game based on that genre, except to attack the straw man you created.

Maybe I can state it differently, without bringing up action movies in any way, to help you see my point without raising your anti-action-movie-roleplay hackles. The Heroic surge mechanic in 4e can be found in any number, and perhaps in all, examples of heroic fantasy novels. It's a common dramatic element to have the hero on the ropes, pull out hidden reserves of strength, and overcome whatever he is facing at the time.

To each their own, but I like a FRPG which plays like a fantasy novel. It just seems kind of appropriate.

Jack Zander
2008-07-05, 11:30 PM
To each their own, but I like a FRPG which plays like a fantasy novel. It just seems kind of appropriate.

Me too, but 4th edition doesn't play at all like a novel. It plays like a game.

claddath
2008-07-05, 11:37 PM
Not sure why you quoted me on this, seeing as your post has little to do with the point I made (is this "Strawmaning"? Not up on my forum definitions.). Since you did though, I'll do my best to address the points you made.


The fighter is a good example in that being trained in fighting should NOT limit you from having once been a baker, fisher, or whatever (cross-class profession). But a wizard, who has spent an equal amount of time or more studying magic could very easily have been a baker (class skill?).

I'm with you on this. I always felt Craft and Profession should have been either class skills or cross class skills across the board. I will be the first to admit that's a flaw in 3.x's skill system.



The problem is that there was not really any use for being a baker, so most people did not take these skills at all, or took a measly few ranks they could throw at it while learning to jump incredible distances, etc.

That's more a function of the type of game you're playing in. There's been more than one campaign I've played in where a skill like baking or blacksmithing or underwater basketweaving came in handy (Ok, maybe not underwater basketweaving :smallbiggrin: )



If a DM really wants me to make a roll for something, then in 4e, all rolls are 1/2class level + ability mod. ...

But by these standards everyone is an equally good baker/blacksmith/underwater basketweaver whether they spent 10 years studying it or they walked in off the street and tried it for the first time. (given said people are the same level). What's more, people get better at baking by fighting kobolds. In the games I run I am able to house-rule that you can't take skill points in something that you didn't use or let me know you were practicing. In a 4e game I couldn't do that because "all rolls are 1/2class level + ability mod." I'd have to completly re-write the skill system to show that only the skills you're using go up. (Normally I wouldn't bring house rules in to a rules discussion but I do so here only to illustrate that 4e's skill system prevents me from house ruling this at all)




What 4e cannot do is simulate a character who is great at forgery, but does not have the manual dexterity for lockpicking or disabling devices. It cannot differentiate between someone who knows how to ride animals and someone who knows how to train animals.

You see for me that's a problem as these are very different things. If I spend time learning to forge signatures and documents, that doesn't enable me to pick a lock and vice-versa (trust me, growing up as a latch key kid I had to do both on occassion).



If you wanted to have a profession or some random knowledge skills as anyone but a rogue or wizard respectively, you were probably giving up points that would have been very useful in spellcraft, know(arcana) or the like. In the case of a fighter, you were giving up one of your two skills to become half as good as anyone else at it.

Yes, and if, between all the time you spent each day learning how to move around in platemail and swing every melee weapon known to man, you took baking classes, chances are you never learned to swim. In real life we make these kinds of decisions all the time. In high school it was "will I take shop class or home-ec, Band or Drama" In university we become even more specialized. Sometimes we chose the one that we find more fun/interesting rather than the one that's more useful. And sometimes because of the demands of school/work we don't have the time to devote to our side interests that we like. Why shouldn't our characters have to have made the same sort of choices?



I'm just glad that the groups of skills an individual might want are better grouped together.

Which makes all the characters a little more a like on paper. In 3e I can make a thief who's bad at picking locks but great at disabling traps and that's represented in his stats and thus his rolls. In 4e I have to put points into "Theivery" and just SAY he's bad at locks. And what happens when he decides to try to pick a lock anyway, do I roll "Theivery"? Do I automatically fail? Does the DM arbitrarily make a call? None of these options really seem reasonable.



Neither 3e nor 4e is a skill based game, and, in my opinion, neither is particularly better at handling that situation (though I prefer 4e).

Although I agree that neither game is particularly skill based and I will concede that 3.X is far from perfect, I do think 3.X is significantly better at creating a sense of realism on that front than 4e, but to be fair 4e wasn't built with that in mind. It was built to be streamlined, and when you streamline, by neccessity you have to gloss over some stuff.

Tam_OConnor
2008-07-05, 11:42 PM
Just wanted to chip in on the two weapon combat: using the off hand weapon for defense purposes only is far more common (Florentine: rapier and main gaunche; I've heard rumors about the katana and wakizashi style being similar), but alternative do exist: Escrima (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escrima), for one. A few Chinese martial arts dual wield, butterfly swords (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_sword) and hook swords (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger_hook_swords) being examples. Like people have said, really really really uncommon, but it's been done successfully, at least in individual martial arts.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-07-05, 11:44 PM
Me too, but 4th edition doesn't play at all like a novel. It plays like a game.

Heh, you know what plays like a Fantasy Novel?

DM of the Rings (http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=612) :smalltongue:

It's funny, because to actually have a fantasy novel play out, you are either in a hardcore railroading game, or you'd be better playing a storyteller system where the participants are expected to alter the events to make a better story. Any edition of D&D can easily go off the rails if you were trying to roleplay a fantasy novel, unless the DM heavily fudges the dice.

D&D has been a game since at least 3e, and I'm happy to say that 4e is not only a game, but it's a game that works well.

Jack Zander
2008-07-05, 11:53 PM
Heh, you know what plays like a Fantasy Novel?

DM of the Rings (http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=612) :smalltongue:

It's funny, because to actually have a fantasy novel play out, you are either in a hardcore railroading game, or you'd be better playing a storyteller system where the participants are expected to alter the events to make a better story. Any edition of D&D can easily go off the rails if you were trying to roleplay a fantasy novel, unless the DM heavily fudges the dice.

D&D has been a game since at least 3e, and I'm happy to say that 4e is not only a game, but it's a game that works well.

Not sure what you're trying to say here. Are you saying that DnD is only suited to a railroaded game? I know it's no story teller system, but every single one of the games I've run and played in have been open-ended without being sandbox.

Kompera and I were talking about the actual action of a fantasy novel, not the overarching storyline. You don't need a system to simulate that, just a typewriter.

claddath
2008-07-05, 11:55 PM
You are talking about this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gosho-ha_Hyoho_Niten_Ichi_ryu)?

Actually no, this is a specific subschool of Daisho.



Its practitioners are very, very few and far between.


Yes, and actual practicing wizards who can shoot flames from their fingers are even rarer. Frequency isn't really an issue here. Just whether or not styles exist.



Please do. Two weapon fighting styles in which one strikes with both weapons at the same time are incredibly rare.

To be fair we aren't talking about simultaneous strikes just strikes from two different weapons that occur within 6 seconds (1 round) of each other. Simultaneous strikes would be much more awkward to preform and thus, yes, incredibly rare.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-07-05, 11:57 PM
Not sure what you're trying to say here. Are you saying that DnD is only suited to a railroaded game? I know it's no story teller system, but every single one of the games I've run and played in have been open-ended without being sandbox.

Kompera and I were talking about the actual action of a fantasy novel, not the overarching storyline. You don't need a system to simulate that, just a typewriter.


:confused:

So... you don't want a system that plays like a fantasy novel, you want a system that allows combat like you see in fantasy novels?

I mean, if you don't care about the story of a fantasy novel, then I guess you want... the description? I... don't really know what you want out of a "roleplaying game" then, I suppose.

claddath
2008-07-06, 12:30 AM
(Edited for space ) I'm inclined to agree except for one issue... then a group of 5 paladins ... do 28 damage to a target every time it attacked... That's rather powerful, and it can be recast every turn. Is that appropriate?


No, nooooo, no. In fact, grossly inappropriate. Hrmm. I'll have to think on it some more.

The New Bruceski
2008-07-06, 12:51 AM
No, nooooo, no. In fact, grossly inappropriate. Hrmm. I'll have to think on it some more.

Yeah, that's the issue with being flexible. Two defenders marking a target I could understand, though it does put the enemy in a bit of catch-22. The problem is if you open the door for more than one, you open the door for everybody. And like we've seen for Batman wizards and CoDzilla in 3e, it's the extremes that get held up as examples of the system.

OneFamiliarFace
2008-07-06, 01:06 AM
But by these standards everyone is an equally good baker/blacksmith/underwater basketweaver whether they spent 10 years studying it or they walked in off the street and tried it for the first time. (given said people are the same level). What's more, people get better at baking by fighting kobolds. In the games I run I am able to house-rule that you can't take skill points in something that you didn't use or let me know you were practicing. In a 4e game I couldn't do that because "all rolls are 1/2class level + ability mod." I'd have to completly re-write the skill system to show that only the skills you're using go up. (Normally I wouldn't bring house rules in to a rules discussion but I do so here only to illustrate that 4e's skill system prevents me from house ruling this at all)

That's true, so it requires a bit of roleplaying. If your character was never a baker in the first place, then he simply wouldn't be able to make baking checks (it would be a trained skill) beyond the simple baking anyone can do. I'm thinking about a houserule where people choose a profession, and it allows them to do anything reasonable outside of combat that would involve the profession. Granted, this means that a houserule has to be implemented and does not defend the rules. But many people also houseruled Spot and Listen into the same skill, or Move Silently and Hide as well. Because people who wanted to have one skill and not the other were pretty much non-existent.

As far as killing kobolds and gaining bakery skill goes. That's not any different between the two editions. You can still say that someone who does not upkeep their baking skill through practice cannot make baking checks. Or, to make it more game appropriate: it is also the case that wizards learn spells by killing kobolds, when it is supposed to include hours of studying. It is easily fixed in both systems by requiring that leveling involve training and/or practice in anything. In addition, you had to houserule to make sure characters couldn't put ranks in skills they didn't use. Alternatively, a level 8 rogue with a decent intelligence could suddenly gain 10-11 ranks in a skill that he never had before, one like know: dungeoneering, which would require a good amount of studying.


Yes, and if, between all the time you spent each day learning how to move around in platemail and swing every melee weapon known to man, you took baking classes, chances are you never learned to swim. In real life we make these kinds of decisions all the time. In high school it was "will I take shop class or home-ec, Band or Drama" In university we become even more specialized. Sometimes we chose the one that we find more fun/interesting rather than the one that's more useful. And sometimes because of the demands of school/work we don't have the time to devote to our side interests that we like. Why shouldn't our characters have to have made the same sort of choices?

This is very true. We do have to choose to limit our skills through personal choice and time constraint. But most people have a more varied assortment of skills than those available to the fighter (or most other classes). As far as a d20 system goes, d20 Modern did this slightly better with the addition of occupations. Either way, this can be represented with a simple point based system, rather than class/cross-class skills. A fighter could know about magic, and a wizard could be a good jumper. To argue that jumping goes right along with fighting skills and would be practiced at the same time, would very easily transition into "people who practice jumping also practice swimming and climbing." So one might want those skills bundled into a useful packet. We can call it "athletics."

And, because bonuses are hard to come by, it isn't true that two characters who pick athletics will always have the exact same skill. Taking the Skill Focus feat now represents exceptional training in a skill, and it is but one of 12 feats you will have before 20th level, so taking it doesn't automatically preclude you from having a "more useful" feat. Yikes. I'm gonna go outside for a bit.

JaxGaret
2008-07-06, 01:09 AM
Actually no, this is a specific subschool of Daisho.

Daisho isn't a style of fighting, it's just the pairing of the tachi and kodachi (katana and wakizashi).

Niten ichi is the fighting style that was developed by Miyamoto Musashi, and included techniques with the long sword by itself, the short sword by itself, the staff, unarmed fighting, and also the two-weapon offsensive fighting that you are referring to.

The link I posted above is simply one of the most famous schools in the world that teaches two-weapon technique, and it has less than a thousand students advanced enough to fight with two swords.

Never mind someone who can fight with any two weapons.


Yes, and actual practicing wizards who can shoot flames from their fingers are even rarer. Frequency isn't really an issue here. Just whether or not styles exist.

Magic doesn't exist IRL, so there is no basis for comparison.


To be fair we aren't talking about simultaneous strikes just strikes from two different weapons that occur within 6 seconds (1 round) of each other. Simultaneous strikes would be much more awkward to preform and thus, yes, incredibly rare.

I was talking about generally using both blades for offensive purposes at the same time (during the abstraction of the game round), not necessarily striking with both at the same exact time.

I simply think that using a class to represent TWF technique is more representative than a feat(s), due to the degree of difficulty involved in making it a useful fighting style.

horseboy
2008-07-06, 01:21 AM
But 4e Doesn't have an absence of a skill system. It has one even less able to "fully" express a character. What you want is 1st ed.4th doesn't make any bones about what it is. It's mechanics are there purely for conflict resolution. Those are the skills that you would need most often to resolve the most common conflicts.
But by these standards everyone is an equally good baker/blacksmith/underwater basketweaver whether they spent 10 years studying it or they walked in off the street and tried it for the first time. (given said people are the same level). What's more, people get better at baking by fighting kobolds. In the games I run I am able to house-rule that you can't take skill points in something that you didn't use or let me know you were practicing. In a 4e game I couldn't do that because "all rolls are 1/2class level + ability mod." I'd have to completly re-write the skill system to show that only the skills you're using go up. (Normally I wouldn't bring house rules in to a rules discussion but I do so here only to illustrate that 4e's skill system prevents me from house ruling this at all) Nothing prevents you from house ruling but you. If, using my "soldier-fighter" I used as an example earlier the DM decided that I would have to, oh, roll to see if I recognized some military crest, then "trained" is entirely appropriate. To fix a wagon wheel? Well, no, I'm not trained in that sort of thing. Of course, I've seen things done, chopped at a lot of stuff and might have had a buddy in the engineering corpse. 1/2 level is as good an abstraction as any other.
Yes, and if, between all the time you spent each day learning how to move around in platemail and swing every melee weapon known to man, you took baking classes, chances are you never learned to swim. In real life we make these kinds of decisions all the time. In high school it was "will I take shop class or home-ec, Band or Drama" In university we become even more specialized. Sometimes we chose the one that we find more fun/interesting rather than the one that's more useful. And sometimes because of the demands of school/work we don't have the time to devote to our side interests that we like. Why shouldn't our characters have to have made the same sort of choices? Except fighters don't train all day, every day. Otherwise they'd actually be able to do something. As I've shown, even an above average Int fighter can't be a competent soldier with 3.x's half assed skill system.

Jack Zander
2008-07-06, 01:45 AM
:confused:

So... you don't want a system that plays like a fantasy novel, you want a system that allows combat like you see in fantasy novels?

I mean, if you don't care about the story of a fantasy novel, then I guess you want... the description? I... don't really know what you want out of a "roleplaying game" then, I suppose.

I can come up with my own descriptions and story lines. What I want are game mechanics that simulate the techniques, maneuvers, and spells you watch/read about.

I want Jaffar to cast Charm spells on the sultan. I want the Prince to be able to leap across chasms and push guards into spike pit traps. I want the Princess to be able to speak with a rat (or mouse or whatever it is) to save the Prince of Persia.

I want Ergo the Magnificent to polymorph into small animals (and sometimes a tiger). I want Merlin to fortify Camelot, not just fireball it's enemies.

I want spells that have in and out of combat utility. I want swordsmen to have abilities that make sense rather than either sliding characters around and drawing aggro. I want to be able to simulate an overland race. I don't want my armies to be composed of 1 fighter and 500 warlords all giving him their actions.

I want to be able to play out the events I see/read about, not just move my pieces along some game board and have all negative effects last only during combat, then get mysteriously get better 5 minutes later (Final Fantasy Tactics).

OneFamiliarFace
2008-07-06, 04:42 AM
I want to be able to play out the events I see/read about, not just move my pieces along some game board and have all negative effects last only during combat, then get mysteriously get better 5 minutes later (Final Fantasy Tactics).

Hey, watch what you say about the greatest video game ever :smalltongue:.

I would say it just takes a small amount of imagination for all the things you are asking in any game. 4e sets up rules, but you can still follow those rules and flavor them however you would like (like in any RPG). Getting over in-combat afflictions, expending healing surges, and what-not can all represent various bandaging, breath-taking, potion-drinking, and what-not after combat. Now it's just not so much about logistics and your inventory.

Now, I actually loved my ridiculously complicated inventory, so I will miss that, but most of my players won't. It drastically cuts down on character creation time among other things. (Not a problem with a man obsessed, like me, but yeah.) And the lack of 2 or 3 minutes of poking people with a cure light wand can actually be seen as a step closer to that cinematic event sequence to which you were referring! Encourage your players to explain exactly how they are going about fixing up all of that combat damage.

I admit, as a DM, I would still like the occasional permanent or long-lasting effect. They still have these though. There are just less of them, and they require more saves before they take affect. Diseases are oftentimes cooler now too (i might make some poisons more like that). Drow Poison can knock someone unconscious without a (save ends) effect. A Green Dragon can now charm people permanently (so long as he is still alive). A Basilisk can still petrify people as well. Some enemies also have powers that will kill bloodied enemies who fail too many saves.

And one doesn't need miniatures and gameboard to play any edition of DnD. 4e requires a map of some sort, but graph paper, closing your eyes, and running a pencil randomly around the page will get you a 5-10 minute cave complex. Add monsters for spice. I like FFT because it is a tactics game where I can make my characters BE what I want. I like DnD because it is a game where I can make the story. Or when I play, a game in which my characters DO what I want, and it sometimes involves tactics (and in 3e, logistics).

I could say things like 3e required me to keep an inventory if I wanted, costing money and paper. Stats I can remember, and all my class abilities are in the book. But I don't care about one extra sheet of paper, so bam use graph paper and 4e hasn't forced you to do anything (save use one more piece of paper). Personally, I think it would be just as hard to play 3e without a map, because it would require a lot of DM work on sneak attacks, attack range, area effects, size, flanking, and attacks of opportunity when players wanted to do that. Outside of combat, neither game needs a map and a player can still function as a human being (orc/elf/etc) in either game.

Oslecamo
2008-07-06, 08:18 AM
As I've shown, even an above average Int fighter can't be a competent soldier with 3.x's half assed skill system.

False. Most of the skills DCs a soldier should be able to do the 3.X fighter can do whitout ranks whatsoever.

Unless your definition of soldier is someone who can sing so well as to atract the god's atentions, or such a good swimmer he can go up a waterfall, or such an escape artist he can bypass a wall of force. Everything else are fairly low DCs and the fighter will do them whitout need of ranks whatsoever.

It is in 4e that the DCs magically increase with your character. You level up and bang, all the walls on the world are now harder to scale, all bodies of water are harder to swim across and all NPCs are harder to fool. Wait, there aren't NPCs. There are only monsters and pieces of cardboard wich talk but have no real stats behind them.

In 3.X the skill DCs are static. And unless you're trying to do something exceptional, the DCs are almost alwasy under 20, aka anyone can do them.

Or is your definition of medieval soldier a stealthy ninja rock star sage?

Oracle_Hunter
2008-07-06, 09:16 AM
It is in 4e that the DCs magically increase with your character. You level up and bang, all the walls on the world are now harder to scale, all bodies of water are harder to swim across and all NPCs are harder to fool. Wait, there aren't NPCs. There are only monsters and pieces of cardboard wich talk but have no real stats behind them.

Wow, this is still around?

A quick read-through of the 4e skill section will reveal that physical challenges don't scale. Balance has a max DC of 30 (for very narrow and unstable surfaces), wall climbing maxes out at DC 30 (for slippery, smooth, masonry walls) and Swim maxes out at DC 20 for stormy seas. Heck, Bluff is traditionally opposed by Insight, which scales, though not "magically" anymore than anything else in the system.

The scaleable DCs are there if the DM wants to give the PCs challenges instead of just saying "yep, you pass." If the DM wants to say "you fool the guard" without rolling, well, I guess that's fun too, but it's nice to have DCs that will actually challenge a party and not just the one optimaxed character in it.

And what are "real stats?"

Methinks you have not cracked open a 4e book, much less done a careful reading of what 4e is about. After the weeks of threads devoted to the subject, why does anyone get these simple facts so very wrong?

claddath
2008-07-06, 10:11 AM
I'm thinking about a houserule where people choose a profession, and it allows them to do anything reasonable outside of combat that would involve the profession.

A good start, I'm actually implementing a rule similar to that in my 3.x games, where people get points to spend in craft or profession at first level. It doesn't deal with the problems that lay in my example of the incompetent lock picker, though.




You can still say that someone who does not upkeep their baking skill through practice cannot make baking checks.

That seems needlessly unrealistic. If I haven't baked a cake in months, I'm unable to try at all? Doesn't seem like a good work around to me.



As far as killing kobolds and gaining bakery skill goes. That's not any different between the two editions...Or, to make it more game appropriate: it is also the case that wizards learn spells by killing kobolds, when it is supposed to include hours of studying.

I only brought up the kobolds to illustrate that I was able to house rule 3.x fairly easily while 4e requires ridiculously complex workarounds or arbitrary calls by the DM to achieve the same semblance of realsim.

As for the wizards it makes perfect sense that the learn new magics by killing kobolds ...wait for it... using magic. They're practicing their craft, and thus getting better at it.



It is easily fixed in both systems by requiring that leveling involve training and/or practice in anything. .

I don't see the easy fix there for 4e. Yes, I had to throw in a house rule in 3.x to get the result I wanted. The point I was making was one house rule did the trick. I seems like far too many house rules are required to get the same kind of result using 4e's systems.



To argue that jumping goes right along with fighting skills and would be practiced at the same time, would very easily transition into "people who practice jumping also practice swimming and climbing." So one might want those skills bundled into a useful packet. We can call it "athletics."

Yes, and my problem with this is that it is a further abstraction. It's entirely possible that an expert climber never learned to swim or that an olympic class swimmer can't climb worth dirt. I can't play those characters without ignoring some of the class abilities I trained in. In 3.x I just don't put points into swim or climb respectively.

claddath
2008-07-06, 10:23 AM
Daisho isn't a style of fighting, it's just the pairing of the tachi and kodachi (katana and wakizashi).

Went back to my books. My bad. You're right on this.




Magic doesn't exist IRL, so there is no basis for comparison.


Wasn't making a comparison. I was using an extreme example to point out that you were focusing on a detail that was irrelevant to the discussion at hand. Frequency doesn't matter, merely existance.



I was talking about generally using both blades for offensive purposes at the same time (during the abstraction of the game round), not necessarily striking with both at the same exact time.


I figured, but it wasn't clear from your language. Just wanted to make sure we were on the same page.



I simply think that using a class to represent TWF technique is more representative than a feat(s), due to the degree of difficulty involved in making it a useful fighting style.

And I think exactly the opposite, but these are both opinions and neither one is right or wrong.

claddath
2008-07-06, 11:04 AM
4th doesn't make any bones about what it is. It's mechanics are there purely for conflict resolution.

Yes, I agree with that, but what you said was:


That's one of my big problems
with 3.x. I wouldn't have that problem if I played 4th. That's an advantage 4th has over 3.x.
Yeah, I'd rather they have the ability to "fully" express a character, but in the absence of a good system, I'd rather have no system than a bad system.


Now it may not be what you meant to say, but what was implied was that you would a)Prefer a system that allowed you to full express your characters skills and abilities mechanically and b) Barring that, would prefer a system that is the complete opposite, not representing any skills mechanically allowing you to roleplay your skill set without the rules getting in the way.
If this was not what you intended please disregard the spoiler below.

Now 4e represents a characters skill set as even more of an abstraction than 3.x, and therefore does not meet the requirements of A (Since clearly 3.x did not meet them to your satisfaction.) Since it does in fact have a skill system it cannot meet the requirements of B. 2nd Ed Has the non-weapon proficency system which is even further an abstraction than 4e or 3.x so I was left to conclude that 1st Ed was more in line with your ideal of what a game should be as it meets requirement B.





Those are the skills that you would need most often to resolve the most common conflicts. Nothing prevents you from house ruling but you. If, using my "soldier-fighter" I used as an example earlier the DM decided that I would have to, oh, roll to see if I recognized some military crest, then "trained" is entirely appropriate. .

Actually in the example you gave, as a DM I would say that no roll is required to recognize a military crest that has been encountered before as part of a character's established backstory. Much in the same way I wouldn't make a player roll "Knowledge: local" to recognize his own father. If the challenge had been to recognize a crest that had only been seen in books or that one had changed due to an heir taking over, or perhaps just to know the history of the crest and what each element represents then yes a "knowledge: heraldry" roll would be required, but then I wouldn't feel amiss in requiring a player had spent points in a skill not nessicarily required by his soldiering duties.




To fix a wagon wheel? Well, no, I'm not trained in that sort of thing. Of course, I've seen things done, chopped at a lot of stuff and might have had a buddy in the engineering corpse. 1/2 level is as good an abstraction as any other.

The problem with the system is that this also holds true:
To fix a wagon wheel? Well, no, I'm not trained in that sort of thing. I've never seen it done, I've never used anything but blunt weapons and I certainly don't know anyone in the engineering corpse. But I still get the same 1/2 level as the other guy who has done all those things.


Except fighters don't train all day, every day. Otherwise they'd actually be able to do something.

They can do something. They can use any sort of armor or shield, they're trained in the use of most weapons imaginable and they get extra combat feats all through their career.



As I've shown, even an above average Int fighter can't be a competent soldier with 3.x's half assed skill system.

No, you really haven't. I'm not saying it might not be true, but you certainly haven't shown it.

JaxGaret
2008-07-06, 11:41 AM
Wasn't making a comparison. I was using an extreme example to point out that you were focusing on a detail that was irrelevant to the discussion at hand. Frequency doesn't matter, merely existance.

Magic doesn't exist IRL, so it's not an "extreme example" - it's not an example at all.

You missed my point; the low frequency of practitioners of TWF IRL matters because the reason for it is that that particular style is very difficult to utilize adequately in real battle conditions. Its rarity has a root cause which you seem to be ignoring.


And I think exactly the opposite, but these are both opinions and neither one is right or wrong.

Why do you think that TWF is better represented by feats than by a class? AFAICT you haven't actually explicitly stated it yet, whereas I have stated the reasoning for my thoughts on the matter.

nagora
2008-07-06, 11:47 AM
Why do you think that TWF is better represented by feats than by a class?
Are you suggesting that a "Two Weapons Fighter" class makes sense alongside Fighters, Rangers, Barbarians etc.?

TWF is clearly something that any combat-based class should be able to learn, although I would cast some doubt at a ranger learning it, but there's nothing really very class-specific about the concept.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-07-06, 12:03 PM
Are you suggesting that a "Two Weapons Fighter" class makes sense alongside Fighters, Rangers, Barbarians etc.?

TWF is clearly something that any combat-based class should be able to learn, although I would cast some doubt at a ranger learning it, but there's nothing really very class-specific about the concept.

I'll have to object to this. Each martial class is explicitly focused on a particular fighting style.

No, in previous editions this is not the case, but they tried, gosh darn it. Rangers were allowed to use TWF at least as far as 2e, while nobody else was, Fighters were good at using sword-and-shield fighting and wearing heavy armor (Bow Specialization either didn't exist, or was terrible), and Barbarians were the light fighters.

Now, in 4e, they've re-segregated this idea, since their failure to do so in 3e left the Fighter without a job to do. Now Rogues are the dexterous, light-weapon skirmishers, Fighters are Heavy Armor warriors - knights and legionares - and Rangers are the "fancy weapon" fighters. They wear light armor and either specialize in using a bow or paired swords. Apparently in 4e, bow use (not crossbows, mind you) is as hard to use as it was in the Middle Ages (it is why crossbows were so popular, you see), so you really need to focus on using them alone to do them well. TWF, as you can see, is just as hard.

Maybe you don't like this idea, but darn it, it's internally consistent in how they built the Martial Power Source, and you have to give them that.

claddath
2008-07-06, 12:16 PM
You missed my point; the low frequency of practitioners of TWF IRL matters because the reason for it is that that particular style is very difficult to utilize adequately in real battle conditions. Its rarity has a root cause which you seem to be ignoring.

And you clearly missed mine. I was asked to provide an example of TWF existing at all in way that one weapon was not mearly a distraction. I did that. I was not asked to comment on the frequency or difficulty of learning it, until you brought it up, because it wasn't relevant to the original discussion. I had issues with The New Bruceski saying that other classes could use TWF as it actually happened IRL. That's been resolved. The rarity of TWF or the root causes thereof are simply not relevant to that topic.



Why do you think that TWF is better represented by feats than by a class? AFAICT you haven't actually explicitly stated it yet, whereas I have stated the reasoning for my thoughts on the matter.

And you know what? I'm not going to. Why? Because it's opinion, nothing more, and arguing opinion is pointless because there is no right or wrong answer. It's a stylistic choice. Let's leave it at that.

Prophaniti
2008-07-06, 12:58 PM
See, this TWF discussion is a great example of the character limitations of 4e. Why should whether I fight with two weapons or one be dependant on my class? Even if I'm a rogue, with the emphasis on sneaking and backstabbing, why does this system handicap me by saying 'You can never learn to fight with two daggers at once, EVER!'? Having TWF as a series of Feats is the perfect place for it, allowing anyone so inclined to take it, but at the same time still requiring special training.

I can't really understand why it matters so much whether fighting with two weapons is common IRL or not. We know it is possible, there are styles that pratice it (the one I think fits the best is the double-stick style of Eskrima), so why does the frequency matter? This is a fantasy world. If I decide that a musical instrument which IRL is limited to a small region, is very widespread in my fantasy setting, that's my call. Same is true of fighting styles. IRL frequency has no bearing (though difficulty might, depending on how realistic you like your games). Likewise, if you decide that fighting with two weapons is very rare in your setting, then just require the character who wants it to undertake an arduous journey to the dojo or castle where the only known teacher resides. Bingo, great side quest opportunity and the player gets what they want, too.

I really don't see the logic or reasoning behind saying only this class can learn to fight this way. How one fights should not be a class feature. How good you are at it might be, of course, but how you do it, what weapons you use and such, should be a matter of character concept and taste.

Another fun concept, somewhat tied to TWF is the shield fighter. Someone who fights with a shield and a one-handed weapon, in a style where the shield is as much a weapon as it is protection. I have personally fought with a shield, and this is my preferred style with it, one that I know is possible, and one that I had many characters take up in 3.5. It is also a concept that I cannot duplicate in 4e.

The New Bruceski
2008-07-06, 02:18 PM
See, this TWF discussion is a great example of the character limitations of 4e. Why should whether I fight with two weapons or one be dependant on my class? Even if I'm a rogue, with the emphasis on sneaking and backstabbing, why does this system handicap me by saying 'You can never learn to fight with two daggers at once, EVER!'? Having TWF as a series of Feats is the perfect place for it, allowing anyone so inclined to take it, but at the same time still requiring special training.
TWF is a series of feats. They give benefits consistent with the way almost all two-weapon fighting is done.

Hanging onto the rest of the 4e system, how would you implement a second weapon as a full second attack? Things are based around using one power per turn (standard action attack power anyway), except that one class was made TWF specialists and they have powers based around taking full advantage of it. How do you put in a second weapon for the other classes? Have it count in the [w] of the power's damage, thus doubling all damage? Add another string of powers to every class just in case they take this route? Give a full extra encounter power to a feat, something they have been very reluctant to do except for Clerics (where it replaces options they already have)?

It's great to say "I should do this," but in the combat system they've established, how would you do it?



Another fun concept, somewhat tied to TWF is the shield fighter. Someone who fights with a shield and a one-handed weapon, in a style where the shield is as much a weapon as it is protection. I have personally fought with a shield, and this is my preferred style with it, one that I know is possible, and one that I had many characters take up in 3.5. It is also a concept that I cannot duplicate in 4e.
Again, how would you implement it?

Kurald Galain
2008-07-06, 02:34 PM
TWF is a series of feats. They give benefits consistent with the way almost all two-weapon fighting is done.

And they're also inferior (e.g. to Weapon Focus, or simply carrying a shield around).

Note that "being consistent with how it works in real life" is, ironically, inconsistent with most of the rest of the PHB.

The New Bruceski
2008-07-06, 04:40 PM
And they're also inferior (e.g. to Weapon Focus, or simply carrying a shield around).

Note that "being consistent with how it works in real life" is, ironically, inconsistent with most of the rest of the PHB.

From both feats you get +1 damage and +1 AC/ref. The bonus damage is not a feat bonus so it stacks with weapon focus (so I'll only be comparing TWF with a shield now).

So it's trading the extra defense of a heavy shield for 1 more damage at nonmagic levels. Once you get into magic items using two weapons prevents you from wearing a magical shield, but NOT from wearing magical bracers, which take up the same slot. In addition you get the flexibility of carrying two weapons with different enchantments, to take advantage of whichever one is suitable in a given moment without needing to drop/equip followed by drop/pick up.

I'd call it about even.

nagora
2008-07-06, 06:05 PM
INo, in previous editions this is not the case, but they tried, gosh darn it. Rangers were allowed to use TWF at least as far as 2e, while nobody else was,
I don't think 2e changed this. In 1e EVERYONE could do TWF. I charge a proficiency slot for it, but even that's not BtB. If your Dex was below 16, it wasn't really worth it especially at the price of using a shield.

shadow_archmagi
2008-07-06, 06:57 PM
I don't think 2e changed this. In 1e EVERYONE could do TWF. I charge a proficiency slot for it, but even that's not BtB. If your Dex was below 16, it wasn't really worth it especially at the price of using a shield.

If I recall from my experiences with Baldur's Gate 2 several months ago, dual wielding WAS entirely possible.

At least, I'm pretty sure I remember saying "I have three swords.. and two swordsmen in the party.. looks like you'll be dual wielding"

horseboy
2008-07-06, 07:21 PM
False. Most of the skills DCs a soldier should be able to do the 3.X fighter can do without ranks whatsoever.

Or is your definition of medieval soldier a stealthy ninja rock star sage?
My definition includes recognizing the insignia of other fighting orders. No only COMPLETELY impossible without ranks in 3.x, but as hard as the system can make it to let him do it. For there to be a reason for an army to post guards for reasons other than to keep the clumsy away from the weapons. It includes even Alexandrianiesk fighters being able to scale siege ladders in heavy armour and shield. Not to mention things like people like Patton having to take levels in bard just fills me with giggles at the silliness.
Now 4e represents a characters skill set as even more of an abstraction than 3.x, and therefore does not meet the requirements of A (Since clearly 3.x did not meet them to your satisfaction.) Since it does in fact have a skill system it cannot meet the requirements of B. 2nd Ed Has the non-weapon proficency system which is even further an abstraction than 4e or 3.x so I was left to conclude that 1st Ed was more in line with your ideal of what a game should be as it meets requirement B. The trick is it's not a skill system. It's a conflict resolution system that calls itself a skill system. But there are no skills listed. It just uses that name so you don't confuse it with the character's powers.
Actually in the example you gave, as a DM I would say that no roll is required to recognize a military crest that has been encountered before as part of a character's established back story. Much in the same way I wouldn't make a player roll "Knowledge: local" to recognize his own father. If the challenge had been to recognize a crest that had only been seen in books or that one had changed due to an heir taking over, or perhaps just to know the history of the crest and what each element represents then yes a "knowledge: heraldry" roll would be required, but then I wouldn't feel amiss in requiring a player had spent points in a skill not necessarily required by his soldiering duties. Well, no, personally I wouldn't make you roll it either, but then we're both house ruling in that instance in 3.x.
The problem with the system is that this also holds true:
To fix a wagon wheel? Well, no, I'm not trained in that sort of thing. I've never seen it done, I've never used anything but blunt weapons and I certainly don't know anyone in the engineering corpse. But I still get the same 1/2 level as the other guy who has done all those things.So you don't think you're good enough with a hammer (blunt weapon) to hammer the dowel out of it's groove, have the strong guy(s) hold the cart up, put the new wheel on and hammer the dowel back into place? It's not like you're going to be able to have the time to plane a board smooth, build a jig and cut a circle while you're under kobold attack.
They can do something. They can use any sort of armor or shield, they're trained in the use of most weapons imaginable and they get extra combat feats all through their career.Which just brings up the same old question of "Since it's easier to learn magic and solve ALL of life's problems that way, why does anyone bother learning how to use a sword?" If a mage supposedly spends all his time trying to learn spells and gets 2 spells per level and a fighter is supposedly spending all his time learning feats and gets 1 feat per 2 levels and there's no allowance for any sort of stat variance to signify that a smart fighter could learn to fight smarter faster or dumber wizards learning slower, then how the Hell do you make sense of this 4:1 power gap? Clearly the fighter doesn't spend that much time practicing.

OneFamiliarFace
2008-07-06, 08:28 PM
@Claddath: A clean and easy houserule in any game is the DM decides. So if the DM thinks you can make that 4 layered wedding cake, roll away. Or don't roll...just say you did it. Why, for non-confrontational skills, do I need a quantifiable number to show me how good I am? In general, if I am a master chef, then I can make a good cake no matter what. A roll should only be necessary when I am baking against someone else in Bronze Chef or something.

And for the swimming, climbing thing -
It is still just a logical grouping of skills. Does being able to swim indicate the ability to scale a wall with only toeholds and handholds? No, but most often, an adventurer meets with more simple climbing obstacles. And I would bet dollar to dime that your good swimmer is better at climbing than your poor swimmer, if neither of them have rock-climbing experience, if only because he is used to using his body that way. But really swimming is a poor choice to argue, because it is the one skill that I have seen maybe one adventurer pick up in 13 years of gaming. It was dead weight unless your character came from a coastal town (when actually people who lived by rivers and lakes were probably more likely to learn how to swim in the less dangerous waters). Because if a DM had a rapidly filling chamber of water, it was Skill or Suck. The following people would most likely die: wizard, cleric, ranger, sorcerer, bard. And the fighter and the rogue have a good chance of it. The druid shapeshifts, and the barbarian rages, making it out.
@TWF:
As far as this two-weapon fighting goes, I have to say it doesn't matter to me particularly whether it is an IRL skill or not. However, it can be a reasonable argument for those whose immersion it damages. And I hope at least a few of the 4e detractors would agree with that.

But here is an example of a 2-weapon wielding fighter:

human
weapons - Flail and shortsword (or you can MAD and pick up another mainhand)
feats - blade opportunist

Now, you are free to take whatever flail feats you would like for some beat down on enemies, but you can also use your shortsword for attacks of opportunity, granting you an incredible chance to hit, which can later be increased more by the paragon feat that allows you to combine an at-will attack with an AoO. If you really wanted, you could alternate between attacks, or pick up multiclass feats to go into Ranger and grab a few double attack abilities, have your DM houserule an offhand parry feat for +1 AC, and what have you.

This isn't an optimal build, but it is a flavorful one, and it doesn't miss out on tons of other damage. That flail deals the same damage as a greatsword if you wanted to be a 2-handed walloper, and now you can take more varied feats.

For spice, you just mention that you are attacking with this or that weapon each round, to represent you getting in a hit here or there with either weapon. Or, when you absolutely need a hit, go at em with the shortsword and it's extra +1 bonus.

(I think someone mentioned a bow-wielding paladin at one point as well. I would recommend making a ranger, and multiclassing into paladin. It will pick you up some holy rolling charisma based radiant ranged attacks which benefit from your wisdom, and a utility power for flavor. This will most likely end you up with a more impressive paladin archer than you could have made otherwise.)

Keep in mind, I like both editions. I happen to be playing 4e, and I like it. And it is hard for me to see why so many people dislike so much (without, seemingly, having played it), especially when the stuff they dislike are not problems with the game itself really. Scaling? What GM does not scale challenges to some degree in any game? Do you honestly wipe your parties out with dragons at 1st level? Or throw a horde of goblins at level 20s for more than just a cinematic scene? If you have a guy who put tons of ranks in climb, do you only ever make him encounter knotted ropes? And if you do, then all are still possible in 4e anyway. In this case, people are just taking a moderate suggestion and turning it into a system flaw. But a suggestion isn't a flaw, it is something new DMs can use to make their sessions more exciting and less dull. I'm pretty sure 3e DMG says similar things, as it should.

Jerthanis
2008-07-06, 08:43 PM
I had a post on this issue that got eaten by the boards. In essence, why is it that you require an option to attack with two weapons within a single arbitrary window of time? If you want a fighter to attack with two weapons, attack with one weapon in one round, and the other weapon in another round.

For example: Wield a Warhammer and a Shortsword, hit with the Warhammer when swinging reliable and high damage attacks, and the shortsword when you're swinging for the effects more than the damage, or against minions.

If this doesn't satisfy you, that you demand the ability to attack with multiple weapons all at once in the same round, I ask you why you must be able to do a specific thing which must happen in a specific way without utilizing the class that is specifically geared towards that. It sounds like you're making it difficult on yourself for no good reason... Like saying you can't play a humanoid with a fish tail who can breathe underwater without being a Merfolk.

Er: Ninja'd.

icefractal
2008-07-06, 09:35 PM
This seemed the right thread for it, so something I've been thinking about for a while:
Teamwork is a big factor in 4E - especially in combat. Each class has a specific role to play, and those roles are protected - a character can only cover a second role to a very limited degree. And the rising HP and defenses of your foes (relative to your attack/damage), means that staying tightly coordinated becomes more vital to your survival. In some ways, this a good thing.

But what about the players who just aren't into combat tactics?
In most groups, not everyone is equally into the tactical nitty-gritty of combat. In many, there's at least one player who "zones out" during a fight and sticks to something simple, like full-attack every turn, bardic music, or tossing out lots of Magic Missiles. In 3E, while they may not have been the most vital member in combat, they were still contributing, and the group could generally get along fine - especially if other players took up the tactical slack. In 4E, it seems like one weak link could sink the whole party.

For example:
* Buffs/Debuffs. Previously, these lasted at least a round/level, so if you put Enlarge Person on the Barbarian and he decides to wait another round before going into the fray, it isn't wasted. Now, many of them are one round only, so if the character in question doesn't do the right thing immediately, it's a waste.
* Auras, Short Range spells, etc. There are more of these, and the short range spells are often shorter range. So if people wander out of position, there's no way to effectively use these.
* Focus-Fire is a Necessity. With the vastly higher durability of monsters, you can't kill something in a timely manner without focusing fire on it. If people start spreading their attacks around, things can go wrong fast.

Now sure, to some extent, non-tactically-minded people might just need a few tips, or more practice with the system. But in other cases, that's just not the way they want to play their character. They may want to sneak around the outskirts of the battle more than necessary, or challenge one enemy and stick to them, or stay back and be cautious, and if people start telling them where to move or who to attack, they're not going to have a good time.

What's specific to 4E about this though? Simple put, in 4E, you can't take up someone else's slack much, and you can't be very successful without everyone on board, regardless of what tactics you use. And that might seem ideal for some groups, but for others it's a problem.

JaxGaret
2008-07-07, 12:39 AM
@ Icefractal:

You're absolutely correct.

For such "zone-out" players, I would steer them towards classes such as the Ranger and Warlock, who can basically be played as Fire-and-Forget characters without much loss of contribution.

I imagine most Strikers will be like that. The Rogue is similar, but is more of a team player and less of a lone wolf like the other two.


And you clearly missed mine. I was asked to provide an example of TWF existing at all in way that one weapon was not mearly a distraction. I did that. I was not asked to comment on the frequency or difficulty of learning it, until you brought it up, because it wasn't relevant to the original discussion. I had issues with The New Bruceski saying that other classes could use TWF as it actually happened IRL. That's been resolved. The rarity of TWF or the root causes thereof are simply not relevant to that topic.

Alright, fair enough I suppose. It seemed as if you had additional intent beyond that mere declaration of fact, but apparently not.


And you know what? I'm not going to. Why? Because it's opinion, nothing more, and arguing opinion is pointless because there is no right or wrong answer. It's a stylistic choice. Let's leave it at that.

I disagree with your sentiments here, but I'll also agree to leave it at that, since we're obviously not going to get anywhere :smallsmile:

Kurald Galain
2008-07-07, 06:22 AM
From both feats you get +1 damage and +1 AC/ref. The bonus damage is not a feat bonus so it stacks with weapon focus (so I'll only be comparing TWF with a shield now).

So it's trading the extra defense of a heavy shield for 1 more damage at nonmagic levels.

I'd call it about even.

It'd be about even if not for the difference that you spent two feats on it. Even though you'll have plenty of feats over the course of your career, these are simply poor feats compared to most others.

This means that, just like in 3.5, except for one specific class, TWF isn't worth it. Except if you mean "holding two weapons for fluff's sake but just attacking with one of them".

OneFamiliarFace
2008-07-07, 06:44 AM
This means that, just like in 3.5, except for one specific class, TWF isn't worth it. Except if you mean "holding two weapons for fluff's sake but just attacking with one of them".

A few of us have explained beyond this with weapon feats for the fighter, who can then select multiple types of weapon feats, using a reliable off-hand for opportunity attacks, and his more damaging weapon for his wallops.

But you're definitely correct in TWF mostly being centered on one class in both editions. (Though in 3.5, I think Barbarians and the rare fighter build could become a whirlwind of death, and some rogues used it to get a million more sneak attacks.) But the ability to make a use out of those things has been eliminated along with an important other 3.5 feature: no multiple attacks per round.

So really, it now seems mostly that people are hooked on class names. If you want to play a fighter who dual-wields, why not play a Ranger and call him a fighter or gladiator or soldier or whatever? Your class is only loosely related to your profession. You can even get fighter paragon abilities at higher levels by picking only one feat (which would give you useful abilities for your 2-wpn style). Rangers also use wisdom, which is a prime trait I always wanted on my swordmasters. They don't inherently get any woodsy abilities, so you can avoid those and say you come from anywhere.

Just like it was in my 3.5 games, it's more about considering what you want to play first and then finding a class that fits it, rather than just picking a class. If you, say, want to play a greatsword wielder, or a non-magical, sword n board tank of a man, then you are probably looking at fighter. It is also impractical to use a shield as a Ranger (I also have to blow a feat or two to do that effectively), but people know the Ranger brand, so they don't mind that as much. A rogue doesn't even hold anything in his other hand, so there isn't any problem in saying you have two daggers, and in fact, it's probably recommended among optimizers.

You can have a group of three mercenary warriors: Biggs (w/ a greatsword), Wedge (w/ a brace of daggers), and Vicks (with an axe and a longsword). They all are brigands, solidiers of fortune, battle-hardened warriors. It just so happens that behind the scenes, they have different class names.

hamishspence
2008-07-07, 06:52 AM
What he said. Now that rangers can be dissociated from their woodsman archetype, they can represent generic archers, for example. Rogues can be dagger fighters or sneaky fighters.

(Conan in Howard stories started out as more like a rogue than anything else. Barbarian Rage is more a thing of that famous Celtic hero, with Warp Spasm.)

Dan_Hemmens
2008-07-07, 08:12 AM
TWF is clearly something that any combat-based class should be able to learn, although I would cast some doubt at a ranger learning it, but there's nothing really very class-specific about the concept.

I think the issue here is that "Class" has changed meaning an awful lot between edition.

In OD&D, "Class" basically meant "do you fight with swords, or cast spells, or do a bit of both". In later editions it came to define your broad role in the adventuring party (the Fighter fights, the Cleric heals, the Thief disarms the traps and so on). As the game evolved, however, and the number of Classes increased, "Class" became much more of a fixed, IC concept. The Paladin, for example, was something extremely specific, similarly the Druid and Barbarian. This kind of reached its culmination in 3.X and the concept of the "Prestige Class" which (originally at least) was a class designed to specifically represent a single IC organization (like an Assassin's Guild).

4E goes full circle, making Class something which defines your role in combat, and not much else. Yes, the Rogue and the Ranger have a couple of connotations of thiefy-ness or wildernessy-ness about them, but there's nothing about the character class that actually requires that they be played that way. Yes, logically any melee class should be able to dual-wield, but by the same logic any melee class should be able to make Sneak Attacks. For that matter, everybody should also be able to make Pacts with otherworldly powers, learn spells, pray to the Gods and so on.

Class based systems, rather by their nature, limit what a PC can do in arbitrary ways based on what's written on his character sheet.

nagora
2008-07-07, 08:44 AM
Yes, logically any melee class should be able to dual-wield, but by the same logic any melee class should be able to make Sneak Attacks.

Yes, but there are multiple abilities subsumed into sneak attack that have little to do with normal melee; TWF is just an advanced form of something melee combatants already train in.


For that matter, everybody should also be able to make Pacts with otherworldly powers, learn spells, pray to the Gods and so on.

Class based systems, rather by their nature, limit what a PC can do in arbitrary ways based on what's written on his character sheet.

I'd say that classes are more of a "skill bundle" than an arbitrary set of limitations. But, I'd also say that a class-system is the opposite of a skill system and that the two don't mix at all well.

tumble check
2008-07-07, 09:14 AM
This is one of the few times I agree with Jerthanis.

I think that people have been spoiled by DnD versions past with this TWF thing. It makes much more sense that wielding two weapons would marginally increase your fighting ability, not DOUBLE it.

Isn't it fair that taking a feat or two should increase your damage a little, but not double your damage?

@Everyone: Stop saying that you can't make a TWF Fighter. You can. Instead, say what you really mean: That you can't make a TWF that is as good at it as a Ranger.

Do you know why this is? Because now a Ranger is basically a specialized fighter. If the Fighter could attack twice like the Ranger and also use Powers with a bow(like in 3E), then he would be a Ranger. There would be, then, no reason to be a Ranger.

Also, if a Fighter could suddenly double his attacks like a Ranger can, then it would be stupid not to do it, encouraging optimization and essentially having a "feat tax" on your fighter in order to be good (like Power Attack in 3.5e).

As much as I also hate it, everyone has to realize that character options are more limited in 4E. WotC does not want to make it very easy for you to completely change the "role" of whichever class you choose.

Dausuul
2008-07-07, 09:24 AM
In 4.0, it sounds like the ranger and barbarian would simply use a healing surge to be fine, while the wizard and cleric would simply stand at the entrance of the room while their allies stopped the enemies from getting out and bomb the enemies with at will abilities until the enemy died. They are not drained of their abilities ever.

Not so. In 4E, when you've exhausted your encounter and daily powers, you really feel the impact. I've been in a number of fights that strained my party to its limits. It's especially noticeable when the warlord or cleric runs out of healing mojo and the tanks have used up their second winds; that's the moment when the balance of the fight starts to shift away from "How much of our per-day power do we want to expend on these guys?" and toward "How are we going to make it out of this alive?"

(Keep in mind that you can't just spend healing surges whenever you like, at least not in combat. You get one second wind per encounter, and it costs you a standard action to use it unless you're a dwarf. Beyond that, you have to rely on special abilities to let you spend a surge, and those abilities are all either per-encounter, per-day, or require an expendable item to use.)


My group found that getting themselves into an encounter and having to improvise through it with such heavily limited resources more fun than if they had been able to blast away forever with at will attacks.

See, you're thinking of at-will attacks as if they were big and powerful abilities. They're not. They're just the basic stuff you can do every round. In 3E, the fighter can full attack round after round until she drops; that's what at-will attacks are like. Just because wizards now have that option as well doesn't mean resource management has been removed from the game.

fleet
2008-07-07, 10:22 PM
ok, one more time into the breach.

Today, i'd like to complain about interdependence. 4E is overripe with it. It is impossible to play a good party with less than 4 characters, and unless everyone in the party picks complimentary characters, you will die. If one player happens to do something foolish, it wipes out the whole party, a fact that i can't help but find annoying. In 3.5 the noobish caster could wipe out the party with a poorly placed spell. In 4e, if the fighter is a square off mark, or if your striker hits the wrong monster at the wrong time, you lose. A mass effect spell can accidentally make the enemy stronger by bloodying elites. The warlord class is Useless with out large amounts of team work, and maybe figs. The eldrain, anything, has an unbalancing ability to get himself in over his head. And, thanks to relativly low player damage in comparison with monster hp, fights are sure to last long enough for someone to screw up, and the proliferation of minions means swarms can easily surround and take out a player.
((yea, this is may be more my problem than 4e's. Sadly it seems that i can not find great numbers of good players willing to play this game))

The second problem is of course, why do wizards exist? Seriously, their abilites just don't fit the role of a mage anymore. The wizard of 4e is a battle mage. The warlock is a blaster. The cleric is a champion of battle. These classes exist only to act in a fight. Which means, magic is only usable for warfare. Or, using magic for anything but destruction is ludicrously hard. For warlocks and clerics you can explain this with some kind of weird fluff. But, for the wizard it's just idiotic. Why do all of these weak, nerdy, bookish types study hard to become a limited area battle hazard? Wizards have to be highly intelligent, yet they put years of effort into being high priority targets. Wizardry has no peaceful application, requires years of training, library lore, and a teacher of some sort.

Realistically, schools of magic, need to either be run by a government, or ruthlessly hunted down and burned.

OneFamiliarFace
2008-07-07, 11:03 PM
ok, one more time into the breach.

Welcome to the breach!

The game does seem to be designed to have specific roles needed. I would argue that 3e did as well, but only one of those roles truly ended up being needed (if one designed encounters strictly adhering to the CR system).

As someone who is about ready to DM 3 strikers and a warlord in a high magic campaign, this is an issue to me. They are all pretty skooshy. But I think the simple answer is a rule I call,

"The Useless Superhero."
The Useless Superhero is that guy with the power that never gets used like Jubilee or Toaster Man, with the power to toast bread with his mind. Still, he is a part of the superteam, so the writers always figure out a way to make him more useful. This invariably results in an overwhelming number of yellow kryptonite cages or prisons made entirely of adamantium, so that Superjerk or Wolverguy doesn't steal all the glory, all the time.

But it has other applications too. A superhero, for example, never needs a sidekick, until he has one, and then he needs him about once an issue or episode.

And more obscure applications include fighting a vampire (or similarly weak to something guy). Rarely, if ever, will you see a main character fighting a vampire without A) a way to escape or B) a way to kill him. If he is doing so, then I would bet you dollar to dime that it is probably around 5:45am, and the sun is just about to come up.

So this means that encounters should play to your party's strengths. Even if you have 4 rogues, then they probably wanted to play that group because they want to do stealth assassinations and what not. So you give them encounters where sneaking and charismatic know-how can help reduce some of those more problematic bad guys from the battle. This is doubly effective because then they crap their pants when they come upon an encounter that is not the easy kind for them (one with a lot of battlefield control and brutes/soldiers).

You could, if you want, encourage them to diversify a bit, perhaps selecting a warlord or lightly-armored fighter and gaining some sneaky ability. A lot of assassin teams have bruisers for sticky situations. Encourage them to play characters that have similar backstories, but different roles. For example, a cleric, paladin, and ranger could all have a religious devotion to the same god (and that is three of the roles right there).

For parties with just less players, the encounter design is set up so that most time, you should have approx one monster of their level per player, so reduce the number of enemies they face to prevent them from being overwhelmed. If they are missing a role, consider have the monster equivalent role appear less often to balance it out.

@Wizards:You're right here. Wizards powers have been stripped down to the basic wizard combat spells (making him more like a sorceror actually). I think the reason this was done is the very basic assumption in DnD that you are adventurers and most adventuring wizards are going to want to have ways to protect themselves.

Wizards have lost three main things that cannot be covered by their powers or Ritual Magic: charm person, combat-ready illusions, and buffs.

Charm person was mostly just a really confusing mechanic, and now there are subtler ways to use it in combat. Out of combat, control of a human's mind seems both unethical and harder than control of fire. Still, it could be a ritual spell more akin to a bog witch's hexes and charms (where she creates some kind of gift the person has to accept to be affected).

Combat-ready illusions were also a fairly complicated mechanic most of the time, but you can reflavor the fluff of any of your spells, and change the damage to psychic and call it a day. Things like Minor Image could be reproduced with Ritual magic or wondrous magic items. Consider looking at some of the cleric or infernal warlock(including paragon path) summoning spells for power ideas.

Buffs now fall squarely in the realm of the leader classes. This was often a major problem with wizard capabilities overlapping (and often outshining) those of other classes. If you want stranger transmutation powers, then again look no farther than Ritual magic. I would imagine even permanent (or long-lasting) polymorphs could be worked out at high paragon or epic tiers, so long as they were balanced in nature.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-07-07, 11:06 PM
Man, I promised myself I wouldn't check this thread anymore too :smalltongue:


Today, i'd like to complain about interdependence.

The flip-side to interdependence is teamwork. WotC figured that, since D&D is usually about a band of adventurers and not just a single hero, it would make 4e focus more on the team and less on the individual. This is good because it prevents any one class from dominating the party and/or any particular class finding itself without anything to do.

Now, I can say from experience that 4e is a pretty forgiving system. In hard encounters (EL 2-3 levels above you) a single mistake can certainly screw you hardcore. But they're supposed to be hard. Encounters at your level tend to be much more forgiving, so that if your Fighter lets a few baddies into the rear line or the Striker wastes his Daily on a Minion, they'll probably survive to live & learn.

As for party restrictions, I'd say they're less of a problem here. Healing Surges have made Clerics less essential, and there are only three essential roles to be filled - A Leader, A Defender, and a Striker. Larger parties can probably make do with a hole, but yes, smaller parties (like a 3 man group) are probably going to do poorly, but no worse than if a 3e party of the same size had neglected to bring a Cleric along. Additionally, 4e has an easy-to-use guide for building encounters for any sized party, and if you stick to those, you should still have a pretty good time.


The second problem is of course, why do wizards exist?

They exist, first of all, because they are Ritual Casters. Yes, anyone can take a Feat to do it, but as many of the Rituals require Arcana checks and wizards are one of the few classes to be automatically trained in it and use Intelligence as their primary stat, they're very good at what they do.

Additionally, Wizards have Cantrips which have fun out-of-combat uses and a variety of Utility powers which can be quite useful. Furthermore, the way 4e is designed places combat powers in the "powers" section - complaining about Wizards only getting combat powers is the same as complaining that Rangers don't get handling animal powers; each are just served by a different function.

How's that? Probably not enough to sway you, but I try :smallbiggrin:

EDIT: Man, ninja'd by OFF.

fleet
2008-07-08, 01:48 AM
It's been well proven in this forum that a cleric was not needed in 3.x. You could always substitute with something else.
Druids, bards, Necromancers, paladins, are just the first things that come to mind.

((Yes, necromancers, they can give temp hp before a battle, which is better than healing after.))

But, in 4e, healing is so neutered... not to mention, the leader is one of the least useful class roles. 1 round bonuses are pathetic.

Myatar_Panwar
2008-07-08, 02:07 AM
Least useful class roles? THEY HEAL. How is that not useful? Im not sure if you have played a game of 4e yet, or if your game consists of extreamly wimpy encounters, but that once per encounter second wind just doesnt cut it. You need another source of healing plain and simple. Or at least that has been my experience in 4e.

SmartAlec
2008-07-08, 02:08 AM
the leader is one of the least useful class roles. 1 round bonuses are pathetic.

This is another of those 'teamwork' things. It's all about picking the right round to add a bonus to, and using a Warlord ability that complements the abilities that the other party members are going to use that round, and vice versa as well.

Essentially, the other party members are often going to be taking their cues from you, the Warlord player, because they want to hit/get the most out of their abilities. So it really is a 'leader' class.

ArmorArmadillo
2008-07-08, 02:12 AM
The second problem is of course, why do wizards exist? Seriously, their abilites just don't fit the role of a mage anymore. The wizard of 4e is a battle mage. The warlock is a blaster. The cleric is a champion of battle. These classes exist only to act in a fight. Which means, magic is only usable for warfare. Or, using magic for anything but destruction is ludicrously hard. For warlocks and clerics you can explain this with some kind of weird fluff. But, for the wizard it's just idiotic. Why do all of these weak, nerdy, bookish types study hard to become a limited area battle hazard? Wizards have to be highly intelligent, yet they put years of effort into being high priority targets. Wizardry has no peaceful application, requires years of training, library lore, and a teacher of some sort.

Realistically, schools of magic, need to either be run by a government, or ruthlessly hunted down and burned.
How is this a change from 3rd edition? I mean, aside from the fact that it's not true and they have rituals for noncombat matters.


I notice a disturbing trend in that people seem to find needling complaints about 4th edition and then pretend that similar flaws in previous editions didn't exist.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-07-08, 04:30 AM
Which means, magic is only usable for warfare. Or, using magic for anything but destruction is ludicrously hard.

Which, in my opinion, is as it should be.

A simple experiment: Pick up a glass and throw it on a stone floor, hard.

See how it smashes?

Now get those bits of glass and throw them on the floor again.

Do they suddenly stick back together?

It's a maxim that it is easier to destroy than to create, and that should absolutely be true of magic as well. In previous editions of D&D (and particularly 3.X, where wizards went from 0.01% of the population to roughly 10%) the fact that wizards could trivially produce lasting useful effects should have totally revolutionized the face of the world, but somehow everybody stayed living in castles that were vulnerable to flying enemies, locking their treasure in vaults that could be teleported into, and so on.

The changes in 4E have altered magic so it is no longer the single most economically feasible way of achieving a practical effect. In previous editions there was really no need to have farmers, because low level clerics could create unlimited food and water, there was no need to have masons, because wizards could build things by magic, all for no expenditure of limited resources.

In 4E, wizards can do all the stuff they used to be able to do, they just have to actually pay for it.

hamishspence
2008-07-08, 04:44 AM
Some fantasy novels said that, effort-wise doing something with magic was actually harder than doing it with arms and back. Moving heavy objects, teleporting, etc.

nagora
2008-07-08, 05:13 AM
The changes in 4E have altered magic so it is no longer the single most economically feasible way of achieving a practical effect. In previous editions there was really no need to have farmers, because low level clerics could create unlimited food and water, there was no need to have masons, because wizards could build things by magic, all for no expenditure of limited resources.
Time is the ultimate limited resource and in some previous editions there were not enough Magic Users and/or Clerics to go around (or even close). In that context the idea of magic being a reversal of entropy - ie, magic is something that makes putting the glass back together as easy as breaking it - works quite well and I think is very close to the idea behind "high magic" in many books and other stories.

OneFamiliarFace
2008-07-08, 05:35 AM
EDIT: Man, ninja'd by OFF.

Well, great minds thinking alike and all that. You know how it is.

@ArmorArmadillo: I think you're right on that, but it mostly bothers me because (while I think both pro and con 4e people and people in between can have some poor arguments), the 4e players have almost always played both systems by default. I appreciate the views of the people who have played 4e and still don't like it more than the those who have not played it (not that your views still aren't appreciated if carefully considered).

And playing off of that, the system being new allows people to look at is as a system, instead of from inside of the game world, which we have all become accustomed to in 3e. We accept, for example, that Rangers don't use shields in 4e because that fits right in with 3e. We do not accept that Fighters have trouble dual-wielding, because such was not the case in 3e. We are annoyed that bards and barbarians are not in the game when they can fairly easily be approximated by other classes (as were they in 3e...I could make a fighter a barbarian, or a sorceror a bard, quite easily). There is trouble with minions and healing surges because people are looking at them as gaming fixes for balance, when inside the game, they are very easily explained away in a fairly realistic and acceptable manner (if you disagree, then please read my earlier posts in this thread and respond to those instead).

pasko77
2008-07-08, 05:50 AM
Some fantasy novels said that, effort-wise doing something with magic was actually harder than doing it with arms and back. Moving heavy objects, teleporting, etc.

It was David Eddings, in the Belgariad books.
Anyway they ended using magic for everything, despite this explanation.

Oslecamo
2008-07-08, 06:11 AM
@ArmorArmadillo: I think you're right on that, but it mostly bothers me because (while I think both pro and con 4e people and people in between can have some poor arguments), the 4e players have almost always played both systems by default. I appreciate the views of the people who have played 4e and still don't like it more than the those who have not played it (not that your views still aren't appreciated if carefully considered).


I have to disagree with teh first sentence. Many of the pro 4e may have played 3e, but for their coments, one can see they never come close to understanding the game.

For example, many pro 4e said that it's great that the cleric isn't limited anymore to just being a healbot, and that 3.X clerics were boring...Wait, did they even bother to look at the cleric's spell list and see all the things it can do besides healing? Aparently not.

Just as people complaining that 3.X fighters are just good at making base attacks, and the above coment that magic should be able to solve everything.

Go check the math again. NPCs with class levels are fairly rare in the D&D world, very few people will have the necessary wisdom of 15 to consider being clerics, and even if they somehow manage to reach level 5, they have much better things to do than spending all their spell producing food. Like fighting off the paraphnlelia of monsters wich inhabit the land. The farmers can farm, but they certainly won't do much against that angry tundra wolf. Let the cleric kill the tundra wolf, and the farmers produce food.

And then there is greed. Why would the cleric give food for free to the people? If anything, this makes 3.X much more realistic. High level NPCs are the elite of society, and they will only work to whoever is willing to reward them handsomely.

Just look at the real world. We have plenty of scientific solutions to most of our problems. Do people keep dying because they can't pay those solutions? Hell yeah.

(and before you say that magic costs nothing, bear in mind that most nowaday enterprises will charge you much much more money for a product than the product actually costed them to produce. How else can they afford caddilacs and tuxedos and 100 000 dollar dinners and whatnot?)

horseboy
2008-07-08, 08:14 AM
But what about the players who just aren't into combat tactics?
:smallconfused: Why would someone who wasn't into combat be playing D&D? It's the system of "Kill it and take it's stuff" for over 30 years now. Then comes the next question of "Just how many are there?" All the ones I know are either LARPers or already into playing stuff like Whispering Vault.
Just as people complaining that 3.X fighters are just good at making base attacks, and the above coment that magic should be able to solve everything.

Go check the math again. NPCs with class levels are fairly rare in the D&D world, very few people will have the necessary wisdom of 15 to consider being clerics, and even if they somehow manage to reach level 5, they have much better things to do than spending all their spell producing food. Like fighting off the paraphnlelia of monsters which inhabit the land. The farmers can farm, but they certainly won't do much against that angry tundra wolf. Let the cleric kill the tundra wolf, and the farmers produce food.
What's a "paraphnlelia of monsters"? Well it doesn't matter, since we're discussing 3.x. Which means we have to be discussing Tippyland because nothing else would make sense. The clerics don't have to deal with the "paraphnlelia of monsters" because the town is guarded by squads of shadowsteel golems. There are no farms, food is either conjured or grown in pocked dimensions Genesised into being away from any predators or inclement weather so it's always spring and food is always fresh and in season. All provided by the town's Programed Amnesia suffering wizards that think sex is icky, Emperor Tippy is the second coming and service to the Empire is the greatest reward and goal a person can have.

hamishspence
2008-07-08, 08:33 AM
I think Mercedes Lackey had something similar for the Heralds: Fetching Gift (teleport object/person)

That said, the negative consequences of magic use do not alwaysshow up in novels or settings.

Indon
2008-07-08, 08:43 AM
Well it doesn't matter, since we're discussing 3.x. Which means we have to be discussing Tippyland because nothing else would make sense.

I think the Tippyland paradigm is pretty silly outside of a novel thought exercise, as it doesn't create a particularly realistic environment - Instead of looking at the impact of game mechanics changes from the perspective of a being with emotions, you have to look at it as if everyone on the planet is emotionless and superrational (actually, not superrational necessarily. Just purely rational. A superrational Tippyland would be an interesting thought exercise, though).

Hallavast
2008-07-08, 09:45 AM
I think the Tippyland paradigm is pretty silly outside of a novel thought exercise, as it doesn't create a particularly realistic environment - Instead of looking at the impact of game mechanics changes from the perspective of a being with emotions, you have to look at it as if everyone on the planet is emotionless and superrational (actually, not superrational necessarily. Just purely rational. A superrational Tippyland would be an interesting thought exercise, though).

Agreed on all counts. Tippyland must be populated soley by Vulcans in order to exist.

Prophaniti
2008-07-08, 10:13 AM
Tippyland (if I'm thinking of the right thing) always struck my as a laughable thought excercise, simply because it approaches the situation from a (to me) very backwards viewpoint. It requires not only that everyone in the world be perfectly rational and logical, but also that the game rules are the invioable laws of the universe in this setting. This is entirely backwards, as the game rules are merely the tools we use to interact with the setting, and if you view them the other way, either the setting or the rules will suddenly become horribly scewed and deformed. Of course, everyone seems to make this mistake at one time or another, including myself, so it's not a really big deal, but still.

The New Bruceski
2008-07-08, 11:30 AM
It was David Eddings, in the Belgariad books.
Anyway they ended using magic for everything, despite this explanation.

Others have as well. Terry Pratchett for example, often to humorous effects. Levitation involves dropping something else to raise it up, as if with a lever. Your brain is the fulcrum.

HidaTsuzua
2008-07-08, 11:47 AM
Tippyland (if I'm thinking of the right thing) always struck my as a laughable thought excercise, simply because it approaches the situation from a (to me) very backwards viewpoint. It requires not only that everyone in the world be perfectly rational and logical, but also that the game rules are the invioable laws of the universe in this setting. This is entirely backwards, as the game rules are merely the tools we use to interact with the setting, and if you view them the other way, either the setting or the rules will suddenly become horribly scewed and deformed. Of course, everyone seems to make this mistake at one time or another, including myself, so it's not a really big deal, but still.

I never got this approach. If the tools for interactions can't be trusted, then why are you using them? It's like driving with a bad steering wheel. Sure you can still get from point a to point b and deal with problems as they come up, but it just opens up the door for trouble.

It's reasonable for people to follow the rules for their setting. Look at what physics and engineering has done for our world. That resulting from testing the rules and applying the results. True, there are setbacks and long periods of little advancement, but once things get going they get going. You can play a pre-Tippyland world, but don't kid yourself that it can't go that way.

The big problem is that rules should enforce the setting and the setting enforce the rules. Something that makes sense to work in setting should be supported by the rules. The rules should make the setting works. If you want castles, make sure it's reasonable to make a castle. Don't hand out teleporting and super-gunpowder. If you want gritty combat, make stuff lethal and live with the consequences (the PCs will ambush and plan for hours to just to go 7-11). If you want people to do hard tasks often, make the TNs easy and reliable (huge standard of deviation like a d20 aren't recommended).

Game designers for a variety of reasons don't try to get rules and setting to work together. Instead they usually write some rules and some setting and slap them together in an oil and water sort of way. People catch these issues and decide which they'll rather side with the rules or the setting. I believe this is one of the most important origins for the whole "roleplayer vs rollplayer" debate.

Indon
2008-07-08, 11:56 AM
I never got this approach. If the tools for interactions can't be trusted, then why are you using them?
Again, this comes down to how people approach tools for their game.

Some people expect to use every tool, all the time. These are the ones who want fewer tools because inevitably some will get in the way of others. If anything, such people wouldn't want to even use a toolbox metaphor - a single, well-designed multitool would be sufficient for such an individual's game.

Others, however, will only use any given tool when it is specifically appropriate, and discard it when it is wildly inappropriate (like assuming that everyone in the world has both the desire and the inclination to take up Wizardry). For these players, the more traditional toolbox metaphor is appropriate.

HidaTsuzua
2008-07-08, 12:32 PM
I agree that rules are tools and some rules have their places at different times (a good example is minion/mook rules various RPGs have). However to extend the metaphor more, it seems like a lot of people are complaining that a screwdriver can't hammer a nail well, or they're using hammers that are made of basal wood and aluminum foil when there are better hammers for the same price. And lots of games are toolboxes that are sold as "power drill sets" when they're nothing but a old monkey wrench.

Select and use rules as appropriate. I usually end up having to redesign games to make them work the way I want them (or I just use Hero as a base and work from there). The problem is that a lot of people want D&D to be everything and it sucks horribly for that. To be fair, in my experience most RPGs do poorly for what they set out to do.

If you want a world to work a certain way, make sure the rules support it. Game designers love to lie about their games and just assume you'll just make your own rules (Rule 0) while taking your money. That's why I don't buy very many RPGs anymore and just make my own systems.

Back to D&D, 4th edition D&D aims for "Demons have kidnapped the King, are you bad enough dudes to rescue him?" style game play. It succeeds at that for low levels. At higher levels issues come up due to the ease of crowd control and damage/hp ratios so fights tend to slow crawls to the finish that was decided turns ago. There's enough powers and ability issues that house ruling and nerfing/buffing becomes trying to stick your finger in a leaking dam. 3.5 had even worse scaling issues (high level laser rocket tag), class imbalance issues, the leaky dam problem with spells, and a skill system/resolution system that easily falls off the random number generator.

Indon
2008-07-08, 12:49 PM
The problem is that a lot of people want D&D to be everything and it sucks horribly for that. To be fair, in my experience most RPGs do poorly for what they set out to do.
Well, in D&D's defense, AD&D was a de facto industry standard (so it got houseruled a lot), and 3'rd edition brought in a lot of third-party support for the system.


laser rocket tag

Is this tag with laser rockets? Because I want a laser rocket.

Dausuul
2008-07-08, 12:58 PM
The big problem is that rules should enforce the setting and the setting enforce the rules. Something that makes sense to work in setting should be supported by the rules. The rules should make the setting works. If you want castles, make sure it's reasonable to make a castle. Don't hand out teleporting and super-gunpowder. If you want gritty combat, make stuff lethal and live with the consequences (the PCs will ambush and plan for hours to just to go 7-11). If you want people to do hard tasks often, make the TNs easy and reliable (huge standard of deviation like a d20 aren't recommended).

I agree with this, but only up to a point.

One of the changes in 4E, which I have only recently grasped, is the shift to a "PC-centric" ruleset. In other words, the rules are designed to cover the way the world interacts with the PCs. What happens when a PC isn't present is left up to the DM.

That's why minions work the way they do. They have one hit point when facing PCs of appropriate level. When not facing the PCs, however, they don't have one hit point - in fact, they don't have hit points at all. They are outside the rules.

Now, this doesn't mean the rules do not affect the setting. For example, if the PCs have a teleportation spell, it's likely that other people have access to the same spell. It might not use the exact same mechanical rules it does for the PCs, but the way it affects the game world when cast by an NPC should be consistent with the way it affects the game world when cast by a PC.

nagora
2008-07-08, 01:22 PM
That's why minions work the way they do.
No, minions work the way they do because WotC couldn't make the combat system work properly. They even said so in the preview. Minions represent those monsters who are harmless because of the huge numbers of defensive bonuses that characters get in 3/4e. As such, they serve no purpose in a fight other than to slow it down. The minion rule is there to speed combat back up. You can post-rationalise it if you like, but minions were specifically designed to be a patch.

However, you are right that PCs are the total focus of the rules; the entire 4e world revolves around their presence in a location. Reality itself warps as they appear. Kobold which the party would have walked over become big and strong (and then wilt away again if a "boss" appears on the scene). Treasure troves swell to keep pace with the party's desire for luxury as they increase in level. Even XP is awarded faster and faster to keep up with the PCs.

In short: there is no expectation of internal consistancy. If you encounter a monster while at level 1, run away and then encounter it again a few weeks later at level 25, the monster is expected to have also managed to increase to a level 25 challenge. Probably without leaving its cave.

4e is not a role-playing game, it is a combat encounter system waiting for a role-playing suppliment.

SmartAlec
2008-07-08, 01:28 PM
No, minions work the way they do because WotC couldn't make the combat system work properly.

Define 'properly'. This combat system seems to work fine, as far as I've found. Ok, it's inconsistent - but it works fine.

FoE
2008-07-08, 01:29 PM
You can post-rationalise it if you like, but minions were specifically designed to be a patch.

Granted. But it's an exceptionally well-working patch.


Reality itself warps as they appear. Kobold which the party would have walked over become big and strong (and then wilt away again if a "boss" appears on the scene). Treasure troves swell to keep pace with the party's desire for luxury as they increase in level. Even XP is awarded faster and faster to keep up with the PCs.

Higher-level PCs face tougher challenges and therefore reap greater rewards. This just makes sense.


In short: there is no expectation of internal consistency. If you encounter a monster while at level 1, run away and then encounter it again a few weeks later at level 25, the monster is expected to have also managed to increase to a level 25 challenge. Probably without leaving its cave.

That's not what the system does, Nagora, and if you encountered a DM who did that, then he's an idiot.

The New Bruceski
2008-07-08, 01:29 PM
Back to D&D, 4th edition D&D aims for "Demons have kidnapped the King, are you bad enough dudes to rescue him?" style game play. It succeeds at that for low levels. At higher levels issues come up due to the ease of crowd control and damage/hp ratios so fights tend to slow crawls to the finish that was decided turns ago.

Sounds like they covered the style of game pretty well, as anyone who's finished Golden Axe can attest. Sit there jump-kicking the last boss for an hour. :smallbiggrin:

I like the toolset analogy, and would like to extend it further: if jobs mostly need things on the multitool, the other guy will be lugging all his stuff around with him where it doesn't need to be used. If all the jobs encountered need the esoteric tools, the guy with the toolbox is fine while the other guy has to keep going back for what he left at home.

Toolbox-guy argues that you need all the tools on-hand, so that if one's needed you have it right away. Otherwise you'll always be delaying the job to go get the tool you should have had in the first place. Multitool-guy points out that he can get from job to job faster without carrying the tools, and many of the odd ones are just specialized tools where he can fix the same problem well enough, without digging through all the tools that don't work.

The moral: Both work fine, for the jobs they see. If multitool-guy only got called out fopr jobs that needed a full toolbox, he'd take the box with him. If toolbox-guy never used 60% of his tools, he'd leave them behind to cut down on clutter. The mistake both people make is assuming that they're working on the same jobs.

Antacid
2008-07-08, 01:36 PM
One of the changes in 4E, which I have only recently grasped, is the shift to a "PC-centric" ruleset. In other words, the rules are designed to cover the way the world interacts with the PCs. What happens when a PC isn't present is left up to the DM.

This is the real reason people believe "Tippyland" is implausible - RPGs are always centred on the players. They're the only people interacting with the world. If you apply the rules of magic logically in any setting you wind up with a game world that either has no need for the PCs or which could not be survived long enough for heroes to change anything. Who wants to play that?

Accepting that 4e is a game system, and not an attempt to simulate a real place which nonetheless has to ignore it's own logic to be playable as a game, has to be the best design decision WotC have ever made.

Dausuul
2008-07-08, 02:41 PM
This is the real reason people believe "Tippyland" is implausible - RPGs are always centred on the players - they're the only people interacting with the world. If you apply the rules of magic logically you wind up with a game world that either has no need for the PCs or which could not be survived long enough for heroes to change anything. Who wants to play that?

Well, bear in mind that the end result of the rules needs to be one that fits logically into the game world. If PCs can teleport into a guarded vault and steal the most precious artifact in the realm, this naturally brings up the question of why nobody else has done this. The fact that 4E PCs can one-shot minions does not require that everyone on earth be able to do the same thing, but it establishes that it is possible to one-shot such creatures.

In 3.X, a high-level PC can build a local version of Tippyland unless the DM steps in to prevent it. One is then led to wonder why other high-level wizards don't do the same. In 4E, the rules do not allow the PCs to build Tippyland; whether anybody else can do so is up to the DM to decide.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-07-08, 03:10 PM
In short: there is no expectation of internal consistancy. If you encounter a monster while at level 1, run away and then encounter it again a few weeks later at level 25, the monster is expected to have also managed to increase to a level 25 challenge. Probably without leaving its cave.


This is factually incorrect.

The 4E Monster Manual, like all the others, provides fixed stats for monsters. Ancient Black Dragons do not get delevelled to Level 1 just because the PCs encounter them at that level. The scaling rules are there to allow you to customize monsters to better fit your game. You might, for example, want to run a game in which there are no characters above 6th level (a la E6) but still want Bard the Bowman to be able to kill Smaug, so you change the stats for Dragons to make them more vulnerable. Nowhere does it say that you should auto-level the monsters to match the PCs.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-07-08, 03:44 PM
"Demons have kidnapped the King, are you bad enough dudes to rescue him?"

I am highly tempted to start up a game with this as the plot. Heck, I'd even run it from level 1, with the PCs chasing the trail of demons across the world, solving problems as they go.

At the end of every encounter, I'd mandate high-fives, terrorist fist jabs, and/or chest-bumps among the party members. Every adventure would end with an end-zone dance.

It would be awesome :smallbiggrin:

Antacid
2008-07-08, 03:45 PM
Well, bear in mind that the end result of the rules needs to be one that fits logically into the game world. If PCs can teleport into a guarded vault and steal the most precious artifact in the realm, this naturally brings up the question of why nobody else has done this. The fact that 4E PCs can one-shot minions does not require that everyone on earth be able to do the same thing, but it establishes that it is possible to one-shot such creatures.

I'm not seeing the difference between your two examples.

4e's philosophy seems to be: if the PCs can get something without effort, they're already too powerful for you to need to write an adventure about it. That's PC-centric, gameplay-focused design.

A minion is actually equivalent to a standard monster 8 levels lower (check the XP values in the DMG). So you can think of the 1 HP monsters as being lower-level monsters who would be unable to hit the PCs, simply represented in a different way. The MM even has something like this: there's an Level 3 Orc Raider with 46 HP, and a Level 8 Orc Warrior minion with 1 HP. Does the Orc Warrior really only have 1 HP? Or does it represent a lower-level Orc that has been presented in a different statistical form so players can keep meeting rank-and-file Orcs at higher levels?


I am highly tempted to start up a game with this as the plot. Heck, I'd even run it from level 1, with the PCs chasing the trail of demons across the world, solving problems as they go.

At the end of each adventure the players meet an NPC who tells them: "Thank you, but our Princess King is in another castle".

horseboy
2008-07-08, 04:05 PM
In 3.X, a high-level PC can build a local version of Tippyland unless the DM steps in to prevent it. One is then led to wonder why other high-level wizards don't do the same. In 4E, the rules do not allow the PCs to build Tippyland; whether anybody else can do so is up to the DM to decide.And given the commonality of the "mageocricy" in D&D. It's only through it's preestablishment in prior editions that Thay hasn't done this and taken over the Toril. Not that WotC cares about retconning. :smallannoyed:

Oracle_Hunter
2008-07-08, 04:18 PM
A the end of each adventure the players meet an NPC who tells them: "Thank you, but our Princess King is in another castle".

It'll be a doppleganger who is shaped like the King. The first night out, he'll try to kill the PCs. Every time, they'll find another doppleganger. I can only hope that by the time the PCs find the King, they'll splatter his brains without a second thought :smallbiggrin:

Man, this is sounding better by the second.

Lord_Asmodeus
2008-07-08, 04:31 PM
Sadism is inherent in human nature, most people are just too polite to show it :smalltongue:

nagora
2008-07-08, 04:31 PM
This is factually incorrect.
Oh, you and your "facts"! You can prove anything with those.

Yeah, I got carried away.

Oslecamo
2008-07-08, 07:53 PM
In 3.X, a high-level PC can build a local version of Tippyland unless the DM steps in to prevent it. One is then led to wonder why other high-level wizards don't do the same. In 4E, the rules do not allow the PCs to build Tippyland; whether anybody else can do so is up to the DM to decide.

Ah, here's a perfect example of "You can houserule 3.X, so it sucks, and you can houserule 4e, so it rocks".

Yes, in 3.X power is cheap, but in 4e, power is expensive. Is simply impossible for any kind of overlord to rise in power in 4e unless the DM gives him a lot of custom stuff to help him control his legions and build his evil empire, just like in 3.X the evil overlord won't make a transdimensional undetectable fortress protected by indetectable spheres of destruction and planar binded monstruosities at every corner.


But of course, 3.X is evil because is the older version, even if the DM has to do the same thing(bending some rules to make the adventure go smoother) to both editions.

quillbreaker
2008-07-08, 08:18 PM
As I've shown, even an above average Int fighter can't be a competent soldier with 3.x's half assed skill system.

Nobody's called you on this yet? I'm surprised.

You gave your soldier a number of unnecessary skills, including sense motive, leading me to think that you don't have a very realistic expectation of what the average foot soldier should know.

Sense motive is the last thing you want to teach a man that does guard duty. A guard who actually judges what an unknown individual says can be fooled rather easily - the advantage is to the con man. What a guard should do - and what guards usually do in the real world - is do exactly what they are told. You give him a list of people who can go in and out, and you tell him to reject everyone else, no questions asked. You are not on the list, you do not get in.

You don't need climb and jump (or whatever you listed - I don't remember precisely) for the bloody obstacle course, either. The thing's there for exercise, not to turn you into an acrobat.

Erk
2008-07-08, 08:46 PM
At first, I thought 4e was worse because of its oversimplicity.

Then I realised I usually throw out half of 3e and redesign it anyway. 4e has a lot of that already done for me.

Further, I am finding most (not all) of 4e to be a bit more modular. For example, the balanced classes make it so I can drop wizards, clerics, and warlocks entirely and remove all but a handful of magical items without having to redesign encounter challenge and worry about how the players are going to find healing.

I do despise how integrated the mythos is getting with the world. Feywild and shadowthingy are a lot less generic than celestial and infernal, and I miss that. Most of my homebrewing seems to now be complicated ways of circumventing or rewriting the hokey flavour of 4e.

Bottom line: nothing is really wrong with 4e. It is easy to pick up and play out of the box, but an experienced DM is probably not going to do that. Did anyone do that with 3e? It is more barebones, which some will like and others will not. I actually find it a little more fun to homebrew, mainly because it's more a matter of adding missing things than altering prebuilt mechanics, and I find that a little more enjoyable. But both systems are good, and I don't think I'll be throwing out my 3e books any time soon.

fleet
2008-07-08, 09:31 PM
The Tippyland argument, is one of the most annoyingly irrational arguments i've seen on these forums.

It focuses on a set of irrational axioms, and then builds a logical argument based on it.

The core assumption behind tippyland, is that high level spells, are so broken, that the entire world should just use them to solve all of their problems. The problem with this argument, is that it ignores math. High level characters/npc/anything Are RARE. PC's are necessary because every two bit village in the world does'nt have a 5th level fighter to wipe out the orc hordes, or a 6th level mage to banish the demon to the nether dark. Much less having a level 13 wizard to run the mass transit system..

Using purely core rules I am going to prove the EXACT AMOUNT OF TIPPYNESS, in 3.5. After this post if anyone, ANYWHERE, uses the tippyland argument, I fully intend to link to this post. and if that same person ever again uses the argument, i will hunt them down and beat them senseless with a wet mackerel.


Ok, let's begin with a simple Assessment of the potential super spells of dnd. That is the spells that could create the mythical Tippyland.

Level 1
Charm person
Tippy use: End all war by charming the monsters of the earth.
Counter-reasoning: limited duration means, in most cases, if you charm an enemy leader, several hours, Yes Hours, later, he'll declare war on you for using magic against him.

Comprehend Languages
Tippy use:Unite the peoples of the world with a common tounge.
counter-reasoning: Common/basic, already exists as main language, nuff said.

Create Water
Tippy use: End world hunger, by watering the deserts. End thirst, create lakes, make water mills in the middle of no where.
Counter-reasoning: 2gallons per level per casting. Thus a level 1 npc cleric should make, about 10 gallons of water per day. You would need more clerics per acre, then you would need farmers. (more on why high level characters don't do it later)

Level 2
Animal Messenger
Tippy use: telecommunication,
Counter: you can train a dove through normal means to do this. It just takes slightly longer.

Soften Earth and Stone
Tippy use: Farming
Counter: it really only makes tilling a bit easier, and adds nothing to soil fertility, this ability would allow a village to have more acres under production, if it can afford the 20 gp per 10 feet the dmg suggests as a fair charge for a level 2 spell from an npc.
note: 200 unskilled workers could be hired for a full day, for the same cost.

Level 3
Fly
(really this is too weak to consider but i know someone will bring it up so)
Tippy use: Travel, connect the world. Take armies over passes one at a time, float archers above the enemy, Rain death and destruction on evil armies.

counter argument, twice the speed of walking, for 1 min per 30 gp is a horrendous waste of resources. The extra company you could have hired per minute of flight an npc wizard would provide, is pathetic. AS for the wizard using it to be immune while he takes out entire armies, well, dispel magic also exists at this level, and falling 100+ feet does not give a reflex save.



Remove Disease]
Tippy use: cure all the worlds diseases into extinction
Counter: Minimum cost of spell is, 150 gold for most NPC casters.
1500 days of labor for the majority of unskilled workers. About 4 years of work, for the average farmer.



((I have more, i will edit it in later.))
Keep in mind though, level 4 spells and up, are only castable by level 7 or higher casters, In other words, Heros, on the level of Drzzt, or so. People who inspire stories within a region.

Level 5 and up spells are cast by Legends, on the order of Gandalf, or Merlin. Individuals so rare, you may have one per kingdom. a party of level 9 or higher characters don't fight orcs any more, they kill young dragons.

High level characters are supposed to be RARE. If you have a problem with hordes of casters getting together and casting overland flight to move entire armies, then you have too many high level characters in the population. If an army can raise 40 some odd heroic level casters, every village should be able to have a level 7 fighter to guard it. Low level parties should never get off the ground, because the village mayor can solo several hundred orcs. A small army of level 7 characters could feasibly wipe out the entire population of monsters below level 3 in the world.

Dausuul
2008-07-08, 09:58 PM
But of course, 3.X is evil because is the older version, even if the DM has to do the same thing(bending some rules to make the adventure go smoother) to both editions.

The 4E DM isn't "bending" any rules. He's just filling in the blanks which the game deliberately leaves for him to fill in. The evil overlord is not a PC, so his capabilities are not dictated by the ruleset.

3.X is the system where the same rules are supposed to apply everywhere... or so I keep hearing.

Indon
2008-07-08, 10:15 PM
The 4E DM isn't "bending" any rules. He's just filling in the blanks which the game deliberately leaves for him to fill in. The evil overlord is not a PC, so his capabilities are not dictated by the ruleset.

3.X is the system where the same rules are supposed to apply everywhere... or so I keep hearing.

I don't think it says anything like that anywhere in 3'rd edition.

Rather, the lack of rules strongly implies that 4'th edition is just not worth trying to do that with, while 3'rd edition's attempt to have a wide variety of rules makes the attempt feel natural (even if the results clearly aren't).

Thamir
2008-07-08, 10:23 PM
I agree it is a matter of personal taste, I personally do not find it to my liking and instead use pathfinder RPG a free new edition from paizo which is kinda like dnd 3.75, it is currently only in its alpha stage however it is a beutiful system. All it does is patch up a couple of 3.5s flaws rather than make an entirely new game Pathfinder RPG Alpha (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG)

Wow that sounded a hell of a lot like a plug.

Thurbane
2008-07-08, 10:39 PM
ok, one more time into the breach.

Today, i'd like to complain about interdependence. 4E is overripe with it. It is impossible to play a good party with less than 4 characters, and unless everyone in the party picks complimentary characters, you will die.
My (very limited) experience with 4E echoes this.

On Game Day, we played the same mini adventure twice, each time with 2 PCs. I played each time, but the 2nd player was different.

First time round, I took the Dwarf Fighter and the other player took the Cleric. We completed the adventure fairly comfortably.

Second time, I took the Wizard, and the other player took the Eladrin Rogue. We both died in the first encounter, with 2 hobgoblins.

...this may have been a one off abberation, however...

Vortling
2008-07-08, 10:58 PM
Tippyland

Two things. You may want to make a new thread for this so it doesn't get lost and what about cure x wounds spells?

Erk
2008-07-08, 11:27 PM
My (very limited) experience with 4E echoes this.

One Game Day, we played the same mini adventure twice, each time with 2 PCs. I played each time, but the 2nd player was different.

First time round, I took the Dwarf Fighter and the other player took the Cleric. We completed the adventure fairly comfortably.

Second time, I took the Wizard, and the other player took the Eladrin Rogue. We both died in the first encounter, with 2 hobgoblins.

...this may have been a one off abberation, however...

I haven't had any time at all to delve into party balance yet, but it seems to me this is no different in 3.5e except that the system enforces the idea of having more specific uses for every character. A 2-player party has always been somewhat hit and miss unless you're doing a gestalt campaign or similar high power setup. With a Rogue and Wizard, you are hardly the optimum build for a head-on fight... neither can take hits, the wizard needs someone to defend him, and the rogue has to conceal himself to be effective. From the way 3e is written, it sounds like that is supposed to be the case with 3e as well.

of course, a clever DM and good players could make it work, but you'd have to ensure the characters had opportunities to meet the opponents not-head-on.

fleet
2008-07-09, 12:23 AM
Two things. You may want to make a new thread for this so it doesn't get lost and what about cure x wounds spells?

Very tempting, wish i had the time to finish it up though. As for the cure x wounds thing, i didn't get to it in the time i had to write, but it is massively too expensive for the average npc to afford to buy it from another npc. If temple clerics offer it for free, the effect is still negligible. Does a world where minor scrapes heal instantly really change from our own? Maybe they have a slightly higher life expectancy, but accident being a leading cause of death is a modern phenomena. In an agrarian society, disease, hunger, and crippling have a much larger impact. The odd bruise or even a major cut is only going to keep you down for a day or two, unless it gets infected....

JaxGaret
2008-07-09, 01:05 AM
Ah, here's a perfect example of "You can houserule 3.X, so it sucks, and you can houserule 4e, so it rocks".

AFAICT, 4e is going to require much less houseruling than 3e, and the houserules themselves will be less campaign-intrusive. YMMV.


Yes, in 3.X power is cheap, but in 4e, power is expensive. Is simply impossible for any kind of overlord to rise in power in 4e unless the DM gives him a lot of custom stuff to help him control his legions and build his evil empire

Why? You don't need magic to be an overlord. Just look IRL.


, just like in 3.X the evil overlord won't make a transdimensional undetectable fortress protected by indetectable spheres of destruction and planar binded monstruosities at every corner.

If they can do it, why wouldn't they? What, do they follow The List (http://www.eviloverlord.com/lists/overlord.html)?


But of course, 3.X is evil because is the older version, even if the DM has to do the same thing(bending some rules to make the adventure go smoother) to both editions.

You're putting words in others' mouths. Who said 3e is evil? I like 3e, but I like 4e a lot more.


I do despise how integrated the mythos is getting with the world. Feywild and shadowthingy are a lot less generic than celestial and infernal, and I miss that. Most of my homebrewing seems to now be complicated ways of circumventing or rewriting the hokey flavour of 4e.

The Shadowfell existed in 3e, it is a conglomeration of the Shadow and Negative Energy Planes. The Feywild is new, though.

What don't you like about the new cosmology, specifically, besides it simply being different from before?


Bottom line: nothing is really wrong with 4e. It is easy to pick up and play out of the box, but an experienced DM is probably not going to do that. Did anyone do that with 3e? It is more barebones, which some will like and others will not. I actually find it a little more fun to homebrew, mainly because it's more a matter of adding missing things than altering prebuilt mechanics, and I find that a little more enjoyable. But both systems are good, and I don't think I'll be throwing out my 3e books any time soon.

Pretty much agree on all counts.


My (very limited) experience with 4E echoes this.

One Game Day, we played the same mini adventure twice, each time with 2 PCs. I played each time, but the 2nd player was different.

First time round, I took the Dwarf Fighter and the other player took the Cleric. We completed the adventure fairly comfortably.

Second time, I took the Wizard, and the other player took the Eladrin Rogue. We both died in the first encounter, with 2 hobgoblins.

...this may have been a one off abberation, however...

A similar 2-person party in 3e, Sorcerer + Rogue, is going to have problems functioning too.

But it's not completely undoable in either edition.


The Tippyland argument, is one of the most annoyingly irrational arguments i've seen on these forums.

It focuses on a set of irrational axioms, and then builds a logical argument based on it.

The core assumption behind tippyland, is that high level spells, are so broken, that the entire world should just use them to solve all of their problems. The problem with this argument, is that it ignores math. High level characters/npc/anything Are RARE. PC's are necessary because every two bit village in the world does'nt have a 5th level fighter to wipe out the orc hordes, or a 6th level mage to banish the demon to the nether dark. Much less having a level 13 wizard to run the mass transit system..

The point isn't about rarity, it's about scale. A spellcaster of 15th+ level can do world-shattering things, and even if that's one-hundredth of one percent of the population, in a small world with 10 million people that's still 1,000 characters floating around who can alter large portions of the world to conform to their will.

And the more Epic the caster, the more impact they have. It really changes everything if you think about it. That's without even going into the more mundane, lower-level aspects of how magic affects everything.

nagora
2008-07-09, 06:26 AM
High-level characters are only rare because people who play D&D say they are. That's because common high-level characters would make being high-level less special. But if everyone could gain exponentially-increasing levels of power by fighting evil, all ambitious people would do it, even at risk of their lives.
The 1e approach was that only 1% of intelligent beings actually have the "spark of heroism" or whatever you want to call it. So, in a country of 1m people, there would be 10,000 people who MIGHT have levels at all. The, of course the classes have requirements and there were heavy restrictions on magic-users ability to learn spells, so that even if all 10,000 potential characters qualified for and became MUs, only 46 would ever have the chance to cast 9th level spells.

In addition, of course, that 10,000 covers the entire age range. Many will be children and of the rest, they will have needed time to accumulate enough XP to be significant.

I generally run non-special NPCs as gaining 15000 xp per year, so to cast, geas, for example, a Magic user would require 50 years, so only the section of the population who were in their late sixties and and Int 12+ and had become magic users in the first place could cast geas. Not a huge number out of that 10,000. So it's managable. (and, in 1e the Int 12 MU would only have a 45% chance of being able to cast geas in the first place).

ArmorArmadillo
2008-07-09, 12:47 PM
The 1e approach was that only 1% of intelligent beings actually have the "spark of heroism" or whatever you want to call it. So, in a country of 1m people, there would be 10,000 people who MIGHT have levels at all. The, of course the classes have requirements and there were heavy restrictions on magic-users ability to learn spells, so that even if all 10,000 potential characters qualified for and became MUs, only 46 would ever have the chance to cast 9th level spells.

In addition, of course, that 10,000 covers the entire age range. Many will be children and of the rest, they will have needed time to accumulate enough XP to be significant.

I generally run non-special NPCs as gaining 15000 xp per year, so to cast, geas, for example, a Magic user would require 50 years, so only the section of the population who were in their late sixties and and Int 12+ and had become magic users in the first place could cast geas. Not a huge number out of that 10,000. So it's managable. (and, in 1e the Int 12 MU would only have a 45% chance of being able to cast geas in the first place).
1. Your homebrew 1e setting isn't really relevant to the game as a whole. Although you should be happy to know that, since 4e no longer has NPCs level by PC classes, the "spark of heroism" approach is essentially back.

2. 46 wizards who can cast 9th can still do massive things, not to mention that a lot of the important "utility" spells that can change the way people live are honestly very low level.

3. If you live in Faerun, high level magic users are pretty common. In Eberron, Lady Vol is one of the most powerful mages on the planet and she can't cast 9th level spells, but that doesn't stop magic from being commonplace in the setting. In the 3.5 DMG, the guidelines they gave for determining the power of NPCs in a town made it likely that you'd find decently powered magic users (Powerful enough to Teleport or Raise Dead) of various types in a town of decent size.

Roderick_BR
2008-07-09, 12:53 PM
Ah, here's a perfect example of "You can houserule 3.X, so it sucks, and you can houserule 4e, so it rocks".

Yes, in 3.X power is cheap, but in 4e, power is expensive. Is simply impossible for any kind of overlord to rise in power in 4e unless the DM gives him a lot of custom stuff to help him control his legions and build his evil empire, just like in 3.X the evil overlord won't make a transdimensional undetectable fortress protected by indetectable spheres of destruction and planar binded monstruosities at every corner.


But of course, 3.X is evil because is the older version, even if the DM has to do the same thing(bending some rules to make the adventure go smoother) to both editions.
I actually make overlords that have armies to fight for him. I don't bend no rules nor drop them, I just use what makes sense. No one win wars alone. ake Darth Vader for example. He's the most powerful Jedi/Sith ever(some SW fan will probably disagree, but that's not the point now), but he still needs a whole empire to rule. In one-on-one battles, he's almost unbeatable (he can deflect rays with his hands, but how many can he deflect at once? Keep over a dozen or two shooting at once, and one or other will hit him hard. Replace the lasers with propeled metallic projectiles, and he's screwed), and almost no character is as powerful as Jedis, so you have only one guy that can really fight him. In D&D, most of the party is (supposedly) strong enough to fight the villain by itself each. Put 4 adventurers together, and the villain won't last 6 seconds.
I don't expect to make a superpowerful villain in 4E. Having something that won't drop in the first round of combat is enough.

Antacid
2008-07-09, 01:43 PM
The 1e approach was that only 1% of intelligent beings actually have the "spark of heroism" or whatever you want to call it. So, in a country of 1m people, there would be 10,000 people who MIGHT have levels at all.
I deleted my post because I realised I didn't want to wind up advocating one way or another. It sounds like you've sorted out the plausibility issues for your group very well.

But that's all they are: plausibility issues. As long as the Players don't get distracted wondering why magic isn't more prevalent in everyday life, or attempt to set up their own Tippyland while you're trying to further the plot, I don't think it ever needs to be a problem. A fantasy RPG setting doesn't need to be plausible, it just needs to feel plausible, and for some people 4e's 1st-level competence and small rule set are more of an obstacle than the idea that any 3e Wizard who survives to 7th level could probably use fly and greater invisibility to get close to world leaders, and then charm and suggestion to get them to help him set up utopia/dystopia without them ever knowing what was happening.

nagora
2008-07-09, 04:37 PM
1. Your homebrew 1e setting isn't really relevant to the game as a whole. Although you should be happy to know that, since 4e no longer has NPCs level by PC classes, the "spark of heroism" approach is essentially back.
Well, the 1% thing was BtB, not homebrew, and while the pro-rating system was my own choice, the fact was that 9th level spell casting PCs were very, very rare BtB in 1e (I've never seen one in play), so an NPC system that did not reflect that would seem strange.


2. 46 wizards who can cast 9th can still do massive things, not to mention that a lot of the important "utility" spells that can change the way people live are honestly very low level.
Don't forget that the 46 was if every single person who could become a 9th-level-spell caster did so, with none of them failing to make the very long trek up to that level. The few who might do it would also not all be around at the same time. Also, in 1e, magic is not as sure-fire as it became in 3e, which is one reason why casters got out of control in the latter. Plus, alignment: how many of those casters will bother to help the peasants live a better life? About as many as the number of Mediaeval kings who did the same thing, probably!


3. If you live in Faerun, high level magic users are pretty common. In Eberron, Lady Vol is one of the most powerful mages on the planet and she can't cast 9th level spells, but that doesn't stop magic from being commonplace in the setting.
Sure, there's no problem with mixing it up a bit, but I do have a problem with settings that undermine the idea of adventuring (at least if they're D&D settings). If you can get everything by magic, there's no need to adventure. It's easy to make high-magic settings dull and hard to make them challenging over the long-term, IMO.


In the 3.5 DMG, the guidelines they gave for determining the power of NPCs in a town made it likely that you'd find decently powered magic users (Powerful enough to Teleport or Raise Dead) of various types in a town of decent size.
Clearly such a society would be radically different from anything we've ever known on Earth. It might be interesting to really run with it and try to put together an idea of what such a world would be like, but it's not going to resemble Greyhawk or the Forgotten Realms or really very much that's ever been published for D&D.

If you have a world where the players know that even something as simple as teleport is available everywhere yet it makes no discernible difference to the world the DM describes, then you are going to end up with plausibility issues at some point.

Jayabalard
2008-07-09, 04:56 PM
1. Your homebrew 1e setting<snip>I'll go ahead and back up Nagora with: as I recall, that is by RAW, not some homebrew.

Keep in mind that 1e D&D had hard limits on how many of certain classes existed in the game at certain levels, as in, there were only 4 monks that were the level of the master of the X wind, and only one at the highest level of monk; likewise, there was only so many druid heirophants (7, 9, 13, I forget). To actually advance to those levels, you had to defeat one of the current people who had that level or you didn't advance to the next level. These limits weren't at level 20... they were in the early teens. There was only 1 druid in the game world who could cast the top level of druid spells.

While that doesn't apply directly to wizards (they were less highlanderish), it is a pretty strong, if indirect, statement of the rarity of high level NPCs in 1e AD&D.

fleet
2008-07-09, 06:09 PM
3.5, actually has it's own way of telling you how rare magic is. It's just that as a pc you don't appreciate it.
The gold per level cost for npc casting, is VERY indictaive of how rare magic is. Only Kings can afford some of these things.

Spell, 0-level Caster level × 5 gp
Spell, 1st-level Caster level × 10 gp
Spell, 2nd-level Caster level × 20 gp
Spell, 3rd-level Caster level × 30 gp
Spell, 4th-level Caster level × 40 gp
Spell, 5th-level Caster level × 50 gp
Spell, 6th-level Caster level × 60 gp
Spell, 7th-level Caster level × 70 gp
Spell, 8th-level Caster level × 80 gp
Spell, 9th-level Caster level × 90 gp


Keep in mind, average daily wages for unskilled workers are 1 silver. And average daily wages for a skilled tradesmen, is 3 silver.
and, 2 cp = One pound of flour, or one chicken. So you might spend 4 copper a day to eat. Thus, a level 1 caster, casting a level ZERO spell, is by RAW, supposed to be so rare, it would reflect the labor of 50 men for day.


4e has market prices on rituals, also reflecting the Rarity of people who can actually do this.

Prophaniti
2008-07-09, 06:21 PM
A good point about the prices. The amount of money 'normal' people have to live on is not really appreciated by adventurers who find dragon troves. Even a 1000gp item (a +1 enchantment) is more than most people see in years of work. That is, of course, if we're discussing things by RAW in 3.5...

ArmorArmadillo
2008-07-09, 06:43 PM
A good point about the prices. The amount of money 'normal' people have to live on is not really appreciated by adventurers who find dragon troves. Even a 1000gp item (a +1 enchantment) is more than most people see in years of work. That is, of course, if we're discussing things by RAW in 3.5...

Let's not pretend the RAW 3.5 DnD economy worked in any significant way. By this system, a character's wealth by level will make him an effective millionaire by level 4-5.

@Nagora: I don't know what you're trying to say as "get everything from magic."
It's a very different thing for magic to be common place than for it to infinitely create everything that anyone needs.

Powerful commonplace magic will simply stand in for science and industry, and, even if commonplace, will still be a limited resource which will be used to satisfy unlimited needs.

See Eberron, a very reasonable take on high-magic. Mages commonly use magical crafts to service society, but that doesn't mean that there are no needs and no problems. Adventurers are still needed.


However, and this is straight out of the 3.5 DMG, is that you can't just try to have a standard medieval-earth society and have magic be fearsome and rare; that that wouldn't make sense given the way it is built into the setting.


@ Oslecamo: You can have to houserule 3.X, so it sucks is flawed, and you can houserule 4e easily, so it rocks which is good.

Indon
2008-07-09, 06:52 PM
@ Oslecamo: You can have to houserule 3.X, so it sucks is flawed, and you can houserule 4e easily, so it rocks which is good.

And yet, for both editions there have been people who play it just fine with minimal or no houseruling, and people who have had to houserule extensively (insofar as there's been time for people to even develop 4th edition houserules yet - for now mostly we just have monster system and skill system houserules).

Prophaniti
2008-07-09, 06:52 PM
Let's not pretend the RAW 3.5 DnD economy worked in any significant way. By this system, a character's wealth by level will make him an effective millionaire by level 4-5.
Which is exactly what would happen if you went around slaughtering creatures, taking their stuff, and, again, finding treasure hoards in real life with no consequences. Seriously, we're talking about a group of people that basically go bank robbing and house looting, only no one gets in a tizzy because they're robbing evil monsters. You'd get very rich very quickly if you could do this IRL without the pesky complications of police and SWAT teams coming after you.

Ulzgoroth
2008-07-09, 06:58 PM
Let's not pretend the RAW 3.5 DnD economy worked in any significant way. By this system, a character's wealth by level will make him an effective millionaire by level 4-5.

There are plenty of flaws in the 3.5 economy. That isn't really one of them. It just means that level 4-5 PCs would be quite rich, at least by modest standards, if they sold off their equipment (to the tune of roughly their weight in gold, at level 5)... So what? They have been fairly wealthy since WBL 2. Adventurers aren't poor.

Oslecamo
2008-07-09, 07:25 PM
@ Oslecamo: You can just as easilyhave to houserule 3.X, so it sucks is just as greatflawed , and you can houserule 4e easily, so it rocks which is good. means it didn't work anyway or wouldn't want to houserule it in the first place.

Here. Fixed it for you.

By the way, in case nobody noticed, a professional footblall player will win more in a year than most people see in their whole lifes. And all he does is kick balls.

If you're much more powerfull than the average person, then it's only natural for you to end up rich.

Roderick_Br: Darth Vader can mind control people and kill them across empty space. That makes him a very very persuassive leader who can keep his troops in check. "Obey me or die, even if you're in another ship". But if you're a 4e monster, even if you're a god, how are you comanding your minions? Why are they following you? How does the overlord makes sure of their loyalty? How do you find and punish those who wrong him?

ArmorArmadillo
2008-07-09, 07:31 PM
Which is exactly what would happen if you went around slaughtering creatures, taking their stuff, and, again, finding treasure hoards in real life with no consequences. Seriously, we're talking about a group of people that basically go bank robbing and house looting, only no one gets in a tizzy because they're robbing evil monsters. You'd get very rich very quickly if you could do this IRL without the pesky complications of police and SWAT teams coming after you.Then why does anyone work? Why wouldn't everyone drop their hoes and pick up a sword and go loot goblins?


Here. Fixed it for you.People make houserules for hundreds of reasons, ranging from preference, to balance fixes, to sometimes just because you want it to fix your homebrewed setting.

Also, 3.5 required houserules more significantly because of glaring, game-breaking balance problems due to the manner in which the system was designed.

If you have examples of why 4e needs to be houseruled to work, please explain them.


By the way, in case nobody noticed, a professional footblall player will win more in a year than most people see in their whole lifes. And all he does is kick balls.

If you're much more powerfull than the average person, then it's only natural for you to end up rich.Being a professional football player isn't just a matter of being 'powerful'. You need power, skill in the sport, connections to get into the sport, and most importantly an economy in which someone is willing to and can support paying you that money.
(There are people as strong as some professional football players who work as bouncers)

The essential economy of the adventurer is that they don't have a job, they just go around looting the world of treasure which is pretty much everywhere.


As for why do minions follow big bad, there are a million reasons. Does the Big Bad have to have an ability that explicitly gives you minions? What if you're charismatic? What if you have money to buy their loyalty?

Prophaniti
2008-07-09, 07:47 PM
Then why does anyone work? Why wouldn't everyone drop their hoes and pick up a sword and go loot goblins?

Such an astounding myriad of answers, many of which I know have been voiced before, that I'm shocked people are still asking this question. The primary answer here is quite simple: ADVENTURING IS BLOODY DANGEROUS! You could get killed fighting anything that is likely to have enough loot to make it worthwhile. Even a goblin has a chance of killing an adventurer, and that's someone with exceptional abilities. Remember, 10 is the average human stat score in 3.5. That means your average farmer is far less than effective with a sword. Nor does he have the mental accumen to be a wizard, nor the charisma to be a sorcerer (especially since the default flavor for sorcerers says they're born that way, so it's like the force, you either can or you can't).

Another common one to consider is morals. Sure, goblins aren't people, but adventurers also kill bandits, cultists, and other groups who are undeniably human. Unless they're elves or dwarves, but the point is they're not monsters.
Why don't you go around murdering people and taking their stuff? Any reason you could possibly list to this can be translated into a D&D setting with little to no alteration.

There are many reasons, though they're validity can vary depending on the particulars of the setting. Adventurers are rare, every edition has stated something to that effect, and it is not a hard thing to explain or reason out.

EDIT: ARGH! top of the page again. No one ever seems to read my posts when they end up at the top of the page... I have bad forum timing.

ArmorArmadillo
2008-07-09, 07:56 PM
Such an astounding myriad of answers, many of which I know have been voiced before, that I'm shocked people are still asking this question. The primary answer here is quite simple: ADVENTURING IS BLOODY DANGEROUS! You could get killed fighting anything that is likely to have enough loot to make it worthwhile. Even a goblin has a chance of killing an adventurer, and that's someone with exceptional abilities. Remember, 10 is the average human stat score in 3.5. That means your average farmer is far less than effective with a sword. Nor does he have the mental accumen to be a wizard, nor the charisma to be a sorcerer (especially since the default flavor for sorcerers says they're born that way, so it's like the force, you either can or you can't).Coal Mining is dangerous, and it doesn't even pay well. People take risks for money, especially when one big pay off will set you for life.
Take the gold rush, people crossed the country and gave up their lives for an outside shot at striking it rich.


Another common one to consider is morals. Sure, goblins aren't people, but adventurers also kill bandits, cultists, and other groups who are undeniably human. Unless they're elves or dwarves, but the point is they're not monsters.
Why don't you go around murdering people and taking their stuff? Any reason you could possibly list to this can be translated into a D&D setting with little to no alteration.Which still leaves goblins, and orcs, and aberrations, and magical beasts, and kobolds, and hobgoblins...you have a long list to go to before you get to evil cultists and bandits. Even then, considering how many adventurers or good aligned this should be the same deterrent for any party that it is for the common man.


There are many reasons, though they're validity can vary depending on the particulars of the setting. Adventurers are rare, every edition has stated something to that effect, and it is not a hard thing to explain or reason out.

EDIT: ARGH! top of the page again. No one ever seems to read my posts when they end up at the top of the page... I have bad forum timing.
There are reasons for adventurers to be rare, but the more it pays the more those reasons start to disappear. The problem isn't that there's a divide in wealth or a chance of big payouts, it's that those payouts are utterly ridiculous.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-07-09, 08:06 PM
Nah, I think it's pretty easy to explain why everyone doesn't go and adventure.

Unlike the "Coal Miner," the adventurer not only risks highly visible death every day, but he doesn't even have a guaranteed paycheck. I think you'll have to agree that the risk of dying in a coal mine has to be lower than the risk of getting stabbed by kobolds when you invade their layer.

Secondly, adventuring has a high start-up cost. Take a look at the money adventurers start out with to buy their equipment, and compare it to the "suggested economy" in any given edition. Few people have the money to afford a good suit of armor and a decent weapon - even if they have the training to use both. Coal Mining, on the other hand, just requires you to show up at a coal mine and get hired. They give you your pick and the mine is already there.

Thirdly, adventures are hard to find. Contrary to popular belief, the old man in the tavern doesn't just sit there handing out an infinite number of quests to any schmoe who wanders in. However, Mr. Johnson running his High Mortality Coal Mine does just hire any jerk who can swing a pick, and people know where to find him.

Heh, at this point I'm only reading this thread for the digressions, but feel free to object to my analysis above.

I don't think you can make a good argument unless you assume that, in D&Dland "anyone can be a hero" in the sense that they can magically get a horde of treasure/gear to start off, are inclined to risk bloody death for uncertain gain (or honestly believe that every risk will have an equivalent reward), and that there are an infinite number of easily locatable quests available. If that's your argument, then I'd have to agree that everyone should be an adventurer - but no edition of D&D has assumed that the world works that way.

Tormsskull
2008-07-09, 08:33 PM
I think you'll have to agree that the risk of dying in a coal mine has to be lower than the risk of getting stabbed by kobolds when you invade their layer.


Is that the 8th layer of Hell? The kobold layer? :smalltongue:

Oracle_Hunter
2008-07-09, 08:49 PM
Is that the 8th layer of Hell? The kobold layer? :smalltongue:

If you must know, D&D geologists have noted that the World is, in fact, made up of many different layers of monsters. While we all know about the Underdark, there are several layers between the Surface and the Underdark that produce the various other weak-but-sneaky monsters you find at first level.

However, new studies have revealed that these layers do not merely house the goblins, kobolds, trogs and so forth, but, in fact, spawn them from the geological strata. This is why you seldom find a cave which lacks one of these types of baddies - the World itself uses those random caves as earthen wombs from which these monsters are produced to protect itself from rampant mining from Dwarves and others.

Prophaniti
2008-07-09, 08:50 PM
*very sensible stuff*
Excellent analysis. Basically what I was trying to say, but you explained it very well.

Is that the 8th layer of Hell? The kobold layer? :smalltongue:
If it's not, it totally should be.

the World itself uses those random caves as earthen wombs from which these monsters are produced to protect itself from rampant mining from Dwarves and others.
But... Kobolds mine too...

Oracle_Hunter
2008-07-09, 09:09 PM
But... Kobolds mine too...

A mere deception, to prevent mortals from deducing that the very Earth itself is constantly waging war against them. After all, none of the Earthborn (as I'll call them) have any sort of manufacturing instinct or a society complex enough to exploit nature (agriculture and so forth) yet they all have crafted weapons and armor. And the Kobolds, despite their apparently primitive society, are able to craft complex and sophisticated traps! Suspicious, no?

The truth is that Kobolds are able to communicate with the Earth and ask it to shape itself into dangerous traps that slay the unwary intruder. Dragons realized this long ago, but were able to use this knowledge to extract hush-money from the Earth, typically in the form of pure metals and large cut gemstones.

The truth is out there!

Thurbane
2008-07-09, 09:42 PM
Also, 3.5 required houserules more significantly because of glaring, game-breaking balance problems due to the manner in which the system was designed.

If you have examples of why 4e needs to be houseruled to work, please explain them.
Could I ask the same of you? I've played 3.5 pretty extensively, and the only (limited) houseruling I've seen has been for flavor or tweaking reasons, not "game-breaking balance problems".

IMHO, 3.5 requires less houseruling than any other version I've played (although as I said earlier, my 4E experience amounts to 2 session on Game Day).

ArmorArmadillo
2008-07-09, 10:17 PM
Could I ask the same of you? I've played 3.5 pretty extensively, and the only (limited) houseruling I've seen has been for flavor or tweaking reasons, not "game-breaking balance problems".

IMHO, 3.5 requires less houseruling than any other version I've played (although as I said earlier, my 4E experience amounts to 2 session on Game Day).

Polymorph, Diplomacy, Save or Dies, SAD vs MAD Classes, Druids, just to name a few.

If not dealt with, these are gamebreaking when they come up, and this is without leaving core.

I'm not saying no such issues exist in 4e, but I've yet to see them.



As for the economics issue...you're right. Although, this does bring up the other issue that the game's balance is dependent on an active economy of high level magical goods, where the gold you earn adventuring goes into your character as equipment. If adventurers are as rare as you say, than no such economy could possibly function.

Leonson
2008-07-09, 10:44 PM
I'm not saying no such issues exist in 4e, but I've yet to see them.

I've yet to see game breaking issues in a game of Candyland either.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-07-09, 11:03 PM
I've yet to see game breaking issues in a game of Candyland either.

Oooo, burn on games that are well designed :smalltongue:

Or are you arguing that it is good for games to have flaws in them which can make the play meaningless? You win a prize for that post.

chiasaur11
2008-07-09, 11:05 PM
I've yet to see game breaking issues in a game of Candyland either.

Try the stupid Plum candy forest card. You get that late game, and it's over, no save.

ArmorArmadillo
2008-07-09, 11:32 PM
I've yet to see game breaking issues in a game of Candyland either.
Are you kidding? You can stack the deck. Since I only play against little kids, I can do it without them noticing.

Totally borked.

Yahzi
2008-07-10, 12:33 AM
The warlord class is Useless with out large amounts of team work, and maybe figs.
The Warlord class requires figs?

Now that's taking material components to a very specific level.

:smallbiggrin:

chiasaur11
2008-07-10, 12:39 AM
The Warlord class requires figs?

Now that's taking material components to a very specific level.

:smallbiggrin:

Warlords get hungry like anyone else, and many are picky eaters.

Yahzi
2008-07-10, 12:49 AM
If you apply the rules of magic logically in any setting you wind up with a game world that either has no need for the PCs or which could not be survived long enough for heroes to change anything. Who wants to play that?
Of course the game world has no need for the PCs. They have to make their own destiny. If the PCs want to matter, they have to make it happen. Heroism isn't going to be dumped on they by an accident of birth. They have to earn it!

As for rules that make sense, it's hard to expect the players to make wise decisions if the world doesn't make sense without the DM leading them by the hand. Your choice is between "simulationist" and "railroading."

Indon
2008-07-10, 07:39 AM
Oooo, burn on games that are well designed :smalltongue:

Or are you arguing that it is good for games to have flaws in them which can make the play meaningless? You win a prize for that post.

I think the point is more that good design isn't necessarily what people are looking for in a game if it comes at the cost of other features.

That said, I'd say Monopoly's pretty broken.

Edit: Also, Risk is unbalanced towards the attacker in your standard 3:2 attack.

Kurald Galain
2008-07-10, 08:32 AM
I think the point is more that good design isn't necessarily what people are looking for in a game if it comes at the cost of other features.
Absolutely. Most people (by which I don't mean "most D&D players", by the way) don't play enough games to recognize good design or game balance, and really don't care about it when they're having fun. This explains why highly random games can be very popular.


That said, I'd say Monopoly's pretty broken.
It becomes better if you ban the Hat piece.

nagora
2008-07-10, 09:25 AM
That said, I'd say Monopoly's pretty broken.
Are you serious? If so, in what way?

AKA_Bait
2008-07-10, 09:45 AM
There are reasons for adventurers to be rare, but the more it pays the more those reasons start to disappear. The problem isn't that there's a divide in wealth or a chance of big payouts, it's that those payouts are utterly ridiculous.


Well, the payouts at really high levels are, at low levels not so much. 4e was an improvment here, imo as well, since magical items are set to be a big part of the treasure adventurers recieve. Although those items have a high 'value', even at the drastically reduced resale price, it's hard to consider them 'wealth' in the traditional sense. Glamdring isn't exactly a liquid asset.



Unlike the "Coal Miner," the adventurer not only risks highly visible death every day, but he doesn't even have a guaranteed paycheck. I think you'll have to agree that the risk of dying in a coal mine has to be lower than the risk of getting stabbed by kobolds when you invade their layer.

Also, historically coal miners weren't coal miners entirely by choice. Various economic circumstances forced them into work of that type and company towns kept them in debt so that they couldn't leave.



As for the economics issue...you're right. Although, this does bring up the other issue that the game's balance is dependent on an active economy of high level magical goods, where the gold you earn adventuring goes into your character as equipment. If adventurers are as rare as you say, than no such economy could possibly function.

I'm not so sure that's true. Awards can be the magical items that the gold would translate into themselves. In 4e, you also have the possibility of finding stores of residium, allowing any member of the party with the create magical item ritiual to do so themselves. In that scenario, you don't need a robust magical item economy for the adventurers to keep themselves well equipped, although you do need to make the treasure more item heavy rather than gold heavy.


Are you kidding? You can stack the deck. Since I only play against little kids, I can do it without them noticing.

Totally borked.

I had a friend who used to do that to ensure he won in one turn.


Are you serious? If so, in what way?

Wow, talk about a digression. I think he's referring to the fact that random chance pretty much determines the outcome of the game among skilled players.

Prophaniti
2008-07-10, 09:48 AM
Also, Risk is unbalanced towards the attacker in your standard 3:2 attack.

Nonsense, everyone knows it's the defender who's overpowered in risk. I mean, he wins ties! That's ridiculously game-breaking! I've houseruled it so the side that wins is the one that it would be the coolest to have win. Except in cases where one player is a poor loser, because the point of the game is to have fun, and we all know that can't happen if you're losing...:smallwink:

Charity
2008-07-10, 09:49 AM
Are you serious? If so, in what way?
The more properties you can afford the more money you make which in turn nets you more properties, once someone gets ahead in Monopoly it is very hard (lucky, there is precious little skill involved) to prevent them form winning.
Hence the game is weighted in favour of the person in the lead to remain in the lead this might be a very accurate representation of a free market economy but it doesn't make for an interesting or particularly fair game.
Nobody starts with an advantage, but an unassailable lead builds up quickly and inevitably.
Whether this meets your definition of 'broken' or not is another matter entirely.
Monopoly sucks would be most accurate...

Oracle_Hunter
2008-07-10, 10:02 AM
Whether this meets your definition of 'broken' or not is another matter entirely.
Monopoly sucks would be most accurate...

Riskopoly (http://gilwood.org/riskopoly.htm), on the other hand, is awesome. :smallbiggrin:

Seriously, though, if you're going to argue about board games, perhaps Board Game Geek (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/newuser.php) is the place for you :smalltongue:

nagora
2008-07-10, 10:10 AM
The more properties you can afford the more money you make which in turn nets you more properties, once someone gets ahead in Monopoly it is very hard (lucky, there is precious little skill involved) to prevent them form winning.
Hence the game is weighted in favour of the person in the lead to remain in the lead this might be a very accurate representation of a free market economy but it doesn't make for an interesting or particularly fair game.
Nobody starts with an advantage, but an unassailable lead builds up quickly and inevitably.
Whether this meets your definition of 'broken' or not is another matter entirely.
Monopoly sucks would be most accurate...
You've just described the exact intent of Monopoly: it was intended as an educational game to show what happens in a theoretically free market when luck is introduced - as it always is in the real world - the lucky get ahead and that improves their chance to stay ahead and keep everyone else down. In the end everyone is broke except one person and which person it is bears very little relation to what is fair. This, as you say, sucks.

Those Quakers knew how to design an educational game all right!

Then, Charles Darrow stole it and sold it to Parker Borthers who made a fortune off it. Which was a nice twist to the morallity tale.

The fake history of Monopoly is still the one Hasbro have on their website. Even the name was almost certainly stolen from the Atlantic City Quakers.

Having said all that, there is some skill in the game, although it can be overwhelmed by a lucky or unluck dice roll or two - it's perhaps fairer to say that it's possible to play Monopoly badly than that it's possible to play it skillfully. Played to the letter of the rules instead of to the sorts of houserules people make up when they're six, it's a pretty good game for an occasional evening's play.

Indon
2008-07-10, 10:53 AM
Are you serious? If so, in what way?

Aside from the high probability of financial instagibbing, the properties aren't working as intended.

For instance, the green properties are significantly more potent than the dark blue properties, despite being earlier in the board - while the rent is more expensive on Boardwalk/Park Place, there is 50% more green territory and the rent for BW/PP doesn't compensate for its' lack of size.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-07-10, 11:09 AM
Aside from the high probability of financial instagibbing, the properties aren't working as intended.

For instance, the green properties are significantly more potent than the dark blue properties, despite being earlier in the board - while the rent is more expensive on Boardwalk/Park Place, there is 50% more green territory and the rent for BW/PP doesn't compensate for its' lack of size.

I'm not sure that's true. In my experience the Dark Blue and Brown properties are absurdly powerful precisely because there's only two of each. Because you have to develop property evenly, it winds up costing more to fully develop the Dark Green than the Dark Blue.

If I was going to give reasons for Monopoly being broken, I'd say that it was too easy for a player to get into a dominant position without actually winning, making the endgame drag on for hours.

HidaTsuzua
2008-07-10, 11:12 AM
For the whole "who would want to be an adventurer?" thing, I have several thoughts.

One thought is that high level adventures are like celebrities of sports, movie, or music fame today. They're high profile, live lives of unimaginable luxury, and are "new blood." Milgord the Destroyer might have been born in Middle of Nowhere, Goodlandia to Bob and Jill the mud farmers, but now he kills dragons with his bare hands and lives in mansions where enslaved efreets grant his every wish (literally!). That'll be a big pull for people. So there will be a lot of people trying to be adventurers just like there are lots of people who want to be actors, sports players, or musicians. Sure, not all of them are going to make it big, but some do and many get by.

Heck drug dealers high enough in the chain make tons of money, but street peddlers under them make as much as they would if they worked in fast food with a much greater chance of death. They do it for the chance to move up the chain.

Also while lots of farmers and other underclass don't stay anywhere, there are some that sell (or trade) whatever they have and go join the army for the case of plundering. Such people formed a good chuck of medieval armies. I can't think of great historial examples, but a cultural one would be the farmers in The Hidden Fortress. They sold what they had to armor and weapons and joined an army for the chance of looting. Sometimes it works out well, sometimes it doesn't. However people try.

Another is that adventuring is a great deal less lethal than it used to be. Back in the 1st and 2nd edition days, you had your 1d4-10 hp (not max) and maybe a +1 or so (since you needed 15 con on a 3d6 to get that!). You died at 0. Fighters with 1 hp could easily happen. Even if you did get raised, you have a chance (determined by your Con score) to not come back up! And if you did, you'll lose a point of con, making life even harder.

That means any old orc with a d8 sword usually has a 50-50 or better shot of just killing you outright on a hit. This also doesn't count the large variety of Save or Die or Just Die abilities monsters had. Examples are the catobeplas's 1 in 6 chance for killing you at the start of combat or the wide variety of "save vs poison or die" monsters, and "save vs X or die' traps. Overall adventuring was more dangerous back then.

Considering the huge payouts of adventuring, I'll say there would be a good motivation in a 3rd or 4th edition world to go adventure. It won't be everyone (just like not everyone wants to be an actor, sports starts, or drug dealers), but a sizable chuck of the population likely would be.

nagora
2008-07-10, 11:13 AM
If I was going to give reasons for Monopoly being broken, I'd say that it was too easy for a player to get into a dominant position without actually winning, making the endgame drag on for hours.

I've always found it a fairly nippy game. You do remember to play the rule that every unsold property that is landed on HAS to be bought or auctioned? That one is often missed and that can lead to very long games.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-07-10, 11:34 AM
Of course the game world has no need for the PCs. They have to make their own destiny. If the PCs want to matter, they have to make it happen. Heroism isn't going to be dumped on they by an accident of birth. They have to earn it!

I think the point antacid was making was that in a "realistic" D&D world there would be nothing to earn in the first place. D&D magic essentially creates a post-scarcity society with economic resources far in advanced of even the most advanced modern nation. PCs can't "earn" heroism because there's nothing out there for them to be heroic at. The PCs will never encounter a simple farming village threatened by Orcs or bandits, because the farming village will have Walls of Iron defending it, and be defended by a highly trained militia, who are fed by the local Cleric's ability to produce endless amounts of food for them.

In a believable world with D&D magic there is no room for heroes of any stripe or flavour, "earned" or otherwise.


As for rules that make sense, it's hard to expect the players to make wise decisions if the world doesn't make sense without the DM leading them by the hand. Your choice is between "simulationist" and "railroading."

No, it isn't.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-07-10, 11:37 AM
No, it isn't.

Yes it is :smalltongue:

Ulzgoroth
2008-07-10, 11:41 AM
The Create Food and Water agricultural singularity is a lie!

Unless you use large quantities of magic items, or buff your cleric population to levels that make the DMG mandate look minute. Pretty sure I did the math in one of those threads, no settlement gets enough clerics to feed itself.

nagora
2008-07-10, 02:42 PM
I think the point antacid was making was that in a "realistic" D&D world there would be nothing to earn in the first place. 3e D&D magic essentially creates a post-scarcity society with economic resources far in advanced of even the most advanced modern nation.

Fixed that for you.

Indon
2008-07-10, 02:53 PM
I'm not sure that's true. In my experience the Dark Blue and Brown properties are absurdly powerful precisely because there's only two of each. Because you have to develop property evenly, it winds up costing more to fully develop the Dark Green than the Dark Blue.

The cost of development is indeed proportional to the size of the area, but the lower size of the area means that the profit per-turn is much less - meaning the areas are ultimately less valuable.

Edit: And was it in this thread that I talked about how silly Tippyland is as a mental exercise? These threads are all getting so long and have touched upon so many topics that it's getting harder to tell them apart.

Prophaniti
2008-07-10, 06:01 PM
Edit: And was it in this thread that I talked about how silly Tippyland is as a mental exercise? These threads are all getting so long and have touched upon so many topics that it's getting harder to tell them apart.

Heh, I know. I'm getting mixed up between this one, A friend's 4e review, and the Liches one. Fun discussions though. These are the kinds of debates I love having, where we bounce all over the place. Makes work a heck of a lot easier to bear.

Antacid
2008-07-10, 06:41 PM
I think the point antacid was making was that in a "realistic" D&D world there would be nothing to earn in the first place. D&D magic essentially creates a post-scarcity society with economic resources far in advanced of even the most advanced modern nation. PCs can't "earn" heroism because there's nothing out there for them to be heroic at. The PCs will never encounter a simple farming village threatened by Orcs or bandits, because the farming village will have Walls of Iron defending it, and be defended by a highly trained militia, who are fed by the local Cleric's ability to produce endless amounts of food for them.

Either that or Mordor, depending on who learns to exploit the system first.

The "rare spark of heroism" is the best rationale I've heard for a recognisable D&D world. It's absolutely necessary that there be an arbitrary limit on the number of PCs that are possible in any population, because if it's like training to be a doctor, nations would farm Wizards for their use in battle, Clerics to provide Healthcare, etc. A fixed limit is the only thing that would stop any D&D setting from becoming a high-magic utopia / dystopia.

And it really is an arbitrary limit. By 3.5 RAW, anyone with Wisdom 11 can cast learn to cast Cure Light Wounds. Most NPCs only have 1 hit dice. That sort of thing would create a pretty serious demand for places at theological college.

Ulzgoroth
2008-07-10, 08:20 PM
I disagree that a hard cap on PC classes is strictly necessary. There are other options.

I've been considering a setting where high level civilization hasn't even been given a chance...because really, there are a ton of things out there that could stop it if so inclined. So you get points of light, and small and guttering points at that. Then add in...something...that offs higher level characters who threaten to break the world, particularly magic users, and you're good. (You do, of course, have to ban some of the more broken toys. Not things like cure minor wounds, though.) Sure, people don't die of infections much. They can't, given the Heal rules and anyone who gives half a rat, let alone magic, but that doesn't turn it into Tippyland.

Now, if you want to talk about powerful 'nations' and avoid Tippyland, you may need something like that, because D&D3.5 magic + high concentrations of resources does lead to runaway magocracy.

JaxGaret
2008-07-10, 08:29 PM
The "rare spark of heroism" is the best rationale I've heard for a recognisable D&D world. It's absolutely necessary that there be an arbitrary limit on the number of PCs that are possible in any population, because if it's like training to be a doctor, nations would farm Wizards for their use in battle, Clerics to provide Healthcare, etc. A fixed limit is the only thing that would stop any D&D setting from becoming a high-magic utopia / dystopia.

Warmages, by RAW, are trained exactly like doctors.

Antacid
2008-07-10, 08:41 PM
Warmages, by RAW, are trained exactly like doctors.
Well, there ya go. You don't need a Tippy to fundamentally alter the structure of society when you can train thousands of mini-Tippys and render any other kind of military force obsolete.

Any claim to realism is kind of invalidated if the core ruleset ignores the First Law of Thermodynamics.

Yahzi
2008-07-10, 08:58 PM
In a believable world with D&D magic there is no room for heroes of any stripe or flavour, "earned" or otherwise.
I think that's a bit premature. Tippyland's utopia is as unlikely as all other utopias.


I disagree that a hard cap on PC classes is strictly necessary. There are other options.
Oh, totally.

In fact I'm working on a world setting that explains everything. And so far it's coming along well.

Ulzgoroth
2008-07-10, 09:04 PM
Well, there ya go. You don't need a Tippy to fundamentally alter the structure of society when you can train thousands of mini-Tippys and render any other kind of military force obsolete.

Any claim to realism is kind of invalidated if the core ruleset ignores the First Law of Thermodynamics.
Well...Yeah. Sort of. It took a while for people to notice that rule though, didn't it? So how important is it, necessarily? Theoretically, it's huge, but at the ground level I'm not so sure. And fantasy cosmology tends to be so massively bizarre that that's nothing to worry about.

You also might be able to spin the multiverse and the metaphysics so that you keep that law, but it probably isn't worth either the trouble or the implications.

...You talk about 'fundamentally alter the structure of society'. Well, yes, we've never had a real society with effective magical practitioners, that's fairly noticeable. It won't be the real middle ages, that's for sure. Things like 'fire ball is hard on troop formations' are hard to get around, unless mages are incredibly rare, and that has social implications. But unrecognizable seems to be a stretch.

Also, aren't Warmages supposed to be embarrassingly weak? Also-also, medical training is expensive by modern standards, and murderous by the standards of a less wealthy society. Even with plant growth, the agricultural base of D&D is nothing amazing (unless you take the rulebooks at their word about 'Profession: (Farmer)'. *twitch*).

OneFamiliarFace
2008-07-10, 09:51 PM
I have to disagree with teh first sentence. Many of the pro 4e may have played 3e, but for their coments, one can see they never come close to understanding the game.

For example, many pro 4e said that it's great that the cleric isn't limited anymore to just being a healbot, and that 3.X clerics were boring...Wait, did they even bother to look at the cleric's spell list and see all the things it can do besides healing? Aparently not.

As someone whose character has died numerous times because the party cleric decided to do something other than heal (under a DM using the CR system exactly as stated, in a balanced group), I would beg to differ. I have heard of the super cleric, and if he gets 10 turns to buff before every combat, then awesome. And if he gets booted with a Dispel Magic spell, then he just wasted all of the spells he could have used to make sure I stay within the realm of the living.

Now, that is just an example. I actually loved playing with that guy, because his cleric's actions were about 50% awesomely effective and 50% getting me killed, so it was a good time all around. And he did manage to make the cleric interesting. But to say that 4e people played the game and don't get it is, I think, wrong. Some people make poor arguments or don't consider their points, yes. But this has nothing to do with 4e or 3e. And I stated as much in my post.

What I mean is that it is sometimes a bother as someone who has played and enjoyed both systems for people who have not played 4e to argue about whether or not certain game mechanics work. Some people, like Prophianti tend to argue from personal viewpoints and opinions, and that is great, wonderful and awesome. He has a game that he knows he likes and argues about why 4e on a read doesn't appeal to him, and that is fine.

Some people though speak as though the game is made for simpletons or that it is only a tactical game with no roleplaying aids, and they say that without having played it. Perhaps they would find that the rules are different, but the core purpose of a tabletop RPG is still there: talking to and hanging out with your friends while exploring a dangerous world of your own creation.

*shrugs* I really do think it comes down to whether or not one likes logistics or tactics. Other things are mostly just fluff arguments added on after one has made a basic decision based on the first dichotomy. 4e certainly has less logistics, and people tend to say this equals less reality. I just happen to disagree (based on the myriad other posts I have on this thread which don't need to be repeated here).

Ulzgoroth
2008-07-10, 10:01 PM
*shrugs* I really do think it comes down to whether or not one likes logistics or tactics. Other things are mostly just fluff arguments added on after one has made a basic decision based on the first dichotomy. 4e certainly has less logistics, and people tend to say this equals less reality. I just happen to disagree (based on the myriad other posts I have on this thread which don't need to be repeated here).
Er, no. Maybe for some people, but everything I've thought sounded terrible about 4e didn't fall under that. Except losing Vancian casting, anyway.

The basic notions of trimmed-back non-combat rules and rules that are explicitly asymmetric between PCs and NPCs are real issues. To some people, I guess they're the right choices. But if you disagree with those choices, I don't think the combat engine's appeal or lack thereof will even be relevant.

JaxGaret
2008-07-10, 10:09 PM
The basic notions of trimmed-back non-combat rules and rules that are explicitly asymmetric between PCs and NPCs are real issues.

Where you see trimmed-back non-combat rules (I assume you're referring to the removal of skills like Craft, Profession, Use Rope, etc.), I see less limitation in character/background creation.

Where you see asymmetric PC/NPC creation, I see streamlined monster creation/customization rules that make creating unique encounters much easier then in 3e, reducing a lot of the busywork for the DM while at the same time making combat more enjoyable for everyone.


To some people, I guess they're the right choices. But if you disagree with those choices, I don't think the combat engine's appeal or lack thereof will even be relevant.

Precisely.

OneFamiliarFace
2008-07-11, 12:48 AM
Er, no. Maybe for some people, but everything I've thought sounded terrible about 4e didn't fall under that. Except losing Vancian casting, anyway.

The basic notions of trimmed-back non-combat rules and rules that are explicitly asymmetric between PCs and NPCs are real issues. To some people, I guess they're the right choices. But if you disagree with those choices, I don't think the combat engine's appeal or lack thereof will even be relevant.

That's a good point. And those are real issues that are being approached by a lot of people. I was typing my entry too fast and lumping too many things under one subject. A better dichotomy then would be character creation versus character play (and I'm not saying one does something better than the other). More intense character creation (including non-combat skills) does have a higher emphasis on logistics though. It's about having rules that you can point to and say I have this and that in my toolbox. I have/do not have the ability to heal (whether it is from a wand or spells), I have/do not have the ability to tie ropes (whether it be from skill or actually not even having a rope), how many hps do I have in my toolbox, etc.. And that is a fine way of play, and I actually do miss a lot of those elements of 3.5 (though many are still present).

Just to make the post less long:
And even something like very different systems for monster and player creation can have to do with that toolbox. Basically what 4e has done has made all choices a monster has ones that will effect the PCs directly. There is room for complaint here. But the route most people take is, "Monsters only exist for players to kill now." That is not a fair assessment of the system. Instead, this system encourages the DM to work out anything that happens outside of the PCs in his mind and words, rather than consulting the rules of the character.

Can Mike the NPC craft weapons? Sure... if he is an NPC blacksmith; but probably not if he is an NPC diplomat. So what people are looking at is, "Minions have 1 hp. How can they kill a townsperson or house cat?" The answer is that minions don't have 1hp. This is, actually, a matter of logistics, because it represents a tool or ability to take hits. Outside of combat with PCs though, a creature's ability to take hits doesn't matter squat. If the DM wants a goblin to be able to spear the mayor dead in one hit, then he can. This is a change from 3e in that players would wonder why combat between the mayor and goblin works differently than for them. The answer is this: the combat, character creation, and monster creation rules ONLY exist as a way to judge the effects of players' actions on the game world. No one else plays by those rules, because the rules are a game mechanic, and only 3-5 people in that entire world are playing said game. Everyone else is living a normal (if imaginary) life.

Whether this is accepted or not, it doesn't mean that 4e is a system such as the one many people have called it (not that you specifically have): things like childishly simplistic, selling out on the part of the designers, World of Warcraft, or any other varied amount of things. I could very easily say, for example, that DnD 3.0 was basically Diablo I with skill checks. It was all about your equipment and the spells you could cast. Nothing else mattered. This, of course, is a crass and untrue labeling of the game, but it stands to merit that in 3.0 core, you basically had to have a large amount of magical equipment to stand toe-to-toe with equal CR monsters. This isn't a problem with the game. It is just a fact of it.

So now, the answer to the question, "What tools are in the monster's box?" is different than the answer to "What tools are in the player's box?" But really, the first always has been up to the DM, and the second has been more controlled by the rules. That's why player options seem to be under more direct scrutiny. They are the ones more clearly dictated by the rules. Whether one disagrees with said rules or not is a matter of personal opinion. But to say, "In 4e, you can no longer use certain skills," is not correct, because it is instead the case that ability to use said skills are now under the control of the player (and to a lesser extent, the DM). So they are no longer part of your character sheet's number-crunching, and are instead part of your character sheet's background story.

@Prophaniti: Very true, I love discussions like this!

tyckspoon
2008-07-11, 01:54 AM
Also, aren't Warmages supposed to be embarrassingly weak?

Only by adventuring standards, where they tend to fight smaller groups (devaluing AoE damage effects) composed of highly dangerous and exotic creatures (who have energy resistances, SR, tons of hp, or other defenses against basic attack magic) and work alongside other people who are very good at dumping large amounts of damage on single targets, while also running into the sorts of weird and unusual non-monster hazards and obstacles that adventuring parties see.

On the battlefield, however, Warmages work just fine. They're self-mobile artillery pieces that can be embedded with other troops, keep up with the formations, protect themselves, and incidentally are more accurate than emplaced weaponry while putting out as much or more damage. Well worth the investment, if you're a genre-blind D&D leader who hasn't yet given up on traditional (realistic, historical, whatever you want to call it) warfare entirely. If you're more savvy, you already figured out that your kingdom's treasury is better invested in building regenerating golems or training a bunch of druids to cast summons or.. well, we've had a couple of interesting ''Build a fantastic D&D army" threads before.

grinner666
2008-07-11, 02:28 AM
I don't even know where to begin.

There is so much I loathe about 4E that it's hard to make my points coherently.

Let's begin with the basics: This is not the system I've played for the past twenty-eight years. That's just wrong. I've been playing since I was sixteen. Until 4E I managed to convert characters from one system to another. Now that's frickin' impossible.

My FIRST D&D character was a Druid ... how in the hell am I supposed to convert him? We need a conversion system that works.

And the loss of the Vancian magic system honks me off too, if only because it was what I was familiar with. Dammit, I LIKED that system.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-07-11, 03:46 AM
Well...Yeah. Sort of. It took a while for people to notice that rule though, didn't it? So how important is it, necessarily? Theoretically, it's huge, but at the ground level I'm not so sure. And fantasy cosmology tends to be so massively bizarre that that's nothing to worry about.

It took a long time to formalize, but every society ever has known that you can't get something for nothing, and that's the concept that goes out the window with D&D magic. Spell slots are infinitely renewable, absurdly flexible resources.

Thurbane
2008-07-11, 06:20 AM
And the loss of the Vancian magic system honks me off too, if only because it was what I was familiar with. Dammit, I LIKED that system.
I hear ya.

Even though there seems to be a metric ton of hate for the Vancian system in the community (and WotC have gradually been trying to get rid of it ever since 3E, with more and more spontaneous classes), any game where I don't think "Damn, wish I had memorized Knock today instead of Web!" isn't really D&D to me. :smalltongue:

...of course I realize this is totally subjective...

The New Bruceski
2008-07-19, 07:32 PM
I hear ya.

Even though there seems to be a metric ton of hate for the Vancian system in the community (and WotC have gradually been trying to get rid of it ever since 3E, with more and more spontaneous classes), any game where I don't think "Damn, wish I had memorized Knock today instead of Web!" isn't really D&D to me. :smalltongue:

...of course I realize this is totally subjective...

Does it count that between Acid Arrow and Flaming Sphere our wizard always seems to prepare the one that's least useful?

Kurald Galain
2008-07-20, 06:13 AM
And the loss of the Vancian magic system honks me off too, if only because it was what I was familiar with. Dammit, I LIKED that system.

The thing about that is that very few fantasy settings uses Vancian casting (it's pretty much D&D, anything based on D&D, and of course the books by Jack Vance). It seems to be hard for people to relate to (other than by the argument of "it's magic therefore it can be whatever we want it to be), it requires quite a bit of hand-waving to fit it in the world, and it was really designed that way only for playability's sake.

Indeed, most books, settings and roleplaying games use a mana-based or fatigue-based system.

The funny thing? Per-encounter abilites are also used in very few fantasy settings, require hand-waving to fit in the world, and were really designed that way only for playability's sake. Although of course they make bookkeeping easier.

ArmorArmadillo
2008-07-20, 11:41 AM
The basic notions of trimmed-back non-combat rules and rules that are explicitly asymmetric between PCs and NPCs are real issues. To some people, I guess they're the right choices. But if you disagree with those choices, I don't think the combat engine's appeal or lack thereof will even be relevant.

In 3e, you built monsters and PCs both with the same class level/hit die paradigm, which meant a certain level of HP, a certain number of feats, certain skills, etc.

What this meant in practice was an excessively difficult method of balancing monsters to PCs; wherein in order to give a monster the HP, AC, Feats, or Abilities it needed you had to handwave in so many free abilities that the monster ended up being asymmetric anyway.

Furthermore, classed NPCs worked atrociously, weren't at all balanced for their CR, and, worse, took forever to build when they were just going to die after a few rounds anyway.

Also, NPC casters ended up having dozens of spells when they were going to use, at maximum, 4 or 5. For PCs, this is reasonable because they face multiple encounters and must allocate resources accordingly; for NPCs it's just a side-effect of skewed design.


A shorter version being: PCs have to fight through a campaign, taking on multiple encounters and requiring flexibility. Monsters and NPCs must only be prepared for their encounter with the PCs. It is necessary that design be asymmetric, and having it be asymmetric gives greater freedom to designers who need no longer design monsters as though they were PCs.

fleet
2008-07-20, 11:57 AM
I think the problem with the new npc is, what if i want to give the party a friend, If the village blacksmith goes adeventuring with the party, then what? If the village blacksmith, is then given to my friend who just joined the game how do i reflect that? I can't give him a few levels in npc expert and say that he is now learning to be a fighter can i?

The problem with monsters following their own rules, is of course, monsters are cool, obviously we all want to on some level, play a pc monster.

Tsadrin
2008-07-20, 12:34 PM
I think the problem with the new npc is, what if i want to give the party a friend, If the village blacksmith goes adeventuring with the party, then what? If the village blacksmith, is then given to my friend who just joined the game how do i reflect that? I can't give him a few levels in npc expert and say that he is now learning to be a fighter can i?

The idea is that 'normal humans' don't have the spark to be adventurers. They can't just 'gain a level' in an adventuring class. This is how it had always been until D&D 3.x. A GM could make a ruling that such and such an NPC would suddenly become a 1st level fighter or such, but on the whole a 0-level NPC would always remain a 0-level NPC. No matter how many battles, campaigns, wars, or dungeons a 0-level man-at-arms is dragged through he'll always be a 0-level man-at-arms.

Henchmen were different. These were characters that had an adventuring spark, but due to their position as NPCs taking orders and not the initiative they earned XP at half the rate PCs did.



The problem with monsters following their own rules, is of course, monsters are cool, obviously we all want to on some level, play a pc monster.

This may be one of the core issues that has caused such backlash against the new edition. For years EGG stressed that the major theme of D&D was supposed to be that of a 'humanocentric' world. A place where anything but humans were going to be at a severe disadvantage.

The system wasn't intended* to represent some egalitarian world where creatures of all ilk could live in cooperative harmony. It was a world where humans leaders and their demi-human companions would kick in doors and kill the monsters, looting their corpses as reward.

*Technically the original D&D allowed for anything as long as it started relatively weak but the first two major re-writes of the rule system (Holmes and AD&D) nixed that concept and essays such as 'The monster as a player character' in the AD&D DMG laid out the foundations for intended play.

ArmorArmadillo
2008-07-20, 12:47 PM
I think the problem with the new npc is, what if i want to give the party a friend, If the village blacksmith goes adeventuring with the party, then what? If the village blacksmith, is then given to my friend who just joined the game how do i reflect that? I can't give him a few levels in npc expert and say that he is now learning to be a fighter can i?

The problem with monsters following their own rules, is of course, monsters are cool, obviously we all want to on some level, play a pc monster.

You still can build a NPC as a PC if you wanted to run a DMPC. If the blacksmith becomes a PC, roll up the sheet for a fighter, even though he was just an NPC beforehand. Did you have to have preexisting expert stats? Why? Why not just add it as you need it?

Oslecamo
2008-07-20, 01:38 PM
The thing about that is that very few fantasy settings uses Vancian casting (it's pretty much D&D, anything based on D&D, and of course the books by Jack Vance). It seems to be hard for people to relate to (other than by the argument of "it's magic therefore it can be whatever we want it to be), it requires quite a bit of hand-waving to fit it in the world, and it was really designed that way only for playability's sake.

Indeed, most books, settings and roleplaying games use a mana-based or fatigue-based system.

The funny thing? Per-encounter abilites are also used in very few fantasy settings, require hand-waving to fit in the world, and were really designed that way only for playability's sake. Although of course they make bookkeeping easier.


Say hello to psionics, sorcerors, the swordsage, warlock, tome of magic, etc, etc.

One of the my favorite qualities of 3e was that each class worked on his own way. Yeah, balance ended screwed up mainly because of that, but still one could feel the fuy swinging swords and the guy shooting fire really worked in diferent ways. The wizard had to carefully plan his strategies every day while the fighter could simply jump at the enemies and bash them.

This probably will never happen in 4e. It's already stated that all classes will work in the power basis, so the 4e psion and 4e swordmage will work exactly as the guys we have right now.